How does VD view addiction?

“Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences”.

In this part we are focusing on addictions of substances from the perspective of the Psychology of Selves and especially form the perspective of the primary self and the disowned self.

I would like to focus on the addiction to substances. So not the addiction to work for example, but the addiction to substance-use. Every person has a tendency to be dependent or to addiction. For example if you use wine, chocolate or cigarettes. So you  will crave for this substance. And it would be interesting to see and to explore what the addiction may have to do with the selves. Firstly, this is not a recommendation that this exercise can be replaced by a clinic, but it can be done as an addition to another intervention. Also this exercise can be done for people who are working on self-development. But to continue; From the viewpoint of Voice Dialogue,  the best way to start is the next exercise. 

Exercise 11.1

Take a moment and take a breath. And make yourself comfortable. You can do this sitting, laying down, whatever feels comfortable. The first step is imagining that you are using the substance. Can be whisky, your cigar, chocolat, Bourgogne wine.

Step one: Visualize yourself on the ideal spot to use the substance. And imagine yourself using the substance, it is coming into your body. From her while you are breathing, allow your imagination to go on. What images come up, how it is affecting your body.

Step two: allow whatever part that is connected to the substance to come forward, which part of yourself is activated with the pleasure of this substance. Allow your imagination to let this part grow and to move. Imagine whatever comes up in an ideal world where everything is free. Are you by yourself? Do you have company, and so what is your ideal company? And just imagine what is going on. What are you doing, or not doing, and where is it taking you? Just breathe and feel it all over and just see the images. What are they?  Has it to do with freedom, pleasure, intimacy? Or a combination of these in an ideal experience. So If you feel that way, the energy is there. You have not used the substance. 

To speak directly to the part:
The part connected to the substance use is there. If we speak directly to the part. What is the message of the part to the aware ego? If there were no limitations? What would your life look like? Is there an image of the part? What do you look like? Are there images or information, just remember this. And later you can go back to it.  

Go to the middle position:
From here you go in your mind to the middle-position. So on the one hand side you have the substance and the part connected to the substance. And now ask yourself why is it that I am not living this in my daily life, I am experiencing this part, without using the substance. Which other part would be the voice against this, what is the opposing energy? Open yourself up to the voice that is coming up now? For instance a moralistic side of yourself. If it comes up now, this might be a primary self. Cause that has the power. What are its rules and what does it have to say? Just listen to it, what does it have to say. 

Go to the primary part:

Now separate from this part for example the control side, and go again to the middle. So there is a primary-self part for example ‘the control’ side and the other side that came up in connection to the substance. 

Go back to the middle position:
Just look at how you feel now. How are you doing? If you look back from the middle, are there ways, other than the way you usually take with the substance, but other ways, how to take care of it? Is there something else that it needs? That would be the aware ego process. You are now looking at the whole: The primary Self and the substance user looking for an experience in a different way. So the next time that you take the substance I hope you really enjoy it and that you are also aware of the other parts and to take care of them.