wilderness path

a significant inner journey

“What is an addiction?

Anything that one feels one cannot live without.”

 

Desert Spirit

 

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WHAT IS AN ADDICTION?

Desert Spirit

1/11/2017

When the mind goes through a difficult time, the concept of time is elongated. A day seems to be much, much longer. A week can feel like a lifetime.

Perhaps you understand the concept of instant gratification; that is, an immediate solution to a difficulty. It is simple to recognize in an active alcoholic who NEEDS a drink when he is suffering from withdrawal symptoms. That drink, INSTANTLY, releases him from the pain. It is instant gratification. Yet it is temporary, a bandage, and it does not last. When that instant gratification, that momentary FEEL GOOD feeling wears off, he will need that experience AGAIN, IMMEDIATELY.

Then he needs another drink, and another, and then he IS blind drunk out his mind and oblivious to everything.

Most of the world lives this way. Instant gratification can be applied to anything; I FEEL uncomfortable, and I feel you MAKE me uncomfortable, then I will NEED YOU to make me comfortable. But this can never work, because the discomfort is the individual’s responsibility and so is his need to bring comfort to himself.

Instant gratification is how the world thins and works and survives. It is not even a living. It is a surviving.

Eternal peace, a happiness and a contentment that NOTHING can touch is rare. It is something else. It does not come from a quick fix or immediate cure. It comes from shedding old ideas and habits, and from suffering, from enduring and from digging out the root causes of all one’s discomfort. Yet when that transformation takes place, it is permanent and it can never be taken away. It makes a man different.

In A.A. there is a process called a “psychic change”. It cannot be produced by the individual, but the individual can PREPARE him or herself FOR it. It is to move away from the temptations that the idea of instant gratification encourage. To not be tempted to drink for one who is addicted TO drink is a horrible experience if that person is sincere in ending the addiction to drink.

If you have never been addicted to something, and everyone IS addicted to something, you would not know what I am talking about. But to sustain the desire to NOT drink, and to break that physiological and psychological grip on the body and mind from drink is torture. Yet the endurance to do so brings one to another level of consciousness, a higher consciousness. It is not a movement in time. It is an ascending OUT OF time.

When this persistence to not give in to the gratifying experience is held, then something remarkable takes place. There is a “shift” in the mind. For me there was an audible “click” within the mind. In that instant ALL temptations are lifted, dissolved, and this deep pain and torture is completely gone. It cannot even be described because any description falls short of what it is. But for him who has this experience, this man will never drink again.

In order for an individual to live successfully from the grip of addiction, TO ANYTHING, this process must take place. And we are ALL addicted to something.

What is an addiction? Anything that one feels one cannot live without. You would be amazed at the addictions we suffer from, of which we are not aware, and would be if only we were more attuned TO ourselves.