How EMDR Can Help You Change Your Drinking and Your Life

Episode 133 October 04, 2023 00:44:31
How EMDR Can Help You Change Your Drinking and Your Life
Alcohol Tipping Point
How EMDR Can Help You Change Your Drinking and Your Life

Oct 04 2023 | 00:44:31


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Megan Salar is on the show to teach us about using EMDR to help rewire our brain to change our drinking and our lives. Megan is a Certified EMDR clinician, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and Advanced Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, who formerly owned and operated one of the largest treatment centers for substance abuse and trauma in Idaho. Megan is the author of EMDR Workbook for Trauma and PTSD: Skills to Manage Triggers, Move Beyond Traumatic Memories, and Take Back Your Life. She is breaking ground on conversations surrounding trauma, addiction, EMDR and traditional talk therapy. Using her unique, hands-on approach, Megan will challenge you to embrace your true authentic self and break your drinking habit. 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:07] Speaker A: Welcome to the alcohol tipping point, podcast. I'm your host deb Maisner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach, and alcohol free badass. I have found that there's more than one way to address drinking. If you've ever asked yourself if drinking is taking more than it's giving or if you've found that you're drinking more than usual, you may have reached your own alcohol Tipping point. The Alcoholiday Tipping Point is a podcast for you to find tips, tools, and thoughts to change your drinking. Whether you're ready to quit forever or a week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck and you can change. Let's get started. Thank you for listening to this podcast episode with Megan Solar. Megan is a certified EMDR clinician and trainer as well as certified clinical trauma professional and an advanced certified alcohol and drug counselor. She was a former owner and operator of one of the largest treatment centers for substance abuse and trauma in Southeast Idaho. Yay found someone else from Idaho and she's breaking ground on conversations surrounding trauma, addiction, EMDR, and traditional talk therapy. I'm excited to have Megan on the show to talk about EMDR specifically and just share any tips and tools she has for people who are changing their drinking. Enjoy this episode. Well, welcome to the show, Megan. I'm delighted to have you on here another person from Idaho. I love that because sometimes it feels like in our world, in our online world, that there's not a lot of people representing Idaho. So welcome to the show. [00:01:50] Speaker B: Yeah, I'm really happy to be here and happy to find another fellow native as well. Awesome. [00:01:56] Speaker A: Can you share a little bit more about who you are and what you do? [00:02:01] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Megan. I kind of go by the tagline of Megan the Mental Survivalist, and I've kind of created a brand around this. My background is in social work. I'm a therapist by trade, but I currently spend a lot of time not just working with clients and families, but I also train other clinicians in effective ways to treat things like trauma, addiction, and a variety of other kind of ailments. But those two are kind of my go to. Awesome. [00:02:33] Speaker A: Yeah. And how I found you was there was a training that you were going to be teaching about EMDR and also how to connect and use EMDR to help with addiction. And I thought, oh, that's interesting because I'm always looking for different ways to help people change their drinking, change behaviors, and haven't really done a deep dive into EMDR. So I would love to hear more about it. Can you start us from the beginning someone who's just like, what the heck is EMDR? [00:03:06] Speaker B: I always think it's funny because EMDR is this weird acronym, right? And a lot of people are like they associate it with what's? The other kind of catchphrase with noises like EDMR they'll call like the ASMR, right? [00:03:22] Speaker A: Is that what it is? [00:03:23] Speaker B: Absolutely. So they'll what is this thing? So it is kind of a mouthful and I'm not even going to get into describing what the name is because I'll say it and those of you listening will be like, you already lost me. So I think of EMDR is just a trauma treatment. That it is honestly one of the most evidence based treatment modalities that there is to treat not just trauma but a variety of other mental health conditions from anxiety, depression, to addictive disorders to impulse control disorders. And kind of the way that I describe EMDR as a whole and what it does is you can think of it kind of like this. So I'll give you this analogy to kind of consider. So when you get an injury to your body, we kind of have this natural healing process, right? Like you get a cut and your body will naturally heal on its own. And sometimes we might have to add some ointment or some treatment or maybe stitches to help your body resume its natural healing process. And the brain works very