Cunning, baffling and powerful — this is addiction to us.
It manifests through various forms — shopping, gambling, sex, food and drugs. Even aggressive driving can become addicting to us.
Anger especially can change our unconscious state (which usually is fear or some other form of pain).
Addiction is defined as continued behaviour/use despite adverse consequences.
Many of us live in denial or are unconscious about our state of being.
I am composed of genetic material that comes from my parents, their parents and their parents to the beginning of time.
The knowledge and experience of my ancestors past lies in my DNA; I believe exercise (especially yoga) releases their wisdom into my physical form.
Exercise releases nutrition (blood/oxygen) into my lungs and my heart and circulates feel-good chemicals through my brain and my soul.
Scientists say this is dopamine. I laugh thinking how funny is that — dope that is mine, dope a mine!
I am an addict, and a funny one at that.
After exercise (yoga), I then meditate, which is particularly hard.
Meditation is exercise for my mental mind. The brain is an organ that requires focused discipline, especially for addicts whose neuronal pathways have been hijacked by drugs.
Meditation allows me to listen to the whisperings of the universal energy that guides all the world.
I quiet my thoughts to hear the DNA conversation of my ancestors past, to show me the way I should now live my life.
They say in the program that inside every man, woman and child is the fundamental knowledge of God.
Now, I am not religious, but I am a spiritual person. Religious people fear hell, while spiritual people have been there and back.
There is an immense body of DNA, genetic material/wisdom entrapped in my soul,
I believe it is the program that allows me access to it.
The god of my understanding is that of my past, of my parents and grandparents’ gift to my life.
Addiction is of a spiritual nature, it says that clearly in the program, a spiritual malady.
I once thought my issues were only about drinking, then I believed it was only about stinking thinking — alcoholic and drug thinking that brought me back to the addictive disease.
Now, after several decades in the program, I know it is a spiritual malady that can only be helped through a higher power, one which I choose to call God (and believe me, I easily can have several issues with God).
The 12 steps were formed by two men, an alcoholic doctor and a stockbroker. Even the Rockefeller family was involved from the start, not because of drinking, but because they could see how powerful the program could be.
The 12 steps are for everyone, even (and especially) non-addicts.
I think any person can benefit from this simple, life-changing program. It works for all types of issues. It even works for those in Alanon or Alateen who are not addicts.
The 12 steps are merely an outline that derives wisdom from several great thinkers, including Carl Jung, Emmet Fox and the Oxford Group, the latter which wrote about a spiritual malady that impacts us all and one which manifests through suffering and pain.
From this foundation the 12 steps were formed.
To me, recovery is not about not using; it is a total revision of the way I live.
The 12 steps offer a new freedom, a new way of life.
They provide direction, comfort and peace of mind; something I once found in drugs, but soon discovered was just a big lie.
Now the program provides this to me — a powerful, free way of living, one that everyone deserves, including you.
Ask an Addict is a column penned by a Kamloops scholar with expertise in addiction issues and someone who is also an addict. The column is meant to inform and help, which is particularly important as we remain mired in an opioid crisis that continues to claim thousands of lives each year. If you have a question you would like answered, email it to email@example.com. Anonymity is guaranteed.