Why Addiction is Sneaky

“If one felt that good, how would two feel?”

When I was in jail, I heard a lot of guys talking about how desperate they were for a “head change.” This is what so many people need to understand about addiction. MANY people try drugs recreationally throughout their lives. There are plenty of people who are prescribed pain killers at some point or another.

I think this is where our brain’s ability to adapt becomes our greatest strength/weakness.

Imagine you grow up next to railroad tracks or an airport. Your brain can actually turn the volume down on the constant noise. You stop noticing it… until it is gone.

That’s how emotion pain, mental disorders, depression, and past trauma are for some people. You might hear the same “noise” as them. When you take that same prescription painkiller as they do, you might feel loopy and lethargic. But for them they “hear” silence for the first time; maybe the first time in their lives.

When your pill wears off, you go back to normal. When their pill wears off everything gets the volume turned back up. Suddenly that “head change” becomes their security blanket. Suddenly their brain begins to “adapt” and equate “numb” to “normal.”

Usually that’s when most of us stare at that bottle and think, “if one felt that good, how would two feel?”

The “head change” took you out of your homeostasis. The “head change” for them made the previous homeostasis unbearable.

The more you numb it away, the more uncomfortable it feels when it comes back.

Addiction is so sneaky because it doesn’t manifest negatively right away. Most of us start that downward slide without feeling the ground eroding beneath our feet. You don’t do the drugs because they make you feel “high” but because they make you feel “functional.”

I’ve never met anyone who took their first drug and woke up the next day hopeless, destitute and suicidal. Drugs would be MUCH easier to avoid if that was true.

The beginning, however, is blindingly seductive. As your footing erodes you have your cake and you’re eating it too. You might be “using” daily but it’s no big deal!! You still have a job. You still have a home. Everyone still loves you.

It’s your little secret, right?

Like they say in the movie Candy: “When you can quit, you don’t want to. When you want to quit, you can’t.”

The bill is coming. You don’t know when the collection agent will be knocking, but he will. Maybe it will be your job, your relationships, your self-worth, your home, or your life.

If you’re using, he’s on his way.

You’re not broken. You aren’t evil. There’s a better way and if you are reading this, your tomorrow can be better than your yesterday.

You’re worth it.

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