Mindfullness and addiction

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  • willdover
    Member
    • Apr 2009
    • 31

    Mindfullness and addiction

    Hi my name is Will and I'm and addict. From the ages of 13-15 I practiced self mutilation in the form of cutting. Now for those who don’t know how that works its like this, I would cut myself to release brain chemicals to make myself feel better. I am now about four years clean, yes I know I’m a still at kid at 19, but I still have a problem with cutting. Whenever I become extremely negatively emotional, anger sadness ect…, I want to cut to ease the emotional pain. Now because of the mindfullness I’ve found in practice I’ve seen that the emotions that lead to the want of cutting are bound in the ego. Now to note, knowing that the feelings are just because of the ego and truly feeling better are sometimes a little far apart.

    I share this information with everyone at Treeleaf in the hopes that we can grow together in mindfullness through practice to kick our addictions and so that I can grow closer in understanding with my fellow sangha members.

    Much loving-kindness to you all

    Gassho _/ _

    Will Dover
    Carpe Diem
  • Dosho
    Member
    • Jun 2008
    • 5784

    #2
    Re: Mindfullness and addiction

    Thank you for that Will.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Comment

    • mum21andtwins
      Member
      • Aug 2009
      • 19

      #3
      Re: Mindfullness and addiction

      thank you for sharing Will
      _/_ Vera

      Comment

      • Rich
        Member
        • Apr 2009
        • 2601

        #4
        Re: Mindfullness and addiction

        Will, thank you for sharing that. Your acknowledgement of the truth shows a wisdom way beyond 19 years. It also reminds each of us that we have our own demons to sometimes deal with and we just keep trying as best we can.
        /Rich
        _/_
        Rich
        MUHYO
        無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

        https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

        Comment

        • AlanLa
          Member
          • Mar 2008
          • 1405

          #5
          Re: Mindfullness and addiction

          Thank you for that. Psychic wounds fester in the dark but heal in the light of the right kind of environment. May we provide some of that healing environment for you to work with on your Path to recovery.
          AL (Jigen) in:
          Faith/Trust
          Courage/Love
          Awareness/Action!

          I sat today

          Comment

          • willdover
            Member
            • Apr 2009
            • 31

            #6
            Re: Mindfullness and addiction

            Thank you all for such kind words. I hope that maybe one day the urge isn't there, but I have noticed the more I sit and accept life in the present moment the happier I am. Thus decreaseing the negatives which bring on the urge.

            Gassho
            Will Dover
            Carpe Diem

            Comment

            • disastermouse

              #7
              Re: Mindfullness and addiction

              Hey Will,

              I used to cut too, when I was a teenager (and then a brief stint in my mid-20s).

              It's possible that Zen is not enough. Are you getting any sort of therapy?

              Chet

              Comment

              • willdover
                Member
                • Apr 2009
                • 31

                #8
                Re: Mindfullness and addiction

                Originally posted by disastermouse
                Hey Will,

                I used to cut too, when I was a teenager (and then a brief stint in my mid-20s).

                It's possible that Zen is not enough. Are you getting any sort of therapy?

                Chet
                No I'm not in therapy, but I honestly don't see the need for it. For me the urge only happens when I am either really angery or really sad, through practice I've begun haveing either of those feelings evenless. Also I have been clean for a few years now so it isn't that hard to overcome the urge when it does arise. I have a feeling maybe(or hopefully) with time the urge will go away. I really brought this whole thing up so that the sangha will know me better and so that we could all share either our vices or addictions and support one another.

                Thanks for the concern _/_
                Will Dover
                Carpe Diem

                Comment

                • disastermouse

                  #9
                  Re: Mindfullness and addiction

                  Originally posted by willdover
                  Originally posted by disastermouse
                  Hey Will,

                  I used to cut too, when I was a teenager (and then a brief stint in my mid-20s).

                  It's possible that Zen is not enough. Are you getting any sort of therapy?

                  Chet
                  No I'm not in therapy, but I honestly don't see the need for it. For me the urge only happens when I am either really angery or really sad, through practice I've begun haveing either of those feelings evenless. Also I have been clean for a few years now so it isn't that hard to overcome the urge when it does arise. I have a feeling maybe(or hopefully) with time the urge will go away. I really brought this whole thing up so that the sangha will know me better and so that we could all share either our vices or addictions and support one another.

                  Thanks for the concern _/_
                  Will Dover
                  Zen may or may not diminish afflictive emotions. Please be careful not to fall into the trap of just 'numbing' or 'willing' away afflictive emotions. It doesn't work. It can be easy (for awhile) to misuse Zen for that, but in the end, it doesn't really work out.

                  I was cutting because I have BPD (Borderline, not Bipolar). Zen probably kept me from killing myself, but therapy was also required. I'm not saying you have BPD - I'm just saying that Zen complements therapy, but is often not a sufficient replacement.

                  Cutting and BPD are often very entangled. Here's the wikipedia page, if you're interested:



                  The DSM-V criterion are:

                  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. [Not including suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5]

                  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

                  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

                  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). [Again, not including suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5]

                  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.

                  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

                  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness

                  8. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

                  9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms



                  If none of this applies, well that's cool too.

                  Chet

                  Comment

                  • willdover
                    Member
                    • Apr 2009
                    • 31

                    #10
                    Re: Mindfullness and addiction

                    Chet thank you so much for being persistent and looking out for me, but thankfully my friend none of those aply to me. And I wouldn't say that I'm trying to numb the pain through practice, but its more like I'm realiseing exactly what causes the pain. And all the time the pain is caused either by aversion or attachment to a situation, which is all stuck in the ego anyway.

                    I'll give an example. Say my parents and myself would get in a rather heated arguement. That sort of frustration would cause the urge. But if I stop and look at what is really going I realise that the anger and frustration are cause by two things. Those two things are the aversion to fighting with people and the way things change during and arguement, and attachment to the way things were. Once I realise this the anger and the frustration really just go away. Its kinda like the old story about the guy and the empty boat(see below), there isn't really anything for me to be angery at anymore. I found the cause and realised that the cause isn't worth the anger. I hope that makes sense.

                    The guy and the empty boat

                    On a foggy morning on a narrow river a person is piloting their boat up the river, a difficult task, and out of the fog they see a boat coming downstream towards them. The person yells to the boat to look out, to get out of the way, and as the boat slowly approaches without changing course, the person gets angrier and angrier, believing that the other driver is doing this deliberately to cause them pain and suffering. The person's rage builds and builds as the boat gets closer and closer, and finally the boats gently bump together. Boiling with rage, our pilot is ready to yell and scream and beat up the driver of the other boat, only to find that it is an empty boat that had come loose and was just drifting down the river with no one inside.

                    Much loving-kindness to you all
                    Gassho,
                    Will Dover
                    Carpe Diem

                    Comment

                    • Keishin
                      Member
                      • Jun 2007
                      • 471

                      #11
                      Re: Mindfullness and addiction

                      Will
                      Thank you for sharing this.
                      Also thank you for reminding me of that wonderful story of the empty boat, lost along memory's back roads somewhere.

                      That which appears flawed, failed and a source of shame becomes fuel

                      what do we do with it?

                      what we do with it!

                      I very much appreciate what you are doing here.

                      Comment

                      • willdover
                        Member
                        • Apr 2009
                        • 31

                        #12
                        Re: Mindfullness and addiction

                        Keishin,

                        I am happy to bring the story of the empty boat back into your current thought. And you are very welcome for what ever it is I am doing here.

                        Much loving-kindness to you all

                        Gassho
                        Will Dover
                        Carpe Diem

                        Comment

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