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Hello, I am so sorry for my long absence but I was going with cycles of high ecstasy and low suicidal depression .

I would love to seek your wisdom on how to be mindful and present with unpleasant experiences that leads to relapsing to addiction, often when I experience boredom and emotional resistance or urges I would relapse back into toxic negative addictions, and I am sorry if this is inappropriate but for 10 years I've been addicted to adult movies and binge eating... for the last 5 years I've been trying to quit but there is a pattern that repeats every 5 ~ 10 days I would relapse again. 

I want to make a breakthrough in my life because there is amazing miracles happening right now but the pattern of relapsing is like a chain keeping me in mud.

Edited by Ali Zien

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Thank you for your openness and vulnerability @Ali Zien. No need to apologize for your absence - you are welcome to come and go to this community as it meets your needs.

The first thing I want to suggest is seeking professional support to address the suicidal depression. Perhaps you already have, but I think there is great, great value to speaking with someone who understands the human psyche in a deep way. There are also plenty of spiritual psychotherapists out there that might also be able to help (I say this because I know some people with spiritual leanings feel as though conventional therapists won't fully understand what they are going through). 

I do not feel qualified to give 'advice' so to speak on these very challenging topics, but I have recently been introduced to the mindfulness teacher Kevin Griffin. Have you heard of him? He is a leader in the mindful recovery movement and speaks largely to addictions. You might find great value in his work. Here are a couple of links:

https://www.kevingriffin.net/

https://mindfulnessexercises.com/mindfulness-teachers/kevin-griffin/

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Hi @Ali Zien,

I realized that I forgot to mention a book I'm reading, which could be of interest to you. It's Russell Brand's 'Recovery' and highlights his understanding and approach to the 12 steps. I've found it very insightful so far!

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9 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

Hi @Ali Zien,

I realized that I forgot to mention a book I'm reading, which could be of interest to you. It's Russell Brand's 'Recovery' and highlights his understanding and approach to the 12 steps. I've found it very insightful so far!

Hey @Gillian Sanger I truly appreciate your kindness, right now I can't afford a therapy session nor buying books ( I don't download PDF for legal  reasons )... I think what happen to me is common, I guess most of us binge at late night or relapse to toxic habits.. I just want to stick to my diet and life plan...I want to stop ruining my life progress . I made this topic as I thought that mindfulness might help me observe urges and to at least have some sense of control instead of being driven by urges.

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Hi Ali,

You are certainly correct in your feeling that what you are experiencing is quite common. Many, many of us struggle to let go of habits that are not healthy or uplifting for us. You are certainly not alone!

Have you checked out some of Kevin Griffin's teachings? If you decide to, let us know how it goes and if anything resonates with you. (Here's a link to another talk on the subject. I haven't watched it yet, but it could be helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ERvVXbzmV4)

Also, some compassion-based practices could be very helpful too. Speaking for myself, I know that often, when I engage in some kind of behaviour or thought pattern that is not in my best interest, I compound the problem by criticizing myself. Coming back to our humanity and practicing unconditional self-love can go a long way. If you're interested, here are a few links for that:

 

https://mindfulnessexercises.com/teacher/kristin-neff/

https://mindfulnessexercises.com/downloads/rain-of-compassion/

Wishing you the best!

 

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15 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

Hi Ali,

You are certainly correct in your feeling that what you are experiencing is quite common. Many, many of us struggle to let go of habits that are not healthy or uplifting for us. You are certainly not alone!

Have you checked out some of Kevin Griffin's teachings? If you decide to, let us know how it goes and if anything resonates with you. (Here's a link to another talk on the subject. I haven't watched it yet, but it could be helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ERvVXbzmV4)

Also, some compassion-based practices could be very helpful too. Speaking for myself, I know that often, when I engage in some kind of behaviour or thought pattern that is not in my best interest, I compound the problem by criticizing myself. Coming back to our humanity and practicing unconditional self-love can go a long way. If you're interested, here are a few links for that:

 

https://mindfulnessexercises.com/teacher/kristin-neff/

https://mindfulnessexercises.com/downloads/rain-of-compassion/

Wishing you the best!

 

Hey Gillian ! I think I might consider buying one of kevin's book from Amazon.. do you recommend Recovering joy: A mindful life after addiction ?

my purpose is to move past the point of relapsing and have a sense of commitment instead of just giving up to temptations or because of a slip...

I am really depressed because I could have achieved a lot in my life and and I could have been in a totally different place but I kept making poor decisions.. I don't want to keep repeating this pattern.

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Hey Ali,

I haven't read that book so can't recommend from my own experience, but the description sounds great and probably very aligned with what you are looking for. If you read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts and reflections on it.

Your expression of feeling depressed because of where you could be is not uncommon; I've heard quite a few others share how down they feel do to so much time spent caught up in bad habits and addictions. I know it can be a difficult feeling to experience, but it is a huge win (even if it doesn't feel like it) that you now feel a renewed yearning to work through this. That takes strength and courage!

