“Fear Traps Me Into Being WHO I Am Not Many Times”…Guest Article by “World Of Psychology” Shares It Well.

“Fear Traps Me Into Being WHO I Am Not Many Times”…Guest Article by “World Of Psychology” Shares It Well.

I told myself at midnight new years’ eve, I was going to write, share, and be more open and transparent about my mental health issues this year. So when I came upon this article and gave it a read, I knew I had to share it today as many of us who maintain recovery from addictions are dually diagnosed with mental health challenges like myself. And those who don’t understand what it is like to battle agoraphobia along with depression and a few other disorders I have been working through, many seem to cling to “The Stigma” around all of the ABOVE.

Now, yes, I do understand that those who have not been touched by mental or emotional problems or disorders or know or have a family or friend who does, not all people are sorry to ‘ignorant’ about these topics. However, there some who don’t think mental health problems, like Tom Cruise, even exist. HA!

I’m here to say they do and about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffers from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and more.

That is 1 in every 5 people suffer in just the United States alone. So, sorry Tom Cruise and L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology, YOUR WRONG. Here is an article that helps us have insights on how paralyzing “FEAR” can make us feel TRAPPED…By 

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How Fear Traps You into Being Someone You Are Not…

“The fear response is triggered when facing danger.”

The “danger” could be not measuring up to a desired or imposed standard, not getting done what you set out to do, not fulfilling expectations (your own or someone else’s), being seen as less than perfect or failing at something. There is also the “danger” of not fitting in and being noticeably different from the norm. All these fears and anxieties stem from questioning your ability to cope with life’s challenges and people’s responses to your actions.

External messages from the media and authorities are also powerful triggers of anxiety and fear. Believing the world to be a dangerous place creates a pervading sense of powerlessness that undermines your personal power and inner strength in many different ways. 

  • Fear manipulates you into forgetting how strong and competent you really are.

  • Fear negates your resilience. Feelings of helplessness trick you into believing that you do not have what it takes to tolerate hardship and bounce back from adversity.

  • Fear narrows your focus to mainly notice problems, damage, hurt or harm.

  • Fear impairs realistic thinking so the scale and likelihood of potential danger are often overestimated. Unless you live in a war zone, a dangerous neighborhood, an abusive relationship or have just experienced a significant natural disaster, most commonly assumed dangers are less prevalent or disastrous than imagined.

  • Avoidance is one of the responses to fear. Self-imposed restrictions on where you go or what you do limit your options and shrink your world.

  • Fear can sabotage creative self-expression. Instead of aiming for your aspirations and dreams you may censor yourself and remain within the safety of your comfort zone.

  • Fear prevents you from living in the here and now. Worrying what might happen and anticipating dangers and calamities in the future removes your attention from the present, the only place where you can function to the best of your ability. Dwelling on past events instead of focusing on the present also clouds your perception to the realities and opportunities of the now.

  • Survival emotions such as anger (fight); worry, panic and anxiety (flight); depression and hopelessness (freeze) limit your emotional expression and narrow your emotional range. Negative feelings drag you down and deplete vital life force while positive emotions such as trust in yourself, courage and hope strengthen and nurture you.

  • Fear cuts you off from the flow of life and universal benevolence you could tap into.

  • Destabilized by fear you lose your firm grounding in your own power. This diminishes your ability to recognize potential agendas by external sources of fear. As a consequence, you become an easier target for manipulation and abuse.

Fear is the result of a physical mechanism involving the adrenals and various other body systems. In cases of real and acute danger, this is useful as it alerts you to the need for action.

However, the same kind of responses are also triggered by imagined danger. With the lines between real and imagined danger often blurred in modern life, fear in all its forms can become chronic. Like with ‘Agoraphobia’ or other panic type disorders.

“Tricking you into believing that you are weak and without inner resources or that a catastrophe is imminent, fear and its allies are some of the most damaging emotions to allow into your life. You have a choice what you do with your fear: stay in its thrall or make the decision not to be pulled into it and question it is associated — and usually automatic — thoughts.”

 
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There are many different ways to defuse fears. All of them involve feeling it without trying to suppress the feeling or run away from it. Like other emotions, fear follows a bell curve where it rises, peaks and eventually subsides if you stay with it as a witness rather than disappearing into it. When you have weathered the emotional storm and feel calmer, take a good look at your thoughts and the reality of the situation.

