HEALING through CEREMONY, healing, ceremony, healing ceremony, shamanism, past history, past relationship, pain, past relationship pain be gone, Michele fire-river heart, medicine woman, Gabriola island, British Columbia, Canada, focus, perspective, attention, addiction, sobriety, feelings, hope

Addiction is an adaptation to survive

This is a touchy subject that creates strong reactions. If you think I’m full of shit that’s okay, your truth is your own, all I can do is share my truth at this particular moment in time.

You are always doing the best you can even if it doesn’t look pretty.

I was recently in a group where someone mentioned an addict with disgust and contempt. This attitude is quite common in my experience. I intellectually know it is about them, whether a mirror for themselves, or having been in relationship with an addict, or just general ignorance. Whatever it is it pisses me off, and yes pissing me off is ‘my’ stuff as I was once an addict for many, many years. That also gives me a unique perspective into addiction. Which is the reason for this blog post and at least one more to come. I don’t talk about my experience with addiction much anymore, as telling the story takes me right back there, rekindling those memory pathways of an old story that does not serve me. However my intuition has nudged me, letting me know it was important to tell it today.

Addiction is a disease …. oh bite me. Even if you believe that, it’s a disease that can be cured. Not everyone succeeds, but that is true of a lot of diseases. You are not fated to carry around the “I am an addict banner”, once successfully sober. More on the “successfully sober” bit in later posts.

So how I define addiction: any behaviour that you do repetitively to deflect your attention from your reality and your pain, that negatively affects you and by extension your life. That creates imbalance even if it is a means to an end. Addiction is not in the substance, addiction is in the behaviour.

We are an addictive culture, it is common for people to use addiction as a way to survive the stress of daily life, past trauma (acknowledged or not), fear of the unknown and many other things that make us uncomfortable. What is uncommon is people realizing and/or admitting it, especially before it is affecting their lives in extreme ways.

We learn to adapt to our environment starting from birth, adapting at all costs to survive. We are at the mercy of our caregivers whether they are nice or not and society at large. So we change who we are to fit in, to be loved, to be taken care of, and once we grow up we’ve often forgotten or indeed have no awareness at all of those bit by bit changes we made in order to make ourselves feel safe.

In order to feel safe, self-soothe or escape the pain of our reality, some of us retreat within ourselves, becoming meek and quiet. Others of us fight for ourselves and our childhood is peppered with discord within our relationships, or become people pleasers always helping everyone. Some of us become over-controlling as a way to feel ok, and others becoming mean or a bully to reduce the feeling of helplessness. Some start with addictive behaviours to self-sooth, often with food as the first addiction. Other’s become pompous asses to hide feelings of inadequacy.  No one is better or worse than another, they are all a way to stop the feelings of pain that comes with betraying ourselves (remembered or not), the anger at unjust treatment, lies, deceptions, not being given unconditional love, and for some not even having their daily basic needs met, and having nowhere to go or no-one that believes you or in you. It is a way for some of us to stop wanting to blow our brains out, escape this reality and not feel or hurt again.

…….. So now you’re an adult.

If you are an addict it is okay,
congratulations you found a way to survive,
not everyone does.

I encourage you, to not to go into judgement, shame and blame, or if you do, forgive yourself as often as is necessary and carry on doing the best you can. This blog and the one(s) to come are meant to give you hope that sobriety is possible. If you’re an addict you are on a journey which is giving you skills and abilities that you can cross-train to attain sobriety. If you are not an addict well, here’s a window into the world of a woman who once was.

Shame, blame and judgement are damaging emotions, and counterproductive to sobriety. In fact they kept me locked into addiction like a vice.

A week in the head of the addict I used to be.
An average addictive week starting on a Monday …

– Off to work feeling depressed, overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally
– I got high Friday and Saturday night, not Sunday as I had to work today, so that was something
– I vowed to not use again when I woke up on Sunday morning

Now the weekly game is afoot, because the first thing I want to do to not feel my emotional pain, is to use again.
– My infernal internal dialogue is off and running, all day long as usual…..
Judgement, judgement, judgement “How could you use again, why can’t you be stronger, why can’t you just say no, look at the money you spent, see how bad you feel now, but I want to use, you can’t use, I want to use, you can’t use, I know I vowed I wouldn’t but ……. I want to.” Rinse repeat, rinse repeat, rinse repeat.

