Featured Guest Articles – ‘Do We Ever Give Up On An Addict?’ ‘Why Some People Become Addicts and Some Don’t?’

Featured Guest Articles – ‘Do We Ever Give Up On An Addict?’ ‘Why Some People Become Addicts and Some Don’t?’

I have been busy buzzing around some of my recovery sites and online mags I enjoy reading, including the ones I receive news by email. TWO interesting articles I read this past week were “Note Worthy” of re-shares by SoberRecovery as the articles are not only interesting but very informative about two topics that many of my recovery friends and parents who visit me want to know more about.

FIRST: Why do some people become an addict and others don’t?

SECOND: Do we ever give up on helping an addict?

So, here are two articles I found that share some insights and answers to these questions with some amazing advice. Even those of us maintaining recovery always need to learn more and read all that we can to be able to be aware and gain knowledge about all addictions. Learning can powerful and helpful tools for maintaining recovery …
Catherine 🙂

 

Why Do Some People Become Addicts and Others Don’t?

Courtesy of SoberRecovery  Mag, Staff

 

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There are many factors that can point towards a future addiction problem, but all in all, the nature of addiction is a mystery. Science may have a set of markers indicating future addictive patterns, but there is really no formula. Nor is there a set way to avoid addiction if these markers appear in a person.

Some people are born into families with long histories of addiction, but they will not use drugs or alcohol until much later in life. However, the behavior patterns of an addict may be present and noticeable from an early age.

Even more, not all addicts will drink alcohol or use drugs, further adding to the mystery of addiction.

Spotting Addictive Traits

Genetic traits may point to addictive behaviors in the future, but not everyone in an “addictive” gene pool will become an addict, and some addicts may have no family history of the disease. Those predisposed may work to control addiction by not participating in drinking or drug behaviors. They may show other personality traits similar to an addict’s, just not the use of addictive substances. They are also likely to become emotionally attached to the personality traits of an addict.

Some science focuses on early childhood patterns of behavior that may indicate addictive traits. These are most often characterized as risk-taking behaviors, a need for attention that goes beyond a normal level and sometimes early childhood trauma.

 

  • Risk-taking behaviors: These traits may be recognized in young children who are more active than their peers. They tend to repeatedly do things that place them in danger of being harmed. Very seldom do they know why they take these risks or why they are punished for behaviors that are not the norm.
  • Need for attention: This pattern may combine with risky behaviors. Some children will do things primarily because their need for attention is so great that they look at negative attention (punishment) as better than no attention. Many of them may develop this chronic need as a result of early childhood abandonment or abuse.
  • Early childhood trauma: A pattern of seeking safety can be developed around trauma. When children are exposed to a traumatic event(s), they may begin to seek a safe place. If none is available, they will learn to protect themselves in inappropriate ways. This can become addictive if food, gambling, drugs or sex become their tools for feeling safe. They can use these tools to dull their emotional pain. Since these tools offer only short-term relief and no resolution to the situation, addiction may ensue. 

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Some of these tendencies may be learned when children are raised in an environment that focuses on escape from all emotional development. This means that the family is not emotionally present for one another. There is no process for feelings that come up in the course of day-to-day living. No one is speaking about their feelings of pain, anger, sadness or grief.

This is a socially-imposed condition that has existed for many years. When parents do not teach children to talk about their feelings, there is no structure for healthy emotional venting. As we learn more about the importance of expressing feelings, this can change.

In a home where mom and dad are not emotionally connected to feelings, children learn to avoid those feelings that are termed “negative”.  These feelings become problems as they go unexpressed. As time goes on, pain becomes trauma, anger becomes rage and sadness or grief becomes depression.

Finding relief for these emotions can become addictive. If alcohol or drugs bring a feeling of relief, the addict will return again and again to this solution, which then becomes a problem.

Trauma and Addiction

Traumatic events in later life can also bring a person into addictive patterns. A person may have genetic traits that are channeled in positive ways, such as careers, education and attaining financial success, but a single event or crisis may tip the scales and patterns that were controlled in the past can start to become a problem.

  • Example 1: This may look like a young man who comes from a high-risk environment, but gets an education, develops a successful career, has a family and looks like a normal, healthy citizen. During this period, he may drink socially, even heavily at times, but is able to function and maintain a relatively good picture of success. Relationships are strained, but the family keeps up a good face, despite functional breaks such as poor health and other symptoms of addiction. At a later age in life, the children may leave home or another big change occurs; or the man may retire and find that what kept him going is removed. The fabric of the structure is under stress. One or more of the family may begin to practice addiction.
  • Example 2: A young man or woman may have relatively normal upbringing and behaviors when young. They may be involved in a traumatic event, such as a terrible accident or military combat. This can then leave them without coping skills to overcome the emotional impact of the event. They may turn for relief to drugs and alcohol. If this becomes a pattern, an addiction may become manifest for this person. Tendencies may have been present for many years that suddenly expose themselves to the person and those around them.

