My name is Paul and I’m a recovering addict of 7 years. I found my way into the ‘rooms’ on the 7th July 2010 and they helped me to keep clean and slowly build the resilience to participate in a clean life.


My addiction though goes well beyond excessive intake of mind-altering substances. Drink and Drugs are the symptom, not the disease. And it was with Clearmind International and their Awakening workshop that I took the first steps to uncovering and correcting the real problem in my life – which to cut to the chase – is my relationship with myself and, as a consequence, others too.


I discovered that I carry a deep-seated belief, or as Clearmind call it a “Suspicion of Self” (S0S), that I am a Joke, born from events that happened way back in early childhood. And the way I viewed the world, and the acts of others in it, were all clouded by this belief. I saw what I believed.


And thus my thoughts, feelings and behaviours were negatively influenced as a result. I looked for evidence that my belief was true, I self sabotaged to prove it true. I wore a mask in public, felt a fake and so absolutely knew it to be true.


And as I aged, the belief got stronger and stronger. I spiralled and substances provided escape and relief from this pain.


The Awakening is just that.  It’s like taking the Red Pill (see The Matrix!).  It gave me the insight into the game I was playing with myself, so I could be in a position to correct it.


And then I did the hard bit. I corrected.  Our SOS is generated in relationship, in a state of high emotion. And so that’s where correction needed to happen too.


I sat with the shameful feelings that emanate from the SOS and then I connected vulnerably with others human beings, whom I previously judged as my judges, and shared what was going on for me.


And guess what?  They were able to help me see that my belief wasn’t true.  That what I believe, feel and ultimately see, isn’t real.


As the SOS lifted, so did how I saw the world. And when my perception changed, my thoughts, feelings and actions changed too.


Today I don’t need relief. I don’t need drink and drugs anymore. Because name is Paul, and I am seriously good.