In an ideal world, little children in their cribs would be part of a healthy addictions prevention program....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
Perhaps no other illness touches as many people as that of addiction. I am convinced that addicts are born with a tendency towards addiction & the sooner the addiction-prone individual faces that reality, the better the chance of recovery & building an enriched life....one of authenticity.
The workshop I'm designing is built on my book & is filled with tools designed to help the participants discover & break free from the multiple facets of their addictions & to regain control of their lives. Many people don't like the word "addict" as it conjures up rather nasty images that conflict with how one likes to view oneself. This is especially true of sugar or food addictions. This special self is known as the false self, or how one would like people to view them, but just like in alcohol addiction, it's important to own the truth. Then correction & healing can begin.
As participants work through the workshop & book, they will become familiar with their own false selves. They can then learn to view themselves with compassion, forgiveness & love. This is the route to self-actualization or the authentic self. This is achieved by viewing & editing aspects of the false self.
The self-actualized or authentic self is a healthy self that walks the road to high level achievement. One comes to understand that one's basic physiology, or genetic wallpaper, is responsible for addictions. This is truly not about one's false self. As one wake up & begins caring for oneself at higher levels, the authentic self steps forward right then, without further ado.
TO THE GROUP...
Perhaps you wonder if you are addicted or not, finding yourself questioning if sugar is truly an addiction or a gimmick. Despite the fact that you have already worked in your personal assessment, let's go ahead & do an awareness check because as I've told you many times, you cannot change what you are not willing to see.
First have a look at some of the more common addictions & what makes them so. If you are a smoker or chew tobacco & have tried to give it up without success, you are most likely addicted to nicotine, as well as some of the other 5,200 plus chemicals found in tobacco products. . If you take prescription medications, perhaps worrying that your physician may not renew the order, you are most likely addicted to that particular medication. Over the counter medications can also become addictive, so think for a moment about any you take regularly & wouldn't like to be without. Some may include pain medications, sleep aides, diet products or even anti-histamines.
Many substances appear so innocent on the surface because they are woven into the fabric of our lives, but it is important to have a honest self-appraisal if you want to be in control of your own life & not have it controlled artificially. If you drink alcohol & find that you are thinking more about it, noticing it is becoming increasingly more important to your life, you are most likely addicted. If you can't get started without that first cup of coffee, or notice that you have to have an ongoing cup on your desk for sipping throughout the day, you are most likely addicted.
Binge eating, radical diets, sugar fixes between meals all fall into the addictive category. Look also at breath mints, chewing gum, or any other substance that you simply must have. Certain foods fall into the addictive category, sometimes being difficult to spot because they are so ingrained in life. Chocolate often heads the list, but also look to other carbohydrates, especially white flour products. The workshop & book will wake you up to many of these. In the waking process you will meet up with the corresponding emotional states that will be quite annoyed with being found out! Of course there are many other addictions from all sorts of recreational drugs, to sex, to shopping and gambling.
ABOUT SUGAR ADDICTION...
The most common addiction is sugar & is thought to be the underlying link to all others. It is directly connected to your genetic wallpaper that you reviewed in your personal assessment. The way your body responds to sugars is determined by this wallpaper, as well as all of the chemical interactions between your body systems & cells are effected by these responses. There is an excellent book on this subject, called The Hidden Addiction and How to Get Free by Janice Keller Phelps, M.D.
Sugar addiction means addiction to refined sugars or carbohydrates & not to complex carbohydrates. Refined sugars that include table sugar, corn syrup, honey & white flour have been broken down from multiple sugar chains to single molecules. When these are eaten they are readily absorbed into the bloodstream without further digestion. Complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes require a lengthy period of digestion before they are broken down. These enter the bloodstream in a slower fashion & don't trigger the pancreas to overproduce insulin as in reactive hypoglycemia. However, depending on your wallpaper & nutritional balance, you may have issues with this level of carbohydrate & need to work further with the glycemic index.
I'm very slender and wonder why I have to be concerned about sugar. My doctor told me that I really have to clean up my diet or I stand the chance of developing problems in the future. Why would I have to do that now as I'm only 22?
Tara has some false information that many other people have as well. She associates sugar intake with obesity & not with general health. It is very important for everyone, no matter what their family, personal medical history or age, to eat a well balanced, healthy diet.
I don't know if Tara has any other addictions, but she is best forewarned because it is not uncommon for someone to switch addictions. For example, her doctor may convince her to cut out the sugar, but she might begin to smoke instead. When working with addictions it is very important to control it utilizing the health tools of high level nutrition, interactive awareness & emotional management. People harboring addictions are prone to the development of inner stress and need to pull out all the stops in their self-care.
It's also important for Tara to ask her doctor to explain what he means by her chance of developing problems in the future. He knows about her family medical history, more than likely including heart disease, circulatory disease or adult onset diabetes to name a few. While Tara is only 22, she has already been through that number of years completely unaware of what her body needs. So while 22 may appear young, it truly is not as far as her body is concerned.
My grandparents were all alcoholics, but I've never had a drink in my life. While both of my son's drink, one has a problem with it & one doesn't. I am hypoglycemic & wonder if there is a connection. I have strong sugar cravings and always carry sugar with me in case I become disorientated. Could my grandparents be at the heart of my problems and if so, what can I do?
Barbara is in the same leaky boat as millions of other people. She has some helpful information, but certainly not all of what she needs to know to save herself, as well as her sons. While I'm assuming her son's are grown, that doesn't mean that she can't pass along important information to them. Obviously, whether they choose to change or not is their responsibility if they are adults.
The family genetics are very important and especially in relation to addictions history. Barbara's family has a high incidence of alcoholism. More than likely this is just the tip of the family iceberg.
Alcoholics tend to have reactive hypoglycemia that is passed on to their offspring, whether they drink or not. Barbara does not drink, but has the problem of reactive hypoglycemia. Her sons more than likely have the same, besides being active drinkers. Alcohol reacts differently in the each individual. Some people can drink large amounts and not present the usual problems of alcoholism. That doesn't mean that they don't have problems because they do. They are just different kinds of problems. The other type of alcoholic appears to hyper-react to the alcohol, rather like an allergy. You can spot the tendency towards both of these in her sons.
It is vital for Barbara to get her nutritional program in good order. She might ask her physician for a referral to a local diabetic educator because reactive hypoglycemia is a form of pre-diabetes. She also needs to learn good stress management tools including interactive awareness & emotional management. With these on her tool belt she has a great chance of living a full and happy life.