Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, pt 4

“It's hard to get enough of something that almost works.” Vincent Felitti MD as quoted by Gabor Mate.


What we really crave is the state of not craving.  We get that only momentarily, while we're in the act of indulging the craving.  Many of us find that there's no such thing as "enough" of whatever we crave, at least not all of the time.  Many of us also find that even giving in to the craving doesn't work completely.  Even while in the act of indulging, we want more because it only almost worked.

It's good, very good indeed, that we have the Sinclair Method to squelch that craving.

Mate talks here about his own problem with compulsively purchasing music.  Some of the Amazon reviews scorned him for seeing parallels between this and drug addiction, but it sure sounds to me like the guy has a problem.  If he blew thousands at the racetrack instead of the record store, would we still accuse him of self-important whining?

Mate attends an AA meeting, and climbs on board with the notion that "sobriety" is an inner state rather than simply the condition of not being drunk.  The 12-Step programs have rather hijacked this term.  Aren't they now using this to mean what they used to call "serenity"?  Or is "serenity" a higher state along the same path?  Perhaps a Stepper reading this will explain how these terms are used in modern AA.  Regardless, Mate seemed to find something of value in AA, and states that he plans to attend more open meetings.

Mate believes that addiction is a whole-life condition with many parts -- biological, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and a dozen others.  He deliberately avoids the "disease" term because it simplifies something complex.

He's probably right.  Addiction isn't measles.

The Sinclair Method terminology says that we'll be "cured" of alcoholism and that we've reached this cure when the alcohol-seeking behavior is completely extinguished.  Many of us don't like that term and don't find it accurate.  We will never be people with no history of addiction.  Alcohol will always be in our minds, somewhere, as an option.

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