The role of agency in addiction
Lance Dodes has a different understanding of addiction than the one I learned about in AA. Lance Dodes believes that addiction is a response to the overwhelming feeling of helpless rage.
According to Lance, addicts are people who learned at a certain point that intervening on their own behalf was ineffective or even dangerous. They learned to repress their agency. Repeated repression of agency leads to an overwhelming feeling of being trapped and unable to change your circumstances. This leads to overwhelming rage but no way to release or resolve the rage. For Lance, the addictive action is a symbolic reclaiming of agency. The addict gives themself permission to do something they know will make them feel temporarily better. The decision to act on their own behalf, to make a choice of their own, brings them relief.