Posts Tagged ‘Health’

The question on is addiction a disease, or a choice has been won by the disease argument with proven scientific, and medical facts.  “Addiction starts out as a choice, and ends up as a disease”

I think there is more to addiction than just the medical facts.  Our knowledge of the brain is still very limited, although recent discoveries have shown us that substances have a huge impact on the reward/pleasure system in the brain.  “Addiction fits the disease model perfectly. Organ – Midbrain, Defect – Pleasure/Reward system, and the Symptoms – Craving, impaired thinking, etc.” Therefore we can safely say that addiction is a disease.  There are allot of medications available to treat the symptoms, but there are no cures, no quick fixes.

Although major breakthroughs have been made in treatment of addiction, we are still a very long way of, curing this disease.  Are we missing something? Isn’t there a better way to prevent people from getting addicted in the first place?  The current educational drug awareness programs fail miserably.  All that they point out how drugs are bad for you.  How it effects our health etc. In a society surrounded by drugs, and alcohol, children, and teens are bombarded with images of celebrity’s going to court for using drugs, or alcohol.  Advertisements on the latest prescription drugs on the market, and don’t forget the alcohol advertisements showing everybody having a good, carefree time.

Why would the youth, listen to educational videos, and speakers when at home, and on the internet, the exact opposite is shown.  When drinking, and drugging makes it easier to fit into a crowd, and give you acceptance, why not do it?  The youth is under so much pressure, from all there social networks, and school, and friends.  I’m not even speaking at the pressure at home, with parents, or siblings.

Their Idols are shown partying, and having fun.  They seem to have little consequences for their actions, and it seems that their lives aren’t influenced badly at all. Which we know isn’t true, but that is how it’s portrayed in the media. 

Children, and teens don’t have the ability to make quality, informed decisions. We all know this. When our kids get addicted, we all ask why.  Later on, they may go to prison, overdose etc. People label them as drug addicts, and the scum of society. How quickly we forget how we were at that age. Susceptible to allot of things, all the wrong choices we made.

I don’t know the solution to this problem.  I don’t even know where to begin.  Is there even a solution?  All I am trying to say is, we should stop judging addicts, and realize that addiction is a disease, created by a bad choice, stemming out of the Society we live in.         

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What is the most difficult aspect of recovery?

Is it the craving? Is it the pressure of those around you to stay clean and sober? The difficulty to adapt to the world? Picking up the pieces of the life the substance left behind? Or the fear of relapsing again?

These are by no means all the questions we as recovering addict need to face, there are many more, but all questions have answers.  They all bring on anxiety.  They all need to be addressed in order for us to stay in recovery.  The answers depend on the individual.  No one is the same, no one has the same circumstances.  We all have different ways cope with different aspects of life. Different viewpoints, and perceptions.

For me personally, recovery is made easier by setting small goals every day, staying to a routine, and expressing my feelings. Either on talking about it, or writing it down.  I set out a certain time of my day, focusing, and thinking just about recovery.  The rest of the day, I divide up in segments to deal other aspects of my life.  Study, work, exercise etc. 

I have learnt that spending too much time, thinking about a certain aspect has negative consequences.  Overthinking brings our minds in confusion. Which brings on stress, and craving.  It causes us to miss other goals that we set out to do, which in turn will put us on the road back to relapse.

I have come to realize that we need to take little steps towards, in everything we do, and in the end all will fall in place.  The most important thing is to stay positive.  Think positive, surround yourself with positive people.  I have come to realize that anything is possible.  The only thing that stands between you, and your dreams is You. ‘’Whether YOU think YOU can, or YOU can’t YOU’RE right!’’

The Fear of relapsing, and the Fear of disappointing others, will lead you to relapse. You won’t relapse if you stay positive, stick to your plan, and if relapse it’s not the end of the world.  Get help as quick as you can, and change the things that caused you to relapse.  Don’t feel like a failure. You are not the exception. Most addicts have relapsed before, they stuck to recovery.  The most important thing is you need, to be open and honest about it.  People will appreciate your honesty more than, hiding it from them.  They will help you not to fall into the spiral of death again.

Recovery is different for all of us, it can be difficult, and scary. But it can be so rewarding as well.  Every day we stay sober is an accomplishment. It shows us that we are human. It shows us that we can do anything that we set our mind to.  It’s brings out the best in us.  It builds our character. It shows everybody around us, that we are stronger, and better than they thought we are.

Let’s stay in recovery, let’s stay free!

As a recovering addict I failed in the past to prioritize my life. When I think back on my life, my priorities were to party, sleep, and party some more.  I never felt at ease in my life, always restless, always wanting something more, never happy of what I have, and where I am.

I turned to religion to fill the emptiness, I tried hobbies, shopping sprees etc. Still the feelings of, emptiness, and restlessness would not go away.  One of my major reasons for relapse thinking back was religion.  When I did something wrong, I felt guilty, and I started to crave.  In the end I would start drinking again, drugging again.

“I am not trying to offend anybody who has found religion.  All the statements I make is out of my point of view”.

I began to experience true freedom this year, when I started looking at addiction through a medical, and scientific viewpoint.  When I started viewing addiction as a disease.  I starting seeing immense growth in my own life.  When started using the right medication, when I got CBT from the right Clinical Psychologist, and when I implemented certain things in my life, that emptiness that I talked about earlier disappeared.

For the first time in my life, I can think logically, and rationally about things.  I don’t ask questions like “God why me? God are you testing me? God where are you?  God Please help me.” I never got an answer. If something positive happened, I thought “hey God is answering my prayers” I came to realise that it has only happened, because of what I did.

I also justified my addiction through religion. ‘’I can use, because my sins are forgiven. If I die at least I will go to heaven.”  So you see for me, religion was detrimental. It was always a cop out. Everything happens for a reason right? With this mentality, you would never do something.  I would rather say ‘’every action has a reaction’’ We will only get as much out of life, as we put in.

For the first time in my life, I feel liberated.  I am the master of my own destiny. The captain of my own ship.  I understand myself. I know what boundaries to set.  I listen to others, I am more open to suggestions, and others opinions. 

I don’t judge others, I am humble, and I am thankful, more thankful than I ever was, because everything I do, I did it for myself. Something didn’t give it to me, or blessed me.  My priorities have changed.  I am content with myself for the first time.

Now my priorities are, to better myself, study, help others. Just living a chilled out, relaxed, comfortable life.  For me “I saw the truth, and the truth set me free”

 

P.S.  Again I am not trying to convert people reading this.  I am stating everything in regards to my life.

Being a recovering addict is a blessing for me.  The disease keeps me humble, it shows me my strengths and weaknesses.

I am thankful for everyday that I am clean.  I became a much wiser person whilst battling this disease.  I have learnt to be humble, I have learnt to forgive, and most of all I have learnt to be thankful.  I have seen things, experienced things few people have.  I have learnt to look past the outside of a person, and look into their heart.  Everybody wants a sense of belonging, and acceptance.  Everyone needs love. 

We live in a broken world. People are being used, and things are loved.  Addiction is one of the ways to escape the harsh realities of life. But addiction also enslaves us. It takes away our homes and, loved ones.  It takes away our soul. Addiction is a lie. It gives us a false sense of security.  Addiction gives us a false sense of belonging, and acceptance. Addiction brings likeminded individuals together.  For the first time we are accepted, by others.  This makes us think that we are right, and society is wrong.  We believe that we are a minority group fighting for equal rights, with the majority.

Everything unravels fairly quickly.  After a while addiction isolates us. After we alienate our loved ones, and others that truly care for us, our new so called friends also disappear. That leaves us alone, and feeling hopeless.  We try to use more drugs, to try and take away the pain.  Which only brings on more, and more misery in our lives.  It’s a spiral with only three outcomes.  Death, incarceration, and if we are of the lucky few, rehab or institution.  Every time we relapse we get back into the spiral of death.  ‘’insanity is trying to do the same thing over, and over and expecting a different result’’.

Now in Recovery I see things differently. Other things are more important to me.  Not things, but people. My heart goes out to addicts.  I know there pain.  I understand their plight. I see the person behind the addiction.  No one wants to be addicted.  No one wants to be distrusted, and labelled by society.  No one wants to be slaves, and out of control.  The lost needs to be shown hope, love and, forgiveness.  Not hate, and rejection.

Addiction taught me valuable lessons in life.  Although it all came at great cost, I believe it has made me a better person.  I am going to give back to society.  I want to share my story with others, and maybe just, maybe.  Others can find hope again.  In themselves, and others.       

This week I had allot of feelings of frustration, and anxiety.  Allot had to do with feelings of disappointment towards my brothers.  I am a very positive person by nature, but it’s hard to stay positive around negative people.  It’s hard enough to try and stay and stay sober with support from family, and friends.  Can you imagine how hard it is when one of your family members uses Drugs, and comes over to your house? He knows that I am trying to stay of drugs, but he still persists on using.  It’s if he wants me to fail.  He has always been jealous of me.  When I was using he had someone to blame everything on.  He talked so much crap behind my back to everybody.  Of course they believed him. I was the one using drugs, I was the one that caused all the shit.  Back at the ranch, he was using just as much as me, and no one noticed.  All their anger, and judgment was directed at me. 

So I decided to get clean, and I did.  I haven’t looked back since.  Yes, I crave but I manage it.  I am productive, busy learning again, busy with a new website.  He fears that I would have success.  So he tries to get me back there.  Back in the same shitty position as before.  I will not go back, I want a new life.  The way he acts on drugs, the way he acts when he is coming down, actually disgusts me, and I feel sorry for him at the same time.  He is a reminder to me, how I was, how I could be.  That thought alone, puts me of using.  I will never again be like that.  I will be in control of my life.  I will never, ever again let something control me. 

