Let’s hypothesize the cause of addiction, after all what causes a person to become an addict. There are three factors which determine susceptibility: biology, environment, and development. Estimations blame genetics for between 40% and 60% of a person’s vulnerability to addiction. However, OD hypothesizes one predominating factor behind why a person gets hooked on drugs. In our opinion, above all, addiction is the result of internalizing a false narrative as a personal truth or norm. Let’s break down that statement piece by piece to better explain.
What this Means
- To start, the dictionary defines internalize as, “making (attitudes or behavior) part of one’s nature by learning or unconscious assimilation.” An example is a child who grows up in a Christian household internalizes the Ten Commandments as rules to live by.
- A false narrative is one where a complete narrative is assumed given a set of circumstances, however it is either lacking sufficient information or is based on an inaccurate assessment. False narratives are like icebergs in that we only see a small portion of the whole.
- As for personal truths, these are ideas that don’t require outside evidence or explanation. We all have them. They are self-evident and unique to every one of us. Our personal truth is the lens through which we view ourselves, what we say internally when nobody else is listening, for example there was a significant period of my life where I held onto the personal truth that money was a necessity for happiness.
If you’ve listened to any of our podcasts you can identify numerous common threads most stemming from some form of trauma: sexual abuse, divorce, and a lack of identity to name a few. The paths leading to a flawed sense of self vary yet they often progress into the disease of addiction. There are different means of internalizing a false narrative. In our Discussions we’ve had rape survivors say things like they felt they were a willing participant because they “could have” said something. Despite the people entrusted to protect grooming them from young ages.
Imagine how confusing on so many levels this must be and the impact it would have? Going through life with your personal truth exclaiming you condoned your violation. There was no horrific event that shaped my narrative. I’m grateful for two imperfectly wonderful parents growing up. However, I was so dense and self-absorbed that I was incapable of recognizing anything outside of my realm as a more desirable norm.
How to Make a Change
What’s difficult for people, and where this gets confusing, is that personal truths do not always equal facts. Assuming our personal truth as fact, absolute truth, is the essence of addiction in every manifestation. Addictions, like false narratives, don’t creep up overnight. They fester like a rotting sore until the whole system is septic. ODs Four Pillars to Balance meant to change this flawed perspective. By becoming self-aware we recognize we are not the sum of our misfortunes, through the process of ending rationalization we take back our power from our own negative thought patterns, in developing an outward mindset we become conscious of our motives, and when we find a greater purpose we have that sense of belonging that was missing all along.
we have that sense of belonging that was missing all along.