Hesitance To Heal; Why Do We Avoid Needed Change?

Hesitance To Heal; Why Do We Avoid Needed Change?

Sometimes, we find ourselves in a situation where we truly don’t know what to do. But a more common situation is one where we know exactly or approximately what we should do and, yet, we don’t go through with it. Let’s take a look at an example.

A woman has a partner who has not worked in a couple of years. He lives off her money and in her house and doesn’t help with the housework. He complains that she doesn’t pay him enough attention and that she slacks off around the home. He insults her and treats her badly. Is the solution to this problem clear? Of course. The woman should break up with her partner, and she knows this. However, she might try to be patient and to adjust to the situation in other ways rather than going through with this decision and with this significant change.

This situation is repeated in many aspects of our life. We might want a new job and we know what to do – write a resume, look for jobs, call, ask and so on, but we don’t. We know that our problems might need counseling or therapy, but we don’t seek out a professional. Why does this happen? Why do we resist change even when it will be helpful?

There are several reasons behind a resistance to change, and they might appear at the same time or be more significant at some point. Let’s take a look at some of these factors.

Insecurity

A first reason behind the resistance to change is insecurity and lack of confidence. Confidence can be seen as believing in one’s own abilities and skills to achieve a goal and to manage a new situation. A person might feel that if the situation changes, their abilities and skills won’t be enough to manage it adequately.

Let’s go back to the example of the woman and her partner. The woman might feel frustrated with the situation, but she fears that if she breaks up with her partner, she will not be able to handle it. She fears being alone and making decisions by herself. She might fear not being able to find a new partner or not being able to handle being by herself. She might also be afraid of the conflict that a break-up will create and that she won’t be strong enough to manage the problem. In general, the woman doubts herself and chooses not to go through with anything, because she is not sure she can manage the change in the situation.

Fear of failure

We live in a culture where mistakes are often equated with utter failure. Mistakes are seen as being very negative rather than just learning opportunities. Often, people are raised with the idea that they need to do things “properly”, that is, perfectly, or not do things at all.

The possibility of failure is always a reality. However, our perception might exaggerate the possibility of failure or just how catastrophic is it really going to be. The person feels that they need to do things perfectly or face negative consequences. Still, this is not a realistic perception.

Let’s take a look at a person who does not seek a new job, for example. The person might be very afraid of rejection and of being turned down. Rejection is a very real possibility, but it is also a normal part of the job-hunting process. The fear of failing paralyzes the person so much that they don’t go through with what they need and what they want.

Uncertainty

A very firghtening aspect of change is that we don’t have complete certainty over the outcome. Rationally, we might know that something is probably good for us and will be, most likely, easier and better than what we have now. However, there is often a part of us that is not happy with the idea of change, because there is not a 100% guarantee that it will be fine. Sometimes, the problem becomes more difficult, because change might involve a period of discomfort or a period of adaptation that might be unpleasant. It also becomes harder when we don’t know anything about the process or when our knowledge is limited by stereotypes.

For example, let’s consider the person who avoids seeking out therapy. The person might feel that there is no guarantee that the therapy will be effective and that they won’t end up hurt or feeling even worse. The person might also have a very vague idea of what therapy is and go by images from films about people talking on a couch for years or about receiving electroshock therapy.

So, these are three common reasons for resisting change in the cases where change is more positive. What can be done about these reasons?

A person who feels insecurity can work to improve their confidence and to develop more trust in their own abilities. This often involves a time-invested process, however, the results are worth it.

Fear of failure might also involve changing ideas about failure and mistakes, as well as working with the person’s perfectionism to make it less restrictive and paralyzing.

Uncertainty can be worked with by research and investigation, as well as by working with the person’s ideas and misconceptions, as well as with the tolerance the person has to ambiguous and uncertain situations.

In general, fear of positive change might be rooted in deeper fears or doubts that can be worked with in therapy with a seasoned and experienced professional. Getting help is a courageous step towards healing and change.

Texas Recovery Support / Ben Carrettin

 

 

Mom of A Heroin Addict

Mom of A Heroin Addict

The link below is from a new blogger and Mom of a heroin addict. I hope she continues to write. This is honest and direct – and something every parent, friend, addict, etc. should read. Worthy.

https://stopthesilencespeakthetruth.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/i-raised-an-addict-what-could-i-have-done-differently/

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Texas Recovery Support – Houston

(Below is an excerpt from one of our previous blog posts concerning opiates and the human brain. It brings a pretty good sense of the science that is coupled with the tragic suffering of the mind and spirit shared in the story above)

What Opiates do to a Person’s Brain?

