It’s the Ordinary that Inspires me the Most – By Nicola O’Hanlon

    I love what Oprah Winfrey said about telling our stories being the most powerful tool we have. Of course, she hasn’t been the first person to say this, but she is most definitely right. I’ve been hearing it for ten years from different camps during my long and sometimes treacherous crusade to recover my mental and emotional health. It is through that crusade that I had the glorious opportunity to write and share, some, not all, of my story with the world. For many years now, I’ve been a writer and editor in the field of Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. I’ve also had the great fortune to connect with magical people from all over the world, who have overcome their own adversity and taught me how to overcome my own. It’s been the greatest privilege of my life to now be able to offer support to other people on… Continue reading

    Recovery, Relapse, Triggers and Yoga: A Journey Into Healing Part Three, Recovery & Yoga

    What do I mean by Recovery? Recovery is the process of being able to consistently abstain from a problematic substance or behavior, to correct control over behaviors that damage personal relationships, and to repair dysfunctional emotional responses. (Adapted from the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s definition of addiction.) In finding control over behaviors we also refer to realigning damaging thought patterns to be more sattvic, or harmonious and kind. Negative thoughts negatively impact our ability to grow and thrive. These negative samskara, habits of the mind, may result from being in a relationship with an addict as well as being in active addiction oneself. Recovery is a life-long journey as a person continually adapts to life’s challenges without resorting to the comfort of the addition or addictive process. Recovery is not a situational response to consequences from the addiction; it is a decision to abstain and refrain along with a… Continue reading

    Recovery, Relapse, Triggers and Yoga; A Journey Into Healing Part Two – Kyczy Hawk

          Relapse and Triggers What is Relapse? Lapse describes a short “fall off the wagon,” and relapse describes a longer and perhaps more permanent “fall off the wagon.”. Hendershot et al. describe it this way: “a setback during the behavior changing process” (2011 www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1747-597X-6-17/pdf) . If you re-engage with sugar or sex, codependent behavior or cocaine, tobacco or tranquilizers, this is a relapse and it happened not only because you are an addict, but because your resources against active addiction were not sufficient or in place. There are many reasons for a relapse – in addition to being an addict. The reasons are more correctly defined as precipitating emotional states rather than specific events. Just as trauma is defined as an event that overwhelms the system’s ability to recover from the accident, assault or event, so, too, does relapse occur due to the person’s depleted ability to apply… Continue reading

    Recovery, Relapse, Triggers and Yoga – A Journey Into Healing in Three Parts, Part One, Addiction By Kyczy Hawk

        What is the relationship between recovery, relapse and triggers? Addiction. What is “yoga” doing in the title? Yoga brings the keys to self-awareness that help maintain recovery, prevent relapse and release triggers in a healthy way. In order to fully appreciate the benefits of yoga, we have to delve deeper into recovery, relapse, and triggers.To set the stage we first must consider: what is addiction? Addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. It is complex because it includes actual brain changes due to use and abuse as well as emotional, physical, and spiritual changes. Brain change happens whether the addiction is a substance OR a behavior, and not all brain changes are the same. Some drugs and behaviors block neural transmission while others flood the brain with transmission signals and impair the body’s natural ability to produce these transmissions. (Images and explanations can be found at srugabuse.gov.)… Continue reading

    Are You Ready for Step Eleven? – By Robert Weiss

      Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Step eleven, like step ten, is not a step that is worked once and then forgotten. Instead, it is part of an ongoing (usually daily) ritual of recovery. That said, recovering addicts often find “prayer” and “meditation” to be somewhat baffling concepts. And some, especially those who began the recovery process as agnostics or atheists, may still be struggling with the idea of having a higher power at all. For these reasons (and many others), step eleven can be a difficult one to work. If you find yourself struggling with this step, take heart in the fact that you are not alone. Even the most devoutly spiritual and/or religious members of twelve-step recovery groups sometimes lose their… Continue reading