Survival instinct drives the regulation of our nervous system, including stress regulation, without seeking our permission.
If you developed an addiction, it served as a temporary means to neutralize and regulate an overactive nervous system.
The lives of people struggling with serious addictions revolve around constant resistance against overwhelming sensory experiences, resulting in a perpetual state of “dis-ease.” In many ways, we became experts at self-numbing or engaging in sensation-seeking behaviors like self-harm or high-risk activities.
However, when you remove your dependable numbing agent, such as abruptly quitting drinking, it becomes crucial to intentionally fill those gaps with new habits.
Fellowship and community with a healing-focused group of people can effectively regulate the nervous system, as can practices like meditation, yoga, engaging with good books, prayer, or listening to inspiring speakers.
These activities are soothing, just like drugs. Although they may not offer the same rapid and intense effects as a shot of whiskey, they provide reliable ways to gradually accomplish what drugs achieved instantly. The long-term goal of any successful recovery intervention or treatment strategy is to regulate our arousal and gain control over our own physiological responses.
However, it’s essential to actively choose to engage in these activities. No one will guide you to a yoga mat or dial the number of someone who can provide calming words and a soothing voice. Taking action is a crucial part of recovery.
Action is the Key
Action is the key to success because your nervous system will seek regulation one way or another.
If you leave it up to your body and lower brain to figure out, you may not be satisfied with their choices.
In the realm of pharmacy, for example, we understand the importance of adherence. You can create the most effective drug in the world, but if people don’t take it correctly or at all, its value diminishes. Shockingly, a study on adherence revealed that one-third of individuals prescribed medication never fill the prescription. Of the two-thirds who do, half do not take it as prescribed.
This statistic may be surprising, but consider the adherence rates for our pets’ medications. On average, 85% of people not only fill the prescription for their pets but also administer it correctly and for the required duration.
Are we prioritizing our pets’ well-being over our own? If so, why?
Treat yourself the way you would treat a sick pet.
Addiction often sparks discussions about its causes, the role of genes, parents, peers, and treatment approaches. While there may never be complete agreement on these matters, one thing is certain: recovering from addiction is challenging.
This is evident in the disheartening rates of successful recovery measured by various metrics.
It’s not just that the drugs are too addictive to quit; otherwise, completing a 30-day rehab program would guarantee a full recovery.
Just ask someone walking into detox for the fifteenth time if that’s the case.
We may never truly know what separates those who recover from those who don’t, what finally propels someone to take life-saving actions. However, at some point, we must view ourselves as individuals worth helping, despite our obvious flaws. After all, we provide care for our sick pets, so why not extend the same compassion to ourselves?
Take responsibility for your own recovery because no one is coming to save you.
Action is the magic word.
Nobody recovers alone. While we may not agree on much, the significance of human connection is indisputable. We are social beings, seeking tribes and communities. Whether it’s an online group, a church congregation, a 12-step fellowship, or any other social setting, you should look for the following:
✔️ A place where you can regularly gather, share your struggles, and support others.
✔️ A place where you won’t fear rejection if you initially struggle.
Embrace the power of action and connection in your recovery journey, as you take charge of your well-being and cultivate a balanced nervous system that paves the way for a fulfilling and vibrant life. ♥️