Drug use in the work place-case study:
As we are beginning to see, wellness beautifully intertwines through and grows to neatly fill many areas of your life. As with every branch of the wellness-tree there exists a malady as the opposition to any given branch. The causation of these issues often extend deeply into society itself. One of these maladies of the modern day is addiction. Addiction is well known as a disease of the brain with no known cure.
It has been said that everyone has a vice. Here, the words vice and/or addiction are used interchangeably. Whether addiction, or vice, you are the one to decide both how much of a problem it is in your life, and how much energy you choose to give it.
As part of the WD/LIC philosophy, we try to gently steer away from black and white, clear cut defining lines, as well as try to allow one the room and flexibility to decide for himself/herself every step of the journey. In short, we exercise and respect free will. That is why here, you decide for yourself whether the issue at hand is an addiction or a vice. This allows you to put things into perspective, and yet also accept that you may have a destructive, harmful habit. Still, you are responsible for how much, or how little you do with it.
The WD/LIC philosophy is in many ways an antidote for today’s toxic lifestyles. The pace is different though in that it is not one of force, strain, harsh, frantic rush. Instead it is gentle, slow, kind, (not only to others, but especially to oneself;) and it is natural. Each individual is encouraged to be honest with where one is on the journey as “now here.”
Whether cigarettes, drugs, pornography, video games, pain pills, alcohol, etcetera, it can be overcome by taking steps toward well-being, and finding a sense of purpose-your purpose. These are all steps in the journey. Read and reread my 7 step guide for the basic approach of honing your health, vigor and determination. I’m not claiming that sufficient sleep, nourishment via nutrition, outside time and activity are the be all end all of your addiction/vice. I am claiming that these things provide a strong beginning point of healing support for your sprawling vine, or your skyward tree.
Tuning in to one’s physical, mental and spiritual needs as part of wellness help to prevent and to manage any current addiction and/or vice. As we have known, wellness is about much more than health, diet, exercise and nutrition. These are parts of the whole. Wellness is the whole and it covers a lot of ground.
SAMHSA, (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)pamphlet, Wellness Initiative, outlines Eight dimensions of wellness:
* Physical-Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition.
* Emotional-coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.
* Social-Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.
* Occupational-Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s work.
* Intellectual-recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.
* Financial-Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.
* Environmental-Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.
* Spiritual-Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life.
Wellness is about living a full, happy, life-successful in meeting one’s goals. Wellness is about the individual. Wellness expands outward from each individual. Consider all of the above areas as you gradually expand your growth. Let go of the need for instantaneous results. Instant results are not lasting. These take time. All is part of the journey.
Having an addiction doesn’t make you a “bad person.” However, addictions easily cause an imbalanced life and with so much energy, time and/or money spent on an addiction, this can cause major problems in other areas of your life. Addictions/vices can have a negative impact through all aspects spirit, mind and body-aspirations toward wellness.
Remember to stay away from habitual compartmental, self-defeating, self-sabotaging words and statements such as: “I am evil.” “I am a sinner.” I am a bad person because of my addiction.” Instead, use positive, kind self-talk.
It is obviously very well known that cigarettes are addictive. Some people smoke cigarettes like a chain. Then, there are others who only smoke a few times per week, some, even less. So, here, the approach is more open. The responsibility is more on the individual based on how much harm they feel is being done in their life due to their addiction/vice. Further it begins with a desire to make positive change. Every part of responsibility, from the desire to the action, to the final outcome is yours. This way, you can go at your own pace, in your own way, and there is no competition; just the gentle nudge of the-self, to keep trying and continue making improvements.
In order for this to work for you, you must have a desire. If you decide the issue in question is not harming your life, then this is your choice and you probably won’t have the desire. This is the power of a conscious choice. Coercion, nagging, or constant preaching (whether to yourself, or heard by someone else) about the dangers of any obsession/vice/addiction is far less effective. Further, it actually weakens the person addicted/obsessed and does very little to help them build will power, vigor, health and determination, (the very things needed to overcome the addiction or vice.)
Whether the addiction/vice is cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, video games, pornography, or pain pills, or extremes of anything, it can be overcome and you are not a bad person. Still, obviously, some things are more addictive, more harmful than others. Keep things into perspective.
Truly, you can have all the available help you need, but in the end, it is up to you.
The same principles of wellness taught throughout my books apply toward overcoming an addiction or vice too. They are, eating well, especially on plant-based foods, getting adequate sleep, (both in terms of quality and duration,) some activity, outside time, maintaining a balance of how much time spent on cell phones and computers, etc., meaningful work, as well as healthy relationships and a healthy social life.
