New Life Recovery and Coaching – Purpose and Goals

This WordPress.com site is about ovevrcoming substance abuse/dependence and life coaching. It focuses on the recovery process and regaining control of one's life and moving forward with success.

New Life for 2013

Is 2013 the year you want to make a difference in your life?  Have you made any new year’s resolutions that will positively affect your physical health?  Emotional health or well-being?  The next few days are a great opportunity to make a list if you haven’t already created some areas of your life you would like to evaluate or re-evaluate.

If you are in need of some kick-starting thoughts for improvement in your life, here are some ideas:

  • Eating healthier is usually one of the big hitters
  • Evaluating the usage of drugs or alcohol
  • Embarking or re-vitalizing spiritual activities
  • Commitment to your career or employment objectives
  • Considering further education or training for employment advancement or pursuit of your dream career

This is a list of just a few action items that may inspire you to beat the winter blues and improve your life.  I hope you all are looking forward to a great and prosperous 2013.  Remember, you are the only one that can make a difference in your life.  I invite you to make 2013 the best year yet.

I welcome any comments or feedback.  Please see my website, http://www.newliferc.com for additional information.

Have a great day,

Mike

Equanimity

I find that equanimity is something that is not published a great amount of time.   This seems kind of odd to me, because it is something that covers a vast amount of well-being with not only the psychological stability of an individual, but it also has many spiritual and emotional  benefits as well.

As a society we tend to firmly believe in a particular religious outlook, while dismissing the integrity and spiritual application of others’ beliefs.  I have as well.  Over the last several months I have been experiencing an exceptional amount of spiritual and cognitive dissonance over how to study, interpret, and fully understand spirituality.  I have firmly held onto Christian beliefs, studied Buddhism, and relished in some Taoism.  While doing this, I couldn’t help but to believe that they must all have something in common, other than  less than the appreciation of the other.

So why mention this?  Many times it is important to understand our spiritual outlook on life – and others’.  If it is believed that we don’t fit into a particular social or religious category and we feel that we need to be labeled as one of the them, perhaps we tend to limit our perspectives from what is considered an acceptable societal member.  Maybe it is a family tradition, maybe it is marital, community, or a workplace attempt to fit into a particular religious mold.  Is this a healthy stand to take?  Perhaps, but is it a limited view of our surroundings?

What is in common?  I have attached an interesting article from a web search  that cuts across religious boundaries to apply equanimity.  I hope others find this interesting and at least, a bit applicable.  While it is only a single representation of similarities of differing spiritual beliefs, I believe that it is a beneficial read in which to partake.  Equanimity represents the many emotional, spiritual, and physical thoughts that are involved in individualistic peace and well-being.

I welcome all comments!!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/50320480/Equanimity.pd

Mike

Equanimity

I find that equanimity is something that is not published a great amount of time.   This seems kind of odd to me, because it is something that covers a vast amount of well-being with not only the psychological stability of an individual, but it also has many spiritual and emotional  benefits as well.

As a society we tend to firmly believe in a particular religious outlook, while dismissing the integrity and spiritual application of others’ beliefs.  I have as well.  Over the last several months I have been experiencing an exceptional amount of spiritual and cognitive dissonance over how to study, interpret, and fully understand spirituality.  I have firmly held onto Christian beliefs, studied Buddhism, and relished in some Taoism.  While doing this, I couldn’t help but to believe that they must all have something in common, other than  less than the appreciation of the other.

So why mention this?  Many times it is important to understand our spiritual outlook on life – and others’.  If it is believed that we don’t fit into a particular social or religious category and we feel that we need to be labeled as one of the them, perhaps we tend to limit our perspectives from what is considered an acceptable societal member.  Maybe it is a family tradition, maybe it is marital, community, or a workplace attempt to fit into a particular religious mold.  Is this a healthy stand to take?  Perhaps, but is it a limited view of our surroundings?

What is in common?  I have attached an interesting article from a web search  that cuts across religious boundaries to apply equanimity.  I hope others find this interesting and at least, a bit applicable.  While it is only a single representation of similarities of differing spiritual beliefs, I believe that it is a beneficial read in which to partake.  Equanimity represents the many emotional, spiritual, and physical thoughts that are involved in individualistic peace and well-being.

I welcome all comments!!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/50320480/Equanimity.pd

Mike

Co-Dependence and Addiction

Like many psychological terms co-dependence is thrown around with perhaps little understanding.  Co-dependence is considered a disorder that involves  psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition, typically some type of addiction; and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another.  It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.  How many times have we seen this type of scenario on LMN or some other type of television show or series.  The typical story is that of the housewife that succumbs to the alcohol or drug abusing , work-a-holic husband who they both believe (or is) is the breadwinner and head of the household so he holds all of the reins of a satisfactory life.  With this decided status he chooses to attempt to exert control, while she passively stands by and accepts the abuse dished to her.  In some cases this may be the accepted norm of the traditional relational situation.

