In the summer of 2021 my anxiety had reached a level that was becoming very uncomfortable. I spent a lot of time going down rabbit holes online trying to figure out how to overcome it. I don’t remember which rabbit hole it was but one day I came across hypnotherapy. I started watching YouTube videos and even tried self hypnosis at home. These online hypnotherapy sessions felt a lot like guided meditation. I was hooked and wanted to give it a try with a therapist.
What exactly is hypnotherapy?
Before I dive into my experience I want to give you a little insight into what hypnotherapy is. First, you can’t be hypnotized without wanting to be. So there is no reason to be afraid of doing or saying things out of your control. All hypnosis is self hypnosis. You can break the trance whenever you want. Your trained hypnotherapist will put you in a relaxed dream-like state through verbal cues and sometimes soft music. You will then be in a place where your subconscious is hyper focused and ready to receive messaging from the hypnotherapist. Healthline.com has a more detailed article about hypnosis if you would like to read more.
My one on one experience
After about a month of trying hypnotherapy through YouTube videos at home I decided I needed a more direct approach. I wanted to have someone zero in on my anxiety. I found a licensed hypnotherapist and had a discovery call. Now, I want it to be clear, I never told him about my drinking habits. As I have mentioned before I was never honest about how much I drank. I explained to him my anxiety issues and asked if he could help. He said he had helped many with anxiety and I gladly booked my first session.
How the sessions played out
When you are done with these sessions you aren’t going to feel better, you will BE better
We scheduled 4 sessions, one per week over a 4 week span. My first session was an introduction type session. He recorded it so that I could listen to it between the remaining sessions. The narrative was about being enough. It was beautiful and relaxing. I felt lighter after the session and before I left he said something to me that I didn’t quite understand at the time. He said “When you are done with these sessions you aren’t going to feel better, you will BE better.” The second session was about forgiving others. There was reflection of my past, and things that I was carrying in my subconscious that I didn’t even realize were still living there. The third was about confronting people who had hurt me. And the fourth session was about self forgiveness. Each session was deeply emotional, and healing.
I didn’t feel drastically different
There was a subtleness to the way I felt after those sessions. I was still having my anxiety attacks but did feel a shift in my emotional well being. I looked at things from a different lens. It’s hard to put into words. I continued to listen to the recorded session a couple times per month. But the anxiety persisted.
Not all was lost or a waste of time
Remember the “BE better” statement? Before hypnosis I never questioned my relationship with alcohol. I knew that I needed to cut back, but the thought of never drinking again had never crossed my mind as an option. As I reflect on my road to sobriety the timeline becomes very clear. I started to question my relationship with alcohol in a way I never had before. The shift that I had in my emotional well being and that new lens, caused me to call myself out.
I believed I deserved better
After hypnosis I wanted better for myself. I let go of people that were toxic and sucked the life out of me. I healed old wounds and let go of grudges. Alcohol started to be a turn off. I was still drinking, but by the end of summer, approximately three months after hypnosis I really questioned why. The habit was still there, I was still doing all the things that involved drinking, but it didn’t feel the same. It was different. My hangovers were way worse. The anxiety after drinking was unbearable. It was all coming to a head.
My Aha moment
I wrote about this in my blog post “My Last Hangover” so I won’t get too long winded. By November of that same year my body and mind were finally aligned. After a long night of binge drinking on vacation I tapped out. That hangover was one for the record books and I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. From that day forward I worked toward completely eliminating alcohol from my life. I had done some research and found that alcohol was most likely the culprit for my anxiety and for once I was willing to hear it and believed it was true.
Did Hypnotherapy lead to my sobriety?
I would be a fool to think it didn’t. I went to hypnotherapy to get rid of anxiety. Because the anxiety was caused by heavy drinking, I tapped into a part of my subconscious that undeniably knew this to be true. That part of my mind stepped forward and took the wheel. Once tapped into that part of my subconscious I couldn’t do anything but BE better. I truly believe in divine timing and it all played out the way it was supposed to. I will be forever grateful for my hypnotherapy because it truly made me who I am today.
Yours Truly Sober,