Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mentors Are Irreplaceable!

Mentors are irreplaceable when it comes to living a full life. I need people to look up to, to call me out when they see me stepping backwards, who will love me, unconditionally, when I make mistakes. Recovery has opened multiple doors, giving me the opportunity to learn from an army of mentors such as I've described. What a blessing!

Mentor: someone who teaches and is experienced; often giving advice or help to a less experienced and often younger person.

My mother and all of her friends, sponsors and the old-timers in my twelve step recovery program...ah so many of these wonderful people aided me in building a solid foundation for my life. They were, and still are, my mentors. For them, I am exceptionally grateful!

They all spent an excessive amount of hours listening to me, watching me cry in my soup...then gracefully (or bluntly, depending upon how dramatic my own pity-party was at the time), they'd share their pearls of wisdom with me. These mentors helped me to look within and grow up, all while loving me. Even years later, they are still quick on the draw to give me a swift blast of their intellect, and I love it! My curiosity keeps me open. There is so much I do not know-that I am certain about because every day I learn something new!

For years I mostly listened to women, thus male mentors were rare. Then, in my sixth year of sobriety, I realized how much wisdom men possess when I actually began listening to them. One man in particular, I feel, raised my recovery capacity up to a new level. He taught me about intentions, motivations, reactions/actions, honesty, discipline, self-righteousness, perception and that not one of us is perfect. My mind was a buzz of wonder! I was like a sponge, soaking up whatever I could. He also taught me this invaluable lesson: at my worst, I am a walking contradiction and that being this does not make me a bad person...just human. I was absolutely amazed by how he could know as much as he did. There were a multitude of growing pains in my mind, spirit and heart from all the lessons; magnificent varieties which propelled me to start writing again, with passion!

I am thankful and determined to pay it forward!

I'm have mentors helped you in shaping your life? Have you struggled to stay open to the lessons? I'd be delighted to hear your stories!

Video Blogs ~ More Yet To Come
Can't Keep A Sober Girl Down


Can't Keep A Codependent Girl Down

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday: A Great Day To Shine!

I just wanted to wish you all a legendary Tuesday! Today is a great day to SHINE, for we are alive and sober!

My apologies on not having blogs posted the past couple of days. I have received a few emails I will be addressing later today on the blog. I've been working on videos the past couple of days so that has been taking up a large portion of my creative time.

If you would like to view the latest video to the Can't Keep A Sober Girl Down library, please click on the link below. As you will see, I am a bit I have clearly stated in past blogs! Hope you enjoy!

Sober Girl Story: Can't Keep A Sober Girl Down

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Video On YouTube!

Can't Keep A Sober Girl Down 
CLICK HERE TO WATCH -Sober Life Is Not A Boring Life

To all who made this video possible, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I can only hope that this video will reach many more women across the world who may be in that beginning stage of recovery and feeling a bit lost...and also the women who remember how it was at the beginning.

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Woman's Elegance

Today, I find that putting on a pair of heels, draping a cross around my neck and wearing a ring of peace lifts my spirits as a woman. Fashion creates an uplifted sense of beauty, integrity and elegance. I pull out and put on decorative pieces of my soul.

When I sobered up, I frequently wore comfy pajamas pants, my favorite Nike sweatshirt with holes where the thumbs protruded through the cuffs, and a smoking robe. If I wasn't by my sponsor's side or at a meeting, you could have found me sitting in front of the television for hours on end, talking on the phone and puffing on cigarettes in the garage, buried in a sea of books in bed or scrolling through Myspace. Remember that site? Makes me chuckle! I was lost and in a period of survival mode for a solid eight months, at least. As I was just learning how to feel my feelings and deal with life, I rarely cared about how I showed up in the world. Inside I was struggling to just show up!

I remember going into store after store with my then husband and him being quite embarrassed. "Do you always have to wear sweatpants?", he'd ask. I would defend my frumpy clothing any chance I got and I was not practicing any kind of love, patience or understanding then. Poor guy!

Then one day my sponsor said something like, "Why don't you try putting on a pair of heels and notice how you feel?". She had never steered me wrong, so I slipped on a pair of heels with my pajama pants one afternoon. Well, I definitely felt more confident trotting around the house, regardless of the pajama pants/heels clothing ensemble! Instantly I remembered how years prior I had worn heels only on special occasions and how I had a bit more pep in my step. Hmm...wheels started turning in my 24 year old brain.

Slowly, I started to wear heels more often and especially when my weight would yo-yo further down. Then, when my faith in God grew exponentially, I began to drape large crosses around my neck. To some these necklaces may look like ornaments, though honestly for me they established a deeper sense of security...maybe even protection. A couple years after, I found a peace ring. Peace has always been a part of who I am. As a young child, it's what I always strived for between myself and others. As a teenager, I decorated my bedroom with peace emblems, dangled peace signs around my neck and always desired to own a Mercedes Benz-mostly because its hood ornament resembled peace! So, the peace sign on my finger reminds me to try and strive for peace.

