Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lauren4Recovery – An eye on perception

Submitted by Lauren4Recovery on August 18th, 2013

I have a disease of perception. It likes to creep up on me at times. In those moments, I move away from an attitude of gratitude and I find myself creating my own personal state of hopelessness and desperation. I instantly forget how far I’ve come and the disease of more becomes my identity.

Even in sobriety, this happens to me. I lived for years externally focused. My job on Wall Street, my outer appearance, material things provided me with a distorted sense of self and comfort. Now that I have moved away from that way of life and focus on myself in a far greater intensity, I must deal and handle the small speed bumps on the road of life I am creating for myself. These speed bumps take me out of the present moment and bring me back to past messages of needing to do more, be more, make more money, have a better job in order to feel worthy or like I matter.

In the past I numbed out and disconnected from these speed bumps. I didn’t want to deal with them and lived life on my terms which meant engaging in some form of destruction to alleviate the discomfort with not living up to my perfectionist standards. I no longer need to do this and it is a beautiful thing. I can experience life for all its worth and truly feel the goodness that comes along on the ride.

My sister sent me a text yesterday saying “I’m here for you. We are a team!”

I immediately called her and told her I wish she could see the tears of joy streaming down my face. I never would have experienced this when I was active in my addictions. I have so much joy and gratitude for her in my life. This is just one example and I will hold onto it dearly. It is moments like this that propel me forward and keep me on this new and improved path.

When my perception shifts back to my disease, my connection to the world is lost. I am back to that hopeless and desperate state and that is exactly where my addictions want me. My ego is taking over and my entire door of fear is opened. I go from being grateful and humble to frustrated, angry, resentful. I want more and beat myself up for being where I am in my recovery.

This is a dangerous place to be and also one that I can get out of if I choose to. And I do make that choice now. I go to a meeting. Call a friend. Connect. That is what it is all about. Connection. This brings me back to reality. Back to feeling the love.  Back to being an active participant in life. The more I practice this, the easier it becomes.

Lauren4Recovery – How can I be forgiving of something traumatic that happened to me?

Submitted by Lauren4Recovery on August 16th, 2013

This is very hard. I understand. A lot of these traumatic events happened when we were young and naïve. When we were taken advantage of and had no choice in the matter.

The key word here though is ‘forgiving.’ With this comes a whole new meaning to our lives and a new sense of freedom. Growing up, I did not get what I wanted from members of my family emotionally. Although it was not a massive traumatic event, it still affected me in many ways. I spent years holding onto anger and resentment because of this, which just prolonged the dysfunction in the relationship and added fuel to my addictions. Now that I am in recovery, I have had the opportunity to work on this relationship. To let go of the past and all that I felt I did not get from our relationship. A relationship is a two-sided street and I was able to take ownership and responsibility for my part. Now, we are building a new relationship out of love and I could not be happier.

Once I was able to forgive, a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders. A new sense of respect and acceptance was developed not only for the other person, but for myself as well. Holding onto that anger and resentment kept me disconnected from Lauren. Kept me resisting and not accepting and the qualities that keep me connected, like love and compassion were lost sight of.

I know this process takes time, but I am here to tell you it is possible and the act of forgiveness gives life a whole new meaning. With that, we can forgive ourselves and move forward to create the life we want. I am the only person that can get in the way of accomplishing my dreams and goals. That takes a lot of pressure off of me. I spent so long trying to control and manipulate. I no longer need to that as I have found my true essence.

How have you moved past from trauma? Let us know and join the Lauren4Recovery movement with me!

Sending love,

Lauren

Lauren4Recovery – What does it take to become ‘awakened’ in my life?

Submitted by Lauren4Recovery on August 15th, 2013

What does it take to become ‘awakened’ in my life?

