Addiction to Self

Following is a recording of a panel discussion on addiction sent to me this morning by a friend. I find if fascinating. Watch it, then see if you see what I see.

http://www.upworthy.com/watch-what-matthew-perry-says-when-a-dude-says-his-drug-addiction-is-his-choice-2

My response:

Chandler himself has an addiction to his own mind…his ego. He defends it with the same panic as an alcoholic defends his jug. Any attempt to take it away is met with attack. The problem with Chandler’s addiction is that it is not so easily named…but I am sure it it wreaks havoc in his relationships (I mean who can stand someone who is always right?)…another sign of addiction. He will only recover if he hits bottom and asks for help.
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One Response to Addiction to Self

  1. Marie Zapf-Taylor says:

    Hello Judy, this is Marie’s husband Colin.
    Marie asked me to watch your video. Having been, in another life many years ago, what I admit was an alcoholic, I have an opinion in this matter especially when the definition and/or cause of addiction is debated.
    Being British. I have come across him before, but I have certainly known the ‘Peter Hitchens’ of this world many times over. They sit comfortably in their safe environments, cossetted by the life skills that they were fortunate to be instilled with, that sadly for everyone else, robs them of the empathy that they are observably lacking.
    I firmly believe addiction is entirely subjective and can only genuinely be explained by an addict or addict in remission, or someone with very close and sincere connection to an addict. I think this is a sad fact, were it not, then colossal bigots such as Peter Hitchens would have the incite they require with which to make a valid judgement.
    When he claims that you take your drugs, drink your drink, hoard your home with unbridled purchases, or stuff your slot machine, that the insidious compulsion that drives you to do so is entirely an act of free will. He claims this from the point of view of someone who hasn’t danced that dance, as they say.
    I am wondering, in the case of someone that has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, would he also assert that they should opt to ‘choose to stop’? I would imagine he would let an OCD sufferer off when it comes to expecting them to act on free will. Would that be because he sees OCD as a non self inflicted condition?
    Well believe you me, if Hitchens thinks that given two possible paths through life, one that includes pursuing an education, a career and a family with all the attributes and trimmings that I am sure he aspires to. Or, living a life of utter dependency on substances, an unimaginably torrid lifestyle that you have little or no control over that will most likely lead to poor health, death or jail. Not many people would choose to inflict the latter on themselves. How does he explain this act of free will?
    Hitchens asserts that at all levels, addiction is a choice, an act of self pleasuring.
    I can see that regarding the above two paths through life, that first drink, joint or dollar in the slot, could start a reckless spiral into dependency, for those equipped with the gift of foresight it may be an easy choice to just say no. If you are unlucky enough not to be in the ‘no’ team, very quickly you will be lost. You will no longer be the person that made that poorly considered choice.
    At this stage, the choice to say no is now influenced by the power of the drug of choice, a fact that Hitchens has very little time for lest it make him look a fool and his philosophy foolish.
    As far as Mathew Perry is concerned, he was obviously phased by someone unkindly scorning people as himself that have reeled in the pain of addiction. Hitchens is painting all addicts as being weak willed, enjoying their addiction. Just because the learned Mr H can spout out suitable facts and analogies quicker than Mathew, doesn’t make Mathew wrong. Mathew has his own version of addiction, contributed to by his upbringing his environment and his life goals, very much like the rest of us.
    As far as being addicted to self, I feel that is a naive notion. An addict, by definition, is absolutely not themselves.
    Thank you Judy for allowing me to ransack your blog.

    Cheers

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