Tag Archives: fear

Fear, sadness and parasitic energies

How do you recommend getting rid of/dealing with fear/sadness/low frequency energies or entities and patterns, shamanically or just normally?

Well, first I’d divide it up. Fear and sadness are feelings which are often best dealt with by facing them. That is my main method in such things. Go where the energy is strongest. If something is scary, go there. Often things are scarier at a distance than they are up close. When we face them we are eventually done with them and can move on. Having said so it is important not to get caught up in things either, which I have seen many be with sadness.

Entities are a different thing altogether for me. They are actual parasitic energies which often give you certain emotions, such as fear or sadness, but they do not actually belong to the person. In most cases though the person will think the emotions are theirs. This is quite common when it comes to mental health issues and diagnoses. I have done some extraction work and it depends very much on the type of energy and on the clients determination. Some energies are really nasty and will put up a gruesome fight, while others are just lazy, heavy. The latter are much easier to remove. It isn’t unusual that people have several such energies. I’m always careful to point out that having such energies does not make you a bad person in any way, even if such energies often convince people to do bad things.

Patterns or repetitions can also be connected to parasitic energies, but are also something quite different. I use a four step process for practically all work with personal development. I think it is an excellent way of working through such things.

When you say go into the energy, what do you do after you go into it (for fear or sadness)?

Why do bad parasitic energies exist and is it possible for us to eradicate them from existence? Does a very pure diet help? What do you do about the nasty ones that fight back?


Fear and sadness have the most power over when we don’t dare to face them. They thrive in the corner of our eye, but lose their power over us when we look directly at them. To go into the energy simply means to dare to meet that which scares us. Looking straight at these feelings and acknowledging them usually makes them evaporate all together. Most fears are nothing but imaginations. They are tricks played on us by the mind, and the same goes for much sadness.

In some cases our fear and sadness have real reasons. The same is still true; even emotions that have real causes have the most power over us when we try to evade them. By confronting them they will lose most of their power over us, but they will also give us information on how to solve the underlying issues. Go into them, be conscious and aware. Investigate. What is this? What are the reasons? Are there specific situations that need to be healed? Where in the body is it located? How does it manifest in my life? These are the kind of questions to ask.

What many find when examining themselves is that the feelings they have aren’t actually theirs. I have already mentioned that the mind can play games with us. It is also possible to pick up feelings from other people. Feelings are contagious, just as laughter or yawning is. Sensitive people often pick things up from others. Becoming aware of which feelings are our own and which belong to others can make it easier to close the door on feelings that don’t belong to us.

Parasitic energies

It is also common that feelings that aren’t ours still seem to originate from within and that is where parasitic energies come into the equation. Parasitic energies have their own agenda and will often give us feelings, but disguise them as our own. It can help to simply be aware of which feelings are our own and which belong to the parasitic energy, so that we can sort our feelings accordingly, but doing so won’t actually solve the problem. It will only help us handle the situation.

A pure diet is always good for you and many parasitic energies will undermine you by luring you to keep a poor diet, but a pure diet will not remove such an energy. At least I do not know of any such diets. They need to be removed, but to do so you should work with someone who knows what they are doing, or it might be dangerous. I recently wrote a post about a method to remove such energies and gave a few other tips that can be useful in that process. There I also briefly mention how to deal with the nastier types of parasites.

Let me elaborate a little from that post. There are different kinds of parasitic energies and they are more or less difficult to handle. Here are three common types that I have encountered:

  • Lazy parasites. These are quite unconscious and are more like slugs or ticks. They suck energy from the host and give them bad thoughts and habits, but they are not aggressive or consciously manipulative. Such energies can give laziness, low self-esteem and such. They are quite easy to remove and won’t put up a fight.
  • Past life parasites. Trauma from past lives can take on the form of parasitic energies in this life. It is more conscious than the lazy parasite and can be both communicative and manipulative.
  • Demons. A demon is conscious, communicative, very manipulative and can be very aggressive. They are also parasites, since they feed off the person’s energy, but in other aspects they are quite different from the two other that I have mentioned. I have a feeling that demons are souls that are part of the human reincarnation cycle, but I’m still missing some parts of the puzzle.
Eliminating bad energies

Good and bad are human concepts. At another level of consciousness good and bad cease to exist. Things simply are. For the human soul there is no such thing as good or bad. There are simply different experiences and the soul wants to experience them all. Before we are born our soul will choose many of the experiences we have in life and it will not only chose the happy stuff. It will choose sickness, abuse, addiction, poverty, hunger and stigma too, simply to have the experience and by that also the possibility to draw lessons from it.

