Healing Addictions, Relationships, & Past Trauma
Neither a book nor a coach can tell you to simply stop drinking, or to love like you’ve never felt the sting of rejection or abuse. You can’t just flip a switch and make it so. It’s a process that’s never laid out for you like a book with a perfectly timed beginning, middle, and end. It’s messy, it unfolds – usually unevenly.
So how do I help people to do this? It’s a process and transformation we enter together. You don’t go at it alone.
I grew up around addiction.
My mother was an alcoholic and my father, who was a successful psychiatrist and therapist, was addicted to nicotine and started drinking to deal with my mother’s alcoholism and the stress of raising a family. We were well off until my father started drinking, then entered a treatment program where he stayed for 3 months. During that time, we lost everything, had to leave our house on 22 acres in Northern Virginia, and start anew. My father’s life was cut short by lung cancer when I was in grad school.
Here’s my truth:
I grew up to be co-dependent and a big smoker in my twenties. After my dad died, I spiraled into bouts of severe depression. But eventually I sought support through therapy, and coaching which was critical in dealing with my grief then later my divorce and PTSD. I still invest in therapy and coaching for my personal growth. Medication has also been important at times.
During this journey, I became enthralled with trying to understand people, myself included. I started to love digging in and learning all I could about why we fall into depression, addiction, failed relationships… and how we can get out.
Over time I realized that this was also becoming about finding myself.
Becoming a therapist was like walking out of a dark cave of isolation. I began to realize things about me I didn’t even know. And most importantly, I began to experience, and LIVE.
I came to recognize that addictions come in many forms – we’re not just dealing with alcohol, drugs, nicotine addictions. There are many more, right in front of us every day. The truth is…
Most of us have some form of addiction.
I’d rather look at addiction as stuck patterns. These stuck patterns can be seen on a continuum with different levels of risk and severity.
There are reasons why those patterns are there. And our work is to uncover that reason and release the pattern.
There’s a positive intent to these patterns. What I mean by this is that we don’t do these things to intentionally screw ourselves up. We do them because they initially meet a primary emotional need. They have an initial purpose.
For example, let’s say you have an addiction to food. The positive intent of that is comfort. In addition to keeping us alive, we may eat because it’s comforting which can lead us to overeat, especially when we haven’t learned healthy ways to soothe.
Or if you find yourself drinking more than a healthy amount every night, just to unwind. You may have started drinking because you were uncomfortable in social situations, and the alcohol helped you to loosen up.
In your mind, the alcohol made you fun and likeable. Alcohol then gets the credit leading you to rely on it to relax and have fun. This is when we suddenly find ourselves in these stuck or addictive patterns. Understanding why you started this in the first place, is a big part of getting out of them.
Getting out of the continuous loop means going deeper.
Throughout my 20+ years researching and helping people to make lasting changes in their lives, I have seen how an integrative approach is what helps us to heal.
This means there’s not just one thing to “fix” in your life. Getting out of the continuous loop means we have to dig to discover why we’re there in the first place.
This is why you’ll hear me say again and again that this is not a just a flip of a switch and bam, we’re all good.
Healing means discovering, reclaiming, expanding, and thriving. And to do this we sometimes have to do a total 360.
If we don’t get out, the patterns get deeper, more ingrained. They begin to snowball… we feel less whole… more fragmented.
Feeling whole is not about just fixing how you feel about the past. And it’s not just looking to the future by setting goals.
How often do you set goals but then beat yourself up for not meeting that goal? I get it. We all do it.
I teach people how to discover what they really want and then create paths to get there.
I started coaching clients because I think sometimes we need to get off the couch, make this accessible to everyone, and cross some traditional therapy lines. Therapy can often mean I don’t get to let you see who I really am. But, I decided that in order to feel fulfilled and serve my purpose, I need to let you in on my own journey, and model for you what healing means and looks like.
I’m constantly on a journey to my own completeness and healing.
So I practice transparency. That’s why I’ll tell you more about my own journey with addiction, divorce, PTSD, and my own “mistakes.” When you follow my 360Reset Tribe you’ll hear all about it.
Each of us is always in relationship. We’re in relationship to the people we know, the people we love, the people we don’t know, the people we’re afraid of…
But most all, there’s the relationship you have with yourself.
And if this is all jacked up, this is going to trickle out and contaminate everything else.
Ultimately, THIS is a relationship we’re forming right now. I think it’s a powerful one, where you can finally feel comfortable to check things out and explore things in a very safe way.
In a good relationship, there is honesty. I believe first and foremost in providing a safe place, built on trust and honesty, which you’ll find in my online Tribe. This online forum is where we can be be ourselves, real and vulnerable, where we can practice transparency.
So, a question I get a lot, is “How do I start liking myself?”
That’s what I’m here to teach you.
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