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You Are NOT an Addict

I am writing this because the holiday season is approaching and it’s a time where many people struggle to cope with the added pressure.

Every one of us knows someone who has or is struggling with substance abuse or “addiction”. We should all be aware that these people do not abuse substances because they are addicted to them. People abuse substances as a way of coping with chronic and/or acute stress and, big T and little t trauma (we have all experienced some form of trauma in our lives and may continue to carry it deep in our psyche). That trauma could even be something small, like something a teacher said to us when we were young that made us feel less than or not good enough. When that message gets repeated to us or we continuously interpret messages to mean that through our own filters, the trauma compounds on that early wound and we continue to get triggered.
How do we cope with those negative thoughts, emotions and traumas when it gets to be too much? We numb out.

We turn to the easiest and fastest source of pain relief. That’s where, for many people, drugs and alcohol come in…but don’t panic because there IS hope.

The way to remove the “addiction” or reliance on substances, is to do the really deep work using somatic (body-centered) psychotherapy to process through the trauma in both hemispheres of the brain. What happens naturally, is that the coping mechanisms we used, shift on their own. We no longer need them because the underlying causes have been uncovered, processed and reframed. It’s a simple concept but not well understood in the recovery community.

No one should feel shamed that they need help to break through old patterning.

Please pass this on.

Lovingly and compassionately,

Mark

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