In Western cultures we have been trained to label addictions as BAD. They are something that are undesirable, they hurt, they destroy and they kill. Our first trained instinct when the topic of addiction comes up is ‘HOW DO WE STOP IT’, ‘how do we get ride of it’, ‘how do we help the person just say no drugs/alcohol/sex/food or whatever’.
But what if we took another approach? What if we looked at our addictions as gifts? What if instead of immediately jumping into controlling our stopping an addiction we paused and got curious.
What if we asked questions like… What is this addiction adding to my life? What pain is this addiction covering up? What larger more overwhelming societal ills does this addiction provide some momentary reprieve.
We live in a world where it’s easy to say ‘JUST SAY NO’ or to prattle off any of other hundreds of celebrity endorsed ANTI-whatever campaigns… but I know we need to do more…. We need to do the really hard work… because WE CAN DO HARD THINGS (right Glennon Doyle… and another shout out for Untamed)
In order for us to really heal we need to take a look at the roots. We need to understand ‘what happened to us?’, ‘what is it that we are trying to avoid’, ‘what is really going on underneath all of our pain?’
Is it perceived unworthiness because of our sexual orientation, toxic shame taken on because of our gender expression or is it because you have been told that you are somehow less than because of your gender, your race, your body type or differing physical or mental abilities?
These are just some of the root causes of trauma that invite addictions into our lives in an attempt to numb some of the pain that we THINK that we just can’t possibly face on our own.
Today’s guest, Cathy Webber is no stranger to pain. Cathy and I met last year and have shared a number of connection points on our recovery journey together. In today’s interview Cathy will share some of her journey and about how she has been able to start seeing the gift in some of her pain.
Our conversation today contains topics relating to trauma and addiction and contains personal sharing that includes stories of personal self-harm, drug use and suicidal ideation. If this content triggers you or if you are currently having a mental health crisis I urge you to go to your nearest hospital or call 911.
Before we begin today’s interview I want to remind all of our listeners of the importance of advocating for yourself, asking for help and reaching out to create your own network of professional mental health support.
Do you know anyone who would benefit from today’s message? Are there any people in your network who may be struggling with self-worth, addiction or mental health? We would love for you to share This Little Light Of Mine with your network so that you might share a message of strength, encouragement and mental wellness with someone who may be in need right now.
Thank you to each and every one of you who have subscribed to This Little Light Of Mine, provided comments and ratings. Your feedback and encouragement really means a lot to me personally AND it helps get our message of unconditional love, hope and healing for ALL out to as many people as possible.
Thank you for joining us today, for sharing part of your valuable time with me and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my personal story with you in two weeks-time where I go way back and kick it old school and share one of my first memories of being taught to be ashamed of who I am.
Until then… always remember, no matter where you are on your journey, you were created on purpose, you matter, you are wanted, you are needed and you are loved.
This Little Light of Mine - LGBTQ, Christianity, religious trauma, mental health
This Little Light of Mine is an LGBTQ+ tale of terror (growing up as a closeted Gay Christian in the Evangelical church) that led to trauma (cPTSD, religious trauma, spiritual abuse, sexual abuse, addiction) to what I intend to become triumph.
Join me on my healing and recovery journey towards mental health, spiritual health and emotional health as I find my voice by sharing what happened in my life as a Queer Christian where I was taught that I was not allowed to love.