9 Steps You Can Take To Overcome Addiction

7 More Ways to Recover From Addiction to An Energy Vampire

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

If you or someone you love has an addiction, you are not alone. According to a Columbia University study, 40 million Americans age 12 and over meet the clinical criteria for substance abuse, whether it’s an addiction to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs. That’s more Americans than those with heart disease, diabetes or cancer! In addition, it’s estimated that 80 million Americans are “risky users,” meaning that while they don’t meet addiction criteria, they use tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in ways that potentially threaten their health and safety, and the health and safety of others.

Many addicts have a similar background, such as some form of trauma, sexual abuse, experimental use of drugs in college, even the stress of too much fame and fortune as we see so often with celebrities. The one common thread is that addiction is all about self-medicating to cope with pain – whether that pain is physical or emotional.

Popular Substance Abuse Recovery Programs

When a person with an addiction seeks treatment, odds are they will be directed to a 12-step recovery program such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or similar spiritual approach to recovery. The AA model was developed by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in 1935, and remains the traditional model for addiction recovery in the U.S. It works like this:  You admit that you are powerless over the substance or situation, you recognize that a higher power can restore your sobriety, you examine past mistakes with the help of a sponsor and make amends, then you learn to live by a new code of behavior and agree to help others who suffer from the same addiction.

There are other popular out-patient addiction recovery approaches as well. These include motivational techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and SMART Recovery, a support group model that employs a 4-Point program of building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and living a balanced life.  Unlike AA, SMART Recovery does not accept that individuals are powerless, but rather helps participants find their strengths and use them.

In addition, there are traditional in-patient rehab programs that last from 28-90 days.  This is known as the Hazelden model. (Hazelden merged with The Betty Ford Center in 2014.)  There are also many integrative facilities today as well that offer non-traditional solutions. Finally, medication-assisted programs are also available. These offer medications such as naltrexone, acamprosate, methadone, and buprenorphine (which is taken under the tongue by people addicted to pain medication and heroin) to reduce cravings, deter use and help prevent relapse.

When all else fails, there is jail!  Of course, this usually is not a solution.

Why Doesn’t The Status Quo Work?

With all of the options available, why do many people remain addicted or relapse?  One reason is that most of the addiction recovery programs in the U.S. are based on the “chemical hook” theory of addiction – that certain substances are addictive and if you use them, you will become addicted. This is, for the most part, a fallacy. Anyone who has had surgery has taken a good amount of heroin in the form of diamorphine!  And yet most people who have had surgery are not heroin addicts.

Now, there are some people who truly may have a physical addiction to a drug – I have a friend who was given morphine in the hospital at age 10 and says it was the best feeling ever.  But, most people who become addicts have something else going on so that the standard “chemical hook” approach to drying out and avoiding the substance you are addicted to — whether you use a 12-step program, rehab, a medical approach or some combination — doesn’t work.  In fact, many people recover from addiction to one substance, then become addicted to something else, such as sex, smoking cigarettes, or working too much.

This supports the theory that pain, whether it’s physical pain or emotional pain – both of which register in the same parts of the brain – is the root cause of addiction, not the substance itself. In other words, what addicts are really doing is avoiding pain by using or doing something that makes them unable to feel it.

How Divine Love Can Heal Addictions

My good friend and colleague, Robert Fritchie, Founder of The World Service Institute, has helped many people overcome addictions using Divine Love healing energy. In fact, he helped a well-known rock star who had a cocaine addiction and didn’t want to risk media exposure by entering rehab! (The rock star remains drug-free!)

Divine Love healing uses the Creator’s Love to facilitate healing. Using a Divine Love petition in which you direct your energy toward your healing, you are able to bring the Creator’s Love to you. It works for everyone because we are all made of energy that is influenced by our experiences and our thoughts. So just as our energy can manifest as disease, including addiction, it can be influenced to heal. Divine Love petitions give you the power to readjust your energy to maximize your health.

In order for Divine Love to work, you must access your own personal will. You are responsible for your own healing. Will is at the core of the self. So, on a soul level, you need to develop a personal will to get better.  And, that personal will needs to be aligned with Divine Will. In addition, you must believe in the Creator or a power higher than yourself. However, you do not need to be religious. Finally, when you use the Divine Love petitions to help with symptoms, you do not state a diagnosis (unless it is something like cancer.)  You simply ask the Creator to heal the source of your symptoms or pain.  To learn more about using Divine Love, go to Bob’s website and do the free healing program listed there. Better yet, sign up for one of his webinars. They’re worth every penny.

9 Steps You Can Take To Overcome Addiction

There is a ton of information out there about addiction recovery, and there are always new theories and science that lead to new programs. Recommending the best program or way to recover from addiction is a loaded topic because each individual will respond to something different.  It’s important to know that there is no right or wrong approach – in fact, the only right approach is the one that works for you!

Its also worth mentioning that there are many stories of recovered addicts who quit using without the help of any recovery programs! Some have turned to their churches or have received paid incentives for clean drug tests.  Some have received psychiatric help or used cognitive behavioral therapy. And there are even people who simply “outgrew” their addictions. These people are usually those who used drugs and alcohol in their teens and 20s and then found a life that was more fulfilling, either through meaningful relationships, work, or other interests.

With all that in mind, here are some steps that you can take to help with recovery:

  1. Don’t Play the Blame Game. It is easy to place blame when in the throes of addiction or when dealing with an addict. It’s important to understand that the addict is not to blame for his/her addiction, but that s/he must take sole — and soul — responsibility for recovering from it.
  2. Be Patient. It may take more than one attempt to get it right. Some days may be harder than others.  Every effort you make is a step towards your goal, and it is an essential part of the journey. Even if someone is not yet ready to change, but they take a few steps toward recovery, they are receiving tools that can help them later on.
  3. Research Recovery Programs. There is no one way to treat addiction. What works for one person, or even many people, may not be right for you or your loved one. In addition, what works for someone who is addicted to heroin may be different than what works for an alcoholic.  What works for men may be different than what works for women. And teens may need a completely different approach.
  4. Get Support. Addiction is not an acute illness. Use the resources available to you to get the support you need. These may include outpatient treatment programs, counseling, and support groups such as AA. There are also church and community groups and even online groups that may be able to help.
  5. Move Your Body. Exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle.  Some people recover from alcohol and drugs with exercise alone simply because they don’t want to feel bad every day when they try to move their bodies. This is especially true for athletes who have had addiction problems. For the average person, 30-60 minutes of walking outside every day will do wonders. 
  6. Eat a Balanced Diet. In addition to exercise, eating right is another key ingredient to a successful recovery.  When you improve your diet your blood sugar will stabilize, which can help reduce cravings for alcohol and improve your mood. Learn more about my approach to stabilizing blood sugar here.
  7. Explore Alternative Healing Approaches. Many people who recover have stories of unique approaches that are not mainstream. There are many holistic approaches that can help with addiction recovery. Some of these include acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbs, journaling, being in nature and meditation.  Anything that will reduce stress will improve your mental and physical well being. This does not mean you should not also seek a professional treatment plan if needed.
  8. Put Yourself First. If you are trying to recover from an addiction, it’s important to make yourself your number one priority.  So, give yourself time and space to do what you need to do. You may need to distance yourself from friends, seeks out new ways to stay busy and active, or rely heavily on your family and friends. And remember, recovery is a process, not a destination.
  9. Give Divine Love a Try. Divine love is accessible to everyone and it the most powerful form of healing. People often have profound experiences of emotional release and also physical healing, including healing from addiction. And, as Bob Fritchie points out, the more people involved, the better. So you can use Divine Love to help someone you love even if they are not ready to use it themselves. I love the idea of being able to tune into and utilize this energy on behalf of myself and others. To learn more, click here.

A 5-Minute Self-Compassion Exercise

One of the most important things you can do when dealing with an addiction is to offer yourself compassion. This exercise only takes 5 minutes and you can do this anytime you need to re-center or bring some compassion to yourself. 

  • Call To Mind A Moment of Suffering. Remember a specific time or event where your addiction (or someone else’s addiction) has caused you suffering.  Acknowledge it by saying “this is a moment of suffering.”  You may use your own words, such as “this is hard,” or “this really hurts.”  Allow yourself to feel it.
  • Admit That Suffering Is A Part of Life. This does not mean you need to suffer, it just means that is it a normal part of being a human being and that we all experience suffering at times.  Acknowledge that it is normal to feel what you are feeling. You can say “it’s ok to feel this way,” or “I am normal for  feeling what I feel right now.”
  • Allow Compassion To Flow. Put your hands over your heart. Feel the warmth and gentle touch of your fingers. Imagine love streaming out through your hands to your body. Say “may I be kind to myself.” Again, you may use your own language or even imagine that you are speaking to a friend. You may say “I am here for you,” or “I care about you,” or “I am sorry.”
  • Notice How Your Body Feels. Allow yourself to be in the moment and take notice of how you feel. Offering compassion toward yourself may bring up strong emotions.  Sit with whatever comes up and then release any difficult emotions to make space for love and joy to flow.

When Your Addiction Is To A Narcissist

If you have an energy vampire, or narcissist, in your life and you are hanging on to the relationship to the point where your life is disrupted, this is called narcissistic addiction.  And it is real!  In fact, there are even biochemical changes in your body that take place, as with any addiction.  Because of this, your brain chemicals can actually lock you into addiction to an energy vampire.  Of course, if you already have addictive tendencies – such as to drugs or alcohol – you may understand the brain chemical aspect.  It works like this:

You experience the release of dopamine when the narcissist is love-bombing you with gifts and compliments.  You also experience the release of oxytocin (the same love hormone that bonds a mother to her child!) when you are physically around your energy vampire, especially if you are in a sexual relationship.  Then, when the energy vampire starts to exhibit unpredictable behavior, you experience adrenaline rushes.  Finally, when you experience abuse at the hands of a narcissist you ultimately experience the effects of a constant stream of cortisol.

Of course, you want to get back to that feeling you had when the relationship was good and are constantly striving for that chemical release — just like any other addiction.  And this is achieved when the energy vampire apologizes.  Therefore, the narcissist becomes the person you turn to for healing and to feel good.  Just like any other addiction, it can become hard to care for yourself, maintain friendships and even hold down a job when you are in a relationship with an energy vampire.

7 Ways To Recover From Addiction To An Energy Vampire

If you are addicted to an energy vampire or narcissist, you are likely an empath and are highly capable, hard-working, intelligent, compassionate and able to make everything else in your life work – expect your relationships.  The good news is, there are steps you can take to get your life and your relationships back on track and extricate the energy vampires in your life for good.

  1. Admit you have a problem.  This may sound like a cliche, but when dealing with addiction you must admit you have a problem.  The difference here is that you must admit that the problem you have is that you believe everyone is good.  Once you admit that you are in a relationship with a predator who lacks empathy, character, and compassion, you are ready to do what you need to do to avoid being their narcissistic supply.
  2. Disconnect from your vampire.  As with any other addiction, abstinence is the best solution.  In the case of an energy vampire, you must assume they will never change and you must give up on them.  Once you disconnect it will take time, but you will develop total indifference.  This state is necessary to achieve in order to regain your health and start plugging your energy leaks.
  3. Create boundaries.  Boundaries come in all forms.  You may not be able to cut all contact with your energy vampire immediately – or ever.  For example, you may not be able to walk out on your marriage if you have children with your energy vampire.  Or, you may need to find a new job before you quit the one you have.  But, you can create boundaries that keep vampires from sucking you dry.  If your vampire is stalking you on social media, delete their negative comments or “ban” them from your feed.  You can also refuse to answer phone calls from the “friend” who only calls when she needs something.  If the vampire is a family member, set communication boundaries for your time together.  For example, certain topics of conversation may be off limits.  Or, set time limits on your contact and as soon as the vampire starts to criticize, you leave.
  4. Don’t confuse good judgment with being judgmental. Too many empaths are afraid of being seen as judgmental, so they give vampires the benefit of the doubt.  To keep you on track for identifying energy vampires and keeping them out of your life, try using the phrase: “By their fruits, you shall know them.” Or, use an even simpler phrase when confronted: “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”
  5. Employ stress reduction techniques.  Whenever you are making a huge change, it’s good to have something to replace the unwanted behavior with.  Physical activity, meditation, breathing, or visiting with trusted friends can all help.  One scientifically-proven technique that can really help with stress reduction is EFT Tapping.
  6. Get Help.  As with other addictions, you may need help recovering from addiction to a narcissist.  Be sure you have a “reality-check” friend with whom you can speak frankly.  You may also need to find a therapist who is skilled in dealing with narcissistic behavior and other personality disorders.  There are also many online resources to help you disengage from an energy vampire and recover from abuse.  Here are a few you might want to check out:  George K. Simon, Jr. Ph.D., Judith Orloff, M.D. and her Facebook community, Sandra L. Brown, M.A.‘s Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education, and Melanie Tonia Evans‘ narcissistic abuse recovery program.
  7. Read my book.  My book, Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide To Evading Relationships That Drain You and Recovering Your Health and Power, gives you all the latest research and information on vampire-empath relationships. 

Have you or a someone you love experienced problems with addiction?  If so, how have you healed?

Last Updated: March 6, 2018

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

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  1. C.S.
    2 months ago

    I’ve had a very similar experience with my own adult son (he was 28) and I want to relate this to you in hopes that it helps you and your relationship with your son. I felt very much the same about my son at one time. I had been narcissistically abused in my childhood, in several important relationships and at that time by a recent boyfriend. I was suspicious and qualified my interactions with others and my son through that lens. I was very codependent and still trying to have my needs met through the people around me and this limited my perspective quite a bit.

    All of the “evidence” I used in my “assessment” of my son pointed to my son being a narcissist. I was devastated and defensive and I insisted that he validate me as his parent (continue to fulfill my expectations) and imposed my view of his experience as my child on him. He of course, refused to do this because his perception of his experience and who he was, was very different from mine and I couldn’t tolerate that. He was far less codependent than I. Our communication degraded more and more, we argued and we didn’t like each other very much at all… and this persisted with almost devastating consequences.

    When I was relating my frustration about this to my therapist, she stopped me and clued me in. She told me that he had his own truth, that his perception was his and he was entitled to it, regardless of whether I approved of it or not. She made me aware of how abusively I was treating him, of who I was telling him he was to me and how I was imposing the child onto the grown man. As soon as I saw it with some clarity, I instantly regretted all of my behavior because I finally realised that I had offended him terribly on multiple occasions and that our relationship was on the brink of destruction. The rift between us was entirely my fault even though just before I had this profound understanding, I felt perfectly justified in my defensive behavior. I could not see it until the awareness my therapist provided me brought it plainly into view.

    That same day, my son, who was naturally trying to get my validation of him as an autonomous adult so he didn’t have to continue to play the role of “my obedient child” which was insulting and diminutive to him, started a conversation that normally would have ended up in an argument, again validating my completely unprofessional and uncalled for assessment of him as a narcissist. With my new understanding and being accountable I told him that I understood that he had his own truth, that he had his own perception of his experience and that I accepted that his was different than mine. I told him that even though he felt the way he did, and I felt the way that I did, that he didn’t define me and I didn’t define him. I apologised very sincerely for the offenses I had caused him. I asked him to forgive me because of my ignorance. He was still a boy in my mind but standing in front of me, he was clearly a full grown adult man and it was time that I treated him like one.

    I was very fortunate that my son could forgive me. He was magnanimous in his understanding and compassion for me. Clearly not a narcissist. I had diagnosed him from my fear and woundedness without the benefit of being a qualified professional or having any experience other than being a victim. He realised I didn’t understand what I was doing when I treated him this way. We had a meeting of the minds and all of the distance between us evaporated. He knew I needed help and he was very supportive of me while I got it.

    It doesn’t mean we always agree, but we have agreed to treat each other with respect and the dignity we each deserve, each as an adult and in our own right regardless of how we feel or what we think, or our expectations of each other at any given time. I almost unintentionally destroyed that precious relationship and I felt perfectly justified in my ignorance and pain in doing so. The loss would have been absolutely devastating and isolating to me, not to mention what it would have done to my son who really does love and care for me, far better than my meager expectations at the time could accept or even realise.

    I relate this to you because when we have been abused by a narcissistic partner or parent or both, we can qualify our other important relationships through the same lens. I really want to impress on you the importance of not diagnosing your son. If he hasn’t been diagnosed by a qualified professional, it may be that something very different is going on and like me, you aren’t aware of it. It may not be the same issue as mine, but it may not be what you think it is… or it may be that he is actually narcissistic but your continued connection with him is too important to not consider the alternatives. I encourage you to allow space for these possibilities before this precious relationship degrades any further. Our adult offspring don’t have to meet our expectations and most often the truth is, they exceed them in many ways that we aren’t aware of. They are after all our children. I sincerely hope that my experience can assist you with yours.

    I wish you and your son much healing and a deeper connection.
    Much love,

    C.S.

  2. Ashley Maxwell
    2 months ago

    I really appreciate your comment about how addiction services should help you appreciate yourself. I also like how you said that they should help you find a source of support. My husband and I are considering hiring addictions services to help us overcome his alcohol addiction.

  3. Vicky
    3 months ago

    I am an ampsth who loves her son who i am afraid is an energy vampire. We always had a loving relationship as he was growing up but since he has had a family of his own I think he has turned into an energy vampire to mending me rather than living me. I feel that I am giving 95% to our relationship and he is giving 5%. We are on spring break together right now down in Florida. I always pay for their flights ( a family of 5) and provide the accommodations and I feel completely left out, like a sixth wheel. All six of us were sitting by the pool today and he continually made me feel embarrassed to even open my mouth. He rolls his eyes and belittles me. He said That he doesn’t like me talking about him and the past. I have been thinking about this and I realize that the past is all I have of him. You say we need to rid ourselves of these energy vampires, but what if they are your children? Vicky

  4. Madelina
    3 months ago

    Dr. Northrup,

    It felt so good to my body and mind to listen to your 3-free-new videos on the Empath/Narcissist . . . I’m looking forward to this being available on CD (akin to your previous publications) I remember reading your book on Women’s Bodies over 20 years ago and thinking: “What a knowledgeable, compassionate and wise woman” . . . and now, today, you continue to offer cutting-edge knowledge to people at the perfect time. Thank you Thank you
    I so admire you and your creative intelligence. You continue to be an angelic guide for me and I am in gratitude.

    M

  5. Ft
    3 months ago

    4 years ago I was addicted to a horribly toxic relationship to the father of my daughter. I give huge thanks to Melanie Tonia Evans for her wonderful advice website and videos that helped me understand the dynamic. My ex is (I strongly suspect) a person with subtle covert narcissistic traits. I still have to see him regularly as we coparent our daughter. I read Women Who Love too much and followed the 12 step program and took up meditation. I made my own healing my number one priority and it still is today. The key was taking responsibility for my feelings. I decided to take every bump in the road to recovery as an opportunity for healing. I’m slowly becoming a much more balanced happier person. I’m not entirely immune to my ex’s behaviour but every day his power over me gets weaker! It’s actually been an amazing journey and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love the women I’m becoming. I always thought there was something very emotionally wrong with me, and I’m so grateful I found a pathway for healing! Xx

  6. Marie
    3 months ago

    A few weeks ago I stepped away from a woman friend who I realized was an energy vampire. I am now on the road to recovery and awareness. At the moment I have 2 issues. I have some things of hers and more importantly some things a friend of hers lent her and she lent me that I need to return. One of the items is a key to her house. I really need to return these items and am not sure how to go about it. Second is I realize that through my relationship with her I have started to think like her, manipulative and righteous. That is not who I am, or at least was. How do I expunge her from my mind?
    I also have a question – Are all people who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder energy vampires?

    1. Christiane
      3 months ago

      Great questions. First one: have someone else return the stuff. No contact is the safest strategy. Second… being around an energy vampire can rub off since we can find ourselves adopting their strategies just to survive. In my experience, all borderlines have energy vampire characteristics. But remember that there is a spectrum… some you can work around. The most important thing is to realize they don’t change.

      1. Marie
        3 months ago

        I am extremely empathetic. Decades ago I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and I know I am not an energy vampire. I do not have the characteristics of one and have checked with others who know me and know energy vampires to see if I am one and I am not. I am in a lot of pain from the way my “friend” treated me and if I knew that I could cause that much pain to someone else it would be unbearable.

        1. Stephanie Kay
          2 months ago

          Marie

          I have been working with BPDs for over 6 years and I find it extremely stigmatizing to call BPDs manipulative although many outsiders feel they are. Truth being, complex trauma involving abandonment will create an intense desire for someone to be there, which is so often interpreted and handled exactly the wrong way. All BPDs I know are extremely sensitive beings, very creative, yet painfully low self-esteem, and I would put them in the category of empaths before I put them anywhere else. Beware of generalization of Cluster B, which is the fault of a world that has little idea of experienced involvement.

      2. Stephanie Kay
        2 months ago

        Christiane/Marie FYI: F.M. Mondimore & P. Kelly, 2011. Borderline Personality Disorder. New Reasons for Hope. Johns Hopkins University Press.

        Yes, they DO change – Treatment is available! I would even go so far as to hypothesize that BPS is the extreme variation of those who have experienced vampiring to the point where they actually have adapted to become a bit vampireish. I only know extremely sensitive BPS people, with high empath traits but extreme loy self-esteem and self-confidence due to being sucked out their whole life. It would be an interesting thought to pursue I think. A bit like Darth Vador and the Luke Skywalker. if you grow up with DV parents, you might tend to look like you’re from the Dark Side too, while you’re trying hard to resist.
        One thing is true- BPS and narcissists do NOT get along!

  7. Robin West
    3 months ago

    I am a registered nurse a single mom order I have three businesses that I run successfully and was locked in a addiction to a narcissist sociopath for the last three years. I went to South Africa to meet MarthaBeck for help I did show Monic journey‘s I even hired a witch to help me with this addiction. The only thing that helped was reading all about narcissist and sociopaths and what they don’t want you to know. I saw so clearly what has been happening the last three years and was finally able to break free. I can honestly say this is like any other addiction because I still feel the pool and attraction towards the narcissist especially knowing what that love bomb feels like. As with most of these relationships the sex is intense and amazing which fuels the addiction. My friends and I have an expression “A girls got to eat” as in she needs to be physically intimate with a partner but I want to add to that “But she doesn’t have to eat poison”
    This was my addiction to the narcissist and allowing myself to get a hit which I knew was poison to my system but so irresistible when I was unaware of the pattern. As a old soul empath I was obvious prey to this person which I never saw and I can now see why I was chosen which another benefit to seeing this so clearly is I will never fall prey to another narcissist sociopath again.

    1. Christiane
      3 months ago

      Beautifully stated! All true. Thank you. EMDR treatment often helps those with cognitive dissonance.. it doesn’t sound like you have that.

  8. reen
    2 years ago

    I have a loved one who is a recovering addict. Many relapses…very painful for all. He knows the steps. He knows what works and what doesn’t. So why does he sabotage his recovery every 3 years?

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      That is one of the mysteries of being on planet Earth. I am SO sorry.

    2. Kamla
      3 months ago

      In my teens, I learned that addiction was “Bad” I stayed away from coffee with caffeine, alcohol/drugs, soda even love, trying to beat the game. Instead, I got hooked on what I discovered was false security. After 28 and a half years of marriage to someone with a personality disorder( BPD or NPD) Learning about this illness helped me to be free mind, body, and soul. Coincidently this is how long Saturn takes to circle the zodiac, where it was when I was born, got married and when I discovered NPD.

    3. Debora
      3 months ago

      Have you heard of the “anniversary syndrome”? It manifests in a variety of ways – for instance, a little girl’s father disappears or leaves when she’s age 6, and since then, any relationship with a significant male ends or goes wrong in 6 weeks, 6 months… Or the anniversary date of a huge trauma is revisited – a recurring theme of high-level stress or trauma shows up in some way the anniversary date, or with an illness or other “out of my hands/control” type situation. One therapist described it as the ‘countdown and alarm clock of the old brain’ – when the time’s up, the old brain kicks in and then something shuts down, something self-sabotaging clicks into play, situations go haywire, etc.

      1. Stephanie Kay
        2 months ago

        I know this well and I agree… however, I do understand that it is the way the psyche plays out an attempt to HEAL something that is pathological. Unfortunately the old pathology kicks in before we can catch it instead of turning a new road, or striking a new cord and we’re back on the Merry-Go-Round. Awareness and self compassion is a good one, especially if you can see that date coming round the corner in ADVANCE. My best.

  9. Ursula
    2 years ago

    Thank you Christiane Northrup!
    My husband died 5 months ago from longtime alcoholism and cigarette addiction.
    He refused any help, was completely in denial of his problems.
    The hardest part for me was, that you can not help a person who refuses help.
    Plus you can not force anybody for a cure, but when they are down in the hole nobody wants to be responsible for them.
    I have been lucky that I have been guided to Debbie Fords programs where I learned a lot about self responsibilty, selflove and knowing where to focus my energy ( blame the other person and self pity doesn’t help, it only takes my energy away ). It was a long and not easy way even I lived separated from my husband since a very long time.
    I always had to ask myself what else I still had to learn from that situation and focus on the “good things” that this world has to offer. This does not happen like this, there is a lot of work on oneself behind.
    I am for ever grateful that I found my path.
    Thank you Christiane Northrup for all your work and inspirations. Your Ageless Goddess course gave me a new boost of energy in a very challenging time last year!
    And I believe that we are all guided by the divine power, but we have to be open to it.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      This is a beautiful post, Ursula. Thank you. Living with an addict like you did is not for the faint of heart. You are so right: ” You can’t help a person who refuses help.” You have done a wonderful job at keeping yourself healthy in spite of it all.

  10. Irene Zalewski
    2 years ago

    Thank you Christiane for this comprehensive information on Addiction. It can be a very complex state of being. For myself, it started as a child. The neglect of the mother and the traumatised experience of my father who suffered in the Second World War, created a multiple addictive personality.
    As a child it was sugar, then alcohol, then sex, then drugs.
    My life has been a search for the healing of this painful state.
    This included, God, meditation, crafts, herbal medicine, 5 element acupuncture, Louise Hay In the 80’s, body harmony, rebirthing, touch for health, trauma healing, psychology of vision, various counselling practitioners, al anon, coda, AA, SLAA, psychotherapy, somatic experiencing, belly dancing, rock and roll, tribal dance, walking, psychic guidance, prayer, and now he Christian Community Church.
    I am aware that each day I am dealing with the situation and it is getting better.
    Thank you.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      The work for which you took birth. Bless you for your strength and tenacity.

  11. DL
    2 years ago

    What I like about watching your videos is watching you talk in an open and friendly manner. You are healthy spiritually and physically. As I listen, I can imagine that I have an interesting well lived friend who shares her goals with me. I live alone, work a lot and don’t socialize very much. I am not complaining about that. I have a good life, however, it is nice to see and hear a slice of the world apart from other media events. Listening to you is personal and is something nice I do for myself. It’s also empowering. I am certain I empower others either in my personal or work life, but it is nice when the empowerment via you happens, too. Thank you. Debra

  12. Stephanie Alberts
    2 years ago

    AA is a good place to start… To find support and to see how many are afflicted. There are also many other ways to STAY in recovery …
    Hay house radio is a great place to
    keep your mind healthy…and calm.
    Yoga, meditation… All the programs offered like Recovery 2.0
    ( tommy Rosen/ Kia Miller ) that offer lectures and support . Exposure to new ideas ….so much to be grateful for…

  13. Zabelisa
    2 years ago

    Hello Christiane! I don’t really see any point in thinking in divine intervention. I am not an addict but someone very close to me is. We tried everything under the sun. This person has PTSD from childhood trauma and is prone to anger because always feeling under attack. If someone make some smart ass comment he immediately flips and threaten them. Needless to say, he is in trouble with the law and has criminal charges pending as a result. He was in AA for over 20 years but his trauma was never really properly addressed. No one seems to offer much except for harmful medications. That is just a way to avoid the problem in my opinion. I have concluded that much of this reside in the fact that his perception of reality is quite distorted. How can you teach something like that. That he is no longer the abused child, and that as an adult, he can learn to use words other then threats to deal with uncomfortable situations. The fight or flight response is way to strong and prevents him from thinking rationally. That and a number of nutritional deficiencies. Looking on the outside for divine intervention seems antiquated knowing the current role of biochemistry in mood regulation. But one has to want to devote sometime to it. It is way easier to blame everything on the outside or finding excuses for not being “perfect”. I think for a starter, many of the addicts set the bar way to high. They seem to expect life to be a constant happy journey without any obstacles. They cannot stand frustration and like all emotionally stunted adults, they complain, misuse or avoid doing what is necessary to get better. They try for a minute and say that’s the best they have… I really find my patience wearing thin with these people. I studied to be a counselor and a health coach but now I don’t think I am cut out for this. Dealing with distorted perceptions is almost impossible as long as these folks do not release the toxic patterns they have acquired.

    1. Stephanie
      2 years ago

      Are you familiar with the placebo effect? It’s incredibly powerful. If you don’t want to call it divine intervention, then call it an extremely powerful and effective medical phenomenon (which Dr. Northrup seems to want to teach us how to access more often). Dr. Joe Dispenza (another Hay House author) wrote an entire book on it: You Are The Placebo

      Here are some others I recommend on that topic: It’s The Thought That Counts by David R. Hamilton, Ph.D. and One Spirit Medicine by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.

      Your discomfort with “distorted” perception (versus what, exactly? is your perception clear?) demonstrates you hold a lot of fear about being wrong. Life is all about learning to love, to be loved and to let go. Maybe you could ask yourself what this friend is here to teach you about that? Sending you love and some divine placebo fairy dust! See it? Laugh at yourself and play along. It works. Hugs!

      1. Christiane Northrup
        2 years ago

        Nice recommendations Stephanie. Thank you.

  14. Susanne
    2 years ago

    I suffered from love addiction, romantic obsession and I have used the SLAA program. 12 steps, same recovery model as AA. A great support group, where you share your feelings and experiences openly and honestly in a trusting and supporting environment. Sharing either unresolved burried hurt or current issues. Love addicts have been abandoned by one or both parents usually emotional abandonment. Then we learn to attach ourselves to people who are unavailable and who can not love us. Breaking this programming is a hard one, recognising our uncomfortable feelings when people love and support us the way we reject them. It never completely goes away thats why having awareness of your condition and making meetings and practicing the tools will help to heal and alleviate the pain and pull to people who can not be their for us.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      I wholeheartedly agree with what you say here. Thank you.

  15. Julie
    2 years ago

    Powerful information here…thank you so much for sharing this!

  16. Linda Dashnaw
    2 years ago

    This is most excellent. Thank you so very much. Very helpful indeed.

  17. Dawn
    2 years ago

    Good article. I love your stuff, Dr. N – you have been my go-to resource for the aging process throughout my 40s & 50s, and now at 60, I know you’ll continue to guide me.

    I went through over a decade of dependence on wine. Good red wine, mind you! What started as enjoying an occasional glass soon became 2 & 3 glasses a night, and pretty soon finishing the bottle was a common occurrence. I’d wake up the following morning with a headache and disappointment in myself that I didn’t seem to have any self discipline. I finally got a handle on this 2 years ago & what was initially very helpful to me was a website called Soberistas.com. It provided the anonymity I liked. An AA women’s group was also helpful but I wasn’t quite sure their beliefs resonated with me to buy into it 100%. So the combination of the 2 was what was finally allowed me to say goodbye to that addiction and thankfully I’ve put that behind me. Life is too short to waste any of it being controlled by something harmful, even something as seemingly innocuous as a glass of red wine that can be healthy for many.

    Thanks for discussing an important topic.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      Beautiful, honest, inspiring. Thank you so much

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