Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Aura » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:23 pm

Meditate upon the horse.
See the beautiful horse confined away from nature, locked in a barn and chewing the wood of his stall?
"Bad horse!" "Crazy horse!" "The wood splinters in his stomach will kill him!"
The wood makes the horse seriously ill. It will kill him and he knows it, but he cannot help himself from chewing the wood.

Bring fresh apples and carrots and dandelions to the horse and he will eagerly eat them and nuzzle you for more.
The horse will also stop chewing on the wood of his stall.
What drives a horse to chewing the wood that will kill him.... is potassium deficiency.

Just like the horse...
See the beautiful human being confined away from nature, locked in his job, his flat, his dysfunctional habits and relationships, and drinking his alcohol?
Just like the horse...
His loved ones, his doctor, and even himself say "bad human being!" "Crazy human being!" "The alcohol in your liver will kill you!"
The alcohol makes him seriously ill. It will kill him and he knows it, but he cannot hardly help himself from drinking the alcohol.

Human beings are not always as intelligent as horses...
but if you can get enough tomato sauce and citrus fruits and fresh fruits and vegetables down a human being to meet his body's need for potassium...
you can break the addiction and get a human being to lose interest in the alcohol.
What biochemically drives human beings to alcohol addiction is the exact same thing that drives a horse to chew wood...potassium deficiency.

Meditate upon the horse...
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Aura » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:43 pm

Please know also that one must be so very careful with blood gasses, mixes, valves, depth, timing, and diving equipment.
I know you know that, but please know that the brother of a friend of mine instantly fell into some kind of severe depression, walked out of the room, and shot and killed himself completely out of the blue and for no apparent reason whatsoever one night.
Nobody had a clue as to why. Everybody was in a terrible state of shock.
The medical examiner performed an autopsy on the body and was absolutely horrified to find out that the guy's blood gasses were completely off the charts.

The guy had been a licensed experienced diver for some years, but he had been walking around town with a horrific mindbendingly severe case of "the bends."
Nobody had even guessed that anything had been seriously wrong with him, himself included.

There had apparently been some sort of problem with his mix or his valves that had gone completely undetected.
Nobody had noticed that anything was wrong with him or with his diving equipment
until he suddenly inexplicably shot himself dead completely out of the blue and for no apparent reason,
at which point the doctors were horrified to find that he apparently had been walking around town all along...
with a horrific mindbendingly severe case of the bends.
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Dave The Seeker » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:54 pm

Aura wrote:See the beautiful human being confined away from nature, locked in his job, his flat, his dysfunctional habits and relationships, and drinking his alcohol?
Just like the horse...
His loved ones, his doctor, and even himself say "bad human being!" "Crazy human being!" "The alcohol in your liver will kill you!"
The alcohol makes him seriously ill. It will kill him and he knows it, but he cannot hardly help himself from drinking the alcohol.

Human beings are not always as intelligent as horses...
but if you can get enough tomato sauce and citrus fruits and fresh fruits and vegetables down a human being to meet his body's need for potassium...
you can break the addiction and get a human being to lose interest in the alcohol.
What biochemically drives human beings to alcohol addiction is the exact same thing that drives a horse to chew wood...potassium deficiency.


Can you please give a source for this.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Meditate upon the horse...[/quote]
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Aura » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:34 am

The Seeker wrote:Can you please give a source for this.

My source? Folk medicine and personal experience with both people and horses.
Ayurveda also traditionally uses potassium (honey and lemon) for treatment of alcoholism.
You can also pick up any medical textbook and easily read about potassium deficiency in alcoholism.
Meeting the nutritional needs of the body is vital if one is to avoid alcoholism, and if one is from a family with a high rate of alcoholism,
one may well have a high hereditary nutritional requirement for potassium that can leave one craving alcohol if that need is not met.
Stress also tremendously increases the physiologic need for potassium.
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:19 am

Interesting, thanks for the reply.
But this wouldn't really explain why vegans and vegetarians are also alcoholics.
Alcoholism is a disease according to medical text books, and the lack of potassium is just one of the many minerals that are lacking as a cause of alcohol use on a regular basis. It plays havoc on your entire system and it's ability to take in nutrients as well as utilize them.

I've also never heard of a potassium deficiency as a cause for "cribbing" in horses.
Cribbing is a habit. Put a cribbing collar on a horse and it'll quit cribbing in a week or so. Worked every time we've had one crib. Never went back to doing it either with no change in diet.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Aura » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:30 am

The Seeker wrote:But this wouldn't really explain why vegans and vegetarians are also alcoholics.
I've also never heard of a potassium deficiency as a cause for "cribbing" in horses.
Cribbing is a habit. Put a cribbing collar on a horse and it'll quit cribbing in a week or so. Worked every time we've had one crib. Never went back to doing it either with no change in diet.