Wanting to eradicate what we conceive as “bad” is a very human thought. No, we cannot eradicate parasitic energies, but we can free people of parasites and by doing so we can also help such energies to evolve and become something other than what they are right now, or become “good” in the long run, to put it in human terms.

Photo: Adrian ii by Joel Bombardier on Flickr

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In an air-raid shelter

The woman hugs her jam-packed backpack.

She sits nestled in the basement along with some 20 others during yet another bombing. One bomb falls so close that the dust in the basement is sent whirling. The woman jumps up in panic, throws on her backpack and gets a hold of a sledgehammer. Between the basement and the neighbouring house’s basement there is an escape hole in the wall which is provisionally sealed up. She brings the sledgehammer to it with all her strength. In her eyes the look of a panicked animal.

– Calm down, the person in charge of the house during the bombing tells her. We don’t know whether the bomb struck this or the neighbouring house.
The woman turns around in anger.
– That is easy for you to say, she hisses. You have nothing to lose. You only own rags and junk. I, however, I have a backpack full of valuables.

Photo: The bombing of Dreden during the second world war.

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Spirit in the glass (Ouija)

When I first got in contact with the spirit world friends introduced me through the Spirit in the glass (Ouija). It was my very first tool for such contacts and it is also one that I have used extensively. Nowadays I have other tools that I rather use to make contact, but I still think that the Spirit of the glass has many strengths.

The tool is very simple. You need a glass, a large piece of paper, pens, a candle and friends. In its simplest form you draw circles for all letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0 to 9, a yes circle, a no circle and a start circle. Then you heat the glass, place it upside down on the start-circle, everyone places a finger on the glass and then you invite spirits to talk to you. If you manage to make a strong contact, the spirits will spell out answers with your help by moving the glass over the paper and stopping on certain circles.

A tool for contacting the spirit world

Spirit in the glass is without a doubt a tool for genuine spirit contacts, but it is also one that is surrounded by many strange ideas.

I think it is important to point out that the board, although it may seem very fancy and magical, is merely a tool. Like all tools it has strengths and weaknesses, it has merits and limitations. The tool itself is neither bad nor good. It just is. Our use of it may however be bad or good, respectful or disrespectful, loving or free of love. Choose to have a good intention and to do good.

Spirit in the glass is a tool for spirit contacts. If you do not seek such contacts you should not use the tool. If you want to have genuine contacts in a simple way I would however recommend Spirit in the glass, since it is safe, including and educational. Of course, one should be respectful and serious, but if one is so the risks are small.

Some strengths

Easy to understand and use. It requires no prior experience and most people can partake after a brief introduction.

Educational. Many reach a better understanding when they themselves are involved in channelling. Spirit in the glass is a good tool for practicing one’s ability to channel in other ways.

Including group activity. Everyone can participate and contribute. Compared with, for example, a group séance there will be less focus on one person and more on the group. It works well together with friends.

Some drawbacks

Slow. Other ways of channelling are significantly faster, but are also less educational, including and require specific skills/talents. The amount of information that comes through the glass is limited, but it is common that participants receive more through other channels.

Does not work for people who are shut off. People who are shut off to such experiences are usually not interested in channelling. If they are part of it, it usually manifests as problems in connecting or that the glass won’t move.

Contacts with the spirit world

One should approach the spiritual world with the same respect that you yourself would expect. For example I wouldn’t find it respectful to take such contacts when drunk, to ask silly questions or to treat it like a game. Be respectful and serious, but by all means do have a sense of humour.

I feel that it is ultimately the participants’ attitude and ability to work with the contact that determines how good it will be. There are those who are very ceremonial and sometimes quite theatrical when contacting the other side. When done properly it can help participants to find a common focus, but it is also possible to find focus in other ways, such as with a common goal for the contact.

The spirit world is populated by many types of entities and they often have their own agendas. An overwhelming majority of the spirits that I have been in contact with were pleasant and helpful. Only a few contacts have been pushy, manipulative or nasty. What you need to do when you attract one of those is to clearly say that it is not welcome, and to end the conversation.

