We have to know that hard times are a natural part of life. We do not choose them but we can’t choose not to have them. We can only learn to face them, even with a handicap.
You do not lose yourself because you go into the abuse of drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or states of anxiety, depression, anger. You go into them because you have lost your true value of self.
Thus, you, or anyone, will only stop reaching for these replacements and become relaxed and happy ONLY when you know how to embrace and manage positively the hard times that life often throws at you.
Now think of the feeling you experienced.
It could have been sensory pleasure or a feeling of excitement.
It could have been the immediate relief – from unbearable pain, stress, anxiety, depression, worry.
It could have been an existential feeling of detachment – from a physical, social, or corporeal reality. You feel detached from those things – work, other people, your body – that may appear to be the source of your discontent.
You feel good, artificially. It does not last.
Then comes the crux. Do you want this again? Do you need the artificial good feeling? Again and again?
If the negative feeling is too oppressive, too inescapable, too unmanageable, the attraction to the easy fix can be strong. So you permissively indulge. It seems like an easy choice.
As you continue in that artificially disconnected state, the body adapts to it and something known as neuroplasticity sets in. The brain sets up new pathways to make this lifestyle part of you. THAT is the addiction. You now need the drug or the activity just to keep the body calm or help endure the pain. The original discomfort, pain or boredom that you felt was too severe is now compounded by distortions in the body’s function. So the need to escape or treat them is greater.
But that is a last stage. It takes time to develop. It is always possible before that to reverse the process, not by snatching away the drug and leaving you feeling lost and confused, but by getting back the power of your intelligence and managing your reality differently.
Go back to the second use.
It is not the first use. Let’s face it,
Introduction is not addiction. It is the second stage that counts.
At that stage, you will have discovered an escape hatch for something that bothers you or to get a feeling you want no matter what the consequences. It may be a reality that you do not know how to tolerate or manage. It may be from home, from work or general responsibilities, from your peers or social connections, or from your body, its health or feelings.
You may not know or may not have learned that life is here to challenge and stimulate you, that these impositions are food for your soul. Or you may not have been shown how to analyze and manage them purposefully. The problem is that, as you fall behind, they continue to grow. So any lag on your part places you further and further behind the eight ball. What you once feared becomes more fearful.
So evicting your “old friend” only places you where you were at the start but with less ability to climb out. Yet, learning how to analyze these challenges and evaluate your personal strengths to manage them can allow you to catch up. Then you will no longer need the easy button. The reality is no longer frightening or oppressive. You will have risen above it.
This does not need thirty days in confinement. It only needs a few weeks of re-introduction to understand life management from a logical position of knowing you and how you fit in this turbulent times. And YOU will give up your “old friend” because you have found you.