People fall into the doldrums and reach out defensively when they can’t deal with hard times, especially those that come unexpectedly.

Reacting defensively can cause you to

– lash out with perceived justification, cower with emotional distress, or run away –
using whatever means are available to facilitate or tame that action
-drugs, alcohol, pleasant distractions (sex, gambling, partying), withdrawal –

You possibly can’t deal with hard times if

  • you never were shown how (neglected)
  • you never had to (sheltered)
  • you had too much or too early (driven)
  • you are hampered by illness or injury (handicap)

Traditionally, we focus on the last reason.  Yet, that is the least bothersome.

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.

Therefore, any habit (including one that has become an addiction) or the emotional pain that either precedes or gives rise to it, is not a death warrant.  It does not replace your ability to be human with that of being an addict,  or any of the other edicts that describe your affliction.

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.

This service is not designed to encourage your right to not have hard times.  We will neither soothe nor protect you.

Instead, we will teach you to see that

  • hard times do not diminish you but are there to stimulate you.
  • you have the innate resilience to accept them and the capacity to use them to stimulate personal growth and erudition, the ingredients to true internal satisfaction.
  • we will focus, and help you to focus, on identifying that resilience and on using heavy burdens to stimulate personal growth.
  • YOU shake your habit, not because you push it away, but because you embrace the better option of self-growth and self-realization.

It is this that makes us unique and powerful.

Think of the first time you used or reacted inappropriately.  (it doesn’t have to be a drug; it can be simply a reaction or distraction that anyone can experience.)

It may have been a prescription. It may have been an experiment as a youth. It may have been an attempt to keep pace with some peers. It may have been a desperate effort to save face or protect a self-image.  That is not an addiction. And that does not cause an addiction.

 

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?

Now comes the second stage.

This is the dependency. It is still not an addiction. Remember, the addiction is the perseverance of your discomforts, the tenacity of your undoing.  That hasn’t yet set in, so you can stop. But stopping the “treatment” may leave you more exposed to the negative feelings that this activity saves you from experiencing.

 

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.

Now comes the third stage.

The addictive behaviour sets in. Why? Because you have found the easy button. You progressively lose the interest or courage to learn how to either rise above the discomfort or manage the condition more intelligently.

 

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.

Now think of how you must reverse this process.

If you want to manage your drug use, your dependence on any habit, or even your addiction, you don’t have to be taken kicking and screaming to be locked up in forced detention while your “old friend” is hidden from you.

 

Go back to the second use.

 

It is not the first use.  Let’s face it,

  • almost all youth experiment. I’d rather they didn’t and wish I could prevent them. So my acknowledgement is not tacit approval.
  • doctors will give you pain pills and tranquilizers. That’s their way of managing an acute condition.

 

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.

Don’t you think that, if the brain will adapt its neuronal pathways to accommodate your behaviour when you are doing something wrong, it will not also adapt those same pathways to accommodate you when you are doing something right?

Then, being normal and healthy can come as easily and naturally as being addicted once was.