Addiction Is Only Simple To The Ignorant.
I recently saw a post on LinkedIn that reminded me of how ignorant people can be when it comes to drug addiction (or any addiction for that matter).
This chap’s post said: “Don’t resort to taking harmful drugs in a bid to cure wounds of the past. Your errors don’t define you, your reaction does. The past is long gone. Just focus on your present, hope and work towards a better future.”
I thought to myself “if only it were that simple!” It was very clear to me that this guy has absolutely no personal experience with drug addiction. It’s always the ones who don’t, that make such simplistic statements about problems that are actually very complex.
Firstly, you don’t consciously take drugs in the hope it will ‘cure’ past wounds. In fact, everything about becoming an addict is completely unconscious. Yes, it’s true, we all hear from our parents, teachers, media, etc., that drugs are bad; but when all of your fellow peers are doing it as ‘just a bit of fun’ at a club or a party, you start to think that perhaps it’s not that bad after all.
These days you are hard pressed to find anyone under the age of forty that hasn’t tried some form of elicit drugs, whether people like to acknowledge it or not, it is widely spread throughout today’s youth. It is also very true that many who take drugs in a party setting do not become addicts. I for one, truly believed when I first started out that I would never become an addict.
So what is it that takes a hold of some, but not others? For one it’s certainly NOT due to dwelling on ‘past errors’ as the LinkedIn chap suggested. In both my personal experience and close observations of fellow addicts, it is due to trauma that amounts to severe unprocessed emotional pain, and you are completely unconscious of the fact that this emotional pain even exists.
This occurs when we (unconsciously) supress deeply traumatic and painful emotions and confuse that with having worked through and let go of these painful emotions. When we supress such pain, it festers and bubbles inside of you – the past is NOT gone at all as the LinkedIn man so easily expresses.
When you first take drugs they are a bit of fun, euphoric fun to be exact and this is where the addiction creeps in: feeling so euphoric is a wonderful ESCAPE from the burden of carrying this unprocessed pain. You start to crave this wonderful escapism and gradually your drug intake becomes more and more, all the while you’re telling yourself “I’ve got a hold of this, I can go out and not take drugs” until, WHAM, it hit’s you. You are not in control anymore – the drugs are, and you absolutely cannot say no to taking them. The addiction has your soul in its deep, dark clutches.
The problem at this point is that the drugs have brought all of your supressed pain to the surface and you honestly don’t know what to do with it. So, now you find yourself taking more drugs, hoping for and chasing the escapism that once, but no longer provides that sweet reverie. There is nothing left but the rawness of your deep and dark pain – the drugs are now exacerbating these painful emotions.
The only way out of this is to do the opposite of what the LinkedIn man advises: you must go back to your past and discover where the root of the pain stems from. It is only here that we can face our demons and look them right in the eye. Confronting them is the only way you can move forward towards a better future, after all, supressing it, pretending the pain doesn’t exist is what brings you to addiction in the first place.
So I’m sorry Mr LinkedIn man, I know you were trying to be helpful, but your hollow words and lack of understanding are counter productive to your intent. Humans are not simple, life is not simple, emotional pain is not simple – if it were as simplistic as you seem to think it is, no one would ever become an addict in the first place!
Thanks for reading.