Why we can’t recover from addiction using your brain
You can’t get there from here is a common old saying that illustrates the problem of addiction. You cannot get to healing and recovery via your thinking and your brain. Addiction is a brain disease. So trying to heal thinking with more thinking, even positive thinking, will lead many people to frustration.
Finding true success while healing addiction really comes to the fore when we start to use all our faculties together. We are emotional beings. We have a soul and a spiritual side to us. Within us is depth, creative ability and intrinsic motivation that allows us to recreate our lives into what we really, really want. In other words, we are not stuck in addiction, as much as the brain is!
Mark L Lockwood agrees with Plato and other great sages and saints, in that we have something invisible inside us, that can be called upon in times of trouble and weakness to help us recover and heal from anything that holds us back from our true purpose and potential. You can’t get there from here probably because we have sharpened our intellect to solve all our problems today. Perhaps this is also why we are the most depressed, anxious and addicted generation that have ever lived on the face of the earth.
Just like in addiction treatment where we say you can’t get there from here, we are referring to the idea that you cannot think your way with your intellect into recovery. That is probably why the Big Book calls it A Spiritual Experience to a degree. Plato often said that reality cannot be comprehended by ordinary senses. If we look at something with the eye it is not enough. We need a third thing. If we do not have this third then that Plato referred to, we might only see colors, and be blinded by them. We might not see, or comprehend what we need to see with ordinary senses. He used an analogy of the sun to describe goodness in the world.
Because, although you can’t see it, you can’t look at it, you can’t sit and study it, you have to make analogies about it. I think he understood that the visible realm and what is not visible are both required to solve a problem. In psychology we would call this the ontological assumption…whereby you bring everything that you have to the game, to the problem, and a solution will follow from there. One of the biggest problems of this new brain disease that we have is overthinking. Over-using the mind. When the mind cannot solve a problem, it goes crazy and starts moving faster. It starts thinking more. Of course the only problem is it doesn’t think of anything new. It doesn’t have the solution. So it will overthink, pretty much, the information that it has. And of course, we get frustrated, hopeless….reach dead-ends, and it serves as more of a problem than a solution.
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