This guy wants us all to know that addiction and freedom from it is NOT a sobriety, not even a chemical thing, but a connectivity thing.
The guy in the picture is Johann Hari.
If you click on the photo, you will be taken to his TED Talk. It is titled Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong. And really, the only thing that I can say is that he is correct.
People do not become addicted to anything unless they do not have some sort of connection with at least ONE other human being.
That is all that is needed to stave it off.
I know this, for sure.
It’s a brain thing, which leads to an emotional thing.
We are humans. We need to be closely connected to at least one other person, no matter who they are. As long as they are healthy, and as long as they are true, addiction has a lesser chance of happening. If more people would stop being jerks to those who are addicted to anything at all, and realize that the reason their loved ones are addicted is NOT because of what they are assuming it is, there will be a better chance of those who are addicted no longer being addicted.
It is not a choice. It is an ailment.
It is not a crime. It is something that lots of people judge as being bad, rather than what it really is, which is a sickness, even a disease that kills the soul.
That is…until the addiction can be dealt with. The way that we deal with anything like this is to ask the question, NOT of how they got addicted to a substance, but, how it was that it was allowed that our loved ones, no matter who they are, got into this mess to begin with?
It is a connectivity thing.
I have always thought this way – that the people who are hurting simply got tired of hurting, simply needed a way to escape their pain, and simply, they turned to something that they would eventually have in common with another person. People, by and large, connect with us. When we have a divine connection, we have something to look forward to with one other person. When we are sure of that connection, becoming addicted to anything becomes less of a threat. When we have a human connection with and to just one other significant person in our lives, it makes all the difference in the world, even if the healing takes place after the fact. (Because not all people who are part of the reason why people end up wanting to be healed will be around after the fact – some of them come into our lives to make the addiction happen, so that through the soul, we can filter the addiction, and perhaps even them, out of our awareness….harsh…but true…please, keep reading)
We demonize these people. We tell them to get help and then we abandon them. We tell them that they are loved, give them ultimatums and then, turn away from them. We want people to be there for us, but, when it comes down to it, we don’t want to deal with the issue that perhaps we do not realize we were a part and party to these loved ones becoming what they become.
We end up throwing more pain at them and BANG!
It starts…and we tell them, again and again, to get help, and we don’t realize that we are part of their pain and part of their madness. We want them to do what we want them to do, but not for THEIR purpose only…but selfishly, ours, as well. We know they need help, but it is beyond what we are offering in terms of what kind of help…
Not just a kick ass residential treatment program. Not just group therapy with other addicts. Not just the things that we have all been told is the truth. And there are a lot of things that we have been told is the truth.
I know a whole lot of people who have been there, and have done that, and the entire world has this..agenda…to criminalize these people when in reality, it is not their issues that make them a criminal rather than them being someone who is suffering emotionally.
It is not a crime to be an addict, even though some of the things that addicts do are criminal in nature. I will not sit here and tell anyone that they are wrong for hurting, and I will not further make people who hurt, hurt more, and no way at all will I agree with the idea that once an addict, always an addict, or the idea that they cannot be trusted, just because they are addicted, because they are hurting, and that is how I will choose to see them – hurting, and not needing to be hurt anymore.
However, there is another group with whom I have an issue, namely when it comes to other peoples’ addictions – the ones who have been there, done that, and think that they know the on;y reason and reality of why people are addicted. I want to ask those who would make these hurting people hurt more why it is that they forgot about what it was like to hurt that badly, enough to have to mask the pain with substance or activity or things…why are you demonizing them, and more, why is it that you want to believe that you trying to help them, by making them see what they will lose (because they already know what they are going to lose…didn’t you?)…how about show them how YOU are doing now? Would that not be the right way to do this? Show them how well you did? Point it out without being a douche bag about it and make certain that they know and believe that really, you mean every word you gave them in confidence to their issues?
You know they hurt, and because they hurt, they make promises that they do not realize that they cannot keep. In that moment, when they are trying hard, they …we…are told that we must be high – because why else would we be nice to them, and why else would we be normal, and why else would it matter what we think of them and them of us?
Why, most of all, would we feel the need to judge someone in pain? And why, of course, is anyone criminalizing people who need healing, not more to hurt about?
Because they are not criminals, per se…they are doing criminal things to support their addiction.
Criminals are typically born that way. Addicts are in pain, and pain is given to us by others who are also in pain.
I know this. I am no stranger to pain. I am no stranger to wanting to get rid of my pain through outer means. In my case, it was pills and booze. In my case, it was drinking and forgetting. In my case, it was anything but criminal and the things that were happening to me WERE criminal…but, I was the bad one. I was the one with the problem…
Blame the addict, not the things going on in the lives and in the soul of them….these are bad people. They are out of control.
This, I have found, because I have asked, is the opinion of the populace at large.
It is not everyone who thinks this way…just a vast majority.
This needs to be corrected.
This is not my stating that there are not people who are both addicts and shitty human beings. This is my stating that not all addicted people, no matter what it is that they may be addicted to, are shitty people, and this is to say that not all addicts remain addicts.
There are a lot of people on this planet who seem to think that since they have been there, and have done that, and made it out alive and able to tell their story of redemption, that somehow they are the people who have been sent here to make sure that not only other addicts know that they did it themselves, but that those other addicts, even if they do not outright state so, are somehow dirty and evil, and no…no they are not.
What they are is sick.
