Remember how much I was struggling with my recovery when I came to you? I still can’t believe how you helped me see and understand so much of what I was missing." (H, Norfolk)
Addiction and Trauma: trauma can affect different people in many different ways, yet in simple terms trauma – to a lesser or greater degree – occurs when something overwhelms us. Someone breaking a bone is a perfect example of a system being injured by an overwhelming event. The bone break (injury) is a “traumatic” event. Imagine breaking a leg bone; due to the intense pain caused by such an injury (trauma), your screams would alert everyone in the vicinity that you needed assistance. With medical attention your broken bone would heal and resolve itself in a relatively short period of time.
However, if you never received medical attention you would not only have pain in your leg for the rest of your life, but due to the strain of the unresolved trauma (broken bone), your entire system would suffer as you try to compensate by avoiding movements causing the most pain.
Our emotional, psychological and physiological systems also suffer traumatic events, and an alarming amount of these forms of trauma(s) occur in our formative years. The problem being, the internalised and unresolved trauma can manifest symptoms of depression, anxiety, self-loathing, shame and/or emptiness, to name but a few. Unlike the screams caused by the pain of a broken bone, the internalised trauma-pain becomes suppressed, and even completely hidden. These traumas are therefore seldom identified, discussed, understood or ultimately resolved. The truth is they can be resolved!
The stark reality is, “Not everyone who suffers trauma will go onto become an addict or alcoholic, yet every alcoholic and addict has suffered trauma.”
If underlying traumas remain unresolved – as they so often do – then a serious problem exists!
Sadly, it is often unresolved trauma that influences and regularly leads those who are already in Recovery and/or abstinence, back into feeling restless, irritable and discontented, to say the least!
"Matt is a unique psychotherapist who has phenomenal insight and knowledge. He talks from the heart with enormous passion, and when it comes to the specialised subject of addiction therapy, Matt is the only one I refer to."
(I Kirby, psychotherapist, Norfolk)