– I need to escape from myself and my continuous judgement and internal dialogue. I cannot I am trapped in my own head.
– I need to escape the push and pull of wanting to use and saying no, over and over and over again.
– I can’t make my head shut up, my Itty Bitty Shitty Committee is working overtime
– I feel awful, physically, mentally, emotionally I am a basket case
– My neurochemistry is now so low my ability to even fight my desires are at a really low ebb.
– “It’s only Monday you can hang on until Friday Michele, you cannot work hungover you know that, okay, push through it, perhaps by Friday you’ll feel better and not want to use”

But nothing changes, I fight with my overwhelming desire to use all week long.

I have made it to Friday. I have accomplished sobriety for 5 days in a row. Hooray for me. Unfortunately I still want to use, and now I have been doing battle with myself for approx. 130 hrs straight I am exhausted. I don’t have to work tomorrow, I’m sooo tired of the battle, I hate myself, I am disgusted by my inability to not want to use, disgusted by my previous behaviour, what is wrong with me, why can’t I just say no.
I cannot hold the pain and stay present anymore.

– It’s Friday, I’ll just get high tonight, no work tomorrow
– F..k it I’m going to score
– Then I have to go about acquiring it, and seeing as booze isn’t my thing, I can’t just go to the store, so…. (Just imagine the stress of acquiring an illegal substance, that you may or may not even be able to get and now that you’ve said yes to yourself, you are let’s say … very determined. Anxious to be able to get or not get, anxious to not get busted. I was lucky I never got busted, and if you think getting busted would have stopped me from using as soon as I got out back then, you are wrong.)

And so I score and I use again,
– Oh sweet holy h_ll, I feel good and I feel happy for the first time all week.
– No more pain, emotional, physical or mental.
– Zippidy do da zippidy day, my oh my what a wonderful day!
– I am out of my body, out of my head, my internal dialogue is gone. I get to focus on anything other than wanting to use.
– But of course once it’s gone, then begins the slow slide back to the hell of the reality I have created
– I wake up sober in absolute horror over having used yet again and what I did when I used. When we mind alter with anything, it changes how we act and behave.
– My constant companions judgement, shame and blame show up as usual, creating a new layer of emotional pain. Addicts are really really good at beating themselves up, we don’t need any help really, we got this!
– Hungover and now feeling so bad about my behaviours on top of depressed, overwhelmed and stressed …….

– It’s Saturday – using last night has tipped the scales on my ability to fight. I don’t have to work tomorrow.
– I’m going to use ….. I’m done!
– I’ll stop tomorrow, I’ve got work on Monday …….

“Just Say NO!”  ………   What a load of crap!
Now there was a campaign that wiggled its way into the hearts and minds of many.

What a lovely thought ‘Just say No”. Why didn’t I think of that……

All be it perhaps well intentioned, that campaign has done soooo much harm to addicts I can’t even tell you. That ridiculous campaign,  became embedded in the beliefs of  western culture.

Addicts say ‘No’ to themselves all day long, constantly fighting to not cave to their addiction, fighting their overwhelming sense of disgust with themselves, fighting the pain, fighting the judgement, shame and blame they heap on themselves.

I no longer dance with addiction, but admittedly I still on occasion eat too much sugar and indulge in zoning out with movies and tv. The difference is now I have so many years of sobriety and a mountain of healing work behind me. I have the advantage of neurochemistry that is not in the toilet, and the wisdom to know myself well and what strategies I need to implement, so that I do not allow those those behaviours to go unchecked for very long.

I now consider myself healed from addiction, with a predisposition for addictive tendencies. I do not fear falling back into the need to mind alter to get away from the life I have and am creating. I also now know that where my neurochemistry is at, which dramatically changes how I am feeling, and by default how ‘at risk’ I might be to depression. Depression for me was what was underlying my addiction in the past, and is probably underlying almost everybody’s addictive behaviours.

My next post will deal with how I got sober and some sciency stuff, to help explain our neurochemistry a bit more.

