Most of the circuits in our brain run on automatic. The more you think a thought, the more energy goes into that circuit. Eventually it gets enough energy to run the thought automatically without us needing to put more energy into it.
-Jill Bolte Taylor
There is much discussion within the addiction sphere about the role of the brain. For some, it sufficiently explains the mechanics of dependency and addiction. For others, it represents only an important aspect of the process. Today’s quotation reminds us that what ends up becoming an automatic neural process is kickstarted by the energy created by repeated thought. The emotional energy inspired by our addictions is very powerful, in this regard, quickly training our neurons to twist themselves around our developing attachments. And this automaticity will need to be addressed in our recovery. But the brain is potentially both the cart and the horse, and can be retrained. If we can properly apply ourselves, we can consciously use our thoughts and behaviors to simultaneously create new neural connections while weakening others, effectively changing what becomes written into the neural story within the brain. So while the experience of addiction and dependency is legitimately influenced by their impact on our brains, with proper application we do have the power to make new patterns if we can learn to change our thinking long enough to create the energy to do so.