The Cocaine Shame

Episode #65

Cocaine is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the world. Its side effects include loss of contact with reality and an intense feeling of happiness. And a lot of men struggle with this addiction.

More than half of the men who joined The Activation program were struggling with an addiction to cocaine. They turned to coke in order to escape the pain that they were feeling or use it as an outlet so they can show up and be the person that they wanted to be.

Some men, even after achieving great successes, take cocaine so they can feel a sense of fulfillment. While some men, regardless if they experience success or failure, will turn to this addiction to experience a certain feeling in their lives that they have not yet figured out how to give themselves.

The question is…how can you get rid of abusing cocaine or any kind of addiction? Why did you try it in the first place? What void are you trying to fill in your life?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • The reason why people, especially men, turn to an addiction
  • How guilt and shame trigger someone to get into an addiction
  • How to get rid of an unhealthy addiction


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Episode Transcript

Tim Matthews 0:00  

Regardless of how strong or weak it is, any addiction comes down to the fact that you usually have a void in your life and an emotional void that you’ve not become aware of and have not known how to fill. So then what you do is you find a vice, ropes smoking, alcohol, whatever it is. Hello, gentlemen, welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I am your host, Tim Matthews, with my co-host, Doug, The Powerful Man, Holts.

Doug Holt 0:37  

I’ve never had that intro, Tim. Thanks so much. 

Tim Matthews 0:40  

Isn’t it quite the same ring as Tim The Powerful Man Matthews, does it? 

Doug Holt 0:44  

It does not, and you are the founder of the movement. And so I think it is a title that fits you, my friend.

Tim Matthews 0:52  

Please, Right. So the cocaine shame is a topic that I want to bring to the table today. And the reason why I want to bring this to the table is that there is a commonality in the men, not all of the men, but a lot of the men, I would say above 50% of the men that we work with, when they come into the program, they are struggling with cocaine addiction. And it’s not the type of addiction whereby they snort coke, from the moment they wake up to when they go to bed. It’s more of an addiction, whereby they turn to it to either escape the pain they are feeling or to use it as an outlet, so they can then really show up and be the person they want to be. Now two examples, this stick that comes to mind is one particular guy who was very successful in the music industry. And he would take cocaine, even after achieving great successes. And what he said to me was, what, Tim, I never experienced his real sense of achievement. If anything, it’s just a sense of relief that I didn’t fail. And as a result, he then turned to cocaine to numb the feelings that he was experiencing, and another guy who was sharing with us how he would then take cocaine, and if you won, if he had a big winning business, then he’d go and celebrate with champagne and cocaine and get this friend round, or couples get in a hot tub. And it all takes lines of coke and drinks champagne until the early hours. However, this would also be panic if it had a massive loss in business as well. So regardless of where it was, for both of these men and a lot of these men, it’s an addiction, a tool, a vice that they’re turned to, to elicit an experience, a certain feeling in their life, that they have not yet figured out how to give themselves.

Doug Holt 2:48  

So Tim, when you say addiction, let’s make sure we are on the same page there. What do you mean by addiction?

Tim Matthews 2:54  

In the most basic sense, they have collisions themselves to associate that the drug cocaine sometimes it’s alcohol, sometimes it’s coffee whenever. They’ve associated themselves, and they’ve conditioned themselves to associate. Okay, so I’ve had a lot of bad days in business. I don’t know how to; they’re not. This isn’t the conversation they are saying out loud, but I don’t know how to handle how I’m feeling, right? I know, for my doula, I’ll get some cocaine because when I do that, I feel better about myself, I feel better about the situation, it all goes away, all the stresses, and all the struggles and all the self hair can evaporate for the hours that they’re high. So for those guys who become addicted to that escapism, they experience through the drug because they have not yet figured out how to self-soothe or manage their own emotions. And often, they’ve become quite numb as well, and they’ve become quite numb to life. So, taking cork is how they can experience sensations and states of being in their life they don’t typically experience. So when I say addiction, I mean that I wouldn’t say that it’s a really bad addiction to the point where they can’t function without it. But I believe that they are reliant on it, to give them something that they don’t know how to give themselves.

