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What Are You Addicted To| 5.11.2022

In this episode, Kristen talks about addiction, the different types and stages of addiction, and how you can break free from them.

You'll Learn

  • The "5 C's of addiction
  • The stages of addiction
  • How to prevent and heal addiction
  • Treatment modalities for addiction


For counseling services near Indianapolis, IN, visit www.pathwaystohealingcounseling.com.

Subscribe and Get a free 5-day journal at www.kristendboice.com/freeresources to begin closing the chapter on what doesn’t serve you and open the door to the real you.

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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about ideas on stress management and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not psychotherapy/counseling in any form.

Kristen Boice
Welcome to the Close The Chapter Podcast. I am Kristen Boice a licenced Marriage and Family Therapist with a Private Practice Pathways to Healing counselling. Through conversations, education, strategies and shared stories. We will be closing the chapter on all the thoughts, feelings, people and circumstances that don't serve you anymore. And open the door to possibilities and the real you. You won't want to miss an episode, so be sure to subscribe

Kristen Boice
Welcome to this week's close the chapter podcast. I am so happy you're joining me I am recording this episode for the second time. The first time I recorded it was earlier today. And I thought that all done and said what I thought would be helpful when to go send it to the editor and realised there was no sound I could see me on the video, I could see me sharing the content with no sound. So I've given this another shot. Hopefully this episodes even better than the one I recorded earlier on. What are you addicted to? And it's important that every person is listening to this episode one, no one gets out of this category for free. And we think of addictions in a couple of categories alcohol and drug, maybe gambling and sex addiction. While those are addictions we are going to cover we're not going to deep dive into those we're going to be talking about what is addiction? What are the five C's to addiction? How did they even get started, and how to heal and prevent them. It will get you thinking about addictions in a different light. I invite you to get pen and paper if you can't, if you're walking or doing something else or working are getting ready. That's okay, come back to the questions that I'm going to ask you because it's important that you're doing some self reflection and looking at addictions in a different way and going inward to rumble through maybe some of yours. So I hope this episode is even better than the one I recorded earlier. And this whole podcast is about helping other people find the freedom to be themselves in the healing in more inner peace that they're longing for in their lives with more joy, more fun. And if you find this episode helpful, I would love it if you would rate review, subscribe and ultimately share this with somebody else. That's how they find out about the podcast is the more reviews and the more that people that share it, the more people that can be impacted and hopefully helped. Last week's episode on healing your inner child and the transformation that can give you in your life is foundational for this week's episode. My invitation for you is to be part of the community join the email list at Kristen k r i s t e n d Boice boice.com. forward slash free resources. That's Kristen D boice.com. forward slash free resources to get on the newsletter. I try to give you helpful content videos programmes, I'm putting together speaking engagements that I'm participating in. So you are getting educational, emotional education on how to heal and change your family system. We can't change our family of origin, we can work on healing parts of yourself your past, so you can live more fully in the present. So I am so grateful you are here to expand, to grow, to awaken to become more of yourself. And that is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your family doing this work. So I'm going to dive in to this episode straightaway. So we can get this show on the road. Because this is my second time doing this. Hopefully I remember what I said the first time I had an outline. So that helps. And so we're gonna dive into some statistics. You know, I like that just to give us context in terms of talking about addictions. And this one is one that sets the foundation for our conversation today. More than 90% of addictions to alcohol and drugs started before the age of 18 years old. Let me say it again, more than 90% of addictions to alcohol and drugs started before 18 years old. As a result of this statistic. I invite you to make a timeline and I want you to float back and I want you to think about the first time you took a sip of alcohol and maybe it was a grandparent that gave you a sip. Maybe it was a parent maybe you snuck it out when you were feeling peer pressure or curious. Maybe you discovered it by accident. Maybe you never taken a sip of alcohol. I really want you to flow Go back to that time in your life. How old are you? What were the circumstances going on? What were you feeling at that time? What was your identity at