Vegans have documented high rates of nutritional deficiencies of all sorts.
Vegetarians have documented markedly low rates of alcoholism.
Alcoholics tend to have horrendously low levels of potassium in their bodies, and potassium deficiency causes craving for sugar and/or alcohol.
I'm not talking about "cribbing" in horses. I'm talking about serious nutritional deficiency-induced wood chewing, also called "fence chewing." Hopefully you've never seen a horse suffer from such a severe level of neglect; it was a terribly sad sight.
I have successfully used nutrition to circumvent alcoholism. If you have had no success with using nutrition and therefore do not consider it a worthwhile endeavor, I wish you all the best with finding something that works for you.
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:26 am

Thank you all so much for your insight, wisdom and above all your compassion.

As for the diver.. interesting story as I'm a diver myself. Although I do not dive at the moment, I don't have the money and I do not feel well enough. I am not going near the water until I am atleast 6 months sober.

As for the chemical imbalance I suppose my good diet I had during the strongest part of my was very good, my life was better, not great.

I realized something.. i have a lot of scars, I hide the ones on my wrist with a bandage because I didnt want other people to see them. During my meditation this morning after reading Lama Yeshe's work I realized I am hiding them from myself. The bottle helps me to hide from myself. Instead of analyzing the feelings I had before I went out to pick up the bottle I simply ran away, blocked them out.

Perhaps if I had sat down and observed and analyzed these feelings the relapse this wouldnt have happened. I always knew yoda (yes im one of those... but if you actually look at the philosophies behind the force Buddhism played a large part) was onto something when he said anger clouds your judgement. I need to learn to step back from the anger and inspect it, where it came from and what caused it (within me.)

Mindfulness... I have known about it for a long time and still I am ignorant to most of my feelings. But I'm slowly slowly realizing the nature of my anger is from within.

I think I am ready to stop running away from the scars and the tears and trying to realize their origin - I can't remember any of the 8 day binge. My parents said I would scream for hours and hours - it's obvious why. Why do we scream? Because we are in pain. The alcohol just caused me more pain. Then make a change. Einstein said (this is paraphrased) that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

I have a medicine Puja to go to tonight with some loving friends. I hope it will bring some peace to me and my family because obviously this wasn't easy on them.

One question i keep asking myself is - am i running away to Buddhism? Perhaps I am... but it will teach me to stop running, stop and look at things more objectively. I suppose what ever brought us(me) to the Dharma comes from some sort of suffering.

I will consider each and everyone of you during the medicine puja tonight. This forum has helped me understand a lot and also brought great insights into my problems and a different way of looking at them.

*googles food high in potassium*

Thank you all.
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:53 am

I am sorry to drag out this post. I feel I am now ready to explore and find wisdom through my addiction.

Do I look into my past or will the memories of my past be clouded by misconceptions and enough drugs to put down an elephant? I think I have answered my own question there.

Should I simply take a step back when I feel depressed, angry, sad, when I want to pick up a bottle of pills or a bottle of scotch and look at why? Where the feelings came from? How they appeared and from where? Also, where they will lead to.

Like I said I was screaming when I was drunk because I was still in pain - it cured nothing. Should I analyze this pain before it manifests in horrific physical harm?

Be mindful of these feelings and from what I have read and learned from teachers, digest the negative feelings into wisdom? Is this a subject I should discuss with a person rather than a forum?
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:04 pm

DFF, one thing I've learned is anger is the second emotion we feel.
Stop and think what am I feeling that makes me angry. Is it sadness? Is it loneliness?
The best thing would be to talk to someone in person if you can. But I'd suggest someone who is experienced with dealing with addicts and they understand the thoughts and feelings we have.
I'm sure while you were in AA someone at some time mentioned a gratuity list. If not......
Each day write down a few things you are grateful for. Anything, no matter how insignificant it may seem, write it down. When you are in the mind set to think about using, get that list out! Read it, and see all the things you have gained in the time you're sober. I'm not really talking about material things, but all the things like great friends, good feelings, peacefulness in your mind, each of these will be bringing your life back in "order". This list will have material things on it, don't doubt that. But it will be something for you to look at and read that YOU wrote. Not a book or a pamphlet from a group, but your own thoughts. This has helped me and many others. Each night I think of all the things I'm grateful for before I go to sleep. And how much better my life was that day for these things.
As to the past, dwelling on it is never a good thing. Just keeping it in the back of your mind as a reminder of what life was like and the feelings you felt then is all you really need to do.
Kind of a reminder of why you don't want to re-experience that time or those feelings again.

