So, let's see how addiction takes hold of the human will. Looking at the chart, we see that the car is designed to move forward. This symbolizes the fact that we are 'designed' by God to be happy. We are made to move towards Him, and that 'reverse,' while an option, is a temporary maneuver.
Think of a real car. How long can you drive backwards before your body starts to hurt and you begin to make mistakes? That's because 'reverse' isn't the natural way a car is supposed to go. So it is with us that we are not designed to move 'backwards' through life. Human beings under constant anxiety begin to 'deform.'
This deformity of constant avoidance leads to the problem of addiction.
Here's how it starts: we move towards happiness, and begin to experience the beginnings of pain. This triggers fear within us. Rather than move forwards, we move backwards by going into reverse. This moves us back towards numbness, but we know this is unnatural, and so we eventually move again back up the awareness incline, where we again begin to experience pain and the fear of suffering which leads to change. The gear shift gets slammed into reverse, and back down we go.
Over a long enough period of time, the mind (which is designed for 'forward' progress towards happiness) begins to confuse numbness with happiness, and avoidance with progress towards what is desired. It reverses the gear shift pattern to look like this:
This is the problem of addiction and why the will cannot be used to get the addict out of his self-destructive cycle. All of his gears are mislabeled. When he wants to move forward, he hits reverse, and visa-versa. Addicts cannot make appropriate decisions because they have no will-power... the will is still there. It just have everything out of order.
The addict still knows that there is right and wrong, and good and bad, but he's lost touch with happiness. He does not know what it is, or has been without it for so long that he thinks numbness is happiness. So, when you ask the addict to move forward towards happiness, he slams the car in reverse. After all, that's what's on the labels of his gear shift.
Moments of satisfaction for the addict are few and far between, because when his car is in neutral, he coasts dangerously close to death. He knows it at a deeper level. Addiction is a game of taking small doses of death and surviving. Too much complacency can mean the addict will perish entirely. So, he must work, but for him it is a type of avoidance and anxiety-ridden... after all, look what his gear shift says that it is... 'reverse.'