that time? What was going on? Emotionally for you developmentally for you maybe in your family system, maybe with your friend group? What was happening with your relationship with your mom and dad or maybe it was siblings or primary caregivers, were you missing something did you not feel seen known acknowledged, maybe you had a trauma and had shame that feeling of inherent defectiveness, that something was wrong with you, that you were bad that you weren't good enough. And that shame, you wanted to bury that shame. So float back to that time, I am going to offer a trigger warning for some of this content that I'm going to be talking about, it's triggers in terms of talking about trauma. And so I invite you to take a deep breath, offer yourself nurturing and compassion. And I invite you to breathe through that discomfort and stay with the conversation if you can, if you can stay with this conversation and lean into the heart, lean into facing some of the things you might have buried, you are going to change generational patterns for yourself, you're going to start yourself on the healing journey. And as always, I invite you to and I bring this up throughout our conversation today, seek assistance, seek a support system, we're going to break that down today, a therapist a 12 step programme, we're going to talk not only drugs and alcohol, but what other addictions do we all have, what are their addictions are coming to the surface for you. It's not just alcohol and drugs. So I invite you to kind of keep track of your timeline for some of these insert. If it's not alcohol or drugs, if it's sex, doing a sex timeline, perhaps it's the first time you used food for comfort, maybe you got into shopping, and we're going to break some of these addictions down. So you expand your thinking maybe it's when you started using caffeine as a stimulant to kind of keep going because you were tired, the list goes on, we're going to break that down. Here's a few more statistics I wanted to get into we're not going to get into details about alcohol and drugs, we're going to kind of use this as an overall framework for addictions in general, Americans between the ages of 18 and 25, those are the ages you're most likely to start developing an addiction or be an addict. Like that's where it begins. And oftentimes, I think it begins really early in adolescence, and sometimes even earlier, and 21 million Americans have at least one addiction. And that addiction and what we're talking about alcohol and drugs, opioids, painkillers, marijuana, however you want to frame it, a substance that they depend on. That is everybody, I believe has some sort of an addiction. Some people can even be addicted to reading to isolation, we're gonna get into all the variations of addictions and see what poopoo platter of addiction you might have. And this isn't to bring light to it. This is to like light isn't it's funny, we're bringing the light shining the light to it, so you can transform it. So what is addiction? Exactly? An addiction is the urge to do something that is hard to control or to stop, you have a hard time managing the urge the impulse to stop or control it. It's a way to push down pain bypass emotions, I think of it as a way a coping strategy that you might not have intentionally developed, sometimes it's accidentally developed a new flip the switch within your neurobiology. So if you have a propensity towards addictions, and you didn't even know it, you flip the switch when you had the first taste of alcohol, perhaps you flip the switch when you started smoking a cigarette, it can be a number of things. And then your body started developing this response to that and your brain started to change. What are the main causes of addiction? Okay, this is not a cut and dry answer. This has variations in different forms. We know family history plays a significant role in addictions. If you come from parent or grandparent that struggled with alcohol, the relationship with alcohol, perhaps working, maybe they were a workaholic, maybe they were a sex addict. Maybe they were a gambler, there could be maybe they were a drug addict. Maybe they were addicted to pain pills. opions the list can go on, there is a higher propensity that you potentially could develop an addictive habit or pattern. Even though you didn't like it. I want to make that distinction because denial and family systems runs deep. And if you go back, I can't remember the name of the episode number. But I do remember the name of the episode, not just the episode number. It was family roles where we talk about the hero role, the scapegoat, we talk about the victim and those can be almost addictive in and of themselves because you got attention. Maybe it wasn't the attention When you really wanted but you've got some payoff being the victim in the family, you've got some payoff being the hero. And the scapegoat just takes on the emotional pain that people aren't willing parents aren't willing to face and process and deal with. So you end up the child ends up carrying that pain, and it gets displaced onto them. It's important to understand family roles when we're looking at addictions, peer pressure. We know teens are what they don't feel like they belong, they don't feel good enough. They feel shame, they feel neglected emotionally at home, they feel invisible. They