Bored But Not Broken
I have a nephew who won every science award in high school. When he was five he could recite adult monologues with definition and strength. Everyone thought he would grow up to be a genius. Today he is in jail for theft, drug dealing, and possession.
I have a dear friend with a son who sits around all day pretending he is looking for a job, but secretly reads when his father isn’t looking. He’s twenty-five and too old to be living at home with no job and no purpose, but his dependency on drugs makes him way to vulnerable to be alone.
I have a young client who can take a car apart, repaint it, weld any broken parts back together then reassemble it. She can’t let go of her addiction to alcohol to give life a chance.
Is what we are seeing in our adolescents: boredom or brokenness? Are we not encouraging them to take on enough responsibility to give them a reason to live past their addictions? Or are we simply acquiescing to their bad image of themselves and pouring our own negative belief about them into their already vulnerable souls without even knowing it?
This is a lot to think about. Addiction blows my mind. I have never seen so many good people fall prey to the sad, secret belief of the addict that there is no way out but the drug of choice: food, cigarettes, pot, crack, meth, Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, sex, porn, gambling, coke… the list goes on and on.
I have also never seen so many people go so far into recovery and then blow it after six months, a year, two years. I have even seen some fall after ten to fifteen years.
Most therapists, even nonbelievers, can’t look past the facts that most people who actually survive addiction are people who have a spiritual encounter and continue on a spiritual path. I wonder if this is the retreat from boredom the addictive brain is actually looking for.
Think about it! What kind of brain functions on the external belief that something tangible will make it happy? The ego brain, right? And will that ego brain ever be satisfied by anything on this earthly plain—truly satisfied?
I have had many successes in my life. I have lived many places. Loved many people. Nothing tangible fills the gap of emptiness inside when you are alone and facing yourself, but God or a personal spiritual experience, whatever you choose to call it. I don’t want to exclude any religion or practice from this experience. Because when your spiritual breakthrough is real and authentic, you attain peace beyond understanding.
I went to a spiritual group meeting called Second Mondays at Glendale Methodist church today filled with mostly therapist and ministers. A minister friend spoke of people who inspired her into being a Methodist preacher. She pulled out a book from her bag called, “The Dark Night of the Soul” that I read about ten years ago on a vacation on a recommendation from a dear friend. When she saved the book for last to speak about, I knew we had a kinship, because I could tell the book changed her as it had changed me.
After reading the book, I suddenly understood why I had been through all the pain in my life, and I found my power to move forward into my calling. As a result, whatever my addictions were, they disappeared without me even knowing it.
You see, it isn’t the path of stopping an addiction that we must focus on. It is the idea of creating a new path toward something that invites prosperity, enlightenment, truth, joy, empowerment, and authentic drive in you toward the future that negates all that is negative in your life. Also, in the drive forward, most of us realize that the negativity we experienced can be turned around for good.
We are not broken. We are simply not following our paths. And when we don’t follow spirit, we fall into deep depression that causes us to stray toward earthly things that help our symptoms. What looks like an innocent choice to help a bad feeling, then turns into compulsion; then compulsion turns to addiction. And we’re trapped. We think.
“Spirit God, inspire us and guide us into our true calling. Open our hearts to something that will keep us focused on the light and not the darkness that whispers, ‘come back to human comfort.’ You are the Comforter, Holy Spirit. Supply us with your lofty breath and wisdom of mind to pull us forward and keep us there. I know you can do it, as you have done it for me and many other before and after me! Amen.”
- The Murky Waters of the Mind
- Fixing What’s Not Broken