Examine your triggers and the beliefs associated with them. What is their origin, do they reflect the truth? What is your fear about? How you see yourself, how other people might think of you, what you are told about the world? What keeps you in a state of fear?

Depending on your situation, devise your own path to freedom. You may decide on “gradual exposure”, i.e. approaching a feared situation not at once but in several small increments over a number of days or weeks.

You could also draw a “fear ladder” with your “little” fears at the bottom rungs and the “big” ones on top. Begin addressing the less difficult ones and gradually work your way up. It will show you that you do not have to give in to fear and let it define your life and how you see yourself.

Enlist help and support if you need it, but ultimately no one can do this work for you. Remember, you are much stronger and more resilient than fear will allow you to know.

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About Christiana Star

Christiana is a counseling psychologist and writer with a strong focus on self-help, personal growth, and empowerment. Combining professional experience with a spiritual outlook on life, her work offers new perspectives, insights, practical tips and easy strategies that can be applied straightaway. When she is not writing, Christiana can be found in nature: tending her fruit and vegetable garden with various degrees of success or exploring Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches with her very quirky little dog.

Download the free ebook “10 Keys for Moving Forward when Life Has Changed”, receive the monthly newsletter or access her weekly blog at www.christianastar.com.


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This part of her article HIT ME, “Fear can sabotage creative self-expression. Instead of aiming for your aspirations and dreams you may censor yourself and remain within the safety of your comfort zone.”

That is me! I feel safe in my places within my “Comfort Zone.” It truly is debilitating and then I get depressed as it feels like looking out a window as LIFE is passing by WITHOUT ME In It…

So, what role does fear play in your life? What have you found useful in overcoming fears? If you are struggling, what is your difficulty?  Please share your feelings and comments with me.  Maybe together we can help one another…


Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

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So, A New Year and A New You In 2018? How Was Your Holiday Season In Recovery? Mine Was AMAZING!

So, A New Year and A New You In 2018? How Was Your Holiday Season In Recovery? Mine Was AMAZING!

HAPPY NEW YEAR Recovery Friends and Visitors! 

 

 

 

So, how was your “Holiday Season?” Let me gush and ramble a little about how mine was… As many of us who maintain recovery, sometimes we lose touch with family and relationships due to many reasons. Not all family members understand the healing and change one goes through when we enter recovery and reclaim our lives back from gambling addiction. And, again, the reasons are countless.

What I do know is, there are some family members who do understand and may reconnect as I got to experience this first hand this holiday season! Sad as it seems, I have several members of my side of the family I have not spoken to in years’ like my own father, younger and older sister. I have come to terms with that and moved on many years ago. But my three nephews from my older sister reached out and called me on Christmas Day evening. There is something about the “Christmas Holiday” that touches all of us when it comes to our family.

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My other 2 Nephews Matt & Mike!


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“My older sister Rose my nephew’s mom & Christina”

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And especially at holiday time. This Christmas I got calls from my nephews to wish us a Merry Christmas and to catch up. My middle nephew Mark has 4 children and we talked for 2 hours. He and I have stayed in touch through the years, but with him having a family and me busy with my work and advocacy, time gets past us.  So Mark and I talked for 2 hours and have talked again several times. He even sent me photos! I had not seen my great niece and nephew, his twin babies, since right after they were born and when we moved from Oregon to here in Glendale, AZ…3 1/2-years ago.

And HERE THEY ARE with Daddy (Mark), Mark Jr. and Bella!

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They are beautiful, right? They just turned 4. We are making plans to hopefully go see them in So. California this Spring and can not wait. We are now only 4 hours from Cali, closer than when we lived in Oregon. God works in funny ways, doesn’t he? Mark had shared and we talked of when HIS Dad was still alive, and when he and his two brothers were little, how Mike and my own dad used to go up on the roof of the house when the boys went to sleep on Christmas Eve and walk around up there as I and everyone would tell them it was Santa and the hoofs of the reindeer! LOL. The boys got so excited, so Mark did it this year, but then he rented a Santa suit and surprised his kids.

