Categories
Wellness

How I Grew Up In A Military Family

When you’re raised among military families it’s common to get involved in some kind of military program. Whether it was boot camp, boot camp-like training, or even being drafted into the military you learn how to take care of yourself at the dinner table. When I’m at this dinner table my wife and children are there with me. They’re part of my family. And, they’ve always been there.

If you were raised in a military family you most likely had a military experience. From a young age you learned how to take care of yourself at the dinner table. We have a tendency to want to protect and care for others because they’re a part of our family. But as adults and our relationships grow, we learn how not to be so protective towards those whom we care about. But then at some point as we become closer to others, we realize that we need to take care of ourselves. It’s important to allow yourself a little time for self-care and to be honest and forthright about the need to stop and take care of yourself at times.

Here’s a story. Sometimes when I’m in a good mood and I get a little too excited I like to play. I play computer games, shoot guns, ride my bike. These are things that I like to do all the time. But when I play I have a tendency to spend hours doing this. My hands start hurting, I wake up sweating and my neck hurts. When I need to get home I need to walk and a lot of the time I just sit on the couch and keep playing through the night. I do this all the time, I don’t like thinking about it so I never think about it.

When the thought of putting my face on a computer screen to play a video game crosses my mind I try to put on a nice, gentle face to get the adrenaline pumping and get the dopamine flowing. But then I just end up sweating and getting winded. The endorphins running down my body make me feel good. But it’s time for me to get home and take a break from the stress, the excitement and the dopamine rush I get from playing video games.

The last thing I do before I take a hard shower is go lay in bed to putter around for a bit. And then I usually go straight for my computer again. But on these occasions when I finish playing videogames I don’t get the same pleasure as before. I can’t quite bring the adrenaline I get from playing into me. So the dopamine rush and all the good feelings it produces have been removed from me. So, my next action is to lay in bed just to think. And at every step I am thinking about how I got to this point. But I just end up going straight for the computer again. Then I will watch a TV show or a film and try and imagine my family sitting down to the meal I served. And again the dopamine rush and the adrenaline high is almost all gone as I finish watching the show and get ready to go home. So I will go through a whole lot of steps. But the end result is always the same. My body has gone to the other extreme, which will cause my dopamine levels to come down and my dopamine levels will be returned to normal.

Now why do I even tell this story? It’s because if you know anything about dopamine you know that it has tremendous positive and negative impacts on you. So, it’s important to keep your body healthy. But it’s also true that when our bodies become “normal” that it becomes less stressed. So, you don’t have to stress yourself out as much because you didn’t put your body through some stressor like a physical fight. But you should still know some good things about dopamine. The first thing is that because of its powerful effect on dopamine levels, people who have a high amount of dopamine in their brains can get addicted to substances. So, in order to treat drugs or addictions try to control your dopamine. The second thing as well is that dopamine also makes people feel good. But, if we get too high on dopamine, too much of these things can be a problem.