the "Inside PTSD - Addiction" collection:
the fun of it all
addicts get addicted to be addicts, to being a 'smoker' or 'in recovery'. the buzz of belonging augments the buzz of the original high, gives the user access to a cohort who just might understand.
by describing oneself as an addict, one gains access to a certain club, a club of surrender. by labeling oneself an 'addict' one gains access to a whole line of thinking—a person with a problem, someone who should change, something we might need to legislate against, something for hypocrites to 'moralize' about. but the surrender is key; i give up, i have lost this battle.
when i think of that sentiment—let myself feel it—literally, as i write here this morning, it's the surrender that matters. We then can think that perhaps a different avenue of surrender is available.
what if, instead of becoming, or copping to already being an addict, maybe we let go and give in to a safer, less dirty way of getting off.
like a waterbed still hooked to the hose and about to burst, we can partake of huge surrender. to be an addict is to be in surrender. embrace it, and take the next step...
to many things. a straight edge punk addict is hooked on the sharp boundary away from drugs, where only the music and body and soul can dance; it's a surrender to missing out on all the fun others seem to be having. being an addict in treatment is a surrender to the need for help. an addict to high end pills surrenders to the all too common need for a time out, for space to reflect and restore while detoxing from the chemicals, both endo- and exoteric.
my friend dani writes:
yeah that’s it, that word surrender -
starved and cradling death, unfeeling even the fear of that (which there was some though it presented listless) was painful. The thought of surrendering to life or death or refeeding or treatment was to have an adrenaline rush all the time, was to watch flames creep closer knowing they’d caress you sooner than later.
the addict mind sees surrender as only 2 things: surrender to death or suicide by addiction or surrender to help. no addict i know ever thought about surrendering in the grey areas; they didn’t hold enough power or enticement. There was only this, or this.
Surrendering in the grey areas is self-care, in some fucked up mindfulness practice… and the worst part of understanding that is non-addicts never understand that.
it was in fact safer for me to not feel.
it was in fact safer for me to not taste.
it was in fact safer for me to not be out in the world.
kinda intense, nah, way intense.
and sending love and blessings for all survivors.
if you try to help addicts, ask what they are surrendering for. if you want, ask them what they are surrendering to, but that's actually a far muddier question, and the answers provide only secondary guidance
what other options are there for the addict in all of us?
in upcoming articles in this series, i'll look more at some of the details, and more on why details matter so much.