There is no direct answer to this question as it is a unique experience for each person. For me, I awoke in a taxi in NYC. I had just engaged in my addictions and began shaking uncontrollably. I thought that was it for me and I remember telling the taxi driver to take me to the hospital. In that moment I knew my life was unmanageable. I could not live on this road of destruction anymore and needed to get help. I could not do it alone.

So the journey of awakening took me to Florida for treatment.

I am so thankful to be where I am today. Fully awake and conscious in my life. The reality is, I am surrounded by people that are not fully ‘awake’ in their life. That use destructive behaviors to get themselves through the day. That numb out and disconnect on a constant basis and it’s always with drugs or alcohol or food. It could be with work, relationships, control. Each person is different and I have to remember that acceptance cures all my frustration, anger, and resentments.

Becoming ‘awakened’ requires a piece of willingness. The ability to see that another way of life is possible. Without that, the paradigm shifts and changes will likely never occur. As humans, we are creatures of habit and our behaviors serve a purpose, even though those behaviors may push us farther and farther away from reality and the ones we love. I am here to tell you it is possible to become awakened if you want to, and with that, life takes on a whole new dimension.

How have you become ‘awakened’ in your life? What works for you? Let us know and join the movement!

Sending love,

Lauren

The Fix

Submitted by Ron on March 30th, 2011

Maer Roshan, launched TheFix.com, “addiction and recovery, straight up.”

It’s a daily site where you can find headlines such as “Finding the Perfect AA Meeting,”

HOPE

Submitted by admin on April 11th, 2010

You may feel optimistic today as you think about all the possibilities awaiting you. Your upbeat mood could inspire you to manifest the life you desire. It may be helpful for you to visualize your life as you would like it to be. Try imagining your life as a road stretching into the future. Along the road, you can picture places you would like to go and options you would like to explore. Watch as you walk down the road and see what you would like the future to bring. If you happen to visualize an obstacle, simply approach it with a positive frame of mind, smile, and continue along the way, knowing that the universe is guiding you. Creating a positive picture of the future today could help you prepare for these opportunities when they actually come into your life.

When you have a hopeful outlook toward life, you are better able to realize your dreams. From past experience, you may have noticed that your thought patterns form the world around you. You begin to perceive that your future reality can evolve from your current thoughts. If you think pessimistically, you are more likely to create negative situations in the future. By staying in a positive frame of mind, you construct a more promising reality. Imagining your future as a bright beacon of positive energy will pave the way for you to manifest what you want in life today.

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Don’t Be A Victim Of Frustration

Submitted by admin on March 2nd, 2010

People need motivation to carry them through a variety of
activities. If you have ever dreamed of performing in a
symphony orchestra, or playing the lead in a play; getting
that book published, or landing that dream job, frustration
is something you will have to deal with. So, the question
facing you is, how do you stay motivated when faced with
frustration?

Paying The Right Price

Step one is to realize that nothing worth achieving is going
to come easily. To become a great musician, actor, singer
etc. requires training and practice. If you want to write a
great book, the next great American novel, you need to learn
about plot structure, character arcs etc. and write, write,
write! When trying to get a good job, you need to have the
skills the company wants, and be ready when they have an
opening.

Then comes the frustration. No matter how good you are at
whatever it is you do, you will probably not succeed at your
first attempt. The reason: there are so many other people
with the same abilities. Look at a show like “American
Idol”. How many times have you seen a singer you thought
should stay on get tossed off? How often have you applied
for that perfect job, or auditioned for that great role,
only to miss out?

Why Become Better

This is where step two comes into play. You have to accept
that you are not the only person suited for whatever it is
that you are striving to achieve. Often times getting what
you comes down to good timing, networking, and a bit of
luck. Yet, this does not mean that you give up. This is
where you use step three to keep you focused. Review all of
your talents, and look for areas to improve and hone them.

Look around your community; are there classes you can take,
or groups you can join to help you on the path to success?
Along those same lines, a class or book that addresses the
issue of motivation can be helpful. Remember, when trying to
achieve something, no matter what it is, frustration is a
common stumbling block. So, just learning about methods of
motivation can really help you to stay focused on your goal.

