It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the "F Word" here - Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same, and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.
Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Today, this is Episode #11. We're going to talk about the Addiction Myth. Basically, how words and ideas created a problem that didn't exist. We're going to do some myth busting today. It's going to radically shift. If you've - if you've ever heard of addiction, heard people talk about addiction, encountered addiction. If you have struggled with it yourself, been to any recovery programs or anything, the common language of addiction as a disease and things that are going on is rampant all over the world, and it's such an entrenched concept that today, we're going to challenge some thinking. [0:01:10.9]
And I what I want you to do is, if you're going to listen through this, is consider the possibility that we're all wrong. Consider the possibility that there's an easier way out, and there's a simpler and more direct route out to where you don’t have to fight it the rest of your life and you don’t, you can just move on and live a beautiful life. So we're going to go to some myth busting today to help you with that. We're going to address a couple of words, tackle a few things. It's going to be a wild run through a little bit of history, and this is relevant for anybody dealing with anything they're stuck with. It starts back in the late 1800s, so the late 19th century. You see, the word "addiction" has been around for a long time - to addict to something just meant to say yes to it. In fact, the Latin word itself ad dict, dictate, to say something. Right? To, you know, diction and stuff. [0:02:03.8]
And then ad as a prefix just means toward or to. So like basically, you're saying something toward to something, or you're going toward it with your words. In other words, you're saying "yes" to it. And so to addict to something just means you said "yes" to it. Before this time in the 1800s or 1700s and previous, to say they were "addicted" was a word used across the board, not related to drugs or narcotics or anything. It was just a word used for something that you really, really liked and you kept saying "yes" to. That's it. But somewhere along the line, in the late 1800s, 1870 to be precise - I forget the guy's name. I wanted to say like Wolfenstein or Lowenstein or something - he came up with this idea of addiction syndrome, meaning: No, it's not just a bad habit, it's not just a vice that a person has - because people have been drunk for centuries, you know. It's not like this is a new thing. But he was like, "No, it's not just a vice. It's a disease." [0:03:02.5]
And the idea of a disease started to enter into the mind of those who were trying to treat it and how to give people help, because people have been trying to help with this for a long time, too. So somewhere later that decade, 1879, a man by the name of Keeley - I forget his first name - he came up with a clever marketing slogan. It said "Alcoholism is a disease, and I can cure you." Now, nowadays if you said that in any kind of marketing slogan, you would be banned from pretty much all ad platforms because you're not allowed to declare that you can cure somebody of anything. And in fact, from what I understand, according to the FDA, the only cure for a disease itself must be done with a drug. If a disease goes away by any other means, it's not called a cure. So, there we go - we have this problem. This conundrum in modern society. But back then, it was okay. So the guy, Keeley - "Alcoholism is a disease, and I can cure you," and then he opens up like 120 different treatment centers across the country. [0:04:02.2]
He was probably doing some great work, too, but the idea of alcoholism as a disease and thereby, addiction as a disease, started to become this common parlance. So it sits there, through the late, the rest of the 1800s, into the early 1900s, where people are looking at "Oh, addiction is a disease." By then, they start to label other kinds of addictions as diseases as well - we're talking opiates and narcotics and all kinds of stuff. So in 1927, Edward Torrance and Arthur Light, they studied a total of 861 street narcotics addicts at Jefferson Hospital. And they brought them all together and they, these, even though the subjects, they used higher doses than, you know, most street users use today, but they had been addicted for a lot of time and they wanted to just examine them: Let's look and see. Look - if addiction is really a disease, can we actually pinpoint it? Can we find it out? Can we isolate it, like we have isolated the cold or the flu virus or anything like that? Can we actually find it so that we can cure it? [0:05:03.6 ]
Very good and noble enterprise. So they take these guys in and they put them through their paces. They're doing all these biometric tests and other types of things, and then of course, they go through and they are, they're going through withdrawals and they're testing and trying to see what they can figure out inside of withdrawal symptoms and all this other stuff, and these patients, of course, they go nuts because withdrawal symptoms are huge. Everybody has heard that withdrawal symptoms are nasty. And so, some of them have big symptoms. Others don’t have as many. Some of them are screaming and declaring that they're going to quit the research unless they get their morphine injection and so what the researchers did was injected them with sterile water; that's it. Symptoms go away. Others are pleading, crying, and they just get told sternly to stop, and symptoms go away. Others of them just kind of shut down. Like there's a variety of different withdrawal symptoms, depending on the person, but in every case, it turns out that if you just looked at the data, there was no evidence of withdrawal anywhere from a biological standpoint, meaning not caused by a disease, not caused by something going on inside the system. It was purely psychological. [0:06:13.5]
