#191 – Episode 191 – Our Addiction to Drama


Can we sometimes be drama addicts? Chip and Veronica explore how they have created drama in their own lives and how creating drama is a way of meeting needs.

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about this episode

There’s something very human about sharing dramatic things that happen to us. Everyone loves a great story.

The problem is when we go out of balance, creating drama out of thin air or inserting ourselves where we don’t belong.

This is extremely common during our addictions, and it tends to persist into recovery.

Today Chip and I are talking about how we’ve created drama in our lives, why we do that, and how it meets our needs.

key highlights

Drama manufacturing

“All my life, I had been creating drama.” – Chip Somers

When we’re drinking, life is filled with high highs and low lows. From moments of euphoria to moments of crisis, something is always happening.

Once we’re in sobriety, it suddenly flatlines.

So what do we do? Add a little drama to make it feel more exciting.

For me, I tend to catastrophize – minor bumps are blown up to massive proportions.

For Chip, it’s about risky behavior. Around three and a half years into his recovery he got a massive opportunity to manage a 23-bed residential unit. He describes it as “a career break beyond all career breaks.” While doing his job, he found himself “borrowing” from petty cash and paying it back at the end of the month. It started small, £10 at first, but it slowly escalated until he went up to £600 in one month.

His risky behavior gave him a buzz and created a dramatic situation around him that he was missing. It brought him back to that comfort zone that he was accustomed to.


Look at me!

“There’s an element of attention seeking to all drama.” – Chip Somers

This one comes up a lot in self-help groups. Something dramatic happens, and random people proclaim themselves to be at the center of it.

It’s especially on display when someone dies and the “grief junkies” come out, and people who barely interacted with the deceased put themselves in the middle of all the arrangements surrounding the death.

By exaggerating things that happen to us, or our relationship with real dramatic events, we put ourselves smack dab at the center of attention.


Drama, chaos, and risk

“It’s a perfect storm.” – Veronica Valli

All of us become familiar with the triangle of drama, chaos, and risk during the course of our drinking.

There’s a big adrenaline rush from taking risks and getting yourself into drama, and we can get addicted to that.

For lots of us, it can take a long time to recognize when we’re creating drama and be content with a less dramatic lifestyle in recovery.

Ultimately, we use drama as a way of getting our needs met: attention, sympathy, and feeling bonded with other people. That’s why we keep doing it.

resources mentioned

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