Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Archetype

Friday was the last day for one of our college interns, and I was asked if I would kindly run her group for the next couple of weeks until someone can take her place.  Of course, before I agreed, I made sure to get a promise that this would not be permanent for me as I already have four groups while there are others who only have two groups.  Oh, well, but that's another story altogether.

Closure is always hard on our clients so I allowed them to utilize the first part of the group to share their feelings about her leaving.  Some were downright sad over the fact, while others seemed to care less...there were those who never really felt comfortable with her anyway...and then eventually, there came the usual remark, "I wasn't comfortable with her anyway.  I want a counselor who has been where I am at, who knows what I have gone through.  You can't learn about life from a book."  True, but not in all cases.  Some college interns have had a life far rougher than the clients themselves.  You just can't judge a book by its cover.  Okay, where am I going with this?  How does this relate to archetypes?

So, the next question was...and I already knew it was coming was, "What about you, Mary?.  Are you an addict?"  Now, this question has been asked many times, and self-disclosure is never really encouraged as it seems to weaken whatever boundaries there are between professional and client.  I've seen it happen; the counselor becomes the object of client gossip...not good.  So, what do I say when asked?  Do I refuse to answer?  That doesn't go over too well, either.  I can say something like, "We are here for you, not for me."  But, somehow that sounds kind of cold and distant. 

So, instead I usually respond that we're all addicts in one way or the other.  The fact is that each of us is touched by the Addict Archetype.  Besides drugs, alcohol, sex or food, we become addicted to work, computers, exercise, television, shopping...the list goes on. We can also be addicted to actions such as manipulating others, rescuing others, feeling sad. Yes, some people actually thrive on being sad.  It brings them lots of attention. The fact is, we live in an addictive society; the addict archetype has a field day with us.

Archetypes are those mysterious little stereotypical characters and energy forms that reside in our unconsciousness, affecting our thoughts and actions....for better or for worse. We read their stories in the mythology of the ancient peoples. They have become a part of our collective unconscious. The Celtic tale of Queen Maeve is a perfect example of the addict archetype, a mythic archetype representing the binding pattern of addiction and the liberating power of acknowledgement and the soul's sovereignty. It is in this archetype that the shadow attribute of many archetypes becomes overwhelming, and the addict becomes anxious, depressed, and destructive.  The good new is that the archetypes and the mythological stories that give them life can by used as tools for healing. 

I can become addicted to anything.  I've got what they call an Addictive Personally.  Twenty years ago, I beat my addiction to alcohol, only to start drinking 20 cups of coffee a day...then that addiction changed to....You get the picture. I've been addicted to nail polish, to lipstick, books, cologne...not a danger to self per se, but when you cannot have enough it becomes addiction. Last year I beat nicotine...the last of my killer addictions.  This year I stopped the daily scratch off games.  I am still addicted to television and the computer, but that's okay because it helped me to meet all of you.  See, some addictions are positive...which also brings me to something else.

For the past week, the idea of a new blog (yes, you heard me right) has been playing over and over in my head. I am an addict; I admit it. I tried ignoring it, but then it began coming to me in my sleep.  I held off thinking it would go away, just as other blog ideas have, but the urge only grew stronger...so, I eventually I gave in; it was something that was meant to be.  I know, I know...but I have been sorting through my blogs and wonder which to keep and which will go.  Anam Cara is gone; it will be condensed into Finding Fairyland. The others will probably become a once a week post. 

So, you are all invited to check out the latest blog and take a trip down the Nile.   Shadows of the Nile

So tell me, when thinking of the Addict Archetype, what is your addiction?


  1. I really love your answer to the group's addict question. It's true that we are all addicted to something.

    For me it fluctuates between coffee, Diet Coke and chocolate. So I suppose that would be caffeine. I could easily become addicted to spa's too - if I had enough money to be massaged or pedicured every day!

  2. I think I'm addicted to your blogs, Mary -- I keep signing up for them!

  3. I have an addictive personality as well. I stay clear of casinos just because I know that I wouldn't be able to stop playing when my money ran out, I would have to find some money somewhere else. LOL
    I won't list all of my addictions because there are so many. But thank you for sharing.

  4. I have to agree we are all addicted in some way to something... mine varies I guess... depending the time of year... ha.. what an excuse..
    In the summer it mexican tecates with lime and salt... In the winter its dark english tea with honey.

  5. Oh no, Hon! I'm not going to tell what I've been/am addicted to. :-)))) I too am an Addictive Personality. So I know, of what you speak.

    But, and it's a refreshing but, some addictions can be good. Or at least, not bad-per-say. [Ahhhhhhh yes, the *dreaded* "Good" and "Bad" decisions, again!]

    But anyway, I don't view books as being a "Bad" addiction. If I never slept, because of reading, then it would be thus. But, for a book lover, this addiction is part of our life makeup.

    And even this one, deserts me at times. -sigh- And that is awful. For whatever reason it happens. It is awful.

    See what you do? When you share these topics? You cause me to run-off-at-the-mouth! Or to run-off-at-the-keyboard, I guess. -gigggggles-

    Off to check out the Nile...

  6. Wise words! yes we each have our own...
    Choc & lush baths are mine... Which might not seem awful until you see the prices at Lush...

  7. Great posting Mary - I too like the answer you gave the group - something they can all relate to in varying degrees. Do all people have addicitons? Probably but they are vary in harmful the addicions can be to us and those around us. One of my addictions seems to be in process of being licked - an addicition to drinking Pepsie. I have replaced it with Ginger Ale.. none of these substances are of the diet variety. I got fed up with how expensive Pepsi has become and the Ginger Ale I drink is the Faygo brand and quite inexpensive too. The other addiction is books, obtaining books whether it be by swap or purchasing.... I have trouble with controlling this addiction.

    OK, checked out your new Nile blog -very nice I will check on it frequently. I have this secret interest in Egyptian things.

  8. ~mary...your words couldn't be more true...addictions...they are all around us...in us...just in different forms...i am guilty of such...addictions and yes some can bring forth happiness...as for you blogs...what can i say except you may just be the most driven wise woman i have ever met...will be off to see what you haev to share...warm wishes and brightest blessings

  9. You are so right, we all have an addiction to something. Coffee and orange slices are mine. So I don't buy the orange slices knowing that if I do, I will eat them all.