Sobriety & Spirituality With Duran Duran’s John Taylor

Sobriety and Spirituality with Duran Duran's John Taylor | Transcend Recovery Community

John Taylor of the band, Duran Duran, says that “he never really enjoyed the taste of beer.” In fact, when he was growing up, most of his friends couldn’t wait to start drinking. But Taylor really become involved with alcohol when he was older and frequenting the night clubs with his band.

Taylor is the co-founder of Duran Duran, a pop band popular throughout the 80’s and into the 90’s. The group was formed in 1973 by Taylor who played the bass and Nick Rhodes who played the keyboard. Later, John Taylor joined them to play the drums, Andy Taylor played guitar, and Simon Le Bon was the lead singer.

Taylor shares in an interview with The Fix that alcohol didn’t always really do it for him. Although it was always a part of the nightlife, it wasn’t until he started doing cocaine that he found the energy to keep going all night. Initially, Taylor just though that his drinking and drug using was all a part of “being cool” and staying social. But little by little his habit with cocaine became more and more out of hand.

Although Taylor’s dreams of success were coming true, he admits:

“I started putting the cocaine before the gig. It became the juice that kept me going, and it made me a lot less consistent than I would have been, a lot more erratic.”

Over time, Taylor recognized that he needed to be a better musician and a better father. He wanted to become a better person. He slowly began to work on healing from drug use and drinking, starting with therapy. But Taylor says that although therapy helped, he needed more. At first, though, Taylor became dependent on therapy, arranging sessions in both LA and London, as he traveled back and forth. Finally, someone said to him that he needed to go to 12-step meetings. Taylor didn’t go right away, but he eventually went into a 30-day rehab program. And he’s remained sober ever since.

Today, Taylor describes his recovery as trying to remain responsible in his adult life. He explains that there is frequently a battle between the little boy in him who always wants to get away with things and the adult who needs to take responsibility for his actions. Taylor has become more and more responsible and mature because of the supports in his life and learning how to be more emotionally sober. He explains that his spirituality has helped him with that.

Taylor describes that having a Higher Power has helped him in his recent adult years. With help from a sponsor and other sober friends along the way, Taylor has found a way to be comfortable with spirituality, prayer, and moving at a slower pace. Taylor doesn’t have to have things “Now!” Instead, he knows he can slowly work toward the things he wants, without feeling manic like he used to.

Like most celebrity musicians, Taylor experienced the high of fame, fortune, and success which came at a cost – addiction and self-harm. But with the help of therapists, drug rehab, and 12-step meetings, he turned his life of fame into one of sobriety.

Discovering What Having a Higher Power Means to You

Discovering What Having a Higher Power Means to You | Transcend Recovery Community

One of the primary principles in the 12-step approach of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) community is the idea of having a higher power. What’s interesting is that  one doesn’t have to believe in God necessarily, or even have any particular kind of God to participate in and receive the benefits of the 12-step model. For instance, surfers might see the ocean as their higher power, writers might see nature as their higher power, and younger adults might use love as their higher power. It seems that having a relationship with a power that is greater than oneself can facilitate accessing a kind of strength to get through challenging moments in life. In fact, some men and women in the AA community might even say that the spirituality of the 12-step model helps to build a defense against the disease of addiction.

Sometimes, you might begin attending 12-step meetings and hear about the benefits of having a higher power but not have one yourself. You might feel the desire inside to want to find some sort of spiritual essence that fills your definition of a higher power. Of course, you might not know what that is at first. Yet, you can begin to find that by perhaps including more spirituality into your life. And to do this, you don’t have to necessarily attend church or practice meditation. You can try any of the following:

  • Being Grateful
  • Staying Present
  • Notice the Details Around You
  • Relax or Rest Deeply
  • Visualization
  • Have a Sense of Humor

The above suggestions are meant to cultivate spirituality in your life so that you can discover your own sense of higher power. As mentioned above, it can be a belief in God, such as one described in organized religions, or it can be something as simple as  nature. Nature can have various healing effects such as helping one get in touch with themselves, gain clarity, have insights, and experience a sense of calm and ease. Spending time near a river or at a calming beach can positively affect your emotional, psychological, and even physical health.

