Journey in Recovery

I am starting this thread so that I can easily track my progress and journal my thoughts without clogging up the Checking In thread. A lot of powerful things are happening and contrary to the end game, my mind is swirling in tornado circles.

Today’s morning meditation was the forgiveness meditation. I started crying the first note of these words:

“I forgive myself for the ways I have hurt myself through action or inaction.” “I know I
have acted out of fear, pain, and confusion, and for today, I offer myself forgiveness.” “I
forgive myself.

Boom! Pain, sadness, regret. So much wasted time trying to bury myself instead of loving myself. I mean, I can beat myself up because I am not beating myself up enough. So…

Who knows where I’d be today if I didn’t go through all the “self help” and “empowerment” training I’ve done? It’s different to move on, to not dwell, to get past it, than it is to dig into it - meditate on it, feel it, investigate it.

This is a different journey than any of the others I have embarked on. In the past, I did go to Refuge Recovery and was intrigued with the process. However, there were only two meetings a week and only one I could attend. Now, I am attending two Recovery Dharma meetings a day and am blown away at the progress I am seeing.

For once I am looking forward to the process and not dreading it.

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Day 8. I feel like crap today. I was NOT tired last night - probably because I decided to smoke and the nicotine kicked in like caffeine+.

I sat in on a RD meeting this morning - talk about monkeys in my brain…for the love!

All I want today is everything RIGHT NOW. I want Zen, right now. I want peace, right now. I want understanding, right now. I want freedom from craving, right now!

That said, my mind was all over the place during meditation. I even began to compose what I would write in here while I was meditating. I was thinking, “You know what I should do after this mindfulness meditation? I should mindful journal.” And then proceeded to think about what I would journal as I was being mindful.

At least there is humor in the journey. Am I right?

More later. I am pissy as can be.

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Good morning to Day 9!

Last night, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in on a meeting. I was so tired. I didn’t think I’d make it through the meditation without falling asleep. Then a reminder notification popped on on WhatsApp, just as I had decided to indulge in a thoughtless Netflix original. (Just finished the 2nd season of “Selling Sunset”. Hey! Don’t judge! I’m watching for the houses! :rofl:)

So, I popped in, farm hair and all. Saturday’s host is so great and it’s an Inquiry meeting, which for AA people, is a bit like the steps.

The meeting:

2nd Noble Truth - Recovery Dharma Pg 14

We experience craving like a thirst, an unsatisfied longing, and it can become a driving force in our lives. If craving goes beyond simple desire, which is a natural part of life, it often leads us to fixation, obsession, and the delusional belief that we can’t be happy without getting what we crave. It warps our intentions so that we make choices that harm ourselves and others. This repetitive craving and obsessive drive to satisfy it leads to what we now know as addiction.

Inquiry: Recovery Dharma Pg 15

What things did you give up in your desire to cling to impermanent and unreliable solutions? For example, did you give up relationships, financial security, health, opportunities, legal standing, or other important thing to maintain your addictive behaviors? What made the addiction more important to you than any of these things you gave up?

BAM! I was drunk the first time 40 years ago, at age 11. Sadly, it was not my first drink. I came from the era when it was “cute” to watch your kid drink beer, or taste your cocktail. Well, after that first drunk I knew I could escape. I have done some really stupid shit but I haven’t really given anything up, except - ME. I have never known me and no one else has either. They know a version of me - a tiny piece. They’ve never had a full me. I see glimpses of her. I know she’s in there.

There’s a lot surrounding the number 40. I remember my 40th birthday. I thought “This IS the year!” I am FORTY!

There was something missing, though, after thousands spent on self-help and empowerment. Most of those courses teach you to OVERCOME your problems, not to sit with them, investigate them, dissect them, invite them to tea, and then kindly ask them to leave.

So, here’s to “forty years later”, after my first drunk; after the first day I started chasing the escape, after forty years of being less-than my authentic self (who is pretty awesome BTW).

One of the things I love about Recovery Dharma is it covers ALL craving. Alcohol, drugs, food, love, sex, co-dependency, gaming, gambling, etc. So, I am addressing things I wasn’t even acknowledging, through meditation and acceptance.

Happy Saturday, good people.

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This!!! Sitting with difficult emotions and problems …acknowledging/witnessing/feeling them, investigating what they are asking of you / how they are manifesting/feeling in your body and then allowing them to be…such important work!

Thanks for sharing!

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Day 11. Two straight weeks of sitting in on at least two Dharma meetings a day and immersing myself in dharma talks.

So much has opened up in my mind. I am thinking of incidents I have pushed really deep inside. It is clearing a rocky path through the forest of my life.

This morning the speaker talked about how our mental age stops at the age we become addicted. This I already knew. However, she has discovered that her mental age stopped far before as she was trying to navigate peace within her home.

It was a major aha! moment. I had an immediate flashback to 5-year old me, already knowing how to make a four-finger drink. This, as I grew, became a 3-finger drink, then as I was still older, a 2-finger drink. Two fingers whiskey, ice, and fill with 7-up. That’s still my father’s drink. Always a go-to gal, good grades, well-behaved, dependable. “Mommy can depend on you. Daddy depends on you. We have enough trouble with your sister, we need you to be good.”

