Humanizing Addiction

Humanizing Addiction

Humanizing Addiction 1920 1280 Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

The patient tells me:

“NOBODY SEES ME anymore. I once was someone. I once was a baby, a daughter, son, friend, spouse, nephew, cousin etc. etc. But somewhere along this journey in life, everyone lost me. I became a drug addict, a liar, untrustworthy, unreliable, a disease. I became everything BUT HUMAN. I would even go for help and they would start of with ‘admit who you are,’ and so I would say ‘I am… fill in the blank, addict, alcohol etc.’ and temporarily get relief and validation for my new identity… but still longing to be me. On occasion, with the hope of helping me, I would pick up new identities, perhaps I am depressed or ADD, or Bi-Polar… maybe some of my problems were genetic… and I suffer from diseases in my family. And I could explore other treatment options.

BUT WHERE AM I… and whom am I??? is the greater question… I AM WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS… a soul, a being, a human back here wanting to connect, to love… to find union with others safely and unconditionally… so hard in this world of judgement.

I came here, pure, unencumbered, uncomplicated. I came here and started as an infant… did not sign up or choose, my parents, family, siblings but upon arrival I LOVED all of them. I was happy, maybe a little fussy when I was hungry, cold or even neglected… but for the most part easily soothed and comfortable. But what happened through the years, I learned early on that I was to play out and respond to a set of expectations…

I started with being given a name… food, toys, room, clothes all chosen for me, all wonderful. I was to begin to figure this out, as were those caring for me. We would begin to shape and mold this life together. I was happy… perhaps remained that way for quite some time, perhaps NOT and began to experience pain early on, which caused me to withdraw and close down and protect myself.

I had started to watch my presence… mostly around those older than me… those my age or younger early in my life, got me… we were all in it together… but the older ones, adults would correct, create a order of magnitude, of importance and we were also suppose to thrive and strive for it. The golden ring, the approval… the acknowledgement… perhaps through those games we would have what we always wanted… LOVE. Sometimes, and for many, many times the game was played with little reward… or to have the game extended, or changed in the middle of the game, never to know the rules but always attempting to figure it out, hoping at the end I would get what I really wanted. To be seen, to be LOVED.

But it began… the game not only of winning the golden ring, but avoiding the disappointment. Anything but that: to be viewed as a failure, disappointment etc., is the most painful experience in my life that which was subtle at times or dramatically present at other time, but clearly always there. Being viewed as an adequate, a disappointment, feeling the rejections and only wanting relief. Finally, drugs, alcohol etc., would and did give me the temporary relief I so desired. BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, I JUST WANTED TO BE SEEN AGAIN TO LOVE AND BE LOVED, to BE HUMAN.”


Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Ruelas holds doctoral degrees and is licensed to practice in both medicine and psychology. He approaches his patients by gathering and analyzing data differently from other physician’s moving away from a disease model to a holistic functional model. Read Bio

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