Presence 11: I am attending to my impulses to self-medicate

I certainly have a twin-track response. However, my Aspieness means that tbh I’m masking much of the time, so it’s hard to discern between Pretence and Masking, and they have different foundations or causes. Whenever I checked in on “Authenticity?”, I often noted I was acting up, a little bit hyper with others. I guess it’s a form of Appeasement, but it’s emerging from a childlike aspect of me, so maybe it’s fuelled by unintegrated emotional charge.

I can definitely tell that if I cut out saying yes to anything that made my heart sink, I would have a great deal more energy.



***The Presence Process by Michael Brown p51-55***


  • In the context of The Presence Process, addictions and afflictions (chronic illness and disease) are the same. Both are outer manifestations of an unintegrated charge within the emotional body. Although we don’t discuss allergies specifically, they are considered in the same light as addictions and afflictions. An allergy is the polar opposite of an addiction. When we are addicted, we pull a specific experience toward us. When we are allergic, we repel a specific experience. The causes of both are an unintegrated charge.
  • The Presence Process demonstrates that addiction, whether to illegal drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, or legal prescription medications, is self-medicating behavior that we manifest to sedate and control the charge within our emotional body. Without self-medicating, an addict inevitably manifests an affliction. When an affliction is successfully suppressed by ongoing prescription medication, the same condition manifests as addiction. Both conditions are manifestations of an unintegrated emotional charge.
  • Recovery – a way of living designed to constantly cover up charged emotion – leads to living in quiet desperation. Discovery – consciously embracing our charged emotional content through felt-perception, using it as raw material for emotional growth – leads to present moment awareness and Presence. As happens with medication, the need to attend endless support group meetings diminishes in proportion to the integration of charged emotion, until it ultimately ceases. Addiction isn’t a life-sentence. It’s an experience, and experiences change.

QUESTION: What can I learn about my addictions and afflictions?

***Med10mins with Insight Timer***


I self-medicate – with food, weekend alcohol or screen distractions…
In order to cover up, sedate and control the acute-to-mild feelings of hate, anger, frustration or boredom that arise when…
I don’t use my Voice to communicate, negotiate or set boundaries

Well that saved me a few thousand pounds of therapy…

Your capacity to self-reflect is powerful! That is the power of Presence, and entering the parasympathetic state, within which your Inner Being can speak to you. 

So what’s the next step?

The next step today is to watch and track and lovingly observe the subtle signs associated with the impulse to self-medicate. If you can catch the impulse to self-medicate, then you have the opportunity to observe into the emotional charge beneath the impulse. 

So itching for a packet of crisps today will not just indicate ‘bad/greedy Me’ or ‘such hunger I may keel over’… but a clue to underlying emotional charge.

Exactly. So welcome the impulses to self-medicate! They are important clues as to your underlying weather system. Bring compassion and curiosity to those impulses. 

Ok, so today I am going to try to ‘catch’ the impulses to self-medicate, and not just tut them away, or give into them, or shame them… but listen to what emotional charge is beneath them. I could even practice using my Voice to address the feelings arising. I am on Day 3 of the Fast 800 diet (low carb/low cal diet of Michael Mosley; and yes, I’m still doing Noom – I’ve lost almost a stone and a half since Mid-March) – so the impulses to eat may be confused with those to self-medicate, but I think I can handle that.

I am catching and studying my impulses to self-medicate.

You could say you are ‘attending’ to them. You are interested in the feelings (emotional charge of ‘hate, anger, frustration and boredom’) and needs (to use your Voice to communicate, negotiate and set boundaries) associated with those felt impulses to sedation and control of the feelings. 

I am attending to my impulses to self-medicate

Note to self: Use the Voice instead of self-meds!!

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