One of the striking distinctives of the west when coming from the east are the wide open vistas. Your view ranges for miles on end unimpeded by vegetation, buildings (in the rural areas, which is much of the west), or the haze of humidity. When I return to my long-time home of western NC I marvel at the explosion of green, a rich verdancy foreign to western high deserts. Running trails in the NC mountains brings you sometimes through magical rhododendron tunnels so thick on each side and above you that you feel there is no other path than the one you are on. From vistas of miles all around, you barely see 10 feet in any direction but the path you are traveling. In addiction, sometimes you can feel there are no options but the path you are on. The rhododendron is so thick you can’t see any other path to pursue to your right or to your left. The path you are on can feel inevitable. Those who love them may have instead the western high desert view seeing so many options for how their life could go. The western open expanses of possibilities for freedom has been constricted down to the narrow dirt trail encased by the rhododendron of frustration, fear, failure, job or school and relational consequences, societal judgement and shaming, and the constant demand of the physical brain telling them they need substances to survive. Do you recognize this place in your own life? Have you felt stripped of options, the world narrowing down to a pin-hole camera’s view? Have you felt encased, in a tunnel, moving along a path you do not want to be on but feel enslaved to? I think we all have been, or will be, in a similar place. And what helps? How about allowing others to speak into our lives and open our perspectives? To help us see that the bars that imprison us that we are shaking so vigorously for freedom are actually only in front of us and not surrounding us, that we can get out of the jail by turning to the openings at the right or left. If you are struggling, seek the perspectives and insights of those around you, they may see the open door you are blind to. Trust and take steps in that direction and see what happens.
Addiction is a treatable brain disease disabling decision making.