Saturday, July 16, 2011

Healing (15) Understanding addictions

An addict never keeps a promise. Womb twin survivors in particular choose something to do to excess, which causes a problem. They promise themselves they will solve this problem but somehow the promise is never fulfilled. In their Dream of the Womb there was a promise of new life, which was never fulfilled. This is why addicts, despite their best efforts, break their promises to reform, again and again.
Survivor guilt
Addiction is much more complicated than just a broken promise. They are wrapped up inside a whole complex ritual, which has important moral, social and legal dimensions. For example, ways to restrict drug taking, drinking alcohol and prostitution have for centuries been the subject of Acts of Parliament.
It is easy to get hung up in trying to control the excessive behavoiur of the addict. Attempts to “eat normally” or “just shop for what you really need” always meet with failure. There is a much deeper agenda that is being ignored, simply because it is not understood. For womb twin survivors, the deepest agenda is survivor guilt. Apart from being one big “shame trip”, addiction is the best way to throw a life away that we humans have ever managed to invent.

Addiction is slow suicide. A drug overdose is immediately fatal, and so are dangerous sports. Heart disease takes a while longer, but combined with diabetes (developed as a result of sugar addiction) it will successfully wipe you out in your fifth decade. So will lung cancer from smoking, liver disease from excessive alcohol consumption and the general effects of a lifetime of malnutrition.
Social suicide by means of addiction is another way not to get a life. This can mean far more than being banished to the back yard for a private smoke. Sexually transmitted diseases, contracted as a result of promiscuous sex, may not kill you but they will probably render you infertile and deny you the joys of parenthood. Out of your head on your drug of choice, you will hardly be in a position to make long last relationships. Isolated and friendless, you will be denied ; kind of social life.
The relationship you have with yur favourite “fix” is an echo of the relationship you once had with your wombtwin. A long time ago in the womb you had a friend who was there for you all the time. You yearn for that closeness and empathy and you have probably been seeking it in a bottle or a shop. You won’t find it there, of course, but then deep down you know that. It’s just that, until you find what you really want , you have to make do with the next best thing.
The craving you feel is the dependency that you developed in those vital early weeks, when you were being hard-wired in the womb. That presence of Someone very near is part of the wiring of your brain and of course you don’t feel whole without it. That is dependency.
If you attempt to give up your favourite fix, then your feelings of dependency increase to the point of being quite unbearable. A voice somewhere inside you insists that you wont feel OK again until you have had “ just a little bit” and this will make everything right again.
What actually happens is that on taking that “little bit” you are precipitated into a massive guilt attack. You descend rapidly into your Black Hole where everything is hopeless and you are helpless in the face of your own insatiable desires. This is how wombtwin survivors keep alive in every day life the yearning that is derived from a half- remembered sense of loss from long ago in the womb.
Giving up, letting go
Until you have let go of your wombtwin, your addictions will haunt you - as the tiny ghost of your womb twin also will. So experiment often with letting go, and try giving up your fix in any way you can. Even if you only manage without it for one day, this will teach you again and again about the depth of yearning and lack of wholeness that lies in your Dream.
When you have tried many times to let go of your fix, only to find you take it up again after a while, you will understand that your addiction has nothing whatever to do with your fix. It is your favourite way to keep your Dream alive and deny yourself the fulfilling and satisfying life you truly need.

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