TavBlog Resource Week: Healing Pain and Addiction
In the spring of 2019, Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family were facing numerous lawsuits, with more being prepared to file. Considering (and threatening) bankruptcy, they continued to sell Oxycontin for profit, while blaming addiction to their drug on intentional abuse by the addict. Since the mid 1990’s they had been using their considerable wealth and influence to manipulate their regulators to produce a ‘revolutionary’ drug that would change the face of pain for the entire world. Eventually, they would use the same wealth and power to massage the ongoing narrative about painkiller addiction, and when/how to treat it. As early as 2014, internal Purdue Pharma memos detailed their hopes of entering the treatment side of addiction to maximize profit potentials, effectively becoming an “end to end pain provider”. Largely in an effort to get in front of the impending lawsuit dominoes, they eventually began floating the idea in public. Purdue/Sacklers were interested in creating a drug that would counter the effects of opioid addiction. Claiming that they would not profit from developing this necessary and life-saving drug, they aimed to dictate the course of what they had initially set in motion by monopolizing the tragic results of growing addiction domestically and abroad. They did this solely for profit, unwilling to acknowledge their role in the ongoing struggle, while attempting to assume the role of Hero in the fight.
Viscerally and vehemently, I reacted. The very family/company that created, recklessly grew and grossly profited from the opioid/opiate epidemic was now poised to take as much credit as they could for turning it around and I was livid from the inside out. Personally, I had been deeply focused on the concepts of self healing and soul/ego balance as we approached the planetary and energetic shifts I anticipated for January, 2020. My soul passion was searching for ways to ‘introduce’ these tools as an inherent part of our being human. I had come to believe that it is something we all have the ability to do for ourselves; a natural resource, if you will. Over time, we have simply ‘forgotten’ how easy it is to heal ourselves, as well as how much fun we can have doing it. We have piled so many limiting beliefs and fears in the way of our natural abilities, that now we rarely recognize them as much more than the stuff of childhood dreams. My ongoing curiosity about addiction itself, and my limited knowledge about the Sackler Family’s efforts, had me tapping into that well of childhood magic for internal solutions. I began to envision a method for healing addiction from the inside out -- a natural resource that could yield profits rooted from an intention to share our largely untapped collective abilities, not to foster further greed.
Internally, and to the few people willing to discuss it with me, I had already been working with the notion of ‘common sense’ for the better part of a year when this story hit the news. After a review of what we all know to be common, it became quite obvious that we don’t really possess anything resembling ‘common sense’, yet we continue to expect it (or at least our version of it) from others. How often have you heard “they have no common sense” after a failure to reach agreement on a subject? Frequently, that’s where we leave it as we fail to recognize where a person IS coming from, favoring attention on the ‘common’ space they are missing. Common Sense, for each of us, becomes a compilation of the things that we know best. We easily overlook the fact that our experience is unique to us, and that what is common to us may not actually be common to the people around us. Even if we come from the same family, we have different recollections of events and different personal triggers. As our population rises and our technology advances, the amount of things that we hold ‘common’ become considerably less with each passing year. Right now, our world is so saturated with ego energies that we can easily spend a lot of time focused on what we don’t have, missing the magic that comes with being actively grateful for the things we do have. The resources available within each of us are both common and infinite, but how do we successfully tap them?
After graduating from Core Star Healing School in 2010, I had become a deliberate observer of human beings and our infinitely distinctive habits and ways of being. Our differences became more fascinating to me than our similarities, as I began to intentionally value my own individual expression. I could feel our world sitting at the peak of its ego-building efforts, as if it were a pendulum reaching the apex of its swing, preparing to change directions. Ever-so-slightly, we are all shifting. Ego efforts have been gaining and building momentum since the dawn of civilization, but are now reaching their maximum impact. If we lived through the 1980’s, it’s an ingrained part of us--we are practically saturated with it. Many of us are feeling this change from deep within our bodies, even if we are not quite sure what to do with it. Our internal sensors are lit up in anticipation of something new and different. I describe it as a distant, internal drum beat, keeping time with our bodies’ natural rhythms. It filters through our bodies and into our perception in ways that can create both excitement and fear. We may see this as an avenue toward more passionate and collective pursuits, or we may see it as a path to end civilization as we know it. Additionally, we may vacillate between these two options because our soul voice and our ego voice often have differing opinions on the matter. The souls that didn’t live through the eighties? They are collectively here to clean up our tangled mess of ego and help restore the natural balance that exists when we can listen to both the ego voice and the soul voice, remembering our values and connecting them to our intentions. Often, they approach the world with a different overall outlook that can feel foreign to the rest of us, often creating further defensiveness around sensitive subject matter.
Our reliance on our resources, natural, manufactured, and personal, is the foundation that is designed to keep us feeling safe and steady. We come to expect certain things to be there when we need them, and it becomes easy to take them for granted. We increasingly look to ‘experts’ to inform our choices and we are devastated when the promises of a product are found to be false claims, especially when it comes to our health, where the consequences of bad information can be the difference between life and death. Right now, more people are gambling their lives with opioid pills than ever, hoping they weren’t cut with something that might kill them. Each day brings a new opportunity for a bad batch of pills. For some of these people, it’s incredibly painful to remember the moment where they were first introduced to opioids, which was solely expected to heal their pain. The original pain pales in comparison to the pain brought on by the many facets of addiction, and the patient often becomes unable to extract themselves from the mountain of shameful experiences that continue to build on the site of the original wound. It’s heartbreaking for everyone who loves them, but mind shattering to the person who unexpectedly finds themselves addicted to, and now craving, opiates. By this point, asking for help feels like it has become too difficult.
The balancing of our Ego and Soul Energies have been at play for a very long time, but we are just recently becoming aware of their direct impact in our lives, and how much easier life becomes when we allow both voices equal billing. Words like mindfulness and wholeness have sprung forth in our headlines in the last few years as we try to settle our busy minds and lives so that we may enjoy the things we value. We are slowly learning that in order to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves, and we are becoming better at acknowledging our needs, separate from and ahead of our desires.
Covid has given us the chance to see the entire world in reaction to the virus, making it glaringly obvious where the holes exist in our global resources, and sparking ongoing conversations about how we care for humanity as a whole. As that energy-shifting pendulum swings, the ego excesses and abuses are being uncovered at a rapid rate. As a result, we are slowly building trust that there will be resources available to support all human beings simply because there is more light and energy on the subject than ever before. Opioid addiction is an epidemic of its own, but as the makers of the drug find reckoning for their heavily-egoed intentions, it is my hope that addicts begin to find the healing resources that exist within themselves, so that they may become free from the grips of pain. Our Raw Material is a fantastic resource for transforming pain in any form, but for addicts, I believe it is a way out from under the weight of addiction. For the rest of us, it is a way to strengthen our relationship to ourselves and the world around us, revealing a bit of the magic we all carry within us.