Seeing the Signs

Recognizing traits and patterns of behavior is the first step out of denial. Getting help at this point can look like this:

  • Learning new coping skills for stress, anger, and emotional regulation
  • Learning healthy relationship tools
  • Beginning a conversation with loved ones who are showing signs of addictive personality traits
  • Opening your mind to new options for dealing with life
  • Becoming willing to change what isn’t working for you

There are therapies and treatment available for everyone involved in addiction. When a family system has been impacted by addiction and behaviors leading to addiction, everyone needs to learn how to be supportive of changes needed to break the patterns. Everyone may need to learn new skills and how to communicate and support each other in healthier ways.

Opening the door to recognizing a problem is only the first step. Change must occur to break the patterns of behavior and poor thinking that create and support an addiction.

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When to Stop Trying to Save an Addict


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If you have a loved one suffering from gambling, drug or alcohol addiction, you’ve likely experienced one or more of the following heartbreaking scenarios:

  • Staying up late worrying about whether or not they’ll get home safely tonight
  • Waiting anxiously in the hospital waiting room for the doctor to break the good news that they’re going to pull through an overdose
  • Hearing the guilt-inducing demands for more money or variations of the “if you love me, you’ll let me be” comment?
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There are countless other painful day-to-day experiences one encounters when living with or loving a drug addict. Most of the time, you’re scared for them, you want to help them and you want them to change their ways but you don’t know how to get them to do so. And because you love them, you don’t want to increase the already-growing distance between the two of you—so you end up covering their tracks. Time and time again.

You give them the five more dollars that they’re begging for; you clean up the vomit in the bathroom from the night before; you tuck them into bed to sleep off an episode; you sign them out of the hospital early because they’re miserable and begging you to let them out. When does it ever stop?

 

The Conundrum

First of all, it is important to know that nobody is blaming you. Addiction is complicated and painful and we often believe that we can love those around us into sobriety. However, sadly, that is never the case. As difficult as it is to hear, behaviors, like giving your friend that measly five dollars or signing your son out of the hospital for early release, are actually enabling your loved one to continue down his or her self-destructive path. The addicted part of their brain remembers that they can always get money from Mom with guilt-tripping tactics or that they can always rely on their best friend to pick them up no matter what hour of the night.

As part of the disease, an addict will go to any means to get what they crave—even at the emotional expense of those they love. Although they often will exhibit guilt and sorrow for their behaviors the next morning, once the cravings kick in, they’ll be doing everything all over again. Addiction is a vicious cycle and drugs will continue to fuel that one-track thinking pattern of doing whatever is necessary to get that next high.
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It may be one of the toughest things you’ll ever have to do, but friends and families of addicts need to let go of the notion that they can save their loved one in order for there to be any chance at real change. By doing so, you can begin to explore your personal limits and define your boundaries.

Time to Pull Away

As much as it hurts, sometimes pulling away from the addict’s vicious cycle may call for ultimatums. This can include ending a romantic relationship, cutting off the addict financially, forcing him or her to move out of the house, or taking away their child custody rights, just to name a few.

By simply telling the individual to “stop doing drugs” or that “things need to change soon,” you’re just giving the addict either too broad an obstacle to conquer or too much wiggle room in which they can find ways to manipulate the situation (which they’re very good at doing). Therefore, the key is to be specific and unclenching with your boundaries. By implementing exact, time-sensitive consequences for their repeated bad behavior, the addict will then be forced to make a choice.
It is also important to keep in made that this choice is for your loved one to make alone and, as frustrating as it to watch, they may not want to choose recovery—even with all your inflicted consequences. He or she may need more time for the reality of the consequences to sink in before they take any action towards sobriety and, ultimately, it is only he or she who can decide to get out of the dark pit that has swallowed him or her up.

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Finally, in the midst of caring for your loved one, remember that you are also responsible for taking care of yourself. You can’t allow your loved one to fuel their addiction at the expense of depriving you of all your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Your health is of equal importance and by doing what is best for you—even if that includes walking away from the toxic situation—you are coincidentally also doing the best thing you can do for your addicted loved one.

 

If you or someone you know is seeking professional support, please visit SoberRecovery and their directory of counseling and therapy centers or call 866-606-0182 to start the path to recovery today.

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Guest Recovery Article – Making Amends Within Our Recovery and How It Is Done.

Guest Recovery Article – Making Amends Within Our Recovery and How It Is Done.

When it’s time for an addict maintaining recovery to make amends to those loved ones they have caused pain and may have hurt from the wreckage of our addiction, where does one begin? What if you can not remember all those who may have been hurt? I ask this because if we are high, drunk, or zoned out, we may not recall everyone we may have touched within our “selfishness” and is a part of the disease of addiction.

I know I couldn’t remember everyone I may have owed money to when I was thick into my gambling addiction. Our choices made within the sickness of pills or fog and haze of alcohol, many addicts don’t recall and those left in pain may not understand this really can happen. I’m a firm believer that our past should not dictate our future.

