08 July 2017
It’s pretty common for most people to believe that the problem with addiction is the use of a substance which alters the behaviour of an individual and maybe prevents them from living as a fully functioning member of society – whatever that means.
Dreamwork has shown me that the biggest problem with addiction is not the use of a substance at all. Using alcohol or weed or sex or work to “numb the pain” or whatever is really just about the person wanting to forget and go to sleep to his own Self.
Healing the addiction has nothing to do with watching & decreasing or eliminating how much someone drinks or doesn’t drink but it has everything to do with understanding what the person does when overwhelming feelings of anger or fear arise. Getting really angry and then grabbing a beer is the person’s way to try to deal with the anger. The anger feels bad so they want it to go away.
But what if getting rid of negative emotions is not a real solution at all? What if negative emotions are considered great teachers? What if negative emotions can be embraced like friends?
What if a new way of looking at emotions like anger or fear made it so it was okay to just be friends with negative emotions? Then, something amazing happens! When the anger or fear is embraced, understood and processed it goes away on its own.
I used to have an issue with anger. When I felt like I wanted something and couldn’t have it, such as a high-paying job in a field that I loved, I felt angry. In my angriest moments, I sometimes did things like canceled my work plans, gave up on projects or pushed even the positive people out of my life.
In learning to understand and “become friends” with my anger, it is easier now to hang on to a positive vision of where I want to go, even if it feels as though the whole world is against me. Even if someone with really negative behaviour is telling lies about me, I don’t feel angry about that anymore and I realize it’s not my job to have to defend myself or my actions.
Without anger, I can now go deeper into more relationships than ever before. I can trust myself and others to greater and greater degrees and I have created such a positive environment for me and my daughter.
Alcohol was an issue for me from when I was 15 – 20 because I was so devastated by my parent’s divorce that I lost my sense of positive Self and found myself drinking with others my age. I stopped drinking when I was 20 and have not drank anything since then but what I noticed is that the negative feelings of anger & rage which led me to drink in the first place were still there.
Instead of turning to alcohol I turned to others things, like service in my community & volunteering. I got addicted to the high I felt when I was helping others. That became my addiction. I got so addicted to helping others without getting paid for my time that I even let my bills slide and I didn’t occupy my mind with thoughts of brand-name clothing and I didn’t desire things like vacations or travel. I was so absorbed in my addiction to volunteering that I didn’t even realize what I was losing.
I got my BIG HUGE wake up call in 2010 when I became financially responsible for myself and my daughter. Learning to detach from my addiction to volunteering was as painful and as long of a process as it was to learn to detach from alcohol.
The reason it takes a long time to leave an addiction for good is because it is actually like re-wiring the brain. New neurological pathways are being formed every time a choice is made to be Confident and Courageous instead of anxious and worried.
The reason it’s worth it to use Dreamwork to build positive gifts & strengths is because once the positives are really developing than the negatives just have no more room to grow. It’s like putting so many beautiful flowers and vegetables in a garden that there is just no room for the weeds.
Growing capacities, gifts and skills is the BEST way to heal trauma from the past which leads to addictivley trying to get rid of negative feelings. Instead, become friends with the negatives and use the experience to build the positives.
Then the change is long-lasting, permanent and genuine.
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