Our brains are complex organs and yet quite simple in methodology. The incredible thing about our brain, and how we react toward life, is that it is a matter of programming. It’s logical then to recognize that what we programmed can be reprogrammed. There’s no better way to prove this than with addiction and recovery from addiction.
At 23 I created a new neural pathway in my brain to reach for drugs when any uncomfortable emotion arose. Through repeated behavior I reinforced that neural pathway and it became a programmed response. I remember the day when I put the drugs down for the last time. I stood outside and declared that I was ready to face the past and all I had run from. Those initial months sober were uncomfortable as I began interacting with my thoughts and emotions in a different way than before. However, through consistently reinforcing this new behavior, my brain created a new neural pathway and thus a revised programmed response towards life. When we are not consistent in our behavior the newly formed pathway will disconnect and our default program will take over.
Consider thoughts which trigger a fear/ anxiety response within you. Recognize that what you fear is not what the world fears. There has potentially been an occasion in your life where you have accepted that x = fear or anxiety. Become curious about your emotional reactions and recognize that you have the ability to reprogram your response. If this ability did not live in each of us then people who have lived a life in addiction would still be in addiction. What can you do today to begin rebuilding?