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IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN

   A THANKSGIVING/PRE-CHRISTMAS/HANNUKAH  PRESENT

The holiday season is always an excuse for drinking and drugging. But then people who suffer from addiction will always find an excuse to satisfy their cravings. If you are in a home where the  addictive habits really burst forth during the holidays there are several preparations you and your siblings can do.

  1. Make a list of relatives and friends whom you feel comfortable visiting. Phone them and ask if in an emergency you could stay with them.
  2. Always let your parents know where you are spending the night. Don’t just tell them but also write the name, address and phone number down and safety pin the paper on your bed. If your parents have email send it to them as well.
  3. If you have no place to go have the phone numbers of your local Alcoholics Anonymous, and other addiction help centers available in case you need to talk to someone.
  4. If all else fails be prepared to phone 911.
  5. Depending on your relationships with your mother and father, the holidays are sometimes a good time to discuss what worries you about your parents’ habits. It is important to talk to your parents in a positive and non-insulting way. For example instead of saying, “I hate it when –“ you might say, “I really worry when you —, or “My feelings hurt when you —“.

It may also be a good time if you are affiliated with a church or synagogue to talk to your clergyman about your personal concerns. Make some plans of your own where you can let off some steam. Is there a pool near your home? Bowling Alley? A gym? You get the idea. Get some activities going. To all my web site visitors a healthy, prosperous and peaceful holiday and new year. May you find the strength within you to make your wishes come true. Believe in yourself.

What teenagers and young adults are doing?

The big news among teenagers and young adults is alcohol/drug FREE events. Yes, not everyone wants to sit next to someone taking drugs or who smells of alcohol. More and more drug/alcohol free events are being organized. Want to know more? Go to https://recoverymonth.gov/events/find-events .  Just look for the listed concerts. Want to know how to organize them in your area? Simple. When you find an event that says to you, “I wish we had this in our town,” click on the event and scroll down until you come to the organizer’s email. You know what to do now. Email him/her and ask how can I do this in my town? Chances are you’ll get contact numbers in your area of people willing to organize it. Remember Benjamin Franklin’s saying -“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

For Teen Mom and Dads

If you are a teenage mom or dad, whether single or married, you might feel overwhelmed. Perhaps you want an education, a job or just a good night’s sleep. At the same time you are trying to be a good parent. Some of you might be thinking I want my child to have a better youth than I did. But guess what – we learn to parent from our parents. How were you treated as a child? I want to tell you about a wonderful group called PARENTING JOURNEY.

You can also email them at www.parentingjourney.org  . Along with other front line human services the group teaches each parent to look at how he or she was raised. It is important for each parent to recognize the good and the bad. Once a parent understands what happened to him or her, and what  inner strengths, life skills and networks of resources are really needed that parent can make better decisions.  Reach out – it will make your life easier.

You Are Not Alone

Podcasts today are what radios used to  be in the old days. Here is a podcast you should know about: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/road-to-resilience/id1399730603. Don’t have access to Apple then go to  http://icahn.mssm.edu/about/leadership/resilience or http://RoadtoResilience.buzzsprout.com.

Road To Resilience episodes are scheduled to air on the last Wednesday of each month. “The series is based on the well-received book Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, co-authored by Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Steven Southwick, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University. The podcast features thought-provoking insight from renowned experts as they explain the science behind resilience.”

What does this basically mean? “You have to put your trauma into context. You can’t undo it; it will always be part of you. But you can take the traumatic experience, learn from it, and incorporate it into who you are and become a stronger person,” explains Dr. Charney. “Once you’re a trauma victim you’re always a trauma victim, but part of the recovery is to make sense of that and grow.  It takes time, but you can do it and have a positive outcome.”

The series will tell you how to cope, how to become resilient, how to use your experience for you and not against you. Go for it.

Let’s Talk Denial

I talk a lot about denial because once a denial of an addiction has been conquered healing can take place. Denial is the biggest reason people do not give up addiction. Denial was first connoted by the man often called the father of psychiatry, Sigmund Freud. I actually looked up denial on Wikepedia which defines denial (also called abnegation) <as> “a defense mechanism 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.”

What I really found interesting is that Wikepedia defines 3 types of denial:

The best way to break through the denial is to have an intervention. Seek out a professional who works with people suffering from addiction. Go to The National Intervention for Drugs and Alcohol (NIDA) to seek out someone in your area. http://www.interventiondrugsandalcohol.org or phone (800) 567-5986

Did you know ….?

