Coping mechanisms and addictions

Another post that will probably affirm my ‘nutter’ status again to those who already see me that way…I want to talk about addictions again, especially the apparently ‘innocent’ addictions. I’ve just eaten a bowl of polenta, it was just a little sunflower oil, some mixed spices (cinnamon etc) and half a banana added to the polenta. I guess for most people that would seem a pretty healthy meal, but it is surprising how sedating it is. Akin to smoking a spliff of resin even.

I had it because I felt I wanted something comforting after feeling a massive wave of grief. I went into it eyes-open this time. I didn’t feel desperate for the comfort, I was just choosing to have something that felt comforting after feeling such big stuff. I didn’t expect it to be so deeply sedating and knocking out.

In the past I used food to cope with difficult feelings all the time. At the hardest times in my life I was using numerous ‘addictions’ to cope. When I was in London I was smoking, drinking alcohol, drinking lots of black coffee and overeating to cope. At least 4 ‘vices’ to be able to get by. After my trauma at 16 I was smoking cannabis morning to night for a couple of years. When I had to give that up at 19 I turned to cigarettes and booze instead to cope. Then food. I have had periods where my eating was deeply out of control. Binge eating out of desperation feelings inside. It’s not been easy.

I’m writing this to give the message that it is alright to do what you have to to get by in life. If something is still too big inside to ‘go there’ and feel it, see it, process it, then whatever you need to do to numb it for now is ok. At 16+ I would have killed myself if the smoking hadn’t taken the edge off things for me. It has it’s place….for a while. It helps to try and slowly step the addictions down though as you get stronger to deal with and face things more.

Many people don’t even realise they have addictions that they are using to cope with big feelings…because a lot of those addictions are to socially-acceptable substances like coffee, or chocolate or sugar or bread. We can all laugh about it….without seeing the reasons for it. If someone is addicted to heroin it is a different story isn’t it? Or if someone is an alcoholic? We don’t tend to laugh the same about those things, we are more inclined to judge.

I do truly believe we are all doing the best we can in life at any given moment. If we COULD be doing any better then we would be. Riki and I have spent quite a few years now consciously choosing to take away the addictions and coping mechanisms slowly and facing the feelings and experiences that they were numbing for us…but even so we still aren’t there yet. The food ones are actually the hardest. We’ve both let go of smoking and alcohol and caffeine and sugar/chocolate…but the sedating carbs are still a sod at times, as are even the ‘innocent’ fruit sugars in excess. Anything that it is hard to NOT eat…or foods where there is a real reluctance to stop eating it are potentially being used as props and sedatives.

So much of what we all ingest has been considered innocent. ‘Everybody does it’ so it must be ok, yes? What could be more British than having our 6 cups of tea a day? What could be more civilised than going out for a piece of cake and a coffee with the lasses from work? What could be more normal than going out for a bevy on a Friday after work? When do we notice or acknowledge that these things aren’t one-offs? When do we cross the line between something genuinely being an ‘I can take it or leave it’ to it becoming an unconscious ‘I need it to get by’…and how honest are we really able to be with ourselves with these things. It isn’t easy.

I am trying to live with as much awareness as I can muster, I try not to bullshit myself…but I still do it. We can talk ourselves around to virtually anything. I still do it with some food things. I don’t want to let go…there’s still a hole inside that feels horrible and empty at times. Granted though…thankfully…I know it is there now, and it is a lot smaller than it used to be. Sometimes stuffing loads of other stuff into ourselves to fill that hole just makes it bigger. And bigger. And makes us actually feel more and more powerless.

Not really sure why I wanted to write all that. Maybe to share the idea of our common humanity. No matter what our skin colour, or religious beliefs or political stand, we are all doing these things. Cloaking and masking and numbing the things inside that are still too hard or too painful. No judgements. How can I judge anyone else for ‘shopping til they drop’ or for main-lining powders when I am still turning to my bowl of polenta from similar inner-drives?

Healing only ever really comes with compassion and awareness. Harshness and brutality to ourselves or others can make a temporary stop to a behaviour, but it just drives it deeper down inside and ultimately makes it deeper, darker and uglier. Whether that is trauma, addiction or even terrorism for that matter, true healing only occurs when things are faced with honesty.

Love to all x

(This was a post on facebook, so I didn’t put anything about the effects of spirit-attachment and control agendas this time, but I do think the addictions we have are being fuelled by other energies to keep them in place and keep us out of our true strength.  Also to stop us truly healing and bringing back soul-parts that were lost in trauma situations.  I also feel that the addictions weaken our physical body-systems at times which allows other energies access to us more.  I’ll write more about that another time.)

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