Addiction is often described as a huge problem. The number of people addicted to substances is staggering. Apart freom the substance addiction, we also get addicted to shopping, pornography, food, gaming, work, internet amongst other things.
In my view addiction though is not a root problem.
Addiction is just a symptom.
It's a symptom of an emotional dysfunction, often resulting in childhood trauma. None of the mentioned behaviours are inherently addictive. It's the character structure of a person, the defenses and coping mechanisms that lead people to these compulsive behaviours.
We tend to partake in those behaviours to distract ourselves from emotional pain, to change our emotional state, to feel more alive, to stimulate our senses.
In our culture we make the addiction the villain, something to fight with, without ever understanding it, without ever looking deeper. It seems we use this manner of being in all our endevours, creating more problems than solutions and forever chasing our own tail.
Next time you see an addict, try to see through it.
Try to see a human being in suffering.
And more so, if you partake in any addictive behaviours,
stop fighting it for a moment,
stop judging it,
have compassion for yourself,
ask what is it you are running away from,
what is the pain,
what is it you are denying in yourself.
And maybe as you let yourself hear the answer,
you'll find a rising spaceousness,
a sense of freedom from the very thing you've been bound by.