By Gerald G. May
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Additional info for Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (Plus)
The following day Sally had gone through most of the bottle and she couldn’t breathe through her nose at all. The drops no longer had any effect whatsoever, and she was due to leave for the ocean the next day. Although she knew it was silly, she could think of nothing but her solidified nose. She had “forgotten” all about overdoing the nose drops and was now convinced she needed stronger ones, perhaps something available by pre- Gerald G. D. / 23 scription. She called her doctor, who scolded her for exceeding the recommended dosage and told her to stop the drops entirely.
Some good things are done because of addiction. If someone is hungry, it is indeed better that they be fed by someone who is attached to doing good deeds than that they starve because someone else is “free” to choose not to feed them. But consider this hypothetical second person for a moment. If he or she were really free from attachment, there would be no reason not to feed the hungry one. Love, the core of our creation, would call it forth spontaneously. The only reason we could have for “choosing” against true compassion and charity is that we are addicted to something else.
There is a sense of harboring a dark secret, the revelation of which would be unbearable. Although self-esteem has been being subtly eroded all along in this process, now a depressive, guilty, self-disparaging atmosphere pervades nearly everything the person does. To compensate, the addicted person may put on masks of competence, lightheartedness, and good humor. His charades can be very effective at fooling others, but internally they only intensify feelings of inadequacy and lack of integrity.
Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (Plus) by Gerald G. May