Cycle of Addiction
We can all relate to doing things we'd rather not. Binge watching, drinking, or eating are a few of countless examples. It’s important to understand that we do these things for a reason. When our less-than-desirable habits crop up, they are actually serving a valuable purpose.
Addiction, in whatever form, is one of most common ways of coping with trauma. Compulsive shopping, snacking, or smoking provide an effective escape from traumatic symptoms. Surviving the aftermath of trauma is almost as difficult as surviving the traumatic event itself. Isolation, terror, self-loathing, inescapable memories and deep, dark despair color every day. No wonder we look for a break, however temporary and potentially dangerous.
Even behaviors that ultimately harm us are welcome. Whatever works. They make us feel loved; they fill a void; they sweeten life; they take the edge off the boredom…
…Then afterward, the shame sets in. Guilt. Consequences. Self-loathing. Regret. Oh, the flipside of reprieve.
This cycle of pain triggering the habit triggering the pain triggering the habit is seemingly unending. Indeed, it can take up a lot of time and emotional energy when we are caught in it. This is as true for someone addicted to opioids as it is for a gossip as it is for an Internet addict, even though some addictions are riskier than others.
Each of us has a dream in our hearts. The noise of the trauma and unhealthy coping strategies drown out the dream. Unwanted habits stand between us and the inspiration and purpose to live into the dream.
Yoga gives us a road map to the life of our dreams. In the upcoming certification training, Trauma, Addictions & Purpose, you will learn how yoga targets the needs of trauma survivors and simple, effective strategies to replace addictions and unwanted behaviors with practice. This is a great opportunity if you are a health professional or support person. It is especially powerful if you are changing your own habits, too!