I think the main problem I encounter with people “helping” someone with an Addiction is that they are totally and completely unaware of the fact that engaging an addiction amounts to entering into emotional and spiritual warfare. Sure, there is the psychology of addiction, and the psychology of recovery that need accounting. And while understanding the way the drug changes a person’s biochemistry must also be developed, by missing or misunderstanding the emotional and/or spiritual battlefields, “helpers” usually end up drained and depleted.
The most common misconception involved in fighting drug/alcohol Addiction is that if people stop using the drug, then everything will be fine. But that’s really not the case. As I’ve said a gazillion times, the fact that someone became addicted in the first place is usually a symptom of something else going on. This “something else” is what drives the development of an addiction. Because it’s usually something emotionally-based in nature, addicts tend to use emotions as manipulative weapons. That is, an addict learns to use emotions as a means to hustle people out of money or other needed resources. While addicts use a myriad of emotional manipulations, fear and pity tend to be the two (2) biggest emotions that addicts use to get their wants met. These emotions are effective weapons; people are always afraid that the addict their life is going to “OD” at any moment. Further, people are generally “good” at their core and tend to “feel sorry” for those who are sick. But the fear of someone dying and the sympathy/pity someone feels for an addict are almost NEVER based upon anything genuine. Mostly, that fear and pity is exploited for the addict’s gain. That’s not to suggest that an addict who truly wants to become healthy doesn’t need love and support, he does. But when an addict is still using, he will do and say anything to get his drug. He will use the fear and pity people feel to get them to behave in ways of his choosing.
See, the issue is that, while there are a bunch of reasons why people turn to drugs and alcohol, the basic reasons I’ve seen are:
- They can’t cope with the challenges of their life and need something to numb reality.
- They think drugs and alcohol are fun.
- They use drugs/alcohol to “self-medicate” an underlying issue.
- They don’t like themselves very much and use drugs to squash their inner demons.
- They want a mystical experience.
I’m sure there are more, but unless there’s a biological issue involved within the substance use (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder), the basic and core issue involved with all the reasons is that people who end up addicted overemphasize their emotions and seek to do all they can to change the way they feel. Since emotions are addicts primary currency with which they relate with themselves, they then project his emotional value onto others. The basic expectation from an addict’s perspective is that, since his emotions are of primary value, then others must also respond to those feelings as though they have the same value. When that perspective is coupled with a “helper’s” fear, then emotions are the basic tool and filter through which all addict relationships permeate.
Emotions are useful and provide a sort of link between the physical world and the spiritual world. But they are often not understood within a “spiritual” context and so therefore become misappropriated. The main reason for this is that the relationship between the physical world and the spiritual world is also misunderstood. Years of seeing the destruction of Addiction and hope of Recovery has taught me that there is a strong symbiosis between those two realities and that there is both an internal and an external relationship system between the physical and spiritual realities. I’ve seen these relationships, both they’re healthy and when they’re unhealthy; I’ve seen the suffering when those realities are out of alignment and I’ve felt the elation when they completely synchronize. Emotions tell us when both happen, it’s just that people get too caught up in their physical reality and then place an overemphasis on what they feel within that reality.