Sarah came in confessing of drinking daily and wanting to look at it. She knew this habit had increased since she retired. I asked her what time of day was the urge the strongest. She said when she was at home without any plans, that 5 – 7pm time frame was the hardest. Sarah would feel sad, and start to put herself down, feeling unlovable and unworthy. Sarah started to drown her sorrows, those thoughts, feelings, and emotions. If she made it past 7 she was fine.
And Sarah, what happened at that time when you were growing up? My mother came home from work. Instead of paying attention to me, being excited about hearing about my day and me, she was preoccupied with her own plight and the big drama with my father. She was so critical and put me down instead of loving me and seeing my wonderfulness. I was so lonely. I felt so sad and often cried.
What did you want her to say and do?
“I wanted her to tell me she loved me and that I was beautiful.”
You’re never going to fill that old hurt and extreme feelings of isolation without having the truth to support you. Together we came up with these truths: “”Stop. Breathe. Cry. I love myself unconditionally.” “You’re so beautiful. I love you.” She was instructed to repeat these phrases over and over, especially from 5 to 7pm, while hugging herself and crying.
She also decided to rejoin a club where she could take an afternoon swim and sit in the Jacuzzi.
Tool: Figure out what was missing at the time you want to indulge your addiction and what emotion you were feeling. Express that emotion, cry (sadness), shiver (fear), or pound (anger), while thinking and saying to yourself what you yearned to hear from others back then and now. To soothe and comfort ourselves and our fears, we must remember the higher reality everyday until we get on a cellular level what we needed to hear back then. In Sarah’s case, and most frequently, it goes back to loving and honoring ourselves.
I recently came across this book that a couple of clients really found life altering. It’s by Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews and called, The 30 Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of your own Home. You might want to check it out!