And as they finished up their research, they're looking at it going, look, there's no such thing as a disease addiction. But by then, it had already been 50 years. By then, it had already been long enough for everyone in the public mind and in the public consciousness to be aware that no, addiction is a disease. And it didn't take much longer. By 1944, the 12-step programs were deeply entrenched -alcoholism is a disease - this is where they started with and the idea of addiction as a disease, a concept, a brain disease. In fact, when I was recently in a Facebook forum and I asked people like, "How would you define addiction?" They sat there and they were like, "No, it's a brain disease." A lot of them had all kinds of really saddening definitions, based on their life experience, but they called it basically a brain disease. It's a disease. Right? [0:07:01.1 ]
But they couldn’t find any evidence of it, but it has been such a cultural concept that they wanted to throw away the research. So Torrance and Light, they're both freaking out about the results of the research, because they thought they were going to find the disease, and what they found was a big fat zero. And so they justified themselves in the research, and they said, "Hey, you know, just because it looks like the withdrawal symptoms are huge for a patient, and just because it's so convincing when you're sitting there watching them in agony, don’t let that fool you into believing that there's actually something physiologically causing it. It's because it's not there. Really take the time to look at the data." But already, the damage had been done. And never mind the fact that there have been loads of research studies done over the years ever since then. The guy, a guy by the name of Stanton Peele is probably the forerunner of this type of research, where he's collecting all this data. He calls it the Diseasing of America - I think is the name of his book - collecting all of this data where over the years, people time and again have discovered that they get these inconclusive results that basically tell them, look, what you're looking for doesn’t exist. [0:08:08.9]
But the researchers are so dyed in the wool that addiction is a disease that they simply say at the back of the research, well, obviously like we set up the experiment wrong or the research has gone bad. So here we have this conundrum, this idea that addiction is a real thing, that it is a disease that people have and yet, if you cut open any person who was struggling with addiction, you would never be able to find it. It's not a real thing. You could find a virus. You could find a bacterium. You can find nerve endings. You can find like if a person is a smoker, you can find tar in their lungs, but that's not addiction - that's tar. You put tar in anyone's lungs, it'll have a negative effect, whether they smoked it or not. Same thing with any - in porn, pornography addiction, any kind of other addiction. You have this problem that it is not a real thing. So where did it come from? [0:09:00.0]
Let's simplify the situation. We're looking at two people. They're doing some behaviors that are wrecking their lives and one of them, you go to and you're like, "Dude, just stop." So he stops. Another one you go to, and you're like, "Stop." But he's like, "I know. I'm trying." And he tries and he tries, but he can't stop. He keeps going back to it. And so you're going "What is the difference between these two people?" Well maybe this one on the left, is constitutionally wired for it and maybe there's something inside him that says "yes." And I'm not talking about like genetic predisposition to alcoholism or other types of things, like the fact that your parents did it might predispose you toward it. That's really highly suspect kind of research. There's a lot of correlations there, but not causation. The same with diet. A lot of scientific research, you always have to hold in a little bit of suspicion because the question isn't just well, who's paying for the research, but also, what's the background of the researchers and what's their own agenda, and then also, what kind of test subjects are they studying and are those actually good test subjects to be studying … like there's so many different variables that go into it, which is why science is an ongoing process of discovery. [0:10:13.1]
