Mental Health conversation centered around 12 step recovery and related topics. We talk about spiritual living, living with addiction and growing in the 12 steps. Find us on our home at https://recoverysortof.com/. If you want to join the conversation, email us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoverySortOf, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/recovery_sort_of/, or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Recovery-Sort-Of-112376247161866/?view_public_for=112376247161866.
We talk about the origin story of addiction. What is addiction? Is it just a biological miscalculation of brain chemical production, or is it a spiritual dilemma? Do you have a choice in addiction? Has it always been here or is it something that has come about during our evolution? We also start off with a recap of anonymity from last episode. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoverySortOf or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/recovery_sort_of/.
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2/23/20 We talk about the origin story of addiction. What is addiction? Is it just a biological miscalculation of brain chemical production, or is it a spiritual dilemma? Do you have a choice in addiction? Has it always been here or is it something that has come about during our evolution? We also start off with a recap of anonymity from last episode.
recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss the recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature
all right welcome back to the podcast recovery sort of I’m Jason I’m a guy who doesn’t use substances that are illegal or I don’t know I guess I’m called in long-term recovery I have no idea whatever it is I’m here with Billy hi my name is Billy commerce also a person in long-term recovery and what that means for me is that I haven’t used any illegal drugs or alcohol since August 23rd of 2001 err with the the strange wording because we got asked you know what does it mean to be in long-term recovery what are the qualifications and I honestly had no [ _ ] clue I’m like I don’t know is there it’s it’s very much like what does it mean to be a newcomer right I don’t know that there’s a set answer and so we talked a little bit about it and I don’t like the set answer of describing what it means to me so I’m just gonna make a random [ _ ] from now and I think yeah and and so there’s a well you can go through is like recovery language training that they have that is basically ways that you can talk about your recovery that is relatable to non addicts that is language that’s more common you know we all have our common language inside of our fellowships things we might say within our particular meetings or groups and they you know might not sound as good or may actually sound fairly stigmatizing outside of those groups and so as you go out into the world and try to if you were to try to talk to people and come out of anonymity you can go through some kind of language coaching they call it coaching not training but you can go through some language coaching on words you can use and so in talking to someone about what that means that long-term recovery piece they explained to me that you know if you go through the coaching they explain to you that you know you would normally say I’m a person in long-term recovery and then a second piece of that that’s really important is what that means to you and what that means to me is whatever your pathway is because again different people on different pathways that description of recovery means something different it to a person in an abstinence based program obviously we think it means you’re abstinent but two people on different you know maybe replacement therapies or you know maintenance programs or whatever you know they have a different meaning of what recovery is for them right and then we fooled with the wording and we talked about nighttime mind altering drugs and or minor mood altering substances and not being on them for in a certain amount of time and then you know I mean obviously Snickers commercials let you know that food affects your mood and is a mood altering substance I don’t know how to describe it maybe one day we’ll tackle what is recovery and a podcast I’d and I’ve had a couple surgeries where I took pain medication for short periods of time and as it definitely altered my mind absolutely altered my feeling my perception so who knows maybe we’ll figure that out one day how to talk about it selves but I agree we do need other language because I can’t generally just go out into the professional world and say I’m an addict named Jason which is comfortable in my you know program I definitely can’t run around talk about hey I’m a sex addict Jason and I had a weird incidence I’m gonna share this where I accidentally used if you can do that so I don’t know if I ever told you this story but we a bunch of friends of ours we were all out at a restaurant for dinner and I’ll try to keep it brief you know we were all out to dinner at this restaurant the restaurant took this exceptionally long time to bring our food out so we finally got our food we got our dinner at the end they brought out this big tray of desserts and they said here you know this is you know compliments of us for the long wait for your food we’re really sorry and they brought it and this was all people in recovery then we’re at this thing and so we’re all sitting around and there’s these different you know cakes and desserts and there’s this thing that’s like a and I should have recognized I mean in hindsight it seems kind of stupid but it was like one of those tall skinny shot glasses full of like an orange cream what looked like an orange cream thing with like some orange cream and some foam stuff on the top and I love orange creamsicles are my favorite so I was like oh yeah that looks good and I grabbed it and drank it and it had some kind of alcohol in it you know it’s definitely a shot of something or whatever yeah and I said whoa that had alcohol and then the rest of the trip everyone laughed and said what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas we won’t tell anybody that you used um so I accidentally used from now on he’s a billy and he’s in medium I’m in recovery as long as I’m not in Las Vegas so to recap the anonymity episode last week we got a little bit of feedback on that mostly positive people seem to enjoy it but but there were some other opinions I don’t know that they deviated but I’d like to go over them anyway uh Britney on Twitter said that she sees all the arguments and that she’d love to be less anonymous in her personal life on Facebook and at work the problem she runs into is that she works with the wife of a DEA agent and it’s kind of intimidating and I I was like [ _ ] okay so here I am talking all this [ _ ] about how I feel called to be anonymous how anonymous would I be if I worked with a DEA agent or you know their spouse that would be a little intimidating for me as well yeah I I think and I would look at it as an opportunity to share with them about and I hate to say it this way but how wrong the DEA agents are busting all the addicts like it’s one thing to go after you know high high level dealers and things like that but when you’re out you know busting the guy on the street who’s just trying to get high another day that’s a little bit ridiculous but whatever that that would be me that’s hilarious right because I I mean I for one I don’t think the the highest level dealer is probably the government so I don’t even get into that conversation but she did mention later in the conversation that she thought maybe if you know the lady’s wife Saul which she looked like where the individuals wife saw what an addict look like in recovery it might brought in their view and so similarly I definitely you know she thought it might help
Doreen mentioned that she always thought it was respecting others and anonymity and vice versa so maybe that like the whole anonymity piece was really less about us to begin with and more about and we kind of explored that concept we talked a little bit about how anonymity was more really doing selfless service it’s not so much about hey let me not talk about you know what I do and what has helped me in my life it’s more about the fact that you know I do service and I don’t need recognition for it and this is another take on it that you know when we talk about being anonymous it’s letting other people stay there anonymous it’s not so much that I need to go into the world and be anonymous right right let love be your fire which is always a fun name on Twitter I love when people have crazy names she said I don’t think it is ever okay to share if someone else is in your recovery group or meeting but if a person wants to tell their journey and sobriety then that’s their business and she said she makes it out to be similar to HIPPA in the medical field yeah I guess it is a little similar to the medical field the one thing I would say the medical field it’s more of a legal standpoint which of course we we don’t have in our meetings that’s more of a personal hey follow this silent code or not so silent code but even even in the medical field right and work in sorta in a place that follows HIPAA guidelines as I am right now I don’t know how much that actually gets followed whether it’s a legal issue or not I mean granted I don’t think a lot of its getting spread but I I can see the the pool and tendency to break those in minor ways not in harmful ways or ways that are supposed to be malicious but I do see that like there’s a tendency to wanna oh my god I saw your friend at the doctor’s office like that’s none of your business right right it’s we have a tendency as humans to want to know things about people and talk about things that we know yeah or in just seeking advice outside of the doctor’s office like Oh a person is going through this or someone’s going through that and sharing about what’s going on with