I want to talk about a topic that many do not understand; suboxone.
You go to some doctors and tell them you are on suboxone and they won't even treat you. You go to the same pharmacy that you have for years, filling 1000's of your pain meds but now try to fill 18 suboxone and they look down their nose at you or refuse service. You go to have surgery and tell them you are on suboxone and doctors have no idea how to treat your pain OR you tell them you are on suboxone and don't want pain meds and they give them to you anyway.
There are many people who have no concept of what suboxone is or really does, so for those that are trying to use it in recovery, lets make damn sure you are CRYSTAL clear about it ... as your life depends on it!
Lets start at the beginning. Suboxone itself is NOT recovery! It is a TOOL to HELP give you the opportunity to recover. If you are just taking suboxone and that is all you are doing for recovery there is a 93% chance that you WILL RELAPSE ... when and IF you ever taper down and finally stop using it.
For this to make sense you must understand addiction itself. Addiction is not a disease in the way people have been conditioned to think. And addiction is not just a chemical imbalance. Therefore you can't JUST take a pill to get better, like you would the flu or something.
One of the most obvious reasons that you can't just take suboxone as your recovery is: to break your addiction you must change how you think, act, and react to yourself, life, and the world around you. Now, follow me here ~ if you are taking suboxone you are taking a 'pill', that makes you high (yes yes I know, I've heard "but it doesn't make ME high". Suboxone has a 'ceiling' yes? That means it MAKES YOU HIGH, just not as high as you are used to being!), that you take throughout the day ~ as needed. How close is that to what you used to do?
Ahhh yes, but you can still function on suboxone, and you can go to work, and you can get your kids back, and all that ... yes. Which means ~ you can also WORK A RECOVERY PROGRAM!
Suboxone is a TOOL ... PERIOD! Like a hammer, it can help you build the life you want to live. But the same hammer that can build can also destroy! It is all about how you use it. I've talked to people who have been 'tapering' off suboxone in a 'recovery program' for five years. I have news for you folks, that's maintenance, NOT recovery!
Now maybe you are one of these people; that's ok, as you can START recovery any day you wish! Similar to the rooms of AA and NA, many people attend the meetings that are sill using or drinking; but as they say "don't leave before the magic happens. Keep coming back."
A doctor once told me that each of us needed to define our own definition of 'success'. He said for him, he didn't care if people snorted it, shot it up, ate it, or absorbed it rectally ... if they were alive tomorrow, he wins! So YOU must decide the same thing. Forget what everyone else thinks, says or tells you to do. Do you want to 'recover', meaning free and clear of ALL drugs or are you ok with just treading water for now? Part of recovery is making the lies stop. So at least be honest with yourself! If you are wanting to tread water for awhile, that's fine ... but be honest about it!
I hope some of this made sense. And I hope something amazing happens for you today!
I hope this finds you all doing well, and enjoying the day!
There is an ancient stoic thought that goes something like this: You cannot get upset over any loss; be it the loss of your wallet, the loss of a favorite 'thing' or even the loss of a loved one. Why? Because it was never yours to begin with. The world gave you things, and then the world decided to take them back; period. So why get upset? The goal to experience the most amount of happiness would be, to fully enjoy the things the world lets you have, while the world lets you have them.
In my experience, it is this last part that most people have the biggest issue with. The feel and act, almost like a child when you take their 'toy' away … hey I wasn't done playing with that! Give it back!
The other big issue is normally: "Where did they go?", "Are they ok?", "Do they feel anything?", "Can they hear or see me?" and the likes.
This second part is totally up to you and your religious beliefs. I would strongly suggest that you look into more than just one 'view' of death and what happens next; as you may find more comfort than you are currently experiencing.
The first part, I can try to help with. First allow yourself to grieve! As a doctor once said: grieving is a natural response to a natural process as a result of loss, it is NOT a prozac deficiency!
Everyone must eventually go through the five step grieving process when they lose someone:
Your mind is what is holding you back. Learn to change how you think about death, and you will change your life. I strongly recommend looking into Buddhism, they have a very 'living' outlook. If you don't want to keep feeling and reacting the way you have been, you MUST do something different. As if you don't change … nothing changes!
