Psychiatrist Gerald May referred to addiction as repetitive willful behaviour. In this light, it is easy to imagine that we nearly all have addictions to some degree: towards food, coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, exercise, worry…the list goes on.
Although my active imagination is an upside of bipolar, it can also contribute towards addiction. On those nights when I lie in bed and can’t go to sleep, my mind starts to bounce from one destructive image to another. My imagination attempts to draw me away from peace and contentment, so I need to be most vigilant.
In the field of spirituality, we are urged to be cautious when the devil comes cloaked as an angel of light (an old-fashioned term I know!). For instance, while I was working on a computer document, I was stirred to do some research on the internet. I was filled with apparent light, as this seemed like a good thing to do. Then I was coaxed into doing more research, and then more, and more. Before long, my mind became totally scrambled and I ended up turning to a repetitive willful behaviour. In the midst of my actions, it is wise to stop and examine where these thoughts are coming from. And if they are leading to a dead end, then I need to return to what I was doing before the temptations. I need to be mindful of this trickster! Continue reading