How I cured my addiction to alcohol and porn using emotional healing: the whole story

I started this website a few weeks ago with the idea to tell my whole story of what I did to heal my porn addiction and to later create online course with specific steps around that process. I was gonna create a few articles, get some email subscribers and think about creating the course later on.

Yesterday however when I started writing my second article I remembered that my main motivation for starting the website and telling my story is not to create courses and make money form the whole thing (even though that sounds good). My main motivation is that I found something about healing an addiction that almost nobody understands and talks about. Or even if they talk about it - they don't know how to fix it. And that is - that the addiction in general - the subcounscious need to do something - is not the real disease but a manifestation of a hole in our souls - a hole that is caused by early childhood trauma. And the way through which you heal the early childhood trauma is by a state of catharsis. How do I know that? Firstly from my own experience and secondly from the work of Dr. Gabor Mate and the Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACE) Study

The ACE study analyses and follows through 17 000 individuals and concludes that there is a driect correlation between the number of Adverse Childhood Experiances a person has been through and the likelineess of which he will develop deppression, addictions, various diseases etc. You can find more about the study in the USA's Center of Disease Control website.

The thing is - when the ACE happens an issue arises in the child's development. The basic human need of the child - to connect, to feel the love of it's parents and to feel accepted - is not met - which creates an emotional trauma. That emotional trauma then manifests as a 'hole' in your soul - a subcounscious urge to do something - to eat, to drink alchohol, to do drugs, to shop etc. Anything that will sooth the emotional pain that you're in.

Dr. Gabor Mate in his book "In the realm of hungry ghosts" talks about this with the buddist analogy of the addiction as a ghost. Buddists belive that we can spend our time in the realm of these hungry ghosts from our past that have big bellies and very thin necks, so they haunt us and make us feed them but they can never become full. These ghosts are our emotional traumas - the holes in our soul that needs to be filled from all the addictions that we indulge in - the addictions that make us physically, mentally and emotionally sick.

So this is my whole story about healing two of my emotional traumas - first with alcohol and then with porn.

The one with alcohol I healed through a San Pedro native south american ceremony which I did with experianced shamans in Peru. The porn addiction I healed with a routine that I created myself - using compassion, honesty, meditation, workouts and cold showers.

As some background - I am a successful software developer living in the country of Bulgaria in Eastern Europe. 29 years old and recently married to a beautiful woman that I love.

A few moths ago I went to the Peruvian Andes with my soon-to-be wife. There we did San Pedro(Huachuma) ceremony with native american shamans that hold the tradition of this ceremony for 11 generations. In the San Pedro ceremony you drink a brew from a cactus that has the psychedelic compound mescaline among other active ingredients which are said to have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. You drink it at the morning and then you experience the whole day at a meadow under the influence of San Pedro. The tradition for using San Pedro is as old as 3500 years and it's mainly used as holistic medicine of the native south american people - curing both the spirit and the body at the same time.

For about 3-4 years prior going to Peru I had experienced heaviness in the area of my liver. I did go to doctors and they looked at me with ultrasound and they told me that they didn't see anything wrong with my liver or any other organs. Meanwhile I had stopped eating meat and reduced the alcohol consumption to minimum. While doing that - the heaviness in my liver became less and less frequent. But from time to time when I went out with friends - I started to drink and I did one big whiskey and then another one and another one and eventually I got drunk. And from time to time that heaviness of my liver would return for a while.

So I'm in Peru, doing San Pedro ceremony during the day. We're on a meadow with the whole group(9 tourists of the group, our guide plus the two shamans and their apprentice) and some time through the ceremony the heaviness of in my liver area returns. I intuitively understood that I needed to drink more water in order to purge and clean myself from this heaviness in my liver. The shamans asked me what is going on and I told them that I feel heaviness. They told me to lie down on my back and asked me if I've ever abused any substance. I told them that I've abused alcohol in the past. They ask me when did I start eating healthy - I say "3 years ago". They asked me - when did I start feeling the heaviness at my liver. I told them - even before that - before starting eating healthy.

