We all know that addiction brings out the huge parking lot of pain, disappointment, agony, despair, sadness, violence, and misery. Some of this chaos is self-inflicted for many reasons. This chaos is projected onto everyone who gets in its path. Some people pull into the parking lot unknowing of what is coming. But everyone brings their own personality traits into the parking lot.
Of course, we are going to hear about all the tragedies of drug use. From criminal behavior to divorces to bankruptcy, it would appear that addiction is its own snake-filled evil entity all in itself. But as Gabor Mate, Johann Hari, and many others leading the way in addiction research and dissection; there are reasons and causes for this behavior.
Doesn’t matter, some would say. A crime is a crime. A lie is a lie. But in the context of BEING HELPFUL and MAKING A DENT in this epidemic, What is going to be helpful to stop all this pain and suffering? I can tell you 1000% percent “if only they would stop” is NOT A COMPLETE SENTENCE. There are many other problems that have to be solved other than the drugs, by the addicted one AND by others around them.
Unfortunately, many personality types are unwilling to budge their “warring heart” or learn new skills or “ways of being”. (Both from Anatomy of Peace)
My heart hurts for all who are affected by addiction. But today I am saddened for the absolute cruelty thrown at addicts, by using their darkest moments against them continuously and denying them access to their children- in the name of virtuous parenting. When in fact, seeing their kids and starting the bonding process again could be the very thing that keeps them from relapse. True that it could “lead the kids on” & cause damage if a relapse occurs, but it also could be the very last time a child sees their parent.
Demanding expensive hair follicle tests and repeated urine tests just for an hour supervised visit only increases tension and conflict on already stressed relationships. Life is so short and these windows of opportunities are so few and far between.
This kind of unnecessary cruelty hits deep into a person’s soul contributing to the shame and discouragement of having something to look forward to and live for; thereby pushing people deeper into the depths of addiction.
In these convoluted situations, I think it’s helpful to keep in mind that there are always 2 perspectives and one version of the mixed truth. Everyone thinks they have such clarity as to what needs to happen.
Regardless of whichever version of a certain dynamic is the truth, many studies show that inflicting more pain on an addictive brain causes more addictive behaviors.
In all of time, there are people who inflict pain on others separate from having any addiction. It’s true that those under the influence can become unruly, violent, abusive and very enrollment dysregulated. They lie to keep their addiction going. They get defensive and manipulative to cover up their use. Their behaviors make sense to them, but seem completely off the wall to others.
So there are both sides of the equation at work. There are people who are addicted and not addicted who:
So, the next time you hear that “there’s no excuse for addiction” or for their kids not being enough to get them to stop, or that the worst thing in the world is addiction; please remember that there are always 2 sides to the story and a third side which is a version of the truth. Addiction is curable. Other traits-are with us for a lifetime unless WE take initiative to improve.
Being kind is its own superpower.