He said he was a big hit! Oh, those old Christmas memories when Mark, Michael, and Matthew were little kids. It seems that is what the holiday season does. We look back at happier times and when our family used to be stuck together like glue, and before the world around us got in the mix, growing into adults and all that life brings into it. Sad that we are all tore apart. That is a long story for another blog post. Those who have read my book know that story…

So many people tell me how can I have a “faith” in someone I can see? How do you know there really is a supreme creator or higher power known as “God?” Where are these miracles believers talk about?

Well, I know and believe in God and his son Jesus Christ. And GOD performs “Miracles” like my ‘Holiday Miracle’ this year every single day…YOU just have to believe and look around you!

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Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Happy New Year!

Veterans, A Holiday Spotlight on My Guest “Make The Connection” – Gambling Addiction Services and Much More For our Vets.

Veterans, A Holiday Spotlight on My Guest “Make The Connection” – Gambling Addiction Services and Much More For our Vets.

Gambling addiction has no boundaries on who it will touch. It can be men, women, teens, seniors, and even our veterans that have or are serving in the military. I was doing some research for an article I was writing for a paper and came across my guest who I wanted to spotlight as part of my Holiday Blogging series as we are seeing our veterans not just battling homelessness or drug and alcohol problems, but now gambling addiction.

“In between deployments my buddies and I would hit the casino. But we ended up losing our paychecks and so I had to start coming up with creative excuses why I didn’t have any money for my family.”


So if you are a veteran of any military branch of service? Know there is Help, Hope, and now Treatment Options for all types of addictions including gambling and find it here at “Making The Connection . Net”  Here is more of what they do and about addicted gambling among our veterans.

 

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“MakeTheConnection.net is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.”

There are millions of Veterans and family members who have reached out for support during tough times. Their lives got better. Yours can too. Over 400 Veterans and family members from across the country have shared their stories of strength and recovery. On MakeTheConnection.net, it takes only seconds to find a story that is just for you. Try It: Find the Story for You  In addition to powerful stories, MakeTheConnection.net provides information about life experiences you can relate to. You also can explore information about signs, symptoms, and conditions that are related to mental health and well-being.

MakeTheConnection.net also will help you…

Locate Nearby Resources.

 

When it’s time to reach out, MakeTheConnection.net’s resource locator can help you find resources, programs, and facilities in your area, no matter where you are.

They have many different resources listed as well Crisis Lines and more with now 2,918,331 ONLINE Supporters waiting to help VETS.

 

“Make The Connection has resources available for Veterans having a problem with gambling addiction.”

Gambling is a problem when it negatively affects your finances, job, relationships with family or friends, or your health. Are you sometimes unable to pay the bills because you’ve spent your money on lottery or scratch tickets; card, slot, or dice games; sports betting; horse or dog races; or Internet gambling? When you lose money gambling, do you think that you need to bet more to win it all back? Have you tried to hide your gambling from family or friends? Is gambling the only thing you like doing, or do you spend most of your time thinking about ways to gamble?  A “yes” answer to any of these questions may be a sign of a gambling addiction.

Gambling is betting something of value on the outcome of an event — like a football or baseball game, a card game, or a race — when the likelihood of winning or losing is uncertain. Although many people gamble occasionally, some people gamble even when it causes problems for themselves or others. They may want, need, or have tried to stop gambling but feel like they can’t. They may start gambling more often or taking bigger and bigger betting risks. These are some of the warning signs of a gambling addiction.

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For some Veterans, gambling starts as entertainment, but then can become a major way to relieve stress or boredom or to feel better when going through a tough time. Some Veterans may gamble for its sense of risk and thrill. Gambling can be a distraction, or perhaps a way to avoid coping with some of the difficulties that may arise when transitioning from military to civilian life. One of the symptoms of a serious gambling addiction is continuing to gamble even when you no longer find it enjoyable.

When gambling becomes a habit, it can cause problems with your job, relationships, and your mental or physical health. People who gamble compulsively may have financial issues, go into debt, or keep turning to others for gifts or loans. They may even steal from family, friends, or even their employers so they can keep gambling. The need to gamble, the problems it causes, and the stress of not being able to stop can be related to guiltdepressionanxiety disordersalcohol or drug problemsbipolar, even OCD and PTSD and health other issues.

If I’m experiencing a gambling problem, what can I do about it right away?