Have a wonderful day! Expect something amazing to happen today!
THC ~ "It's not addictive", "It's natural", "It's legal" and other shit we say to justify getting high.
Ahhhh yes, good ole THC. I have heard so many reasons as to why people should be able to use THC it's not even funny. Let me just point out a few things that your 'brain on drugs' may not have thought about.
1. Liquid Drano is legal too, but I would strongly suggest you don't mainline it.
2. Mushrooms and Peyote are 'natural' too, but they will still put a major kink into your daily plans.
3. Social media, running, sugar, collecting things, and gaming can all be addictive ... you can bet your sweet ass THC is addictive as well.
Just in case none of that sank in, let me continue. Prescription pain pills are also legal, but they kill about 15,000 people EVERY year. Alcohol is also legal and occurs naturally in nature, but kills 2.5 MILLION people EVERY year.
Oh wait, I hear you out there. "But I need it to help me sleep, and calm down." Mmmmm, actually you need it to help you sleep because you have been taking it so long that your body's natural supply of GABA (which helps calm you down, as it's your natural valium) has shut down.
Maybe for those of us in recovery, we should try to find a way to get what we need WITHOUT taking another mind altering substance!
Like, before you pop a xanax, have you tried meditation/exercise/a good meal? Before you pop a sleeping pill, have you tried working out/meditation/a healthy diet? Before you pop a pain pill, have you tried yoga/chiropractic/acupuncture?
I recently spent more than 20 min explaining to someone who was going to be coming down on their anxiety meds, about ALL the things they could be doing now to help make sure they weren't all stressed out. I had just finished a research paper on that very topic so I was even siting studies and recent research done. After my 20 min impromptu speech about holistic approaches to anxiety and stress, they just look at me and say: "I don't want to do all that, I just want to take a pill!" And this is why I love my job! For the challenge!
Why is THC bad for you? Besides the fact that today's THC is not your grandpa's THC. Back in the day pot had 1-3% THC in it. Now 15-18% is the norm out of the 'legal' shops! They even have some that is in excess of 50%. We have NO IDEA what effects prolonged use will have on a THC concentration of that much. Smoking old time pot (1-3% THC) is much like drinking 'natural' alcohol which kills itself when it reaches 15%. This is why anything stronger has to be distilled!
Anyway, back to the point. Why is it 'bad' for you? Because you need to change your life coping mechanisms. Yes this means that if you are in recovery, you shouldn't be drinking either. Of course don't get me wrong, I'm all for harm reduction. Meaning that a few beers is better than meth and THC is better than heroin. But make sure that you understand the point. Recovery is about changing how you think about you and the world around you.
Which does bring me to my last point on this topic. One of the methods I talk about to everyone is 'mindfulness' and meditation. It is really hard to be mindful and meditate (with a clear directed mind) when you are high, buzzed, or otherwise.
I hope you all have a blessed day! Expect something amazing to happen!
"May God set your soul on fire, should you ever become stagnant!" H.F.
This post is for those who do not understand addiction as much as it is for those suffering from it.
In most stories you start at the beginning, so let’s do just that.
The beginning of addiction starts before you are even born. Yes I’m talking about genetics, but not necessarily in the way most people think of them. There are studies on villages that went through famines, and the children born out of these famines were more apt to have multiple illnesses, and diseases; including schizophrenia. On its simplest form it’s really not that hard to understand.
First off, the fetus was neglected vital nutrients during development. Second on a primal level, the mother was in a very stressful and lacking environment so the mentality of ‘do whatever it takes to survive’ could have very easily been passed along. Now you don’t have to be in a famine to not get the nutrients you need. You could just be eating a normal American ‘fast food’ diet and fall into that very same category. Studies show that junk food, processed foods, and GMO’s can lead to a multitude of diseases and even infertility; mother nature’s way of not passing along those genes?
