Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't rush things

Life is about enjoying the moment! Learning how to validate our self and receive validation from others. Self will need to understand how not to rush things. If it is meant to be it will happen. When you force things, it is not natural. Positive energy has the unique ability to bring self patience when you really need it! When we rush things we miss the true feelings, emotions, and experiences that are meant to be enjoyed with time. We all can be impulsive, and there is nothing wrong with getting excited about things that we want. However, Rome was not built in a day, right? Where ever you are in your life there is a reason, that is bigger then you. Taking risks can be positive things. The reward is the ability for self to take a risk on self's terms. Balance is needed in order not to rush things, but not miss things that may be worth the risk. Use your mind to control your thoughts while acting on the thoughts that bring you happiness. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to improve your moment- (right now this second)

When we stay in our health, and stay in the moment, we learn how to relax our thoughts letting go of the negative thoughts! Today, I would like you to practice some of these techniques. Imagine relaxing scenes, positive things, or things that give you comfort. Find some meaning or purpose in what you are feeling right now! Utilize prayer and worship, you can also chant if you like to. Relax your muscles, take deep breaths, self-soothe,  something that is soothing to you. Focus on one thing this second, give all your attention to this moment- keep self in the present. Take a brief vacation, a break from it all for a short period of time. Finally, encourage yourself, you can do this, and you will make it through this! When self is able to relax, and stay in the moment, you will be able to accept your current situation. You have the power to change it, with positive thoughts, and understand your emotions in a healthy way. Don't waste energy with negative thoughts. Self can create something helpful from stress, anger, loneliness, boredom, shame, sadness, if you understand how to create instead of react. Each moment we can improve with a positive thought! Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Biking unity in a storm!

The day started off with some positive energy, biking with a client, and working through some difficult thoughts that were being let go! Then as we are nearing our 3 mile mark, the clouds begin to shift, a cooling, wind is hitting our faces as we pedal on. One more mile to go. Biking is a wonderful tool for self to reflect on your ride and let those anxious thoughts out. All of a sudden we hear the mighty thunder, and can see lightening far away in the corn fields. Then,  came the down pour, I mean we look at each other, and have this "frog" like look- you know the one where you leave your mouth open, and don't know what to say?  The rain, is powerful, as we pedal faster, trying not to fall off our bikes. I look at my client, and begin to tell him that my Native American friends, embrace rain as powerful energy, and that the spirit will guide us through! He looked at me, and then looked up in the sky, as the rain is really coming down now, and says, "I'm not stopping Tod, the rain feels good, and I feel so alive!"  It was hard to talk, the rain coming down faster, and the wind really making sounds, while trucking through washed out roads. Finally, we could see our destination, I was relieved, did not want to get either of us zapped by lightening, but could feel the Native American spirit looking down on us, and guiding us to safety. My client who is older, began to laugh, I then, could not stop laughing, we laughed together as the rain kept coming. The day started off with positive energy, and then changed to powerful energy. Stay in your health, stay in the moment!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Find the right group

Society has this misconception that you have to have a addiction to go to a support group. Really? Since when is it not healthy to take care of yourself? Support groups are wonderful tools for people struggling with addiction, and working on their recovery. Support groups are also needed for people without addiction problems. Mental health is usually the primary reason for addiction. Mental health support groups are key, but, there are other support groups that have nothing to do with Mental health, or addiction. These support groups are for anyone looking to improve their self. They may be church groups, or book groups, exercise groups, friend groups, or positive energy groups where people learn about how to stay positive in their every day life! Groups are everywhere, find them. Age is not a problem. I find my senior citizen group one of the best groups that I attend to be therapeutic in a variety of ways for myself. You see we all have the opportunity to belong to some sort of group that gives us balance, where we can utilize our higher power and have some fun meeting new people. Support is paramount in every one's life. Try and find the right group that will fulfill your needs while listening to another. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Family Intervention