I have a lot of work to do. I acknowledged a tiny bit of co-dependency…but alas! That shit is DEEP. Sooooooooooooo…damn deep. I am not going to lie. It’s scary and dark in there. Thankfully, this program is offering me a light to show me the way.

“May you be filled with lovingkindness.”
“May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.”
“May you be well in body, heart, and mind.”
“May you be at ease and happy.”

Namaste. - J

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Day 13.

A portion of today’s reading from book study:

I highlighted the words that hit me the hardest today. I am all about empowerment. I believe in God, AND my personal belief is that God grants/gifts us the tools to be and become better. I believe we have more power within than most of us will ever fully realize. Perhaps this is what some people refer to as their Higher Power within.

Through RD, I am realizing I have much deeper issues than I ever thought . Meditation can be a powerful paint thinner. It is removing all the layers of pretty colors I painted over my pain and failures. I am happy, in my unhappiness, because I see a path through it.

–Ours is a program that asks us to never stop growing. It asks us to own our choices and be responsible for our own healing. It’s based on kindness, generosity, forgiveness, and deep compassion. We do not rely on tools of shame and fear as motivation. We know these haven’t worked in our own individual pasts, and have often created more struggle and suffering through relapse and discouragement. The courage it takes to recover from addiction is ultimately courage of the heart, and we aim to support each other as we commit to this brave work. Many of us have spent our lives beating ourselves up. In this program, we renounce violence and doing harm, including the harm and violence we do to ourselves. We believe in the healing power of forgiveness. We put our trust in our own potential to awaken and recover, in the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha, and in the people we meet and connect with in meetings and throughout our journey in recovery. –

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I’m finally reading the book codependent no more while doing my recovery work too. I wasnt even sure why I picked it up after owning it for quite a while as I rarely read books lately except my recovery books. Once I started reading, it was like well…That’s why lol. That stuff stems from childhood and it goes deep! Perfect timing for my personal inventory.

So so so proud of you lady and reading all of this gives my heart the BIGGEST feelsies! Keep up the excellent work my friend!!! :two_hearts:

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I just logged on to the forum for the first time in a while…and was drawn to this topic. And then I read the forgiveness meditation - and I also started to cry.

I’m realizing how hard it is to show myself any compassion. Don’t get me wrong - I played a huge victim role, and I somehow thought that justified my drinking, as well as many other maladaptive behaviors. I was so manipulative - sometimes conscious of what I was doing, most of the time not. If you had MY life, you would drink too! was pretty much a daily voice of justification in my head. And day by day, I grew to hate myself and my life more and more.

Compassion feels so different…and it is soooo hard. Forgiving myself for hurting myself through action and inaction - and acting out of fear and pain…damn, that hits hard right now. I still have a hard time believing that I am worth forgiveness and love - and it hurts when I look at how little of those I have ever shown myself.

I dont know quite where I am going with this, except to say thank you for sharing this. I really needed it tonight.:heart:

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14 Days. Two weeks of two or more Dharma meetings per day.

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You are worthy of both of these @MoCatt! You are worthy , you are loved God forgives you and loves you :heart: so please, do forgive yourself, for you are here, and you matter. God is Love, and Love is God, and you have this within xxx

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Thank you, @emc2018. Thank you.

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Day 22. Wow. I haven’t posted anything here in over a week! Time flies. At the beginning of this time, I didn’t even think I’d make it a week! I was pretty attached to drinking every day.

Impermanence continues to be my favorite thing about the process. Knowing that discomfort, craving, any feeling is momentary, is an amazing tool to have.

A couple of things from shares:

“I feel like I am riding a bike with the brakes on.” - in reference to being clean but struggling with true sobriety and growth. - Same, dude. Same.

Do you feel FEAR?

Better than: Fuck Everything And Run
Is: Face Everything And Rise
Better yet is: Feel Everything And Recover

I love that :arrow_up: :arrow_up:

I bury feelings. I was taught to bury feelings. Doing that leaves us in the darkness. Unburying it is scary, difficult and exhausting - but not until you unbury something can there be light. :sun_behind_large_cloud: :partly_sunny: :sun_behind_small_cloud: :sun_with_face:

Namaste!

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Yes indeed about feeling our feelings…and it feels as if the world :earth_americas: is opening to all of our feelings now…peeling away those layers and pushing all that had been suppressed \ oppressed back up and out so we can deal with our shit and heal our selves, which helps heal our world.

Great post, thank you!!:heart:

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On Day 3. I decided to start posting here, rather than doing full and long posts on the Daily Check In.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my mother giving me Bailey’s for Christmas, what it means, what she was trying to do. Even if I had told her I was drinking again, I cannot imagine giving my kids alcohol for any reason, knowing what a large part its played in their lives, through me and their father.

