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March 29, 2016 at 10:43 am #8985Participant
Wow, right off the top of my head I can remember several childhood “events” which probably shaped some of my subconscious thoughts:
1) my pediatrician told my mother to put a little bit of wine in my bottle at night so I would sleep
2) in the afternoons my mother would give me one of those little bottles of beer to calm me down
3) my mother gave me a shot of liquor to relieve cramps
Geez, it’s no wonder that I automatically reach for a glass of wine after work!
The odd thing is I do not remember either of my parents drinking much alcohol themselves?
March 31, 2016 at 12:54 pm #9074Participant
Wow! Thanks for sharing your findings ginger_88! This was another eye-opening exercise for me, too! I’m sure our parents had the best intentions, but it’s amazing how those little things contributed to where we find ourselves today. Here are my subconscious drinking links…
1. My father used to come home & unwind from work with six pack every day.
2. My mother drank too, although I never really noticed until my teenage years when it became a problem.
3. Had my 1st drink at 12, when my mom first started dating my stepdad & we would go over for dinner. He
would give me a small glass of red wine with dinner. I didn’t think much of it & it didn’t happen often.
4. 1st time I ever felt buzzed was when I was 14 at a wedding. The bartender kept giving my friend & I real
pina coladas – maybe my mom probably thought they were virgin. I remember feeling giddy & calling
another friend when I got home to show off.
5. At 16, I started my rebellious phase & hung out with kids that had access to alcohol & drugs so my
experimentation began. Fortunately, I did not enjoy the effects of the drugs I tried so that hasn’t been
an issue (knock on wood). I guess that’s when I really started associating drinking with fun but also
with feeling accepted & handling social situations better.
I hope everyone is doing great TODAY!
April 9, 2016 at 2:28 pm #9493Participant
One thing which really stands out for me was all my friends parent’s (who were way cooler than mine) would have long boozy weekend lunches starting at midday and going through to 9pm. My parents were never invited (or maybe turned down the invite?), but I used to hang out there with my friends. I connected it with good feelings of summertime with my friends, of inclusion and fun. I joined those lunches once I was 18.
I also boarded for a couple of years in high school. The country boys all talked about these wild parties where they would get drunk and and meet all these girls (probably exaggerated). Getting wasted was a badge of honour. I longed to go to one of these parties. I could not wait to get wasted.
April 10, 2016 at 10:30 am #9531Participant
My dad used to give us kids sips of his ice cold beer. I was about 8. I did like it. Then in HS went to parties my parents never knew about where the kids were a lot older and drinking. That’s when drinking became a part of having fun and fitting in. College sorority life just added to more and more drinking. Wine mostly now. But as of this day 8….no more!!! Feel great. Told some family members and they are supportive.
Good luck to everyone!?
April 12, 2016 at 3:01 pm #9638Participant
I can’t recall any associations with my family drinking. Alcoholism and smoking were seen as the ultimate moral failure. Taking drugs was seen as the ultimate taboo.
I was drawn to all of these, not because I’d been introduced to them as a child through my family and that made it okay, but because they were forbidden. It was their prohibition, not their okayness, that made them so attractive to me, as I wanted to reject everything that my family stood for. It was my repressed anger towards them, and the fact that this wasn’t allowed to be expressed within the family, that caused me to rebel and to find drugs, smoking and alcohol so alluring.
Perhaps I made my own association between boredom, loneliness, depression and anger within the family and drinking being the perfect escape from this. In contrast to the depression of being at home with my family, once I started going out at 17 with my own friends, I associated drinking with immense fun.
Not only did I form a powerful association that drinking equals fun, I probably figured that escape through drinking was also the perfect antidote to depression.
Even though I’ve been aware of all of these things on some level for years, that subconscious link hasn’t really hit home until today.
March 23, 2018 at 2:40 pm #20472Participant
I was having a hard time thinking of any childhood associations with drinking and then I saw your post and I couldn’t have written it any better! Thank you for writing what you did, it hit the nail on the head for my association with drinking 100%.
March 27, 2018 at 6:39 am #20486Participant
Thank you for the feedback!
April 12, 2016 at 4:26 pm #9640Participant
For me there was a strong link between breaking the parents rules (neither drank) and wanting to feel cool, free, and with it and not like my old fashioned parents. At gatherings, such as weddings or funerals, uncles who did drink snuck the boys (brothers & cousins) gulps or entire beers. Wow! That sure got us thinking we were special. Whatever age I was when the first buzz came about, it sure changed the rules fast . . . there quickly developed a very strong attraction to ‘spirits’ after these experiences.
Abusive drinking came online at some point early on and developed into a prolonged problem. In looking back, and in working this program, I’ve gotten more fully in touch with a resentment that had brewed up and then simmered & bubbled below the surface for years. Much of it seemed to have organically grown as a result of an anger toward my father. We just didn’t see eye to eye.
Letting go of the anger . . . forgiving Dad, and myself for such poor choices, is helping. There is still much to learn and much to let go of . . . much to accept and make peace with. All the words and expressed feelings in the above comments (as well as comments in other places within this overall forum) are helping me realize just how many of us are working on these issues. It feels supportive and encouraging. Thanks!
April 19, 2016 at 4:21 pm #9930Participant
My parents drank socially …House parties every Saturday night all the aunts and uncles would party together and us cousins would usually be there. Sometimes the drinking got ugly discussing politics and some getting verbally abusive.
