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The 12-Step Buddhist Podcast

Aug 13, 2023

The Dysregulated Addict: Finding Spiritual Regulation Series Pt. 5
The 12-Step Buddhist Podcast Episode 100

Part 5: Mindfulness for Addicts with ACEs 

The Impact of ACEs on the Brain and the Path to Addiction**

Remember our journey through the nervous system, the dance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic, the weight of allostatic load, the boundaries of the window of tolerance? Now, let's delve into ACEs, the unseen wounds that shape us, the scars that linger in our brains, our hearts, our very souls.

**Understanding ACEs:**
- **Definition and Types:** Physical abuse, emotional scars, a home where chaos reigns. These are ACEs, wounds that shape us, echoes of the storms we explored in the nervous system. They are the unseen baggage we carry, the ghosts that haunt our minds.
- **Prevalence:** You're not alone. Millions bear these scars, these memories that refuse to fade. They linger, affecting our health, our relationships, our very essence, adding to the allostatic load we discussed earlier.

**The Neurobiology of ACEs:**
- **Brain Structure and Function:** Imagine your brain, a delicate machine, wired for love, trust, joy. Now imagine it altered, scarred by trauma. The prefrontal cortex, the seat of reason, impaired. The hippocampus, the keeper of memories, wounded. It's not just science; it's a tragedy played out in the very fabric of our being.
- **Stress Response System:** A child in constant fear, a body always ready to fight or flee. The stress hormones flood, the balance is lost, and the dance becomes a battle. It's the window of tolerance, shattered and fragmented. It's not just biology; it's a daily struggle for peace, for normality.

This is the path of bodhisattvas, yogis and Buddhists in recovery.
"You can judge me, but please take what's in my hand."

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Compassionate Recovery: Mindful Healing for Trauma and Addictions
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