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Unlearning


April 28, 2016

I’m adding this article looking at how addiction happens in a learning environment, and that the process of getting addicted is pretty similar to a learning disorder where we use a single tool to cope with the challenges we face at the expense of learning alternative methods of coping.

The reverse is true of moderation and unlearning your addiction. The hard part of stopping the overdrinking habit isn’t just the quitting. Sure, that’s a painful slog that can take several tries to get past, but what happens on day 31 of your 30? Sometimes alcohol has taken such a big role in our lives, and stopping turns out to be a bigger and harder struggle than we expected, and so when we’re done we sit back and wait for the rainbows and unicorns to show up.
What arrives instead is often depression. Our drinking made our lives tolerable, probably when we shouldn’t have been tolerating something that was going badly for us. Whatever problems we were avoiding are usually still there, or made even worse by the neglect and apathy that overcame us as we drank. Now, we have to face them again and we are denying ourselves the one tool that worked for us. How do we cope? How do we move on?
We have to re-learn how. If we went awry learning this process the first time, we take another run at it. It won’t be easy and it will be painful. I don’t want to hide that from you because I don’t want it to be a surprise. Being moderately sober is going to be an awakening to your own life, and you’re going to have to learn what to do with it. Getting your drinking under control is just a few easy steps:

Step 1 – measure everything.

Step 2 – cut back where it’s easiest.

Step 3 – use the momentum to cut back where it’s hard.

Step 4 – learn new ways to reward yourself and deal with cravings, until you can enjoy these indulgences in healthy amounts.

Steps 5 through 3297 – now sort out your life.

Anyway, here’s the article:

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/07/addiction_is_a_learning_disorder_the_war_on_drugs_is_useless_aa_undermines_treatment_and_addiction_studies_can_learn_a_lot_from_autism/

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