Sunday, April 21, 2013


Addiction Services did a crisis intervention out of state today. As I was driving home, there was one particular word that resonates in my mind. Coping. The question came up, how do Americans cope with what just happened in Boston, Tod?  As I listened to this family that I am working with, I began to construct in my own mind what needs to be done for all Americans, heal. Respectfully, I think the first thought is allowing self to be able to vent, communicate on what you are feeling. I believe this communication is part of healing, but you need to surround your self with people who are in your support circle. The next thing we all need to do is be active, and get back to our routines. This is called balance. Isolating and avoiding will not allow self to heal. As we cope with this awful tragedy, it is important that we as a nation have hope, or what I call a higher power- something that gives us our faith, know matter what that is. Believe in something that is positive, and this will help calm your mind. I think it is very easy to be depressed and angry over what has transpired over the last week of our nation, but you have the power to work through it! As you cope with this sadness, let us find something fun that we can do for self and our family. Create positive energy, and let your mind focus on the things you can control. Each night I have been praying for all the victims and families, as I do pray for all the people I try and help. If we as Americans can cope in a positive way, we become stronger, and together. One thought at a time. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


The Addiction Education Model that we use with clients and referred patients is one that focuses on four integral parts. Self, Balance, Higher Power and Fun. Each of these parts are incorporated into the recovery life of the individual. Balance is the continuum which empowers self to let the negative thoughts go, and focus on the positive thoughts. Transformation begins when self is balancing their daily routine, accepting the need to be honest with self and begin their journey through their higher power. When self finds their higher power, (it can be anything), balance is created. Balancing daily thoughts, learning how to deal with struggle in a healthy way, creates a positive energy that empowers self to staying in the moment. The balance continuum is now flowing through your body, mind, and soul. You are now ready for fun, balance creates this surge for wanting to replace your addiction, (unmet need) with something fun, that becomes (a met need).Fun may be learning how to exercise and trying new things!  Finding balance in your new recovery life is something you will be proud of! Your self esteem increases when you learn not to make things bigger and you balance your expectations. Controlling our thoughts is a positive skill to learn when we have balance in our lives. Being out of balance creates havoc, stressful, and a waste of negative energy. Relaspes can happen when we are out of balance.  Here is a tip for learning how to start balancing your thoughts at the beginning of each day. Once you wake up, before you get out of bed, stop, and look at the ceiling. Close your eyes, and count to 10, slowly, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (keep your eyes closed) 6, 7, 8, 9, (before you say 10- open your eyes) and now say 10! Now you begin your daily routine, express your daily affirmation, and begin your day. Balance is patience! Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Denial to acceptance via Skype

Sometimes we need to hit our challenges first then understand our acceptance. The other day, I was beginning a first time skype with a female teenager across the seas. From hello, how are you, I could sense the denial, or in her words, this will be the biggest waste of time. Skyping for the first time can be a challenge for anyone, regardless of their comfort level, and cultural considerations. I spoke with the family via phone a week ago, but did not get the opportunity to talk to the teenager. The story continues with myself asking questions and searching for a way into this young persons thoughts. After 15 minuets of gathering the collateral information from her perspective, her phone goes off. I politely told her to answer it. She said it was a tweet. I then explained to her that I was not privy to the twitter world, and I was kind of scared of that new type of media outlet. She, laughed out loud, I mean, laughed hard, really hard. I asked her what was so amusing? She replies that your suppose to be this professional and you can skype but you don't tweet, really? I looked at her, moved my office chair up to the monitor, and asked if this was a deal breaker. Then she laughed so hard, that I began to laugh! Now this laugh, was different this time in this writer's opinion. The first laugh was at me, but this one was together. Immediately, I asked her if she ever laughed like this when she was using? She said no way, and that using made her forget about her secrets. We then began to talk, and soon the denial began to work it's way out. A small form of acceptance was taking place, and we both could feel it. It was almost time to end the skype session, and I could hear her father in the background. As I began to thank her for her time, she began to say this. I'm tweeting that I skyped and I feel accepted. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

I can't tell you how many times I have heard addicts and family members state, " I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop". Is that positive energy? How is this type of thinking controlling your thoughts and behavior? If your expectations are that low, then relapse is right around the corner. Try this thought for size, no pun intended! If the shoe is starting to slip, tie the laces tighter. If the shoe does drop, put it back on and continue to work on your self. Positive energy is something self and family members need to believe in. If you focus on the negative and past challenges in your thoughts, how are you going to see the positive when it comes? Self needs positive thoughts to implement positive behavior. Negative thoughts will not help you keep your shoes on! People who struggle with addiction need to understand two primary things: first- let the past go, second- what is the unmet need. The shoe only drops if a person is not willing to work through their past and that unmet need is not fully identified. Self and waiting do not help the addict stay in the moment. Families and waiting do not help the family with their own grief or being able to provide support to the addict. Families of addicts are hurting just as much in some cases. Everyone needs to keep their shoes on, and pull the strings tighter if needed. Yes, sometimes the shoes will drop, but don't make it bigger, take the time time to put it back on your foot and move forward. Positive energy works with both shoes on regardless of what you will encounter. It's not worth the energy to always be thinking that something bad is going to happen. One thought at a time. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.