What should you expect if your loved one is in early recovery, as in they're recently sober, they're working on their recovery? The angle we're looking at is trying to help family members have a realistic understanding and expectation about those early days and weeks of the recovery process.
I know you've waited for a long time for your loved one to address this problem. Probably years, right? You've been through the mud and the muck, and you're probably 10 miles past your limit, and so once they finally do decide to get sober, you are way past the point of being ready.
I want you to hold your fire.
Even when someone decides to get sober, it's not an overnight transformation.
Subconsciously we're thinking, "if they could realize they have a problem and decide to stop, it's going to solve all of our problems. Everything is going to be better, and it's just going to be wonderful and rainbows!" Sometimes you have a brief period that is kind of like that.
When people get...
Have you heard of SGB injection for post-traumatic stress disorder? Recently, one of our viewers commented on my video and asked me if I knew about this or if I'd made a video about it. It sparked my curiosity because I had never heard of an injection for PTSD.
P T S D stands for post-traumatic stress disorder, and because there is such a high correlation between trauma and addiction, that's why we're deep-diving on the SGB injection. It's going to help us understand better if this injection could be helpful for those that are struggling with these co-occurring disorders.
In a general way, we all know what the word trauma means, but there is a clinical definition for post-traumatic stress disorder. In the counseling world, there's a lot of talk about something called complex trauma.
I thought the best place to begin would be to explain the issue to you, and then we'll get into this SGB injection, how it works, and how it impacts, and how it can be a super helpful resource for...
The first step to helping someone decide to get sober is to stop trying to change them and start trying to understand them. That is the essential ingredient. It's the foundation that you must put down. Otherwise, you're not going to get anywhere.
This is the most effective strategy that a family member can have. This is where every family should start, and if you get stuck in the process along the way, this is where you should return. Think about this as a home base, trying to understand the person and their situation.
This idea came to me when I was doing a video interview with Kyle from Sober Dogs, which you can watch HERE. He asked, how do you change a teenager who doesn't want to be changed? I said that's it! I don't focus on changing them. I focus on trying to understand them. When there's resistance, it's because people don't want to be changed. They don't want to be judged.
If you focus on hearing and understanding someone, you're going to lay down the groundwork for...
What is the quickest way to go from unhealthy boundaries to healthy boundaries? Let's identify a few situations where you could be sliding into unhealthy boundaries and learn how to turn the situation around.
No matter what side of the issue you're on, everything I'm going to teach you today is helpful, whether or not addiction is in your life. These are healthy skills that we can all benefit from. A quick way to figure out if you're sliding into unhealthy boundaries with someone is to determine whether or not you're on the drama triangle.
In the 1960s, Stephen Cartman came up with this theory called the drama triangle as a way of explaining dysfunctional social interaction. I love to explain this to people because it's so easy to understand, and it has such a concrete visual, which helps.
There are three roles in the drama triangle--The rescuer, the victim, and the persecutor.
If you find you're demonstrating these characteristics, this is a surefire signal that you are sliding...
This topic is crucial, whether you're the family member, you're the person that has the addiction, your counselor, or you don't have anything to do with addiction at all. You need to know how to set and communicate effective boundaries.
The most effective way to communicate a boundary is by not verbally communicating. You see, that's where most people mess it up. They want to tell people what they can and can't do or what they will and won't do. You say to your kid, you can't have drugs in this house, or you can't come home drunk anymore. I know you want to communicate that way because you feel like you're setting a boundary, but boundaries are about your behavior, not their behavior.
You can set boundaries for your behavior.
When setting a boundary for your behavior, you must stop believing that people deserve a fair warning.
You have in your mind that because you've communicated the boundary, it's like you've set this new rule, and the person is to respect that.
It sounds great in...
Could you be inadvertently sabotaging your loved one's chance at getting sober? As a counselor, there are a few ways that I regularly see family members do that can undo all the work the counselor is doing to help a person who's trying to find sobriety.
Families, I'm about to call you out here, but before I do, let me say I've done every one of these. As I said, we don't inadvertently do these things. We're not trying to sabotage their recovery in any way. The things that we say are natural things to say. When you say these things it can be counter-productive. Not only is it not helpful, but it is pulling everything in the wrong direction.
1. Negative forecasting. I get why you'd want to do this. Negative forecasting is kind of like making future predictions that the person's going to fail or it's never going to work. Let's look at some different ways this might show up. Maybe you have it in your head that your loved one can never get better.
The problem is if you have that in...
Recently, I released a video titled, "Is AA(alcoholics Anonymous) a religion?" You can watch it HERE.
Now, I pose the question, Is alcoholics anonymous really a cult? What about narcotics anonymous or any of the anonymous' for that matter? (read to the end to get my opinion).
You've probably heard that AA is a cult, but we're going to take an objective look and find out what qualities of AA are like a cult and if AA isn't a cult, then what the heck is it?
I think the best way to tackle this question is to look at the qualities of a cult and see if AA has any of those qualities.
Spoiler alert! -- It has some of those qualities.
The first quality of a cult is having a questionable commitment to a leader. If you're familiar with alcoholics anonymous, you know that it was created by someone named Bill Wilson. Eventually, he brought along a friend named Dr. Bob, if you had to say someone was the leader of alcoholics anonymous, it would be Bill and Bob, for...
Do you feel like your loved one's addiction has turned you into a person you don't even recognize anymore? If so, that's pretty standard. It's easy to get on the emotional roller coaster with your addicted loved one.
Are you behaving and doing things that you can't believe you're doing? How do you get control of yourself and get back to being yourself, so you can live the life that you want to live?
How has your behavior changed?
How has your emotional life changed?
Are you constantly worrying?
Are you constantly obsessing and checking?
Those are pretty normal things that happen when you have a loved one who's addicted to drugs or alcohol. If your loved one lives with you, you're probably fixated on trying to figure out the lies from the truth and gather evidence. The more you do this, the more you lose yourself. It's like the person is chasing the substance, and you are chasing the person. Before long, everybody is being controlled by addiction.
What behaviors do you want to stop?...
How do you create a life that you love and that you can maintain?
Let's identify what those beginning strategies are.
All of those seem so blatantly obvious and that's why it's so important to learn those skills to get sober from substances. Keeping your sobriety is another story, am I right? There are some more advanced skills that you need to adopt if you want to manage them.
You see, for me, recovery management is, is all about sanity management. If you want to keep your sobriety or recovery long-term, you have to keep your head on straight. The reason why that's so important is that when you get yourself in an awful situation or you're upset when life throws you curveballs. These are the times that are likely to send you spiraling backward.
The first one on the list of advanced recovery skills is you have to learn to deal with problems and address them as they happen. We all...