Daily Archives: 07/05/2014

The Power of Addiction

and the addiction of power is a TEDx talk given by Dr Gabor Mate in 2012.  I heard him speak this week-end as part of the Recovery 2.0 Online Conference and boy is he good!

Here is his TED presentation:

I love his explanation because it resonates with my experience.  I understand his viewpoint.  Completely.

To precis:

Addiction is universal, it is not just about substances, but can be behaviour too.  So shopping, gambling, sex, the internet, exercise.  Or in his case work and classical music CD’s.  All addictions are about a void inside of us that we try to fill externally.

His view is that we need to fill the void internally by feeling things from the past and acknowledging the emptiness that the absence of addiction creates in the present.  It isn’t just about changing our behaviour.  We have to address the underlying issues and find ways of letting go.

He sees the addiction as teaching us and that we have to ask questions, for example:

  • What did it do for me?
  • What does it mean for me?
  • Why was I missing whatever I was looking for in that behaviour?
  • Where might I find it?
  • How do I regain it?
  • What does the void represent?

This mirrors what I am learning about myself in CBT.  I thought I could address the drinking as a stand alone issue but the reality is that it is symptomatic of something much greater and more complex about my way of thinking and relating to the world.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and it generates reflection in you like it did in me.  Let me know what you think 🙂