Thursday, May 30, 2013

A chair

These last few weeks have been filled with busy, busy, helping sessions. Yesterday- was know exception. I was heading over to see one of my clients, and she was getting ready to go on a trip. She will be moving for the first time in many, many, years to a much a smaller place. I could see there are some overwhelming feelings with this move and some anxiety that was filling her head. This particular client- (permission to share) is making progress each day and continues to battle the urges and cravings! It is a blessing when a client gets to get out of dodge and visit their loved ones. As we begin to start our session, I could sense that she was eager to ask me something. Really eager! Her husband is in the hospital, and will be there for the rest of his life. She wanted to deliver a brand new recliner chair to him at the hospital, right now, this very second. Usually, when I have the planned request ahead of time, I am able to meet most of my clients requests, but it needs to scheduled. Remember, I see 7 people some days all over are area. Well, I could see my client was determined to get this chair to her aiding husband. I said sure, we will make the time, but we must go right now. The hospital is 20 minuets away, and we could do our session in the car on the way there. Seemed simple enough for this writer. However, its road construction time in our area, and the traffic was filled with what appeared at the time, millions of travelers. I was thinking to myself how am I going to get back in time to my next client across town? We continue the journey, and begin to talk about her upcoming trip, and how positive energy will help her in a new place, and her moving to a new place can be a positive change if she is willing to accept the challenge. This particular client is a older person, working through many challenges in her life at this age, plus a addiction. Tough stuff! We finally get there, and I need to track down some help, the chair is super heavy! I go into the front entrance, and they are swamped, busy. I can see the time, and my whole schedule for the day will be messed up. After some sweet talking, we get a cart, and I and the other staff to load the chair with me onto the cart and I am instructed to wheel it up to my clients husbands room. We had to take a elevator, all the elevators are busy, again, the word busy. Then I see all these elderly people in the hospital waiting for the elevator, some complaining how long they have been there, and they need to be on first, and they will get on first. Remember, Im in a Veterans Hospital, and most of the people need extra time to move, walk, wheel their wheel chair. I realize Im going to be late, and I need to speed this up. My client senses this, as most older people do. After 15 minuets we get on the elevator, and head to the room. Im pushing this heavy cart with chair, trying to maneuver through the all the clients in our path, which is a difficult thing. Everyone want to say Hi, and see who the chair is going to? After a weaving and passing, the room is in sight. My client goes in gives her husband a hug, then I am instructed to bring in the chair with the help of the aide who was there, as we begin to bring it in, I am introduced to her husband. At that time, time stopped! Just like that. He is in a wheel chair, his roommate in a wheel chair, neither of them can talk. Her husband looks at me, then the chair, and he smiles, not just a smile, but the room could be pitch dark and his smile would light it all up. I felt the positive energy, as I looked quickly at my client she was in tears. A chair could bring so much joy for that second, it was amazing. Time did not matter, my schedule did not matter- it was not about me, it was about a chair that brought positive energy to a person who needed it and a wife who needed it, and a helper who needed to be reminded of the simple things in life- helping others! Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A slippery intervention