So how to begin the process of “amends.” When we have done the hard work needed within recovery and we have completed the “inner work” of self and are ready to move on to apologize to those we offended, which includes criminally, how to get started?

This featured article is shared by the fine folks of Betty Ford – Hazelden Org, can help all of us who have come to this fork in the road within our recovery journey. Making amends is an important part of our work and has to be done right …
Catherine

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“Making Amends is More Than an Apology” ~ By John MacDougall, D.Min. ~ Restoring justice as much as possible.

Addiction creates moral wreckage. People who become addicted to alcohol or other drugs might lie, cheat, or steal in order to get and use their drug of choice. Often what’s left behind is a trail of shattered relationships.

In this situation, apologies won’t do. Alcoholics Anonymous calls for making amends instead. These are mentioned specifically in several of The Twelve Steps, including:

  • Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • Step Nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Carrying out these two steps is a delicate process that calls for guidance from a sponsor or counselor. In an interview, John MacDougall, D.Min., a Dan Anderson Renewal Center presenter, answered questions about making amends.

How do amends differ from apologies?

An amend has to do with restoring justice as much as possible. The idea is to restore in a direct way that which we have broken or damaged—or to make restoration in a symbolic way if we can’t do it directly.

Say, for example, that I borrowed 20 dollars from you and never paid you back. If I go up to you and say, “Gee, I’m sorry I borrowed your 20 dollars and spent it on drugs,” that would be an apology. Making amends is giving your money back to you.

Why does Step Nine suggest that people avoid direct amends in certain cases?

For instance, you don’t run home and say to your spouse, “Gee honey, I had a wonderful time in addiction treatment. I learned all about rigorous honesty, so I want to apologize to you for an affair I had five years ago.” That’s clearing your conscience at the expense of someone else who’s going to feel terrible. In this case, your amend can be an indirect one. Stop having affairs and bring your heart, your energy, and your attention back home where it belongs.

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Are direct amends simply impossible at times?

Yes. Say, for example, that someone gets drunk, drives, and kills somebody in a traffic accident. You can’t go back and “unkill” the person who died. Instead, you can fill out an organ donor card. This is an indirect amend that can give life back to someone in the future. Remember that with crimes such as drunk driving, people might need to go to court and take a punishment. That’s part of making amends as well.

You’ve mentioned direct and indirect amends. Are there other kinds?

Sometimes people talk about “living” amends. This simply means that we live differently. Amends are about a genuine change in our behavior instead of the patchwork of an apology. We take on a whole new way of life. We stop accumulating fresh insults to our selves and others.

What are the benefits of making amends?

If we’ve continually harmed people and haven’t made any effort toward amends, then we’ve got a lot of people, places, and things to avoid. Large areas of life become closed off to us. When you’re willing to make amends, those areas open up again. You don’t have to avoid people anymore. This is true not only for people in recovery but for all of us.

The book of AA mentions the promises of recovery. They come right after the explanation of Step Nine. “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development,” it says, “we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”

That’s what happens when we bring justice back into our lives by making amends.



John MacDougall, Dan Anderson Renewal Center presenter

John MacDougall is the spiritual care coordinator at The Retreat in Wayzata, Minnesota. He was previously at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation for 20 years and is the author of  Being Sober and Becoming Happy.

 

 

Making “Amends” In Recovery. People We Have Hurt May Not Be Receptive To This Process. Even For Pro Athletes. Our Writing Continues To Evolve …

Making “Amends” In Recovery. People We Have Hurt May Not Be Receptive To This Process. Even For Pro Athletes. Our Writing Continues To Evolve …

Welcome Readers, Fans, Recovery Friends, and Visitors!

 

This week as Vance and I continue to write his memoir, GOD has shed the light on and about “the amends process” regarding Vance’s recovery and my own. It has also brought back some frustrations of my own past “amends” with some of my family members that, let’s just say, didn’t go very well. I sum this up by sharing my own father still has not spoken to me for almost 13-years. Even after trying everything to make amends.
An opportunity arose while I was on Facebook. One of Vance’s adult children happened to message me while I was doing my book and author shares there. As we began a message conversation, and then after speaking with Vance at length about it and revealing his child’s real feelings about how Vance has hurt everyone, it seems the proper time to address the amends process within recovery and be transparent.

 

His adult child and all his children need to be acknowledged and feelings validated about his father and the damages that were done by Vance when he was in “self” and in the worst of his addictions. I can tell you while writing Vance’s Memoir, he and I both agreed it will be about truth, honesty, and he has nothing to HIDE …


We are both “in the know” about his past, how he tried many times, even on the Oprah show he tried to make amends to some of those who he hurt in his past. The show was a “train wreck” and never should have happened as Vance was in NO shape nor in recovery at that time back in 1996. As it was taped in 2011 …And can be seen on Youtube still today. If we are not transparent in sharing all areas of Vance’s life, how do we then start to shatter stigma? How does the family begin to heal? That is why we are sharing. It is also important to share how addiction can be generational, someone needs to stop it, how it shatters relationships with family. Hopefully by sharing it may help others who may be going through this themselves and for all involved.

