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.

Archive for the category “Substance Abuse Recovery”

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

 

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

New Life for 2013 – Resiliency

Resiliency is a trait that is considered a key attribute to emotional health and well-being.  Put simply it is the ability to bounce back after a hardship, the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, stress, or challenging life events.  Resiliency is also important in addiction recovery.  It may involve a lot of self soul-searching and support, but is very useful to gain some psychological insights into potential underlying causes of an addiction, and overcoming these causes.

The good news is that resilience is a behavioral trait that can be strengthened.  It involves looking at situations realistically and rationally.  Keeping a positive view on oneself and exercising the capacity to experience strong feelings in productive manners are some of the key areas to exercise.  Having a sense of self-empowerment in challenging situations and achieving victory in these situations contribute to resiliency.

Are there examples that you can consider resilience to be a key behavioral attribute in dealing with a challenging life event?  Addiction 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

2. Contemplation

This stage is typically the second stage of the behavioral stage change model.  During this stage the individual usually is acknowledging that there is a problem but struggling with uncertainty of the change and what it is going to involve.     There is not yet a commitment to change.  It may be interpreted as giving up an enjoyed behavior.  They are weighing pros and cons, and the benefits and barriers to change.  At this stage they can perhaps be  influenced and helped effectively by encouraging them to work at reducing the cons of changing their behavior.

Reaching this stage is typically a hopeful step forward.  Do not be discouraged by the reversal to a previous stage.  This is not unusual and can happen at any of the five stages.

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 – Understanding Alcohol Use Disorders

As I am discussing the stages of behavioral change, I am going to try to throw in some informative articles.  The one I am posting today briefly explains alcohol use disorders.  I believe that this can also apply to other drug addictions as well.  Take a look.

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorders

Visit http://www.newliferc.com for additional information.

Mike

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