Vol. 80 September 2009 – Is Alcohol Abuse Creating Difficulties in Your Life?
I had a client who contacted me very upset because she had been free of abusing alcohol for fifteen years, and yet because of her housemates picking it up, she found her self once again, using it to rid her self of unpleasant thoughts. She was under the care of a psychiatric nurse at the time, who was told of her thoughts of not wanting to be alive. In my client’s mind that was not unusual for she had those thoughts every day from the time she was very young however, she wasn’t going to act on them, they were just present. She would have shared that piece of information had the nurse allowed her to, but no, instead the cops were called forcing her to go for a psychological evaluation. Because she had no plan and no desire to commit suicide, eight hours after the event began, she was released to go home – around midnight when she had to be up for work by 4:30 AM to begin her shift at 6 AM. It was with this in mind that she was searching on the internet for some other form of care to help her to deal with the alcohol abuse for she felt totally disrespected for the way she was treated by this psych nurse who never even allowed her the chance to tell her the whole story.
On the internet my client googled “help for alcohol” and Dawning Visions Hypnosis came up, never thinking that hypnosis would be an avenue to help her with this particular problem.
When I first spoke to this client on the phone I had to know that she was really interested in beating the problem for alcohol abuse can be one of the more difficult issues to be worked with. She was very clear that she wanted it out of her life because she could feel herself being pulled to abusing opiates as she had done in the past if it was not under control. One behavior would in her case lead to the next. She didn’t want to lose her job that she loved and had held onto for the past 34 years and so she was motivated to do whatever it would take to rid herself of her problem.
If my client was not clear that there were a variety of ways to treat addictions she does so now. She realized through our work together that the treatments that she knew of through AA and therapy really didn’t get to the root of the problem. In fact in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous it is taught that once you are an addict you are always an addict. What this presupposes is that you will always be ill, never allowed to be anything other than that label, which she found depressing and unhelpful. Not only that but by not going to the “cause” of the problem there is a potential for the relapse and/ or death from overdose. Therefore using these treatments it is reasonable to say one is never rid of their addiction even when clean, it is always lurking inside waiting to bust out in her opinion.
Narcotics Anonymous and Alcohol Anonymous teach that all addicts are powerless over their addiction which my client takes exception to. She says that it may feel as if the addict is not able to control their behavior, however it is a conscious decision to take that drug or drink that alcohol even if is seems like you are in a fog and uncontrollable.
To be rid of these demons the work has to be done on a much deeper level. to discover what makes a person want to alter their feelings to the point of sometimes wanting to feel comatose and non-functional. NA and AA were not for my client personally, because she absolutely hated going to meetings listening to other people share about how miserable they were and all the problems they were having. To put up her hand to spill her guts and speak went against her private nature. Many addicts are sensitive and have a hard time expressing feelings much less coping with them.
When she came into to see me I gave her a different way to view her world. I suggested that if she didn’t want to abuse drugs or alcohol she would need to change the way she was currently thinking and living. At the time she was sharing a house with a couple she had met many years ago in NA, both were clean for 15 and 20 years respectively. However, what became evident a couple of years ago was that though they were not using, they still had the minds of addicts. They were manipulative and not very kind people even to those with whom they were friends. They did what they wanted and rarely, taking her needs or feelings into consideration though she was paying her share of the bills. She did a lot to help out around the house, and yet was treated disrespectfully and could never understand why.
Through our work together it became evident that she was confusing being “loved” and “cared” about with being used and abused, because these people did in fact tell her that they “loved’ her. Because of her back round she never felt loved or appreciated by her parents and so when this couple asked if she would be willing to purchase a house with them and to help them raise the child that was due, she jumped at the chance to be in a family that wanted her. The only problem was that it wasn’t about love, it was more about how much she would be willing to do to help the house run smoothly and care for their son.
She has through our work been able to understand that if one is loved, one feels good about the relationship, as she has developed with their son who is now a teen ager. She has always been there for him, to all his sporting events and doing those special things to let him know that he is a special person in her heart. He never used or abused her and appreciates all the things that she continues to do to make his life better so he doesn’t have to deal with what she did growing up. However, this too needed to be put into perspective because a teen is able to do things to take care of himself and will need to as he grows up.
She has finally moved into her own place, the household is going to have to run without her and she will finally be able to heal from the hurt and negativity that was making her feel so unwanted – though she has not needed to use in a very long time and is able to stay away from alcohol realizing that to be human feelings are necessary along with how to deal with them.
What my client learned was that if she changed her thoughts she could change the biochemistry of her mind and therefore was able to deal with her life without the need to self-medicate any longer. In fact she has gotten fairly good at finding other ways to cope when she is feeling down, yet she has also been able to let go of the life long depression that created the need to do the self-medication by realizing that if one thinks and acts as a non-depressive, depression is no longer a part of life.
I suggest that if you have issues of substance abuse you find a hypnotist who knows how to do neuro-linguistic programming with success in the field of addictions. Given the fact that substance abuse untreated can be devastating it is necessary to know that the person with whom you are dealing respects this fact and will work with you until the job is completed which really should be over the course of at least two years to be sure that the work done was successful. It is also useful to have your hypnotist work with a licensed practitioner to make sure that your treatment is being done in a manner to foster your health and well being.
Your mind is a powerful tool in creating health and the best thing that you can do is to learn how to use it to your advantage.
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