Two little serendipitous finds on social media today that stuck a chord.
The second one was Brett Cassidy’s Instagram pic showing a page from the book he is reading. The post deals with the fallacy of the single cause.
Early in my addiction recovery, I worked out that my addiction was the confluence of a multitude of factors, not just the traumatic events of one night. My heritage forged my legacy of addiction. A lifetime of missed parental guidance, my own stubbornness, opportunities, access to money, drugs and several layers of safety nets, trauma, a lack of emotional maturity, situations, humans and other fun ingredients all conspired with my own willingness and lack of control and self-discipline to produce my addiction.
Reading the text in Brett’s piece, I realize that this whole emotional quagmire I’m stuck in right now is no different – it’s the result of a lifetime of reactions and responses to life; it’s not the result of one person, one situation or one locale. And I have been responding as if there has been a single cause. So my rage has been concentrated on one person, one moment, one conversation, one retort.
Oh, the person, moment, conversation and retort change daily – but daily, I lay the blame for that day’s rage squarely on a single cause.
I was wrong. I am wrong, I guess.
There are a myriad strands whose tangled lengths are measured in years that brought me here. This is why I need help. This is why acting out is not the way out of here.
The first find was in a video shared by Tecla, showing an interview with Wentworth Miller.
In it he talks about how he has learned to be there for friends going through crises. He listens, he hugs, he creates a safe space and he supports. He holds them. They know they are loved, and they are safe.
On the flip side, when he has messed up, he goes on the attack, criticizing and breaking himself down in the most degrading way.
“If I spoke to my friends in a crisis like I speak to myself, I’d have no friends.”
Wham! There it is. That’s the external world echoing what I said in an earlier post a couple of days ago – my inner dialogue, dressed up as my inner child – is trying to kill me by breaking me down utterly from the inside out.
I can’t show myself love or kindness or trust or affirmation or confidence or peace.
And that ties neatly into the second revelation in Brett’s post: the solution to all this is not to lay blame, it’s not in the mistaken belief that a single, fixable cause must be hunted down, brought to light and destroyed.
It’s about learning to love myself as I am right now.
As simple and impossible as that.
©️ Dave Luis 2019. All Right Reserved.