The Raphael Remedy

Reaching for Counterfeit Happiness

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Coaching

When happiness seems out of reach, we can often reach instead for a counterfeit. We reach for food, shopping, alcohol, pills, social media likes, and other external fixes that make us feel better. We live in a world where we can place an order and almost immediately have our desires delivered right to our door.

We reach for a quick substitute for the feelings we long for which are joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment.

Our counterfeit substitutes come with counterfeit benefits:

  • They become our companions.
  • They don’t talk back or say “No.”
  • We can be instantly gratified.
  • They don’t judge us.
  • We can isolate ourselves and can be alone with them.

We can often mistake the counterfeits as real happiness because the same chemicals in our brains, primarily dopamine, are produced by engaging with our counterfeits.

But what happens when we become dependent upon our counterfeits?

A warning sign that we are becoming dependent is that we are noticing negative effects in our moods, our bodies, our finances, or our lives.

An even greater sign that we are becoming dependent is that when we try not to reach for our source of counterfeit happiness, we are unable to stop. We are unable to control how frequently we are reaching for our counterfeit.

Our lack of control can lead to feelings of shame, remorse, and guilt—which you can imagine is a trigger for us to reach yet again for our counterfeit to feel better.

I have been in this spin cycle of insanity. My counterfeits at an early age were peanut M&Ms and romance novels. I moved onto harder counterfeits such as drugs, alcohol, and attention. As my dependency increased, my life began to fall apart.

It was through Twelve-Step Recovery and faith that I was able to become free from the cycle of insanity, understand why I was reaching for counterfeit happiness, and to learn how to cultivate true feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment.

I was able to find my true self and find true fulfillment and have met thousands of men and women who have done the same. For over 15 years as a Certified Health and Life Coach, I have guided individuals on their journeys toward holistic well-being. Drawing from my own experiences, I’ve embraced the transformative power of Twelve-Step Recovery, a path that has shaped both my personal and professional life.

The Takeaway

Reaching out for help takes honesty, openness, and willingness. Facing our feelings of shame and remorse takes courage. Reaching for the truth and not a counterfeit is a journey and worth every step.

Jenny Teeters

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