When Self Care Becomes Self Harm: Sobriety by the moon.

header2There are many different ways that people look for self-care. Some of us come upon it through walks in the park, or spa days. Other people find self-care through having an organic diet. In my case I implement self-care through my mindfulness and yoga practice and keeping track of how I’m feeling and how I’m  producing  through my work and creativity in relation to the cycles of the moon. I also have become super fond of treating myself to many solo-dates!

Although some may disagree, another form of self-care shows up through the use of marijuana and alcohol. Now, I’m sure for some of you this is a trigger statement. Some of you may be in strong opposition to the idea that one can find self-care through the use of drugs or alcohol. After all doesn’t alcohol cause liver disease and ulcers?

Now, I’m sure for some of you this is a trigger statement. Some of you may be in strong opposition to the idea that one can find self-care through the use of drugs or alcohol. After all, doesn’t alcohol cause liver disease and ulcers? Didn’t our teachers and parental figures say that drugs, in particular marijuana would make you stupid and are bad for you?

This article is in honor of the overall energy and theme of the waning moon cycle, which is based on the idea of release and letting go of what doesn’t serve you and what might be holding you back from your true potential. For some of us, not all, this may be the place of internal struggle and it may be time to release the mental block. If you’re willing to experiment with letting them go, let’s dive in!

 

How Can Drugs and Alcohol be a form of Self-care?

I have even been hearing and reading about a lot of wonderful discoveries on the powerful healing factors of CBD, a chemical compound in marijuana that can break down cancerous tumors and potentially cure epilepsy! For some, Marijuana can show up for some as a medicinal self-care, which I believe is okay. As I learn more about the positive effects of all herbal medicine, I don’t believe this is and herb that should be left out. I’ve even used topical CBD oil to relieve joint pain and it does absolute wonders!

Another, sometimes more unconscious, way the use of marijuana shows up as a sense of self care is through its ability to relieve social dis-ease. Some people have a hard time being in crowds, or feeling comfortable in social situations and look to marijuana as a way to make connecting with others and fitting in a much less frightening experience. For some just the picture of a pot leaf is a symbol of social acceptance in certain crowds.

Alcohol is also a social buffer for many Adults and teens in America. I’ve met many people who just don’t feel ready to mingle until they’ve had their first cocktail. There is also research stating that Moderate alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on health. These include decreased risk for heart disease and mortality due to heart disease, decreased risk of ischemic stroke (in which the arteries to the brain become narrowed or blocked, resulting in reduced blood flow), and decreased risk of diabetes.(source)

This brings to mind one of the 5 moral restraints in the Yama’s section of  Patanjalis 8 limbs of yoga, brahmacarya which is a Sanskrit word meaning “moderation” As the old saying goes, “everything’s good in moderation.”

Sometimes a person may be going through emotional stress caused by depression or loss, and because the hardship of the pain is a bit too much to bare, they look to the use of alcohol or marijuana as somewhat of a shoulder to cry on. And, for some it just feels good to kick back and have a drink or smoke a blunt. This is just the way they “unwind” and treat themselves. Treating yourself is after all a form of self-care. So what happens when treating yourself in these ways just doesn’t feel like a treat anymore?

How Self-care can become Self-Harm.

Here’s the thing, I’m not here to judge you, only to make you think. My motto? If you like it, I love it!

My motto? If you like it, I love it!

I fully understand that some of us know our limits and would rather not be told how to live life and I respect that autonomy.

However, sometimes when turning to a substance for self-care, we can find ourselves feeling like living a great life isn’t possible without it.  This is when we sometimes start to realize that our habits of self-care have become crutches we lean on to protect us from fully interacting with life.

Sometimes, that feeling of safety in social situations turns into paranoia that someone isn’t fully accepting us for who we are, or that we aren’t good enough.

Sometimes, we go to alcohol to feel better and end up being in a place where we feel more upset than we were before.

I know for me, I lost a lot of control over my productivity and my emotions towards things that now I have a much easier time letting go of through an extensive use of marijuana.

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How Exactly DO We Let Go?

The number 1 thing  you need to look at first is why and if you are ready to let go. Like I said, I would never judge anyone for wanting to smoke weed or drink. After all, we are all adults in this society and that comes with a freedom to choose our own paths. For some, marijuana isn’t a negative thing. I have met many people who turn to the use of marijuana to help them focus, and control their mood swings, and I would certainly prefer them choosing this option over harmful pharmaceuticals. However, it is something to consider cutting out of your life if you constantly feel upset or uneasy when you aren’t under the influence and think about quitting when you are. That was a signal for me.

You may find frustration in your lack of productivity or just see yourself hanging out with people you don’t resonate with and the only thing that connects you is the use of marijuana or alcohol.

These are all signs of being out of alignment with your true self, and it’s really hard to create the life you dream of living from this place.

Try giving up portions of what you need to let go of during the waning moon phase. You may find that due to the energetic appeal to clean things up and cut of what isn’t necessary, it will be a bit easier to do it at this time in the moon cycle. If cold turkey isn’t your thing, try  cutting back a little bit, setting the intention at the new moon that you are going to stay at that place, and letting go of your habit a little bit more in the next waning phase. This is a great way to work with the moon to improve your life. The next step would be to replace the habit with another form of self-care that also makes you feel good. Try yoga or meditation!

 

Is there a form of self-care you may feel has become self-harm for you?If so I’d love it if you would share in the comments below.

If you are looking for a more private place to share, consider scheduling a coaching call with me! I will provide for you a positive, non-judgemental space for talking through and letting go of what no longer serves you.

Love and Moonlight!

If you enjoyed this article and would like to see and hear more from me in the form of Podcasts, helpful videos, higher quality content and helpful material, please support Life by the Moon Yoga through my Patreon!

 

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