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10 Traits of Self-Sabotage

[TRANSCRIPT] It says we are live so I’m gonna take its word for it. It’s always an exercise of trust but here we are. It’s September 25th of 2021, always a Saturday, always at 10 AM Pacific Standard Time. You can count on myself, Buckeye Recovery Network, to be here to provide family education support on recovery. It’s always free to join and participate and it’s always encouraged to share this with anyone that you think or feel may benefit from the content that we put out. Quick introduction: my name is Parham. I do this, like I said, every Saturday. I do have a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. I am a licensed advanced addictions counselor. Buckeye Recovery Network is the place that I spend the majority of my time and I’m also a high school basketball coach – I don’t want to underestimate that one because our season’s coming up here pretty soon and I’m really excited for that and we have our yearbook pictures coming. This is season number 13 that I’m gonna be there and it’s just a cool thing. Outside of that I also am in personal recovery – I like to share that on this forum because I know for some of the family members it matters to see that and for anyone going through the addictions and recovery process themselves, it’s important to know where someone is when they start and where they are currently. There’s anything and everything is possible. All that being said, a good morning to Jim, Debbie, Lynn, the faithful trio that’s always here going back a couple years – well, it’s at least a year and a half now – which is really cool because that’s called loyalty, brand loyalty, fan loyalty. I appreciate it! Without you I would just be some random person sitting in his living room talking to the internet I guess. 

Today’s going to be a really good talk, and the reason why I say it’s going to be a good talk is because it’s the first time I’m presenting it, so it’s fresh content – new content – for those of you who have been watching for a while. The second reason why I think it’s a good one: it allows for different perspectives. So if you’re watching this as the family member, the parent, the spouse, or the loved one, it allows you to kind of hear from my personal and professional point of view, what leads to this thing called self-sabotaging your loved ones. So there’s one hat, one perspective you can view it as. The other one is for yourself because I do believe that people that struggle with substance use disorders and people who don’t struggle with substance use disorders at the end of the day are all human beings. Human beings have very similar characteristics and qualities. Not everybody self-regulates their emotions and copes and does all that kind of stuff with substances but we’re all addicted to something that takes some type of pain away. And so self-sabotage might show up in your own life – maybe you have patterns in a history of self-sabotage, whether it comes with finances, relationships, health, communication, all that kind of stuff, so I’ll give you the option on what hat you want to wear when you listen to the content that I’m providing. But no matter which way you go it’ll be valuable and we’re going to go through that. I did this with our program participants this morning at 8:00 AM our time so this is my second time going through it, so you’ll get the better, more polished kind of professional presentation of it. But all that being said, three minutes and 30 seconds of intro isn’t bad in my world – normally I ramble for longer – so here we go.

The 10 traits of self-sabotage in the recovery process, but also in life.

Trait number one is a poor understanding of people. Okay, poor understanding of people and what that means is about people. I need you to remember just a few things. Number one, that people are really weird and peculiar, okay, and I mean that in a really soft and subtle way, that people are weird and they’re all so peculiar. Think about it this way, my friends. We go through life wanting and needing things that we actually don’t have any use for. We pay for those things that we want but don’t need, with the money we don’t have, and we do so to impress people we don’t know and people we don’t like. That’s how weird human behavior is. We go through life wanting things we don’t need, we tend to pay for those things with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t know and people we don’t like. If that’s not weird behavior I don’t know what is. And the reason why it’s important to understand how not understanding people could lead to self-sabotage is because the second fact here is we forget that people all experience the world through their own eyes and through their own perspective. There is no such thing as two people going through the same exact reality. Now you might be thinking, “What do you mean? If I’m right here and my spouse is right here, my child’s right here, we live in the same house, we eat meals together, we do the same things, we spend weekends together, so how are we not having the same reality?” We’re not. Each person’s reality in their perspective is shaped by their unique experiences that they have had. So two people for example, I was talking to our individuals – some of them were in sober living – I said you might be sitting on the same sober living couch with someone else but you’re going through two completely different experiences and the reason why this first one is – that a poor understanding of people potentially leads to self-sabotage is because it creates a false sense of reality and a false sense of security, that people are supposed to show up all the time, that people are perfect, when in reality human beings are flawed, including myself. So self-sabotage patterns of human beings when they go through that process, sometimes they put too much of their hope, eggs, faith into a person and when that person doesn’t meet the image, the whatever reality that they thought was going to have, the expectations, when it doesn’t meet that at least, “So what, screw it, I’m not even going to do it anymore,” and they’re going to self-sabotage. In the family versions of this, your kid’s doing good in recovery, and all of a sudden something happens. There’s a relapse, there’s a behavior pattern, something happens and all of a sudden you go into self-sabotage mode about your own life. And vice versa, someone could be in recovery, maybe someone they look up to, someone they have a lot of trust in, maybe that person relapses (that happens, by the way), maybe they they look up to some athlete, or they look up to some person in the media, and that person ends up being flawed, because we’re all flawed. So that’s the number one thing that I think is the number one trait of self-sabotage.