What they are is involuntarily disconnected from everyone who they love, trust, need in their lives, NOT to pander to their addictions, but, instead, continue to Love them for who they are, and who they want to be again.
This is something that I know a lot of people do not want to think is the truth, and until the day came that my guy told me that addicts, we must remember, really have no idea what they are doing once it is that they find themselves helpless and hopelessly stuck in the idea that they are somehow not good human beings.
He has said this to me for months now, about a person who he specifically knows is my family, is someone who I care about and who I want to see the best life happen for. There are people who he knows, who he also cares a great deal about, and because of his explanation of things from the other side of it, I was prompted to learn a bit more about it and to be more open to the idea that there is more than one way to become an addict, and that not all of it is tied to trying things out just once.
Much of it is tied to pain and much of it is tied to being ignored, to being told who you are instead of knowing for sure that who you are for real is good enough for you, and to hell with everyone else. His sharing with me about certain periods of his own life, and me with him about mine, clearly pointed to one thing and one thing that I did not know that I was doing and one thing that I had not thought about and damn surely – I did not like it when others were telling me that I was this, that and the other.
Since I had been there, and done that, I, too, became, in that instance, the thing that I did not want to be.
I became a know it all, and really, outside of my own issue – I knew NOTHING.
Let us get one thing very adequately and dearly understood – that someone is an addict only means one thing: they needed something to make themselves feel better about anything, and when they could not find that very one person who they could depend on to be there for them, in every way but specifically the “I am here for you for real” way, they felt like they had, like they have, nothing.
That is a very lonely place to be.
I know now that the thing that I was addicted to was NOT any substance, but, the very thought that in my own abilities, I could change a person (I CANNOT AND NEITHER CAN ANYONE ELSE). I tried, relentlessly, to get the man who abused me for twenty-five years of my life, NOT to be good to me, because I no longer cared and neither care what this person thinks of me, because the only “relationship” that there is left is in the sense that is “okay…so you’re their dad…be their dad…”
What I care about is that people are heard, cared about, believed, namely if they have been through a hell that no one else can bother with wanting to know about- when you have been through stuff, and stuff that sucks ass, you, me, we all want at least one other person we have something in common with, that we have a Divine connection with, to be in our lives.
A Divine Connection
I bet you each thought I was writing about addiction, and perhaps that I might even be trying to promote community programs for them.
If that is what you are getting from this, okay, great.
But, the truth is that the thing that I am promoting here is NOT that.
It is the Divine Connection.
We have a connection to one another. We are tied to one another energetically. When someone in our personal tribe of souls hurts, we all hurt. When we are disconnected, we do not realize that we are. When we have these thoughts of grandiosity about what is wrong about us and bad about us, we lose ourselves in that grandiosity, in that place where we want to think is the truth and the truth that we keep hanging on to.
We want the world to think we are okay and when the world finds out that we are not, it is the world, not our truest, closest people, who will turn its back.
It is through these …anomalies…in our own lives that we find out who is there for us, ,who will love us, no matter what. It is when we are so invested in our own pain and in that pain one other person sees us through the lens that is Love rather than chastisement that we begin to see who we are breaking through the darkness of the false self created by the pain and by the way that we deal with the pain.
When we realize that we have come to that place that no one else can relate with, and we know that we are there and still alive and well and breathing…we know Love, and we know the Truth of who we are, no matter who wants to tell us that we are bad because we got hold of some bad chemicals, or bad foods, or bad habits…and called them good for us.
My friends….addiction is not a one person illness. It is an illness that affects all of us, and one that we can conquer, if we know the truth of a person. I know the truths of lots and lots of people, and through all of their pain, all of their struggle, for some of them, I have remained that one person who, even if I am only their cleric, does not make them feel like they are criminals. I will not lie and say that there have not been one or two who I have had to involve the police in, but that is because their addiction led them to become a threat to others, which always and ultimately leads them to also become a threat to themselves.
In that energy, I will leave you with this…
…when you have the opportunity to be of good cause to anyone else, but specifically to those who are hurting, don’t pass it up – you are being met with that person because Spirit has sent them to you for a reason. You either have a lesson to learn from them that you, specifically need to learn, and lots of times, there is more than only one lesson, perhaps several, all to be learned by one person.
When you have the means within you, within your soul, and you know without a doubt that this person who you love is hurting, reach out to them, and don’t make them be alone in this time in their lives, make them be on their own when really, they didn’t get to this place on their own. Shitty people came into their lives and made them hurt somehow. Perhaps it is your job to show them that they do not need to hurt or perhaps it is you who needs to learn how to not hurt others, others who totally need a Divine Connection. Do what you must to protect yourselves, but by all means, reach out and let them know that they are not alone.
It is in the darkness that is being alone and feeling every bit of it, is in knowing that tangibly there is no one else there who we can talk with and who will “get it” in terms of what we are experiencing where you will make the most amount of difference for anyone else at all.
It is within us each and all to look past what is the social agreement that everyone seems to have, with whoever and for whatever reason we have them, that is in charge of us. We are worried what everyone else will think about our choices about that person and what that person is going through that we will forget about, and lots of us who have been there and done that hold the key to their wellness, each and every single last one of us.
It is within the heart of the ailing who only wants to be heard, listened to, taken seriously, and most of all, loved that we will reach them…
It is the Divine Connection of Love between Human Souls that is the remedy…and not the assumptions based on whatever it is that anyone “tough love’ wants to believe.
Love is Love….it is neither tough, nor gentle. It is Love.
Love is the answer
It is the Cure