My journey from addiction, to addiction hypnotherapist and recovery coach…
I wish I had some amazing story of recovery to inspire you with, but it’s not the case. Like most people, I had my own ups and downs in life, and my relationship with addiction was one which started as a choice, then eventually developed into a disease of choice. I was functioning in the world, but at 50%. Time was moving forward, but I wasn’t. My health was deteriorating, my self-confidence was at an all-time low, my relationship with my family was at a level where we were tolerating each other, and my finances were a mess.
I always knew that I was a mess, and I always knew that I was worth more, but escapism and denial had become an automatic function within my brain, and I just couldn’t shake it off. I got to a point where I hated getting high, and I always began each session with a deep breath and a sigh of contempt for myself. I hated it but I still couldn’t change. For years I tried coaching programmes and motivational books, but they didn’t work on me. For a long time I just thought I was destined to stay an addict and a loser. It’s only through Cognitive Hypnotherapy that I eventually learned why those coaching programs and books didn’t help me. Although they provide a great program for change and were great at telling me how to change, they missed one vital bit of information – why I was the way I was and why I couldn’t change.
My story with drugs began in my early teens with cannabis. by my late teens, I was smoking cannabis like cigarettes, and was doing my fair share of other substances on the weekends. By my early twenties, I was dancing on the line of sanity and insanity with every spliff I smoked. I already had friends who were developing psychological problems because of constant cannabis use, and I felt close to it too. Eventually being able to let cannabis go by my mid-twenties, I slipped firmly into class-A use, and got stuck there for a further few years. It was one faithful Tuesday night, back in 2014, that my “rock bottom” dawned on me. I was broke and two grams in (alone at home on a work night), that I caught myself rehearsing (for two hours) into the mirror, what I would say were I ever to meet Quentin Tarrantino! I shudder at the memory of the comedown that night. I struggled badly. Broke, sweating like a marathon runner, heart about to explode, the birds were chirping, could hardly breathe, and I had to get up for work in two hours! The shame almost killed me. I was trying to work out which family member I hadn’t killed off yet, to get a day off work. It was dire, to say the least.
To me, of all my qualifications, this history is my most valued education for my work. Learning about all the neurological processes that drive addiction, learning about the unconscious beliefs and the trance states that keep us locked in addiction, and the role my past played in it all, were all intense moments of clarity to me because of the experience I had with addiction. Helping people free themselves from addiction has since become a personal calling.
It was actually through witnessing a dear friend of mine recover from a heavy, twenty-year addiction, by seeing a great Cognitive Hypnotherapist (Hugh Osborne), which first made me pursue a career in Cognitive Hypnotherapy. Witnessing this almost effortless freedom from a twenty-year-old addiction was enough for me, I had to join the fight. I was lucky enough to train in one of the best schools out there, and under one of the greatest teachers I could have ever hoped for. The Quest Institute, and Cognitive Hypnotherapy, were founded by Trevor Silvester – a pioneer, a thought leader, and 25 year veteran in the field of Therapy and personal development. I have since, also done some training under Hugh Osborne, learning his powerful techniques and becoming certified in his method, and have even had the pleasure of being an assistant on one of his workshops.