I read an article a few years back on broken people. I cringe now as I feel using the word broken to describe a human is as misplaced as should’ing all over ourselves. NONE of us is broken.
It is a term, however, we often use to describe ourselves or others. When I looked into some of the ‘signs’ that someone is broken, the list included:
- Lacks confidence
- Pushes people away
- Doesn’t open up
- Overly sensitive
- Lacks trust in others
- Perceived to be controlling
- Rarely gives second chances
- Sabotages relationships and/or opportunities
It’s fairly generic, isn’t it? I would even bet that most of you reading this would tick several, or all of these points at various times in your life.
We are changed by our experiences and these experiences begin at conception.
The following story illustrates this point.
A woman gives birth to a baby. The baby is healthy in every way but will not nurse. The medics take the baby away for another check-up and when returning, she still will not nurse.
Time goes by and despite doing everything to encourage feeding, the baby wants no part of it. There is growing concern that the newborn has not eaten.
After a conversation with the mother, they ask if they can take the baby again for a bit. The baby is then handed to another new mother and happily feeds immediately. She is then returned to the mother and at the next feed once again will not nurse.
The Dr explains to the mother what they have done and she is unemotional.
‘Do you mind if I ask you, was this baby planned? Did you want this baby?’ he asks gently.
‘Absolutely NOT!’ she replies. ‘I didn’t want the baby when I fell pregnant, and I don’t want the baby today!’.
Again, our experiences begin at conception.
We all react to circumstances differently and as life goes by, we all find ourselves in situations where we experience pain. For some, the circumstances are so intense or extended and the emotions run so deep, it creates ongoing consequences.
This combined with a few other potent ingredients can develop into a perfect storm. A person can find themselves looking for anything that will distract them and relieve some of the anxiety, unhappiness, pressure, and pain they are experiencing.
Perhaps this is where we begin to label people as broken?
Yet, where we are today has a direct correlation to our lived experience so far.
Some of you may have heard of Dr Gabor Mate, if you haven’t, look him up. There are numerous short clips on YouTube to watch as well. World-renowned speaker and author he is best known for his expertise in trauma, addiction, stress, and early childhood.
For those of you that read, (or check it out on Audible), I highly recommend his book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. It is brilliant and shines a light on his poignant question.
We should be asking, not why the addiction, but why the pain– Dr Gabor Mate
For most of us, the term addiction or addict immediately conjures up images of someone scruffy, dirty, and on drugs. Unfortunately, drugs are just one of a multitude of addictions equally if not significantly more harmful.
In an interview, Dr Mate refers to a colleague Dr David Nutt who was sacked from his position on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the UK. Dr Nutt made the point that the long-term effects of consuming large amounts of nicotine and alcohol over a 20-year period were more severe than those who used heroin over the same time frame.
He went on to say that “what we legalise, ostracise, or condemn is highly arbitrary and is more of a cultural question.”
I am sure we could all agree that many respectable (?) corporations make huge amounts of money out of alcohol and nicotine and are clearly not transparent about the impact of their products.
Regardless, no one chooses to feel pain. No one wakes up and decides to move onto the streets that day.
So, it begs the question(s).
What constitutes an addiction?
What do people gain from their addictions?
Why does society look upon different types of addicts with vastly different lenses?
In part 2, next week we will answer all these questions and dig a little deeper into some facts about addiction, broken and pain.
Until then I leave you with three thoughts.
Nothing is permanent.
There is always a solution.
You are exactly where you need to be right now.
Dalya xx 💙