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Julie Morrell, MFT

  
  

Category Archives: Life Skills

Deciding to Stay Clean & Sober

There are a few key reasons why people with an addiction problem decide to go into drug rehab & then decide to stay clean & sober. Here is what they have told me. ~ Julie Morrell MFT

1) As their substance abuse eventually became an every day event, they eventually got sick & tired of being sick and tired.

2) They got tired of disappointing the people they care about & eventually decided they don’t want to do it anymore. Seeing and hearing the disappointment in their loved one’s voice & face, becomes more excruciatingly painful. They realize they are messing up.

3) They realize they have no more friends & family that care for them, ( the tough love route) so now they are motivated to get clean. Because now they are truly all alone. Being an addict is very isolating. Using has made them incredibly and painfully lonely.

4) They realize they have a different relationship to drugs and alcohol. It’s a different relationship than what other people have, in that once they use they can’t stop. It’s an addictive relationship. They resolve they need rehab help to help them not use again. It’s at this point, that someone in their life might say to them. You need professional help, and they finally listen.

5) It’s interesting to note, that often times when an addict begins to come to counseling, they-want their depression or anxiety symptoms treated and lifted, and they DO want to have a better relationships with others. And at the same time they are not recognizing that it is the substance that is making their symptoms of depression, anxiety and failed relationships much worse. They often won’t tell the professional they are using at first, which is why it is important for them to see someone who knows about drug and alcohol addiction.

It’s often at this point that the addict will begin to listen to the idea that they indeed have a problem. Hearing it from a professional carries more weight then hearing it from a loved one. Hearing they need inpatient help begins to be a concept they are starting to consider. Outpatient counseling won’t help get them sober. And inpatient rehab will help someone with a substance abuse problem detox safely. Drug and Alcohol rehabs are equipped to help addicts safely detox. Detoxing from substance is not something a person can do on their own and can result in death. Detoxing needs to be medically monitored and done in a safe setting. When they realize this, it will often help them make the decision to finally get treatment.

Every substance abuse situation is different, and not all addicts react the same, however, if someone has been abusing substance for a long time. It is my belief that 30 days of inpatient treatment is a good start, but not enough to help someone make a complete change. It isn’t until after 60 days of inpatient treatment that you will start to see a kinder more gentle person begin to emerge. And after 90 days of being clean and sober, people can manage their every day stress much better, and studies show that people are less likely to immediately relapse. They have a much better chance of a renewed life after 90 days drug free.

If this is a situation you are familiar with, you might want to read the book,” Addict in the Family”, by Beverly Conyers. It will help you understand the challenges you are facing. It’s extremely difficult to interact with an addict, precisely because they can be so deceptively manipulative. Also, you might want to read or listen to the CD called, ” Reclaim your life” – You and the Alcoholic/Addict, by Carole Bennett. It’s important to go to Al-anon meetings and educate yourself regularly. If you don’t like the first one you have tried, go try another. http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/local-meetings

And if you are an addict go to 12 step meetings. Here is a link to AA meetings, http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-local-aa
The truth is, living a life of isolation will encourage a relapse whereas being connected with others will help someone remain sober. Being sober and staying sober is much more easily done when staying connected with others and committed to the sober community. Millions of people kick the life of addiction and live clean and sober lives. You can too. It’s possible!

How Self-Absorbed are you?

We all have to focus on ourselves at times to get things done and to take good care of ourselves. However there is a level of self-absorbtion that makes life difficult for those that live with the #self-centered person. If you bend toward self-absorbtion you will want others to be more perfect for you & do more things for you. It is crucial that we love & take care of ourselves – but that is very different from being extremely #self-absorbed. If you love yourself in a balanced healthy way then you accept who you are – but understand that you have flaws & that others do too. And if you forgive yourself for #sins you have committed in the past, then it will do you well to forgive others as well for the same.

We all have flaws, and we all have talents that make us unique. If you love yourself in a healthy way, you feel secure in yourself and your own accomplishments – and you won’t then look to others to give you self-esteem.

So how can you tell if you have healthy self-esteem or if you’re too self-absorbed and a bit too #narcissistic? The following questions can help you with this:

  1. Do you always need to be the center of attention? For example, do you dress in bold colours or in wacky styles so that other people notice and comment on your looks? Or, do you stoop to spreading gossip or doing crazy things to keep the interest and spotlight focused upon you? Or, does every conversation have to be about your interests and what you think other people SHOULD be doing– and you tend to switch off when others talk about their lives, and their interests?
  2. How do you deal with other people’ feelings? Do you put your feelings first and act as if that’s all that matters? Do you tend not to notice or ask how other people feeling? (or if you do, you view it as irrelevant)?
  3. What is your attitude to others, and their views? Do you tend to see yourself as always having the right answer, as being better than others, and deserving of respect? Do you tend to think that others are either wrong or stupid, or they’re less important or well-informed than you?
  4. How do you view your own problems and needs? Do you think that your problems and your needs are more important, or more urgent, or more serious than those of other people? Do you want all your problems to be sorted out right now – or else you’ll hyperventilate or get really mad? Is your spouse exasperated with your constant disapproval and critque of others? Do you demand that things go the way you think they should?
  5. Is your way always right, and your solution’s always best? Hence, no-one should argue with, or criticize, your thinking. Do you take it personally if others fail to realize how perfect your suggestions and your answers clearly are? Or do you get upset if others are not immediately responsive to you in the way you think they should be?
  6. Do you have a controlling personality? A self-absorbed person will usually want to control others, and likes to set the standards and rules in others’ lives. For example, how to cook, how to clean or how to drive a car. The controlling person is the one who sets the temperature for the room, if they are tense, other’s get tense. When people live with a controlling person eventually the controlled spouse or child will rebel and will want to run their own life. In short, they grow up.

Note: If several of these traits are applicable to you then it may indicate that you’re a bit too self- absorbed. Learn to relax your grip on others and focus more on being more kind & interested in others. Purposefully being kind to others creates a whole different more positive mind set. Not only will they like you better, you will like yourself better and feel more relaxed and less stressed.

If over the years people have eventually stop interacting with you , it might be because you lack #empathy & #compassion toward others. And perhaps you do not reciprocate kindness. And if you are prone to anger management problems along with cutting judgmental remarks & vibes people will avoid you. No one likes to be around someone who is self-absorbed, judgmental and critical. The nicest person will eventually find this trait tiresome. The antidote is kindness & compassion!

Julie Morrell on Emotional Intelligence

Have you heard of the phrase ” Emotional Intelligence” ? EQ for short? Dr. Jeanne Segal, has found that high levels of emotional intelligence consists of these five key skills:

1. The ability to quickly reduce stress.
2. The ability to recognize & manage your emotions.
3. The ability to connect with others using nonverbal communication.
4. The ability to use humor and play to deal with challenges.
5. The ability to resolve conflicts positively & with confidence.

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Are you honest, #loving & forthcoming with your feelings? Honesty fueled by love is the most emotionally, powerful, #grown up way to live your life. And if you can embrace this concept in your #communication style, the people in your life will feel your love & care for them in the most #powerful way possible.

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Are you a person who can truly emotionally connect with people? According to research scientist Brene Brown, If  you can emotionally connect you will then you will have these character traits below.

1) People who can connect with others can also tell their real life story with their whole heart.
2)They have the #compassion to be kind to themselves.
3)They have connection with others as a result of authenticity. You can’t have a real connection with others otherwise.
4)They embrace #vulnerability.
5)They have the willingness to say, ” I love you” first.
6) They have learned to breathe through difficult #life challenges.
7) When you truly connect with another, you will have more #Love & Joy in your life!