By Gerald G. May
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Additional resources for Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (Plus)
As it is, I accept the fact that I am well and truly addicted in all three areas. To assist my acceptance, I like to remember that my incompleteness can be a space for grace. ” First, some questions that might reveal tolerance: —Do I feel that the amount of money and possessions I have right now is sufficient for my security, or do I feel I’d really be better off with more? —Is my sense of power and control sufficient, or do I feel I need more? —Are the important people in my life reliable, understanding, and loving enough, or would I feel more secure if they were more so?
Often, our repulsions too take on the characteristics of addiction. Thus, in addition to the attraction addictions we have been discussing, we must also consider aversion addictions. 6 Sometimes an aversion addiction is simply an attraction addiction stated in reverse. For example, if I am addicted to cleanliness, who is to say whether I am basically drawn toward neatness or repelled by dirt? Other aversion addictions, however, exist absolutely in their own right. This is particularly true of racial, ethnic, or sexual prejudices, and of many phobias.
The mechanisms continue and take on even more unrealistic proportions. But since hiding the truth from oneself is no longer as effective, it becomes increasingly important to hide it from other people. Now the addictive behavior becomes more secre- 46 / Addiction and Grace tive; the person may hide bottles and consciously lie. In addition to self-alienation, he experiences a growing isolation from other people. There is a sense of harboring a dark secret, the revelation of which would be unbearable.
Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (Plus) by Gerald G. May