I have for many years worked on understanding the roots of addiction and an addictive state of mind. This troublesome state of mind can be the cause of much suffering for those afflicted with addiction problems and can be baffling for all those involved in active addiction or those connected to the addict.
The compulsion to repeat often harmful behaviours can be both life threatening at it’s worst but often destructive to health, relationships and peace of mind. These behaviours can take the form of Substance dependency, Gambling, food, internet use, sexualised behaviours- pornography, chat rooms or visiting prostitutes. There are many other behaviours that whilst less destructive do also affect the individual’s life in a negative way. The repetition of abusive relationships and obsessive routines that cannot be stopped despite every effort to halt them.
The 12 step programmes of recovery can be a helpful start for some to gain support for all the above. For other’s this may not be enough or wanted. Even those who have managed to stop life threatening addictive processes the feelings associated can persist in the mind and cause distress.
I offer a way of putting meaning and understanding to these harmful repetitive actions that define addictions. The behaviours are an attempt to manage the unconscious feelings that are often not accessible via intellectual thought alone. What can be helpful in understanding these addictive processes is that one can lead a more productive way of life and increase the possibilities for more intimate relationships and connection. It is the feelings of emptiness and disconnection that are so harmful and lead to alternative strategies that we see in addictions.