Now, do I still love comfort? Of course! However, as a direct result of rehabilitating my mind and body, I don't feel as lost anymore. I believe that fashion helps boost my aliveness! I've also noticed it encourages other women to embrace their own inner beauty and elegance...something they may have lost for awhile. A woman's elegance can be altogether alluring, inside and out.

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Do You Have A Few Minutes?

Do you like the show Duck Dynasty? Well, I promise that watching this video will spark emotion...absolutely!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Quote of The Day

“No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.”-Albert Einstein 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lacking Self-Discipline In The Workplace

I've always had a job though I've not always had self-discipline. When I realized this, I was stunned. I decided to change for the better. My new mission was to be able to be grateful for having a job and therefore grasp self-discipline to keep the job I have. Stability.

I've heard it been said that alcoholics and addicts lack self-discipline. We want what we want, how and when we want it! Instant gratification. I am no different, for it has taken me years to truly be grateful for the job I currently have. Grateful enough to show up on time, do the work that is required of me, be humble inside of management and see the gratitude out the next day to start again. This, to me, is self-discipline.

Now, can I hope for better inside of that gratitude and appreciation for what I already have? Yes, of course. Though that does not mean that I must give up what I currently have and kick up a blaze of rock and dust in order to score something better. For me, this was my old behavior and there was a strong lack of gratitude and self-discipline in this sort of action/reaction. The real challenge was facing my discontentment from within and then trusting myself-still is, honestly.

A wonderful teacher of my past taught me that I can still hold a job while trying to do better, embrace self-discipline and, therefore, keep my dignity intact. I see now there is much more honor in that. For this lesson, I am forever grateful.

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bored and Fear-Two of My Least Favorite Words

I don’t like being bored and I don’t like to be scared, therefore, I avoid both of these states of being like the plague! And yet, conversations about both boredom and fear interest me immeasurably!

Okay, nothing about living a life of recovery should ever bore me, in my opinion. Recovery has been a total transformation and an embracing of gratitude, so where inside of that would I find boredom? I don't recall in the last eight years ever even uttering the words, "I'm bored." Maybe part of this is how I was raised? I do remember hearing at a much younger age, "If you're bored, you're boring." So, therefore, I detest the state of boredom.

Fear. Ewe. Even the mere thought of that word gets me a little worked up emotionally because I know that I can easily create it at any time in my mind. For my addict mind, fear is like a deceptive drug of poison that enables all sorts of nonsense! Sometimes I even go into a whole inventory of what I'm currently fearing just by hearing the word!

I've educated myself about this word since I was in acting school. My mentors, coaches, professors, friends all around me would say, "Be fearless in your work and life!" Since then, two of my favorite books-The Bible and the big book Alcoholic's Anonymous have continued to educate me on why I am to choose courage and faith over fear. Below are some excerpts of fear that I LOVE!

... "Fear."   12&12 Step Twelve, p.123  
So false pride became the reverse side of that ruinous coin marked "Fear."

... fear.   BB How It Works, p.68  
At once, we commence to outgrow fear.

... fear.   BB Into Action, p.84    

... fear.   BB To Wives, p.104    
We have had long rendezvous with hurt pride, frustration, self-pity, misunderstanding and fear.

... fear.   BB To Employers, p.145    
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

... fear and direct our attention to what ...   BB How It Works, p.68    
We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be.

Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

... fear and tension -- that makes for more ...   BB Into Action, p.73    
He is under constant fear and tension -- that makes for more drinking.
.. fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.   BB Into Action, p.88    
We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.

Fear gripped him.   BB A Vision For You, p.154    
Fear gripped him.

1 Chronicles 28:20
David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

... fear of creditors no matter how far ...   BB Into Action, p.78    
We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.

... fear of making a scene should I ...   BB Doctor Bob's Nightmare, p.173    
Many mornings I have gone to classes, and even though fully prepared, would turn and walk back to the fraternity house because of my jitters, not daring to enter the classroom for fear of making a scene should I be called on for recitation.

... fear of not sleeping, and the other ...   BB Doctor Bob's Nightmare, p.175    
One was the fear of not sleeping, and the other was the fear of running out of liquor.

Fear of people and of economic insecurity ...   BB Into Action, p.84    
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.

... fear of the next debauch; the mother ...   BB To Wives, p.104    
But for every man who drinks others are involved -- the wife who trembles in fear of the next debauch; the mother and father who see their son wasting away.

... fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter.   BB How It Works, p.63    
As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter.

... fear ought to be classed with stealing.   BB How It Works, p.68    
Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing.

... fear problem, or any other.   BB How It Works, p.68    
Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn't fully solve the fear problem, or any other.

... fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step ...   BB How It Works, p.62    
Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.

... fear; they only thought they had humbled ...   BB Into Action, p.73    
They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves.

... fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem ...   BB We Agnostics, p.52    
We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people -- was not a basic solution of these bedevilments more important than whether we should see newsreels of lunar flight?