Q & A with a hand full of bullshit thrown in for good measure
We only react to things that we have ‘stuff’ with.
So why do you need that glass of wine/joint/codeine/etc. every day?
Imagine that you will never be able to get alcohol/joint/codeine/etc. of any sort again?
How do you feel now?
Is there a wee bit of panic rising, discomfort?

What is that glass of wine/joint/codeine/etc. doing for you? What’s the gain, there’s always a gain?

“Well I only have one glass of wine everyday, I’m not an addict”
“I only drink/toke socially”
“I toke, but doesn’t everyone and it’s legal now, doesn’t make me an addict”
“Exercising 3 hrs every day is good for me, not addiction”
“My doctor prescribed these”
“I only shop all the time to get the deals, and the shipping is free! I’ve got Amazon Prime”
“I’m just having a challenging time right now”
“I’m not an addict, I can stop whenever I want” (This is my favourite piece of bullshit)
“I only get high on the weekends” – This was my bullshit and my control mechanism, most of the time

Blah blah blah …… At a certain point we own our truth and things get better from there

The Interconnection of Rage & Our Sacred Sun ~ Today’s Daykeeper is Imix

Your interpretation and experience of these energies is your own. I can only share my personal understanding, I invite you to explore what they mean to you and their relevance in your life. This is really important. We gain nothing by ‘taking on’ others life experiences and beliefs. The juice and healing comes from within your own understanding, it is pivotal for your healing journey.

Imix has brought us back to the beginning of a new cycle of 20 days. This cycle I am looking at the interconnection between The Twenty Great Teachers of Life and The Earth Count. Let’s see what their interconnection has to teach us. The relevant daily information on each energy is below todays musings.

Interconnection between rage and our Sacred Sun ~ Well both exude an incredible amount of energy. Rage is also similar to a sun spot and the resulting explosive solar flare.  It is submerged magnetic energy fields that rise to the surface, collide, build and explode.  They are both pressure valves for magnetic energy, allowing balance to come back into the energy body. When two emotions (which are magnetic) collide and we try to hold them in, rage can be the result.

The sun nourishes us and allows for a lot of life to grow on this planet, but in excess can create disease in our bodies. Rage is the same, rage when not vented will create disease in our body and both require other energies to maintain our health.

Rage, sun, mayan, daykeeper, Imix, beginnings, start, cycles, HEALINGthroughCEREMONY.com, Michele Fire-River Heart

1 – The First Great Teacher is Rage
Rage teaches us about truth

First we need to make sure we’re on the same page, for me rage is the emotion that is more intense than anger, often coming suddenly and unexpectedly, and for me quite often accompanied by a blackout of memory afterwards.

So what has rage to teach, well there is a dark and light side to everything. It has taught me about being in and out of control, suppressing and expressing my true self, my boundaries and edges, my breaking point, my power and wielding power, raw power. My ability to protect myself, my ability to hurt, shock and stun others. How important it is to honour myself and my needs. How I escape mentally when I cannot hold what has happened, or what I have done. Where I am in relation to my ability to stay in my body when under stress. That I have been forcing myself to stay in an intolerable situation. How out of balance I become when not honouring myself. The power of rage to defend others when the odds are against me. That I never want to be ‘at the effect’ of rage again, but rather have it to use in the light if necessary. How important balance has become in my life and the peace and security it brings me mentally.  That rage is a probable outcome to situations of injustice in my life, if I do not deal with them. That when I was young I conformed out of fear and then suppressed the rage that resulted. That rage held me together for the other option was to fall apart. That I do not have to get to the point where rage is a response in situations that I had control over.

Wow, well that was unexpected, I didn’t realize there was that much I had learnt from rage, nice. Rage teaches about truth. I love this blog, it offers me healing opportunities that I never expected. My intent is that it offers you that opportunity as well.

Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Earth Count

The Zero
The Medicine Wheel is the shape of the Zero. TheZero is the symbol and fact of creation. TheZero Chiefs say that the Zero is not nothing, but is instead Everything.
~ All of Creation’s Children were designed and born from the Sacred Zero, and exist as part of the Zero. All of creation’s children exist as Numbers within the Medicine Wheel. This is the Children’s Count or Earth Count.
~ In the beginning was WahKahn. She is the Creator Mother and the Great Zero, the Womb that births all existence.
~ Within instantaneous being was born SsKwan. He is the Creator Father, and is the Dividing of the Zero.
~ Creation, the Zero, is perfectly balanced. The Zero is Female and Male and has designed and birthed all of Life.

