Beginning With Fire
The Story of Addiction, Human Nature, and Evolution
My blood is alive with many voices telling me I am made of longing.
Rainer Marie Rilke
People often speak of addiction as being a form of self-medication. This is almost always true in the late stages, and is sometimes true in the early stages of addiction. But this view is too limited; it underestimates the richness, the allure, the sense of something very precious and magical happening, which is the hallmark of the initial entry into the realm of addictive solutions. As a speaker at an AA meeting once noted, “The best idea I ever had in my life was to get sober. The second-best idea I ever had was to get drunk.” In this section we gain an intimate familiarity with the onset of addiction; its enticements, its intricacy, and its underlying simplicity.