  • Acknowledge that gambling has become a problem in your life.
  • Recognize that it is possible to make a change.
  • Make a list of reasons not to gamble that you can refer to when you feel the urge to gamble.
  • Write down a list of things — including people and places — that make you want to gamble, along with ways that you can avoid them.
  • Practice relaxation exercises such as deep breathing to help you manage stress and to manage feelings if you feel the strong urge to gamble.
  • Make a list of activities you enjoy that you can do instead of gambling.
  • Spend time with supportive people in your life who do not gamble.

Trust me, people who are close to you may have noticed you’re having a tough time, even if they are unaware of your gambling. You may want to talk to your family and friends about what you’re experiencing. They may be able to provide support and help you find solutions that are right for you.

Take the next step: Make the connection.

It can be difficult to handle a gambling problem on your own. Every day, Veterans who served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard connect with proven resources and effective treatments for the issues they face and find solutions that improve their lives. You can also consider connecting with:

  • Your doctor. Ask if your doctor has experience treating Veterans or can refer you to someone who does. If you feel comfortable enough with your physician, he or she may be able to help you find tools to manage a gambling problem even without direct experience with Veterans.
  • A mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor
  • Your local VA Medical Center or Vet Center. VA specializes in the care and treatment of Veterans.
  • A spiritual or religious advisor
  • A gambling helplines like Gamblers Anonymous or self-help groups

Explore these resources for more information about gambling problems in Veterans.


Please learn more about what you can do if you are experiencing specific concerns related to gambling, such as
 anxiety disordersdepression, and alcohol or drugs problems.

Problem Gambling Confidential Helpline Network
The National Council on Problem Gambling provides a toll-free, confidential helpline throughout the U.S. for anyone seeking help with gambling issues. Dial 1-800-522-4700.

Gamblers Anonymous
This website can help you find a local support group for people dealing with gambling problems. The nationwide toll-free number for immediate help is 1-888-GA-HELPS.
www.gamblersanonymous.org


Vet Center
If you are a combat Veteran, you can bring your DD214 to your local Vet Center and speak with a counselor or therapist — many of whom are Veterans themselves — for free, without an appointment, and regardless of your enrollment status with VA. In addition, any Veteran who was sexually traumatized while serving in the military is eligible to receive counseling regardless of gender or era of service.
www.va.gov/directory/guide/vetcenter.asp


VA Medical Center Facility Locator

Gambling may be related to other health conditions that need attention. VA provides world-class health care to eligible Veterans. Most Veterans qualify for cost-free health care services, although some Veterans must pay modest copays for health care or prescriptions. Explore your eligibility for health care using VA’s Health Benefits Explorer tool and find out more about the treatment options available to you.
www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp?isflash=1

Join the Conversation

Make the Connection is more than a website. It is a nationwide, online movement of millions. Join us and share Make the Connection on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Your words can encourage someone in need to reach out for support and treatment.

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I want to say a warm Thank You, to each and every one of our Veterans and Military personnel for your Sacrifice and Serving our Country. You should never have to deal with homelessness, addictions, or feel alone. YOU have a voice and I am here to make sure your voices are heard and you learn about all the HELP there is for you! And Thank goodness there are helpful sites out there ready to help our VETS like “MAKE THE CONNECTION . NET ” TODAY!

God Bless,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate

Loved Being A Guest On RadioMD and Rewired Radio With Erica Spiegelman! Just Advocating & Awareness.

Loved Being A Guest On RadioMD and Rewired Radio With Erica Spiegelman! Just Advocating & Awareness.

Welcome Recovery Friends and All Visitors,

As part of my “Give A Gift of 12 Days of Christmas of Recovery” I had a scheduled Radio Show today and wanted to share it with all of you! Many studies and facts have been changing due to the increase of more and more expansion of gambling options. Expanding State Lotteries, Indian/Tribal Casinos, and internet gambling as well.

When Erica Spiegelman and I chatted on Rewired Radio here: http://apple.co/2oAJps6 she wasn’t fully aware of all the places gambling is available like in our church’s with Bingo and Bingo fundraisers. Same with your kids’ schools, from prom casino night fundraisers and raffle ticket fundraisers. 