Also, remember not to ask questions that you do not want to know the answer to.

Inviting the spirits

How you express yourself when inviting the spirits is important. If you open up by asking “Is anyone there?”, then anyone will answer. By being more specific you can avoid unpleasant experiences with spirits you don’t wish to have any contact with. Sometimes you have a specific person in mind, but you can also be more general in your invitation, such as “Is there anyone here that belongs to me?”.

A friend once compared the situation to a waiting room. All spirits who potentially want to talk to us are waiting there, good and bad. If you have a spirit contact that you trust, that spirit can act as a receptionist in the waiting room and only let good contacts pass. I often find however that our loved ones on the other side are so keen on talking to us that bad energies rarely get through.


If you are afraid of contacts with the other side, if you think that such things are frightening or if you are worried about attracting negative energies – then don’t try to get in contact with the spirit world. If you are invited to a séance, say no.

If you know someone who you know is scared – do not invite that person to a séance.

If you know that it is ok for you to have such contacts, but that you need to protect yourself – then protect yourself.

If you know that you can have such contacts without any special protection – then it is so.

Read more on the topic of fear and protection here.

Different roles when doing Spirit in the glass

Channel. Some in your group might be more psychic than others. If that is the case the energy will most likely primarily go through them and they might be given additional information.

Leader. It is useful to have someone who is good at keeping the group together and get everyone working in the same direction.

Questioner. It is good to send questions through one person, so that you don’t end up asking different questions at once. You can have one person asking the questions or alternate.

Secretary. It is often appreciated that someone has written down the answers you get. Have someone take notes.

Helper on the other side. With time you will find spirit helpers who want to work specifically with you. In many cases it is an old relative or such. They are often good at locating specific spirits that you want to talk to and can keep bad energies away.

How to do it

  • Be safe. Do it with people and in a context where you feel safe. Agree to support and be honest with each other, and not to ask questions that you do not want to know the answers to. Work in a state of mind which is good for spiritual work – calm, focused and sober.
  • Have several friends along. The more people, the more energy, the easier it is to establish contact with the other side.
  • Set aside time and be sure not to be interrupted. Channelling is a nice evening activity, but can be done during all hours. Before you begin you should turn off everything that demands your attention, such as your radio, television, computer and mobile phone.
  • Create a suitable atmosphere. I like to dim the lights, have lit candles and clear the table of everything else.
Working with the board
  • Place the board on the table.
  • Heat the glass over the candle and place it upside down on the start-circle.
  • Have everyone place one finger on the glass; I suggest the left index finger.
  • Have one person invite the contacts that you want and should have.
  • Allow it to come. Sometimes the glass may need a little nudge to get started.
  • Have someone take notes.
  • End the conversation by simply saying thank you, as you would with an ordinary person.
  • If you want to continue you can then invite the next spirit contact. If you want to quit, say thank you, turn the glass over and put out the light.
A few more tips
  • If you want to contact the spirit world it is of great benefit to be properly grounded. If you stand firmly you can go much further in your contact.
  • A person can be good at receiving messages from the spirit world without actually being able to comprehend or interpret them. I have met several people who have a strong contact and find it easy to hear the messages, but who are confused in their interpretations.
  • Scary energies are especially drawn to scared people. It is my experience that such entities are like shadows. They cannot really hurt you, but they can scare you so that you hurt yourself. If you are afraid I think you should refrain from such contacts until you become braver.
  • If someone is the main channel, it is common that that person gets tired first, since s/he is supporting with the most energy.
  • flerafingrarIf you are few participants you can give the glass more energy by placing two fingers on the glass (index and middle finger) or even four fingers (for example, index finger and middle finger of both hands).
  • If it feels like the glass is stuck or pressed against the table, try have the participants remove their fingers one at a time. Sometimes a sceptic will block the energy without even being aware of it. When this has happened to me it has been ok for the person to stay in the room, but without touching the glass.
  • Add circles for repeated contacts. In this way the spirit does not need to spell out the name, but can simply go to their circle to show who it is.
  • Be creative and intuitive when designing your board. I have made many modifications to the original version, some of which have been very good and others unnecessary. Good modifications, for example, have been the circles with smileys and the circles with the words perhaps, irrelevant and both. I added circles for the four elements, but they have been superfluous.
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First LSA trip with a client

Anders notes

When I came to Daniel in the middle of the day I did not felt very good. I had some anxiety which I had for about a week. Now I was in my low state, I felt afraid that I would meet terrible feelings during the session, think that Daniel was my enemy and run off. I had a lot of expectations and some fears. Among other things I thought that I would revisit terrible traumas from my childhood, get stuck in them and go home with even more pain. It turned out that none of those fears or thoughts would come true!