... fear, worry and hurt feelings is a ...   BB To Wives, p.116    
When we do that, we find it solves our problems too; the ensuing lack of fear, worry and hurt feelings is a wonderful thing.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Step That Took Me Years

The recovery in California was so vibrant, full of life, bold and the wisdom in recovery rooms would literally take my breath away! I would marvel in absolute joy after nearly every meeting I attended in the Los Angeles area. Below is some advice from The Big Book Bunch about the step that took me years to complete. Looking at it helps me, even today, reflect on where I still need to make a direct amends.

Here are the steps we took: 
Step 9) Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

That is what the authors of the Big Book and millions before you did.  To personalize the step for your study and action in the here and now, however, you may wish to rephrase it as:

STEP NINE. Make direct amends to the people you have harmed except when to do so would injure them or others.

Big Book:
Chapter 6, Into Action.

From: Page 82, line 17 Thru: Page 84, line 15.
Step 9

 Our experience with Step Nine prompts us to emphasize four ideas about this step.

1. Token amends will not do! Just what is an amend? Here is what our trusty dictionary says:

a-mend :(uh mend') v. .
2. to change for the better; improve.
3. to remove or correct faults in; rectify.
v.i. <
4. to grow or become better by reforming oneself.


Later in this document you will see an extraction of words and phrases that the authors of the Big Book used to describe what they meant by the word amend. Their true meaning, while including the definition above, is more like the synonyms for the word, rectify:

rectify : v.
1. right, set right, put right, make right, correct, adjust, regulate, straighten, square; focus, attune; mend, amend, emend, fix, repair, revise; remedy, redress, cure, reform.

One might even use the definition of the word, "repair", to express their meaning:

re-pair :[1] (ri pâr') -paired, -pair-ing . v.t.
1. to restore to a good or sound condition after decay or damage; mend.
2. to restore or renew.
3. to remedy; make up for; compensate for.

Extracted words and phrases as examples of "amends":
BB = the Big Book of A.A., Alcoholics Anonymous
12&12 = Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

...sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will.
[BB, page 76, line 22]
...demonstration of good will
[BB, page 77, line 13]
...sweep off our side of the street
[BB, page 77, line 32]
...sit down with the family and frankly analyze the past as we now see it.
[BB, page 83, line 2]
...We clean house with the family...
[BB, page 83, line 7]
...asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.
[BB, page 83, line 8]
...The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it..
[BB, page 83, line 11]
...Our behavior will convince them more than our words.
[BB, page 83, line 15]
...There may be some wrongs we can never fully right.
[BB, page 83, line 19]
...Some people cannot be seen—we send them an honest letter.
[BB, page 83, line 22]
...We should be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping.
[BB, page 83, line 25]

RESTITUTION the damage [we have] done in the past. [BB, page 76, line 21]
...set right the wrong
[BB, page 77, line 12]
...straighten out the past
[BB, page 77, line 32]
...arranging the best deal...[of repayment]...we can
[BB, page 78, line 21]
[BB, page 79, line 5]
[BB, page 79, line 29]
...willing to go to jail
[BB, page 79, line 30]
...make a public statement
[BB, page 80, line 15]
...[make]...good to the wife or parents [
BB, page 82, line 19]
[BB, page 83, line 1]

...confessing our former ill feeling [BB, page 77, line 27]
...expressing our regret
[BB, page 77, line 27]
...we let these people know we are sorry
[BB, page 78, line 21]
...admitting faults
[BB, page 79, line 28]
...admit our fault
[BB, page 81, line 21]
...asking forgiveness
[BB, page 79, line 28]
...A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won't fill the bill at all.
[BB, page 83, line 2]

2. Don't rush into amends without guidance. You can mess up yourself and others unless the best judgment is used. And, when we are new to sobriety, our judgment is often not so swift. 

3. Your amends must never harm others. Both of the books make clear that we cannot seek atonement at the expense of others. Be especially careful not to implicate or injure other people in your wrong-doing.

4. Don't forget to take the hidden step–forgiveness. You will recall that in Step Four you listed the people who had harmed you as part of your resentment matrix. None of the steps emphasizes sufficiently that the ultimate process of resentment eradication (and they must be wiped out) is forgiveness of those we resent. If you have not yet cleaned up your resentments, finish them off in Step Nine. It then becomes the double-edged sword that cuts you free from all harms done by you and to you.

There is a difference between being forgiven and forgiving, however. Our amends to those we have harmed are made at our own initiative and directly to the person harmed, whenever possible. On the other hand, when we are forgiving others, it is rarely appropriate to approach them to let them know they are forgiven. Why?