At our grocery stores with scratch ticket and lotto machines. Gambling is everywhere. Now, for normal people, they may not think twice about it. But for those trying to recover from this addiction, it seems like gaming options are all over. So, being able to have a platform and interview to raise more awareness is awesome! To share and educate the public about how gambling is now reaching our Seniors, High School and College age kids too. When will it stop? So I hope you will take some time and give a listen to my New Radio Interview with my Host, Erica and the fine folks of RadioMD and Rewired Radio! 

Now THANKS to Sylvia who shared all the links you can go take a listen and please share them on your social media if you ENJOY the Interview! More info below!

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Visit This Link and click on LISTEN 

ABOUT THE SHOW:

Guest Info & Links: Catherine Townsend-Lyon
From the Show: Rewired Radio

Summary: When we talk about addiction, we often focus on substance abuse. In truth, there are people addicted to behaviors and habits that can cause just as much damage to their lives as drugs or alcohol.

The Silent Addiction

When we talk about addiction, we often focus on substance abuse. 

In truth, there are people addicted to behaviors and habits that can cause just as much damage to their lives as drugs or alcohol. 

Catherine Townsend-Lyon understands this all too well. For years, she was addicted to gambling, what she calls “a hush addiction.” 

Catherine shares her story of how she was able to free herself from this crippling addiction and how she uses this experience to help others get on the path to recovery, even when all hope seems lost.

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Grab Her New Book:

Image result for Erica Spiegelman

ABOUT MY HOST:

Erica Spiegelman is a consultant, author, counselor and speaker who has made an indelible mark in the field of addiction recovery. She has founded a multi-media health and wellness platform, providing consulting and counseling solutions for clients by providing them with tools on how to reach emotional, mental and physical freedom.

She holds a Bachelors degree in Literature from the University of Arizona and a degree as a California State Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADAC-I) from University of California, Los Angeles. Erica has a consulting business and works with numerous patient care centers in California, including the Living Rebos Treatment Center, Klean Treatment Center, and Passages Malibu. She is a regular contributor to online health outlets, writes for Maria Shriver, and often co-hosts a weekly radio show Klean Radio on Sirius XM.

Grab Her Books on AMAZON!

Product Details

Rewired: A Bold New Approach…
2015

Product Details

Rewired New Workbook
2017

 

Guest Holiday Recovery Post By Author, Alek Sabin About Childhood Trauma.

Guest Holiday Recovery Post By Author, Alek Sabin About Childhood Trauma.

Why It’s Essential to Tackle Childhood Trauma, Early

by Alek Sabin

 

Every year, we are beginning to learn more and more about the effects that trauma in childhood has, as victims get further and further into adulthood. While it’s been known that behavioral issues and development problems can frequently stem from traumatic events that occurred in childhood, new research is coming out that shows how other mental disorders (such as clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder) can develop out of childhood trauma. Individuals who have experienced childhood trauma are significantly more likely to struggle with addiction in life, which is why it’s something that anyone involved with addiction should be informed about.

 

This emphasizes the need to get help to children who suffer from trauma while they are still children, rather than assume that it will go away as they reach adulthood. Here are some reasons why it’s important to tackle childhood trauma, early…and in early recovery.

 

PTSD in adults often comes from childhood events

 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has many symptoms that can severely impact a person’s quality of life, including nightmares, aggression, anxiousness, struggles with socialization, and rapid changes in emotion, among other things. Recent studies have shown that a large portion of adults who suffer from PTSD developed the disorder after a traumatic event that occurred during childhood.

 

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Since this disorder has a profound impact on a child’s development into adulthood, and can impact their social, mental, emotional, and even physical health, it is better to deal with these traumatic events when a victim is younger, so that the impact of trauma doesn’t shape behavioral responses, when they are older.

 

Youth suicide is becoming more common

 

Suicide is a major killer of young people, today. As a matter of fact, the suicide contributes more to the mortality rate of teenagers and young adults than a combination of cancer, stroke, AIDS, pneumonia, influenza, lung disease, and birth defects. Nearly 3,500 teenagers and young adults commit suicide, on average, every single day in the United States.

 

When it comes to the indicators of suicide, trauma can be a major factor that leads to a mental state where a young person attempts to take their life. For this reason, it’s important to help a child’s mental health heal from trauma when they are younger, so that this trauma doesn’t develop into something even more sinister.

