You’re The Addict – What’s That Make Me?

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Walking the road of sobriety is a long and winding road to say the least. Having worked in the addictions field I have seen men, women and yes even children, ages 18, still in teens, to me is a child, come in to the center at their lowest of lows. They have hit bottom, each a different bottom but all the same and the only way out was up. The first step is admitting there is a problem and then begins the healing.

As I look back on my blog posts I can say I am guilty of putting so much focus on the addict, when there is a world around that addict that should be addressed as well.

I think it is such a great thing to watch an addict evolve into someone of great strength yet realizing they will always have a weakness, their drink or drug of choice, actually anything that becomes more important in their lives than life itself.

To begin this post I am going to lay out the 12 steps and then get into what I really want to rant about. Can you hold on till the end? (smiling) Bare with me or is that suppose to be spelt, bear? J

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The 12 Steps @ Alcoholics Anonymous

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

For many of us — we got sober and remained miserable. We weren’t getting better. We only THOUGHT that we were actually taking the Steps and practicing the 12 Steps.

Here is the Great Fact For Us…

We were doing it wrong!

Once we got the Big Book out and really started following the instructions PRECISELY to TAKE the Steps BEFORE trying to practice the Steps — we not only began to see progress — we became transformed!

You NEVER have to drink or use again.

You CAN be restored to sanity — and live a very sane, healthy and good life!

There IS a Solution. The Solution is in The Big Book.

.. As posted @ step12.com

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The alcoholics disease can and will spread to the world around them and like any disease, all those infected need to seek healing and treatment. Again it is admitting that we being someone who loves or lives with an addict also have issues we now need to tend to. And like the addict, we have to be first to admit there is a problem.

I have had several addicts say to me over the years..”I can only attract people to AA and not promote it.”

And with that said, the same goes for those who love(ed) an addict..

The Co-Dependent.. I, Snowy, can only attract a co-dependent to begin healing from within and not insist they do.

A lot of times a co-dependent person does not see what they are doing and see what is wrong with what they are doing. It can be such a vicious cycle, going round and round, never getting on the straight and narrow road that can be one of healing. No ones pain is greater or lesser than the person next to them. The alcoholic started some where down the addicts road and yes at times have come upon a speed bump, which I call a co-dependent person. Yes we try to slow them down, but once they get back on the straight stretch, the addict begins to pick up speed again and will run down the co-dependent in their path. No co-dependent person can be knocked down so many times and come out of it unscathed, There will be bruises, aches and pains, that need to be healed.

Next is some of the personality traits of a co-dependent person. As stated at eHOW.

Desire to “Fix” Other People

A co-dependent personality is obsessed with meeting the needs of others, rather than focusing on fulfilling his own needs, or addressing the deficit in his own personality that causes him to be attracted to needy people. Sometimes being the adult in a relationship makes the co-dependent feel important or in control. Co-dependents are also often preoccupied with the whereabouts of the person with whom they’re in a relationship, and feel threatened if that person becomes close to other people.

Enabling Others

An enabler is someone who covers for a loved one with an addiction or mental health issue. Examples include a wife who makes excuses for her husband’s alcohol-related work absences, or a parent who allows her adult child to live at home while her child makes no effort to become a self-sufficient adult. The enabler is dependent on the irresponsible behaviour of others to make herself feel more competent, or to distract herself from her own problems.

Lack of Self Esteem

Co-dependent people often grow up in environments in which the focus is on someone else, and their own needs and preferences are often not acknowledged. For example, the family was so caught up in reacting to the drama of the alcoholic or the mentally ill person that the co-dependent may never have had the space to look within to identify emotions. Because her needs were ignored as a child, she has grown up believing her needs are not worthy of fulfilling.

Martyrdom

It’s normal to want to be helpful, but people who are constantly going above and beyond to deal with other people’s problems are engaging in an unhealthy behaviour. As children, they may have been rewarded for selflessly trying to help the damaged person in the family. Because this role is familiar, these people may give up their own lives and exist solely to help others. In this way, a co-dependent personality uses another person’s deficiencies as an excuse for not fully living her own life.————————————————————————————————-

Does any of these traits sound familiar to you? Or will you even admit to one or 2 of them? Facing reality is hard at the best of times and when it is at a time that you have to look at the person in the mirror, it can be really hard, for the addict and the lover, friend, family member of an addict.