want some sense of managing that pain. And so they will self medicate with alcohol and drugs and other things sex, love addiction, attention from male female, it doesn't matter the gender they get the attention that they want, or not even want but that they crave that they're neuro biologically wired for from our parents that they didn't get lack of family involvement. There's not parents present in their lives or primary caregivers. So these other outside forces fill the hole in the soul. They don't really but that's how it starts early use and exposure. So it depends on how early were you exposed to pornography? How early were you exposed to alcohol, drugs, smoking, pot, television, all these things, social media that activated something neurobiologically in the brain, socio economic status and culture, some cultures, drinking very early as part of the culture and addiction isn't really conversation. It's not part of the educational system. It's part of the ecosystem. emotional neglect, we know plays a significant role because we are trying to manage and medicate pain initially, sometimes we want to feel better. And we think this is the answer. We know long term, it does not heal that it perpetuates and creates more of the same and makes it worse medical history if you had lots of pain or surgeries as a child in your given opioids, and it turned on something in your physiology that also can start the addiction process. So let's talk about what you're addicted to. And this is something I really want you to keep an open mind about denial will block your ability to tell the truth and we know and addiction systems, alcohol, drugs, any kind of hiding that's happening. The addiction likes to be manipulative. It likes to not tell the whole truth tell half truths, hide lie, withhold information, steal. I mean, we can talk through this what a recovering addict will tell you is the true self shall set you free. And recovery is all about truth telling in your braking, denial, minimising what happens rationalising that everybody does. It's not that big of a deal, or feeling like you don't belong if you don't do it bypassing. So we're going to be talking about what is taking you away from being present. What is your vice that you developed when you were young? What was it and I'm going to outline some things that you might not have even thought about. And so I really invite you to take a look at your own history, not to shame you, not to blame you, not to make you feel bad to help free you. So hold space with compassion and tenderness. And at the same time, it's important for you to explore who might have had these addictions in your family system. They might not be the same addictions. But it's important to look at how are these addictions handled in your family system? Okay, let's dive in. So there's alcohol. And I want you to think about alcohol. When we think about alcohol. There's all variations people think why give up alcohol for 3060 90 days, six months. And that doesn't mean you don't have an addiction to alcohol, it means you're managing it temporarily. You have to rumble through what's your relationship with alcohol. If you're married to someone that has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, you also need to be exploring your relationship with alcohol. What's your family history with alcohol? So for example, if someone says they come into therapy, and they say they have one glass of wine a night, that as a dependency on a substance, even though it's culturally acceptable, and they don't like that, and I'll explore their history, what age were they when they started drinking? Do they have periods where they're having more than just one glass? And lots of times they'll say yes, sometimes I have two or three or maybe a bottle and a couple of days. I say how do you feel when you drink? Well, it takes the edge off temporarily and then I feel terrible. And then I have memory issues and even if they don't have memory issues, they feel tired and fatigued because it's dehydrating and they'll rationalise like red wine is good for you and all these things. At the end of the day, you have to look at what is your relationship with it in training. When we become therapists, they say you need to double or triple what they're telling you because we often lie. We don't think we're lying. But that's called denial don't tell the truth or far minimise how much we're drinking. And then there's called binge drinking where you don't have a glass. You know, people think alcoholics drink all day every day. Not true. It's a dependency on something. And it's hard to manage and control because you want you rationalise it, you're like, what's the big deal? I'm having XYZ for dinner and wine pairing sounds great. Well, that's great. If you're doing it every now and again, every night is an issue. Binge drinking is when you can't just have one you think you can, but you're like, yeah, have another? Sure why not have another? Sure why not. And next thing you know, you've had way too many. And then you say things, you do things you feel carefree. Maybe you like that feeling. But there's a price to pay. You do things and say things that you can't take back, maybe you don't remember, and there's a price to pay in your relationships. There's a price to your body. There's a cost to that. And there's