One of the first memoirs that I read was a memoir of addiction by Kate Holden. In the same week I read another memoir by Laura Bates. This one was about a prisoner in a state maxim prison, in solitary confinement for his crimes for over 10 years and how studying Shakspeare saved him and helped him find himself. Both very unique stories and very real narratives and both taught me something about myself specifically and us as humans generally.
In her memoir Kate talks about addiction, how she was enslaved by it, her toxic journey with it and how she as set free one day just as unceremoniously as the day she got introduced to it. Kate spoke about her addiction to heroin but her story triggered a thought in me- we were all addicts! addicted to something.. whether it is winning, making money, love, that one thought which doesn’t leave us, a person in our life, alcohol, food, anger, stress, punctuality, values and the list can go on… addiction to me is something one doesn’t use in moderation and something that controls everything that person does. Heroin controlled Kate, her every decisions, her relationships, her choice of profession, her need to earn, her expenditures.. everything! Aren’t we addicted to something like that in our lives? A thought, feeling, a notion that governs almost everything we do.. for some its a positive addiction while for others its negative in the sense it does them harm.
Thinking of addictions, I started reading about prisons… it was in this story that the cellmate questions the concept of prisons! He asks a simple question- What kind of prisons do we have in our minds and how is that impacting us? I couldn’t help but pause at this question. To reword his question he was talking about limiting beliefs that we have and its true they are like mind prisons. I then realised that we do live in our heads! Our thoughts drive us, stop us, walk with us and walk against us. I realised I had quite a strong mind prison that I needed to break free out of. What was this prison like? It was a red traffic light in my mind when the road ahead actually had an all green signal. It was stopping me from moving ahead and doing everything that I wanted to do but moreover it was confusing me and sometimes making me take wrong decisions.
I thought- was I addicted to my mind prison? How many of us are? what are we losing out on by staying in there? Although I don’t have all the answers now its something to think about and maybe breaking free really means breaking out of these prisons and living without any negative addictions!