*Someone I loved died and I immediately used
*I overdosed then immediately used
*I used with my parent or child
*I started my significant other using
*I secretly wanted them to relapse so that I had company
*When I was clean I felt jealous when I saw someone high
*Someone overdosed and I tried to get the same stuff because I knew it was good
*I couldn’t stop for the people I loved
*I didn’t protect my children
*I didn’t care if I die while using.
*I didn’t want to turn out like my mom or dad but did
*My girlfriend sold herself so both of us could use
*As a man I sold myself
*I don’t feel like I deserve to eat. I don’t feel like I deserve anything good.
These are common confessions people have told me. The shame cycle that makes people use harder. When people get clean, they think about what they did in their active use and can’t handle it. Many people using are borderline suicidal.
People’s lives follow a predictable path the further their addiction progresses. Everyone blames themselves and think that their addictive behaviors and struggles are unique and personal. But they are not. When everyone is reporting the same things, it is not personal. It is not a person’s moral failings that drives them to behave as they do…its just what happens to any person who is using heroin IV, meth, alcohol, mollie … whatever. There is no choice. If people are doing things that they don’t want to do, they are out-of-control. Something else is in control.
The human brain has natural pain killers, called endogenous opioids, already in it. When we are hurt, eat a good meal, have sexual experiences, feel love, etcetera the body produces natural opiates and dopamine. Any survival need that is met produces feel-good chemicals. Drugs trigger the brain to experience an insanely unnatural high, far greater than any natural stimuli can do. Drugs are bad for your body but the brain recognizes them as essential for survival. More important than anything. This is why people with severe addiction find themselves homeless, with lost relationships, having neglected their health and nutrition and have a lost interest in sex. They stop taking care of themselves and anyone else in their lives. All of the hierarchy of needs necessary for survival are hijacked and redirected towards drug use. Addiction is a losing battle if not interrupted. Imagine wrestling an adversary 100 times your size. Then imagine that they kiss you, and you get a surge of pleasure, while they are trying to choke you out. Confusing? “How could something I love secretly want me to die?” When people are asked to write about their addiction as though it were a person, they write about an abusive lover who is lying to them, saying that they are taking away pain and helping, but secretly wants them dead.
So, these terrible things people have done in active use. How do you forgive the unforgivable? How do we forgive them? Well, our individual suffering is a smaller version of the suffering of the planet. Think about disease, holocausts, slavery, human trafficking, war, pollution, extinction of various species, nuclear weapons, child soldiers, starvation, war, abusive treatment of children, women minorities. Lots of pain and suffering. Lots of wrong action against each other. Companies market addictive substances knowing their harmful effects. Addicts don’t need to ask, “How do you forgive the unforgivable,” all of humanity needs to. As humans and cultures evolve they are going to pass through many “unforgivable” phases. The only way to evolve at a personal or collective level is to progress through all the darkness and light. The human soul needs to experience all the common difficulties of being human to grow. “We all become fallen on the wheel of karma.” Cultures have to go through all the ignorance, judgement, ethnocentric viewpoints, abuses of power, disrespect of others and the planet to arrive at a more evolved place. To forgive, you witness and accept.
Some people’s greatest act of courage for the day is to open their eyes and get out of bed. You never know the struggle within another person, so we need to be gentler towards each other. Most people’s source of unconditional love and acceptance is their god/goddess, angels, a person they loved that passed or nature. Humans long to be witnessed, listened to, accepted and respected by other people. Without conditions. We need to clear the judgement from our hearts so that we can really be with other people. We can help each other come to terms with feelings of failure, heartache and weaknesses. We are not defined by these things. We are not our struggles; we are the people being filled with wisdom having had struggled.