Opening Up the Locked Heart of an Addict

What to expect in this episode

  1. The Paradox of Addiction
  2. Thread Between Unhappiness & Drug Abuse
  3. Help People Recover by Helping them Find Happiness
  4. The Day Yeshaia’s Heart Began to Open
  5. Cutting Through the Fear, Hopelessness
  6. Create Connection, Hope, & Opening the Heart

 

Addiction is Paradoxical

 

So, one of the things about addiction is, it’s paradoxical.  On the one hand, it’s very complicated, biological psychological phenomenon, on the other hand there are parts of it that are very simple, like, you’re never going to find a happy person who’s using tons of drugs.

 

you’re never going to find a happy person who’s using tons of drugs

We know there’s a relationship between being unhappy or demoralized or hopeless and the state of addiction, right.  So, we can gather from that, I gather from that, that one of the ways that we help people recover, is to help them find happiness or as I often talk about it, you know, opening the heart, because many people who are coming into addiction are really numb, they’ve really numbed out a lot of their feelings.

I know that because I was that, you know, since I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, I really stopped having the wide range of feelings that we have as human beings.  I want to share a story about one of the moments that my heart opened up. It’s a true story.

I have a daughter named Eden and she’s short, you know, short for her age.  My wife is also you know, relatively short. And I love basketball and so, you know, I want her to try the sport.  She was playing on a basketball team and the entire season I’m going to every game and she’s not making a single shot and she’s watching other people score and I’m you know, just kind of holding it in and feeling bad for her, that you know, she’s not succeeding in the way that she wants.

And the last game, there were all these parents around the basketball court and the ref, you know, it’s like five-year-old’s, so the ref is like holding people back, so the kids that never made a shot get a chance to make a shot.  And the ref is holding people back and my little five-year old daughter takes this basketball and she throws it up, you know, potty-shot style, and it pops in the hoop.

In that moment, like the moment that you heard the pop from the net, you know, the ball, my heart went, “Pop” and it was like it had been closed for years.  You know, even in sobriety. And I was like “Oh, my God what happened?” And I would just remember, I was like in this circle and I turned around and I put my hands over my face, because I was so surprised by what it felt like to feel love and feel your heart, and I began to cry, you know.

And I didn’t know what to do, other that to hide it, because I had never felt it before.  And so, you know, I relate that to sobriety and recovery, that we’ve got to be able to cut through a lot of our nomenclature, a lot of our fears, a lot of our hopelessness and we’ve got to be able to cut through a lot of that complexity and we’ve got have a lot of heart in the work.

You know, and really recognize what we’re doing.  I’m not saying there aren’t other factors, there are tons of other factors, but somewhere in the core, it’s about connection, it’s about hope, it’s about opening each other’s heart, it’s about seeing each other, seeing myself and you, and you seeing yourself in me, and cultivating those moments.

Because when you have those moments, you don’t go back.  I’m not going to climb back into the shadows and the darkness.  I know that there’s love. I know that there’s light. I know that there’s care out there.

 

AUTHOR: Yeshaia Blakeney