Hello all, a question.... Why dont people discuss causes?

Postby geek72 » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:16 pm

Hi everyone,

Firstly just like to say hi to you all. From what I have read of this forum, theres a real mix of people, sufferers, relatives/family/spouses of sufferers.

I myself am 34, I know a little about the subject myself too.

What I dont understand is why there dont seem to be any discussions on what is causing the addiction? What makes you continue with it? Why did you start, have your motivations changed over time?

I wont pretend I dont have my own problems and addictions, but i am clear on why i dont give them up, just interested to know if any of you know why ?

Also, I guess I am just interested in talking to a group of poeple i can identify with.

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Postby Flowerchild » Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:47 pm

Why did I start, because alot of people smoked pot in the 70's. We viewed it as no different then our dads coming home from work and relaxing with a drink. When I started you could buy an ounce of pot for 30-40 dollars. Why did I continue for 29 years? Because I was a perfectly functioning pot smoker. I kept a perfect home, raised 2 sons(with help from a great husband and daddy), cooked great meals, did PTA, worked part time outside the home, etc.,etc. Why did I finally quit Jan. 05, I got really paranoid (never happened before), thought I was having a heart attack, and generally freaked out. After many attempts to quit and failed, I said enough is enough and quit cold turkey. Was it easy nooooooo, am I glad I did yessssss! Good luck to all quitting any habit/addiction. Take care, Love and Peace. :D
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Postby Modus Ponens » Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:30 am

i started smoking weed because i was curious about what it was like. when i tried it i loved it because it made music sound so good and i love to listen to music. also it made me feel spiritual and expanded my consciousness which i thought was amazing since id always been an atheist. i liked it so much and i would feel really empty and depressed on the days when i didn't have it so i quickly began smoking it as much as i could, even all the time. i began notice it was having power over me and i found it very difficult to control my usage, however at the time i didnmt believe it was that harmful so i didnt see any big problem with allowing myself to slip into daily usage. by the time it started having negative affects on me, i was already addicted and didnt want to stop. eventually, the affects became so bad i had to stop but by then it was too late and my life had been ruined. ive been clean now for 10 months but my life is still ruined and i doubt i will ever recover from the affects of this substance.
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Postby vfr » Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:49 pm

geek72 wrote:Hi everyone,

Firstly just like to say hi to you all. From what I have read of this forum, theres a real mix of people, sufferers, relatives/family/spouses of sufferers.

I myself am 34, I know a little about the subject myself too.

What I dont understand is why there dont seem to be any discussions on what is causing the addiction? What makes you continue with it? Why did you start, have your motivations changed over time?

I wont pretend I dont have my own problems and addictions, but i am clear on why i dont give them up, just interested to know if any of you know why ?

Also, I guess I am just interested in talking to a group of poeple i can identify with.


There is a method to our madness when it comes to addictions. We derive the following benefits from participating in our various addictions.

"7 Benefits We Derive From Our Addictions"

1) Pain Reliever

Addictions help distract us from our pain. Most of this pain is generated from an endless cycle of wrong living that produces more pain and requires more drugging through the application of our various addictions to try and diminish the pain. Other times we use this pain relief our addictions provide us to dull physical pain we might be suffering from health problems just as a doctor gives us a pill to take to dull the pain. You can do an experiment in this pain relief area. If you have pain in your hand for instance, start stoking you arm lightly. It diminishes the pain in one area and pout new concentration in a sensation elsewhere. Addicts take natural pain relievers and turn them into pain generators. Handicapped addicts suffering great pain have a much harder time with finding peace - for there is never a complete escaping of their pain even if they restructure their life. Such addicts should get support from "like kind" and seek out recovery groups along this specialized area of handicapped addicts as well as using traditional recovery groups.

