‘The problem with instant graftification’ by Matt Kay

rsz_us-instant-gratificationHere’s another excellent blog that Matt Kay submitted to Wired In To Recovery.

‘Our world today is based upon instant gratification. Taking into consideration all of the technology that allows us to get what we want right when we want it, it’s really no wonder that we are trying to apply that standard to our emotional state.

Think of all the ways that people use drugs or alcohol pertaining to instant gratification. If you are having a stressful day – pop a pill and feel de-stressed. If you are feeling a little social anxiety or lack of confidence in a situation – have a few drinks and get some liquid courage.

By feeding these types of emotional needs with drugs or alcohol we are in a way giving ourselves a quick fix. We are not working on the actual problems, but finding an easy way out of them. But since instant gratification in all other areas of life has now become the norm, how are we supposed to delay our need for it?

For someone who has entered into addiction recovery, like me, we become aware of our search for instant gratification. We are now given the chance to start breaking down our bad beliefs.

Although we have come to the conclusion that we can’t change the world around us, we do have the power to change ourselves. We need to start separating out our emotional gratification to ensure that we are not searching for the next quick fix for our needs.

Sounds easy right? But when you sit and think about how much of our emotional well being has been dependent on our world around us, it gets a little tricky.

Since I am no longer using substances to alter my moods, I have had to start developing coping skills. These don’t always alter your moods but they begin to let you accept your emotional state and if necessary ride it out. Riding out an unpleasant feeling is not something that I’m used to doing even now. It takes work.

This subject has been on my mind lately as I deal with my step-son. I can see that he is used to nothing else but instant gratification and it kind of frightens me. He is not the exception, he is the norm.  I feel like our country is at a loss with how to deal with the growing addiction problems we are faced with.

We are trying all kinds of ways to scare our children into not trying drugs. We show them what your life can turn out like, we talk about the health risks and all that. We show them the outcome of an addict’s life. But what alternatives are we giving them?

Are we providing them with the life skills and the coping skills to stave off their desire for instant gratification? No, as a society we are almost encouraging their need.
I’m not pretending to have any answers has to how to deal with this, I was just kind of pointing it out. I’m faced with this question almost every day when it comes to dealing with my child. But I think that if we can figure out a way to change our children’s need for emotional instant gratification then we are heading in the right direction.

Make a decision to have a great day. Misery is always optional.’