“Every habit he's ever had is still there in his body, lying dormant like flowers in the desert. Given the right conditions, all his old addictions would burst into full and luxuriant bloom.”
― Margaret Atwood
This week's big realization is this: I am genetically wired to be an addict. It sure does explain many things.... All throughout my life, I have been addicted to various things; perhaps not aware of them as being addictions, but on closer look, that is what they are. It's like a friend of mine described it: it doesn't matter if you switch the thing you're addicted to. It's like changing seats on the Titanic. You know you're going down anyway.
I've been kicking bad habits and addictions these last few years; working hard at it every single day. I realize now, that this is always going to be a part of who I am, although apparently it does get easier. It already has.
When a big piece falls into place like this in my life, there's a sense of relief. Reality and knowledge is liberating, truly. What is painful is when I'm not clear about what's going on--when life is abstract and confusing. The realization about my addictive nature brings me one peel of the onion closer to the core. And the closer to the core one gets, the smaller the peels--ain't that so? Somehow, one gets used to having to tackle tough issues. I guess it's like with anything you do: you get better at it all, with repetition.
But back to the beautiful Margaret Atwood-quote I started with... How I do identify with it..! The "right conditions" indeed push me over the edge, even now. My old addictions are attempting to bloom, and it is my duty not to water them. How hard it is--to break old patterns. Addiction is a more complicated issue than I once thought. Understanding my own relationship with it and seeing the trait in myself so clearly gives me a lot of compassion towards others dealing with the same problem. To any of you fighting the big fight against addiction--I salute you. We shall overcome.