Addiction-we are all aware of addiction to the obvious when we hear those words i.e. drink and drugs to include prescribed pharmaceutical, but there are so many others things tied to this word a complete array of issues that are within its complex structure. In truth anything that we can’t seem to do without is as much of an addiction as those that spring to mind easily, when we reach a place of no return for the above there are many organisations or specialists that we can reach out to for help. These can be accessed through a visit to our doctor and his referral it’s recognised and dealt with as a matter of course because there is a direct chain in line all we have to do is go and stand in it.
I’m far from saying that’s an easy route to travel; of course, it’s not but it has a proven linked chain of referral that is moving us towards the day we can kick that habit. But for those that suffer from a placed addiction like abuse, we will find it so much harder to deal with its been there for so long we can’t even remember the day we started using it as such. In all honesty unless we reach a place to be able to let go of our abuse that chain or line will never be accessible to us simply because the start of that line is within us, no matter how many people offer to stand there alongside us even with the offer to carry that chain we will be going nowhere because we are the ones holding on tightly to that anchor at the chains fixed end.
I’m going to move away from the obvious because where child sexual abuse is concerned that chain is broken in so many places that it has becomes a heap of dismembered links, that solder that should be holding it fast together is nowhere near the soldering iron even if you could find it.
OK, so why am listing this subject as an addiction? The fact is that for so many of us who have been sexually abused we hold on to our memories pain and suffering for so long it somehow became part of our DNA a carrier of our genetic information that we make daily reference to. It’s true that were are not born this way but it’s been there for so long it can’t help but to be so although it was placed within without choice. It became part of our fabric and the foundation on which we stand today even if that sounds a little odd? well yes, that’s because it is, but if we were able to look deep inside of ourselves there it sits our addiction within in a place of complete comfort and so very sure that they are a habit that we just cannot kick.
When something has been within us for such a long time we have become used to functioning with it and we don’t really know how we will be without it being there. At the point of trying to come to clean i.e. letting go of and learning that there is a better way; we will also go through the painful effects of withdrawal be in no doubt but in a way that does not apply to the road we would walk for a way out of a drink or drug addiction.
To recover from our abuse addiction we have to let go of everything and that’s not as simple as it sounds because we have built our lives around its structure, we may have even added some extra links to our dismembered chain just for good measure adding to the chaos. We take on a world of abuse that surrounds us which only adds to the weight and the inevitable increase in magnitude to that in which we are already carrying, for some even attaching further pain from past history as if we are the only ones that can put it right. We feel the pain of all those that have suffered behind us with such a vigour that it would be hard to topple although it doesn’t directly affect us, or a battle that was lost so very long ago but still we drag it into our world of pain and it becomes our fight for justness and it becomes so complexly overwhelming.
So if we think about the structure we have constructed throughout our lives when we enter a place of recovery we are in fact having to let go of so many things, even those that we weren’t aware of at the onset as each piece falls away we are losing a piece of ourselves and we can’t help but feel the pain of withdrawal. Why? Because something is being taken from us that for all intensive proposes defines who we are in that moment it’s like pulling bricks out from the supporting wall of a building and hoping that it can hold itself in shape, and it may do so for a while but eventually that building will succumb to the inevitable because the supporting wall is just as it sounds. When we think of withdrawal we think of what’s on the outside that we are putting in but it’s just as painful when pulling out that which shouldn’t be there, because nothing has changed other than the direction of travel i.e. the method of access and exit.
So the heading of this piece can then be seen as letting go of an addiction that was not one of our choosing but that doesn’t make it any easier to give up, I can hear a few voices in my head right now saying how can us or I compare our abuse to the obvious addictions? The answer to that question is letting go of abuse is no less easy than giving up any other addiction-although many may not like the word that I’m using. In truth, the word only means that we can’t see a way forward without whatever it is that is keeping us -us. In essence, it only questions if we can be without that something? For us, that’s something that we can’t answer at the time it may first be requested just how do we know if we can when we are too scared to let it go or be without it? Our addiction is attached to how we know ourselves in that precise moment in time so how do we give up us? When it’s taken us years to build the person that we have become can we really start again and be able to survive that journey? It’s scary and we have become used to our chain links being splintered in every direction we learnt to manage right? You know the honest answer to that question far better than I.
Can we give up that feeling of pain the feeling of injustice and anger? Can we let go of the hate within and seek a way past that hate and look towards forgiveness? Are we looking for revenge and relate to the proverb of an eye for an eye? If so it won’t be too long before the whole world goes blind. Can we find that peace within and accept our past as being in the past and still be able to hold ourselves whilst doing so? All of these things play a big part in our abuse addiction because we can’t quite seem to quit these feeling and emotions that seem to be larger than life whilst judging ourselves or our perpetrator. If we are holding on to these things how can we? So we need to ask ourselves this question-is my abuse holding on to me or am I holding on to it.
Experiencing that withdrawal for me was a real feeling of losing myself and my past although that was a dark was part of me, and not being sure how my future would emerge would it not be empty without memories either good or bad hell I would be wiping out my life. By letting go of everything surely that would mean that I would cease to exist although the past was painful what would happen if I it was gone just who would I be? So in my own case letting go of the past was without doubt letting go of an addiction of sorts and one that I would have to learn to conquer because holding on to my abuse was my addiction. An addiction in any shape or form takes a lot of adjustment and hard work to alter or give up but we should never think that it is as easily described as a habit; it’s a whole bigger ball game.
No one wants to be an addict why would they? It’s never of their choosing it’s something that crept up from behind that they felt they have control of but that’s the nature of addiction. I am still so aware that this word addiction is not welcomed with open arms around abuse but there are many things in life that are true to fact but also uncomfortable, and you are welcome to use a different word if it doesn’t sit well with you but the word is not the problem it’s our inaction that matters. Looking away should never be an option we should choose because if we choose to do so we are stuck and if we are stuck how can we achieve the movement that we need?
Letting go giving up and feeling that we have the strength to do so wear many guises and there are many that relate to the word and the reference of addiction. We can and do become addicted to that place around our pain of abuse just because it’s easier than facing that place in which we cannot avoid the eruptions of the emotions that will surface if we trust to let go. Or maybe we can’t see a clear path in which to walk when something as fundamental as all we’ve have ever known departs. Addiction means nothing more than a repeated involvement that allows harm to ourselves so just how often do we delve into the abyss of our abuse on a daily basis? How many times are we held in that place of pain and be unable to leave?
Our recovery has truly begun when we can say but not today……….