- I have completely overcome eating disorders which emerged during my young womanhood, and I have also overcome addiction to cigarettes and marijuana. I am not interested in 12-step approaches to treatment for addictions. However, I do support Moderation Management as a beneficial therapeutic community, and I have found members of that group to be loving, supportive, patient, and kind. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, March 22, 2014
The time I'm spending on my mat is giving me much needed mental relief. More than anything, I find I am accepting my body and my mental state in a way I couldn't before I returned to yoga. With the help of gentle, guiding instructors, I feel a sense of calm that has come over me. It's difficult to face your reality when you give up drugs or alcohol. People often wake up to a nightmare of destruction: social life, work life, finances. But, on your mat, you can be free to accept the very place you are at, right there in that moment. With all the angst, regret, and the memory of how you may have failed, you can still step onto that mat and know you are a being that belongs to the multicolored tapestry of humanity. Do you feel unlovable? Unloved? You are not. Take a breath, deep into your lungs. Turn inward and remind yourself that this moment is your life. Love it and forgive yourself.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
|photo by Thy Mournia|
Most of you have noticed that my blog disappeared. Perhaps you assumed I relapsed? Well, yes and no. First, I stopped drinking. Immediately thereafter, I stopped doing yoga. It was painful to stay sober. I suffered intensely because of circumstances in my life. Eventually, the relapse came upon me, 1.5 years after I quit. Since then, I've been struggling once again with depression and alcoholism. I have recently returned to sobriety and this time I returned to my mat, and I hope to achieve some kind of recovery from my severe depression. I decided to come back to the blog again, since the greatest mental relief I get comes from returning to my mat and cleansing my aching body, heart, and soul. I will continue to keep you all updated, and hopefully I can help provide some comfort to those who might be hurting.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
"Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles, and the water
is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by
itself?” ~ Lao-tzu
The answer was "no. I don't." And, I didn't.
But, let me say this...the pink lotus is a flower that grows through
mud at the bottom of ponds, and arises above the water. Since then, I
have discovered many such flowers growing out of my own muddy waters.
This week has been no exception.
Thank you, friends.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I have abstained from alcohol for nearly 2 months now. I have been enjoying many gifts because of my sobriety, but many rewards I so looked forward to receiving have remained elusive. I find it difficult to control my anxiety and I am feeling overwhelmed with stress. I was away from my mat again for a prolonged period and went back yesterday for a wonderful class. After class, it was as though my bundled up, twisted, tangled body and mind was released from bondage for the evening. My intention came to my mat at the moment of sun salutation when I realized all I wanted from yoga is to escape. Escape from worry, fret, paranoia, sadness, and disappointment. Escape from my continual waking knowledge of the world I pieced together with sadness and alcohol. Escape from my mind, tormenting me. And it works! Up until shavasana, at which point the hamster hopped back into the wheel and my mind went back to my troubles.
Yoga greatly alleviated my suffering while I was struggling with alcohol. Despite my frustration with addiction, yoga brought me many peaceful days and nights. My only real hope for a lasting recovery is to return to my mat and weave those intentions into my waking life.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I didn't post in December because of a terrible relapse. I moved to a new town and a new job 6 months ago, and pretty much buckled under the stress. My drinking took on a self-destructive form, greater than I had ever experienced before. I found my way out again, and I am beyond relieved to be sober and in good shape physically and mentally. I believe this would not be possible without antidepressants. I have been depressed most of my life, and I am realistic about the necessity of drugs for my survival. I have suffered so profoundly, so deeply, descending into a darkness I never knew existed before my untimely arrival into that place. I can't describe the pain. I don't want you to know what it feels like. I never understood alcoholism before I experienced the madness firsthand, and therefore hope you don't understand me either. But, my dear, loving friends and husband have shown me nothing but love, patience, and kindness. I have seen them suffer on my behalf, and although I wish they never witnessed my insanity, nonetheless I have been uplifted by their commitment to me as a human being. I'll never be able to repay them, but today, I am offering my practice to the universe in hopes it finds my fellow sufferers. I wish I could open my heart and share the peace I feel right now with those who are still entangled.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
It's difficult to not get impatient, especially when we begin recovery. I often find I am distressed at the fact that I have been forced to deal with psychological problems since I was a little girl. My mother committed suicide when I was 8 years old, and ever since I've been struggling with emotional issues. Because of my early life trauma, I have been less equipped to cope with distress than my peers.
Early recovery is a challenge because we have to learn to cope without using food, alcohol, cigarettes, or other external rewards. How do we learn to find inner rewards to help us get through a tough time? The first place to reach for your inner rewards is on the yoga mat. If, for 60-90 minutes, I am able to indulge in blissful body movements, calming meditation, healing, self-affirming mental intentions, I can begin to allow the healing I experience on the mat to infiltrate the rest of my life. But it doesn't transfer over perfectly and the peace we feel on our mat cannot eliminate distress. Life's inherent stressors won't allow us to live a perfectly peaceful life 100% of the time. Early in recovery it can be very frustrating. We come off our mats after a fabulous session, and immediately afterword we step into a difficult reality. Early recovery is when we begin to face what has become of our lives because of alcohol. It's hard to incorporate self-love while also feeling such profound regret. It's hard to cope with distressing emotions when we're used to having a substance help us get through our day.
One way we can bring peace from our mat into our messy lives is to do forward bending and sun salutations when we are feeling overwhelmed. If possible, escape to a private place and do 5-10 sun salutations, and each time you bring your hands in prayer to your heart, exhale strongly and leave a small opening in your hands to place the seed of your intention. What will be your intention? If you are needing this to cope with distress, intentions to face life with courage, react with calmness, or treat others with patience will likely emerge. Don't be upset with yourself if you react with anger or sadness. Healing takes time. Every time I practice on my mat, I will remind myself that I am in the process of healing life-long, deeply embedded wounds and scars, and this will take time. I will practice an attitude of patience and forgiveness. Remember that nothing can grow in complete darkness. Shine a light on your wounded soul.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I think one of the worst consequences of living with alcohol addiction is waking up in the morning. I don't know how many mornings I awoke far too early, my brain insistent on being alert and focused, reminding me that I have become a woman I hate, an alcoholic. These mornings are unbelievably distressing. I would awaken with profound anxiety and self-loathing, wishing I could just keep sleeping. Many, many days I wished I had died in my sleep. To be addicted to alcohol is to live with a constant feeling of illness along with the knowledge that tomorrow won't be any different, no matter what you promise yourself in these early hours.
Today I woke up healthy. My head is clear and my body is rested. To have a healthy body is a gift, but it's a gift we all take for granted in our youth. We know that our bodies will not always be healthy, and we know how to treat our bodies well. Yet, so often we squander this gift because of our need to soothe our aching souls, eroding our health with substances and toxic foods. Now it's time to let go of those things that will only hurt me. The pain and grief I feel can be soothed with a nurturing practice of yoga and meditation. My healthy body will not be with me forever, so while I am blessed with this gift, I am making a promise to my body to give all I have to my recovery.