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Relapse is one of the most painful, destructive and heartbreaking afflictions one can go through. Further, it affects others, as well and that can leave one in a debilitated and "stuck" state. I have been so reluctant and ashamed to admit my feelings of shame regarding addiction and relapse that moving forward is difficult. Recovery, which is loving yousef is sometimes not easy, yet it is necessary.

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Hi, here is a long response (sorry if too long) to share my perspectives and what works for me.

Everyone has addictions. Attaching to anything (food, drugs, relationships, roles, things, activities) external to ourselves is an addiction. So, you are not alone. 
 
What works for me.

Your beliefs are your reality. I believe who we really are is a divine aspect of the Universe, the field of consciousness, infinite, eternal and powerful. I am bigger than my problems. The small me of form is only temporary, a steward for my mind, body, and spirit. Recite this at least twice a day. 

The small me can easily be controlled by the ego (same as the mind, negative thoughts and emotions). Observe and don’t judge the thoughts. I am NOT my thoughts. Go into no thoughts, no-mind by catching myself thinking about the past or future. Past is only for lessons learned and future is only for planning. Catch the ego weaving incessant stories that causes regrets or shame from the past or worries and anxieties for the future. Don’t try to control by using my mind, try to participate the NOW with my heart. My mind is NOT my friend. Deep breaths are my one true friend that take me in the NOW, into mindfulness, into stillness where my essence resides and true solutions can arise. Stay in the NOW, in No Mind as much as possible.

What I think feel real, but NOT true. Don’t believe in my thoughts. I am not my thoughts, my ego. Talk to myself as I am talking to a third person. Observe the thoughts. Don’t judge. Accept where I am and then proceed with kindness. I believe I am a kind person, the essence of me is kind and gentle. I naturally am kind to my mind, body, and spirit. Be kind and be enough. Food, drugs, compulsive thinking are ego’s way of filling itself with stuff to feel enough. I am Bigger than that. Whenever I feel like feeding more pain to the pain, remember to be kind to my mind, body, and spirit. I am responsible for their well being. Don’t judge suffering as bad. Most of the time, only suffering can crack my ego open and let the light (awareness, awakening, enlightenment) in. Trust that the Universe always brings what I need for my spiritual growth even though I perceive them as negative or bad.

Practical ways when I am off the track: be okay with it. Deep breathing. Read spiritual teachings (I have written down many go-to quotes and teachings as great reminders for pick me ups)  or watch on YouTube. Do yoga, meditate, walk in nature. Do puzzles or anything that I enjoy and immerse me in the NOW. Watch the trees. Talk with my friends who are on the spiritual path. Have a few spiritual accountability friends who can be in touch regularly to help each other on track. Stick with intermittent fasting - fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours. Stick with a vegan diet for animals, health and mother earth. Be aware that my negative thoughts and feelings are in me, not in the world. Only I can observe them and choose not to believe them. When I judge myself, other people and events, I know that’s from my ego, not from my essence. All are not true. What’s true is we are all in this together, all at different phases of our evolution, all doing the best we can. Have kindness, compassion, understanding and commitment to nurture our mind, body, and spirit for self and others. Be mindful and treat everything and action Sacred - watching hands, brushing teeth, etc. Only loving and kindness for self, everyone and everything can true joy be found. 

Whatever happened and will happen, whatever I did and will do, does NOT affect the real I one bit. It’s just a dream, an illusion, a stage for us to express ourselves like actors and actresses. Don’t take thoughts and life too seriously. Remember the real I. 

More important, giving is the fastest way of receiving. If I need attention, give someone attention. Calling people who are in need of a friend periodically to make their day. That fills me up more than any material things in the world.
 

Namaste, Leah

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3 hours ago, Leah said:

 

Namaste, Leah

Hey Leah, I really appreciate your comment and it does work because I have read The power of now multiple times and tried to live a mindful life and did zazen but I stopped after being discouraged by a relapse... you just motivated me to try again to be make mindfulness practice the essence of all my actions.

---some insight----

I think the error resides in the belief that one day the urges will stop and I will be forever happy. waiting for some point in life where suffering will stop and I will stop all bad behaviors. but the idea is we need those urges to grow in every aspect as you have said (Trust that the Universe always brings what I need for my spiritual growth even though I perceive them as negative or bad.)

being present will show me how to differentiate between LIFE and LIFE SITUATIONS, just situations to deal with or not without being imprisoned by urges or fear... the only fear that repeats when urges arise is that I won't be able to withstand or resist the urges for long and I will relapse eventually... ironically I was able to recover and stay sober for 7 months only to relapse after my father had a stroke.

maybe I need to look at urges as a gift to make me mentally stronger !

