Alexis Ornellas, MA, LPC, LAC. Somatic psychotherapist and resiliency trainer in Boulder, Colorado.

Addiction

Becoming a Hungry Ghost

Your life has become about feeding that never ending hunger inside of you – your addiction.  It feels like you’re never satiated and can’t ever get enough.  But using really isn’t fun anymore.  In fact, you only do it because its become the only way you can survive.  Relationships and activities all surround using.  Maybe you can keep a job, but likely not.  You’re depressed and anxious and your health could be failing.  But none of that really matters anymore, as long as that hunger stays fed.  And in constantly trying to feed that hunger, you’ve become a hungry ghost – empty, without purpose, unable to feel happiness, peace or fulfillment.

You’re Not a Hungry Ghost, But You’ve Got Concerns

Maybe you don’t have a full blown addiction.  However, your use is getting you into trouble and you’re finding its harder to stop once you’ve started.  People in your life who love you might be starting to express concern.  You might be missing days of work because you partied too hard the night before.  You find that you cant wait for the weekend so you can “live it up”.  You still have a good life and you don’t want to completely screw it up, but you don’t know how to stop a pattern you’ve had for a long time, ie. work hard during the day, and let lose with drugs or alcohol at night and on the weekends.

Compulsive Behaviors In General

Maybe your compulsion isn’t substances, but a behavior itself (like gambling, sex, gaming, restrictive/binge eating, washing, etc).  The above 2 paragraphs are still applicable, in that you fall somewhere on the spectrum of needing/wanting to do this behavior so that you can feel better, feel more, feel nothing, you name it.  Your mind has become fixated on doing this behavior and the potential relief it will bring.  However, it’s hurting you, but you don’t know how to stop, and aren’t sure if you want to.  But you know you’re struggling with it and need help.

What Would It Be Like to Feel Free?

Whether you have a full blown addiction or just want to feel more in control, together we can help you feel at ease and make better choices around this behavior, whether that includes total abstinence or reduction.  Together we can help you develop the awareness you need to understand the motivations behind the behavior and the parts of you that are served by it in order to avoid relapse.  You will develop compassion for these parts so that you can begin to release guilt and shame that can weigh you down and perpetuate the likelihood that you will return to the behavior or the frequency that you engaged in it.  We will explore how to develop more connection to yourself and others so that this behavior doesn’t become a major relationship with power over you.

“I started seeing Alexis about three and a half years ago. At this time I was deep into my addiction; drinking a pint of vodka a day, barely eating, and had low self-esteem. My life was looking pretty dim. Over the years Alexis has taught me a variety of skills and techniques that have helped me cope with everything that comes with addiction and recovery. Alexis has helped me realize my goals and has been by my side through my ups and downs. Today I have a career that I love, am more confident, and am on my way to becoming the healthy person I once was. Alexis is patient, caring, knowledgeable, and it is evident that she truly wants to help each and every one of her clients. Without Alexis I am not sure I would be where I am today.”

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