Facebook Group Addiction Professional Referral Group: In response to the comment that addicts don’t understand healthy fear and that healthy fear (the kind we need to survive) is somehow the culprit of addiction. (This article is based on my own experience therefore may have nothing to do with yours. Read Disclaimer)
In short-Addiction is a solution to an emotional disorder defined as an inability to process feelings in a healthy way. It is comprised of Intense shame usually because of neglect, abuse, and childhood lessons dictating that our feelings and we are all wrong. And the repression of fear which intensifies fear. Addiction is a solution to terror and the fear of loss and feelings. Then- the solution goes wrong and we must find another or figure out the core pain and fear so as to find healthy solutions to it. Simply put addicts are scared to death and have been taught they are bad, and wrong at the core. Imagine going through life like that. We addicts made the grave error of taking to heart what our parents taught us about ourselves. We have been sold a bill of goods that is not easily remedied. I don’t have a disease because I have found the core reasons for my fear and shame. If the reasons under the reasons to drink and drug are not realized by the addict then he does still have a disease, obscure, and incurable. Without self-awareness there can be no cure.______Laura Edgar author of Paradise for the Hellbound
Healthy fear is not the problem with the addict. It’s the addicts solutions to the over-grown and nurtured fear of feelings and loss that gets the addict in trouble. No addict with common sense argues there are not healthy fears needed to survive in life. Addicts aren’t stupid…usually. But they do however feel a much deeper terror of their own feelings and a sub-conscious fear of death at a deeper level than the healthy norm dictates. But don’t expect many of them to admit or even realize it themselves. Unless they have been either to a good therapist or take meditation seriously. If I am in a state of Love then fear isn’t present. Granted it takes courage to move forward and there is no such thing as courage without fear.
A proclamation by the addict of fearlessness is bullshit most of the time. Many times they just don’t realize they are afraid but there defensive actions speak. Healthy or not people often think fear is weak, wrong, and something to hide. People are ashamed of their fears. They repress them and their fear grows. Then they become defensive and push love away. Normal people do it too.
I have found that most people have an aversion to the word shame while shame is at the core of every addiction. Shame is the true culprit and a form of fear. Normal fear is for survival sake. Do I balk at looking both ways before I cross the street because I am in recovery and clueless of the advantage of healthy fear? No , not at all and I don’t think my friends in recovery are confused about healthy fear either.
It’s the shame concept that people don’t get. They are ashamed of being ashamed. But I get the denial. Even sometimes my own sanity depends on my ability to stay in denial to a certain extent. Or at least keep certain truths at bay so I can have a good day. It’s just that some people take “keeping facts at bay” to another level. Complete blindness to reality.
Consider this: If you suffered, deeply suffered, for most of your life but felt you couldn’t tell anyone because you were taught that your feelings are WRONG so you believe what the adults taught you. And then one day you find a solution to that horrible suffering. And the solution works really well for a while with no negative consequences. But then negative events start to happen slowly bit by bit (kind of like the frog being boiled slowly and not noticing the increase in temperature). How long would you yourself make attempts to quell your HORRIBLE suffering before you realized your being boiled alive by your own solution to your pain.
And then you halt the solution but the pain returns WORSE than the consequences of the solution. So you rationalize, just one more time I am going to try my solution because it’s better to suffer the consequences of my solution that may work this time than it is to live with the horrible suffering of deep and embedded shame of who I am. But I don’t know what’s torturing me. I begin to believe my malady is an obscure genetic problem called “the disease of addiction”.
I don’t know a healthy solution to my original pain because no one ever taught me crap when I was growing up. And what they did teach me about myself is killing me.
I no longer believe in the disease concept. People are running around in A.A. thinking they have some obscure genetic disorder, and they like that concept (like I did) because it meant none of my addict actions were really my fault. But the problem with the disease concept is people won’t look any further than A.A. or N.A. for their solutions. And without the processing of core issues all A.A. can be is a Band-Aid on a wound that really requires emotional penicillin. Like Bill W. said spirituality is just a reprieve. People WILL let up on their spiritual program at which time the pain will return. Then the spiritual program must reconvene of RELAPSE or SUICIDE are the only alternatives.
But if we work on core issues and maintain spirituality we find a cure NOT SO WE CAN DRINK AGAIN. No drinking is a risk I am not willing to take in spite of my theories. Hell-no. Part of spirituality and emotional balance in remembering what happened when I drank and drugged and recoiling from it. So what is the difference between someone who has addressed the causes and works the steps in A.A. and someone who has not addressed the causes and works the steps in A.A.? Hmm well I don’t need meetings to stay sober for one thing. I am not afraid of my feelings any more. When I let up on my spiritual program I don’t drink and drug. I don’t use sarcasm and passive aggression usually. I am not on the defense, usually. I don’t get mad when people disagree with my ideas usually. I know how to process things like anger and hurt, jealousy, and fear in a healthy way. I know how to listen. I don’t deny that I am sometimes afraid. If a man builds self esteem by working step 10 through 12 will it reap the same benefits emotionally as returning to our youth and processing our hurts and anger from then? I doubt it but it can keep a man sober. Can spirituality cure addiction? Hell yes it can but God never removes free will and it’s likely the spiritual boost will wear off then other solutions are needed.