I was at the men’s AA meeting this morning and heard guys talking about addictive behavior that ran the gamut from of course alcohol, to sex, drugs and gambling. There was a thread that ran through all of their shares, fear. The struggle I heard everyone talking about with was the self criticism that dominated their shares. You see everyone thinks that when they stopped drinking that they would be all better, that they would be well. I hear it with my friends who struggle with the depression/anxiety that seems to be dominant in my culture. I hear it with the people that think that it is just the consumption of alcohol or ingesting of any other drug that is the underlying reason for their fear.
You see we think and stay in that paradigm that if you just treat your symptoms, then your health will be back to what it used to be. Well, I was 23 years sober when I was diagnosed with depression. What was the reason that I wasn’t diagnosed with it until then? It was because I had mastered the art of hiding my symptoms except my drug/alcohol use.
“Hell is when the depths come to you with all that you no longer are or are not yet capable of.” There is a saying in AA that goes, “What do you get when you sober up a horse thief?” The answer of course is, “A sober horse thief.” But that is not the expectation we all have. We think that when we dont drink/use that we are no longer interested in doing those behaviors.
But that is where I have learned that the dis-ease is truly at. We think that the drinking done by the horse thief, is the act done that is harmful. Yes, I can agree at one level because drinking alcoholically is harmful. But the actions that were really harmful to me was the stealing of the horse, because I negated my self. I have even in sobriety. I didnt value myself enough to say I was scared, especially in sobriety, and wasnt able to do this on my own.
The acting when no one was around, in sobriety, that was detrimental to my health and those around me is what keeps me in that same fear that I “think” makes me do that same behavior. That fear that caused me to starting drinking at an age when most kids are just going to school was there before I ever picked up that first drink. So I was scared to death about living when I was 4 or 5 years old. If I am not diligent now, that same fear can come out and bite me in the ass and make me start that same process of negation that leads to those acting out actions that harm my own soul.
“Hell is when you can no longer attain what you could attain.” Why do I think that I have to attain what I attained before? I am supposed to grow, change and seek to do those things that I need to do at this age, not the age I was 30 years ago.
I watched that Gabor Mate video titled “Attachment = Wholeness and Health or Disease, ADD, Addiction, Violence,” and saw where I want to go in the future with my education. When I heard Mate say a couple of sentences, I knew INTUITIVELY where I wanted to go with my life. It is nothing like what I did in the past. My mind wants to say that I am not doing it right when I dont try and do what I did in the past. But I dont have the heart for it any more. I have no passion for it any more. But I still have those gnawing thoughts that I have failed because I am not doing what I did 3 years ago. I can hear the voices, “Most people would die to have your life.” Well I was when I was trying to live up to it when it did not express my heart and let me live from my soul.
 James Hillman  Carl Jung
123 RV, SA! Forgiveness is an inside job!