Welcome Home: Release Addictions And Return To Love

Welcome Home: Release Addictions And Return To Love

By Dr. Suzanne Gelb PhD JD

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Addiction is hellish, lonely, and exhausting. Whether your “drug of choice” is food, alcohol, sex, narcotics, gambling, all, some, or none of the above, when you are caught in the grip of addiction it can be so difficult to heal and set yourself free. Difficult, but not impossible. I am living proof. And so are people whom I’ve coached and counseled over the past 30+ years. As for me, today I am a successful professional with a fulfilling life. But in the past, I was a tormented person with a void inside of myself — a void that I tried to fill with food, with achievements, with awards, with praise, with all kinds of external experiences and substances. None of it worked. The temporary comfort that I found was always just that: temporary. The void would always return — along with the compulsive, self-sabotaging behaviors that hindered my life and that I loathed so much. Through a process of self-discovery — supported by some incredible teachers and mentors — I began to learn that love, security, comfort, and peace cannot be found in a bottle, in a pint of ice cream, or in someone’s bed. These qualities must come from within. These are qualities that we can generate inside of ourselves—like the sun generating its own warmth and light — without requiring any external substances to do so. Once I learned how to do this — once I learned how to become “emotionally self-reliant,” generating the feelings that I craved for myself, by myself —then I found — as did many of the people whom I subsequently coached and counseled — that our previous “drug of choice” no longer held power over us. We found that our addictions and compulsions subsided. Like a true miracle, we felt at peace and at home within our own lives. This is what my book, Welcome Home , is all about. I originally wrote this book in 1990. In honor of its 25th anniversary, I re-released the book with updates and additions in 2015. Welcome Home is written in a personal diary format (but it is not a replica of any actual, personal diary). I chose this diary format because it captures not only my personal struggle with addiction, my healing journey, my challenges and some of the lessons that I learned along the way, but it also reflects my years of professional experience in supporting others through the struggles and triumphs of releasing addictions. And as you read this book, you may feel like this could be your diary… your story. That was my intent — that the diary entries touch people who been gripped by addictions. Each entry is followed by a “self help suggestion”: a brief exercise that can be done at any time. You can read the book chronologically or flip around and soak in a passage that calls to you. I hope that Welcome Home becomes a much-loved addition to your library—perhaps resting on your bedside table or on your desk, somewhere visible, serving as a daily reminder that with patience and courage, it is possible to learn how to become emotionally self-reliant: depending on ourselves, not external substances, to successfully handle life’s challenges, and to provide all of the love, happiness, and comfort that we could possibly desire.

Dr. Suzanne Gelb PhD JD