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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #129 — addiction and the hero’s journey

Gustave Doré’s engravings illustrated the Divine Comedy (1861–1868). Here, Dante is lost in Canto I of the Inferno

Addiction and habit are shades cut from the same cloth. The brain in my brain is like a malleable lump of grey clay and thoughts form depressions in the clay that makes it easier for the same thoughts to roll along. When there is a habit, of thought or deed, it easily rolls along those grooves. What happens with addiction is when whatever that habit is gets disrupted and throws things out of balance.

Functionality and how functionality is affected by the imbalance is the state to be assessed, regardless of origin of it. Think of a ship where all of the weight is put on one side. The ship might still sail but it will be leaning. If a strong wind knocks up against it, it might keel over. Will you drown if it keels over?

Balance is the magic place to be, and imbalance is traveling to the dark realm. You choose to go on an adventure and it is certain you will meet some bogeys on the way when you travel there.

There are schools of thought that believe balance is boring. Routine is death. Adrenalin junkies walk among us. For the most part, these individuals know what they are getting themselves into and are prepared for whatever consequences they know are coming. There paradoxically is a balance in that perspective.

Addiction is imbalance gone rogue. It’s taking no prisoners. It’s a house afire and you’re fanning the flames. It’s looking in the clear mirror pool and seeing those jagged rocks at the bottom and jumping anyway. It’s pulling every person you love and who loves you in with you, and you’re weighing them down, down, down.

Addiction is sacrificing yourself to an idol that has replaced a higher power. You worship whatever it is and your well-being belongs to it. Its capriciousness and toxic nature has blank eyes. It is a soul stealer.

If ever there was a hero’s journey, it is a quest that an addict chooses to take on to steal back their soul from their idol.


Reena Saxena is the host of Reena’s Exploration Challenge.  Reena says:
I invite you to explore either one or both of the following themes in your piece

  1. Addiction
  2. Depression

26 thoughts on “Reena’s Exploration Challenge #129 — addiction and the hero’s journey

  1. absolutely brilliant writing Lisa dear. Addiction, adrenaline junkies and dislike for routine, a pattern seems to form, and take hold. I have read this a few times now and truly appreciate how you articulated your thoughts. I love the Divine Comedy by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You leave me speechless with the brilliance of this piece.

    My opinions have often clashed with people whose value system is ‘devotion’. They are constantly in search of gods to worship, to lend relevance to their own existence. Your article confirms it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Max. I’m going to be out of commission here most of the day from what I can see. My kids have signed me up with a Steam (multiplayer gaming website) account and we are trying our 2nd try at playing a virtual version of one of our favorite board games. Just letting you know I’m not ignoring your posts!

      Liked by 1 person

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