Sunday, February 12, 2017

Five Simple Ways to Experience the Moment

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 As an addict, I used to spend most of my time and energy avoiding living in the moment. My pre-occupation with using was not only about the times that I was under the influence. There was something about the obsessive preoccupation of when I was going to be able to use again that was also an addiction.

 Imagine a life where one is never fully present in the moment. One only experiences an intense obsession about the future or disturbing regrets of the past. Joy is immediately sucked out of such a life and a feeling of endless dissatisfaction replaces it. 

 One of the incredible miracles of sobriety is the ability to be present in the moment. While its still somewhat of a practice for me, an experiment per se, I am working on enjoying the simplicity of just experiencing the here and now.   Here are a few simple ways I practice being present in the moment.


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Sounds simple enough, but sometimes we forget the calming benefits of focusing on our breath. As I slowly take in a long breath, I envision that I am breathing in pure white air. As I breath out, I envision all the stress and anxiety coming out in my breath. Breathe in the light, breathe out the dark.


In this moment, what are you feeling? What are your thoughts?  Recognize them gently, do not judge them.  Acknowledge them without judgement.


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Think of the warmth of the air on your skin, the feelings in your lungs as you breathe in and out, feel your body sitting in your chair or your feet planted on the ground.  Spend a few moments simply feeling your physical sensations.


When worries of the past or the anxiety filled thoughts of the future come into your mind, recognize them and gently let them go.  Come back to the moment by bringing your attention back to your breathing.

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Look around and notice the brightness of the sun, the furniture in the room or the trees swaying in the wind out the window.  Spend a few moments noting the colors and objects you see around you.

Take a few minutes each day to just be present.  Feel the world around you and experience your thoughts and emotions simply as they are and in the moment.  While it may not come easy at first, with some practice, the joyful simplicity of the power of now will come to you with more ease.  


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Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Lifesaving Choice Every Addict Must Make

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The concept of surrendering my will to God’s will has always seemed a very foreign concept for this drug addict.   I once believed that my survival absolutely depended upon my wits and my ability to control the outcome of any given situation.  I think that is a pretty typical thought process for an addict.  When one is an addict, surrender means defeat.  If an addict admits defeat, or the need to surrender, then the belief system is that all of what is left, is lost.  Usually, what is left when the person is ready to surrender isn’t much..  at least that was the case for me.  The desire and drive to hang on and fight for control is an instinct ingrained in the addicts primal mind.  Its as powerful an instinct as the need to drink water or to run when there is danger.  And the instinct is a lie.

I don’t know what the thought process is like for a normal person, a non-addict.  I have shown addict behavior since I was 7 years old.  It is the only way my brain has EVER worked.  It seems as though I was born with a self destruct button in my mind and a life long overwhelming desire to push it, again and again… and again.  For 40 years, I pushed that button and crawled and scratched my way through life.    I’m a good person, and I have always wanted good things, to live like those I saw around me, I just didn’t know how. Normal life is a concept I could never grasp.  So I fought…and struggled and fought some more to have the life I was “supposed” to live.  
The end of the road for me, my “bottom” as some would call it, was not pretty.  I was a disaster and near death.  I had lost my children, my family, my sanity, my ability to support myself, and my spiritual protection.  I had lost everything but the air in my lungs.  Life was unbearable and due to the people I ended up around, it was extremely dangerous.  All I wanted was to be home with my family and I had no idea how to get there.  I’d been doing this dance with destruction for 40 years… that’s a long time.   Most said I was a lost cause.  My own family had grieved me as if I were dead.  I knew I was at the end of my life.

Bible,Scripture,Surrender,Faith,Lord,Christ,Addiction,InspirationSomething inside me finally relented.  I surrendered.  I began to get on my knees and pray.  When one is as far into addiction as I was, it takes time for light to find its way into those dark places.  I had to surrender again and again..over and over.  After some time, miracles began to happen around me.  I began to think clearer, my family started to feel sparks of hope, opportunities for change became visible through the dark thick fog I was in.  I’ve been able to put one day of sobriety together with another. There was a time, not so long ago, I needed several chemicals in my body in order to get out of bed.  To this day, God is leading the way out of the darkness for me one step at a time.  

I truly believe, that the moment that one completely surrenders to God’s will is the most important choice that an addict (or human) makes.  It IS the moment that will save an addicts life. 


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