Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Addiction - what a shitty ass design

Here is a dirty little secret about addiction: it's permanent and forever, and no one ever really stops being an addict.

The people at Alcoholics Anonymous know this. 
The people at Weight Watchers know this.
People who work in recovery know this.

Far too few people ever want to admit this dirty secret, nor accept it.

You get things like “I went through treatment and now I'm cured,” or “I quit smoking and now I'm good.”

Yeah? How many smokers do you know who have quit “only once”? Most smokers take up the habit again and again. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances ever engineered by man. Heroine is another. These substances didn't happen by accident - they were cultivated and nurtured for their addictive properties.

The human body and mind are wired to get addicted to things - sometimes those are chemical, sometimes behavioral. 

Internet addiction anyone? Be it social media, or porn, or just wasting time in games. It’s not chemical, but it's sure as Hell engineered to be addictive.

We are hardwired to feel good. Sometimes we can make strategic choices to “delay gratification,” which ironically gives us something to feel good about in the moment, which is really just the fix our bodies are after, anyway.

“All control begins with self” - we consciously learn ways to trick our bodies and brains into the “feel good right now” it demands, by finding ways to feel good about long-term goals. 

Turns out that anger and hostility trigger some of the same brain chemicals that laughter and joy do. We're hard-wired to her pissed off *and like it.* What a shitty-ass design.