a cost to relationships. So you have to rumble through what is my relationship with alcohol that it started in high school, middle school, college and maybe you still surround yourself with people that love to drink nothing wrong with that you just have to really be okay with can I be around that without drinking or changing my relationship with alcohol. Also, we think of prescription drugs. opiods is one painkillers that we can miss use benzos This is another one benzos are Valium. That's old school Valium, we can take Xanax and it's used sanics is used temporarily on a short term basis. And even then it can freeze trauma responses in the body. I'm not saying it's wrong or bad, but it can get misused and become addictive marijuana and we've legalised marijuana, I realised in several states research does show it still is addictive. And a lot of ways, again, not making anything wrong or bad. I just want you to notice your relationship with these things. That's the invitation and kind of rating your intensity with it. And maybe how much of it you use how much of a dependency you have shopping, eating. So food, any kind of food depends on what kind of food might be all food, maybe that was used for comfort, once your parent was working, maybe that was used to kind of soothe that anxious feeling you had inside social media. This is one that I'm seeing across the board that parents are using, including myself, so I don't get out of this category for free, something I have to work on and manage. And it's hard because we have businesses on platforms. And we're building and creating things. And at the same time, if my kids are wanting my attention, or my husband and I'm on my phone, that's a cost to my relationship with my children and with my partner, and I have to recognise how often I'm on my phone. And are they trying to connect with me and I'm on my phone. I've had several teens over the years that we've worked with in our practice that say, I really want to connect with my parents, and they're on their phone. So I just get on my phone, they're on their phone. So what's the difference, and they learn getting on their phone when we're on our phone. And they're also predisposed at this point, because we're giving them phone so young to getting on their phone and it's changing their brains. That's a whole nother episode. There are positives also with social media. So again, this is not all or nothing as some of these categories gossiping, some people get the attention and feel important that they know information caretaking, being wanted and needed. And they have a hard time when their children grow older and separate and individuate, which is healthy and appropriate because they haven't dealt with their own grief and loss issues. And maybe they are getting a lot of their unmet needs through their children. And that is detrimental to their development. So if you're struggling, it's totally you're struggling with letting them grow up or fear of them not coming back. That's abandonment issues that need to be addressed. It's totally appropriate to have grief when they grow up. And you can feel those emotions as they go that is appropriate when you project it onto them and say Don't you want to come visit? Don't you miss me? Do I miss you? Are you never going to come see me? That's guilt. That's guilt. And that is not a way to hotwire connection with your kids. It's an invitation for you to do your deeper abandonment exploration of where you didn't get your needs met love addictions. I can see people stay in unhealthy relationships with emotionally unavailable people abusive people because of the trauma of their past and that creates codependency I'm dependent on how you feel about me to feel enough I'm dependent on you loving me needing me wanting me to feel like I'm worth it that I matter and important. Those are called Love addictions. Pia melody is an author and a therapist who really pioneered this work on love addiction. We talked about being a victim and if you're a victim and that feels like protection and you're getting attention that you didn't get it actually recreate your trauma and it keeps you stuck in it. recreates the unhealthy relationships that you didn't want in your life that now you're recreating, you have to deal with what happened to you, you have to heal that pain and those emotions that didn't get processed in real time. Whatever happened to you wasn't okay as a child and now it's your responsibility to heal that pain as an adult so it doesn't become a leaky boat and you deserve it. You're worth it. I know that Shane wants to tell you a different story addiction to holding on to stuff and not letting stuff go oftentimes that's based in grief, unprocessed grief, if you lost a parent lost a loved one, a pet, some sort of trauma, grief happened that didn't get processed, we can cling to things because it holds the memory and we're afraid of losing that memory. And we'll we can realise we can take a photo of that thing we can write about the thing we can process our grief from the past, we can start working through and healing that hoarding as a diagnostic DSM diagnostic, I would say code for so much trauma underneath that the need to be right, that one's very subtle, and that can be a barrier and a block to creating healthy connection. But that need to be right feels