This is a Journal entry from the one and only ViCourageous that I truly love - She is awesome. But this article helps to understand what the true meaning of addiction is and what is really happening to us. Right now I am struggling mentally pretty bad. I wanted to share. This is a really tough journey and at times I just cant take much more, but knowing what the expect is keeping me to suck it up and push forward. Thanks Vic XO
TOLERANCE: Addiction has two elements that must be understood to grasp the true nature of it. The first element is Tolerance. A person is drawn to an addictive behavior or substances because of the way it affects his or her emotions. It enhances some feelings and numbs out others. Emotional pain is reduced momentarily..and the hope that it will not come back, Of course it does. We need more & more. Eventually the intensity in the behavior or substance needed to produce the high becomes dangerous in and of itself. Not only does one come an impaired driver in the case of chemical addictions, But a over dose can occur or the Liver can fail.In the case of sex one runs the risk of an arrest, loss a primary relationship or job or becoming infected with HIV. And in the case of other behavioral addictions such as eating, spending, or gambling more and more intense experience are required for satisfaction. Eventually those fail.
WITHDRAWAL: The second element that is important to understand is withdraw. Withdraw happens in two phases: ACUTE and POST-ACUTE After a person has become adjusted to a certain level of drug/experience removal of it affects the Emotional/Biochemical balance that has been established. The person then has to readjust to living with out the previous levels of stimulation, ect. POST ACUTE with draws can last two years or more. It also has emotional and physiological aspects that are very difficult to endure.
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE ADDICTION:
Genetics: There is often a genetic "leaning" towards one type of addiction or another. This is Not to say that genetics alone is sufficient to put an addiction in place, but that the nature of addiction may well be influenced by genetics.
Trauma: Trauma can also shape and foster addiction. Alcohol and Drugs are often used by individuals who have a history of trauma and post traumatic stress, such as War Vets.
Shame: Another important concept in addiction is shame. Shame is a very powerful feeling that one has when one feels that they do not measure up. It often masquerades as other feelings, but is always found in major proportions in the lives of addicts--both as a cause and a result of addiction. Shame spirals upwards as an addiction processes.
Anxious Depression: One last major contributor to addiction too. An anxious depression is the type of depression in which the next two hours seems like the rest of your life, and you must do something to change how you feel. It is an agitated feeling, very different from the more melancholy depression that causes a person to sit in bed all day unable to get up or get dressed.
Tough early experiences, genetic predisposition (at times), shame, an agitated/anxious depression, and process of tolerance and withdrawal can easily result in addiction. What is not easy is Recovering