*Daring to help someone in Crisis*…..
December 13, 2013...
Addictionland - Addiction Recover Blog
Music is an influential part of our lives but more often than not the rock stars we love struggle with addictions. Perscription drug overdose deaths have increased 250% since 1999. And celebrity lifestyles haven't helped the image of "doing drugs is cool."
Sad to say, many times a celebrities addiction to drugs and alcohol often leads to their death. Some of those celebrities are part of the 27 Club, an infamous group of rock stars who died at the age of 27, many of which died as a result of drug use.
The video below shows the statistics behind drug deaths and how drug use impacted the lives of the top five most popular members of the 27 Club.
View the video here: http://www.clarityway.com/blog/celebrities-who-have-died-dead-rockers-club-video/
More often than not, sexual offenses have little or nothing to do with sex. Rather, they have to do with power and control. It is not always strangers who participate in heinous sexual offenses, as it has been increasingly found that even people you might be familiar with and trust could very well be party to such crimes. There is a thin line between sexual offenses and sex addiction. Sex addiction is a progressive and compulsive urge to engage in sexual activities, whereas sex offense is a non-consensual sexual activity. However, some sex offenses are a result of an unchecked addiction to sex, although the percentage of this is said to be low.
Not all sex addicts are sexual offenders. If you have had a history of sex addiction (or not) but have been wrongly convicted for a sex crime, you can consult or
Sex offenders can be male or female. Some of the most serious cases of sexual abuse have been those involving not just adults, but also children. Parents are required to take precautions and guard their children against pedophiles as most of them turn out to be someone the parents trust, is familiar to the child and/or a person of authority. Some of the common behavioral traits, which should act as warning signs for parents, that are found among child sex abusers are:
In early recovery, I was often told, “Trust me, you’ll feel better soon”, or, “I know this is hard, but I promise, you’ll feel better soon.” I lived by those words. I was so shaky, ashamed and scared. I felt awful. I desperately hoped the non-stop physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual suffering would stop. I wanted so badly to feel better, physically as well as emotionally. I tried each and every day to focus on those words of reassurance and deny what I thought and felt inside. I held tight to the recommendations of my recovery role models, the encouragement from my friends and family outside the rooms of recovery and my own willingness to get better, hoping eventually I’d feel better.
And eventually I did, but not in the way I had expected. What began to happen was I started to feel my feelings better. I started to feel happiness better, I started to feel anger better, and I started to feel sadness better.
Although this sounds like a play on words – feeling my feelings better - the point is, in order for me to experience healthy recovery I had to allow myself to actually feel what I had long been trying to deflect, change or control.
For example, during the Christmas holidays my emotions would always kick into overdrive. No matter what age I was, I would become completely nostalgic. I’d think about stringing the lights with my dad, hearing my grandfather whistling a holiday tune or sitting at the top of the staircase with my brothers and sister waiting for my Dad to tell us Santa had arrived. I’d get excited to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with my family or maybe catch an old Charles Dickens movie by myself. As I got older the holidays stopped being those experienced as a child. They became strung by addiction instead of lights and wrapped around bottles of wine with little food instead of gifts presented with love.
I won’t lie, those first few winter holidays in recovery were difficult. I couldn’t stop focusing on how sad, angry and frustrated I felt for all those Christmas and New Year holidays lost in the blur of addiction. In those early recovery years I had difficulty fully embracing the magic of the season. To be honest, I really wanted nothing more than to get through the series of events, wishing they would just be over....
The other night, as I was driving past a Hustler store on Commercial Boulevard, I thought about how my life used to be when I was in active addiction. No, I didn't hang out in X-rated stores and pornography was not my thing, but illicit activity was certainly no stranger.
Seeing the store triggered thoughts of the racy lifestyle of drugs and alcohol and ecstasy and clubs. I was reminded of my close friends who are still living a life which includes these elements. I wondered how they were doing. I thought about the fact that we are in the month of December, a true party month for those who still party.
I remember looking toward holiday vacation with great anticipation. Many days in a row to get f--ed up. Many parties, much alcohol, many bags of cocaine, many hot guys, many dark clubs. It was all so appealing at one time-a time when I was filled with fear and doubt and didn't even know it.
Today, fourteen years into sobriety on December 20, I still look forward to my time off but it looks very different. I get to plan vacations and very full, active days with my family and friends. I spend time my with incredible 7 year old. I work on my book Addictionland. I throw parties for women in recovery and we share laughs, pot luck food and spiritual experiences....
