An Ode to Our Addictive Behaviours – and the Self-Soothing Coping Mechanisms We Hold On To

An ode to our addictive behaviours and the self-soothing coping mechanisms we hold on to in our daily interactions, born out of unresolved traumas and our relationship with them;

When we look outside our #truself for sustenance,

To fulfil that ever wilful toxic thought repeating in our minds

And appease our misplaced momentary cravings,

However gratifying the immediate feeling may appear,

Its presence is always oh so fleeting

And when it leaves us, as it always does,

In its place a fresh wound emerges,

Filled effortlessly by our old friends Fear and Resentment

Working in tandem to keep us locked down

Compounding us still further, weighed down with what remains unresolved,

Add to that the shame of our most recent impulsive action,

Then comes the guilt of our apparent weakness in the face of temptation

And finally the realisation that we are already condemned to repeat this futile melodrama,

With swift veracity and expedient malice, towards ourselves and those around us,

Oblivious to all, bar that immortal rallying cry reverberating in our head,

“Just one more time…”

“And then I’ll stop…”

When our emotional needs are not seen, heard, felt and honoured in our formative years, we develop mal-adaptive tendencies to find ways to self-satisfy and fill in the blanks.

Self-soothing quickly turns to addictive patterns which left unadulterated and reinforced by repetition manifest in later life as toxic behaviours.

These coping mechanisms forged in the fire were never meant to persist and yet they do, hard-wired into our operating system they are the lies that configure our beliefs, the untruths which dictate our value structure and the blueprint for all our future relationships.

This is not, however, cause for condemnation, this is cause for (self)compassion.

Contrary to popular belief it is not enough to simply ask someone to say NO to something, we must first offer them something which they can say YES to…

“For even in the ocean of despair, there lives an island of hope…”

If we can develop our noticing muscles and self-awareness, we can begin to acknowledge the addiction for what it is, its power over our rational mind and the reason for our compulsive habits.

Next, we dig deep to recognise the implicit memory itself, the bedrock from which all the negativity spirals out from, and the numerous emotional connections we associate with it. The expansive neurological pathways which have helped to solidify the associated negative thoughts and feelings and reinforced the repetitive cycles which have defined our personal narrative thus far.

Now we bring in the self-compassion, replacing the connected self-condemnation, breaking the chain and allowing us to live our truth, re-write our story, follow our bliss and set our #truself free…

Namaste my friends


Rhys Thomas
Rhys Thomas
I work with individuals who have suffered a traumatic experience in their lifetime, who no longer wish to have it impact their mental health, their relationships with others and dictate how they show up in this world. When you show up as your #truself you’re empowered by that inner voice, you let go of attachment and judgement, are free to move beyond fear and expectation, to truly manifest your dreams into reality. There remains a taboo around the word trauma and many people when asked might assume the defensive and say, “not me”, for fear of how this may be perceived by others, but every single one of us has faced adversity at some time which has either built us up or broken us down. Personality traits, behaviour patterns, belief structures all stem from our past experiences but coping mechanisms forged in the fire only ever weigh us down, lead to more pain and deny our #truself from returning. The truth is it’s not the incident itself which is the real trauma it is the response to it and the resulting impact you allow it to have on your life and those around you, from that point forward, which does the real harm. Choosing curiosity over fear, self-compassion over self-judgement and acceptance over denial are the first steps we use to break down the protective walls which were once built up for protection, but which ultimately keep us stuck living out familiar storylines and conforming to a pale imitation of our #truself. Having studied many different modalities and practices during my own journey including kundalini yoga, breathwork, meditation, indigenous ancient wisdoms, emotional intelligence, mindfulness and loving awareness, Buddhist psychology, Vedic scripture and astrology, Zen practices and Taoist philosophy, I am uniquely blessed to help guide you along this path of your awakening and reconnecting you with your #truself. Founder of #truself Coaching; 1:1 and Mastermind Groups; Workshop/Retreats Designer, Facilitator, Trainer, Guide; Bespoke Corporate Wellbeing Programmes; Online Community Builder; Writer and Content creator – Holistic Wellbeing, Mental Health, Mindfulness; #TNT 2.0 Podcast Host – Exploding the Status Quo on Leadership (100+ episodes) Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor. Previous: 18+ years in Corporate Sales and Executive Search in UK and APAC regions.

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