Opiate drugs activate the dopamine pathway (also known as the reward pathway) that sends out a rush of pleasure chemicals to the brain. Opiates are much more stimulating than natural endorphins, which is partly why they are so addictive. Once a person uses opiates, the brain stops creating natural endorphins because the body thinks that there are already enough levels of it in the brain. Within six to 12 months of using opiate drugs, the cells that produce endorphins are reduced in size and die.

One of the most commonly abused opiate drugs is heroin. When it is injected into a vein, heroin reaches the vein within 15 to 20 seconds. Then it binds to the opiate receptors found in the different parts of the brain that include the reward pathway. When the receptors in the reward pathway are activated, the person feels a brief rush and very intense rush of euphoria. This is followed by several hours of contented and relaxed state. This feeling of euphoria is what draws people back to opiates again and again.

The effects of opiates are similar to the ones from naturally occurring opioid peptides. When used for medical purposes, opiates can stop diarrhea, depress breathing, and relieve pain. They come with side effects that include vomiting and nausea. But when used in large doses, they can make breathing shallow or even make it stop altogether. Thousands of opiate addicts have died due to overdose. And mixing alcohol with opiates only increases the risk of death.

Need Detox? – Here’s Help

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All Time Is Good.

All Time Is Good

All time is good. There are surely days when we doubt that time is good. And at various moments in our life, pain and our own suffering may keep us even further from embracing this truth – let alone even consider it.

But in all our frantic pacing and obligations, entrenchment in the past, unhealthy habits and worrying for the future – we lose today. And guess what? Today is life. This is it. It will become what we reflect on as our past and what impacts our future. Yet we dismiss it and fail to be present in it. To reap the amazing life right here, in this moment. Disillusionment, obsessive unfulfilling patterns and a lack of gratitude for what we do have all amount to a form of continual suffering.

TimeIsGood

In positive psychology a lot of emphasis is placed on the idea that it’s important to know not only how to alleviate suffering, but also how to improve the quality of life and how to develop strategies that can make life worth living – to be able to embrace and cultivate happiness in our own lives.

The fact is that all time is good. It is learning why this is true that is so difficult.”  – Joan Chittister

You have today, this moment. Use it. It takes very little to bring a little happiness to another person’s life. You may even find by doing so – you brought a little to yourself along the way.

Texas Recovery Support

All Time is good – Live Better Live Now

Your Sobriety is NOT Recovery

Sobriety Is Not Recovery

by Texas Recovery Support

I still to this day am surprised to discover, that at times, my closest peers in true recovery may not be addicts or alcoholics, but rather cancer survivors, trauma survivors, heart disease patients or those going through bereavement.

Why is this?

Because like it or not; being clean / sober is NOT recovery. Yep, I said it – it’s not. If this statement upsets you – you might want to take a hard look at how your definition of recovery might be impacting your life and the lives of those you love.

Sobriety is only the state or condition of non-use. It is not a state of healing or change. Being sober or clean is essentially a measure of current condition and nothing more. Important? of course it is! But healing and recovery it isn’t. (Meetings are full of people with years of sobriety and not an ounce of recovery in their lives – it doesn’t take long to recognize the ones on a true recovery path.)

Recovery, unlike sobriety / being clean, is an ongoing, whole life philosophy of healing and integrity – in action. It’s easy to forget that recovery is an evolution of healing that is not restricted to addiction by any measure. Notice I said “in action”. True recovery is not just staying sober / clean and going to meetings and talking with your sponsor – you have to employ recovery in your life; the way you engage others at work and in your personal life, the choices you make, the lifestyle you live – and especially the relationships with those you love and care about. Attendance and participation are means to get there – but you don’t “pass the class” for showing up. You have to actually live your recovery – be it addiction, grief, cancer – whatever the dis-ease.

