Johnathan

Trauma and Addiction 

How trauma therapy helped end the negative beliefs and self-sabotaging

I’ve been addicted to adrenaline since I was born. My mother’s pregnancy with me was not comfortable by any means. She was constantly in the presence of my father, who was very abusive. Fer adrenaline was always on fleek. She seldomly, got enough to eat for one person, let alone two. As I was being formed, I was being formed in the conditions of scarcity.

My mother took my two brothers and I away from my father because he was very abusive, physically, verbally, mentally, and emotionally. I haven’t spoken to him over the course of my life.

When I was little, I struggled with excess energy. I was extremely rambunctious and nobody could keep me in one place. Having ADHD, I was prescribed Dexedrine from second grade to fifth grade. It really made me feel horrible. I would feel nauseous, but they kept increasing the dose. It just made me feel worse and worse and worse.

After experimenting with pot, I realized it allowed me to focus. It allowed me to be calm, and not have this excess energy. I actually felt really good, relaxed and not overstimulated. So from that day forward, I began to smoke on a daily basis and started bucking my medication.

Then I started experimenting with ecstasy, mushrooms and later in my thirties, LSD. I took anything that could get me out of the reality that I was extremely unhappy with.

I was 14 when I found out that I was going to become a father. I had two additional children by the time I was 20.

Because I wasn’t legally given permission to be a part of my first daughter’s life. I started living outside of the law and had no drive to do anything gainful. I began selling a pot as a means to accrue quick money to provide for my children.

I realized after being in this cycle for about 25 years, that I was losing touch with reality, which was my goal initially to escape reality.

I started thinking, “Is that what I’m doing? Am I ready for death?” I had already self-sabotaged every relationship that I thought could have ever amount to anything.

I had a breaking point. I was very broken. My heart was hardened. I reached out to St. Matthew’s House. Once I was accepted into St. Matthew’s House yearlong Justin’s Place recovery program, they said they have additional resources like David Lawrence Centers that may help my recovery.

I think the light bulb really went off when my youngest daughter passed away from a drug overdose. She was 19. A lot of things bubbled up to the surface.

I reached out to DLC and my therapist recommended trauma therapy. It helped me because it allowed me to perceive situations that I would literally relive. It’s allowed me to perceive them and, and come to new understandings, new perceptions about my past traumas. While coming to this new understanding, this new perspective, the old behavior patterns and coping mechanisms that made sense before, seemed to kind of evaporate.

I just graduated from Justin’s Place. I now work as an intake assistant at St. Matthew’s House. People that come are in a place in their life that’s spells out instability in one way or another, whether it be addiction or homelessness or financial instability. They come in and they’re asking for some sort of help or assistance, and I’m there to be able to speak with them, listen to their story. It is very fulfilling and very rewarding for me because it keeps me in touch with where I come from a year ago, a place of desperation.

The more I come to David Lawrence Centers and participate in trauma therapy, the more willing I am to develop healthy relationships. I am spending more time with my children and now grandchildren. My relationship with my family is stronger than ever. I have learned to lean more into my faith, and I am at peace. I am looking forward to beginning seminary school next year. I have come so far. God is good.

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