Addiction | Staying Sober During the Holidays | 5 Tips
During the Holiday's it can be very difficult when you may have family and friends who love to celebrate with a celebratory substance (Alcohol, Weed, Opiates, Coke, Heroin, Ecstasy, etc). Holiday occasions can impose feelings of anxiety, depression, or even isolation because you have made profound life changes, where as everyone else still has the same lifestyle as before. Please read our TOP 5 TIPS in how to Relax within your Sober Holiday.
1. Do Not Get Hung Up on your State of Sobriety.
Relax and have a good time. Our thoughts control our response to the present moment, so do not create an uncomfortable situation when there isn't one. The moment you decide that you cannot have a good time sober, is when you have created that internal delusional of reality.
2. Be Selective of Whom you Accept Invitations From.
You know from the past, and through your own intuition, which parties are appropriate and which ones are not. Also, you can have fun by creating your own annual party where you can have control of what you accept and what you do not.
3. Manage your Social Anxiety.
When Anxiety starts to kick in, take 3 deep breaths to relax. Then, go ask a friend to take a walk to connect on a more personnel basis. Create space between you and the heavy activity within the party. Create your own personnel party within the party.
4. Promote Healthy New Traditions with your Friends and Family.
This is the time to express all the wonderful new lifestyle changes that you have inherited as your own. Cook Healthy Pot Luck Dishes, and share information that can help them and their loved ones become healthier themselves. They will love you for it! Be an Example, and use your intellectual power to continue to create shifts within your circle.
5. Give Thanks for Sober Days.
Take this annual occasion to dedicate your sobriety to yourself and your loved ones. Reflect, and Smile on the hurdles you have overcome. Be an Example Towards Change and Growth. Even though people within your circle may not have an active addiction, most of us reflect on what changes (small or big) need to be made within our lives, and when loved ones see your success, it can give them the confidence to do the same.
As a family member it can be hard to understand the nature of substance abuse with a loved one. Especially when we continuously want to believe that by some chance they may be able to handle or control what is going on in their life. Coming to terms with the reality of the addiction, as a family member can be very difficult. Many many people do not know what to do.
10 Ways a Family Member can Help a Loved One:
1. Become knowledgeable and learn the facts about drug and alcohol addiction. Al-anon & Nar-anon Meetings can be found in your local hometown to help.
2. Do not try to help or rescue the addict. If Karma has caught up to them, let them experience it. The cause of their addiction has brought them here and they need to experience consequences.
3. Do not financially support the addict by helping them with groceries, bills, court fines, etc.
4. Don't try to understand or create delusional reasons why the loved one is an addict.
5. Actions speak louder than words. Commit to what you say. Don't get angry over a situation, make threats or initiate consequences, and then backtrack.
6. Do not get caught up in their promises. Becoming clean is a very difficult process for the addict. They may relapse 2, 5, 10 times before they are able to create and maintain long lasting changes. The point is they are trying.
7. Support the addict's new positive ideas and aspirations even if they sound absurd and unrealistic. This new positive direction, whatever it may be, is a sign that they are finding something to be passionate about. If they begin to create action towards their aspiration, they have now been able to find something positive to cling to, and have a better chance in staying away from substance abuse.
8. Don't Preach or Lecture. This can push the addict in the opposite direction. Talking doesn't make changes, actions do.
9. Don't Blame Yourself. They are an adult and if they use the scapegoat that you are the reason, they are ultimately using you along with many other dimensions of their life as the associated illusion to their addiction.
10. Don't live in the Past. The key is to deal with the issue as it exists now, and to focus on the addiction of substance abuse. Do not go into the past and focus on old negative issues. The past is gone, and the present is now. Work on the NOW.
Being in Recovery is a different experience for all of us. For me, alcohol was a great solution to life's problems. It would calm my anxiety, wipe away the fears that stimulated my mind, and at the same time it was an escape from my reality. I believe the road of Recovery gives you the opportunity to go deeper inside the psyche and find what really brings us joy and inner peace. Those of us who have crossed into the depths of addiction found the addiction to be a best friend of sorts, a way of being so the substance could give us comfort. Without our best friend by our side, we now have to come to a place of understanding of what kind of 'void' that substance was filling. Why have I become so out of control, and what can I do to Overcome? 12-Step Meetings, Church, Fitness, Nutritional Changes, or Therapy? All the above or something much more? Whatever it is, our life will take a drastic change from the stimulus life we lead before, but once we find our alternative method(s) of positive healing, what we accomplish will surely be a different life, much healthier, more relaxed and hopefully a little calmer. We need to "let go" and no longer fight against our new path of existence. We need to no longer look at the mistakes weave made because the past is the past and the future has not been written. Learn to enjoy the journey of recovery. Meet new people, find what inspires you, take care of your body. After all we've survived! It's time to re-write your story.
