Are you on the ADDICTION merry-go-round?
Are you using general busy-ness, TV, alcohol, sex, sugar, porn, overeating, caffeine, nicotine, illegal stimulants, new age healing or even social media to desensitise yourself.
WE USE ADJUSTMENTS TO DESENSITISE OURSELVES FROM PAIN.
Not all are bad or wrong.
In gestalt psychotherapy, we call this inevitable and intrinsic human gift ~ a creative adjustment.
It is at the very heart of our humanity and what makes us successful as a species.
We have the unique ability to manage chaos, adversity and create opportunities and prosper through this uncanny ability TO ADJUST and meet our NEEDS.
However, when an adjustment becomes habitual and locked in when other more suitable adjustments are viable, and masks meeting the true need, it is no longer a creative adjustment.
At this stage, it tends to fly under your radar as a CONSCIOUSLY CHOSEN RESPONSE to life and becomes UNCONSCIOUS.
So in effect, you are no longer in control of yourself.
Whether it’s using stimulants like sugar or black tea to soothe yourself, which then become habitual or social media/film binging or even excessive exercise it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same. It’s all about desensitisation and avoidance.
So I think it goes a bit like this following sequence:
There is an incident which triggers you – which brings up discomfort or pain – you block off the pain – using a stimulant such as say scrolling through FB to desensitise you – you disembody to reduce contact with the pain – you then form a habit out of this – your nervous system lays down pathways to record this activity and it then becomes habitual whenever the pain begins to arise again as the root has never been addressed.
You literally mistake this dopamine hit from the sugar or social media ‘likes’ or scrolling as a form of self-soothing or as the nourishment needed to rebalance yourself from the pain.
So in essence, you are seeking succour for healing the pain…
All very innocent and well intentioned.
The problem is our society is founded on the practice of teaching our bodies and nervous systems from children, the cheap thrill techniques that bypass feeling, expressing, sharing AND seeking support.
The body knows this doesn’t hit the spot.
So a sense of lack builds and builds around the desensitisation habit. It is literally like eating a MacDonalds and still being hungry….because we are being starved of the NOURISHMENT we desire but have deceived ourselves of true nourishment around the original NEED.
This NEED is around getting completion which may involve receiving an empathic ear, affection, understanding, presence, hugs which help us dissolve the layers that have built up around the core wound.
Instead when someone reaches out for sugar for example, they get deeper and deeper into fixed loops in their nervous system that require more and more consumption to satisfy…but then there is never any satisfaction…
So it goes something like this:
Event – Trigger – Pain – Desensitisation – Adjustment –
This is the Addiction Merry-Go-Round.
If you’d like some support to shift long standing, deep, or just generally pesky addictions, please get in touch and I can share some kick ass methods.