So I will keep strong, be positive, and keep strong in my fight with addiction.  I love my new life right now, and nothing, or no one, will compromise that. Remember no matter what happens in your life, good or bad.  Stay positive, be thankful, and be humble.  Never be too proud to ask when you need help, always help if it’s in your power to do so.  Be thankful for everyday that you are sober, because there are many out there, who isn’t as fortunate as you.

There will always be those that will try to bring you down. Stay strong.  They are afraid of what you might become. They are afraid of being left behind.

hopeRemember there is always hope.

All of us hope for something better. Better relationships, better career etc.  That’s the nature of humankind, we will always try to better ourselves.  We will always search for answers to unanswered questions.  To Explore, to discover new places, and things.  We learn to adapt.  We must, or we will die.

Then why would we choose to take drugs.  We all know it will be detrimental to our health.  We all know that it destroys families, relationships, and our ability to perform well at our place of employment.  Something fundamentally must be wrong in our decision making process.  Something must be wrong with us at genetic level.

Drugs and alcohol has been with humankind since the beginning, and so it will always be. If I rationally think about it, our genes would have changed.  I know that not everybody that take drugs get addicted to it.  The same could be said about cancer for example.  Not everybody gets cancer.  Some get it and recover, others don’t.  As any other disease the genes for addiction is carried over, from parents to child. In my life for example my great grandfather was an alcoholic. So was my grandfather, and my uncle.  My father doesn’t drink because he knows that there is a great chance of him becoming one.  I drank allot, used drugs, and became addicted.

Studies have shown that up to 60% of the problem of addiction is related to genes.  Yes I chose to start using, but I didn’t choose to get addicted.  I also chose to stop.  Although it’s hard, and I crave every day. I want to be better, I want to have a better life.  I work at recovery on a daily basis. I know I have a disease.  I know what, and what not to do to manage it.  It’s the same for the diabetic.  They know what diet to follow, and when to take their insulin to manage their disease.

Genes alone is not the only reason for the disease of addiction to take hold, but it lets the disease progress faster. The good news is when we get addicted, and recover, those genes are also passed on to our children. Although we passed on the genes of addiction, we also passed on the genes of our sobriety.  We passed on the genes to adapt.

Addiction is a terrible disease yes, but it also teaches us to find hope in difficult circumstances. It teaches us to be humble, it teaches us to be thankful. It teaches us to adapt more quickly, and most importantly it teaches us not to judge, and look down on other people. It gives us more understanding, of the thing that are most important in life, love of others, not things.

No matter how dark your life seems to be, remember there is always hope.  Be Blessed

1006288_497749630300918_1719715193_nWhen do we have choice, and when is it taken away from us.

People say that our lives reflect the sum of all the choices we make.  They say wrong decisions lead to negative outcomes.  This is true, to certain extent. What happens when our ability to choose, or make the right decision is removed, or obscured by some, or other reason.  What reasons can there be?  We always have the ability of choice right? A lot of people in difficult circumstances have risen above, what was expected of them, through making the right choices.  In my opinion this is the exception not the rule.

I myself come out of a good family, I’ve had a good education, and I had lack of nothing.  I had a lot of opportunities to make something out of my life, but through wrong choices I made, I ended up a drug addict. True, I made the wrong choices, but how many of these choices I made was really, my choice?  Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to make excuses for my actions, or denying responsibility.  I also don’t want to give others excuses to use for making the wrong decisions.  I only want to shed light on a subject I have been thinking about.

In all aspects of my life, even before addiction I have always made impulsive decisions.  Only recently I have discovered why.  All my life I always felt, restless, not content of where I am.  I seldom completed what I started, and I got bored quickly, at any work environment.  It never incurred to me that, mentally there could be something wrong, that there could be an imbalance in my brain.  When I got clean from drugs (almost 3 months ago), I went to a Psychiatric hospital to detox.  For the first time in my life, I saw as Psychiatrist.  She diagnosed me with ADHD at the age of 30.  I always thought this was a childhood disease.  Not so.  When she explained the symptoms of the disorder to me, it all started making sense to me. The impulsiveness, the loss of interest in the workplace, the lack of structure in my life.  The forgetfulness. The daydreaming.  When I started reading about Adult ADHD, and other peoples stories who had it, I saw my life, myself.

I am currently on ADHD medication, and I can truly say my life has changed.  The medication in conjunction with CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) has greatly reduced all the symptoms of the disorder.  The human brain is a very complex organ. The part of the brain where the decision making process takes place (the frontal cortex) is directly influenced by other parts of the brain. If there’s an imbalance in other parts of the brain, how can the frontal cortex be expected to function correctly?  How can we therefore be expected to make the right choices?

Choice is therefore, in my opinion, and in my experience more than what society perceives.  It isn’t as easy as everybody thinks. Again I am not saying that we should blame our bad decisions purely on medical reasons.  I simply suggest that we should look deeper at why we made the choices we made, and not judge other people on the ones they had made.

So I ask you question.  When does choice fail us, or when do we fail it?