Addiction: How to Free Your Self
You are limitless. Free. Unbound.
Do you need a something outside of your self to feel this?
Really deeply experience this?
need versus the call
Sometimes, we find ourselves needing some thing outside of ourselves to feel good, to feel alive, to feel truly wildly deeply free.
The need can become a drive for distraction, a hunger, an impulse, an obsession. The need can express in a range of ways. It becomes addictive when it feels out of control, when it acts as a means of escape from an emotion, an uncomfortable feeling, a fear, an aspect of inner experience. When the time and energy you spend is spent running away from, rather than towards, a life worth living.
Sometimes the need is a very well placed, worthwhile, and important need to transcend the repetition, the mundane, the feeling of being trapped. And here, when listened to, the need is more of a call that, when answered, pulls one closer to the center of joy, bliss, meaning, wisdom - that ineffable spark and effervescence that uplifts and carries one through into the day to day life with genuine inspiration.
The call can take you to a variety of wild experiences that shift how you see your self, the world, and your place in it. A mind shift. A set shift. A different state of awareness. An altered state.
Like hang gliding over a canyon.
Or standing on top of a glacier after a long hike.
You feel mortal, deeply alive, on the edge of something new.
However sometimes, the quest for an external experience to fill the internal hunger takes us to less beautiful places. And sometimes, the seeking of pleasure or reward or relief, leads to a downward spiral into a darkness that harms not only the person, but others around them.
Here, the constant seeking has become an addiction, a descent into habit patterns of brain and mind that do not serve, do not uplift, do not transcend and bring brightness.
Addiction literally takes lives. Daily. Maybe you have a family member, a close friend, a loved one, a client, that you know suffers from addiction.
ADDICTION: what is it?
Definition: the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
Definition: the repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement is perceived to be pleasurable or valuable.
Definition: a chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Leads to problematic pursuing reward or relief by substance use or other behaviours.
Definition: a repetitive pattern of behaviour that leads to lying, deceit, entitlement, mean behaviour, and loss of friendships and relationships.
Those are just some of different definitions. In psychiatry, we learn ways to treat addiction. But where does addiction as a phenomenon, play a part in wellness?
WHAT IS DISEASE?
You’ve heard it before. Disease is a lack of ease. Dis-ease. Whereas wellness is a state of feeling amazing. Well. Wholesome. Pure. Good.
Disease is not sexy. Addiction is not sexy. Yet addiction is played up in our movies and media as a sexy thing. Giving in to the forbidden pleasure. A concept well steeped in creating dichotomy. Dichotomy is when we set two things up as completely different.
When we set two things up as completely different, this is interesting. Black and white. Good and bad. Wrong and right. To be avoided, to be chosen. Discernment is useful - you don’t want to eat poison.
But what happens when you do something you shouldn’t do? Eat the forbidden fruit - whether this is a donut to a diabetic, or work to a workaholic, or giving in to a way of thinking that you wish to avoid.
When we “give in” to something we “shouldn’t” do, often people start to punish themselves for their transgressions. Negative self talk. Words of regret. Guilt. A lack of kindness. Does this approach of punishment work? No, it tends to lower self worth and drive harshness, thus drives a need to escape from harshness, and then the need for relief results in repeated addictive behaviour.
What if, instead of punishing, we got calm. Still. Quiet. Gentle. Self compassionate. Non-acting. Non-reacting.
And in that calm, we really felt what the feelings were that drove the behaviour. And then we forgave. Accepted, and forgave. Ourselves, others, the moment. And in the lack of battle, we found a peace.
Perhaps in this very moment of stillness, would be a reward. And then, perhaps we would stop the addictive behaviour and instead create a life deeply meaningful.
If you are simply interested in improving your life through improving your habits, think about how this principle of being gentle, instead of punishment, may help you.
Consider, how might you feel free, limitless, boundless, without the need for any thing external ?
Can you find freedom deep within ?
That, is the beautiful mystery, and quiet adventure, that a meditation practice can offer you. Meditation and mindfulness put a pause when other forces try to take over your direction, your decision-making power, your clarity.
If you are interested in coaching in meditation and mindfulness, for transformation, to find freedom, to find power, feel free to contact me to ask questions - fifteen minute phone calls to talk about wellness sessions are complimentary.
Wishing you the best, always,
Dr. M. ~
If you or someone you know is struggling with a pathological addiction, do seek help through the right pathways - go to a hospital, see a doctor, look into an addiction counselor.
Sometimes, the simple act of having a cup of tea, can free you . . .