Now you enter the world, welcome to Earth! So thinking logically, if your parents were under stress, and didn’t eat well while pregnant with you; what do you think the odds are that trend is going to continue? This again happening during yet another critical growing and developmental part of your life. The field of nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics are revolutionizing how we are now looking at nutrition, and we are finding that nutrition has the ability to create, and even cure diseases. The phrase of ‘you are what you eat’ is much closer to reality than many thought. Yet we are 'filling up' on emptiness.
Another huge impact of your mental development is ‘nurturing’. A mother can do more damage to their child by being an absentee parent than by using drugs during the pregnancy, and unfortunately that is often exactly what happens. The mother finds out she is pregnant and stops using during the rest of the term, yet goes back to using quickly if not immediately after delivery. We are taught much of our life coping skills, our self-image, our self-reliance, among many other things, during our first years here on Earth. And much like other animals, if our mother is ‘non-responsive’ we find nurturing from other things. Que the T.V., other kids who don’t have attentive or responsible parents, gangs, predators (child molesters, yet another reason 90% of those in recovery have been sexually abused), etc.
The negative impact that T.V. can have on a child who thoughts, ideas, and beliefs are not quickly redirected by good parenting can be extremely detrimental and life lasting. Multimedia has us chasing happiness outside of ourselves, has us trying to fit in with everyone else (despite the fact that we are all different), telling us who is popular, what is ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’, how to treat the opposite sex, how to treat ourselves, who to like and who to hate. Studies show that T.V. actually plays a very small role in children in ‘solid’ homes, and the opposite in homes that have little to no structure.
Just a note, parents don’t have to be using drugs to be absentee. Our society has us all chasing our own tails. Parents are working more hours or even two jobs just to try to make ends meet. This holds true especially if it is a ‘single parent’, which is now the majority of homes in today's world. These same people are being driven by a debt based society, so they will most likely never get ahead. Because of this the cycle will continue generation after generation.
Quickly back to nutrition for a moment. If mom and dad are stressed, and short on time than fast-food tends to be the mainstay for meals. The fast food continues to eat away on the chemicals that your own body produces to help relieve stress, and help keep your natural happiness chemical levels up. More hours also mean less outdoor time, and less activity in general. Both the outdoors and activity play a vital role in your natural chemical levels, as well as your health in general. There is a reason that 75% of our nation is overweight or obese and depression is rampant; it’s called our society.
Medicine to the rescue! First off kids now get 49 doses of 14 vaccines before they are 6! Now I don’t remember exactly how many I had back in the 70’s but it sure as hell wasn’t that many! Without even getting into the debate of do they cause major issues like autism, my question is why are 5 and 6 year old's on mind and mood altering medication because they are ‘hyper’ or 'can't sit still' or 'focus' in class?
Have people just gone stupid? Do you not remember what it's like to be a kid? They are getting no exercise and they live on sugar! Where is the surprise that they are hyper? Yet more and more kids are on SSRI’s, ADHD meds, ADD meds, and on and on. We have become a nation of take a shot, or a pill and go back to work or school! We no longer treat the issue, we medicate the symptom. There is a reason big pharma makes over 700 BILLION each year!
The creation of "cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat"!
One last question. If 'everyone wins' or 'everyone gets a star', how do you learn to deal with disappointment? How do you learn that by busting your ass you can have this amazing feeling of high achievement and accomplishment? How do you learn that you can do your very best but still 'lose', and that it's ok to lose? How do you learn to not give up, and to try harder next time? There is a reason more and more of our society is living off the government.
So looking at the fact that you are ‘genetically’ ambushed, nutritionally depleted, mentally and emotionally neglected, brainwashed by multi-media, a ‘nurturing’ absentee, over medicated, under educated, filled with emptiness in nutrition and values, taught that it will all be handed to you, and initially stuffed into the crazy rat race of life … where is the surprise that addiction is still on the rise even after 20 plus years of a ‘war on drugs’?
Did the person addicted to drugs choose to take it the first time. Sure! But all that did was push the first of a very long line of domino's over, and they might not have had any hand in any of those. No one chooses to destroy their own life, and the lives of those around them. They need your help and direction, not your judgement or pity.