similar but we don't think about the brain like that. We always think that if there's an issue or an injury to the brain it's there forever. But the brain has the same natural healing component to it. And EMDR is kind of like an ointment or a treatment that you would use just like you'd use on a scratch or a cut or another wound that you might have physically that's going to help your brain heal and get back to its natural healing ability so that it can resume functioning and lead you to living kind of your best life. [00:04:56] Speaker A: Yeah, that's a nice way of putting it. And I am a science geek so I do want you to remind me of what it stands for. [00:05:05] Speaker B: Yeah, no I love if I have fellow science geeks out there, I love it. [00:05:08] Speaker A: Yeah, you can go into it. Human lab fans and all of that. [00:05:13] Speaker B: I love it. You guys are my people then. So EMDR stands for Eye Movement desensitization and reprocessing. And it was kind of initially founded upon they were looking at these studies of what occurs to our brain during sleep, during our REM sleep cycle and how memories are stored, how we choose some long term and some short term. And what they found is when trauma occurs. Right. Those trauma memories are things that are difficult. It could be grief, loss, whatever challenges we might have kind of get stuck in our brain and our brain doesn't know what to do with it and so it can't really get put away in long term and short term. It kind of just becomes that festering wound like I was talking about. So that's where that name comes from, from eye movements. Because eye movements relates to this activation of our brain has to be kind of in sync for things to fully heal and be processed. [00:06:08] Speaker A: And I've heard of it more to treat trauma like you were talking about, and how would you use it to treat addiction? What is the tie there? [00:06:18] Speaker B: Yeah, this is kind of one of the fun areas and one of the places that I've honestly seen EMDR work the best. So it's known a lot of people know EMDR for its effectiveness, just like you said, in trauma and PTSD. But really, there's some really good evidence that's come out over the last 15 to 20 years that supports its effectiveness with addiction. And one of those in particular is looking at kind of the core beliefs that we form and the way that we make attachment to certain behaviors, certain beliefs about ourselves. And so EMDR works really well with addictive disorders. In targeting the positive aspect of what you're getting out of, let's say, drinking, for the sake of this podcast, right. It looks at what's the positive benefit? And I think this is one of the things that I appreciate about EMDR and addiction treatment, because most of the time within addictive disorders, we're always like, but tell me why it's bad for you. And we don't do things. We're not just choosing things because we know they're bad for us. There is a positive benefit out of any behavior that we engage in. And so it's helping you to identify what motivates you to continue using or engaging in drinking or using whatever other substance it might be. [00:07:37] Speaker A: Well, then I'm thinking of so some of the reasons why we drink are maybe it relaxes us or it decreases anxiety or we like the taste. So those are kind of those core beliefs that you're talking about. And then how would the EMDR help you? How would you go about using that? [00:08:02] Speaker B: So kind of what you do is we kind of target there's a couple of different ways you can target addiction within EMDR, so it can be targeting triggers. But what I'm going to talk to you guys about today is we target what we call this positive feeling state. And it's what I kind of just shared with you. It's what am I getting out of this? And it's this belief that you've created that the only way I can relax is if I'm able to have a drink. The only way I can finally let myself be who I am and let loose is if I have a drink. Nothing else has worked for that. There's nothing else that's been able to allow me to just be this free spirited version of myself. And so we're looking for kind of this black and white thinking around what drinking means for you positively. Like, essentially why you won't give it up. [00:08:56] Speaker A: Okay, that makes sense. And then are you going to walk us through an exercise? [00:09:02] Speaker B: I will. [00:09:03] Speaker A: Okay, cool. [00:09:04] Speaker B: I'll talk a little bit more about this. So once we identify kind of that positive feeling state, like this belief that you've latched onto, that this is why I have to have drinking or whatever it might be in my life. Then what we do is we add kind of similar to what you do in normal EMDR. EMDR uses something we call bilateral stimulation, which from the rim cycle, like I talked about a few minutes ago, it's like our eyes, you can think of our eyes moving from right to left just like that's. What occurs during rim cycle, there's other forms of bilateral stimulation that we use in something like EMDR, like tapping. So if you're listening to this, this would be like maybe resting