I use a male/female relationship only as an example, and while I refer to the husband/wife scenario above, co-dependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.  Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns.

With many of my postings, I am indebted to psychcentral.com for their wealth of information at just  the right times.  They provide several facts of a co-dependent behavior.  These are:

  • taking responsibility f or someone else’s actions
  • worrying or carrying the burden f or others’ problems
  • covering up to protect others f rom reaping the consequences of their poor choices
  • doing more than is required at your job or at home to earn approval
  • feeling obligated to do what others expect without consulting one’s own needs
  • manipulating others’ responses instead of accepting them at f ace value
  • being suspicious of receiving love, not f eeling “worthy” of being loved in a relationship based on need, not out of mutual respect
  • trying to solve someone else’s problems, or trying to change someone
  • life being directed by external rather than internal cues (“should do” vs. “want to do”)
  • enabling someone to take our time or resources without our consent
  • neglecting our own needs in the process of caring for someone who does not want to care for themselves

With all of the technical stuff mentioned, I would like to introduce who I believe is a leader for publications in this field: Melody Beattie.  In my world she is the pioneer in exploring this concept.  If there has been any reason for those wondering about this concept and have not read Codependent No More, it is time to read it.  It was written several years ago, but I will guarantee that it will move you.  If not, please feel free to give me negative feedback on this post.

The key to repairing and ending codependency is to start protecting and nurturing ourselves. That might sound like a selfish act, but it will return us to a place of balance. Others will understand that we now respect and are protecting ourselves from over commitment or abuse.  An interesting thing about the mention of balance, it is the nature of species and the environment to continually strive to achieve balance.  Right?

Mike

 

Worrying

Worrying is an emotion that consumes a massive amount of time in many of our lives.  We worry about:

  1. Paying bills
  2. Acceptance into social events
  3. Work performance
  4. Academic performance
  5. Relational acceptance
  6. Meeting deadlines
  7. Weight
  8. Height
  9. Sporting performance
  10. And the list goes on and on

So why do we worry?  There are as many reasons as there are individuals.  We fear life and death itself.  According to the Psychology Today website, “worrying can also pertain to wanting to be perceived by the world as we wish.   And desiring to see ourselves as we want to be seen. When we are heavily invested in projecting and maintaining a certain image or persona to others, we must be ever-watchful and guarded about that particular persona being penetrated and seen through.  We worry about being exposed.  Being known. Found out, as, for example, in the so-called “imposter syndrome.”   Being judged.   Criticized.   And we worry about knowing ourselves.  About being confronted with who and what we truly are.  We humans innately harbor a primal fear of the unconscious, the unknown, and of what C.G. Jung termed the shadow.”

Probably one of the most applicable books that I have read that comprehensively addresses these taxing emotional feelings that we experience is Max Lucado’s Traveling Light.  He addresses the “what ifs” that we toss around in our minds for perhaps hours on end, ironically when there is typically nothing that can be done about the situation(s).  I would encourage considering reading this for anyone who suffers from worrying.  I know that it is an easy emotion to harbor, and not release.  That is one of the reasons that I chose to write about it.  Worrying never added a minute to anyone’s life, but has probably subtracted from it.

So with all that said, the common question is how do we prevent the worrying emotion?  I don’t believe that it can be prevented completely.  It probably provides an instinctual process that signals our sympathetic nervous system to act as if we need to “fight or flee” and trigger our autonomic nervous system to function so as to provide energy for such an occasion.  But that is not how we want to operate in life: with stress and anxiety.  There are techniques and exercises that can help prevent the unproductive emotion of compulsive worrying.  I have linked a couple of APA blogs that may be helpful.  The challenge to many is actually acknowledge that worrying is hindering some part of productivity or joy that life may have to offer, and want to address it productively.

I have used planning techniques that prevent worrying about meeting deadlines, address situations upfront rather than letting them simmer until something more undesirable than the actual event happens, and continually accept yourself and surroundings.  All of this sounds so simple in words, I know.  It does not come easy, and it takes a lot of courage and patience.  And I would be ecstatic if just this posting helped many people, but it takes work – which is well worth the effort.  When something doesn’t go as planned, few of these are actually life altering or threatening.  This is a challenging process for so many, and I hope that this information is at least somewhat enlightening.

As always, I welcome comments.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/50320480/Stop%20Worrying.pdf

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/50320480/psychcentral.com-How_to_Stop_Worrying_about_Worrying.pdf

Denial in Substance Abuse Recovery

Denial is a well know psychological defense system that allows an individual to cope with or provide time to overcome certain traumatic situations in life.  It is usually perceived in substance abuse as a negative mechanism inhibiting forward progress in recovery.

