Grief Trauma and Addiction

By Jennifer Hoffman

Things may get a bit wild this week with a new moon on September 14 that engages all of the planets. It reminds me of a pot luck dinner, where everyone contributes and works together to get the dinner ready. Then mercury goes direct the next day, completing its Virgo retrograde. New moons are great for new beginnings but this one has so much going on with it that it’s going to be a multi-dimensional process of moving back and forth, up and down, in and out as we align with different energetic frequencies and vibrations for a variety of different purposes. I will call this a ‘one size fits all’ new moon because it has something for everyone and every planet is engaged.

If it feels like everything is speeding up and you’re overwhelmed by the energy that’s because it is.  But it’s not moving ahead any faster, everything is converging – which is September’s energy theme. This is the energy coming together around a specific point and that can be our intention. Then it’s helping us to see both the cause and the solution, how we got somewhere and how we can leave. What makes everything more intense is that it’s all happening at the individual and collective level at the same time. So we’re getting a double and even triple dose of action with every energy movement.

It’s intense, overwhelming, and tiring, and it’s the energy of the times so all we can do is get used to it, take coma naps when necessary, and become more energy aware because everything is about energy right now and that includes our addictions, pain, trauma, and grief, the topic of this week’s newsletter.

Energy awareness is rising to the collective consciousness and hopefully it will lead to an understanding of how energy impacts our lives, choices, and physical and emotional realities. Now you hear terms like energy frequency, vibration, high vibes, resonance, and alignment all of the time but this is relatively new. For a long time those of us who talked about energy (me since 2003) would get an eye roll or a shoulder shrug. People didn’t want to think or talk about it because until we really reached a peak level of 5D integration, our primary energy movement and awareness was emotional. But with 5D we have a much larger energy spectrum to work with and we are operating at a level far above emotions although our emotions are how we process energy so they are involved too.

What happens when we cannot balance our emotional energy with our grief, trauma, and pain and our spiritual energy connection is out of whack? We turn to addictions to fill in the energy gaps and we can be addicted to anything – it is not an issue that only involves addictive substances like drugs or alcohol, we can be addicted to our own emotions too, as well as people, energies, things, outcomes, and our own guilt, shame, and grief.

Addictions describe anything that we have no control over, that we have surrendered our will to. If you have addictions you know that they are in control, they are in charge, and they dictate how you will live your life. We really are powerless in the face of our addictions when we do not understand or know how to manage this energy pattern and habit.

I once knew someone who was addicted to shopping. She spent thousands of dollars on clothes, shoes, and jewelry on her daily shopping trips and this was before the days of the internet. When she maxed out her credit cards, she got new ones under different names. She had a secret post office box where her mail was sent so her husband didn’t see the credit card bills.

Her closets were full of new, unworn clothes with tags, and she still bought more. She was driving her family to bankruptcy but she could not stop. Budgeting was not an option, she would buy expensive jewelry, designer clothes, and anything that caught her fancy. Once I went shopping with her and there was a sale on a new  brand of shapewear.

There were 10 packages in the bin and she bought all 10. I asked her why she didn’t buy one or two packages and she just looked at me, slightly embarrassed. She knew what I meant but she could not answer me. One or two wasn’t enough, she had to have them all. And the next day she would buy more because the grief void filled by today’s shopping spree would be empty tomorrow.

In those days she was called a ‘shopaholic’ someone who was addicted to shopping. What drove her behavior was a deep, driving need for attention, to feel special, loved, and valued. Shopping was the only thing that made her happy and buying herself things filled in the emotional black hole created by parents who did not pay attention to her, meet her needs, and who ignored her.

Any addiction is a powerful drive to engage in behaviors we do not understand or cannot control but it is the combination of an emotional need together with an energetic trauma that we are grieving which creates an opening for addictive behavior.

A good friend’s husband is from a rather wealthy family but he is the ‘black sheep’, the ‘different’ one. While the other family members are involved in the family business he decided to become a plumber. When they went to college he went to trade school – and he doesn’t regret it. But he carries a lot of painful memories of his childhood, how he always felt different, left out, ignored, and was not acknowledged in the same way by his parents. The parents played favorites with their children, and he was not a favorite. They did things like ignore his birthday or not celebrate it in the same over-the-top way that they did with some of his siblings.

They were openly critical of him in front of the family.  They did not recognize his achievements and downplayed his accomplishments. For some reason he became the family scapegoat and the parents led the effort. Now I think that is truly reprehensible and this is child abuse; why they did it I’m not sure but it has left its mark on him.

He is a kind, loving person who would do anything for you.  He is the person you can call at any time, for any reason, and he will show up. There is something endearing, even appealing about his energy, but his kind nature hides his secret trauma and grief. If you spend any time around him you know that he is addicted to drinking alcohol – a lot of it. He spends most of his day in a semi state of drunkenness which is not safe or advisable. He hides his grief behind the numbing effects of a few dozen beers and if you talk to him about it he gets angry.

