Tag Archives: Spirituality

FINDING MYSELF

I’m not a religious person. I believe in what I can see and feel. This makes it hard for me to find any real spirituality that fits in with what I believe.

I’ve researched Buddhism, which is okay but I would have to fake a lot of the positive thinking they have going on. I’m not sure my body can do Yoga right now either. Most of their concepts are hard for me to wrap my brain around.

I’ve researched Hinduism which is similar to Buddhism but not.

Paganism which can get a little dicey. My Celtic/Norse heritage which can also be a tough one. Shamanism sounded good so did Wicca but I have too many questions and I’ve never been someone who could “just believe” in anything.

I tend to lean toward the darker side of things. I know it’s unhealthy.

I do believe in animals and love to watch them and their behaviors. My favorite has always been the Wolf.

I also think there is something to the metaphysical properties in gemstones. I can’t dispute the research that’s been done the last 50 years or what’s been found that’s the same across many cultures and beliefs. Amber is has the same meaning and properties to Native Americans as it does to Buddhists. I enjoy working with real gemstones. I’m not talking diamonds. I’m talking amethyst, black onyx, agates, the less expensive ones.

I’m still lost and have no idea what I’m doing. I need purpose. I’m also tired of modern medicine telling me they can’t help me anymore.

My GFR is at 40 and my recent surgery didn’t go well when they changed they my ureteral stents. One became embedded which caused more scar tissue which I can’t afford to have. This means having my stents changed more frequently under anesthesia and having a breathing tube. Of course they couldn’t wake me for 2 hours after the surgery because my twin drove me to the hospital and decided to tell me exactly what she thought of me before I went under the anesthesia. When you have Conversion Disorder that can’t happen. The anesthesiologist was not happy with my sister. He had seen her talking to me before the surgery and he had seen me crying.

It’s been a difficult couple of months. I’m more tired than usual, my neck and hips are killing me and my social anxiety has been at an all time high. I’m used to physical pain so my neck and hips have to be bad for me to complain. I kept working while I had 2 herniated discs in my back with 2 bulging discs above and below each one. The only thing that finally stopped me was when I got stuck on the pavement getting out of my car. They thought I wasn’t showing up until I finally reached my cell phone and told them I was outside on the ground. lol

My Dad is having sciatic nerve pain right now and is the biggest baby I’ve ever seen. He won’t listen to a thing I say even though I’ve been through it all. I had 3 Epidurals, water therapy, a 2 hour IV drip of some cocktail to release the muscle spasms because I was shaped like the letter L and they refused to do surgery because it would cause a domino effect. But he listens to one of his friends who says he was kidnapped by aliens! It’s frustrating.

Other than all of this everything is okay.group-wolves-called_9ee7f18bde1c5374

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The Trouble With Addiction, Mental Health, And Spirituality.

I’m not really sure how to begin. These subjects are so important to me and I want to make sure I write in a way that isn’t boring or too one sided. I won’t lie, it will be hard for me given my own personal experiences. That’s why I will lean on research and statistics until it all comes together. This will probably be a two part post. There is so much to all of these subjects that it’s hard to for people to read a 1,ooo word post.

The reason I decided to write about these topics is due to a post I read stating that “Addiction is a disease of Spirituality”. When I read the post I found myself becoming angry and confused that so many could still think this way with all of the scientific research that’s been done. So I’ll go through a shortened version of their reasoning.(If possible)

Addiction as a Spiritual Disease

Addiction is explained as a thirst, hunger, or starvation for some type of fulfillment or wholeness in your life. Addicts have an initial void of spirituality, a higher drive for a spiritual connection.

When speaking of spirituality the author states it’s not a religion. Spirituality refers to finding purpose and meaning in life along with a connection to the Universe outside of our self.

Types of connections such as nature, love, friendships, understanding the Universe, meditation, and mindfulness are all connections we probably experience, but may not understand what they mean.

Specific Examples

  • Moment of clarity
  • Sense of inner peace or calmness
  • Euphoria
  • Feeling connected to the world around us
  • Being in the moment
  • Feeling like your true self
  • Unconditional love

The author of the post sites a Collegiate Study of 200 people focusing on the reasons why they use alcohol. They had a list of reasons and had to put a check next to the box that applied. 100% of the people checked the box for “I like the feeling”. Not surprising. The author of the post talked to people who were either actively using or in early recovery and came up with a list of their own feelings. The following is what they had for responses.