like you're smart. You're not stupid that you matter. And you're important. Perfectionism right next to perfectionism Dr. Brene browns, work on shame. We know shame is riding shotgun and fear when perfectionism is that has a hold on you. So maybe you are perfectionistic about the way your house looks. Maybe it's your children being just having it all together. Maybe it's how you look. Maybe it's your house, it's your car, it's the whole package doing things perfectly. And that's to protect you from blame, shame and judgement, which isn't possible success, people can get addicted to success, achievements, recognition, acknowledgement, getting accolades, likes on social media, money, caffeine, video games, we're seeing that in a lot of teens video games as a way to numb away to sometimes they build connections over video games. So it's again, not all bad. We're thinking of this as as a continuum. Not an all or nothing for some of these exercise, maybe you over exercise, weight loss, if especially if you are put on weight loss programmes as a child that definitely will affect how you feel about yourself. And maybe you felt so controlled, and you're like I call in the efforts, you're like, whatever, I don't even care, you kind of self sabotage, because that wasn't okay, that wasn't okay for a parent to project their body image issues onto you. So maybe you've tried every weight loss programme in the book, and you really don't like how you look, you really don't like it, but you want to feel better physically. And so you try every weight loss, every diet programme, that almost becomes an addiction to getting the results you want. And when you surrender that and you start working on the emotional pieces, I'm not saying the weight falls off, because we also have to work on that trigger in the brain that goes off, we can pinpoint the pain that didn't get processed and metabolised working, we have workaholics. And that's something that runs in my family generationally, and I have to work on that I have worked myself into sickness before in college, and the wake up call was What is this doing to me? Is this even worth it? And that's an unhealed unmet needs part. And I've done so much work around that and still have to attend to that. And I love the ego work and looking at is that ego? Or is that your soul speaking and healing the inner child parts that I talked about on last episode, TV shows, this is a thing, again, not an all or nothing category. There was a point in my life where I would watch reality TV because my mom worked a lot. My parents were divorced, and I would come home from school, and I would watch Oprah mom was gone. And that is really where my self development journey began. Whether you like Oprah or not, she was on a quest herself to heal her own life based on her sexual abuse and neglect in her home and abuse. She survived and her childhood, she was on a quest to heal herself. And through that, I discovered how to begin the journey of healing and whether you like or not, she started a global conversation. And that's okay, if you don't for me, TV was a way to not feel so lonely. And I used to watch Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street as a child, and it provided a lot of comfort. And then as I got older, there was reality TV, there was a new movement on MTV called the real world. And I got sucked into that show. And I thought this is really interesting to see inside other people's lives and their childhoods and what makes them the way they are and the other dynamics in the house. And so I would get zapped in myself I would get sucked into each episode, and then I remember going on in my professional life and then the Real Housewives came on. I think it was the Real Housewives of Orange County and then I got sucked into that. show it was all about me studying these dynamics between people how they would have conflict. And I want to know more about their childhoods, like what made them who they are very keen curiosity about that. And it also was kind of an addiction because it escaped my stress my daily life, even though it created more stress physiologically in my body. One day, I remember my husband came in, he's like, this is 20 years ago. He's like, What are you doing? I'm gonna come watch The Real Housewives. He's like, this is stressing me out. And I just noticed, yeah, this is really not good for me. It really wasn't. I was wasting time, I was numbing out. Again, not good or bad. I was just noticing how I felt as a result of that. And then I started to be like, You know what, I'll go watch that anymore. Is that to say I don't still watch some shows, because I do very limited, and I try to watch how I feel with it. And a lot of times, I get sucked into the psychology and I have to notice, what am I escaping from in my real life? What am I moving away from? in my real life? What don't I want to face? What do I want to reprieve from? What do I want to feel less worried about, that I'm really not dealing with. And like I said, okay, just noticing that as a huge part of the rumbling process. So we can get sucked in for hours and hours and hours on TV and reality shows and sports and all kinds of things. Sex is definitely one that I see often. And I typically will start again, trigger warning I will start with doesn't trigger me because I have done my own