At the same time, you might find that you don’t have a need for spirituality at all. Many have gotten sober without prayer or meditation or any connection to a higher power. However, there are also those who were once opposed to having a higher power and then found that through their addiction treatment spirituality became a significant part of their recovery.

Recovery often includes discovering your relationship to spirituality. Whether you include a higher power or not, many recovering addicts find it helpful to have a source of inspiration and encouragement to help them through the challenging moments of life.

 

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9 Ways Spirituality Can Support Your Sobriety

9 Ways Spirituality Can Support Your Sobriety | Transcend Recovery Community

There are many forms of spirituality from various traditions that can nurture us the path of sobriety. Of course, spirituality isn’t for everyone. However, if you feel that you’re someone who needs to have a relationship with a higher being or with Nature or with your higher self, then you might appreciate various ways to be spiritual.

Spirituality can be defined differently for various people. According to Steve Castleman, founder of AddictScience.com, part of the spirituality of the 12-step model is learning how to treat others as you want to be treated, living honestly, making amends when you inevitably fail, and helping others. Castleman would say that learning this new set of behaviors is a result of practicing the 12-steps. And, learning these ways of living help to heal resentment and anger, which are often at the root of an addiction. Even though Castleman didn’t want to go along with the spirituality of the 12-steps in the beginning, he later found that it was a significant part of getting sober. Others would also say that the spirituality of the 12-step model helps to build a defense against the disease of addiction.

And one doesn’t have to believe in a God necessarily, or even any particular kind of God to participate in and receive the benefits of the 12-step model. For instance, surfers might see the ocean as their higher power, writers might see nature as their higher power, and younger adults might use love as their higher power. Whatever your form of spirituality, you might want to consider the following practices to incorporate into your life. Perhaps they might inspire you and strengthen your ability to stay sober.

Being Grateful – Pick a time in your life when you know you have a few minutes each day. Perhaps it’s when you are waiting in your car at a light or when you pick your children up from school. During those moments, reflect upon what you feel grateful for. A few moments of being grateful each day can radically shift your experience of life. It can shift your attention to all that you’ve been given versus all that you lack.

Staying Present –  The fastest way to move out of a stressful state is to become aware of one of your senses. In his wonderfully healing book, Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World through Mindfulness, Jon Kabat Zinn details how returning attention to the senses can immediately shift your experience. By smelling a scent, touching an object, or experiencing a bodily sensation, you remind yourself of the moment you are in versus an imaginary moment from the past. Shifting your experience to the present moment through the use of your senses can build your emotional awareness.

Notice the Details Around You – This is a similar practice to the one described above. It’s also a way of staying present, of being firmly connected to the moment versus getting caught up in an imaginary moment in your mind. Staying present by noticing the details around you in as many moments as possible can in and of itself be a spiritual practice.

Meditate or Rest DeeplyMeditation is a very calming practice that can also produce healing experiences. Although meditation might be difficult at first, the challenge at the beginning is worth the rewards. By sharpening one’s focus, the heart can open and healing can take place.

Visualization – You might ask yourself Imagine what your life would be like if you were not struggling with addiction?” or “Imagine what circumstances and situations you would find yourself in if you were not early in your recovery.”

Have a Sense of Humor – Not only can laughter change your perspective almost immediately, there are many health benefits to laughing, both physical and mental. Laughing can lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, increase blood flow, increase memory and focus, which are both often impaired during addiction, improve creativity, and reduce stress. Perhaps you and a friend can read a joke a day to get the belly rolling and the smiles spreading from one ear to the other. Perhaps laughter can become a regular part of your drug addiction therapy.

The above suggestions are meant to provide alternative forms of spiritual practice. They are activities that you might include in your day to support your sobriety.

 

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A 12-Step Program Without the Spirituality

A 12-Step Program Without the Spirituality | Transcend Recovery Community

Spirituality is undoubtedly a big factor for some recovering addicts, especially as they initially move through substance abuse treatment. However, it doesn’t have to be the primary contributor to drug addiction treatment. In fact, mental health professionals recognize that the success of sobriety is heavily influenced by having a sober community and having the support you need when you need it – not necessarily spirituality.

