I’m finding myself bored. So. Incredibly. Bored.

Even amidst life changes and stressful events, my brain is anxiously awaiting something exciting to happen.

I’ve developed the strangest addiction. I’m an adrenaline junkie.

I read somewhere (how’s that for a citation) that people who experience elevated levels of stress as a child develop into adrenaline dependent adults.

While their brains were growing and developing, they were exposed to situations that caused their body to dump large amounts of adrenaline into their blood. Maybe it was a competitive school or traumatic events that caused it, either way, their brains adapted to the elevated amount of adrenaline and learned to expect the natural high in every day life.

So as adults, this can show up in a few different ways. Some grow up partaking in risky behavior to get their fix. Driving fast cars, sky-diving, working in the stock market, anything that regularly causes a flood of the fight-or-flight hormone. They gotta get their fix.

For others, they may pick up reality TV show or dramatic movies. Their personal lives may be void of anything particular exciting, so they supplement their life events with fake ones. Their hearts race, their pupils dilate, they sit on the edge of the seat. Adrenaline pumps through their veins. Their brain sighs with relief, basking in the glow of an adrenaline filled high.

For me, I’m a drama queen. I spent most of my childhood arguing or wrestling with my siblings. My mom called me Katie-Ka-Boom because of my explosive anger. I had SO much exposure to adrenaline. In some ways, it was essential to surviving amidst 8 other children, but it’s really kicking me in the pants as an adult.

I love getting into debates (or as my husband calls them, arguments). I relish the sensation of justified anger. It fills me with so much energy and purpose. I feel alive and on fire. I want to fight and beat and win. It feels so damn good.

If things are peaceful, I stir it up. I create a storm and place myself right in the middle. If things are quiet, I start a riot. I defend myself, others, groups, ideas, totally unprovoked.

Any slight, any offense, is my opportunity for another high. I’m addicted to adrenaline and I’m addicted to fighting.

And my goodness, is this addiction destructive.

Most people have no idea an adrenaline addiction is wreaking so much havoc in their lives. They think it’s normal. They’ll blame people around them and say things like “Oh my gosh I hate drama.” No they don’t. They love it. It’s fun. They will seek it out. Then blame the carnage on the ones who “made them angry.”

It’s confusing for outsiders, especially for the meek and for the quiet.

I have to quit my addiction. I know this. I yearn for a peaceful home. I have to wean myself off drama. Lower doses from safer places, until my brain doesn’t crave it. Until I can function without the gnawing withdrawal symptoms, especially the boredom and the constant searching.

Here’s to a new goal for 2016.

Sarah C.

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