We have spoken of this many times. It is so important. Have a list where you can go if things are not going well at home. A friend, a relative, a neighbor? Be prepared. And remember you can always go to an Al-anon or an Ala-teen meeting. Very important leave a note pinned to your pillow letting your family know where you are.
Know others with the same problem as yours then talk to them. Make sensible plans together. Perhaps join an outing club. See if some of your local church members will let you join them in their homes. Also remember just because you may be disgusted with your parent or family for drinking and you have made a vow that you will not be like that does not mean that you should use a substitute such as marijuana or other non-related alcohol drugs. A drug is a drug. Think this through carefully. If need be discuss it with a counselor. Go to https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708 for info on how our brain does not attain full maturity until age 25.
Be good to yourself. Guard your health. Let your brain mature unimpaired by alcohol or drugs.
Halloween means party time.
You all know how I always talk about how you should have a safe place to go to if things get out of hand at home – how important it is to be prepared.
This time I want to talk about how you are influenced by the alcoholism in your home. While you may complain about how tough things are at home think about how subconsciously you may be copying your family. Do you drink? Make a list of how you may be copying your family. Do you shout? Hit? Or drink while acting smooth as if nothing were wrong. Are you seeking addictive substances because you think it makes feel you better? Try to find someone who will help you work out these problems.
There is a reason most U.S. States don’t permit drinking in the teen years and many as well in the early 20’s. Scientists today know that our mind is not fully mature until age 25. You can damage your brain before it is fully developed.
And yes, after it is fully developed, if you drink out of social proportion, you can as well damage your brain. If you are taking other substances look up their effects on line. The internet is like a medical dictionary. Know what you are doing.
Be good to yourself.
We have talked a lot about how sex is a responsibility, how having a baby at a young age may be more demanding than you thought, how your need for a family life you don’t have may be pushing you into relationships for which you are not ready. Have questions about contraceptives? What to do if you are LGBT? Are unexpectedly pregnant or have gotten your girlfriend pregnant? Do you live in a State that has restrictive laws controlling contraceptives, out of wedlock pregnancies, or alternative sex lifestyles? Help is available.
Go to: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center.
You’ll learn where the nearest Planned Parenthood is located. You can also talk to them on the phone. They show respect. They are caring. When needed they may help you financially to travel to them, pay for contraceptives and other necessary medical procedures.
If you are a bully – and you know who you are – ask yourself why. Is it the way your family acts? Or do you only feel powerful, liked and safe when you bully? Bullying will only get you the wrong kind of friends. Bullying will keep you from doing your best work, from advancing in the world. You can change. Go for counseling. Talk to someone you trust. If you have a college or university near you that trains therapists see if you may work with a therapist in training free of charge. If you have a copy of For Teenagers Living With A Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs go to its “Resources” chapter and see what help is available. Don’t have the book. Then take it out of your public library. By the way as a card holder of your public library you have the right to ask them to get the book if they don’t have it.
Let’s look on the other side of bullying – those who are the victims of being bullied. Our government’s Health Resources & Services Administration has some good advice. Click and then get the info by inserting the word “bullying.” Here are two things you can do immediately. Confide in someone you trust. If that person does not help you ask where he/she would advise you to go for help. Furthermore realize that if you are being bullied others are as well being bullied by that person. Make friends with those. Sit together at lunch. Walk together. Plan to change the subject when a bully starts talking. Try humor. And let the school know what is going on. If you are at a job where there is bullying let human resources know. If you are at a small company and the owner is your source of trouble – remember right now there is a shortage of workers. Start looking.
As promised in my last blog I did give a talk about GUILT at the ARS, ARHS, AAPG conference. Who hasn’t at some point felt guilty? So I want to share with you what we found out about guilt. Each one who attended the lecture made a list of everything about which he/she felt guilty. And then everyone looked again at his/her list and moved some of the items on the list to the “regret column,” the “shame column,” the “selfish column,” etc. You get the picture. We tend to feel guilty about actions which belong in another area. Don’t be hard on yourself. Guilt covers moral misdeeds such as murder, rape, abuse, stealing, lying, or cheating. What are you like today? Have you changed? Is it time to forgive yourself? I know, tough questions.
