Monday, June 25, 2012

Education

This topic is very important to the work I do for others. I'm constantly preaching to my clients and others who may be struggling, that one of the best routines for people who are in recovery is going back to school. When self is balanced, school can be part of the balance, self is working their routine in a positive way. Self needs to learn how to kill their day, meaning, stay busy, and achieve self-esteem for accomplishing goals. Furthering your education is a positive affirmation that can bring positive rewards. Some of our clients are working on their GED, others are finishing up their high school classes or starting a community college. We have clients going back to trade school to master their skill and receive new certifications and licenses. Currently we have one client finishing her doctorate. The point being, education is needed for self to work their program. It may be taking a class here and there to learn new skills or finding a new hobby while back in the academic class room. I'm bias here, but it is amazing how intelligent addicts are. When the addict can focus on their goal, instead of their past using, drinking, purging, gambling, and sexual behavior, the addict in my experience is a sponge to learn new things. Self has the ability to use their brain for healthy validation and experience new things that they never thought to try do to the addiction behavior. Education can bring new interpersonal relationships with others. If you are stuck, think about going back to school of any kind or improve your current position by taking some new classes and certifications. Remember, when self is working on self, balancing their needs and challenges, your higher power will assist you on your journey while learning to have clean fun! School may be just the ticket! Challenge your self, take a healthy risk and enjoy the rewards. It does not matter your age, stay in your health, stay in the moment!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Space


One of the things that I observe know matter where I am, is how people, addicts, other peers appear not to have adequate space in their lives or actually thoughts. What is space in this sense? Well, space is important for self to define when they are feeling trapped, isolated, or not in a healthy situation with their thoughts. Each person needs to have boundaries, your therapist, counselor, or any other helper will tell you this. However, before you can have boundaries, you need to determine what space is needed for you to be able to make healthy boundaries. This writer views space as that creative, safe, comfort zone that self is able to recognize and implement when negative energy arises. If you are going to make a boundary, you better make sure you know what type of space is needed to insert. For example, if you are struggling with your addiction, and you know that a certain environment or activity will lead you to relapse, you need to have space in your mind that will allow you to think things through, and be able to set a clear boundary that will assist you in your recovery. Space can be defined in your mind, as when you have a thought, and that thought becomes an urge or craving, you need to create a space between the thought and reaction, and let that thought go! When you get into an argument with your significant other, what do you do? React, and let that negative energy manifest? Think about what you were going to say in the heat of the battle, then, take a breath, and slowly develop a space for you, and begin to let the thought go. When you are able to let spaces in your thoughts, you will be able to react in a controlled, healthy, and non-impulsive manner. Remember, when we let our impulses dictate our decision making, we are not staying in our health, or in the moment. The space that we need is currently being absorbed with negative energy, and our positive energy is not being used. Sometimes space can be that distance between a negative thought and a positive thought. The trick is to create space into your negative thinking, and allow the space to give you a respite. You will channel the negativity in a positive thought, while setting appropriate boundaries that will allow you to stay in your health. Your mind can control anything you want it to; use it to your advantage. Addiction, conflict, arguments are only thoughts that get bigger, and lead to unhealthy behavior that become an unmet need. Just think, if you can figure out how to give self space in your mind, you will be able to control that urge, craving, or impulsive behavior by letting that negative thought go, and move onto a positive thought which allows you to stay in the moment! Give self space, it will give you confidence and assist you in your battle with addiction and help you with your interpersonal relationships. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guilt

One feeling that appears to be a constant with people, is guilt. Self seems to hold on to guilt like it were a favorite pair of blue jeans. Those blue jeans were always worth the energy to keep, regardless of the condition. The problem is that guilt is something that you are not proud of, and does not carry the same validation of those cool jeans. The association with guilt, usually brings on negative feelings and thoughts that self is struggling with. Self needs to work through guilt, and let guilt go, not hold onto like your jeans. The past is what it is, we cannot change it. But, we can identify with our guilt, and learn to accept our feelings connected with guilt in a healthy way. Interpersonal relationships that went sour seem to be a spot where guilt lingers with one's thoughts. It is important that self can resolve their guilt with a past relationship that did not work out for what ever reason. Each person will hold onto feelings of guilt, but for how long? Learning to let thoughts of guilt go, can be a emotional and healthy cycle at the same time. The positive thought comes back to your favorite blue jeans. You will meet new people, and will be able to wear your jeans when you are able to let the guilt thoughts go, and you may even buy another pair of jeans! Don't beat your self up over guilt, work through it, and then let it go! Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Labels