Nonetheless, there are others who say that without spirituality, drug detox, substance abuse treatment, and sober living in general wouldn’t have happened. There’s no question that the responses to spirituality, among those who are reaching for long-term sobriety, vary widely. Of course, the road to recovery may not always include a spiritual component; it does appear that some form of an inward searching practice is necessary. For instance, if you’re going to change the way you behave, an honest examination of your thoughts and feelings are required on some level. In a way, this alone could be considered spiritual contemplation. It is a means to becoming a better human being, and more importantly, it is a path towards living a healthier life.

For instance, take a look at the twelve steps of the recovery model of Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and you’ll immediately see the word, “God”.  Many of those who have been drinking or using drugs for a while and who are beginning to attend AA have objections to the spirituality found in the 12-step model. Some might have very strong objections that might even keep them from engaging in the program.

And that’s precisely why there are sober living programs out there that follow a 12-step format but without the spirituality and talk of God. Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) was founded in 1985 by James Christopher. It’s a non-profit network of groups to help alcoholics or drug addicts who are uncomfortable with the spiritual content of 12-step programs achieve and maintain sobriety. Christopher achieved sobriety himself in 1978 and has since written two books: SOS Sobriety and Unhooked:  Staying Sober and Drug-Free.

SOS has helped thousands of addicted persons find sober living and reclaim their lives for over 28 years. Interestingly, SOS welcomes individuals who are both non-spiritual and spiritual but who want a secular environment in which to get sober. SOS welcomes anyone sincerely seeking sobriety from alcohol addiction, drug addiction and compulsive eating.  It is known as a highly effective alternative to the 12-step model, and provides yet another path to recovery from addiction.

Rather than crediting a higher power, as the 12-step model does, SOS credits the individual for achieving and maintaining his/her own sobriety.  And just like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, anyone looking to get sober can find SOS meetings in many cities throughout the world.

Certainly, the way that each recovering addict feels about the presence of spirituality in his or her recovery will vary from person to person. For instance, although some individuals who suffer from an addiction might be opposed to spirituality as a part of their drug addiction treatment program, for many, it’s what makes their recovery so effective. At the same time, there are those who attend AA meetings, for example, who keep their distance from spirituality throughout the many years they attend meetings. Yet, they continue to work through the 12 AA steps regardless. Still, there are some who started their drug addiction treatment years ago and have remained sober neither needed nor wanted the spiritual component. Their disbelief in anything spiritual kept them far from it.

And still, others who remained at arm’s length to the spirituality of AA later found that it was an essential part of their recovery process.  Certainly, spirituality may not be what a recovering addict is looking for in drug addiction treatment. He or she may discover that spirituality is not what’s needed in order to make it through the challenge of drug detox and substance abuse treatment. Instead, he or she might believe that sobriety requires pure willpower and the choice to get sober. For these recovering addicts, SOS may be just the right fit.

 

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Get Sober Help with Religion & Spirituality

Get Sober Help with Religion & Spirituality | Transcend Recovery Community

Weaving in religion and spirituality into the path of sober living isn’t new. In fact, you could say that the entire 12-step model is based on a relationship with a higher power. Although some have steered away from the religious component of the 12-step program, others would say that spirituality is the key to the whole program.

You might not be the spiritual or religious type, yet, research actually shows that when there is a spiritual component to recovery, sober help treatment outcomes are more likely achieved. According to this study, long-term sober living is more likely to be achieved. For instance, a recent study indicated that spirituality could help in recovery at rehabilitative centers. Although experts at The University of Akron, Case Western Reserve University, and Baylor University performed the study, the research itself took place at a facility called New Directions in Northeast Ohio.

Specifically, the positive sober help treatment outcomes included lower levels of drug occurrence, less self-centeredness, and higher frequency of positive social behavior. Furthermore, the daily spiritual experiences reported by the participants included feeling a divine presence, having a sense of inner peace, and a feeling of benevolence towards others.

A rehabilitative environment that includes both spiritual and traditional experiences of recovery are meant to facilitate in adults deeper insight into the choices they are making for their life and encourage connection with a core self. Of course, holistic activities also help to promote physical well being, a healthy self-image, productive coping mechanisms, and psychological health. When these are combined with the right rehabilitative environment for sober living, they can create lasting change.

