Addictionland - Addiction Recover Blog
Inhalant Abuse and Prevention Update: The Alliance for Consumer Education has put together a site where you can go and make a pledge to talk to your child about the dangers of inhalant use, as Children are 50% less likely to try an inhalant if an adult role model talks to them about the dangers of inhalant abuse. I have attached the following link for those who might be interested.
They also have public service announcements related to inhalant abuse from those affected, family members from children who have passed away, as well as former users, like myself. I did a public service announcement with my mother and sister some years back for the Alliance for Consumer Education and the results of their effectiveness are amazing.
Www.inhalant.org also offers an Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit, quiz, and lesson plans for anyone looking.
I'm sure that many of you can relate to coincidences like when you learn about a new word, you find that you hear it more, but when in reality it's just something new that has come into your awareness, it was really there all along. This is of course something that happens to me often, but has certainly been my experience since I have been writing this blog, as it is now always in my awareness to look for opportunities for what to discuss next and they just keep popping into my life!
Working in the addiction field, and the job I have in particular, keeps me very focused but also very isolated. Working in addiction also creates a sort of bubble, being that my clients are all trying to get out of their active addiction, my co-workers are all in recovery, and the doctors are addictionologists. I had been in California for four or five years and didn’t realize that I was protecting myself in a way, by not branching out of my comfort zone. So it wasn’t until about two years ago, that I started to go out to new places and interact with new people that have never struggled with an addiction. (People that experience temporary stress instead of chronic anxiety are still a wonder to me!)
The benefit, however, of the bubble realization was that all of that prep work that I had been doing (working with a sponsor, doing the steps, going to multiple types of therapy to figure out the core issues as to why I was using inhalants, then working on those core issues) was in preparation for returning to the real world and all its challenges and this time having a more positive impact, on myself and on those around me, and it was time to use them! The tools I have learned (especially emotional regulation, coping skills, and trigger identification) and the resources I have developed have been crucial in my relapse prevention, because life sure does throw me some curveballs and when I did come out of hiding, I found that some of my wreckage from my past was still there waiting for me. I am definitely grateful that I was given the opportunity to have a second chance, to get to be the same person, but a better version. By doing the footwork, it allows me to look at the same situations but have different reactions and therefore different outcomes than I would have in the past.
I feel that in order to be effective in communicating with people who are also struggling and/or looking for solutions or education, I need to write about things that truly affect me emotionally, because if what I'm writing doesn't induce some sort of feelings for me, how could it in someone else? So full disclosure in the hopes that someone can relate and hopefully allowing me to be of service.
The reason that the ability to have different reactions that produce different and better outcomes is on my mind is due to some events that occurred in my week. I felt discouraged this week for two reasons, and I feel like they have happened while I have volunteered to write this blog for a reason. I am a person that falls victim to a certain type of mental trap, where your brain immediately jumps into negative thinking or disaster mode when you hear certain things that are not ideal. In the treatment facilities I work with, we refer to it as addict brain....
Many years ago a friend asked me the following question. Initially I was going to ignore the question because how does someone answer a question like this? My only other thought about it was, "Why is she asking ME!" I didn't consider it again but about a week later I was out running (yes, I used to jog back then), not thinking about anything, & suddenly this huge profound answer dropped into my mind. "That's it," I said to myself, "That's what Unconditional Love is." I believe it to be Divine inspiration because this clarity came out of nowhere & I have never heard Love put this way before so I know it didn't originate from me. I immediately stopped & went home & began to type into my computer the following insight. Over the years I've shared this with many others & at workshops & it seems to resonate with others. I hope that it is helpful to you too. Just Love,
THE QUESTION:I've come across an interesting term, and wonder if I can tap into your wordsmith skills for assistance? How do you define "unconditional friendship?" How do you think one practices such a thing? If you've got the time, I'd appreciate your input. Peace & Love,
MY RESPONSE:I smell more! I see unconditional love & unconditional friendship as the same. But, based on what you've given me (& what my Heart is prompting me to respond with) I offer the following as the three parts of what constitutes unconditional love, which I think generally apply except in a few rare cases (like a marriage partner or with our children):...