Addiction can be defined as the taking of substances and/or using certain behaviours even though there are negative consequences. There is a perception of a complete loss of control and a sense that choosing not to engage in the addictive behaviours is impossible.
This can lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness and helplessness.
David Bowie in the documentary Five Years, (2013, Director: Francis Whately) says:
It was like being in a car where the steering had gone out of control and when you are going towards the edge of a cliff. I’d almost resigned myself to the fact that I am going over the edge, you know, I am not going to be able to stop.
However, David Bowie did stop using drugs:
The thing that was most exciting about it all is that I found that without drugs I was still writing very well, you know, and that was probably the most rejuvenating aspect of it all, is that you don’t need to get stoned out of your gourd to write well, you know. I think that was, you know, an incredibly important period for me.
It took quite a long time and I did see light at the end of the tunnel.
I have worked with many people in their recovery from addictions and perhaps that is why I was so moved by David Bowie’s candour and willingness to share his vulnerability in a way that conveyed such beautiful humility.
People can and do recover from addictions and lives can become rejuvenated. Light is always present, even if it is not visible. If you are in the midst of addictive behaviour take heart. There will be a moment when your desire to change will be synchronised with an opportunity to begin a recovery process. At this point the decision can be made and life will start getting better.
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