Once an addict has recognised and acknowledged that he or she is suffering from an addiction, it becomes much easier to address the issue. But when that individual has managed to overcome his or her illness, the potential threat of addiction relapse always looms; however, if the affected person has something to occupy him/herself with, such as a hobby, he or she is less likely to succumb. This was certainly the case for former heroin addict Terence Teven, who was so dependent on the drug that he said he was left ‘physically and mentally broken’. Terence took up Bikram yoga, and since then, has led a drug-free and happy life – and he has plans to keep it this way!
‘Physically and Mentally Broken’
Terence’s devastating addiction to heroin for more than twenty years completely destroyed his life; his confidence was shattered, and his health was deteriorating rapidly. It was at this point that he realised something had to change, so he turned to yoga as a way of coping; he has not looked back since. He said, “I would never have considered yoga, but I would have tried anything to help my recovery. I am so glad I did it. Heroin had virtually destroyed my life. I was completely broken. I could barely walk; I ate very little, and my self-esteem had gone. I was ashamed and destitute.”
Speaking of when he first joined a Bikram yoga class, he said, “When I first went to the class, my head was down, and I couldn’t even make eye contact, but then I stood up straight for the first time in years. It gave me an inner confidence. I want people to know that you can recover from long-term drug abuse, and yoga can be beneficial in recovery. It has done so much for me.”
Terence is now a student at a Bikram yoga studio in Glasgow, which is run by Lou Prendergast. Lou only started teaching due to a chronic illness that left her close to death, and she credits yoga with helping her recover. She said, “I am the living proof that it is possible to push yourself and to achieve great things through this practice, even with a chronic illness. If I had just been sitting in the house, taking medication and feeling lonely, that would have been hard. When I was younger, I was a party animal. I had my kids early and so anytime I had a break, I was off for a party. It was fun, but what happens when the party is over?”
She went on to say, “I think my life was a bit superficial. Yoga and meditation brought me some clarity and helped me to get to know myself better. I decided that if people weren’t treating me properly, there wasn’t room for them in my life, but I also realised that I had been judgmental and critical at times and I needed to be more tolerant.”
Lou added, “For me, teaching yoga is not about what you can do with your arms and legs, it’s about what’s in your heart. Mine is not the perfect practice with the deepest expression of all the postures. I’m the teacher who is an example of the therapeutic benefits of Bikram yoga, empathising with the less-than-perfect, those with medical issues, older students, those feeling depressed or lacking self-confidence. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing students progress in their practice. You can go to the gym and work your muscles out, but yoga does something more than that. It puts you in balance with yourself. It encourages tolerance and empathy. It has been working for thousands of years so there must be something in it.”
Speaking of Terence and his recovery, she said, “The change in him was remarkable. He was someone who was closed, shutting everyone out, then his eyes began to open, his skin got better, his posture improved and his personality returned. In Western society, we tend to reach only for medication, and that leaves out a whole part of our welfare. There are people sitting in the house on antidepressants or recreational drugs because they are unhappy, and many of them could be helped by yoga.”
She believes that Terence will remain drug-free for the rest of his life now due to his new way of life and that the possibility of an addiction relapse is slim to none. This is excellent progress – from someone who abused heroin daily for twenty years to completely drug-free in just eighteen months is extremely impressive.
An individual may overcome his or her addiction, but their loved ones could still be concerned about them and worry that they may suffer from an addiction relapse. If this sounds like a similar situation to the one you are in, then do not hesitate to contact us here at Addiction Helper. We will ensure that your loved one is looked after and knows that they will be fully supported on their journey to recovery. We work with many treatment centres around the UK that offer a range of excellent treatments to ensure that your loved one has the best chance of getting sober and staying that way. For additional information or any enquiries, then get in touch with us today.
Source: Drug addict left physically and mentally broken by 20 years of heroin abuse turns life around with YOGA (Mirror.co.uk)