HERE'S A LINK to an article by Therese Borchard called: "Intensity is not the same thing as intimacy."
In the article, Therese quotes one Craig Nakken, author of "The Addictive Personality." Nakken repeats several times in his book that "The addict has an intense experience and believes it is a moment of intimacy."
Then, Therese goes on to say:
"It's only been in the last two years of my recovery from, well, just about everything, that I've come to appreciate that mistake. I suppose part of my brain is programmed to pursue the thrill, no matter how many people I hurt (myself included) to get it. I chase the adrenaline rush, the dopamine high, that is akin to the buzz I get from smoking an entire cigarette in three puffs after staying away from lung rockets for a year or more. It treats my bruised insides the same way Kids' Tylenol does my son's leg cramps. The addictive object dulls the blunt emotions with which I experience most of life. I crave drama, even as I know it's not good for me. And I create turmoil although I recognize that it obstructs the serenity I'm after."
I talk about this dynamic often with patients and readers.
Intensity is what we crave when our normal routes to pleasure have been blocked or numbed through our various character defenses.
Over-eating, substance abuse, sexually compulsive behavior, crashing from one personal crisis to another, even too much focusing on one's career or kids, all can be attempts to regain the feelings that have been dulled by our internal defensive operations.
The reason excess is so intrinsic a part of this is because there really are no substitutes for the real thing, for real pleasure. Having a big dose of sugar, or cocaine, when what you really crave is genuine ecstasy (pun intended!), will always leave you unsatisfied and jonesing for the next fix. Having sex ten times with ten different partners you don't really know or love will never gratify the true desire to make love with someone you're in love with. Etc.
A Pathwork Guide lecture on this subject is quite excellent, must reading if you're an intensity addict. Great title, too: "INTENSITY AS AN OBSTACLE TO SELF-REALIZATION!"
Hey, I don't mean to interfere with your holiday partying. Just tapping into any feelings of confusion or remorse you might be having now that you're hung-over and wondering why you did whatever it was that you did.