Up next … the EPIC fail, our system is set up to keep you in it, not out of it.
The hammer is a metaphor for things that will change not only your life, but how you see yourself and the world around you!
There are many 'hammers' out there and unfortunately I can not tell you which one you need to use. I personally suggest starting with learning about Buddhism. However there are many spiritual paths, religious paths, scientific paths, metaphysical paths, cognitive paths, 12 step paths, and others. The goal is to try one and see if it works. I tell everyone the same thing: go to the library or bookstore and find the 'self-help' area. There will be an entire section based on the idea of "change your thinking and change your life". There are actually books with that very title!
Personally I don't care if sitting around eating watermelon, throwing darts, and listening to the Beatles is what helps you change your thinking and your life. If that is what works, make sure you have plenty of watermelons and let the music play! The key is to find what works for you, and then apply that path EVERYDAY! As nothing changes, if you don't change it!
You 'learned' how to use drugs. Think about it! You didn't just walk outside one day and think: "Ok, I have two drug dealers down this way that have what I like, and one down this way. However, this guys normally has what I like and he is normally a little cheaper, so I will start with him. And when I get there I'm going to get 'this' and use it 'this' way because that is what gives me the best high." You didn't just 'know' that, you learned that shit! Put the same effort into changing how you think as you did into learning how to stay high (or not sick).
Have you ever watched someone shape steel? I recommend googling 'blacksmithing' and watching a few of the videos. They use different hammers to get different effects, and the steel is pounded and pounded and pounded! Then its stuffed back into the fire, and pounded some more. This is what you MUST do to change those deep seated reactions and emotions that you have about you and the world around you.
Think about how much effort, time, and repetition was used to create your habit. You were planning your day before your eyes were even open, and you always had a plan for tomorrow before you crashed out. It's going to take more work to undo what has been done, as you not only have to unlearn what has been learned, but you must also learn a different way as well! However, do not lose hope! The day you put as much effort into your recovery as you put into addiction ... YOU WILL NOT FAIL!
One top of this, there is nothing you have to find that you don't already have inside of you! You already have the ability to forgive, the ability to love, the ability to change, the ability to see things differently. You just need to learn how to think differently. It is not about stopping the storms, it's about learning how to dance in the rain!
So go to the library or bookstore and take a look. If you walk in honestly looking to find some direction, you will find that one of the books 'talks' to you. There will be one that seems more 'doable' than the others, one that makes more sense. Get that book, or workbook and start applying what's in those pages with the same ferocity as you did with your drug of choice!
Up next ... A better understanding of addiction.
So you believe it is possible, you believe you are worthy, and you want to recovery for you; now what?
Now you need to follow the process of becoming a sword. I'll explain. In order to make a quality sword you need three things. You need a forge, a hammer, and a piece of steel. The forge is used to create an environment that the steel can be 'changed' in. The hammer is what is used to help 'change' the steel, and the steel ... well the steel is you.
You can not do much changing if the forge is not hot enough, you can't do much shaping with a small hammer, and it will not be a quality sword unless the steel is a quality steel.
Stoking the fire of change!
So how does it all start?
Start a fire and burn all ties with anyone and everyone who sells, uses, gets high, fades out, trips, or even talks about using on a regular basis. They are NOT your friends if they bring it around you, offer it to you, come around high or otherwise while you are trying to get clean. The last thing most users want is someone else getting out of hell when they can not! They will bring you 'gifts', hook you up for 'free', and do whatever they can to keep you down there with them. Do NOT fall for it!
I need to stress this point, so follow me for a second.
What are the possible outcomes of drug addiction? Recovery, Prison, Death ... end of list. So your 'friends' are either trying to put you in jail or kill you. THOSE ARE NOT FRIENDS! And yes I hear some of you out there; "but what if its family"? Well, I suppose that is why the highest murder rate is by those that knew their attacker. Relapsing and having an overdose doesn't make you any less dead because you did it with your mom, dad, bother, sister, cousin, aunt or whatever. If you keep people around you who use, you are playing Russian Roulette with your life. As it is not IF you will use, but WHEN! And we all know the stories of those people who used, one to many times and paid the ultimate price!
