Addiction Is Possession

By Cindy H 06/04/19
andrew-wyeth-the-huntee wild dog.jpg

Addiction Is Possession

The law got it backwards.

 

One isn’t guilty of possessing drugs.

The drugs possess the person.

The “drugs” or alcohol or sex or gambling

or money or work or orgasms

or relationship drama or starvation

or whatever is the obsession of the day…

Don’t ask me how I know…

Obsession is possession.

You are possessed by it.

When it gets real bad

it’s the only thing you still have.

It’s only after it has taken too much from you

that it can’t give enough back to you anymore.

But by then, possessed, owned, hurt, hungry and sick

you’d still vow to make up and go back again.

 

Addiction is possession with a passion.

Like all new forbidden loves

it takes you intensely

it engages just the right seduction for you

it knows you better than you know yourself.

It even feels like the real you.

The one that finally found relief

or felt loved or held or comforted.

 

You don’t just walk away from that,

unless you see the dead look in its eyes

or the theft, the cheat, the dark side

of its relentless greed to be fed, paid

kept alive even as it murders its host,

its kid, its lover, its parent, its servant.

 

To leave it is to walk alone through hell for a while,

without shelter from the harshness and intensity

of the too muchness of the world.

 Sleeping Beauty and Rumpelstiltskin slept.

Jonah found the belly of the whale.

A monk sits for 40 days and nights in an olive grove.

A wounded animal curls up and dreams itself back.

A winter brings hunkering down, parts die down or off

Then Spring comes.

 

Addiction’s well is well primed

by primal love or the lack of it

It’s just like that.

It’s the compensation you get

for the kind of love you

got just enough of to keep you alive

but also mirrors all of the betrayals

of parental love

and maybe every kind of love,

care and safety you know only too well,

that made you who you are.

 

We become just like them or the polar opposite

or an integration of it all.

Much of it is done so early on.

All of our brain and personality style wiring is done

long before we understood or could even be aware of it.

We can only see it later in childhood or life

by noticing how we love or can’t,

how we function or can’t.

All that.

 

The steps out of or into the abyss

and the steps may be concrete or wood or 12 or more,

just give you some perspectives

on the things about yourself and others

you just can’t see

though you’ve been looking at it your whole life,

as well as looking away.

 

To be possessed is to be powerless, owned

and unconscious.

You think you get it or you’ve got it now

but it gets you again and again. So stunning!

 

You, we, I can’t change what we can’t see,

don’t know, don’t understand.

So it starts simply,

with the big things, the outer things

the people, places and things

that undermine the inner things the most,

like the compulsion to use alcohol, drugs, relationship drama,

abuse, sex, gambling, work, cigarettes, sugar, food or deprivation,

the 10,000 things…

 

The 1st step is to just really look at it for what it is.

At first we do this with all the denial and bargaining

of the jilted, abused, betrayed lover’s denial or clarity or both.

It is a time of looking and paying attention

to whether what you pay to fill the void,

of love, comfort, relief

or manage the overwhelm,

the means of coping and maintenance

is still a viable, survivable price to pay

or whether you or anyone you still love and care about

is being ripped off, burned, hurt, fucked over,

abandoned, let down and betrayed again because

the price you and they pay is whatever your

compulsion, obsession, possession

demands of you or them no matter what.

 

Then almost simultaneously you see the insanity of it all.

Then you realize how fucked you are

because this possession is what manages you

and how you manage your life and without it

you’re also fucked, unable to cope or maintain or deal.

 

So you need something or someone to help you

that is more powerful than the part of you

that possesses you

that seems to always get its own way

despite your growing objections, guilt, shame and grief.

You know what I’m talking about.

All the never-agains that happened again

despite your own broken heart about it.

 

So, out of desperation

or maybe resentment and resignation,

it really doesn’t matter,

you start opening to what other powers

there may be in the universe that you can ask,

call on, beg, grasp and use instead.

 

It’s OK to still use. In fact, you have to –  it just has to be

loving, caring, beneficial, generative, adaptive,

healthy and available.

