Seeking wholeness in all the wrong places

Dr. Carl Jung, a noted psychiatrist, once said that addiction is an unconscious quest for God. Restated, Jung believed that we are seeking wholeness for ourselves through artificial sources. Obviously, there are tons of ways to journey through life. Some have more side-effects than others. But Jung believed we cannot escape this primal quest for wholeness - nor should we!

Nic Sheff began his quest through an absolute commitment to drug use. His favorite was methamphetamines, but he was not too picky. Nic’s story is laid out for the world to see in the books, Beautiful Boy, written by his father David and Nic’s book Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines.

“Smoking pot for the first time felt like the first real answer that I had ever found. I kept turning to drugs to cope with everything from success to failure to shyness and everything in between. Thus, when I wasn’t using, I really developed no skills to handle what life threw at me. I kept going back to the drugs because they were the only coping mechanism that I’ve ever learned.”

If smoking pot was the answer, what was his primary question?

Long before he [God] laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

~ Ephesians 1:3-6, The Message

The quest is a sacred pilgrimage. But in Nic’s case, and mine, my brother’s and maybe yours - we stumble upon an answer to the wrong question that does not hold up for the long haul. In recovery, we can choose to embark on a healing journey with intentionality. This will lead us into a whole new way of being. Recovery does not return us to who we were before we started using, it breaks us out of the prison of our mind, clouded by dysfunctional thinking, feeling and behaving. Maybe you think this does not apply to you. Are you sure? Is there any person, place or thing that you absolutely believe you cannot live without? You might just have a dependency!