So they postulate a hypothesis, good scientific hypothesis … maybe there's something inside this person that says "yes" to this behavior or this substance. We'll call it an addiction. And so we have created this phantom hypothesis, and now we're going to prove it right. Well, it's really difficult to prove it right. We have tried. Whenever we try and put it to the test, it vanishes, but we all believe it's right, so by some level of confirmation bias, this addiction thing is real, and now we have got to go solve it. And so we have spent all our effort and energy trying to solve this thing that we have created in our mind. And if there's anything that anyone has learned about the human mind is that if you create something in your mind and believe it to be true, it will literally effect your physiology, your chemistry, your breath patterns, the tension patterns in your system, the way that you think, the way that you respond to things - everything. We talked about that in the Mind - Mess Or Magic Episode a few weeks ago. [0:11:09.6]
So I want you to really consider this. If you believe addiction is a real thing, then you've got to go solve it and the problem is - the real thing, addiction, is defined as something that is unsolvable, incurable, that the best thing you can do is manage it and cope with it. So not only have we created a fantasy problem, we have created an incurable fantasy problem that we're trying to cure. It's a paradox. It's impossible. You cannot do it. It doesn’t matter how many arrows you shoot at a ghost, it'll just go all the way through it and not make a hill of beans difference. So then what's really going on? That's the question. What's really going on inside of a human body where a person cannot stop doing certain behaviors or looking at certain things? So, let's make the lay of the land a little bit more clear before we dive into that. [0:12:03.3]
First - the way that the history went was first, it's just a bad habit, meaning it was a moral vice. It was on you. It was your responsibility if you've got these habits and behaviors. Then we outsourced blame a little bit and we say it's an addiction, meaning it's a disease that you have. It's not my fault; it's an addiction. Now nobody is trying to put off blame. The people that I've met, the people that I talk to all the time, they're not trying to blame other people necessarily for their stuff, but oh, well, the reason for it is this: It's not me. It's this. I have an addiction. I can't control myself. And at the moment, they can't, but they don’t understand the reasons why, and it makes them feel powerless. You're just powerless over your addiction. That's basically step one of the 12-step program - to declare you're powerless in this. And if you believe that you're powerless, guess what? How many times do you got to say that before you, that suddenly becomes untrue to you and your mind and your body start to behave in a different way? How long is it going to take? My guess? Never. If you keep saying you're powerless, and you believe it, your body is going to behave and act as if you are. And you'll keep going back. You'll keep being powerless over the addiction. [0:13:07.9]
If you, or someone you know, is looking to drop the F Bomb of Freedom in your life, whether that's from addiction or depression and anxiety or just anything that's making you feel flat out stuck, but you have no clue how to shake it and just want help doing it, head on over to LiberateaMan.com and book a call, where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you've been missing.
So there we sit with this conundrum. Okay, we have outsourced it to a thing that has control over us, and nowadays, we are trying to push it into substances that now create the thing that has control over us. There are addictive substances, meaning substances that once you take them, they create this thing in you and now you can't get off it. But that's not really true because they've tried substances and even in the research, people have just walked, cold turkey, away from all kinds of different drugs, and I've talked to people personally who've walked, cold turkey, away from meth, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, smoking, you know, all kinds of other stuff but they struggled with pornography, obviously, or they wouldn’t have been talking with me. [0:14:16.0]
Even though we have helped people with other types of addictions and behavioral problems, the same thing has happened - that they're struggling. But they've walked cold turkey away from all these things that are supposedly addictive substances. They just decided one day they were done, and they left. And so the research indicates that are no such things as addictive substances. So what are there? There are things substances, drugs, whatever, on the planet that if a human being takes them, if you or I ingest them, shoot them up or snort them or whatever you do with them, they'll give you an experience of a high, they'll give you an experience of all different kinds of things that will like, I mean it will be, you will have an experience. And that experience you might like the experience. Why does a person like smoking? Do they actually like the smoke? Some people do. They like the feel of the hot smoke in their lungs. I have some friends that love it. [0:15:05.4]
Some people like, you know, like the drug itself. Okay. Fine. And you know what kinds of highs it gives you and what not goes over time. But a lot of times - well, why would you like smoking? Well, okay - it's maybe, or why would I like drinking a ton? Maybe it's just because it's helping me get an experience that's better than what I'm experiencing at a baseline in the rest of my life. And of course, I'm going to keep going back to it because it's better than what I have to live up to. Have you ever heard of people drowning out their problems with drink? Maybe it's not because they love drinking. Maybe it's not necessarily because they're "addicted" to drinking, although they can kind of go unconscious and just go on a rampage. But maybe, just maybe, it's because they're so miserable on the inside and numb to it that they're not even aware that their body is naturally taking over. You see, our bodies have a survival mechanism. Even the nervous system is set up to override your thinking brain in order to do things for survival. [0:16:01.4]
