The Olympic Spirit

Today felt more “right” than any day for about two weeks. I woke up at 8:45, after sleeping through both my 7:30 and 8:00 alarms. But instead of feeling irritated with myself the way I could have, I just thought, Ok, I guess I must have needed a bit more sleep. From that point on, I did what drew me. What felt…for lack of a better word…”right”.

I did my meds. I ate breakfast. I checked email and social media. I meditated, did my Tai Chi. Then, I decided to make myself a makeshift punching-bag so that I could practice my hand and foot strikes with a target. It is a little flimsy, but better than nothing. After that I did some light weight-lifting, then had lunch.

After lunch I counted out all my remaining subutex pills, and came up with a taper that will take 13 days starting today. In the past, that would have made me anxious, in fact, it would have probably ruined my day. But it actually felt like an enormous relief to work out exactly how much longer I have to take this medication. Knowing that in just a couple weeks I will be done with them, and at the same time, knowing that I had plenty to create a long, smooth taper.

After that I made a couple necessary phone calls, and then felt the need to just rest for a few minutes.

A bit later in the afternoon, I helped my aunt make the dough for tonight’s gluten-free, vegan pizza! It was surprisingly easy and tasted fantastic. We put tomato sauce, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, vegan sausage, spinach, and tomatoes. It turned out great, and we made two pizzas, enough to feed nine people (the Dharma Portland Association of which my aunt and uncle are very involved, had a meeting at our house this evening).

Later on I helped top the pizzas, set the table, and do a few other things to prepare for the meeting. Everyone showed up, and I stayed to chat and to eat dinner, but then left once the meeting began. I went downstairs and watched some of the Olympic opening ceremony (which is still going on).

And now I sit here writing this while I watch the UK delegation make its way around the stadium to the thunderous applause of thousands of people.

I won’t get into my thoughts about the opening ceremony. Instead I’ll just say a couple words about how I feel about the Olympics in general.

To me, the Olympics symbolize the peace and prosperity of our planet as a whole. As many nations as possible come together to compete, allowing the athletes a chance for personal achievement and all of us a chance for national pride. It could be divisive, and in fact it has been at times in history. But today, in London in 2012, much of the world arrives in Southern England with no animosity toward one another.

The Olympics brings together the nations of the world in harmony and peace but with a spirit of competition, hard work, and inspiration. It is, to me, the most compelling of all sporting events. I look forward to watching as many events as possible, and I know you will be seeing more posts of mine in the future, relating the events of the Olympics to my life and to life in general. Tonight, I am inspired by Olympic spirit – of challenging yourself to achieve more than anyone thought possible.

Perhaps just thinking about that will help inspire me to push through the experience of tapering myself off the subutex, and the discomfort that comes with that.

In the past, I have always told myself that I couldn’t do it. That the withdrawal process was too difficult. That “every time I try, I always fail.” But this time, I go into the process with the knowledge that I can succeed. That I am capable. And that despite any difficulty (or perhaps because of the difficulty), I will rise to the occasion and win through to freedom – to throw off the chains of dependence and truly become the person I am meant to be.

What challenges might you face in the coming weeks? Could you derive any inspiration from the Olympic spirit? What does it mean to you to overcome an obstacle and to obtain freedom, peace, and harmony?

Think about those questions as we watch them answered over and over again by men and women from around the world as they dazzle us with their athletic prowess, with their internal drive and incredible determination of spirit.

Goodnight, and peace to you,

-Nathan

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2 responses to “The Olympic Spirit

  1. I’m glad to hear that you have a plan to get off your subutex as painlessly as possible. It may still be quite difficult, but with the right plan and the right attitude you can do it. You may not have a stadium full of people, but do have a great number of people cheering you on. Good luck on your quest for health and freedom. We’ll all be here on the other side, waiting to embrace you and your new life.

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