Association of Recovery in Higher Education and the Association of Recovery Schools as well as the Association of Alternative Peer Group are having a conference discussing the how’s and why’s and the because’s of addiction. I will be giving a talk on GUILT – UNDERSTANDING AND OVERCOMING on June 22nd from 4:50 to 5:50PM Eastern Time. Who hasn’t at some point felt guilty? What do you do with such emotions? There will be other talks by compassionate professionals who will zero in to your needs.
Whether you are in college, planning to go, are in junior college, a senior in high school or none of these but curious then visit https://collegiaterecovery.org/2021conference/. The conference is virtual. It starts June 21st and ends June 24th. Tell your counselors, teachers and members of Ala-Teen, Al-Anon about the conference. Worried about the cost? Scholarships are available. Hope to meet you all virtually.
There are articles and articles in magazines and in newspapers how the pandemic has caused more drinking and drug use.
Lets take a closer look at this info. Those of you who don’t drink but may be living with someone who does and you may need to protect yourself. Stay in touch with those who understand and have compassion. Lets go over the list – In The Rooms, Ala-teen, Al-anon, and you might visit https://drugfree.org/about-us/. Have you gotten your vaccination? If not, do it. If you need to sleep at someone else’s house you want them to feel safe. Remember to pin a note in your bedroom letting your family know where you are.
If you are drinking or taking drugs you are endangering your life. It is a good time to go on line with Alcoholics Anonymous. Pick a group with whom you feel comfortable. They have groups for all male, all female, gay people, black folks, teenagers etc. Addiction has been so publicized that you should feel free to discuss it with whomever you like – a counselor at school, your minister, your rabbi, a relative, a close friend. Take action.
Remember you are not alone, and you are not the only ones who may use these phone numbers. If you need them go for them.Addiction and Mental Health Treatment – 1-866-393-0480 SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990 Suicide Helpline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Veterans Crisis Line. 1-800-273-8255
The term may sound boring but it sure can make your life better.
Here goes: HEALTHY HABITS which include cleanliness, diet, exercise, mental health. Yes, there is enough material here to fill a book. I think most of you know the answers to these pointers. Your biggest worry may be mental health especially those of you who live with a parent who suffers with addiction. But you know something – it is your life and you can turn it around. Cleanliness, good diet and exercise does contribute to good mental health. Remember you are not alone. Go on line to Ala-teen, In The Rooms, and if you are a young adult feel free to join Ala-non. Share your feelings. Remember no one will ask your name. Everything is anonymous. Pregnant? A father in waiting? Go to Planned Parenthood. Or contact https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/promoting/parenting/pregnant-teens/. Getting as much information as you can is important. Pouring out your feelings also contributes to mental health. Go for it.
T’s the time to make new year resolutions. Remember our saying: a resolution without a plan is only a wish. What are some of the resolutions that you want to make? How about I won’t put up with abuse at home. Make a list of how you can protect yourself. Go on line with Ala-teen or with In The Rooms. Get advise. Make sure that you are defining abuse correctly. If you disagree you might incorrectly consider something as abuse. Be sure it is abuse. According to Dictionary.com the definition of abuse is: to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way and/or to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign. Is there a safe place you can go? Often when someone is acting abusive trying to get them to act correctly will only make them more abusive. Sometimes just saying, “I am your son/daughter and I love you,” will bring a parent to his/her senses. Explore how you can make your life better. Make friends with those who do not have addiction in their families and reach out to resources. There is a whole chapter of resources in the book, FOR TEENAGERS LIVING WITH A PARENT WHO ABUSES ALCOHOL/DRUGS. Don’t have the money? Then ask the public library to order it so you can take it out. Make a resolution to be good to yourself, to help yourself.