Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche is a famed philosopher, regarded most for his look at nihilism. Nihilism, in the most basic description, is a philosophical perspective which does not believe in meaningfulness. Though nihilism can take on many different forms, Nietzsche’s nihilism and the most popular association of nihilism is existential. Existential nihilism essentially takes the position that life has no meaning, no purpose, or any true value. Most people find Nietzsche and nihilism, especially existential nihilism, to be depressing. When considering the role Nietzsche might have in a man’s recovery, it doesn’t seem to have a place. Men in recovery from addiction need to have a purpose, a belief system, and some kind of inspiration which tells them life is worth living without drugs and alcohol. It isn’t that nihilism can’t do that. Nihilism isn’t necessarily the best for it.
Thankfully, Nietzsche and nihilism weren’t exclusive. Nietzsche had a lot to say throughout his career, some tidbits of which are extremely potent for men in recovery from addiction. As Big Think explains, “Nietzsche was all about personal growth, and his psychology reflect this. Nietzsche viewed the mind as a collection of drives. These drives were often in direct opposition to one another. It is the responsibility of the individual to organize these drives to support a single goal.” When men come to treatment they set many goals. The most pertinent being something like “Learn how to stay sober”. In order to get there, they embark on a lifelong journey of personal growth which includes looking at what drives an addiction, what drives survival, what drives success, and organizing those drives for sober based productivity.
“A powerful individual will be able to harness their competing drives to help propel them to a singular goal, one which they choose for reasons which are their own;” the article describes. Through treatment and recovery, men learn to confront, process, understand, and assess their varying drives. Addiction is largely a drive, which manipulates the core drives of human existence, like survival. Due to the way addiction programs the brain, all the normal functions of the brain become a drive toward addiction and addiction- the obtaining and using of drugs- becomes the ultimate goal. Treatment is many things, including a way to train the brain to drive toward new goals, like staying sober one day at a time.
Philosophy of all kinds can help men in recovery open their minds, see the world differently, and make decisions as to how they want to live their lives.
Men can find freedom from addiction. At Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, we are helping men transform their lives in mind, body, and spirit. The Tree House Man is a new breed, creating sustainable recovery through sustainable changes. Call us today for information on our programs: (503) 850-2474