your hands on top of your knees and you're tapping your right and left knee kind of in a pattern, right in a rhythm. We also use what we call a butterfly hug, where you cross your arms across your chest and you tap from right to left, kind of rotating taps. And what that does is it helps the brain kind of come online. And it uses not just your emotional side of the brain, but it's also using our logical side of the brain. And so we ask you to hold kind of this positive feeling state like, I can only relax if I have a drink, while we add some bilateral stimulation. And the goal is for you to find your own answers. And as this emotional and logical side of your brain kind of come online from adding some of these components of EMDR, what happens is your brain is like, wait a second, this actually isn't the result I'm getting from drinking, even though I've attached, that I can only relax this way. What I'm now starting to see is it actually causes more stress in my life. And it helps you start to kind of logically identify maybe what some of the negative consequences are of the behavior. So your brain is no longer seeing it as being positive only. [00:10:58] Speaker A: Okay, so you would just be talking about it and doing because for people who can't see, like, your hands are across your chest crisscross. [00:11:11] Speaker B: Or you can just set them on top of your knees like one hand just laying flat on your knees. And you can just think about tapping, rotating those taps from right to left. Maybe you're driving and you're holding the steering wheel, and you can think about just tapping the steering wheel with one of your fingers on your right hand and then your left hand kind of in just a rhythm from right to left, not at the same time, but kind of rotating those taps. And the exercise that I actually wanted to walk you guys through today is what we refer to as creating our healthy, sober self. And even if you're not to a place where you're like, my goal isn't sobriety. You can think of it as just your healthy view of yourself. And this would be a good maybe test for you guys to see kind of how your brain opens up and responds to EMDR. So if you guys are okay to start that now, I'd love to teach you this. [00:12:08] Speaker A: I'm ready. I'm going to do it. [00:12:10] Speaker B: Okay. So I'll give you guys some clear directives for this. And kind of one of the things that we say in EMDR is you just let whatever comes up come up in your thoughts. There isn't a right or a wrong thing to think about. I'll give you some certain directives. You can think on those, or you can allow yourself to go somewhere else with thoughts. Maybe you want to stick with a particular thought. That's completely fine. I'm just kind of here to help ground and guide if you need it. I'm going to ask you to start kind of that tapping we talked about, and you'll continue that throughout. So I'll prompt you, and I'm going to have us start it, and then I'll prompt you when to stop it. And just be curious. Let your mind kind of just go wherever it goes, and we'll kind of talk about what happens after this. So we're going to start with taking a deep breath in through our nose. So if everyone could go ahead, we're going to just take that deep breath, going to hold it at the top and then let that go. Take one more deep breath in through the nose. Hold that at the top, and then let that go. And then however you want to have your hands, if you're in a place where you have them just rested on top of your knees like I talked about, that's fine. If you want to cross them across your chest, kind of like you're giving yourself a hug, you can do that again. If you're driving, maybe you just want to tap the steering wheel from right to left. And we're going to just start with kind of these slow, rhythmic taps. So just kind of back and forth from right to left, just tapping. You can have eyes closed if you're not driving and you're in a place where you can actually do that. And I want you to just start with thinking about what it means for you to be healthy. Start with thinking about what that would even look like physically. Do you think about what it would mean to be healthy physically? Is there something active that you would engage in? There activities that you'd like to do and then notice what it would be like to be healthy emotionally or mentally. Kind of thoughts would you have? Notice how you'd feel about yourself, maybe even about relationships. Notice maybe how you'd even handle stress or frustration. And then notice what health would look like overall, outside of yourself, just in your lifestyle. How would you know if something was healthy or unhealthy for you? You might notice the boundaries that you'd have in place or the limits you'd set. You might even consider healthy relationships, what those would look like, who you would want in your life, maybe other things you'd want in your life, and then maybe even consider where alcohol fits into this. Does that add to your health or take away from your health? Maybe just notice for a moment how it potentially adds to your life. Then I also want you to consider maybe what it