Faith

               Throughout most of our life, we as humans are taught that “Seeing is Believing”.  Those of us that suffer from the disease of addiction seem to struggle with this most of all.  We come from a place in our active addiction, in which most of us feel that we cannot trust anyone.    While in treatment and early recovery, we are told repeatedly that we need to “Trust” that is can and will get better.  This is hard to do in the beginning, due to the lack of physical evidence presented.  We want to see what the end result may be, before we embark on any sort of journey. 

Our belief that is the case comes from what others are telling us worked for them.  It is extremely difficult for newcomers into recovery to relate with someone who has their lives in order and that they have been clean for multiple years.  This is just another example of how individuals suffering from addiction are “Unique”.  Dr. Martin Luther King defined Faith as “Taking the First Step, without being able to see the top of the Staircase.”  This is so relevant in early recovery, due to the inability to predict what the future has in store for us. 

When we arrive at treatment, whether it be for the first time or the fifth time we are engulfed with emotions, and uncertainty.  The biggest feeling that we struggle with is fear.  Fear is nothing other than a lack of faith.  When we are able to embrace the fact that there may just be a way to recover, this is the first instance that we are able to see that fact that we are able to have “Faith” in our lives.

If you are struggling with the whole discussion and or thought of having “Faith”, please believe the fact that I believe.  If you are able to do that simple task, then you are able to have “Faith”. 

Yours in Recovery

-CJF

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Family and Recovery

“Family and Recovery”

A common misconception most individuals have that suffer from the disease of addiction is “I am only hurting myself, what does it matter to you?”  While mired in the disease of addiction this not only seems to be reality, but it actually “IS” reality for the suffering addict or alcoholic.  The disease of addictions will manifest itself through three thoughts and actions in each individual, Obsession, Compulsion and total Self Centeredness.   This causes our loved ones to act in a manner that completely disregards any person that they come in contact with.  Most importantly, the sense of family can be absolutely lost by someone who is actively using.  I’m sure that you have heard the old adage “If you loved me you would let me live my life the way I want” or “It’s because you did this or that, and that is why I use”.   Hearing a loved one speak to us in this manner can cause us pain and anguish in our lives.  I know personally that I have said each of the previously mentioned sayings to my family and loved ones.  Although, I had no idea of the repercussions that it would cause my family and friends.  I thought I had my life under control, I never realized the collateral damage I was causing to everyone around me.  I felt as if I was just doing what normal people do and every time something happened it was someone else’s fault.  I blamed any bit of trouble in my life on others and left our relationships in shambles. 

After coming to the realization that I indeed had a problem, I was able to come to grips of the gravity of my actions and the effect that “MY ADDICTION” had on everyone around me.  Picking me up from police stations, cleaning up messes in the house after an all-night bender and most importantly the countless sleepless nights that the endured due to my actions.  I was an absolute whirlwind of terror who took advantage of and completely destroyed any single fiber of trust that anyone dear to me would have had.  But not only did I need to change, my family needed to change. 

My family began to attend support groups for loved ones who were affected by the disease of addiction.  They began to realize how to not enable me to continue in my manipulative and destructive ways.  They learned how to set boundaries and allow me to learn how to pick myself up after my mistakes.  It was the best thing that they could have done for me.  They learned that it was not “their fault” that I acted the way I did.  It also made me realize the exact same thing.  I helped me mature into an adult who has to take responsibility for my own actions. 

Hopefully this can shed just a little bit of light onto the reality of Addiction and Recovery in regards to the entire family, and not solely the Addict or Alcoholic.  It is a disease that does not discriminate according to race, financial status, or belief systems.  Addiction wants to destroy anything and anyone that it comes in contact with.  I strongly encourage any family member who is suffering through a similar scenario to give themselves a break and seek “Recovery.”  It will be beneficial for not only yourselves but most importantly for your loved one.

Yours In Recovery,

-CJF

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Surrender

“Surrender”

Have you ever felt as if the entire world was closing in on you, and that every endeavor that you attempt in your life never reaches expectations?  This is a common feeling among individuals suffering from Drug and or Alcohol addiction feels on a regular basis.  “Why me?” “What did I do to deserve this burden?” “Am I ever going to be anything other than a waste of life?”  You are not alone in asking yourself these questions.  I myself have had all of these thoughts cross through my head.  I am here to tell you that these feelings do not have to continue and that there is a way out.  I want to stress to you that you are not alone and that all you need to do is ask for help.  I understand that humility does not come easy and that it is the first required action in change.  Understanding that my way may not always be the best way.  It also may be that others will have to direct me on how to live my life in order for me to get back on the right path.  Unfortunately we have to “surrender” in order to change.

                “Surrender as defined by Dictionary.com means- to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress.  This is an action that may be associated with weakness or lack of ability, but I can assure you it may be the most freeing and amazing action ever taken in one’s life.  I implore you if you are feeling or thinking that there is no way out.  If you are feeling one of the aforementioned thoughts to please give yourself a break and ask for HELP! 

                I have asked myself all of the above questions, and experienced the entire spectrum of thoughts and feelings associated with failure.  I wanted to  allow you to get to know a little of my life and maybe, if you are reading this and feeling any of these thoughts or know someone who is pass it along and let them know that there is help available.  I could have chosen a lifetime of pain, misery, and doubt, but I made a decision to surrender and attempt something different.  It was the best decision that I have ever made and has led me here to a new way of life, all as a result of “Surrendering”.

-Yours in Recovery

CJF

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Emotional Discomfort

Emotional Discomfort

I find myself in a panic wanting to do something different with my life. What a way to live… right? I can only imagine the terror, this kind of fear based brought to my family. I would probably feel angry at myself, and couldn’t trust anymore due to all the lies that have been told to me. It was so incredibly disturbing to realize that no one was against me. I find myself thinking about what would happen if I never got the help that I needed. The thought is terror again, an apocalyptic fend for your self existence. No order, no law, no structure and it brings memories of self doubt and isolation. I was at war with my self and so scared, and I built an emotional bomb shelter.

No bomb ever hit and life had continued on as I lay dormant in my own personal hell. I was a good “puppet” for my addition; even though at that time and place I did not know that there was another way to live. I have always had a difficult time believing in any thing beyond my experiences. Addiction is a brain disease that will manifest it self in very ugly behaviors. Most people will be looking from the outside in; saying “why are they doing this?” Not knowing that the person is not a bad person but a sick person. The addict does not see or even understand the kind of chaos and self hatred that they are creating. Treatment for addiction is the answer to this dilemma, and sometimes the hardest thing for a family to do is to let that person reach a state of “despair” because despair is the motivator for “real change”.

Fear is just your but catching on fire and treatment is the water bucket. This doesn’t mean that fear cant or won’t change a person. Treating addiction is one of the most uncomfortable things that any one human being must do. The addicted brain thinks its dying when the drugs are gone. That’s why people inevitably return to using just days after a near death chemical overdose. Addiction lives by five basic rules: 1. Bigger, 2.Better, 3. More, 4. Mine and 5. Now; Then take a dysfunctional family, and warped pathological perception of the world and BINGO!!! You have a catalyst and this is what continues to fuel that part of the disease of addiction. “Like a perfect storm” of strong negative emotions, a toxic environment and a spiritual death.

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Steps to Recovery

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