It has to become more powerful and available

than your addiction or obsession,

and you may only find that to be true, by surprise

even though until that experience, it seemed completely intangible.

Or maybe it is only in retrospect that you can see that somehow,

against all odds, something allowed you to persevere,

either some part of yourself

or something that feels way beyond yourself.

 

After that, you will come to know

that it is always there for you,

inseparable from you

and that the only thing that will ever

get in between you and the power of good

is your own fear driven self-will.

Maybe you’ve heard of this as self-will run riot…

 

The archetypes are many

and give us many patterns of our own and other’s

human nature, behaviors and situations to recognize.

When you’re lost it helps to have a map.

We can get possessed by archetypes, which are

patterns that the self plays out as if ruled by that part of self,

stuck there and blind to it or you can start to recognize it

and if it is constructive then fine no worries

and if destructive, know you’ll know what is likely to play out

that won’t be good – and realize what must change.

 

To recognize the archetypes you or someone else

is possessed by is to see the map

and learn the territory you don’t know that well yet

because it has been unconscious but you act it out pretty often.

 

God or the Devil,

the group or “an addict alone is in enemy territory”,

fate or self-determination and will,

the hero, the good prince or villain,

the damsel in distress or the witch or goddess

the fool, the joker, the clown, the executioner

dressed as biker, sex worker, IT guy, housewife, whatever…

So we all play out these archetypal experiences

as possessed by characterological patterns.

 

We may also be embedded in archetypal fields like

pregnancy, birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age and death.

We are also surrounded by forms and things that have their true nature.

Like there are lots of kinds of trees but each is true to their own nature.

Oak trees never become birch trees, they stay oak trees.

The ocean is not a lake. A river is not a lake.

We too have our own, reliable nature

though we may have completely become alienated from it

because our possessor/persona kept it hidden from us.

So to study and get to know our true nature

is one of the gifts and burdens of this transition

from shackled and possessed to free.  

 

It is natural that different paths

for this journey are taken and explored

and identities are tried out

just as they are in childhood and adolescence

as a new identity is forming within us.

Some of them work really well and are life saving

and some aren’t enough or are fucked up and gotta go.

The journey continues either way,

unless you’re dead and even then maybe, who knows?

 

Some say pick your poison.

I say pick your possession

before it picks you back up again,

if and when it does.

Well, at least now you know where the stairway is,

relative to the abyss..

It’s something locatable in the vast darkness.

Even on autopilot. Broken autopilot.

It’s only your possessor that puts the smoke and mirrors

in your way when you’re trying to get there.

 

Addiction is possession and we can learn

more about what we are possessed by

if we look at the patterns in our lives.

The patterns in our histories and herstories

of how we were loved, parented, helped or hurt

to learn how we were and are vulnerable

as well as what our strengths are.

 

Most importantly though is to look

at the patterns of how we now love, parent, hurt others,

how we function or struggle to

and what triggers us.

Usually, there are triggers that are challenging

that we can handle OK

and others that we are overwhelmed by. 

We may find that in the early days

of transitioning out of active addiction, obsession, compulsion

that there is very little we can cope with or manage

and that we don’t now have coping skills other than using,

even if we were highly functioning in the past.

This gives us direction about what we need help with

right now, in the beginning…

 

We also look at our values and morals,

the ones we still have in-tact,

the ones we broke over and over

and the ones we’d like to cultivate.

 

We look at our gifts and talents

to use them, celebrate them,

own them.

Reclaim them from our possessor

who has stolen them for their own means and selfish interests

in order to get and do more of your addiction

thereby reinforcing itself as the stand in for the real you.

 

We look at our mistakes

major and minor to see our own patterns

and the smoky invisible shape of the archetypes

we are unconsciously possessed by.

 

You’re probably pretty good at seeing them in everyone else

unless you are possessed by the child archetype

who remains childlike, innocent and vulnerable.

 

I’m not saying we all don’t have a child

archetype alive and well in us.

In fact we need to heal it back into wellness and embrace it

but that is very different from being possessed by it.

