Archive for category: Addictions

The Transformational Effects Of Remorse

28 Dec
December 28, 2008

In my work as an addiction counsellor, I often encounter issues of shame behind substance abuse.  The influence of shame on self-destructive habits looks something like this:

A person grew up with a belief that he is unworthy, damaged or a bad person.  He struggles with the pain and fear generated by this underlying belief and attempts to invalidate the belief through his actions and behaviours.  At the same time, because he has not reconciled his fear of this belief, he tends to perpetuate acts that substantiate the belief. ...keep reading

Boredom: A Golden Door Or Block?

18 Oct
October 18, 2008

In my work to help people get off drugs and alcohol, I keep hearing “boredom” cited as a reason for substance abuse.  A lot of self-destructive behaviours are motivated by boredom – when life seems meaningless and no longer interesting, we seek out ways to inject more fun, danger, madness into our lives.

Why do our lives become so boring?  The question we need to ask first is, why do we become bored with life?

Human beings by nature seek stimulation, because we seek to grow.  Without stimulation, there can be no growth.  Stimulation implies movement, and growth is a movement.  Our deepest core is made up of a vibrant and creative energy that is alive all the time.  This is the core of who we really are.  Stagnation of any kind dampens our spirit and kills the passion in us.  We feel bored so we seek new experiences and in the process we enrich our lives and grow through the experiences. ...keep reading

The Perfection Of Imperfection

13 Aug
August 13, 2008

One of the reasons why we fail to create lasting changes in our lives is we tend to focus on what is not-yet ‘perfect’ and using that as an excuse to sabotage our progress.  We tend to begin a process of change expecting to wake up one day with all our internal conflicts gone overnight.  It’s called a “process” because it is an ongoing journey of healing parts of ourselves.  But most of us expect our issues to disappear within a short time, and when we see that we’re still struggling, we consider ourselves to have failed.  So we go back to our old habits or old structure – full on – because “it’s all or nothing”. ...keep reading

Healing Your Relationship With Food

03 May
May 3, 2008

Last night, I watched a film in the centre’s movie room.  As I settled on the couch, I proceeded to eat a Mars Bar and buttered popcorn.  Halfway through the movie, I was struck by how relaxed and free I am about my eating now.  It’s been years since I’d thought anything about it, since I’d obsessed about everything I ate.

Eating a Mars Bar without calculating the kind of ‘damage’ it could have on my body is so liberating.  I have been on countless diets in the past, obsessively counting calories, carb portions, fat grams, weighing myself, measuring myself, scaring myself with the imagined effects food could have on my body shape – wrecking my sense of self-worth with massive guilt and self-beating, and then neutralising the effects with diet pills, stimulants and appetite suppresants. ...keep reading

Trancing Out Into The Joy Of You

17 Apr
April 17, 2008

One of the most rewarding things I’d found when I went on my spiritual journey was discovering that I could reach a trance state without the use of drugs.  I am reminded about this while conducting a group class this morning.  As I led the group through a series of meditative movements overlooking a vista of calmly-flowing river, I was aware of my senses becoming more acute and having an expanded sense of myself.  The essence of me, the juice of passion, flowed like warm treacle running through my veins and igniting sparks of inspiration that brought me closer to who I really am. ...keep reading

Reconciling The Tension Of Temptation

01 Apr
April 1, 2008

Every now and then, I hear of someone who’s on a diet and refuses to eat out with her friends because she’s afraid of yielding to temptation.  Or the ex-smoker or drinker who no longer socialises with his buddies to stay away from temptation.

While I agree that the best environment for kicking an addiction is one that is removed from temptation (and probably essential in the early stages), that temptation must eventually be dealt with too, for the addiction to be completely healed.

The objects of addiction – drugs, alchohol, TV, internet, porn, food – will always be around, somewhere in our world.  We can’t control their whereabouts nor wipe out their existence.  If your abstinence is dependent on the absence of these things, then it follows that if they surfaced you would fall back to your addiction. ...keep reading

“Something About Your Face …”

01 Apr
April 1, 2008

Yesterday, I was sitting in an ice-cream shop with a friend, sipping a smoothie, when he looked puzzlingly at me and said, “We need to do something about your face.”

“What, like plastic surgery?” I asked.

“No, nothing that serious… I don’t know, there’s something not quite right about your face.”  Then he asked what I would do if I had gone to a plastic surgeon.  I couldn’t think of anything.  He was sceptical.  “Come on,” he pressed, “you know.”  I told him that I’d wanted a boob job in my 20’s, but not anymore.  He tried to help: “Maybe your nose?” ...keep reading