The following text is an excerpt from a conversation with Todd Goodwin, Board Certified Hypnotist at GoodwinHypnosis.com, who was interviewed by Conor Flynn, host of the Rx Podcast (DrinkRxCoffee.com), on July 30, 2018.
This eighth segment discusses emotionally compulsive habits and addictions.
CONOR FLYNN: You just get my mind thinking about being younger, and I’m not much of a drinker at all anymore these days. But back in college, and afterwards, it was ritual and social influence from it, where it’s like, okay, you do great on a test, let’s go and drink, you do bad on test, let’s go out and drink. Then that carries over to the professional world, let’s go to happy hour on the weekends let’s go to this. And everything’s built into these rituals and society, that you get positive reinforcement to do it. You’re having trouble with the relationship, let’s go have a drink. But you’re putting a depressant in your body. That’s going to mask it for the short term. But it’s going to exacerbate that problem going forward. And then there’s that if you have that, my guess addictive personality, you fall into an addiction where maybe you weren’t physically addicted to something, but because of the social influence and the ritualistic nature of it, that you fall into these patterns of, maybe it’s using a drug or a pill or alcohol.
TODD GOODWIN: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s funny that you mentioned that because the seminar I was telling you that my wife Gina, who’s also a Board Certified Hypnotist, and I just hosted a couple weeks ago, one of the one who the examples we gave was, “Our team just won the championship, let’s go get wasted!” or “Our team just lost, let’s go get wasted!” or “I just got fired. Let’s go get drunk!” “I just got a promotion. Let’s go get drunk!” And it’s true. So the point is that those rationalizations or “rational lies” of why we drink are usually completely wrong. We’re not drinking because, you know, we had a tough day, we’re not drinking because we got fired, or we got a promotion, or we’re getting married or we’re getting divorced. And some people when they get divorced, they can celebrate it. Others, they need sympathy. Whatever the case is, that’s not why. We’re just using that as a justification for why we’re doing something, but we don’t really understand why we’re doing it. People usually drink alcohol, and I’m not talking about one glass of wine, I’m talking about excessively, for one reason. They’re feeling uncomfortable at some level, they may not be aware of it, and they’ve found in their life that when they drink excessively, or even a couple drinks, they feel better. It’s that simple.
CONOR: Followed by feeling bad for a day or two.
TODD: Yes, but isn’t it so easy to forget that? Because the need for immediate gratification is solved by feeling better. When I was maybe 20 pounds heavier than I am today, I’m in reasonably good shape now. But when I was, you know, in college, 20 years old, I was going through really difficult time. I was depressed, I was anxious, I had really low self-esteem and self-confidence. My grades were bad, my social life was worse. You know, it was one of those times where sort of everything seemed to cave in on me. And my eating habits were really bad. But I did have one thing that helped me, which was ice cream. I was eating maybe a gallon every three or four days of chocolate mint and chocolate chip ice cream. So I had indecision also. You see I was very indecisive, so I just got both right. Why choose?
CONOR: Did you add cereal to it?
TODD: I didn’t.
CONOR: Well the reason why I bring that up on the first podcast. The guest who owns a gym and he’s lost over 100 pounds. He talked about when he used to eat a ton. And he was extremely overweight. He said he would eat ice cream and add cereal. And you get a giant tub and just add cereal to it. That’s why so this is like a reoccurring theme.
TODD: Well, maybe that’s why he was that much heavier than I was. I had trouble with buttoning my pants. But anyway, the point is it gave me immediate, it made me feel better for 30 minutes or an hour. But then afterwards, I realized, you know, “Oh, shit, I just gained another pound.” And maybe the next day, I feel kind of crappy from a sugar crash. But yet, we still have this desire to do that to meet our immediate needs, even at the expense of our long-term.
CONOR: Everybody will sacrifice a few seconds to a minute of mouth pleasure to do something that’s horrible for them and make them feel bad sometimes immediately afterward.
TODD: Yeah. But I do want to address one thing you mentioned, I don’t believe there is such a thing as an addictive personality.
CONOR: I was going to ask you that question.
TODD: Yeah, I think that’s BS.
The next segment addresses the myth of the “addictive personality.”