Natural high

light FX:9 # 1,photo by Michael Bretherton, Brisbane, Australia,  fireworksIt is possible to get a natural high without risking our health with using substances or processes which can be life threatening. Some people can reach a natural high easier because of their genetic make-up. Nevertheless, there are many testimonials about how once people came into recovery from addictions they not only became free from symptoms of mental illnesses but also came to experience natural highs.

before I gave up chainsmoking through NicA
my fear was that I would become boring
fortunately I reached a stage where
smoking was losing its joy for me
so after a few weeks in recovery
and as a non smoker I experienced
what felt like the first natural high in my life
and I was smoke free, how unbelievable?!
but how empowering and what serenity?
and this is now a common event, without smoking

light FX:9 # 1,photo by Michael Bretherton, Brisbane, Australia, fireworks

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Noise

Cymbal, photo by Julia Freeman-Woolpert, Concord, United States,  loud music So many of us have particular noises that we cannot bear and yet loud sounds that we love. Some can’t stand the scratching of fingernails on a board. Others can’t stand the clicking of a biro pen. Yet some aren’t bothered about those noises. Sometimes it has to do with the experiences we have previously had and that leaves us with feelings that are pleasant or not which are associated with different noises. This is a normal disparity in intolerance and in pleasure and we need to express our needs as they arise.

my 7 year old granddaughter plays games
on the computer at a very fast rate and
when I am sitting near her I feel anxious
because the clicking sound of the keys
is reminiscent of the rescue team that
was cutting me out of a crashed car
she couldn’t really understand why
until today when there was a tap dripping
and she ran into the kitchen to turn it off
because it was annoying her, and only then
did she realise how noise can annoy us

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Pills addiction

Addicted 2, photo by Nicole Dee, landing Canada, recovery tooPain killers are dangerous and addictive, that is why it is important that we take these as recommended by a doctor and in monitored dosages, as required and not too regularly. Even those which are over-the-counter pills can develop a dangerous habit. We can tell that the pills are becoming a problem if we are taking them for the ‘high’ and the ‘feelgood’ instead of the pain. If the pain is bearable then we don’t need to take the pills.

Hazel was not really a pill popper until
she suffered an injury at work and
she desperately needed relief from the pain
it was prescribed by the doctor and
she took the pills at least 3 times a day
her pain was soothed but she also noticed
that she felt her spirits lifted when
she took these strong drugs
after awhile she realised that she needed
to take the pills in order to do her work
and not because she felt unbearable pain
but she couldn’t stop herself and
she needed more than the dosage stated
she was well aware of addiction because
her mother had been a pill popper all her life
this was too much for Hazel so she went
to a 12 Step meeting several times which
helped her to give up the pills

Addicted 2, photo by Nicole Dee, landing, Canada, recovery too

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Getting married

Pure Gold, photo by Sanja Gjenero, Zagreb, Croatia, getting marriedNowadays people have happy relationships without getting married. However, quite often such happy people make a decision to get married because they feel it would enhance their relationship. This can be a smooth uncomplicated process to organise if they work together and if they have similar tastes. The bride usually knows what sort of rings will please her, after all she will be wearing that jewellery every day of her life. So it is wise to have her be a part of the shopping exercise for both her engagement and wedding rings.

they came to me so I would conduct their wedding
my role was fairly simple once we completed the
legal Notice of Intended Marriage form
they needed help with organising the ceremony
as celebrants are not permitted to be wedding planners
the best I could do was give them examples of weddings
which I had experienced previously and this meant
that they had many choices to make from other
peoples ideas and experiences

Pure Gold, photo by Sanja Gjenero, Zagreb, Croatia, getting married

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Short term remedies

Bandaid Bandage, photo by Pam Roth, Louisiana, United States, temporary solutionsWhen we are faced with problems in life and we avoid them by using short term remedies then we are band-aiding the situation. That can only be a temporary solution and usually unless the problem is resolved fully, then it worsens. The problem just festers unless it is given proper attention and an appropriate remedy is found. Short term remedies rarely work.

youthworkers in a residential program for
Wards of the State had been trained that
when violent behaviour threatened to erupt
they were to ‘nip it in the bud’ by encouraging
the youths to express themselves and
negotiate for what they wanted
in this way the threatening behaviours were
dealt with early and then usually resolved
which lessened the aggressive outbursts
and taught the kids life strategies

Bandaid Bandage, photo by Pam Roth, Louisiana, United States, temporary solutions

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Music, flowers and incense

Romantic, photo by Meliha Gojak, Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina,  romantic symbolsWhen you want to lift your spirits then put on music and use some flowers to decorate the room. Then light some incense, there are different ones that please different people. These items will please three of your senses and whether you have a massage and a special something to eat of drink for the other senses depends on how much cheering you need. These are guaranteed to lift your spirits and make you feel special. Mind you, getting someone to share this with you is excellent but not essential, because on your own you prove that this experience has its merits.

It was Melbourne Cup Day and I had to
go to hydrotherapy instead of the usual
Fancy Hat Luncheon and Cup Sweep
my children phoned to say they had got me
Cup Sweep tickets at their workplaces
so I turned on the TV and for ambiance I
prepared the incense and some music
put on my huge black beach hat
and with half a glass of wine I sat
to enjoy my horses coming first
at that point my black cat Midnight flew out
obviously scared of my black hat but
returned immediately and spent the afternoon
poised opposite me on the lounge, staring
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and
one of my horses came third
that was a first for me
in more ways than one
and my spirits were lifted

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Children are not pets

Pets Corner, photo by Hazel Moore, United Kingdom, appropriate loveThe love we feel for our children needs to be different from the love we feel for our pets, because children are not pets. When we want to hold our children non stop we teach them to be clingy and they get serious abandonment issues. This slows the child’s ability to develop good ego boundaries and affects their relationships later on in life. When I see that type of behaviour I, as a family therapist, suggest that the parent(s) get a pet in order to balance out their need to cling onto their child. Pets thrive on cooing and playful love, and humans benefit from showing them that. Children thrive on appropriate parental love and parents benefit from having their children develop healthily.

Zelma was totally focused on her disabled daughter Elli
and took great pride that she was a loving mother but
hadn’t noticed that she was treating Elli like a pet
hugging her, cooing to her and using baby talk
even until she was an adult and
didn’t see how it annoyed Elli
then one day Zelma became embarrassed
when her daughter barked at her!
so she got a dog and a cat so that
they could coo over them and kept
appropriate love for her daughter which
made a huge difference to Elli’s development

Pets Corner, photo by Hazel Moore, United Kingdom, appropriate love

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Secrets fester

Ball, photo by Marcelo Gerpe, Buenos Aires, Argentina, stimulus responseWe should not confuse the concept of secrets and confidentiality. Confidentiality is when we don’t disclose information that belongs to someone else unless respecting that person’s privacy is threatening to someone else. Having a secret is withholding information because there is shame about it and that can only cause the secret to fester. One thing leads to another and before long the secret is exposed and so are the lies that have been used to cover it up. This is the basis for compulsions and addiction.

Gary came into the halfway house after detox
and the first lessons her learnt were that
he needed to abstain from using drugs
he needed to go to meetings every day
he needed to keep his own area clean
he needed to do likewise with the rest of the home
and he needed to be ‘up front, honest and open’
about how he felt and what he was doing
in other words ‘no secrets’ because they
go hand in hand with lies and shame
which are what everyone needs to be free of
so as to be in recovery from addictions

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Being happy

Sunset Dance, photo by Eric Vallin, Béthune,  France,  happiness isHumans will go to any lengths to be happy. We feel we deserve happiness and rightfully so. Some people have the ability to feel happy easily from the simplest experiences. While other people are not so fortunate and they need a substance or process to help them feel that ‘high’. However, using something to feel ‘high’ becomes the beginning of the end, because happiness which is stimulated that way is never enough. The more you do it the more you want. Although abstinence from addiction may appear boring it brings serenity and eventually serenity becomes happiness and even bliss. This type of happiness is enough of a ‘high’ and doesn’t leave you wanting more and more.

I was a chain smoker in a time when it was
considered sophisticated to smoke
as we became more informed about
the dangers of this addiction it was
painful to consider living without the thrill
of lighting up and the rush of that first puff
however, it started to leave my mouth
with a foul taste and I new it was time
I thought it would be so boring and then
I quit with the help of Nicotine Anonymous
it’s been 18 years now since I took my last puff
and I have felt happiness and bliss that I thought
would never be possible without a cigarette
the high comes from within if you’re patient and
if you follow your passion to becoming fulfilled

Sunset Dance, photo by Eric Vallin, Béthune, France, happiness is

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Being desired

Forelove  backlight, photo by Ertl Balázs, Dunaujvaros, Hungary, intimacy and loveModesty often prevents us from expressing our need to be desired by the people we love. Yet, being desired is integral to our wellbeing and healthy self esteem, no matter how confident we normally are. When we are desired by someone we love, we see ourselves through their eyes and this lifts our spirits. That desire is usually expressed in the form of a cheeky flirt or a romantic gesture and this is guaranteed to make a relationship more intimate. Intimacy is the solid foundation of a successful relationship.

their relationship was once the envy of all
they held hands and loved being together
dancing, embracing, joking and having fun
that was their calling card and everyone
loved to be around them
then they went through a bumpy time
and the arguments started but
fortunately they came to counselling
and one of their problem solving strategies
was to start flirting with each other again
with no commitment to do anything more!
when they did, it put them in touch with
how serious they had become and how
great it was to feel desired again

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