There are a lot of people that don’t believe that they can recover from addiction successfully, and who can blame them? For years, we’ve been told that our mistakes will travel with us through life like a monkey on our backs, and that our addictions have far more power than we do over our own lives. Bullshit.
I’m willing to, and going to, prove what works, so we can all have a better wide spread solution than “Hello, my name is… and I’m an alcoholic,” because that’s what recovery has become. The ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) has the failure rate of 12-step programs at 90%, because it’s a culture of codependency and nonsense and only benefits a very few. Admitting you were an alcoholic is fine to get into recovery, but once you’re in recovery, you want to leave as much of that life behind you as you can.
The discomfort in recovery, especially when you’re just beginning, is real… but does it have to be so bad that we are still struggling with our sobriety months and even years later? “No” says your brain and body… let that shit go. Your body and mind are begging you to leave that life behind and get healthy but, because the recovery culture says you’ll be an alcoholic or an addict for life, we tend to hold on to guilt, shame, and fear for absolutely no reason.
I’m 41 years old and have been in an alcoholic environment ever since I can remember, so don’t think I didn’t hold onto some crazy shit too. But when I stopped listening to other people and their perceptions, I realized that I wasn’t bound to the life I had created so far. Outside perceptions have made me change my mind a lot of times, and I ended up living someone else’s life, under multiple people’s advice, rather than my own. The unsolicited “you should” has always been something that people offer because they know you’ll listen, and the more you listen, the further away you can get from the real person that you want to be. Advice doesn’t have to be bad to not be able serve you and your life. In other words, some things worked for some people because they set up their lives for it to work, so everything is not so cut and dry.
Most sought out advice is usually pretty good, but we become codependent on what other people say and never have a thought for ourselves. When we drink, we feel free from that codependent nature for a while, but the next day when we’re reminded of who we are, or of our low self esteem, whatever the case may be, we just want to escape again. Now take that escape away and throw someone in a group of people telling you to call yourself an alcoholic, you’re going to listen to shitty advice because that’s what you do. The road to success is to handle why you’re trying to drown out your life, and even if someone else knows, you’re still going to have to get it for yourself. And then it never occurs to us that we’re still following someone else’s advice, only we’ve just met this person and since they are still going to these meetings, they may not have their shit together either. Now you have two people relying on each others misery for support.
There are always exceptions to any rule, but with a 90% failure rate, it might not be too far off because we’re obviously doing something wrong. Good intentions aside, this is not the way a human being should heal from something as debilitating as alcoholism. There needs to be education about where these emotional triggers come from and what a healthy person can do to cope. Emotions are a chemical record of a feeling, or feelings, that you had in the past and should not be feared, but this is never explained to anyone because it’s not common knowledge like it should be.
Instead, we take these chemical records of the past, then pair them with an event in our present, and create a whole lot of nonsense in our lives. How about not trying to react so much when your body is flooding itself with these chemical memories. Try calming yourself first by sitting or lying down, recognizing it and dealing with it, and then letting it pass like the world isn’t ending if you don’t make a decision. If death is not upon you, then don’t reach out for advice while you’re in a panic about the situation, and definitely don’t reach for the bottle either. Just realize that it’s your body telling you that you need to release these chemical records that you’ve been burying for so long.
In this case, it doesn’t matter what the sadness, guilt, shame, resentment, or fear is, because it is still an emotion (chemical record) that needs to be dealt with and released. Knowing that the past cannot hurt you (because your obviously still here), is the most logical reason to go through the temporary discomfort of releasing it and letting go. The only wrong or right is in your perception of any situation, and if your perception is flooded with stress chemicals that have been storing in your body for years, it’s going to alter what you see. Think about it like this, you probably wouldn’t be very successful driving your car if you had a lion in the back seat because your fear would be through the roof. How many stop signs would you see or even other cars on the road? None. You’d be too focused on the lion to even notice what was going on around you. That’s what we’re doing to our lives when we’re not taking accountability for what happens in our environment.
So take my advice… or don’t… but we’re not going to find any root cause of why we’re having certain feelings, responding to certain triggers, and repeating the same mistakes by looking outward for the answer. Calm down and get within yourself before you go telling all your problems, or searching for advice, because you’re mostly going to find pity, and how good can pity advice be? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m describing the person that I used to be when I was still drinking and even through my time in these groups and meetings. It’s not the meetings themselves that didn’t work, it’s the context, the attitude, the lack of information, and the perception of the people in them, that makes them unsuitable for someone that wants to truly change.
Let’s learn together about how powerful the human mind and body really are, and how we can overcome all of these addictions, including the ones to our past selves, past emotions, and all the guilt and shame that causes us to crave alcohol.
I set up a Kickstarter for a documentary I would like to do about 20 people (10 in person and 10 online), that go through my recovery process to show how quick and successful it can be when given the right information about how the mind and body works. And how to implement environmental changes that will create neuroplasticity, and alter expressions of unhealthy genes that harbor addiction.
Please share this with everyone! There are a lot of struggling people waiting to benefit. Thank You!