And what we have measured over the years, what they've measured, is the things that we call negative emotions are basically emotions that are detrimental to the human system. You know, anger is a really negative emotion. It operates at a certain frequency inside the system. It poisons different organs, the chemistry in it, and the chemicals produced when a person is angry is poisonous to the system. It makes the system either acidic or whatever too basic or whatever and it messes with your chemistry, which reduces the function of your body. Meaning your body is dying. At a certain point, if you get to a level where your body is going to redline and be like, dude, we got to get out of this or we're going to die. It's looking up at you, going, you head, if you don’t come up with something quick, I'm going to take over. So it's like you're sitting there in the jeep, joyriding along, and finally your body reaches up from the backseat with a crow bar, knocks you unconscious or chloroforms you and throws you in the other seat, and then goes joyriding across the country because that feels better. [0:17:01.0]
It can create a different chemistry, a different feeling inside of it. So we have measured these, all of these emotions, these negative emotions poisoning ourselves day in and day out. Right? Day in and day out, we're experiencing this stuff. And this is just what's detrimental to humans. Maybe anger is really powerful for penguins. I don't know. But for humans? Detrimental. Like anger itself has increased ,you know, risk of high blood pressure, risk of cardiovascular disease, length of life, increased frequency of strokes. There's a bunch of stuff that comes in association with people who are angry a lot that they've been measuring. I read a couple of articles in the New York Times about it just a while back. So there's a lot of stuff that goes on with these emotions and your body is sitting there, being poisoned. Let me ask you this - how long would you sit in a vat of poison before getting out? Someone is pouring acid into the pool and you see them pouring acid in - how long is it going to take you to jump out? Not long. Everybody I ask this question to, they're like, "Oh, not long." Okay, cool. But what if you didn't know they were pouring poison in? [0:18:01.6]
Well, it depends on how sensitive you are, isn't it? Some people, they're going to wait until their fingers fall off before they will realize there's a problem. Other people, they're like a shark, you know, one part per billion and then they're like ohhh! There's poison in here. And off they go. And they leave because they're in survival mode and that's all that's happening. So basically, a person is living their life rumbling around at a level where their body is really in a toxic state. So their body starts to override it and say we need some kind of coping mechanism. We need to shift this fast. And at that point in time, they're just going to go to whatever they've learned has made it happen the best for them. Maybe that's drugs. Maybe that's alcohol. Maybe that's Facebook, for crying out loud. For me, it was pornography and video games. For other people, it's road rage. For other people, they can't stop arguing about politics. It doesn’t matter what it is. Some people yell at their kids. They get so toxic on the inside they can't help it, so they just explode on people. It doesn’t matter what it is. The whole point of it is your body is trying to get to a place where it can get away from the cheetah. [0:19:02.7]
Cheetah is chasing it and the problem with survival is - it's just looking for the highest tree it can climb. It's not really concerned about long-term health. So never mind that the tree is overhanging a cliff and very, very precarious. It's just away from the cheetah. Off it goes and maybe your life gets wrecked later, but that's not the concern of your body. It just wants to survive the onslaught of this acidic poison that's being poured into it aka negative emotions. So here we have a conundrum. Oh, this person has an addiction. It's a disease. It's something that we cannot heal. And yet, we can't find this disease. We can't isolate it. There's nothing there. Like every time we try, there's like zero evidence that it's there, except that everybody believes it is the case, and by confirmation bias, we keep looking for it, even though it's not there. When what if it's much simpler. What if it's as simple as why does this person keep going back to it? Have you considered the possibility that it's because they're so miserable on the inside that they're just looking for anything to help them experience life at a greater level than what they're experiencing right now? [0:20:06.3]
