This Is Us: Season 3 Episode 14

Everything We Think We Know About Addiction is Wrong

In this episode we get a clearer picture of just how bad Kevin’s relapse has gotten. A previous episode ended with Rebecca sharing with Kevin how proud she is of him. The audience knows that he has just taken his first drink since becoming sober, so the irony is almost unbearable. Shame oozes off Kevin has he sits in the passenger seat of the car listening to his mom compliment him. 

Shame is one of the most powerful driving forcesof addiction. When someone has a relapse there is often a value statement connected to the experience. They may have a list of negative self-talk that they go through beating themselves us not just for the bad choice they made but for the bad person that they think they are. Living in this shame would drive anyone to avoid or self-medicate. We all have our own version of this. 

Family and friends who aren’t aware of this dynamic will most likely contribute to the shame. They may remind the person of the negative choice they made, try to punish them, or belittle them. This only pushes the person more into their addiction. 

Here is a link to a TED talk that discusses the way we have reacted to addiction as a society. I highly recommend giving it a listen if you have struggled with addiction or if you know someone who struggles with addiction.

Some Things to Consider

  1. 1. If you have struggled with addiction what are some ways you could seek out supportive community?

If you know someone who has struggled with addiction what are some ways that you may offer them supportive community?