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The use of substances to manage uncomfortable emotions and states begins with the intention to soothe the self.
Being sad can be a natural response to particular
situations. However, the duration, intensity and frequency of depression can become a
programmed subconscious way of being when substances are used to alleviate
It is a natural human reaction to feel challenged by unexpected or difficult changes. Change may be the loss of a job, a relationship upheaval, a death of a family member, pet or friend, a health concern of financial difficulties. However, we do not want natural reactions to adversity to overstay their welcome.
Depression is a state that left unchecked, can become
habitual. When we medicate with substances, we miss the opportunity of
resolving conflict and creating new associations and triggers.
Capable, intelligent people who come to perceive themselves
as depressed lose ground and control of their lives.
The self-image is impacted. The subconscious mind accepts an identity and responds accordingly.
Our job is to ensure that sadness does not become
habituated. Seeing sadness as having a habituated feature doesn't mean it
is easy to cope with. But this perspective does open the door to new tools.
Remember, you were not born sad and the subconscious mind is nothing more then a learning machine.
I no longer plan for the future.
I am as mad as I am sad.
I know I am not meeting my potential.
I have lowered my standards over time.
I lack energy and clarity for needed decisions.