Finding Your Next Step
What if I told you that you had a loved one who has gotten trapped in an abusive relationship? She is hurting and trying to get out, but she doesn't know how. You're the only one she feels she can call. You realize that you can help her get on her feet by spending a little time talking her through some things, sending her some money, and checking in periodically. If you don't help, she may go back to her abusive relationship or fall into another one.
Would you help her if you knew it could be her ticket to freedom?
What if I told you that loved one is you? The abusive relationship is your past (or present) addiction, and the regular check-ins are you getting therapy/counseling to help sort through your emotions and underlying traumas. The money required is the cost of the counseling and the effort it takes to deal with the root causes of your behavioral/thought patterns.
The question is, how much is your freedom worth to you?
Michelle, my very first podcast guest, answers that question on my latest podcast, "Michelle is Back!" She felt compelled to share her next step after sobriety, and how it has been setting her free.
Alcohol stunts your emotional growth as soon as you become addicted.
After becoming sober, we still have some catching up to do. For example, my addiction started in my 30s, so even though I was in my 40s when I got sober, I was still emotionally a 30-something.
Compound the lack of emotional growth with the fact that there was some emotional damage to begin with (I mean, what else caused me to become an alcoholic?). In some cases, the result can be full-blown emotional atrophy.
At the same time, your addiction ages your body and shortens your lifespan. Bad combo - you could look and feel 10 years older but act like you're 10 years younger. Heck, when you're drinking, you might even act like a child (some alcoholics are at times "parented" by their own spouse or children). Now that's dysfunctional for everyone. Not to mention the havoc it could have on your sex life. I mean, there are few things more dampening to the mood than having to "babysit" your [drunk, hungover, passed out] spouse.
As you get sober and start to unravel what caused you to go down the path of addiction, trauma often comes up.
That's why the next step after sobriety should be therapy.
When people get into a car accident, they don't feel ashamed to get medical help right away. So why are people so afraid to call a professional when their soul has been wounded?
Okay, I admit, when I went for therapy years ago, I was terrified, too. I even announced to my therapist that we didn't need to deal with the past. That was all fine. "It's just today that's the issue." RIGHT. I'm sure he wanted to roll his eyes.
It requires a lot of courage to face your past, to face the trauma, to face yourself. But you don't have to live in that place. Just come to terms with it and get closure. As a matter of fact, by avoiding the soul hurts, we allow them to control us and continue to cause us pain. But if you put in the effort, with the help of a good therapist you could be restored to your highest potential and spiritual/emotional health.
"All I need is God and a good therapist."
My friend Michelle has been getting therapy for over a year, and she loves it. She admits that she avoided it in the past, but finally took the plunge.
"It's beautiful work,"
...she said of her therapy experience. She was finally able to identify the root cause of her addiction and close the door on that chapter of her life. She had been "stuck" in old patterns of thinking - even though she was already sober - and therapy helped her make a real shift. She's been taking the time to peel back the layers of her soul that were hidden for so long and feeling freer each step of the way.
Michelle and I discuss what she has been learning, plus practical steps on how you can get started on my latest podcast, "Michelle is Back!"