The purpose of Chapter 1 is for you to determine if something or someone in your life has hooked you, and to what level. People without addictions develop a survival skill called self-soothing. It is something they do - almost automatically - that calms them down and relaxes the body.
In a previous post, we outlined some of the things people use for that. It often involves rhythmic or repetitive movement like walking, jogging, breathing, dancing, or rocking. These movements calm the brain just as they did when you were an infant. People with this mindset might take a walk as meditation, or go for a horseback ride, or work a jigsaw puzzle as a way to calm their mind and refocus their energies.
People with addictive personalities, however, lack self-soothing skills. The actions they take may look the same on the outside. Similar to self-soothing, the substance taken into the body also calms their mind. At first. A better word for that might be numbness.
Those with compulsive natures use an event (exercise, sex, gambling), substance (alcohol, prescription drugs, sugar, nicotine) person or thing as a way to control their own emotional natures. So, even in a yoga pose, their mind is racing. At the end of the rhythmic movement they likely feel worse, not better. They have less energy, not more.
Self-soothing offers relief. Self-medication is a momentary distraction.
The battle cry of an addict is, "I can do it myself. I don't need any help." Or, if very far advanced, they may say, "I should be able to do this myself. What's wrong with me?"
On pages 6 and 7 of "25 Ways to Win: The Pocket Guide to Addiction Recovery" you will find a quiz that will help you evaluate whether you have an addictive personality.
Thank you to everyone who has been buying the book in preparation for this. I have spoken to a few of you who will be "lurking" or using it as a catalyst for your personal growth. I applaud those of you brave enough to post a comment here. Telling our truth helps us and other seekers who happen along behind.
Kim Halsey is a human resource professional and executive coach who helps people overcome life damaging habits, restore important relationships, and live their dreams without drama.