Some people in recovery can concentrate on the newfound inner peace and contentment sobriety brings. However, others find themselves unsure of what to do without the dysfunction that characterized their lives during active addiction. If you find more comfort in drama than you do in tranquility, you may have developed a chaos addiction.
What Is a Chaos Addiction?
Many people who develop substance abuse disorders as adults grew up in highly unstable, dysfunctional families where unpredictability was the norm. As a result, they learned to expect the unexpected in their daily lives. To an outside observer, these families often present as if everything is balanced and calm, but behind closed doors, it’s an entirely different story.
The rehab process imposes a great deal of structure and routine. During recovery, life begins to feel safer and more predictable. The paradox for many recovering addicts is that calmness is so unfamiliar it induces anxiety. Chaos has become such an ingrained part of their lives that if they don’t find it, they’ll intentionally create it.
Warning Signs of a Chaos Addiction
While most people will go out of their way to avoid drama, someone with a chaos addiction feels a rush of empowerment in times of crisis or turmoil. To determine whether you might be addicted to chaos, ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you lose your temper over minor issues that likely would not upset most people?
- Does sitting calmly and quietly seem like a punishment to you?
- Do you insist on having the last word in every argument?
- Do you often instigate fights with loved ones?
- Do you hate it when you are not the center of attention?
- Have you shouted or thrown things to escalate a disagreement?
- Is there usually at least one unresolved dilemma in your life?
- Do you struggle with healthy conflict resolution?
How to Control a Chaos Addiction
If you’ve identified some red flags of a chaos addiction in your life, you can take sensible steps to overcome it.
- Practice yoga and meditation: These ancient practices help you learn to quiet your mind, control your breathing and live life in the moment.
- Do a digital detox: Devices like smartphones and tablets are convenient, but they can also create unnecessary stress and detract from your ability to concentrate. A digital detox can help you enjoy real-world interactions that don’t take place through a screen. During your workday, consider putting your devices in airplane mode or even keeping them in a drawer so you don’t feel tempted to check for incoming notifications.
- Connect with nature: Humans have an innate need to experience the natural world, and research suggests being outdoors is one of the best things you can do for your well-being. Whether you are tending a garden, exercising or merely sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine, even brief exposure to nature brings benefits such as improved memory and increased happiness.
Holistic Addiction Recovery in Taos, New Mexico
Vista Taos Renewal Center is a family-owned addiction rehab facility located in the spiritual center of Taos, surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery and steeped in a rich history of Native American cultural and artistic traditions. To learn more about beginning your recovery journey here, please get in touch with us today.