Episode 339 – Does addiction serve a purpose?
On today’s podcast we’ve got Nate, he is 39, from Ohio and he took his last drink on October 9, 2015.
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Highlights from Paul
Is addiction a disease or not? Paul says that addiction isn’t a disease, but a learned behavior that expresses itself in unhealthy environments. In unhealthy, traumatic, or lonely environments, we develop adaptive behaviors such as excessive drinking to help us cope. Check out Paul’s thoughts in more detail in the following video.
Crossing the river of addition means letting go of our resentments, fears, anxieties, jealousies, attachments, and choose love. If you ride that wave of pain long enough, it will give you two choices: life or death. Thanks to the stigma which helps keep paradigms in check, we label ourselves dysfunctional, or broken. Addictions represent things that need deep healing.
People in recovery understand that love and acceptance is more important than you should be wearing a mask, or you should get vaccinated… and if you don’t, we’re no longer friends. We work together for one common goal. The rest of society is not equipped with the tools and emotional intelligence to do so.
Addictions are wake up calls. Invitations, to step into your true authentic self. Addictions give us the fast track to see that love always wins. We get there by seeing what’s not working in life. I think an addiction exists to push us back to source. To creation. To love and light.
I encourage you to stop labeling your drinking problem as bad because it’s not. And that a major waste of time energy.
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[13:11] Nate took his last drink 10/9/2015. He grew up in Ohio in a traditional Midwest family with a family. He started drinking at an early age to fit in and numb some insecurities. He realized he was gay at an early age, needed to accept himself in an environment that didn’t include role models or peers.
He recognized consequences on drinking early on with a DUI and fights at parties. When he graduated from college, his drinking shifted from social drinking to misery drinking. Nate described an era of drinking and when it became problematic. He was able to cling to career success, a great work ethic and worked in the restaurant business in a management role. He worked from home, which fed his disease. He took micro naps after starting his morning with vodka and chardonnay to continue working. He began regressing and turning inward. Nate avoided sharing his secrets. He came out to friends in high school. He lived an open life in college. It was a ten-year period before he was living an open life.
He remembers waking up with a stiff neck and that continued for several weeks. While visiting his sister, he fell to the ground, his body went limp, he lost his vision. He had a stroke at age 32 because of his drinking. The doctors didn’t ask many questions about his drinking. He spent 6 weeks in the ICU and had to learn to walk and learn to use his extremities again. His vision returned. They asked no questions about addiction, alcohol, or drugs. While in the hospital he thought daily about his first drink when he left the hospital and he stopped at the liquor store for champagne on his way home. He continued drinking after his stroke.
His best friend went into treatment, and she modeled the attraction of sobriety for him. He remembers catching himself in the mirror and he paused wondering where the last 15 years went. His sister took him to a treatment center 30 minutes later. Nate believes being able to make the decision himself and not be forced into it was important for his success. He has been entrenched in 12 Step recovery since.
Odette described recovery as an opportunity, not a sacrifice. Creating and fostering a gratitude mindset can help you cross the bridge from being mad or sad that you can’t drink anymore to one of gratitude. Odette has a gratitude practice she uses every day.
Remember you are not alone and together is always better.
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