Hey Guys! It’s good to be back. After far too much time off from writing, it feels so good to be writing again and hanging out with you guys.
Before you draw any conclusions as to if this post is about legalizing recreational drugs, sorry this isn’t. It’s also not about any type of drug you can buy from a dealer or a prescription pill you can become addicted to.
In today’s thinks, I am going to be talking about the “drugs” that your body can create and become addicted to. All of these “drugs” in healthy doses are what make us function properly, but there are ways to “hack the system” and send your body into overdrive.
I’m going to be talking about two things in particular. And you’ve probably heard of these before, so let’s go.
Yes adrenalin can become a drug. I’m not talking about the people who are addicted to roller coasters either. I already know you guys are crazy (I am not a fan, if you couldn’t tell.). But what I am referring to is a personal experience with this addiction.
Adrenalin became my drug when I was anorexic. I know that sounds strange, but hear me out for a second.
When you become a severe anorexic, your body can experience black outs. This is when your mind starts to become foggy, you pass out, but at some points are still conscious. It’s a very strange experience that I was addicted to as an anorexic. What would wake me up often times was adrenalin that my body would create when it knew it was close to death/crisis. If you’ve never experienced this before, it can be rather hard to explain, but I could often feel the jolt of energy rushing up and down my spine and throughout my body.
The near death rush of adrenalin became rather addictive, and the experience was often what I lived for.
This is often known as the stress hormone. This is your body’s natural fight or flight response that should take place when you: run from an angry bear, watch a horror film, or see your ex.
Your body creates this hormone to let you know that you are not in a safe situation.
While it’s intent is to protect your body, overdoses of cortisol can do much harm to your mental health.
Imagine if every response or situation in your life was met with cortisol. Perhaps this started for you as a young child with abuse. If you spilt a glass of water, maybe your parent would act out or yell. If you upset a guardian/parent, perhaps they would get physical. Your natural response to any interaction might have been fear.
During this time your body has been trained to think that all natural responses would be to panic and initiate “fight or flight” mode.
The problem is, once you are in a safe and calm environment, your body will not decide to stop producing cortisol. In fact, your body may have developed an addiction over the years. You may constantly see yourself thriving during that panic and being frustrated when absolutely nothing is wrong.
My therapist has been working on me about this. Unfortunately, my body is constantly assuming it is in crisis mode. It often thinks it needs to be in a panic attack, feel anxious, or constantly feel unsafe because of this. However, with the proper medication, deep breathing exercises, and keeping up with my health has helped me make progress.
This is often common with children in foster care who have been removed from their homes by child protective services. The environment they are placed in may be completely safe, however, the child may not know how to live in a situation without panic, so they create it. It is not uncommon to hear stories of children in foster care needing to act out.
While your response as an adult may be different from that of a child, you may be constantly looking for the panic as an adult.
I think the last Linkin Park song explains it perfectly in the song “Heavy”:
Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
Wish that I could slow things down
I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic
For anyone who understands the body’s natural response and the possibility of a cortisol addiction, the line “there’s comfort in the panic” makes complete sense. It’s sad to think that he(Chester Bennington) will be gone almost a year now.
Medication and Meditation
I know that medication can be a controversial topic for some. This is especially true for those who may have grown up in a religious environment such as mine (See Healing from Spiritual Abuse and Forgiving My Abusers).
Although I do no believe that medication is a cure-all, for some it is a necessary ingredient for stabilizing excess chemicals or lack of chemicals (In most cases depression can be tied to a lack of Serotonin). Consulting a trusted neurologist or psychiatrist may be the best place to start to see what is right for your body. Some medications can be habit-forming and can be dangerous for those with past self medication habits or addiction.
Thanks for reading this week’s thinks! It’s so good to be back. I’m hoping to be here on a more consistent basis again.
See you soon!