Addiction and Survival
Updated: Jun 14, 2019
Deception: when addiction becomes "good" for survival.
In active addiction, we live in a dark place. It is a place full of negativity, fear, shame and perceived uncertainty. Desire, aside from the obsession to find ways and means of keeping our addiction fed, are all but missing. Sometimes, there are glimpses of hope; passing thoughts of a life without drugs or alcohol, but these thoughts are fleeting as the burning desire stemming from deep in our brain replaces thoughts of hope with motivations for finding ways to get more drugs and/or alcohol. There is a reason for this.
We are designed to repeat behaviors which are good for our survival. For the addicted, alcohol and drugs have tricked the brain into thinking they are good for survival. So, the same part of the brain (mid-brain), which is responsible for heart-rate and breath (survival instincts) is determining that drugs and/or alcohol are good for survival and rate it as such in the form of desire and obsession.
Addiction hijacks the pleasure pathways in the brain. It is an impulsive and irrational brain disease. It doesn’t exist in the frontal cortex where reason and logic can be found. Addiction lives in the mid-brain where fight or flight and other survival responses live. This part of the brain trumps reasoning every time.
Addiction may often begin with a moral failing like selfishness or overindulgence. But full-blown addiction involves physiological and psychological components that go beyond morality or even choice. So, while the “normal” person looks at the addicted as asks, “how can they do that to themselves?” The addicted looks at themselves and says, “how can I not?”
Thankfully, this condition can be reversed and recovery is possible. I did it and so can others!