After some time my parents drank and fought a lot. Eventually my father left and my mother became increasingly abusive to me and my sister. My mother eventually lost custody of me and I was separated from my sister. It wasn’t too long I found drinking myself. It was a mix of relief, release and revenge. None of it good. So I have a long history with alcohol. None of it good except when I fit in or felt like I was getting away with something. A lot of work to be done here. That’s for sure.
April 24, 2016 at 12:07 pm #10129Participant
Age 6 – liqueur fiiled European chocolate at Easter tastes much better than North American chocolate
Age 12 – white wine at Xmas gave me an unexpected first buzz
Age 14 – drank one German draft beer per day during the week after working with my grandfather
Age 14 – saw my uncle hand tremors from excessive corn liquor consumption 20 oz/day
Age 12+ watched my father drink wine, brandy or beer every day – never seemed drunk
Age 18 – started making wine sober, rebottled gallons of Algerian wine for my father
March 29, 2017 at 6:43 pm #17038Participant
I remember being very young when during the summers my mother and dad would sit outside and have a couple of beers when my dad got home from work. He was a really stern and uptight father, so this was the time of day that we could all relax, because he was relaxed… he used to give us sips of cold beer when we were kids… My parents had a few really big parties every year, with tons of food and lots of alcohol and lots of yelling and laughing people… I totally associated drinking with having a good time. However, I really did not like the taste of it, so it wasn’t until I went off to college (the drinking age was 18 then, a million years ago!), and was dreadfully lonely and insecure that I started drinking in earnest. I had a friend who was a “townie” and she knew all the bars, and the names of all of the mixed drinks (I had no clue) and she was so fun and cool and I felt so much better when I hung out with her…. but this phase also introduced me to hangovers and missing classes and dropping out of college… so much shame… it took me years of working stupid jobs, hitchhiking around, etc, etc.(I was a hippie, totally) to get to the point of realizing that I had to do something with my life…. so I went back to college (and finished, loving it) but the drinking continued in earnest… all of my friends were drinkers… we had an awesome and fun time, even though now I look back and realize how much more I could have accomplished had I not always been juggling hangovers, parties, school, and work. Good grief! So, lots more to the story, but I am psyched to be seeing the threads connecting…. and so very happy to be breathing deeply with resolve to see this program through…. and then some. Best to everyone else out there on this journey. It isn’t easy, but if you’re here, on Day 12, you are probably feeling some of the same relief I am feeling.
April 19, 2018 at 10:04 pm #20711Participant
I used to have a big family. When I was a kid, 15-16 years old, in the summertime we used to get together – all my aunts, cousins, my brother, 3-4 times a week over lunch in my aunt’s big garden. We drank wine & beer, BBQed and really had a great amount of fun together. I’m a European guy and my family wasn’t that strict about drinking at an early age… and alcohol wasn’t a problem at all for me till I moved to US, started to live in a house in suburbs. I was 41 years old, 3 years ago. I think the problem at that point, I was a little bit alone and since I’m thinking thoroughly now – about my subconscious, maybe the garden with BBQ reminded me my joyful semi-drunk moments with my family when I was a kid… So I may be tried to re-create these moments thinking about good times… Drinking under the warm sun in the garden, and barbequing alone might be a search for good times surrounded by family. It was like trying to feel something that you know you’ll never feel again but I still tried it over and over. I don’t know… It just got out of control and alcohol became a security blanket for me which I would love to remove and put it in the closet. This program’s good though, I tried to stop drinking with my willpower a couple of times in near past – failed, now it’s the first time I’m realizing the fact that I needed some ammunition to win the war and get over this problem. I wish you guys the best.
September 22, 2018 at 1:05 pm #120859Participant
Dad used to drink so I associated that with having a good happy time. He was never miserable with it
My family socialised by drinking to excess. Much laughing and jollity
Social events made me happy. More than that I’m struggling to think of other influences on my attitude to drink up to 6yrs of age. Its all a bit cloudy. Im hoping something will leap out of the shadows but so far not. Its a great exercise to self-analyse though.
12 days that’s pretty good- Well done us lot.
September 25, 2018 at 2:09 pm #120887Participant
Yeah Eddy, 12 for me too! Yesterday it said only 19 more to go and I was a bit shocked. Today that would be 18, and in 3 days were are half way to our goal of 30. So doable eh? 100% is in gear for me now!
October 16, 2018 at 4:27 am #121034Participant
Eddy, My family was the same way. Dad would have a few drinks after work after he stopped at a bar after work. They would have get togethers with family and friends. Sometimes arguments would pop up and sometimes things would go downhill. I learned on day 12’s reading that “having a drink after work” was one of my subconscious drinking habits. I am 100% on day twelve and really sober for 19 days. I hit bottom and passed out in the kitchen and fell on the floor and ended up in the emergency room. That is when I made the decision to quit. However, the 30 Day book (recomended by my primary care doctor) has been very helpful on my journey to continue to be happy and productive while thriving in sobriety. The best to you all.
October 21, 2018 at 7:12 pm #121095Participant
I love the raw honesty here. After reading the solution today, I could not think of how my experiences as a child related to drinking as my parents did not drink, and I did not find it attractive at a young age. However, MattK’s post resonated with me, and reading all of the discussion on this forum really got me thinking. My circumstances developed so many feelings early that later alcohol gave me release, inclusion, fun, distraction, excitement and a total departure from the crazy, lonely confusing childhood I had, I embraced partying and alcohol whole-heartedly even though it had crazy negative impacts on my life then and now. I am proud of us for doing the hard work of re-programming here, I wish you all the best wherever you are on this journey as it looks like some of these posts are older, and some are relativiely new.
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