90 meetings in 90 days

Chairs 1, photo by Anka Draganski,  London United Kingdom, http://www.fofiles.co.uk, 12 Step meetingsRegardless of which addiction we are afflicted with, a trusted and true recovery method has been to go to 90 meetings in 90 days with a willingness to abstain. Just getting to sit in 12 Step meetings, until the message gets through to your subconscious, is the key. As you sit with the feelings that were the reason you needed to self medicate, you own them as being your feelings which releases the fear about them, then you can relax. Relaxation brings us peace in our inner turmoil. The other powerful influence of attending meetings is that when we identify with others’ experiences they model solutions for us and “monkey see monkey do”. If we don’t do 90 in 90 then at least 3 meetings a week are absolutely necessary.

he told his therapist that he was
really pissed off with her because she
set homework for him to attend
7 meetings a week with other tasks
such as writing, reading, walking and
affirmations on a daily basis
a therapist himself, he felt he lived
the program and 1 meeting a week
would be sufficient, however
he surrendered and was amazed
that this meant he had needed to
let go of the control that had been
ruining his recovery
and it worked
a proven remedy

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Soulmate

Amor junto al río, photo by Hernan Herrero, Capital Federal, Argentina, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/364492, loving relationshipSuccessful relationships can take place between people who are not soulmates. This is because soulmates can sometimes be just good friends. Nevertheless, when a loving relationship involves a lover who is also a soulmate then it is considered by some to be ideal. So if you’re searching for the ideal partner make a list of all the pros and cons of such a person – it is important to show both what you want and what you don’t want in a relationship. In doing that you raise your awareness of the type of person that will suit you best. Everything in life needs a blueprint and likewise relationships do too. Make sure that you are meticulous in making your list and then affirm it by thinking positive about finding your soulmate and life partner.

he had been unlucky in his choice of partners
someone who had appeared to be a soulmate
turned out to be codependent hell
he wanted to stop repeating this mistake
his life coach suggested he make a written list
of the likes and dislikes he had about
a future loving relationship
she said it was a phenomenon that worked
but she stressed that he make sure he
does not leave anything out from the list
he laughed because he thought it stupid
but he did it because she’d been right before
about some important things
not long after he found his wife and soulmate
and ten years later they have a life
he wouldn’t have believed was possible
children, security, love, fun and
above all sanity and serenity

Amor junto al río, photo by Hernan Herrero, Capital Federal, Argentina

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Butterfly Day

Butterfly, photo by Marco Michelini, Firenze, Italy, short lifeToday I heard on the car radio that it is Butterfly Day for kids suffering from E.B. It was the first time I had heard of this disease and so I looked at their website here and in the United States [be prepared for disturbing pictures]. I was appalled at what small children go through with Epidermolysis Bullosa as their skin blisters horrendously and causes them infections and tremendous pain.This is a rare genetic disorder and affects all nationalities.

The wounds vary in severity and although they resemble burns, they don’t heal as burns do. The child with E.B. cannot ride a bike, skate, or participate in sports because normal play causes chronic sores which are sometimes covering 75 percent of the body and can be life threatening. These children are confined to a diet of only liquids or soft food to cope with blistering and scarring which occur in the mouth and esophagus.

Their fingers and toes can fuse due to scarring, leaving deformities affecting their ability to function. Their lives can involve being constantly admitted to hospitals for wound treatment, blood transfusions, biopsies and surgeries. They often have sight problems because their eyes blister. Chronic anemia is another symptom and this reduces energy and retards growth. Life beyond 30 years is not expected.

I found that in Australia there are attempts to raise money and support services for children who suffer with E.B. and for their families. So I hope that I can raise awareness about this devastating illness through my website to help their fundraising and make their plight easier.

I am sure that you too will find it as heartbreaking as I did when you visit the E.B. websites.

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Nothing is as it appears

Jaguar, photo by Kristof Degreef, Nieuwerkerken, Belgium, feline fancyThe jaguar is popular and as people admire its beauty they forget how dangerous it can be. Nothing is as it appears. Within seconds it’s capable of ripping its prey apart, as many animals can do. To a certain degree the same can be said of the human animal. Usually humans try to present a persona which is attractive, lovable, and successful so that they can get what they want. Some though are dangerous because they can easily become violent, either emotionally or physically or both. Prevention is best – we need to go gently into a new relationship until we are sure of the other person’s temperament. We also need to be prepared to get out of the relationship fast if it proves inappropriate and not wait until it’s so dangerous that we can get hurt.

they came to see me and by the end of the session
it became apparent that he was not willing to change
even though he had violent tendencies
and she was not ready to leave him
when they came back to see me I made it clear
that I could not see them together any more
because it was as though I was holding her hand
while he continued to be violent with her
I recommended that she contact the Helpline
for this type of dangerous behaviour and
stressed that her life depended on
her taking urgent action, my words annoyed him
she came back months later and wanted
to undergo therapy on her own as
she had legally removed him from her life
she had a pattern of attracting similar types
and she wanted to stop, so we began the work
today she lives the life she’s always wanted

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Panic

Fear in the eye, photo by Joonas Lampinen, Kuopio, Finland, stay coolToday I’m writing about panic as the cause of whether we handle situations well or not. Panic is fuelled by anxiety and different people react differently to stressful situations. The need to fight or flight is natural and some of us under such circumstances will appear cool, calm and collected making the necessary appropriate decisions which resolve the emergency. Others may become flustered and make mistakes that can be fatal. Then again people may experience both reactions at different times.

The best solution is to be prepared by developing relaxation techniques beforehand, like breathing evenly in a circular fashion; repetition of words to steady thought patterns, e.g. “I can do it, I can do it” over and over again (otherwise known as affirmations or self hypnosis); asking for help or making a loud noise, if possible and so on.

PANIC DEFINITION: in American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition [DSM-IV]. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994, p. 394-403
The symptoms the DSM-IV list are:

  1. palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  2. sweating
  3. trembling or shaking
  4. sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  5. feeling of choking
  6. chest pain or discomfort
  7. nausea or abdominal distress
  8. feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  9. derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  10. fear of losing control or going crazy
  11. fear of dying
  12. paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations.
  13. chills or hot flushes

This definition of panic is from (and for more information) (Ask Tog)

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Maintain vigilance

Owl eyes, photo by Kristof Degreef, Nieuwerkerken, Belgium, nothing missedOne human weakness is the need to stop doing what works when things are going well. Usually people who have found their sanity by taking the relevant medication will, against medical advice, stop taking the medication when they feel well, with horrendous consequences. Others will find solutions to their problems through counselling and once the situation improves they stop doing what was necessary to achieve the results, again with horrendous consequences. We need to keep vigilant about unacceptable changes in our wellbeing and once we find solutions then also maintain vigilance to ensure that improvements are not lost.

the last time I saw them they had after a few sessions
resolved their difficulties and made a checklist of what
they had done to sort things out so that they could
continue what worked and maintain the improvement
intelligent, successful, people meant commitment to
the system for success, or so you’d think
why should they be any different to the rest of us
a human frailty is becoming overconfident
and stopping what works
it can happen to me too if I don’t maintain
the vigilance and even then I am prone!
a year later they were back almost ready to divorce and
full of resentment, anger, defensiveness and vengeance
they had time to each tell their version of the problem
having expressed themselves we looked at their checklist
maybe one or two items had been maintained
but the rest had been grossly neglected
although it seemed hopeless we began again
and bit by bit things got turned around
after a few sessions they were back on track
back to basics always works yet we have
a tendency to complicate things

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9/11 tragedy

clouds, photo by Simona Dumitru, Paris,  France, sorrow griefEvery year we are reminded of the 9/11 tragedy in the USA. It is so painful to think of how much everyone suffered, while we watched from our end of the world safe and sound.? What amazes me is how come the strongest nation in the world has not be able to catch the perpetrators who originated the plan to kill so many innocent people.? Of course, we are not safe here unless we prepare for the worst.? Nevertheless, peace needs to be our first priority.

peace will bring us happiness
not without remembering what
has happened in the past
lest we forget all those
who have died for us

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Loneliness and despair

lonesome photo by Dawn Allynn Tijerus USA www.dawnallynn.com despair painQuite often we overlook the pain men go through when their relationships go sour. This happens in the same way it does for women. However, women are more likely to share their distress whereas usually men are not so transparent. Some turn to drugs and give up on happiness. Loneliness and despair set in. They? isolate to deal with the loss and hurt. Nevertheless, the majority are survivers and in time they get to stand up and face Life again.

how bewildered he was when his partner left
what had gone wrong? He thought they were happy
was he not listening, should he have noticed more?
why didn’t anyone tell him? Maybe he could have
done something to save their love before it was too late
the alcohol and drugs ease the pain but
he still wakes up to the loneliness and despair
as he realises it’s over his mind plays tricks on him
is it really over? holding on to that empty wish
he reaches for the bottle!

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the loss of a love

when a lover says that it’s over
the shock and anger is unbelievable
“it’s not true, it’s a nightmare, how could it be?”
then the bargaining adds to the turmoil
“could things have been handled differently
and the loss of a love been avoided?”

getting through this phase does not guarantee
that the acceptance of the loss is reached
unfortunately this pain can go on in cycles
nevertheless it does get better
and we move on to happier and more fulfilling times
having hope for that gets us through the worst moments

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