I have no power. I don't know why I am choosing to live in this place that I created and now call "hell."
With an understanding about how the mind and brain work, I attempt to unravel the wisdom around the word addiction. Now please allow me to clarify before we go forward in this article. Sometimes there may be a genetic component that leads us to become susceptible to certain tendencies towards substance abuse based on research, I will also add that there is a division on this researched information. Despite scientific research that sways our reasoning away from illness, it is important to gather all the facts and then decide (again this comes back to your choice) about how you feel and believe towards these issues.
I am not writing this article for the purpose of debate. My information is more about choices we decidedly make. Understanding that once we make a decision at that very moment we open the door to a choice, the possibilities of addiction begin to become possible.
The type of addiction is also a choice. I'm not talking substance abuse, there are many types of human addictions. Shopping, gossip, porn, sexual, believing we are certain way that actually had something to do with someone else's belief about us, may have imposed on us, we believed it, and now it is planted deeply within us, creating a behavior or habit around that belief we adapted for ourselves. Deciding how and what you will believe is indeed powerful, although there may be no foundation or source of truth about it.
Test it for yourself. I have seen many times on television, or even on the streets protesters or even just conversations going on that do not just center around political views. When asked why they believe what they are doing or saying is right, they often draw a blank. They really are that unsure. Ask someone why they believe what they believe. It's fascinating to hear the answer or non-answer.
Now let's get back on track. Choice. When confronted with a choice to go along with a group of people or you may make a decision to partake in something that is decidedly "cool," your intellect, and personal intuition may speak quickly. It may be a silent gentle voice coming from inside you that you listen to briefly. This voice leads to checking on if this is something you really want to do or not. Something may feel uneasy, or even forbidden, but because of peer pressure calling you names if you don't, you cave in and participate. I'm sure you can think of things through your life time that were choices. Not all risks become addictions. This is important to understand. However,
when we do make a choice, and we discover that it didn't kill us, and in fact may have felt pretty good on some level, we begin to develop a possible pattern. The choice, now becomes belief. It doesn't stop there as it grows to become a habit after a few more repetitions of the same idea or act. When that become comfortable, the repetition has formed a new belief around craving, and has created a landing spot in the brain creating a neuro pathway cemented often with a rush of chemical dumping in the body and brain consisting of feel good chemicals along perhaps with imagery and now becomes automatic behavior.
Now the idea of this automatic behavior has wired the brain to participate. It will. You will now hear from that habit and behavior frequently, even if you don't care to anymore. It may become a vise or a longing that drives physical, and/or emotional yearning for something so strong that you cannot begin to even think about controlling your own behavior concerning it any longer. It may result in a very unhealthy way to live. Still it has incredible unseen power over us.
The same result happens in our negative self-talk sometimes. We have thoughts that we believe are true of us. "I can't." "I should but I don't so I won't". You are well aware that these voices present themselves on a regular basis. Funny thing is, we feed this thought to ourselves through choice. We choose to feel or act a certain way because of a choice we made at some point in time a long time ago. We also react to experiences in life, but this article is based on our choice. Experiences are also powerful and often there is a choice also in them as well, such as our reaction or response to them. To clarify that is certainly a subject for another time.
The next time you find yourself in a place of choice, think about it. Is is really a one-time thrill that you are choosing to experience? Or does it have the possibility to lead you
down a path you may not wish to walk on later.
The breaking of the habit of yourself is difficult to unravel once you have chosen to allow the choice to become the habit and end up as automatic behavior. This is one reason why losing weight or the decision to stop smoking is so difficult to do. The unraveling of automatic behavior once again challenges you to stay. The internal voice now speaks to needing and wanting that behavior. We will justify, reason, and perhaps even fight for that kick to be satisfied.
Is it possible to change. Yes. It takes a reversal of your thought around what you are "getting" from the addicted state. You must also want it bad enough. The brain is capable of change. It is absorbing and changing right now, this moment making a decision about how you may be thinking about something you are reading right now.
If you relate to a behavior differently, or change the image and representation, and how experience that, will change your neurology about how you feel about something differently now. If you created the behavior to partake then, could you not imagine it is also possible to change that choice again. Of course you are able to. It may take some repetitive work but through neuroplasticity, you will succeed....If you truly choose to.
Davidene Bender-Main Practitioner, International Master Neuro Linguistic Programming, and certified Ericksonian Hypnotist for Phenix NLP in Charlotte NC