Doug Holt 4:31  

So how is this manifesting for these guys? I mean, I’m going to assume this will spill over into other areas of your life as well.

Tim Matthews 4:43  

Yeah, for sure. I mean, how it manifests, and one of the main ways is in the relationship. So again, all of the guys that I can think of have experienced this problem when they come to us. It’s then meant that the relationship has broken down for one reason or another, whether it’s because they have done the drug with their wife, and then what they’ve done is turned into the kind of, also word here, they’ve turned into just party buddies. And that’s become the dynamic of the relationship. And that’s not a very functional or healthy dynamic that’s going to be long-lasting, or one of the partners doesn’t do it. And as a result, it creates a divide in the relationship because one who doesn’t do it doesn’t understand why the other has to spend this money. He’s secretly spending this money on drugs and secretly staying up late at night, and secretly not coming home in the evening. So one of the main ways that it manifests is in that divide in the relationship the shot. Another way it manifests for these guys is in their business. They then start to feel very dizzy and have a big lack of clarity. A word that the men say over and over and over to us is clarity. , what do you want? I want clarity; why do you want clarity? And I think for these guys, that clarity is, one, who are they what do they want. Still, then also this, when they’re stuck in this cycle of the cocaine shame, the waking up, for numerous days throughout the week, feeling heavy, feeling dizzy with a foggy mind, and not knowing what to do and turning up into work and ask them feeling like a fraud, because to everybody else that is, a real business titan that’s, leading the pack and leading the charge and, it’s guy shit together and knows what to do. Still, in reality, behind closed doors, people start to feel ashamed of who they are because they don’t know what they’re really up to. And as we spoke about in previous episodes, that then feeds into that cycle of shame, sabotage, and sedation, to show up in all areas of their life; it does.

Doug Holt 7:01  

Now, I know a couple of these men that we’re talking about and that we’re coming through. And Tim, one of the things that I’ve noticed with the guys when I talk about their past, or obviously we see him in the beginning, and then also at the end, but often, when they’re talking about it, well, first of all, they don’t want to open up about it right? And they don’t want to talk about it, and it seems to manifest in other areas as well into their health, and things start to slip in their business too, where they see degradation in all areas of their life. Do you find that to be true as well?

Tim Matthews 7:38  

Well, yeah, totally because all areas are touching, right? , we talk about the five territories. It starts with self, then goes to health and relationships, then wealth, and then business. But these guys have got the flip side round their focus on business first because they believe business will be the answer. And when they start achieving them, they realize crap, and I don’t feel any better. I feel worse because now I’ve got all of the things that I thought would make me happy. Yeah, I feel even more lost, lonely, and empty than I did at the beginning. So yeah, when they get into this cycle with the cocaine shame, for sure, they stop working out that they’re on a downer for three days a week, because usually, they take the drug most of the weekend, Friday, Saturday, sometimes Sunday, then, in their own words, they’re a downer until about Wednesday, Thursday. And by that point, the weekend comes around again. And then the urge to pick up the phone and do it all over again. And a big piece of this is with their money as well, and their money goes up and down with this because as a result, that than spend money on stuff they don’t need because for those three days when they feel down to go and buy things they don’t need to try and feel good about themselves. Horses, cars, holidays, clothes, watches.

Doug Holt 9:00  

You don’t often hear that people go out and buy horses, which makes it kind of interesting. Well, what’s the flip side of this, Tim? Let’s talk about the other side that occurs for these men, and then we’ll go back and talk about their journey, but what’s I’m thinking of two guys in particular that you and I both know but let’s talk about the journey the other side of the coin right what’s happening for these guys now?

Tim Matthews 9:27  

Do you mean now, or do you mean the other side of the coin of trying to fill with the drug?

Doug Holt 9:32  

What’s going on for him now?

