Look at this image of the bowl. It looks quite attractive and maybe you have something like it in your kitchen. But I don’t want you to see it in that way. Just imagine if the bowl was much bigger than you are now. Or that you are much smaller – maybe you are a beetle.
Imagine then that you found yourself in that bowl and however hard you tried that you just could not climb out. There was no foothold or handhold and when you did make a big effort to get out you always slipped back down to the bottom of the bowl again. And be in no doubt that quite often you really did try very hard to get out.
And down at the bottom of the bowl where you spent all of your time you could move around quite a bit and indeed you found a lot of what you needed down there – to live at least some kind of quality of life. Let’s assume that you are a beetle and so there are bugs and bits of earth and leaves – though none were really that much to write home about. And there was a big white spoon down there with an edge that seemed to point out of the bowl. You never really did know what that was all about.
So how does this metaphor work to explain something of how addictions are? It is that on one level at least an addiction can work – in that it is part of a life that has moving parts and where you have something of what you need. That down at the foot of the bowl where you spend your time, there is a system in place with moving parts. But at times you do want to escape – it’s just that however hard you try you just cannot – at least not on your own. And so you feel trapped and often profoundly dissatisfied and at times desperate.
And that is the bowl that keeps you sliding around at its bottom addiction metaphor. How much sense does it make to you from your own direct experience?
If this metaphor intrigues you, then find out about my Moving Beyond Addiction Audio Programme.