 

To be possessed by an archetype is to act out that part of self

without awareness

or enough help or mediation

from the other parts of self to see it and put it in check.

 

So whether you are a 14 or 54 year old “addict”

If you had neglectful parents – then you may have an

undeveloped parent part of self (parent archetype)

because it wasn’t wired in and activated by available parents

of if you had abusive, self-centered parents or some of both

as well as some good enough parenting

there may be in you

a parent part of self that deals with your child part of self

the way you were dealt with

so the pattern repeats on autopilot out of your awareness

or ability to control it.

 

Recovery, discovery, growth, growing up and on

might mean it would be useful to compare

the kind of parenting your child part of self actually got

or missed out on and what it really needed

and should have had.

Then the real deal, is to see that in your life right now.

If you have parents in your life

who will do their work to be better parents

you are pretty fucking lucky.

If your parents aren’t ready or able to change

then my dear, you’ll have to cultivate it in yourself.

What?

As well as find good replacement parents

in your community eventually, like neighbors, friends,

sponsors, mentors, therapists, parole officers...

 

When your child part is happy, scared, hurt or angry,

what would the good enough parent part of yourself

be able to do for the child part of you that is in need in the moment?

It wouldn’t usually be to get the kid wasted

or to shame it into shutting down right?

No, it would be like asking honey, what’s wrong, are you ok?

What happened? What do you need?

Or just being the good enough parent you’d know what you need

like a nap or some food or playtime or structure or to go to school or work, etc…

And that becomes the wisdom

that overrides the broken autopilot

that says fuck it I gotta use, act out etc…

 

That means that you start paying attention

to how you treat yourself,

and what you say to yourself,

what your stream of consciousness and thoughts are.

 

If your little kid self is having good clean fun

the healthy parent part of you

keeps an eye on things,

it doesn’t leave to go get wasted.

Not only that but it’s filled with joy

and maybe a little envy

at your ability to embrace the moment

with innocence and openness, no cares or worries,

no constricting, shaming self-consciousness

so you can play. You’re kid part of self is playing

and your healthy good enough not perfect parent

part of self watches out for you,

knows when enough is enough and it’s time to

do your responsibilities and self care.

It is not neglectful, shaming, mean, abusive or punishing.

It is guiding, firm when necessary, protective, loving

caring, empathetic to your feelings, compassionate

for all you’ve been through

and still not going to let you get away with any bullshit

or acting out without learning about consequences

and teaches you the skills to avoid them better next time.

The kid part – is just a kid. Not a bad kid or a good kid.

It’s an innocent kid who still has all the wonders of potential

and was also shaped by its outer realities and experiences.

When the kid acts out its because

it doesn’t yet have the skills, insight or wisdom

to get or even know what it needs sometimes in the moment.

 

Possession, addiction is a broken, faulty or misguided autopilot.

It is the brain superhighway of habit wiring.

When you do something over and over you strengthen

autopilot wiring.

Then, when you are tired, stressed or just not paying attention

your autopilot part of self will do what it automatically does.

 

Recovery and healing, or simply changing

relies on your attention

to your momentary thoughts, feelings and action

so if your addiction autopilot silently takes over

you can catch it sooner than later.

 

And when you catch it, you may tell it (that part of yourself)

in words (to make it conscious to yourself)

something like, “sorry honey, we’re not doing that today,

thanks for trying to get me through this but I’m all good, that’s not happening…” 

or maybe “its fuck you, get lost, I’m so sick of you hijacking my life”,

or “I see what you’re doing you sneaky motherfucker

no fucking way are we doing that right now”,

or whatever…

 

And then you could take that kid part of self

by the hand or look her or him in the eye and say, ”come on, I got you,

let’s go do our day, now where were we…”

and maybe it had been a fine day and was going great

and you were feeling on track till you went

past the door in the kitchen and had a body memory

of having a drink like you usually would have

or you looked out the window and saw the gorgeous so and so

you always loved to party with or maybe the day had been

a shit show of stress and drama – but whatever it was,

it is time once you know what’s up, to reset your autopilot

and start doing just the most immediate next right

or good or constructive thing you can do in the moment.

