When we identify an addiction in oneself or another, it looks like a trouble. Finding out that one is engaging in addictive behaviour is disturbing. However, the one thing that we need to understand today is that addiction is the symptom of the problem. Addiction is not the problem. The problem is discontentment. I am not contented with what I have. I am dissatisfied with who I am and what I have. I may be dissatisfied with the parents I have, the upbringing I had as a child, with my own body and looks, with my talents and capabilities. I may be dissatisfied with my friends or other relationships, with my accomplishments in life. Who I am and what I have doesn’t seem to be enough for me. I strive, work, attain, climb the ladders of success, get married, have children, etc etc and it was told to me that each of these would quench my thirst but as I go further, dissatisfaction seems to get only worse.
And then there is this inner void, this feeling of displeasure and discontentment that sets me on this quest to quench my inner thirst and hunger. I am searching for a purpose, a fulfillment, a feeling of completeness. And nobody seems to show me a promising path. Everything seems to be meeting a dead end. Then along the way, I meet others who suggest that maybe a smoke or a drink or any other sense stimulating, pleasure giving activity would bring me contentment. And we do that. We sometimes abuse substances, positions and relationships for the fun of it and sometimes for the need of it. And slowly and gradually abuse becomes a way of life with me. Abuse may be defined as using it not the purpose it is meant to serve. I abuse my body, relationships, people, things, power, positions, whatever comes my way to get “that feeling”. However, on honest assessment I find that nothing is working anymore. Tomorrow we shall understand how to move from discontentment to contentment.