Till Death Do Us Part??
Till Death Do Us Part??
I have been sober for 12 years now and I bless each and every day for that! But, for me, it was almost...till death do us part. After ten years of increasing alcohol abuse and daily pot use, I was suicidal. I was only sleeping 2 to 3 hours a night and unable to eat. My anxiety had gone through the roof. The pot had started making me intensely paranoid so my alcohol use increased.
What would I have left behind? My two amazing, beautiful children, my loving connected family, friends friends friends, and the work and the message I am clearly here to share!
The excruciating pain of near death....as I have learned from my personal experience in recovery and my training and study of the brain since...was a bio-chemical thing. Not to say that my childhood trauma, divorce, finances and lack of sober support didn’t play a role in my downward near fatal spiral. But...my lack of brain neurotransmitters, nutrient deficiency, hypoglycemia and severe anxiety were the addiction pieces that when addressed and balanced saved this woman’s life! Oh...and has kept her sober, happy, healthy, productive, peaceful, and purposeful for over a decade now!!!
Here is what I did
First, I discovered and read ”Potatoes not Prozac“ by Kathleen DesMaisons and “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross. WOW... what a brain chemistry epiphany!!!
Here is what I ate
Then I began the Pro-Recovery Diet....as best as I could. I was in treatment at a center which did not have much of that available. However... I improvised!
I ate protein and veggies, I searched the shelves for decent fats...found walnuts, canned salmon (think that helped save my brain) peanut butter, and olive oil (rare). Salad...was mostly iceberg...so I dug up some dandelions from the lawn ( that’s right I was willing and resourceful enough to feed my brain and be ridiculed ) and as much water as I could drink.
Here is what I did not eat
I avoided the bread (which was mostly white junk bread), candies, cookies, simple carbs, sodas etc....
Here are the supplements I took
I had my sister bring me the following; a good clean protein powder and green powder, a multi-vitamin and B complex, fish oil, l–tryptophan, l-glutamine, GABA-calm, zinc, Vitamin C, and a lavender essential oil. It worked!!!
Here’s how I felt
First, I felt a sense of calm and I must say a bit of disbelief. Disbelief...that these feelings were connected to bio-chemical imbalances and that this had not been addressed in either of the treatment programs I’d been in!! Back to the calm.... not the checked-out calm I had been seeking to handle my severe anxiety but a peace in my whole body and brain. My thoughts began to slow down. I was able to put coherent thoughts and sentences together, something my malnourished brain had NOT been able to do. I began to sleep for longer periods, 4-5 hours...then 7...this was so helpful. I could slowly begin to do my therapy and trauma work and 12 Step work...I was no longer too numb, too anxious, or checked-out. My energy began to come back and best of all...I began to feel bits of joy and hope. My journey had been extremely painful...but now I had hope that I could start the repair process in my body, mind, soul, and relationships. I am so deeply grateful for having found this bio-chemical link!
Many of my colleagues in this field refer to the “the missing link” in addiction recovery. the body bio-chemical link. This link to the body is what ultimately saved me and has kept me sober, happy, and healthy for over a decade now!!!
We are all marvels of design....when well-fed and connected to a supportive community we can even feel the fullness of our divinity!
Pati Reiss...Sober Since...4/14/05
Member of the Alliance since 2007.
Certified Holistic Health Coach & Nutrition Recovery Coach
Food Nutrition Educator, Holistic Chef