 

Your past maybe repeated in your present meaning that nothing has changed

or your present actions may mean that with each passing moment,

hour, day, week, month and year your present is very different

from your past. Your past can become like  some other life time

depending on what you do right this minute and keep doing.

 

The parent part… I mean think about it,

how do you learn to be a parent

whether to your kids or your own kid part of self?

By trial and error, the parenting you were wired with

and the parent examples all around you in society:

friends, their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers,

 cops, doctors, priests, firefighters, sports coaches, neighbors,

probation officers, therapists, sponsors…you get the idea…

 

So if you need to grow a healthier parent part of self,

these are your resources.

They are all the good and bad parents who have

what you want to be around to show you what to develop in yourself

or what you want to avoid and let go of or change in yourself.

 

There are also books – literature, parenting groups, meetings,

classes, churches, yoga, meditation groups,

sports clubs, teams and gyms,  

just about any social group where the norms and boundaries

are good enough and fairly healthy –

anyone can teach you what you do and don’t want to be.

 

What’s most important is that you see who YOU are.

How do we do that?

We usually see who we are most primally

and unconsciously by what others mirror back to us.

But it’s a little tricky depending on how healthy/clear the mirror is…

 

A healthy person mirrors a lot of I/me back to me

by responding to me with their attention to my

face, voice, body language, the look in their eyes…

They are responding to me in real time, so if I’ve got

a particular emotion or vibe they’ll respond in a healthy way –

they might notice it or ask about it or express concern

or understanding and can listen or know when to give space, etc.,

and their behavior and responses are subtle enough

and in the right doses that I can receive it without being overwhelmed.

 

A less healthy person doesn’t mirror as much of you back to you

because they are showing you themselves.

They are too caught up in themselves to pay close attention to you,

unless they’re trying to manipulate you,

in which case they’ll be very skilled at reading you.

They tend project their perception, thinking, feelings and needs onto you.

They may blame or judge or name call or punish you

when they can’t deal with themselves.

When you experience this as a baby or kid you might

take all that in to yourself as if it were true about you

or you might start shutting down and checking out

if it is too hurtful, frightening or overwhelming.

 

Kids have a limited ability to self-reflect

or think about themselves and others objectively –

That develops as we get older –

Though a lot of kids are very wise souls…

But if mirroring is absent, like when you have

an anxious, depressed or addict Mom and Dad

who spends too many hours or days drunk, wasted,

tweeking, out of the house or in bed, or shut down,

then there is a gap in our ability to feel seen, known, understood

or even if it’s really a lot, to feel like we even exist.

Only they and what they need exist for us.

Because if they aren’t ok, they can’t take care of us…

 

So taking stock of who mirrors us

Now in active addiction

or in recovery

or in some life transition

is REALLY important!

Anytime you need to grow (is that always?)

you need to see yourself

and to not feel crazy and isolated.

You need healthy caring people to see you

and mirror you back.

Finding these people can be a herculean task.

Sometimes we can’t think of a single

healthy person we know.

Everyone is fucked.

So when trying to get free

of being possessed – we are in one

of life’s most vulnerable and challenging times.

It is a transition time

between before and after,

how it was and how it’s gonna be.

 

Archetypal stories – whether in the Bible

or fairy tales or movies show the hero’s journey,

the story of the innocent, naïve good or bad fucker

who sets out on some adventure

or was just going about their day, when BOOM!

calamity or opportunity or both come along.

You can see it coming for them –

You wish you could warn them –

In fact in the stories often someone

or everybody does warn them

but it falls on deaf ears.

They can’t see it or hear it

They want what they want, when and how they want it

Which is now usually… so they do what they usually do

till the calamity removes all of their options.

There’s a period of personal suffering

and eventually help arrives

and or inner strength…

New ideas start kicking in…

 

So here you are in some crazy difficult

suffering and transition that calamity –

self and or other inflicted has brought you,

and so where the fuck is the helper!?!

Well the journey is to go find them

in the real outer world

or at least leave the window or door open a crack

so a spirit or real fly or mouse or dog or person can get in.

