You can beat addiction!
Today’s post is powerful testimonial from a patient that has beaten addictions!
This Monday marks the five-week anniversary of my first visit to Dr. Sidman and I remember being filled with trepidation about driving the great distance to her office. Three weeks earlier I had upped the ante on my daily alcohol, nicotine and Tylenol PM consumption. It was now a whopping half gallon of Red Label, ten to twelve Coors Lites, three packs of cigarettes and, at some point, up to eight Tylenol PM’s—each and every day—and most times I still couldn’t sleep. My days consisted of being sober-appearing enough to not get caught while under the influence, as I headed out to stock up on booze, ciggies and sweet snacks for the day. A good day was one in which I didn’t have to make the usual store run. On those rare occasions I’d be able to start my day on the couch with a half glass of scotch, while listening to a CD and having a good cry. I gained close to sixty pounds in five months, cut off communication with my friends and family, stopped working (and consequently almost lost my company/home) and constantly thought about dying.
Initially I had seen Dr. Sidman while she was being interviewed on a television show. Although I was quite familiar with hypnosis (by virtue of my background in psychiatric nursing), her particular slant caught my attention. She was unique in that her program purported not only the relaxation/stress relief of hypnosis, but also the uprooting of subconscious causes for our self-defeating behaviors. In other words, she emphasized excising the root cause, which she claimed would then eradicate the unwanted and debilitating behavior. What she was offering sounded like lasting recovery and that was definitely for me! There was also a kindness in her eyes and an overall intelligence/compassion that resonated with me. However, it took weeks of phone tag to make an appointment. (All this was due to the fact that I was never sober when she called back, so I never answered the phone.) Finally she caught me early one morning and we made an appointment. Now I had to go! Needless to say, a three hour drive to somewhere I’ve never been before was not really high on my list. And yet, somewhere deep inside of me I knew that if I didn’t go I’d soon be dead. I truly believed her to be my last hope since I had previously tried psychotropic drugs, homeopathic meds, psychotherapy, AA, etc, etc. In essence, I had explored it all and nothing worked to keep my particular demons at bay. I always felt like my skin was on too tight.
The night before my 1:00 PM appointment that Monday, I had a bottle of scotch, a couple of packs of cigarettes, and some miscellaneous desserts to finish. I was determined there wouldn’t be any contraband in the house upon my return, but naturally I couldn’t simply throw these things away. The next morning, relatively sober but feeling severely toxic, I joined the slow ooze of morning commuters on the jam-packed California freeway. My hands were shaking and I vacillated between cold sweats and nausea. I was on an emotional roller coaster and starting my day without a drink was no picnic. Finally I arrived and Dr. Sidman ushered me into her office. Within moments I found myself telling this total stranger about my personal tragedy relevant to 9/11: the death of my best friend and writing partner, the traumatic business reversals, disappointment over my own career, etc. (Recounting everything almost made me want to run out and buy a gun.) However, I stuck by Dr. Sidman’s expansive kindness, generosity of spirit and her unbending conviction that she could help me feel better. I had so many issues, I didn’t know where to begin. But she had no difficulty in paring them down to their core. In fact, her innovative cut-to-the-chase Sidman Solution® of soliciting one’s subconscious in the healing process and giving imagery to the origination of specific, now outdated behavioral choices, led to my total emancipation! Just after that first session, I drove home feeling finally as if I truly belonged here. To date I have had no desire for alcohol, nicotine, sleeping pills, etc. —nor have I ingested my usual diet sodas or caffeine—in any form. What is remarkable is that I remember and understand my recent behaviors, but (without detailing my own specific pathology) suffice it to say that her session did not create a zombie, now living in denial. I remember everything and yes, sometimes it is truly painful. Yet, through the work we did together I am able to fully accept and integrate the process of healing. What I have learned and now understand is that I don’t have to be perfect—and some days when I feel less than ecstatic it’s still pretty darn good—because I am doing the best that I can.
It was slow starting those first few days because I really didn’t know exactly what to do. However, her process (and subconscious work) made me realize that the issue was not in framing a specific/perfect plan, but one of taking the first step. By the second day I felt an inkling—a quiet urging—back to health. I began listening to stress relief tapes, tried a little exercise, practiced self-hypnosis, and generally tried to be easier on myself. I actually didn’t feel dramatically different and nothing felt forced, but I was different. I found that I just didn’t feel like drinking, I didn’t feel like smoking, I didn’t want to sit on the couch all day and cry in my beer about my failing career. … I simply felt like doing something else, and so I did. However, as easy and natural as this transition felt, I know it was a direct result of my session (less than 24 hours earlier) with Dr. Sidman. Today I am sixteen pounds lighter, addiction free, have resumed my creative work in music, have a more stable, loving/honest relationship with my mother, have mended numerous relationship fences, have a more soul serving approach toward making money and overall am a much nicer person to be around. Yet, I don’t think my life is perfect. It isn’t—but for once, not only is that okay, but it’s wonderful! Freedom from the pressures of being perfect makes it easy to embrace one’s humanity, reveling in the joys of being human, and simply being alive. After all, it’s about the quality of the journey, not just the destination.”
S. A. N.