Notes From a Year of Reading – Addiction

I have had a few days in a row where I didn’t experience any cravings or took any addictive substances (excessive sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol etc..) It was pretty cool. I don’t think I’ve experienced something like this since I my early teens.


Quotes and Notes on drugs and addiction from my recent reading:

📝 We Habituate..

Understand: Artificial pleasures (designer food, drugs, VR porn etc..) throws our systems of the scale, making us unable to appreciate the natural. – BEHAVE by Robert Sapolsky

📝 “We mix up reality with our interpretation of reality. We invent some fundamental lies of how life should and shouldn’t be. Then we use food and drugs to temporarily escape the lie we invented.” – Radical Honesty, Brad Blanton

📝 Civilized Man: He can do what he sets out to do without chanting and drumming. Even daily prayer and divine aid is unnecessary. “His gods and demons have not disappeared at all; they have merely got new names. They keep him on the run with relentless, vague apprehension, psychological complications, an insatiable need for pills, alcohol, tobacco, food-and, above all, a large array of neuroses.”

⁃ Notes from Man and His symbols, Carl Jung

📝 “Pleasure from the senses seems like nectar at first but is bitter as poison in the end.” “That which seems like poison at first, but tastes like nectar in the end – this is the joy of sattva, born of a mind at peace with itself.” – Bhagavad Gita

📝 The Amateur replaces ambition with addiction. Drugs, alcohol and other distractions; like drama, social media, porn, the news, and food. This keeps the amateur from doing the actual work required.

⁃ Notes from ‘Turning Pro’ by Steven Pressfield.

📝 “You stop growing when you start drinking alcoholicly… prevents you from walking through the painful life experiences that take you from point A to point B on the maturity scale.”

– Drinking: A Love Story, Caroline Knapp


What’s your history with addiction? Emotional, physical, psychological, and/or chemical?

Thoughts on: “The Human Magnet Syndrome” by Ross Rosenberg

“The soul mate of you dreams is going to become the cellmate of your nightmares.” Rosenbergs father said this to him as a joke 30 years before he wrote this book. There is a lot of psychological insight in this joke. Especially since Rosenberg grew up to be a codependent.

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In a magnet-like fashion, Codependents are attracted towards self-absorbed emotional manipulators. We have all witnessed this phenomenon. Maybe we scratched ourselves in the head and wondered: “Why do these people don’t see that this relationship is dysfunctional?”

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This magnet-like force that pulls the codependent and the narcissist to each other is what Rosenberg aims to explain in this book.

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📝 Codependent and emotional manipulators are naturally attracted to each other because if their perfectly compatible dysfunctional inverse personalities.

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📝 Consciously we desire relationships based on similarities. But this is secondary to our unconscious preferences. “…We unconsciously gravitate towards relationships that are familiar and reminiscent of those experienced during our childhood.”

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📝 People of similar polarities seems uninteresting to each other. When dating what “on paper” would be the perfect partner the feel like “chemistry” is missing.

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📝 These types of relationships are resistant to break-up because neither the codependent or the manipulator can stand being alone. Loneliness triggers shame and a feeling of inadequacy.

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📝 Most families, especially dysfunctional ones, tend to resist change, since it is experienced as stressful and uncomfortable. A child, in an attempt to gain independence, might be seen as a threat. “Hence, all families, especially dysfunctional ones, not only resist change, but pass down their shared emotional function to the next generation.”

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A good book if you want to get an introduction to the common personality disorders. A fantastic book if you find yourself in an unending loop of dysfunctional relationships.

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:

I’ve been thinking about one question a lot lately: What makes me sad about the world we live in? I think I have found it. It is how unfair it is that children have to inherit the problems of their parents. 😔

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3/5

 

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Thoughts on: “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Gabor Maté

Dr. Gabors is specialized in the study and treatment of addiction. His book offers portraits of his patient lives, stories about his own addictive behaviors, it examines the causes behind addiction and it breaks down the path to recovery.

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He opposes the weight that’s been put on the genetic component of addiction and points at stresses in early childhood (even pre-natal stresses) as the main risk factor. He is a big proponent of more compassion in society’s view of addicts and explains the futility of the “war on drugs”.

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An excellent introduction to the complex problem of addiction!

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📝 “As a rule, whatever we don’t deal with in our lives we pass on to our children” -Our unfinished emotional business becomes theirs.

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📝 Addiction = Fear of emptiness.

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📝 Proximal separation: Physically there but mentally absent when parenting. Children experiencing this look to use external couping mechanisms like thumb sucking or tuning out. These kids have great chances of seeking refuge in drugs later on in life.

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📝 Gabors recommends the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and the book Rosenberg’s book “Non-violent Communication” (I just got it!)

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📝 Circumstances for brain development differs. Some have had positive experiences that others have been deprived of. Think about this before you judge.

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📝 Parents, and mothers in particular, are getting less and less of the suppport they need during their children’s early years. This is a cultural breakdown of cataclysmical scale. Therefore the raise in adhd.

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📝 “All problems are psychological, but all solutions are spiritual”

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📝 “Only healthy nurturing relationships with adults will prevent kids from getting lost in the peer world. A loss of orientation that leads rapidly to drug use.”

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY: Regardless of your degree of addiction or whether your drug of choice is heroin, TV, food or shopping – reading the stories and research presented in this book will help to shine a light on your own addictive tendencies.

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My struggles have been with nicotine and refined carbohydrates. What’s your addictions? 🤔😀

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PS: The audiobook version of this book is excellent!

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5/5

Photo credit: @darcy_renea_lalimo (Instagram)

 

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Thoughts on: “Drinking: A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp

When I hear the word alcoholic I usually think about the guy sitting on a park bench, too drunk to notice he peed his pants, but even if he did notice, he would be too disconneced from reality to care.

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This memoir we meet Caroline, she is another type of alcoholic; a “high functioning” one. The type that can maintain jobs and relationships while exhibiting alcoholism.

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She was raised in an upper class family and had her first drink at the age of 15. The next 20 years her relationship to drinking slowly turned from flirting into an abusive relationship. Happening so gradually that she almost didn’t notice her fall, but getting out of the addiction was quite the opposite.

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📝 Discomfort + Drink = Comfort

The equation of an alcoholic.

“It turned me into someone I liked”

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📝 “Ads says: “Drinking transforms you” and it does! It melts down the parts of us that hurts or feels distress. I makes room for another self to emerge that is new and improved and less conflicted. And after a while drinking becomes essential for the development of that version. Without the drink you are version A and with it version B and you can’t get from A to B without it.”

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📝 “The paradoxical thing about drinking alone is that it creates and illusion of emotional authenticity, which you can see is false only in retrospect. Liquor seems to be the only thing that allow access to our own feelings.”

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📝 About choices in recovery: “If it’s warm and fuzzy and comfortable and protective, it’s probably the The alcoholic choice. If it feel dangerous and scary and threatening and painful, then it’s probably the healthy choice.”

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📝 “You stop growing when you start drinking alcoholicly… prevents you from walking through the painful life experienced that take you from point A to point B on the maturity scale.”

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It’s a sad and touching story, that I really recommend. Especially if you, or someone close to you have a sketchy relationship to “ze booze”, because it might help you put a finger on what’s going on.

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4/5

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What are you drinking and reading this weekend?

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