We drank tea and talked for a few hours, among other things about safety, and the anxiety disappeared. Daniel did a tarot reading regarding the dose, and a little about what to expect of the trip, which was inspiring! We used nine seeds each. We prepared the session by crushing the seeds and making cold tea from the crumbs. We sat on a pillow on the floor and invited the entities we wanted help and support from during the session. Daniel did a shamanic purification ceremony with smoke from a special type of wood. (Palo Santo)

We drank our tea and it tasted quite ok. After only 15 minutes I started to feel the effect – I felt somewhat dizzy/sluggish, drowsy and a bit cozy. After a while Daniel thought it was time to meditate with the substance, so we lay down and closed our eyes. I felt curious and also afraid of the new, unknown and “dangerous”, but that soon passed and I slept some.

After a few hours it was time to venture out into the forest. I felt that my body was very sluggish and that I was sleepy. As soon as I got the opportunity I sat down and rested. We dressed in our warmest clothes and went out. I felt a little afraid that I would look drugged or sound drugged when I talked. I worried that the neighbors might see and hear us, but there was no danger and everything went well. I felt so tired that it took much effort for me to walk. Finally we sat down by a sheep pasture.

Daniel asked me to lie down and bury my hands in the grass to make contact with the earth, and then to hand over all that which I no longer needed or which no longer benefited me to the earth. I spoke loudly, and Daniel walked a little further to give me space. The tiredness disappeared. I did as he said, and it felt ok, but I was not 100 percent there. After a while I was absorbed by a thought: I did not want to remain in my relationship! I felt really scared that it might be true and that I would need to break up!

I went to Daniel and told him about my thought, and was very surprised to immediately be given confirmation that I need to make this tough decision in order to be true to myself, develop and feel good. Of course I could make other choices, such as choosing security and convenience, and they were in no way inferior, but they would not lead me to where I really want to go. What I realized later was that Daniel was channeling my higher self. His voice was quite different, and the answers he gave to my questions were so confident and calm, and I noticed that I actually already had all the answers.

As soon as I felt convinced that it was “right” for me to leave my relationship the next terrifying thought appeared: would I have to give up my main occupation? I was aware that it is a bit destructive for me, but it is also very rewarding and what would I do instead? With the same confidence Daniel affirmed my fear and I realized once again that I already had the answer within, but did not dare listen and follow my conviction. Both of these things seemed enormously frightening and painful to me, but I felt that there was no other way for me if I want to get closer to myself, find my strength and create my own life.

There were many questions and I got good answers to everything except that which was too much in the details. Even though I felt terrified to have to tell my girlfriend, employer and everyone else about my decisions, which to some must seem absolutely crazy, I was relieved to finally dare to trust my inner voice. I even laughed several times when I realized how true it was, and how I had tricked myself in different ways! Daniel’s explanations were so obvious, and I felt very fascinated by our conversation. I also felt very present and in safe hands.

When I eventually ran out of questions we went for a walk in the woods, to finally get back inside. I thought it was nice, but I felt the drowsiness coming back, even if the effect of the seeds was much weaker than a few hours earlier. I was assigned to write down everything I was grateful for with my girlfriend, and once I got started I was no longer disturbed by the otherwise rather heavy fatigue. I wrote several pages of things that I am grateful for, and it felt incredibly sad that I would leave a woman who has done so much for me, and who I love. There were doubts, but I realized why I have to leave her. There are things that I have to learn, process, and I cannot do so while I’m with her. What happens later in life remains un-written.

We once again laid down and went on channeling. I was very present and focused. I noted that I really had not had any hallucinations or distorted perception of time or similar effects throughout the session. I understand that sessions with psychedelics can be very different, but this was certainly not what I had expected!

