Friday, 27 November 2015

The Will to Change

I don't know if I even want to change!?

by GYE (See all authors)

There are three things to consider:

1) First of all, from a spiritual perspective, no Jewish person wants to live in the mud. Your soul is crying inside you, begging you to remember why you came down to this world for this short life-time that will affect your ETERNITY.


2) Secondly, it is important to understand how addiction works to realize how dangerous it is for us. While acting-out, neurotransmitters called dopamine flood the brain (similar to heroin use). When the doses are too high, as is the case with habitual porn viewing, the brain adjusts to restore balance by reducing the amount of dopamine available. This causes a decreasing amount of pleasure experienced. So we need to consume larger amounts of porn and potentially more graphic images to receive the pleasure we had before. Lower dopamine levels can make us feel depressed, causing us to go back to porn to stimulate more. It is a cycle.

The good news is that when we quit, the brain readjusts and corrects its dopamine levels. It’s simply a matter of breaking the cycle by not feeding the appetite. In time, the appetite will decline by not feeding it. As our sages have said: "There is a small organ in a man, if one feeds it - it is hungry, if one starves it - it is satiated". The most difficult days are in the beginning. It will gradually get better. Scientific studies show that it takes about 90 days to change the neuron pathways in the brain created by addictive behaviors. Take the leap of faith with GYE’s 90 day chart - TODAY.


3) Addictions never get better, only worse. An addict will usually not change unless they get into some sort of crisis. Unfortunately, that crisis will eventually come - it’s known as “Hitting Bottom”.

But does this mean that a person must lose everything, their marriage, their job and their honor and literally be suicidal before they will be ready to change?

This issue discussed in beautiful clarity and detail in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions:

 

In A.A.'s pioneering time, none but the most desperate cases could swallow and digest this unpalatable truth. Even these "last-gaspers" often had difficulty in realizing how hopeless they actually were. But a few did, and when these laid hold of A.A. principles with all the fervor with which the drowning seize life preservers, they almost invariably got well. That is why the first edition of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous," published when our membership was small, dealt with low-bottom cases only. Many less desperate alcoholics tried A.A., but did not succeed because they could not make the admission of hopelessness.

 

It is a tremendous satisfaction to record that in the following years this changed. Alcoholics who still had their health, their families, their jobs, and even two cars in the garage, began to recognize their alcoholism. As this trend grew, they were joined by young people who were scarcely more than potential alcoholics.  They were spared that last ten or fifteen years of literal hell the rest of us had gone through. Since Step One requires an admission that our lives have become unmanageable, how could people such as these take this Step?

 

It was obviously necessary to raise the bottom the rest of us had hit to the point where it would hit them. By going back in our own drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that it was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression. To the doubters we could say, "Perhaps you're not an alcoholic after all. Why don't you try some more controlled drinking, bearing in mind meanwhile what we have told you about alcoholism?" This attitude brought immediate and practical results. It was then discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would say to himself, "Maybe those A.A.'s were right . . ." After a few such experiences, often years before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced. He had hit bottom as truly as any of us.