What is the reason why it seems so hard to quit smoking?
What is the reason why alcoholics start drinking despite their own want not to?
What is the reason why drug addict’s use drugs, even as they see they are destroying themselves?
I was thinking this over as I sat down at my laptop, the room is cold since the heater broke down. I try to keep myself warm with one window open, I can’t close it because it’s stuck, and in the meanwhile thinking about things such as these.
I have seen drug addict’s, yesterday I noticed one of them, very skinny, walking up and down, up and down, the entire day as my daughter told me. She was in town that day before and even then he was walking like this. I observed him, a young guy, homeless, eyes wide open like he was scared, a side effect of the drugs he took. He NEEDS his drugs, to escape reality, to feel “happy” in his own world. In his hand he held a plastic bowl with two pieces of chicken on the bone. Eating from it while there was no meat left on it. Walking up and down like he programmed himself.
Sitting at my desk I was philosophizing about this some more.
How about smokers? They NEED their cigarette, pipe, or cigar to inhale the smoke, it has the function of giving them a pleasant feeling. Of pacifying them. Of calming down. Stress levels eliminating.
Alcoholic’s NEED their drink to get a pleasant feeling, pacifying, calming down. Eliminating their stress levels.
What connects a drugs addict to a smoker or an alcoholic?
They all escape reality for a while, they all want to feel the effect of their pacifier, they all know they are better off without it in a healthy way of speaking. Apart of the effect it can have on their environment, on people who Love them and the other way around.
A pacifier works for babies and little children up to the age parents “teach” them it is not done. They take away the pacifier because it’s better for them. Why? Is this why we long back to experience that inner safety? To feel good? Taken care off ? Ever noticed the shape of the pacifier? It looks like the nipple of a breast. A mother’s breast, comforting, natural, bringing us to Fuzzy Land being a baby. The human species has an intuition for this. Even when you have never had any breast feeding, you want your thumb, finger, cloth or pacifier. It’s human nature itself.
There are babies and little children who have a piece of cloth in their hands, without it they will not go to sleep. Or a bear, a monkey or another toy they feel attached to. They take it with them everywhere. Pacifiers…Then we grow up…We can’t put our thumb in our mouth anymore, we don’t do pacifiers, or do we? Did we replace our pacifier for a smoke? Drugs? Alcohol?
Could it be that smokers do the same? That smoking is the adult version of their pacifier, to calm down, feel good and they take it with them everywhere? Could it be that the drug addict needs his drugs for the same reason?
And how about alcoholics? Do they take that first drink because they want to feel safe again? To choose not to be in that hard spot which is called life? Do they get that warm, fuzzy, tingling feeling because they NEED it so they can de-stress of what life is presenting them? Is it an escape? From life? From low self esteem? From feeling too much pressure?
Only the person him/herself will know. Or not….?
Do they really want to find the true answer why they are addicted or do they not want to go there because that piece of their Fuzzy Land is theirs and theirs only? And they don’t choose to give that up…?
Many of the addicted persons who came to either my office or I met in life, thought, no were SURE they knew why they did it. But after talking a while they did not seem to know why they felt addicted. Apart from the surface talk, they did not find the real answer why they were not able to stop.
“I can’t quit smoking because it would drive me crazy, I tried many times, but I get so nervous. It just calms me down you know. Smoking is a habit, sure it is. The first cigarette I take in the morning even tastes disgusting. I actually don’t like the taste of it, but it keeps me from being angry, it just takes away the stress. I believe i am a stress smoker, if something like that exists”.
“I started to do drugs when my parents divorced and I felt lost. At the age of 11 I smoked my first joint, then I started to use what my friends shared with me, like coke, XTC and more stuff like that.
I can’t sleep without smoking a joint. My thoughts just don’t stop, they keep on popping up in my head like popcorn, it just doesn’t stop…, is it a habit? No, I have the feeling I need it. I calm down when I smoke a joint. That is I used to calm down with one, nowadays i have to smoke a lot more like six to eight per day to get the same feeling. They say you get used to the amount you smoke and you need more to get the same effect. I believe that. I realize I want to stop, but then what? No sleeping, I do believe I have problems with the home situation. The divorce, i still don’t understand why that was. And why I did not get a chance to talk about it. Really talk about it. Sometimes I cry, but guys of my age just don’t show their emotions, so I decide not to think about it and choose to smoke a joint again. I do believe I escape reality. Maybe because reality is just something I can’t cope with at this moment in my life”.
“I don’t know when I am going to drink. It just calls me and I can’t resist. It’s like an automatic pilot, like someone else is taking over. Still I realize it is me who is going to the pub or worse to the store to buy my bottles. Once I start drinking I can drink for days or more in a row, about 40 glasses per day. After that ‘urge’ is done, I feel terrible. I have cried about it a lot because I know I want to live. I know it’s dangerous, but a voice within me just tells me it’s okay. You’re fine. So I drink again. It happens when I am feeling lost, or alone, but also when I just want to hang out with the guys at the pub. I never got the real answer to the question why I drink. Maybe I also never asked myself that real question inside of me. Maybe I just say I want to know because my family judges it as bad. I don’t know. I did realize it happens when I am out of balance. Deep inside of me there is another voice, it feels like depressive what that voice is telling me. You just are not good enough and you will never be successful. I know that is not true, but that is what i think. Maybe I do sabotage myself, but I do not experience it that way when I start drinking. I just want to feel good, have fun, talk with people. And then I can’t stop”.
Writing this down I remember the faces of the persons I talked with. They all looked a kind of lost. Like they were waiting for someone to fix it. The truth is they are the only Ones to fix it. And before they can do that they will need more balance, more Trust in themselves, independent from The Others or another person. THEY own the key to their addiction. We can see the key and we can point at it but we can’t grab it and give it to them. Because it is theirs and theirs only. They are the Keeper of their own solutions.
The thing we can do is to Love them, no matter what. Support them instead of judging them. Feel loving instead of angry. We also have the inner force we can use to decide not to support them anymore. That’s up to us. But will it feel better when we do? Or will we feel lost too, wandering how he/ she will manage…
I personally believe that there is not one question without an answer.
How about you?