The second one is – this is very common – individuals who tend to blame other people. They blame people, they blame places, they blame things for reasons why they do not have the world that they expect. Okay, now this becomes really important because there is a huge distinction that I always talk about and that distinction is the difference between blame, fault and responsibility. It is okay if somebody does something to say, “Hey, you are at blame for this,” if what they did caused harm in you and hurt you – it was their fault. Now guess what? Put the blame aside, put the fault aside. Now as an adult you are responsible for healing those wounds. Is that fair? Probably not but it’s real, it’s true. The only kid, the only people, I ever have a lot of compassion for is when someone’s a victim of a crime, or when someone’s between the ages of 0 and 20 years old, let’s say, and they’re living up and they’re coming up in an environment that there’s abuse, there’s chaos, there’s this and that. You can never tell a kid, “Hey, you’re responsible for that.” No, that’s BS – that’s utter BS. There is no 12 year old that’s being exposed to abuse or chaos in their home that has any type of fault in that. But guess what? When that 12 year old becomes 20 years old, 25 years old, 30 years old, 35 years old, regardless of whose fault it was that those wounds got created in them, they are responsible for how they heal from that experience. It’s on them at this point and what a lot of people do when they’re older, they tend to shift blame (self-sabotage behavior) on others. So many people shift blame on something that happened 10-15-20 years ago. They shift blame on it instead of taking responsibility for their own healing. Again, it has nothing to do with whose fault it was.

By the way, for those of you obviously who watch these, you’re always welcome to write comments on the side. I do a pretty good job with pulling up those comments when there’s questions, if you have a question on this stuff feel free to. If there’s anything you want to say about it feel free to and it’s very interactive when you are participating.

So the next one of self-sabotaging behavior – this is for the parents watching this – you see this in your loved ones, but I do believe it’s all human beings. The next one is a lack of focus. Okay, a lack of focus does something and most of the individuals who come through treatment settings, and come through a recovery type world, they say, “Hey, I have a hard time focusing in life.” Okay and some of them have been diagnosed with potentially something like ADHD when they’re younger. Some of them have a hard time focusing because the cloud – the psychological, emotional, physical cloud that’s just glooming over them as a result of substance use needs to be lifted before they can see clearly and be able to focus. But the reason why people that self-sabotage have a hard time with this lack of focus is because they tend to think too broadly. They tend to look at way too many things so it is impossible to focus on multiple different things. I mean, just imagine a really nice camera lens – one of the most expensive ones you can imagine – now if there was objects that were close, objects that were far, objects that were really to the left, objects were really to the right, some were dark, some were light, the lighting of the room was all different, no matter how good that camera is it is impossible for it to be able to focus on everything. However, if that camera now all of a sudden focuses on one of the objects with how expensive of a lens it is and all that kind of stuff, imagine how perfectly it can focus and capture that image. Now people that say they have a hard time focusing – have them do something that they love, something that they’re passionate about, something that they care for, whether it’s sometimes playing a computer video game, or it’s doing something cosmetic, or it’s working on a car, or it’s playing some instruments or whatever it is, watch them get in the flow. They are able to focus so intensely because they’re focusing on something that they actually care about. And people that self-sabotage, they are focused on so many different things rather than just being focused on one. Do one thing, focus on one place and do it well and see what happens there. Because if you don’t, a lack of focus leads to two things: a waste of time and time is the most valuable commodity that we have as human beings. Time and health. Time and health go hand in hand. Time is so valuable that even if you’re watching this and you’re a billionaire you can’t just go to Rodeo Drive or Fashion Island, or one of these nice booths, specialty malls and you can’t go buy more time, no matter how smart of an investor you are, you can’t open up a safe deposit box somewhere in switzerland and later on go grab more of it. Once the seconds tick away they don’t come back. And a lack of focus makes you waste time. The second one it makes you misuse is resources. So I was talking to our program participants again today, this morning, and I told them, “Some of you that aren’t focused on why you’re here, you’re not focused on the fact that you’re here for a substance use disorder. You’re not here because you came in because you have an addiction. You’re not focused on the fact that you have unresolved trauma, you’re not focused on the fact that you have post-traumatic stress disorder. You’re not focused on the fact that you’re struggling in life and you’re just distracted. Lack of focus and just paying attention to all these superficial things is actually a misuse of the resources that are available to you right now.” Just being in a treatment setting or being in a sober environment is a resource that only less than 10 percent of all people with addictions, alcoholism, substance use disorders, mental health, even get to experience. They say there’s about 22 million people with diagnosed alcoholism, and eight and a half to nine million people with substance use disorder. That takes us to 30 million and I’m assuming it’s safe to say there’s probably 50 million people with mental health, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, PTSD, trauma, all that kind of stuff. Now you add all these together and let’s just come up with a number: this is 75 million people. Those 75 million people is not an exact number but just a ballpark. Out of those 75 million people only 10 percent of them seek treatment and out of those 10 percent, only about 10 percent of them go through treatment. So if someone is sitting inside of a treatment facility imagine the odds of that, and they’re not focused – guess what’s happening? Misuse of resources. Because out of all the other people, none of them even have the chance to sit in that chair. And I really wanted to shake some people up, and by the way family is the same way, if you’re sitting here talking, listening to me, if you’re going to your own therapy it might be the norm in your world, but for many people that’s not something that’s available to them. And thank god for community-based resources for people that don’t have the means and the funds to be able to go seek professional services. So the past two weeks, I talked about Al-anon and I talked about Adult Children of Alcoholics. I hope some of you went and just inquired about it because those are at no-cost, outside of a potential dollar that you might put in a basket for a suggested donation.