I hope this helps you out my friend, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:28 pm

I never heard of a gratuity list... but it's a great idea. I just started and I can't stop :rolling: I think this could be very useful. Thanks again Dave.

Josh.
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:57 pm

You are so welcome my friend, glad to be of some help :twothumbsup:
Yeah sometimes it isn't easy to stop, at times we never really think about the things we take for granted everyday.

Aura, I don't believe I implied that a healthy diet was of no use. If I did I apologize.
That wasn't my point at all.

Yes I have seen fence chewers as well. It is a horrible and very saddening sight. They were all horribly malnurished animals. There were 50 of them at one supposed "rescue" in my area.
I do thank you for your input in helping us understand some of the other possibilities of our addictions though.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Aura » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:40 am

50 fence chewers? A horrific scene indeed. Dave definitely knows horses.
What can one learn from being a witness to such terrible suffering?
Compassion for the horses, certainly,
but also compassion for oneself.
People can learn a lot from horses.

See the bored horse stuck in the barn? He would rather be out running in some open field in the sunshine, challenging and impressing all the other horses and making time with the ladies.
He is a horse and such is the way he would manifest his nature and spirit!
But he is stuck in this barn, which he curses in the manner of horses…
and so out of the sheer frustration, boredom, and stagnation of his spirit…
he will huff and bite the wood of his stall…
As Dave will tell you, he is “cribbing.”

See the baby strapped into his plastic baby carrier or looking through the bars of his crib?
He would rather be picked up and cuddled and carried. He would rather be talked to and interacted with and snuggled up against some warm tasty breasts.
He will scream and let them know that he is a baby and such is the way he would manifest his nature and spirit!
But his parents already gave him his bottle and checked his diaper, and so they determined that his needs have been met. They shove the latex binky in his mouth to shut him up, and so strapped to his plastic baby carrier or stuck behind the bars of his crib, he gnaws on the plastic binky…
It’s his first lesson on the importance of learning to ignore the manifestation of his nature and spirit while supplanting it with something so much less.
And so a baby chews on a plastic binky and learns….”cribbing.”

See the grammar school boy stuck at his desk in a classroom, taking an official comprehensive achievement test on a beautiful sunny spring day?
He would rather be out in the sunshine doing anything else, but that isn’t going to happen…. he must march in straight lines, trained to be a cog in a dysfunctional machine.
The end of the official #2 wooden pencil for the scantron form goes into his mouth and he gnaws it, just like the horse....cribbing

See the teenager locked in his room with his homework and the relentless challenges, expectations, and criticisms of family, teachers, and the eat-or-be-eaten social savagery of SnakePit High School echoing through his head? He found where his parents left their cigarettes, their booze, their drugs, and he'll be gnawing on any of it or all of it; he’ll be…cribbing.

See the man sitting alone in his apartment contemplating the job that just laid him off and the significant other who just walked out the door? Feeling helpless to do anything about either, he wraps himself around a 5th of scotch… cribbing.

Dave says that you can fix cribbing in a horse with a cribbing collar and he is absolutely right. You take away his access to the wood and you break the habit.
Likewise...
You take away the baby’s pacifier, you paint the child's fingers with hot chili oil and he’ll quit sucking his thumb and chewing his nails… and you break the habit.
You relentlessly shame the grammar school boy for gnawing his pencils… and you break the habit
You take away the cigarettes, the booze, the drugs from the teenager and lock them up and ground the teenager…. and you break the habit.
You don’t stop at the liquor store and buy the 5th of scotch, you take away your access… and you break the habit.

Cribbing happens. It happens in horses. It happens in people. It happens whenever nature and spirit are disregarded and supplanted with something much less.
Dave is absolutely right about taking away the access and breaking the cribbing habit. For horses and for people, taking away the access works.

When it doesn’t work, you haven’t got a horse with a cribbing problem… you’ve got a fence chewer. What’s the difference?
A fence chewer will eat the wood and strip the bark off trees…unable to stop...until it kills him.
What’s the big difference between a cribber and a fence chewer? Nutritional deficiency.
The fence chewer, beyond the cribber, has a problem compounded and driven by nutritional deficiency.

