A Gentle Path to Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation
The ReBourne Recovery Programme has been designed and engineered to assist people who have identified that the neurological disease of addiction resides within them. Addiction can translate as "Having an unhealthy relationship with…". This could be an unhealthy relationship with: alcohol, gambling, illegal street drugs, legal prescription drugs, sex, people (this is codependence), social media, gaming, shopping or food. One of the most overlooked addictions is the unhealthy relationship with our thoughts. I believe that having an unhealthy relationship with our thoughts is the driving force that propels us into the addictions listed above. We will be dealing with this in later modules.
The term 'addict' is very stigmatised, judged and also grossly misunderstood. My personal definition of addiction is: Any behaviour or ingestion of something that has a negative impact on self or others that is done more than once.
To expand on this description, focus on these questions:
Does your addiction enhance your overall well-being or deplete you?
Does addiction make you feel expanded or contracted or even constricted?
Do you think your addiction makes you grow or diminish?
Do you think addiction makes you live a larger and expansive life or a restricting and timorous life?
If your answer is 'Yes' to some or all of the above, there is a problem that needs addressing. Let me be very clear hear when I say: Addiction is not the problem, addiction is your attempt to solve the problem. The root of the problem is (usually) the result of a dysfunctional childhood. I would estimate from personal experience that 90% of people have had an obvious dysfunctional childhood laced with abuse, neglect and lack of understanding and nurturing. The other 10% have come from what 'appears' to be a functional childhood but they have experienced their childhood with a whole host of undiagnosed sensitivities causing discomfort, anxiety, fear and depression. It is not what type of childhood you had, it is how you experienced it.
Addiction can be seen as a coping mechanism to manage thoughts and feelings that are perceived by the self as overwhelming and/or unmanageable. This may be seen as a choice but my understanding is that those act out addictive cycles do this as they simply don't have the emotional management skills to do anything else other than 'self medicate'. To summarise I would venture to say that the vast majority of addiction is not the problem but rather the symptom of a dysfunctional childhood. As with all symptoms, there is treatment and solution, the ReBourne Recovery Programme is one way to treat this.
Any teachings in this programme are what I have learned over the last 15 years of personal development since quitting alcohol on 05 November 2007. That's not to say they are 'right', addiction as a topic is a very grey area with many studies undertaken and literature written on the subject. Some of my understandings have been gleaned from 12 step meetings, reading books on addiction, watching videos, having my own personal counselling, training in counselling, counselling others, talking with other people with addiction issues. I would say my number one teacher has been stepping into self awareness and being able to notice how addiction plays out in myself and others.
As I looked back over my years of recovery and sobriety, I realised that there is a plethora of help out there to assist people in becoming sober, ranging from expensive privately paid drying out rehabilitation clinics, NHS services, The SMART programme, STAR and 12 Step meetings to name but a few. One of the many common denominators of people with addiction is their inability to make healthy decisions. Our default primary choice is to self medicate with an unhealthy relationship with something. Self medicating with addiction is a temporary and illusory fix that will nearly always end with a negative outcome! As sobriety is fundamentally a series of healthy decisions with the goal of not using, this leaves a person new to sobriety at a major disadvantage which is why, in my humble yet often outspoken opinion, so many people fail to remain sober. This programme offers support, guidance and a range of practices and methods to keep you from returning to addiction as a solution to life's problems. Remember, addiction isn't the problem, the problem is using addiction to solve a problem!
Over the years I have seen many people quit addiction and live under the illusion that their problems are now over and they can live a 'normal' life. Stopping addictive cycles is actually the easy part! The hard part is dealing with what resides in you that got you into addiction in the first place! Although I would never be so arrogant to claim this programme will cover all the bases, it will cover a lot of them. I will also say at this point that any feedback, negative or positive please feel free! This is a fluid program open to feedback and improvement.
Although all people with addiction use it to self medicate in some shape or form, WE are all individual in the sense that we require different methods to stay sober. If you can imagine that the addict that resides in you is like a safe with a combination lock and you need to learn precisely what combination of recovery methods work for you. There is a saying in the rooms (12 step meetings): take what you want and leave the rest. This for me is a great way to view the entire world of recovery.
I maintain to this day that one of the biggest realisations that anyone can make is that it isn't that they need to cut down or stop, or won't act out, it is that they CAN'T act out, the consequences are simply too destructive.
The fear of your own power.
Many of us have heard the phrase "One of the things we fear most is our own power". But what does this actually mean? The power that we fear in ourselves is the power that we ALL have, this is the power to CREATE. If the story is true; that God made us in his own image and he is the great creator, then we are great creators too! It is not the fear of this power per se, it is more the fear of failure. If we live small we can only make small mistakes, if we live a larger life of creation then we fear setting ourselves up to fail at something big.
Fearing the failure of creating a larger more purposeful life outside of addiction invites the fear of not being able to deal with overwhelm. If you are reading this, then you are actually dealing with that fear of overwhelm right now by choosing to create a recovery plan to replace your addiction.
There is another understanding that we fear success equally, if not more than failure. The understanding here is that low self worth underpins addiction and this low self worth that drives addiction simply cannot handle success. Do remember the same rule applies (as with addiction); you are not low self worth, it is something that resides within you, like it's own programme, energy or driving force. We will address and deal with this in later modules.
Addiction is about leading a restricted, confined life, deprived of growth and connection, a life that yields the same painful, negative and corrosive outcomes governed by old worn out complexes. These complexes shackle us to our own childhoods that we had NO PART in creating, this prevents us from growing up. Addiction is living small in the illusory comfort of groundhog day stuckness, doing the same thing and getting the same tiresome result. Purpose is the opposite of addiction, choose to live larger by being your god self, creatively visualising how you wish your life to be and boldly stepping into that life, YOU DESERVE THIS so choose it!