A belief system is developed through the early years of life, when innocence reigns supreme. The impact of events begins shaping how a person thinks of him/herself, a sense of responsibility and sorting out the differences. The love or lack of love and the words spoken to and around the child have an impact, determining the type of individual s/he will become. The analogy returns to riding a bicycle, learning to walk, or speak, through practice the behavior becomes perfect, aligned and ingrained so no further thought need be given to the action. Rather it is now an automatic behavior. The same is true for every thought, belief, feeling that a person acquires through life, this can be a benefit or a detriment.
Events happen, like falling off the bicycle, out of a tree, injury occurs, slights sting and how each of us deals with those events is shaped by the person in our life. If love and nurturing occur then the healing is quicker and the child learns to be loving and nurturing to others, but will also learn to see him/herself in a more loving light. Esteem is developed by nurturance, the impact of a soft touch and kind words tell the child that s/he is a worthy being. The slightest irritation at an accident and the child will turn it inwards and feel less than, as if falling and hurting self is bad. The child cannot know that mom or dad is just having a bad day and the irritation has nothing to with the accident, but explaining it to them can help.
These ideas are important because they may impact how we grow up even in adult life. When someone enters recovery it is essential to gain an understanding of the process otherwise a feeling of less than will creep in and the childhood woes will play havoc. Things like polysubstance abuse and addiction, mental health disorders, and co-occurring disorders are no different. Beginning recovery resets our age clock, returning us to the age at which either the trauma or the first drug/drink occurred. These events will stunt our emotional growth, like going into a comma and finally awakening years later. Drugs, alcohol, risky behaviors, gambling, sex, smoking, and many other addictive behaviors that can alter our mind and mood are symptoms of the original problem, something happened to us as children, early in life, and we do not remember or do not want to remember.
Early recovery is stressful, the brain and the body are healing, and regaining their original state of health, the damage to organs may be irreversible. Seeking medical help is important; it will help you to understand your body and state of mind. Attending support groups is also very important, seeking out those who have a clear understanding of self, recovery, and the process is beneficial and important. Regretfully we tend to repeat the patterns from childhood that are most familiar with the slight idea that this is beneficial, the misunderstanding of what love is leads us to find people who resemble the adult or adults that had the most impact on our lives. Robin Norwood gives a clear description of this behavior in her book “Women Who Love too Much.” We seek out to complete those patterns that remain from our early life, not consciously, but it happens none the less. Until we learn to look within and be self-honest, then we can change those patterns.
If you are beginning your journey in recovery from drug addiction or have been at it for awhile, learn to look at the day and recognize those behaviors and thoughts that are not serving a higher purpose. Some have been so much a part of your life that you probably do not see them as a problem, but look to how you feel physically when you think or say “them” this is the key to awakening and creating change. Every time you display anger, speak in harsh tones, become irritable with the person who cut you off in traffic, you bring harm to your body. It puts distress in motion, wearing out your organs, keeping the fat at the middle and increasing your blood pressure. So learn to listen to your body, replace the negative with positive. Rather than say “I hate you” say “I love you” and feel the smile appear on your face. Feel the energy flow through out your body rather than leaving it.
Recovery means we regain that which we lost, healing, and growing into the person we were born to be. Belief in a spiritual life will go a long way in bringing you peace and health. The foods you eat, the drinks you consume also are important to your recovery. Educate yourself, read the labels, take time to do some research about the ingredients and find the nutritional support your mind and body will need during your recovery. Find those people who do not remind you of the person in your life that brought you harm, rather seek out those who gave love no matter what. Seek out those who are the opposite of familiar, that may seem intimidating, step outside of your comfort zone and be gently surprised at what being encouraged, supported, and loved feels like. Your recovery depends on it, your life is worth much more than you can even begin to imagine right now. You will learn to love yourself, to heal and to share a more nurturing way of life with everyone you come into contact with. It will take time, but with the information you will cut the time it takes to awaken.
Bright blessings in your journey.