Ask Parvati 27: Addiction – Part 4: Getting Help

PART 4: GETTING HELP

(Continued from Hitting Bottom)

In the case of people who have not yet hit bottom, such as Amy Winehouse, it is very hard to help them at all. An example of resistance to admitting you have a problem are her famous lyrics, “They tried to make me go to rehab but I said ‘no, no, no’”. Sadly, she did not hit her personal bottom before she died.

This is tragically the case with many addicts. The disease that is about consumption, insatiable wanting, consumes its host. It does not have to be that way. Step one in an addiction recovery program is to admit that you are powerless over your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable. It takes humility to get to step one, because the addict must come to see that the choices her or she is making are in fact not working. No one wants to admit that their life is a mess. Whether you are an addict or not, you need to admit things are not working as they are if you are going to make changes.

For some, bottom can be very ugly. It can involve losing absolutely everything, loved ones, friends, family, possessions, career, and reputation. For some, it involves even losing your life. But if you come close to the edge and wake up to see that you do not want to go any further, you are lucky. You have hit your bottom. For some, that bottom is a near-death experience. For others, it is the reality of losing what they love.

Only when the addict has hit their personal bottom, which is different for everyone, will that person be willing to get the professional help they need for a serious, potentially life-threatening illness. Addicts need professional help.

Deep wounds, fear, rage and shame are at the root of addiction. These shadow emotions when unmet become the feeding ground for addiction. There needs to be a willingness to embrace the darker side of ourselves so that our shadow does not run wild in addiction. Everyone has painful emotions. Everyone can experience fear, rage and shame. The addict must find the courage and humility to open to these painful parts within their shadow so that those places no longer fuel their addict behavior. Looking into these painful places usually requires the support of professionals who are used to supporting addiction recovery.

If you are an addict, the 12 step programs are very powerful and effective. I have seen many, many people benefit from them. But they only work if you are willing to go and do the work to heal and change. There is a saying in the program, “It works if you work it. So work it! You’re worth it!”

You may feel tremendous resistance to going to getting help and to going to your first meeting. That is normal. But just like with any growth edge, we must face our fear and walk through it. If you know someone in the program, call him or her up and ask if you can go together. If you have a friend who would be willing to go, ask him or her to join you. Or simply go. This would be the best thing you would have done for yourself so far.

When there, you may have thoughts like, “I don’t belong here. This is not me. Look at all these losers!” Tell yourself that this is your addict speaking. There is a part of you that has fed on your shadow for likely years. It wants to still feed. But your sober self knows better. You want to make different choices. You want to empower a different part of you now.

You must find the inner strength to no longer feed that part of your psyche. You know that allowing your addict to rule your life does not work. You can hear the voice that doubts and ridicules your healthy choices, but you must give it no energy. Keep going, move towards sobriety and health. There will be ups and downs. But this will be the most important journey you have ever made in your life. At the 12 step programs, you will meet some of the most inspiring people you will ever meet. Those people are a reflection of you.

If you are the child of an addict, I would suggest you to go to an Al-Anon or ACA meeting or a support group to help you find the freedom from the pain you likely experienced growing up. You need the support just as much as the addict does. Being around an addict, especially as a child, we tend to internalize the pain they feel and take it on. This also needs professional support. Get the help you need.

EXERCISE

1) Ask yourself, do you need to do any therapy? Could you use more emotional support to help you transition through different aspects of your life?

2) Do you need to go to Al-Anon or ACA? If you are a child of an addict, the answer is, yes!

3) Do you need to go to a 12-step meeting? If your life has become unmanageable due to addiction, the answer is, yes!

REMINDER:Don’t forget that tomorrow (Thursday) is the last day for submissions for this week’s Ask Parvati blog. Send your questions to [email protected]

(Continued tomorrow with Helping Versus Enabling)

 

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

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