One of the most amazing experiences I ever had was facilitating a recovery group that had both addiction recovery clients and cancer recovery clients in the same group. I will never forget this experience and am incredibly grateful and honored to have been a part of it. As the group moved forward and grew together – each member heard the story of pain and suffering, disease and healing, strength and weakness, fear and courage and so on – of each other member. Soon the “lines” of us and them faded and it became the most grounded and compassionate exchange of honesty and support I have yet to witness. This group raised each other above suffering, shame and terror and moved together to and incredible community – in fact the words “cancer” and “addiction” disappeared and the group on their own used the word “disease” for both.

For me this experience was truly a spiritual one and personally was also an opportunity to truly understand what a disease model of addiction/affliction really is. I have never seen it’s equal in any group since – and I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of several amazing healing and recovery communities

My point in all of this? It’s my hope that some of you who read this will be inspired. Perhaps to start a conversation with a friend or family member facing addiction, cancer, death of a loved one or serious illness. Maybe to stand up and talk about the difference between sobriety and recovery in your next 12 Step meeting or support group. Perhaps to start a conversation in your church or temple – or even to re-visit your own definition of recovery.

Whatever you may think or do – consider taking an action to bridge the promise of healing to another person who may be suffering. Acts of service, no matter how small or simple, heal the world and in doing so – a part of us finds peace and promise as well.

Journey Well –

BW

Quick Tip

If you are looking for a sponsor or mentor – ask them how they define “recovery”. If they give an answer relating to time sober or clean – keep looking. A good sponsor will know that recovery is across all facets of our lives.

Council on Recovery – Houston, April 17, 2015

Council on Recovery – Houston, April 17, 2015

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Texas Recovery Support

Fantastic event, as always. Always great to hear another story of success and humility coming from Hollywood. Tom was a gregarious and charming speaker – real and relatable. Our thanks again, to The Council on Recovery.

Below is a little food for thought for our readers who couldn’t make it.

What Opiates do to a Person’s Brain?

Opiate drugs activate the dopamine pathway (also known as the reward pathway) that sends out a rush of pleasure chemicals to the brain. Opiates are much more stimulating than natural endorphins, which is partly why they are so addictive. Once a person uses opiates, the brain stops creating natural endorphins because the body thinks that there are already enough levels of it in the brain. Within six to 12 months of using opiate drugs, the cells that produce endorphins are reduced in size and die.

One of the most commonly abused opiate drugs is heroin. When it is injected into a vein, heroin reaches the vein within 15 to 20 seconds. Then it binds to the opiate receptors found in the different parts of the brain that include the reward pathway. When the receptors in the reward pathway are activated, the person feels a brief rush and very intense rush of euphoria. This is followed by several hours of contented and relaxed state. This feeling of euphoria is what draws people back to opiates again and again.

The effects of opiates are similar to the ones from naturally occurring opioid peptides. When used for medical purposes, opiates can stop diarrhea, depress breathing, and relieve pain. They come with side effects that include vomiting and nausea. But when used in large doses, they can make breathing shallow or even make it stop altogether. Thousands of opiate addicts have died due to overdose. And mixing alcohol with opiates only increases the risk of death.

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Opiate Addiction vs. Dependence

Dependence happens due to the normal adaptations to prolonged exposure to opiates. People should not confuse the term dependence with addiction because they are not the same. Addiction is described to be the compulsive seeking (psychological) and use of the drug that results to deadly consequences. Addiction can include some type of dependence (physical) as well.

Another way to understand it is this: dependence is typically acute and holds the potential to be resolved or cured. Addiction on the other hand can be acute or in remssion – but it is always chronic and life long (ie it is not cured or removed). This is why we say a clean/sober person is “in recovery” and not that they are “recovered”.

A person who is dependent on opiates will experience some type of withdrawal symptoms when the use of the drug is suddenly stopped or reduced. The symptoms can be mild to severe. Withdrawal symptom includes flulike discomfort, stomach cramps, unpleasant mood, diarrhea, and severe muscle pain, just to name a few. The withdrawal symptoms are most commonly managed medically through the use of a slow drug taper.

Dependence is often accompanied by tolerance, which is the need to take higher doses of the drug in order to get the same effect. Once a person experiences tolerance, it can be difficult for the health care provider to evaluate whether the patient has a drug problem or if there is really a need for higher doses to control one’s symptoms. This is the reason physicians are attentive and vigilant to their patients’ symptoms, as well as the level of functioning to provide them with the most accurate information needed to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Live Better Live Now – Texas Recovery Support – Houston

Council on Recovery – Houston, April 17, 2015