What are the steps to take to go from addiction towards wellness? This is the question which this article addresses as I outline the steps which my personal recovery took and which has been truly a miracle in my life and in the effects on those which I affect daily, mostly including my wife and children.
Although I despise limiting the individual to 'labels' and 'stereotypes' this is the way that we discuss personal development and transformation.
The journey from addiction to wellness begins with the dawning of a realization that there needs to be change in our lives. My moment of awareness came when I was unable to function in my work and was in a state of deep despair. This despair was cloaked in feelings and thoughts of worthlessness, inadequacy, and being unlovable.
These thoughts and feelings dated back to my youth and to the emotional and mental messages which I'd internalized and acted upon for my adolescent and young adult years.
Here I was 38 years old, had spent the last 20 years numbing myself with alcohol and nicotine altering my mind state with delusional thinking that everything was ok.
Everything was not ok. I had hit bottom. Sometimes we are offered 'grace'. This is a moment of clarity when the door opens just enough for us to grasp a glimpse of what could be possible if only we could change our behaviour.
This is what happened to me.
I was given the choice to change. This chance is given to all of us addicted to behaviours which are damaging to ourselves and to our loved ones.
The difference between those who keep on failing and those who succeed is whether one chooses to act on having seen, felt, or heard the graceful message.
That message is this: "You are loved".
It began with that message: that I was loved. Nothing else mattered.
I was given the grace to believe that deep in my inner being there was a place which was 'safe' and 'sacred' where the belief and trust that I was loved could anchor.
It is from that inner place that the birth of a transformation could take place.
The rest of the story is a series of necessary baby steps which every recovering addict needs to take.
I joined AA and attended meetings weekly, sometimes, bi-weekly as needed.
Secondly I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking. These were the first necessary steps to discovering the real me.
Who was Roger? I had no idea who Roger was nor who Roger would become.
I had been involved in a co-dependent relationship for 15 years within which I had an enabling partner. I had become a self-centered and verbally abusive husband and parent.
Where had the love gone? Where was the nurturing which I needed to feel for myself so that I could then know what it is to share love with another?
The journey of self-examination and diving into the discovery of the iceberg which lay beneath the surface of my psyche led me to self-knowledge.
This led me to accept my past, forgive those who had hurt me, and to forgive myself for my behaviour since my origins of woundedness.
I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started taking responsibility for my thoughts, words, and actions.
It was a slow process punctuated with periods of obscurity and confusion.
But with the support of my 'men's self-growth group' I was able to confront my inner pains and hurts. I was able to caress them and heal the wounds which I'd allowed to fester for over 20 years.
I would not discover the gift of living 'in the present' until 18 years later.
As I said in the beginning of this article this journey necessitated baby steps.
Had I known then all the work it would take to get me to this day where I could be given others advice or clues to others on how to heal themselves, I would have given up. But I didn't know there the road leads. That's why I just focused on taking change 'One day at a time" with the serenity prayer: accepting the things I could not change, and finding the courage to change the things I could.
When I now look back at the man I was and look at the man I have become I am awestruck and filled with gratitude and humility.
I did not do it alone or on my own.
I relied on a 'higher power', and because of my Catholic upbringing had rediscovered a personal connection to 'Jesus' which was purely spiritual.
I have been fortunate to be blessed with a healthy body physically and so the journey to healing and wellness has focused mainly on my emotional, mental and recently spiritual bodies.
Although the four bodies live together and the healing process must target all of them together.
What we think is at the centre of our mental body and our mind is mediated by our emotions or feelings. Our emotional body is mediated by our solar plexus chakra. Our unresolved feelings of loss, sadness, fears, and anger live there. We cannot ascend solidly into the centre of our heart chakra of love, kindness, generosity, mercy, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness until we have dealt with our past unresolved feelings of victimization, resentments, regrets, and failures.
It is only recently in the last few years that I've moved towards integrating the four bodies into an integrated study of self with pranic healing and arhatic yoga.
I welcome you on your journey.
Blessings, Namaste atma.
Om, shanti, shanti,shanti, Om.

Author's Bio: 

Roger Fontaine is a registered massage therapist and pranic healer operating a private clinic practice in a fitness centre setting located in Elmwood, Winnipeg, Cnaada.
Specializing in restoring balance and wellness to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies in making transformations to lifestyle.