rock a bye

Everything’s gonna be all right Rockabye, Rockabye Everything’s gonna be all right Rockabye, Rockabye Rockabye

the origins of addiction for many people most certainly lie in the concept of comfort. drinking and getting high feels good. it comforts. and it often relieves us from painful or difficult or uncomfortable situations or feelings. just think of how a cocktail or two after a hard days/weeks work can almost seem to wipe some stress away like on a dry erase board. mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, hamburgers and fries, a cold, cold pilsner, a dirt martini up with blue cheese stuffed olives, a short tumbler of grappa after a 4 course dinner on the continent. just a little vicoden for the back pain.

for the majority of people, any of these will simply be another in a long list of things that we allow ourselves to enjoy. but for that small percentage of souls, one of these (or all) are the only options that actually work when it comes to offering comfort. maybe they felt abandoned by one of their parents when they were  young, and weren’t able to find balance. or perhaps they were  molested while still a child. or maybe their parents had a volatile or violent relationship and  internalized that it was because of them. of course there is also the possibility that they were born with a chemical imbalance, or grew up in an environment that fostered depression or a diet that enabled adhd. whatever the situation, for a small percentage of our species, the only self comfort learned by them is the addition of something, food, sex, drink, drug.

so it seems quite easy to follow this logic to the place we all know exists-overuse. this indulgence of comfort slips quietly (or not) into a dependence or addiction. as this occurs, any ability they had to comfort themselves slips into the mists of invisibility.and the chasing of this comfort becomes the order of almost every day. and instead of comfort, it becomes snippets of comfort and trying to comfort and the absence of this comfort is more important than the comfort itself, because the brain and its organic chemical processes have adjusted to accommodate this need.

self-comfort seems to me to be at the heart of the matter. a cup of tea, a burt bacharach album, an old hollywood film, a run in the park,  a good nap. these actions, just like journaling, reading, talking with a friend, need to be explored in a new way if self- comfort is to be revived. sounds easy, but if it were, then our comrades with these issues would be able to stop behaviors whenever they wanted. however they can’t. who would lose their job and income if they could intervene? who would get arrested repeatedly if they had the ability to change their life’s course? who would wander the streets at night, sleeping where they could, if they had a choice? who would choose any of these discomforts if they had a choice?

You see, we can’t always be with other people. We can’t always feel safe. What we do need to do is teach ourselves how to deal with our alone time and the thoughts that go on in our heads. How do those thoughts make us feel? Anxious, scared, panicky, nervous, jittery, lonely, sad, depressed? If we don’t figure out how to be alone with ourselves, we are in for a scary trip to the end of our journey…..Susan Thom….
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