Addiction does not only affect the addict but the family to! Over the years I have experienced all kinds of family dynamics when facilitating addiction education in a family intervention. If I had to pick one component that appears to be the pillar of a families need it would be communication, and learning, respecting, how to hear each other's words. I find it fascinating that cultural considerations and customs, with families all around the world need that same pillar of communication to understand the person with the addiction. Each family member needs to be heard, regardless of their cultural routines and bylaws. Addiction can tear families apart, but, it also can bring them back together! Family members need to vent. The trick is to demonstrate healthy communication skills and healthy listening skills during the intervention. I'm a firm believer that one family intervention is not enough. The more time the family and the addict can come together in a respectful, helping, supportive way, allows each family member or extended family member the opportunity to build on a new healthy interpersonal relationship. I find when each family member is able to stay in their own health, and learn to stay in the moment, they begin to let the negative thoughts go. Over time, trust begins to help mend broken promises and hearts. Family intervention is a crucial step for the addict and family to develop a healthy plan that all parties share the same goal. I can't tell you how many times I have met families of addicts, that have wonderful ideas, resolutions, and are willing to work hard with open lines of communication, but forget, that the addict has to be on the same page! Balance is needed in healthy intervention. The family needs to understand how the addict feels, and is interpreting their words of concern, future challenges, and be willing to listen. The addict needs to be 100% honest with the family, and be able to receive constructive criticism when the time is right. Many people in family intervention, want to unload everything, right there, right now, and get it off their chest. This unloading component is important for the scorned family member, however, there needs to be patience for that family member and timing is everything! Each person will get their face time, honesty is imperative, but we need to be respectful, sensitive, and be in our health when we deliver our message. Remember, we want to let out our emotions, and our pain with the addict, but we need to do it in a constructive, non-judging form. Family intervention is tough! One thing to keep in mind is that everyone in the room cares, on some level, there is love and hope! Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Adaptive Strategies

Helpers, clients, and friends we all need to learn new behaviors and skills. I have found that it is crucial to elicit our strengths, minor triumphs, and adaptive strategies no matter how small! We all need to recognize what is working for us. We do this when self is able to change our way of thinking. Self can utilize adaptive strategies which work for self. Self will need to understand that hard work, being accountable for self's decisions, and owning up to self's flaws are adaptive strategies that empower you! Sometimes we get caught up in the magical thinking and let our thoughts become unrealistic while trying to do something that is unhealthy, destructive, and get out of our health. Adaptive Strategies help us stay in the moment, by understanding our experiences. Many people undervalue their former experiences because of past mistakes, and failures that continue to haunt their thinking. Let go of those thoughts, adaptive strategies help us relinquish struggles over things we cannot change, and focus effort on which we can do something about. Self can glean new skills and new behaviors from poor, past decisions. Be adaptive in your understanding of your past! Create new adaptive strategies that will allow you to grow as a person, enhance your skills, and give self credit! Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm not perfect and that is ok

In my former life, perfection, for all it's impossibility, was so often my number one goal! I gleaned progress not perfection was the road to recovery. When self can learn to yield a little here and there, self begins to grow. Break down large goals into smaller goals. You can actually accomplish more when self let's the bigger and what we assume better way of thinking go! Stop trying to be perfect. Strive to be you! Pick and choose what bridge you will cross, and what bridge you do not need to cross at that moment. Recovery is not about being superman but making progress for you. Trust me, you will fail at things, but you don't need to fail at recovery. Some clients will and do fail at recovery with a relapse. However, that is not a reason to label self as a failure. Self needs to get back up, and start again, letting the past mistakes go, and begin to focus on the positive energy. If self is going to judge itself on perfection, then we are all in trouble. That is not staying in our health, and trying to stay in the moment. We are letting things get bigger in our mind, and have yet to understand that being perfect is not reality. Self becomes frustrated and depressed when we can't meet impossible goals. We need to obtain balance, not perfection. When we control our thoughts, we learn to let the negative thoughts go, including urges and cravings, and are able to practice seeing the positive thoughts that can lead to our progress! When we fail, we can use that experience to enrich our lives instead of self-sabotaging our life. Balance is our perfection. Think about it like this. Self will work on self, not trying to be perfect but in control. When you are in control you are balanced. You learn to let the negative thoughts go, and focus on the positive. Your higher power will help guide you though each experience, positive or negative. When you realize you don't need to be perfect, and are able to like and love your self again, you will begin to have fun! Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How many chances?