And then something clicked. I remembered and connected the dots - the heaviness of my liver - with the drinking and abuse of alcohol - with this moment when a girl that I loved and one of my friends broke my heart while I was in university. Then I started crying and went into the state of catharsis. In that state I could feel everyone involved in the situation and I understood that it was really not their fault. That they were too bruised by their own emotional traumas and they didn't understand what they were doing. So I freed myself from this emotional trauma but I still didn't feel whole. I still felt the need to cry so I closed my eyes again. I started to wonder what's left and I remembered that I started drinking alchohol years before I went to university and then something clicked again. I again went into the state of emotional catharsis. Inside of it I felt that I didn't really feel the love of my parents when I was young. They were all concerned with their jobs and their responsibilities and arguing with one another and I guess that I didn't really feel that they loved me as I grew up. I understood them and understood that they too were bruised and they were doing their best in raising me using their own abilities and their own emotional baggage. At the end of this process I felt this love inside of myself that I've never felt before. I felt a feeling of wholeness. Like I have retrieved some of the pieces of my soul back and I'm whole again.

I understood that ultimately the lack of love is what drives people to become addicted and dysfunctional and there is a way to fix everybody - through love and compassion. And experiancing a catharsis.

When I came back home from Peru and went to a couple of parties - at first I didn't drink any alcohol - but later I took a sip or two and I felt that I didn't need it anymore. I didn't crave it. I didn't even want it. So now I can use it if I want to - I've even gotten drunk once - on my bachelor party - but I feel totally indifferent towards it.

A few months before going to Peru I had experienced the struggle to stop porn and the inability to really control myself when my trigger hit. While doing the ceremonies in Peru I wasn't really able to work on my porn issue because I focused on some other things. But when I came home I decided that I could try and replicate the whole process of getting into catharsis and retrieving the piece of my soul without the psychedelic compounds. I didn't know if it was possible but I decided to try it after all.

So these are the practices and the process that helped me do it.

First I shared the whole porn issue with my girlfriend and asked her to help me in the process. While sharing it with her I structured the whole conversation so that she understood that the whole porn thing had nothing to do with her. I told her how I started using porn when I was 9 or 10 years old and had been using it long before we met. It had nothing to do with my love and feelings towards her. She was very supportive and told me that she would help me with whatever I needed. I wrote some more tips on telling your girlfriend/wife about your porn addiction here and here.

Then I resumed my working out routine - doing workouts about 10-30 min a day - not every day. I had a pair of dumbbells that I bought some months ago and I used them to work out at home.

Taking cold showers was already a part of my routine so I took a cold shower every time after I did workout with my dumbbells.

I decided to use the principle "what you resist - persists" while dealing with the Relapse. So I didn't resist relapsing and watching porn. I used them as a tool to observe myself and to measure my need to watch porn and see how it changes over time. What I changed in relapsing was that - when I finished - and the feelings of helplessness, weakness, bitterness and inability to control myself arose in me as usual - instead of letting them overcome my psyche - I'd close my eyes and try to feel love toward them. I'd sit somewhere, I'd close my eyes and I'd try to feel love towards these negative feelings and towards myself.

Also every time I relapsed - I told my wife about it. As addictions thrive in the dark - telling her about every time that I relapsed was something of a relief. It was hard and scary but I did it anyways. We even joked about it and the great thing was that I could share my progress with someone.

Then I started practicing meditation. Around that time I found out about a kind of vipasana meditation - one in which you focus your attention on different parts of your body. The idea while doing the meditation is to first get into a Theta brainwave state of mind in which your whole body is relaxed. Once you're in this Theta brainwave state when practicing vipasana you focus your attention on some part of your body. When you focus on the specific part of your body you may start to feel some sensation in that part or you may start experiencing some thoughts coming up inside of your mind.

So I used a meditation technique that our guide from Peru gave us to get into Theta brainwave state of mind. As the explanation of the technique is a little bit long I won't explain it here but if you want to do it yourself you can search in google on how to get inside Theta brainwave.

So when I got in Theta I focused my attention on my prostate. Also I tried to remember the time that I started using porn. And then the memories started coming back to me. It was around 4th grade. I felt lonely and isolated. I had a stuttering problem and most of the kids in school and in my neighborhood ridiculed me for it. I was introverted and I didn't feel the love of my parents. And then I found porn. I found this thing that made me feel good for a short while. And I used it to make myself feel better. Instead of bonding with my friends and family I bonded with porn. And so the addiction began.