work on all this and I'm comfortable talking about sex. How old were you when you started masturbating? Did you have unwanted touch? Were you molested? Or were you sexually abused? Was there unwanted advances towards you? In sometimes you don't even know because you're so young. And I want to point that out. You don't even know that something's getting turned on inside. And I know that might make you feel yucky physiology is physiology, the body will respond certain ways in sometimes if if you found self discovery for yourself early, there's a release in that and you're craving more of that sexual abuse definitely plays a role in early exposure to pornography plays a role in sexual addiction in the pornography industry. I'm not saying I love sex, sex is a good thing. It is important that you're exploring how were you even told about sex? Who taught you about sex? How did you discover sec, what was your first sexual encounters, addictions come from some place. And it's important to explore the birthplace of them. Productivity can be an addiction, checking emails, texts, voicemails, gambling, how you look, just your looks in general, like your body image, and might be your face, it might be your body, and might be addiction to plastic surgery, or getting things done. So you feel better about yourself, you want to feel better about yourself. So out of these, there's a whole bunch more, and we're not going to have time to get into all of those. I want you to think about are there other addictions that I didn't name and write a timeline about those? What was going on in your life during this time? Is there an impact on your relationships? Does it prevent you from connecting emotionally? Is there a part of you that's kind of guarded and trying to self protect? Is there a part of you that you're trying to numb the emotional pain? Or forget the past? Manage the shame and self medicate it? Is it impacting your daily functioning, your energy level, your work, your parenting, how you show up in the world? If there's a yes, explore whether you want to work on it. So when I have people in my office, and we talk about any kind of addiction, I asked the question, do you want to work on it? Do you want to change that? Sit with that question? Do you want to change that? And maybe there's a part of you that does and a part of you that doesn't Okay, the part that does How old does that feel? How old is the part that doesn't? is the part that doesn't protect your part? Or is it a part that is afraid of change? And if you get better, is that going to change the system? Because we have to look at that fear that blocks you from leaning into the discomfort of doing this work? Is this easy? No. That's why people have a hard time they get support around this. So we're going to talk about how to break an addiction because there's the four C's of addiction. Let's talk through this. The four C's of addiction are number one compulsion, you have a compulsion it probably is so often the time that is just automatic. It's a compulsion number two, it's a craving you have a craving for it. Number three, you often have consequences. Sometimes they're small, and sometimes they're big. Sometimes the consequence is not having a connected relationship with one of your children or your partner or you've lost a friendship. Maybe you've lost a job. Maybe you got an OWI operating while intoxicated. Maybe you got caught shoplifting, maybe you've lost your house, maybe you've lost yourself, which I think is the most painful. Yes, all of those losing your relationship with your children. Your family, though is extremely painful. Losing yourself is one of the greatest pain points because living with yourself feels painful and that were healing the shame that binds you up. Men love that book healing the shame that binds you by Dr. John Bradshaw and homecoming by Dr. John Bradshaw healing the shame that binds you in homecoming are two great books. He was a recovering sex addict, grew up an alcoholic father and decided to face what he would call the shadow side of himself and do the shadow work to heal the pain to free himself to not be tethered in driven by these four C's, the compulsion, the cravings of consequences, and number four is control. Oftentimes, if you are controlled as a child, you want to control everything. But when you're an addict, you don't have control. That's the paradox, you don't have control, you have to deal with what's underneath it. And oftentimes, with an addiction, it's covering up unhealed trauma from the past unhealed neglect from the past or abuse. There are five stages of addiction. Let's talk through those. So we have the four C's, compulsion, cravings, consequences and control the five stages of addiction are and I'm going to move through the rest of this fairly quickly, just so we can get to the heart of how to heal from this. So the five stages are one experimentation, how old were you, when you experimented how old when you started using something like we've all had to use food, we've even traced it back with one client that had this propensity to want milk. And we recognise that in the crib milk was used to soothe her, of course, she would want milk at night, still her brain associated milk with comfort, does that make sense? When you start peeling this back, it doesn't make it easy to conquer