 

Complex trauma is more difficult to tackle, later on

 

It is common therapy practice to consider the environmental influences of an adult patient, particularly from childhood. As stated above, it’s been found that trauma experienced in childhood is a very common source of mental disorders found in adults. However, the problem with dealing with these traumatic events as an adult is that the person has been forced to develop their own coping mechanisms for dealing with that trauma, throughout the course of their life.

 

This means that the true source of trauma can often be buried throughout other behavioral influences, and can complicate the therapy process. The earlier we are able to tackle trauma in a child, the easier it is to address the source of that trauma, head-on, which makes it easier to identify and move towards healthy progress.

 

Children don’t just get better from trauma

 

One of the biggest misconceptions that keep trauma-suffering children from getting the help that is going to enable them to work through their issues is that they will get over it as they get older. While certain traumatic events may not be at the forefront of their mind after several years, the reality is that their development and behavior are going to be influenced by that trauma, which means that it can have a profound impact on a person’s identity, years down the road.

Mental health problems are like any other problems. They don’t just go away. Problems need to be addressed, talked about, and worked on, in any field. This is especially true for therapy, which is why it is so important to get a child to therapeutic and/or psychiatric health when they are younger. It isn’t impossible to deal with these things when they are older, but the issues are buried under less experience, which makes them easier to tackle.

 

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I would like to add a little as Alek’s article brings out some very good points. I am a childhood sexual trauma survivor, and it is not easy to talk about. I even skirted around going into details about what I went through within my current book. However, I am finally able to embrace this part of my life.

Through much processing in therapy, I have been able to learn my past childhood trauma was some of the direct to “roots to my gambling addiction as I was using it to “escape, cope,” and not feel that past hurt little girl. So, it is important to begin the work from the trauma of any kind early in your recovery journey. “Let Go and Let God” as he’ll help you learn to “forgive” yourself. It was never your fault, and you are not alone… 

Catherine XoXo  

 

How Does a Family Deal With Having A Member of The Family As An Addict At Holiday Time?

“Let’s face it. The holidays can be a stressful time for families – especially if you have a loved one with an ADDICTION. Ask for
outside help.”

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We all know that holiday time can be stressful with all the drama happening just from the season, but then add into the mic dealing with a family member as an addict can be even more stressful for everyone. So how can families deal this it? Here to help is a featured article is from the community and website of  Drug Free.Org …

They help families get answers and resources to deal with this dilemma and much more all year long. When I was still deep within my gambling addiction, I can tell you I had no idea what impact this made on my family around the holidays. All I knew as I would gamble even more in desperation to get MONEY I had lost most likely to buy gifts for family. We all know how that turned out! YOU WILL never win enough for anything, let alone for holiday gifts to make everything look NORMAL for the holidays. So let’s get some advice on how do deal with the addict at holiday time…

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First, there’s the frenzy in the air and what seems like a million things to do.  Second, our feelings are often magnified around this time. We may feel exhausted, over-committed and extra sensitive. We often expect everything to be perfect, aspiring to some idealized version of how things should be. But the truth is that life, especially with an addicted family member, can be messy and chaotic.

This can leave us feeling disappointed, frustrated or wistful.

You may feel alone – like you’re the only family in the whole world dealing with an addict and abuse issue. Please know that you are not alone. And, while it may seem impossible to enjoy yourself when a loved one’s life is out of control, there are things you can do to make yourself feel better. So why not ask for outside help from other PARENTS?

“In this season of giving, we invite you to take inspiration from these parents to take action and help make a difference for families in need.”

1. Jacqueline is volunteering as a parent coach. Jacqueline lost her son to an accidental overdose. Now she is a volunteer Parent Coach, helping other parents find healing. You can support families who are in need of one-on-one support by becoming a volunteer Parent Coach like Jacqueline or by making a gift of just $25. Your gift will allow Jacqueline and others continue to coach families and offer them hope and help for their child.

2. Cyndi is hosting a grassroots fundraiser. When Cyndi Glass lost her son Jeremy, she was determined to help ensure other families struggling with their child’s substance use find the support they need. Cyndi created Jeremy’s Run, raising money on behalf of the Partnership. You can support Cyndi’s fundraiser and others in our nationwide community of grassroots fundraisers — or you can host your own event. Whether you decided to run, walk, bike or bake, your fundraiser will provide valuable resources to families who are struggling.