If they really are "friends" or loved ones, they will understand that you must currently choose to love them from a distance! In all actuality, if they are using on a regular basis they probably won't even know you are gone ... unless you used to be part of their hookup.
You do not have to stay away forever, but in the first little bit it is very advisable to not have them in your daily life. What is one of the main reasons, beside the fact that they could have drugs in front of you, offer them to you, remind you of using, and on and on? They WILL end up stressing you our or pissing you off! And what is the number one reason for using in 99% of all AA or NA groups? Damn skippy, "stress". So keep a healthy distance for now.
Next up ... Hold my hammer, Choosing the right tool for the job.
I see so many people everyday who have forgotten what happiness even is. I see so many more who don't believe they deserve to be happy. Let me awaken you to a possible idea.
If you believe some of the religious texts out there, it says that 'we' are made by a divine being. Now this divine being is perfect, indestructible, all knowing, all loving, all caring, and happy. Now this divine being didn't just create us, it created us in IT'S image! So our essence is indestructible, all knowing, all loving, all caring, and happy!
The idea of believing again does not stem from having to 'learn' anything new, or find what is lost. It is more along the lines of remembering who you really are. Listening to that 'something' inside that is constantly telling you "there IS more to life than this!" How could you even hear that echo, if it was not a possibility?
Look at it like this. Do you really believe that an all powerful creator would make a squirrel, basically a furry rat, and give it everything it needs to be fruitful, happy, and multiply in life; but somehow neglect to give you the very same thing? The 'creation' that is held in higher regard than that of the angels. Really?
But what does the squirrel do to achieve this 'bliss'? It acts in its true nature; it does not worry about what has been or what may be; it engages in its life and the world around it; it enjoys little moments in life; and it spends most of its time in nature.
It has been said, if you want to learn about life: watch nature!
So if addiction in not an incurable disease how do you go about actually recovering?
You MUST do three things before you can really start to fully recover.
First you must decide that YOU really WANT to recover, and that drive needs to be for you first. You can use family, or friends, or your child as extra motivation but your main desire needs to be that 'you' are finally ready to be clean. This is coming to your 'bottom' as some in the field say. Or finally becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired. You must want to be clean!
Second you must think you are worthy of recovery. I have met way to many people who feel like they 'deserve' what they are getting. That their life is somehow punishment for things they have done in the past. That they would like to recover, but they have done to much damage to themselves, or to others to ever be 'worthy' of living a happy life again. You must believe you deserve to be well and happy.
And third, you must believe it is possible to recover. I hear the constant echo of "well I'm different", "I'm glad it worked for them but it won't work for me", "I've tried recovery, it doesn't work for me", "I've used to much to recovery", "I've used to long to recover", and on and on and on. Recovery is not just going to fall in your lap (for most people) so you must believe that it is possible or you will most likely not do the work needed. As Nietzsche said "the man who has a 'why' can suffer through almost any how."
Now don't get me wrong. You can start down the path of recovery without any of these. However, you will not start doing the hard work until these beliefs are met. You will not dig into the past and forgive yourself and others; you will not do the work to change how you think; you will not relearn what makes you happy; and you will not make the necessary lifestyle changes, until you think you can. Of course I dare you to prove me wrong! But this has been my experience thus far in the thousands of lives I have had the privilege of being part of.
Look at it this way. What if I told you "(insert name), you could be an astronaut! I'm serious! All you have to do is go back to school, start rubbing elbows with the right people, change your eating habits, start working out on a regular basis, and you have a shot!" Now if you don't believe me, if you don't believe you can, or you don't believe you would be able to due to your past; how much of all that shit that I listed are you going to do? Exactly, none of it!
You MUST believe in order to achieve!
How do you change an idea? How do you make an old fact into fiction? How do you stop a landslide of false ideas and insert the truth?
