#175: Dopamine Detox
for advanced creatures with boundless willpower
The singular reason why I am dopamine-intoxicated is that I think of myself as an advanced creature with boundless willpower. Both are false. Willpower isn’t even a part of building lifelong habits. “Advanced creature” is a very primitive child who displays my monkey brain behaviors: she is sweet but impressionable. What she wants is easily hijacked by cunning adults: stores full of sugars and easily accessible infinite feeds. Assuming a child’s maturity leaves me at the mercy of her extreme impulsivity.
The seducers won’t go away. The child will always crave sugar. The only fix is to strengthen my conscious persona, the curator, so that she can re-direct my desires. Reacting to my impulsive desires emotionally is no different from being a lazy parent constantly feeding her child sugars and TikTok. I cannot afford to be an absent parent to my inner child because I will bring up an adult unable to self-organize to get what she wants.
Dopamine intoxication is directly destroying my ability to do hard shit. Dopamine detox is removing unearned rewards to nurture an ability to tolerate the pain of emptiness and to learn to fill the void with self-generated content. How can I expect my child to voluntarily sit and solve math problems for hours when all he is used to are instantaneous rewards?! So I tell myself: