Two talks…one conclusion…connection is the saving grace for addiction. As humans, we crave relationship and therefore form habits based on acquiring desired “bonds” as Johann explains in the video below. However, what happens when our human need for connection is not met and we search to ease the pain? Herein addiction is often born…
Johann Hari expresses in his TED Talk (in which this article is inspired by) , “And I think the core of that message — you’re not alone, we love you — has to be at every level of how we respond to addicts, socially, politically and individually. For 100 years now, we’ve been singing war songs about addicts. I think all along we should have been singing love songs to them, because the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection”
Last year, I watched a deeply revealing speech by actress Amber Valletta who echoes a similar message in her talk titled How I Live With Addiction Everyday. “I know for certain that I’m an addict, through and through, and even if I had this blessed, amazing, childhood, I’d still want to get higher. I’d still want to get out of myself. Because I’m uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable being a human being”.
We see in these two stories that a loss of connection with oneself and/or others creates a longing for relationship with anything that will have and sooth us in the moment, filling a psychological void. It also becomes clear that honesty leads to recovery and as humans on a path to healing, once again it seems we must look to ourselves for our answers, simultaneously creating new ways of sharing best practices and systems toward better mental health worldwide.