“There were 23.6 million people living with alcoholism or drug addiction in the U.S. in 2009.” (1)
For most people recovering from substance abuse, abstinence from the drug is the main goal. But focusing too much on this one goal misses the bigger picture of living a life of emotional sobriety, a life that feels meaningful, satisfying and productive.
Emotional Sobriety means much more than abstinence from using substances. Addicts are very good at using substances to mask their emotions.
Having Emotional Sobriety means reaching a place of having effective emotional self-regulation, of being able to balance your emotions in a self-supportive and healthy way. It means having the ability to feel and cope with your emotions and being present in the now moment.
Emotional Sobriety is the differentiator between the person that remains sober and the one who relapses. Emotional sobriety is also what differentiates the person who lives a healthy life vs. the one who turns from substance addiction to other addictions such as over-eating, exercise addiction, sex or pornography addiction.
Many who have struggled with addictions are haunted by painful past experiences— stuck in the cycle of negative feelings from their past.
Current circumstances can trigger past events and the person may react in a very intense and immature way that is disproportionate in severity to the event that is actually happening. The reason the reaction is so strong is that the emotional mind cannot tell time—something that happened to us at 13, suddenly floods us energetically with intense emotion, as if it was happening right now.
This “natural response” challenges the addict’s ability to cope and makes relapse much more likely. Knowing how to respond to these triggers in an emotionally mature way, will help the addict feel like he is doing well in recovery. It is not the external situation that is the problem, but how we react to the external situation that creates the problem.
Emotional sobriety can be equated to emotional maturity. A person who is emotionally mature realizes that struggling with difficulties or going through grief is both normal and necessary.
Many of us are stuck in the past due to adverse childhood events and traumas such as sexual abuse, significant loss, physical or verbal abuse, neglect, abandonment or being shamed for who we are.
When we learn to re-contextualize the negative experiences from the past and develop a strong foundation within us, we reach emotional maturity and emotional sobriety. Because the energy from these traumas and adverse childhood experiences are lodged in the depths of the subconscious mind, it’s important the healing occurs at that level.
Until now the only way for us to heal was a painful process of re-experiencing our traumas, feeling the intense emotions that were connected with them, and creating some context or meaning for them.
Now there is a much better, faster and less painful way!
My Trauma to Transformation Program combines two energy-based modalities, Amate Growth Work and Emotional Freedom Technique to produce transformation that is more gentle, pleasant and long-lasting. My program releases old energy patterns and restores emotional balance from within, while at the same time empowering you to take charge of your own emotional growth.
If you’re ready to end the cycle of pain from past traumas, reach emotional sobriety and live the life you deserve, I would love to support you.
- Drug Facts: Treatment Statistics. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-statisticsUpdated March 2011. Accessed July 22, 2016.