them too to get additional supports maybe from home or their family or maybe some of their medical issues coming from issues at their home you know it’s like you can actually give someone in at times better care by breaking their anonymity no yeah if you know they’re in an unhealthy situation or whatever right right and so and that’s why there is the kind of rules you know about mandated reporting in certain situations because you in order to give proper care you do need to break someone’s engine right April will shared that she can share her story and that does make her a little vulnerable to any stigma but she accepts that when she engages in that kind of conversation that she is gonna be vulnerable to stigma and so she says to her final answer is basically if she feels her story is gonna help someone struggling then she’s doing it and I respect that I think I would say everybody that said hey I need to have a little bit of you know anonymity in my life to protect some professional field in some way shape or form I don’t think any of them would not share to help somebody suffer and that they ran in the street right I think that’s like we’re kind of we got the message on that one right there somebody’s hurting and struggle or going to jail and to talk about it so that’s really cool at least that we’ve we haven’t missed the boat on that one yeah yeah here’s what pro-choice recovery so anonymity is a choice that people deserve like with any health issue it’s a privacy issue she said in her treatment community anonymity was not respected and it caused her some harm and I really I responded to that I was truly I wanted to know more about that really because I it was a it was contrary to what where I was at that moment when we were talking about anonymity I’m like yeah [ _ ] if we need to fight stigma and all be not anonymous right and so to hear that it cost someone harm I wanted to know more about that probably to judge it I don’t know but I thought that was interesting can you think of a situation where someone might be harmed by anonymity not being respected yeah I mean it’s almost the type of thing it you its it so I was a teenager at the time but I had you know basically got fired from a job because so I miss goes way back I worked for a company that did like professional cleaning at nights of buildings when the buildings closed and some of the buildings that we worked in were banks and I got high and ran around with the son of one of the kids I mean the son of one of the guys that was some kind of high up in one of these banks actually seen his office and would season he played on there and [ _ ] and he told the people like I know who that kid is and he does drugs and I don’t want him in my bank and so they fired me you know and so that was a negative I mean no at the time I wasn’t in recovery so I don’t know if that exactly relates but it’s you know so a knew who I was because of my public I mean he didn’t know that I wasn’t in recovery at that time he just knew of my past and made a judgement decision and got me fired from a job for that
I don’t yeah I don’t know how that would be different if you were in recovery or I guess slightly different that this guy wasn’t like in a recovery program with you and then telling your business but I could see I’m sure there’s ways it can do harm I just I guess for me the harm of not getting a job I think that’s part of what we need to fight by being right the fact that we need to stop denying people jobs because they have some history of mistakes in their life so Kim said I maintain a many for the most part when I was actively practicing and I think that was as a doctor I believe now I’m open about my addiction and depression in the hopes that more people realize these are diseases however i strictly maintain everyone’s anonymity and so that’s an interesting take you know having feeling the need to be anonymous during your active you know professional period of your life but then once you move past that maybe then you get to step up and be the guy who can advocate because it’s no longer going to affect your career or monetary intake in anyway yeah and and I don’t know how this exactly relates career-wise but you know we had a funny conversation around my office the other day you know one of the people in the office brought up you know just out of conversation like off weed was legal you know when they when they finally get it all the way legal like will you do it and you know a couple other people were like oh yeah and you know whatever and then I was like well no and then we kind of went down that road of like I said yeah we weed was legal and I started doing it it would be like well today’s a boring day so I think I’m gonna go get high and you know oh it’s too busy today I think I’m gonna go get off and then it would turn into if you guys need me I’ll be out in my car in the parking lot not and I said so that’s why even if it’s legal I can’t do it you know and so those are ways that I know I didn’t go into a big diatribe of you know I’m an addict and I’m a person in long-term recovery and what that means to me is I have you know I didn’t go into all that but it’s just you know it was that thing and and I have told him like I had a drug problem I used to you know use too much I can’t control my using like those kind of things that any smart person would be like that’s addiction you know like I don’t I don’t specifically start again using this language that we’re used to hearing in meetings and stuff to describe myself but in that conversation that’s an opportunity for me to let them know like yes I used to use excessively all the time and it’s a problem for me and so I just don’t do it at all today because I can’t manage it well hmm that’s interesting that we can pour it but I wonder does that make people think that people should just get better or that does that perpetuate the stereotype of you should just pull yourself up by your bootstraps I work with the guy Billy he did it right he used to have a problem and he just shared that he doesn’t he hasn’t had that problem in a long time but you didn’t share how you did it so I wonder if that Jade’s their opinion of what it takes to to fix yourself I guess in their eyes yeah I’m not sure and interestingly so one of the other people in the office said you know exactly that like yeah I used to do all this stuff I was young and then I just got older and I just stopped and people used to tell me all the time you know they didn’t understand how I wasn’t an addict but you know and they were like I don’t know how I wasn’t either I just I did all these things and then I just stopped and got married and moved on with my life and stop doing all those things you know I don’t know maybe I should share that I have a little bit of a weird situation at my work where I have relationships with people that it’s like I worry more about if I break my anonymity it’s gonna break the anonymity of some other people around me that’s my biggest concern it’s not necessarily for myself I wouldn’t care personally it’s that it would then sort of start a chain reaction of how some of us that work there know each other how we have these relationships outside you know why we get together regularly and things like that and I feel like if I started saying some of those things it would you know we meet up once a week yeah well indirectly you know fall on to some other people that I work with so that’s my biggest concern of why I haven’t that’s interesting I’ve always hated the idea of when I run into somebody that you know I’ve met through the rooms or meetings or some weird place you know even some people I’ve had people ask where I met people that I met in prison I don’t really want to put other people’s business out there like that so they’re always like where’d you guys meet they’re like oh you know what it’s for so long I don’t remember that’s like my go-to standard for it but I definitely remember the first time somebody asked me that and me just stand-in there with like my mouth there wasn’t answer this woman hi addictive estroux I like his name he mentioned that it was a good episode he didn’t give an opinion on anonymity but it just so happened that when he was listening for some reason it like cut out right in the middle of the episode and he was picturing like we were driving off a cliff and like uploaded this at the last minute as we were like fatally you know fall into our death and I just I don’t know that may be hilariously laughs and now I think we need to have like a partially done podcast loaded at all times for that moment when I’m about to die just low desired a last second and then let your let love be your fire again had another comment that just said in the beginning of sobriety they wanted to keep their anonymity because of the shame and as they went on they started telling people about it because the struggles and they never knew who it might help who was struggling and I think we had another sentiment to that pretty similar last week and I like that idea it’s like the opposite of what happened to me I guess almost but it’s pretty neat that people are opening up to the idea of and somebody said to me like it’s humility right you’re becoming more humble to the fact of [ _ ] how it affects me if it helps other people yes or I take the humility to be I mean I interpret humility as that is just who I am like that is just a part of my story just like I have you know brown hair or whatever you know and and different people overcome all kinds of different challenges you know whether it be some sort of abuse or neglect or trauma in their life and just having the humility and courage to share that you know experience with other people is you know the act of humility and and I think this kind of Spurs us into possibly today’s topic which we didn’t mention earlier on I guess we should have but what is addiction and where does it come from right and while so the people who are judging people who used to be addicts