20 tweets that will help you fight off any addiction in 30 to 60 days ; 🧵
1) Transforming your life by fighting poor habits / terrible addictions is not about willpower. Will power is fleeting and short lived. Not sustainable. To truly quit any and all addictions – you need to understand the mechanism of addiction and have systems to fight it.
2) All addictions are a game of pleasure and pain in the brain. You are an addict because your dopamine levels are below the baseline – pain (normal levels). When you get high the spike in dopamine is followed by a greater dip. This causes cravings. You are in a loop. 🔄
3) You have a desensitized brain. You cannot quit your addiction because you love and desire it over everything else. This is not your fault. Over time your brains neural pathways are desensitized & nothing else compares. All you want is the high. It’s called Anhedonia.
4) Addiction is a disease of neuroplasticity. The changes in your brain over repeated drug use is what you are really fighting. You relapse like walking through a revolving door because over time repeated use has created powerful addiction neural pathways. You must reverse this.
5) You get into addictions from a desire to escape pain, not from a desire to seek pleasure. Once you find out a substance can reduce pain, you often return for more. Don’t fall for this illusion. It does not relieve pain, it numbs you to it. Replaces it with craving.
6) You have baseline dopamine levels. It is necessary for reward and pleasure mechanism. When you indulge in alcohol, porn, nicotine.. gives out lot of dopamine. the brain tries to correct it by reducing natural dopamine level thereby bringing you to a state of pain ( cravings ).
7) Detoxification is not healing, it is a band-aid on a bullet wound. A feeble attempt at healing. Detox is your first step, you get the drug out of your system to remove all physical cravings. Once that is taken care of you begin next stage of healing which is your brain.
8) You don’t want to do your drug, then relapse to craving and get hit with regret, repeatedly – This means you are at the stage of hypofrontality. Frontal cortex gray matter and functioning decrease, reducing impulse control. This is another reason for relapse.
9) Modern society is dull beyond belief. All of our needs are met within the confines of our homes. Comfort is everywhere. This makes us weak, susceptible to fall into temptation. You will pursue anything that makes you feel some excitement, some pleasure or arousal. Resist this.
10) To quit any addiction, you need 3 things – a) Get your dopamine levels to baseline b) Replace your sources of dopamine to stable healthy natural sources that can be controlled c) Hyper vigilance, constantly being aware of your behavior at all times. This is 90% of the battle.
11) you need 30 -90 days to get your dopamine levels to baseline. More if you are an extreme case. This is how long you need to stay away from the substance. Also avoid other big hits from other activities to avoid relapse. (Happens due to neural pathway activation)
12) You stop an addiction by stopping using for 30-60 days and resetting the brain. You stick to sobriety by building a life that’s too valuable to fuck up. Both require determination and effort.. both begin difficult but become easier and fun as you keep doing them.
13) Stop looking for a sign to start working on quitting your addiction. Start today and look around you, what is the one thing that needs to be done? Do it. Constantly keep doing things, take it one day at a time. Do it repeatedly over day. Distraction helps recovery.
14) When you stop using your drug for the first 2 weeks you will feel like shit. This is because the brain is now in defecit of dopamine and is in a pain state of low baseline dopamine. You will feel depressed, irritable and anxious. You have to ride it out. It only gets better.
15) Think of 2 voices in your head. One screaming, “I’m never satisfied” and the other telling you “I’ve got just the thing you want”. One signals low dopamine and the other signals overconsumption that leads to low dopamine signalling. Trapping you in an infinite loop.
16) You ride a bike without thinking, you reach for that cigarette without thinking. This is because of addiction related implicit memory formation. It is pavlovian conditioning on steroids. Hard to beat. This is why even the scent of beer can destroy an alcoholics resolve
17) Always have a partner during recovery. This is to help be accountable or to help be aware of what you are feeling or doing. Doing it yourself is hard, and often very lonely and depressing. You need to see hope, you need to feel companionship. This is the key.
18) Focus on doing today right, then focus on doing it again. Over and over. Don’t plan out 30,90 days it doesn’t work like that. Do one day right. Then use the momentum to move forward everyday. This will keep you consistent and positive. This is your road to recovery.
19) There is no shame in accepting you failed and are trying to be better. Tell the truth about your addiction and be honest about your recovery. Truth is powerful. Truth inspires, truth humbles, truth moves. You are a warrior righting past wrong doings. You deserve respect
20) Understand this, your recovery must come first. This is to ensure nothing else in your life ever takes last place. When you are addict you prioritise the substance over all else. This is how you will change it, by putting recovery over all else.
These are some of the things I’ve learned from my personal experiences through life, through people I’ve worked with & helped and also by learning from people more intelligent and wiser than me. I hope it helps you heal a wound or lift a burden.
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