Loving An Alcoholic

I’m not really sure where to begin… Loving an alcoholic is probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions daily. You wake up each day not knowing what is in store for you. Not a single day, or single moment is predictable. Some days you wake up and the day is going fine and then out of the blue something switches and BOOM! It all comes crashing down.

When these moments arise, you’ll try every tactic to try and keep your loved one from drinking again. I’ve gone at it at every angle, ultimatums, compassion, giving in, silent treatment, you name it and I’ve tried it. None of it works… In fact it always makes the problem worse. The addict is going to do what the addict wants to do and unfortunately I will never be chosen over the alcohol until they choose it to be that way.

As much as I wish and pray my words and actions would help change the mind of the alcoholic, it just won’t happen until they decide that they want to change. It’s one of the most heartbreaking situations I’ve dealt with. Why can’t this person just see that I’m trying to help them? I only want what’s best for them. Why do they always think that I’m the enemy? These are questions and thoughts anyone has that deal with any type of addict.

The truth is…they don’t see or hear any of it while under the spell of addiction. Their brain has to be rewired and consistently worked on if they do want to change. Until then, any person who is extremely close to the addict will suffer greatly by their actions and behavior. They will never see in the moment how their decisions affect the most important people in their life.

The real problem is that, addicts are so broken inside and don’t have the proper tools to work on themselves. Nine times out of ten, addicts suffered a great deal of childhood trauma which set them on the path of self destruction. The only survival skill they have is to numb the pain, and quiet the thoughts and emotions. It’s a viscous endless cycle until they put a stop to it.

Why do I stay??? It’s a question I ask myself on some of the hardest days. Only a person who is in my shoes would understand, to the rest we probably seem crazy. But I’ve been with the alcoholic through sober times and drunk times. This person is a truly kind loving person. I’ve seen the beauty and I’ve seen the beast. I feel that every person on earth is deserving of love and less rejection. I know this persons trauma but I’ll never be able to feel it the way they do. All I can do is support them through the good times and the bad.

Addicts need less judgment and rejection and more compassion and understanding. We don’t have to make excuses or accept horrible behavior, but we do need to see through those actions and understand they are crying out for help and wanting to be loved and accepted. There is always hope for someone struggling with addiction and a big player in their success is their support system.

Please feel free to comment!

Free Hugs Anyone??

Free hugs anyone? According to science we all should be lining up to hand out hugs.

Hugs boost both oxytocin and serotonin levels.

Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love hormone”. It can help to heal negative feelings like loneliness, anger, and anxiety, while bringing about more positive feelings like trust and empathy. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is believed to bring feelings of happiness and well-being.

I remember going through a pretty bad period of anxiety when I was in my early 20’s, and whenever I would have an anxiety attack, all I would feel was the need to be hugged. It must have been the oxytocin and serotonin I was needing. Our bodies always make us crave what we really need.

Hugging can treat and prevent ailments.

The chemicals released during a hug have been shown to lower blood pressure, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, the sternum pressure experienced when hugging helps to stimulate the thymus gland, which is responsible for production and regulation of your body’s white blood cells – the cells that prevent and fight disease!

Hugging brings closeness and trust to relationships.

Hugging someone you care about can really help strengthen the bond between the two of you. It increases self-esteem, builds trust, and cultivates patience and appreciation.

Experts recommend at least 8-12 hugs a day to reap the benefits that hugging has to offer. Go give your loved ones a nice, long hug. Not only will you experience all of these benefits, so will they.

Hugs promote relaxation.

A hug can relax your muscles, relieving tension in your body. It can help to soothe aches and pains — and take away physical stress, as a prolonged hug causes stress chemicals like cortisol to drop. This helps to relax you, both physically and mentally.

Hugs can help you reach a state of zen.

The simple act of giving a hug can help you to be present in the now. A hug can connect you not only with another person, but also with your own heart, feelings, and breathing. Hugs can really balance your mood!

Hugging boosts self-esteem, especially in children. The tactile sense is all-important in infants. A baby recognizes its parents initially by touch. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved, safe and secure. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.