Sleep, nourishment via nutrition, activity, (whether mental or physical,) exercise, outside time and unplugged time do help one increase will power, vigor and overall attitude. These things help one to find and be their best selves and they help one to develop their abilities, which leads to a sense of purpose. They often lead to finding one’s life purpose. The addiction or unhealthy obsession/vice is what goes by the wayside because the essentials are being made a priority. They are placed into one’s life as essential.
The above are guidelines of encouraging well-being, a strong step toward life as life, and also toward strengthening one’s resolve to overcome addiction. They help form a solid foundation. Once again, they are not the be all, end all, and these may not be enough to help you fully overcome your addiction.
If you need professional assistance overcoming your addiction, do not hesitate to seek help.
But do remember the basic principles. Among them are get enough sleep, (quality and quanity,) nourishment via nutrition, activity, be kind to yourself. Know thyself. Be prepared for much trial and error. Be willing to adapt and flow. But also expect to fight your addiction head on when you decide to just do it. As always, enjoy the journey!
I’m glad to direct people toward areas of specific expertise. Here is a team of experts dedicated to helping people overcome addiction. They have put together a study called killing you softly that shows the effects of addiction with each use.
A few articles from my other blog.
Attitude really is everything… (Smoking part 3)
just at a time in my life when I thought I had seen it all, (or at least most,) I realize I definitely have much to see and learn.
Recently, at one of my temp jobs, I had the pleasure of working with a man who serves as a classic example of this not quite really ever-wornout adage. This is because it is indeed an adage that can stand the test of time: “Attitude is everything.”
This man is the only person I have ever known who happens to be addicted to cigarettes, but who regularly hikes, and rides his bike in the mountains. He somehow finds the time and energy to work, operate his own business, spend quality time with his eight year old son, and be outside; although he is aware of his harmful addiction, he does his best, and makes the most of his life.
I am confident that someday, he will put his mind and good attitude to quitting his addiction to cigarettes. And he will succeed. This is just him. People who know him are often uplifted while around him. People surrounded by him felt hopeful and optimistic about life, a sort of: “he does a lot with the life he has… so can I!”
The power of the mind really is amazing.
One of my favorite quotes sums up, not only the capacity of the mind, as exemplified by my friend whom I will not forget, but the power of optimism as well. From the Textbook of Work Psychology: … “In every voluntarily executed, all out maximal effort, psychological, rather than physiological factors determine the limits of performance…”
What can we gather from this? Each day is a new day, put your mind to it, but also listen to your inner voice.
Thank you for reading.
Posted 28th February 2013 by Owen
Smoking, yet another take…
One of my recent temp jobs was cardboard production. At this job, I saw many different types of people. I am always observing and learning more about life and others’ views as I go. It is all part of the journey. There are always additional insights, and perspectives not yet considered. One of the most recent, unseen views was a different take on cigarette smoking. I have written often about cigarette smoking on this LIC blog. I am continuously adding additional insights, as I see new perspectives on a variety of things.
While I do not smoke cigarettes, and I do not support starting this harmful addiction, I have recently experienced viewing people who happen to be addicted to cigarettes in a different light.
Upon hearing stories of things some of these people had been through, they are fortunate to be addicted to only cigarettes. And furthermore, if for example, I had experienced some of the things they accounted to me, I myself just might be addicted to cigarettes, or something much harder. Fortunately, no, no and no on all accounts.
Make no mistake that cigarettes are harmful for one’s health, and I am not encouraging starting up smoking in any way.
However, there is a bright and even brighter side to every situation. I learned in talking to these people, and being around them, that many of them had really been through the grinder of life. As they shared, and I journeyed to their side of things for a bit, I grew quite fond of them, seeing and hearing things from their side was a rare view that I am forever grateful for, and I now have friends in this regard. I realized that I cannot imagine being so strongly addicted to something. I can’t even imagine how difficult cessation of an addiction such as to cigarettes would be.
In my mind, there are two issues here regarding cigarettes, (and any addictions for that matter) in society. One, (the obvious,) is in the importance of continuing education about the dangers of smoking, encouraging wellness, and healthy choices, and implementing additional prevention and cessation programs.
Two is much less obvious. It is the need for compassion. One in which, those of us who don’t smoke, (while we are glad we do not,) we cannot imagine how difficult this addiction would be.
My background in mental health has taught me to always look for the bright, or brighter side. When a person is experiencing emotional crisis, or a tremendous amount of stress who also smokes cigarettes, their cigarettes, while harmful, are probably helping to prevent more severe symptoms and behavior, particularly if that person has a mental illness, (and many who smoke cigarettes do.) It is human nature of habit to see a person who is smoking a cigarette and judge.
However, what is unseen is the life experience of this individual, and often times, the intense fear and panic this individual may be preventing in lighting up.
An ironic state of balance?