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Vance Johnson Reflects on His Past

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There was a time in my life when addiction hadn’t taken over. I had only been hurt once in a relationship. Pressures and anxieties of life didn’t have a firm grip on me. Until I began my NFL career …

My identity wasn’t on what I grew up around, but rather in Fame, Recognition, and Achievements. Entitlement started giving birth. Cars, money, toys stimulated my emptiness. Sex had no boundaries. Friendships were what you made of them … if it hurts when I found out you slept with the girl I slept with, without telling me, we aren’t friends anymore.

Religion was going to Church, sometimes. Jesus died so I could repent of my fleshly desires, and was only human after all.  Being good meant honoring mom & dad. Lastly, the Bible was whatever the Pastor preached on Sunday. OH, and “giving” to the Church so he could do whatever he wanted to do with my money, God would appreciate that. 10% was a little too much, I’ve got taxes, a vacation coming up, or bills. Who is the Holy Spirit?

All lies and ADDICTION, I was Satan’s child, a “ believer” living in Hell. Living in the flesh believing I was “BLESSED” because I was fast, successful, rich and famous.

THANK GOD FOR GRACE AND MERCY.  Please let your children know, “There’s a way that seems right to a man, that leads to “Death”!! So repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, pick up your Cross, and follow him, Daily!!!

Own Your Sobriety
www.vanceinspires.com
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So, when is making amends enough to those you have hurt? Amends to family members, ex’s, broken relationships, and to your children who may not want anything to with you be it from no understanding be enough? We as recovering addicts are aware of how much damage and wreckage we had caused, but there IS much “inner-work” done within our recovery before we even attempt to make “Amends.”

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What is “making amends?” ~ Answers are Courtesy of “ Hazelden – Betty Ford Org.”

“Making Amends in Your Steps to Recovery. Restoring justice as much as possible. Addiction creates moral wreckage. People who become addicted to alcohol, gambling, or other drugs might lie, cheat, or steal in order to get and use their drug of choice. Often what’s left behind is a trail of shattered relationships.”

 

“There is actually a huge difference between making amends with someone and merely giving them an apology. While a sincere apology is a crucial part of making amends, an apology alone is simply not enough to undo the irreversible pain and heartache that one’s addiction (or actions during addiction) may have caused. It needs action, but only if the party hurt is willing and open to it.


How do you make amends? ~ Step 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

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

  1. Take an objective view of what happened. …
  2. Face your mixed feelings. …
  3. Stand in the other person’s shoes. …
  4. Write down the reasons why you need to make amends. …
  5. Make amends with a clear heart. …
  6. Decide what it will take to make up for the damage that was done. 

     

Sharing how one of his children still feels today because it is important to share so others can learn just how “the family and children” become affected by the disease of Addictions …

 

 

“Hate The Addiction Not The Addict”

 

The Feelings of One:

FB Q: “Has my dad shared with you all the past hurt he has caused to his children, is it in the book?

 

I answered and then we began an hour-long conversation and I shared little so the adult child could vent and share with me the real feelings and about amends with father… I then even asked if they have talked yet?

The Sharing Begins:

“I did call him and honestly, it was exactly what I was expecting. Maybe you and I can touch base after he shares his side of the story.”

 

(I told the child I knew all of Vance’s side of his past and all his amends attempts to all of his children, ex-wives, and family and offered a phone call to talk, put to no avail.)

 

“I have a lot to say in regards to my relationship with him and it will probably take some time to share all of it with you. I know he’s made mistakes because everyone does.. but there’s a difference between making a mistake and making a poor choice. I’m happy he’s found the light within himself.. but even after my Vaughn died in a motorcycle accident, he was still the same person he’s always been.

 

I see people praise him on his Facebook wall for overcoming addiction and all of that crap. What these people don’t know is how his decisions have impacted his children over the course of the last 30 years or so. Social Media and popularity will only make him feel “better” for a short period of time. As far as I know, he has made little effort to make things better between him and his biological children.

 

Facebook “likes” and “shares” will never make up for the unpaid child support or empty promises he made when I was younger. To be honest, my Mom did an amazing job shielding me from the damage he could have inflicted on me as I was a young boy. I wish I could say the same for my brothers and sisters. I’m not even sure if any of them would communicate with him if he reached out because of how bad he hurt them … 


And the fact that he’s trying to rejuvenate his career and popularity by claiming he’s a changed man is bogus.  Isn’t the first step of recovery recognizing your addictions and the damage you’ve done? Well, in my opinion, it’s going to take a lot more than an “I’m sorry for what I did …

 

And? Unfortunately, based on the decisions that he’s made in the past, he’s gone far beyond the point of no return. I think surrendering himself to a religious figure made it easier on him to live with the terrible decisions he’s made as a man and a father, a direct result of his decision making and not recognizing the damage he was doing along the way and not addressing the issue at the root cause.”


