Taking control of your life through addiction?

Of course, addiction is one way to deal with a life “out of control”. But that needs answers to two questions:

  1. What is a life out of control?
  2. And what is addiction?

Regarding the first question: When the demands placed upon our bodies exceeds its capacity to expend energy in maintaining homeostasis, we are surely heading towards out of control. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is another coping and/or defence mechanism called rationalisation or “making excuses”. Through rationalisation behaviours or feelings are justified and explained in a logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and are thereby made consciously tolerable (and sometimes even admirable).

How often have you said that you never experience stress? In his modern life of unpredictability and chaos, such a statement is highly unlikely. However, what you have done is to make a decision or a judgement and then to perform a rationalisation, constructing a good reason to explain the act after the fact. It then becomes easy to state that I am ok, even though everybody around me sees and experiences the opposite.

Addiction – another scary topic. Our stereotypes of addicts enforces our belief that they are drunken hobos, useless with no purpose in life. But let’s examine addiction for a moment. Have you ever read Dr Gabor Maté? You will either love him or hate him. Not only does he frequently enrage the medical society, but he also openly admits to his own addictions. In his words “In our materialist society, with our attachment to ego gratification, few of us escape the lure of addictive behaviours. Only our blindness and self-flattery stand in the way of seeing that the severely addicted are people who have suffered more than the rest of us but who share a profound commonality with the majority of “respectable” citizens”.

Alice Miller in Breaking Down the Wall of Silence asks what addiction really is. She answers by stating that it is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. She continues that it is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.

So wellness and well-being comes into the picture. We know our fast-paced lives. We know our addictions and we know how hard we work and play. Therefore, as we learnt how to ride a bicycle or swim or play rugby or soccer, in a similar way we have to learn again how to take care of ourselves. There are many alternative ways that are effective, not only to help us cope, but also to help us live more wholly and fully in the moment. As we grow in consciousness we become more present. As we become more present, we experience a more unified state of awareness, experiencing increased interconnectedness, leading in turn, to reduced anxiety and increased ability to live more fully in the present moment.

Testimonials

Thanks so much for the class this evening, like all the other classes, Roni says he hasn’t felt this good since his sciatica problem started almost a year ago. He has no pain….thanks so much again!

Lee