Excessive substance use is often a symptom of a deeper, underlying cause.

Watching a family member, friend, or coworker with an substance use disorder can be very difficult. Specialised care programs can help an you achieve personal recovery from many substance use disorders.

Addiction, depression and anxiety all have an impact on the nervous system which affects how the mind and body respond to experiences. This could result in your memories being impaired, your thoughts being altered and your emotions being affected. Often, this interplay can be detrimental to your overall physical- and psychological well-being. Furthermore, these influences might cause you to develop distorted beliefs about yourself and the world around you.

This might create a deep mistrust in the people you have in your life, or the belief that you don’t deserve a different experience. You could also experience a general feeling of ‘unease’ or a feeling of ‘dissatisfaction’ in your everyday experiences. Oftentimes, this feeling of something being missing can be traced back to a deeper sense of low self-esteem, impaired self-acceptance and a lack of self-validation. It is often useful to explore which of these components are missing within your life.

Unresolved traumacan often result in a distorted perception of who you are. This pain, insecurity and fear can hold you back as you might try to deny or ignore certain experiences you’ve had. Through allowing yourself to explore and process these experiences within a safe environment, you are able to integrate these traumas and learn to live your life free from the restrictions they place on you.

When you start to look after your mind, you start to look after your body, you start to look after your family and community and wellbeing. Making consistently healthy choices about the foods you eat, the substances you consume and the value you add to the world.

It requires careful guidance and works to re-guide self-esteem, self-worth, self-validation, self-confidence, acceptance, grace, gratitude, peace, inner peace, love and your unlimited potential. Western culture has taught us many behaviours that seek these feelings from external sources, but we need to find them from within ourselves first.

We understand addictions, depression, anxiety and stress are only symptoms to the underlying problem. Something went wrong for you to switch on that ruminating emotional memory loop.

Perhaps it’s a simple thing like they are only eating only junk food and have no ability to produce serotonin in their brains. Perhaps it is past abuse and trauma or feeling abandoned, bullied or invalidated, growing up with a false sense of worth or belonging.

You are as unique as is your interpretation or memory of the events in your life. Everything comes down to your perception and experience. It’s impossible to tell “what is wrong” without having “a conversation”.

To restore the the “lack” or “lost” or “missing”, “hollow” feeling that needs to be filled with a substance or a ruminating loop we need to open up that “self-defeating” rhetoric using words to another trusted human being that is prepared not only to listen but to also empathise and progressively make corrections and provide mediated order to the thoughts, feelings and emotions being exhibited by the person in distress.

When people are left to interpret their own thoughts, feelings and emotions (without valid guidance) they may well embody all sorts of distorted perceptions and feelings that have very little if anything to do with them.

These stored memories extrapolate information from feelings as the true information may not be accurate. Many of the details of what we are dealing with in terms of cyclic thoughts and memories are obscured, especially in cases of past trauma. There could vivid recollection of the emotions or events or there could be no recollection. Whatever version of events exists in the past, is not material to the objective of helping you in the present.

But the presence of that churn, emotional residue in your base memory is your red warning light.

The hollow feeling or lack or missing, worry, fears whatever you want to call it. That feeling is to seek and want to be out of your own mind means that there is “something” you need to wor on. Sometimes the “substances” are indicative and sometimes not, very often they are.

Alcohol, heroin, cannabis, sedatives, other nervous system depressants and pain medications are often indicators of past pain. Where is the pain? Simerly nicotine, cocaine and other stimulants are indicators of missing validation and social-context and self-worth can be far more subtly damaged emotions but have potentially dire consequences.

People who live with these behaviours are not doing so out of choice.

No-one ever chose to become a distorted version of themselves or be called an addict or an alcoholic, a smoker or obese or anorexic

Things happened and the behaviour entered into their life as a means to quieten down that underlying lost and empty feeling. That feeling was so strong and resident that it took quite a bit of calm. The substance then embedded as a newly learned behaviour to solve a specific problem.

Most of this stuff we already know.

As human beings, we all identify with some or other escapist activity. The society promotes and rewards work addicts that escape their emotional selves into mountains of work tasks. One could say addiction is so prevalent and that empty feeling is so common that it could it is the human condition.

But it’s not the human condition it’s a societal mistruth.

Human beings were never born to be slaves. Circumstance explains behaviour but it does not bind us to it. We were genetically installed with divine knowledge and truth our ability to learn beyond our emotional selves has been retarded.

We have been conditioned to look for distraction and not inward for our pains and distortions, but that pain and distortion is in fact your inner guru.

When you are in an environment that truly cares about who you are and supports you as an individual, the actual healing can begin. This is what makes Recovery Direct Cape Town centre such an ideal refuge for people struggling with addiction based behaviours.

Recovery Direct has a specialist and direct knowledge of the unique circumstances. Our qualified counselling services are designed to be especially sensitive to the dynamics of your life. Recovery Direct’s is South Africa’s best non-punitive care centre that caters for a wide range of client requirements, we have been where you are and are here to help you now.

Over the course of our lifetime, we are unable to avoid our traumas. They are the resident lesson from which we must grow.

One part of our minds gravitates towards this lesson to resolve the experience and move on. The other part of our minds reels back to avoid the pain. It’s in this argument that we find the addictions, distractions, avoidance and empty discontent can eventually kill many of us unless resolved.

I wish it were an easy pill to swallow by that is what it is unless we can identify the ruminating, cycles, loops and replay movies in our lives. The only way we can meaningfully break our personal chains is by introspectively and preemptively become inquisitive and acknowledge our deepest pains, regrets.

  • Addiction is unique to your “life sentences” the words that rotate within your mind.
  • What are the loops, thoughts, words and feelings revolving in their minds?
  • Each story is unique.
  • Each story requires gentle empathy, care, support and understanding.

The understanding is that many people have lived their lives never expecting that they could break free from these states. Their truth and “life sentence” has never considered the option of being free of their pain. You have “learned” this behaviour to deal with your pain and we will need to unlearn to break free from the behaviour.