  • Everything makes sense (Moment of clarity)
  • I relax and don’t worry about life (Inner peace)
  • Everything is better, food, people, jokes (Euphoria)
  • I understand people better (Interconnection)
  • Content in the moment (Being present)
  • Freedom from self criticism (True self)
  • No judgement about anyone (Unconditional love)

This in turn leads us back to Spirituality.

The American Medical Association declared Alcoholism to be a disease in 1956. Years later the American Society of Addiction Medicine proclaimed all addiction as a disease.

WHY?

Scientific evidence showed that addiction is rooted in distinct brain changes, similar to mental illness. For 25-50% of people with an addiction problem it is a progressive relapsing disease.

People with addiction do make a choice whether or not to take a drug or drink, but they do not choose how their brain and body will respond to the drugs or alcohol.

Choice doesn’t determine a disease. A person with Heart Disease or Diabetes may sometimes choose a diet or lifestyle that has lead to these diseases. A disease is what happens in the body and/or brain as a result of those choices.

RISK FACTORS

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Specific brain characteristics
  • Psychological factors
  • Exposure to physical/emotional/sexual abuse or trauma

If one or more of these are present it doesn’t mean someone will be an addict it just means the odds are greater. 

MENTAL HEALTH

People with severe mental health problems are more likely to have addiction problems. Most likely due to many not getting a diagnosis for years or the incorrect diagnosis. Instead they self-medicate which can make psychiatric symptoms worse.

Some of us with what are considered “severe mental illnesses” and addiction tend to experience the same problems:

  • More severe psychiatric symptoms
  • Physical health problems
  • Increased stigma
  • Financial problems
  • Homelessness
  • Aggression or verbal hostility 
  • Some time spent in jail or trouble with the law
  • Increased suicidal feelings and behavior

Our brains also look similar when viewed by Neurologists or other Doctors in the same field of study. There is often a hyper-intensity on one side.

I personally do not think this has anything to do with Spirituality. I had two wonderful parents. I do come from a long line of alcoholics and mentally ill people. The amount of both is astonishing. You can’t chalk that up to Spirituality. FIFTEEN of us in my immediate family have addiction/mental illness problems. Sorry, make that fourteen. My Uncle Jimmy died after a long battle with HIV first (from a needle) then AIDS. He was Schizophrenic and homeless. He chose to live on the streets just like he chose not to take medication. He was well over six feet tall and very handsome when he was young. I don’t know where he’s buried. I do know that not many spiritual people showed him any kindness. My mother and I would bring him food and clothes while she was alive.

My cousin Rhonda has been missing for years. She took off one day from her real estate job and was living in the woods. No one can find her. She is also Schizophrenic like her mother. I tell a million stories, one sadder than the other but there is no point. Addiction is a disease/illness, just like Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder are illnesses. There is nothing to make me change my mind about that. When your brain wants you to die and you don’t even know why it isn’t a question of faith or spirituality. It’s a question of survival.thktpzxxqk

 

 


If I Saw God

 

 

I was watching the video for Fear by Blue October and thinking. I should never think, it gets me into trouble.

What I was thinking was how at peace the singer looked, how wise he looked, almost God like.

Then I thought if there was a God I would want him to look like that. I would want him to look battle worn and wary but at peace with himself because he knows he did his best in this world.

I would want him to have the height and long arms to hug me with and hold me while I cried out all my pain and shame. The kind smile and the light in his eyes that says “It’s ok I’ve been there too, I know and you’ll get through this”.

The tattoos that tell his own story of sadness and joy, to show he was human once and truly understands. But mostly the arms wide open, with the sun behind him and the sound of the ocean, looking to give comfort. If I believed in God and saw him that is how I would want it to be. It just appeared so calming to me at the moment.

That’s putting a lot of pressure on Mr. Furstenfeld and I’m not saying he’s God just that he has a God like appearance in that video and seams at peace with himself. I think he’s worked hard for that. He goes from crushing anguish to sublime salvation. I’m envious and wish I could achieve the same. His music helps me and for that I thank him. I hope to see him one day at one of his more personal performances. lol I’ve been saying that for years now and my brother in law even called to get me into one of his Boston shows and I freaked myself out too much because I would have to go alone and it was at a café/bookstore and I wouldn’t know anyone. Ughhh!

I know I switch subjects often but this reminds me that my brother in law really isn’t that bad. He also gave me a stack of Buckcherry tickets because he knew I liked them and he got them as a promotion. He’s offered other things too. He does care about me, I would even say he loves me. How could he not? lol

 


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