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Getting Still #2 – Addicted to Adrenaline

February 5th, 2007 · 4 Comments


My dear friend Chris recently wrote about the impact on her life reading a book had. A specific book, which helped her diagnose her addiction.

Before you think the worst, she was talking about addiction to that most terrible of substances – ADRENALINE.

And I felt this was oh, so relevant in this series of posts on Getting Still.

Because it is difficult to get calm, to feel serene and peaceful, when you’re really hanging out for the next adrenaline fix – seeking another APE.

Huh?  APE?  Nothing to do with monkeys… May I suggest you click over to Chris’ Take A Bite blog, where she explains (better than I ever could) what an APE (Adrenaline Priority Event) is, and how she is dealing with the revelation of being an adrenaline junkie.

If you are addicted to adrenaline, you’re looking for the rush that comes with skating close, too close, to a deadline. You’re looking for excitement, and when it isn’t there – you create it.

Not very conducive for clearing the waters by being calm and peaceful, though, is it?

I used to work for a woman who always had to have a drama in the office. Hers wasn’t a nice drama though, it meant someone was ‘in her sights’. She’d always have to have someone she wasn’t happy with, who she was ‘anti’ about… and when the current person finally left out of sheer frustration, she’s move down the list to the next target.  Her life didn’t seem complete without the drama.

It wasn’t so nice for the rest of us in the office, even me – who she took into her confidence to complain about the current target. I felt that at any moment, the tide could turn, and it’d be me caught in the headlights with a bullseye painted on my backside…

This is how she got her feelings of self-worth, by always having someone to complain about, belittle and generally target. And blame if the office wasn’t performing to target.

Do you know someone like this? Someone addicted to ‘stirring up the waters’ so no-one can see clearly?

The problem with addictions of this sort is that they prevent you from getting still, they drive you away from that grounding influence of calm and peaceful.

Adrenaline addiction (and any other chemical or emotional addiction) can also have profound affects on our health and well-being. A fact we tend to minimise or think ‘it’ll never happen to me’. The health affects alone are reason enough to stop and assess whether you have an addiction… whether you are in fact on the path to ill-health (if you’re not already showing signs).

If there was ever a good reason to get still and let the sediment sink to the bottom so you can see more clearly, your health and longevity and quality of life surely have to be one of the best reasons?


The Clearing Space Challenge


Check out the book Chris is talking about hereHighLife 24/7: Balance Your Body Chemistry And Feel Uplifted by Matt Church – if you have any thought at all that you could be an adrenaline junkie. Or addicted to drama, intrigue, chaos, sugar or anything else in your life that isn’t calm and in control at all times.

Ask yourself – do I need this drama in my life? Is it serving me? Check out some of Chris’ APE Antidote Strategies… can you draw up a list of your own to stop you getting on that high?

What’s your health worth to you?

More on Getting Still coming soon…

Tags: Getting Still · Resourcing for Women Who Do Too Much

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Pete Aldin // Feb 9, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Great post, Karen! And it can take a while to detox from adrenaline and even put yourself through “rehab”!

    I remember when my back went on me in 2004 and I had to leave work altogether. After 3 weeks of walking around my neighbourhood, journalling, praying, reading and contemplating life (which for the first 2 weeks was agonisingly non-stimulating!), a good friend met me, recoiled in shock and said “Man! You look so … so … peaceful! Give me some of what you got.”

    Worth the non-effort of de-adrenalising life. Keep up the series.

  • 2 Karen Wallace // Feb 9, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks Pete – I appreciate your enthusiasm.

    I love your recollection of your decompression or ‘rehab’ from the adrenaline addiction… wonderful that your friend noticed you were peaceful.

    My first reaction to a couple of weeks spent in that way is ‘wow – bliss!’ and ‘wouldnt that be wonderful?’ But I know that if I ever got the chance to do that (apart from a holiday, which is somehow different) it would take me some time to break through the guilt and ‘doingness’ barrier.

  • 3 Jodie D // Oct 15, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    On the weekend I walked into an iridologist tent at a craft show on the gold coast. I walked out of there with a book in my hand given to me by Margaret Johnston, a naturopath that suffered severe anxiety and depression for years. She inadvertantly stumbled across a breathing technique to aid the body in controlling it’s adrenaline addiction and she is doing fantastically. I am having numerous tests to work out why I am having bouts of nausea, depression, fatigue, lightheadedness, heart palpitations etc. Last night I relaised after talking to her nad hearing her say that my nervous system was shot (more than likely form chilhood events and an abusive relationship) that most of my life I have been suffering anxiety. Last night I cried with relief. I cried at the same time as using the breathing technique and my crying did not turn in to my usual despondant howling, it turned into calm. I don’t have her contact details on me now but will post them tomorrow.

  • 4 Jodie D // Oct 15, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Margaret has just written the book and is hoping to get it onto book shelves next year. I read it in one day.

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