Another study done by Oregon State University suggests that both religious practices as well as spirituality each have their own influence on an individual’s overall well being. For instance, the study found that religion tends to regulate behavior. Religious practices, such as going to weekly services and spending time in fellowship with others of the same religion, had an influence on better health habits. Those who had religious tendencies smoked and drank less often.

Spirituality, on the other hand, tended to influence the ability to regulate emotions. Meditation and private prayer had the effect of being able to better manage difficult emotions as well as having physiological effects such as lowering blood pressure. It’s no wonder that meditation and mindfulness are being used a therapeutic practice among therapists and psychologists. More and more experts in psychology, as well as in other fields of science are recognizing its healing effects.

Essentially, mindfulness is the practice of becoming conscious of your internal and external environment. It is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting the existing feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, and surrounding activity. Certainly, there are some similarities between religion and spirituality; however, this research was able to distinguish the different effects each had on an individual’s psychological growth. The study was published in the journal titled Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Spirituality can bring a recovering addict, or anyone, to their essence. For this reason, it might be the very reason spirituality has the ability to facilitate healing. In fact, a cycle of addiction perpetuates the disconnection from one’s power. Having practices that re-connect one to their essence can provide clarity, restoration, and a sense of self worth.

Since many mental health facilities are frequently publicly funded, they must be careful not to promote religion. To do this, many facilities provide drug counseling and mental health services that rely on scientific evidence, often called evidence based practices. However, those evidence based practices can keep some organizations from seeing concepts and processes spiritual in nature that have been effective. Furthermore, because those spiritually-oriented programs are at times difficult to measure, they are frequently ignored.

Despite this, spiritually oriented sober help treatment centers and sober living programs are growing in numbers, and many recovering addicts are drawn to spiritual practices to facilitate their sober living journey.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via
my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
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For Some, Spirituality Means Greater Chances of Sobriety

For Some, Spirituality Means Greater Chances of Sobriety | Transcend Recovery Community

There has been a growing trend to weave spiritual practices in with mental health treatment, including sober living rehabilitative centers. These centers are at times referred to as a holistic drug treatment centers and they can include more than drug counseling, therapy, family therapy, support groups, and life skill groups.

However, for many years behavioral health therapists, those that tend to facilitate drug counseling for recovery addicts, have shied away from spirituality. In fact, the entire field of mental health has kept spirituality out of its practices. Nonetheless, little by little, practitioners are incorporating practices such as meditation and mindfulness into their work with clients. The success of mindfulness along with recent research on the benefits of meditation, particularly for the brain, has given spirituality a foothold in the world of therapy and recovery.

Rev. Laura Mancuso was once a psychiatric rehabilitation counselor and now she is an interfaith minister. After working for 15 years in the mental health field, she struggled with health challenges and losses in her life. That difficult time prompted her journey to get ordained and now incorporates spirituality into her practice.

Laura notes that “spirituality is highly personal, very central to a person’s inner life, and oftentimes inseparable from one’s cultural identity. It seems to me that if mental health programs can figure out how to respect and support the spirituality of the people we serve and the people we employ, we will have figured out how to respect and support their very essence as human beings. That’s why spirituality should be included in programs that intend to be holistic, culturally competent, and recovery-oriented.”

Certainly, spirituality brings a recovering addict, or anyone, to their essence. For this reason, it might be the very reason spirituality has the ability to facilitate healing. In fact, a cycle of addiction perpetuates the disconnection from one’s power. Having practices that re-connect one to their essence can provide clarity, restoration, and a sense of self worth.

Some methods by which holistic halfway houses and other types of rehabilitative centers do this include:

  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Deep Breathing
  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Reiki
  • Equine Therapy
  • Sweat Lodges
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Organic Food Choices
  • Physical Exercise
  • Sauna Use
  • Spiritual Exploration and Study

Traditionally, clinicians have been taught to steer away from spirituality, partly to prevent supporting delusions in their patients. Also, many mental health services are publicly funded and the organizations that run those programs must be careful not to promote religion. To do this, many publicly funded programs providing drug counseling and mental health services are relying on scientific evidence, often called evidence based practices. However, those evidence based practices can keep some organizations from seeing concepts and processes spiritual in nature that have been effective. Furthermore, because those spiritually-oriented programs are at times difficult to measure, they are frequently ignored.

