Monday, October 3, 2016

A phone call from the inside

Each client is different. Each client is going through something that many of us are not privy to in our life. We all make mistakes, but some mistakes appear to be harder then others. This story begins with a older man who had everything. He was rich, high-profile job, and a family that appeared to be something that many of us aspired to be. Our program is 100% confidential. As I would love to share all of our stories, (I think peoples challenges can only help others) we respect our client's and referred patients wishes. In this case, I am able to share a glimpse of what this particular client is going through. Currently he is awaiting sentencing. This is his first experience in custody and jail. Never has he been arrested for anything in his entire life. His wife is seeking a divorce. The phone rang, as it usually does at this particular time. But this time was different. It was not my client, but a rough, sounding woman voice, who identified herself as a case manager at the jail where he was at. I listened to the woman, and then the phone was given to my client. He was quiet, and afraid, I sensed. I found out he was facing another possible charge. I asked him to thank the case manager for calling me, and go back to the day room and call me right there. He complied with my request, and called. He was in a fight two months ago, which landed him in the hole, and now was feeling helpless, and I could tell ideation was crossing his thoughts. He then shared with me, that he did have the opportunity to gamble last week, but did not. I automatically, made this the premise of our quick conversation. I could tell, he was feeling positive about this choice. We talked more about how he was able to control his urge to gamble and he thought about the ramifications if he got caught gambling inside of the jail. The next comment from the phone gave this writer hope that he indeed was trying to make positive choices. "I wrote a letter to my wife and apologized". I listened more to his words. Our time was coming to an end, as the voice recorder was letting us know our phone time was up. Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun

Image is not everything

The body can be a wonderful thing. I think we all agree that we want to take care of our body and keep our self fit, right? This next story comes from a 30 year old woman who is struggling with her body. I met her, (ok to share) last fall where she reached out over the phone. We talked for about hour, and she was interested in gleaning more information about our program. Her husband asked her to seek more support after her recent stay in the hospital. She reports not liking her body since high school, and developed a eating disorder in college. Five years ago she entered herself into a special mind/body program to address her eating disorder. In her words, she was not ready to accept the program and checked herself out after two weeks. Since then, she was not going to any support group, but did have a weekly therapist visit. I began to skype with her weekly, which lead to a in person 1:1. We ended up talking for a long time. She was in a career that made her body visible each day. A beautiful woman, but damaged from the inside. Six months went by, and she was starting to make some progress. Last month something changed. I met her at the lake where we begin our reflection walk, and start our session. She was dressed in her normal work out gear, but her face was different. I also noticed she was carrying something in her hand, that from a distance looked like cookies! I got closer, and noticed no make-up, and I could smell the freshly baked cookies. At first, I wondered if she was impaired, (to this day we both laugh over this) but she was not, and was very eager to see my expression. We walked over to the bench, and she was waiting for me to say something. I looked at her, and eating a cookie, and she looked at me eating her cookie. I think we both laughed at the same time! We continued on our reflection walk, and our session. As we walked back to the cars, she said, "Image is not everything". Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Biking with the older, racquetball with the younger........

Sunday was a day of age. This writer feels his age daily, but in this case, I was able to experience what it would it be like to be over 60 on a bike going 20 miles or turning the clock back, and being early 20's playing racquetball, running around jumping off walls, and being able to move like a deer. Observing a client bike at the age of 60 and watching 20 year olds play racquetball is how I make the best of my current age. The truth is I am not 60 or 20, but fortunate to enjoy exercise sessions with others. You do not need a addiction to exercise. Yes, if you are working through a addiction of any kind, exercise is the ticket. Our program is based on self as many of you understand. Addiction is the substitute satisfaction of an unmet need, right? Why not substitute exercise with that unmet need, and put positive energy back into yourself? Over the years, when we were out of our health, gambling, self-medicating, purging, unhealthy sexual behavior and stuck in that addiction cycle we did not exercise. The negative energy consumed us. Our fun was gone, life was out of balance. When we look in the mirror, our self-esteem was negative. Sunday I was able to transform my thoughts on what it would be like to be 60. Would I be able to go 20 miles? The answer a resounding, hell ya! Why you ask? Because I am in the moment, balanced, working on self every day and having healthy fun. It's never too late to work on self. Addiction or not. Playing racquetball with two kids in their early 20's. Boy did that bring back memories when I was 20 doing the same thing they were. Age is what you make it. You are in control of your thoughts and can do anything you put your mind to. The healthy mindset is what self can control. Exercise is something that all of you can experience. Start a exercise routine today, and stay consistent with your program. Don't take short-cuts, remember that is how the negative energy starts up again. Find a sport or activity where you can sweat and feel good about self. Trust me, the urges and cravings quickly diminish when you are working out and in control of your thoughts. Self becomes stronger mentally then physically. I am still sore from that 20 mile bike ride, and aching ankles from racquetball. Remember I'm on one wheel when playing any sport now! Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Poem