I slept very little that night, and I felt alone with my big challenges. The thoughts whirled around and I was afraid to be perceived as strange by my parents, relatives, friends, colleagues and so on. How can I leave a woman who is so amazing in every possible way, and how can I leave a job that is so fun, desirable and income generating?

I’ve actually done this once before, about 15 years ago. I left my wife and my job at the same time, because it did not feel right in the heart. It was incredibly hard at the time, and it took time to get back on my feet again, but with hindsight I don’t regret it the slightest. Imagine that I would make the same mistake again! Obviously I have not learnt to fully believe in my inner voice yet.

In the morning Daniel was talking as himself again. We talked for a while, ate breakfast, and did a tarot reading, among other things, to gain perspective on what had happened and what will happen, what my biggest problem is (lack of intuition) and how to solve it. Daniel recommended me not to seek other therapies or therapists right now, since it would not benefit me and my development. Most likely I would not take more trips with him in the near future, because I had enough to do with the insights that the session had given me. We thanked each other and with that this amazing, transformative and almost surreal trip was over.

It baffles me that so much could happen in just one session! Now begins the process of taking care of the external reality and manifesting all that the session taught me!

The Woods by Boudewijn Berends on Flickr
The Woods by Boudewijn Berends on Flickr

Daniels notes

As usual I talk to my client (Anders) about how we best manage difficult situations on psychedelics and how we interact to make the situation as safe as possible. We are working with Hawaiian Baby Woodrose and together we decide on a dose of nine seeds.

To avoid the heavy body load that I experienced when I chewed the seeds we crush and make tea of them, putting the pulverized seeds in teabags and letting them soak in cold water for 30 minutes. That process is supposed to extract the active substance, but leave some substances that are heavy on the body. The water became murky green.

After having purified ourselves, we created a sacred place and called in the four archangels Ishmael, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael, as well as friendly nature spirits. Then we drank the tea.

● ● ●

00:15  The effect comes very quickly. I feel a slight nausea.

00:35  We lay down to meditate with the seeds. I ask the plant several times to reveal itself to me, but it is evasive. The only thing I can see is a mask that looks to be African or West Indian. The plant asks me to lay in different positions for it to work through my entire body.

02:15  A very short purge (vomit) and then a very creative flow.

02:30  Anders remains in meditation, but asks where I am. He says it would have been easy to just be cozy and continue to lie down, which is one reason why we set an intention and decided that we would go out before taking the trip. This is obviously something that applies throughout life. If you have no intention it is easy to lapse into passivity. He comes along even though he isn’t really keen on it.

approx. 04:00  We are in the woods and I have told Anders to lie down, bury his hands in the grass and let go of anything he no longer wants to mother earth. I lie and do the same some 20 meters away, to give him privacy so he can speak loudly. After 5-10 minutes, he asks if he can come over to me. He has a question.

I connect and begin channeling answers to him. Initially it isn’t entirely clear from where the messages are coming, but they are to the point and obviously correct. After finding that it is neither plant, nature, angels or I speaking, I reach the conclusion that it is his higher self that is speaking through me.

In addition to the answers his higher self emphasizes two things that go together. One is that everything in his life is based on his own free will. He has the power to choose what kind of life he wants to create and live. The second, which is a natural consequence, is that it is his own choice if he wants to do as his higher self advises. His higher self advises him to end his relationship, his job and move out to the woods, but points out that the advice is based on what is best for his healing and growth. He can make the choice to rather emphasize such things as security and convenience, and those choices would in no way be better or worse than any other choice. They are just different choices that lead to different life paths.

approx. 06-08: 00  We go home and I ask Anders to write down the things he has to be grateful for with his girlfriend. Then we continue channeling, but unlike the situation in the woods, I am now passing along equal parts from his higher self and of my own knowledge. The effect is still strong.

10:15  We go to bed. The effect is still very noticeable.

● ● ●

In conclusion it is much easier for the body to absorb the LSA when you first make cold tea of the seeds. However, it does seem to take away a little of the effect. I guess that nine crushed seeds is the equal of seven chewed seeds.

I can see that LSA has a therapeutic and shamanic potential, but I do not understand why it is hiding from me. I do not feel that it is the plant itself that helps the work, but rather it is my ability to use the psychedelic state which makes LSA a useful substance.