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WOW!!! Pretty Darn Sad …

Yes, there is more to this but I think you get the understanding right?

FIRST: I Will Say Again as Vance and I did almost a year ago when we began his book, the DOOR WAS open to all who wanted to either talk with me or Vance and share their feelings with Vance, and it is MEANT for everyone

Doesn’t have to be in his Memoir, as we were hoping it would help bring them all together, a little closer, and everyone involved begin to BEGIN HEAL, and they can make the decision to have a relationship with Vance or Not.

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SECOND: Reading these feeling of Vance’s adult child several times, I hear and felt his hurt and anger and did validate this person’s feelings about being correct on how our past choices as addicts can cause hurt, pain and damage to the family, relationships, and the children. But addiction can also be generational. WHERE do you think we learn some of the poor habits and behaviors of addiction? If it happens and goes on in your home with children present?  Then 97% most likely they are going to do the same as thinking it is normal because it is going on in their home.

You can have two spouses come together, one is Godly while they other is abusive and drunk, gambling, cheating and so on, they are fights and arguments in front of the kids? Of course, you can have a child grow up and do the same because they think it is a normal part of the household. Part of our work within recovery is to address these root causes and underlying issues that we used to FUEL OUR ADDICTIONS. Addicts can come from a place of hurt and pain just like those who were hurt by the addict’s addictions before we even approach the Amends Process.

THIRD: I hear a lot of resentment and anger in this adult child’s feelings. But, how can a recovering addict make an amends and show action if the people who are hurt are holding on to 30-years of anger and resentments, won’t even to talk or communicate or give the person a chance to make a proper amends? From the above comments like, “he’s gone far beyond the point of no return.” So in closing, all I can say is when you have attempted and have made some amends to those you have hurt within your “addicted days” … Remeber addicts, “Our Past Does Not Define Who We Are Maintaining Recovery.”

Some people, sadly, even family may not have the ability to have empathy, understand the recovery life-long process, and rather keep holding on to the Anger and Resentments of the past. If they are not willing to find it in their hearts to at least “Forgive” even if no relationship can be fixed or connected. Then it’s “Time to Let Go and Let God.”

The fact remains many may not be receptive to you at all. They would rather wallow in anger and hold on to resentments no matter how many years go by or how many times you try.

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“We Come To Believe In A Power Greater Than Our Selves To Restore Us”

Could it be possible it is time for those not accepting of us or our amends need to look within their hearts, take their personal inventory as to why they are not willing to be more open to healing and forgiveness? All we can do is keep our side of the street clean and pray for them that they come to a place of love.

We have the choice to turn it to GOD and move forward as we are “A Work In Progress.”

Colossians 3:13 ~ “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” AMEN … 

Maintaining Recovery With Mental Health Makes Us Look At Things a Wee Bit Different Than Others. A Story By Tony.

“My Grandpa George died when I was in a psych hospital. So I wrote him this story. Sometimes the truth needs a little myth mixed in to swallow it down.”

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“He Was in Heaven Before He Died”

“The following is not a story based solely on facts. I did have a Grandpa George and this was pretty much how he lived and died. But I didn’t make it to the funeral. Instead, I was in a hellish heaven of my own in the psych unit of Columbia Presbyterian.”


I got the call late at night that Grandpa George had died. He had lived a hard life.  He didn’t have the opportunity to get a good education. He never learned to read or write because his demanding father made him quit school to help in the fields. He worked hard to get by and managed to scrape together a living. He met a woman – Maize – at the tomato factory where he worked. She says he was throwing tomatoes at her, so she knew he liked her. They were married in less than 3 months. They stayed together “until death did they part” almost 60 years later.

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I drove alongside the cemetery in a rented Ford Focus, admiring the tombstones in the early morning sun. My mind wandered to Grandpa’s last days. He was able to die at home, thanks to Hospice and the care of family, especially his son Geoff (since Grandma was limited in what she could do). Geoff fed him when he was hungry, bathed him to keep him clean, and sought to bring comfort to this man who had hardly ever comforted him.

Grandpa George had not lived a perfect life, perhaps not even a good one. He was quick to become angry and had been accused by some of being abusive. He was known to challenge his supervisors to fights. He bullied Grandma and Geoff, who could never seem to please him. He certainly had skills – building his house from the ground up. He could be generous with his time, helping neighbors with necessary fix-up projects. Yet he had a temper that could flare up at the least misunderstanding.

Still, he could also be playful and gentle with children, rocking them on his knees or playing “Peep-Eye” (his version of “peek-a-boo”). He had pet names for all the grandchildren which were both endearing and practical. I’m not sure he could remember what our real names were.