Go Get Hugging!!

All Natural Spider Spray

It seems about twice a year we get an influx in SPIDERS 🕷!!! If your anything like me I can’t stand them but I surely don’t want to kill them off. I know they are just doing what they are meant to do. I spent many hours researching how to keep spiders at bay or at least minimal without having to use a chemical that is harmful to everything. I have tried several different recipes until I finally came up with my own that I enjoy and actually works. I will be honest though, using a natural homemade spray will take more work because you have to spray once every week or two. So you will have to weigh out the pros and cons. For me I have no problem spraying once a week because I add it into my cleaning routine. For me it’s peace of mind to use a natural spray because I have 5 dogs and 8 kids so I don’t want harmful chemicals around as much as possible. Check out the recipe and if you use it leave me some feedback!

All Natural Spider Spray

  • 1 spray bottle
  • 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
  • Water
  • White Vinegar (optional)
  • Put all your Essential Oils into the spray bottle and fill with water. You can also fill with half water and half vinegar. I say optional on the vinegar because many people don’t like the smell.
  • I spray along my baseboards, doors, frames and windowsills. Spiders generally like to travel along those areas so the smell of these Essential Oils will detour them. They really don’t like the smell of these Essential Oils. I also spray outside my doors and windows. The more they smell it the less they will want to come in.
  • Thank you for reading!
  • Book Review: Coaching for Performance

    Coaching for Performance

    By: John Whitmore

    If you are a life coach then I’m sure you’ve heard about GROW. If you haven’t heard about the GROW model then I suggest you get this book and do some learning. The GROW model stands for Goals, Reality, Options, Will. This book will really help your Life Coaching skills and transform your coaching so you can stand out against the rest.

    This book will help you do advanced work with your clients. To be a good life coach you must be versatile in all areas. This book gives you models for psychosynthesis, spiritual intelligence, emotional intelligence and boundaries for coaching. This book talks about how to create awareness and responsibility for your clients. Having awareness is the only way the GROW sequence can be put into full action.

    If you are a Life Coach wanting to expand from single clients to team coaching then this is one book you want in your back pocket. The last half of this book gives such good detailed information on coaching teams and creating a leadership situation. The GROW sequence can be used for a team as well. A lot of companies today are looking for life coaches/team coaches to come in and help transform their team. A business will never be successful without a good team behind it.

    Overall if you are a Life Coach I would highly recommend this book. It has helped me in so many ways with my clients. It has also helped me in my parenting skills as well. I was able to take some of the models and apply them to my family. I have 8 kids so we regularly have to function on a team level to maintain the peace.

    Kick That Cold Juice Recipe

    This juice recipe will help kick the cold to the curb. It will also help with any cough. Here is the recipe and below the recipe explains what each ingredient does to help fight your cold.

    Kick That Cold Juice Recipe:

    Makes 1 serving

    • 4-6 Carrots
    • 2 Oranges
    • 2 Cups Pineapple
    • 1 1/2 inch Ginger

    Wash all ingredients and run through the juicer. Stir and Serve!

    Carrots: Carrots contain antioxidants, which help your body fight free radicals, cell damage, and inflammation. Vitamin C in carrot juice also provides an immune system boost, helping you get through cold and flu season.

    Oranges: A single orange packs more than a day’s worth of vitamin C requirement. This fuels the immune system to help us fight off colds, flu and infections.

    Pineapple: Pineapple is literally dripping with vitamin C. Again an important antioxidant that keeps your immune system fighting against the cold and flu. Pineapple also contains manganese which is an essential mineral that helps energy production and help keeps bones strong. Pineapple is also said to help with coughs. It is a natural expectorant.

    Ginger: Everyone that juices knows of the magical Ginger Root. Ginger fights inflammation and when you have a cold your sinuses are usually inflamed. That is just one of that many know facts about ginger.

    Why I Gave Up Facebook…And Won’t Go Back.

