THE ACE REPORT, ADDICTION AND A RECOVERY STORY.
ADDICTION AND THE ACE REPORT.
In 1997 after some thirty years of addictions to drugs, legal and illegal and anything else that would change the way I felt. I was thankfully introduced into a 12 step programme this was the beginning of my journey of change. I came to believe in the therapeutic value of one addict helping another and so I immersed myself in this programme for a number of years and I will always be eternally grateful for all the people that helped me in those early years. I have no doubts that it saved my life.
The one thing that I couldn’t understand was why some people relapsed and some died even though they seemed to be doing everything that was suggested and when I questioned it, the reply was usually along the lines of “it was their choice to use” or “they weren’t ready” I don’t buy that, there had to be another reason.
I didn't know then but I am now convinced that unresolved trauma is the real reason for addictions and also why so many people struggle to stay in recovery and even those that somehow stay clean in spite of these unresolved traumas still struggle to have any quality of life. They continue to act out in some other way to cope with some unknown internal struggle, trying to escape those painful feelings that cannot be shook off, some days.It has been described in many ways but it is the constant gnawing that leaves us feeling restless, irritable and discontented. If it’s left unattended self- sabotage might seem like a way out
My introduction to any form of treatment, if you could call it that, was to write a life story to include all the traumas that I had experienced and to read it out in a room of twenty or more virtual strangers that were also clients. It was perhaps the most brutal thing I can imagine but I did it because I believed I had to. The only positive memory I have of that event was that one of the counsellors an elderly guy called Patrick who could see how distraught I was said to me, " Just remember one day this will just be a story" I clung to those words because perhaps deep down I knew in some way that this is what needed healing in me. I had began to attend 12 step meetings and part of the 12 step programme, was step four where you not only look at those areas of your life but look at them in more depth with someone you trust, known as a sponsor. This was a lot more useful and was a lot more beneficial but I always knew deep down that they were far from resolved.
I really thought that as soon as I had finished those six weeks in the treatment facility my life would change. Little did I know that this was just the first step, I gradually I came out of the fog to realise that this was going to be a long journey. Why wouldn’t it be, after all I had been living this way for a long time. When I arrived home it hit me like a ton of bricks just how much I had neglected my family and home.
So began the journey to repair the damage and the search to find the answers to the way I felt, why I was still so angry and why my behaviours were so extreme sometimes. The library of self-help books was growing by the day but eventually came across some Energy Psychology techniques that changed my life.The technique that I found was Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)and later another technique to use with E.F.T. called Matrix Reimprinting. I think finally being introduced to the “mind / body” connection was the answer for me. The results were so profound I knew my past traumatic experiences had finally been cleared and as a result those feelings and behaviours faded away. It felt as if for the first time in as long as I could remember I could relax and enjoy my life.
Later I not only trained in these techniques but I set up my own business. My wife was so impressed in the results she saw in me that she also became a practitioner. Please check the rest of the site out if you would like to know more.
These are the techniques that I use for myself and those I work with. They are safe, efficient and evidence based, with over a hundred peer reviewed published studies.
THE ACE REPORT.
The ACE study. ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences, seemed to support everything I believed and more besides. This is not just about Addictions this information is, I am sure you will agree is something every teacher, Parent and Health Worker ought to be aware of. The possibilities of the impact this study could have on future generations is mind blowing! I am in the process of making this material available to my own adult children.