THE WISDOM OF TRAUMA is a seven-day series with Dr. Gabor Maté, a Hungarian-Canadian physician, who is a renowned addiction expert. His seminal book In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts draws on science and real-life stories to posit that all addictions originate in trauma and emotional loss. He says that “all is not well” in our society as supported by the rising numbers of addictions, overdoses, suicides, mass shootings, and child abuse. He calls for a more compassionate approach toward the issues facing humanity, especially addiction.
My reflection: Gabor’s movie airs between June 8 – 14, but this trailer touched me deeply. I asked my son to watch it, and he responded, “Maté seems so earnest and dedicated. You can tell he’s driven by a higher calling.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Education is key to understanding. Today, we have many quality resources, including cutting-edge research in the field of addiction, harm-reduction advances, and help from psychologists, counselors, and those in recovery. Maté emphasizes compassion when dealing with our suffering loved ones. Today, let us bring the healing light of compassion to trauma and the wounded human soul.4700
Libby, I carry so much guilt for my recovering son’s addictions – now it looks as though there’s proof that the mistakes we make as parents are at the root of our loved ones’ suffering. I’m not sure how to process this book and video
Dear Pamela, I understand totally. In fact, after I read In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (where Maté posits the same thinkg about trauma), I called Dr. MacAfee, my son’s addiction therapist, and said, “Do you believe this? That early trauma afffected Jeff’s choices? So, it’s my fault?” He was wonderful and said something like…’we can’t deny that early trauma is painful and can be the root of later behaviors. Your son’s disassociation and neglect from his father played a role in his need to numb his feelings. There are multiple causes of addiction including genetic factors and the research that it’s a disease. All that said, Maté’s work is important and is part of the puzzle.” After I processed this, I decided to open my mind and take myself out of the equation. I started listening to Maté’s work not as a personal experience, but as a way to learn about addictions. This ‘pulling myself out and not making it personal’ helped me to learn. Hope this helps. But…I totally understand your feelings. xoxo