I thought of his faith.  He went to church regularly for most of his married life. He drove the church bus and took great pride in rounding up children from homes where the parents were just happy to have them off their hands for a few hours. He had a simple faith: child-like even. I wondered if it brought him peace and comfort especially in his last days.

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The sun was full in the sky as I pulled onto the gravel road that led to a family plot. I looked at the simple white crosses to the side – the graves of soldiers who died before they could marry, have children, and raise a family. I saw the graves of infants, who escaped suffering as well as joy in their lives.

I said a prayer of thanksgiving for the life my Grandpa George got to live, the good and the bad, and prayed that he might be received into a new and better life to come. Later that day, driving the rental Ford Focus back to the airport, I looked out on the Wabash River and I smiled.

They say when you die you go “home to God”.  I have this hope for Grandpa.  
At least, I am glad that he was home when he died.  
I’m glad he got a little taste of heaven before he died.
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Delight in Disorder

Ministry, Madness, Mission

 

My name is Tony Roberts. I am a Christian and I have a serious mental illness.

Many of my friends who also have troubled minds wonder how it is I would hold onto faith after such an agonizing spiritual struggle with insanity.

Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ wonder how my mind can be so disturbed if I am a believer.

I believe faith and medicine, prayer and pills, worship and therapy are God’s essential graces to promote healing.

So, I’m telling my story in the hope of sharing Good News with those who have unquiet minds and shattering stigma about mental illness within and beyond the faith community.

I hope you’ll join the conversation by visiting my site.


Tony Roberts, Author

Delight in Disorder:  Ministry, Madness, Mission

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Order Today on Amazon & Amazon Kindle!

Leave Your Kids In The Car While You Enjoy A Few Hours of Gambling In A Casino? You Are An Addicted Gambler …

Leave Your Kids In The Car While You Enjoy A Few Hours of Gambling In A Casino? You Are An Addicted Gambler …

“Just in case you didn’t hear or read about it. This woman needs HELP!”

ul 23, 2018

Milwaukee woman is accused of leaving five children, including a newborn, in a casino garage while she gambled.

Twenty-seven-year-old Takeshia Stanton is charged with five counts of criminal child neglect in connection with the July 2 incident.

Police say Stanton left the children for up to four hours in her parked car at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. The children vary in ages from 3 months to 13 years old.

Officers say the keys were in the ignition, the air conditioner was off and an envelope was wedged into the window so the windows could not be rolled down. The temperature was 80 degrees.


Police were called by casino security after a customer reported seeing the children unattended in the car.

It’s not clear if Stanton has an attorney.

 

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Casinos can be mesmerizing environments in which it is easy to lose track of time. Often, they do not display clocks. Some players imagine they will stay for a short period, only to find that hours have slipped away.

‘It’s a pretty common consequence of gambling addiction that you become so preoccupied that you lose track of time, so the kid stays in the car,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the The National Council on Problem Gambling. “They create an immersive environment where there is not a lot of outside stimuli.”


And there are loads of articles through the years of people leaving and abandoning their kids just to gamble.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/investigations/bs-bz-casinos-unattended-children-20170317-story.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/parents-abandon-girls-gamble-resorts-world-casino-article-1.2318972#

“Not Just In The USA”:
https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/children-are-being-left-unattended-for-long-periods-while-their-parents-are-betting/news-story/84ce662581021177fce356eb8cb69c4d

WTF? “Simply Ridiculous” and Victims Are Being Traumatized All Over Again … Shame On MGM Resorts Owner of The Mandalay Bay and Their Share Holders!

WTF? “Simply Ridiculous” and Victims Are Being Traumatized All Over Again … Shame On MGM Resorts Owner of The Mandalay Bay and Their Share Holders!

“Looking At Both Sides”

I’m sure just about everyone around the world heard what took place a while back at a concert being held outside “The Mandalay Bay resort-casino.” October 2017 when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 851 injured, courtesy of Yahoo News and originally appeared on abcnews.go.com …


“This is absolute gamesmanship. It’s outrageous. It’s just pouring gasoline on the fire of (the victims’) suffering,” Eglet said. “They are very distraught, very upset over this. MGM is trying to intimidate them.”  ~Lawyer Me. Eglet says for the Victims.

“Last week, MGM filed suit in federal court against 1,000 defendants who are victims of the shootings or other interested parties. The lawsuits are intended to be a self-protective, preemptive strike by MGM. The company says it is only suing people who have already sued MGM or notified it that they plan to do so. It isn’t asking for the shooting victims to pay it any money. Nevertheless, the move has predictably prompted widespread outrage and prompted calls on Twitter” to #BoycottMGM

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Does the SAFETY Act apply to a hotel?

The 2002 law is called the SAFETY Act (for “Support Antiterrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies”). Passed in the wake of 9/11, the intent was for the Department of Homeland Security to review security products and services for federal certification. If they received that certification, the law protects their providers from lawsuits in the event of a terrorist attack where those products are in use. It’s worth noting that MGM did have a security firm at the concert at the time of the shooting, and that security firm was certified under the SAFETY Act. 

