Shame and addiction are two sides of the same coin and, connection is the antidote.
Right Brain Demanding Connection
Addiction is a symptom of chronic shame. This is why affective regulation is the antidote for any addictive behaviour, (including Eating Disorders or any Self Harm like cutting, etc). These are right brain issues demanding attunement and connection – one right brain to another. One person cannot do it without the other.
Another piece of shame can be resentment. This is connected to envy. You’re essentially angry at yourself because you aren’t allowing yourself the same luxury as others allow themselves. What do I need but am afraid to ask for (ashamed that I need it)?
Trauma creates dissociative defenses which distorts our view of ourselves and each other. This is why trauma disrupts our sense of connection and makes it more difficult to repair within a relationship, even though it is the only true effective medicine.
But lets get really basic about even the concept of connection. It is a misnomer in itself. Quantum physics has challenged and triumphed over the old Cartesian worldview that things are separate. That there is such a thing as a mind OR a body.
The mind is seamlessly entangled with the body and neither can function without the other. There is no me OR a you. Without a you to observe and experience me, there is no me.
We know now that space and time are just constructs to hold the frame of the old Cartesian worldview; and that in fact, there is not now OR then/past OR future. Nothing is binary. There is no separation; therefore, there is no connection – it is a word that helps us see HOW things intertwine, not explain THAT they do.
This is why, being reminded in any way of the separation that human thought processes have hoisted upon us unnaturally, is so very painful. Every single time we are made aware of this prison that is only of the mind, we hurt at a very deep and imperceptible level.
I Had Been “Othered”
I was reminded (again) of the immediate and insidious devastation this sense of separation can have in a recent “argument” with my husband. Husband, another historical label that terribly describes the more modern version of life partner, but we’ll save that for another day.
As usual, I wanted to do everything and squeeze it into a very finite amount of time, (another erroneous concept which is part of my challenge in time management).
He was trying to help me grasp the limits of what I was trying to attempt and I was literally not comprehending it. When I finally realized my dream of a perfect day would go unrealized, I was upset and bewildered.
In a heated moment he blurted, “You are so difficult to communicate with.”
Not a dramatic statement by any means. In fact he specifically wanted me to let you know he was only referring to having difficulty in this precise situation.
But it was a record scratching moment. Up to that point we were having so much fun, reminiscing, laughing, relaxing. And then those words took me from a place of connection to separation, as if I had been thrown from a plane into a desert alone.
I was so confused because I could not understand why his comment hurt me so much.
As we worked through it, we realized it could have been just a stimulating conversation to explore HOW we were looking at time and space so differently. And, HOW we were hearing each other in various ways, but not with clarity. But with the use of that one word, “YOU”, it became you vs. me – you being the Other.
I had been “Othered.”
This is what creates political and geographical boundaries, war, homelessness, addiction, violence, and abuse. Essentially the source of all trauma.
We Are ALL One
So, let’s consider how we might start to change our perspective, language and approach to one another in order to reflect the reality that we are literally ONE.
There is no separation. We are all (and that includes animal, vegetable, mineral) vibrating particles at varying speeds. And we have the capacity to attune to the same speed.
When this occurs -a resonance in the vibration of particles – we experience the reality of inseparability.
What a wonderful world.
Kathlyn McHugh RCC, RSW Counselling Practice takes place at the Vitality Clinic in the West Shore Area, close to Victoria BC.
Visit the website at: Home – The Vitality Clinic