One thing I will promote is professional care, seeking help from groups such as ALANON, counselling of some sort. We think we can do it without help is like the dry alcoholic who quits drinking but never got the spiritual care needed to live a clean and sober life.

Working at the center I was able to go through all the steps of The Big Book, understand them and then take on what I needed to heal my spirit of co-dependency. Of course there are days that character will peek through my daily life, but I do my best to catch it and sort it out.

For those that do know me, and have said how much I have become an inspiration to them, for that I am humbled and will admit that walking a healing road is a great thing and its okay to admit you need to.  Taking the first will be the hardest step, by once you do, you will be happy that you did.

A great read is by, Melody Beattie – Codependent No More

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God Bless you what ever road you are on.

An Abused Child’s Christmas Prayer

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When I think of Christmas, I think of Christmas past. Of when I was a child but more so when my children were young and living at home. Now they are living productive lives, raising children of their own and I get to spend Christmas with them and the babies. I think of all the laughter and the tears of joy, mixed in with the Christmas carols and a turkey feast.

But wait! Isn’t that what Christmas is about? About a child who was born to save us all. A child who grew up to be a Higher Power that gave up his life on this earth for all God’s children?? Isn’t that why we are to cherish the child, to gift the child because that child is our future and if we want any kind of future on this earth we need to take care of our children.

It will always be a villages duty to help raise every child born into this world. They did not ask to be born, so we as adults must do right by each and every one of them. To give them all the necessities of life, to be healthy in mind body and soul!

Then why today, was I able to type in a few words into a browser and find that  in north and south America and Canada , our children are being abused in such horrific ways??

– Police find boy cuffed with dead chicken on neck.

– Daughter locked in basement for 6 years

– Mechanic opens trunk, finds starving baby

– A 2,4,5 and 6 yr old boys found starving, living in filth

– Mom charged with helping boyfriend rape her 4 yr old son

– Mom throws infant at Deputy in a getaway bid.

Is this not the free world that other worlds to the east , west, south  look to for freedom?? Are we not a civilized continent?

Why are we in other countries fighting for what we believe their rights are, when our children’s rights are so abused ?

Give your time and any spare money to your LOCAL children’s foundations, which can be, food banks, Brownies and Girl Guide Clubs, Boys Scouts, the children’s wing at your local hospital, just to name a couple.

My stomach is sick thinking of what is taking place currently in the world around me to the children in my neighbourhood. And no, I realize that I can not save the world or every child in it. But what I can do, is save the children I do know personally, my own, my children’s children, my sisters children, my brothers children, my cousins children, my friends children.. I can save them from being abused when they should be living a life of love and learning.

I will condemn anyone I see abusing a child in my vision. It is my maternal instinct, my God given right as a Mother and caretaker.

So this year before we sit around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, handing gifts to our children, take the time on Christmas Eve to explain to them the meaning of the season and why children are a blessing and why they are receiving gifts.. Because we were all saved, by a child that was born so long ago named Jesus. Then be ready for the questions they have. Be ready to answer them

When my children were young, we had a birthday cake for Baby Jesus Christmas Eve and I did explain to them the meaning of Christmas and why Jesus’s birthday was and is so special. It’s never too late to start a new tradition

God Bless ALL our children!!

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~ Children Singing Their Praise ~

Christmas In Heaven

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I have had a couple friends say to me over the past couple weeks, how they find this time of year hard, because they are missing someone, a loved one, who has passed over. It has left me thinking of those who have passed over that I love also and miss so much.

I can not help but think of my brother, Joey, who passed over in 2005. How we laughed so much growing up. No matter what was happening in our lives during those years, we covered the bad with laughter and made the happy times even happier with more laughter. I can still hear him talking over a coffee with me on his visits. How he would watch my children when I needed him. How as teenagers we hung out together, he was my protector, my shield against so much when I needed it.

Yes I will miss Mom and Dad, I do always, but my missing Joey is a different kind of ache.. he was my older brother.. now in heaven is my Christmas Angel and I will this Christmas think of him and for every Christmas from this one on.

Rest in peace my dear brother.. xoxoxox

Let Me Sleep!

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I have always been one of those people who sleep never came easy to. Even as a teenager, while my friends slept till noon, I was up with the sun, wishing they would hurry to wake up and start the day.

At night when I use to go to bed, I would toss and turn, think, think and think more.

As we get older, a lack of sleep plays a bad roll on our physical being in so many ways.