Tim Matthews 9:34  

Oh, wow. Well, they’ve come to realize the truth during the because any addiction regardless, in my opinion, anyway, and a lot about this, but any addiction, regardless of how strong or weak is, really comes down to the fact that you usually have there’s a void in your life and emotional void that you’ve not become aware of. You’ve not known how to fill. So then what you do is you find a vice, drugs, smoking, alcohol, whatever it is. And if you try the vice, and you feel a certain way, you link that state with taking the drug, and as a result, that void is full. Whereas for these guys now at this point, because have become aware of the void that they’re experiencing in their life, and where it has come from, and they’ve been able to see the pattern in their life of all how they have tried to fill this with things outside of themselves money, women. I’ve been there to try to fill this void in their life with things outside of themselves, never realizing and accepting that it’s not worked for them. And kudos to those guys because none of them raised their hand and said, hey, look, I need help. And that’s usually when they join the program, which is fantastic. And one of the guys, one of the keywords for him, which I admire about him, and about his journey, right now is I’m learning to self-soothe. And I think that’s such a great way to put it because he was so uncomfortable in his skin for so long that he didn’t want to be on his own. So when he was on his own, he didn’t find ways to escape his own company, whether it was to listen to music, constantly have something on the TV, or this is why he became the life and soul of the party as well because then people would want to be around him. But for him learning to self-soothe, and this is, I’d say that right there learning to self-soothe, is the key that all of these men learn is that one skill set and as a result of that. It’s fascinating because he’s now going from living a really busy, chaotic, fast-paced life to sharing in pictures in the workplace of amazing sunsets and nature and his reconnecting with a side of him that’s always been there. Still, he just lost touch with along the way. And to see him coming back to that it’s given him such a sense of peace, such a sense of inner freedom, and then in power, because he’s no longer at the mercy of his impulses, he’s able to control them, which then makes him feel like he’s in control. As a result, his power rises, and he is becoming more productive in business, and this is true; I said, hey. Still, it’s pretty much a pattern for all the guys; it’s becoming a lot more productive in business, that feeling of being a fraud and a liar if you will, is fading away. There’s a lot more in alignment with how people perceive him. His health is a lot more on track. He’s got the energy, and he then sees the benefit in his productivity. His relationships are flourishing with his kids. Just every area of life is completely leveling up.

Doug Holt 13:07  

Guys, I’m interrupting this episode because I want to know if you feel bored, burned out, or broken? Discover the system that over 300 businessmen are using to let go of the grind, find inner peace, and unlock unlimited personal power so they can have more time, more intimacy, and better sex while living a life they love. Without stressing about work or feeling like a fraud, head over to ThePowerfulMan.com/vs to see what this is all about. Alright, let’s get back to the episode. It’s so amazing, and the workplace, of course, you mentioned, is a private community we have for some of the guys going through. Now Tim, when you think about this, do you think a lot of this when you look at the other side of the coin when these guys find another mechanism for growth or an outlet? Maybe I’ll use the word outlet. Do you find that the shame and guilt melt away?

Tim Matthews 14:13  

Not immediately, I mean, it’s work progress for sure that starts to melt away and starts to fade away. But usually, because they’ve been years of actions that they’ve taken have impacted themselves and other people, even a long time after they’ve stopped taking the drug and have changed their behavior. They’ve amended their wares usually for these guys is still that there’s a big practice of forgiveness that they get to continue to go through. It’s a big piece of The Alpha Reset around forgiveness, isn’t there? And the guilt and the shame fade away. They can handle it in a very different way. Instead of the guilt and the shame fueling them to take the drug even more because they want to get out of state, they can understand where the guilt and shame are coming from. And like one man said, so brilliantly, then self-soothe, around that guilt and shame, instead of turning to other things, so, as human beings, they’re always going to experience guilt and shame, always around something, it’s part of the human experience, it doesn’t mean you have to buy into it and be weighed down by it as they have in the past. But now, on the other side, they have the tools and awareness to navigate that journey very differently.

Doug Holt 15:36  

That’s so amazing because we think about guilt and shame. I know for men, well, at least myself too, that is something that rises, the idea of feeling guilty of not spending enough time with your kids, not getting enough work done, maybe not making enough money for your employees, whatever it may be. That’s an easy prescription, which I’m sure whether I can fill back into this addiction.