Watching a client come into her own is a reward with in itself! This particular client (addiction behavior) would have panic attacks when she talked in front of a group or had a school project with talking. This client and I would role play talking in front of each other, working on remaining calm, and collective. I think we had over 30 session's targeted on how to deliver a speech or a presentation while controlling our nervous thoughts. The hard work paid off! This young lady, got up and spoke to her class peers citing a poem for 10 minuets. She received a A+ for her poem. Then, she was asked to present the same poem to a much larger audience at a middle school. She accepted the challenge and delivered a beautiful, well spoken, poem. This writer had the opportunity to watch her. She was amazing. Her parents could not believe what they were seeing. They were not surprised in how she created this poem, but she did it clean, no self-medicating behavior needed. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A pig intervention, or family culture

I must admit, I am still not sure if I can call this blog a intervention or family culture experience. Yesterday was a busy day working with families and meeting new families. In this particular case, (ok to share) I found my self sitting on a folding chair, in a big red barn, with a table full of strangers, (nine of them to be exact) with a smell of a pig! That is correct, we were eating ham, fresh from the barn, did I say fresh? I mean right there folks, the best ham I have ever had in my life. The story continues and I am looking at this large family gathering. Should I start talking? The parents of the table were quiet. The brothers and sisters of the table were quiet. My future client was the only one talking. I was trying to elicit conversation, or at least mere feedback. I could hear, the eating of everyone, and was astonished how each person was paying attention to my client and his words. I let him finish his conversation. I was going to start up my intervention, in the red barn, around the large table, when the father stood up. All seven kids, except the mother, who remained sitting stood up to. Ok, this was unfamiliar to this writer. Do I stand or sit, stand or sit. I am at a farm, in a barn, trying to go with the flow here gang. Looking desperately for a sign, hint, calling, prompt, anything! All of a sudden the father took his plate, and the rest of the group followed with their plate to go get more ham. I'm in, I did to! We came back to the table, ate, and then said a prayer. I thanked each person, shook hands with the mother and father. Talked briefly to my future client, and left. A pig intervention or family culture? Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Breakfast with a family working together

Yesterday was a healing day if I may say so. Working with a family over breakfast. Both parents sharing their stories and trying to get their kid able to see the positive. I find myself listening and watching each parent reflect, and share. Six months ago, I am not sure we could of had this conversation. There was a higher power looking over us during breakfast. I could feel it, and I am pretty sure the parents of my client could feel it to. I being the eternal optimist, and positive thinker, think my client could feel it to. I often wonder what a client feels when his or her parents are trying their best to support and guide. As a helper, this is where I fervently believe something greater then self, is helping. A higher power. Communication and being able to listen to your child when he or she is struggling is paramount in developing a healthy interpersonal relationship. Many of you reading this right now will struggle with this concept. You are human. When negative energy is present some of you will get angry, and forget how to communicate with your kid, regardless of the age or current challenges. In this breakfast meeting, both parents were balanced and setting appropriate boundaries with their kid and self. The point of this particular blog, is parents have the unique, powerful, and everlasting voice in their kids ear. The trick is to be positive in your words, but honest and supportive in the outcome. You as a parent will pick and choose the words as you communicate to your child. As you work together with your spouse and your child, positive energy flows through your higher power. Amen. Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun

Monday, January 4, 2016

What does Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun really mean?