But all that I remembered were just memories of events. I didn't feel it emotionally. It wasn't a real catharsis. But nevertheless I gained some control over myself when relapsing. While before I couldn't control and I couldn't stop myself once I opened a porn website - now I could at least stop for a short while.

So I thought long and hard about relapsing, about my memories and about the neural pathways and clusters of neurons that make me do porn uncontrollably.

I thought that if the emotional trauma is making me use porn - emotional trauma on the physical level is probably just a cluster of neurons in my brain - and the need to use porn on the physical level is just another cluster of neurons - then there must be a one-way electrical connection from the emotional trauma cluster to the addiction cluster. There must be electrical impulses that go from the trauma to the addiction cluster.

So I decided to transform that connection into a two way feedback loop. To return the electrical impulses from the addiction cluster into the trauma cluster and break the pattern that's making me crave porn. How did I do that?

Well - here's the whole process. The routine that I used below created the feedback loop that healed the addiction:

  1. First - as I didn't resist relapsing but used relapsing as a tool - what I did is in the middle of the relapse I stopped, I closed my eyes and I thought about the suppressed memories that I uncovered earlier through meditation. Then I continued with the relapse. I may have stopped a couple of times per relapse.

  2. Then - right after the relapse 'ended' - I stand up from the computer I go at another place in my apartment, I sit down, close my eyes and try to feel love towards myself and all the feelings that arise inside of me. Love is the ultimate feeling that can break the bad patterns.

  3. After that I get the dumbbells and do a moderate exercise with them.

  4. One time I did a little bit of closing my eyes and feeling the love again after I did the exercise.

  5. Then I get inside the bathroom and take a cold shower.

The second time that I did that routine, just before going under the cold water of the shower something clicked inside of my mind and I remembered the whole situation of the suppressed memory again - but this time with the emotions. I got inside the state of catharsis and I didn't hold anything back. I felt deep and profound compassion for my 10 year old self. I felt deep and profound compassion for the kids that ridiculed me and made my life miserable. I forgave these kids and I hugged my 10 year old self. I told him that I'm here to help him, that I'm here to cry all the tears that he didn't cry back then and that everything is going to be OK.

Next time when my trigger hit I almost didn't feel any need to watch porn. But I felt 'a little'. So I opened the browser and did the routine a third time. That time the catharsis was a lot weaker but something else happened. I felt shivers in my right hand - the one that is usually holding the mouse. I felt muscle contractions as if the hand is healing from the bad muscle memory of opening the browser without my conscious will and consent.

The next times when the conditions of my trigger hit me I felt nothing. I did the exercise of opening a porn website - just to see how does it feel - but I felt nothing. I was totally indifferent to the content. I saw it as what it truly is - something superficial that's not representing real life and real lovemaking between two human beings. Just some people tricking other people, acting and making money 'the easy way'.

So that's my story of how I healed my porn addiction. It took me about 2 to 4 weeks between deciding to use my newfound Peruvian knowledge and getting over the porn addiction itself. All the necessary steps to do it for yourself are here in this article. As a side note - I didn't 'force' a relapse, I let things flow and did everything naturally. If you decide to try this method on your own and get some results off of it - be it that you succeed and retrieve the piece of your soul or if it doesn't work at all - please share them with me by sending me an email.

If you have any more questions about the whole method or if you want me to coach you while going through it you can contact me at

apostol [at] slavetohero.com

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P.S. As of writing this article I have used psychedelics only two times in my life - once in the San Pedro ceremony and once in the Ayahuasca ceremony while I was in Peru at the beginning of May 2016. Both of the times I was with experianced shamans that hold the tradition for many generations. I do not believe in the habitual use of psychedelics but I believe them to be a profound tool of personal development when used properly - in the form of natural plants, in the right environment, with the right guides and with respect towards the plant-teachers.

As you can see here in this article - a catharsis can be accomplished even without their use. But if the emotional trauma is too deep - like sexual abuse in childhood or something else - using plant teachers can be of much help in the healing of the soul. Good luck on your journey!

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