When talking about addictions, we mostly think of someone other than ourselves. Take David, for example, who’s story I’ll share with you in a second. He seems like an everyday guy, but begins to find himself coveting pain meds. David, as you’ll read, may not be that different than us. We all have un-grieved sadness, for some, it’s very old, and one of the best ways we can continue coping with it (an innocent survival tactic) is to find a habit that takes our attention away from it, quickly.
I’ve included David’s story, in addition to this episode of The Sahius to show how insidiously drugs, but more importantly, the survival strategy to subvert grief, works to protect us from pain. After you’ve read and watched, I’d love to read your comments below.
“David, a husband and father of two, was adopted the moment he was born. Although he suffered the deep loss of his birth parents that day, he was taken into a loving home and raised alongside two other siblings. David was reintroduced to his birth mother when was in his thirties. Several years later, she told David that there was yet another painful event in their short history together: When she was two months pregnant with him, she had taken pills in an attempt to abort him.
The day I sat down with intelligent, pleasant, and engaging David, I noticed his eyes darted from here to there. His train of thought shifted just as quickly, as did his body language, as if both were saying, “I can’t stop moving, and I’m going in all these directions at once.”
In conversation, he rapidly jumped from information about his recent seizure, to details of having had a sore back, and then on to his use of muscle relaxants and painkillers.
In the midst of his seemingly disconnected yet vitally important pieces of information, I had to interrupt him. “So David, what do you feel is going on?”
David’s eyes flitted briefly to mine, and he said, “I can’t seem to get off the painkillers. My back pain is gone, but I’m using the drugs . . . all the time. I’m hiding them from my wife.”
Right away I thought of his birth mother’s abortion attempt. “David, I’m remembering what you told me about your birth mother and her taking the pills.”
He said, “Yeah, I know, I guess that’s a big deal. But does it really matter? I’m here now, aren’t I? I’m fine now. Guess I’m really strong, hey? I’ve always been strong.”
I said, “Yeah, David. You are strong. You’re so strong. But did you ever consider that maybe you had to be strong to survive what you went through? I wonder if you ever considered that maybe your affinity for drugs isn’t because of you. But perhaps you had to incorporate them into your bloodstream as though they were part of you, in order to survive?”
For the first time since he had sat down, David focused his eyes directly at me. His gesticulations stopped, and his speech became coherent. David had always known his early experiences were tough, but their impact on him had remained secret to him. Now that impact was being revealed. He had heard the stories, but until that moment, he hadn’t connected the details to his current suffering. And despite their sad and upsetting reality, something about the words I had uttered—“ this may not be because of you”—freed him. Even though David wasn’t suicidal, he could have easily been called self-destructive.
Soon after our meeting, David entered rehab. When I spoke to him a month later, he said, “You know, it’s been so many years since I could feel anything. I had no emotions. It’s been many things that have helped me get back to myself, but perspective has given me my emotions again.”
And he had an insight for us all. “This . . . it doesn’t discriminate. Whether you’re homeless or a Supreme Court judge, it can get ya.” He was talking about drug addiction. And I was thinking about how many other drug addicts had had drugs in their system during their prebirth and birth periods.” (Excerpted from The Secret Life of Babies: How Our Prebirth and Birth Experiences Shape Our World)
Not everyone is facing a drug addiction, as I’ll discuss in this episode of The Sahius, below. But the theme supporting everyone’s healing is “Love Wants Us To Face Everything”.
Please enjoy: Love Is The First Addiction (or should be)
I’d love to read your comments below. Chances are you’ve had some experience with this, as we’re all human.
If you like what you’re reading and seeing, invite your friends and family to sign up for my newsletter:
Wishing you and your loved ones deep hearts of courage.