the addiction because we have to work through that trauma of neglect and wanting to be held instead of given a bottle every time and at the same time, that physiological response and handling the craving number two, so this is the five stages of addiction. Number two is regular use, we're starting to use this more often. So oftentimes, someone might get sober from alcohol, and they start shopping and they start spending a lot of money, they just transfer the diction from one to the next. That's why it's important to have a therapist a support system and work I recommend a trauma addictions therapist, and sometimes you need to go to a residential treatment facility to detox and to jumpstart wraparound services. And that means there's a doctor there, so you're not doing withdrawals on your own. I recommend if you're in the severe category of addiction, you check yourself into a rehab facility or if you've got a lot of trauma, you go to a trauma facility where there is a doctor to help with their withdrawing process, they can look at if any medication is needed. There also is some facilities with intensive EMDR. So you're not just getting 150 minute session a week, you're actually doing intensive work every day, and that helps stabilise you quicker, and you're getting grounding coping strategies wired throughout that and a support system. So we call that wraparound services is 24/7 care. And I often will recommend that to somebody who is wanting to really break a pattern that was embedded years and years and years in their life. So we go from experimentation to regularly use to risky use and risky use can be like we're going to go on the edge, we're going to maybe hire an escort or I'm now going to try heroin or cocaine, I'm going to up the ante because I'm going to risk it I'm going to go a little bit more risky because what I'm doing isn't quite exciting enough or doing it for me anymore. So I upped the ante and decided I'm not really thinking about the consequences. Stage four is dependent. Now I want more and more and more and more that are now I can't have a meal without a glass of wine, or now I have to have a cigarette. Every time I eat chocolate. I'm making this up. But so your brain starts to build this dependency and body in number five, it's a full blown addiction, like the thought of giving it up feels way too overwhelming. Because it's such an embedded part of your life. Here's what I want to say about this. Can you heal from any addiction? I absolutely believe the answer is yes. I've walked people through it. I've seen the transformational power it can have in your life. Is it life changing? Absolutely. Is it hard work? Yes, absolutely. Will you have 10 steps forward 20 steps back oftentimes is the case. And when the family system can come out of denial and start recognising the reality, not only of your own addiction and your own codependency in the way you've enabled, maybe and looking at your history with addictions and your family systems you will change other people's lives. So the more you enable somebody in a family system enablement means you accommodate instead of having a boundary and net we can do that with so much love. We can't fix rescue or save anyone unless they want to do that themselves. I can just do my own work. Look at my own relationship with some of the things I'm addicted to look at my own contribution to the family system, how have I contributed? We can't take full responsibility, but I can say if I'm married to somebody, what is my relationship with codependency? What is my relationship with whatever the addiction is? And then when did my codependency start? When did I become the needed to be needed and caretaker and need to control everything? That's something for you to explore. Okay, so how do we heal? Number one, it goes back to that question, do you want to change it? If you do, you've got to take radical ownership. So that's when in a 12 step you go in, you don't have to speak at all. You can go to many meetings and not say a word. And part of the programme is basically, in any addiction recovery is telling the truth. We already talked about telling the truth, and we didn't grow up in family systems that told the truth. So we break through the Denial System and we're an environment where it's safe, non judgmental, to tell the truth and take ownership willingness to work through your past trauma and neglect in childhood and anything on your timeline that needs to be addressed. Join the support group here are just a few support groups AAA, Alcoholics Anonymous Al Anon. For someone married to an addict. There's Alateen for teens, there is oh a Overeaters Anonymous Narcotics Anonymous na Sex Addicts Anonymous gamblers anonymous coda, which is Codependents Anonymous, we have Grief Recovery. We have all kinds of groups now on the internet, free groups. They're everywhere on the internet, parenting groups, groups for all kinds of situations that you would never think were possible that other parents are out there. There are other people battling specific addictions, they're out there. So internet, there's tonnes of free ones on the internet, get a sponsor, sometimes there's someone in the group that can sponsor you that is ahead of you in the programme ahead of you in their recovery process. And when you're struggling, you can call them or text