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10 hours ago, rainbow said:

Relapse is one of the most painful, destructive and heartbreaking afflictions one can go through. Further, it affects others, as well and that can leave one in a debilitated and "stuck" state. I have been so reluctant and ashamed to admit my feelings of shame regarding addiction and relapse that moving forward is difficult. Recovery, which is loving yousef is sometimes not easy, yet it is necessary.

I feel your words sincerely and since I am in a good mood right now after I just got out of this stuck state which is horrible and sometimes repentance feels boring but the only reason we repent and try again because we felt the glimpses of ecstasy and happiness that comes with repentance and I am committed to get myself there no matter what !

I will keep trying over and over again !

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Posted (edited)

Ali, very insightful. Yes, I've tried to live the Power of Now. Just recently, I proved myself I am bigger than my fear of being hungry, something acquired in childhood. Staying in the NOW. You can rise above this!

Leah

Edited by Leah

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7 hours ago, Leah said:

Ali, very insightful. Yes, I've tried to live the Power of Now. Just recently, I proved myself I am bigger than my fear of being hungry, something acquired in childhood. Staying in the NOW. You can rise above this!

Leah

I can't describe how ecstatic I am right now , just thinking about mindfulness and zazen makes me joyful because I've experienced the realm of utter love and absolute joy ♥

and I understand what you mean of being hungry whether it's fear of poverty or fear due to binge eating disorder.. I experienced both of them and I even did 4 days of water fasting and being present made it sooooooooooooooo easy ! sometimes I would feel like I am so hungry and have stomach growling and I would start acting like I can't go any further but just reminding myself to observe the wave.. ironically it subsides hahaha and all those urges of hunger are just a drama made by the mind (OMG I AM GOING TO DIE OF HUNGER SOMEBODY HELP ME ).

Eckhart Tolle mentioned in his book that after a while you will start laughing at the voice of your mind just as you laugh at a child.

Much love to you Leah and I would love if we could be friends, can we be "spiritual accountability friends" ? 

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On 8/7/2020 at 11:46 PM, Ali Zien said:

I think the error resides in the belief that one day the urges will stop and I will be forever happy. waiting for some point in life where suffering will stop and I will stop all bad behaviors. but the idea is we need those urges to grow in every aspect as you have said (Trust that the Universe always brings what I need for my spiritual growth even though I perceive them as negative or bad.)

I think there is much wisdom in this Ali! It makes me think that rather than waiting for ourselves to be 'spiritually perfect' (i.e. without cravings, 'negative' thoughts, etc.), we might find a way to be with these cravings, thoughts, and beliefs in a new way. Through that, we might uncover a new way of being.

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Posted (edited)

Hello ^_^ a little update:

I had the courage to approach my family and tell them that I need a professional help as I am experiencing weekly episodes and cycles of intense joy (4-3 days of the week) followed by depression (not really depression but I think just laziness ) and sometimes my mind start creating silly stories about suicide.

and they were very understanding and I am really grateful for their support and kindness ♥ my sister helped me finding a psychiatrist and I just had a session yesterday !

I had few expectations but they weren't met 😄 I told him about addiction,binge eating disorder and relapsing due to the cycle I mentioned before...

**Bare in mind, I never met any psychiatrists before or any spiritual gurus in my entire life**

my expectations wasn't met because I thought he is going to make me tell him about the entire story of my life and that my present situation is due to "mistakes" that did happen in the past.. but long story short; he said " You are stressed." to be honest I resisted and my ego was kinda offended 😄  (doesn't he know how that I meditate every day for an hour and that I am very positive person and I read X & Y book and I watched X or Y videos about mindfulness and meditation ) this is how my mind reacted.

I told him no because I think I am very calm person, I meditate a lot and I am mostly happy and my life is a total bliss and 90% is greatly wonderful but only need to understand how I can accept and change the other 10%.

after speaking for a little, he talked again about stressed, and I started feeling like something is wrong and this guy doesn't understand how "Mindful" and "Awaken" I am 😄 ( I only noticed those ego related thoughts after the session ).

I told him no I am not stressed in a conscious way  but maybe in a unconscious way like in the background and I am not aware of it..

after a while he started talking about stress and something clicked 😄 I just became aware that truly I am experiencing stress and this is why I tend to lean into these behaviors because they help my mind relax from all the resistance I offer to urges: binge eating helps me to feel relaxed and full this is why my mind repeats this habit and to change this habit I just simply need to nurture my brain and body with the things it needs.

he described me an antidepressant medicine to keep me calm ,relaxed and to try for one month and to observe how things will go and I am really excited and grateful because it will help me to commit to my life and to my goals and also my diet 😄 so I can see the results I want. and lowkey I am excited because this medicine will help me being more present, calm and to reap more benefits from meditation !

 

on a fundamental level I believe it's the thinking mind creating all the suffering, I even recall sadhguru saying that "if we removed half of your brain you will be completely fine and happy" so I believe that easing the stress by medicating and meditating will solve any inconvenience. 

the moral of the story is: be present ^_^

Edited by Ali Zien
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