3. Andrea is shopping at IGA where her purchases give back. Andrea is doing her part to end substance use simply by shopping. You can turn your holiday groceries into hope for families by shopping at your local IGA grocery store and purchasing specially marked IGA-branded products. A percentage of the products you buy goes back to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

When you shop through smile.amazon.com — and indicate the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids as your charitable organization — we receive 0.5% of your total purchases at no extra cost to you.

4. Richard is shopping through Amazon Smile where his purchases give back. Like Richard, when you shop through smile.amazon.com — and indicate the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids as your charitable organization — we receive 0.5% of your total purchases at no extra cost to you. Need a holiday gift idea? Purchase a book from our Amazon bookstore to give to a family member or friend.

5. Bill is advocating for change. Bill and his wife Margot suffered a tragic loss when their son passed away after being denied insurance benefits. Now Bill is fighting for other families to receive benefits that the law already promises to protect, and is gathering signatures for further legal action.

6. Patty is teaching her community to carry life-saving Naloxone. Patty, who lost her son Sal to an overdose, made it her mission to ensure that every police department in her county carries Naloxone to assist them in reversing opioid overdoses and saving lives.

7. Michelle is telling her late daughter’s story. Michelle’s daughter Casey said that if something were ever to happen to her, she’d want her to write an honest obituary about her struggles with addiction. When Casey died of an accidental heroin overdose, Michelle has told her story everywhere she can to help break down the stigma that prevents so many from getting help.

Continuing Care eBook

8. Jane is sharing Partnership’s resources with other parents. Jane’s son Adam is now on the road to recovery thanks to the resources she found on drugfree.org — like our Treatment eBookMedication-Assisted Treatment eBook and Continuing Care eBook. Jane called our Helpline at 1-855-378-4373 and talked with a trained and caring masters-level specialist who helped her develop a personalized action plan to help Adam. Please share our online resources and Helpline with anyone you know who is struggling with a loved one’s substance use.

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These are all amazing ways parents are reaching out and helping other parents with a loved one with an addiction. Helping others is a way to help shatter Stigma and support others in from the addiction epidemic and makes an impact on the families and our Communities! Reading is an informative way to become educated about addictions of any kind. So if you have a neighbor who has a loved one as an addict? Reach out to them this Holiday Season and see how you can help make the Season a little “Brighter.”  Download eBooks, PDF guides and more to help a loved one >>

“Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon”

 

“Love For The Unlovable” by Delight In Disorder…I Too Have Some Holiday Blues

I am happy to support my dear friend Author, Tony Roberts and his fundraising campaign to begin a new Mental Health Podcast as he needs our support and kindness in the form donations that come with perks! So I hope you will join me as they can be made here:  “Revealing Voices – The Mental Health Podcast”

 

 

And like Tony shares in his new post, this new one about to share, I too have had some “holiday blues and depression” the past few days. Is it because I just turned 55 the other day? It is just another little mental health cycle? I’m not sure, but knowing my buddy has too? makes me feel that I am not alone as Tony shares…

 

Overview of New Podcast Coming and You Can Help Make It Happen!

Several podcasts touch on mental health. Others bring up topics of faith. We offer a unique faith-based, peer-led perspective. This is a project that has been born out of our own need and a recognition of the needs of others. Revealing Voices will dig deep and share honest stories of ways faith and mental health care can work together to promote healing. We also offer humor. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Like the Apostle Paul on lithium or Sigmund Freud at a weekend revival.  🙂

 

Many people with mental illness feel alienated from faith communities. Many faith communities fail to understand the value of mental health care. We have lived in both worlds and found both to promote healing. Prayer and pills. Worship and therapy. Bible study and support groups. Revealing Voices (the podcast and website) will build a community where people listen to and dialogue with others who have been impacted by mental illness and struggle with faith. We don’t pretend to have the answer, but we will raise your questions and share your prayers.

 

We need your financial support for the equipment needed to produce a quality podcast, including:

* MacBook Pro

* (2) Shure SM-58 microphones

* Cables, stands, accessories

* (2) Headsets

* Equipment for broadcasting phone calls

* Marketing to make a greater impact in a broader area.