This kind of addiction can be seen as a moral failure but it is much more than that. It is the action of someone who cannot process their grief, who cannot acknowledge or resolve the pain of their trauma so they find something to numb the terrible emotional burden they carry.

Here is another example.

A friend of mine is very hard working – very, very hard working. In fact, he gives new meaning to the word ‘workaholic’. He works all hours of the day or night, and on weekends. When he isn’t busy improving a process he’s coming up with new ideas and concepts for processes. He’s a software engineer and one of the smartest people I know but he’s hard to get to know because he works all of the time.

If you don’t know him well you would admire his commitment and work ethic. If you do know him and his history, you know that two things drive him – his fear of poverty and his desire to have so much money that no one can hurt him. He experienced extreme poverty as a child, the  kind of poverty that you read about in former Soviet eastern European countries, living in homes with no electricity and no heat in the coldest winter weather. And being in control of every situation arose from some childhood trauma he had at a young age that he was powerless to prevent, and no one believed him. Together they created a lethal combination that eventually created a massive heart attack as his body could not function without the proper nutrition, sleep, and joy that he was denying himself.

With this kind of addiction there was never enough, nothing was ever finished, there were always new avenues to explore and conquer, and he could always add a few more zeros to the balance in his bank account. When I asked him once what he thought ‘enough’ money was he smiled and replied, ‘how much is there?’

And when I joked and said that the level of obsessive focus he could give to his work was probably grounded in some kind of severe trauma he had experienced as a child, he got very teary eyed and had to look away. I didn’t know at the time that I had just spoken his truth out loud.  On the outside he’s a highly respected professional in his industry, he’s very successful and very wealthy but he doesn’t see his life that way because his grief is an ever present reminder of his trauma and his pain that he can never resolve.

I have always taught that Soul Wounds in the second energy center, the second chakra, create a potential for addictions and addictive behavior. This energy center controls our creativity and also determines how we value ourselves. When we have been marginalized, rejected, abandoned, or ignored by the people we count on to build our self esteem, such as parents and family members, an emotional black hole is created which we will use any means to fill. The emotional black hole is a result of energetic trauma and its grief imprint and trying to fill it becomes our life purpose and the purpose of everything we do.

And if that emotional black hole begins in early childhood, by the time we are adults we are desperate to create ways to feel that we have a right to exist, to feel valued and to be validated, by turning our creative energy inwards to fill our aching need for emotional wholeness. When we can’t find emotional wholeness within ourselves we will find something that can create it. We will bring in habits, behaviors, substances, and solutions that we use to try to numb the pain of that grief sourced energy gap and then whatever succeeds in that endeavor becomes a habit that quickly turns into an addiction. The rush of buying something nice, the warming effect of alcohol, the mindless space created by drugs, all of these things serve a purpose – they numb us to the pain of our never-ending grief, and the trauma of the past.

When our creative energy is hijacked to heal our own feelings of inferiority and to silence the voice of shame, guilt, and trauma, our grief becomes a magnet for anything that we hope will help us feel better. So we try to end the pain by feeding it something to make it better and that works for a little while. But if the grief goes away what do we do, so we create more pain and then need more of whatever makes it feel better. As you can guess, that quickly devolves into an addiction because the grief is a bottomless pit that won’t stop hurting until it gets another meal when what it really needs is an energetic reset.

Addicts are not only drug users, they are people who seek any kind of distraction from their pain and engage in a variety of behaviors like extreme sports, exercise, shopping, drinking, dieting, eating, work, pills, and more. The type of addiction doesn’t matter though because it is all directed towards the same goal – we want grief relief, to feel whole, complete, pain-free, and happy and we want the grief to stop. We are energetically incomplete and traumatized, we are grieving something that we have lost, was denied to us, something that happened, what someone did and did not do, and we cannot live with the memory and all of its energetic echoes. And we need to fix the problem any way we can. Because we cannot imagine happiness and wholeness happening in the long term, we satisfy ourselves with short term bursts of enhanced satisfaction, a quick burst of endorphins to make us feel better. Anything that fills the grief energy gap for us.

The problem with this is that we become just as addicted to our pain, trauma, and grief as we do to whatever we are using to temporarily cover it up. So the things that cause us grief have to exist to give us a reason to engage in the resolution. That’s why we tend to gravitate towards disempowering relationships, people, and life situations if that is what we have known in the past. It is our comfort zone; it promotes our belief that we deserve the worst because that is what we have always known or received from others. Or we engage in these relationships to try to heal and transform them, to prove to ourselves that we can change someone and that will vindicate us and validate our suffering.

It’s a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle that doesn’t end by itself and often ends badly.  Addictions are often addressed by trying to remove the connection to the substance, like drugs or alcohol, but that addresses the physical aspect and some of the emotional aspect. What will fully resolve the addiction is to resolve the energetic aspect – the grief and the energy causing it. Only then can addictions truly be healed and resolved because without the grief there is no emotional element and without the emotional element which creates the energy gap and black holes, there is no need for the addiction.

Now this may be over-simplifying things somewhat, especially for the physical aspects of addiction but if this in any way resonates with you, you know that this complex process has a fundamental source and that is grief associated with some kind of trauma. Don’t judge your trauma here, it can be any kind of trauma or anything that we perceived as traumatic. A judgment or criticism, a harsh word, being treated unfairly, a loss, or an unmet need, can all become sources of trauma and sources of grief.

Soul wounds result from the energetic trauma we experience in this and in other lifetimes. They are created when we experience challenging life circumstances, like abandonment, betrayal, persecution, death, feel abandoned by God, and from things that happen to us and to loved ones that make us feel helpless and powerless, out of control and ineffective.

They have a strong pain energy signature that can dominate our reality so that everything we do is focused on relieving the pain, even for a brief moment. The deep longing for wholeness can compel us to create ‘false congruence’, and here addictions become the perfect solution, where we try to fill in the joy gaps with anything that we think will relieve the pain right now. The problem with that is it doesn’t heal the pain in the long term so we need more of it to keep the gaps filled, this is what creates addictions.

Unless we understand that unresolved and unrecognized grief is the source of this pain and can address that source first, any intention we have to heal ourselves will not work. It’s like committing to a diet and eating healthy food during the day, then binging on twinkies, chips, and soda at night. The real source of healing is to acknowledge the grief and resolve the energy that causes it. Then we can heal the energy gaps and release the addictions because we no longer need them.

Each one of us is grieving something – it’s what I call our secret sorrows and silent tears. The song that makes you cry when you hear it, a memory that you try to avoid, thing which happened in the past that you are still angry about, the regrets you have, they are all part of your grief. There will be grief, but it doesn’t have to become the destructive, self-perpetuating, cycles of trauma and grief that become addictions which drive self-destructive behavior that we are powerless to stop.

Once we understand the energetic relationship between trauma, pain, grief, and addictions we can create a path to healing and wholeness and engage in an authentic healing journey whose outcome will create the healed, whole, joyful, and congruent life we have hoped would one day be ours and it can be, when we heal the grief.


3 Replies to “Grief Trauma and Addiction”

  1. Simon Joel Blecher

    I know it well, the struggle. I lost my wife to suicide in early 2017. This poem came through me.
    To live in this world as Lightworker is to participate in all its glamor and muck. Addiction one of many.
    Beautiful all the more!
    I love You
    From my Heart to Yours,

    Sacred Marriage to Thy Self 3/2017

    We the exalted ones
    who live as if exiled

    We the tameless ones
    Who live the domesticated life

    We the bright ones
    Who keep our dimmer switch
    on low.

    We countless few
    And numbered many

    Forget not your Heart
    Beats for You!!

    And by what force
    What power

    Pray tell me
Does it beat?

    No man
    No woman

    Controls that beat
    That sacred rhythm

    So let not others
    Control You.

    Not even in your
    Darkest hour
    And loneliest of Nights.

    Still then
    Your Heart beats
    For You.

    So be still
    My beating Heart

    Because I swear
    Never have I
    Looked upon

    Such Majestry
    And Beatific a Sight

    Than the One

    Who rises
    From the ashes
    Of their own demiseful

    Know My Friend
    Quite Simply
    On that
    Night of

    I’ll be your
    Greatest Cheerleader
    On the shittiest
    Performance Day
    Of Your Life

    Because ever after

    Your Heart now
    Now mathematically
    In keeping
    With Earth’s
    Sacred Beats.

    One by One
    It takes
To awaken the
    Heart of

    For Us who
    Walk this lonely place

    One World
    One Chance
    One Earth
    One Heart

    “H” behind
    “H” in front

    Take away
    The “T”

    What’s that spell??

    Use those “ears”
    To “Hear”

    What has never
    Skipped a beat!!

    Always You…

    Exalted One
    No longer exiled
    Wild One
    No longer tamed
    Bright One
    Who shines High

    Follow Your Music
    Deep Inside

    For there in that
    Darkest of Place.

    All it takes
    Is two
    To Spark.

    All it takes
    Is two
    To start
    Your sacred
    In the Dark.

    Easy peasy
    Pay it no mind
    And Dance
    Just Dance!!

    Truly there is
    Nothing quite like
    Dancing On My Own.

    Roll away the stone.
    Put aside the body.

    For Now I see
    Mirror Mirror
    On the Wall

    Here now breathes
    The Marriage of
    Spirit Made Flesh!

    Sacred Union
    Sacred Vow
    Death can now NEVER
    Do Us Apart.

    Oh I declare
    Forever We Are