takes away from. Is there anywhere that it gets in the way of you being healthy or kind of living your best life? Then notice, if you can, how you wish you could respond to drinking or alcohol. What do you wish you could do with this so that it didn't have a hold or have negative outcomes in your day to day life? As you continue with this, we're still tapping. I want you to just think about if you were to think about getting through the rest of today, what would it look like making healthy, maybe even sober choices? What would it look like to leave alcohol out of the rest of your day? Notice kind of what the first thing would need to be accomplished or achieved as you consider that, just envision yourself kind of going through the rest of the day making those healthy choices, maybe even sober choices. For those of you that applies to what would that look like for the rest of today? Go ahead. We're going to take a deep breath. [00:17:17] Speaker A: In through our nose. [00:17:20] Speaker B: Let that go. Stop those taps if you haven't. And I'm going to ask just because my only audience is who I'm talking to right now. So I want to know what came up for you or what you experienced, because maybe some of our listeners could also relate to maybe what you saw or thought of. [00:17:41] Speaker A: Well, first of all, I felt very relaxed and calm, and I felt like it was really helpful to envision the day. It was soothing. It brought me back to the present moment, which I liked. And I liked how you just focused on just today, what does that look like to make a healthy choice. And I was just kind of having these different scenes that were going through my mind, like maybe hugging my kids, drinking a la Croix, climbing into bed in my cozy covers, just feeling proud of being sober. It was those kinds of things. So that feeling of pride, but also calmness and just contentment. I just felt content. [00:18:32] Speaker B: Yeah, I love that. The contentment. That's the main thing, right? That we want to get out. We're not looking for some big, even huge realization like, this is going to heal everything. It's like, what am I just needing for the day? Sometimes we get too far ahead of thinking, like, okay, if I give up alcohol and we look at the long term, or if I leave this out, right? It feels overwhelming and exhausting and like, so much work. And so our goal is just to start even being curious about what it would look like the next hour, the next day, or whatever that might be, and to see yourself engaging in those behaviors. And I love the example you gave, like, having a La Croix, right? Like, I love lacroix, and even though it's not maybe the same right. That we get out of some of the things that we're used to having. But even just envisioning yourself helps create an association of, yeah, this is what I can do, because that's what I'm seeing, because now I'm considering having a lacroix instead of a glass of wine or whatever it might be. [00:19:33] Speaker A: And I feel like that one exercise you walked us through really encapsulated a lot of different tools, like you said, because it involved the bilateral tapping, but also involved the mindfulness taking, the deep breath. So, like, the power of breath, the power of visualization, just taking a mindful pause, and maybe that's even something people could do. Well, actually, that's a good question for you. When should you use EMDR? Do you do it daily? How could someone incorporate this? [00:20:10] Speaker B: So some of what we just did is what we call a resourcing skill, which is just a fancy way to say a coping skill. I think of them as, like, mindfulness practices. So what we did is an example of a mindfulness kind of resourcing coping skill, if you will, with an EMDR. Those are great to use maybe several times throughout the day. There's handfuls of them that we have within EMDR. I love this one, particularly in early stages of recovery, or even if you're just contemplating what life would look like if I did make some of these changes, as a great way to even just start weighing the pros and cons and helping you, like what you just described right. Of finding, like, I just felt content or to achieve some peacefulness so it's used a lot as kind of getting us grounded. So those are skills we can use, like, every day, maybe multiple times a day, if needed, maybe when triggers or stress arises. What do I want to hold on to or remember? We could use what we just did, the full blown EMDR that you would do with a clinician. I personally am twice a month kind of person for that because it's a lot of work and it dives really deep into some of our trauma and our attachment history, and you need time to kind of integrate that. Yeah. [00:21:32] Speaker A: Can you share more about what clinicians do if you went to a counselor who specialized in EMDR versus some of these tools we can do on our own? [00:21:42] Speaker B: Absolutely. So if you were to go in and you wanted to try something like EMDR, it would use a lot of the bilateral stimulation that we just learned, but they'd get your history, kind of the normal psychotherapy stuff, and then they would teach you