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Greetings everyone. First off I want to say how happy I was to find this community and the tremendous amount of positivity I felt just reading through a few random threads here.
Years ago in college I was exposed to yoga, tai chi and meditation. I was immediately very attracted to how those practices made me feel mentally and physically, felt like they helped me strive for more positive thinking and healthy habits in my life, and practiced all 3 to a moderate degree for a couple of years.
Now almost 30, and a couple of failed relationships and professional struggles deep, I have become pretty far-removed from those practices and the benefits I once felt from them. I smoke an average of 10 cigarettes per day, smoke marijuana daily, have acid reflux, and have chronic back injury problems. I have actually been unable to work for the last couple of months because of a herniated disc in my spine. I have begun physical therapy for this, which is helping, but I digress.
Aside from my poor habits and addictions, I am overall happy in my life. Actually, I feel that during my short time experimenting (if I'm honest with myself, experimenting is really the extent of my experience) with those practices, I developed something of an emotional foundation that seems to "catch" me during periods of sadness or depression. This is a foundation that I don't believe I would have if I had never discovered any Buddhist practice.
For all of these reasons, I am ready to be humble and be humbled. I am ready to make a serious attempt to take my life back and really take control of my daily routines again. I know that no one can do these things for me, that I have to develop the strength and discipline to make the changes myself and solidify them as part of my daily life. That said, I am also admittedly afraid and anxious to let go of my addictions. Honestly, I am sweating and very uncomfortable right now just thinking about not having nicotine and THC in my system. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit this, but on most days they are the first thing I turn to in the morning.
I guess I really am just wondering if any of you have any suggestions or advice for me on how to begin. Like I said, although I experimented with meditation, yoga, and tai-chi in my earlier days, I was really never educated on any of them past a beginner level, and simply practiced a "plateaued" beginner version of them for the 2-3 years that I continued with them. In other words I never continued learning, and slowly allowed them to fade from my life and be replaced by bad decisions.
I would really appreciate any feedback that anyone has to offer. Color me a "blank slate" open to learn. Thank you, and I wish peace and love upon all of you.