When I was invited to the Breitenbush 12-step Buddhist retreat, I was hesitant. Being that I am a member of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, I thought I would not relate to others. I went with three alcoholics in recovery and I have always felt like the odd ball out.
As a food addict, I always have to be prepared with my own food, which sometimes takes away from connecting with others during meal times. Breitenbush was a perfect place for a food addict to eat out. Everyone was very conscious about others’ food needs. I still have past insecurities about my food that like to pop-up sometimes, especially when eating with others, but I felt very much a part of and safe. Ultimately this retreat allowed me to open up my boundaries to other addicts. I have been practicing saying to people “the light in me see’s the light in you.” Remembering to acknowledge people in my mind. I really learned that I am “home” through group work. I learned how to breathe, and how to not stay in fight or flight mode. This retreat covered the physical, mental and spiritual realms. It was super fun, with many jokes, and great authentic people. The substance doesn’t matter, the emotions do, and it works when you work it. I will be very grateful to attend one of Darren’s retreats in the future.