    I have no clue what’s happening on Facebook, and it is liberating. I’m not living some kind of ancient existence I still have Instagram. Instagrams platform is less drama. But honestly, being off Facebook has helped me regulate my phone use so that it’s no longer eating up my day. Not to mention my phone battery last days instead of hours now.

    I really only have good things to say about being off Facebook. You don’t really realize how much time you waste on Facebook until you quit. And once you’ve been off it for a while, you start to see how much you don’t miss it. I’ve been off Facebook for 3 months now and will never open an account again.

    Did you know there was a study done on Facebook users and 5 out of 10 people envy the experiences of others posted on Facebook. 1 out of 3 people envy how happy other people seem on Facebook and 4 out of 10 people envy the success of others on Facebook. Pretty sad huh?

    Facebook literally makes us evaluate our lives against others, which in turn affects us psychologically. There will always be someone more successful, having more travel experiences or even someone more beautiful than us out there and that’s ok. But when you are constantly scrolling to fill your time it will eat at you, no matter who you are.

    I gave up Facebook because it just got old. One thing I loved about Facebook when I first made a profile was reading good articles from certain pages I followed. Slowly but surely those got old as well. My news feed was just full of negativity, over posting lonely people trying to claim their lives are so busy and happy, and news which you never know if it’s fake or real trying to put fear into you. Oh and let’s not forget political this and political that! Same shit different day.

    Facebook is like a drug and until your clean and sober from it you don’t realize how much you were addicted. The average person checks their news feed once every 20-40 minutes. The average teenager spends up to 9 hours a day on social media with most of that time being on Facebook. There is so much we could be doing with that wasted time.

    What I learned from having Facebook and then giving it up was what really matters in life. One of those things is privacy. I realized I could care less to post pictures of my happy moments for everyone to see and comment on. I definitely didn’t need to “check into” places so people would know where I was all the time. I realized I like the good old days where you’d run into someone you hadn’t seen in a long time and were able to ask how they’ve been. I like not knowing what they post because the run in becomes more meaningful.

    Along with Facebook I gave up reading or watching the news. Now…you can’t totally break away from news but I have made it a huge point not to go searching for it. What news I need to know will fall into my lap. My Facebook feed was filled with news between sites I followed and people sharing it. I realized how much reading or watching news would affect me. Sometimes the stories were so bad I would go into an anxious state of mind. I got sick of it. There’s a lot of bad in the world and it’s constantly in our faces because fear drives our current society.

    The world and life itself are beautiful things. Now that I’m not focusing on who, what, when and why of the Facebook world I am focusing on my life and how grateful I am for all that I have and worked hard for. I am happy for all the people who are more successful than me and look to them as role models instead of being envious. Not having Facebook lifted this dark cloud I didn’t even know I was under.

    Thank you for reading and please like, comment or share! If you’ve given up Facebook I’d love to hear how it affected you.

    Foster Care & It’s Unfortunate Reputation

    Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

    Let’s be really honest right off the bat, being a foster parent isn’t popular by ANY means.

    Foster care and foster parents do not exactly have a great reputation in our culture. How many times have you turned on the television only to hear about a horrific crime revolving around a horrifying orphanage experience or crazy foster parents?

    Parenting children who’ve gone into foster care is often resented. Sometimes it’s so bad you don’t even want to tell people you are a foster parent because of all the backlash that comes with it. I’ve heard every judgmental comment possible about why I do foster care or how horrible foster children are in my 7 plus years of doing this.

    Yes…bad things happen in foster care, there is no denying that. But you know what?…Bad things happen in biological homes all the time, which is why there is a foster care system to begin with. But do we assume all biological families are horrible? Bad things happen in all occupations…but not all employees are judged because their co-worker made bad choices. Tell me this…how many times have you turned on the t.v. only to hear about another child being molested by a church hierarchy? Do we judge all the church goers because their pastor/priest made bad decisions? No… we don’t because that really isn’t fair.

