We're constantly saying to people trying to overcome an addiction you can't do it yourself. What do you need, what is helpful, what is not, and how can other people support you?
Let's look at what kind of recovery supports are available and what you need to look for. We're also going to identify who will be part of your recovery support network.
On an individual basis, what do you need from the people around you?
There are five categories that you need in a support network. You most likely won't have one person that can do all of these. This is why you need a few different people in your life that serve a few functions.
One of the things you need is someone that can serve as a sounding board.
You need someone you can bounce your thoughts off of and help you sort through stressors and think through problems. Someone that you can talk to freely without feeling judged. The person who does this for you will need to have a few unique characteristics. First and foremost, you have to see...
If you or a loved one are thinking about getting sober and you want to make sure you stay sober, this video is for you! The number one most important first step for relapse prevention is putting these things in place.
These actionable steps will help provide the foundation for maintaining a good long-term recovery.
I recently had a conversation with a lady on a phone consult. She told me how her husband was having a lot of "change talk." He would say he was ready to take all of these first steps to recovery but always fell short. This happens with so many of the clients I see. It's not that the person doesn't mean it necessarily. You can usually tell when someone is genuine about it. They do want this problem to go away. They want to be better and change their ways, but just wanting it isn't enough. You have to take action steps.
The first and most important action step that you need to take is to do all of the things you can think of that would make it hard, If not impossible...
If you have an addicted loved one and hear any of these statements, you are being manipulated.
We're going to look at gaslighting from the loved one's perspective. If you have an addicted loved one and say things like this to you, this is gaslighting.
If you've never heard that term before, it's where someone purposefully makes you feel like you're crazy.
There are a lot of ways this happens. Let's start with like the classic of all classics.
Let's say that you find drugs, alcohol, paraphernalia, whatever it is. You confront your loved one with it. They're going to say, "I forgot about that. That's been there forever!" or "That's my friends, it's not even mine!"
That is super classic.
You probably already know that's not true because you probably looked in that spot recently and knew it wasn't there, but they're going to make you doubt your sanity by telling you that. Then you're going to think, well, maybe it is old, and you're going to question. Before you know it,...
How do you rebuild your self-esteem in the early recovery process? Many of you have been asking for me to address the issue of self-esteem.
I'm going to give you three actionable steps that you can take to build your self-esteem and your self-confidence in a way that will last.
Where does bad self-esteem come from?
Some people think that drug or alcohol addiction is a direct result of bad self-esteem, and I guess, in some situations, it could be. But when you have a drug or alcohol problem, it will result in bad self-esteem.
The reason that happens is you behave in ways that you usually wouldn't because of the addiction. You violate your boundaries in ways that you usually wouldn't. You let go of things that are important to you. You hurt people you care about, and the result is feeling horrible about yourself.
It's hard to dig out of the hole of addiction when you feel terrible and crappy about yourself.
Think about it as being in a relationship with somebody that's abusive....
I'm answering a viewer letter about a situation where more than one person struggles with addiction in one household.
We're going to take a look at the letter, and then I'll give my response and feedback.
"My husband is currently in rehab for alcoholism for the second time. He was in law enforcement for 15 years and had a very public DUI several years ago. He went to rehab for the first time and stayed sober for over two years.
He's been a binge closet drinker. In the last two years, he falls into a depression and drinks and leaves for days at a time to the woods with no communication. On December 30th, he left for five days. When he came back, he asked me for help and decided he should go to rehab.
He's now been there for a week. He sounds good, and I'm hoping he is gaining what he needs to help himself get through this for our relationship. We don't have any trust. He's s a good man, a hard worker, loving when he doesn't drink. The person we all want him to be...
If you have a loved one struggling with addiction and involved in family recovery, you've probably heard of the three C's. The three C's come from Al-Anon.
The three C's are:
You didn't CAUSE it.
You can't CONTROL it.
You can't CURE it.
To make it clear, you didn't cause the addiction. You can't control the addiction. You can't cure the addiction.
I want to add a fourth C to this saying, that you can CONTRIBUTE to the problem.
There are five ways that you might be contributing to your loved one's addiction.
I want you to understand that I'm not telling you that the addiction is your fault. The five behaviors that I'm about to explain are triggered because of addiction.
I know that you are behaving this way and doing these things because the addiction triggers you to react this way. However, just like with an addiction, it is your responsibility to get better. It's easy for us to think about and see how addiction is the puppet master controlling all of our loved one's behaviors.
How do you rebuild trust and put your relationship back together when alcoholism is in the equation? Let's look at four practical, helpful, and successfully proven strategies. If you do these four things, you'll be well on your way to putting your relationship back on track.
Anytime there's an addiction issue inside a relationship, you will develop trust issues on both sides. The person with the addiction also does not trust the family member because both people have probably been a little dishonest.
One practical and helpful tool that we use in our office is Soberlink.
Soberlink is an alcohol monitoring system that has proven highly effective in restoring the relationship. Family and trust and helping people along their journey in recovery. What Soberlink does is provide accountability for the person in early recovery, and it gives the family peace of mind.
Long before Soberlink sponsored my channel, I've been a huge fan. We've used...
What do you do when someone continuously breaks your boundaries?
Do you have a person like that in your life?
Is it a friend, a family member, a loved one, a coworker, or a boss?
Boundaries are a huge topic in the realm of addiction recovery.
Now you might be thinking this video is only for the family members. Wrong! This video is for anyone who wants to learn more about holding healthier boundaries and how to do it more effectively. I know how frustrating it is to have a person in your life that can't seem to respect your boundaries.
The hard truth is no one else can break your boundary. Only YOU can break your boundary.
If someone else is crossing lines that you don't want them to cross, it means you're allowing them to break your boundary. It's so easy to fall into the idea that it's the other person that's the bad guy. I understand that on some level. Unfortunately, It doesn't work that way and ultimately falls on us to keep our boundaries. It's easy to get confused because we...
Does my drinking or substance use affect my kids?
Of course, it does, but HOW does it affect your kids? Some
of these things might be difficult to hear, but necessary.
We're going to be looking at it from the child's point of view, focusing specifically on how a parent's alcohol or other substance use or abuse affects you as a kid and even as an adult now.
If you want to know if you have an addiction or a loved one has an addiction problem and how severe that problem is, you can click HERE to download the criteria for substance use disorder.
Affect #1: When you're using substances, you are modeling that behavior for your kid. If you use substances in your home, you're modeling that's the way adults in the family have fun or party. It may come across to your kid as really glorified, "Ooh, that's how adults are happy! That's how adults connect. When I get older, I'm going to do that!"
If you're using substances to help you cope with stress or problems, then you're also modeling...
I believe everyone knows there's a strong link between trauma and addiction, but did you know there are three strong links between trauma and addiction? What are they?
Most people are aware of this first link between trauma and addiction. It's the idea that people with trauma are way more likely to develop addiction issues. It doesn't take a psychologist or a research scientist to figure out why.
When you have trauma, you dysregulate the alarm systems in your brain. Sometimes that dysregulation is permanent and shows itself in different kinds of anxiety and very uncomfortable symptoms.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you're uncomfortable, you're going to look for a solution. Sometimes, people think they've found their answer in using drugs, alcohol, or other types of behavioral addictions. We know that these aren't great solutions. They tend to help short-term, but they tend to make the problem WAY worse...