To all Addicts: yes, that means you.
Unless you are not human—and I have my suspicions about a few politicians—this article is addressed to you.
Shree Vasant famously said that all humans are addicts. The brilliant intuitive healer, Carolyn Myss, says the same thing.
So perhaps we can consider starting a new 12-Step Program, LIFE ANONYMOUS.
In AA, alcoholism is labeled a disease—not a deficiency of self-discipline, not laziness, not moral turpitude—but a disease.
“A disorder of structure or function“ is one definition of disease. I think we can relate.
The good news about having a disease as opposed to a lapse of morals, for example, is that self-blame is less likely to enter the picture.
“I was born with this.” “It was passed on to me from my father.” “I am the fourth generation to be similarly affected.”
The explanations/excuses may be endless.
But still, since mental illness in general and addictions in particular are rife with misunderstanding and ‘bad press,’ it may be helpful to alleviate some of the stress from the beginning.
More to the point, what to do about this disease of addiction? First what is it?
“Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence.”
“I use no ‘substances,’” you say. Well, your pleasure centre is very interested in such ‘substances’ as dopamine and serotonin, and oxytocin, not to mention endorphins. If you engage IN EXCESS in activities—including thoughts—that increase the secretion of these pleasure things, then, guess what, YOU ARE AN ADDICT. And, besides, there is always that Pizza thing you have.
MINCING words over whether a particular action of mine is a habit or a propensity or an addiction perhaps may indicate you have an addiction to mincing words, at the very least.
But here is the bottom line. DO I OR DO I NOT WANT TO BE HAPPIER, HEALTHIER AND HOLIER—not holier than thou, just holier.?
If you have answered, ‘yes,’ to 2 out of 3, at least, you are in the right place (or at least reading the right article).
It may be helpful to ask, “Why do I wish to be happier and the other stuff?”
If my answer is so that I may be a better servant of the Divine, then I am ‘cooking with gas,’ and am on the right path.
As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”
I searched but could not find a prayer that asked for increased serotonin production.