2 Pressure Relief

We use addictions to help blow off stream from stressed and unbalanced life we live though overextending ourselves to the point of breaking by living a lifestyle of "jugglers syndrome" and by having too many irons in the fire. In a lecture I once heard, Thich Nhat Hanh describes the Buddha as sitting on a lotus blossom which was regarded as a sign of peace and serenity in earlier times. Hanh goes on to say that nowadays, many people sit on burning coals instead of sitting on a lotus blossom, so no wonder they cannot find any peace. We make no time for inner peace, we are too busy for such useless things a meditation and relaxation. It feels good to get drunk and drugged up or spend money and acquire things or eat junk foods or have sex or even blow up in rage once in a while. One person mentioned how "profanity" provides a release denied even by prayer, so for some of us having a rage attack can provides a pressure relief. I had to learn to channel my pressure through other healthy release valves as well as not participating in a life that built up excess pressure within me. Adrenal steroids (cortisol) secreted when a person is under stress reach the brain and over time can affect the structure of the brain. We also produce cortisol from any other stressors the body perceives, whether it is physical stress, such as a sickness, injury, surgery, or temperature extremes as well as psychological stress that we and the world put on us. Each of us has produces a different amount of these chemicals and has a different sensitivity to them and this might be the missing link as to a part of the question as to why some of us are more addictive than others with how we each produce and react to these stress chemicals differently.

3) Time Filler

The devil finds work for idle hands - Thoreau. Many time I have heard an addict say they went to their addiction out of boredom cause they had nothing else to do to pass time. Developing a list of positive time fillers that are healthy and sustainable was a big breakthrough for me with my recovery work. (My earlier post entitled "Positive Time Fillers" goes into more detail on this subject, if you missed it and want a copy write me.)

4) Escape Vehicle

Addictions make great escape vehicles to distract us from our problems - most of what we have created for ourselves by living unbalanced lives. We get enough problems in life for free - no use adding fuel to the fire. This is what Voluntary Simplicity does for me in a nutshell. It helps reduce the problems I generate on my end and makes life more bearable so less escaping of the present is needed. I try and catch myself when I practice this escapism and work to bring my thoughts back to the present. Whenever the fantasy starts I check to see what I am escaping from? Why do I fixate on something else instead of where I'm at? Are the problems and reasons I am trying to escape from due to irregularities, falsehoods or lies I perpetuate? Can I change these problems or do I have to work on accepting them as the serenity prayer says? Being dishonest was the foundation of most of my earlier troubles. Once I started with the 12 steps in correcting these irregularities, things got slowly better and this gave me hope to keep working in the right direction. Inventory work identifies all these problems and gets them off your back when you give them away. No one is perfect, even so-called normal people go too far once in a while, so we should not beat ourselves trying to hold ourselves to a standard above the normal, non addicted person. As addicts we become super sensitized to our various addictions and can really beat ourselves with anything associated with them. But, we have to continue to take inventory work as long as we live and correct any mistakes as soon as we realize them if we want continued peace. (My 6 page post entitled "Putting Peace First" goes into more detail on this subject, if you missed it and want a copy write me.) Practicing mindfulness of the present moment as part of a Buddhist practice has helped with staying in the present as well as working the 12 steps to restructure my life into one that is pleasant to live and not one I need to hide from.

5) Pleasure Vehicle

As sensation addicts we like the sensation we get when we participate in our addiction. It feels good to receive the brain chemicals or high I get when I participate in my drug of choice. In short, if it feels good I over do it and keep doing it until it turns into pain - then and only then I know I need to stop.
The normal person does not have to go this far to know when to stop, and if they do go too far, they quickly turn things around as they see the activity not a healthy way to live. Not so with addicts, as they will refuse to stop even under penalty of jail or death. This is what's separates the addicts from the normal person - stopping ability. I had to accept that some things are just too exciting for my sensations and stimulate my brain chemicals too much to play with, irrespective of fixing the hole in my soul or not. I learned to use new positive ways to feel good that were sustainable and not destructive. But, addiction recovery is never a perfect path. Some addictions require participation in such as eating, spending or sex and an addict must have mechanical tools of clarity as well as spiritual tools for inner recovery to develop a balanced recovery program with these addictions. (If you missed my earlier post entitled "Mechanical and Spiritual Tools of Recovery" and what a copy write me) But, once we experience a change in our path of living and we see we can derive pleasure from other areas that are healthy and sustainable, we can see there is a choice in how we live and decide on which path to take. Balanced living is also of prime concern - or following the middle path of moderation the Buddha laid out in his teachings. A path of moderation which rejects both sensory indulgence and the extremes of self mortification and denial. When we find more pleasure in staying abstinent, sober solvent and are living a balanced life within our comfortable means we have turned the corner and are home.

