You see them everywhere; at work, in church, at home, in the grocery store, on the playground, in school, and yes in yoga. They are addicts, addicts of drugs (legal and illegal), alcohol, sex, food, porn, social media, gambling, and love. They are people in pain, barely hanging on or functioning, but in pain. They look like they’re living a “normal” life but scratch just beneath the surface or spend some personal time around them and you’ll find there’s nothing normal or I should say “healthy” about this.
Addiction as defined is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. Any and all addictions are always a result of genetics and relationships leading to emotional imbalance. For example, a child who becomes an alcoholic has nothing to do with the alcohol itself. It has to do with their relationship to their parents, whether their parents are addicts, if their genetics has been passed down or the fact that their parents are absent in some ways. If the parent or parents are addicts they need to then self-reflect on who they are and their relationship to themselves, their children, and their addiction. If the parent is an addict, there’s the distinct possibility that they are absent, abusive, or the child is learning this behavior from watching them. Which then leads their formative relationship and the way that alcohol has been introduced to them either through their parents or peers. Treatment protocol wouldn’t be sending the child off to rehab but reconnecting the child to the parents and the parents seeking treatment as well. Either everyone suffers or heals.
Addiction always always always always begins with pain. It is a way for people to numb the pain and stop the suffering. They do this through power, control, significance, and addiction. Because of a trauma, the addict goes into fight or flight response and gets stuck there. The addict is trying to get their needs met, trying to feel safe, trying to feel connected, and trying to feel alright about themselves. The opposite of addiction is not sobriety but human connection. The addiction itself comes from a state of loneliness, disconnectedness. All a way to avoid feelings such as shame. Underneath the feelings are the core beliefs which came through and/or from the original incident. The original incident could have been abandonment, sexual/physical trauma, addiction in the household, etc.; this begets a lifetime of avoidance. When you calm the limbic system you can then step into post traumatic growth. The psyche and soul have been scarred and there is always one way to get back to it, faith. Faith means many things to many people. Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Muslim, Wiccan, yoga; the specific path doesn’t matter. What matters is that you see that there’s something bigger than yourself in the world and that life has meaning in some way.
As stated earlier there are different addictions which then present in a variety of ways. However, here are some general signs to look for:
- Missing work/school
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Marital/relationship problems
- Legal problems
- Mood swings
- Confused easily
- Dilated pupils
- Weight loss
- Denial of use or the extent of use
Many people first go to a yoga class to decrease pain or have a cuter butt. But . . . the far reaching ramifications, one of them, is the connection to oneself. You step into your body on the mat and begin to feel. If you are suffering from addictions and in some sort of emotional pain, the way out of that is through it. There are differing degrees within the addiction realm and some people may need in patient rehab and a doctors guidance in conjunction and/or after. Please always check with your physician before venturing into such a life changing decision. Begin anytime, begin with one step, come back, and come home before you go home.
Written by Kristen Carla Blogger/Acupuncture Physician www.facebook.com/kristencarla
Kodawari Studios 3965 S. Henderson Blvd., Suite C, Tampa, Fl 33629