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

    The Power of Purpose in Recovery – William L. White

      To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim. –Mark Nepo You should never take more than you give…In the circle of life.–Elton John / Tim Rice Circle of Life One of the existential turning points within the recovery experience is marked by the diminishment of backward sense making (What happened to me?) and the increased urgency regarding one’s post-sobriety future (Okay, what do I do now?). All manner of emotions feed this transition: release, relief, gratitude, unworthiness (survival guilt), remorse (guilt over past transgressions), a gnawing sense of emptiness, and, not uncommonly, a passion to help others similarly afflicted. Many forces coalesce to push people out of addiction, but finding a higher purpose in one’s life is a potentially powerful pull force within the process of long-term… Continue reading

    Speaking Truth in Silence – By William L White

      Addiction is often accompanied by mutations in character (e.g., lying, deceit, manipulation, aggression) that in turn spark breaches of trust within one’s family, personal, and professional relationships. It is thus not surprising that addiction constitutes one of the few health conditions in which reconstruction of character is posited as an essential dimension of the recovery process. Addiction-spawned changes within the brain contribute to these mutations via the prioritization of sustained drug use above all other human needs and values. Such aberrations also constitute defensive gambits to avoid drug-related consequences and the emotional toll of guilt, shame, self-hatred, and fear of insanity. Whatever their source, affected parents, siblings, children, intimate partners, extended family members, friends, employers, business associates, creditors, and professionals seeking to offer help all bear the brunt of the resulting breaches of trust. So for one on the brink of entrance into recovery, key questions become: “How can trust,… 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

    Secrecy and Addiction – By Patty Powers

      If you attend 12-Step meetings you’re bound to hear a bunch of corny sayings like “Denial is not a river in Egypt.” You’ll either laugh or roll your eyes dismissively. Where you’re at with your recovery has a lot to do with how information gets filtered through the addict-mind, what your ears pick up. For example, if you’re at your first meetings because of coercion, either by family members or the court system, the inner response to pretty much everything said is, “This is bullshit”. Not everything bounces off a closed mind though. Usually something seeps in that might create a desire to check out another meeting one day. The truth has a way of finding a crack in the armor. Besides, it’s hard to dismiss a roomful of people who are no longer imprisoned by the isolation of active addiction and alcoholism. As a recovery coach, I’ve attended… Continue reading