In the book "How to Want What You Have" it details the addicts plight.

"People who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of sensual pleasure find that the more pleasure they get, the more they want. Small, ordinary pleasures soon lose their power to please and must be replaced with more intense or exotic ones. Heedless sensualists usually meet a bad end. They learn the hard way that their desires are relentless and insatiable."

6) Mystical or Religious Experience

Yes, our addiction is our religion. All our addictions have pleasure aspects within them and we get rewards for participating in them in the form of euphoric experiences. Euphoric experience can be related to the spiritual as well. The definition of a religious mystic is one that partakes in an altered state of conciseness with God / god or the spiritual realm. Our addictions also give us this altered state of consciousness and feeling of euphoria. So, we can say that our drugs are our gods and our addiction is our religion. There is a reason to our madness - it is not just pure madness as most addicts think.

7) Death Sentence

Finally, if all else fails - addictions are great killers and destroyers of life. What benefit do we get from destruction? I guess it can best be explained from something told to me from an old sponsor in DA. He one said, "If we are spiritually sick we will find a way to get rid of the money no matter what." Well, the addict that is spiritually sick will do the same with their life - they will get rid of it. Don't confuse spirituality with religion here. Spirituality deals with the unseen and our inner self, but has little to do with being pious. One writer describes religion as "dealing with social cohesion and spirituality as dealing with inner transformation." I discuss this in an earlier post called "On Meditation and Finding Universal Truth." We can be very spiritual people and still not be a member of an organized religion. I go into this in more detail in an earlier post called "I Am Having Trouble With Steps 2 and 3" if you wish either copy, write me.

V (Male)

For access to my earlier posts on voluntary simplicity, compulsive spending, debting, compulsive overeating and clutter write: vfr44@aol.com. Any opinion expressed here is that of my own and is not the opinion, recommendation or belief of any group or organization.
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Postby Scorpio Dawn » Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:08 pm

Your post is fantastic, just the things I believe in but cannot express so well. I'm a recovering alcoholic and weed addict in AA and NA, also a spiritual person in the way you describe. I'll email you so you can send me your stuff.
Great to find you
Love and blessings
Scorpio Dawn
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Postby Tigerlilly » Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:18 pm

I've thought about this question a lot. It's sort of a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" question. That is, do I have a genetic propensity toward addiction (i.e., the addiction came first) or did I create an addiction? I'm not sure, but I tend to concentrate more on the latter.
I started drinking and doing drugs as a way to cope with depression, anxiety, and failure. It wasn't that I expected that my drinking and drugging would help these conditions, but I knew that I could temporarily escape them and "feel good". I kept drinking, in all honesty, for the same reasons but also because no one really expects too much from a drunk. The pressure to succeed, to excel, to compete, to be special, exceptional was off of me because I was a drugged out drunk. Sure, that depressed the hell out of me, so I drank.
I stopped the destructive cycle of drug and alcohol abuse when I realized that I deserve all the good things in life and none of the bad. And anyone who doesn't think so can kiss my lilly white butt. :P I know I won't necessarily get all the good things in life and escape all the bad, but that is OK. I don't expect to, only because life is unfair, not for any other reason. I just don't feel guilty over what makes me "fortunate", and I don't accept that I deserve misfortune. I'm a good person, worthy of love.
Now I don't pour booze and pills down my throat because I decided I set the standards. My life isn't perfect, I'm not perfect, but I'm damned good enough and my life isn't half bad. My life is better without the alcohol and drugs because I've finally given me permission to love me. When you love someone, you wouldn't dream of poisoning them. I wasn't loving myself when I poisoned myself with alcohol and drugs.
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Postby Sin999 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:28 am

Why did I start smoking cannabis? Because I was seduced by all the hippy bs. It seduced me good and is still seducing me today. Everything seemed to make sense and I thought I was discovering my identity. Discovering music also helps to open your mind as such. Thats how you feel. Everything is hezellic man!

It seduces you, it seduces your friends and then you discover that you don't have any friends who don't smoke it which makes it even harder to get out of. It pretty much rules your life and you don't realise it. You freak out and can't cope when you run out. Its your best friend and worst enemy

It is a vicious circle and i'm sorry but life does seem easier when your stoned. The thing is it is had to cut down and it always seems to be in your life.

