Monday, August 15, 2011

Freud, addiction and death

Freud was a cocaine addict.  He smoked tobacco all his life and contracted jaw cancer as a result.  He died at the hands of his own doctor and by his own consent.

See this book:  An Anatomy of addiction Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine
 An Anatomy of Addiction tells the tragic and heroic story of each man, accidentally struck down in his prime by an insidious malady: tragic because of the time, relationships, and health cocaine forced each to squander; heroic in the intense battle each man waged to overcome his affliction as he conquered his own world with his visionary healing gifts. Here is the full story, long overlooked, told in its rich historical context.
The full story of Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis and many say the father of modern psychology,  may have been told many times but it requires explanation. Womb twin theory supplies that explanation.

Freud was an addict. His favourite fix was tobacco. ( See the full story of his addictions here)

Freud died of cancer in 1939, at the age of eighty-three. His efforts over a forty-five-year period to stop smoking, his repeated inability to stop, his suffering when he tried to stop, and the persistence of his craving and suffering even after fourteen continuous months of abstinence––– a "torture . . . beyond human power to bear"––– make him the tragic prototype of tobacco addiction.

 Addiction is closely related to narcissism ( I mentioned in a previous post that Freud was a narcissist) and this quote says it all very well
Freud said that we become jealous of the narcissist because they seem to be so pleasantly oblivious to the feelings of accountability to others that the rest of us are plagued by. "Wouldn't it be nice," we think, "to be free of this burden of awareness of the needs and feelings of others and simply ask ourselves one question, what do I want?" But if you could drill a hole into the inner world of the narcissist or the addict and peek inside you might be startled at the emptiness and loneliness you'd find. Because ultimately being oblivious to the cares and needs of others leaves us feeling like strangers in our own relational worlds.
The narcissist and addiction:

Sam Vaknin, a narcissitic writer about narcissism (an interesting combination!) tends to speak as he writes and he writes in a rather obfuscated way, but as a narcissist himself he has an insight denied to others.  He makes clear what we all know, that addicts are self defeating, self loathing, suicidal individuals. We know that. We know that addicts are acutely and shamefully aware of the self destructive nature of their own behaviour and the precise nature of the damage it is doing, but the behavior continues nonetheless. This is not merely a fixation  on pleasure, this is a desire to  die. Addiction is slow suicide.

Now who would want to throw their life away and risk death in their pursuit  of some spurious pleasure? Only someone for whom the mere fact of being alive is painful; that someone is riven with survivor guilt and does not care of they live or die so there is no risk in addiction, for death is equal to life, and the addict doesn't want to be here in this life in any case.

I put it to you, dear reader, that while it is not true that every womb twin survivor is an addict, there is a good case for saying that every addict is a womb twin survivor.  I will write about this some more in my forthcoming book, "Womb Twin Survivors: a Healing Path."

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