or who are addicts that don’t use drugs anymore however you want to state these these things the people who are judging it must have some certain belief about what is addiction in order to feel that way right if you believe addiction is a disease rate in line with a cancer then you’re not gonna say people who are in recovery from addiction can’t work as a nurse or can’t come into my house to clean it because they have a disease right but they’re they’re getting treatment for but if you tend to believe that addiction is a lack of willpower and you’re a sucky ass human who just wants to do terrible things well now I need to judge you and keep you out of these environments because you’re just gonna [ _ ] it up at some point is that fair to say or yeah and I think another problem is most people that are you know anti addict especially nowadays it’s you know the attitude of like lock them up and throw away the key isn’t as as publicly tolerated as it used to be so a lot of people will say that behind closed doors they won’t say that openly or out in the public so you don’t necessarily get to see where they’re coming from it’s just the entire belief for the law enforcement agency it’s not openly you know spread about as much yeah so and I have thought about the law enforcement a lot because in in my little bit of research on a couple different topics with law enforcement homelessness and different crimes a typical maybe justification it isn’t fair to say justification but one of the things with law enforcement is they don’t make the laws you know what I mean the police don’t make the laws right their job is to enforce the laws and just I get my job you know there are some things some policies or decisions that we make that might not be the same decisions I would make if I was a hundred percent in charge right but that’s not my job I’m not you know it’s not my company to make those decisions my job is to do the job that my boss is established for me to do and so for law enforcement you know whether they think addiction is a disease or not it’s still a crime you know using is a crime possession is a crime paraphernalia is a crime and so when they find you with these things their job is to arrest you it is but it’s kind of how the system of checks and balances works right while they don’t make the laws alright I get this the legislative branch does I kind of I sort of remember the the high school version of this right they all so had the choice of how they want to enforce it right what is our belief systems and how do we feel about this and if it’s not working let’s just stop [ _ ] enforcing it jaywalking for instance which is a finable illegal offence in a lot of places at some point they said this is [ _ ] dumb it’s not working it’s not useful we’re gonna stop doing it right loitering and stuff the only time they use that anymore is when they can use it to get rid of homeless people Yeah right it’s not that they really believe that it’s a [ _ ] problem with society that they need to enforce it’s used as a tool to kind of screw over people who are struggling in these other areas and so while I agree with you that they don’t make the laws the the fact that it’s so prevalent of a belief system within their you know entity they use the laws to enforce them in a way that is malicious towards this group of people and so if they chose to say and if say the police force took on the the opinion that addiction really did needed to be treated and not jailed right they could stop locking up people who were they could just stop doing it they could stop catching people you know very quotes catching people with with drugs yeah and things would change some of those things are starting to happen I know you know they’re our local town police here and we’re in a town of Elkin if it’s okay to say that but you know they have been receptive to some of these ideas I don’t know that they’re being you know implemented implemented hard and fast but they are talking to people in the recovery community and connecting with the advocacy groups in the community so they are if nothing else they’re at least hearing this information and being open to you know some of the harm reduction ideas some of the ideas on compassionate care um getting people connected with the right resources in the community rather than just locking them up and throwing them in jail so it is slowly starting to creep in to law enforcement yeah and look I don’t think that every law enforcement officer or agent or person who works with them believes this right I just think as a majority belief in that culture this is and and and I’m not saying it’s an unreasonable efj unreasonable belief for what they have to deal with right this is something they got to deal with every day that is disturbing the lives of people who aren’t committing crime all around it right and so I get it there’s probably a lot of frustration around it it probably does seem easier like hey let’s just get them off the street and out of our hair so I don’t want to think this is a public criticism of law enforcement itself right I just know that every group has the ax on the way it believes kind of like when in Baltimore City not that long ago they were the police still said no we’re gonna continue to lock people up for for you know amounts of marijuana but then the prosecutor said we’re just not gonna prosecute like so even though it’s not the prosecutors job to decide whether it’s illegal or whether they get locked up or not like every entity can take a stance on what they are gonna do within their belief system the prosecutor said we’re not gonna prosecute it over time the police will stop locking people up for it it’s just one of those things they all influence each other based on their belief system and so I would definitely I would venture to say that I believe the the belief system in you know our our executive branch or police system or politics in general is that maybe addiction isn’t a disease maybe it comes from some other thing that people need to have more control over or that people who have it are bad people I’m not sure exactly what the belief is or if they’ve even gone far enough to think what is addiction and what was my belief about it but it’s gotta be something like that because if you if they believed addiction was a disease they wouldn’t act on it the way they do it wouldn’t be we’re not gonna give out in our can [ _ ] him let him die right like that wouldn’t be the sentiment of the people if they believed it was a disease so it’s easy to throw it into this you know moral failing category it’s it’s you know it and I hate to lump it in with like I think poverty gets that same you know lumped into that same thing oh if you’re poor you’re just lazy and you just don’t want to work and you just you know it’s it’s easy to I think it’s easier to judge and criticize people than it is to have compassion and feel powerlessness when you see other people suffering you know for me personally like I could say there’s a weird reaction that I have but when my kids let’s say they’re running across the porch and carrying something and they fall down and hurt themselves my immediate reaction is to get angry at them and be like why the hell were you running across the porch like that carrying something you know you know you’re just setting yourself up to be hurt right whereas the correct emotional response should be like compassion and empathy you know but it’s like I don’t like feeling those things so I react with anger and I think we get the same thing I maybe I’m giving people way more credit than they deserve but you know I like to think that a lot of people when they see you know the homeless drug addict or the young you know prostitute out on the street that their underlying feeling is compassion and remorse but they’re so there’s they feel so powerless in that situation that it’s easier just to be angry and blame that person than it is to realize that we live in a society that is pretty sick right now you know no I think you’re making a great point I definitely get angry with my kids not because they’re hurt like I’m sad that they’re hurt I’m angry because I can’t fix it right I can’t do anything about it I’m powerless like you just said and in order to accept that I don’t want to right I want to deny my powerlessness and say my power was that you should have not been a [ __ ] idiot like you should have not ran with scissors now you’re stabbed what’s wrong with you right you’re the problem this is why it’s not my fault like it’s like I’m trying to avoid the blame of it when really there was no blame I’m just powerless yeah I think there’s a lot of people that see like homelessness and they will we can’t fix it yeah they can’t fix it so what they’d rather do is just push homeless people out of their neighborhood somewhere where they don’t have to see it and then when they don’t have to see it no it doesn’t now it doesn’t seem to be a problem that needs to be addressed that makes sense so we’re gonna tackle where addiction comes from what is addiction right after we play our voices ad we’ll be right back this episode has been brought to you by voices of Hope Inc a non-profit grassroots recovery community organization located in Maryland voices of hope is made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity and respect of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment support resources and mentoring please visit us at
