I saw this on the MaleSurvivor Facebook page. I thought it was a concise summary of addiction.


"Part of that price was addiction – whether to alcohol or drugs, gambling or sex, overwork or porn, extreme sports or gaming – but essential to understanding it, says Maté, is to realise that addiction is not in itself the problem but rather an attempt to solve a problem. “Our birthright as human beings is to be happy, and the addict just wants to be a human being.”

And addictive behaviour, though damaging in the medium or long term, can save you in the short term. 'The primary drive is to regulate your situation to something more bearable.' So rather than some people having brains that are wired for addiction, Maté argues, we all have brains that are wired for happiness. And if our happiness is threatened at a deep level, by traumas in our past that we’ve not resolved, we resort to addictions to restore the happiness we truly crave."
Thanks Kevin

That would explain why after stopping drinking i have not been happy. I always thought my addictions were where I could hide. Interesting.



That is a powerful idea and one that I want to think about and how it applies to almost all of my life. I don't know if I have ever had a day of genuine happiness, I can't remember before the abuse much at all, basically my life has always felt to me as anxious, then more anxious, then to depressed, then to depressed and anxious then to significantly anxious and deeply depressed, inability to believe -feel-see authentically because I wear a mask to protect all that remains painfully vulnerable, the inability to truly connect with others. I'm still waiting to find my "peeps", when I read or watch something, where the character has the "aha" and that moment of finding their people that do not make them feel like they need to be someone else, but celebrate and embrace who they are. I have never known who I am and as I get older, it seem less relevant, yet increasingly urgent to know internal peace and calm. I have disconnected completely from my family, the last of 8, the 6th boy, the connection was never any stronger then my very small childhood and even then, there was always a sense of disconnectedness, of simply feeling different. I have been listening to many podcasts and fell on one that talked about trauma and addiction and the strong very strong connection between the two. This person theorized that its not only the actual trauma in your life, but its the environment that your mother is involved in and around when you are growing in her womb-I'm thinking, my mother was 33 with 7 kids and me about to arrive, with the 7 others all under the age of 9, 7 kids under 9, 33, and me born, a very tumultuous marriage and if we don't blame our mothers enough:) it made so much sense to me- and I wonder if the level of anxiety I have always had, from my earliest living memory, was from the stress she was flooding her system with, then my system with when she was pregnant with me-this person says it much better than I just did and I'm off topic, and I have gone down a bit of a rabbit hole-

Hi Kevin and J, this topic is how I tried to live from 12-16 and then 24-40. There is so much of it that I understand now, and it does make sense. J. what you write in particular is something which resonates with me. We only had us 3 kids, but that's not really the point. It's where you note being "different" and not connected. I've tried to re-connect and work on attachment and childhood emotional neglect regarding all that. I have felt there are so many things that set my life on edge and outside what my mind can grasp. That old knowledge of not knowing what others seem so fucking familiar with, and they're discussing or offhand chatting about things that to them are everybody's experience. It kills me and I've avoided so many connections because of that. It hurts to be so outside.

My inner need, that lost child of me, has constant need to feel that I'm seen, and liked and can shake of the tears.
Esterio, that's become a powerful thought to me too. That 18 yrs of sobriety and then my mind clicks this switch on? Why couldn't it just be gone? I had destroyed it, and pushed it and smashed it and blown it to pieces!! God damn I hate my mind!

Ok, calm down Rick...

Damn, but that's it, it really is. I know so much and need things I am feeling incapable. That's a really big deal, that I don't know things and I think others do. The things I know might be good for others needs, but for my own, I hit a brick wall at high speed.

I sometimes listen to music that was deeply connected to beer and pot smoking. I did one other psychedelic, and loved it, but being safe wasn't always available, and I hid away from others. Long lonely drives, long hikes alone, sitting and crying.
I did so many drugs while a teenager and drank to pass out almost ever night I was on the beach. The one place I didn't have too drink to pass out. I worked long hard days fishing and when I walk in after my 16 to 20 hour shift I was tired and slept. I never tie any of that to my abuse until I was 45 years old. Then my doctor was trying to help me with pain he told me to stop drinking. I started taking opioids and it was not long and I realized why I drank to pass out it was to hide from my past.

I was in crisis for about 3 years before this I started to wake up in full on panic attack. This was the first time I talk about my past and told my wife about some of the CSA. She tried to help me got me into the care at our HMO they got me so far out on medication, I came close to stepping off a 200' cliff.

After about 3 years of this since I had told my wife I went away to the bush to die. I didn't die but I have realized that the less I drank the more unhappy I was. I want my smile back. I was not a happy guy in the first place I used to be able to appear as I was happy got good at forcing a smile.