  • They might have no idea that we have resented them. After all, the resentment is ours. Letting them in on our problem cannot do them any good, and may cause them considerable hurt feelings or aggravation–even anger.
  • We have been learning not to play God and to avoid ego-serving activities. Approaching other to let them know they are forgiven would usually be thought of as self-serving. This we avoid.
If, on the other hand, the injuring party has let us know that they feel guilt about what they have done, it can often be a true act of kindness to let them know they are off the hook as far as we are concerned. We do this with true humility and compassion. We never give the impression that they owe us something for our act of forgiveness. We then try to treat them the way we want others to forgive us for our own wrongs.

Some of our members believe that the other side of the forgiveness coin, that we are forgiven for our transgressions, is a necessary goal of Step 9. There is no need at all that we be forgiven by the person we have harmed after we make an amend. If they choose to tell us we are forgiven, that is a fine gesture–one we might cherish. However, the real goal here is that you cease to know guilt stemming from your prior acts or omissions. The removal of guilt is the exclusive domain of your spiritual power.

On your way. Your Step 9 can last from several weeks to many years. Start it when you have finished step 8 and are told to do so. Continue until you are done.

PROMISES OF STEP NINE  Here are the 20 promises starting at the bottom of page 83 in the Big Book. Some people think these are the only promises the Big Book makes. Little do they realize that each step has a set of promises, and that there are many more besides. There are even a few guarantees. Drop us a line if you have found the 173 promises and guarantees in the Big Book that we have found.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development,
  1. we will be amazed before we are half way through.
  2. We are going to know a new freedom
  3. and a new happiness.
  4. We will not regret the past
  5. nor wish to shut the door on it.
  6. We will comprehend the word serenity and
  7. we will know peace.
  8. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  9. That feeling of uselessness (will disappear)
  10. and self-pity will disappear.
  11. We will lose interest in selfish things and
  12. (we will) gain interest in our fellows.
  13. Self-seeking will slip away.
  14. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
  15. Fear of people (will leave us) and
  16. (fear) of economic insecurity will leave us.
  17. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  18. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
  19. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
  20. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Selfishness Inside Recovery

I can most certainly become selfish in any given moment, if I choose that direction. Progressively, the amount of selfishness I engage in has lessened. Many people who are close to me are grateful for this and have told me over the years, "You've changed." That's a far cry from the comments I used to hear such as, "I cannot believe how selfish you are! What is wrong with you?"...yuck.

Now, honestly from time to time I get checked and put into place about my selfishness. For this, I am grateful for the growth to be more receptive, listen and learn. It's not always pleasant to hear that I am being selfish, though sometimes people on the outside are having an experience of me that I just-for some reason-cannot see for myself.

My twelve step recovery program has truly taught me how to be more humble and self-sacrificing, caring about the cares, needs or hurts of others. I have gone to extremes inside of this area as well (you can view stories on that at, however balance for me is key.

Here are some quotes from the book of Alcoholics Anonymous that have helped keep me in check and grow up and out of the sticky, unmanageable muck of selfishness over the years:

1. Best of all, I met a kind doctor who explained that though certainly selfish and foolish, I had been seriously ill, bodily and mentally. [Big Book page 7, line 13].
2. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. [Big Book page 21, line 28].
3. On the other hand, he may be mean, egotistical, selfish and dishonest. [Big Book page 61, line 9].
4. Selfishness- self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. [Big Book page 62, line 7]
5. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of the selfishness. We must, or it kills us! [Big Book page 62, line 19].
6. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? - [Big Book page 67, line 17].
7. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? [Big Book page 69, line 14].
8. We subjected each relation to this test, was it selfish or not? [Big Book page 69, line 21].
9. We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed. [Big Book page 69, line 24].
10. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil [Big Book page 82, line 28].
11. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows [Big Book page 84, line 6].
12. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. [Big Book page 84, line 25].
13. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? [Big Book page 86, line 7].
14. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. [Big Book page 87, line 18].
15. We wives found that, like everybody else, we were afflicted with pride, self-pity, vanity and all the things which go to make up the self-centered person; and we were not above selfishness or dishonesty. [Big Book page 116, line 23].

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email. Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Today's Gift-Sharing Our Experiences

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Sharing our experiences heightens our joy and lessens out pain. Not letting other people know what's troubling us causes the problem to trouble us even more.

"Secrets keep us stuck," say the wise ones on our journey. Sharing what's on our mind with a friend or sponsor gives that person an opportunity to help us develop a better perspective. On the other hand, staying isolated with our worries exaggerates them. Staying isolated with our joys isn't helpful either. It minimizes them, thus cheating us out of feeling their full thrill. We deserve joy in our lives – lots of it – because we will have our full measure of pain. Perhaps we fear others will criticize us for being braggarts if we sing forth our joy. But our real friends will sing right along with us. Our joys are deserved; they offset our trials. Telling others about both will let all our experiences count for something.

I will remain open to my friends today, sharing both my worries and my joys. You are reading from the book: A Life of My Own by Karen Casey

Friday, November 15, 2013

Today's Gift-Giving Up A Certain Way Of Living

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

This Mouse must give up one of the Mouse ways of seeing things in order that he may grow.
--Hyemeyohsts Storm

There is an American Indian tale of a mouse who heard a roaring in his ears and set out to discover what it was. He encountered many animals who helped him on his way. Finally, the mouse had a chance to offer help to another. He gave away his eyes to help two other animals.

