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Thu Dec 13, 2007

The Purpose of Addiction

An addiction is a strategy for accomplishing something. Smoking can be a strategy for managing anxiety; alcohol abuse can be a strategy for literally swallowing pain; sex addiction can be a strategy for connecting. These strategies are often the best the person has been able to come up with on their own. In a sense, there is a need to give the person credit for creatively devising the strategy - for doing something instead of nothing.

The problem is, it's the wrong solution. Not only does the addiction not accomplish the intended goal, but it creates entirely new (and often more chaotic) problems that then dictate the devising of additional solutions. And so the drama spirals on.

To me the solution is not moralism but pragmatism. If there is a problem with anxiety, then address the anxiety. If there is a problem with underlying pain, grab it by throat and feel it. If there is a lack of connection, then connect at the deepest level instead of the emptiest.

In this sense, the addiction is the symptom and not the root of the problem. If we go after the true problem itself, the addiction then becomes pointless - purposeless. This is the way out of the spiral. "The truth shall set you free" (John 8:32).

posted at: 17:14 | path: /addiction | link