Tim Matthews 16:01  

Yeah, for sure. Outside, the shame stacks, doesn’t it? , where these guys used to be is it they’ll experience some shame, it used to be a trigger one, let’s say for example of at a loss in business, they’ll then start to tell themselves a story of how much of a failure they are, and how worthless they are, which will then cause them to maybe not show up as well at the next meeting, which will then stack the shame. And then they may go home, and they may stop at the kids, which then stacks to shame. And then again to this is powered by the end of the day of feeling so ashamed about themselves that the only way they know at that point to escape it is to go in to get the drugs or drink the alcohol or do whatever it is to get rid of this feeling because shame becomes too much. The only other side of that coin, let’s say they have that business meeting, and it doesn’t quite go to plan because they’ve got the awareness and tools to change the story. They’re telling themselves that share and get a chance to stack. So it’s almost like they relieve the pressure a lot early on in the process that you never, very rarely get to that boiling point where they need to go and turn to something outside of them to release it. It’s almost like they’ve got little reveal relief valves at each point of the pressure, which can turn. They release the pressure. And there are lots of safeguards along the way. And one of the things I love about the men that we work with anywhere is that, if they’re struggling, they will post in the workplace. One guy, for example, posted, hey, guys, now I’m struggling. I’m feeling the urge to go on to a hook-up site because he used to be addicted to hook-up sites and sex. So it was feeling the urge to go there. And all the guys were straight there for him, ringing him up, asking him questions, basically helping him step away from the ledge. And for him, just the mere act of sharing how it was feeling in a place where it wasn’t going to get judged by men who he respected and he walked alongside was enough to relieve the pressure. And then, when all the men did remind him of his path, it relieves the pressure even more. So he immediately resisted the urge and came away from the sites, but it’s not about never going on that site again or never ringing the dealer. , you may get to that point. But, when you’re surrounded by a group of like-minded men who can remind you of certain things and help you to relieve that pressure, then chances are you’re not going to go through with it.

Doug Holt 18:49  

I know exactly what instance you’re talking about here, and it was so amazing to me during that time that the gentleman you’re referring to is a family man, an amazing guy. , he just fell back in a pattern. The guys that jumped to him were Christians, Muslims. Guys who had never touched a drop of alcohol in their entire lives, all walks of life, and the men we work with are all over the board. But everybody, just like you said, jumped in to help him with zero judgment. There was never once an ounce of judgment on him or his actions, just, despite the walks of life and things that all these men have been through. I mean, gosh, there’s, a couple of guys out there that never have, one that I can think of the top of my head that had sex with his wife, that’s it. You’ve never had another partner. And there’s just no judgment there. He’s one of the first to step in and say, hey, look, I’m here to help you. And I think that sense of brotherhood and community is what’s lacking in society today. When you look at men as a whole, and as a group, we’ve been taught to go the lone wolf route rather than forming bonds with other like-minded men. Of course, we allow a lot of us to start we saw the same friends we had since the high school only because we have a history with them. We go to the pub or the bar or wherever. We end up telling stories that, remember I come to remember when stories were, your 40s you’re still talking about things you did in high school or your early 20’s. Rather than up leveling with other men at your level, business owners around the world, the same commonalities, come out and form that tribe. It’s just such a different approach. When you look at the shame and the guilt of having these men run to each other, so to speak, who are family men, they’re busy they have a lot on their plate, but they come through in a judgment-free area to make sure people are still walking the right path it just warms my heart every time I see that.

Tim Matthews 20:55  

Yeah, so one thing you said that we should nail on the head for me is, we don’t see much in society these days because there’s so much of a norm of competing with one another, right? I’ve got to be better than you. I’ve got to look better than you I’ve got to, so as a result, I’m not going to share with you my weaknesses, whether it’s in a corporate world people trying to help pop perform. So yeah, it’s great to have that space whereby these men can retreat to it as well. That’s why I love that they’re able to retreat to it. You were waving the white flag. They’re like, I need help. And they get it instantly, which is such a great thing.