Without his sight, defenseless, he waited for the end. Soon he heard the sound eagles make when they dive for their prey. The next thing the mouse knew, he was flying. He could see all the splendor around him. Then he heard a voice say, "You have a new name. You are Eagle."

Like the mouse, we also feel something inside us we'd like to explore. That secret, like all others, has its answer hidden deep within us, yet right under our very nose. Often, we merely have to give up our eyes and see in a different way. When we do this, we are rewarded with a new kind of vision, one that lets us discover our true potential.

You are reading from the book:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Learning How To Let God

For a long time, I had no understanding of how to let God do anything. I am a bit further in my own spiritual journey now, though I am still learning.

If there is inspired thought or inspired action, it feels inspired. There is a bit of a romantic urgency which stirs up inside of me. I believe this is of God. Now, on the other hand, if there is a struggle or a lost sense of love inside my thoughts or actions, I do my best to pray and ask for guidance (when I remember).

My experiences and patterns have taught me how to be more consistent in my choices. Do I always stay on track? No, I do not. Though I continue on through my own consequences and face the music, however painfully loud it may be. That's just part of the beauty inside of sobriety!

We intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us and God is doing for us, what we could not do for ourselves. I have found these promises to be profoundly mystical and a welcoming part of the journey inside of learning how to let God.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Adderall-Lie for the High

A couple of years ago, it was announced that more people die from prescription pills than car accidents. Studies indicate that Adderall and other drugs designed to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are being abused by those without a clinical diagnosis. Both women and men are putting their physical and mental health at serious risk. From what I have seen, this is life shattering and the denial is nearly unshakable-similar to that of a meth user.

Women that I have talked to say that they feel like 'superwoman' on this drug (or similar stimulants) and they get more things done...though their mood swings are consistently temperamental and their behaviors have been unpredictable. They also forget things they have told people, work is a blur and commitments are broken. This drug takes precedence over relationships even, all while creating a false sense of confidence. Isolation, drastic weight loss, lying, denial of abuse, lower bank account and self-esteem balances, loss of friends and sleep deprivation are also common side effects...from what I have witnessed. So where is the gain? It's in the high.

Doctors do not give a prescription of Adderall for weight loss in skinny/fit people, yet this is what many women say who are taking it and are at a healthy or low bmi.  Men say it's for the performance and fun. Interesting. This expression in regards to this prescription usually is not written by a doctor, but rather shared or sold by people they know and street hustled at a value of $5-$10/pill. This is not recovery. This is blatantly addiction and it is, unfortunately, all too common and destructive. 

It's abuse has directly affected loved ones who are close to me, women I've worked with, as well as affecting family/friends of my family/friends~this is why I write. 

Adderall is a psychostimulant and contains many different ingredients which combine to increase the user’s dopamine and norepinephrine levels. The drug is used to make the user more awake, have more sexual desire, decrease tiredness, and increase focus and productiveness. It has most commonly prescribed to those, including children, who suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), narcolepsy, and chronic tiredness. In rare cases, it may be prescribed to aid obese patients or those patients suffering from otherwise untreatable cases of depression. Depending on the patient’s needs, the drug may be prescribed in a wide variety of different doses and may be administered in instant relief or extend relief formulas. The wide variation of different forms of Adderall and the fact that many users have allergic reactions to some of the ingredients are only a few of the reasons using it without a prescription is so dangerous.

Even for users who have been issued a prescription, Adderall has a high potential for abuse and addiction. In the body, it acts as does the serious drug, methylphenidate, and can cause seizures, heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke, and death. The risk for this is even higher when the product is being abused by someone who has not been prescribed it. This is because doctors will usually start patients on a small dose to see how their bodies will react. When the doctor is taken out of the equation, people can never be sure what dose they are getting or if it will send their bodies into shock. For these reasons, it is one of the most dangerous drugs to take recreationally.

The drug also has many potentially dangerous contraindications. These include, but are not limited to: Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, and many other common types of drugs. Taking Adderall while you are on one of these can cause irreversible, permanent damage and may even be deadly in some instances.

Common side effects of Adderall usage or abuse include anorexia, dry mouth, chronic thirst, the development of sleeping disorders or generalized difficulty sleeping, chronic headaches or migraines, pain in the stomach, high blood pressure, sudden and unexplained weight loss, mood swings or other emotional changes, nausea with vomiting, sudden dizziness or fainting, a generalized feeling of weakness or tiredness, a sudden spike in heart rate, a higher risk of infections, unexplained fevers, heartburn, chest pains, and a slowing of growth in children. Those who use the drug for an extended period of time may also experience severe withdrawals, periods of depression, and with extreme abuse, amphetamine psychosis. While some of these side effects are normal, you should let your doctor know about any that you experience.