Photo: The woods by Boudewijn Berends on Flickr

Thanks to Azarius for sponsring me with the seeds:
Azarius_general_728x90_ENAzarius bannerYou can also visit Azarius new Swedish website here.

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The challenge of change

When you decide to change you will almost always be challenged. The mechanism is simple. There is something within you which want to remain oblivious and which does not want to change. It sees change as a threat, which is quite logical since change means that you will sacrifice some part of yourself.

In the very beginning of the process of change there is often a moment of lucidity where it is very clear why you need to change. You are awoken from unawareness, sober up and at least momentarily see things clearly. You manage to regain focus, promise yourself to change and begin working on yourself.

But then comes that which wants everything to remain as it has been and it hinders you in several ways. It invites forgetfulness back and clouds our vision. If we allow it we will soon no longer see things clearly and we will forget why we even felt the need to change in the first place. It will trick us to lose focus by distracting us. “Sure, this is all very important, but you ought to do this first” the deceptive voice whispers and serves up a smorgasbord of other things to focus on. It frightens us by explaining what a disaster it would be if we really changed. It might even convince us that it will literally be the end of us.

Once you see clearly, hold on to that vision. Stay focused and remind yourself why you need to change. Stay focused and do not let yourself be distracted by everything else that you are suddenly bombarded with. Go straight into the fear. You might be scared, but fear is an illusion. Be focused on the change you need to do. Be focused on the promise you have given to yourself.

Only then will you move forward.

Photo: jona by Adriano Agulló on Flickr

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Beware of religion

In a previous life I was a good Christian. The branch of Christianity I belonged to did however not believe in a Bible, in churches or priests. Instead it taught everyone to cultivate their personal connection to God and Isaac (Jesus). When one has that connection there is no need for anything else, because you have access to all the answers. Then there is no need for others to interpret God’s will for you, because you know God’s will, and therefore there is also no possibility for them to manipulate you with religion for their own human goals.

Then came the Roman Catholic Church and slaughtered us all. They killed every single one of us, even the infants, in an attempt to eradicate us – in an attempt to keep people from having their own contact with the highest divine and thus becoming aware of how corrupt people try to trick us using religion.

In this life I was brought up strictly Atheist and with a great dislike for religion. As I found spirituality and grew into accepting angels, Isaac and even God, I didn’t at first understand why that dislike didn’t subside. With time it became clearer to me how detrimental religion is to spirituality. The highest divine has pointed this out to me in so many ways. Religion is a shadow aspect created by people to assert power over others, mainly using fear.

Let me give you an example. Isaac has told me several times that reincarnation is real. This was common knowledge in early Christianity and the cyclic motion of life can be observed in nature all around us. One should understand that when it comes to matters of spirituality, angels, Isaac (Jesus) and God, the Bible is not a reliable source. But still, it is of interest to point out that the early Christian scriptures had plenty of references to reincarnation – but they were all stricken and anyone that held fast to the knowledge of reincarnation was condemned as a heretic and killed.

Now why is that? In whose interest is it that people have the misconception that we only live one life? This of course goes hand in hand with the misconception that those who are compliant and do as they are told by the church are going to heaven, while those that don’t are going to hell. These are not teachings derived from Isaac or God. These are dark illusions drawn up by manipulative corrupt people who will go out of their way to slaughter anyone who has a true connection to the source, in order to maintain their power over others.

I am a channel for Archangels, Isaac (Jesus) and God, among others. With the knowledge I have received from them I can tell you this with certainty: if you are into religion you are most likely being manipulated for human purposes.

If you are searching for true spirituality and a genuine contact with the highest divine, you need to break free and find your own contact. You can of course do that together with others, but don’t accept other people’s interpretations as truths and look out for manipulations.

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A future for addiction treatment

After several blog posts where I have explained how profoundly detrimental today’s drug laws are and how legalization could work, it feels important to write something about addiction treatment after such a paradigm shift.

The question is: what kind of addiction treatment do we want to see in the future? But before I go into that, I first want to say something about addiction and addicts.

What is addiction?

No name by Christian Scheja on Flickr
No name by Christian Scheja on Flickr

I define addiction as something compulsive where the person despite serious negative consequences is not capable of changing their behaviour. Addiction is often surrounded by a lack of awareness about ones problems, or an unwillingness to face them.