True, cigarettes are very harmful and addictive. However, they are also much less expensive than the typical anti-psychotic medication, which almost no one could afford without insurance. So, while it is important for the one who smokes to make it a goal to quit, those of us who do not, can remember that we do not realize how difficult this addiction would be.
Let us understand here. We are all connected, so let us live together. Yes, it is important to understand the dangers of cigarettes, and it is imperative to not start smoking in the first place, and it is vital to continue to fund, research and continue to improve smoking cessation programs.
However, those people who do not smoke will not understand what it would be like to be addicted to cigarettes. We cannot fully understand what that individual has been through.
You see, my second book: Life Is Conscious, is about rolling with one another as humans, we are all connected. It is not only about creating a world where we more peacefully coexist. Life Is Conscious is also about living more peacefully together with the world we have now, the very one that we people, together have helped to create. Cooperation, compassion and understanding is going to help take us there.
Compassion, understanding, education, pass it on.
Thank you for reading.
Posted 22nd February 2013 by Owen
Smoking, a rare take….
Smoking… The harmful effects are obvious, below are interesting view points from my friend, and co-worker tell a side that few of us hear.
During the chit chat of routine delivery at work, one of my co-workers, (a former smoker,) offered a rare glimpse into the damage that science is now proving obvious about the effects of smoking.
My friend and coworker smoked for forty years. After being free of cigarettes for now 15 years, her experience is an interesting one:
Throughout the course of our conversation between deliveries, she told me of how she ‘quit’ ten times. Each time, she thought she had it beat, but she recognized triggers, which made the cessation of her addiction seem impossible. Social pressures and added stress, were some of these she noted.
The determining factor in her ability to fully cease smoking cigarettes was mind over matter. “It was all up here.” She said, pointing to her forehead. “I just had to make up my mind, to do it at all costs, and I had to avoid all situations, anyone and everyone that was going to drag me down; that I did.”
I asked her if she noticed a time of sickness after she had quit. “Yes! I coughed and coughed; it sounded like my lungs were coming up.”
This intrigued me, because in “wellness language,” this time is a state of the body known as “detox,” as the body cleanses itself from the impurities it has been bombarded with. Sometimes this can mean a time of sickness, as the body regains a more balanced state.
Our bodies have the ability to recover and heal themselves. Infact, the body always seeks to regain health. When we eliminate the junk and give the body the things that are healing and nutritious, we help it tremendously!
My co-worker talked of how she was surprised that it was only about a week that she felt rather lousy. It was shortly after this time, that she felt confident of her ability to resist her addictive urges.
Now, she is proud to say that she hasn’t touched a cigarette since. “It was all up here.” She knows how terribly she felt during her time as a smoker, and “there is nothing that could lead me to go close to that stuff again,” she said.
“I believe the stuff added to cigarettes now is 10x’s more addictive than it ever was in my day;” I can only imagine what is added to them now”, she said.
This conversation with a former smoker was rare, and offered insight on several levels.
One, how about a rare compassionate perspective for those of us who do not smoke; we can’t even begin to understand how difficult the addiction would be, and in every way, how miserable it would make one feel. Anyone could be addicted and we don’t understand how hard this would be.
Afterall, it has only been since about the 1950’s that cigarette smoking was popular, even encouraged, and even many doctors smoked!
We have come a long way in insisting on better health for ourselves. This is easy to do from the standpoint of eliminating the ‘junk’ habits, which also include addictions.
Now, the education, and evidence is obvious about how dangerous, and how destructive smoking is for one’s health. Obviously, the first step is to not start in the first place-prevention.
However, the conversation I had with my coworker, is proof that we can do anything we set our minds to. We can break bad habits, we can overcome addictions, and we can take control of our health, not accepting the role of ‘the victim,’ making healthy choices throughout every part of our lives.
This situation was unique, in that she had overcome her addiction to cigarettes, and 2, that she was willing to share her story; she was willing to ‘put herself out there,’ and warn others through her own experience of the battle she had throughout her years of smoking.
There are choices to be made regarding health. Some obvious, others not as obvious.
I submit that power to choose well-being is in strong education.
From every aspect of health-physical, mental, and spiritual, including diet, sleep, rest and mental health, it is time to eliminate the ‘junk’ and sort the junk from the hearty, good stuff. This is actually much easier than we might think.
If it really is life, health and light that we seek, the answers really are as clear as day.
The Spirit, mind, body connection is apparent; the influence each has on the other, is unmistakable. May we take knowledge, learn to apply and coordinate it, in all aspects of choosing life, health and light.
For additional health articles and education, particularly regarding the amazing health benefits of a plant based diet, may I suggest one of my personal heroes, Dr McDougall, author of The Starch Solution:
Stay tuned, thank you for reading.