Does it not tell us something if we are so depressed in the first place that we all feel the urge to get stoned all the time? Life must be pretty crappy for the average person. I also blame the government. I am 25 now and have been smoking since I was 15. When I was 15 Skunk was quite hard to get hold of. I mean you could get hold of it but it was usually as a special treat. In the last ten years skunk has been made more readily available. I blame our government for not making it harder for us to get hold of in the first place.

My generation seem pretty F****d if you ask me. We are talking about a generation of long term skunk abusers and we still don't know what the long term implications of abuse of this drug are. We have bred a generation of potential schizophrenics and unmotivated, socilaly phobic lazy people. I don't feel that the future is bright.

At the same time I still believe that people should have the choice whether they want to smoke or not.
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Postby Foolishboy » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:54 am

Isn't it all just to escape from having to face who we really are? To escape from the effort of having to change what's wrong in our lives, to a life that would make us happy and contented?

Whether it be drinking, smoking, drugs, gambling, shopping, cleaning, OCD.. or whatever.

Isn't it because we're scared to try and change the addiction, as it seems such a huge mountain to climb?

Is there anyone who is at peace with themselves who has an addiction? If not, doesn't that say an awful lot about why we do it, and why it continues?

Just some thoughts and questions...
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Postby slik1 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:19 pm

gotta agree wif foolishboy, maybe he ain't so foolish after all :wink:
We can't blame the government,friends,family,problems....
only one person to blame in my opinion, doesn't mean we are bad, just made a mistake.....
sin999 says"It is a vicious circle and i'm sorry but life does seem easier when your stoned"
The word in this sentence to take note of is seems.....
stoners just forget that it is possible to be happy without spliff, yes jonesing is difficult, but it gets easier, yes life is difficult, we can't be happy all the time cos we wouldn't appreciate those happy times if we didn't have the unhappy one's.....
I thought i had lost the ability to enjoy anything without being stoned, well know i'm beginning to realise i didn't really enjoy anything while i was.....
Isn't it true that the things we enjoy the most are the one's we fought hardest to get? don't we appreciate these things more once we get them by fighting?
I for one find a challenge in things that are difficult to achieve, then there are 2 ways we can deal with such challenges.......
Shrink away and say they are too difficult or stand up and fight like hell.....
which one will u choose?
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Postby MR2Turbo » Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:38 pm

I started because it was the cool thing to do. My mates were at it, so I tried it and I enjoyed it, hell i totally embraced it and have done for over half my life.

It was also that whole rave scene thing when I was a kid that didn't help. The second Summer of Love and the 90's rave scene made drug taking the thing people my age did. It was acceptable and cool and if you didn't do it then there was something wrong with you. You didn't know the score.

Did it open my mind? Sure it did! Did it make me feel cool, you betcha! Did it make me feel rated by mates? Yep! It also made me feel rebellious, maybe even hard!

I loved the fact that I could move in professional circles for work during the day, but then I could move in the street circles at night. I had both worlds. I lived a dual life, respectable and hard working with my own business on one hand, but rebellious, different and 'street' on the other.

I don't have a bad life, I never used it to block anything out per se, but maybe it made me feel a cooler person. I could smoke my mates under the table. I was the bigger smoker and I enjoyed that. I'd rip the piss out of my mates who were pulling whities because my tolerance was so high I could smoke all day without it seeming to effect me. Maybe that attitude even helped some of my friends go down the wrong path.

Now I'm sick of the dual life. I just want a normal life. I'm sick of worrying about being nicked for the weed in pocket everytime I drive past the Old Bill. I'm sick of pretending that it makes me cool when in reality it could screw up my future. I'm sick of running to the dealer everytime the little plastic bag is empty.

I thought it was always a very harmless drug, but now I'm realising it's that 'harmless' ideal of weed that actually makes it very harmful. You think you can't f*ck up on it because it's not charlie or crack ffs, so you can smoke as much as you want, act normal and nothing will come of it, but the reality is that it fools you into a false sense of security.

Now I'm faced with the harm it might have done to me, I realise this 'harmless' drug could screw my future happiness and I feel a fool. Life is worth it, smoking the next spliff for a selfish high isn't.