them and they're going to help talk you off the ledge seeking therapy or residential treatment. We talked about that and the benefits of that exploring issues. Addiction may be covering up that you haven't wanted to deal with. And I promise you I know it's hard you're stuck because you haven't dealt with pain in the past not because of you feeling the feelings will set you free. Keep track of your triggers. And like when you have the compulsions when you have the impulses, what's going on emotionally, and what might be tied to it from the past. The most important thing I want to teach in this world is emotional education. What are the core emotions? You can go back and listen to that episode? How do we name them acknowledge where they are in your body release them, which looks like crying, screaming in a pillow, feeling those sensations, watching them witnessing them empathically and not hiding minimising denying, rationalising or run away from what's happened and what you feel. That's why I wish we were in schools and we are doing more of this to teach about emotions and what is shame when we can recognise shame how we feel horrible about ourselves, we feel defective, we feel bad, we feel powerless, we can start offering ourselves compassion and empathy. That's really at the essence of my last episode. So go back and listen to that on the inner child work asking yourself what is the purpose of this addiction? How is this serving me? If you didn't learn good relational skills growing up, you didn't see it modelled? It's going to be a struggle now. And that's, that's now liberating to learn relational skills but starts with you. How do you feel about yourself? No one else can make you feel better, except you deciding I'm going to make me feel better. I'm going to nurture those parts that weren't taken care of journaling huge prayer. And I don't mean in a religious week I work with several clients have had a lot of religious trauma, and that is not of God, in my opinion, that was used to manipulate control, seduce groom, what I'm talking about is knowing there's a higher power supporting you, in the process of healing and higher power might not even resonate. It's a 12 step term. God is what I prefer to use. You use what works for you and what I want to say to you that you might not have ever heard. It wasn't your fault. What happened to you when you're younger?

Kristen Boice
I believe you and it's never too late to heal. It's never too late to heal. If there's one person I'm talking to and it's you. This was meant for you. This whole podcast was meant for you. If you need help right now, one 800 273 talk one 800 273 Talk 24 hours a day. You can call at any time you can also text 741741 and they're available 24 hours a day. There is support out there for you find a therapist, there's community mental health there's EMDR therapists brainspotting therapists, somatic Experience internal family systems, the list goes on, start making a decision that you're going to heal so you don't continue this, put this on your kids or your partner, or your friends or anybody else in your life. It's not their responsibility to heal you. It's not their responsibility to meet your unmet needs, not their job. They can't do it. Only you can, you're worth it. You matter. You're important. And you're loved. And I thank you. If you're still listening to this, I thank you. You didn't leave. You didn't run away. You didn't turn this off. Maybe I did. Pause it. That's okay. You did it. You stuck with the whole episode. Congratulations. I'm so proud of you. You stuck with it, you leaned into that discomfort. And maybe you thought about something you hadn't thought about? There's two things. I'm working on caffeine, which started when I was a teenager, Coca Cola to be specific working on that one. And I'm working on social media. And those are hard because I have to do some social media for work. And then the Coca Cola I developed a liking for the taste. I'm working on those things. So just so you know, I don't have it all together. Have I been working on this for a long time? Yes. Have I conquered a lot of things? I wouldn't say conquer because you never can get too egocentric about all this stuff. Because egos edging God out. I tried to stay in my soul, my spirit self. And I tried to be honest with myself. And that's what I'm asking you to do. Be honest with yourself. Forget everybody else. Be honest with yourself, do you want to do this work? There's so many support systems out there for you to do this. I encourage you to do the trauma work coupled. That's the therapy coupled with the 12 step or have a support system that just gets this work and is going to support your growth and you telling the truth with love and grace and you making the decision. You're worth it. Thanks for listening, and I can't wait to spend time with you next week. Thank you so much for listening to the close the chapter podcast. My hope is that you took home some actionable steps, along with motivation, inspiration and hope for making sustainable change in your life. If you enjoy this episode, click the subscribe button to be sure to get the updated episodes every week and share it with a friend or a family member. For more information about how to get connected visit Kristen k r i s t e n d Boice BO ice.com. Thanks and have a great day.