The riddle of alcoholism
After almost one year of trauma based counselling for alcoholism (twice a month/2 hour sessions with somatic experience) I discovered in my personal journey a definition that explained my substance use disorder:
My alcoholism is a Trauma induced Habit perceived as a Basic Necessity and maintained by a False Core Belief System.
My alcoholism is nothing more than a habit, a nasty, tragic and horrible habit.
But there is something very sinister about this particular habit, something within the depths of what I call my soul and that is something I will have to write about in another entry.
So my first alcoholic drink was at the age of 14 and it was BLISS. At that specific moment in time I was completely unaware of how much stress and emotional turmoil I was experiencing every day. I was in a very confusing and chaotic relationship with my father; I had reached a high point of loneliness, depression and anxiety; the amount of disturbance and suffering made that first drink hijack my reward system, this buzz felt like it was coming from a selfless source of abundance, this bliss I felt it physically, mentally and spiritually. My reward system was astonished, immediate bliss and joy without any strings attached. It made such a great impression on me that I repeated it over and over again until it became a habit, a brain configuration.
So my brain made a wonderful job in learning this habit and creating a complex machinery that worked behind the scenes in order to find this buzz/reward as often as possible. This habit was born from a Trauma, that specific Trauma- Place became Headquarters for this habit.
Habit: My Trigger or Cue became emotional distress of any kind, my specific action was to drink and my reward was to escape the emotional distress. Drinking created more emotional distress so I needed to drink again to escape it and so on...
The neat trick was that this machinery/habit- was creating emotional distress on its own by means of manipulating my perception. "Cunning and baffling"
I remember sharing in AA, "I feel like I am playing chess with a mind reader, I can’t beat this <disease> single handed". "This <disease> has an intelligence of its own, it’s organic!"
What makes sense for me is imagining there is a Deep State inside of me, it has taken over 90% of my perception of people, places and things, and it’s a Shadow Government, a Government within the Government that exercises its power by creating a feeling of hopelessness and demoralization by means of manipulating my perception. So this Shadow Government is very well organized and established and is in charge of how I perceive people, places and things 90% of the time so it is pretty much running my life. Now I imagine that there is also inside of me a small group of people called the Rebellion, this is a group that is AWARE or AWAKEN to the reality of the situation and KNOWS that if this Shadow Government is not overthrown, the whole system is going to collapse. I heard “ The Rebellions” shout for the first time when I was 20 years old and waking up to the most horrifying alcohol withdrawal that little voice was saying "you have to stop drinking, you have to quit or else…" but this Shadow Government had already infiltrated the highest ranks of the whole system. I had depression, anxiety, untreated traumas and Loneliness which also created another set of symptoms that I felt physically, mentally and spiritually.
Now let's quickly go through the definition again:
Trauma induced Habit perceived as a Basic Necessity and maintained by a False Core Belief System.
A False Core Belief System is born from Trauma and it is composed of a population of Toxic Beliefs that form a blueprint for everyday living. This Toxic Beliefs manifest at a conscious and extremely powerful subconscious level, this toxic beliefs evoke a feeling of perpetual "disappointment, you feel like a underachiever, unsuccessful, criminal, weak, you will never amount to much, you are a failure, etc.) they are aimed to demoralize, to make me feel "a generalization of hopelessness" and they can be perceived as a life sentence and that is where the CHRONIC BRAIN DISEASE MODEL feeds from.
It’s just a habit and absolutely not a life sentence.
So this Toxic Belief System was born from my Traumas, so it was until I faced my traumas with a professional trauma based counselor, that I discovered them and finally took proper and effective action. AA wasn't working properly for me because although I was making a new habit by going every day to a group and sort of Christianizing my way of thinking my real Traumas and false core belief system were undiscovered, that is why in AA every time I missed a meeting I was getting "anxious, restless and discontent" those where my symptoms of untreated trauma and as for passing the message I was definitely NOT going to tell people that they are killing themselves drinking because “they are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. They are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way…” that is just a bunch of nonsense that I am not going to spread around. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.
While in AA I did my 4th step and it sort of helped me locate some events that shook me but I didn't find the city nor the full address with postal code of were my Traumas were located. And a sponsor is not a professional Trauma based counselor so I never mixed oranges with apples. I had great laughs and warm conversations with my sponsor but I would neversubstitute a counselor for a sponsor. It was until I opened myself to my counselor and the traumas just opened up literally shaking my whole body that is when the real healing began and I didn't felt that threat of missing a group as something that might be of grave danger, my restless, discontent and irritable feeling had been understood as a mechanism from my traumas using a false core belief system to set the habit in motion, I was awoken to the inner works of this habit.
If you are an Alcoholic in need of recovery I would recommend:
Go to a trauma based counselor (with somatic training if possible) and remember you don’t have to be the only survivor of a massacre in order to seek counselling, if you feel DAAR (Depression, Anxiety, Anger or RAGE) and you are starting to drink alcohol to escape this feeling, I suggest you seek counselling ASAP and also YOU DON’T HAVE TO HIT ROCK BOTTOM TO SEEK HELP THAT IS ANOTHER FALSE BELIEF.
With your counselor find your Traumas and the false core belief system, write your toxic negative beliefs in a sheet of paper and read for the first time how you perceive yourself-worth as a human being.
Once you find them it’s time to override them. I sleep with my headphones listening to binaural beats and my voice reciting the exact opposite of my negative statements. That has been working a lot because I am overriding them little by little at the subconscious level.
Mindfulness meditation is awesome. Don’t isolate yourself, always find a community of sober friends, connection is vital. I sometimes go to therapeutic communities; AA has amazing stories of synchronicity and a quick fix for that feeling of loneliness (just don’t drink the cool aid). SMART Recovery is fantastic and their website too!
Always remember that you conditioned your mind into the habit of drinking. Your amazing mind goes into default mode and it will create that feeling of hopelessness manifesting as DAAR (depression, anxiety, anger, rage) in order to achieve that balance point that it was trained for by means of repetition, that balance point MUST HAVE ALCOHOL in the equation. That is the brain configuration.
So your mind will go into default mode which is very uncomfortable and scary but I congratulate myself for being at work, doing house chores, calling loved ones, being sober, reading articles about addiction, it’s a way of showing self-support and understanding.
As soon as you feel that bite of hopelessness just remind yourself that it’s just a machinery/habit creating emotional distress by means of manipulating your perception.
CONGRATULATE YOURSELF IF YOU CATCH THIS MACHINERY-SHADOW GOVERNMENT AT WORK, it’s a great feeling and a Victory for the Rebellion!
NOW IS THE TIME to innovate treatments, to use our creativity in finding new and exciting ways to heal from substance use disorders.
My favorite books are:
Marc Lewis- The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease
Johann Hari:Chasing the Scream, Lost Connections
Bruce Lipton: Biology of Belief
Alejandro Jodorowsky- everything
Bruce Alexander: Globalization of Addiction
Peter Levine and Adam Bradley Somatic Therapy
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