Friday, March 24, 2017

My Drug of Choice

Funny how I found my drug of choice.

I ran my autosomal DNA data through a company called Promothease. They developed

For a $5 dollar fee the Promothease program compared my DNA to their database which provides a report on certain snps that may indicate a propensity for things like drug allergies, baldness, cancer, and addiction.   

I looked up some of the scientific studies that define addiction. I discovered that a release of dopamine and endorphins in the brain gives a person what is known as a “high,” a condition, where at least for a short time they feel really good. The desire for the natural heightened chemical release reinforces behavior that will recreate that release. Evidently the desire to feel good is considered an indicator one may have an addictive personality.

I can understand why anyone would want to feel good…all the time.

When I am playing with genealogy (to me it’s not work), it’s a game (future blog), and when I make a break-though and extend family back a generation, or find a missing child of a grandparent, I get a spurt of dopamine, and I can feel it. It feels good.

When I can provide resources and methods and preparation for an adoptee in pursuit of finding their biological parents, it feels very good. 

When I make a multi-generational connection via email, with a distant cousin, who blesses me with awesome information and documentation: property deeds, love letters, the transcript of a murder trial, a grandparent standing before a church confessing to getting in a fight and was drunk; I get a big surge of dopamine and feel ten years younger.

My family is not perfect. They made mistakes. Sometimes big ones. They were human. Some are Revolutionary war heroes.  When my toes touch back to earth from my “high”; I go to bed at night with a smile on my face.

But, when I make a new cousin connection, and when I get to be the one sharing what an awesome, human family we have, I get such a gigantic surge of dopamine, I can’t get to sleep.  I start looking for that next surge because it makes me feel so good. So, I stay up all night looking for my next connection. My next fix.

Hi. My name is Barbara. I’m a genealogist.

Gedmatch #T689325
WikiTree: Shoff-7

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