Even when I was in the absolute worst stage of unabashed drinking and irregular, unhealthy eating habits, very little if anything could have pushed me to seek recovery any sooner than I did.
Those who love me worked tirelessly in the effort to convince me I needed help. Each gesture or suggestion was met with resistance, denial and deflection. Those caring and compassionate individuals had all but prepared themselves to receive the dreaded phone call I’d finally succumbed to the disease of addiction.
The more people tried to persuade me of my destruction, the more my distance from them widened. I wasn’t ready to stop. I liked being able to decide for myself when, where and how much I engaged in what I believed was pure merriment. I’d perfected my silent rationalization to slip into the haze of too much alcohol with little food. When I was in the state of nothingness, life’s emotional ups and downs didn’t matter anymore. I cherished my ability firmly and sternly control what I put my mental energy into and what was erased. As long as I kept my booze supply up and my weight down, all was well in the world. And oh boy, did I love the “high” I felt when the deception, manipulation and lies all fell into place.
Until they didn’t....
I feel very fortunate that my circumstances led me to a 12 step program and fellowship. In this environment, I met the people who showed me how to take the action that has led to my spiritual development. It is the spiritual work which has led to my mental awakening and change of perspective.
In the past, the holidays were a time for me to get blitzed beyond belief and party, party, party. I couldn't wait for long breaks from school or work so I could get utterly smashed each night and have time to recoup from my hangovers in the day. Since I was in my twenties, I rationalized this behavior by telling myself everyone parties hard during the holidays.
I had no connection to my grief, despair, pain, anxiety, anger, depression or the like when I was self medicating with my cocktail of alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine and sedatives. When I felt bad, I attributed it to my hangover. Despite the fact that I never really had fun or new experiences, I contiinued down that road unaware of what a true holiday season could be. Like wrapped gifts in department store showcase windows, I looked pretty outside and was empty inside.
So what does a person in recovery have to look forward to during the holiday season? Well, for one thing, it is the beginning of life with greatly reduced shame, regret, hopelessness, and pain. It is the beginning of a life with real friends, real moments, real connection and real joy. It is the beginning of a life when you use your dark past to help others recover from a grave condition....
We were recently asked a great on our Instagram page about a Higher Power and Buddhism. The question read, "How does the higher-power concept fit within the Buddhist philosphy?" I personally have wondered the same thing in my journey through twelve step recovery and Buddhist meditation.
First, we must consider what Twelve Step programs are asking from us when they speak of a Higher Power and its importance to the program. On page 12 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Bill Wilson says, "It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself." The book doesn't say that we must believe in a specific Higher Power. It even says we can use our fellows as our Higher Power on page 107 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, "For the time being, we who were atheist or agnostic discovered that our own group, or A.A. as a whole, would suffice as a higher power."
Many Buddhists are atheists, and don't believe in a god. There are devas and bodhisattvas in Buddhism, but the Buddha taught that the origin of the universe was irrelevant to the ending of suffering. However, many of atheistic Buddhists are in recovery, and find ways to work the Higher Power concept in with their own beliefs. This is just my opinion and experience.
The Third Step of Alcoholics Anonymous states that we "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him." It does not say what this "god" must be. In my Buddhist practice, I turn my will and my life over to the Three Jewels, which are the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha....
You’ve noticed that your young adult has started to skip out on family functions, stop participating in after school activities, and hands out with people you don’t know a thing about.
Late nights and bloodshot eyes become their norm, and you can’t help but worry that your child may be using drugs. You read about the signs of drug use, like how personal habits lean toward secrecy, how behavioral issues arise, how attention to physical appearance lacks, or how cash problems lead to stealing from family or selling personal possessions.
Even though you see some of the signs, it is still hard to tell if your teen or young adult has a drug addiction. Perhaps it is time to look for outside support as you attempt to answer this question. Maybe some thorough reflection on the risk factors that contribute to drug addiction will help you identify whether or not your teen or young adult has a drug addiction.
While it’s understandable that you don’t want the world to know that your young adult may be addicted to drugs, it is a good idea to put trust in the team who knows your child best. You may want to schedule a conference with the teachers, coaches, or school counselors who know your son or daughter well. Get their input about any usual behavior or patterns. Find out about any habits that point toward drug abuse, like skipping class or a steadily slipping in academic performance. If there are family members whom you trust, confide in them about your concerns. Ask them to be honest with you, and share anything they have witnessed pointing toward drug abuse....