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By Gerald G. May

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Additional resources for Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (Plus)

Sample text

No matter how much it may be kept hidden, addiction is never a completely individual thing. From the very first stages of the attachment process, other people are involved. Friends, family, coworkers, and even professional helpers affect and are affected by changes happening within the Gerald G. D. / 51 addicted person. Nearly always, some of their involvement helps to support the addiction. Their unwitting collusion has been well publicized in recent literature; it is called codependency. Codependency is not simply a matter of other people trying to cope with the addicted person’s behavior.

These are harsh words. Some of us who call ourselves religious might wish to maintain that although we may appear to be more concerned with this or that superficial thing, at some underlying existential level we are still really most concerned with God. Our most immediate concern, we might claim, is not the same thing as our ultimate concern. But even a brief honest examination quickly reveals the lie. All we need is to look at our actions; while claiming to be loving God, we are in fact living our addictions.

I seem to be honestly out of control; yet, in all truth, I have only myself to blame. This failure can decimate my self-respect. In some other culture, in a society that reveres the mystery of human nature more than ours does, such failures at self-mastery might not be so devastating. They might even be seen as affirmations of one’s essential connectedness with the rest of creation and of one’s essential dependency upon the Creator. But in modern Western society, we have come to see ourselves as objects of our own creation.

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