My memory of time line is sketchy and mixed up. I think this is about the way things happen in a short story. There is a lot more to it. Looking back at it now I can see how unhappy I became after stopping drinking to get drunk and pass out.

I started to drink again only one drink of a good Brandy or Whiskey for a couple of years. Now I have about a teaspoon full as a Cannabis Tincture. I am going to try and get that out of my system as well. So many things screw with us from our pasts.

Thanks for this thread Kevin it is making some sense to me. I have hidden from the camera most of my life because it was to hard to fake a smile.

Take Care


It does appear to be the outside that we sometimes watch life exist and be experienced by others, and because of our unique circumstances the ability to naturally and authentically develop key relationships has been hindered, and its one of the loneliest places I can think of, and I have been there since i can remember. The one truly good thing that paradoxically gave me some terrific light was being the father of two sons. I was petrified at first when I found out they were boys, for the sole reason of the doubt that began to live in my brain about never feeling like a boy,a young man, a man, a middle aged man. I never felt like I was everything but that, so how would I raise two boys to be comfortable in their own "boyness", grow them to be good kind authentic men. To not be bullies or be bullied and to pursue activities that allow them to build the friendships and relationships that I have never know-the ones that naturally come to boys when playing and growing up with other boys. I stopped the pathology of the name calling and abuse that my father had gifted me, and I loved them, love them for everything they are and for everything they are not. My biggest fear was having someone bring up my own embarrassing humiliation of being called faggot and queer, but I told them instead, I shared with them the agony of high school and insisted that they never bully, but instead be kind to those that may be seen as different, because that was me, and they ended up in the same high school and it was so interesting to me to watch them enjoy the hell out of their time there, that, if you have some foundation of acceptance and accountability, know that there are consequences to your actions and that making anyone feel less then they should is not a hallmark of being a man, its that of being a bully and from the very start of each of their lives, I told them under no circumstances would that behavior be allowed. One of the greatest joys in my life is being told how kind and funny and truly good kids my sons are, from teachers, from other parents from coaches. I have 17 and 20 year old sons and they are comfortable in their skin, they have those "guy" friendships that I never knew, they have never been humiliated by me (other than by being their parent:) nor denigrated so I could feel somehow better, and I' a big proponent of saying your sorry, and I have had to say that to them, because the few times where my own exasperation got the better of my tongue, I regretted and owned it almost immediately. Having your parent be fallible is ok-now everything has not always been great, and drinking issues with their mother has impacted them negatively and so, they have not been raised without heartache and some pain, but every night to this day, they hug me and we tell each other "I love you" and it has given me two examples that are living breathing young men that have no disconnect between their gender and who they are internally, its all aligned and they also knew from the beginning that whomever they loved was ok with us,man or woman, and we have gay friends so they have watched us interact and love these people, and they have had relationships with girls that I never knew even how to begin, but which comes with their own development and course forward. So, when I'm lonely and I often am, and when I struggle with my identify or substance abuse, or just look at other men and want everything they are, literally from their bodies, the balance of masculinity and vulnerability, the girls they are obviously in love with, the contentedness that is all around them, and the men who have are literally a core group of friends that have their "back"-I don't know if I will ever feel or know what authenticity is as a man, but I know I contributed to the health and welfare of two little boys who have grown up to be young men -and I modeled behavior and was involved in their lives so that they could be whomever it was they became, and my abuse, my abuser, and the legacy it leaves cannot take credit nor reduce any of that brilliance which shines through them now, I am loved by my sons, I love my sons like fathers should, and that is the greatest gift, and I stopped the pathology of abuse and discord that had been mine to repeat-
That was a nice story Hopein14. Thanks for sharing it. Sounds to me you have done a good job of being Dad to 2 wonderful boy. Congratulations on your successes.

Take Care
Just came upon this thread. I love the description of addiction... feels so right on to me. I've spent years trying "manage" addictions that really only masked the pain inside I'm finally addressing here and in therapy. What a rare, wonderful place this is.

And Hopein14, thanks for the heartwarming story about your relationship to your two sons. For all the struggles in your life, you found the way to be a good father. I know one of the most healing things for me as an adult has been witnessing a dear friend be such a wonderful father for his son. My friend was 60 and unmarried when his lady friend age thirty became pregnant. They never married, which was likely a good thing, but he has done an amazing job with his son. I'm close enough that I witnessed the love. My father wasn't an abuser but he was quite distant in my life. Seeing a healthy relationship between father and son moves me. You did well and will doubtless reap the rewards of that for the rest of your life as your sons live theirs with your support and love. Beautiful!