More adverse side effects that should be immediately reported include suicidal thoughts or suicidal actions, sudden confusion or a feeling of displacement, a tightness in the chest with pain spreading throughout the back and the arms, heart palpitations, the inability to breathe or shortness of breath, feelings of depression or despair, changes in behavior such as becoming more aggressive or more shy, performing actions you do not recall or do not understand, experiencing visual, auditory, or sensory hallucinations, feeling restless or constantly having the need to move about, seizures or “black out” periods, a sudden rash or the development of hives, and uncontrollable bodily movements, commonly of the head, mouth, or appendages. These side effects usually indicate that your body is not reacting well to Adderall and that you should seek medical assistance.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Intelligence About Denial

Denial and addiction go hand-in-hand. Denial adds to the cunning, baffling and powerful part of the disease. So let's educate ourselves about it, shall we? I've said my opinion before, and I'll say it over and over again-intelligence is empowering and sexy! (references & article on denial is at the bottom of blog post) 


Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true.[1] The same word, and also abnegation, is used for a psychological defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.[2][3]

The subject may use:
The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction. The theory of denial was first researched seriously by Anna Freud. She classified denial as a mechanism of the immature mind, because it conflicts with the ability to learn from and cope with reality. Where denial occurs in mature minds, it is most often associated with death, dying and rape. More recent research has significantly expanded the scope and utility of the concept. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross used denial as the first of five stages in the psychology of a dying patient, and the idea has been extended to include the reactions of survivors to news of a death. Thus, when parents are informed of the death of a child, their first reaction is often of the form, "No! You must have the wrong house, you can't mean our child!"

Unlike some other defense mechanisms postulated by psychoanalytic theory (for instance, repression), the general existence of denial is fairly easy to verify, even for non-specialists. On the other hand, denial is one of the most controversial defense mechanisms, since it can be easily used to create unfalsifiable theories: anything the subject says or does that appears to disprove the interpreter's theory is explained, not as evidence that the interpreter's theory is wrong, but as the subject's being "in denial". However, researchers note that in some cases of corroborated child sexual abuse, the victims sometimes make a series of partial confessions and recantations as they struggle with their own denial and the denial of abusers or family members. Use of denial theory in a legal setting therefore must be carefully regulated and experts' credentials verified. "Formulaic guilt" simply by "being a denier" has been castigated by English judges and academics.The main objection is that denial theory is founded on the premise that that which the supposed denier is denying is truth. This usurps the judge (and/or jury) as triers of fact [4]

The concept of denial is important in twelve-step programs, where the abandonment or reversal of denial forms the basis of the first, fourth, fifth, eighth and tenth steps. The ability to deny or minimize is an essential part of what enables an addict to continue his or her behavior despite evidence that—to an outsider—appears overwhelming. This is cited as one of the reasons that compulsion is seldom effective in treating addiction—the habit of denial remains.

When a family intervention is conducted to help a person engaged in self-destructive behavior such as alcohol or drug abuse to accept help for his problem, denial is sometimes reduced or eliminated altogether. This is not always necessary, however, for the intervention to be successful in having the person accept help.

Understanding and avoiding denial is also important in the treatment of various diseases. The American Heart Association cites denial as a principal reason that treatment of a heart attack is delayed. Because the symptoms are so varied, and often have other potential explanations, the opportunity exists for the patient to deny the emergency, often with fatal consequences. It is common for patients to delay mammograms or other tests because of a fear of cancer, even though this is clearly maladaptive. It is the responsibility of the care team, and of the nursing staff in particular, to train at-risk patients to avoid this behavior.

Denial of fact

In this form of denial, someone avoids a fact by lying. This lying can take the form of an outright falsehood (commission), leaving out certain details to tailor a story (omission), or by falsely agreeing to something (assent, also referred to as "yessing" behavior). Someone who is in denial of fact is typically using lies to avoid facts they think may be painful to themselves or others.

Denial of responsibility

This form of denial involves avoiding personal responsibility by:
  • blaming: a direct statement shifting culpability and may overlap with denial of fact
  • minimizing: an attempt to make the effects or results of an action appear to be less harmful than they may actually be, or
  • justifying: when someone takes a choice and attempts to make that choice look okay due to their perception of what is "right" in a situation.
  • regression: when someone acts in a way unbecoming of their age (e.g. whining, temper tantrum, etc.)
Someone using denial of responsibility is usually attempting to avoid potential harm or pain by shifting attention away from themselves.
For example:
Troy breaks up with his girlfriend because he is unable to control his anger, and then blames her for everything that ever happened.

Denial of impact

Denial of impact involves a person's avoiding thinking about or understanding the harms of his or her behavior has caused to self or others, i.e. denial of the consequences. Doing this enables that person to avoid feeling a sense of guilt and it can prevent him or her from developing remorse or empathy for others. Denial of impact reduces or eliminates a sense of pain or harm from poor decisions.