1 – The One ~ ONE is the SUN
The FirstBorn from the Sacred Zero – the Marriage of WahKahn, the Creator Mother, and SsKwan, the Creator Father – was One.
~ The East is the dancer called the Sun.
(Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Earth Count)

1- Mayan Daykeeper Imix: The essence of Imix is the beginning of a cycle. The start of one dividing into many & yet still being part of the one. Imix is the one.

Imix often manifests in human reality as the ability
to remain in the present moment without concern for the past and future.
It can be recognized as a clear link to that which lies beyond the mundane.
Imix offers the ability to transcend time
and to refrain from having time oriented desires.

On a Imix day you may want to be less structured.
Make time for yourself that is free from previous commitments and obligations.
This is an opportune day to discover from within
what you truly want and where you truly want to go in your life.
It is a day to acknowledge that which lies beyond time.

People who are born on a Imix day are often dreamers
that lack the desire to succeed in more materialistic accomplishments.
They often come up with new ideas that others bring to manifestation.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, please contact me and send me your Birthday.

Previous Imix days this year: Jan 4th, 24th, Feb 13th, March 5th, 25th, April 14th, May 4th, 24th,  June 13th, July 3rd

Rage as a Teacher ~ Sacred Sun ~ Mayan Daykeeper Imix

Imix has brought us back to the beginning of a new cycle of 20 days. This cycle I am taking a 20 day summer break. So I will leave you to work with these energies and we will start a new cycle in 20 days with a new intent.

Your interpretation and experience of this teacher is your own. I can only share my personal understanding, I invite you to explore what this teacher means to you and the lessons it has brought you thus far. This is really important. We gain nothing by ‘taking on’ others life experiences. The juice and healing comes from within your own paradigm, it is pivotal for your healing journey.

1 – The First Great Teacher is Rage
Rage teaches us about truth

When have you experienced rage?
How did you feel afterwards?
Was your rage justified or not?
Are there any warning signs before you experience rage?
What truth has rage taught you?

Rage, sun, mayan, daykeeper, Imix, beginnings, start, cycles, HEALINGthroughCEREMONY.com, Michele Fire-River Heart

Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Earth Count

The Zero
The Medicine Wheel is the shape of the Zero. TheZero is the symbol and fact of creation. TheZero Chiefs say that the Zero is not nothing, but is instead Everything.
~ All of Creation’s Children were designed and born from the Sacred Zero, and exist as part of the Zero. All of creation’s children exist as Numbers within the Medicine Wheel. This is the Children’s Count or Earth Count.
~ In the beginning was WahKahn. She is the Creator Mother and the Great Zero, the Womb that births all existence.
~ Within instantaneous being was born SsKwan. He is the Creator Father, and is the Dividing of the Zero.
~ Creation, the Zero, is perfectly balanced. The Zero is Female and Male and has designed and birthed all of Life.

1 – The One ~ ONE is the SUN
The FirstBorn from the Sacred Zero – the Marriage of WahKahn, the Creator Mother, and SsKwan, the Creator Father – was One.
~ The East is the dancer called the Sun.

1- Mayan Daykeeper Imix: The essence of Imix is the beginning of a cycle. The start of one dividing into many & yet still being part of the one. Imix is the one.

Imix often manifests in human reality as the ability
to remain in the present moment without concern for the past and future.
It can be recognized as a clear link to that which lies beyond the mundane.
Imix offers the ability to transcend time
and to refrain from having time oriented desires.

On a Imix day you may want to be less structured.
Make time for yourself that is free from previous commitments and obligations.
This is an opportune day to discover from within
what you truly want and where you truly want to go in your life.
It is a day to acknowledge that which lies beyond time.

People who are born on a Imix day are often dreamers
that lack the desire to succeed in more materialistic accomplishments.
They often come up with new ideas that others bring to manifestation.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, please contact me and send me your Birthday.

