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addict's thinking

understanding the illness or accepting the diagnosis does not mean it is cured.
sobriety is only a platform that helps eliminating the causes what brings a person to using.

there are several basic reasons for that (these are not my own personal ideas however they apply in a personal manner):
1) deformed perception of reality - everyone else is either better or different and addict feels like he "does not fit in" and that "addict is missing something that everyone else apparently has to be happy". using helps to feel like a person "fits in" the universe (everyone is friends when drunk).
2) deformed perception of one's self - low self-esteem - (not good enough) mixing with falsified sense of superiority (this usually develops for "talented" kids - the parents from one side make the kid feel like he is "special" (smart, talented,etc), but from the other side also demand higher results resulting in disappointment when those are never good enough)
3) hyper sensitivity - what for others is just an exchange of words, an addict might perceive as personal attack, offense, etc. (an example - if one of 5 people in the elevator started yelling in anger for the bystander accidentally touching him - we would think he is insane until we learned he is suffering from heavy sun burnt skin - then it would be understandable).
4) inability to control one's feelings - suppressed in childhood, the feelings can be either too strong, intense and overwhelming to handle (when addicts love, they love from entire heart, when they hate, the hate is intense), one's inability to cry or be openly vulnerable (especially for boys) results in suppressed feelings, resentment, anger issues, intense feelings along with the wish to build a strong wall of protection. the person wants to be social but does not trust himself to handle his feelings therefore building a wall, pushing people away, being rude becomes a safety thing. basically the more the person suppresses the feelings, the more of a time bomb he/she becomes - but being one self, vulnerable and express emotions in a healthy way has not been an option.
5) mixing up shame and guilt - an addict is not able to feel guilt for what he/she has done (the explosion of the time bomb and the consequences) - they rather feel shamed for who they are believing their core material is "wrong" and "faulty", gliding deeper into low self esteem by every wrongful act committed.
6) codependency (not everyone suffers from this)

so that's about the personality.
now about the addiction.

and addict is expert in denial, rationalization and projection.

1) denial - admitting the truth would mean one has to stop using which is something unbearable, therefore the lying goes on. an addict can also get very manipulative and so good at lying that he can convince everyone around him (to a certain extent), even doctors (with low experience in treating addicts), parents, spouses. but the addict believes his own lies (also since the reality is deformed and lying helps shape it according to the deformity).
2) rationalization - the addict will try to deform everything around him to adapt to his own deformed views of reality. "drinking is not a problem, since drinking makes me even more productive at work. beer contains vitamin b. everyone is drinking at that party, i'd be ridiculed if i didn't. drinking helps me get though tough times" etc. lies, lies, lies, that one tells oneself.
3) projection - blaming everything and everyone else for one's using. there is a reason for using and sometimes this implies swapping cause and effect - "i drink because my husband/wife doesn't respect me" - not true, the spouse has lost respect due to drinking and the actions, but the addict doesn't want to see this.

a human being will always choose less suffering, rather than more suffering. but for an addict, sobriety means more suffering (stepping out from the deformed reality of the world and oneself, taking responsibility, quitting an anesthetic, facing intense feelings one is unable to deal with) - so there is no way he/she will trust a random person to tell him "you will feel better if you stop drinking".
besides, sobriety itself does not mean recovery.
sobriety can bring even more suffering, if the person does not constantly work on himself, with his deformed perception and self esteem - otherwise he can either switch addictions or develop psychosis ("2+2 = 5") or neurosis ("2+2 = 4 and i can't take it!").

this is just one of the reasons why a person cannot quit an addiction by himself. it can really destroy a person.

all religion aside, a human being aside from all other animals, is a spiritual being. he has the ability to be selfless, to suppress his bodily needs for the sake of a higher value (not fuck everything that moves, not take anything he sees), to give instead of take.
addiction is the complete opposite of spirituality. addiction is - everything to me, now!
it is amazing, the lies a mind will tell to skip facing the truth. understanding the illness does also not mean it is cured. this is a life long trip. even the "ha, i got it, i am cured now" - this is just one of the manipulative lies one tells himself just a few days before falling off the wagon again.

change doesn't happen overnight.

nb. info based on: "Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception" by Abraham J. Twerski

Skrivet av arlona, 2018-09-03 10:39


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