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Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Category

Rogue Relationship

Sometimes you know that some relationships are more toxic than being a support. You understand that it’s a mistake making your life heavy and exhausting . You spend all your energy & happiness meeting the expectations but nothing suffices. In this vicious cycle you lose your personality, identity & the want of living.

Deep down you also know the only solution but refuse to accept it to yourself let alone the world. There could be several reasons for you being in the dysfunctional situation:

  • You are scared of hurting yourself as well as your loved ones.
  • Have become addicted to this relationship and like a substance abuser know the repercussion but doesn’t have the power to come out of it.
  • You even refuse to accept the truth to yourself & live with the hope of a miracle going to happen someday.
  •  Don’t want people to feel sorry for you.
  • The fear of unknown.

If any of these rings a bell, break the chains and start living your life from today. Let go of it because this relationship is like a virus, which will eat you and make you forget to live the only life you’ve got.

I know saying it is really easy while even thinking of implementing makes you shiver. Take the step to liberate the real you. In the beginning, go through the process of  healing which may involve grieving for your dead relationship but all of this will actually empower you. You would love to find your confidence again and letting go of the shame & guilt developed during the relationship.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

Warning: Before taking the step be sure that you are in a dysfunctional relationship. Don’t take a low phase as the whole relationship. Be objective and if you can’t seek external help to decide. This post is strictly for those you are a part of an emotionally abusive relationship.

 

 

Addiction in India: The War Goes On!

I am so thankful to Aamir Khan for giving voice to an  important & relevant major cause, which exists in our country but no one is willing to listen. I am an addiction counselor, who came back to my country with huge dreams of  changing the world of addiction treatment here. But am not ashamed today to accept  that I left my struggle because it was full of hurdles.  I am so grateful that today after watching Mr. Khan’s episode of Satyamev Jayate, my candle of hope has started burning again.

I have worked in various addiction treatment setups in India and it is sad but a fact, that most of them are only there to mint money. No one has a clue of what works. Because people are needy they trust them which is then misused. I was a part of this system. It made me question my integrity and disturbed me. I wanted to help but didn’t know how. I realized how much it means to me to find the answers. I traveled to the hub of addiction study, United States of America, and completed my chemical dependency certification and worked there for some time. It helped me understand this dubious disease in a better way.

I came back with huge dreams and hit the reality pretty soon. It was a WAR against the age-old mindset. I gave up but with time I had learnt one important lesson that I am not here to change the nation but to give something back to the society. Even if one person learns something from this blog, I would think that my goal is achieved. I have this powerful tool of my blog today and this post goes for the passion of my life… Addiction. Though in the show the talk was only about alcohol but here we are going to talk about addiction, whether alcohol or any other chemical ( marijuana, cigarette, cocaine etc.). The disease remains the same.

We have a very sorry state of addiction in our country. There are so many prevalent misconceptions & myths that there is no help for it.  I would like to put some light on this topic through an Indian perspective:   

  • Addiction is a disease not a bad habit or moral issue: Why in a party some people can be decent drinkers while a few make a fool of themselves. People actually wait for them to bring entertainment in a lifeless party.

I will give an example to make you understand it in a better way. Two friends decide to go for a drink. Let’s say Mr. X & Mr. Y.

Mr. X suffers from addiction while Mr. Y has no such disease. When they have the drink, Mr. Y may enjoy it but for Mr. X it is a new never  felt  before state. Mr. X is never going to forget about it.

  • Chasing the dragon: Then the chase starts. An addict, every time when goes under influence, it is with the wish of reaching the same state it felt the first time. This never happens only the substance keeps on increasing.
  • Tolerance is not good: How many times have you heard someone boasting that I can hold my drink . The biggest indicator of chemical dependency is increased tolerance of the substance.
  • The different stages of the disease: It’s an ongoing treadmill which ranges from experimentation, use, abuse to dependency on the substance. If you have the disease and you introduce your drug of choice to your body, this is how the disease will progress.
  • Hit the rock bottom:

Tony Robbins once said there are two things that motivate people to make dramatic changes in their lives: inspiration and desperation. In the journey of addiction recovery, there needs to be a kick which can stop us from the journey of  self-destruction.

Partial Acceptance

If you’ve read my posts, you would know I am a firm believer in the first step of acceptance.

For any change in us, we need to ACCEPT that there is a need for change.      

For any growth in us, we need to ACCEPT that there is a need for growth.

For any desire in us, we need to ACCEPT the need for it.

Even for being at the same place, we need to ACCEPT that we are happy with our present state.

So, acceptance is the key but what is acceptance?

You’ll say when you realize and give your approval to a particular situation or thing. And it is so right, when we start gaining  insight of a situation. It starts from becoming uncomfortable with a certain thing/ situation, realizing that something is not right and some work need to be done.

Analyze the situation, understand the issue and then accept that we need to change!

