Healing From An Addiction

February 18, 2015

Are you healing from an addiction? Congratulations! Sometimes after a struggle like battling an addiction we can forget to acknowledge our accomplishments. Even if we perceive them to be just one small step at a time, these are big steps in valuing and loving ourselves! And when we feel the love from within, we can translate our thoughts and words into constructive actions for ourselves.

Meditation, pray and a hopeful outlook can help us to begin our day in a positive way. Just as we set our mind in the past on fulfilling our addictions, we need to direct our thoughts on love for self. When we grow this internal light of love, value and respect for ourselves we can dispel resentment and drives that are unproductive to us. We allow forgiveness, for ourselves and others, to enter into our lives to heal and grab the life God/universe has waiting for us.

I know this tale intimately, as I was addicted to food, drugs, work, even stress for years. Some took bigger tolls on my life, spiritually, physically and emotionally than others but they all required a hard look at my life and the people and situations I was involved in. When I was addicted to drugs I was a night club manager, an environment that only fed my desire. A realization of leaving this career path is one I had to face. My bar friends made leaving them behind easier though, as no one wanted to be around the one who did not want to party anymore. It was if God/universe was giving me the kick out the door for my own good.
I often find when we have made a powerful decision to heal ourselves and to move our life in a different direction, God/universe will give us that extra hand and in my case it was a push! It was just what I needed.

You can see the struggle and fight it sometimes takes to get to the healing part. Remember every moment is a milestone. Be easy on yourself and others because they call it fighting addiction for a reason. And after any style engagement, we need a reflective time of rest and recovery. The healing part should be one that includes gentleness, kindness and forgiveness for yourself and others.

A good place to start your healing journey is one of thankfulness. It may sound like a simple gesture but gratitude is a perfect place to start your day. I recall reading once, ‘you are taking a breath therefore you have a leg up on the day’. They were right. Giving thanks we are here to greet another day helps us start off with a positive mindset. A baby step in the right direction is what it is all about. Next thing we know, we have accomplished a dozen more steps that add up to hundreds and thousands of small steps forward. Those steps may include a few steps back in the beginning, but forgive and press on and soon you will be like me who is 30 years free of a major drug addiction that almost took my life, my work and most importantly, the love of my family and friends.

Being grateful can lead to productive thoughts. The words we speak in our mind can either encourage or discourage our efforts. This same approach should be applied to others as well. While our minds eye still perceives loss of our addiction, our moods may not be at their best which can translate quickly to the words that leave our mouth, and the actions we take. The old saying ‘misery loves company’ applied to me in those early days of recovery, even with a strong conviction of no turning back I found it hard at times not to be short and unengaged with others. But as I learned, each of those baby steps brings with it a time of accomplishment and healing, which made me a nicer person. An excellent outcome for a troubling time!

The wonderful miracle of taking the healing path after an addiction, we become empowered! Able to climb any mountain, handle any situation with grace and gratitude because we have lived the hellish side of life, maybe dying a little bit along the way but today we are embracing a new type of living. You can believe in the power to heal you and through you – your  life. Just as you needed to let the right moment to enter your life to stop your addiction, this same strength and resolve is one you can pull from to start the healing  journey. And healing lets a light shine in on those areas of our mind, body and soul that have been in the dark too long.

As a Tarot reader, there are a few fascinating themes that run throughout the meaning of the cards and the lessons we need to encounter on our journey through life. So many of our choices for the direction we wish to step into next is based on the self-love, respect and value we place on ourselves. How will we honor ourselves? One of the divine dilemmas of being intelligent, feeling individuals is our ability to make decisions. At times, we may make certain choices based on pure fulfillment of pleasure, whatever the cost, but when we question how honestly we are honoring ourselves, we may choose a different direction for that moment.

Another purpose of our life lessons through Tarot is to develop the deep connection with our intuition. This universal message is available at all times to us but the interpretation of our intuition gets distorted when we are focused on satisfying our addictive itch instead of what God/universe is trying to tell us. By taking the healing path we become re-connected with our internal voice to guide us. If you are on this path, I would bet you are seeing positive landmarks from God/universe that you are on the right track with your recovery.

I also found it helpful in my healing to acknowledge the addictive behavior part of my life was one I was leaving behind. We can mourn these changes as if we lost a good friend so it is ok to recognize a change has taken place and do what is necessary for us to get on track. Change can seem frightening, especially if our past has been built around others we are now separated from, but we need to embrace this change or we can get stuck in a yesterday that is no longer possible. If we can celebrate our new direction, we can enjoy the benefits the change was designed to deliver.

We also need to be honest and accept that we are prone to addictive behavior. Like any bad habit, it has roots and triggers that you can
identify and conquer. We all have issues, some may go deeper than another but they are our issues to work out and heal from.
This is part of the story of life. I know my past addiction drove me to not only change my life but to be someone I never dreamed possible for that night club manager. And any had come from and what I overcame – everything else seems a breeze!

On my healing path I also had to say ‘I am sorry’ more than a few times. I realized some shame associated with my behavior while I was under the influence of my addition. It might have not been pretty but it was now ok.
I learned to leave this aspect of my emotions behind after making amends with myself and others where I could. I came to realize, God/universe understood much more clearly the path I had chosen and now, with no judgment, was going to use me for the betterment of others through my experience. I am no longer embarrassed but out spoken about the good that comes out of these experiences. I have learned we can heal more than ourselves when we reach out to another with an ‘I understand’ attitude.

Also, do not let the what-ifs dictate your life! Maybe your past choices have been holding you back in your healing and possibly making you feel further overwhelmed. Or even worse, possibly you are emotionally upset or staying in a stagnant situation while craving change. Or if feelings of being wronged are in play, we can fall prey to wanting to fulfill karmic urges instead of focusing our energy on healing ourselves. All these what-ifs are only mental blocks to achieving what we really desire. We just need to be honest enough with ourselves so we can get there.

Lastly, do not let fear enter the domain of your healing. You are a warrior! You are someone that has come out of battle alive and ready to partake of life. How exciting to have another opportunity! Whatever your age or position, you are now in control over your thoughts and actions to make positive changes in your life. Talk about power!

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