Do you struggle to stay sober?
... you'll want to read this
'It's not your fault'!
But, you do have some responsibility
After my brother died from an overdose, after "graduating" a clinical program, I knew something was seriously wrong with the treatment industry. After all, my brother was smart, successful in business, and very motivated to get clean & sober. How could it be that he couldn't stay sober, he did everything really well...
Addicts struggle to stay sober because they aren't led on a path of complete transformation. Clinical programs are geared to satisfy insurance requirements. They are NOT set-up to re-build a human-being from the inside-out.
Addicts aren't completely off the hook, however. The biggest mistake Addicts make is believing they can "get better" in a very short period of time. That, my friend, is ridiculous!
It has taken several years to develop into a full-blown, walking disaster, and, the Addict must be willing to stop moving, slow down, and get serious about changing/improving every single area of life that is driving the chaos, in the first place.
Recovery from drugs is not rocket science. So many people struggle to stay clean after multiple rehabs attempts, thinking; "maybe this time it will work". That's wrong thinking and a recipe for yet another failure.
It's not possible to develop an entirely new way of living & thinking in 30 short days. It's unrealistic to think that a person who's been using for 10 or 20 years is going to be ALL better after 30 days of rehab.
I often hear people say "well, I only want to go to rehab for 60 days, but then I need to move on with, whatever... Sounds like they're planning a wedding, or something. What exactly will happen on day 60 that is different from day 1?
Addicts who truly are able to make a new life for themselves, long-term, with no more relapses, are the ones who understand they are dealing with an addiction that will kill them. They are willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to get better, which generally means 'time'. And, a lot of new information, time to process that new information, space to fail along the way, and, encouragement to get back on the bike and keep peddling.
Unless the Addict is willing to put themselves into a long-term situation to be surrounded by the solution, every day, and not stop until complete transformation has been solidified, you won't make it.
I'm sorry if that sounds rough but I'm telling you how to achieve lasting recovery. What I've described is precisely why many addicts simply never stay sober.
They hold on to this pipe dream of instant results and continue to fail until they die.
Stop acting like you're too busy to take months out of your life to focus on recovery. If you had cancer you wouldn't even question the amount of time to recover. The only thing Addicts are busy with is causing chaos & destruction.
Relax, I used to say the same things, but one day, it finally hit me just how much I was hurting my family, my own children.
I walked around like I had it all together, but, in reality, I existed solely because my family never gave up on me and always made sure I had a roof over my head, a car to drive, food, cell phone, and whatever else I thought I had to have to be a big-shot!
That's not living, that's bumming!
Time to bite the bullet and ask for help! However, there's a big difference between asking for help and asking for relief;
RELIEF: "Hey mom, dad, I got this problem and if you could just give me the money I'm going to solve it my way, all good!" (failure follows pretty quickly)
HELP: "Hey, I've got this problem and I don't have a clue what to do about it. Whatever advice you give me I'm going to follow it because I recognize my thinking gets me more chaos". (success always follows the person who is teachable)
Call today: 405-248-2124
A recent report from the American Psychiatric Association indicated that the level of Anxiety the average person of today is experiencing, is at such a high degree, and consistent, that 50 years ago the same person would've been considered for psychiatric inpatient care... The "Nut-house"
Anxiety is crippling you, leads to...
addictions, alcoholism, suicide
A mind obsessed with itself eventually destroys itself
Learning how to change our perspective is the key to living free from this anxiety-craze. We have become much too self-absorbed, too focused on external things, and have lost touch with who we truly are.
Our current struggles and frustrations with life's situations, early recovery, or experiencing situations that seem too much to bare, are merely an obsession in our minds.
We are constantly analyzing ourselves; our thoughts & actions, - disappointments - regrets - what we think others are thinking about us & what others may have done because of us (to harm us or offend us).When the world is not exactly as we wish it to be, we literally become obsessed in our minds.
This is ANXIETY! It drives us to want to keep ourselves extremely busy with task after task to avoid feeling so anxious. This behavior only works as long as we can keep ourselves busy.
Eventually, we run out of things to touch, move, rearrange, clean-out, purchase, sell, paint, build, etc...
As we dwell on some mental or emotional conflict in our life, small situations that cause us fear, or someone else's life, we develop a mindset based on a diseased attitude. We become critical of ourselves and others.
Wanting to cause everything in our life to work out for our own selfish desires, we, in essence, become our own god... And, we make other people & things are own god, as well.
As long as everything in the world works out the way I want it to be, THEN, and only then will I be okay! Now, Imagine a life where this is not true.
A life when you will actually be able to handle the imperfections of life and others while STILL keeping your own sanity and anxiety under your control. Yes, this is possible! Healthy people live this way every single day!
Your job is to stop trying to figure out HOW to make the world run your way, but instead, LEARN new coping skills- understand the 'why' of your current anxieties.
The 'why' in order to heal & change yourself, not to blame or change someone else! (you will need professional help but you can get there)
Our mental obsessions are centered in self...
What we want to happen for ourselves, and what we want to happen for others or from others;
"If I could make this situation work out the way I want it to, only then, can I be happy".
We deceive ourselves into believing that we know what's best for everyone and until everything works out to our satisfaction. By doing so, we delay our own joy & happiness.
Is that we can't be happy & joyous right now.
We won't accept that trials & testing's are a natural part of life and can be used by God to grow and mature us in Christ.
Contrary to popular teaching, GOD does not cause difficulties in our life so we can be refined. he may use them but he did not order them!
The act of Jesus was a once for all event. There is no further refining that is required (study God's grace).
However, we do a very good job of causing our own difficulties, but God is faithful to bring us back onto His path.
