How to Dissolve the Demons of Addiction
By Eva Angvert
She’s sitting in front of her computer.
She’s supposed to be writing a blog article, but when she looks at the blank page in front of her, nothing’s coming.
That blank page triggers anxiety.
She doesn’t know what to do, and the lizard brain is taking over. That lizard brain feels threatened and is thinking, “I’m going to get hurt!”
This is the story of me – this morning.Continue reading
Hi, my name is Eva...
For more than 30+ years, I have guided clients through emotional difficulties, addictive habits, anxiety, and depression to successfully move beyond their limiting beliefs about themselves and their possibilities.
Like many of you, I am a recovering addict and subject to the tyranny of the lizard brain. The brain’s job is to keep the body alive.
It has to know what’s going on at all times to keep us safe.
The challenge is that the brain is locked in the box of our skull – literally and figuratively “in the dark”.
For the brain to feel ease and comfort, it has to know in the moment that the situation it’s in is safe.
In addition, to continue feeling safe, it has to be able to predict that the next moment will also be safe…and the next…and the next…24 / 7.
According to Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett, our brains operate in a five-step process – assessing the situation, knowing how we feel about it, interpreting our level of safety, and predicting what will happen next, and based on that, we take action.
All of this happens in a nanosecond.
If the situation is triggering sensations in our body that remind the brain of an old danger, we will feel fear and, perhaps, react rather than respond.
The good news is this: We can learn to pause and tell the brain, “The way we’re interpreting the current situation may not be accurate.”
We have at our disposal skills we can develop to update the brain, read the current situation accurately, and respond accordingly.
So, when I was at my computer this morning, what was I experiencing?
When our body is not at ease, we can feel irritated, frustrated, resentful, angry…
The brain is picking up signals from our nervous system that often feel like an uncomfortable “buzz”.
The buzz creates a feeling of what I call, “Dis-Ease”.
We develop behaviors to avoid Dis-Ease, the buzz, any kind of uncomfortable feelings in the body.
This is where addiction starts.
Addiction begins with what can appear to be an innocent habit to distract us from the discomfort.
So, you may ask, “What did you do this morning to deal with your Dis-Ease?”
My answer: “I got up and did something else to avoid that blank screen and the discomfort that came with it.”
As a somatic coach, I need to walk my talk, right?
So, I sat back down and stared at the computer, using my interoceptive skills to face my demons.
As I’ve heard said before, “The demons scream louder, the closer they are to the fire.”
I sat in my discomfort and allowed my demons to scream – until they dissolved, and my body was quiet.
In other words, I acknowledged to my “Self” that, for me, not knowing equals danger.
And, then I could get to work.