Intensity addiction…

Someone returning recently from Wellspring Retreat sees that the Assembly produced intensity addiction. Insightful revelation! No wonder life often seems insipid now–no more great work of God, no more pressure to pray exalted prayers for it. No more frantic rushing around to get to worship, no more top-volume singing. No more seminar highs, no more consequence lows. (Someone should come up with lyrics to fit the Eagles song, “No more cloudy days”.)

Packing our schedules, operating at peak emotional intensity, and laboring under the pressure of the consequence system put us under constant stress. High stress produces an adrenaline rush that provides energy to cope. We came to rely on it all the time, because stress was always there. It became an addiction.


Our leftover intensity addiction makes us easily bored now. So we drink too much coffee. We keep ourselves too busy. In the Assembly, rushing around all the time substituted for intimacy. We tend to reproduce that pattern to get the adrenaline going. There are a bunch of other manifestations.Here is an article that gives some good insights. It begins, “Adrenaline addiction is the hidden cause of many of our time, balance and productivity challenges.” There is an accompanying questionnaire that is quite revealing. “The Painful Reality of Adrenaline Addiction” (PDF file) makes some good suggestions for recovery. The latter recommendation takes the subject so seriously–I mean, PDF file and all!–that you have to just laugh and let go and start breathing again. Which is the whole point.


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Margaret Irons and her husband Steve and three children were in the Fullerton Geftakys Assembly for twenty years. We left in March, 1990. We are still recovering and learning in Orange County, CA.

One thought on “Intensity addiction…

  1. The symptoms are these and I can honestly say that this does not characterise me:Workaholics Overachievers Constantly on the go Perform well in a crisis Production machines I think what caused the commitment to overactivity in the Assembly (at least for me) is the conviction that I was involved in something that God Himself wanted and this was the way He wanted me to achieve it.Nevertheless the connection that we were trying to fill our longing for intimacy with activity it a good one. Insanity can be defined as trying the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. So also, we kept trudging on the Assembly treadmill believing one day that this need for intimacy would be met.

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