. . . is actually the same path we take to becoming fulfilled as human beings."
Addiction: a futile effort to find that sweet spot between shutdown on one hand and extreme reactivity on the other. A jumpstart out of immobility, isolation, numbness. Or relief from chronic anxiety, racing thoughts, recurrent flashbacks, sudden panic attacks. The quick fixes of addiction – alcohol, drugs, binging, purging, sex, spending, gambling, shopping, self-harm, and so on – make perfect sense. Until they don't, until the “cure” becomes worse than the misery that made them seem at first so appealing.
In subtler ways, many of us “check out” from life with less harmful addictive behaviors – workaholism, checking the cellphone 150 times a day, binge-watching TV, trolling the internet, obsessive rumination, love or relationship addiction. And we ask ourselves, "is that all there is?"
It doesn't have to be that way. Change is possible.
I am especially drawn to the experiential approach of psychodrama and to the body-awareness emphasis of Somatic Experiencing®. My own and my clients' experiences convince me that there we can achieve and sustain a sweet - or, at least, sweeter – spot. The cycle of obsession and compulsion can give way to greater peace, clarity, focus, energy, and purposefulness. Boredom, apathy, and avoidance can shift toward willingness, fascination, and greater interpersonal satisfaction.