several of these different kind of coping skills, if you will. So it would be similar to kind of what we just did. We'll do things like a calm place, a container where we can put like stressors or other things. I use what I call a restoration team where we look at building kind of this visualization of internal support that we have, which is one of my favorite exercises to do. And then they kind of find these little wounds that you've had throughout your life so we could refer to them as traumas. It could be when you first started drinking or when drinking became out of control. And we target that, that's what we call it. And we kind of identify what the negative belief is behind that. So how do you feel about yourself when you think about when you got your first DUI? When you think about that first DUI you got and how life changed, tell me what the worst part of that was. And as you bring that up now, what's the negative belief that you start to think or believe or still believe about yourself? Because this occurred. We identify that. We identify what you want to believe and then we identify the emotions where you notice it in your body. And then kind of similar to what we just did, we'll start these little rounds or sets of adding that bilateral stimulation, the tapping and it will just be silent and you kind of just let your mind go wherever it's going to go. So I'd say I want you to notice that first DUI you got. Notice the worst part of feeling like you were a failure or why couldn't I control myself? And I'm just going to ask you to just think on that. And we would add bilateral stimulation and it would be silent and your brain kind of just goes where it needs to go and you kind of repeat that process until we start to get to some positive relief. So it's kind of like an emotional marathon is how I refer to it. But it's honestly amazing because no one's telling you what to do. You get to find your own truth, your own meaning and your own experience and it's really empowering because what you find is that you truly do have your own answers and your own resources. You just got to uncover them. [00:24:08] Speaker A: Yeah, that sounds powerful. Well, what is going on in your brain then with the bilateral stimulation? [00:24:19] Speaker B: So what occurs is when we go into or we experience trauma or even stress, let's say it's just anxiety or a lot of that like fear or whatever it might be tension. What occurs is our brain kind of starts to just go into this stress response. And when that happens, our emotional and logical parts of the brain are kind of offline. We're kind of just reacting from this safety mechanism and most of the time, it usually is more emotion based, but the brain isn't in synchronicity. And in order for the brain to work and to fully heal and get through things, we need that synchronicity. And so the bilateral essentially just helps neurons start firing in your right and left hemisphere. It's forcing the nervous system to start saying, like, hey, there's stimulation being applied to this left and right side of my body, and it sends those messages to your brain, and it helps the brain start to fire that logical side and the emotional side, which is what allows us to fully integrate, like a memory or create a new memory. And so as you're going through that EMDR process, that bilateral stimulation is helping you put new meaning onto an already existing experience that you've had. [00:25:37] Speaker A: That is fascinating. That's so cool. I love what we have learned about the brain and especially in the last like 20 years, there's been so much. Well, how long has EMDR been around? [00:25:50] Speaker B: So, EMDR was developed in 1987 and at first it had a lot of pushback because it is kind of like a weird nontraditional type of psychotherapy and it's really gained some movement, especially in the last probably 15 years. And like I said before, now it is one of the most recognized evidence based treatments. But it's been around for a long time and it is amazing of what it does. And if any of you are curious or like, how could this really work, I would challenge you. Just Google brain scans before and after an EMDR session and you'll see that there's real evidence that shows that your brain comes back online and you can see those in some of those brain scans and it's unbelievable what it can do for you and your healing. [00:26:40] Speaker A: Yeah, very much. Well, what would you say? You have a lot of experience in the field of addiction and people changing their drinking. What are some of your top tips for someone who is making changes like this? [00:26:55] Speaker B: First of all, I would say I think good for you for even wanting to make changes, whether it's in drinking or whatever it is. Your willingness to even want to make a change and to do something different says to me, and hopefully to you out there listening, that the thought that you even want to be better regardless of what it is, even if it's outside of drinking. Like I said, props to you for doing that and that speaks a lot to who you are as a human. Second, I would tell you that never define yourself by your drinking alone. We hear those phrases all the time in society, right? Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. And there's labels like you're a lush or all those things. That is not who you are. And that might be a behavior that gets exhibited, but that is not the core of who you are. And third, I would say give yourself grace, space and time. Everyone's healing journey looks different. I'm a huge proponent of harm reduction and taking baby steps like we just saw in that exercise. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. So every step you make towards trying to make a change like progress, not perfection. And I know for a lot of us out here that struggle with addictive issues or maybe with struggling with limits, that perfectionistic thing is a real thing. We think we're either passing or failing. And just know again that those steps are always progress. There's always something to learn and take away from it. So even if you slip back in to behaviors you don't want to, what can it teach you? What can you learn from it? Use them as lessons and be curious, but don't let that define who you are. That's wonderful. [00:28:44] Speaker A: I couldn't agree more with all of those. I'm a big proponent of practicing and it takes time to unwind these habits. And just like you said, don't define yourself by your drinking behavior. You don't have to tie yourself to a beverage. No, definitely. Thank you for that. Well, what are some other ways that people can cope? A lot of people are coping with life and they turn to drinking. So what are some alternative ways to help us cope? [00:29:18] Speaker B: I always think of this when we talk about eliminating something. You always have to replace it with something. That's just the nature of how we are. So it sounds nice. It's like, right, I'm going to cut drinking out today. Okay, then my number one tip for coping would be find some ideas, like brainstorm. What are you going to replace that with? Right, so maybe that's exercise, maybe that's I'm going to go for a walk. Maybe that's I'm going to have a lacroix with ice cubes and sit out back like I would normally do when I'm having like a glass of wine or something. Find some things like hobbies and interests that bring some sense of fulfillment or peacefulness. Maybe it's mindfulness practice like we did. I think support is a huge one. Being able to connect with one other person that can support you in your journey is huge. But think about consciously, what am I going to be replacing if I give up any behavior? What can come in its place and be intentional about practicing those things? That's a huge point. [00:30:23] Speaker A: And I think a lot of people, when you give up drinking, all of a sudden you have a ton of time and so what are you going to do with all that time? That becomes a huge talking point for people. I know that you do a lot of work on self compassion. Can you share a little bit about how we can incorporate self compassion and just become more compassionate to ourselves? That's such an important part of overcoming our drinking problems. It's so important to life in general, but it's. Easier said than done. [00:31:03] Speaker B: Man. One of the things that I think of is I went to a meeting, this was probably 17 years ago. I was at an Alanon meeting. And at the time there was a woman that was actually in recovery for alcoholism, and then her husband had relapsed, and so now she was coming to Alanon for support. And she made this really good point that's always stuck with me, but she know anyone that struggles with any kind of negative behavior that takes over their life, like drinking, for example, they already have enough shame to last them for the lifetime. We already internally tell ourselves all these negative messages. We question why we can't do things differently. Why do I act this way? Why can't I stop what I'm doing? Why does this continue to be a theme or a pattern? And she said to this group at the time, never give people more shame. We need to unbreak the ties of shame that we have, right, that bind that's there. And so to me, self compassion, there's so much truth in that is we're our own worst critics. And I could promise that's probably true for everyone listening right now is you probably are your own worst critic. And you probably learned that from somewhere early on, inherently. Maybe you took some of that on watching others in your family or your life be hard on themselves and think about how you have always wanted to be treated. Think about the love that you wish you could feel for yourself. You can liken this to how would you feel about a best friend or kids if this was happening? Give some of that love to yourself, because the harder you are in yourself, the more that the problem behaviors will continue, right? And so be curious rather than judgmental about why something's there. But self compassion is huge. We also know for you little science nerds out there, that self compassion literally changes the anatomy and the physiology of the brain. The more self, compassionate and kind you are, the greater likelihood you have to heal and to recover faster