    So why are all of us foster parents judged off of another foster parents horrible choices? Why are the children who are in the foster care system judged so harshly? They are in the system not by their choice, but yet they take a lot of judgment from the world. Most people automatically assume that if a child, especially over the age of 5 is in the foster care system that they are a troubled child. Yes…there are troubled children in the system, but not all of them are.

    So, why even consider being a foster parent? What is being a foster parent like? Most people don’t even know the answers to these questions because they can’t get past their stereotypes and judge mental attitudes. There’s true beauty behind the bad reputation that only foster parents will know and experience. Being a foster parent is not easy by any means, but it is rewarding.

    Here are some positive things about being a foster parent that most people don’t know or understand.

    Foster Parents Are In Need:

    Overwhelmingly, the children who go into foster care are the victims of either abuse and/or neglect by their parent or legal guardian. At any given time, there are approximately half a million children in foster care nationally and roughly 60,000 under the age 18 in California. This does not include children ages 18-21 in the extended programs and children whom chose to age out of care. In Los Angeles County alone, the number of foster homes has decreased from more than 8,000 in 2005 to less than 4,000 by 2015. The need for new foster homes is increasing and the approval process to be approved is getting stricter.

    Contrary to stereotypes, these children aren’t monsters sent to terrorize homes, foster parents and bio kids.  I’ve seen and dealt with a wide range of foster children across all age groups. Many children are very small, some even newborn. Some have been beaten. Some have been neglected. Some have been molested. Some are malnourished and underfed. Some are addicted to drugs from the womb. And there’s even some that come with almost no baggage.

    Children with known, extreme behaviors typically aren’t sent to foster parents, they are placed in different level/type of care. Some of the teens have straight A’s, and some struggle to make it through the school day. Some of the teens are happy, and some are sad and angry. Some of the teens are just crying out for moms and dads to love them. They are all kids who have been hurt and endured pain that most people couldn’t imagine. They are needing a family to love and guide them and accept them for who they are and where they come from.

    You Can Be An Amazing Foster Parent If You Want To:

    Yes, some foster parents and foster agencies have a bad reputation. You don’t have to be a horrible foster parent or involved with a shady agency. You can be amazing, rescuing children from reoccurring trauma and shining a bright light into the world.

    Those of us who truly want to make a difference in children’s lives can and will reinvent what foster care looks like. There are more good stories out there than bad and we need to get them circulating. There really is dedicated foster parents out there. Ones who do it to make an impact on children’s lives. I know because I am one of them. As soon as a child is placed in my care that becomes my child. I do anything and everything for that child as if I birthed them myself.

    I make sure their time with me wether a short stay or a permanent stay is safe, secure and as happy as possible. No, it’s not all hearts and butterflies and it does get tiring sometimes but knowing how many little lives I’ve impacted keeps me going. The reward of having many children call me mom…is priceless.

    It’s A Life-Changing Experience:

    Much like biological parenting, foster parenting is life-changing. Besides the normal consuming activities of parenting young children or teens, foster parents have extra responsibilities of meeting state requirements and caring for children with acute/special needs.  Records need to be kept, visits need to be made, medicine dispensed, therapy appointments to attend and social workers and supervisors regularly visiting your home. This is all a daily part of your life. It’s not easy, but it’s good. It keeps the children safe.

    Taking care of foster children takes a whole heart, willing to accept the payoff of laughter, pain, sorrow, joy, and even self-improvement. Watching an abused child gain the ability to smile and laugh again is priceless. Seeing a teen comfortable in her own skin for the first time is worth the mood swings. Ice cream cones, football games, and trips to the playground are the perfect distractions from the difficulties of being a foster parent.

    Foster care changes children and foster care changes foster parents. The personal growth that comes from being a foster parent is life-changing.

    Thank you for reading. Please feel free to like comment and share! I love to hear feedback and personal experiences.

    The True Self

    Chances are you have lots of beliefs about yourself and everyone else you come across. You use these beliefs to help understand why people do what they do. If someone yells at you, you might forgive them because you know they are under a lot of stress. Or, you might not trust them because you think that this person is always angry with you. Or, you might even think that deep down, they are an angry person who should be avoided at all costs.