www.canadianoutback.com from we did ask this question this week and we got a few answers for it so back to back to Twitter addictive aset he thinks addiction is a behavior that seemed to work a solution the the whole craving dopesick shaking a concept of addiction that’s just dependency right that’s not really addiction physical dependency and he said that that’s how he accounts for the positive and negative addiction anyhow and then we mentioned you know people that have better precision-guided definitions but i don’t know what’s what’s your take on that do you think it’s just a behavior that seems to work I know some in in a social work field would definitely say it’s just like any other coping skill yeah and the more sort of research and the more education I get on the subject of addiction the more it begins to get I would say clouded on what the definition of that is um I for a long time I believe that you know it was everyone that was an addict suffered some sort of trauma or pain or whatever and you know similar to the idea just talked about that you know addiction was the coping mechanism for that that it was the the getting rid of that pain or dealing with that emotional pain that you know caused them to seek drugs to an excessive point um but I don’t know that I agree with that as much anymore because there is a physical dependence part that comes in where I’ve heard the stories of people that you know their lives seem good and fine up until the point that they got a physical injury and then they got on some sort of pain medication and then before they know what they were addicted you know I guess you would say physically addicted to that and then you know it just progressed from there so that sort of shot my original hypothesis out of the water yeah I don’t know though so I I would say those people probably are definitely speaking out of a belief of where they are at that moment which they’re saying that’s right or wrong I’m not arguing that point but someone who says I grew up with a very normal childhood my parents stayed together this that no that was also my story right and for a long time I believed oh yeah trauma what my parents weren’t divorced I don’t even have any [ _ ] excuse to use right it made me kind of miserable that all these other people were like oh my mother was an addict and she never [ _ ] came home and that’s why I ended up using drugs because my father drank and he beat me and I’m like I didn’t have this story like I don’t have anything my parents loved me it was great but the longer I stayed clean the more I got an idea that maybe it wasn’t as great as I thought it was right and this took a real long time to get to I’m talking like very recently did I learn even more about my childhood that give me it gave me a different outlook on how it was right maybe it wasn’t as rosy as I thought it was and so I just think that that’s definitely a take or like you know we can get taught some things I don’t know who didn’t grow up with the idea of quick cry and Rob gave you something to cry about that is like one of the most toxic traumatizing [ _ ] statements you can tell about and so if this person that you heard share that is growing up with this kind of upbringing right with this toxic information and talking about I was a great childhood my parents loved me right they sent me to high school in college that might not be so accurate I guess is what I’m just getting that here yeah and I guess every I mean anyone who’s a live past the age of you know 10 has probably suffered some sort of trauma in their life you know to some level or another I mean obviously you know the trauma might be different for the child who lost a pet say a dog or a hamster or whatever versus a child that’s been incredibly abused but we’ve all had these traumas and I don’t know how you can signify or pick out you know which person’s gonna turn to drugs to alleviate that trauma and which ones are just gonna grow up and learn the more healthy coping mechanisms for those things well and then and then we get into the other conversation around addiction right are we just talking about drugs because if I look at quite a few people in the world I would say there there’s a lot of maladaptive coping skills going on maybe drug use is one of the most maladaptive like that’s more easy to see from the outside the unmanageability of it but there’s a lot of people who are living in tons of debt because shopping is their way to cope right there’s people who are visiting strip clubs every night because sex is their way to cope or maybe not even business strip clubs at this point in time the phone and hummus is you know universal but just wasting hours of their life doing that in order to cope or eating obviously we have an obesity problem in the United States right food is readily available and we use it for comfort early on we’re taught to use that as a coping skill and so I guess what I’m getting at here jumping from relationship to relationship right not to beat the dead horse but a lot of people are using coping skills that maybe aren’t really healthy they just might not be as obvious outwardly as the drug addiction coping skill and so I don’t know if any of us are getting this real great coping skill maybe we’re all [ _ ] up from early on and doing it wrong well there’s another difference to addiction like a drug addiction that it has what I believe to be a much more obvious social impact on the community around you typically drug addicts you know end up being homeless they end up being you know the people committing the crimes in the area you know they’re affiliated with you know the drug dealing and violence that goes on in a lot of communities so you know you don’t at least surface wise again there are some underlying issues with people that have a food addiction like the impacts they have on our healthcare system and things like that they get easily ignored but you don’t typically see like the I mean at least I don’t know maybe they do but sex addicts aren’t necessarily robbing the guy down the street to feed their sex addiction I’m sure some of them do but you know it’s not as common I wouldn’t think as addicts so I think society has a much harsher view of drug addicts because there is a visual impact on the community around you you know that you see that is right there right the visual impact and you can blame it for you know costing your tax dollars that you work hard to pay and they’re not and all that so yeah I get it I just that is an interesting tape that it’s a coping skill and and trying to figure out if people just believe that it’s a coping skill or if we believe it’s something else we still believe it’s a disease moving on to Lizzie she said that for me it’s something that worked until it didn’t for her which she felt like was it made her better and prettier and funnier except that really in reality it wasn’t what it ended up doing was making her angrier and more sad and and more lonely and she asked you know she posed the question do I have the gene and she said probably but it doesn’t run her life today and so that brings up the is it a genetic right is this something that’s in our biology that wires us to drugs what’s your take on that um I think it’s both I think it’s there’s a genetic component that we’re pretty sure about at this point but that not everyone that has those genetics will become you know an addict some people will grow up with the healthy coping skills and some of us don’t yeah it is interesting like the study they did where they took the children who were born from parents who struggled with addiction and then raised completely by somebody else through adoption and to see that the the biological component reflected back like I think it’s one in eight if you had one parent and one in four which is 25% if it both your parents had drug addiction in their history and so I mean does that completely prove that it’s biological I know but that does give a strong component to it right that these people never even had to deal with their biological parents and yet still came out with the same problem one in four times that’s a lot yeah and in the book that realm of hungry ghosts there’s a lot of data he does some pretty deep dives into some different research and data on those types of studies the twin studies the adoption studies and things that they’ve done on the genetic side of addiction um and the general point that he has at the end based on and this is a medical doctor who’s researching this data most of this stuff like I’ve tried to look at that data afterwards and it’s so scientifically written it I don’t understand it a lot of times um so it’s like even in trying to like oh okay I can go to this study and read this study and then it doesn’t make any sense to me so unfortunately I have to rely on smarter people to interpret this stuff for me and explain it in a way that I can understand it in English um and so his take is it has more to do with like the epigenetics like it’s there is some genetic components but environment affects our genetics right right I would buy into that to move a little further rather than just me too a link which was interesting it’s a very governmental link that just sort of explains addiction definitely not what I was looking for when I posted this question not because it’s a terrible thing I just I really wanted people’s theories and opinions in the area these deep int intellectually well-thought-out ideas and I had a feeling people were gonna point me towards stuff like this a little bit but this just really talks about what causes addictions and then the one line that sticks out to me I guess or one little paragraph it says being addicted to something means not having it causes withdrawal symptoms or a comedown because this can be unpleasant it’s easier to carry on having or doing what you crave and so the cycle continues and I really I don’t like that statement one that puts addiction completely into something that has withdrawal symptoms I guess they’re saying that like gambling and sex addiction can have withdrawal symptoms to an extent maybe not the the physical ones we would expect from like an alcohol or a heroin but the fact that it says because it can be unpleasant it’s easier to really stress this is a choice and and I have a hard time believing that we have a choice at some point in time I think we lose that choice I don’t know that I know you have said you kind of believe a little bit in the choice of it to some extent well we are making choices when we use