We all know that feeling – the calm before the storm, the waiting eagerly for someone or something to arrive, the first time you lay eyes on that very special person in your life. Yes, that sense of anticipation is very familiar to everyone but is it possibly somewhat underestimated?

We assume the ‘big payoff’ to be the peak in any kind of pleasurable sequence of events but the evidence suggests otherwise. Studies in Vancouver, Canada on long term, injecting drug addicts using MRI and Cat-scan testing, show consistently, the peak dopamine release (the pleasure hormone) to be in the period before actually using drugs. That’s right, the hunt for funds, the search for a reliable dealer, arranging a place and the equipment to use, all this produces more pleasure than when they actually inject!

If you think about healthier activities such as dating, often the most exciting time is the search, that trial and error of chatting up those we are attracted to. All this can often be more fun than the actual date itself, right! Even Christmas and birthdays as a child, you would get so excited in the run-up to Christmas then once the presents are opened there might be that slight sense of deflation. Sure you get to play with all your toys but wonder if ‘he’ had been was the best feeling.

Christmas 2020 is certainly looking a lot more challenging for many more people than ever before. Due to travel and other restrictions, more people will be alone than ever before. Many more will be stuck with people they would rather be anywhere else but with. In these circumstances, anyone struggling to manage a habit of any kind, whether that’s a substance, a behaviour such as gambling or just that old chestnut, smoking, they will probably be under more pressure than ever.

We must recognise that what we think of as addictions are almost always a symptom of something in that person’s past. Whether that is neglect, abuse or trauma, most serious addictions can be traced back to this kind of origin. When we start to realise that the anticipation period is so pleasurable, we can begin to imagine life without the actual destructive element involved at all. When will NOW be a good time that you can start the next day free of these burdens?

I specialise in treating addictions. I have just received notification that I am able to continue working with in-person appointments. Get in touch now if you are ready to take that step towards making 2021 your best year yet.

It’s free to contact me to have a chat about your problems, so give me a call at 07768 392 635.

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