If you have the idea that you are taking too much alcohol or drugs and generally messing up your life then you may wish to search deeper into why this is the case.
How did you get here?
1. How about your family genes?
Often there is someone in your family who has similar overusing behaviour. They may be dependent on things other than alcohol or drugs.
• Money – spending/gambling. (“Spendaholic”).
• Food – eating disorders (“Foodie”).
• People – co-dependency (dependence on other people)
• Sex (“Sexaholic”).
• Computers/hobbies (“Golfing widow”).
• Body/personal image – (“Cerebral” or “somatic” narcissism).
• Work (“Workaholic”).
• Exercise (Exercise addiction).
• Travelling (Wanderlust/”geographicals”).
• Belief systems (Cults).
• Crime (Career criminal).
• Philosophy (thinking too much – “human-doing” and not “human-being”).
• Power – over “people, places and things” (“Control Freak”).
• Collecting – hoarding or philanthropy.
2. How did you feel as a child?
You may have felt the odd-one out in your family and amongst friends, only connecting with one or two people at a time. You chose them because you felt slightly superior to them and they were non-threatening. You may have just felt different.
You found that you were very sensitive to your feelings and may have suffered from excess worry and could lose your temper quite easily. You may have suffered severe tragedy or sexual abuse which made you even more guarded about talking to other people in a relaxed manner. People could easily make you feel fearful but you could easily put on a brave face. You may have suffered from worry-lines, finger-nail biting and scary dreams.
You enjoyed being praised indirectly but found it difficult to accept face-to-face compliments. You enjoyed helping other people. You did not enjoy criticism or being dissed. You hated arguments. You felt superior or inferior to people but not on the same level.
Perfection or failure.
You tried very hard to make it, often chasing perfection. Failure felt awful. You always put your heart into things you liked. You over-strived.
3. How did you feel with the first/early use of alcohol or drug?.
You felt at peace or even exhilarated with early use. You felt connected. You were fascinated by the effect but were rather worried about using. You realised that you lost control with use. However the feeling of peace was appealing. You remembered the experience and that using was always an option when you felt very scared or full of hate. Acquaintances noticed the change in you with use. Your shyness evaporated with enough use.
4. What happened with your continued use?
Somehow the use increased and you drifted into increased amount or frequency of use. The acquaintances you made became more immoral and you found the loss of control led you into dark places. You did not know why but had to deal with more and more mess related to using.
5. Did you notice changes in time?
You noticed time passing quickly with use but slowly when not using. You preferred older or younger company. Gradually you noticed time slowing down more and more. Your future felt increasingly black. Your misdemeanours and suffering from your past haunted you.
6. Did you notice loss of effect? Did you start craving for alcohol or drugs?
At one point using became ineffective and made you feel worse. Your immoral acquaintances and the dark places led to increasing use but you did not know how you got here. Perhaps your every thought is now on obtaining alcohol or drugs. This is craving and is not usual in the simple heavy user who can take or leave using.
7. What did you lose first?
Other people who were using seemed to continue enjoying the effects of using and could take it or leave it. They matured. You stopped relating to these people who were not like you anymore. They started to realise this and abandoned you or you abandoned them. You lost who you used to be. The worries and hatred seemed to become more frequent as the mess when you lost control became worse. You may have lost or are gradually losing family, job and money.
Loss of recent memory
Perhaps you are unable to recall your behaviour when using. This is called blackout and does not mean that you have to literally collapse with using. It just means your memory centre did not register the events that happened during use. Sometimes your acquaintances tell you of your antics which make you feel guilty and shameful which makes you want to use again.
So what is wrong with you?
In summary you have had an abnormal immune or allergic response to drugs or alcohol related to your genetic make-up.
The inflammation resulted in the connections between nerve cells (dendritic spines) in your brain initially increasing (Dutch courage) but eventually they decreased with use. This is termed dendritis or dendropathy. You also developed inflammation of your memory centre (hippocampitis) and your fear centre (amygdalitis).
If one considers the connections as leaves on a tree, using initially changed your brain from winter to summer but eventually back to an even bleaker winter.
The good news is that the connections can re-grow with some work on yourself helped by others and cutting down or stopping use.
What makes the nerve cell connections re-grow?
Realizing that you have a tendency towards alcohol or drugs causing the allergic response and continued deterioration of your life. You gain insight and consider changing your life from it`s current form.
Reduce or stop use. Simple suggestion but hard in practice.
Talking to the right people who have regained themselves from overuse.
Changing immoral acquaintances to moral acquaintances.
Changing dark places into bright places.
Mental and physical exercise, sex (with someone you love).
Avoid watching bad images on TV, avoid listening to bad music, avoid reading bad books.
Caffeine and nicotine. However not too good for the body.
Prozac – the better of two evils?
Diet rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, curcumin (in curries).
Treating yourself – you are doing quite well in recognising your problem. Sometimes you are the only one who knows how well you are doing.
The tree model of brain disorders
How Prozac really works.