Pharmaceutical drugs have become the darling of our society.
Imagine, just by taking a pill, you can go about your life and everything is fine. Unfortunately, it’s not. Drugs alleviate a symptom, but rarely fix the root cause. Our bodies are highly intelligent systems — the pain we feel is there to tell us that something we are doing in our lives is wrong for our bodies. Since our bodies can’t “talk to us” in a language we understand, it can only scream at us with pain, disruption of sleep, digestive illness, cravings, foggy thinking, depression, clogged sinuses, colds and other things that tell us we need to pay attention.
Most of us, however, have been well trained by advertisements and advice that all we have to do is “take a pill” and continue on with the same habits that got our bodies out of whack to begin with. We end up missing the cues our body is giving us. And we conveniently get to avoid changing habits we’ve become used to (the hard work). In fact, it only feels hard to change these habits becuase we haven’t been taught how easy it can be. This is not a society where we celebrate finding and changing habits that impact our health in body, mind & spirit. It is a society that celebrates better, faster, cheaper — so take that drug and get on with it.
Addiction in A Fast-Paced, Pill-Popping World
our bodies don’t become ill overnight, we also may not heal overnightThose of us who develop addictions have created a situation where our minds and adrenals are so stressed that we’ve become something other than our true essence — or who we really are. We don’t know how to get back to “normal,” because we are trying to do it by continuing with all of our habits. Maybe even taking a pill, like the good kids-turned-adults we’ve been taught to do. Healing, however, is a step-by-step process. Since our bodies don’t become ill overnight, we also don’t heal overnight. The good news is that we can heal — and learning new habits that create health are incredibly empowering.
Could Addiction Be A Gift?
Addiction is our body-mind-spirit cry for help. It could be a gift if we answer the cry. How could it be a gift? Because when we align our mind, body and spirit to overcome addiction, what results is a peace and joy for living that may never have resulted had we not hit bottom in our addiction. This has been my experience and I have read countless accounts of others who say the same thing. I’m not sure if I would have looked so carefully at my life and what I really want if I didn’t have bulimia — if I wasn’t completely dedicated to move beyond addiction so that I could fully enjoy my life.
Listen-Watch-Live Your Way to Health
Overcoming an addiction by doing what it takes to look really hard at our lives, LISTEN to our bodies, WATCH our minds (and replace our negative thinking, love ourselves) and LIVE to our true desires (do what’s in our hearts — it may be different from the mainstream or the “shoulds”) — this can really set us free.
Knowledge Is Power
We have more power than we think — to recover and create radiant health. I never felt that way before — I only felt helpless, powerless and confused. For 16 years — and even at times in the 4 years I was going through initial recovery — I felt confused…I felt like a failure. What I didn’t give myself credit for was that I continued to look for ways to recover. I continued to research, to experiment and capture the lessons learned. If you are doing this, you are resilient — you are a survivor. This means that you are aware that you are out of balance and that it is impacting your health.
If you have not tried the step-by-step, natural approach to recovery, consider adding this knowledge. Naturopathy, homeopathy, macrobiotics & Chinese medicine, Ayurvedics, yoga and meditation are excellent alternatives for those who’ve tried everything. Part of why these are good is that they take a step-by-step approach to healing your entire mind-body-spirit system. They allow you to get closer to who you really are in each of these areas. What we are missing in addiction is that true relationship with ourselves. We are also missing trust. Trust in the things we cannot see — and all of these approaches can open our minds to trusting that life can support us. That we will be okay.
The Challenge of Trust
For me, trust was the most foreign of concepts. I felt like the only way to be okay, to be loved, to be approved and to be successful was to WORK WORK WORK WORK and always be in CONTROL — yes, it was that bad. Learning to trust was the scariest thing I could imagine. I wondered what would happen if I just let go of the control.
Letting Go Of Control
I thought I’d spin completely out of control, get huge, fall apart and be in the gutter somewhere. I felt like letting go of control meant becoming my worst fears. But at the heart — right at the core — of my fears? Being unloved, unwanted and JUDGED. What I didn’t realize was that I feared being judged because I was constantly comparing myself to others and judging everyone — mostly myself. Letting go meant giving up judgment of self and others. Giving up judgment actually resulted in being less fearful of others judging me — funny, huh? Letting go meant not needing to work so damn hard at everything, not to have to be in front of, in the middle of every single thing that went through my life. Letting go meant less work. It was a sigh of relief. I could relax.
And guess what? Things did not spin out of control — they got better and easier. That was the proof I needed that trust was possible — but I never would have known it unless I tried. No one can tell you the answers — you get them through taking the risk & trying it out….Just doing it. This is why support from a coach, therapist, doctors, friends and family is so helpful — because no one can GIVE you the answers, but the CAN give you support.
- Give yourself credit for committing to recovery, even if you stumble along the way – acknowledge yourself for the steps you take, even if they seem small. Consider creating an acknowledgement space in your journal and writing down all the things you want to pat yourself on the back for. Make sure you come up with at least three things every day!
- If you’ve tried everything to recover, what lessons have you learned? Write down what you’ve tried and how you felt afterwards. What worked? Did not work? What did you learn from each of them? What patterns have you seen?
- If you haven’t looked into natural health alternatives, consider learning about them. Get help from a professional, a coach or therapist who can support you in learning these things. Consider getting a book to educate yourself on other alternatives for healing. Educate yourself so that if you decide to try an alternative path to health, you are comfortable with the quality and methodology of the program.
- Try things you haven’t tried before – I tried belly dancing, yoga, t’ai chi, The Alexander Technique and other things I had never tried before. They all opened my mind and allowed me to experience my body in different ways. It helped me learn what my body and mind are capable of when they work together. Trying these new things also helped me learn to let go of control and needing to be perfect.
- Practice letting go and trusting – experiment with this and write about what happens in your journal. Look for all the reasons trusting supports your life. Write them down every day.
- Judging – catch yourself judging others & yourself. See if you can see the connection between you and others as humans in this world, all trying to find our place in life. See if you can replace judgment with love. What happens when you do this? Write about it in your journal. Keep watching your mind to see how you judge — and keep replacing the judgment with love until it becomes a habit. Who are you when you do this with ease? How does your life change?
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