There are many aspects in one individuals life. One dimension can be that we are trying to overcome something from the past, present, or even from an idea of the future. This burden that some of us carry stays connected and roots into our very nature. It is something that no one can see, and it is something that only the seer of life can understand fully to the Essenes that the burden really is. It can take us into a spin and never hang us out to dry. The spinning and spinning, round and round the burden takes over and never let's go. Mentally we are anguished by the very nature of our existence, and we look for peace in all the wrong places.
Here, Now, Today, is the time to OVERCOME. To Overcome the feelings of Anguish. To Overcome Jealously. To Overcome Pain. To Overcome Uncertainty. To Overcome Anger To Overcome Confusion. To Overcome Fear. To Overcome the Pattern of Negative Thinking.
Call NOW to Speak with a Counselor: 1-713-907-5632
Whether you are a new addict, recovering addict, or you feel like you are on the verge of letting your life spin out of control, it's time for a Sober Wellness Vacation. Its time to work on you, and to get connected to your body before the lifestyle of addiction begins or becomes out of control.
At Moffitt Wellness Retreat our focus is on those in 'Active' Full Blow Addiction. Through our experience, the people we have had the pleasure of working with, have wished they were educated earlier on the essences of a Healthy Lifestyle, and what that truly means inside and out. They come to think, maybe the addiction wouldn't have fully settled into my life if I was aware or had the opportunity to learn more about wellness? Maybe my life wouldn't have spun out of control? No one will truly know that answer, but what we do know here at MWR, is that everyone either with a full blow addiction or not, needs a Sober Wellness Vacation.
This is much different than the typical Vacation. A Vacation with Family/Friends can turn to using party substances, whether alcohol or drugs, or you may be the super adventurous type who is on the go, experiencing all that life has to offer. Either one is extremely exhausting, and the return back home or work can be a bit painful. The mind, body, and spirit is usually drained with no deep rest or rejuvenation.
A 7 or 15-Day Sober Wellness Vacation
Either for the full-blown addict, recovering addict, for someone who thinks their current lifestyle is on the verge of spinning out of control, or for someone who just wants a stress-free pampered vacation. This vacation is for you and you alone.
A Few Highlights: * Get educated on the impact of addiction. * Be taken through exercises to help re-evaluate your life. * Education on Coping Skills (Anger Management, Stress & Anxiety, and Relapse Prevention are just a few topics) * Development of a bio-individualized nutrition plan and support. * Fitness & Yoga * Bodywork - Massage or Acupuncture * Adventure Therapy * * Option to Include Medical Detox.
For those of us in recovery, we will tell you that drinking and drugs have ruined many wins and have created many loses. This is the time to think and look at your life with a new pair of sunglasses. This is the time to make more educated decisions about your future and overall well being.
Here at MWR, we believe if people can become more proactive and take charge of their life to experience a Sober Wellness Vacation, that they will be able to carry those experiences into their daily lives and make positive changes.
Let us Build Your Sober Wellness Vacation : + 1.713.907.5632
As I reflect on my life, I have come to understand that being an Alcoholic is a life that I never want to experience again. As I look into the looking glass, I can fully see the pain I put myself, family, and friends through. Through this deeper sense of past reality, I can't help but express the need to surrender before regrets begin to pile up and become to great to bear.
Recovery from alcoholism no doubt has it's challenges, but at this point in my recovery I am able to think more clearly and become connected on a different plane. You ask me, "Is life better?" SURE, my life and mind are more clear, but it IS different. You can definitely say my life has never been "normal', or whatever that means, and alcohol made me more comfortable in my skin and a little easier to exist in this crazy world for many many years, so I thought...
When people contact me with concerns about their addiction, I stress to them that not even "I" can say something that will make them shift, but I do tell them to be honest with themselves, and to remove the delusion of reality that they have created within their life. This is easier said then done, but I continue to guide them towards some glimmer of the truth, in hopes that they begin to reach out and do something before their regrets are built up to high. The more regrets, the harder it may become to stay sober for any length of time.
There is nothing we can do about the past, but there is always, I mean always, changes we can do within our present moment. Even when you think you see there is no way out, there are always small steps that can be taken towards healing. No step is to small. So please stop the chaos before there is to much pain. Don't create any more of a challenge within your recovery and begin to let go and let it take you into a magical ride into the beauty of the unknown.
Become Optimistic instead of Pessimistic. The fewer the regrets, the easier the Journey. You Got This! Dig Deep and deal with it now before it is to late! God Bless Everyone that is suffering. There is another chapter of life awaiting you, just turn the page and press on.