Are there any instances where denial in substance use or abuse can be considered a positive mechanism? If so, what would be the point in recovery that it is time to address this process?

Mike

A New Perspective on a New Life – Stages of Behavioral Change

The Stages of Change

To review, the five stages of behavioral change are:

  1. Pre-contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation/Determination
  4. Action/Willpower
  5. Maintenance

5. Maintenance

This stage is the fifth stage of the behavioral stage change model.   This is the stage in which individuals are successfully avoiding former behaviors and keeping up new behaviors. During this stage, people become more assured that they will be able to continue their new (and hopefully) desired change in behavior or habits.

During this stage it is imperative that temptations are avoided such as involvement with environments which include any substance usage.  Achieving this stage is a very large accomplishment.  Rewards  for sobriety are important, as long as the reward does not include substance usage.  Caution is to be used to not lapse or relapse.  If lapse or relapse does happen, a reminder that it was just a minor setback is in order.  Persistence should be practiced to get back to abstinence or the stage of desired behavior.  I have always said that we know how to do it at this stage since we have gotten this far.  Do it again and again and again until it sticks!!!  Don’t quit quitting!!!

This completes my postings on the Behavioral Change Model as it applies to Substance Use/Abuse.  Some models add a sixth stage which may include Termination or Relapse.  These are not necessarily part of the original model labeled the Transtheoretical Model so I will leave those to personal preference for observation or comment.

Please visit http://www.newliferc.com or contact me at the information provided on the web site for additional information on these stages.  In addition, I encourage any comments, questions, or concerns left on this blog.

Mike

New Life for 2013 – Stop Haters from Derailing Your Recovery

Frequently I see articles that catch my eye on various sites and blogs.  This one caught my eye, because it is real for many who are considering changing an addictive behavior.  It is in line with the postings that I have done for the stages of behavioral change.

One of the most challenging efforts for getting sober is losing the crowd that one has identified with for several years.  I have often said that almost anyone can get sober.  The challenge is how to stay that way.  So often it requires re-learning one’s identity and how to function in non-drug/alcohol surroundings.  The ways to accomplish this are as many as there are individuals wishing to get, and stay sober.

Take a look at the link.  This is often one of the beginning challenges of staying on track with recovery.

Stop Haters from Derailing your Recovery!!

As always visit http://www.newliferc.com for additional information.

Mike

A New Perspective on a New Life – Stages of Behavioral Change

The Stages of Change

To review, the five stages of behavioral change are:

  1. Pre-contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation/Determination
  4. Action/Willpower
  5. Maintenance

4. Action/Willpower

This stage is typically the fourth stage of the behavioral stage change model.   This is the stage in which individuals modify their behavior, experiences, or environment in order to overcome their problems.  Action involves the most open and transparent behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy.  Typically with substance use and abuse it involves some coaching, therapy, and support group activity.  Progress is achieved by being taught techniques for keeping up commitments such as substituting activities related to the unhealthy behavior with positive and healthy ones, rewards for taking steps toward changing, and avoiding people and situations that tempt them to behave in unhealthy ways.  Again, this is another exciting step of forward progress.

An important point to note –  these stages are not always clear and distinct transitions.  The transitions from one to  another may become a bit blurred or not immediately noticeable.  The important aspect of this change model is to recognize forward progress, and not focus on the ‘moments’ that the transitions have taken place.

Please visit http://www.newliferc.com or contact me at the information provided on the web site for additional information on these stages.  In addition, I encourage any comments, questions, or concerns left on this blog.

Mike

New Life for 2013 – Drugs Fact Week

I have attached a brochure from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for National Drug Facts Week.  It may be of some interest, and it has factual and myth busting information.  This organization is very resourceful for drug and substance use & abuse information.

NIDA Drug Fact Week Brochure

As always visit http://www.newliferc.com for additional information.

Mike

A New Perspective on a New Life – Stages of Behavioral Change

The Stages of Change

To review, the five stages of behavioral change are:

  1. Pre-contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation/Determination
  4. Action/Willpower
  5. Maintenance

3. Preparation/Determination

This stage is typically the third stage of the behavioral stage change model.  During this stage the individual usually has decided that a change is desired.  They are researching the efforts that will be required to make the change.  Perhaps counseling is considered or sought, the individual is reading material related to the change, or even researching self-help techniques or routines.  They take small steps that they believe can help them make the healthy behavior a part of their lives.

This is an exciting stage of the model.  Individuals tend to do “soul-searching” to get the motivation to solidify their desire to make the behavioral change.  Remember that this is also a vulnerable stage.  Support to a person at this stage is very critical to assure that this is an effort worth pursuing.  It is very exciting and rewarding, but at the same time intimidating.

Please visit http://www.newliferc.com or contact me at the information provided on the web site for additional information on these stages.  In addition, I encourage any comments, questions, or concerns left on this blog.

Mike

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