In a recent Esquire Townhouse discussion, Russell Brand explained, “Happiness lies beyond the superficial stimulation of pleasure, and the reason I think this is a significant point is people can sell you pleasure, no one can sell you happiness. Happiness you resource within.” Many of us confused the two concepts to the point of self-destruction. We were suffering emotionally and spiritually, and felt that the pleasure and relief provided by alcohol and drugs was, in fact, true happiness. We were so consumed by our suffering, and so unfamiliar with the feelings of happiness, that we believed the relief from pain provided by substances was the best feeling we could ever hope to achieve. We were unable to look within for meaning, purpose, and true happiness, instead relying solely on external chemical pleasures to dictate how we felt at any given moment. We had convinced ourselves that we had found a form of happiness in intoxication, but realized later that our lives were composed of suffering, with fleeting moments of superficial pleasure. The Dalai Lama, in a 2017 interview with Howard Cutler, expanded on the concept by saying, “the highest happiness is when one reaches the stage of Liberation, at which there is no more suffering. That’s genuine, lasting happiness. True happiness relates more to the mind and heart. Happiness that depends mainly on physical pleasure is unstable; one day it’s there, the next day it may not be.” Reliance on unstable and brief moments of physical pleasure lead us deeper down the spiral of addiction. We reach a point where we stop looking for happiness and rely solely on pleasurable experiences, such as drinking or using. Dr. Margaret Paul, in a Huffington Post article, The Difference Between Happiness and Pleasure, explains, “Our intent to seek safety and pleasure through controlling others, outcomes, and our own feelings leads to an inner feeling of abandonment and emptiness. We abandon ourselves when we are trying to control our feelings rather than be kind and compassionate with ourselves. Our anxiety and feelings of emptiness lead to more seeking outside ourselves to fill up with pleasurable experiences. The momentary pleasure leads to addictive behavior.” If we were to find genuine happiness, we had to give up our reliance on external pleasures and our perceived need to assert control over everything in our loves. We learned that true happiness is derived from something greater than ourselves, and it could be achieved by cultivating our spiritual connection and embracing a code of love and tolerance of others. Through recovery, we learned what happiness truly meant and found a new sense of joy and freedom in our sobriety.
Your story can be one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of effective treatment techniques designed to give you all the tools needed to overcome addiction and alcoholism. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777