Doug Holt 21:39  

Oh, it is. So Tim is a man that’s listening to this identifying himself through this pattern, this guilt, the shame, the cocaine shame, as you said, what are some action steps he can take right now like and man, if you’re listening to this. You’re resonating with this at all, and it may not be cocaine may be porn addiction; it could be alcohol. Who are you? We all do. If you’ve questioned it, then you’re in that camp, buddy. Tim, what are a couple of things they can do right now?

Tim Matthews 22:10  

One of the things that I invite you to get real with yourself, take yourself away somewhere for an afternoon or a day, and get real about what void is it that you’re trying to fill in your life, or what experiences that you’re trying to get from taking that drug, let’s say is cocaine. And let’s say that you take in a social situation because you want to feel more confident and feel better about yourself. So you can say the things you want to say and be who you want to be without fearing judgment. You want to be the life and soul of the party. Well, what void is it? What feeling are you trying to get from doing that? Our converse, let’s say that you have had a massive winning business or even a big failure in business, and you want to take the cocaine too again, gnome and suppress and run from the feelings you’re experiencing. So what avoids it is that you’re trying to fill with the drug or with whatever it is from outside of you. And then how can you start to give the feeling that state to yourself, without the drug. And it could be simple things like, having taking more time for yourself to walk in nature, it could be, a lot of times what we see with the men is they’ve lost touch with themselves, the two biggest questions they often have is they don’t know who they are or what they want. So in line with that, they don’t know what they like to do for fun. They don’t know what they like to do to fill their cup. So, as a result, they’re constantly pushing and hustling and grinding, giving to everybody else and leaving nothing for themselves. So I invite you that, if you’ve self-identified, first of all, as I said, to get clear on what the void is, and then start to look at what you can do to fill that void, hobbies, languages, nurture, travel, whatever it is because the chances are when you are living a life you love when you found in peace. Or when you live in a life that you love, you’re not going to crave the drugs or the things from outside of you because you’re going to be feeling so good about yourself that you’re not going to want to change your states by taking something else you’re not going to want to or need to. That’s what we often see in men. And that’s what I saw for myself to what I know to be true for many other men.

Doug Holt 24:32  

I’ve seen it time and time again. And I think it’s; also, we have to throw in that obligatory caveat. We’re not drug and alcohol counselors, and we certainly don’t play one on the internet, and it’s not what we do. We’ve just seen this pattern repeatedly with men who have come into our program who have admitted that they’ve had issues with substance or any other addiction for that matter. And seeing them replace that with healthy habits and watch those bad habits, there’s no good or bad. I’m just using those terms to dissipate and go away, so I want to make sure that’s clear before we get all those emails coming in.

Tim Matthews 25:11  

Yeah, one other thing to jump on the back of that as well if you really can’t do this on your own and get help, whether you raise your hand and ask for help from a program that you feel can help you or a different kind of route whatever it is if you’re struggling with this. You feel like you’ve tried these things and all this, and you can’t do it for yourself for whatever reason. And obviously, my advice to you would be to reach out and get help.

Doug Holt 25:38  

No, guys, don’t suffer in silence. Right we know that male suicide rates are on the rise rapidly. Please do not suffer in silence, and maybe you’re listening to this; you’re saying, hey, that’s not me. But if somebody else is either suffering from an addiction or that guilt and that shame and or is teetering on that line, right? Send them a copy of this podcast, let them know you’re thinking of them. Simple as that, hey, check this out. I would love to know your thoughts. Something like that can often spark a conversation, but it can also let somebody know that they’re being seen and somebody else cares about them. So I encourage you guys to do that.

Tim Matthews 26:16  

Fantastic, right guys? Well, thank you for joining us. Please, like we always say, come and join the conversation. Over in the Facebook community, like this, share it and leave a review so the man can find it just like you were on a mission to help as many men as we can to, find inner peace, and unlock that near unlimited power, personal power in your own life. So that can be the best men that can be for the people that love. So, as I said, Thank you for joining us, and we’ll catch you next time.

Doug Holt 26:47  

Have a great one, guys.