Carl Rogers, the father of Humanist psychology, identified that a certain psychic change must be made before an individual is able to enter into the therapeutic relationship. He stated that, prior to coming into therapy, the individual needed to first accept that they were experiencing a severe problem, and second, acknowledge that they alone did not have the knowledge, resources, and understanding that would be necessary to solve the problem at hand. If this sounds familiar, it’s because these are the initial problems addressed in the 12 steps. Before we can expect to make progress in our recovery, we need to first admit to ourselves that there is something that needs recovering from, namely, our addictions. If we are in the grips of addiction, the longer it takes us to come to this realization will increase the chances that we end up in at least one of the 3 possible inevitabilities which are incarcerated, in treatment, or in a mental institution.
When we are locked in the obsession of the addictive cycle, we are necessarily blocked off from receiving any external wisdom that may facilitate the change needed in order to seek out help. The addictive cycle acts as a mechanism to keep the individual in a someone regulated state if we define regulated as the ability to use drugs and alcohol to combat negative emotions. Clearly, this regulated state is the opposite of optimal, but the addict caught in this cycle will be blinded to the weight of its gravitational pull. The disease of addiction can be viewed as being a living entity in and of itself. Freud would name this entity Thanatos, or the death instinct, whose only purpose is to perpetuate the eventual destruction of whoever it has inhabited. If we can look at addiction as the possession of ourselves by an entity whose only goal is our destruction, we can begin to gain a better understanding that addiction is not merely an unhealthy fondness for drugs, but actually a demonic force that aims to kill our capacity for love, connection, and personal evolution.
If we take an honest inventory of ourselves as addicts, we ought not look any further than our own lives in order to provide evidence showing that when we refuse to come to acceptance, and then become willing to combat this inner demon, we leave ourselves relegated to the trifecta of possible outcomes in addiction; Incarceration, In Treatment, and eventual Insanity.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon is a men’s addiction treatment center that teaches our clients how to roll with life’s punches and use the tools they’ve learned throughout the treatment process to stay on top of anything life throws at them. Call (503) 850-2474 to see how we can help you today.