April 4, 2019

Did you know that Alateen in conjunction with Alanon has conventions all over the country? Just go on line and look up Alateen conventions and a whole list will pop up. Don’t go alone. Find someone in Alanon who will go with you. You might also phone the organizers and see if you can help, be paid for a job there. You will learn how others handle problems with family members suffering with addiction. More, you will see that you are not alone. So many who have grown up in such families have made good lives for themselves. I know it is easy to ignore such words while you are in the midst of turmoil. Remember take one day at a time.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Have a disability?

Some of you may be interested in the following information:

My name is Ben Spangenberg, and I am the National Leadership Program Director at RespectAbility. We are a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for diverse people with disabilities. As an openly gay man with a disability, I understand what it means to face barriers, prejudice and discrimination in the workforce. That is why it is so important for me to help the next generation of leaders acquire the skills and experience needed to be in high demand for the best policy, communications and development jobs.

I want to let you know about our National Leadership Program for young leaders who want to go into public policy, advocacy, communications or Hollywood, and who are committed to creating a better future. RespectAbility is looking to hire the next generation of leaders to be our Fellows, and we would love to have your help with identifying talented students who are committed to equal rights.

Here are facts we want to change:

  • Only 65 percent of students with disabilities graduate high school and only seven percent complete college.
  • Only 1-in-3 working age people with disabilities has a job.
  • There are 750,000 people with disabilities currently incarcerated in our nation.

RespectAbility currently is looking to hire Fellows for our Spring cohort that runs from January 14 to May 17, with flexibility for start dates. We will accept 12-15 outstanding applicants from around the country who want to advance disability issues and who are seeking careers in media, public policy or advocacy. The deadline is Nov. 13.

Fellows are given the unique opportunity to work with our highly trained program staff on communications and stigma reductionpublic policynonprofit fundraising or faith inclusion.

As a Fellow, they will have the chance to help our mission of:

  • Reducing the “school-to-prison-pipeline” for people with disabilities by advocating for students with disabilities so they get all of the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
  • Erasing the nearly 50 percent gap in labor force participation rate so that diverse people with disabilities can have jobs and a better future.
  • Ensuring that diverse people with disabilities are accurately portrayed in Hollywood.
  • Educating philanthropists and nonprofits about how they can include people with disabilities equally in their work.

Fellows also will work with mentors and professional staff, strengthening skills in advocacy and leadership as well as hands-on training in public speaking, writing, social media and networking.

LOVE MUSIC

Topic: JUST DO IT

Music Cares has partnered with Facing Addiction to offer cash prizes to aspiring composers. Go to:

https://www.facingaddiction.org/teens-make-music-contest for details.

This is how they phrase it:

“If you’re a musician between the ages of 14-18, you’re invited to submit an original piece of music that celebrates life above the influence or brings attention to the real-life consequences of substance abuse. 1st place winners receive tickets to the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards® and related events! Awards also include tickets to Vans Warped Tour, cash and other prizes!.”

Good luck. This is what Benjamin Franklin said: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

A CLOSER LOOK AT TRUST

Topic: HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT

Trust is important and  tough  when you live with a person who suffers with addiction. You never know when you can trust that person and when not. Take a piece of paper and a pen and write down a list of when you were able to trust the parent who suffers with addiction and then make a list when you were not able to trust that parent.

Why use paper and pen in this electronic age? Because your handwriting triggers emotions, makes memory more visual.

But lets get back to trust. Is there a pattern in your list? When a parent is free of drugs he or she may have valuable input. Some may be in a  bad mood and may not have valuable input.

This is why therapy is so important. Don’t have access to therapy? Visit places like Alateen and  In The Rooms. They can help. They want to listen to you and their input will help you.

Graduating High School?

Topic: BE GOOD TO YOURSELF

Graduation is party time. So you know what I am going to say, “You don’t have to drink.” In most states it is illigal to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 and may result in the arrest of the adult who serves alcohol to those under the age of 21.

Let’s discuss something else too. Those of you who should have but did not graduate high school still can do so. I am talking about getting a GED. Do some research – where can you go to prepare for your GED? Take a practice GED test if need be more than once before you go for your GED test. Ask for help. If your school won’t guide you go online or speak to a teacher who you liked. Perhaps your public library has information. Go to your library’s reference desk. Make a plan. Remember a goal without a plan is only a wish.