Good morning world, I have been asked to share some humor in my interventions. Truth be told, most interventions are not filled with humor, more with emotions, grief, and trauma. But, I do recall a few years ago, right around this time of the year- I think it was at the end of May. I remember going to a family intervention just west of the Twin Cities. Working with a gentlemen who was struggling with cocaine dependence, and his wife who was struggling with the mood shifts of her husband. Cocaine addiction can be a very moody disorder for self, and family members. As I knocked on the door, met the family, and sat down on couch. There were little kittens flying around the house, and you could see that the new born pets were providing some comfort to the family. We began the intervention, and I listened to the wife talk, and her sister. Then it was the addicts turn to share his story. Now it was time for me to meet privately with the addict, and his wife and her sister went into the other room. She called the kitties, and they began to follow. All of a sudden I felt a tingle on my ankle, like a kitty licking my ankle and my foot. I figured one of them was under the couch. Then the addict, came and sat down across from me, and I could see him looking awkward. He called his wife back in the room, and asked where Simon was? She then looked under their computer desk, and said probably sleeping. I started talking about how today will be a new day, and let's not judge our past, not worry about tomorrow, but put all are positive energy into this second, right now- control the thought. As I said that, out of the corner of my eye, I swear I see a large tail of something pushing back in forth. Then I get another lick on my foot- I was wearing leather sandals, and it tickled! Just like that, the guy, said hang on dude, I need to get Simon. He went to the computer desk and started pulling out this gigantic, huge, python. I am in shock, literally, on top of the couch, stepping on to the recliner heading to the door. His wife comes running out, with her sister, and begin to help fetch Simon. Simon was 6 and half feet, with a head the size of football. I am out of my health, out of the moment, freaking out. I hate, repeat, repeat, not dislike, or not sure of, but hate snakes. The sister of the wife is laughing her head off at me, a 6 foot 2 man, 200 pounds, standing on the recliner heading for the door! The guy, saying, its ok dude, Simon does not bite. I go, dude, its not ok, and he licks, and I need to go. I finally get out the apartment door. The kitties are trying to get out- my mental image, of kitties and a python, great- time to check myself into the hospital and get medication for the nightmares I will have. The wife comes out, and apologizes, many times. She is writing me a check, and I'm like- this one is on the house. The story continues we finished the intervention at a coffee shop that weekend. Simon did not attend that slippery intervention. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Life can be filled with unwanted pressure. How do you deal with it? Do you feel forced to conform with what others are doing? Pressure can lead to poor decision making if we do not let the pressure out in a positive way. Giving in to pressure is not a healthy choice. Pressure can effect any age at any time of your life. Self needs to learn how to work through pressure and not let pressure dictate your decision making. In the past, pressure could be a path to relapse and unhealthy behavior. Going to a work happy hour, because everyone else may be going to the same function is a form of pressure. Even though you know that a happy hour environment is not a positive environment for you since you have been clean for many months. Attending a barbecue function, when you understand that there will be a litany of alcohol, but you say everyone else is going, why can't I? How about going to party, thinking you won't see any drugs, and if you do, you will be able to handle that urge or craving. Eating a pizza at 10pm at night, and thinking you can get it down, without purging, because your friends can eat when ever they want. Going to the casino for a birthday party with a peer, even though you know you have not been to a casino in a long time, but you think that you have to go in order to be part of the birthday celebration. Feeling that urge to go to a club, and not look to hook up with anyone, but you see all of your other friends with someone, and now you feel the need to meet a stranger and have unhealthy sex. All these are forms of pressure. Each example you may be able to relate to when you gave into pressure and the outcome was not a positive one. But, that was the past, now is the present, and you can work through any type of pressure. First, you need to not make the thought bigger. Let the thought out. Think it through, play it forward in your head. Common sense will be help you with your fantasy thinking. Second understand that you know you can go to any of these forms of pressure, but at this moment, you are deciding not to go, and be ok with this decision. Go find something else to do, like exercise, call a peer for support, give self credit for not giving into the pressure. Finally, allow self to be rewarded for not giving into pressure. Treat your self to something positive. Journal about how you wanted to engage in the unhealthy pressure, but you did not, and write how that feels. Pressure can be controlled with positive thinking, and positive behavior. Don't let others give you false confidence in thinking you can handle pressure environments, where now you have strict boundaries that allow you to be in the moment, and in control. Remember you are avoiding pressure situations, and look at your self, you are happy, it's not worth the risk to engage in negative pressure outlets. One thought at time. Pressure only wins when you make it bigger. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

All part of the helping process

Over the last several year's- Saturdays have become family sessions for when I meet with a client and their family. Family sessions are a wonderful way for everyone involved to be able to talk through the weeks challenges and share the positives with the whole family. Part of my job is meeting all the family members young and old. This particular Saturday was filled with many families and talking through the thoughts. When I go into a house, apartment, barn, house boat, church to meet the client with the family I get the luxury to see all the faces of the family sub system. Let us not forget the pets! I probably could do a 10 pen page blog on the pets- themselves! As I am working with this one family, I enjoy hearing about what each person is going through, and get to see the kids. The kids then are sent to a different part of where ever we are, while the parents and I can talk in private. Sometimes this is a smooth transition, other times, the kids can play a pivotal part of the conversation! Kids are kids, and they have a plethora of energy-especially when someone new is in their spot. I'm working with this family, and having a super, positive, family session. Everyone is engaging, working through the challenges, focused, and things are moving along with positive energy. I can see and feel the love in the room, as we learn to stay in the moment and control our thoughts. Please remember, the addicts family, spouse, sibling's, are hurting to. All of a sudden  two of the kids, who happen to be twin girls, ages 5 or 6 I think, come running down the stairs, both beautiful kids, wearing their brothers gym shorts which are way, way, to big for them. Right there, at that second, it was precious! How do you as a helper, not laugh, or keep the attention, or stay focused. I grin, trying as best as I can not to laugh at these darling twins, dancing in front of us, wearing their brothers gym shorts which are down to their ankles. I'm asking my own higher power- this is amazing positive energy, I have to laugh, I am sorry, its hilarious, I'm going to bust out. I was taught in my years of helping, control your emotions Tod, well I failed that task years ago. We all laugh, it's to hard not to. All part of the helping process. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.