As I was in the bath, I thought about addictions. A friend of mine who wants to lose some weight, struggles with the question why she cannot continue a diet she wants to hold on to. Then I thought about the way we generally are brought up. We have to ASK for a cookie when we want to have one. We are not NOT ALLOWED to take one without permission. We try to hide it….when we DO take a cookie, we deny the person who is in charge of the cookies and feel guilty because of that or could even feel scared because we don’t want to be punished. Why do we continue this behavior being adults? We have the feeling we do something we are not ALLOWED to do. So, we buy the cookies we want and hide them from others. We start to believe that it is WRONG to eat cookies. (or drink alcohol, smoke,etc) We enjoy it as our secret treat that we Need to be able to feel satisfied. But then somewhere, deep down, we start to feel guilty. We start to create a thick wall around it. We lie and tell others that we do NOT eat cookies, or drink alcohol, or smoke etc.
In this case, I was thinking about my Brian. He suffered from an addiction of alcohol and could not understand why this was. He takes full ownership of his life; the way he thinks, acts and lives. He WANTS to feel in control of the drinking. I told him that he could drink every now and then. That I can live with that, as long as he drinks no more than a few glasses.
Now there is the bottleneck! Brian believes a few glasses is about 6 or 7, even 8 glasses. I don’t. I believe that a few glasses are 2 or 3 an evening. Brian was on a cruise with his family and one evening he decided to drink. Now I already knew this was going to happen, so I was not surprised when he told me. He went to a bar with his brother and some others, danced, got “a few” glasses of Chardonnay and was having a great time! The next day he asked me how I felt about that. Now I refuse to sit on the chair of the parent and I most certainly do not want to tell Brian what is right or wrong. This is HIS JOURNEY. I thought about it for a few minutes and then asked him how HE felt about it. He felt GREAT! Then I told him that in my believe he did not have to make a BIGGIE out of this, as long as he can keep it to “a few” glasses and does not continue the drinking the next day. And there the most unexpected happened:…………….. Brian felt IN CONTROL of himself in drinking! He stood up as the adult he is now and did not ASK for permission to drink, he did not WANT to have permission anymore and did not DRINK the day after! His new belief is that he can have some drinks now, without hiding it from others and can feel GREAT about that! Meaning that Brian decides at which occasion he takes these few drinks. Not anymore because he thinks he NEEDS that, but because he DECIDES to drink to socialize. Which is very different from feeling the NEED to drink and feel not be able to stop. This insight he owns now, makes me deeply happy. For him, for me, for us and our future. No matter what THE OTHERS might say out of THEIR beliefs, I know and feel so much TRUST in Brian that it feels totally fine! Brian is searching HIS way out of this. I can look at him with a smile and feel blessed by his journey.
Now, back to my girlfriend and her diet. I wonder what will happen when she decides to stop asking for permission and can take a cookie that is no longer forbidden. Then it might happen what she did not expect at all. She will find total peace in having “a few” instead of the whole role. She does not hide it or wants to eat because it is forbidden. In giving yourself permission lays a hidden friend; the belief you decide what YOU want and believe is best for YOU!