IF, we are diligent and are willing to do work, God will not simply take away our anxieties, He will surround us with the people and experiences to teach us how NOT to live anxious life (Jesus said "peace and Joy come from the scripture").
When we are focused on self we tend to allow our feelings to dictate our behavior. As Christians, we are no longer to live by feelings but rather by God's will (for starters, simple daily responsibilities will begin to move us in the right direction).
Obedience, based on the word of God, which is the will of God, should dictate our behavior, regardless of how we're feeling and regardless of our situation...
Instead of playing God, we are to trust God. Trust that, at the moment of surrender, God will "cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, for us" (Rom 8:28)
Our contentment in all circumstances is dependent upon our obedient response to God in our thoughts, words, and actions (NOT, getting everything we want at every moment). We must move from the "Feelings" stage to the "Doing" stage of Willingness and Obedience, Without any regard for our own feelings, or other's feelings.
Our own anxieties and mental obsessions are based on our regrets from the past and fears of the future.
We are to remove ourselves from the throne, surrender our circumstances to God and allow Him to work in our lives and exert His will, as God on the throne...
This moves us from being self centered to Christ centered.
Whenever we are anxious, un-easy, frustrated, restless, etc... we are saying "God, I don't trust your plan for my life and I really don't think you have complete control of my life- I think I better handle this one on my own"... and, that's why we have no peace.
We are only trusting in ourselves, our circumstances, other people's words or behavior.
When we take our focus off of ourselves in every daily situation, how we feel and what we want, and put it where it belongs - onto others, God will take over our situation, change our desires and begin to work through us to help others.
As a result, we become less obsessed with our own minds and more loving towards our neighbors.
Follow these principles if you want a peaceful and productive life!
We must first love God and ourselves, then our neighbors as ourselves. This only comes through genuine seeking of something much greater than we our or can even imagine... God the Father!
Dr. Miles K. Lewis
The ugliness of addiction & alcoholism are symptoms... not the actual problem!
The core issues that drive addictions are centered in a person's inability to handle life in productive and consistent ways. The addict uses drugs to cope, the alcoholic uses liquor to cope, and the non-user simply copes through things such as;
Fix the Core problems and addictions go away
Our program is designed to heal core problems within a person, not the symptoms of drinking of using drugs.
Many adults exhibit the same behaviors that addicts & alcoholics do and may only be using drugs or alcohol. Now is the time to deal with it before it turns into an "abuse" issue.
Let's face it, by the time our children fall into the drug & alcohol trap, a whole host of other mal-adaptive behaviors are in full swing and unloading on the entire family. Adolescence is a difficult enough time, as it is. Life is much, much different than when we were kids.
How many times have you thought, or even said out loud "I will not allow my own children to go through what I had to go through when I was a kid"?
As parents, we tend to go over board, with the best intentions, when it comes to our kids. Because we don't want them to suffer, we put ourselves in a position to absorb many of life's lessons, thereby, inadvertently short cutting the process of growing up.
Let me explain; if my goal is to keep my child from "suffering the way I did", then I buy, buy, buy them stuff every time they stub their toe, see something they want, get bad grades in school, get good grades in school... We are covering up their opportunities to experience real life situations which are attached to emotions. If we cover these up we are inadvertently teaching our children that it's not okay to feel what they are feeling.
We finish their homework for them, we cover for them on the phone when a friend calls they don't want to talk to, we give them money they didn't earn, we allow them to blow their money and then we replace it.
I can keep going but I'm sure you get my point. .. And let me say, folks, I'm guilty of this too! All parents want our children to have easy-going lives, but, now, it's time for the tough news.
This is the very parental behavior that produces children who are unable to handle life's little jolts.
In our quest to raise a happy, healthy, easy going kid, we end up manufacturing a child who feels entitled to everything he/she wants, unaware of how to load a dishwasher, clean their bedroom, or worse, complete their own school work.
I come from a family where my oldest brother turned out fine, and, I, on the other hand, struggled quite a bit through my teen and young adult years, for the very reasons I just described.
It is possible for some siblings to be unaffected by this parenting and others to go off the deep end.. Which tells me, the kids have major responsibility, here!
In order for recovering addicts to be truly happy and healthy, it's the ADDICT'S job to become accountable for their own actions. They can no longer blame their parents, teachers, friends, whoever!
We work very closely with parents, spouses, and other family, when possible, to mend all the resentments that have surfaced, and help each family member to get on a new track.
Clients feel better about themselves and Dads learn how to spend more time on dates with mom, instead of time spent on cleaning up messes of the adult-child.
I beg your forgiveness if I offended anyone, but, please know, I offer this information as a tool. I will always share with you from my own experiences as a parent, not just a counselor. I make the same mistakes you do, for the same reasons!
I hope this helps you better understand some small adjustments we can all make around the house that will lead us to happier, healthier times. Our children must be allowed to fail... That's right, they must gain the privileged of failing! Our self-esteem comes from failing, picking ourselves up, and then accomplishing.
The next time your child fails at something, let them fail; your job is to support them, love them, assist when asked, but, don't do it for them, regardless of the consequences.
If you cover for your children, even if they are adults, you'll be robbing them of a precious process of growth.
So often I've heard parents say (and I've used this one, too); "But if I don't do his homework for him, he'll get an 'F'".
Then, let him get an 'F'... That's how we learn to be accountable for our own actions.
Once we become adults, we have no one to bail us out, so, unless you're planning on doing everything for your child until he's 80 yrs old, you better allow them to learn a few things the hard way. That's how we grow! That's how you grew, that's how I've grown, and that's how your children will grow, as well.
It's ok to watch them struggle with things. They're learning, so let them learn. You can be supportive, encouraging, sympathetic, and especially take the tine to teach, but don't solve their problems so quickly, for them!