For lasting recovery that helps the whole family
faith-based residential treatment / Out-Patient / On-line
Addictions - Alcoholism - Behavioral - Mental health
This is the point of needing to 'change'. So the person may recover, learn news of thinking, new ways of handling their life-situations.
Think about this for a moment, when a person seeks out recovery they still possess all the characteristics they did during their drinking /dysfunctional days.
So, just because the person desires a change, doesn't mean that they ARE changed... at least not yet.
Easy for families to believe that because their loved-one is sober they must be a different person
... not so fast
And, so it with every addict/alcoholic, once their recovery process has begun, they still bring to the table all the defects that keep them sick, such as;
- Wanting their new life now with as little effort as possible
- Attitude of elitism- "I'm not like these people"
- Expecting quick fixes & giving only half-measures
I have observed and documented the specifics of this early-recovery behavior over an 18 year period, and can tell you, every addict/alcoholic exhibits these traits, some more than others, but everyone does them on their road to recovery.
The only one's who fail on this recovery road are the one's who are able to manipulate their families into believing the lies, who then rescue their adult-child from what should've been a life-changing experience.
Please don't make this mistake!
Keeping reading until you reach the PHASE ONE, TWO
s an exact process that every Addict/Alcoholic goes through in their journey for change
Why it goes wrong and how to change it!
You will learn why the Addict/Alcoholic fails time & time again.
How short-term drug treatments actually enable the addiction- process with 30-day revolving doors... Leaving just enough time to feel better without solidifying anything.
The development of Addiction is predictable
Recovery is also predictable & possible for every Addict/Alcoholic
Every Addict/Alcoholic wants their family to believe they are unique. That they require a 'special' solution.
When families believe this 'special' solution-idea it keeps everyone confused every time it fails.
- "I'm not like these people, I just need a new car, new job, new apartment, new bank card, etc..."
- "I'm done with drinking & using - I just need to get back to work"
It doesn't work for Cancer patients and it won't work for Addict/Alcoholics.
I'm the Co-founder and Director of Justin's Lighthouse residential recovery program for the past 18years. Our program has worked with 1000's of addicts, alcoholics, and their families.
I have a front-row seat to exactly how addicts behave in resistance to the process of change (early recovery), and the families who continue to enable them, even though they don't think they do.
When parents say; "Oh, we don't give them money, anymore" this does not constitute breaking free from codependency.
Codependency also comes in the form of emotional rescuing, which can be just as destructive for the Addict.
Agreeing with them when they make poor choices, in favor of their feelings is like giving the Addict permissions to violate their values and break whatever responsibility they were supposed to live up to.
If the Addict can convince their family that they are the 'victim of an injustice' and cause the family to jump onto their side of the fight (when none exists), then the Addict has successfully manipulated, once again!
The 'Fight' is actually defined as 'R.E.S.P.O.N.S.I.B.I.L.I.T.Y' in which the addict is merely attempting to avoid.
Hey, it's worked in the past and the Addict won't stop this behavior until they start getting different responses.
I am also a recovering addict, with a brother who died in his addiction.
The son of an alcoholic father, and, the son of a heart-broken Mama-Bear who never stopped saying; "I wish I had said; 'No' more often", regarding my younger brother, until the day she died.
My professional credentials include various degrees, including, a PhD in behavioral sciences (emphasis: Adolescent behavior), as well as certifications from the state dept. of mental health & substance-abuse, plus, commendations for services specifically for Justin's Lighthouse.
A wealth of knowledge and experience
I have personally been on every side of this disease and want you to benefit from my experiences.
I come from a place of love and genuine concern for your family.
The truth isn't always pleasant.
Please keep this in mind, if your adult-child was dying from cancer you would read every word and follow every instruction...
Now, apply that same logic to Addiction because that's what's happening - your adult-child is dying in their addiction...
Because recovery is not a 'maybe'-thing!
Every person who has ever completed the Justin's Lighthouse program has maintained sobriety and lives a productive life.
We have seen some failures with one common denominator...
When Families fall for the Phase 2 Crisis Building and rescue their adult-child, the Addict has always and will always relapse.
When families trust us in this process and follow our instructions, their Adult-Child always gets better...
It's not rocket science or magic potions, it's addiction science!
You will learn about all these things when you enroll in Justin's lighthouse
They want recovery, but will always default back to resistance because that's what's programmed and conditioned.
The solution lies in breaking the conditioning
THE PHASES OF RECOVERY (ONE & TWO)
Beginning recovery/ Entering Treatment (The faking Phase / Go-along-to-get-along)
This phase is about pretending to have it all together - Can't show any weakness.
