Eight Step Recovery - Using the Buddha's Teachings To Overcome Addiction

Stay sober, safe, sane during the holidays

On Fri, 20 December, 2013 - 02:35
Vimalasara's picture
Plan Ahead - Stay clear of the bar areas. Get a non-alcoholic beverage, talk to friends, and keep a glass that is refreshed, that way a guest or friend will be less likely to get you a refill with real alcohol in it. If food is your addiction, stand away from tables that are piled up with food. Whatever your addiction is, you intuitively know what to do, trust your gut. It may mean staying at home, it may mean cancelling going to an event, it may mean picking up the phone and asking for help. Recovery means you need courage to ask for help. perhaps listening to the 21 meditations daily, this will be a great help. Know How to Say No - No one has to know that you have an addiction. If it feels like you need to say something, then you can say you are allergic. Even if you are a sex addict you can say you are allergic to the rubber they use to make condoms. If you are a gambler you can say you are completely broke. When we want to reach for our addiction we will find all sorts of excuses. So use the same imagination and find excuses to why you will not go after your fix. Just be firm. If anyone asks if you would like a drink? Tell them no, I’m the designated driver, or no, I’ve decided not to drink tonight. No one can force you drink. Don’t feel like you have to appease someone by taking a drink, or drug for that matter. Be aware of Triggers - Triggers are situations, places, or things that cause you to think about your addiction, that can cause you to slip. Having extra money in your pocket is a trigger for many people. Triggers will be all around you during the Christmas season. Be vigilant, This is the time to work hard at your recovery. Use every tool available to you. Your recovery, your abstinence , your sobriety comes first. take good care of yourselves.
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alkomusic's picture
That is wonderful advice. I would also add, that if you can, spend time with people you love, and indulge yourself with safe fun things. For example, have a nice meal, and enjoy some distractions that you might not necessarily partake of during the rest of the year. I learned the art of urge surfing from Marlatt, who embraced Buddhism and often wrote about buddhist practices that could help those of us with SUD. Thank you for the meditations. I intend to share those with the new members that I will work with in the new year and years to come.
Kristin's picture
Thank you, Vimalasara! I AM feeling a little raw and vulnerable right now, with some confusion as to how to continue on with my recovery process. This difficult fact, coupled with the holiday season, is making me feel particularly weak right now. Your suggestions, especially to USE MY IMAGINATION and repeat the 21-days of recovery meditations you so kindly shared with us will pull me through this slump. Internalizing the 5 precepts–REALLY living them–has saved my tender self in the past. It is now time to ramp up all the strength I can muster to stay sober and continue on the lovely path I have found. I appreciate this resource–much more than I can possibly express!
Mango's picture
I have just joined this group and wondered if there are any plans for an 8 steps group that meets face to face, like a 12 steps group? I struggle with a form of OCD (intrusive thoughts) and other addictive behaviour and would love the suport of a group using Buddhism as its core belief. If anyone is reading this on Christmas day, I hope your day goes well. With metta, Mango
Vimalasara's picture
With the advent of MEET UP and SMART groups we hope that when the book hits the streets in January that people will take the initiative and meet up. We can give guidance about groups, but we can not do recovery for you. So in the spirit of what BIll W created, we hope people will create self governing and self financing groups so that they can gain merit from the Buddhist teachings. The Buddhist teachings are free, Dana is a practise of generosity. So we hope that everyone will have access to the teachings regardless of money, and Dana is asked for to provide a safe space for people to meet. So Mango be the first and set up an Eight Step Recovery, and know that if you still want to be part of a 12 step group that is perfectly fine too. take the raft as far as it will carry you.
Vimalasara's picture
Mango Join the Sobriety Hangout Group on this site too,
Debra G.'s picture
to Mango- There is a Buddhist recovery resource website at buddhistrecovery.org that has lists of meetings all over the world that sit together, study the teachings of the Buddha and have support sessions for anyone in recovery from addictive behaviors. They welcome anyone from any Buddhist path and any or no recovery path. They are wonderful, and a lot of people are there from many different programs learning and practicing mindfulness meditation as a tool in their recovery toolbox. My journey with these groups has been healing and lifechanging, I wish the same for you.
Mango's picture
Thank you so much for your message Debra, I will have a look at the website and am glad to know how much peer support there is out there.
herbAvore's picture
I just joined after seeing a link online for the 8-step program. I work with people with addiction many of whom do not connect with the traditional 12-step approach. I joined in order to recommend this approach as an alternative (and this website) to the people I work with but as of now have not found a description of the 8-step approach. Is my only recourse to recommend the book and buy it myself or am I missing something here on the site? Thanks in advance.
Vimalasara's picture
Hi thanks or writing - and a great question. Eight Step Recovery - is just one year old, and when we wrote the book, we had not imagined people wanting to use it in a similar way as the 12 step model. Meetings and sponsorship. But since the book has come out we have had requests of this sort. And people have begun eight step meetings - face to face and on skype - and I am currently sponsoring people within the context of the eight step model. I am in India now - and have had the time to run eight step meetings daily - and will be sending an update of the meeting format. - and how so sponsor somebody using the book. One thing I would be suggesting - that all new people to eight step recovery - do the 21 DAY meditations for recovery - which you can find online here on this site. If you are already a meditator then these short meditation will be a second practise for you to do - and not instead off - so please bear with us - we will be posting soon. And yes if you want to use the 8 step approach - you do need to buy the book and read the book - if you email us at our address we can send you a sample chapter of the book - hope this is helpful
andelo_tabu's picture

Hi. Are there 8 steps recovery groups in Southampton? or in Eastleigh? or any groups I can joi and talk about addiction? I need more information on how people recover from addiction whilst staying on a transcendental path…