Attorneys for the victims are as outraged about this lawsuit as you might expect. “Their theory is that this security company goes to D.H.S. and gets some type of certificate, and so now MGM is immune, and everybody in the future who hires the company is immune,” Craig Eiland, who represents many of the victims, told the Times. “It’s outrageous, and that’s not what the law is, and we would all be less safe.”

MGM argues the shooting qualifies as an act of terrorism and thus is covered under the SAFETY Act. The Department of Homeland Security has not weighed in one way or another on that question. What is clear is MGM wants to establish, first of all, that MGM can’t be sued for the shooting, and second that it especially can’t be sued in state or local courts.

HOW THE VICTIMS and FAMILIES OF LOVED ONES LOST FEEL?


JOYEETA BISWAS, Good Morning America …

“MGM Resorts files lawsuits against Las Vegas shooting victims in the effort to avoid
liability”

“It brings it all up again, and takes me right back to being helpless,” said Jason McMillan, who was paralyzed from the waist down in the attack.

“Hearing that I’m being sued — it’s not only insulting, it enrages me to think that this company can just try to skip out on their responsibilities and their liability for what happened.”

McMillan vowed not to back down in the fight against the company.

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PHOTO: Attorney Mark P. Robinson, right, representing shooting victims and family members who lost loved ones in the Oct, 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting, talks about MGM's decision, at a news conference in Newport Beach, Calif., July 23, 2018. (Alex Gallardo/AP)

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“To blame the victims, to say it’s anyone else’s fault other than their own – it’s absurd. I can’t believe the audacity of them. They’re not going to get away with anything – We’ll keep this going, as long as it takes,” he added.”

The press conference was fraught with emotion, as survivors recounted details of what happened to them or their loved ones in the attack, and their painful journey towards recovery.

Joyce Shipp, 72, whose 50-year-old daughter Laura Shipp was killed in the shooting, said she was still learning to cope with the aftermath.

“I wasn’t at the concert but I live it every day. Every time we go outside we see Mandalay Bay. It’s hard to get that out of your head,” she said.

“The fact that [MGM is] trying to sue us — it’s outrageous,” she added. “That they would have the audacity to put me through that again — It’s like being kicked again to the ground.”

{MGM’S RESPONSE}?

In response to the press conference, MGM spokesperson Debra DeShong provided the following statement:

“It is heartbreaking to hear these personal accounts of an unspeakable tragedy. We grieve with all of the victims. No one wins from endless litigation and it will not change the fact that one person is responsible for this horrendous act of violence and he took his own life rather than face justice.” (Partial) 

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My Own Personal Opinion and Feelings?


Although I do agree with what the MGM spokesperson said about the shooter
“taking his own life rather than face justice,”

I still feel strongly that the MGM is just trying to escape taking ownership and accountability for what took place on their property! They checked in the shooter with NO Checking of His Bags which contained loads of firearms regardless if HE opened the window and started shooting at the victims below. 

MGM and its shareholders need to “do the right thing here” and drop these ridiculous lawsuits against the victims. You are only making more chaos and trauma for them and prolonging their healing. How about putting your feet in the loved one’s shoes and it was YOU who lost a loved one that night? I’m sure you’d be looking at this the same way as all the victims we lost and the feel the same way these families and survivors are feeling now …

PLEASE Visit to see the souls we have lost:
https://www.ktnv.com/news/photos-remembering-those-killed-in-las-vegas-mass-shooting#

As my thoughts and prayers are still with you! xoxo

~Catherine Lyon

Sobriety Taboo. When Is It OK To Date When Maintaining Recovery?

Sobriety Taboo. When Is It OK To Date When Maintaining Recovery?

Since I have been lucky and blessed to be happily married to my soulmate for almost, well, let me say a long time. Our wedding song was by Guns N’ RosesSweet Child O’ Mine! We got married after a year living together as I didn’t want to marry again as my ex-was a closet alcoholic at a young age. It was a horrible 4-year experience I did not want to be repeated. And, of course, this was years before I became an addict myself.

Now that I have all that behind me, I have heard many times sitting in meetings and even in my treatment group years ago, by someone, obviously single, would ask the question, “when is it OK to date or start a relationship while maintaining recovery?” Well, I always heard not for at least one or two years into recovery.

We need to be focused on our #1 priority, GETTING Clean, Sober, or Bet Free first. And I think using “Common Sense” in this situation should rule. Look, if you are NOT WELL, how can you be good relationship material with someone else?

Think about that! And that is why I am sharing this article this weekend from the fine folks of the magazine, “The Fix.”

IT is why I am sharing the article. It may help clear up the ‘ole’ question of “Dating in Recovery” By Kiki Baxter

 

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Relationship-Checkup

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“When my sponsor told me about the suggestion to not date for a year, that I should just concentrate on getting sober, I said: “I’m a really good multi-tasker.”