I'm starting to make quite a few friends who don't smoke (tobacco or weed) and I feel pathetic when I'm out with them that I often have to sneak off to a quiet place away from them so I can feed my weed addiction. It's bad enough that I have to smoke ciggies when most of them don't. I look at them and see they are normal people without it and that they must think I'm weak because this sh*t rules my life. Not anymore though...no mater what I have to go through to get off it.
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Postby peanut1971 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:52 pm

and blatantly your a brit! friends at it - club scene - hardcore daily smoker - good job and double life your quite embarassed about - i am exactly the same and with only ourselves to blame. and skunk is definitely more addictive than shitty 'rocky'. my husband has just left to drive 40 miles to go and buy some! nuff said!! i am on day 19 now of no fags or spliff and am still ok and have not harmed anyone or myself!! i can report all is ok and i hope when you decide the time is right to give up you will be ok too.
it's nice to be the same as everyone else who does not smoke.
still, can't i blame my parents..............it would be much easier........i hate taking the blame.......i am joking by the way!! take care and good luck with it - everyone.
peanut xx
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Postby MR2Turbo » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:50 pm

Peanut, you know exactly where I'm coming from and you've probably had much the same experiences. It sounds like you've come to the same decisions in life as me too.

19 days though! Well done to you! Top stuff...I'm determined to get there too, this is it for me. I haven't managed to stop the fags, but once I conquered the damn weed that'll be next on the list.

TBH I was driving miles to score every week too and you wouldn't believe how much fuel an MR2 turbo uses just to get a few miles! :lol:

But that's done with now.....

Looking forward to hanging with you and everyone else on here. You guys really give me hope for a weedless future and your support means a lot.

Thanks!! :)
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Postby hazy jane » Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:24 am

''Is there anyone who is at peace with themselves who has an addiction? If not, doesn't that say an awful lot about why we do it, and why it continue? ''

- So does this mean there really are people at peace with themselves after giving this stuff up? I have 3/4 friends who Ive always regarded as really hardcore smokers - we're talking bucket bong before breakfast anyone? (breakfast being a large amount of esspresso coffee!) And they've ALL packed it in, with no apparent problems....but....... they drink now! Pub everynight, wine and beer at home all the time....without it seeming to occurr to them that theyve just replaced one thing with another. And they are all intelligent 'high achievers'. Maybe some people just dont have it in them to be 'at peace' at all, and thats what propells the human race forwards........
maybe we're not supposed to be totally at peace.

hey look Im sounding like im stoned and Im not at all!!! better stop.....

At this momnet in time I have never felt LESS at peace with myself. Im not sure giving all this stuff up is going to suddenly enlighten anyone, but it might make your brain & lungs abit more efficient.
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Postby Foolishboy » Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:50 am

This whole addictions section seems to be virtually all about people who smoke weed. What about all the other addictions people suffer with??!

Stopping any sort of addiction doesn't make anyone suddenly enlightened, but it does give them the opportunity to face the problems they have, head on. Staying with an addiction (any sort), is a crutch which helps avoid this.

Who knows whether we are supposed to be at peace? Reckon that must be a personal choice. Personally speaking, I think I'd rather be at peace with myself though, as I've to spend the rest of my life with 'me'. If I can't even be at some sort of peace with 'me', then I've no chance of being that way with others, and the world in general.
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Postby slik1 » Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:07 pm

I have to agree again wif foolish boy(can't I call u sumthin else, like onceafoolishboy)
I'm not sure however what is meant by "at peace with oneself" if this means total bliss all the time, then in my opinion is no.....
But Hazy has a point, being not at peace with ourselves makes us want to change whatever is making us uncomfortable, then it's up to us what we do about it.....it seems to me that Hazys friends who turned to alcohol after puff chose to ignore what it was that made themn want to change....
It's hard to accept things for the way they are (I know I find it hard) and its an easy option to ignore them......but one which eats away at us constantly tryin to make us change.....
I for one am tired of hiding from the things I can't accept(and there a re plenty), but everyday I'm trying to deal with them without hiding......
It is a personal choice, nobody claims enlightenment after stopping puff, just that they feel better for it after awhile and that in my opinion is a sign we are getting closer to being at peace with ourselves....
there are also many things in life not related to addiction that will make us feel more at peace.....
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