Likewise what is the biggest single difference between the baby with a pacifier, the thumbsucking or nailbiting child….
and one who will eat plastic toys, playdoh, glue, coal, dog poo, sand, and paint off walls enough to poison himself? Nutritional deficiency.
What is the biggest single difference between the grammar school child who chews his pencil and one who can’t concentrate, can’t focus, can’t learn, can’t sit still for a moment and is driven to distraction? Nutritional deficiency.
What is the biggest single difference between the teenager experimenting with the adults’ cigarettes, booze, and/or drugs and one who gets instantly irrevocably hooked on them enough to drown himself in them? Nutritional deficiency.
What is the biggest single difference between a guy who can manage to keep his intention to go home and write a resume after being laid off… and one who stops by the liquor store and can’t help buying and drinking enough booze to kill himself in spite of his best force of will and intentions? Nutritional deficiency, with generally potassium deficiency first and foremost.

The fence chewer, beyond the cribber, has a problem compounded and driven by nutritional deficiency.
What can one learn from being a witness to the terrible suffering of a fence chewing horse?
Compassion for the horse, certainly,
but also.... compassion for oneself.
People can learn a lot from horses.
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby Aura » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:35 pm

As for your questions on the wind:

I feel so over privileged to live in England. Who am I to have this privilege?
Indeed “how many roads must a man walk down, before they call him a man?”

Hundreds. Hundreds of roads. Hundreds of lifetimes. Meditate and practice long enough and you will see the faces of those you once were before you ever met your parents.
Everyone on this earth is born wherever and into circumstances that will give one the best opportunity to resolve one's karma, one's karmic issues.
It is a blessing and a privilege… but equally a curse…as all beings are given position, circumstances, and/or family that presents them with their karmic issues…. those wounds, dysfunctions, and sufferings that they have come here to resolve, release, and heal.

At the minute I am suffering a great deal personally. Perhaps, in fact this is part of my personal journey and I will have to go through the sufferings of an addict, the cravings and the pain inside

Suffering exists in this world in order to give one the opportunity to learn compassion...
compassion for other… and compassion for self.
Your greatest wounds, your greatest curses, your greatest sufferings….
are also your greatest blessing…
for once they are resolved, released, and healed, they will become your greatest strengths far beyond anything you would ever imagine.

Why do i have food whilst others don't? Why do i live in a nice house with amazing parents whilst others don't?

Because you have been given certain tools, circumstances, and personal assistance to help you with the challenges of resolving and releasing your karmic issues.

I saw Arya Tara. As clear as day with a shining beam of light. She spoke in english but told me I have the strength to overcome this and once I do there are great things in store for me.
Bodhisattvas speak exceedingly lovingly, gently, and in thoughtform patterns. The language you happen to hear is in accordance with the language that you speak, as those are the words that your own mind uses to represent those particular thoughtform patterns. If what you saw reaffirms that all human beings are given a veritable Pandora’s box… of curses… and of talents, opportunities, and blessings, and that the secret of life is to use those talents, opportunities, and blessings to resolve, release, and heal the curses... then whatever you saw was not imaginary.

I do now look at the scars and see that it is a physical sign of my sufferings.

The scars are the external, physical, and made-visible manifestation of a hidden interior wound that the world would not otherwise see by looking at you, and that you may not even remember.

Do monks or practitioners ever see visions in their dreams? You lot probably think i'm going nuts...

Monks and practitioners know that Bodhisattvas are quite real and no figment of the imagination.

I have found meditation and peace very easy 30m underwater, especially when something goes wrong or if things get a little scary because you have to stay calm or you rub through your air.

When you are far away from the thought-creations of mankind and surrounded by the natural world, you find peace and strength within you. Be mindful of this phenomenon. You will use it to heal yourself.
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Re: Alcohol relapse and Buddhist techniques to deal with anxiety

Postby quince » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:49 am

I am rather new to buddhism, still in love-hate relationship with it :). In my opinion, DeepFiredFunk, you should not at all be worried. We all have bad sides, some - really bad. If you found buddhism and you like it - great. Now do the second step - find a teacher. If you have a teacher already, then just share with him your problem and do the practice he told you to do. Try to be disciplined and do your practice regularly (the one that your teacher gave you). It will take time (half an year maybe), but if you do it regularly, meaning every day - it should work.

And no self-analyzing - it will get you nowhere really. At leatst that works for me. Trust me on this one - i used to be so judjemental on me and on people. It is such a relief not to be. Just find a teacher and keep your practice regular. Love, compassion - they will come very naturally, don't force anything, but your daily practice. I am sorry for giving advice so confidently, but I've been experiencing same analyzing and judging - useless.
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