Denial of cycle

Many who use this type of denial will say things such as, "it just happened". Denial of cycle is where a person avoids looking at their decisions leading up to an event or does not consider their pattern of decision making and how harmful behavior is repeated. The pain and harm being avoided by this type of denial is more of the effort needed to change the focus from a singular event to looking at preceding events. It can also serve as a way to blame or justify behavior (see above).

Denial of denial

This can be a difficult concept for many people to identify with in themselves, but is a major barrier to changing hurtful behaviors. Denial of denial involves thoughts, actions and behaviors which bolster confidence that nothing needs to be changed in one's personal behavior. This form of denial typically overlaps with all of the other forms of denial, but involves more self-delusion. Denial at this level can have significant consequences both personally and at a societal level.


Helpful Article
Addiction Denial is defined two different ways by most experts in the substance abuse field. Discerning the differences between the two is paramount in working effectively with people in treatment. For illustration purposes lets call the two types of denial Type A and Type B.

Type A denial is when a person sees, understands, and knows that they have a definite problem. When confronted about the problem they flat out deny it, knowing that it is true. This type of denial is outright dishonesty or lying.

Type B denial is when a person is either partially or totally blind to a problem that they have. Through a hundred forms of self-deception, rationalization, justification and excuse making, a person can actually believe that they do not have a problem, when everyone around them sees this it is obvious. This type of denial comes from being honestly dishonest or by blindness. The type of denial we will deal with in this test is Type B, honestly being dishonest.

I can remember years ago when I was confronted about my own drinking problem by loved ones, close friends, and my employer. I was destroyed, not at the thought of being an alcoholic, but by their accusations. My reaction was shock, denial and indignation. I would have passed a lie detector test if I were asked if there was a drinking problem in my life. I honestly believed that it wasn’t true, and that I was being totally misunderstood.

Obviously my denial was based on being honestly dishonest, not on being a liar.
Some time later after I hit my bottom and entered recovery for Alcoholism I remember asking myself, “How could I have been so blind?”.

This type of denial doesn’t automatically disappear once the person sees and accepts being chemically dependent. It almost always emerges again with a new and more improved look, It’s like Ivory Snow with the new packaging that say “New and Improved”. It’s really the same old soap with a new ingredient added to it so it can be marketed as a new and improved product.

What we are dealing with is a whole denial system, not just denial of a particular problem. It is also important to understand that denial can be on both an intellectual and spiritual level. It is common to see a person who intellectually accepts being alcoholic but doesn’t believe it in his innermost sell. This is the person who constantly relapses, much to the amazement of themselves and everyone around them.

Intellectual denial is usually based on lack of understanding, differences in semantics or in definition. A good example is the person who thinks an alcoholic is a degenerate who lives on skid row. He is always panhandling and drinks cheap wine. Anyone who still works, supports a family, pays the bills, and lives in a nice house couldn’t possibly be an alcoholic. Here we have a clear problem in definition. A further example is the young executive who drives a BMW, lives in a nice condo and holds a good job with a nationally known electronics firm. He uses $200 worth of cocaine weekly and denies having a problem. He can’t pay his bills; he loses his friends, and is always borrowing money. His definition of a drug addict is a person who sticks a needle in his arm every day.

Spiritual denial is even more difficult to deal with because it is so hard to see. This level of denial will lock a person into compliance blocking any possibility for ongoing sobriety. The process of internalizing a new truth is more fully explained in the chapter of the three-headed dragon, head number three.

One of the major goals in the treatment of chemical dependency is in help you through compliance (intellectually agreeing that the problem exists) to acceptance (coming to believe it in the heart). This dynamic is a process not an event. Even in the most ideal conditions it will sometimes take months before acceptance is fully rooted in the innermost self. This is why it is absolutely essential for attendance in at least 90 support meetings in the first 90 days after treatment is completed. This will add substantial insurance for the proper development of the precious new convictions cultivated in treatment.

Denial, in relationship to treatment of chemical dependency, comes in three stages. Each stage has an intellectual and spiritual dimension.

Stage One Denial

Stage one denial is when a person truly does not believe that they have the disease of chemical addiction. They may accept being addicted to a particular drug(s), and still deny having the illness. They also could deny having a problem with drugs in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Another considers themselves to be a drug abuser but not chemically dependent.

There are dozens of different ways to express this stage of denial all leading to the same place. The person does not accept the hid that they have an illness, which requires nothing short of total abstinence from all mind altering drugs, including alcohol, for its solution.

Overcoming Stage One Denial
Overcoming the wrong understanding of chemical dependency is accomplished through proper education. This will only produce intellectual acceptance at best, more commonly known as compliance.
Internal acceptance of chemical dependency is a completely different issue. It requires a basic conversion in the belief system, which is in the innermost self (spirit).

