Biff and Muffy were happy at Alcoholics Anonymous, but sometimes they remembered abusing cocaine and methamphetamine and washing them down with hard liquor. They wanted to try Alcoholics Anonymous’ Step 11 – prayer and meditation when their pink cloud turned gray. Biff lost his BMW sales job because of his addiction to chemicals, and Muffy’s father lost her trust fund money in bad investments. Biff’s old football injury started aching, a perfect excuse to drink and abuse opiate pain medication. He called his obsession and compulsion “cravings”. Muffy remembered how illicit stimulant drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy made her money anxiety disappear. Their 12-Step sponsors told them to write gratitude lists and ask their higher powers for help. They tried to pray but didn’t know how. Working the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous steps didn’t seem to help, but hard core AA members insisted, “It’s the only way.” They said the Prayer of St. Francis, but nothing happened. Biff and Muffy’s cravings made them irritable and discontent.
People at AA meetings said everything would be OK and hugged them. They felt better for an hour, then the cravings came back. They begged their higher powers for relief. Biff said, “My knee is killing me.” Muffy said, “I’m poor now and my heart won’t stop pounding.” They worried about having to move to Santa Ana and drive Camrys instead of Beemers. They regretted the past and worried about what their friends from USC would think. Their obsession and compulsion to drink and use drugs made the desire to stay clean and sober less of a priority. Finally, Biff said recovery was b——t and drove to PartyTime Liquor. Muffy called their old coke dealer. She never did erase his number like her sponsor told her to.
COULD THIS HAPPEN TO YOU? ….. READ ABOUT A MAN WHO PREVENTED RELAPSE AND REMAINED CALM. HE STAYED CLEAN AND SOBER WITHOUT THE TRADITIONAL TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. THE 12 STEPS WERE WRITTEN ALMOST 90 YEARS AGO AND ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL FOR EVERY ADDICT OR ALCOHOLIC. DOESN’T IT MAKE SENSE TO TRY A NEWER ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT IF YOU NEED SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
John had a good reason to drink alcohol and use illegally-purchased opiate painkillers when his company’s warehouse burned down on his fifth Narcotics Anonymous birthday. His wife was hysterical. His son said, “Dad will probably relapse over this.” But John was his own higher power. He knew how to meditate. No prayers… just mindful attention and acceptance of his thoughts and feelings as they arose and passed away. John went into his meditation room, closed his eyes and focused on his breathing. His heart rate slowed. His blood pressure dropped and his hypothalamus started secreting dopamine. The neurons in his brain’s frontal cortex became more active and his mood grew mellower. He saw mental pictures of the burning warehouse and his wife’s tears, but he just watched them as they got lighter until they were just waves of relaxing vibration produced by mindfulness meditation.
John didn’t call his 12-Step sponsor, because he didn’t have one. He didn’t go to meetings, but he did go to vipassana meditation retreats twice a year. His cardiologist had recommended a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program and that was where John learned vipassana mindfulness meditation, a popular non 12-Step alternative treatment to help addicts and alcoholics recover by improving their brain chemistry. Every day tens of thousands of Americans are practicing vipassana, just the way Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, first taught it 2,500 years ago. Now clinical research proves that vipassana is a brain-building technique that has profound beneficial effects on problems ranging from anxiety, to depression to addiction. Maybe Biff and Muffy should call John.
YOU CAN LEARN VIPASSANA MINDFULNESS MEDITATION, TOO. SOBER BUDDHA ADDICTION COUNSELING TEACHES YOU “SITTING WITH CRAVINGS AND UPSET” AND OTHER SOBRIETY-ENHANCING MEDITATIONS WITHOUT THE NEED FOR 12-STEP MEETINGS WHERE ONLY 5% OF THE PEOPLE WHO START EVER FULLY PRACTICE THE CONCEPTS FOR 12-STEP RECOVERY. WITH A MORE PERSONALIZED AND INDIVIDUAL APPROACH, SOBER BUDDHA ADDICTION COUNSELING WILL HELP YOU DISCOVER THAT YOUR OWN NERVOUS SYSTEM IS YOUR REAL HIGHER POWER. YOU ARE NOT POWERLESS!