Great Addiction Metaphors – the cuckoo in the nest

This image of the giant baby cuckoo screeching for what he wants and refusing to take no for an answer is such a powerful metaphor for how an addiction can take over. Just look at that image – there is no way that cuckoo can be satisfied.

To understand what is going on, just go back and consider how that cuckoo got there.  Afterall, the baby cuckoo begins its life in the nest as an egg – a bit different from the others but harmless and inert. And then the cuckoo egg hatches and very quickly the young cuckoo chick begins to pull its weight – and disposes of the other eggs or chicks – those that have the right to be there. And the cuckoo grows bigger and bigger fed by the incessant activity of the cuckoo chick’s surrogate parents. And as their activity grows and grows and the chick grows and grows – well in time there is nothing else. That chick has taken over everything and left – nothing – no space and no time – no anything

And that is how an addiction works

At the beginning, it is fairly small and there other parts to your life. But as the addiction grows (if it does), then it begins to take over – and this can reach the stage that a large part of one’s time is spent thinking about it, preparing for it and indulging it. And of course if the addictive activity is illegal and/or expensive and/or shameful, then some of that time is spent in concealment.

Which hints at why dependence can take over? Concealment separates you from people who can meet your essential needs appropriately for connection and intimacy and shared experiences. And so that, just like the cuckoo, it is taking over and pushing out from the nest something that is actually much more important. And then when this happens it can become really scary of course, even to contemplate letting the lifestyle dependence go – because what else will you have?

The scariness as well the compulsion to prepare and indulge and feed the addiction shows that crude emotion is in control.

And that is the cuckoo in the nest 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.


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