Sunday, August 24, 2008

What is addiction?

From the book "Questions and answers on Addiction" by Howard Wetsman MD:

If you don't have enough dopamine signal, you will not be able to concentrate; you will feel restles, irritable, and discontented. You may have low self-esteem and feel as if you don't fit into the world. Because you'll enjoy few regular activities, not much will motivate you and you'll have problems with procrastination nd motivation. When you use the reward that works for you, your level will be high enough to feel normal and you'll stop using for a bit. When the level falls, the signal will actually go lower than it was when it started so that you'll feel compelled to use agin. This is the basis of not being able to stop once started.

For *me*...learning that there was something biological to this was GOOD news.

something is 'broken' -- how do we fix it?

and there ARE ways to fix it....

according to Dr. Wetsman....we need to do things to raise our dopamine level....and things that can do that are actions that minimize feelings of aloneness and being less-than.
(p. 82)

He maintains that....the 'difference' in our brain has prevented us from learning some of the things that 'normal' people do about life...relationships, honesty and trusting that the universe will provide.
(p. 79)

In recovery....I have run across many people who 'tell my story'....

when I hear the story of what I've been makes me feel that I am not alone....when I can see that many of these same people...are better now...that gives me hope....

I recently heard that one of our problems is that we tend to compare OTHER people's 'outsides' to OUR 'insides'.

and my 'insides' are generally 'not ok' (anxiety, restlessness, angst, etc.)....

but they can be.

and it's getting better :)

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