We need to talk more about – what makes a person who is addicted quit their addiction for good and whether anyone else can help them do it.
There is plenty of talk about why people become addicted and what it’s like living with the results of an addiction, whether you are the person or whether you are one of the family or whether your house has been burgled by someone who craves money for drugs.
But what really happens when someone gives up their addiction? Whyever do they decide to stop? It’s a scary moment. Will they go back to it? Will they be the same person, but just “without the addiction”?
Jung’s take on all this is unique and valuable. He knew by heart what it was like to give up something that had been precious to him, because he did it himself. More than any other of the founding fathers of the psychodynamic approach, he had contact with men and women who had been grossly harmed by alcohol, both in the community, in hospital and in the army. Indirectly he had an influence at the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous and he understood well the elusive spiritual element that’s always there. It’s the way he saw the challenge of stopping that resonates today.
It isn’t easy being addicted, and it isn’t easy being close to someone with an addiction or being their therapist, but it’s extremely rewarding knowing someone who has left an addiction behind.
Mary will be expanding on these ideas in a talk on 17 June.