you know what I mean like we we make the choices that keep us stuck there or not I mean you know once I was in my first rehab going through my first 30 days of being drug-free and taught about another way to do things you know that was a choice to go back to like now I’m not willing to do that work I’m gonna just keep getting high why I made that choice and and what you know mental impairment went into making that choice I don’t know but I was in my first treatment center at 17 I stayed there for 30 days I didn’t do any drugs while I was there you know they taught me some healthy coping skills and whatever you could learn in the 28 30 days whatever it was there and when I left there I went out and decided to get high again I had been in treatment there not in treatment in recovery introduced to recovery I had gotten a few months a couple different times I’ve come into 12-step fellowship get a couple months clean go back and use again I had made a decision that it wasn’t giving me what I wanted it wasn’t doing for me what I wanted and drugs were so you know I don’t know for me it seemed like there were some choices there that I made because I knew there was other options and I had and then when I was in jail I went to jail for eight or nine months and I occasionally got high in there there was some opportunities to get high and I did but not on any kind of regular basis it wasn’t like everyday it was like a handful of times in that eight or nine months we had the opportunity to get high and every time you know as soon as I got out I went right back to drinking and getting high right so I feel like those were choices yes I mean I can’t I can’t argue with that I I never got the 30-day clean time I generally would stay for three to five days and then as soon as I felt a little better I was rolling out of any place I went to detox but I was clean and I did have a little bit of information that they tried to teach me in the haze of withdrawal right but I would definitely say for me at least and I’m just just been listening to your story if you tried one of these programs for 30 or 60 or 90 days and then went back it obviously wasn’t working like if it worked if it made you feel good enough to survive without drugs or without that coping skill you wouldn’t know I’m back like that just sounds like common sense to me and so the fact that you dig means for whatever reason at that point in time this other method was just not enough to sustain what you were trying to do well and in hindsight it’s I mean again it’s easy to look back and see what I wasn’t doing at those times you and from the twelve-step recovery model if we’re gonna get into a little bit of the details when I had come around to recovery before I never really did like the quote-unquote step work I never got into the steps and did the work necessary to get the what I’ll say cognitive therapy that I needed you know it was coming to meetings and hanging out with people that were clean and getting away from the old people and all that stuff worked to help me get off of drugs but it didn’t give me the tools necessary to stay off drugs and so that’s the very interesting conversation I think that comes up maybe you look at it more analytically and I look at it more spiritually I’m not really sure about that at all but I just a guess so what is it that allowed you to work the steps when you did right cuz I would say when the times you came and you didn’t I don’t think you coulda right I don’t think it was even a possible decision for you to make which is why you didn’t it just wasn’t one of those things whether it was because you didn’t believe it would do anything so it wasn’t worth putting an effort in something you had no belief in it’s almost like a lack of hope from my understanding right and then once you finally had the hope that it could work you did it and here you are but so I guess that’s my take on it I don’t think you could have made the decision the first couple times you were in and luckily you can’t go back and prove me wrong yeah I don’t know how to even I couldn’t even remember what I thought right yeah you know but I mean do you have a belief that there’s a more you just think you just didn’t choose to work the steps and you could have oh you always could have I mean yes yeah I believe so I believe it’s just like so you know and this kind of something we talked about this morning every morning I wake up not every morning but almost every morning I don’t want to get up I don’t want to go to you know go to the gym and then I come home and meditate then I get ready for work and every morning like I have to remember that that is a choice that I have I can just as easily go the [ _ ] back to bed and sleep another hour and a half and wake up 20 minutes before work and jump in the shower and get dressed and roll out the door and you know for again I don’t know my neuroscience of why I’ve been making the right decision recently but more days than not recently I have made the decision that I’m gonna [ _ ] do it anyway I’m gonna go to the gym I’m gonna meditate I don’t want to I don’t feel like it it’s not something in me that’s like you can do it you know it’s like [ _ ] this I hate it but I do it anyway um I look at that as a choice that is a choice that I am making to continue in this positive behavior and and I could buy into that right I think we have the ability at some points to make choices I just think there’s other times when we don’t have the ability right kind of the way it was explained to me early on in a therapy part of my life was that drug you saved my life right without it I probably wouldn’t be alive today because I could not deal with what was going on internally I’d have probably just taken myself out of the world right drug use was the only coping skill that got me through that point for a time at some point in time whatever reason I needed to adjust coping skills whether it was that drugs no longer did it anymore or just the consequences were too much and I needed to find something with less consequences and so during that time all of a sudden I was given this ability to choose something different when I never had that choice before that it was died or used drugs before that now I had this third choice this other right so I did this other when it became available to me and then unfortunately like that led to some addictions in other areas of my life even though I was not using the drugs anymore these other addictions ended up causing me just as much unmanageability and pain but without them again I truly believe they’re the options were hey don’t be on earth anymore or participate in this addiction and that’s the only to a and B’s I had in front of me and when C was finally presented come the therapy and do this other thing I took that right so I it’s not that I don’t think that we make choices it’s just that I don’t think the options open up until a certain point when we’re ready or we’ve had enough or whatever it is that gives us this option see right I’m always choosing between a and B and a is always not being here no more and B’s the best I got to stay here and so at some point this option C opens up and I’m not even really sure what it is that makes this option C open up but I don’t hold myself accountable for not taking the option C when it wasn’t there yeah and I guess I think back to so I’ll pull a piece out of our literature that says you know and this was just my experience this was my actual experiences you know we sought help through medicine religion and psychiatry none of these methods was sufficient for us I can’t remember the exact words but we continued to use until in desperation we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous so that point of desperation is a choice like that’s a like [ _ ] I’m finally beat enough to go do this thing that I don’t want to do that’s kind of the way that I look at that is like you know when I’ve had enough pain I’m willing to do the work necessary and that to me implies there’s a choice there hmm okay and I could buy that but I guess maybe behavioral economics we choose things based on what makes sense and what’s worth it to us and you know at some point when I’m at a 70% pain level and misery with drugs I’m not willing to do this 90 percent of work right yeah and then at some point that gift of desperation that desperate time when it goes – oh I’m 95 percent pain level this 90 percent of work seems more enjoyable right so maybe that’s why the option isn’t quite on the table for me it just doesn’t weigh out to make sense for me anymore yeah and it’s funny because I actually is you know part of something I share is that you know drugs always worked for me you know people you’ll hear people say drugs stopped working or I was just using to survive and no I loved it I had a great time using all the way up to the end I didn’t like the consequences you know what I mean I didn’t like the things that I had to keep doing to keep using but you know was the way that I felt when I wasn’t high it was my inability to deal with life so I had to go through every moment being high or under the influence of something all the time like that’s where it became unmanageable and the insanity came from I don’t know exactly where I was going with that but but you know it was that being high was the relief of my problems and it only be like recovery only became a choice when the consequences of using outweighed the benefits of being high all the time no that makes total sense I mean I think that would make the same sense for somebody who doesn’t have anything to eat right they don’t believe in in Robin Royal Farms to get something to eat but at some point when your hunger is enough that becomes a justifiable thing to do is Rob ruha farm so that I can have something to eat tonight right I just I don’t know that they had it I guess they had the choice to Rober al-fajr before that but they just didn’t I don’t know that’s a really interesting one yeah get lost in it and