A risk of heart attack and stroke are greater for those who get little sleep. You have to get from 7-9 hours sleep to keep a healthy heart. I have only made it to 5 hours even now.

They say proper sleep will prevent cancer. You will also not be so stressed during the day if you get proper sleep. And stress causes inflammation in our bodies which causes premature ageing. A good night sleep keeps us more alert with a better memory, even naps make us smarter. Sleep is the best time for our bodies to heal itself, that is why the term R&B is so popular and at times we’ve heard of medical induced comas, because a person’s body is best in a sleep state for it to heal at that moment.

And last and may be the best where a lot of people are concerned, sleep keeps you slim!. The lack of sleep impacts our hormone balance.

The hormones ghrelin and leptin regulate our appetites and aid in weight loss, so not only will diet and exercise benefit us.. Get some sleep!

I have learnt to fall asleep within 5 minutes over the years, I am still honing my , stay asleep technique though.

Here is what I do to fall asleep easily at night.

I say a prayer to ease my mind and give thanks for the day.

I lay on my back, with arms to my sides.

I concentrate on my toes, curl them and then relax them. Then I  concentrate on my foot as a whole, wiggle it, then relax it, then I think of my calf’s, I stretched that part of my leg and then relax it. I do this little movement, for each muscle area of my body, concentrating on that particular part as I do completely before moving on to the next and by the time I get to my neck, I am completely relaxed, can close my eyes with ease and fall asleep.

If you are a person who has a hard time falling asleep, I hope this works for you.

It is all about keeping the mind focused on what your are exactly doing, having a tunnel vision and not thinking outside that area.

Sleep well!

Toronto ~ A Co-Dependent City?

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What is the meaning of  co-dependency? The original concept was developed to acknowledge the behaviours people develop in time from living with an alcoholic or substance abuser. And there are a number of attributes that develop as a result of those conditions. The biggest being the tendency to get involved in a toxic relationship with people who are unreliable, very needy and emotionally unavailable. The co-dependent ends up trying to control everything in the relationship and at the end of the day does not take care of themselves, leaving them unfulfilled. The longer the relationship continues, , the fact ends up being, the co-dependent will always end up in unhealthy relations. It is a rollercoaster ride, that the abuser and the co-dependent both end up needing professional counselling.

Toronto has lost it‘s self esteem due to Mr. Ford‘s alcohol and admitted drug abuse. The city needs to ask itself, what it wants to be in life and not what it wants to be in Mr. Ford‘s life. It is time to take back it’s own power and start living healthy again, for itself and that means detaching from Mr. Ford’s issues. Mr. Ford’s reign over the city has to end, so the city can rebuild it’s own image. No more worrying if Mr. Ford gets help or not, he has his own rock bottom he needs to hit and then build himself back up from.

Toronto can be a beautiful place, they just forgot how, in the shadow of Mr. Ford.

Just saying…

Crying In Your Sleep

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You’re not alone when you wake from a sleep crying. So many of us have experienced this. And many times question why. It is your emotional/spiritual self easing itself of pain, whether it was of something that happened that day or a year ago or sometimes 20 years ago. You are at a stage in your life entering a new realm of being a woman/man, you’re growing in more ways that you realize. You will see things differently, feel different about things than you did a year or so ago. You become a person of great empathy and to be able to have empathy for the rest of the world, we must cleanse our own spirits and souls. It is a form of transformation, a beautiful one. I guess the best way to describe it is like the caterpillar to a cocoon and now breaking out of that cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly.
I suggest you embrace your emotions, let them flow and before you fall asleep at night, think about yourself and give thanks for being allowed to have a heart to feel with such great depth. Not everyone does, well not everyone wants to  and if we all did, the world would be a better place.

The Forked Tongue!

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Here is a great – Idiom –

“Beware of those who speak out of both sides of their mouths!”

Meaning ~ to say different things about the same subject when they are with different people in order to always please the people they are with.

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I would think we have all met up with one or two people in our life times thus far who do exactly that.

What surprises me is most of the time even when this type of person is caught doing this, they deny it and continue to do it. That makes me wonder why.

It does say a lot about their character, that’s for sure. And also tells you whether you want to continue to be associated with a person who does this. How do you trust someone who does that continually?

You don’t!

You learn pretty quick to walk away and to believe anyone you many have in common as friends knows you well enough to question what rolls off of the forked tongue!

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