<> Trauma & Addictions <>
Trauma and Addictions
Trauma disrupts the natural flow. It is abrupt and violent, often it is unexpected and not natural. It is a shock on all levels, physically, emotionally and mentally
Trauma comes in many shapes and forms and varies in severity.
Trauma interrupts and/or destroys the confidence and the sense of security of feeling safe.
Trauma impacts on the quality of life.
Trauma causes addictions.
Trying to fill the “hole in the soul “ with whatever … until death, if healing does not happen to a healthy degree.
The following are my personal observations about myself and other traumatized people that I had a deep sharing conversations with.
When a baby is born, the baby needs care, shelter, nutrition, closeness and skin contact to the mother preferably to feel safe. In the beginning, a baby needs to be held most of the time, not necessarily all the time by the mother, as the mother obviously needs times of rest and time to herself. However, the mother should try her best to breastfeed the baby, which is possible in most cases, but not in all. If there are difficulties with breastfeeding, especially for a first time mother, other women will be to able to advice and assist . The role of the father is as important as he needs to be present and support the family and form a bond to the baby. Breastfeeding and being held is the foundation of later healthy and happy life.
Some families are unfortunately so dysfunctional that the baby is even exposed to abuse and neglect. This inevitably will be damaging and resulting into a deeply rooted trauma, which will have a painful and negative effect.
In the western world, people got generally more and more alienated from nature and themselves, resulting rom so-called scientific recommendations in the middle of the 20th century that it is better to bottle feed a baby, to put the baby all alone into a cot and even if it kept crying non stop for a long time. The recommendation in that time I grew up was not to take up and care for the baby.
Nowadays, people see that this attitude has traumatic and disastrous consequences for the children growing up and becoming disturbed adults full of anxieties. Most people have a strong longing for love, or at least to be noticed, seen and heard by their fellow beings. The western society is, most of the time, a very sad and mentally ill society where people try to numb their pain and distract themselves from their own suffering and their very being. This is visible everywhere and hidden behind walls. Most people are addicted to something, be it alcohol or drugs, sweets or food, shopping or sex, addicted to all sorts of thrills. People spend more and more time in front of television or computer screens which is just a distraction from the own self and from feeling the pain inside. It is hard to live with oneself and to admit to the misery and pain caused during a toxic past. It is scary to hear the screaming in the head and face that bottomless black hole that never can be filled. The nature of addiction is that it is seemingly easier to keep on being addicted. It is like sinking slowly deeper and deeper into a bottomless swamp.
There are 3 ways possible from here.
1) you just carry on, with or without hope.
2) suicide, because it will finish suffering the pain.
3) to start doing something about it, if you have the strength and some outside support.
The recovery is mainly a process of a growing awareness and self-discovery.
Firstly, it is necessary to realise the dilemma you’re in. The painful process is to face the hurt and other atrocities that have happened in the past. It is necessary that you are willing to change your situation and free yourself of the chains of trauma and the resulting addictions. It is important to transform from a victim to a survivor. The victim is powerless and not in charge, the survivor has strength from surviving the situation and therefore must have a considerable strength. From there on, one needs to follow a path of personal development and/or therapy. This is mainly an exploration to discover who you are and what has happened to you. There will be inevitably some pain involved in that process but it is necessary to progress on the path of healing. The suffering will get less and there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is important to have a positive outlook on life and not to be drawn back into negative spaces and thought patterns for a longer period of time because that might lead back to your initial state of misery. Self care and self love are very important in this process and traumatised people have to learn this gradually, but it will be rewarding to discover your self worth. It will be most likely a drawn out process over the years but you will start to feel better and better and will gain more self confidence. Anxieties and fears will get less and your quality of life will become better. It is good to get support maybe by joining a support group that will talk about all these issues but as well to do physical exercises, for example, Qi Gong, which ultimately is about the life force and the balance and flexibility of a person. Each recovery is very individual because your life is unique. It’s important not to judge yourself but to observe yourself and be aware about your feelings and if you hit a low point that you know how you can counteract that. For example, by leaving the room with the four concrete walls, where all the thoughts are bouncing off and go outside into nature, be it a forest or a field or a seashore to be exposed to the different elements like earth and air and water. If you feel the inner cold try to find a warm spot, lie in the Sun or go to the sauna, maybe even travel to a warm country so that you’re bones and insides are getting the warmth and heat that they crave. Try not to despair because with awareness and effort you will make progress and you will be able to get out of the swamp and be a survivor standing on solid ground with your feet rooted deeply into the Earth and your arms waving free in the air.