Every emotion or behaviour we experience may be named as a part. As I write this chapter sitting on a comfortable chair in front of a window in my home, looking out over a garden filled with salal and natural herbs, I am having many experiences, all of which are occurring within the same moment. I feel content. I feel passion for the subject I am writing about for my book. I feel tired because I have been writing since early this morning and it is now late afternoon. I feel creative. I feel slight anxiety because my wife is not home from shopping yet and I expected her to be back before now. I am feeling disappointed because the sky has become cloudy and the temperature has dropped, and I had planned to take a late afternoon walk in the warm sunshine.
In clarifying my experiences in this way, I have, in a sense, separated out each of my emotions. Due to the limitations of writing, it may seem that the naming of each of my experiences is a linear process, where I have one feeling, then I am moving onto the next one, then there is another in line, when in fact, I am experiencing all of these emotions at the same time. Continue reading
The Story of Bill
Bill came into my session room, looking and obviously feeling depressed. Making an appointment with me was not his idea, it was his wife’s. His wife had recently declared in her session with me that she had had enough. “I am at my wits end with Bill’s rage and anger. He never talks, he never discusses anything, all he does is snap at me or go off the deep end if ever I confront him. It is like walking on egg shells.” His wife had given him an ultimatum: either he makes an appointment with me or he makes an appointment with a lawyer. He chose me. Continue reading
Addiction is limiting. It restricts our ability to know ourselves and to cater to our needs and wants. As we will soon discover it limits our choices and our ability to take risk, and to venture into areas that may lead to an abundant lifestyle. In its own way, addiction keeps our lives familiar causing us time and time again to depend upon a limited and predictable number of ways to live life.
The ultimate reward of addiction containment is freedom. If an addiction is limiting our choices in how we run our lives, then the democracy existing within us has limitations. The addiction is in authority and is making decisions and choices on our behalf. It is restricting our freedom, ultimately the freedom to exercise choice, in the same way that an autocratic government does not allow the people the right to vote and to therefore influence choices made in the running of their country. Usually, such governments are loath to give up the luxuries and prestige such powers bring. As we will discover, addiction is equally unwilling to give up or even share its power, and will do just about anything to circumvent the possibility of that ever happening. Continue reading
Survival-anxiety can clothe itself in a multitude of ways. With an unlimited wardrobe and an endless number of disguises to choose from, it can grasp onto and create addiction to anything or anybody.
Our societal tendency is to label an addict as someone who is dependent upon a substance, such as drug or alcohol. In actual fact, we can become addicted to anything: to the internet, to television, to eating, to a particular relationship, to exercising, going to church, to cleaning, shopping, sleeping, getting angry, crying, conversation, silence, staying in the house, getting out of the house, golfing, sex, buying and selling stocks, walking, meditating, reading spiritual books…the list could go on and on. Continue reading