Beating alcoholism (at last)

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Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby greggorious » Sat May 21, 2011 3:20 pm

I've been trying to quit alcohol for a long time, maybe 6 or 7 years and have constantly relapsed. I generally put this down to the depression I've been suffering from. As a result of my alcohol abuse I lost my dream job, all my friends, a lack of trust from my family, I stole from them. I was suicidal for years and in a pit of despair.
Throughout the years I have tried AA, self help books, treatment centre's, valium, other programmes and nothing has worked, that is until I took up the art of meditation, twice a day. I'm still very much a novice when it comes to Theravada and I'm not aware of all the meditation techniques. I've been doing samadha and Vipassana daily, 15 minutes on each and this alone has helped me so much with conquring my addiction, not only that but I'm feeling more peaceful and happy within myself. I'm going to start going to a theravada centre that's sort of near me, I've also been reading Buddhist and spiritual literature which has helped also.
I no longer believe that one needs a "Higher power" to defeat alcoholism, the power lies within.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat May 21, 2011 3:40 pm

I hope everything turns out well. Good luck (or hard work :smile: )!
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby Jhana4 » Sat May 21, 2011 4:02 pm

Very impressive benefits for just two 15 minute breaks a day.

Congratulations!
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby CalBound » Sun May 22, 2011 3:05 am

Greggorious - congrats on your progress! Yes, it is very possible to be alcohol-free without AA/higher power. Have you seen www.buddhistrecovery.org? Also, if you ever find you need a little more support than your meditation/Buddhist practice, I encourage you to take a look at Seven Weeks to Sobriety by Joan Mathews Larson (biochemical/nutritional approach to substance abuse). Best wishes on your journey.
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby bodom » Sun May 22, 2011 3:24 am

Don't forget you NEVER defeat the diease of alcoholism. You surrender to, accept and let go of the craving when it arises, and if you are an alcoholic like I was, it will arise again.Thinking defeat can turn to cockiness real quick. I know many people who had many years sober in AA and other programs who thought they had drugs and alcohol 'beat" and they picked back up again and it was worse than before. I went through it many times. Be vigilant and stay connected to other recovering addicts and alcoholics. I wish you all the best.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby CalBound » Sun May 22, 2011 3:42 am

bodom wrote:Don't forget you NEVER defeat the diease of alcoholism. You surrender to, accept and let go of the craving when it arises, and if you are an alcoholic like I was, it will arise again.Thinking defeat can turn to cockiness real quick. I know many people who had many years sober in AA and other programs who thought they had drugs and alcohol 'beat" and they picked back up again and it was worse than before. I went through it many times. Be vigilant and stay connected to other recovering addicts and alcoholics. I wish you all the best.

:anjali:


The cravings to drink will most likely lessen over time. Have to agree, though: don't forget/always respect where you've been.
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby bodom » Sun May 22, 2011 3:47 am

CalBound wrote:
bodom wrote:Don't forget you NEVER defeat the diease of alcoholism. You surrender to, accept and let go of the craving when it arises, and if you are an alcoholic like I was, it will arise again.Thinking defeat can turn to cockiness real quick. I know many people who had many years sober in AA and other programs who thought they had drugs and alcohol 'beat" and they picked back up again and it was worse than before. I went through it many times. Be vigilant and stay connected to other recovering addicts and alcoholics. I wish you all the best.

:anjali:


The cravings to drink will most likely lessen over time. Have to agree, though: don't forget/always respect where you've been.


Yes they do subside and get easier to manage but I know people with almost 40 years clean who have said the desire never goes away. Unless of course they reach Arahantship! :tongue:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby ground » Sun May 22, 2011 4:39 am

greggorious wrote:I've been trying to quit alcohol for a long time, maybe 6 or 7 years and have constantly relapsed. I generally put this down to the depression I've been suffering from. .

There are different forms of depression, not necessarily connected to alcohol. However alcohol consumption is known to enhance depression (contrary to what may appear to be its immediate effect).


greggorious wrote:I no longer believe that one needs a "Higher power" to defeat alcoholism, the power lies within.

To experience this truth may be the key experience: Everything that is needed for contentment and/or relaxation is there as a sort of fertile potential within yourself, completely independent of external stimuli like drugs or sense objects. And yes it may be accessed by means of meditation.

I am happy that you have found the right track. Great success, go on!
And please be mindful of bodom's advice.

kind regards
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby Jhana4 » Sun May 22, 2011 1:13 pm

I don't know too much about it, but there is a completely secular therapy for alcoholism based on rational emotive therapy ( cognitive therapy ) called "Rational Recovery". Googling on it should bring some leads up.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby CalBound » Sun May 22, 2011 1:20 pm

bodom wrote:Yes they do subside and get easier to manage but I know people with almost 40 years clean who have said the desire never goes away. Unless of course they reach Arahantship! :tongue:

:anjali:


I am honestly not trying to argue or dominate the thread, but just want greggorious to know the full range of possibilities. I too have heard of people for whom alcohol is a continuous struggle forever. But I also know people for whom alcohol eventually becomes a complete non-issue, myself included (13 yrs daily heavy drinking; 16 yrs alcohol-free). I have no desire whatsoever to drink alcohol, and would not do it again, because the risk just isn't worth it, but I also never think I am missing something by not having it and/or wish I could have a drink, have cravings, etc. Alcohol does not have to be a central part of your identity forever. One factor in continued cravings is whether you continue to consume sugar, which to your biochemistry is identical to alcohol (this is discussed in the book I recommended in earlier post). I was not aware of meditation/Buddhism at the time I successfully quit, but have since wondered whether that might also help change brain chemistry in a helpful way, and am glad to know that is working for greggorious.
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby bodom » Sun May 22, 2011 2:19 pm

myself included (13 yrs daily heavy drinking; 16 yrs alcohol-free).


Congrats!

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Beating alcoholism (at last)

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun May 22, 2011 9:11 pm

greggorious wrote:I've been trying to quit alcohol for a long time, maybe 6 or 7 years and have constantly relapsed. I generally put this down to the depression I've been suffering from. As a result of my alcohol abuse I lost my dream job, all my friends, a lack of trust from my family, I stole from them. I was suicidal for years and in a pit of despair.
Throughout the years I have tried AA, self help books, treatment centre's, valium, other programmes and nothing has worked, that is until I took up the art of meditation, twice a day. I'm still very much a novice when it comes to Theravada and I'm not aware of all the meditation techniques. I've been doing samadha and Vipassana daily, 15 minutes on each and this alone has helped me so much with conquring my addiction, not only that but I'm feeling more peaceful and happy within myself. I'm going to start going to a theravada centre that's sort of near me, I've also been reading Buddhist and spiritual literature which has helped also.
I no longer believe that one needs a "Higher power" to defeat alcoholism, the power lies within.


Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! I've been on the wagon for years now and it was definitely the Dhamma that helped do it. Everyone here has got good advice for you so I won't chime in except to say I'm happy for you! Anumodana! :heart:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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