then it goes down the rabbit hole of well what were their other choices and the fact that they didn’t seek other choices makes it okay to rob people like did they try to reach out to a church do they try to reach out to a homeless shelter or they just resort right – well the Royal Farms is a block away and that’s way easier than trying to go do something else so I’m just gonna do that that’s just easier but tastier yeah probably better than a shelter so to get back a little bit on track Brazil Ruby just said the devil addiction is the devil and I have I’ve heard this take before and I’ve also possibly believed this take before for myself that addiction is the devil it is the great evil in the world you know against I guess the devil would definitely put it into a Christianity light if you believe in Christianity okay there’s God that I need to follow in recovery or there’s this addiction that is the devil right the great evil the great deceiver which kind of is fitting for the way we look at addiction a lot of times it talks to us makes us denial lies to us all that great stuff what do you think about that idea so I dunno and specific people aren’t gonna come to mind at the moment but there are incredibly successful people that would describe their passion or obsession for their particular sport as an addiction someone like I believe of Michael Jordan was like addicted to basketball he played all the time practiced all the time it was like an obsession right now you know for him it led to it’s almost like people that are incredibly great at certain things you almost need that drive of obsession to make you great at something so I don’t think to to categorize addiction itself as horrible great it can be useful I think it’s when it we go down these self-destructive roads and self-destructive paths with things I mean I don’t maybe part of the definition of addiction has something to do with destruction I’m not sure well maybe it’s an obsession if it’s not destructive and addiction when it is yeah that’s an interesting thing and I think since we’re parsing out what is addiction maybe we should talk about that a little bit so I agree I would say there are people who are we would look at them as addicted to positive things and kind of the way you just described it Michael Jordan right he was addicted to basketball he played in all the goddamn time and look how useful it was for his life but I I again want a question was it useful for his life did it make him a great basketball player absolutely did it make him rich and famous abso-fuckin’-lutely right can’t argue those points was it good for his life right I don’t know right how many relationships did he sacrifice with people by being a rich famous athlete where all he did was play basketball and spent no time you know interacting with other people that mattered and it’s like family members I don’t know like I have no clue about the quality of his life you look at somebody like I don’t know just some of these famous people who have ended up you taken their own lives and you say oh well they were successful it was super useful for their life to be addicted to being funny or singing or being in a band or being in movies and yet did it really work out that well for him because it sure didn’t seem to in the long run like I I can’t say whether Michael Jordan had a great life because he was addicted to basketball right yeah I don’t know either but I can say that he’s done tons of charity work and donated millions of dollars to helping all kinds of people around the world and in this country probably touched and helped more people than I could ever even begin to hope to help so not that it didn’t necessarily and evel’s advocacy resources for sure yeah you know I I’m playing devil’s advocate only to try to I don’t think thinking things are evil or terrible is the best approach to them like it’s it’s a thing that exists and if we can learn to harness that energy and use it in a different way you know the for example is like when I get involved in things like you know we talk about Little League like I don’t just pass haphazard into stuff and you know I tend to get a little bit obsessive about it but I don’t think that’s a bad quality as long as I’m aware and I’m keeping it kind of in check like oh whoa wait a minute you’re getting a little bit off the rails with this you know but I can harness that energy to motivate me to do things and and pursue interests and you know learn Grenn can we keep addiction in check I think that’s a good question if it’s an addiction and it’s obsession and compulsion that’s beyond our control is it something that we can keep in check and if we have the ability to keep it in check is it no longer addiction the literature and our fellowship says we are only given a daily reprieve so I’m given a daily reprieve by continuing to do the important things I need to do so I think that’s all we’re doing is keeping you in check I mean that’s the the way I look at it is it’s always right there it’s always you know right there and and I heard an interesting thing yesterday so someone had talked about you know you’ll hear we’ll say like all my addictions over in the corner doing push-ups you know so I need to keep him recovery and I thought a little bit about that I thought I you know mine doesn’t need to do push-ups because it’s a Power greater than me and just like the Sun doesn’t need to do push-ups to be a Power greater than me like no matter what I do it’s always a Power greater than me so my addiction is always a power that’s gonna be greater than me I just have to try to keep in position where it doesn’t grab me snatch me back up yeah I definitely I can I see what you’re saying completely I’ve always kind of liked the imagery of like my addictions in the bark a lot doing push-ups and all then just uh it seemed you know tangible to me I guess but you know a week you’re fine maybe God’s doing push-ups too right
he’s doing weighted pushup yeah people sitting on his back so yeah that’s interesting I would say at one point I probably for sure when I was more of a believer in Christianity personally uh the devil idea made sense I get what you’re saying how it doesn’t really need to be evil look if you were gonna say you know Jason you have to have addiction which one do you want the one where you’re like homeless and poor or the one where you’re really successful at basketball and rich and famous well yeah obviously like this addiction on the right sounds much better to me well and there are levels like we you know I grew up with a really good friend who his mom was every bit of what I would call a cleaning addict like she definitely had an obsessive compulsive cleaning thing I mean when you went into her house nothing was out of place nothing had dust on it have you moved like a [ _ ] figurine the wrong way like she would know when she came in and you know I that was definitely obsessive compulsive behavior but it never manifests into a point where it had these incredibly detrimental obvious effects on her life right all right so happen back over to to Facebook for some other responses people had Barry said that he thought addiction began for him when he wanted to get away from Authority he to do what the cool people were doing and he felt like he knew right from wrong but chose wrong so in a nutshell he would call addiction selfish and honestly when I first read this response I thought of you and the choice this idea and uh I mean so I can I can understand some of that look I I share that I wanted to be a part of something right I wanted to fit in and I say I wanted to fit in anywhere because I didn’t feel accepted by people but when I look back at it the reality is I probably could have hung out with maybe some of the more bookworm type people at a younger age in school who were smarter and into some video games and reading books and and and some interesting things like that and I did hang out with a couple of them from time to time but that wasn’t what I really wanted right I wanted to hang out with the so-called cool kids who were doing the [ _ ] that wasn’t legal or right or the stuff you would have got in trouble for and so I don’t know what that is that led me like yeah I just wanted to be accepted and validated but why did it have to be by this certain group of people as opposed to any group of people hmm yeah oh no that but I mean I think when I started using like I really liked it yeah you know I still you know I remember when I first got high and you know smokes a pot and I loved it so cool I want to do this all the time and you know when I drank I had fun and you know my willingness to do it was because I liked it and I think that’s where the selfishness part comes in for me is that you know oh I liked it I want more I’m just gonna do right see I understand it more like the later ages of at the actual drug use yeah that totally makes sense why that felt good for me but like this was even long before I ever touched the drug I can remember like just gravitating to wanting to be accepted by these cooler people and not so much the other people and I don’t know I just I thought that was an interesting concept I don’t I hear some people say it but it was interesting to see him as a response to what is addiction by saying yeah and I definitely think once I started using I drifted towards those like those became the people that I thought were cool right um but early on as a kid I don’t you know I don’t know I don’t know when I had low self-esteem when that came up you know when self is at what age are you when esteem becomes a thing