What characterizes an addiction? Quite simply this: you no longer feel that you have the choice to stop. —Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
While there are a range of ways that people break the cycle of addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and its Twelve-Step approach has become one of the most well known, accessible, and affordable ways (it’s free) to get clean and sober, and has come to signify the Western approach to recovery. It’s more than the promise of abstinence, however, that attracts people to the Twelve Steps.
“Addiction itself can be a misguided spiritual search,” says Kevin Griffin, author of One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps and cofounder of the Buddhist Recovery Network (BRN). “Many people who don’t see themselves as particularly spiritual find that when they get sober they have some longing in them, and that their addiction, in one form or another, has been a longing for connection. This is a very common experience.”
Though there is no spiritual or religious requirement to practice the Twelve Steps, at the heart of any Twelve-Step recovery program is the importance of adopting a spiritual approach to life. “The point is that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines,” states the bible of Alcoholics Anonymous (a.k.a. the Big Book). First published in 1939, this main text offers detailed instructions for prayer and, to a lesser degree, meditation, but it doesn’t address, in any significant way, the role that a bodymind connection can play in the healing process.
Aruni Nan Futuronsky, a Kripalu Yoga teacher and life coach who teaches Yoga and Recovery: 12-Step Spirituality, says that the complementary relationship between the Twelve Steps and yoga is a perfect marriage for healing. “Addiction is the ultimate checking out of the moment … Yoga, on and off the mat, is the checking in to reality,” she says. “Brilliantly, yoga and recovery programs work together to cover all bases.”
Bodymind practices aside, there are many parallels between the benefits reaped from Eastern practices, like yoga and meditation, and the benefits produced as a result of working the Twelve Steps-self-acceptance for one, the importance of staying in the moment another. In his workshop One Breath at a Time, Griffin connects Buddhism’s Eightfold Path directly with the Twelve Steps. The First Noble Truth “is that there is suffering. The Second Noble Truth is that the cause of suffering is clinging, or craving,” he says. “And if [meditation] practice works with suffering, with clinging and craving, it’s going to help with addiction. And it does.”
The Big Book promises that anyone can get and stay clean if they practice “rigorous honesty.” “Mindfulness,” says Griffin, a member of a Twelve-Step group himself, “is a form of existential honesty. What is true in this moment? Both the Steps and meditation really demand a presence and a willingness to look at what is real and true.”
Although he has stopped assuming there is any one way to get and stay sober, Griffin will still encourage attendance at Twelve-Step meetings to students who are initially resistant, and will also refer them to the BRN, which “supports the use of Buddhist teachings, traditions, and practices to help people recover from the suffering caused by addictive behaviors.” BRN meetings are not affiliated with any Twelve-Step program, but as Griffin points out, they have some similarities to a Twelve-Step meeting. “There’s sharing. There’s someone who leads. You meditate together as a group. [Even] if you don’t want to do Twelve-Step, you still need support.”
Nikki Myers, who teaches Yoga of Twelve-Step Recovery with her husband, Nate Rush, notes that she often comes across recovering addicts who only want to do yoga and not go to Twelve-Step meetings. With a history of relapse in her own recovery, Myers knows what awaits some people who go down that path. “I replaced meetings and [Twelve-Step] program work with yoga. The relapse proved the ineffectiveness of that path for me. I had the realization that it takes both, and that brought me to a more integrated recovery approach.” Myers and Rush use models from the Yoga Sutras, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and other sacred texts to help expand their students’ awareness. “A Twelve-Step program approaches addiction at a cognitive level,” says Myers, “and yoga includes a somatic approach. The combining of the two creates a model that truly addresses addiction as the physical, mental, and spiritual dis-ease that it is.”
A recovering alcoholic, sober for nine years, who asked to remain anonymous, explained her experience of being on the verge of relapse, and how adding the bodymind approach helped her turn a tough corner. “Four years into my recovery,” she says, “I started to question whether or not the Twelve Steps worked at all and if it was even worth it to be sober. I wasn’t drinking, but my addictive tendencies were making the rounds in different areas of my life, so I still felt crazy and restless and unhappy. At the suggestion of a fellow recovering alcoholic, I signed up for a yoga class. In yoga postures, I got introduced to how frenetic and negative my thinking was, and I knew that that’s where the change needed to happen. Abstinence from alcohol wasn’t enough. Eventually I started a meditation practice, which is where I get to both observe and train my mind.”
