(THE BOOK) Chapter 12: Addicts

About addicts:

Addicts are people who can’t handle feelings.

Usually because they never learned to as kids.  Usually because their parents never taught them.  Usually because they couldn’t, because their parents never taught them.

(Usually.  There are other paths to addiction, but this is the most common.)

Being unable to handle feelings is a problem, since feelings tend to keep coming up.  So the kid of such parents naturally starts looking around for something to make the damn things go away.

Drugs, alcohol and food are obvious solutions.  Though anything that alters your mood (work, shopping, sex, porn, tv, videogames, housecleaning, alphabetizing your spice rack) can be turned into an addiction.

And even when they work, these solutions are temporary.  Feelings always come back.  So a person without some healthier way to handle them is forced to drink, drug, eat, work, or whatever they do to make the feelings go away again.

And that’s how addiction is born.

Some are more destructive than others.  But in the end each addiction is the same.  Because each has the same goal:

To give the addict control over emotional life.

And that’s why, when I’m asked “What does control have to do with addiction?” I reply, “Everything.”

Because finally every addiction is an addiction to control.

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