When people seek addict help for substance abuse it is a response to a current situation. The reasons for substance abuse will be found in past experience. Obviously we can’t turn back time and do life again so as to remove all stress and trauma and replace it with happy times.
However, when we find that trauma from the past is impacting on the present, it doesn’t have to be that way for the rest of eternity. Addict help for change today often needs to look at the past. When people have suffered a traumatic event and not got it fully understood and resolved – it will affect the way that you think about certain things today.
One aspect of past events is that we might not have fully understood what was happening at the time. When mother abandons her new born child through death, hospitalization, severe depression or the need to go out to work – the child doesn’t understand – he only feels the hurt.
A mature man who suffered low self esteem and depression sought counseling. He remembered that, when his brother died as an infant, he overheard his mother say – “now I have got nothing to live for”. This single statement, made in the agony of the moment, destroyed the child’s self esteem. Once the situation was reflected upon with maturity and wisdom – the man effectively regained his self respect, the depression went away. He didn’t crave alcohol any more.
Sometimes we have misunderstood what was happening in the past. Getting addict help will enable us to see that whatever the situation – we need not hold ourselves to blame.
Getting a better understanding about the trauma of our past is a way of changing it – or at least its impact upon us.
Some people say that they don’t want to think or talk about their past – they feel it is too painful. There is no need to make a person re-traumatize themselves by trying to delve into the past. A person can still get well and recover from the events of the past by dealing fully with their present feelings no matter what their trauma has been.
When we have been exposed to trauma and it has not been resolved, it affects current thinking and behavior in many predictable ways. A particular response to traumatic experience is for the victim to suffer from low self esteem. This is because their ability and power to show their outrage and anger has somehow been repressed – there is no place for the victim to assert themselves and state their real needs. Grief from a loss can be bottled up inside, resentments in a family can remain unspoken about for years.
Intense feelings that we are forced to repress will at any age bring about symptoms of disorder and the appearance of disease. The longer we remain attached and bonded to unresolved issues from the past the more chance we have of developing symptoms of illness as we age in years. The roots of many illnesses of middle and old age are in patterns of response and our lifestyle over many years.
If you feel tense and oppressed, for whatever reason, holistic style counseling can help you get down to the emotional roots of your problems and bring healing. Learning coping skills can help but you won’t feel truly free of emotional pain or addiction until you resolve trauma, get addict help and effectively change the past.