The other day, I was working with a old client who happened to be one of our residents in our treatment program that I use to facilitate. I have not seen this client in a few years. This particular client requested that I can share this story with others if I felt it would help. I ran into her, when I was taking another client to her psychiatrist appointment. She looked at me kind of funny. I did not recognize here at first, then as I got closer, could see that we knew each other. I remember that she attended all of my groups at the treatment center, but was very guarded and did not have a lot of feedback. She actually appeared more interested in the peer's then listening to one of my lectures on addiction. She did not graduate from the treatment's program. I believe this was her 12 th time at treatment. I walked over to her, and said hello, do you remember me? At that point, she looked at me and responds of course I remember you, you did all the talking. I smiled, and she continues on that her life is out of control, and she recently got out of relationship with one of the other clients she met in treatment. This co-dependence piece with addicts can happen very easily if proper boundaries are not in place. As I recall, she was kicked out of her last treatment facility for having a inappropriate interpersonal relationship with another peer before she came to our treatment program. We sat down at the coffee shop in the clinic. I asked her what was going on in her life. She then began to say that she does not deserve another chance, because she uses all of her chances up in treatment trying to hook up with people. I looked at her in disbelief, and said you get it, you understand your unmet need. She then looked at me, and began to describe all of her emotions from her previous treatment experiences. For the first time, it appeared she was being honest with her self and willing to accept feedback. I then looked at her and asked what she thought about the number 13? She goes, friday the 13th, oh, I get it, you want me to go back to inpatient treatment! I said you are ready, and need to give it another shot for you this time, and not anyone else. Regardless of how many treatments you have been to, or how many times you have relapsed, it really does not matter if you are willing to try again! I'm not sure why we bumped into each other that day, but I do know that a higher power is looking after her, and for the first time she realized that you can't live other people's lives, you have to live your own. Her addiction was meth and suffered from a sexual disorder. Her unmet need was her co-dependence and her past. Today she was able to recognize that her unmet need was not going to be the reason why she kept on using and self-sabotaging her interpersonal relationships. It does matter how many chances self gets, only that self keeps trying.  Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Monday, July 9, 2012

How it works?

Urges and cravings are something you will learn to live with. How do you control them? Whether its a addiction, or something else that is unhealthy for you this is how it works. When you start thinking about your addiction or some other unhealthy behavior, you begin to make it bigger! Meaning, that current thought is looking for the old, dysfunctional behavior that you create when acting upon this thought of a urge or craving. That thought gets bigger, and bigger, and soon you become impulsive, and bring the urge/craving or unhealthy behavior to life. Self has the ability with it's clear mind to let those addiction thoughts go, before they can manifest into unhealthy behavior or addictive behavior. Self can slow down the urge and craving or unhealthy behavior by thinking it through. Think about what that craving or unhealthy behavior will bring you? Play it back in your head, each time, if you are honest, you will see that the current thought of gambling, using, drinking, purging, unhealthy sexual behavior, and unhealthy behavior will not solve anything! You already understand this, but are looking for this fantasy thinking that will "fix" all your problems. I like to call problems with my clients as unmet needs. These unmet needs are really why you are chasing your addiction or unhealthy behavior. Once you play it back in your head, and realize that acting out a urge or craving will not solve anything, you begin to let that negative thought go. Then you need to exercise, just like that. Go for a walk, a reflection walk. A bike ride, or a jog. Maybe you have time to hit the gym. Be creative in where ever you are at that moment, if that urge/craving or unhealthy behavior needs to be worked out, you need to exercise! After the exercise, self begins to reward self with positive thoughts of how you battled the urge/craving, or unhealthy behavior into letting that thought go! It is all in your mind. Give self credit for letting go of urges and cravings. Back in the day, you would of acted upon each urge and craving, and been right back at the addiction cycle. Each client that I work with I tell them you know you can use, gamble, drink, purge, or have unhealthy sexual behavior any time you want, but, at this second you are choosing not to! Every urge/craving, or unhealthy behavior you can control in your head. You have the power and mindfulness to let those thoughts go. Hey, you already know where those negative thoughts bring you, it is nothing new. Use your mind. Self can figure out those unmet needs knowing self is worth something, and self does not have to take things personally. Don't let your own negative thinking mess you up! Balance your emotions, and understand you have the wisdom and common sense. Use your higher power, you always have a choice. It is not what happens to me, but how I think about what happens to me that matters. Self learns to have fun when urges and cravings or unhealthy behavior are not the fun anymore! Each day when you have a thought that may be leading you into a urge, craving, or unhealthy behavior, slow down, and think it through. Let that negative thought out, exercise, then journal and talk about it with your support. Bring it up in your meeting, let people know how you are able to let the negative thoughts go, and utilize positive thoughts in your recovery! Don't make thoughts bigger you have the power to stay in your health, and stay in the moment!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 4th story