Kayla mentioned here you are is enough man you’re gonna friend all these people after this podcast she believed it was a choice a disease of choice in the beginning it’s a choice but after a while the part of your brain responsible for making choices gets hijacked and instincts take over it’s no longer a choice at that point it’s now a matter of survival addiction is like a disease in many ways she put it’s a combination of all models disease genetic environment and all the factors put together end up being the addiction itself yeah and I was gonna actually clarify and I thought there would become an opportunity and now she’s kind of setting me up for my clarification so I believe we have choices in addiction but once we start using you know once we’re actively using we lose our choice you know once we’re impaired and under the influence of the drug that is a Power greater than us you know and so like right now today I have choices if I were to go use tomorrow that would be a choice that I make once I’m caught in the grips I lose my choice you know my choice is gone um until some you know moment of clarity or some incarceration or you know jails institutions or death is what is the ends for an addict um so I would agree with with part of that and and even you know when we gained some clarity back so you know if you’ve been using drugs for years which you know a lot of us had been stopping for a day or two does not clear the insanity or influence of the drugs like it takes days if not weeks you know to actually start to even get your brain back to functioning normal you know it’s a process so I don’t know what we’re referring to is functioning normal but it’s definitely it can take months at all for any dopamine or receptors to fire reciever all these things are highly askew after you’ve used drugs to produce all your positive good feelings right and so you know it’s a little off of that topic but that’s why it’s so important when we make that decision to get clean that we also surround ourselves with supports that are gonna encourage us through those difficult times because that’s your most critical and difficult time is when you make that when you finally make that decision that you want to get clean you know you need those supports to carry it through that tough time and so that brings up a good you know we didn’t look into this and I don’t know it off the top of my head I guess I could look it up at some point but how long does it take for the chemicals in your brain to start firing quote-unquote normally again after you stop drug use after so many years like what is the maximum Manica take that we’ve studied and know for sure because if the scientific evidence says that your brains not going to produce its own chemicals to feel good for possibly up to six months and your argument is that after thirty days you had a choice I would say the [ _ ] you do right you don’t have any good feelings how the [ _ ] do you have a choice if you can’t produce anything that feels good in your brain alright and so there was and this could be old data so this is from years back but one of the methadone clinics in this area was saying that that for at least from opioids that the damage could be permanent that for a lot of people that it was permanent which was why you know a methadone maintenance program was so important for life that that it was a lifelong impairment of your brain so you would have to be on maintenance you know forever I for moral reasons never agreed with that I base that nothing on science and I don’t know if that’s the current data or not but at least that was the evidence that they were citing so let’s say we don’t believe their [ _ ] but let’s say we do believe that it could take up to a year for everything to start working right again does that change your opinion about having a choice after one month no I would say no no I mean so the way people’s brain works like so you can still put yourself so part of the reason I think like meetings and things are important or getting the support group and things are important is because any day we’re going to have a bad idea you know any day without the right encouragement supports you know re what do they call it where you rehear ideas again and again and again like without getting those that constant push to keep doing the right thing right any day along that path I can decide that it’s too hard and I don’t want to do it anymore yeah you can but I guess my thing is if if there is no positive reward ever for three months from doing what we’re calling the right thing right for trying an activity and doing it and you get no positive reinforcement for that no reward a behavioral psychologist is going to say why in the hell would you still do it of course you’re gonna go back to where you know the reward is which is the drug use right there’s a quick reward there yeah and I can’t say for all but I think for most addicts just to not be using every day as its own reward like just to not be caught up in the grips of daily active use is there some reward I mean now you’re probably not getting the full benefits of your full endocrine system like that may take some time but some people some people report getting clean and feeling great immediately right I just saw something like that some go into a deep depression for mmediately too so I don’t know I don’t know I just think that’s an interesting concept if I have no positive reward there is nothing psychologically that says I should stick with this everything says I should go back to the thing that worked it’s kind of like if I ate dirt every day like at some point and be like I should go back to cheeseburgers this [ _ ] dirt doesn’t really feed me anything but I think that also makes the point that there is no one pathway of recovery that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this you know answer to this problem like that you know maybe for some people I mean I again I follow some different things on you know Facebook groups and stuff about addiction and there was a guy this morning talking about he tried methadone and had just some horrible experiences with it you know and and he wasn’t against em eighties he ended up going on suboxone instead you know because he wasn’t against m-80s just his experience with methadone was horrendous he had some physical issues with it and some everything else um so there isn’t just one answer that’s gonna be right for everyone all the time some of us need additional things just like some of the mental impairments depending on what drugs you did and for how long would have to do with what your actual mental impairments are when you finally get clean right so since nobody else kind of gave me this this you know roundabout theory that I was really hoping for if you’re still here now I’m gonna start sharing some of my theories right this crazy out of the way things so I remember a time earlier on in my recovery where I started to have this idea that the thing that kept me from needing drugs was a relationship with God right not a belief a relationship with this God and in this I hate to use the word communion because that seems so Catholic but the communion the the relationship with God in that I got what I needed from that it was almost like the umbilical cord to the baby right I had this umbilical cord to my higher power and I felt connected to the world and so with that I didn’t need drugs and so what I said was that it must have been early on in creation we were much closer to God like we’ve relied on him a lot more a lot more the universe a lot more we relied on being in tune with it you look back at like older civilizations Native Americans other civilizations that were really more in tune with the earth in general and in tune with the concept of like it’s not ours this is all about just being here and appreciating it they didn’t need any kind of drugs to because of that and so what happened over time was we’ve gotten all these things which pushed us further from God all these you know like almost like we’re building a wall around us oh I got a cell phone I can spend time there I don’t need to have a relationship with God that during that amount of time and oh I’m busy getting money so that I can you know go on vacation I don’t need God and I’m building this wall every time I lay a brick and the more the higher the wall the less I can communicate with God and then when I’m cut off from God now I need drugs and so that was like my ultimate theory that’s definitely where addiction came from it had to be that nothing else was right all you other people and I was sure of it for quite a long time I can’t say that I am today I’ve kind of it’s evolved a little bit but what do you have a take do you ever have a theory about addiction like what was yours um well so immediately what I think and this is probably terrible to say but I’m like you do know like the Indians did a bunch of peyote and that psychedelics have been used throughout history as a connecting source to God like they actually used psychedelic drugs to connect with God right so in their cases that’s an addiction and the way that we use drugs today was not a thing like people didn’t use that way yeah it’s just not something that they did um so when I first got clean I didn’t really care what addiction was I had spent a bunch of time trying to figure that out before I came to a 12-step group because I thought if I could figure out what it is I can fix it without having to do all this whoo-whoo horseshit um and that I didn’t need anyone elses help I figured out intellectually oh my own and that didn’t work out so when I finally got into recovery this time I decided I didn’t really care that much what it was and that I would just work the program and see what happened and then the program what I learned through this step work was that addiction was this physical mental spiritual disease you know all the things that they teach in our literature that it’s a physical mental and spiritual disease that basically it’s an obsessive compulsive disorder that is coupled with a total self-centeredness and that you know those cognitive things you know cause us to use drugs excessively and as I’ve grown and educated myself I would say today if I had to put a sort of where it comes from on it would have a lot more to do with if you go back evolutionarily evolution from an evolutionary perspective