Becoming aware of your power over addiction.
practice not powerless
humanness not diseased
skills not pills
Teaching people how to be more skillful with themselves – to stop crashing and burning, and to be a little more playful in the process, is the greatest practice I can offer.
*Research shows that after one year, a mindfulness-based program proved better than standard cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention, and a conventional 12 step program in reducing drinking and drug use. JAMA Psychiatry May 2014
AIM: Moving beyond the disease model and finally learning to lead lives of our own choosing.
CORE STANCE: Addiction is a learned habit (mental, physical, emotional, chemical, environmental, and all that jazz) that can be unlearned. We find value and worth in learning to be more skillful in our individual human-ness. Addiction is anything that takes us away from experiencing the reality of our lives, and we now choose to bravely show up to the beautiful mess of being human.
Addiction includes and is not limited to: substances, behaviors, and distractions (spending, sex, food, relationships, co-dependency, technology/media), and mindsets (self-doubt, fantasy & negative loops).
FOUNDATIONS of RECOVERY: Honest self-confrontation (#Nofilter), respectful consumption/moderation, minimalism, mindfulness, silence, stillness, sober realities, personal leadership, appreciative practice, service, self-respect, body vitality, character development, practice, practice, practice – and some good old fashion direct life experience.
I am powerful over my addiction.
This, is the new step one.
Well, it’s not the easiest thing to digest. Not the easiest thing to admit (if admit is even the best word choice – ??? – probably not).
It’s like throwing a wrench into a wheel (or whatever that image is) – it’s a mental wrench.
Give voice to it: I am powerful. I am powerful over my addiction. I am powerful over my life.
They find it hard to ‘admit they are powerless over their addiction’ – and according to the 12 Step Model, they have to ‘be ready’ to admit they are powerless – and in this first step – to admit one is powerless – one is assumed to be on a healing path.
But the healing path isn’t-doesn’t-won’t happen in a state of powerlessness.
Have our lives become unmanageable? Yes.
Are we powerless? No.
And my male clients, do not – no way shape or form – want to admit they are powerless. And they shouldn’t. Because they are not. Not powerless.
Sustainable recovery rates among the 12 Step Community are very low. Granted, community is important, however, to reclaim one’s power and to finally recover, #recovereD. (period) – might be of more importance.
And then, yes, you will have to find a new community.
It’s called; change.
You have to understand the nuances of power to know that leading with powerlessness is NOT a skillful solution.
So I ask them to try it – to see how it feels – to admit they are “powerful over their addiction – powerful over their life.”
Or, if the mind gets stuck, try, “I am not powerless over my addiction. Not powerless over my life.”
Sometimes it’s easier for the mind to digest the process of not.
Step One: I am powerful over my addictions. I am powerful over my life.
This is how you lead. This is skillful recovery. This leads to recovereD.
Interestingly, they, we – find it equally hard to admit we are powerful – just as we find it hard to admit we are powerless. We have to ‘be ready’ to admit we are powerful – because when we admit this, the game changes. The game changes BIG TIME.
Big time, as in – things happen faster – recovery, healing…all happen faster.
Faster? Yes, because we no longer circle around our excuses, our blames, or our dependencies on an industry that tells us we are sick, diseased, and powerless.
Do I think Bill W. and Dr. Bob had good intentions (in 1935 – remember that…I said in 1935)…good intentions? Yes. However, 1935 good intentions have turned into an industry to keep you powerless.
To admit we are powerful – we start claiming a different existence.
I am not sick. I am not diseased. I do not have a lifetime sentence of “once an addict, always an addict” – nor am I powerless, nor do I have to believe in this “crap” anymore. As gracious as I can be, crap, may not be the best word choice – we however are “sick and tired” of an industry that keeps us “sick” for longer than necessary.
2 years RecovereD.
2 years is more than enough time to Recover.
Because sparks start to fly when you claim a different existence – when you are ready to admit you are powerful. The path is different – it looks different, it feels different. It may even feel exciting. Yes, I said exciting. To be excited to start engaging in life differently.
To have life start to feel exciting again.
I don’t know how to explain it exactly, I just know I have clients come to my office, in their first session, with all their stories of chaos, mess and bloodshed of the “addiction lifestyle,” and they leave excited to start living a new existence.
Excited to turn their s*** into sunshine.
A natural excitement.
Isn’t this what most of us are after? What we are chasing to a large degree? To be and feel excited about life and about living our own lives?
There is no pill – no sustainable drug (illicit or not) – that can give us the natural spark of this excitement.
The beautiful capacity of our own brains to give us an injection of endorphins, that our body feels, and we call it excitement.
Because I know what they are after. I know what they are chasing.
I know what they are trying to “inject” into their life.
Some of my clients are/were injecting heroin (fentanyl and such) into their veins…in hopes to feel – excitement or some feeling worth living for.
Because we are all trying to inject some goodness into our lives (in some way shape or form) – in hopes to feel a life worth living.
It’s a feeling game.
Feel powerless, and let that story roll out every day – OR, start learning to be more skillful in the management of your power, and see how that story wants to play out in your life.
Life is giving you the chance to play a new role; your choice.
So, the skills practice for today is to start giving voice to “I am powerful.”
Start to digest it.
Let the words be a mental wrench to break up old beliefs, patterns, and ways of existing.
Take it slow.
Manna received. Manna given.
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