A mother having problems with managing her child with a disorder, won’t be able to do the needful until she accepts that her child needs help. A marital problem can’t be sorted until the people involved accept that there is a problem in their relationship. You’ll only be happy if you accept your original self with your challenges and strengths.

As an individual, when do you feel complete and secure. When you accept yourself as you are without any ifs and buts but is it so simple to achieve?

We struggle with the acceptance with our excuses and reasoning. We accept our challenges but not fully and consequently our work with  them is also partial. We like to go for partial acceptance because it allows us to live in a fake world without dealing with our inner conflict. This also makes us look for recognition from others, makes us lose confidence in ourselves. We stop the process of growth because we start living in the denial of there is no room for improvement.

Think about it, when was the last time you accepted something without any buts. If you are honest to yourself, you’re going to have a problem in recollecting it. May be you were fully accepting but that lasted for some time and if the time length was long the acceptance was not 100%. The moment you start having problems with acceptance, your growth goes through a downfall. You start putting your reasoning and stop the process.

So, what is the way of working on acceptance?

Be honest to yourself and embrace yourself the way you are. There is no place for bargaining. The moment you’ll surrender you will see the possibilities. You enable yourself by giving the strength of acceptance and working on your limitations.

For eg., Tina needs to work on her empathy. She realized that  a lot of time she is insensitive to people’s emotions. In the beginning she had issues in accepting her insensitiveness. Whenever she tried, her brain told her yes you did cross the line but what about certain situations where you were not so bad. This struggle went on for a while, until she realized she really need to do something about her situation, otherwise would end up as a loner. She understood her need to surrender to her insensitiveness, which in turn will help her accept it and work on it.

Until you live in denial you are snatching opportunities from yourself for growth. You’ll keep on fighting acceptance of your challenges and would fail in leading a contended life leading to restlessness and confusion. You’ll try to find the answers without any success.

Do remember acceptance is a process and need to be worked on everyday basis. If you are ready for being a better individual come out of your partial acceptance mirage and then you’ll see there is no limit for growth!

“Self-acceptance comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. Don’t numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.” – J. Donald Walters

We and our Addictions

Whenever we use the word addiction, it is generally associated with a substance. The picture which comes to our mind is of someone in a secluded place, in a grave kind of state, leading a sorry life.    

But, the addiction I am going to talk about today is something closer to home. I am going to talk about the thing or behavior which is beyond our control, which we understand we need to get rid of but somehow aren’t able to bring ourselves to do it. It can be our addiction to junk food, getting involved with the wrong kind of guy, not able to manage time effectively and so on.

Before going on, think of a behavior or thing which you are making constant resolutions to change or give up but it is not happening.

I’ll take the  example of  ‘loosing your cool on a loved one ‘, even when we know we shouldn’t do it as it hurts us too, we are not able to control ourselves. We have done our share of talking to ourselves, made a pact that the next time if a situation like this is going to rise, we won’t repeat what we did the last time…. But the same or worse happens when the real situation comes. It feels it is beyond our control, something which is not in our hands.

The reason for the need for change in behavior or thing usually is a consequence or a negative outcome we are facing due to it. We face the results, make promises to ourselves on not going on the same path again but everything falls flat on our face as soon as we are in front of our problem behavior or thing.

Now, picture a person, you call an addict. Is there a difference between him and us? You’ll say certainly, for being an addict there need to be a substance.

You are right but what about the behavior difference?

  • An addict has no control over the substance, the same is the situation with us, as far as, the behavior we need to work on is concerned.
  • An addict is not able to do anything about his addiction even after consequences and same goes for us.
  • An addict operates on immediate gratification and we are not far behind. We indulge in the behavior because it is something which is giving us immediate relief though it may hurt in the long run.
  • As an addict we are also developing a tolerance for that behavior or thing. The intensity keeps on getting worse.

It is perfectly fine to be a little doubtful about your addiction after this. Don’t worry this is not a post to make you feel bad about yourself but the aim is to challenge ourselves, to work on us and grow as an individual.

Even if we accept that we are powerless over a certain behavior or thing, what is the next step. I’ll say, something very similar to the treatment of chemical dependency. You should not mess with this certain behavior.

I have seen, in the course of my practice, it’s a vicious cycle. Until and unless you are not in it you are fine but the moment you indulge in the behavior/thing, you lose all control. You become an audience and witness yourself repeating the behavior/thing again and again. Enable yourself by not experimenting with this certain problem.

Going back to our example, of losing your cool on a loved one. If you feel a situation which could make you upset is rising, walk away. Don’t think that let me convey this message in a decent way and leave. Because chances are you’ll start on the vicious cycle, and won’t be able to make your point and leave but end up losing your temper again.

I believe God has made us the master of certain things but at the same time we have our challenges. This is the difference between a common man and a saint. We just need to accept the things which are beyond us and leave it to those who could handle it.

Deal with your addiction and stay sober…Renew your Spirit!

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