By Gerald G. May
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Extra resources for Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (Plus)
The more creative and intelligent the person, the more agonizing this process will be. The mind will suggest, perhaps, that it is not wise to rush into such things. ” If this delaying tactic works, the mind can simply forget what it planned to think about. Then, when the memory does come back, the delay can happen again. ” The “resolving to resolve” stage can effectively prohibit any real action from taking place for years at a time. Other procrastinations include looking for an ideal time to stop.
When we can see our freedom impaired, we should consider the presence of addiction. In the arena of power, we seek status, influence, and control over our lives. In part this relates to financial security, but it also includes claiming and holding self-determination and autonomy in the face of the many forces around us. The more personal power we have, the less vulnerable we feel. When we use the word freedom in a social or political context, we are normally referring to this capacity to secure our self-interests.
This is denial. Evidence for addiction may be perfectly obvious to other people, but it is as if the addicted person is either completely blind to it or always looking in another direction. As evidence mounts, however, the addicted person must use increasing psychological energy to keep the truth out of his awareness. This is the beginning of repression. Somewhere deep inside, the person now recognizes that addiction exists, but he keeps the knowledge unconscious. Not only does this take considerable energy; it also means the person cannot be comfortable with himself.