As a helper, we treasure our holidays when we get to unplug for some precious time with our loved ones! I was doing my duty as a proud parent, and husband early July 4th morning. Off to get a breakfast surprise order for the family who were still tucked away in bed, enjoying the sleep of the holiday! As I sat in line with many hungry customers I began to reflect how my Higher Power has blessed me. Searching through my thoughts, and sending prayers to all my clients and groups that can use some positive, healthy fun this holiday. All of a sudden this man appears in our lobby, with no shirt, and this hyper discourse coming from his mouth. The manager of the restaurant was swamped with customers. The man then, put on his t-shirt- and shouted to the manager he needed a job application, at 6:30 am. The manager shouted back at the man, (as he was waiting on me and taking money for the bill) saying, this is not a good way to get a job. I got my breakfast orders, and began to depart, when I heard the manager shout again at the man, that he was calling the police, and did not have time for this man. Right there, boom, it hit me. Do I leave, or do I do my calling? I turned around, put my breakfast on hold, and headed to the man who was shouting, there are not 80,000 people in here that need service, as the manager had told him. Actually this man was counting out loud, very loud, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,... and so on to how many people were in the line waiting to check out. I approached the man, his eyes already gave it away, then there was his speech, and finally his hyper activity. I walked over, and gently began to talk to him. He looked at me, then began to let me know by accident that he has been up for days, obviously in a impaired state, my guess was meth. I introduced myself, and the manager gave me space. I got him a job application, and then walked him out of the restaurant, across the street, to a shaded picnic table. This man and I talked for a few minuets, he decided that he could go home and fill out the job application, then take a shower, get something to eat, and then tomorrow morning, after 9am, come back to the restaurant, be appropriately dressed and turn in his job application. I walked back across the street, went into the restaurant, to get our food. As I walked in, I heard this clapping, and customers were coming up to me and thanking me. They were not thanking me because this man was a disturbance to their breakfast on July 4th, they were thanking me because many of the customers knew this man, and after some gleaned feedback from the customers, I to understood where this man was at. The moral to the story, as a helper, there is not a right or wrong time to unplug, but there is always a time to help someone when the opportunity comes. A Higher Power is here 24/7, self has the power to use it!  Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Resentments appear to change people. Resentments seem to distance people from who they can become. We all get jealous, sometimes act foolish. If this is all true, then how are we embracing each other when the negative energy appears to be the common link? Take some time to think about resentment and how it may decieve you. We need to harness our negative energy, and let it go. The more we keep it, the less we can do. Be happy for other's. Good fortune comes in all forms. However, if we are living in the resentment world, we are missing our own good fortune. It starts with self. You have to forgive your self. Then you need to stop with this negative resentments for self. Now you are ready to appreciate other's accomplishments. Don't waste negative energy and time stressing about unhealthy people in your life, or measuring your life to someone else. When someone does something that really get's under your skin, you got to let that negative thought go. Sure, you can be frustrated, hurt, and even mad, but you can work through it! It's not worth the energy to keep resenting something that you can't control. Self controls self's thoughts. Boundaries are a postive way for self to not get involved in unhealthy resentments. Sometimes the things we are resenting, are things that we are making bigger in our own heads. Try not to measure your self  or compare your self with others. Work on you. When we compare or make list's of things that we do not have, and seem to think others have our list qualites, we begin to resent and get our of our health. Stay in the moment. That moment is not about resentments, but letting go of thoughts that appear to get us out of our health. Resentment thoughts are just that, thoughts. Don't act upon them, and fuel their negative energy. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.