Resources to Promote Healing Throughout Addiction:
Compulsive behaviors, poor judgement, impulse control problems, and difficulty managing undesirable feelings and thoughts are all part of the human experience. In addiction, these aspects of life become unmanageable and destructive. I believe that the most useful antidotes to addiction are compassion, connection, and flexible boundaries determined by identifiable values.
"When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice." -Brene Brown
"We now understand better than we ever have beforehow exposure to early adversityaffects the developing brains and bodies of children.It affects areas like the nucleus accumbens,the pleasure and reward center of the brainthat is implicated in substance dependence.It inhibits the prefrontal cortex,which is necessary for impulse control and executive function,a critical area for learning.And on MRI scans,we see measurable differences in the amygdala,the brain's fear response center.So there are real neurologic reasonswhy folks exposed to high doses of adversityare more likely to engage in high-risk behavior,and that's important to know." -Nadine Burke Harris
“The opposite of addiction isn't sobriety. It's connection. It's all I can offer. It's all that will help [you] in the end. If you are alone, you cannot escape addiction. If you are loved, you have a chance. For a hundred years we have been singing war songs about addicts. All along, we should have been singing love songs to them.” -Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
“Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience. A hurt is at the centre of all addictive behaviours. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain.” Ask "Not why the addiction, but whythe pain.” -Gabor Maté
"Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare; I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” -Brene Brown
"Empathy’s the antidote to shame. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: 'me too'." -Brene Brown
Resources for Anyone Human: The following are resources that I find useful if... You have a desire to increase the ability to experience "goodness"; You want less anxiety; You want to understand how trauma and adverse life experiences affect us as human beings; You'd like to build feelings of worthiness.
Even if you aren't sure what it feels like to be "happy", "content", or experience "peace" in your life, I encourage you to believe in the hard science that our brains are adaptable and can be changed to work in our favor rather than against us.
You can synthesize your own happiness. With the right tools and understanding, you can begin to experience more positivity and "goodness" more often...
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt
"It is important to have the awareness that people who have experienced trauma can go on to not only “survive” the trauma but also experience what has been identified in the literature as “Post Traumatic Growth”. Understanding that this is possible is an important element that contributes to fostering hope."
Good news: You are not defined by your genetics. "The field of epigenetics is quickly growing and with it the understanding that both the environment and individual lifestyle can also directly interact with the genome to influence epigenetic change." Click to learn more: http://www.whatisepigenetics.com/fundamentals/
Have you ever felt like "one part" of you really wants to do something, and "another part" just wants to say forget it? All of us feel that way sometimes. Learn about how the different "parts" of our self sometimes get in the way of accepting and being comfortable with ourselves, and get to know a model for reintegrating those less desirable "parts" by clicking on the article below: