S1 E7: Overcoming Toxic Addiction

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hi I’m dr. Caroline leaf and welcome to my show the dr. leaf show if you haven’t yet subscribed press the little subscribe button on the bottom of your screen and you’ll be notified when new episodes come out and you’ll be kept up to date with all things relating to mind and mental health so in the studio with me today I have my handsome husband of 30 years we’ve been married for 30 years this year and we’re going to be talking about a very interesting story that make had to overcome and that was the addiction to alcohol mek was had it might became over a period of time became an alcoholic in the early days of our marriage and it nearly broke our marriage completely and the story of how he changed and what happened is just so incredible that I really wanted to shoot with you to just then in bring the principles that we and then the science behind the decisions that make made and that he chose to make in the process you mind us talking about you although I mean if we can help other people that’s the most important thing you shared the story and it’s a very powerful story and I’ve even put the story into one of my books but it was if I can just set up the story and then hand over to you sure so Mac and I had been married for probably about three or four years and max drinking started getting worse and worse and he was doing extremely well in his business and it was just a situation of drinking like the drink he was going from you know during the course of the day was just increasing all the time and the different types of drinks and we had in our house since we come from South Africa and our house in South Africa we had a pub unit and it was filled with thousands of dollars worth of alcohol and this was riemeck used to hang out a lot in the evenings when he came home and he was you just was getting worse and worse and worse and we had off we had four children and it got to the point where we had just had our fourth child and that she was just a newborn baby and my kids were quite close in age and we had got gone out to friends for dinner and Metapod really drunk and he wouldn’t let me drive the car and we were driving home and I was stupid enough I should have overridden that decision and I Drummond but I didn’t and anyway we got home safely which was an absolute miracle in itself and that night I realized that this was not going to carry on that this was this far no further I didn’t want to bring my children up with an alcoholic father I didn’t want to expose him to that the science of epigenetics which is the science of the decisions that we make stimulate the genes and genes will then express and form the things that we need in our body to survive including our memories and were built on memory so or whatever you thinking about and whatever you’re putting in your body influences how your genes express and essentially I knew that this passed through the DNA through the sperma near over and these patterns that the children were observing with Mack drinking could easily have had passed on to my children so I wasn’t there to risk my children’s future in terms of that and I also didn’t want my children to grow up in that toxic environment because we Mac was drunk it was very unpleasant we used to have you know I used to get mad at him and it was distressful and he was never physically abusive but he was verbally abusive and didn’t remember anything the next day and I used to say to me like this but personality is luckily turning to someone that I’d say to you turning to someone that I didn’t know I didn’t recognize and then I would be so upset and then I’ve got these babies it would see me upset so it was just a really toxic situation maybe some of you can relate to us maybe some of you’re going through it I’ve just seated in a little little few words but it was very painful it was very very difficult in any case this is the situation we got back that night and I stayed up all night and I remember I’m a Christian and I believe in God and love and I decided I’m going to go through the Bible make really really believed that the scripture was important so I thought let me find all the scriptures that I could find relating to how you should be relation in what relationships loving relationship should look like all that kind of stuff and I wrote a letter to Mac and I when he woke up the next morning I actually presented him with that letter and that letter was basically saying to him that this I love you I will never leave you but I cannot live with you in the situation you’re going to have to choose between me and the you know at that time oh you’re gonna have to choose this lifestyle but I’m not gonna bring the kids up of this I’m not gonna subject myself or them to the Seanie mall and I was going to move to another city I said I’ve got my bags packed you have to make a choice right now what are you going to do so I’m going to hand over to you yes well I understand epigenetic part of it I just didn’t want to admit I was an alcoholic I started drinking at the age of 13 my parents drink so the environment was the drinking environment and I drank right throughout school and someone’s always drinking and then started to do very well in business and drank over lunchtime meetings and all afternoon and drank on the way home and drank in the evening adventure just became constant days of drinking and drinking and Carolina’s writer I wasn’t physically abusive when I was verbally abusive and I just wasn’t a very nice person to be around and when I sobered up and that was different but I mean it was always happening and I think the first important point is you have to recognize that you have an addiction or you or an alcoholic or you know something like that you have to accept that fact and when Caroline presented me with the letter and with all the Scriptures related I had to accept that I was an alcoholic or I was addicted to alcohol and then I think once you accept that you can make the decision to change because I made a choice to change on the spot on the spot actually that same day what did it say moments yes I took Caroline down to the our bar I emptied all the liquor down the sink Silas and I put it in the car and went to book shop and ministry book shop bought a whole lot of booklets about the words and faiths and relationships and things I get and filled up the bar with all of this stuff so that every time I felt like a drink I was grabbing a book reading a book and that really helped me so you know there God is alive living and it’s got the power to overcome those addictions but the important point was I had to choose and I mean looking at this beautiful woman who has been faithful to me in spite of those things in the beginning of our marriage and stuck by me and so on I mean the choice was easy in that sense it was hard in the sense of you know giving up something that I’d grown accustomed to living daily with that was alcohol and but the choice is all powerful and I know you have the stats that most addicts give up through choice yeah that basically 86 to 93 percent of people that are in some some sort of an addiction give up through choice not through other drugs or other management cuz a lot of the to get people out of addiction most times they’ll put on other medications to actually help them to control the addiction so transferring one you seem kind of course go through some kind of course where they told that they are always an alcoholic one alcoholic always an alcoholic who wants an edit and I think it comes around to the point of what what is addiction addiction means actually means consumed by and science shows us that the top addiction was so interesting because there’s seven different addictions and I’m going to put them up on the screen nine you can have a look at them but the top addiction is love and humans are wired full up that’s what Nobel prize-winning scientists not just won a whole lot of scientists have shown and it’s collective research over the over the years that we are wired for love every part of our brain every part of our body every circuit every protein is wired for the positive and so our natural inclination is to be filled and consumed by the positive to be consumed by love in fact research shows very recent research shows that more people die annually from the lack of love which is amazing then from any other disease that you can think of and people so people are dying from lack of love so when we talk about an addiction addiction is normal if we’re getting love if it’s in the love zone I like to but if it’s if you’re not getting that kind of love well something’s gone wrong in your life you are basically transferring that and becoming addicted to the wrong thing and generally if you ticket will have a toxic addiction like make head with alcoholism there’s something that is going on in the past you are trying to mask out some sort of something that’s happened in a group or it could be a whole series of things that it happened and it took me a long time to admit that there was issues from his past and I don’t if it was a pride issue if it was a what you mean you can maybe speak to that but it was when you start realizing that there was things in your pasta to not dealing with that led you to become an issue experiencing problems lovely but I mean I think on the main point is access to alcohol my parents drinking alcohol me starting at the age of seven drinking 12 13 onwards it just was a lifestyle and that’s the problem because you get into a lifestyle and sometimes you can’t always admit that the lifestyle is wrong that’s where you have to examine your lifestyle what was it doing to the family but I have to say this that this faithful beautiful and she prayed for me for 11 years does she live in years by the tummy good alcoholism icky when three so if any of you listening here any wives who or any husbands here facing the same you should never stop praying power of prayers is truly amazing and keep at it keep faithful and so on I mean 30 years later we’re still together right I could have made the wrong choice I could have said I want to stick with our call I don’t want to listen to you I like you don’t make me do things I don’t want to do you know that kind of I’ve seen that kind of reaction from people and they’d say well you know go your way and I want to do my way and then for kids suffer marriage suffers it’s so terrible but meanwhile you can quit it you have everything there available to quit it them Carolyn was faithful to help me through it and I’ve been free from it for 20 years has been free from alcoholism and yeah there were terms in that um after that day when you chose not to I think there was about three or four months before you you didn’t even touch another drink but there was definitely no reactions and emotions tied to the question I think you’re drinking or dress drinking whiskey and all kinds of stuff you know so you your body gets ravaged so there’s a process where your body will retune your body has to be wired because everything that you put into your body whether it’s liquid or whether it’s food is gonna change through your body and your brain so thoughts change your brain and whatever you consume is going to be it’s going to change your brain and so your body has to wire back again because alcohol why is it in a toxic direction and it comes back again as you go to eat when you stop you literally like an edit coming off but the interesting thing that is that Mehcad drunk enough alcohol as an alcoholic had been an alcoholic for a long enough time and it consumed enough alcohol and large quantities for him to have to she should have had fatty liver disease and he was getting extremely irate next sixty four pounds lighter than what he was at that point so he did pick up a lot of weight and there was bad eating patterns you know we’ve always even healthy but Mac would want a lot of sugary things so those were things that you had to learn to change I think everybody says the big problem is cocaine or heroin and son but they tell you I’ll call I think is insidious it’s insidious and is the biggest role that’s not controlled so we’re not saying that you can’t drink it’s up to you but if you can control us that is a very battle thing and what happened with next life is he couldn’t control it and he was in an environment of patterns with his parents drank a lot and his mom was very unhappy and his mom was very had a very traumatic childhood wonderful woman but had a very traumatic childhood and battled in her marriages had multiple marriages and divorces and that definitely affected neck and I think it took a long time before you could deal with the pain of of that instability that your mom mixture of instability and stability that his mom provided for him so there was definitely a lack and a need inside of him and if first we when you first met before we even got married it was quite hard for you to like ask you your back was sore and then I wants to give you a back massage and you weren’t used to someone actually hugging you were holding you didn’t go out with that and it was quite fun for you to have someone giving you a massage where your shoulders were sawn your back was sawed and that came from a lack of touch as a child you know so all the end let’s call cutaneous deprivation and he was pretty bored in school very young so there’s a whole bunch of reason so what I’m saying is that addiction is easy because it’s a good word except if it goes wrong so with me when we don’t have that natural love satisfied which is what Matt’s mum loved him there’s no doubt about that but she had so many issues of her own that she could not be the mother to him that she that he needed and that definitely played out in how he as a young adult played out his life and he any hit back pain and his healing came definitely as we had the children he saw you would often comment as we had our children one after another and the amount of time I would spend with him he’ll often say things to me which gave me clues to why he got addicted why do you spend so much time with the children why do you yeah and he didn’t it was like fine from you’ve never seen that kind of love of spending hours and he was incredible father still is an incredible father would spend hours building leg over these kids but it was something fern so what I’m saying here I said up past is something that can become toxic but our past doesn’t have to dictate the future meg doesn’t drink his life away Mac didn’t destroy a relationship and it could have I tell you now when he was in his years of alcoholism there wasn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I didn’t think of divorcing Mac where I just could not take it anymore when he’d come home from work and he was drunk again and somehow I had chose to push through and to fight through and you may be in a relationship where you you are being physically abused because of alcoholism within your safety in your children safety has to come first so then staying with that person is not a good idea and you need to get help and even the verbal abuse can break you down I mean you know there’s a part in your brain called the ACG which is the anterior central gyrus and it’s some part in the middle of your brain and when people go through this is so interesting it’s a big part of whom you hear me teach on us a lot where the front part of the with the brain that we knew in emotional pain your whole brain is always responding but we knew an emotional pain that part of your brain will light up really fires up when you are in physical pain that part also fires up so it’s the part of your brain that registers pain and because your brain is driven by your mind like two separate entities that work together your mind as one and your brain is one because your mind works through your brain your brain then will respond to your mind so you and your a cg will respond in the same way to emotional and physical pain so the point that I’m making here is that I mean I’m my ACG was experiencing emotional pain when Meg went through that he had emotional pain inside of him that physical pain is dangerous if you if you are physically in danger as I stress again please don’t think I’m saying you just stay in that relationship if you’re physically in danger you need to get out of that and get help as soon as possible and get protection for you and if you have children the emotional pain don’t think that that’s not as dangerous it is very dangerous and sometimes you may have to separate yourself from that person and I remember near days with neck was particularly verbally abusive and it was really really hard for me to deal with it and I would I would actually make sure that you know I would be quite relieved when you went off to work side him and I had my own private practice in business and so on but there were some times weekends where I would actually just you know put my kids in the car and take a drive and you know go out for a few hours away from Max so that I could calm down and that kind of thing and come back and get the courage but I can’t tell you enough about you know in terms of quantum physics and I talked a lot about quantum physics because quantum physics really helps us understand the impact that we have as humanity on our own brains and on our relationships and that you can’t just divorce a relationship from and think oh well I’m the voice from that person I’m not going to be near that person they’re not going to fake me when you have a relationship when you love someone or someone has in some way in you in relationship with someone these are what we call quantum entanglements which is a principal way once relation should be set up it’s always there’s a connection so doesn’t matter how far apart you are you’re still going to have an impact on each other and that’s why forgiveness is very important and I think a very big part of our healing of our relationship was I had to do a lot of forgiving to met because of what he had put me and the kids through and not that I was a saint through the whole thing there were times and I really got upset and got mad and you know whatever and and he had to forgive his mom you had to go back into the past and you had to go through and find areas and you know that when you forgive you disentangle the pain from the situation and you re conceptualize the situation and you rebuild new wiring in the brain and you can change things and you can create a new destiny so you can rewrite the past which is very powerful which is what we chose to do we chose just think about that in quantum physical active retroactive causation it’s one of my favorite things to teach about how you can actually the future can change the parson I know there was something weird when I start saying I prefer the untangled you you like being taken or being tournament the the future changes the past and it’s actually scientifically accurate quantum physics is considered to be the most accurate of all Sciences and it’s fundamental to all Sciences and so it’s the core of every science that you can imagine it’s the core of knowledge it’s how things basically function and the physicists who deal with quantum physics they really get into this in a big way and I’m gonna do lots of more shows on quantum did but just in terms of in terms of forgiveness when you when you are in a relationship you become quantumly entangled so therefore you are affecting each other no matter how far apart you are so don’t think that you may just maybe you separate from someone who did divorce but if you haven’t dealt with that stuff and you haven’t forgiven that person they still have power over you on a physical level there’s still quantum entanglement occurring you still have the toxic thoughts in your brain and that good person can be ten thousand miles away from you and thinking and irritated or bad thought about you and it’s as though they’re right in front of you so by forgiving you disentangle you separate you cut that a power of the youth physically and break that power the person contacting you i mean i’m impacting your mind and you can read conceptualize and build and get the scripture that sees a curse without a cause will not alot so if you stay but ur angry and twisted even if you were the victim you still you actually breaking your own body down so you’re not making an excuse for that person’s behavior but what you’re teaching is what I’m teaching you through the science of quantum physics and neuroscience and also spiritual principles is that by forgiving you are of separating and that person out of you and you are actually developing your own healing of your own brain in your body so just to summarize to help all those people there that’s forgiveness obviously it’s the belief that you know you can get out of an addiction you know through choice your choice and it is it is very important that you have the support of the loving spouse and you have an environment that you can work in and virtually there’s nothing that you can’t overcome that’s really good there’s nothing that you can’t overcome it’s your choice the big thing that we want to stress here that neck chose and he didn’t have any of those fatty liver disease or any of the side effects that you would normally get from the amount of alcohol that that he consumed there was an absolute miracle in his body it was an instantaneous from one moment to the next he stopped drinking but he chose the big thing was that Matt chose and he immediately chose to change how his water life was running and he was rewiring his brain which enabled him to actually transfer the addiction to the correct addiction and rebuild love and focus back on the love of being and married and children and that kind of thing so choice is absolutely crucial in addiction and this is a story it’s quite an emotional story but it’s a story with a happy ending and you can have a happy ending too because you really do control your your realities you do control your visual future through your choices thank you for joining me today thank you for joining I can actually thank you for thank you for sharing that story because I know it’s quite tough I mean it’s it’s it’s it’s a tough one for a moment I know this there are people out there husbands or was with the same thing but just never give up keep pray keep cheating keep choosing another choice can make the difference in your life so I encourage you all to really pray about it and ask God to help you in every single instance the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom absolutely and remember that as you choose you change your brain because with your mind you improve your mental health you improve your you if you change your brain and you improve your life you have a lot more power and hope in you than you realize thank you for joining me today I’m dr.

Caroline leaf and this is the dr. leaf show hi I’m dr. Caroline leaf and I’m so excited to tell you about my conference this year we’ve got more sessions we’ve got so many new exciting things and one of the things I want to tell you about that’s amazing is my integrated net mind network are going to be joining me again this is a group of an amazing doctors neurologist neuroscientist neurosurgeons in these PCPs endocrinologist OBGYNs brilliant brilliant men and woman who are going to be helping us to understand the mind brain connection in terms of science so there’s going to be a Q&A with them they’re going to be doing individual presentations it’s going to be mind-blowing because you’re going in the good sense because you’re going to be seeing a lot of just how you can apply your lifestyle changes from a medical scientific point of view we’ve got more sessions we’ve got so much happening join me this year in December in Dallas at my 2018

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