Becoming Aware Of Our Addictions

Shine Love Into Your Shadow And Feel Yourself Heal.

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Human beings all have the potential to become addicts. In the world of addiction recovery, at least when one initially steps on to their path of healing, we sometimes fall into the trap of believing in a hierarchy of the most 'hardcore' addictions, the ones which are the 'hardest' to heal and stay sober from.  It is often purported that intravenous heroin addiction, followed by crack plus heroin addiction, followed by any other drugs, followed by alcohol are the toughest addictions to heal and keep a solid sober recovery from. The body's physical dependence on these substances, which inhibits the user from experiencing the withdrawal or  hellish 'cold turkey' symptoms, do indeed make addictions to these substances physically demanding to recover from and perhaps offers salience to the understanding that these are the toughest addictions to kick. However, as we choose a spiritual path to sobriety, and "turn our will and our life over to God, as we understand God" (12 Steps and 12 Traditions) we may experience awareness of more than one addiction, alongside our primary addiction. Or perhaps we uncover that substances are not where we turn in order to fill the gaping hole of fear (addiction) inside us, but instead to addiction to relationships, co dependency, shopping, judgement, food or debt. For example,while praying to get free from addiction to alcohol, we may notice other behaviours or people that we have addictive relationships with. We can use our awareness and trust in God, as we understand God, to approach recovery from this perhaps more hidden addictive relationship with the person, thing or behaviour, that we are newly seeing we have a dependence on.

Our inner guidance systems often speak to us in hushed tones, to tune us into uncovering our insidious addictions; be it clinging to a person in a relationship that we may have idolised, clinging to a career which depletes us but we use as a  badge of honour, or in my case my screamingly painful yet covert addiction to fear. I would ruminate on the past and get hooked into creeping anxiety, which would develop into full panic.

Recently I found myself entangled and then unconsciously choosing to stay inside a painful episode of acting out my addiction to fear. The metaphysical text "A Course in Miracles" states ; "we have but two emotions: love or fear". Well in this particular episode I definitely chose fear, and how painful it was. It was like my fear obsessed ego had split my mind in two. One half was freaking out about the past, the other half freaking out about the future. I was not choosing peace and love, which no mater how seemingly impossible are available at any moment, but instead had allowed my ego to have a painful panic party in my mind. This fear based episode was focused on my perception of my body and a total meltdown over a few pounds I had gained. I have had a number of years of recovery from Anorexia and have spent years injecting compassion and love for myself into the spots where there has been none, as a method of recovery. I have done this with the love of me for me, the love of my friends and family, meditation,Reiki, plant medicine, the love and compassion of incredible healers and therapists and the willingness to ask the loving Higher Power for help. None of this could help me in this full blown panic episode. I allowed myself listen to the vicious voice of the ego and the cycle of self victimisation opened. 

Time passed. A few days. It was dark and uncomfortable. I isolated myself. Then at some point by partner said something so basic and true to my heart that it rocked me back into the present. He said: "you have to love yourself now. Love yourself as much as others love you". He reminded me to choose the path of love over the path of fear. My partner became my teacher for a moment.

Anybody who knows me will know that I champion this message of Self Love. Anybody who knows me will also know that I am a fallible human being who has triggers and is continually seeking the truth of my heart in favour of the ego pain of lives past (many lives past according to one of my healers!). This recent episode reminds me that I am on the windy path of loving myself back to wholeness with the help of spirit (not the alcoholic kind). It's what keeps me sober from drug addiction, anorexia, sex and love addiction and glued to the path of choosing love over the human addiction to fear.

Sarah Elizabeth Wheeler

Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master/Teacher and Burlesque Artist, You're Enough Yoga, Reiki Renge, Venus Gallactica Burlesque

Hi, I'm Sarah. I am one of the Psychologies Magazine Ambassadors and my life is about enabling people to discover that they are enough. I am a Hatha Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master/Teacher, Blog Writer and Burlesque Performer. I consider myself an Artist. I am based in Hove, East Sussex where I founded the brand You're Enough Yoga. I can also be spotted around about Brighton as my Burlesque alter ego Venus Gallactica! We all have the potential to alchemise our past into healing and power. I look forward to our journey together as we step into light.