Compassionate Curiosity: a way we can get to the root of why we drink.
“The problem's not that the truth is harsh, but that liberation from ignorance is as painful as being born. Run after truth until you're breathless. Accept the pain involved in re-creating yourself afresh.” - Naguib Mahfouz
One of the biggest root causes of addition is self loathing. Feeling like we are not worthy or that we are in any way less than others is a belief often found at the center of our addictive behavior.
The cure for self loathing is self compassion, or self love. Replacing the habit that is self judgment with forgiveness, the mental rigidity with an intention of being open, or the repetitive criticism with positive messages that we can do this are some of the first steps toward distancing ourselves from addictive tendencies.
We begin with a process of self examination, wherein we compassionately do so without judgment.
“There is no moving forward without breaking through the walls of denial.” -Gabor Maté
Kim, with 1½ years since her last drink, shares her story...
[1:30] Paul Introduces Kim.
Kim is 37 years old from Arkansas. She's been sober over 1½ years. She's married with 3 kids. She works as a counselor. She enjoys her spending with her family, reading, and Kintsugi.
[6:05] When did you first realize you had a problem with drinking?
She experienced complications with her pregnancy. With that came a prescription of pain medication. After she went through the pain meds, she noticed that she couldn't stop drinking.
[9:06] Did you try to put any rules into place?
From her work with addiction, she knows that putting rules into place is addictive behavior. She was probably going through a half gallon of vodka per week. She attempted to quit throughout 2017.. nothing really stuck.
[10:35] What were some lessons you learned in your previous attempts to quit?
She has a stubborn personality. When she tried to quit using her will power, she failed. It scared her. She started researching different podcasts, and found Recovery Elevator. She was worried that she couldn't do it alone. She began to find other stories and realized that she was on a slippery slope.
[13:20] How were you able to quit successfully?
She realized that she needed to remove triggers. She tried to eliminate stress. She hired someone to help her with small duties.
[15:50] How are you able to maintain professional distance in your job working with addicts?
When you work in a field where you give to others, you have to make sure that you are ok first. You have to give to others what you can spare, not what you need.
[17:00] Walk us through the early days of your recovery.
The first month was difficult. She had lots of cravings. She tried to keep the memory of her difficult year close. She would use the brainspotting technique. She knows people can relapse after years and years. The addiction waits to see where the hole is, and that's where it gets you.
[23:50] Are you able to be open about your own recovery with patients?
Reaching out to Paul helped her realize how she was in denial about her addictions. She shares her recovery experience with some patients, and it's been much more helpful.
[24:40] What are the common hangups that your patients have?
The biggest struggle is the stagma and the shame. Also, the surrendering to higher power.
[27:10] What is the biggest thing you've learned about yourself?
She needs to show herself the same compassion that she gives to everyone around her.
[27:40] What has been your proudest moment in sobriety?
Sharing with her clients. Showing them that she also struggles with different things.
[28:28] What are you looking forward to in Peru?
Seeing the beauty, and being a part of a recovery community.
[29:10] Rapid Fire Round
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Audible is offering my listeners a free audiobook with a 30-day trail membership. Go to audible.com/elevator and start listening. Or text ELEVATOR to 500-500.
In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts – a book by Gabor Maté
When Things Fall Apart – a book by Pema Chodron
The Miracle Morning – a book by Hal Elrod
Kintsuji – The japanese artform of “golden joinery”.
Brainspotting – a theraputic technique
Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free
Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to email@example.com
“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”