Addiction is a manifestation within a persons behaviour. Where a person will crave what they are addicted to and will then find temporary relief or pleasure in the addiction. Usually with negative consequences as a result of indulging the addiction. The person will have difficulty giving up. It is a cycle of behaviour.
This cycle of behaviour is the same for all addictions.
I myself self-medicated with drugs and alcohol for over 20 years. Trying to make me feel different from the person I was. I tried to quieten the self-judging voices and negative self-talk.
I did not start out as an addict. Addiction crept up slowly over a period of time. It began, as being a social user and it slowly crept up from being occasional to mandatory, I do not know when the tipping point changed, but it did! I functioned for years working and trying to deny that I had a problem. Like so many other souls do on a continuing daily basis.
Denial and fear for me came in three factors.
First was the stigma of addiction. I didn't see myself as an addict. I stereotyped an addict as someone who drank on park benches or injected in squats. I was not one of those. Secondly, admitting I had a problem meant I had to admit I needed help.
Thirdly, where would I find help?
I understand addiction and thoughts and behaviors that we have, the denial, the fear. I also understand recovery and turning my life around. I use everything I have learned from my journey and use it to help my clients take control back.
The word addiction conjures a picture of an unkempt person highly dependant on alcohol or drugs. Everything is on a spectrum and that picture is the latter stages of addiction. Before that, however, there are many more people that a functioning, they are still working, keeping to responsibilities but are not fully in the present, they always thinking about their next drink, next drug or gamble (to name a few). Their moods change, they are just about function, do what they have to do to get through a day. Full of denial, I prefer the terms 'miss using' or 'abusing'.
Addiction or a dependency on something is not about the substance. It is about the means of how you wish to make yourself feel different. Whether you do any of the following:Drink alcohol, Use Drugs (both illegal or prescribed), Comfort eat, Excessive exercise, Spending/Shopping, Gambling, Sex, Sport or Legal Highs.
TREATING THE CAUSE
What we use to change how we feel about ourselves (the addiction) is the symptom, not the cause. The cause is those memories of our past or our perceptions about ourselves. Both of which hypnotherapy deal with.
When I had hypnotherapy myself, it was not on my addiction. It was on my SELF's (self confidence, self esteem, self belief, motivation) that gave me the will in myself and the strength to beat the urges and cravings.
I also know the feeling of taking control back of my life, getting family and friends back in my life, finding a purpose again, feeling some freedom from the voices and incorrect perceptions I had about myself and how the world saw me. It is possible.
I will not lie to you it was not easy, but that hard work and that pain have given me a life I thought I neither deserved or that I could have.
I offer a very confidential and discreet service to my clients. I do not believe in some theories such as a person has to hit a rock bottom in order to recover. I believe that dealing with the issues that are causing the desire to use and tackling them removes that desire to use.
WHO CAN THIS SERVICE HELP?
The stages of addiction and recovery I offer support for are:
What makes me different from other therapists? My personal experience with addiction, and through volunteering at drug recovery projects has given me insight into just how different peoples experiences are. Also for my clients seeing me with addiction, my phone is always on. The power of knowing you have someone to talk to that understands is second to none. No one should face their recovery alone. For the use of alcohol and substances it always advisable to seek medical attention when deciding to stop, withdrawing from alcohol and certain substances are best controlled by a doctor as reducing incorrectly can be very harmful, and also there are prescription drugs that can help. I support you by helping to deal with your cravings and looking for and at, the root cause of your addiction. We can look at your past attempts and see what worked and what did not.
OTHERS AFFECTED BY ADDICTION.
For the other people in your life that support you.
Addiction does not just affect the addict, but also their family and friends. Think of a pebble being tossed into a pond. There are ripples in the water that flow outwards This is the same with addiction. I also offer therapy for those who are not addicts but living with addiction. This can be stress, sleep issues or just to offer support and direction where they can also seek relief.
The Vesta Approach specifically deal with the family and friends living with addiction
"Thomas came to see me when I was at my lowest points. I was stuck in what felt like a hole. Struggling with addiction, and ruining all my relationships with those close to me. With his help and the help of hypnotherapy, I was able to this unhealthy cycle and find myself again. Can't thank him enough for his help"
"Thomas was fantastic at uncovering any early signs which could lead to how the addiction was born and with uncovering any personality traits that could lead to addiction. He makes the whole process very relaxed but with a great deal of focus. I couldn't recommend him highly enough."