Alcohol and marijuana are not the enemies; no more so than food, sex, or money. Yet for so many of us they become the vehicles of emotional avoidance and grow to destroy the matter and meaning in our lives. This is the essence of the prison that is addiction. The Latin word “addictus” means “enslavement,” and in the most important ways it is no different with cigarettes, cocaine, vicodin, or any of the others. If we use these substances as coping mechanisms to mask how we feel, we never learn what we truly need and we become prisoners to the substance without ever attuning to the wounded Self.
The amount of energy required to live in the cycle of addiction is enormous. It allows us to hold our breath against how we feel. This makes it possible to shame our sensitivity and ignore how hard we’re working to hold it all together. The effort required to live consciously and spontaneously is usually far less, but wholly unknown to us. It asks of us to know how we feel from moment to moment. Addiction therapy will help to develop the tools to breathe into the dark scary corners of life to reclaim the lost parts of self and gain mastery of the depth of emotion required in becoming whole.