from things. So you can see it as kind of an ally for recovery or getting to the place where you make better choices. [00:33:20] Speaker A: And I think people think there's a common misconception like, I need to be tough on myself. I need to kick my own ass, and I can't be soft on myself or I'm just going to keep drinking. I need to be a hard ass. I need this. Can you speak to that? [00:33:41] Speaker B: Yeah, I'd say to that. How's that worked so far? Has it helped you stop drinking this far? And if your answer is no, then it's probably time to maybe try something else. And then second to that, I'd ask what's the biggest fear? If you're not hard on yourself or you don't kick your own ass, what are you afraid is going to happen? Maybe that's probably in relation to other people. Oftentimes with that question, I find that it really isn't about, well, I'll let loose of my drinking or whatever. It's more about, well, others will see me as weak or maybe I'll never get this under control, but I'd really challenge you with both of those questions. Yeah. [00:34:24] Speaker A: And I felt like for me too, I was someone who had a lot of negative self talk and a lot of shame and would beat myself up. And it seemed counterintuitive, but it was. Once I could start being kind to myself and almost parent myself or treat myself like you said, like you would treat a friend or your child or a loved one, then I was able to change. They say, like, you can't shame yourself to recovery, you can't hate yourself to love. And it's so true. And it does sound kind of cheesy, but it's really true. [00:35:05] Speaker B: Well, it is true. And I think we all, either secretly or very knownly, want to feel good about ourselves and want to actually love and like ourselves. As cheesy as that sounds. That's an inherent truth that we all have. [00:35:22] Speaker A: Yeah. And we started that way. [00:35:25] Speaker B: We did. [00:35:26] Speaker A: We started that way as little babies and toddlers and children. [00:35:32] Speaker B: Yes, absolutely. [00:35:35] Speaker A: Well, what are some other ways we can change our negative core beliefs? [00:35:41] Speaker B: Mike, this is such a loaded question, right? Looking at where those core beliefs come from, was this something that was told to you or given to you? This is a question I like to ask a lot. A lot of the times we carry core beliefs that aren't even ours to carry. Right. This might have been a core belief that a parent had that maybe they were projecting or putting on us. So looking at where it came from, is this actually a truth about me? So evaluating, is this a truth or was this handed down to me? And then I think with those core beliefs too, it's looking at how you actually want to believe about yourself, like we do with nemdr and identifying things that are going to actually lead to feeling or making those become truths in our lives. This is a topic I'm like, I could go on forever about core belief stuff, but it's the meaning that you hold about yourself. So what meaning do you want to have? And kind of like that exercise we practiced before, right? What would meaning look like for you on a day to day basis, for you to feel like you had meaning and worth today? Can you envision seeing yourself acting in a way that would fill that cup for you? [00:36:53] Speaker A: It kind of sounds like it's tied to what are your values as well, right? [00:37:00] Speaker B: Yeah. But even more specific than that, it's like, what do you value about yourself or what do you want to value? [00:37:11] Speaker A: So just kind of challenging it. It sounds like what you're saying, like, where is it coming from? Is it true? And then replacing it with what do you want to believe? [00:37:23] Speaker B: And that takes work, that last one, right? It's just identifying, I think sometimes for start, what you want to replace it with what you wish you could believe instead, and what's preventing you from feeling that way. [00:37:37] Speaker A: And I know you mentioned what gives you meaning and purpose. And I've noticed a lot of people, when they quit drinking and have all this time and are doing all this soul searching, that that becomes a bigger question in particular, like, how do I find meaning in life and purpose? Can you speak to that? [00:38:00] Speaker B: I always think with this one, to go back to kind of I don't want to say, like, your roots, but if you could think to back to who you were as a kid, what did you daydream and fantasize about achieving or becoming someday as an adult? And oftentimes those values, those desires, that purpose, it's still there. It's just been buried deep down. So sometimes looking back on some of that, even if they've changed, right, it can help you kind of tap into things that you've always wanted to do. I always think of identifying again, like those bucket lists, like, if you could do anything that you wanted, you had a month left, right, in your life, what would you make a point to doing? And sometimes that can really help us start to even just conceptualize or narrow down, okay, what do I give meaning? What do I want to find meaning and purpose and value