My new journey in Recovery Dharma

From The Pocket Pema this morning…this really spoke to me…


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A beautiful, quiet little online meeting tonight.

We read from the Preface, a section I’ve read more than once, and these words jumped out at me. They seem so obvious, and yet so profound.

“…This is a program that invites us to recognize that some pain and disappointment will always be present, to investigate the unskillful ways we have dealt with that pain in the past, and to develop a habit of understanding, compassion, forgiveness, and insight toward our own pain, the pain of others, and the pain we have caused. Acceptance with insight and compassion is what creates freedom from the suffering that makes our pain seem unbearable.”

Peace to all. :orange_heart:

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Some life-y things coming at me the last few weeks, things I would have drank over in the past (being maligned by someone at work who sees me as a competitor, stressful stuff going on with my Mom’s health, sibling interaction, etc…)

I haven’t been tempted to drink, but sometimes it’s clear that at just over 1.5 years, I’m still learning new ways of dealing with the tough stuff. Actually dealing though, and not avoiding or numbing.

At tonight’s meeting, we read from the First Noble Truth: There is Suffering.

This part hit home: “All our attempts to control our habits demonstrate how we’ve been clinging to the illusion that we can somehow control our experiences of the world or how others have treated us. We’re still trapped in the prison of suffering. In fact, we’re reinforcing its walls every time we act on our addictions.” (p.10)

Summary
  • How many times did we promise: “Just this one last time, then
    I’m done? I’ll just use or drink on the weekends, or only after work, or
    only on special occasions. I’ll never drink in the morning. I won’t do the
    hard stuff. I’ll never get high alone. I’ll never use at work or around my
    family. I’ll never drink and drive. I’ll never use needles.”
  • How many diets have we tried? How many times have we said
    we wouldn’t binge, or purge, or restrict calories, or over-exercise?
  • How many times have we looked at the scars on our arms and
    vowed to never cut again? How many times have we let our wounds
    heal, only to break them open once more?
  • How many limits have we set on ourselves around technology
    or work, only to get pulled back in?
  • How many times have we vowed to have no more one-night stands, vowed to stay away from certain people or places or websites? How many times have we crossed our own boundaries and been consumed by shame?
  • How many mornings did we wake up hating ourselves, vowing
    to never do again what we did last night, only to find ourselves repeating
    the same mistake again just a few hours later?
  • How many times did we attempt to cure our addictions with
    therapy, self-help books, cleanses, more exercise, or by changing a job
    or relationship? How many times did we move, thinking our shadow
    wouldn’t follow us?
  • How many promises did we make? How many times did we
    break those promises?

It makes sense I’m still finding new ways of actually dealing. This, to me, is recovery - a huge part of it.
Beats the hell out of creating more and more of my own suffering… :orange_heart:

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This hits home. I got some changes too going on. They would have been great excuses to drink. Nothing in life is certain, life goes on…thank you for your post. I needed to read it.

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Been a while since I’ve posted in Thirdmonkey’s thread, but think about it often in my own Recovery Dharma journey - and am grateful for this space, Scott. :pray:

Have been struggling lately with my response to some of the fodder of life. I haven’t wanted to drink, but am aware I’ve wanted to otherwise check out (read: obliterate my consciousness via some kind of behaviour or action). Restlessness, iPad games, unfocused, binge-read the news, snack, nap, don’t return calls because not enough time but feel lack of connection… :unamused:

We read “Isolation and Connection” (p.43-46) at tonight’s online meeting. I’ve read it before, but this hit home tonight:

It wasn’t just getting high, though for a lot of people in this fellowship and outside it, that was the main road we took to escape. There were other traps that snagged us, even if we never struggled with substances: sex, food, self-harm, social media. We may have tried to get help with those compulsions, but often found others minimizing or trivializing them, especially in comparison to drug or alcohol abuse. For those of us whose primary addictions are around behaviors and processes, we may have felt alienated and excluded from recovery itself.

Many of us found ourselves like raw, exposed nerves when we stopped using those ways to escape. And sometimes, the last place we wanted to be was in a room with strangers in a circle of chairs all facing each other, talking about how we can’t drink or use or participate in our destructive behaviors anymore. The paradox is that it’s in that kind of space, where we’re accepted as we are, that we can begin to let go of our reflex to hide.

Grateful for connection to my Sangha and this forum, so that I can even just be aware that yep, the desire to “check out” runs deep in me. Coming up on a year and 10 months sober, and still learning to lean into my feelings and letting them pass through me. I think it’s okay that it takes a good long while to learn that one… :orange_heart:

@acromouse tagging you in case you are interested in this thread, friend!

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from “The Pocket Pema Chodron (Shambhala Pocket Classics)” by Pema Chödrön -

“The central question of a warrior’s training is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we relate to discomfort.”

Starting over…here…life has me frazzled. Its all good stuff. I feel like I just went to a gourmet buffet…All of it was excellent, just indulged way to much and now I feel discomfort. I need to deal with this discomfort.

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Thank you brother!

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I read my Pocket Pema almost daily. I thank you for sharing that with me. Be well my friend.

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I use to, and I stopped. Which is just moronic of me, i get something out of it every time. I was reading so many books, i burned myself out.

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It isn’t moronic at all. I think it is natural to get burned out and/or to need to take some space from reading or other practices. For myself, the key is coming back to it, perhaps not with the same intensity (or more intensity if that is what is needed at that time). Incorporating what lifts us up into our lives. I just don’t think that what works and best supports us is always going to look the same. For me that is the beauty of growth. Expanding, contracting, finding what works in this particular stage for our selves.

Hmmmm…I believe that is what this whole thread you began was about? Full circle. :heart::people_hugging::+1:

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Wonderful wise words!

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Pema gets all the credit.

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“The Pocket Pema Chodron (Shambhala Pocket Classics)” by Pema Chödrön -

“Many of us prefer practices that will not cause discomfort, yet at the same time we want to be healed. But bodhichitta training doesn’t work that way. A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it’s also what makes us afraid.”

This brought back memories of the excuses i used to drink. However, it doesnt take much looking to find the same excuses to use caffine and tobacco and now sugar.

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I come back to this always.

I am also reminded of this from Pema…


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Somehow today is Control-day on TS

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from “The Pocket Pema Chodron (Shambhala Pocket Classics)” by Pema Chödrön -

“LIFE is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about.”

One day at a time.

Start reading this book for free: The Pocket Pema Chodron (Shambhala Pocket C... - Kindle

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I am new to recovery dharma.
I have read all of pema chodrons books. And re read them. I spent alot of time practicing bhuddism the best I could by myself.
Recently I went to my first meeting. There were only two people there and I was so anxious and nervous and it showed. They were so supportive of me and every Thursday is the face to face meeting which I will be going to each week.
They go for a coffee after as well. Which I will be forcing myself through my anxiety to go along too and join in.
There are online meetings too. One tomorrow evening I will join.

:pray:

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Welcome! How exciting! I love the coffee afterwards thing!

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Annnnnnd…contribute all you want…please!!

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