Mukta Kaur Khalsa believes meditation and yoga can serve as an enhancement to the 12-Step approach. Khalsa serves as the director for SuperHealth, a Kundalini “system of yogic science to break habits and addictive behaviors” that offers a training program using “practical technologies” taught by Kundalini master Yogi Bhajan. SuperHealth, which has been rated in the top 10 percent of residential treatment programs in the United States, partners with the medical model but addresses recovery first with Kundalini Yoga and meditation, detoxifying foods and juices, and more, in order to calm and purify the addict’s taxed nervous system. “All body systems get broken down during addiction,” Khalsa says, “and you need the ability to move through challenges. Kundalini [practices] give the person grit and determination.” In her book Meditations for Addictive Behavior, Khalsa offers a collection of life- and health-affirming meditations ranging from “The Healthy Happy Holy Breath” to a “Meditation to Conquer Self-Animosity” to “Forgiveness.” “Anyone can do Kundalini,” Khalsa says, “and they will benefit from it.”
The Eastern perspective on addiction is that it’s not a separate ailment, but rather a condition on the continuum of human suffering. Rolf Gates, master yoga teacher, addictions counselor, and author of Meditations from the Mat, puts it this way: “In the Western medical model, addiction is treated as something outside of the ordinary. In the Eastern approach to suffering, attachment to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant is seen as a constant, and so addiction is just an extreme manifestation of an ordinary attachment to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant.”
The difference in perspective, however, doesn’t change the structure of the approach to healing. “The Western approach to addiction generally falls into what is called cognitive behavioral therapy,” Gates adds, “which focuses one’s attention on the problem and supports a person in the practice of new behaviors. A yoga or meditation teacher draws one’s attention to the cause of suffering and supports the student in practicing new behaviors. As a result, the Eastern and Western approaches to treatment are almost identical.”
The Kripa Foundation in Mumbai, India, embraces this East and West marriage in its residential treatment approach. Kripa, a multifaceted organization, aims to empower “those afflicted and affected by chemical dependency and HIV/AIDS.“ All residents are required to do a morning Iyengar Yoga practice consisting of restorative poses. Father Joseph Pereira, founder of Kripa and longtime student of B. K. S. Iyengar is interviewed in Addiction, Recovery, and Yoga, a feature documentary by Iyengar yoga teacher Lindsey Clinnell. “[These practices] calm down the person,” Pereira says, “and bring about a hypo-metabolic effect and that leads the person to say to one’s self that ‘I am alright. Deep down I’m alright.’”
Whether it’s found through therapy, the Twelve Steps, a bodymind approach, or a combination of all three, the experience of spiritual well-being seems to be the key to helping many people break the cycle of addiction in their lives. “A longing for something lurks at the bottom of the issue of addiction,” Futuronsky says, echoing Griffin’s observation. “Aren’t all addicts seekers, wanting something extraordinary, something magical, to soothe them?” And what better magic to add to the path of clean living than yoga and meditation?
A person in recovery, or anyone hungry for spiritual connection, is wise to take what Rolf Gates says to heart: “It is my understanding that the Buddha told his students that there is only one mistake you can make on the path to awakening, and that is to stop.”
Laura Didyk, MFA, is the writer of Off the Mat, a former Kripalu Online column. Her work has also been published in magazines throughout the country. She lives and writes in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
Every CELL in your body has it's own INTELLIGENCE and is able to listen to what you are thinking, feel what you are expressing, and become what you are consuming.
One of the most known ADDICTIONS that TRANSFORM into CANCER is Cigarette Smoking & Tobacco Chewing, which can turn into lung, throat or lymph-node cancer. Alcoholism & Drug Abuse can turn into liver, colon/rectum, or pancreas cancer. Other types not mentioned here could occur as well. My intention is not to give a comprehensive list.
Besides Substance Abuse, repetitive negative thinking, and suppressing negative emotions such as anger, resentment, and hatred, and even milder emotions such as irritation, annoyance, or frustration can easily MANIFEST into ILLNESS. This illness can be physical, emotional, or spiritual.
When you are in a STATE OF BALANCE- mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically- illness simple can't settle in your body. Most people have not been taught how to deal with stress and negative thinking, and don't know how to live a BALANCED LIFE.
This is where MOFFITT WELLNESS RETREAT in LUXURY STYLE, comes into the picture. IT IS TIME to take 1, 2, 3, or even 4 weeks off to BRING BALANCE back into your life and not only BEST ADDICTION, but the possibility of cancer as well.
Your Wellness Journey can BEGIN by CALLING: 1-713-907-5632. Wether you need to heal from addiction or need to bring homeostasis back into your life, call today, you deserve to save your life.
Julia Allshouse CHHC, RYT-200 Vikara Wellness Cel: (044) 322-105-0981 www.vikarawellness.com Certified Holistic Health & Overall Wellness Counselor
This year has just begun! This letter shows that every living creature is struggling with something, with the hopes of a new horizon into peace and happiness. It's time to drum up your courage, your strength, and your will power to restrain from unhealthy habits, and be guided in how to do so.
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