Note that such a definition can be applied to very many things in life, not only substances. It is common for people to abuse relationships, sex, games, television or food, just to name a few. It is especially important to emphasize that addiction is never inherent to what is being abused, but is something in the addict him/herself.

When people talk about substance abuse in the public debate, it is easy to get the idea that the substance is the cause of addiction, because as soon as anyone uses an illegal substance they are seen as addicts. That is a profoundly erroneous notion that hinders a sensible understanding and good care. Anyone who has sex is not a sex addict. Similarly, not everyone who smokes cannabis is a drug addict. If there is no compulsive behaviour and serious negative consequences, they are merely using the substance. Sending a cannabis user to treatment is as stupid as treating someone who has a healthy relationship with food for bulimia.

The addiction is always in the person. We relieve addiction by helping people to heal their problems, not by chasing substances. If we manage to remove the substance without solving the underlying problem, then the addiction will simply jump and start using another substance or any other area of life. Then nothing is won, because the process of freeing oneself starts over.

What makes an addict?

One can probably find many features that characterize addicts, but these are two that I have seen in all addicts I’ve met.

Fleeing. Behind the addiction is a fear of meeting something within oneself or in the surrounding. It can often be such things as old traumas, abuse, problematic upbringing, shame or guilt. There may also be a fear of actually being as good as one can be. In such cases the abuse becomes a self-sabotage, which is also a way to flee, even if it is from a situation that is potentially better than the one the person is in.

Loss of control. This is the compulsive aspect that I talked about earlier. The situation has spiralled out of control. However, I think that it is incorrect to say that the drugs or someone else has taken control. All power in a person’s life originates from that person. If anything or anyone else is in power, it is because the person has given it away, but often that is not the case. Instead the power is still there but is not being used. Regardless of which, the long term solution is to rediscover and exercise power in one’s life; that is to reintroduce control.

But moving on to addiction treatment.

Help me outta here! Thanks! by Gerry Thomasen on Flickr
Help me outta here! Thanks! by Gerry Thomasen on Flickr

I want as many people as possible get the help they need to recover from addiction. That is not happening today. Instead the support that is being given is often contradictory, since society stigmatizes addicts and prevents or even sabotages the recovery process.

Education. The best prevention* that I can think of is to give young people the tools to deal with difficult situations, resolve trauma and rid themselves of such issues that might make them want to flee. We need to start working on personal development, so that we can identify and deal with the reasons why people want to flee from themselves. When there is no longer a need to flee, the fleeing will stop.

Our society works quite differently today. We learn to avoid that which scares us, rather than to face and deal with it. We prefer to distract or sedate ourselves rather than facing the discomfort. Antidepressant medication is a typical example of this, as it puts the lid on the symptoms instead of curing the cause. I’m not saying that antidepressants are never needed. They can be a very valuable emergency response, but the prolonged mass medication that we see today is a direct result of people not having the tools to deal with the unpleasantness that they encounter in life.

Addiction treatment. I want to see addiction treatment that is much more accessible and less stigmatizing than the one we have today. Reaching out for help should be a small step and help should be available to anyone who seeks it. The aim of treatment should primarily be to tackle the root causes of the addiction and since it is a disease it should be financed within the health care system, but should include more methods of treatment than those available today.

* By preventative work I do not mean to discourage people from using substances. I mean to prepare people to face life in such a way that they do not need to use substances to flee from themselves and thereby end up in an addiction.

Main photo: The Help by Marina del Castell on Flickr

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Life is motion

When water stands still it becomes stale and polluted.
When the body stands still it is overcome by worries and fears.
When a person sits still she becomes ill.

Life is movement.
Life is striving.
Life wants to be lived.
A life that stands still is about to wither away and die.

When I’m sick, scared or worried,
when I gave up, stand still and begin to wither,
that’s when I most desperately need to move.
That’s when I need to walk, run, dance,
swim, rip my clothes off and sing.

Please, help me to remember that.

Photo: Manoa by Daniel Zedda on Flickr

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Universal wisdom

“Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who return to the force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

– Wow! Is that Osho?
– No, it’s Yoda.

Photo: parallel worlds by Alice Popkorn on Flickr

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