We look at the genesis of addiction from a perspective that focuses on the innocent way addiction gets started.
Beyond Addiction episode-1 "The Genesis of Addiction."
Barnett Gilmer, the owner CEO of Gulf Breeze Recovery and Kat Carle, admissions director at Gulf Breeze Recovery, a non-12 step treatment center in Gulf Breeze Florida, introduce the first of a series of podcasts entitled “Beyond Addiction” and this first episode is about the genesis of addictive thinking.
We reference a picture of a plant to illustrate what we're trying to explain. Everything above the soil is the "observable behavior of addiction" It is the actual symptoms of intoxication, the scheming and manipulating involved with finding means to get more of the drug of choice, etc..
The roots are the "root cause," and the precursors to addiction. These are the things that precede the observable behavior: low self-esteem, being prescribed habit-forming drugs, mental health problems, or any number of things can be precursors to the visible actions.
The soil, in this illustration, is what has to be present to create the fertile environment for addiction to burst forth and become this more significant problem. The fertile soil required for addiction in the first place is what we'd like to call the "outside-in" misunderstanding of where our happiness comes from.
We're conditioned to believe that things on the outside of us will create better feelings on the inside.
We've been brought up as a society through consumerism, as children, we saw commercials telling us how much more fun our life would be if we just had the latest toy and so we developed an outside-in way of thinking.
On a subconscious level, we were conditioned to believe that things on the outside of us will create better feelings on the inside. It will create happiness. The illusionary part is the temporary good feeling that outside stimuli do produce, maybe a fleeting sense of wholeness. But in every instance, the good feeling goes away by the time you obtain whatever it is. It's temporary, always brief.
When we are looking outside ourselves for a good feeling, then we may turn to a drug, whether it be gateway drugs such as marijuana or drinking alcohol which can actually work as a solution albeit temporary, so we keep going back to the drug searching for that solution again.
What makes the soil fertile for addiction to grow is the outside-in misunderstanding of where happiness comes from and making something outside responsible for our experience on the inside.
When we get that thing that makes us feel better inside but the feeling doesn't last we think "I just didn't get enough I just didn't do enough. I need a better car I need more of the drug I need the next new toy..." The truth is anything outside of yourself that you are attributing to feelings inside of yourself are misleading. Whether it's the attaboy from the parents if you got good grades or the next promotion, the next accomplishment, the future achievement, the next thing that's happening out there that we think is responsible for our feelings in here, but that is just not where emotions come from, and it's never going to be sustainable.
We don't even realize sometimes that we're looking out there to make things better in here because at the end of the day all we're seeking is happiness.
Addiction is formed when a person reaches for that substance, and they get the good feeling that they've been searching for and keep coming back to it again and again, and they confuse it for a solution. Addiction is not the problem, it's a misguided, but purely innocent, attempt at a solution and an effort to find peace happiness and serenity.
As the progression of addiction continues there's a physical component where the person who's using keeps returning to the substance again and again and again as the solution because it's now the best solution that they have, or that they know of, and the body becomes physically dependent so if the person doesn't get the substance in the quantity that they've become accustomed to depending on what the substance is the body will actually exhibit physical symptoms of withdrawal.
We often see a people come into our facility and say: "I don't have a problem, there's no underlying problem, I just need to get through the withdrawals so once the shaking stops I'm fine."
That's actually a continuation of the outside-in misunderstanding: "...there's no problem in here, once the shakes stop I'll be okay, I'll be happy, I'll be at peace...," and so that's when we see people get really caught up in this cycle of chronic relapse. Taking measures to address the physical dependence, the shakes, or the sweats, or whatever the substance of choice manifests, that gets addressed, and the underlying issue never gets touched.
Just doing a detox is actually like not doing something. If I can only detox in so I'm not feeling these physical effects I'm gonna be okay, and then the focus becomes not doing the drug, not drinking the alcohol, because I've never become aware of the real reason why this all started in the first place.
Like what happens when you chop off a plant above the soil, which is where the seen behaviors of addiction are, and so the focus becomes not using drugs. Of course, we all know as long as we have fertile soil for an outside-in misunderstanding of where happiness comes from, we have the firm roots in place, this addiction will sprout right back up.
An old story goes something like this: Men spent years searching for the secret of happiness and the meaning of life. They explored the depths of the deepest ocean, and it wasn't there. They spent years scaling the tallest most dangerous mountains, and they made it to the the peak, and it wasn't there. They foraged deep in the deepest, darkest jungles and it still wasn't there. At some point, they asked the universe: "Do You Know where the secret of happiness is? Where is this meaning of life?" And The Universe replied: "It's hidden in the last place you would ever think to look, inside yourselves." Maybe because it's the closest thing to us, it's the most direct route to any feeling, it's the last place that we think to look. This story beautifully illustrates what we're talking about how simple, but not easy to change until someone shares the insight that you have had it all the time, you just didn't know where to look.
If you or someone you love is addicted check us out. We offer deluxe accommodations in a beautiful waterfront setting with a caring staff to make your stay comfortable as you regain your overall health.
Contact us at Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about our program that has helped so many people overcome their addiction and embrace life. We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE®.
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