Although the path to addiction recovery seems like a simple process, (in theory), ie. Stop consuming alcohol,drugs cigarettes etc. you very quickly find yourself down the rabbit hole, with no escape, as you begin to analyse your life – and seemingly innocent behaviours.
You start to realise that at the root of virtually every decision you make, every toxic behaviour in your arsenal, there is this need, this yearning, this craving to fulfil a void within. We try to consume the outside world in the form of sex, drugs and sausage rolls – longing for those moments to last a life time.
But what we often fail to realise is that the outside world – the material world – cannot and will not satisfy us. Nothing that we consume will bring us more than momentary happiness. Happiness isn’t a commodity that can be purchased and consumed on demand, it must be cultivated and the conditions must be right for happiness to grow.
We live in a quick-fix pill-popping society, quick to judge, quick to blame and quick to medicate. We fill ourselves with substances, desperately hoping that one of them will cure our internal suffering and alleviate all the unpleasantries of life. But there are no quick fixes in life and there is no sustainable way to avoid discipline and hard work.
Trying to cure yourself by consuming is like sticking a plaster on a gangrenous wound.
If we think of our body as a garden we must first clear the weeds and add fresh soil and nutrients in order for the flowers to flourish. What this means, is that in order to set yourself free and begin the emotional recovery that is needed to beat addiction, you must begin to analyse your life – starting from the beginning.
You can start to recall and relive experiences that have left an emotional imprint on yourself. Every person in this world has had experiences which have hurt them on a conscious or subconscious level. They may have had their self esteem and confidence shattered causing them to feel anger, shame, guilt, mistrust, betrayal – or any of the harsher emotions that form the darker side of life.
Every interaction that we have with people leaves an imprint on our consciousness. Whether this be family, friends, teachers, work colleagues – everything leaves its mark. Interestingly it is not always what others have done to us that causes the greatest pain but what we have done to others.
Verbal, physical and emotional attacks towards other people are first and foremost an attack upon ourselves. It is a masked form of self-harm. Once we start to identify recurring themes and patterns throughout our life we start to uncover emotional wounds that keep causing these repeated problems.
We start to come to terms with the fact that there are parts of our personality that we are ashamed of – quirks that mark our individuality but that don’t always conform to societal norms. See Removing Your Three Masks
Disconnection From Our Selves
We start to realise that what we are missing, the void we are trying to fill is our connection to ourself and others. We lose sight of who we truly are and what we truly want as we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.
Society has been utterly lost for decades, maybe even centuries. Growing up is a rough ride and as we age, the pressures of an outside egocentric world push down upon our puny shoulders and parts of us die.
The curious, creative, loving and care-free spirit that is natural within us is chipped away one chunk at a time as we are funnelled through profit orientated education systems with little emphasis on mental, spiritual or emotional health.
We go to the doctors when we break our leg but why not when we break our heart?
A broken bone can heal in a few months but the grief from a break-up or death can last a lifetime if not properly understood and managed.
Many have not been equipped with the tools to healthily deal with their emotions and this is why so many people turn to the bottle, powder or pills in order to navigate the emotional minefield that is life.
But it is never too late to learn.
Once esoteric practices originating in the East such as: Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness, Breathwork have now opened up and easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. There is a plethora of applications, Youtube videos and free online learning resources dedicated to these topics.
The goal of all these practices is to become present:
- To focus your mind and your body on the present
- To focus your attention on your breathing, your movement and the sensations of your body
- To cultivate your senses and your connection to nature.
Focus on the present,A little mantra to say to yourself
Leave the past where it belongs,
The past is now just history
Let go of all the wrongs
It’s the simplest concept in the world but it takes dedication and practice to master. They are not a quick fix or a plaster but they are lifestyle changes that can release trapped emotions and give you a better understanding of yourself.
For the druggies and psychonauts out there, skilled meditators say that the visions, experiences and psychedelic encounters top any drug by a long way.
Meditation allows us to alter our state of consciousness and literally get high on our own supply. It cultivates dedication, will power, creativity, inner peace and most importantly – connection.
The connection that we have spent our whole lives searching for. The most important connection of all – the connection to ourselves.
Read Breaking The Shackles of Trauma as a follow on from the Path to Addiction Recovery
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Looking for Free and Confidential Support?
Mad Millennials is a UK based peer support network offering free and confidential sessions with trained volunteers. The sessions are very informal and loosely follow a theme each month – which you can find on the Instagram pages. It is an opportunity for people to talk with other people who are often experiencing similar issues and talk openly in a non-judgemental way. There is no obligation to participate or even talk if you don´t want to.
If you follow the link below you will see a page with more information and if you click on MMM Peer support groups you will be able to contact any of the groups and join a session. If you are unsure which group to join then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org