- Try to show everyone how smart, funny, nice, and charming they are
- Keep to themselves -don't make any waves
- Need to be liked by everyone.
- Act like they are open to learning but just for "show"
- Apply all new information to "someone they know", but never self.
- Tune out the core substance of critical information
- Keep a mental running scorecard in their head of everyone else's defects (will use it in phase 2)
- Pay lip-service, talk a good recovery game- w/out following any advice
- Look good on outside, comply with basic rules (this is to avoid conflict, not actually do right)
- Constantly thinking how different they are from others & really don't need much help
- Begin to question if they really have any major problems
- Believe they have a better way of doing things, but never talk about it (fear of conflict)
- Believe they already "know everything" ("already been to rehab, already read big book")
- Manipulate behavior to make it look like we are serious about recovery
- Look at recovery as something to get through as quickly as possible
- Constantly looking for fun or busy things to do (avoid slowing down & feeling)
- Do absolute minimum to get by to avoid conflict
- Resist getting honest with themselves but can tell you everything wrong with the world
- Believe if they can "just get back to work", or, if their family would simply "get me an apartment"
- All conversations are centered around getting or doing something, else (self-absorbed)
- Very much disconnected from the seriousness of their problems
- Hung-up on shortcuts, think they are too unique to establish any significant change
- Do things they want to do well - Ignore important things,
- Really believe they are doing everything they're supposed to be doing
- Still being sneaky, manipulating their family, gossiping, criticizing those around them
The superficiality of Phase One can continue up to 1-5 months.
Pretending to change. Trying to look good on the outside but not actually doing anything different.
Eventually, the pressure of living a double life builds until they can no longer suppress it. The resistance to change has become so great, they must either manipulate a rescue from their family or they will explode and gain a full release of emotions
(this is when real change begins).
If the family falls for these "perceived injustice claims" and rescues their adult-child, even if they simply sympathize with them by agreeing with the Addict in their "injustice" claims, the alcoholic/addict will relapse sooner or later.
These are the facts!
Without Change it's not possible to get different results!
Crisis building is a technique that every Addict/Alcoholic has perfected as a method of manipulation.
The sole intent is to get what they and to avoid personal responsibility
Playing the victim of an Injustice is well-oiled tool for the Addict/Alcoholic.
Until the Family stops reacting to it and starts redirecting the Addict/Alcoholic back into their own personal responsibility for every situation, nothing will change.
When 'crisis building', the Addict/Alcoholic is not actually experiencing anything that others don't have to deal with.
The difference, however, is simply the Addict/Alcoholic has never applied skills towards problem-solving, but rather, only to avoid problems by seeking a rescue.
They have simply mastered the art of instant-gratification and impulsivity.
Crisis building has also become a tool-of-manipulation when seeking a rescue.
I'm sorry parents...
But, this has worked in the past and that's why the Addict/Alcoholic keeps using it.
Irresponsibility is literally killing the Addict/Alcoholic
Until the alcoholic/addict completes a real transformation, they will always default back to what they know during times of stress...Drinking & using!
Faking has run its course(typically by day 30-90)
- Show more negative aspects of their personality -more defiant-more secretive
- Openly displaying their discontent. Want everyone to know how turned-off they are
- Elitism kicks-in, believe they are "too good" or "better-than"
- Use the phone to complain to their families about how "tough" their situation is
- Keep self-distracted with busyness, gossip, complaining
- Slack on things they used to excel-at
- Still haven't done anything significant towards their recovery
- Seek-out allies to agree with them in their gossip (now a danger to group-mates)
- Paint picture for their family that they are always a 'victim" of some injustice
- "Nobody understands me",
- Complaints & manipulation with their families increase. All conversations at this point are intended to invoke victim-hood- to get family to "rescue' them. (old technique but families fall for it)
- Resistance to surrender is at all time high
- Excuses are in full force; Complain-Complain-Complain / If only, If only, if only...
- Anxiety is building, which causes cravings and irritability
- No regard for how our behavior affects those around us.
- Say "I'm not even thinking about drinking" (While secretly figuring out how to drink or use)
- Tell families they are the "only one in rehab who takes it seriously, and therefore must be able to leave, at once!))
- Become more demanding
- Easily break commitments- Words have no meaning
- The mental pressure is so great at this point IT'S ABOUT TO EXPLODE...
THEY SEEK A FAMILY RESCUE, RUN AWAY, OR OTHERWISE RETURN TO OLD BEHAVIORS
This is avoided when the Addict/Alcoholic believes that "if they run away" from any responsibility (including rehab) they aren't welcome at home, no more car payments, gift cards, rent, gas money, nothing!
