Often we think of addiction as if there is something wrong with us.
As if somehow we are just not made for this life.
As if somehow we have not been equipped to deal with the pain, the hurt, the losses and whatever else, we inevitably will encounter through a lifetime in this fragile, paper-thin skin we are in.
I don't think that's the case.
People who struggle with addiction are not broken.
Those of us who struggle with addiction are simply reacting to the many facades and masks, that we tend to wear to fit into a sick society.
Addiction is a sort of rebellion against the status quo.
It is our soul screaming out loud that we are starving for something that is real, that is authentic - something that we can FEEL. Anything - even if destruction is the only thing that any longer feels real to us at that point in time, we will take it.
Anything that can show us a glimmer of real emotion, instead of all this "BS pretending" business most of us build our lives around; with the F word being spun around like sugar - yeah no, I know what you're thinking, it's not that - it's "fine".
Everything is so effing "fine" these days, that it's not okay.
Everyone's not fine - and the perception that everything is fine, our spouse is fine, our neighbors are fine, our kids are fine, our job is fine - all these lies we tell ourselves and each other only serves to make for the break-down.
The mid-life crisis is an accumulation of lies lived through a lifetime that has been ever so slowly built-up.
It's not something that just happened overnight. We allowed it to happen because we chose to wear a mask for most of our adult life.
We did this to fit in and keep up with the Joneses or the derriere-implants of the Kardashians or whatever.
There are only 3 ways people react to wearing masks for extended amount of time - at some point the pressure of trying to be what we are not, it will break us.
1) seek a way to numb ourselves out or create a sense of being alive via instant gratification through addiction,
2) become utterly depressed (midlife crisis)
3) find a way back to being the person we really are - and who we were all along, underneath the many layers we wear to hide behind.
Why do we even bother wearing all those layers and masks - when what most of us crave for is the carefreeness we had as kids? The freedom to run wild and be whoever we were, without caring about what other people thought of us.
Most of us long to feel anything that is "naked", raw and just an ounce of something that is real.
Somehow we got the impression that we needed to change or hide parts of ourselves to be liked, to succeed, to be loveable, to be chosen, to choose etc. etc.
It is not our duty to be attractive to society.
It is our responsibility, however, to model what we crave. If we want more of something, we can create more of it by being it. Yet we often will, for the longest while, continue to run after all that glitters, even though it leaves a bitter aftertaste, because it is not real.
We know it is not real, because we ourselves use the same glitter to hide behind.
We fake our attraction factor - whatever our glitter of choice is: expensive brands, glittery eyeshadow and botox, trophy wives, rolex watches and flashing our black amex - it all matters little, and we all know it, because we all rely on different aspects of these things, until we find the way back to ourselves. Not that there is anything wrong with things that glitters, heck half my wardrobe is filled with glittery things, but you know what I mean, honeybean.
According to Eastern philosophy, addiction is the lack of sweetness in life.
In other words, addiction occurs after an abundance of bitter - the bitter aftertaste of abandoning ourselves.
So to break the addiction cycle, we need to feed ourselves more sweetness - literally and metaphorically. Addiction is a gate to get back in touch with who we are, and not get swallowed up by a society that is insatiable, voracious and will eat us alive if we let it.
Addiction means that we are reacting to being eaten alive and molding to values that do not align with our integrity.
Yes, every addiction will compromise our integrity - yet it is also a reaction to not living in alignment with our core beliefs. It is nevertheless a gateway to get the hell off the hamster wheel before we drop dead.
The biggest obstacle to gaining recovery, is the secrecy that comes with most every addiction.
Because we are so scared, that we are broken and that we might scatter into a million trillion pieces on the floor, never to be put back together again, lest someone finds out we are addicts.
What we keep secret is impossible to examine, accept and transform.
And I think part of breaking the stigma of addiction, is that we need to understand that addiction is not a disease per se or lack of willpower - it is a reaction to life lived compromised and a possibility for us to use it as a gateway to live life differently.
Addiction is the perfect storm.
It is the clearest indicator that our time has come to make that jump before we drown. It is a sign that we need to let go of our vanity - that we need to get dirty to get clean.