DISCLAIMER: This is what worked for me. You are finding your own way. Take what works for you and leave the rest.
For anyone who has struggled with addiction, impulsive behaviors, or unhealthy coping mechanisms, I think this episode will be great for you. I’m so happy you’re curious and getting the clarification or awakening you need.
If you are listening and have healed an addiction but feel shame or judgement towards yourself and controlling to prevent it, I think this will be very helpful for you.
For much of my life, I had unhealthy coping behaviors to escape my reality. I had unhealthy behaviors of coping with energy in my body I didn’t want to fall (anxiety, stress, overwhelm). We are often taught to use medicines in a way that doesn’t serve us, or serve as medicine.
We have a spectrum of dark and light sides. The dark is drugs (alcohol, binge eating, heroine, pharmaceuticals for escaping reality) and the light side is medicine. For a long time, I carried a lot of shame around the time of my life where I coped with drugs and alcohol. I had to do a lot of deep work to realize it was me trying to function as a human and not knowing how to meet my needs.
So, my journey. When we are young, we experience feelings but are not taught how to process them. We try to shut them off and find tools to cope that are usually not the most healthy. In high school, I drank a lot because I wasn’t comfortable and I was unhappy with myself. Alcohol helped me become more myself but I had learned that something outside of me could make me feel good. It started with alcohol, over-eating. But when I experienced rape, I turned to anything I could to turn off what I was feeling. I internalized everything with alcohol, mind altering medications, and recreational drugs. I did a lot of abusing of my body.
Usually this abuse is from a pattern we learn as children to escape and not address what we are feeling by using unhealthy coping mechanisms. We have not been taught to grieve or cry in a healthy way, to love ourselves, etc. When you are in a pattern of shutting off the body and also on a spiritual path, the world around you will react until you listen. Things will get dark, they will get heavy because spirit is trying to tell you that things are not right.
I had a lot of really challenging experiences that showed me how terrible alcohol was for me. Three years ago, I saw that if I continued that path, it would not serve me. People in my life would point out my behaviors while drunk and I would feel so much shame. If you are disengaging with alcohol, you are disengaging with things that need to be looked it.
When you choose to switch off a pattern, a lot of the triggers that cause you to want to feed into your addiction will come on stronger in the first thirty days of your process because spirit is trying to teach you where you need to meet your needs.
Sometimes when I made those decisions to get sober, I would relapse because my decisions weren’t super clear. I did that for a while until I became sober but sobriety was so beautiful because I had to go through so much healing and understanding of myself to get there.
Recently, I came back into right relationship with alcohol. Specifically, wine as a way to connect with my ancestors. I wanted to see what it would look like to use this medicine to move energy in prayer. I was able to shift my perspective on that but it is still so important to recognize if you are in a season of your life where you are not in right relationship and should not be using those medicines.
If you are on this journey, take a moment to celebrate that you are making the decision to heal and let go of patterns that do not serve you. Be gentle with yourself as your emotions surface. You will feel uncomfortable and have profound realizations when you are no longer numb.
You are learning how to meet your needs in a right relationship way. If you have been in a pattern of relying on substances or patterns to feel relaxed or at peace, you are immediately giving your power away because the study of life is learning how to create those energies for yourself.
In plant medicine, it is a study to alter your state, learn things, and move on in life differently. This is different form the perspective of using these as drugs that do not serve us. If we just use drugs to “fix everything” we are ignoring the wounding that causes us to seek out these drugs in the first place.
For me with binge eating, I used the feeling of getting full to replace an unwanted feeling that existed inside of me. Rather than moving through that feeling, I would shut it off with over-eating. What we put in our bodies is a very important study. When we look at the energy our bodies hold, we can see where we are shutting off and not tending to the energies that are inside of us. There are seasons of life where we do want to shut off and that is good. But to abuse yourself with a forceful shutdown is often a pattern of trying to meet the need of removing energy you don’t want to have, You just don’t know how to do it properly.
These patterns can be subconscious too. The body can be so loud that we don’t learn to leave the body. We have our soul and our body. Often, we think the soul is in the body but really, the soul holds the body. With that perspective, you can separate, see your pain, and command the body and mind to move the energy instead of allowing the energy to command you.
When dealing with these medicines, we look at our wounds and suffering and look at these patterns with love. We ask, “How can I be more gentle with myself? What will I do differently? How can I move my own energy?” If we don’t, we will just continue to disconnect and shut off our power.
I used to feel like binge eating was uncontrollable, but now that feeling is not even there. I looked at the aspects of my life that I was denying for myself and realized that when I didn’t speak my needs, I shut them off with food. I can now catch that and react differently to avoid repeating the pattern.
I encourage you to get curious about modalities that can work for you. For me, I sing, dance, drum, bathe, practice plant medicine, take time in nature, etc.
The time that you take to pause and go into sobriety is a chance to learn healthy right relationship patterns and come back into a place of loving yourself and not abusing yourselves.
I encourage you to look at your life where you are not a victim to your patterns, but a creator of your reality. You have the power and the choice to choose something different.
Where in my life am I able right now in this moment to make better choices?
Where am I able to deepen my study and take action to better my life?
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