Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You Have Already Survived the Worst & There is Hope!

As the overlap between trauma and addiction is so strong, I wanted to provide you with another post on the trauma and addiction perspective.

Research indicates that 55-99% of folks who struggle with addiction is due to underlying issues of depression or anxiety often as a result of trauma (Fullilove et al., 1993; Grice et al., 1995; Miller et al., 1993; NaJavits et al., 1995; Rounsaville et al., 1982; Yandow, 1989; Ouimette, Kimerling, Shaw & Moos, 2000).

If you experienced trauma, be gentle with yourself. Remember you have survived the worst and there is hope. Many people have become stronger and more resilient after recovering from trauma. That which may weaken us today can make us stronger in the future. An analogy: how your body responds to a cold-bacteria:

When you have a cold, your immune system activates T-cells and B-cells to fight off the foreign invader. Your body also has the awareness of memory T-cells and B-cells that will recognize the bacteria it fought off before and neutralize it before it can do any damage again. This is why you can never get the same cold-bacteria twice.

There are many people who have lived life richer and fuller than they ever had before and used their pain from the past to connect more to themselves and others, to move toward greater personal healing and growth. You can too!

Remember your feelings aren’t facts, they’re information not instruction. You may be feeling angry, hurt, overwhelmed, afraid or have an impulse to act out in some destructive way etc.

These feelings are information and an invitation for you to be “gently curious” with yourself (i.e. what’s going on with you right now? How can you honour that need/feeling in a way that is in your highest and healthiest interest?). It means to be gentle with yourself, you still have some healing to do.

Feelings are not instruction or an “acting out ticket” to engage in destructive behaviors or addiction. Your recovery begins with the power of choice.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski