We haven’t been able to write much lately, so we’ve been putting together some contributions from our friends that we think will be interesting to our readers. We receive a lot of emails about advice regarding substance abuse and addiction and hope to help people develop better habits, choose healthy supplements to get back on track, and to help repair damage to neurons. This article comes to us from Laura Barker and we hope that some of our readers will find it useful. It’s not about Nootropics per-se, but we hope that it’ll be of interest to our readers.
The Link Between Substance Abuse and Chaos Addiction – By Laura Barker
Many of us enjoy a quiet life, free from stress and drama, while others thrive on change and excitement. For some people, however, it’s not just about living an exciting life, it’s about actively seeking out drama and stressful situations. It’s a way of life that can be unhealthy and even dangerous, and this “chaos addiction” is actually very strongly related to substance abuse.
What is Chaos Addiction?
Chaos addicts are constantly—but subconsciously—on the lookout for ways to make their lives more chaotic, more complicated, and more dramatic. They feel uncomfortable when their lives and personal relationships are free from drama, to the extent that they sabotage relationships, or engage in unhealthy or dangerous behavior in order to create some.
Why It’s Linked to Substance Abuse
Chaos addiction and substance abuse often go hand in hand in a particularly unhealthy way, because chaos addiction makes it even more difficult than it already is for recovering addicts to stay clean. Letting go of stress and chaos is an important part of addiction recovery, because often, stress and chaos are contributing factors in the development of the addiction. While many recovering addicts experience a profound sense of relief as they let go of the chaos in their lives, those who are addicted to chaos are very resistant to the recovery process, simply because they are unable to leave that chaos behind. Instead of letting go, and working towards simplifying their lives, chaos addicts hold on tightly to those elements of their lives—such as unhealthy relationships or living situations—that feed their need for drama. This only makes it more difficult to commit to addiction recovery, and makes it more likely that a relapse will occur.
Why Does Chaos Addiction Develop?
Substance addiction rarely develops in isolation: often it’s a symptom that there’s a deeper problem in play, such as mental illness, current or past abuse, or some other psychological trauma. When someone is in the throes of an active addiction that pain is masked, but if they enter recovery, it’s brought into much sharper focus. Someone who’s both willing and able to confront the trauma and work towards healing is much more likely to recover successfully, and less likely to relapse. For a chaos addict, however, the first instinct is to use the chaos in their lives as a way of continuing to mask whatever unresolved psychological trauma they are suppressing.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that to someone who is addicted to chaos, the constant drama and stress feels normal to them. Many chaos addicts are people who grew up in chaotic households, often because one or more parents were themselves substance abusers or addicts, and therefore, a chaotic environment is just what they’ve become used to.
Overcoming this kind of problem takes a lot of work, particularly because it’s necessary for the chaos addict to completely relearn what “normal” means—and to learn how to deal with uncertainty and anxiety in healthy ways, rather than suppressing it by seeking out chaos.