A non addict’s point of view – Step 1

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I am actually writing this myself and not posting anonymously for someone else.

My ultimate goal is to help end the suffering surrounding addiction. I have gotten to know many people and been in a lot of different situations all trying to help people, and to better understand the disease of addiction.
Yesterday I went to the Raising Above Awareness softball tournament and fund raiser in Carroll County. Carroll County has a great group of people working together to help put an end to our opiate crisis. Not surprisingly, yesterday provided me with another valuable learning experience. As a result of yesterday’s learning experience I wrote the following. (This is my perception as of today, and it will surely change, since nothing is permanent. This is just my opinion, to which, I welcome constructive comments. )

Addiction is anything we try to do to fix how we are feeling, that results in negative consequences and more suffering. Everything starts with a thought, thoughts turn into action, actions turn into habits. We get to the point where our thoughts are filled with delusion and ignorance, and we are trapped in a vicious addictive pattern that causes suffering.

Buddha says “as the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become”

We don’t have power over our desires, but we do have control over our actions.

STEP 1: Admit your thought process is fucked up and you need to change your way of thinking. Or admit that your thoughts and actions are resulting in a cycle of suffering, and life is unmanageable. Admit you need help to get out of this vicious thought-action cycle.

Mindfulness – keeping the mind focused on present moment experiences

Mindfulness and meditation are not about eliminating our thoughts, but allow for our mind to change the relationship we have with our thoughts.

Meditation is not easy, and takes regular practice to start achieving the results. Don’t give up on yourself. Just keep swimming, along with Dory and Nemo
1. Find your pause button. “Stick and stay”, just stop and breathe.
2. Breathe and take your body out of the flight and fright mode. Follow the breath in and out. Deep slow breaths in, filling the belly, expanding the ribs and reaching the collar bones. Pause and turn the inhale into an exhale, like you are blowing out a candle, release air from your chest, your ribs, and lower the belly. Pause and repeat, say to yourself inhaling……exhaling…..
3. Realize the power of restraint, using the breath. Respond don’t react.
4. Life is constantly changing, we need to change too. We need to let go of what we cling to and surrender to the power of the universe.

We do not have to act on our thoughts, our thoughts are based on our perception, which is not reality. We don’t need to believe our thoughts. Thoughts and emotions are temporary and will come into the mind, and like clouds in the sky, will leave the mind.

The goal is to be able to control our thoughts through meditation, and not allow our thoughts to control us.

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