 

I thought that when I got sober, I’d get into the best shape of my life, start going to the gym all the time, train for a triathlon, become super successful and meet the man of my dreams. Basically, my version of what advertising says is a ‘perfect life.’ I wasn’t thinking along the lines of what some people say: the gift of sobriety IS sobriety. Boring. I mean, I was and I wasn’t; I mostly just wanted to stop being miserable. I did a 90 and 90, got a sponsor, joined a gym, took a class in my career of choice, slept a lot, and met a guy.

When my sponsor told me about the suggestion to not date for a year, that I should just concentrate on getting sober, I said: “I’m a really good multi-tasker,” and “I can get sober and date at the same time.” Luckily for me, she didn’t say it was a rule because there are no rules in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Nowhere in the Big Book does it say: “no dating allowed in the first year.”

It just talked about some people prefer a little more pepper in their sex life or whatever (page 69) and who are we to tell people what spices to proverbially cook with? So thank god for that because, in my first 90 days, I met a guy. He was a friend of a friend and when we met, he told me that he was going through a big transition in his life.

“What kind of a transition?” I asked while thinking Oh my God! We have so much in common! We’re both going through transitions! As if a relationship could be built on that alone. Or even a marriage, because I thought that now that I had opened the book of sobriety, everything would change in the blink of an eye. It would be like I just woke up to a new life. That’s how it happens, right?

I mean, don’t you kinda hear that all the time? The person’s life was shit and then they got sober and now they’re in this awesome marriage/job/house/car/babies and it all like happened in a year or maybe two? I’m smart and attractive. That shit should happen for me too! I can make that happen. I. CAN. MAKE. THAT. HAPPEN. Higher power who?

So, when I asked the guy what kind of transition, he said poetically, “It’s like my house was taken away so now I have no house, but at least I can see the moon.” And I was like “Wow, coooooool. I totally love the moon.”

For our first date, we went on a bike ride along the river, had lunch where I did not order a glass of wine (the first time that has ever happened) and ordered a coffee instead. I didn’t tell him that I was newly sober. I just told him I didn’t drink, and he said that was cool and he’s thought that maybe he should quit drinking too (uh oh); that he meditates and when he meditates, he feels super clear and drinking gets in the way of that (uh yeah).

Then he walked me home and I remember feeling very sensitive and insecure. It was like I was eight years old again with a crush on a boy at school and I forgot how to walk my bike. Or talk. I felt awkward. Which is why, at 16, drinking and boys went hand in hand. Less feeling. More yay.

When I got home, I realized there was no way I could date right now. I knew that if I was rejected or even felt rejected, it would probably cause me to drink. I didn’t have the emotional tools. I talked to my sponsor about it and then called him up and said, “I really like you, but I’m going through something right now where I need to take a year off of dating. I hope you understand.” And he said, “Wow. I should probably do that, too.” Turns out he was going through a divorce and was in no place to be in a relationship or be the man of my dreams/dysfunction right now.

For the rest of the year, I concentrated on going to meetings, fellowship, making new AA friends, eating cookies and milk, binge-watching Netflix at night, and it was the most awesome/horrible year of my life. I highly recommend it. I gained 10 or 20 pounds which seemed weird. Dudes can go through a rough time and get fat and grow a beard and still be considered likable — but as a woman, it’s harder to hide behind a beard and 50 pounds and be cool. But a girl can dream.
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So, a year later, guess who I ran into? No-house-moon dude. And yay! I was like a year sober so totally awesome and fixed, right? It. Was. On. We went on a few dates, and I honestly can’t remember if we had sex. It was only seven years ago and I know we did sexy things but I cannot for the life of me remember. I don’t think we did, because we would have needed to have the talk and well, let’s just say that the time I chose to have the talk was not a good time to have it.

Take it from me when I say “DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HAVE THE TALK WHEN HIS HEAD IS BETWEEN YOUR LEGS. ” That should be in the Big Book. It’s a real buzz kill for one and all. And our relationship (if you can call it that) ended shortly thereafter which was okay because he was seriously still mourning the loss of his ten-year marriage.

So that’s my take on dating in the first year. I do know a couple people who hooked up in their first year of sobriety and 30 years later are still married. That might happen to you. I knew that wasn’t going to happen for me. It wasn’t until year two that I met the man of my dreams AKA qualifier who really brought me to my knees (not in a good way) and into Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous which is like the nicest thing a guy can do. Kidding. But not in a way because Girrrrrrrl, I needed some of that SLAA in my life.

Since then, I’ve moved to a place that I am happy to call home, am “healthy” dating and more will be revealed. But the best thing is that I like myself – dare I say, love, myself? I love my friends, my career, and my life and I don’t expect a man or any person or thing to save me.

WHY? Because I don’t need saving anymore. Thank god. Thank HP. Thank my program. And thank you.


Please visit so you can read more amazing articles like this one on
 “The Fix.”