Labels can be destructive words that hurt others. Is it necessary that we label people in our own confusion of what we do not understand? Does a label bring self some sort of power, no it does not. It only makes self ignorant in this writer's opinion. I often speak to my client's and groups how important it is to understand each other's beliefs. Labeling can sometimes be a form of not understanding someone else. If you do not understand someone, then why do you pretend to know what is right or wrong for them? Mental illness is a perfect example of labeling. When we know someone who is struggling with their mental health, do we try and understand them or judge and label them in a negative stigma. Mental illness is something we need to educate ourselves with, and our children. Addictions is another case where we need to educate and learn about people who are struggling with addiction and be supportive instead of labeling them as hopeless. When I go into schools and present addiction education, self-esteem, or different techniques used in anger management I see labeling all over. Kids being mean and destructive with their labels. Some of the kids I believe really are not aware of their discourse that may damage another. Labeling can be talked about and self has the ability to learn that being different or having a mental illness and addiction is not a deal breaker. Challenges can be turned into triumphs. I hear, see, and witness this every day of my life as a helper. Talk with your family at the dinner table. Educate your kid's and help yourself with understanding how labeling can be hurtful if done in a negative manner. Talk with your peers and learn new ways to work with people who are being labeled in a unhealthy way. Labeling starts with adults and then we pass it to our kids. Pick and choose the appropriate term's when identifying with people who may be different from your own understanding, coming from a different race, having their own sexual preference, or are challenged by their own mental health. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Jealously

This writer comes across this topic on a daily fashion with clients, parent's of clients, individual parents and individuals. Respectfully, I often believe that denial is some how linked to jealous behavior. What is the real reason why you are jealous? Sometimes it really has nothing to do with your perceived reason of why you are experiencing jealous behavior, but it may be tied to your own self. For example, many parents appear to be jealous of other people's kids. In reality, they may be uncomfortable or in denial of their own expectations. This happens all the time in my line of work. Client's get jealous of each other when when they are in group settings, residential treatment, and experience family jealously with siblings or parents. One of the tools that I use with people who are experiencing jealously tendencies is to define the thought of why they are jealous. Identify the core. That core appears to be a negative thought that self is having a difficult time letting go. Once the core is examined, then it is important for that person to see the positive. This is where some people really do not want to admit the positive. Think about it. If you are going to be jealous over something, that really after looking at it and identifying that it is really your own thought, and not someone's triumph, you have the power to recognize the positive. Give that person credit for accomplishing their goal, be happy for them. Self then will feel good about validating the other person, you may even receive feedback and that person will validate you! The negative thought you had just turned into something positive. We all want to acquire other peoples positive skills, but we need to look at our own strengths, and be able to accept our own challenges while letting the negative, jealous, thoughts go. Is it really worth the energy to be upset over something that in reality may be a positive for someone else? Don't deny your honesty. Clients need to work their own recovery for self, not try and duplicate other's recovery routine. As a parent be proud of your own child, and other child's successes. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The "Big Win" fallacy

For every thought I had, that was going to bring me this, "Big Win", I would have a million thoughts of power, success, and money, right? The big win is a pure fallacy in the gamblers eyes. Sure, you may win a few, but what about the one's that you did not. What happens is self becomes absorbed with the big win thinking. It could be scratch off, slot, poker, or bet! Self already has began the chase, (the constant urge to gamble) and hope for the big win. The behavior that commences when this cycle is present is one of distortion, delusion, panic, and destruction. Every gambler who becomes addicted begins to disassociate with what was real at one time, to fantasy thinking. Ironically, when the compulsive gambler or pathological gambler does win, and has the opportunity to pay some of the debit they are so buried in, that notion quickly dissolves with another gamble. The big win, is really a high, rush, narcissistic thought, power booster that does nothing for the gamblers state of mind, mental health, and over all problem solving skills. Gambling addiction for the compulsive gambler and pathological gambler is really one big unmet need. The validation that the gambler worked so hard to get, is lost in the chase and pursuit of the big win. Unfortunately, that is not the only thing that gets lost. Self has lost it's self in this insidious addiction. There are no morals, values, codes, or escape plan. The gambling behavior begins to destroy self's life. As I educate clients on gambling behavior, communities of gambling outlets, (casinos, horse and dog tracks, and river casino boats) the destruction always wins out! The big win concept is just that for a compulsive and pathological gambler, fallacy. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Skype connect

I'm thrilled to be able to share this skype story with you. This writer has received approval to disclose this wonderful, emotional, and heart felt journey. The other day, I received the referral, and had the opportunity to skype with a individual from Russia. This individual was struggling with her eating disorder, and was in the process of being admitted to a local hospital. Her journey thus far at the tender age of 23 has been filled with all kinds of abuse. I clicked on the skype, and at first I could only see a figure of something laying in bed, looking pale as the color white. I said hello, and she signaled me with her foot. The first 30 minuets I did all the talking, or in her opinion, pulling teeth! Then she sat up, and I could see her pain. I looked right at her, she looked back at me, an awkward three minuets had passed, and she finally said, are you going to say any more? I said, I see a fresh plate of fruit over on the night table. She goes, do you want it?  I said, hold on. I ran up stairs grabbed a banana, some strawberries, and ran back down stairs. I then looked at her, and said, let's eat together. She looked at me, and began to cry. After a few more minuets, I grabbed my banana, and began to eat. She goes, slow down, you need to enjoy the fruit. All of sudden she reached over, and began to peal the banana. Slowly she took small bites, and began to eat. I then said, is this not better then eating hospital food. She laughed, so hard, that I laughed harder. We talked for the next 5 minutes, she ate all her fruit. The first food in three days. I talked to her once more a day after, and she was slowly eating and keeping things down. This skype connection allowed me to see her in her eyes. We all need someone to talk to and learn about each other. Stay in your health, stay in the moment!