 

If you are really lucky, the help that finds you

by some divine accident, will be good enough

not perfect, might even be an asshole

but they might have a tool or a means or a car

or a way of seeing you and telling you

just what you need to see, hear, know

to see yourself

to pull the curtain back exposing your possessor

so you can see the smoke and mirrors of self-deception

and get some truth.

 

Truth is sanity If it’s your truth

and you’ll know it because it brings so much relief.

It doesn’t nod and agree with your bullshit

that doesn’t want or can’t see the truth.

The truth when it registers is like

all the tumblers of all the locks

of your personal prison opening up

one after the other.

It’s clarity and you will experience

your own innate intelligence

being activated.

 

The true Self is humble. It wants to live and love.

Anything that smacks of arrogance, death, destruction,

the fuck-it’s the fuck-you’s or anxiety

has lies that are braided with just enough truth to fool you.

 

You might get the truth anywhere

or you may be starving for it

because no one in your life can tell it

or you just aren’t ready to hear it.

No wait, actually, your possessor hides it from you

and covers your ears and eyes

so it can own you.

 

Some notes on who possesses you.

It is who, not what.

It’s so tempting to objectify it –

It’s the alcohol, heroin, cocaine, crack, weed,

or it’s over working, or starving myself

or relationship drama, or orgasms

or dealing or the stock market or the casino

or race track or internet or cake and ice cream

or cutting, or counting and checking, or stealing

or any of the 10,000 compulsions and obsessions

that give you THAT feeling or that relief or that distraction

that thing you love to chase or MUST get away from

the relief your MUST have, or else….

 

These things, experiences, activities,

obsessions are just activations and expressions

of the possessed parts of self.

 

We have as you already know

a lot of parts of self.

When we are ill – ill at ease

dis-eased – our parts are often fragmented.

Some parts we are conscious of and know very well

and some we don’t know or can even own or relate to as parts of us.

 

Why do we get possessed by parts of self?

Because usually, at some point

the shit got too hard, painful, unmanageable

and we needed to survive and function so

used what we could to be able to do that.

A part of us took it all on and became the boss.

The boss has an internal posse to run the game,

the show of how we survive and do life.

 

In the healthy version the boss is like

the healthy ego (the part of self that knows how

to manage all the daily life outer world stuff)

that grows up into an adult

and manages responsibilities and self care.

The other parts of self are there too

but are more integrated, less split off from awareness,

more balanced in manageable amounts.

The healthy person doesn’t usually get possessed

by their unhealthy destructive parts.

They can see when they’re getting derailed, take responsibility,

deal with being temporarily hurt or uncomfortable

and have healthy parts of self that make adjustments

before it gets too out of hand.

 

For people with neglect or trauma, Subtle or serious,

the ego self is not so developed,

so other parts may take over in its place called personas.

You know like the badass, the dope fiend,

the arrogant highly functioning  alcoholic,

the drunk bum, the over achiever perfectionist,

the helper people pleaser, the healer, the preacher,

the shyster, the witch, bitch, whore, nun, social worker,

lawyer, artisan, craftsperson, dealer, doctor, pharmacist, bartender,

never gonna grow up player, star athlete all American,

you get the idea… all the roles people pull together

that they think is who they really are.

 

Then, when you add in the magical experience that kicked in

with the relief or big feeling of whatever the addiction is,

the relief is so intense that the parts of self and their defenses/protectors

organize around the addiction because it improves coping (till it stops working)

and you can maintain internally and externally finally.

Eventually the persona that takes over or grows up

thanks to the addiction becomes the boss of all the other parts of self.

 

After years of this, the persona thinks it’s the real self

and defends its territory in the hierarchy of the self - the power structure

and won’t let the real self out.

The real self is imprisoned to protect it, kept chained and medicated

and from annoying the boss.

It’s still in there somewhere  deep within the heart

and gut and mind but it’s held hostage and doesn’t see the light of day.

 

The imposter-self persona possessor, does this believing itself to be

the protector and savior of that hurt, little

starved, angry, fucked over self and all its parts.

