How To Holistically Heal Your Addiction
I came into this world with drugs in my system; both of my parents struggled with addiction, and my mother was on drugs while she was pregnant with me, giving me Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. As a child, I was raised with addicts. Everyone I knew and loved struggled with addiction. As I got older, both my older sister and brother became addicts. I noticed myself struggling with an addictive personality, and sugar became my drug. Being addicted to sugar led to health issues like fungal infections, being overweight, and mood disorders.
When I was in college, I was prescribed Adderall, which was life-changing, but I quickly noticed I started to become addicted. I couldn't picture my day without that pill. I am happy I made a decision to give it up. I knew if I didn't, it would have become worse. I knew if I wanted to break the addiction paradigm in my family, I had to figure out how to overcome and avoid addiction.
Healing addiction is best when it's done holistically, meaning healing addiction is taken with a full mind, body, and emotional transformation. When I started coaching in my gym in Westchester, New York, I had clients who had a hard time recovering from our workouts and came in tired all the time. In the middle of the workout, I would start to smell a toxic sweat that was coming off their body. This gave me a hint that my client was drinking. I concluded this was a big reason they were struggling with getting results and weren't recovering well after our workouts.
Anytime I would bring it up to them, they would admit they drank every night. I found that most clients who were extremely successful at their profession drank a bottle of wine ( or two) a night. When I moved across the country to LA to work with celebrities, I found the addiction with these clients was worse. I worked with clients that were at the top of their profession in acting, music, social media, and adult entertainment. I found some of my clients struggle with 5-6 addictions at once!
A man I worked with that was known to be one of the best in the adult entertainment business was addicted to sex, caffeine, painkillers, cocaine, alcohol, gambling, junk food, shopping, and porn. His goal while working with me was to lose 20 lbs, which I knew was impossible unless we got these addictions under control. He was very aware of his addictions and knew they were bringing him more pain in his life instead of joy. My work was cut out for me, but I knew if he met me 50%, I could get the job done, which I did! He lost 30 lbs, overcame all of his addictions, and lives a very happy, balanced life.
I was successful with helping my clients in New York and LA as long as they met me 50% of the way. So how did I overcome my addictions and help my clients overcome theirs? Let me ask you a question. If you're struggling with an addiction, what changes when you no longer have an addiction? Deep question, huh? There are two things I find in every addict. One, they are TIRED. Remember when I told you about my New York client’s drinking a bottle or two of wine a night? They were extremely tired, or as we say on the east coast, “burnt out.” The more tired someone is, the more they reach for stimulants and substances to help them with energy and a feeling of connection. Remember, adrenaline and cortisol are released when one is stressed, causing a numbing effect on the body. The more stressed and tired a person is, the more they reach for things that can give them energy and a feeling of connection. Number two relates to the question I asked above about what changes when you no longer have an addiction.
What is the reason you want to overcome your addiction? I find clients who struggle with an addiction do not have a CLEAR DREAM. If you don't have a clear dream or purpose in life, you are usually pulled into a crisis subconsciously, leaving you stressed out and exhausted. We can find ourselves not only tired but also start to lose motivation and find ourselves unhappy with life. When a drug, junk food, or alcohol numbs us from our everyday pain of unhappiness and fatigue and gives us a sense of connection, it makes it very hard to give it up.
When people tell me they overcame their addiction, I try to figure out what they did with that energy. The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed - only converted from one form of energy to another. I find family, friends, and clients trade one addiction for another. As someone who was born with addiction and struggled with junk food and Adderall addiction, I can confirm this is very true.
My father, who is a recovering addict, said, “Pa, 50% of any addiction is the routine itself.” Wow. I never knew that. This explained a lot! My father's statement not only helped me but also helped me create a formula to help my clients. If you are reading this blog still, take get a piece of paper and a pen, and let’s get to work.
I have two questions for you. Don't rush to answer both. Answer one at a time and allow yourself to take your time. Really allow yourself to feel and think before writing down your answer. First question, what is a goal or dream you always wanted to accomplish but never did due to failing, not having time, or not even trying? Think about it. Was this a goal you had when you were a child? Was this a goal you had in your 20s? Did this goal or dream diminish after having kids or taking on a career for safety and security? Second question, how does your life change if you accomplish this goal/dream? Does it give you more energy and happiness? Does it give you freedom and more time with loved ones? Does it give you confidence in life?
You can’t overcome any addiction unless you find something you love enough to want to change for. Remember, energy can only be transformed. We need to take the energy we have towards addiction and alchemize it towards our goal/dream, along with creating new healthy routines. I have most of my clients who struggle with alcohol trade that drinking routine to having tea. We make all kinds of tasteful teas. I teach them how each tea and plant has an effect on the body. There are teas ( Yogi is my favorite brand) that can make you feel relaxed, help you breathe, and give you energy. Remember, 50% of any addiction is the routine itself. We trade bad habits for good ones.
As someone who struggles with an addictive personality, I take my “addiction” energy and transform that into my dream. I write blogs, make videos, do live workshops, create podcast episodes, and now writing my first book with the same energy that I used to put towards the routine and substance with an addiction. I help clients who struggle with addiction get clear on their dream first. Then we figure out what is causing them to be so stressed and tired. When they overcome fatigue and stress, they have more energy to work on their dream. It’s important to get CLEAR on your dream. Create a step-by-step blueprint. The more clear you get with your dream, the more likely you are to stick with the plan and accomplish it.
As you can see, addiction is being taken care of with a holistic approach. I don't shame my clients. I make them more aware of the root cause and build a realistic plan with them to overcome pain and addiction. Again, what happens when you overcome your addiction? You live a life that’s purposeful, giving yourself happiness and love. What happens if you don’t overcome your addiction? Addiction is HURTING your dream and purpose, giving you pain and unhappiness. The more aware you become of this, the more likely you will overcome and conquer your addiction.
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