What Winners Know

Next, reviewing the accomplishments of others can help you
to deal with the frustrations of your own life. Look at
Thomas Edison, and his quest to create the electric light
bulb. For that matter, look at any of his inventions. With
virtually everything he created, he faced frustration again
and again as experiment after experiment failed.

His attitude? He looked upon those failures as merely
experiments that he did not have to do again.
Abraham Lincoln faced frustration again and again as he
struggled to find a competent general to lead the Union
Army. He took solace in his faith; he was certain that God
was with him, and the Union.

Are You Supported?

A lot of times, that can be the key: finding out what are
the things that help you to stay motivated. Is it your
faith; is it your support system or friends and family?
Whatever it is you rely on, the critical factor is a
positive attitude. If you surround yourself with people who
are forever negative, always looking down on things,
chronically “glass half empty” sorts, then you are going to
find it hard to stay motivated. So, that is why a strong
support system is vital.

Finally, an excellent means of staying motivated is to look
at others who have succeeded in the face of adversity.
Consider someone like author J.K. Rowling; she was “on the
dole” as they say in the UK, on public assistance, when she
wrote the first “Harry Potter” book. Yet, today, she’s said
to be richer than the Queen of England. If that isn’t
motivation for a writer, nothing is!

People who don`t get a handle of killing frustration live
very difficult, stressful lives. Make sure that the agony of
frustration does not rob you of your dreams and truly
enjoying life to the full.

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Planning Recovery During the Holidays

Submitted by Ron on December 19th, 2009

This feature was written by Hamish White a certified alcoholism and drug dependency counselor who has his own addiction practice called Recovery Counseling Services in North Toronto. Hamish and his team provide out-patient individual and group counseling to adolescents adults and family members.

Plan B

If you must attend a party or gathering where alcohol is being served, then have a Plan B, an escape route.  If you are with a friend or partner then tell them before you go that you may feel uncomfortable around alcohol and that you need to be able to leave the party on a moment’s notice without having to explain why.  In fact, you can always have an alternative place to go – like for a coffee or out to a movie.  The Pressure Is Off With this arrangement, negotiated when you arrive at the gathering, tell your host or hosts that you can probably only stay for a short time, but that you will know more in a while after you make a telephone call. Then you are not obliged to stay and what usually happens is that you have a great time because the pressure to stay is off. If you are on your own, make sure you have your sponsor’s or a sober friend’s phone number and that you know they will be home so that you can call or even meet with them if you feel the need.

That’s “Plan B.” Thanks I’d Love a Drink! What if someone asks you if you would like a drink, and you don’t particularly feel like explaining to them that you have a disease that requires you not to drink one day at a time, and that you are a recent graduate of the local dipsomania treatment center.  What I do is say “What a good idea I would love a drink! Do you have a soda-water with lemon or a Coca-Cola?” This allows me to say yes and get what I want as well. Very few people will press anything alcoholic on us, but when they do I simply say, “Not right now, thank you, but a Coke would really hit the spot.” Stay away from Christmas cake rum balls and dubious punches and eggnog. Just a little of the old taste can start us urging for a more substantial dose.

A.A./ N.A/O.A Still Meets! During the celebratory season,

In fact, many groups have seasonal parties where food and fellowship abounds, and speakers talk of gratitude and of the real spirit of giving that is outlined in the 12th Step. Members are warm and inviting and most are serene in the knowledge that there is a safe place for them to be. Anyone with a desire to stop drinking or to stay sober and clean is welcome. Out-Smart the Disease Remember, alcoholism and addiction are not only physical diseases, they are also spiritual emotional and mental diseases. Which, of course, is what we are as people. My alcoholism is as smart as I am and then just a little bit smarter. My alcoholism wants me to drink, therefore it wants me to be in slippery places like wet Christmas or New Year parties. I have to be careful – I have to outsmart my disease. I need to be connected to sober people. I need to be doing sober things, going to sober places. I can’t let the Christmas season be an excuse for a relapse. I may be on holiday but my chemical dependency does not take a holiday. Ultimately, the only way to say sober over the holidays is the same way I stay sober all year round, that is, one day at a time.