I offer her forgiveness for it. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, she hurt me. She may also have healed me. For in that moment it was crystal clear that I haven’t been as forthright as I should be about an alcohol-free home. I have been giving myself wiggle room.

Like clockwork, when the wiggling begins, the relapse soon follows. And I have come to hate the word relapse. I am travelling a path, I strayed from the path. I am back on it. I have a proper map, a guidebook, and local guides to help me find my way. However, there are rocky bits and steep hills, so I have to make sure I stay in shape, monitor my supplies and re-equip when necessary. I can’t find myself halfway up the hill and then discover I left my water at the last rest stop. I must stay diligent. Prepared.

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It’s been quite awhile since I posted here but have decided to use it as a journal space. I am just not journaling enough. It’s so therapeutic for me, so I need to step in to this space every day. I am just not going to do it with pen and paper.

I will start with this quote:

We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves – the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds – never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun.

But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.

Looking at ourselves this way is very different from our usual habit. From this perspective we don’t need to change: you can feel as wretched as you like, and you’re still a good candidate for enlightenment. You can feel like the world’s most hopeless basket case, but that feeling is your wealth, not something to be thrown out or improved upon. Start Where you Are.

Pema Chodron

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I had a nice steady day yesterday. I started with a meeting, though the meetings feel a bit “off” to me on this go 'round. I definitely to try to embrace the meditations. I have a very difficult time doing guided meditations to voices that, for lack of better phrasing, are non-meditative. I enjoy a soothing voice, with good cadence, like a bedtime story.

I have volunteered to be the volunteer coordinator for the sangha and to facilitate. And of course, I have offered to do guided mediations. I still plan to pursue doing a YouTube or Insight Timer channel with guided meditations. I am also considering doing bedtime stories or children’s’ mindfulness exercise. I just need to sort my own shit out first.

I also hung out on the Zoom for a bit with some of the crazy kids from the forum. :slight_smile:

I am not very settled. I have a lot of homework, business prospecting and have limited motivation. Before my last relapse, I was really focusing in on being mindful about everything I did. Cleaning, homework, business…embracing the process and not seeking only the outcome. It’s a lot like wishing you were months sober instead of embracing the moments of today.

You miss the beauty of the journey by focusing on the destination. I don’t want to stumble through sobriety, anymore than I want to stumble through life.

Namaste, my people.

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Wise Understanding

“As people engaged in the world, rather than withdrawn from it, we can use Wise Understanding to live without clinging, attachment, or craving. By paying attention to our actions and the results of those actions, we can begin to change where our choices are leading. If we intend to act in ways that have positive results, and if we’re aware of our true intention and the nature of our actions, then we’ll see better results – better: meaning less suffering and less harm.” - Recovery Dharma book

Inquiry:

  • What is the truth of the situation?

  • Are you seeing clearly, or are you getting lost in judgement, taking things personally in stories you’re telling yourself, or repeating messages you’ve internalized?

  • Is your vision clouded by greed, hatred, confusion, clinging, attachment, or craving?

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I definitely get caught up in stories I tell myself. When craving I can tell myself that it’s because it’s pointless, life won’t be better anyway. I know that to be untrue because even after short periods, it’s better. I am more equipped to deal with tough decisions, more capable at my profession because I have a clearer head, better at school for the same reason.

I also definitely get hung up on repeating messages I’ve internalized. Some lie that I was once told that I turn into truth. Taking a moment to breathe and determine the truth before and/or acting on something is such a good one of making better decisions. It speaks directly to what happens before the relapse happens.

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I am happy to be back to my little thread.

Today’s RD meeting had a reading on "habit energy from Thich Naht Hahn.

"Our joy, our peace, our happiness depend very much on our practice of recognizing and transforming our habit energies. There are positive habit energies that we have to cultivate, there are negative habit energies that we have to recognize, embrace, and transform. The energy with which we do these things is mindfulness. Mindfulness helps us be aware of what is going on. Then, when the habit energy shows itself, we know right away. “Hello, my little habit energy, I know you are there. I will take good care of you.”

By recognizing this energy as it is, you are in control of the situation. You don’t have to fight your habit energy."

I was doing this so successfully in the past. With meditation and practice, I was (am) able to recognize craving, habit arising: Acknowledge it, thank it, release it. It’s so damn freeing.

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Here’s the actual reading.

Habit Energy
Your True Home by Thich Nhat Hanh

Habit Energy is pushing us; it pushes us to do things without our being aware. Sometimes we do something without knowing we’re doing it. Even when we don’t want to do something, we still do it. Sometimes we say, “I didn’t want to do it, but its stronger than me, it pushed me.” So that is the seed, a habit energy, which may have come from many generations in the past.
We have inherited a lot. With mindfulness, we can become aware of the habit energy that has been passed down to us. We might see that our parents or grandparents were also very weak in ways similar to us. We can be aware without judgment that our negative habits come from these ancestral roots. We can smile at our shortcomings, at our habit energy. With awareness we have a choice; we can act another way. We can end the cycle of suffering right now.

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