    There are probably times when you believe that a person’s actions reflect the situation they are in or their current mental state. But, you also have times when you think that a person’s actions are a reflection of their true self.

    Psychologists around the world have been interested in capturing the qualities that people think are part of someone’s true self and also in understanding how the idea of a true self affects people’s actions and their relationships with others.

    An interesting fact of the true self is that it seems to be a belief that is similar across cultures. That is, aspects of the true self have been explored in studies using many different populations around the world, and the beliefs tend to be quite similar.

    Two core beliefs are that the true self tends to be moral and good. So, when people make a change in their actions, they are more likely to be judged as doing something that reflects their true self when they change from doing something bad to something good than vice versa. This is why someone who stops abusing drugs or alcohol is often judged as allowing their true self to come through, while someone who starts abusing drugs or alcohol is judged as suppressing their true self.

    These beliefs also tend to lead people to assume that someone can change for the positive over time, even if many of their past actions have been bad. We are reluctant to decide that someone is truly evil and prefer to believe that their true self has a moral beauty that might someday lead them toward better actions in the future.

    An interesting fact of the true self is that our beliefs about our true self and other people’s true selves are similar. This belief differs from the way we often treat our motives compared to those of people from a different group. Often, we assume that we and people from our group have better motives than people from some outgroup. But, we also assume that deep down (in their true self) members of other groups are good and moral people.

    Why does the concept of the true self matter?

    One reason, the belief in a true self affects people’s judgments about what actions give life meaning. A person might work hard at their job and also spend time with family. They might believe that their job is just something they do, but that the importance they place on family relationships is part of their true self. Meaning, the effort they put into their family relationships will give them a greater feeling that their life has had meaning than the effort they have put into their profession.

    Another reason, the belief in true self can influence the treatments people will consider for mental illnesses. For example, many college students are willing to take medications for attention disorders that allow them to focus on their work. Part of the reason why they take this medication so freely is that few people consider their ability or inability to concentrate as a central part of their true self. On the other hand, many patients suffering from bipolar disorder are reluctant to take their medication, because they believe that their medication is changing aspects of their true self.

    While the true self seems to be an important part of people’s beliefs about themselves and others, it is hard from a scientific standpoint to think of the true self as something that actually exists. I may believe that I have a true self, but is there actually a true self inside me? It can be useful to believe that we and other people are inherently good and moral, but that doesn’t mean that there is an inherently good and moral person lurking within every person just waiting to get out.

    What is the Observing-Self? And why it Matters.

    True Growth Coaching Website

    Human beings have a unique ability that rarely gets talked about. It’s the ability to observe and react to our own behaviours as if they were the actions of someone else. In other words, to be the ‘observing self’.

    As a Life Coach I encourage my clients to utilize their observing self, because it allows them to ‘step out’ of problematic trance states and gain a fresh perspective.

    The observing self makes us human.

    The ‘observing self’ is perhaps the seat of what it is to be human. As far as we know, no other creature has the capacity to reflect on reality and its own place within that reality; if other creatures do have something similar, it is to a much lesser extent.

    This ability is a function of the prefrontal neo-cortex, which we can regard as the ‘conductor’ of the brain’s ‘orchestra’ or the leader of the brain.

    From this capacity flows the potential to become more than just our immediate and current self in our immediate and current situations.

    Many psychotherapeutic techniques specifically encourage the use of the observing self. The extent to which we can engage this faculty corresponds to how well we can transcend the situations in which we find ourselves, understand the workings of our own minds, and minimize damaging emotions so we have clarity and tranquility.

    Here are three ways I use my clients observing self to help them feel better:

    1. Grade emotions

    I have them grade their emotions because it is as if a part of us is watching the problem from the outside. We are partly outside the problem pattern and have removed it from our ‘core’ self. This breaks the grip of the problem behaviour.

