Ask the LifeQuake Doctor – Feb 2017
Dear Dr. Toni:
I have been reading your column for about a year and was wondering if you have any nutritional advice for recovery. I know you are a therapist, but thought I would ask anyway. I am twenty-five years old and sobriety is a new experience for me. I had been drinking pretty heavily since I was in high school. Since I started my recovery, I have been more aware of stomach issues and brain fog. I feel worse than I did with a hangover. I am really stressed out. Any ideas you have would be most appreciated.
– Jane A.
What you are experiencing is not uncommon. Recovery has many layers to the healing of your body when it has been imbalanced for some time. It sounds like you may have intestinal dysbiosis and it could be caused by a fungus like candida albicans. Yeast loves alcohol; when it is no longer fed the sugar that helps it to proliferate, there is a die-off reaction that can cause brain fog when ethanol is released from dying fungi.
Gut issues need to be treated at the body, mind, and spirit levels. Working with a functional medicine doctor will help with cleansing and rebalancing your body. Look for a naturopath, acupuncturist or holistic medical doctor who treats gastrointestinal disorders. Now at the emotional level, the removal of alcohol from your body will bring things to the surface that you were able to numb out to and this can increase your stress levels until you develop stress-management tools. In the holistic medicine world, they are recognizing that the body has two brains and one is in the gut. When you stop numbing your sensations in the gut, you start to feel everything.
Pay attention to your emotions. Instead of reacting, go toward the feeling. Where is it lodged in your body? Breathe into it. Keep going deeper until it releases. Ask the feeling, what do you need from me? Be curious and nonjudgmental. If you don’t get an answer, ask to be shown a symbol that is a clue to the answer. If you receive a symbol, free associate to it. What does it remind you of? How might it be showing you an answer to your question?
Now that you are off alcohol, your dream recall may be stronger. Ask before sleeping for a dream as to what you need to know to heal your gut. There may be old memories that get triggered. Your gut issues may have started in childhood. Were you a sensitive child? Was it safe to be sensitive in your family? Did you have to shut down your gut instincts because people would have laughed at you or dismissed your intuition if it flew in the face of rational thinking?
Many people with alcohol and/or drug issues were sensitive children, even psychic, and alcohol in the teenage years may have been used unconsciously to feel less vulnerable and more confident. The opportunity for you now spiritually is to draw your confidence from your inner knowing and have healthier boundaries with others. If you are an empath, your boundaries may have gotten even more blurred when you were drinking, but you may have been less aware of it. You might not have even known who the energy vampires were in your life. Alcoholics draw emotional vampires because like attracts like. Alcohol is an energy vampire and candida is a physical vampire, just as all parasites are.
Taking on a program that eviscerates the toxic micro-organisms on the physical level, nourishing your adrenal glands, and strengthening your intestinal tract will clear the brain fog you have in the morning. Meditation will strengthen your nervous system and your body wisdom. Emotional release practices will clear toxic emotions and other people’s stuff you may have taken on. All of the above will heighten your awareness of your energetic boundaries with others. Staying connected to your own truth is the key to gut power, the third chakra in energy medicine.
May your wise self be in charge and may you know yourself as the light being that you are!