Posted by BarbaraCat on September 2, 2003, at 19:44:17
In reply to Re: The alcohol demon » BarbaraCat, posted by katia on September 2, 2003, at 15:13:42
I believe Kimberly nailed it - it's called Dopamine. Dopamine delivers the pleasure reward feeling by providing a nice little buzz. It's what gets released in speed, in cocaine, in alcohol, in falling in love, in sex. It's implicated in craving of most any kind, so it would figure that once we start getting that feel good chemical, we just want more, and when we don't have enough, we just want more. Your question is intriguing, if I understand it right. Given that happiness sets up a craving more cycle, is happiness really good for us? I think we just want to feel better no matter what, but when is 'better' or 'good' good enough?
I think about the words of spiritual teachers whose wisdom I think alot of. They say that misery and happiness are polar ends of the same continuum and each in it's own way is as disruptive and unpeaceful as the other. Happiness feels better, to be sure, but it's never enough. The object of our happiness soon pales and there's always more dopamine to be made. The grasping upward spiral ultimately spins out of control and creates as much instability as the opposite unhappy end of the pole. We hate unhappy. We love happy. It's the repulsion/attraction spin of these polar opposites that creats a psychic field, magnetic even, that keeps us entrapped in the running after your tail mindlessness of insanity. It's not happiness but a joyful peace that is the goal, a state that is content with whatever is in the now, a non-craving place in the heart of all creation, the Centerpoint. I used to think "How dull!" but after being there a few times, I'd rather live there than anywhere. Happiness feels a bit giddy, out of control, as opposed to the calm centered place that knows the clear joy in all states of being. Ah, sounds so nice!
Wish I could get there and stay there without getting hung over or otherwise burnt out. Lord knows I try and wish the hell it would stick. But that's just my craving talking. Dopamine, that overlooked neurochemical. We need a new drug! Back to the meditation cusion for me. - Barbara
> Hi Barb,
> Yes, I too am still shaking cobwebs off. Ima's question has been a question I've asked myself over the years. And that led me to that other statement/question I asked you. Why do we want to celebrate happiness and joy with alcohol? I have that very same "dilemma". When I feel good, I then want to celebrate. I'm trying to understand that aspect. is good to good for me? I also really wonder if it's not a manic aspect - as you referenced in your previous post. I think that plays a part in it. And I have my two sides exactly as you described - the healthy one has been gaining ground over the years, but that demon sometimes gets control and we are in for a very wild ride. That's another role I am hoping meds can play - taming the demon. I've been trying to do it for years to no real success - just baby steps. Glad rational recovery is doing it for you.
> yesterday was a zombie day for me - you know. today I'm really thickheaded and down. I should be talking with my pdoc today. Im not sure that 500mg of Dep. is doing it. I either need to raise the level or abandon it I think.