The possessor persona, the addict self,

the depressed or anxious or obsessive or raging or impulsive

or evil or damned or otherwise dysfunctional self uses

all of your best stuff, your personal assets to maintain itself

and your addiction, obsession, compulsion, dysfunction because

it believes and it tells you anytime parts of you or anyone else challenges it

that you can’t survive or cope without it.

 

It was probably true at the time, at various times

but if it’s become destructive it’s no longer working.

Though it may still feel true – that you can’t

do life or this nether life without it.

 

The levels of complication with any

addiction, compulsion, obsession vary from person to person, life to life.

That first step is really just

very simple math.

What does it give you and what does it cost you

or how is it now taking away from your life

and your ability to love and function.

 

The insanity that orbits around possession

is how it rationalizes

and bargains and throws fits

and sabotages attempts to get rid of it.

 

It’s important in the beginning

or any time it’s rattling its spears, guns and chains to say

“Thank you for protecting me,

for all the good things you did to help me survive and live.

It’s just not working any more, you’ve become like a giant tape worm

(yes I’m laughing to myself as I type this but hang in there) 

You’re killing your host – ME! So it’s you or me.

You can’t live without me and you tell me I can’t live without you

but considering the options are

that you’ll ruin what’s left of my life or kill me,

it’s time to take my chances.

I‘ve got nothing more to lose.

 

I remember wishing there could be a surgery

to unbraid the possessed parts of self and pull them out,

cut them out or a lobotomy to damage them or shock them

into silence and submission or cell death

or a drug to selectively medicate them into peace.

While medicine may be making some progress with some of this,

thankfully, there is still healing work to do to grow up

the new healthy parts of self that have to take over for the possessor.

 

For people who’ve had an addict persona running

their being and life for a long time

the truth is – it’s gonna take a while

to develop other parts of self.

That’s why some people need years of recovery

and support wrapped around them

to hold and nurture and protect them

while they grow up a real self.

 

For people who were more grown, have more life skills,

more healthy integrated parts of self available

and are mostly injured from the consequences

of their addiction, the process is easier and faster.

The biggest thing to know at the beginning

of this transition for any addict/possessed person

that is just coming to – just becoming clear,

conscious and real again – is that you’re going to have to accept

different degrees of discomfort and know that you will survive it.

It may not be pretty.

 

Your level of function might be very impaired for a while –

maybe even worse than when you used.

You may need a lot of insulation and protection

from stress, sound, light, drama, chaos,

though you may crave these and need to detox from this as well,

to heal your nervous system – your body-mind.

 

We all have to learn that it is doable to be really fucking uncomfortable

without using or without your addiction persona taking over.

She/he/they (your addictive persona, the possessor part of self)

will want to take over any time you are too uncomfortable,

scared, anxious, angry.

It is your autopilot – your default unconscious setting.

It has been automatic for years right?

So you – some newly growing part of you,

has to tell that addictive persona

once you realize it is there, trying to run you,

“Thanks but I’ve got this.

I don’t need your help today

I know you’ll always (fucking) be there

But I’m cool – I’ll figure it out

You’re retired now or your fired

And it's your turn to live in the inner prison

you kept me in all these years.”

 

It is normal to feel uncomfortable.

Normal, healthy, not possessed people

have all the same feelings, physical pain whatever

and have learned how to be uncomfortable

without doing something self destructive to get through it.

 

Possessed people, addicts, people with a trauma history

had pain, fear, anxiety, grief whatever that was too hard,

too much for a time, maybe a really long time.

 

But now, as an adult, with self-agency,

you have more control over

who and what can hurt you today.

One of the things that is most difficult for teenagers

or people in controlling abusive relationships

is that the trauma may be ongoing

and the pain, fear, grief overwhelming until that changes,

which is why in those situations you need help

and may need to remain wily till you can get to a safe place

like residential treatment or a shelter or with safe friends, whatever…

Abusive, life threatening situations must be addressed ASAP.

Some safety is necessary for deep healing to begin.

