Addiction: I need to escape
Shame also leads to isolation. The overwhelming sense of unworthiness and undeserving prevent the addict from seeking out meaningful relationships. The fear of rejection and abandonment are strong motivators, and push the addict further into isolation and loneliness. If they have any friends it’s other addicts who fear connection and intimacy.
Using and manipulating others gets confused with love and connection. Other people become a means to get what we want – the ‘drug’ that we so desperately need. If the person we’ve hooked up with no longer is useful we move on to someone else.
A parent who is an addict is never around. Even when they are there, it’s only in body not in mind. They are somewhere far, far away. A business partner who is an addict is forever late and unprepared for business meetings. They get angry quickly and lose their patience with colleagues and clients alike.
Addicts go through the motions of existence all the while planning for the next fix. An addict is forever trying to get away, leave early, late for supper, forgetting important things and breaking promises. The addict is happiest when he/she is alone with their drug getting their fix. It’s a life of disconnect and loneliness. Other people are too demanding and don’t understand their need to be alone.
A marriage where one partner is an addict is doomed to fail. A good relationship needs intimacy; and intimacy demands rigorous honesty. Whether with a spouse, a business partner, or a friend, there needs to be honesty and integrity. No relationship will last very long without intimacy.
The addict fears intimacy and closeness. Self-loathing actually prevents any kind of openness or vulnerability. And it’s shame that is responsible for the addict’s fear of others. Other people can’t be trusted; in order to control, the addict cannot hand any part of his/her life over the care of another. The more interference the addict perceives from others the deeper into the dungeon of isolation they go.
I went to therapy in order to please my spouse. But I didn’t offer up the truth – not completely. I withheld because I didn’t really want to participate in the therapy program. I was wasting my hard earned money, but it bought me some time; and I learned to fly well below the radar so I wouldn’t be noticed. There was no intimacy, no connection, but lots of words and promises – and lies. As an addict I had no connection with myself, or God. You could say that I was completely disconnected socially, psychologically and spiritually.
Tomorrow’s topic – “Left on the island of idolatry and isolation