I imagine there are a lot of people visiting this site whose lightbulbs are all going off at the same time :)
I wanted to tell you about a story drawn by Moebius, one of my favorite comic book artists. It starts with a scene of a human running across a landscape. We then learn that this human is actually an all-terrain vehicle being operated by another smaller human from inside the larger human's head. This smaller human turns out to be a replica of another human, who is safe aboard a space ship, off-world.
It helped me when recovering from my dopamine cycle, to remember that we are not the body that is experiencing the highs and lows of punishment/reward. We are the ones running the program, and discovering that we have the power to change the program.
Be patient and forgiving, but persistent in your intention to create a better experience for yourself. xo