The Gladstone theatre was filled to the brim with 250 people from every corner of the city. Each one was prepared to partake in a life-changing performance by one of Ottawa, Canada’s, latest rising stars. I was particularly excited to be a part of this evening’s performance, because the rising star was a dear friend of mine. I sat in the first row, proud and eager to show my support.
It was strange, but all my enthusiasm leading up to the event quickly drained after the lights went out and I saw her up on stage. They were quickly replaced by feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness.
Why? Well, you see, about two years before the event took place, the star and I spent many hours dreaming of bright futures. She spoke of theatre, and I spoke of stories, and as I sat watching her living her dream, I fell into an old thought pattern of comparison that I developed in childhood. “I’m not successful enough! Beautiful enough! Doing enough!”
I am not enough… pervaded the underlying themes and stories that were ruminating in my mind in the theatre that night.
Lost in thoughts of negativity, I left, not in form, but in spirit. Trapped in the world of my inadequacies, they began to multiply – failure after failure, one after another. The simple act of sitting in that chair became torture, and it took a tremendous amount of willpower just to keep my focus on what was happening on the stage before me.
At intermission, I made my way to the snack bar where I began to fill that void using my latest form of numbing. Before, I would drink or smoke to hide from these feelings, but without those crutches to lean on, I found comfort in food. I went for the healthy snacks, cherry tomatoes, celery, a little bit of hummus. I was afraid of getting fat, another thing I didn’t like about myself, another judgment, another reason to keep stuffing.
An old friend approached me at the table and tried to catch up.
“Adam! Nice to see you! What an amazing show eh! She is great isn’t she! ”
“Yea… she is great… ” I said, while I stuffed a lone cherry tomato in my mouth…
“It’s great to see you!? How have you been?”
I can’t remember what I said, exactly. The conversation is somewhat of a blur in my mind.
What I do remember is the spinning, the familiar mental loop, feeling like I was possessed, desperately screaming inside “Stop! Stop! Stop!” but not knowing how.
I ended up leaving before the show was fully over, almost crawling back to my room. I was defeated, once again, succumbing to my impulses. I felt like a complete failure. I had been working on this issue for what seemed like forever, and was tired of these recurring moments, I just wanted so desperately for them to stop.
Back safely at home, I cried as I wrote in my journal, and I began to pray. After my tears hit the page, I was pulled from my trance and was myself again. No longer possessed, I made a firm commitment that I would do everything I could to overcome this. I was so tired of running, hiding from my pain, disappointing myself, and feeling like I had no control. I knew I could do better, and I also knew I had a responsibility as a spiritual being, to do everything in my power to be my best. I needed to relinquish binging, counting calories, habitual thought patterns, and overworking. I needed to stop running.
With this resolve, I collapsed into bed and into a dreamless sleep.
Grace, or what I call the divine, answered my call the next morning in the form of an email. It said- “Join the Beyond Addiction Program and Be the Best Version of Yourself”. The words were like an omen that sang true to my heart. I wanted to sign up immediately.
But I was still reluctant. The voice of doubt crept in quickly and came up with a handful of excuses as to why it wasn’t necessary, or not worth my time, money, or effort.
I could handle my problems on my own, it’s not such a big deal, so I overeat once in a while, and the thoughts went on and on.
The reasons why I shouldn’t do it kept piling up… But thankfully, I remembered that moment I shared in my journal the night before. That commitment I made to myself to do whatever I could to overcome this, and to truly be my “Best Self.”
Something truly remarkable happens when we make commitments to ourselves and a commitment to healing. The power of the universe opens its doors to us.
And now here I stand, almost 10 weeks into the program. I am wowed and overwhelmingly grateful for the power and medicine this program provides.
I find it slightly difficult to know where to begin to describe the benefits this program has had on my life and my personal development. Before I started the Beyond Addiction Program, I was like an eager bug banging his head across a glass window. Motivated and driven to make a change, but I was lacking the effective tools, skills, and support to effectively make the changes I so desperately longed for. The Beyond Addiction Program has given me the tools to open that window, and to fly my way to freedom.
Through the program, I have gotten to the root of issues, and I have been taught healing techniques for dealing with these patterns in a proactive way. This, tied in with regular meetings of a supportive community of like-minded individuals, has lead to exponential healing and growth. These are just a few of the many benefits I have experienced that have begun to transform my life.
I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to grow, connect with themselves, and who wants to give their spirit fully to the world. This program is for anyone who is committed to being the best version of themselves. From my own experience, I can confidently say, the tagline is true.
No one is really an addict, but sometimes people run from themselves, Afraid to touch the left-over pain from negative childhood experiences, a fight with a loved one, or stress at work. We try to hide.
For me, being on this journey has given me the confidence, courage, and skill to come back to myself in those times when I want to run, and in turn, it has given me the presence and awareness to fully give myself to the world with a fierce love that is contagious.
It has been a gift, every step of the way, not always comfortable, and sometimes even painful. But it has always been, a gift.
With all my heart, I bow my head, in gratitude.
Hi, My name is Adam! a human being learning to walk this earth in a balanced and authentic way. I was born in the Great North, and traveled in a little plane to a small island in South East Asia, where I spent the beginning years of my life. My Canadian mother was a writer, and my Venezuelan father was a mystic, so I guess that makes me a storyteller.
With that title, I believe I have a responsibility to dream a brighter future with my words and actions. This mission has lead me to study closely with indigenous elders in the Amazon jungles of Peru and the great plains of North America, in psychology lecture halls in prestigious Universities, and the still space found on my meditation mat. With the wisdom I have been blessed with along the way, I do my best to show up each day and share my gifts with the world ; through writing, coaching, and walking on this earth with an open heart.
Adam’s book, “Songs to the Spirit”, was released in Dec 2016.
For upcoming Beyond Addiction online and in-person programs, see https://beyondaddiction.ca/events/training-programs/