in? And I would also challenge you with that when we talk about purpose, of looking at what are those relationships, we're all hardwired for connection, so what are those relationships or those activities that you engage in? It could be work. It could be family relationships. What are those relationships and places that bring you the most joy? And those things that we find a lot of joy in are oftentimes linked deeply to our overall purpose and meaning. [00:39:22] Speaker A: Yeah, I've noticed that. I've noticed a lot of people just go back to what brought me joy and meaning when I was a kid, when I was a child. And a lot of people are tapping back into creative pursuits, music, reading, and just riding your bike again, going to movies, just going to plays, just all of that that brought us joy when we were younger, that we kind of lost for a while when we were drinking and our world became small. [00:39:54] Speaker B: Well, and creativity is so healing. We know this. It really does heal our brain. It heals our body. It heals our soul. And one thing, you brought this up a couple of times, you're like, we have all this time when we first get sober. And one of the things I tell people a lot is to really heal something, you got to feel it. So feel it to heal it. You got to sit in that discomfort, man, for maybe a while, and it's going to be uncomfortable and lonely, and you're going to have these questions, but if you don't go through that valley, you never get to the other side where things can really be good. [00:40:29] Speaker A: Absolutely. Well, I saw that you run a program called Recovery with an he at the end. It's for men. Can you share a little bit about that? [00:40:41] Speaker B: Well, it kind of has two purposes, so I'll be honest about that. So really it's about to me, recovery in general has to have a spiritual component. For me, my higher power is God. No judgment to whatever anyone else's is. Everyone finds what works for them. So that's part of where that comes from. The other part of that is I'm really passionate about providing solutions for men in recovery in general, that struggle. I grew up with a really dysfunctional dad and saw the impact that that can have on all the lives, the trickle down effect that that can have on a family and kids and relationships. And there's a lot of stigmas that men are forced to live under in our world today. A lot of rules that men have to kind of succumb to women, too, but men are more prone to cover emotions. Men have higher rates of suicide. There's all kinds of these underlying ailments that sometimes we're afraid to talk about or get into because we want men to just be tough and reach those stereotypical roles that we've set for them. And so this is really about helping men try to break free from some of that and find kind of their own authentic self and their own authentic value and purpose amidst their own recovery, whether it be substance abuse or trauma or both. [00:42:04] Speaker A: Yeah, I think that's a great need and a great thing. And I agree. That's why I keep alcohol tipping point open to anyone, men and women. I've had some dear men in my life. My brother is one who he struggled with drinking sober. Now I want to have a place for everybody. And I think you're right. There is this unique challenge with men, too, when it comes to asking for help and the stereotypes of having to be seen as strong and not be vulnerable and weak. And so I think that's great. [00:42:43] Speaker B: Thank you. And specifically with alcohol to handle your liquor right? And when you can't, what's wrong with you, and how do you ask for help at that point? [00:42:54] Speaker A: We need all kinds of many options for people to change their drinking. So I think that's wonderful. Well, how can someone find you? [00:43:05] Speaker B: So you can find me on LinkedIn at themental Survivalist, same with Instagram or you can check out my [email protected]. Great. [00:43:17] Speaker A: Well, thank you so much. This has been so helpful. I really appreciate it. I love the examples and I love walking through EMDR and learning more about that with you. [00:43:27] Speaker B: So thank you, appreciate being here and I hope that you listeners got something out of this. And if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. I'm always happy to share resources and point you in the right direction. So thanks again for having me, you all, and I hope you guys have a good, blessed week. [00:43:46] Speaker A: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Please share and review the show so you can help other people too. I want you to know I'm always here for you, so please reach out and talk to me on Instagram at Alcohol tipping point and check out my website, for free Resources and Help no matter where you are on your drinking journey, I want to encourage you to just keep practicing, keep going. I promise you are not alone and you are worth it. Every day you practice not drinking is a day you can learn from. I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week, and until then, talk to you next time our.

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