They just want to feel better. And for me, porn felt better than what I was living in. And for me, video games felt better than what I was living in. And only when I learned how to find what was causing the misery in the first place, that root issue, and sometimes there are multiple to people, depending on how you've lived, what's going on in your mind. And once I find and solve that, and then also develop the skill sets that enable me to live life at a level above the rung on the ladder where porn lives, then I don’t go back to it anymore. Not because I'm immune to it, but because it's not even an option. It's a step down. Why would I go there? Not because I have to fight it or worry about it. Not because we put up, we built a huge wall to protect our country from pornography. But simply because I live at a different level. Now we're going to talk a little bit more about that next time as we continue this and talk about our #1 priority in solving this issue. [0:21:01.5]
But just for now, consider this possibility here, right. There are words and ideas. There are words and ideas that you have been taught, that you have inherited from people who you assume are authorities that may not actually really truly represent what is real and true in the world. The word addiction has been unhelpful, and it has actually created more "addicts" than maybe we would have had if the word hadn't been around. There's no way to know that because, well, history was what it was. The word relapse, what if there's no such thing? Can you find a relapse anywhere on the planet, take it out to dinner? Can you cut a person open and find relapse inside them? No. It's a label and an interpretation and a judgment and a story that we create out of events. And because of that word, addicts all over the planet are beating themselves up and feeling like they're back at the beginning, when the reality is they're not. They're in the same place they were right when it happened. [0:22:00.4]
The only question is what are you going to do with it? What other words or ideas or laws have you been given that you could challenge? Because here's the thing - even the laws of physics, we use the word law as if it's a fact. But the law of physics is nothing more than what a human being created. We created the laws of physics. They're descriptions of what we have observed and the reason they keep getting updated is because we kept observing new things. Right? The laws of physics, at least a while ago, said that a bumblebee couldn’t fly. Is it breaking the law? Do you need to like hunt it down and give it a speeding ticket? Is it really concerned about it? No; it's just doing its thing. The real laws of reality are what are in operation all around us, and all these things we think are the laws about how life works and about what's really going on - those are just one person's ideas and guess what? The people that are saying addiction can't be cured, the people that are saying that addiction even exists, these are people that are only speaking from what they know, from what they've been able to observe. [0:23:04.5]
And what if they haven’t observed everything? And what if the most powerful thing that could help you live an amazing life is outside the scope of their experience? So anybody that's putting limitations on you or telling you you're stuck, I hereby give you commission, if I had a sword I'd put it on your shoulder, I'd give you a - I hereby dub you sir or siress (is that the woman term; I don't know) sir or siress doubter. I give you permission to doubt your limitations, to doubt the limitations other people place on you, and to seek to understand better. Because the moment you doubt, the opportunity to learn something new comes in. The moment you can accept that maybe you're wrong, the longing to know arises, and you might just discover a better, simpler, more powerful path. That's how it's happened with me. I gave myself permission to doubt what I was being told, and it took me a long time to figure things out. [0:24:01.0]
But really, there was a better, faster, simpler way out of addiction than anything that's been put out there to date. Part of the problem is because people have been saying that addiction exists, and they've been harping on it as this thing that cannot be overcome, and because of that, if that's the philosophy you're going into it with, what kind of solutions are you going to come up with? Well, it can't be overcome - so what if we could just nullify it or manage it or cope with it in a way to where it doesn’t really effect our life? Well how about we could just eliminate it altogether because it doesn’t exist anyway? And what if we could just go create such a powerful life that there's no room for a phantom like that in the first place? That's what we do at LiberateAMan and the Freedom Specialists. That's what we do every day, day in and day out, is help people step out of the limitations that they didn't even know were placed on them - limitations placed on them by society, myths that need to be busted, keesters that need to be, what's the k-word - kicked. All kinds of stuff in order to get people from the place of believing they're limited and actually like believing with their whole soul that they're limited, to a place of possibility, where a whole new life is available for them in very short order. Just because we kicked the myth out the door, and we started to discover the truth. [0:25:19.7]
Now part two, we're going to explore some things about that. Just, this is part one. Stay tuned. We'll talk next time.
And that's it for today's Alive and Free Podcast. If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from, and while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you, and plus, it's just nice to be nice.
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