This is part one in a two-part series about the insanity of addiction.
What Is Insanity?
You may have heard the old expression, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results.” This is certainly true when it comes to the insanity of addiction. Many people stay stuck in a cycle of insanity because they think they can exert their own willpower over addiction, but this never works. Addiction is a much more powerful force than willpower.
Most people who have a drug, sex, porn, food, or gambling addiction fall into the trap of believing “this time will be different.” They set out to find enjoyment in their substance or activity of choice, only to spiral out of control and go on a binge that they later regret. Then, after some time passes, they have a craving to do it again and they convince themselves that this time will be different, only to repeat the same mistake and go overboard like they always do.
Why is this?
Understanding The Insanity of Addiction – Why You Do The Things You Do
Most people are completely baffled at their own behavior when it comes to addiction. They can have a sincere desire to stay sober or not gamble, or not watch porn – whatever, yet they find themselves doing the very thing they don’t want to do. This can lead to extreme shame and guilt and feelings of worthlessness. No one wants to feel as though they don’t have any power over their own decisions, impulses, and actions. However; this is the effect addiction has on an individual. Many describe it as a feeling of powerlessness.
Addiction is a complex brain disorder that affects the way the mind works. Understanding this is a step in the right direction. When you come to believe that you are dealing with powerful biological forces greater than your desire to stay in recovery, it can make recovery easier to navigate so you don’t fall into the old familiar trap.
Here’s a simple explanation of addiction:
- Taking drugs, drinking alcohol, having sex, gambling, and binge-eating all produce a surge of feel-good chemicals in your brain. This makes you feel euphoric, relaxed, in control, and “happy.”
- Your brain likes this feeling of well-being and it wants more of it.
- To sustain the experience of “feel good,” your brain tells you it wants more, more, MORE AND MORE!
- You continue to pursue the activity until you collapse or run out of resources.
- You wake up the next morning filled with regret and remorse and swear you will never do it again.
- Some time later, your brain wants to experience that “high” again. It signals you to use drugs, drink alcohol, or watch porn – whatever you’re into. The brain wants that feeling of enjoyment at all costs.
- Your brain lies to you and tells you this time will be different.
- Belief in the lies.
- You go out and get high.
- You feel regret and remorse.
Although experience has shown you time and time again that you cannot control or manage your addiction, you repeat the same mistake again and expect different results. This is the insanity of addiction.
This begs the question – how can you stop the insane cycle of addiction and be restored to sanity? We will answer this question in part two of this article.
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