The next one for people who self-sabotage is they just lack the information. They’re not informed. So the question I asked them this morning, and I can ask you is, “Do you gather enough facts before making crucial decisions, or do you act impulsively?” It’s a very good question because a lot of times people go through an experience that’s new to them and therefore the amount of knowledge they have on it is very, very limited and narrow, and they’re going through the process and they don’t like what they’re experiencing, what they’ve gotten out of it, what they’re feeling. And here’s the thing – at that point they feel something and they just hit the eject button and just remove themselves from the situation, when maybe it’s the lack of information, the lack of knowledge, the broadening, the deepening of their knowledge base that could have potentially prevented the road of self-sabotage. And being informed, you have to go to people that potentially have that information – there’s nothing wrong with not knowing about healing, recovery, support groups, addiction, mental illness. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing that, but don’t make decisions on things that you don’t know anything about. Go to sources, go to the people, go to the ones with the experience, go to the ones with the knowledge, and learn from them. It prevents self-sabotage. I mean, the reason by the way I’m doing a talk on self-sabotage is, first of all I heard this on a business podcast that I was driving on a leadership podcast on Wednesday. Mr John C Maxwell did a leadership podcast for leaders in self-sabotage and I was like, well, anything could be applied to anyone so let’s change this around to the recovery process and recycle the content because it was wonderful. And it’s how many loved ones of yours, and potentially yourself, and there’s a couple counselors here who could vouch to this, they just say, “Hey, I just continuously get in my own way, I continuously self sabotage myself, I blow things up, I make a little progress and then I just become my own worst enemy.” This is like Treatment 101 of what we hear as clinicians and therapists. And the question is, why and when you look back to a lot of people who made crucial decisions in life without having the necessary information to make that decision? So not being informed is something that is really critical and vital when it comes to self-sabotage.

The fifth one that we’re on right now is people that self-sabotage they tend to surround themselves with negative people. Okay, when I say negative people please understand this distinction. I’m not saying bad people. I’m not one of those people that believes some people are good or some people are bad. I believe that there are people that are positive in our lives right now and people that potentially could be negative in our lives right now. That doesn’t mean they’re good or bad – all it means is in this moment in time, the people you surround yourself with – are they helping and assisting you go in the direction of your goals, your dreams, your ambitions, what you’re trying to accomplish in life, or are they taking you away from it? If the answer is they’re helping me, guiding me, supporting me, those are your people. And if they’re trying to pull you from this into another road that you’ve gone down in the past or don’t want to go to, they become negative at this point. The reason I don’t want to call anybody good or bad, and I truly don’t believe that anyone’s good or bad, is because the same people that might be negative right now might go through some life experiences, some challenges, some changes, some ups and downs, that they one day are on the same path as you and then they become positive people. 

