The Drug Class Blog

Oct 23

Feed the Good Wolf

We all have power.

In the movie "The Missing" Tommy Lee Jones plays a Medicine Man. He has lost a lot of his power because he has been feeding the wrong part of his character. Many of us do the same thing, and we get weaker.

A grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one." The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?" The grandfather answered: "The one I feed."

Dr. William Glasser authored the book Positive Addiction in 1976, and it gave me a new perspective on addictions. We are all familiar with negative additions, such as alcohol, drugs, tobacco, food, etc., which seem to sap strength from every area of our lives except the area of the addiction. Typically, the negative addict’s life is focused on the addiction to the exclusion of everything else.

Life tends to get unhealthily out of balance. According to Dr. Glasser, there are positive addictions that can make us stronger rather than weaker. There are activities that enable a person to achieve a transcendent, meditative state that endows the addict to increase physical and mental capacity, strengths that carry over into all other aspects of life. Similar to negative addictions, positive addictions can also result in symptoms of withdrawal such as I experience during our monsoon period.

Dr. Glasser identified several activities that tend to become positive addictions, including walking, running, biking, dancing, swinging a golf club or tennis racket, writing creatively, gardening, music, crossword puzzles, and drawing. Like the “runner’s high”, any of these activities; practiced regularly and for lengthy periods of time--can lead to that meditative state that is achieved through repetitive physical or mental activity.

Although not addressed in the book, many of us probably possess “neutral addictions” as well. Things like being obsessed with politics, watching sports, or going to movies might be examples of addictions that have neither a weakening nor a strengthening effect on our lives.

We need to find positive addictions, some of which may serve to replace negative addictions that are stealing our strength and our focus.

What do you think?

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