Life Beyond Addiction – is it possible?

We live in an addicted world almost everyone is addicted to something.

If we give up one thing there is always something else to take its place.

Can an addictive personality work for us?

Can we move from being addicted to something that is harmful to something that is good for us?

We know that a large part of addiction is about brain chemicals and neuro respecters’ in the brain, the production of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine releases.

We all want those good feelings, those good vibes; we spend our entire life chasing them.

So, we also know learned behaviours in childhood become our norms, so for a child watching parent’s shoot up or pull bongs, to children who partake in the daily ritual of eating chocolate are their futures predestined.

We now know that sugar is as addictive as cocaine.

I am an expert at being addicted; I have gone from food to toxic love to cigarettes to cannabis and back to food.

I have the transferred addiction down pat. Coming from a family of addicts I watched my father go from alcohol and cigarettes to food and became his eating buddy for many years.

Also, working in the fields of ATODS and Mental Health, Homelessness and Forensics for the past 25 years, I have witnessed the same despair in varying degrees. My wounding has felt very simular if not the same as many of the people have worked with.

Fortunately for me and my clients, I had 10 years of healing and personal growth under my belt before I began in the field.

What did occur to me at one stage, is these happy feeling the production of serotonin must begin somewhere. Infancy would make sense, tickling of tiny toes, the connection of love between mother and child, those beautiful shared moments where your mother delights in your pure existence. Surely this is the place where the brain begins to fire off these chemicals, and then as we build on those happy times the brain works with us to keep creating them.

Here in lies my problem, I did not have a mother like that, I was sexually abused in my infancy and my mother was emotional destitute and cruel towards me.

My childhood was filled with despair, so my search for those happy vibes was external to myself.

This I found was a common theme amongst all the clients that I worked with.

I have come to believe that a large part of our addictive personality type, is filling our hungry hearts and the holes in our souls. What is left over after that becomes habit, ritual and avoidance, anything to keep from sitting with our despair, that deep loneliness that permeates our soul.

That connectedness to self, if we have not felt that joy the wonder of being alive-if we have never had that reflected back to us through someone else’s eyes, we are disconnected to self.

Let alone the impact of abuse and trauma will add another layer.

It has taken me 30 years to make peace with myself to feel calm in my soul and to allow myself those chinks in my armour that I could not panel beat out.

To settle the panic and the drivers of my addictions, however, I am still a work in progress and will be until I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I have found the journey to self-understanding, self-forgiveness, and self-reflection the pathway to my acceptance of self.

Letting go of the past, which is easier said that done but once done is utter relief and release.

Working with forgiveness of others and not in the altruistic sense, rather understanding that forgiving people for what they have put on you, is a choice to let go of resentment, bitterness, hatred. These thoughts and feelings held me trapped in the very cycle I was clambering to escape from.

So 25 years on I realise that in order to be an effectual worker I had to go within my own fractured psyche and make sense of that. Then I could truly assist others to break through and find some peace within their hearts and souls.


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