um we were communal beings like we survived based on our ability to you know support each other as a community that way back in you know caveman days and as we evolved through like we needed other people in our community I couldn’t just go out and find my own cave and do what I needed on my own and provide everything for myself of you know t-rex would come along and eat me or whatever right and that our survival depended on our ability to function as a whole as what I’ll call hope as a group a community and so as we evolved and got more individual independence we start to separate from that group you know we start to think that we don’t need a group of people anymore but nowadays especially you know so many of us live in these communities or these groups and we’re not really connected with each other at all in any way so we seek seek these things out and just as a side note I think that’s where God sort of started to come in a it was a way to explain all the things that were happening in the universe that we had no idea what the [ _ ] was going on why the stars were there why the Sun moved or what any of that stuff it’s just easier to say it was God and then be like if we could just connect to this God then we didn’t need this connection with the rest of our community we could go to our individual cubicle and do our work and do our thing and we didn’t need a community or God was the purpose of the community so nowadays we’re separating from all that you know we’re finding that science is explaining a lot of the things that we have that you know we yeah we’re we’re religion you know is is sort of becoming not as as prevalent in a lot of communities so they don’t have that connection anymore and as people drift alone into their own islands and they are feeling connected to their groups we seek that outside of ourselves and we that our needs aren’t being fulfilled by our group so we seek them through outside means so addiction is isolation almost it’s the pain of isolation oh yeah yeah I mean there’s a TED talk about it the guy says named Johann Hari and he kind of he probably explains it better than I just did but it’s the opposite of addiction is connection you know and it’s if we can reconnect with a group if we can establish our our purpose within our communities that brings meaning and purpose to our lives which drives us to want to be better you know is the idea I buy into a lot of that so I and I think a lot of the theories I’ve had over the course of my life have definitely stemmed around the idea of connection right it might have started with the idea of connection to God kind of built in or evolved into something more along the lines of what you just mentioned of connection to just everything right whether that’s that’s connection with the food I eat in the process of how it gets to my plate connection with people connection with some higher power that exists in a universe whatever that may be like it was all about this connection of things and I think that is a huge piece of addiction is the lack of connection I still haven’t figured out if that’s the cause or if that’s just a byproduct of what comes with it but it does tie in a lot to the the aspect of fighting it is to reconnect and I’ll say for me to a part of you know when we talk about the community like connecting to the community for me personally I think the environment and nature and all our immediate surroundings are a part of that like when I say community I personally don’t just mean like the people like within our community like other living beings should be considered a part of our community in my opinion yeah I think one of the more recent thoughts I had about addiction and where it might come from is the idea that people used to not have time right like it used to be that we basically spent every waking minute of our life in survival right whether it was avoiding you know what’s out there that might get me or god I need to keep walking all day today to find enough berries to you know eat to stay alive like it was all about survival even when we moved into farming oh I got a farm all day in order to make enough for us to live right and as we’ve had all these modern technologies and inventions we no longer need to spend our entire days living in survival right we’re no longer that close to death as we used to be there’s no longer the tiger waiting around the corner that might get me and so it’s kind of like the theory of without sadness I couldn’t be happy right without paying I couldn’t feel joy like these kind of concepts and I totally believe in that like if joy is the only thing that exists or pleasures the only thing that exists it’s not really that pleasurable anymore it’s just what is so you kind of need the the bad what we call bad feelings in order to feel the good feelings and so basically the idea is we can’t feel alive because we’re not close to death like we used to be right like we used to always be on the verge of [ _ ] we might die today and so that allowed us to feel very very in touch with feeling alive and without that we’re very numb and bored and depressed and [ _ ] out of our minds right we had all this time to think that we’re not spending staying alive and just think about all kind of pontificate on all your headaches and we have a podcast because hey we’re not close to death right and due to that drugs kind of made us feel alive right they get things going and I it’s funny I was thinking of that recently as far as like traveling you know I think sedentary lifestyle has a lot to do with and when I say sedentary I just don’t mean people that sit at a desk all day I mean actually having house and staying in the same area for 20 years like how much more interesting do you think life was when you had to move with the seasons like oh [ _ ] it’s getting cold we got to pack up and start heading south and then you get to go like check out some new stuff you’re not looking at the same goddamn tree every day you’re not looking at the same you know hilltop because being in the same area all the time day and day out the the majestic nature of the forest you know just becomes a bunch of [ _ ] trees when you’ve driven past it for 30 years you know it’s just just the same old trees I mean we we live right near a State Park out the end of you know a road out here elf next State Park that people travel all from all over the place to come see and you know for us it’s like it’s a bunch of [ _ ] trees with a lighthouse like it’s cool to walk out there every now and again but it’s not as majestic because we’re here all the time right right now I totally agree with what you’re saying I was laughing because I asked somebody the other day if fish swam south for winter myself but maybe we do maybe these humans we need to you know driver walk south for winter yeah once we had a what do they call it agriculture and developed farming and we were able to settle into certain areas our lives started to get boring yeah yeah so maybe it’s I don’t know maybe addiction is just a lack of being alive a lack of feeling life in us right and it kind of ties in we talk about addiction a lot of times as a mental health aspect of it and you know we had to do all this work all day long to stay alive and so we didn’t have as much time really to think about all these grand concepts that we do which is neat but at the same time I think a lot of mental health is the process of overthinking things and being – in our minds right and it’s almost like we say people are crazy they’re out of their minds but I almost want to tell clients like get the [ _ ] out of your mind right get out of your mind as long as possible because it’s a dangerous place to be we just wander around in there and and work ourselves up on all these ideas with anxiety and depression and substance use and it’s all about being stuck in the mind maybe the the mental health is too not be in the mental so yeah and that’s exactly to me my understanding of meditation like that’s exactly the purpose of meditation for me is a sort of not necessarily a break from my mind but to just recognize like I don’t need to be caught up in there all the time I don’t need to be up in there thinking and thinking and rationalizing a theorize it like I can sort of step away from that and get a break from that not take all that [ _ ] so seriously and it’s a part of a 12-step fellowship you know what I mean it’s [ __ ] meditation is in the goddamn steps I’m like that’s how critical they think that is to the process of recovery you know to do what I believe is exactly what you’re saying so I don’t know I think that’s my migraine 3 for the moment and I’m sticking with it that addiction is a lack of being close to death yeah maybe we should all go be closer to death and we’ll feel alive and we won’t have to get become a free rock climber or some sort of mountain hiker and you know see if you still want to use don’t actually want to die kind of feel like I might die yeah I don’t know you got anything else for what is the diction now I’m pretty good on that all right we will see you again next week for something else that’s great and wonderful I hope you have an awesome week that wraps up this episode please subscribe rate and review this podcast on your preferred platform if you have ideas for topics you’d like us to talk about or just want to add an opinion contact us through Anker email us at recovery sort of at gmail.com or find us on Twitter at recovery sort of
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- 47: Step Nine – Made Direct Amends to Such People Wherever Possible, Except When to Do So Would Injure Them or Others (Sort Of)
- 57: Relationships – To Date Others in Recovery or Not? (Sort Of)
- 52: Adult Children of Alcoholics – Everything You Wanted to Know (Sort Of)
- 55: Step Eleven – Sought Through Prayer and Meditation To Improve Our Conscious Contact With God As We Understood Him, Praying Only For Knowledge Of His Will For Us and the Power To Carry That Out (Sort Of)