Our first blog of 2016! Today I want to provide more detail on our model, Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun! This past weekend, many of you reached out. Addicts, parents of troubled souls, and non-addicts who were looking for some positive energy in their day to day lives. I developed this model thinking Self, would be the first step in learning how to like and love you again! This writer would spend hours if not days, beating himself up for his past, poor, behavior. I was stuck in the negative energy cycle, complied by the gambling addiction cycle. I decided to turn my life around, the first thought was to work on me! In order to accomplish this task, I needed to be honest with where I was, what I have done and how I was going to put all my energy into me this time around. I was fearful, but confident that if I took care of myself, I would be able to let the negative go, and turn it into a positive! I started with being mindful of how much energy I spent on things I could not control. Each thought I had about gambling, I was going to turn it into a positive. I began to journal my urges and cravings, and began to do something I never did before. I worked through the struggle, and did not make excuses of why I was struggling. I or Self, was being mindful of my current existence. I was not going to beat myself up from my past no more. I began to exercise every day, making the best of my situation. Each day I would, (still do today) rate my mood 1-10, and check in with myself. I began to get the negative out early, and start changing my attitude as I woke up. Then I would exercise and begin to feel better about me, Self! Once I began to take care of myself, it was time to Balance my day through my thoughts. I have the power to control my thoughts. This was a big affirmation for me. I know I can gamble, but I am choosing not to. Wow, this was just the opposite of all other gambling treatment and other forms of treatment for addiction. I have never been to a support group where the group said I could gamble! Right there, I began to think about what I was creating in my mind. There was no reason to be insidious or pathological about my behavior. I knew I could gamble, but I did not have to. I began to control the thought, and remember how much pain, mental exasperation, negative energy I caused Self, and others when I was in the gambling addiction cycle. I thought if I could balance my thoughts, control my thoughts, and have balance in my day, I would begin to like who I am. Balance was something that I did not have when I was gambling. Each day I began to create healthy balance, by taking care of Self, and keeping my self active. I decided I would control how much energy I would use when needed. My mind became my friend again. I started working on Self, fifteen years ago, and creating Balance in my day. I needed a Higher Power, that was greater then me. I needed something to believe in, that I felt connected to. Faith. A place where I could share anything I wanted to with this Higher Power. It was my time to heal, and grow. A Higher Power, can be anything you want. I tell every client, other mental health professionals, and every day people who utilize our model, that it is your Higher Power, you make the call. Find something that you want to believe in. A Higher Power can only help you through your journey. Things were coming together in my mind. I was working on Self. I started to Balance my thoughts and was able to create Balance in my life through journaling, exercise and working through struggle. My Higher Power, was working 24/7, giving me something to believe that was greater then me. Now I was able to have healthy Fun. Life is all about having Fun. Gambling may have started out as Fun, but it was not healthy, and the fun was gone. I could have Fun without gambling. This was huge! Fun was taking care of myself, not having to worry about gambling. I could do new things, build new interpersonal relationships. I was able to utilize my mind, and stay in my health. I still struggle, but life was Fun again. Goal's were attainable, and I began to see the positives. Wellness began. Each day I would find something Fun to do for me. Each day was a gift, I was not going to beat myself up anymore. I had and have the power to control the thought. Our model is something that can used for everyone. You do not have to be an addict to get something from it. Staying in the moment is a universal affirmation that can help you! Life is better when you are able to like yourself and love who you are at this second. Each day you may struggle, but you have the power to work on Self, control the thought as you are able to Balance the urges, cravings, and negative energy. A Higher Power will only help guide you through fear, and positive energy. The Fun starts when you are able to take ownership in your life, and work the program for you. Adding hobbies, meeting new people, developing healthy interpersonal relationships, and trying new things! If you are a addict you begin to lose the urges and cravings from your mind. They still may be there, but you know you can gamble, purge, drink, use drugs, have unhealthy sexual behavior and game. But, you are choosing not to! Control the thought. Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun