My Brain, the Oxy Addict.

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It is with great hesitant caution that I share the following news with you all, lest the Universe realizes the mechanism that’s meant to keep me out of balance is acting up, and gives it a swift kick. But… [looks around the corner, under the couch, behind you]

*whispers* I’ve been pretty okay lately.

SHH! Not so loud! [Glances up for impending anvilI know, I’m having a hard time believing it myself. If the pinch test is worth anything though, it’s certainly not a dream. In fact, for the first time in who knows how long, I actually feel awake. I wish I could pinpoint the exact reasoning, but in typical lack of forethought nature, I both began and ceased a few different things right around the same time, any of which could be responsible. Moral of the story: “Do all the things”? Not quite, but I think we’re getting warmer. In my case at least, it was a matter of doing something. That something just happened to be training my brain to make its own drugs.

How many of us have something we really want, but that just feels out of reach? I’d say it’s safe to venture most hands would be up at this point. For those of you who read this blog, it could simply be to feel okay. I know I want that- desperately so. In fact, I would give up anything if only it meant I could be okay. But is that true? As I’ve come to realize, not necessarily so. Being okay means being mindful of, and fully in, the present moment. Struggle as I might, I was always unable to do so. “I want to let go of my past,” I’d assure myself fervently. “I just don’t know why I can’t!” I wanted to feel okay, but it turns out I was addicted to what I couldn’t let go.

No, I mean literally addicted. There’s a reason for those butterflies in your stomach- it’s called Oxytocin, and some scientists argue that it’s more addictive than heroin, and that sometimes goes for the withdrawal symptoms as well. Still I was told this over a year and four therapists ago; she rattled off chemicals and reactions and how x affects y and therefore z, providing me with the actual science behind what was happening. It was all in my head- just, not how I’d imagined. But like they say, you can’t help someone who isn’t willing to help themselves. It was just a drug that I wasn’t willing to give up. The lows were inarguably the ugliest times of my life, but the highs- oh, nothing compared to the high…

The other night I had a heart to heart talk with my best friend and admitted, for the first time outside my therapist’s office, that I was addicted to my past. To the abuse. How absolutely ashamed I was- both for being addicted, and for being so weak in my withdrawal. I told him for the longest time, I would spark the flame- take one more tiny hit just to tide me over until I was stronger enough to kick this thing for good. He equated it to “applying gauze to a dirty wound. It’ll keep you together, but you can’t close up the metaphorical gash without the metaphorical disinfectant.”

It’s not easy to admit that you’re addicted to something that you’re fully aware is harming you. Heroin, cocaine, alcohol, even a person. How many of us have hidden an addiction, tried to justify it- I can quit anytime I like. We grow accustomed to the way things are. We may wonder why we should bother trying to change anything. It’s hopeless. I’ll always feel this way. When you suffer from mental illness, like addiction, it’s not just about how bad you want it- recovery, happiness, a sense of meaning, of belonging. It’s about being willing to do some deep, dirty, introspective investigation, and then acting on your findings. It was my constant reluctance to do so (an aversion to introversion) that became the namesake for this blog, and my growing understanding of its importance that keeps me coming back to talk with you all.

Until next time…

 

 

 

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