Consequences of anxiety, sweating, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and even death are just some of the few reasons to become and stay sober. Of course nobody looking at an intoxicant thinks of the withdrawals, but they are very real. Recovering addicts around the world have experienced withdrawals in all forms and degrees. Withdrawals are warning messages to the addict. Your brain doesn’t like to leave anything incomplete. To prove our point, draw a 95% incomplete shape and stare at it for a while. What did you draw? A triangle? A circle? A square? No, you drew a 95% incomplete shape. Your brain labeled it as the completed shape of what you were wanting to draw. The process of using intoxicants is a cycle your brain undergoes that must be completed, similar to the shape example. Keep the example in mind as we expand on the topic.

Starting from the beginning, getting high is a rollercoaster your brain does not want to take a ride on. Each time you get high you throw the balance of chemistry within the brain into disarray. Dopamine levels shoot up unnaturally due to the brain forcefully being pushed out of control, losing its ability to control the neural network. Signaling an emergency, the excess dopamine begins to get cleaned up and the brain experiences exhaustion causing a crashing sensation. As the old saying goes, whatever goes up must come down. When the high goes, the first signs of withdrawal begin to appear; beginning with sensations of feeling anxious and needing a quick fix. The immediate reaction most addicts have is to get high again. Any recovering addict will tell you this is not the solution, nowhere near it as a matter of fact.

Remember the shape example? Well if you chose to get high you just began drawing another shape without closing the first one. Withdrawal is the closing of the loop, the missing 5%. Every addict will need to go through some form of withdrawal in order to complete the experience. Withdrawal severity depends on the type of intoxicant and length of use. Addicts that experience sweating, confusion, nausea, and vomiting may have been hooked for years. They chose to get high over and over and have a lot of loops to close. Some addictions are severe to the point that medical intervention is absolutely necessary in order to avoid death. What is the key lesson here? There is no give without take, no push without pull. If you push your brain and body by ingesting poisons, it is only fair for your brain to pushes back. Choosing to get high again only creates more incomplete experiences which intensifies the warning message sent to you. If you are currently an addict be sure to reach out to someone for support, if you need a place to chat with others you can visit our online fellowship group on Facebook.

-The Sober Movement Team

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