Previous Imix days this year: Jan 4th, 24th, Feb 13th, March 5th, 25th, April 14th, May 4th, 24th,  June 13th, July 3rd, 23rd

The Teacher of Rage ~ Sacred Sun ~ Mayan Daykeeper Imix

Imix has brought us back to the beginning of a new cycle of 20 days. This cycle I am introducing The Twenty Great Teachers of Life. Let’s see what they have to teach us. I will put the relevant daily information from our other two 20 day cycles at the bottom of each new blog post.

Your interpretation and experience of this teacher is your own. I can only share my personal understanding, I invite you to explore what this teacher means to you and the lessons it has brought you thus far. This is really important. We gain nothing by ‘taking on’ others life experiences. The juice and healing comes from within your own paradigm, it is pivotal for your healing journey.

1 – The First Great Teacher is Rage
Rage teaches us about truth

First we need to make sure we’re on the same page, for me rage is the emotion that is more intense than anger, often coming suddenly and unexpectedly, and for me quite often accompanied by a blackout of memory afterwards.

So what has rage to teach, well there is a dark and light side to everything. It has taught me about being in and out of control, suppressing and expressing my true self, my boundaries and edges, my breaking point, my power and wielding power, raw power. My ability to protect myself, my ability to hurt, shock and stun others. How important it is to honour myself and my needs. How I escape mentally when I cannot hold what has happened, or what I have done. Where I am in relation to my ability to stay in my body when under stress. That I have been forcing myself to stay in an intolerable situation. How out of balance I become when not honouring myself. The power of rage to defend others when the odds are against me. That I never want to be ‘at the effect’ of rage again, but rather have it to use in the light if necessary. How important balance has become in my life and the peace and security it brings me mentally.  That rage is a probable outcome to situations of injustice in my life, if I do not deal with them. That when I was young I conformed out of fear and then suppressed the rage that resulted. That rage held me together for the other option was to fall apart. That I do not have to get to the point where rage is a response in situations that I had control over.

Wow, well that was unexpected, I didn’t realize there was that much I had learnt from rage, nice. Rage teaches about truth. I love this blog, it offers me healing opportunities that I never expected. My intent is that it offers you that opportunity as well.

Rage, sun, mayan, daykeeper, Imix, beginnings, start, cycles, HEALINGthroughCEREMONY.com, Michele Fire-River Heart

Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Earth Count

The Zero
The Medicine Wheel is the shape of the Zero. TheZero is the symbol and fact of creation. TheZero Chiefs say that the Zero is not nothing, but is instead Everything.
~ All of Creation’s Children were designed and born from the Sacred Zero, and exist as part of the Zero. All of creation’s children exist as Numbers within the Medicine Wheel. This is the Children’s Count or Earth Count.
~ In the beginning was WahKahn. She is the Creatures Mother and the Great Zero, the Womb that births all existence.
~ Within instantaneous being was born SsKwan. He is the Creator Father, and is the Dividing of the Zero.
~ Creation, the Zero, is perfectly balanced. The Zero is Female and Male and has designed and birthed all of Life.

1 – The One ~ ONE is the SUN
The FirstBorn from the Sacred Zero – the Marriage of WahKahn, the Creatures Mother, and SsKwan, the Creator Father – was One.
~ The East is the dancer called the Sun.

1- Mayan Daykeeper Imix: The essence of Imix is the beginning of a cycle. The start of one dividing into many & yet still being part of the one. Imix is the one.

Imix often manifests in human reality as the ability
to remain in the present moment without concern for the past and future.
It can be recognized as a clear link to that which lies beyond the mundane.
Imix offers the ability to transcend time
and to refrain from having time oriented desires.

On a Imix day you may want to be less structured.
Make time for yourself that is free from previous commitments and obligations.
This is an opportune day to discover from within
what you truly want and where you truly want to go in your life.
It is a day to acknowledge that which lies beyond time.

People who are born on a Imix day are often dreamers
that lack the desire to succeed in more materialistic accomplishments.
They often come up with new ideas that others bring to manifestation.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, please contact me and send me your Birthday.

Previous Imix days this year: Jan 4th, 24th, Feb 13th, March 5th, 25th, April 14th, May 4th, 24th,  June 13th, July 3rd