There is a keen correlation between addiction and being self-ware. Did you know this?
I have gleaned tidbits that add up to this correlation while listening to addiction specialists and talking with addicts and family members of addicts. Add that to the fact that I have lived with loved ones who are/were addicted all my life, well, it’s starting to make sense. I can now see the relationship between the two.
I’ve been driven to compulsive behaviors myself, knowing that I was feeling something, wanting something, but not being able to identify what that “something” was.
Does this sound familiar to you?
It often feels like I’m missing out on something, especially when I hear certain songs from the past. It’s funny how music can do that to us. Discontentment and restlessness are two words to describe the feelings I often have with such an intense longing for something I can’t identify.
Do you ever feel like this?
This is true with addicts. That’s where the cycle begins, in the onset anyway. Those feelings, the desires, the longings and yearnings; they are very real, but the addict just isn’t in-tune enough with their emotions to know what those feelings mean.
Let’s be honest, they probably don’t have the skill set that it takes to get to the root of the issues. Not alone, anyway.
But that is the key…getting to the root of the issue.
I know the feeling. Why do I suddenly go pig out on things I know are unhealthy for me and will only pack on the pounds? What am I feeling during those times? I am aware enough to know I’m feeling something, but not aware enough to identify what it is.
Unless I’m brave enough to explore. Maybe not alone. Maybe with a trusted friend, because we were never meant to do life alone.
Why does the alcoholic initially grab that first drink? What sends the heroin user to go for the rush of feeling the substance entering their systems? What sends those who get their fix by shopping, running to the mall?
They all have one thing in common, those initial feelings of discontent.
Whatever the feeling is…it is the beginning… in the beginning.
And if you’re a true addict, you just keep doing whatever it is that numbed the pain… in the beginning.
Until we as individuals (and as a society), get to the root of the unmet needs, we will always be a society that is addicted.
And we are the most addicted generation that has ever lived. EVER!
Addiction is a disease. It is a dis-ease with who we are and how we feel.
Jesus said in the Gospels that we would always have the sick with us. I’m not naive enough to think that we can wipe out all addiction, but wouldn’t it be a start if we could become a people who are more comfortable, more in-tune with our emotions, to the point of being able to identify them so we would have the opportunity to meet them in appropriate fashion instead of with compulsive behaviors that only briefly satisfy…until the shame kicks in and fills us with pain so unbearable we are driven back to the very activity that started the cycle?
Because in the end, when all is said and done, all we are really left with is untold damage to the people we love (including ourselves) and the relationships we value.
Because what we think we want is often only a substitute for what we really need.
And that is where addiction and self-awareness meet.