Category Archives: Addiction

Roots of PTSD,Codependency, and Addiction

3291628045_03efb76f53_zMy 33rd year of recovery from alcohol addiction began Nov. 24, 2009. Needless to say to anyone living a spiritual quest, many emotions are stirred up during an anniversary.

In taking another 5th step, I realized that I had recreated the home of my childhood.  I had the good mommy role and my husband was the bad daddy. As I stated there, he acted out his misery by having an affair and leaving me.

This experience has led me on the path of healing my childhood wounds. I was the oldest child–or rather–I was the youngest parent in that home. I took my duties so seriously that I taught myself to deny myself anything that would challenge my mother. In return, the power connected to this role of being the boss was my first addiction. One that I am only now giving up.

I believe those of us growing up in violent homes suffer from PTSD. I was particularly drawn to the definition of PTSD. Wikipedia defines it as “ Posttraumatic stress disorder(commonly referred to by its acronym, PTSD, is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event which results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual’s psychological defenses.”

In reading about Iraq veterans and PTSD, I identified immediately with the social isolation. I have done this all my life. Although I am a loner and am suspicious of anyone not content being alone, extreme isolation leads me to paranoia and discontent. I am learning a balance finally because I have now freed myself to talk about these feelings.

I have also identified the brain chemistry associated with my codependency. I have a separate blog about Codependency Recovery. Codependency recovery basics are: having healthy boundaries, learning assertiveness, identifying your core issue, finding out what hooks you, knowing that caretaking is a control issue, developing compassionate detachment, adding self nurturing activities, using relaxation techniques, developing mindfulness techniques to live in the moment, and identifying your triggers.

So I have begun learning how to reparent myself. I have created a separate blog about reparenting: The Free Road: Reparenting Ourselves.

So, you can imagine my delight to read this post: What causes addiction? by Jann Gumbiner. Over my 33 years in addiction recovery, I have read many articles and books about the origins of addiction. I was thrilled to find in this article a mention of Dennis Thombs’s book, Introduction to Addictive Behaviors. What I identified with was his belief that we used our addictions to combat feelings of anxiety (fear) that we never learned to process.

My comment to this post:

“After 33 years of recovery from alcoholism, I am so grateful for your mention of Dennis Thombs’s Introduction to Addictive Behaviors”. It so resonates with my experience. My reaction the first time I drank was akin to finding the Holy Grail. I only ever had the same experience when I had been in labor for 33 hours with a double footling breech delivery. I remember gulping down the pain killer that they could only give me as she was through the birth canal.”

I will continue researching PTSD, codependency and addiction as I know that my addiction began when as a child, I didn’t l know how to deal with anxiety and fear. Instead I used these feelings of power over people to feel better myself.

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