Monday, September 16, 2013

I wish I knew how to quit you

Cartouche - Box of Cigarettes

In an attempt to write more blogposts and improve my writing and  French simultaneously,  I’ve decided to write posts based on a French Word of the Day. I’ll probably remember it, as it’s a useless piece of information for me and that’s the main criteria my brain uses to store information.

The thing about most addictions is that it gradually become less about seeking the positive effects of substance and more about avoiding the negative effects of withdrawal. This is just how the brain works – it doesn’t like extremes and a healthy brain will down-play anything too positive or too negative over time. Giving yourself an artificial source of happiness, which is basically what mood-altering drugs are, and your brain will decrease your ability to derive happiness from more ordinary things, until the drug is your only way to feel a normal level of happiness.

I think with anything toxic, whether it’s a drug, a person, or a situation, a certain dose is manageable. At or below this dose, positive reinforcement is still the main driver. It’s still fun. But as soon as you reach the point where you’re being driven and controlled with punishment, spanning from headaches to an unshakable joylessness, you probably should cut your losses and step away.

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