 

You’ll need to find healthy distractions

And mindless creative activities to keep you from

auto pilot panic reacting to being uncomfortable.

 

Some days it may feel/sound like the ghost

of your own crying baby self

that no one held or showed up for

to soothe before it was too late, back in the day,

is howling inconsolably at the top of their lungs.

Its paralyzing. Overwhelming.

And that screaming baby is your primitive parts of self,

your addict persona, bad boy/girl,

perfectionist, fucked-up caretaker,

whatever part of self you’re possessed by,

howling, screaming, throwing tantrums,

that hijacks all of your vulnerabilities

and turn the volume all the way up,

till you can’t take it anymore,

that’s trying everything it can

to get you to let it back out

and resume control by using or acting out

in order to shut it up and just make it stop.

 

When that happens, you have to find a wiser loving part of you,

even if today it’s just a 6 year old or a 10 year old or if you’re lucky

a 16 year old part within yourself and go directly

to the crying baby part of self that no one held and comforted

and hold and comfort it, sooth it, shush it, ask it what it needs

and be the loving parent you never had – to yourself –

to your young, new, vulnerable, innocent,

unskilled, ignorant, beautiful child of god self

and take really good care of it,

love and protect it

the way it should have been done in the first place.

You, the real you, the one that has been silenced,

locked away, and oppressed by your possessor/addictive persona

that new raw self and your other new healthy parts of self

have to do this reparenting with and for yourself.

 

Over the months and years of healing,

that wiser, loving, compassionate, healthy, caring self

continues to grow and mature

into adulthood, true wisdom and freedom

 

You can get help with this from a lover and partner,

a therapist or sponsor with good healthy boundaries,

or anyone who is a “good enough” human being in your life

who cares more about you than getting what they want from you.

 

Know too that there will be times you will be in desperate need

when you are alone and it will be on you

to not abandon or betray that precious new being

trying to make it in the world.

 

In the rooms, they add the very real

additional resource of a higher power to help you

when you feel completely alone and at a loss

as to how to survive the minutes or hours or unbearable discomfort.

This may suddenly be available to you

even if you have always been an atheist.

It may be a God, a good loving person, the power of the group

or it may be that some higher part of self

somehow emerges out of desperation and surrender

IF you don’t let your possessor out of its prison

and just wait it out without doing that old thing you did

or its substitutions till the overwhelm passes.

Overwhelm passes. Everything passes.

 

Some famous lies that possessed parts tell

to set up the fuck it, fuck everything are:

that it sucks so bad now and it will forever,

and that your life is never going to get better

and you’ll never be able to heal or get better,

that this hurts more than you can stand,

and life will never work out for you like it does

for those other better people, etc...right?

 

Well, you can try with all of your might to only think one thought

and feel one feeling yet it is impossible. Random thoughts, feelings,

body sensations derail it over and over. Can’t do it.

It’s why people think they can’t meditate, not realizing

that meditation is just watching this show without judging it.

 

If you do the time without using, the overwhelm,

the big, hard, uncomfortable feelings and thoughts

that intrude and take over when you are stressed

or out of the blue triggered by something you may recognize

or have no clue about all pass and change.

 

Eventually the state of paralysis, shut-down, flight, agita,

whatever, just naturally, all by itself, changes to something else,

moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day.

You just have to do the time without using.

With practice and experience, you will eventually

come to know and trust this.

It will be one of your super-powers.

 

If your brain is so damaged or changed that you

have psychotic episodes or suicidal episodes

that you cannot regulate enough to keep yourself or others safe,

your immediate higher power is the help of others.

Call 911 if you have to or get yourself to an ER

or if you already have a support team working with you call them

and get yourself to a safe place. In time and with practice,

you too will grow a more solid, healed self.

 

Same thing if you just can’t ride out the overwhelm safely without using.

If you have any coherence whatsoever, call or get to supports.

You could call 211, 911 if you have no idea where support is.

If you already know, then get to a meeting.

Call your sponsor, therapist or a support person. 

If your inside kid needs a babysitter or a doctor or whatever –

your job is to find someone to help that really vulnerable part of yourself

and keep the possessor’s hands off of its life.