Internal acceptance is a process, not an event. One cannot come to believe something new in the innermost self by simply willing it to happen. That would be like planting a seed in the ground on Monday and expecting to have an apple tree on Friday. Once the seed has been planted, it needs time to root. It also needs proper nourishment for growth and maturity.

This is the same way someone comes to accept being chemically dependent. The seed is planted in the innermost self of the person who admits that they have the problem by their own words. Once planted it is nourished by the continuation of the same process, admitting, (Step One of the AA program. . . We admitted . .). The more one admits to having the condition, the more one conies to believe it in their inner most self, This is expressed by the popular slogan, “You have to give it away to get, and you have to keep giving it away to keep it”.

Stage Two Denial
Stage two denial is when a person denies the need for ongoing sobriety support after treatment is completed. It represents denial of being powerless. .lust because you agree to go to meetings after treatment is completed, does not mean that you will do it. It is important to understand that good intentions in treatment do not guarantee program action after discharge. Once out from under the influence of the peer group in treatment, sonic people will go their own way. They will never attend a single support meeting in their home community, unless they have a profound change in their inner perception of both the problem and its corresponding solution. This is sometimes called a spiritual awakening, or a moment of clarity. Good intentions are not enough. The absence of this inner perception keeps the person in the second stage of denial. This problem has to be corrected in the innermost self before arty long-term sobriety can be obtained.
The real change takes place in the spirit (innermost self), not in the mind (understanding). This is why many people see the recovery process as spiritual not psychological. It takes place in the Heart not the Head.

Overcoming Stage Two Denial
Overcoming the second stage of denial requires the successful transference of dependency from self to a greater power outside of self for the maintaining of ongoing sobriety. lf you are depending on your own power to do this, you are in the second stage of denial, This is true regardless of how long you are sober. Many people have painfully discovered this, having relapsed after years of continuous sobriety.

The persistence of this denial is astonishing in many who continue to attempt abstinence by themselves in spite of repeated failure. It seems that they are incapable of grasping (lie notion that they are NOT all powerful. This illusion of power is a major barrier to recovery from chemical dependency. Overcoming the second stage of denial requires the successful elimination of this illusion. This is not just an ordinary illusion. It has grown to an obsessional proportion just like the one that used to see alcohol or drugs as the answer to life’s problems before it was smashed.

The second stage of denial is easily broken by the transference of dependency from self to the sobriety support fellowship. When a person gets exposure to the 12-Step program for instance, they initially do it with a great deal of reluctance. What they usually find before too long is that something very powerful is happening to them.

Externally, emotions are charged with positive energy. A feeling of belonging begins to replace the old feelings of guilt and worthlessness. Acceptance is now gradually replacing compliance. Remember, this is a process that is taking place in spite of early resistance, not an event that happens as a result of a decision. Miraculously as a result of exposure, an internal, unseen transference of dependency is taking place in the innermost self. This new found power seen as the fellowship is now taking the place of the illusion of power that used to dominate the person with so many empty promises. The internal development of Ibis transference of dependency from self in the support fellowship takes time.

The internal development of this dynamic is called the second step experience by AA/NA members. It results in the “Coming to believe in a power greater than self”.

Stage Three Denial
Stage three denial is the denial of the need to he willing to go to any length in the recovery process. It is an indicator that you have other priorities that are just as or more important than the maintenance of sobriety. The commitment to sobriety may be strong. However, the commitment to its maintenance is weak. This condition will usually escalate in one of two directions in time. One direction is to increase commitment and involvement when living problems intensify and the other direction is too eventually withdraw from the program completely, which usually leads to relapse. One does not stay in the third stage of denial for long. It always seems to go one way or the other.

Another indicator of the third stage of denial is the rejection of the steps. Total abstinence from alcohol and drugs will produce sobriety. Practicing the living principles in the 12 Steps will produce recovery. Sobriety with no recovery will usually lead to relapse; it is only a matter of time.

Overcoming Stage Three Denial
The third .stage of denial is dismantled by the constant recommitment to active participation in the recovery support fellowship of your choice.

Getting involved is the fastest way to overcome it with activities such as 12-Step meetings, sponsorship, being a secretary or chairperson, having a coffee commitment at a meeting, greeting newcomers, going on 12-Step calls. There are dozens of things one can do to establish a growing commitment to the Recovery Program.

The more activity the more you are overcoming the third stage of denial. The less activity the more you are sinking back into the third stage of denial.

Overcoming the third stage of denial completely is almost impossible. One should strive for progress in this area not perfection. The proper level of commitment to the program and the principles in it varies widely between different people. The important thing to understand is that each person needs to find his own healthy level of involvement based on his own particular needs.



Denial is tricky stuff. It has many faces and disguises. Its number one symptom is the denial OF its own existence. It keeps good people in everlasting blindness destroying any chance for healthy change. It will fight viciously for its survival all the way to insanity institutionalization and death. It is not threatened by you trying to beat it by yourself, in fact it welcomes it. The last thing it wants is for you to join with others who are dedicated to destroying it.
by Michael Hurst