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There is a quote we have all heard, whether we read the Bible or not-

1 Corinthians 13:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This is part of a book in the Bible that is believed to have been written by Paul, though, as we know, there are so many discrepancies in the collection of letters already; in a series of complaints to the local church because of their dealings. We have come now to use the phrase often, religiously and secularly.

Internalizing Faith, Love and Hope. Faith of course, as a basic human need, the belief that there is more than just us, than just this, because perhaps the nihilistic existentialist mindset could lead to anarchy and chaos, like we are still some out of control simians that need the threat of damnation to behave with empathy and respect.

Love, because without it we fail to reach self-transcendence. Because without pair bonding and children and friends we are nothing. We are incomplete. Maybe I have already beaten this one like eggs on a sunday brunch. THE GREATEST of these- the sense of achieving self through others. HEALTHY SHIT RIGHT HERE!

Lastly, hope. The sparkle of light in the darkness. The gasp underwater when releasing the last breath. Let me tell you a little something about hope. Mark my words:

The only thing that ever matters is that you have hope. Once you have lost hope, you have lost everything.

I hear it mentioned over and over again, this thing about the importance of love and faith- but this only ever flows from lips that have never lost hope. If there is really any benefit to love and faith, it is that they innately bring about hope, begging us to believe in something greater than us, as a purpose for our existence.

I remember the feeling of hopelessness. There was a time in my insignificant little life where I felt so much pain, so much sadness (actually I do not know if there has ever been a time where I have not felt so much pain and so much sadness)... however, there was a time where that sadness weighed heavy and purposeless and my thoughts of reaching anyone or anything were distant and impossible. My perception of these profound emotions I am blessed with, was that the sorrow would never turn to glimmer, and that there was never I word I could say that would make anyone's existence better. I, like so so many others (13% or women and 7% of men worldwide), felt like my state of depression would never be over. Imagine that. Imagine your worst day ending. Perhaps with a loving hug, or with a hot shower, maybe just with closed eyes under a bridge... taking deep breaths knowing that the day is now over and we are blessed with the imminent coming of another day. HOPEFULLY one with less pain. HOPELESSLY more of the same, mindless, useless experiences. To people who have lost hope, that terrible day doesn't end, and a new dawn bring more of the same desperation.

We like to think we have some control over what goes on in our lives, what we are going to do to change things, but everything we do is based on the concept of a future. A sociopath has no more investment in a goal or a future that is not inside of this daylight than a depressed person or an addict. A literal mental disconnect that shapes the way every future decision is made, forming a pattern of self-fulfilling prophecies and my-life-sucks-so-I-don't-plan-things-out over and over. The same way suicidals expect you to be better without them, an addict wishes you would just leave them alone. There is no life without hope. There is no healing. There is no future.

Somehow we have managed to turn people who commit suicide into the villains, selfish souls who are either too self-absorbed to realize the rippling damage they cancer through our society or simply sick people who never got the healing they deserved. What we fail to recognize is that the disease they are suffering from is not one that is switched off by extra affection or a series of well planned pills... I am not responsible for healing you any more than you are responsible for healing me and my feelings can only be mine to handle.

Yes, yes, I am only stating facts but what is the solution? You would think that maybe you have hope to offer and that your job now is to become the hope fairy to all of your damaged souls, but no. We have proven time and time again that there is no panacea to this depression cloud that is slowly plaguing younger and younger. Maybe the cure is to allow people to really see hopelessness. To see famine, war and orphanages. Maybe when we see how far there is to go, we snap back into the part of our humanity that will do whatever it takes to survive.

Do you have any ideas for ways to heal addiction and depression? Share them with me!

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I am certainly no scholar, especially when the concept of faith is involved in the conversation, but having studied sociology and anthropology in college, I can somewhat confidently assert that most cultures are built on all three of these pillars. Human culture is formed by collective desires, underlying beliefs and a shared sense of whatever "the good life" might be. To that end, I think you rightly observe that we need hope. We need a vision of what could be to keep us motivated and moving forward. The problem that we face in our highly individualistic, overly self-infatuated culture is that we have put such a high value on achievement and self-actualization, when we fail (miserably) at whatever it is…


I think you might enjoy reading Dr. Jeffrey Schaler for a drastically counter-culture take on addiction. He was my professor at American University, and is the author of "Addiction is a Choice." His class was one of the best I ever took at the University. In short, his primary contention is that "addiction" is nothing more than a series of behaviors, and behaviors by definition cannot be involuntary. Thus, the entire "addiction is a disease" concept is nothing more than junk science masquerading as real medicine (in order for drug treatment centers, insurers, and treatment plans like AA) to profit/exist. From his website, a review of his book by another scholar sums it up pretty succinctly, "Schaler views 'addiction treatm…

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