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.
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.
We all know times are tough. Some families have money problems. Some of us live with abuse. The list is long. As I have said before do not go this alone. Yes, you can reach out to Alateen and In The Rooms and so many more listed in the Resource Chapter in the book, For Teenagers Living With A Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs.
Here is one more excellent resource:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MApm61EEhPE click on the Dr. Carl Clark Invites You To Take The Science of Well Being Course
Remember if life is truly unhealthy at home find a place where you can stay — with a friend? a favorite family member? Social Services? Leave a note where your family can find it. Let them know that you are safe.
I just came across this wonderful site which emphasizes that young voices matter. Here is the link: https://engage.youth.gov/ You can read what your age group is thinking and if you wish you can add your thoughts. Go for it.
Yes, sex is romantic. It is exciting. It can make us feel wanted and some of us powerful. And you know what it really is – a big responsibility. Not only our emotions are involved but also those of the persons with whom we are involved. Each community has different resources for teenagers. Some schools have sex education. Some towns have Planned Parenthood chapters where there are counselors ready to talk about contraceptives, or if you happen to be a pregnant girl the choices available. Some towns’ only resources are the local churches which may expect you to wait until you are married. And if you say, “so I’ll get married as a teen,” do you have the financial means of establishing a home? What I am saying here is before you decide to have sex take a look at your situation. If your actions lead to pregnancy what support would you have from your families? Would you end up in an unwanted marriage? Do you live in a town or city where you have access to contraceptives? How important is your religion to you? Do you want to go on to college or study for a particular profession? Do you know enough about contraceptives or the diseases you can get if you have sex without protection? With whom can you talk? Do you want anonymity? Are you in a town with no resources such as Planned Parenthood or a minister or priest who you could trust? Is there a town near you where you could reach out for more information? Talk to your parents. If they are horrified find someone you can trust. Remember sex is a responsibility.
“Above all, we should try to be absolutely sure that we are not delaying because we are afraid.”
And while we are talking about new ideas let me ask are you on the same page as your parents? Maybe about some things and not other things. If you are not on the same page as your parents make a list, a sensible list of why. If you are angry, why? If their addiction, their change of personality when they are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs angers you then you should be in a teen group. Check out the resource list in the book, FOR TEENAGERS LIVING WITH A PARENT WHO ABUSES ALCOHOL/DRUGS. Remember you can ask your library to get the book for you.
Yes, yes, we have heard it over and over these are tough times. But think positive. To make positive thinking work make a list of what you can do to make your life better. Wait a minute, first write down the three things bothering you most in your life and then make the list what you can do to change them. Face that you may not know all the answers, and that is where seeking help works. Read the resource list in For Teenagers Living With A Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs. Don’t have the book? Can’t afford to buy it? Get a public library card and request the book. It is your right as a member to request books that they may not yet have bought. Podcasts are sort of radio on line. One you may want to visit is https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/harmony-podcast
Be good to yourself.