Despite this, spiritually oriented recovery programs are growing in numbers, and many recovering addicts and clients are drawn to practices such as meditation, yoga, and nutritional counseling.

In fact, a recent study indicated that spirituality could help in recovery at rehabilitative centers. Although experts at The University of Akron, Case Western Reserve University, and Baylor University performed the study, the research itself took place at a facility called New Directions in Northeast Ohio.

In this study specifically, the results indicated that changes in spiritual experiences were correlated to better treatment outcomes. Specifically, the positive treatment outcomes included lower levels of drug occurrence, less self-centeredness, and higher frequency of positive social behavior. Furthermore, the daily spiritual experiences reported by the participants included feeling a divine presence, having a sense of inner peace, and a feeling of benevolence towards others.

A rehabilitative environment that includes both spiritual and traditional experiences of recovery are meant to facilitate in adults deeper insight into the choices they are making for their life and encourage connection with a core self. Of course, holistic activities also help to promote physical well being, a healthy self-image, productive coping mechanisms, and psychological health. When these are combined with the right rehabilitative environment for sober living, they can create lasting change.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via
my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

Spirituality & Sober Living

Spirituality & Sober Living | https://transcendrecoverycommunity.com

The responses to spirituality, among those who are reaching for long-term sobriety and a successful sober living experience, vary widely. Of course, the road to recovery may not always include a spiritual component; it does appear that some form of an inward searching practice is necessary. For instance, if you’re going to change the way you behave, an honest examination of your thoughts and feelings are required on some level. In a way, this alone could be considered spiritual contemplation. It is a means to becoming a better human being, and more importantly, it is a path towards living a healthier life. Continue reading “Spirituality & Sober Living”

2 Conditions for Long-Term Sobriety

2 Conditions for Long-Term Sobriety | https://transcendrecoverycommunity.com

If you’re just beginning the road to recovery, you should know that there are two conditions that professionals typically see as a prerequisite for sobriety that is long-term and enduring.

There appears to be particular circumstances that are common to those who stay sober, to those whose stories are published in recovery books and on websites emphasizing sobriety. According to Guy Kettelhack, who is a recovering alcoholic and author of Sober and Free: Making Your Recovery Work for You, those two conditions are.

  • Break through isolation and realize you are not alone.
  • Get support for your decision to stay sober.

Below are a few ways to break the bubble of loneliness, and to get support for your decision to stay sober:

  • Join a support group: It’s common for recovery addicts to feel marginalized, separate from the mainstream of society. However, belonging to a group can heal that sense of separation. Being with others who are in recovery can provide you with a listening ear as well as honest feedback. Of course, AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) provides this sort of community support. However, there are other sources of group support in the community.
  • Seek a sponsor or therapist: Support group has many benefits, as well as the one-on-one relationship you would have with a sponsor or therapist. In those relationships, you can experience a type of professional help that is focused on you and your particular needs.
  • Seek support online: Although by going online you’re likely not going to find the kind of friendship and personal interaction that you would find in a support group or therapy, at least you’ll discover that you’re not alone. The web is filled with stories about how an addiction caused great suffering and then that individual turned it around. The Internet can be a source of inspiration, encouragement, and support.
  • Find a sober living home: Of course, your own environment is going to be filled with temptation to drink or use drugs, from friends to family to commercials on television. Having a place to retreat to that is focused on helping you create a sober-free life can be incredibly supportive.

Some reaching for sober living would say that another contributor to long-term sobriety is spirituality, that with the pattern of powerlessness, which is true of all addictions, there must be a relationship with a higher being. However, others who have started the road to recovery years ago and have remained sober neither needed nor wanted the spiritual component. Their disbelief in anything spiritual kept them far from it. Yet, others who remained at arm’s length to the spirituality of AA, for example, later found that it was an essential part of their recovery process.

Although spirituality is a big factor for some, professional have narrowed it down to two factors. If you’re serious about getting sober and staying that way, remember two things: you’re not alone, and support for your decision is at your fingertips.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via
my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
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