    So for instance: If I feel anxious and decide that ’10’ is the most terrified I could possibly feel and ‘1’ is the most relaxed, I might then rate my anxiety at that moment as ‘6’. The act of doing this requires me to use my observing self. This is one reason I use grading with our clients.

    2. Laugh

    When we laugh at a situation, for that time, we engage the observing self. When we label ourselves or get labeled as ‘depressive’, ‘anxious’, or ‘alcoholic’, the opposite happens. The core of the person then identifies with their behaviour. In a way, perspective is lost and their identity becomes meshed with their ‘condition’.

    Humor needs to be encouraged at the right time and in the right way. But you can tell that the capacity to engage the observing self is getting stronger when you see someone start to show glimpses of humour in relation to their situation.

    3. Use imagination and analogy

    If you are lost in a forest, all you know is that you are surrounded in a sea of trees.

    But imagine what it would be like if you could be lifted above the trees for a few moments. You would look around and see that you are actually very close to a trail. After being set down again, you’d be able to find your way out of this sea of trees.

    This metaphor/imagination practice demonstrates both how metaphor/imagination can activate the observing self and how engaging the observing self can help people have a detached view of their situations, putting themselves in a better position to escape a problem state or circumstance. Describing the pattern of a person’s problem with a story or analogy lets them see it ‘from the outside’.

    There are many ways to help people detach psychologically from their emotional patterns. It’s a very important skill to learn to have the best chance at becoming as mentally healthy as possible.

    Gratitude…The Missing Link to Achieving Your Goals

    I love to talk about goals. I believe in achieving your goals.
    I live on goal setting and empowering my clients to achieve their goals. But what if there was another way? What if there was a way to get what you wanted and you would feel great about it?
    I have learned Gratitude is a powerful link to achieve your goals. Often people forget to be grateful for even waking up to live another day.

    Last year, I left my dead end Postal Route job and I tried different ways to make money. I got myself involved in all sorts of adventures. I took risks and won some and lost some. It was hard sometimes to get back up and try again. It was hard to admit I had failed or I had been duped.

    Am I grateful?

    Should I be grateful?
    I complained for a long time. I refused to admit I was wrong. I didn’t want to face myself. I struggled with my pain and disappointment. But I learned a valuable thing…life teaches you lessons along the way. These lessons have a way of preparing you for your future.

     

    Gratitude has helped me in more ways than I can imagine.

    I’ve realized when I complain, it blocks my creativity. I can’t think. I can’t produce. I need to keep coming up with great ideas and not being grateful clouds my mind.

    I want to share with you what I have learned about gratitude.

    Gratitude is a powerful key to unlocking your hidden potential.

    I love talking about hidden potential with my clients. So many of them don’t realize what’s locked deep down inside themselves. When you are grateful, you see opportunities around you. When you stay in a state of complaint, you are consumed with yourself. This makes you lose sight of the potential within you. Complaining is actually the EGO.

    Complaining aka The Ego makes you see only negativity. I realized when I had a negative mindset, I lost sight of the opportunities around me. I was focused on what I didn’t have and I didn’t look within to explore what I did have.

    Gratitude increases your productivity.

    Not being grateful drains you of your energy. This affects your productivity. You can’t produce your best because you have no energy.

    Gratitude releases hormones within you that get you excited about life. Excitement increases your energy levels and you find yourself more productive.

    Gratitude helps you achieve your goals.

    Do an exercise this week for yourself. Write at least one thing you are grateful for every single day. Do this in the morning or before bed each night. You will realize at the end of the week that you have gotten to know yourself more. Through this process, you have also realized strengths you have and you need to focus on. In these strengths, lies your dreams and goals. You will have more clarity about your purpose. If you stick to this plan you will soon be unlocking your full potential.

    The art of gratitude is an art you need to learn and practice daily. You cannot achieve your goals without it. You cannot fully be happy in your life without it. You will be amazed at how much your life can change just from expressing Gratitude.

    If this post has inspired you, please share it with your friends and family. How has gratitude affected your life in the past? Feel free to leave a comment below.