Some perspectives to addiction will tell you that addiction is a progressive, incurable disease. Gabor’s perspective (which is strongly supported by recent, quality medical and scientific evidence) indicates the opposite: our brains and our bodies have a wonderful ability to repair themselves. And this is one of the least-discussed aspects of addiction.
So the good news is, we can heal addiction. We can rebuild the deficient factories and highways in the brain. We can learn new behaviors that, over time, replace the less effective ones we’ve learned. That means we may not have to constantly struggle with cravings and fears of relapse, or worries that we’re going to disappoint someone, or be disappointed.
Now, to be fair, we also have to be realistic. If I badly tear a muscle in my arm, it will heal, but it will also probably have scar tissue, so it may not be quite as strong as it once was. The same may be true of my brain. If I’ve spent years or decades reinforcing a particular pattern with drug use, I can repattern and heal the brain, develop new highways and factories so that it works better.
But it may never be quite the same as if I got all that I needed when I was an infant. So I’m not going to push my luck by trying to go back to “occasional use” or “moderate use”, in the same way I’m not going to put the same stress on a torn muscle that I might have before I injured it. And the good news is, I won’t need to, because as I rebuild the pathways, I’ll be able to feel the joy, excitement, love, and connection that others can feel, so there’s really no need to go back to the old patterns.
Over the rest of this program, we’ll be going into more depth about all of this, and learn specific strategies to more effectively communicate, learn to ask for our needs, find more common ground with our families and loved ones, and live more fully and happily.