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Addiction Is Possession
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.
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
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,
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
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.
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
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”,
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
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.
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