 

When it passes. Give yourself credit for what you were just able to get through.

How did you do it? What worked this time?

Was there some way I was fucking it up like usual

but there was some divine intervention that kicked in?

Some synchronicity? Some higher power or part of self that showed up

to help or guide you? Someone’s words you recalled?

Or was it that you have found that there are parts of self

that are learning now, how to do pain, fear, anger,

more constructively than before?

Maybe now that you’ve been having unstuffed feelings

for a while they aren’t as pent up and so pressured or forceful?

Maybe you’re learning how to ride the wave of them – how to feeling surf?

Maybe when you can hang with them and reflect on things,

those once overwhelming feelings feel like a dose of honesty

rather than lies that trick you into using

and you are thankful for what they tell you

that allows you to recognize when you need to take care of yourself,

whether it’s in a relationship with someone

or some part of your life, or with parts of yourself.

 

So to review: initially when big feelings roll in you might feel fucked.

Your brain may misinterpret what they mean based on

the old possessor’s or addictive or anxious or depressive persona’s logic was.

But realize, a lot of that logic was faulty.

It said 2+2 = use.

It probably got some of it right, enough to convince you to buy in –

but probably also twisted what feelings meant

so your addict/possessed auto pilot

could do what it does best again and again,

the same wrong answer for everything.

 

Those new healthier parts of self that are still very new at their jobs

are still in training. People who aren’t perpetuating

the pattern of self-abandonment and self-abuse in their new lives,

look for guidance, teaching, skills, for making it through

this new inner territory that is so fraught with danger and difficulty

as well as joy, true comfort, peace, and awe.

Just make sure they have the skills you need.

Some people have great skills in some areas

and are even more fucked than you are in others.

Pay attention and learn to recognize who is good for what

and who to stay away from for what.

 

Healthier people can discern this by paying attention

to people and setting boundaries for themselves.

If you have been consumed by your addiction,

obsession, compulsion for years, you may be a bit rusty

at paying attention to others and yourself

at the same time and recognizing what degree of boundary

setting you need with people.

If you’re terrible at it your boundaries may have to be

rigidly the same for everyone until you are better at it.

That’s why in the rooms there’s stuff like

no sexual relationships for a year, no contact with people, places or things

that have anything to do with your triggers for using. Right?

 

But in the rooms they also talk about the freedom

that long term stable recovery brings,

particularly spiritual recovery – which is about

the relationship you have with your higher self

and perhaps a higher power – or not. What does that mean?

 

It means that you are free to be most anywhere in the world

because you know how to take good enough care of yourself and loved ones.

With many days and years of experiencing feelings

and thoughts rolling in and moving on, you welcome them

for the information that they are. They bring the truth.

 

Feelings are information that is to help you, protect you,

guide you to be aware of what the fuck is actually going on around you,

and within you. Feelings were never meant to fuck you over

and make you sick or evil.

 

It’s your head that does that – your thoughts – not your feelings.

As you heal, your mind stops braiding feelings with lies

because it turns out, it’s just ok, a relief in fact, to have the feelings.

You become hip to your thoughts and the automatic reactions

of other parts of self, the long-term residue of the faulty brain wiring

that happened because of years of neglect, trauma, abuse,

grief, betrayals whatever, whatever…

and you practice confronting that broken autopilot’s insane,

trickster’s way of thinking and doing and with practice

you get a lot better at over-riding it and correcting it.

 

In early recovery or transition it may take days,

weeks or months to recognize it and correct it

but with practice it gets faster and faster

till you can recognize the insanity of your

thinking and actions within hours, minutes or seconds

and correct it right away, saving yourself discomfort, distraction, pain

and consequences and being freed up

to function and feel a lot better.

You'll have wired in a new healthier auto-pilot.

This will after years become your new nature.

This is spiritual freedom.

  

**************** 
Join the conversation, become a Fix blogger. Share your experience, strength, and hope, or sound off on the issues affecting the addiction/recovery community. Create your account and start writing: https://www.thefix.com/add-community-content.