If the family's words haven't had much meaning then the Addict/Alcoholic won't believe and will continue to test this
In 18 years of working with Addicts and Families I have heard this statement a 1000 times...
"My parents don't really mean it. They seem serious but they always give-in. I'm just riding it out".
Families have to recondition the Addict's thinking. This takes time and requires guidance from professionals.
Justin's Lighthouse excels in working through this dynamic between families and the Addict.
Yes, there are loving ways to present boundaries, and when moderated with addiction professionals the chances of having a positive impact are far greater than if the family simply says; "you do this or we disown you!"
These usually involve pulling on the heart strings of Mama-Bear.
We recommend Al-Anon to learn how to overcome enabling behaviors.
When enrolled at Justin's Lighthouse families are part of the process
- "We never do any groups!",
- "There's no food here"
- "Nobody understands me"
- "My Counselor doesn't know what he's talking about"
- "My roommate is so messy"
- "I'm the only one who is serious"
- "I'm doing great, everybody else is slacking"
- "I just need to go home so I can fix all these problems"
What's happening in this manipulation scenario is the addict is trying to convey a picture of injustice and great discomfort. Can be physical or emotional.
This technique has worked for some time to trigger a quick, swift reaction of rescue by the family. Even an emotional rescue can keep the addict stuck.
'Oh, you poor baby! - it sounds like people are being mean - doing you wrong" This affirms the addict's "victim-hood" status and is a good way to keep them from ever growing up.
Underneath the manipulation is really an effort to avoid personal responsibility.
Irresponsibility drives Addiction!
Healthy Family response
Instead of reacting to the Addicts emotions (attempt to manipulate), it's vital that families redirect the Addict back to the solution...
Such as, practicing the new coping skills they are being taught.
That's why they're in rehab!
They don't have a drug/alcohol problem, the Addict has an irresponsibility problem and drugs & alcohol is their way of coping
Redirect - Redirect - Redirect
"I'm really sorry, son/daughter, that you're having this experience.
What are you learning at rehab that would help YOU work through this problem?"
Remember, it's not a real problem. It's a manipulation to get family to rescue them, once again, so they can avoid having to continue in any serious work.
A re-directive response will begin to reprogram the Addict's brain that it's time to grow-up
This is key if lasting-recovery is ever to be achieved!
The level of intensity increases until they...
- Run Away
- Get Rescued by Family to resume their addiction
- Sticks it out and has a break-through, a release of a lifetime of bitterness, anger, and self-centeredness
The chance for real-change increases exponentially if the Addict/Alcoholic is enrolled in a long-term program.
This crazy cycle will happen while they are still in rehab and most like push through it, as long as the family doesn't rescue them.
The Addict cannot believe for one second that you okay with them breaking yet another responsibility
And then, you better be willing to make your words have meaning and cut them off!
This could be the difference between them living or dying!
Definition Of ADULT
"A PERSON FULLY GROWN OR DEVELOPED"
Let's be honest, it's not easy growing up, and yes, there is absolutely genetic factors involved with Addiction and Alcoholism.
As result of poor coping skills and immaturity, the addiction is manifested through bad behavior. When the behavior is changed, the thinking will follow, which ultimately allows for the brain to heal.
New perspectives are gained, and self-esteem is developed
Families must stop rescuing bad behavior! Nobody has ever been comforted or nurtured into recovery. I'm not talking about "tough-love" either.
'Rescuing' is robbing the adult child of the opportunity to learn-HOW for them-self
There are so many factors involved in achieving a genuine transformation that it rarely happens outside the realm of serious professional help.
Programs that have the expertise, knowledge of lived experienced, and understand the science of addiction, to truly have lasting impact
Now, for the moment of truth in every Addict's journey...
This is the most crucial point in any addict/alcoholic's life.
This is that moment in life where the Addict must finally make a decision for themselves that could change the course of their life (if they choose right).
Usually what happens once the family stands firm, holds their ground by empathizing while redirecting the Addict/alcoholic has a break-through!
"We love you, but we aren't helping you self-destruct, anymore"
When this moment happens while still in treatment, the Addict/Alcoholic has the benefit of professionals to move Them through this period (while coordinating with the family)
Everybody stays on the same page, thus, moving the Addict into the 'right' lane, instead of their own impulses
Break-Through, Recovery continues!
Typically happens from 6-9 mos of sobriety
You can learn more about Phase 3 by enrolling in the Justin's Lighthouse recovery program
We teach families how to grow & heal!