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.

Lets gather around

Topic: Hello Again

I did think of all of you during the month of July. However, my computer would not let me add a blog. I do think there is a little man or woman inside my computer who likes to play tricks on me. The good news is it is all fixed now.

September is coming up which is recovery month for addiction. You may want to take a quick look at

https://www.recoverymonth.gov/organizations-programs/answersforteenscom

The important thing is to remember that addiction is a disease. Living with someone who has this disease means three things:

  1. This is not your fault and you need to take care of yourself. Eat 3 meals a day. If need be find a healthy family with whom you can live. Do seek help.
  2. Make sure that you do not fall into the addiction trap. Remember you don’t have to drink or take drugs. You may have inherited the sensitivity to addiction.

3. If you can’t afford to buy the book, For Teenagers Living With A Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs, ask your library to get the book. You have the right to a public library card and the right to ask the library to buy any book you need or to get it through another library. The book answers a lot of questions you may have and has a great resource chapter which tells you were to get help.

You are an important person. Take good care of yourself.

THINK ABOUT THIS

Topic: There are solutions

Just because there is addiction in your family doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good, healthy life. Just say, “no.” Stay away from alcohol and drugs.  You also know that a teenager’s mind is not completely formed just the way the rest of your body has not stopped growing. Therefore drugs/alcohol can do damage to your brain which is still developing. Pick friends who also do not want to drink or take drugs. If you are in a situation where you are offered drinks or drugs be firm.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has the following advice for teenagers.

Say no and let them know you mean it.

    Stand up straight.

    Make eye contact.

    Say how you feel.

    Don’t make excuses.

    Stand up for yourself.

               ***

Think through how you feel. Do you want to say, “I don’t drink -period.” Discuss what you might say with your other friends who don’t drink.