* A portion of donations exceeding our goal will go to NAMI-Faith Net.

Studies show that at least 20% of the US population struggles with a mental health issue. Research also suggests that very few pastors and churches are equipped to address the needs of persons with mental illness. Your contribution will foster dialogue that offers hope for people who have troubled minds. Hope.  Compassion. With your gifts, you can invest in this vital mission. 

If you are not in a position to make a financial gift at this time, we get it. There are other valued ways you can support our mission:

* Pray. Prayer is not a magical panacea to manipulate giving. Yet, through prayer, needs are met.

* Share. Tell others about our project. We’d be delighted if you’d put it on your social media.

We want to express our gratitude for your support, so we are offering a wide variety of bonuses, from a “Making of Revealing Voices” audio recording to signed copies of Delight in Disorder and Watershed. Up to an opportunity to dialogue with us on the show. 

Our Revealing Voices campaign is going well. We have raised $700 towards our goal of $3,000 for pre-production equipment to launch our podcast in March. Based on our research and personal contacts, we firmly believe such a program will meet a great need in a unique way.

We will be perhaps the only faith-based, peer-led, story-driven mental health podcast on the net. On this Giving Tuesday, we hope that many who value our mission will contribute — through praying, sharing, and giving. Your support is much appreciated.  🙂

“LOVE 4 THE UNLOVABLE”

“I have been mired in a holiday depression. I texted a friend about it and we had this exchange”

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Friend: What do you think started the decline. Let’s break it down.

Me: Nostalgia over past holidays. They were not likely as good as I remember them. But my loss still seems palpable.

Friend: In Hebrews, the author talks about hearing God’s voice. and entering God’s rest. He ends up talking about the power of God’s Word. That has helped me. The idea we can enter God’s rest here — today.

Me: I’m not really connecting with the “rest” part. It’s more like I sleep and lie in bed to escape.

Friend: Would you say that nostalgia over past holidays is fundamentally a belief that there was a time when God was with you, and now God is not?

Me: I have always believed God is with me, even now. But now I feel God’s anger.

Friend: Can God be angry with his beloved child?

Me: No. I mean it’s different after Christ’s sacrifice. I know this, but I don’t feel it.

Friend: You may not, but it doesn’t change the Truth. So, first, you feel unloved.

Me: Maybe. It’s more that I feel unworthy of love and I’m not accepting grace.

Friend: Do you believe that thought was the seed for the decline? Unworthy and not accepting grace.

Me: Yes.

Friend: Do the holidays increase feelings of unworthiness and lack of grace?

Me: You’re right. I just feel numb. And my gut is wrenching.

Friend: I know. Do you have to write tonight?

Me: I don’t have to write, but I could write about something less personal, like a book review.

Friend: What feels most loving to you?

Me: The question I raise is what would be most helpful for my readers? Holiday depression is a real struggle for many of us with mental illness. If I could make some sense of it, I think that would help me and others. Doing at least one thing each day to engage others helps me feel better about myself. At the same time, I need to be careful that what I put out doesn’t bring other people down with me. I want to uplift.

Friend: Unlovable would be a good topic.

Me: Good. “Loving the Unlovable.”

Friend: I like that idea.

Me: Okay. Do you mind if I work something up and send it for your review? I don’t trust myself when I am off.

Friend: Good idea!

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But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

 

I don’t feel lovable, but I know that in Christ God has loved me. This knowledge gives me a reason to get out of bed each day. Even if it is 4 pm. Even if the voices inside my head are telling me God wants no part of me. Even if I feel like shit and don’t want to do anything. Even if the thought of going for a walk, making my bed, or taking a shower seems like running a 3-minute mile.

God does not compare me to my previous self. God does not measure my goodness according to any standard others set for me. By the grace of Jesus Christ, God loves me even when I feel unlovable.

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Help us bring the message of faith to those struggling with mental illness. Pray for that we meet our Indiegogo campaign goal. Share our page on your social media. Give according to what you have received and how much you value our ministry. (To give, click on the title below. It will direct you to our Indiegogo page where there will be a button that says, “Back it.”)

Revealing Voices: The mental health podcast raising unanswered questions, sharing unanswered prayers. 

 

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