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More.. Staying Sober During The Holidays

Submitted by Ron on December 10th, 2009

Gay Addiction Treatment Programs

Submitted by Ron on December 8th, 2009

It’s about Time, As addiction treatment programs have sprung up across the country, there has been a focus on many different substance abuse populations. We have numerous eating disorder programs for women, countless drug rehab programs for men, sex addiction and sexual trauma programs for both men and women, but what about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population? Where do they seek drug/alcohol treatment? Why are they continually expected to fit into the same “addiction treatment model” (heterosexual) that resembles the life model which created so much shame for them. Some would suggest they fit into a same-sex addiction treatment center, which is generally nothing more than a set up for relapse.

Drug Rehab Focus to Be Population Specific One of the major goals of any drug rehab is to create and environment where a patient can feel comfortable enough to be honest, can be treated with respect, dignity and not feel judged. Right or wrong, good or bad, history shows us that the gay and lesbian population is one that through the years has been criticized, ridiculed and misunderstood by the majority in the heterosexual community, the same community that makes up the majority of the population in an addiction treatment program. For this reason alone, the gay and lesbian population needs to have therapists that understand their specific needs, an environment that will affirm them as people and support them as they share their secrets of shame, humiliation and anger.

Addiction Treatment vs. the Real World Philosophically, a person’s last day in drug rehab, should resemble their first day in the real world. A person does not stay in a drug rehab program forever. That being said, an addiction treatment program does not have to be completely “gay friendly” to be effective treatment for a gay person. While, specific clinical activities, groups, lectures etc. need to be gay specific in order to create a safe space for them to communicate, it is also their responsibility to learn how to communicate effectively and live in the heterosexual world without turning to drugs or alcohol. As such, there is no better place to begin this transition than in the addiction treatment program, where a person can receive ongoing support from their therapist and peers.

Please post ideas for posts

Thnaks

Ron Mills

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Staying Sober During The Holidays

Submitted by Ron on November 29th, 2009
  1. Make plans. Don’t leave extra unplanned time or isolate yourself. Keeping busy can help curb the temptation to use.
  2. Bookend non-sober functions with sober activities- meetings, phone calls, fellowships. Let your sponsor or a trusted friend know if you will be at a function where there will be alcohol or other substances. The best thing to do is steer clear of such activities, but if you must go, attend another sober activity as soon as possible. This can be a phone call to your sponsor, a meeting or fellowship.
  3. Volunteer your time. Often times, helping others helps keep the focus away from addiction. Feel good about yourself by giving back to others.
  4. Spend time with a sober friends- people with strong sobriety. The positive influences of peer pressure can have a lasting sober affect. Surround yourself with a network of sober people. Talk openly and share in each other’s strength.
  5. Take your own sober beverage/food/candy to parties. If you keep your own sober stash, you won’t feel left out. Plus, you can satisfy any urges to use in a sober way.
  6. If you’ve come this far on your path to recovery, you should know your triggers- people, places, things that give you the urge to use. If need be, avoid a relapse by avoiding bars, old friends who still use or situations that might tempt you to use again.
  7. Avoid HALT (becoming too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). I know, as a person who suffers from depression, that hunger, anger, loneliness and fatigue can trigger a period of sadness. The same holds true for addicts and alcohol and drug use.
  8. Write about your feelings and talk about resentments. Journaling or blogging is a great way positively channel your energy. Random Thoughts on Being Gay-n-Sober is a great example of how you can use your gift of expression to help you stay sober.
  9. Talk to your higher power and reflect on your gratitude. Break the mold of traditional religion and find a spiritual center that can help you stay focused on your path to
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