An Addicted Life – The Why Behind Clarity

I have battled with alcohol addiction almost my entire adult life, but it has shaped who I am today, physically, mentally and spiritually, this is my personal story that shaped my values, my beliefs and set me on this journey to start Clarity Natural Health.

Addiction, something that isn’t commonly spoken about in today’s society, and in some instances is somewhat ignorantly accepted in many social norms. Addiction manifests itself in many forms, from drinking, eating, sex, gambling, tattoos, technology, Facebook and even exercise, the list goes on. 

The thing about addiction is, it loves to sit in the background, like a deep dark beast laying dormant waiting to strike. It can take a huge chunk of a persons life to accept that addiction is a problem in their lives, and ultimately it is up to the individual to accept this, to want to change.

Anyway, let’s dive in and tell you a little bit about my story.

My Battle with Alcohol Addiction

I have battled with alcohol addiction almost my entire adult life, gone through the various stages of denial when deep down you know, you feel it in your subconscious that this isn’t right, yet you continue to let it consume your life. I have experienced some pretty dark moments, fallen into the deep depths of depression and continued to let anxiety run in high-gear almost every day.

From 3 day benders, unexplained injuries, blackouts, hospital visits, countless ruined relationships and probably a number of unintentional lawbreaking. I know what the withdrawals feel like, I know the shakes, severe insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and the headaches, I have experienced it all.

After countless attempts to regulate, trying to limit myself to days, x amount of drinks or types of drinks, I came to the conclusion that I could not drink normally, it was all or nothing, so (eventually) I chose nothing.

These past experiences almost allow me to see addiction almost in clear daylight, and unfortunately, I see it time and time again get continuously ignored, taken for granted or shrugged off as nothing too serious.

Addiction is becoming an epidemic, from the over-use of prescription medication to the widespread use of technology and social media, it’s more than serious.

A New Direction

Mid-way through my battle with alcohol around 2014 I was invited to participate in the Oxfam Trailwalker, and although this didn’t set me along the path of sobriety, it ignited my interest in health and fitness and initiated the slow and steady shift towards natural health.

You can read a little bit about my Oxfam experience here.

Fun fact: I did Oxfam again in 2015, and i’ll probably do it again one day and integrate a lot of the hacks I know now.

After Oxfam had passed, I was intrigued by what nutrition had to offer, and I really wanted to know more, so what would any old normal person do with substance abuse and addiction problem? Enroll themselves into a 3-year Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine of course.

Now, this course took me along a fricken journey, and it really opened my eyes to what nutrition could bring to the table. Ok so yes at this point, addiction was still a problem, it was difficult, there were countless moments of doubt throughout my student life and initially, I was working full-time on a pretty serious design project (G20 Australia).

Over the years my addiction went up and down, it stabilised and destabilised, I made it work, I was determined to graduate. Towards the tail-end of my studies, I ended up working part-time for an awesome family business by the name of Craftworx, who I still work with today to continually work my design muscle.

3 years on, I graduated, and I started to put things into place to stave off my addictive tendencies.

The Turning Point

I’d be lying if I said my addiction was gone, in fact, it’s still somewhat genetically hardcoded in my DNA, although my alcohol addiction, however, I believe that’s gone.

Addiction isn’t something that can just be removed, as I mentioned, it’s genetically hardcoded into some of us through predisposition. I have addictive tendencies, you watch me for a week and you’ll pick up on something, I’m guilty of over-exercising in many instances.

So, here are a few key points and tactics you can integrate into your day to keep addiction at bay.

Connecting with othersThe opposite of Addiction is Connection. Addiction brings isolation, isolation brings depression, I believe connecting with others is key to sustainable sobriety.  Now I’m not saying all you introverts go out and be super uncomfortable, I’m an introvert and sometimes just scheduling a lunch or dinner with someone can be as simple enough, or going out to the gym.

Changing my mindset – A positive mindset and the words you speak can have a huge impact on what your body believes, impacting the way you feel. Changing the way you speak about yourself is important (and free) way to boost your mindset. Dave Asprey writes in his book Game Changers “Your beliefs directly impact the outcome of your efforts, so it’s essential to swap out your negative beliefs”.

Eating real food – This one is a no brainer, and a core foundation in what we look at. What you eat and the quality of the food you eat can greatly impact the way you feel. In some instances, even what you eliminate from your diet can greatly bring on significant positive improvements.

Looking after the gut – You may have heard it before, but 90% of the serotonin is synthesised in the gut, so it’s a no-brainer that if your gut isn’t right, you’re probably not going to feel so right either.

Faith – Finally, my belief in a higher power, my decision to become a Christian and to follow Jesus has become a huge cornerstone in my life towards becoming and staying sober. Additionally, my faith has allowed me to find a greater purpose in life and further shape my values.

Today

My past experiences with alcohol addiction are what drives Clarity Natural Heath today, it fuels my passion and pushes me towards learning, integrating and providing new ways to do life better.

I’m on a persistent quest to gather as much information as possible, whether I’ve got my nose in a book, research article or my ears plugged into my podcast, I’m diligent in my path to provide the best and current health knowledge to the world.

I do hope this short, first blog post for Clarity gives you a bit of insight into my personal background and the driving factor behind Clarity Natural Health.

If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment or get in touch.

All the best in health,
Stephen Brumwell.

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