The false “positive”

Recovery Nation then said:  Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)?  Understanding the functional role of your addiction is important in removing the power, mystery and fear from that addiction — to begin seeing it in terms of practicality, rather than as some kind of supernatural fate or disease that you are doomed to suffer.  Share a few positive aspects of your addiction in your recovery thread.

(Let me remind readers that we don’t adhere to the “addiction” terminology,  and that Recovery Nation does not use the term in the conventional sense.  Nevertheless, I borrow their terminology in the process of using Recovery Nation as a tool for introspection.)

This is a difficult question. I don’t really think of adultery, porn, masturbation, and lying as addictions, nor as the root problem. I consider them symptoms of the deeper, more insidious compulsion: self-pity. Did I get anything “positive” from the self-pity? What did it do for me, or what did I expect it to do for me? Was it my early attempt at comforting myself in the face of disappointment, loneliness, or insecurity? I guess so. It’s hard to think of it that way because, looking back on it, it actually made all those feelings worse, not better.  

Maybe it was my way of giving myself a hug. I didn’t want my mother to be involved because I always thought of her as addressing my problems by taking control of them. She didn’t give comfort. She took control. More than anything, I wanted control. It’s a sick irony that indulging in self-pity is an extreme form of abandoning control.

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