That is the task here. One of the first things that needs to change in order for you to actually 'recover' is the idea that you are plagued with an 'incurable disease'.
Lets start simple: it is NOT a disease, and it is NOT incurable. Although I could give you literally hundreds if not thousands of citations (scholarly and peer reviewed even) to back this statement up, I'm not going to. Its time you stopped letting your life be driven by those around you. It's time for you to take control again. As the end of the Invictus poem goes "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."
You are on the web now if you are reading this, so I dare you ... no, I double dog dare you to google: "benefits of nutrition in addiction recovery", "natural remedies for stress", "benefits of exercise in addiction recovery", "benefits of meditation", "benefits of mindfulness", and "benefits of Cognitive Behavior Therapy" just to get started.
So what is addiction if not a disease? A better explanation of addiction is: "the hijacking of your reward system". Look at it like a tug of war between what makes you happy, and what is making you miserable in life. The more things you have pulling you to the bad side, the easier it is to allow 'addiction' to make you happy. This explanation also makes it easier to understand the 'why' behind why some people can or have used and did not become addicted while others did.
Think of it like this maybe: its like falling in love with someone else while you are still married. Your brain has become rewired to what you are looking forward to. Even though you know what you are doing is wrong, will hurt people, could end up badly, could destroy your life as you know it, and on and on ... you still can't wait for your next few 'stolen' moments with the 'new love' of your life. Your brain's reward system has been 'hijacked'.
Do not misunderstand this. There IS a huge impact and influence from your drug of choice as well. The drug itself also plays a major role in creating the addiction, based on how hard it 'hits'. As in, how 'high' it can make you, and how quickly it gets you to this high. An example would be: drinking opium in a tea or tonic would not be nearly as addictive as smoking it, and smoking it will not be as addictive and shooting it up. There is more that is happening below the surface here, but for simplicity sakes, those are the main points.
But it's not just about the drug itself, it's also about the prep (which is why people can get a relief by snorting a crushed aspirin, or by injecting water), and the chase (which is how you can feel almost 'high' by just getting the call or driving to where you are getting it).
Just a note, I will use 'drugs' synonymously for both drugs and alcohol (as I'm pretty sure its the drug 'ethanol' in the alcohol that people are addicted to, and not the food coloring) and 'addiction' for anything that can control your reward system.
The idea that addiction is 'just' a chemical imbalance, or even just a 'disease' is very misleading. Not only to the person dealing with the addiction, but everyone that comes in contact with those struggling with addiction.
Yes you can be addicted to just about anything: people (co-dependency), food, shopping, sex, gambling, gaming, collecting, caffeine, nicotine, and drugs (this is NOT a complete list). The issue is, if you are addicted to gaming, you may not be the most social person in the world but it probably won't kill you. If you are addicted to hording, unless a pile of things falls on you and smothers you will sleeping, it probably won't kill you. But if you are addicted to drugs, unless you find a path out, you will either end up laying on a cot in a jail or on a metal slab in the morgue.
Another issue is, many programs just 'preach' abstinence. Just don't do it! So if you are addicted to 'food', how do you just stop eating? If you are addicted to 'work', how do you pay your bills and eat if you just stop working? If you are addicted to 'shopping', how do you go about getting your food, or gas without 'buying' anything?
The idea that you just need to 'stop' until the desire to do whatever it was fades, has faded. Science has come up with much better ways of dealing with redirecting your reward system back on track. But until this limited thinking and ancient understanding changes, the information that needs to be out there will continue to be shunned, ridiculed, and not applied.
This reminds me of the quote: "The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively not by the false appearance of things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice." The idea of "Imagine what we could learn, if we didn't already 'know' everything".
So it is a must that we change the mentality behind what those in active addiction are actually facing. I have seen way to many not even try because "it's not curable anyway, so why does it matter what I do?" It is time to change this thinking.
Who am I?
I have been called "Sirthinkalot" and "The mender of souls." I am an addiction specialist and a full-time psychology student on the way to Dr. Davis in clinical psychology. I am currently crusading for the expedited paradigm shift in addiction recovery!