And yeah, I mean Jim right now just wrote something. So what Jim wrote, and I’ll put it up just to show you guys how the interaction works if anyone’s new, he wrote: “Stick with the winners.” Jim is one of our primary counselors for those who don’t know at Buckeye Recovery Network – he’s been there for coming up on six years this past Sunday (Saturday or Sunday). Regardless, Jim celebrated 18 years of continuous sobriety and recovery. There’s a difference there – it’s just sobriety alone isn’t it. So Jim is no longer an adolescent – he is now an adult in the eyes of society. Sorry Jim, I had to do that. And what he’s saying there was, “Stick with the winners” – it’s something that is often used in the 12-step community. And what 12-step communities mean by that is this: when you walk in a room and there’s 20-30 people based on the meeting size up to 50-100 people or a small one, you want to look at the people that are going the way, they know the way, they show the way. It appears in their presentation, in their mood, in their language, and their mindset. You could see it in their lives, you can see the fulfillment, if you tend to follow their footsteps, there is a high possibility you will get to where they’ve gotten to. But if in the program, if you hang out with the people that are in or out all the time, that just aren’t engaged, they’re on their phones, they don’t care they’re there, because they have to be there, and that’s what you associate yourself with, we call them negative people in that moment of your life, then those people tend to not stick around for a while. So when you go to meetings you always want to look for familiar faces, oftentimes sitting in familiar seats. People that go to 12-step meetings are creatures of habit, so when you see the same person in the same place over an extended period of time you want to go up to them and say, “Hey, why do you keep coming back?” Be informed before you make a decision. So yeah, so that’s how that works. 

And Lynn wrote here to “keep away from toxic people.” So negative people could also be toxic. What toxic people are is if you hang out – so right now everybody watching this, family members or not, you’re going through a stage of your life that’s all about your own healing, your own recovery, and you need to get as much love from the environment and from yourself as you can. Because the process of going through addiction of your loved one, your spouse, your child, your grandchild is very traumatic and draining – it drains your battery, drains your soul. So in this stage of your life it’s important to have positive people around you that recharge that battery. Toxic people, when you’re spending time with them, you’ll know they’re toxic because when you leave you feel drained, you feel they just zap the soul out of you, and maybe at some point in your life when you feel better, when you’re healed, when you’ve recovered, hanging out with some toxic people doesn’t necessarily impact you as much. You’ll still feel it but it won’t zap you all the way to zero. Because guess what, when we’re completely drained we make some bad decisions. Human beings make some bad decisions when they’re around toxic people for too long. So great comments there, appreciate it.

So the next one here is expecting failure. This one really resonated with a lot of the program participants this morning. People that self-sabotage expect that they’re going to fail so they play the tape forward. “If I do this, if I take, if I do this action, if I go to this place, if I stay sober, that it’s not going to be what they say it is. This job’s not going to be as good as it is. This class is not going to be as fun as they say it’s going to be. This relationship’s not going to work out.” Everything that they view in the future has a failure expectation to it. Now why would someone be conditioned to think so is because this is what they related with at some point in their life. Let’s start with before drugs and alcohol – at some point in their life, maybe their world was developed and set up and created in a way that they always walked into some type of failure that wasn’t even their own fault. Maybe mom and dad were struggling with each other, maybe there was domestic violence, maybe there was divorce, maybe someone passed away at a young age, maybe someone let them down, maybe there was abuse, maybe there was trauma, maybe there was grief and loss or whatever it was in the world, that they never saw the future is getting any better. Because guess what, for many of them it didn’t. For many people who experience adverse childhood experiences in their childhood, their adolescence doesn’t get any better because they have no control or sway in the environment. They’re almost like prisoners that are stuck in whatever situation they’re in so they start to get conditioned that no matter what I do, no matter how I live, no matter what choices I make, it’s never going to work out anyways. So have some sympathy and empathy for that. But the other one too is because for people that come into the recovery world you have to understand that prior to getting here, prior to earning their seat if you will, they consumed ethanol poison which is alcohol. They put literally ethanol poison in their body and when you poison yourself you can’t expect success. So people that self-sabotage expect failure. If you’re putting fentanyl, opiates and heroin into your body you cannot expect success. If you’re smoking weed 24/7, if you’re sniffing things up your nose, if you’re taking dissociatives and hallucinogen drugs, you cannot expect success. So what do they expect? Failure. So now you put the conditioning of childhood plus the conditioning of substance use disorders and addictions onto an individual’s mindset and now they’re sitting clean and sober. What do you think they’re going to expect out of life? That life is going to be perfect, life’s going to be good, life’s going to be great? Absolutely not. They expect failure. So it’s all based on previous experiences. It’s all based on previous stories, and they project that. It’s called a projection. They get their past and they project it onto their future. The only way to change that is to change the story one day at a time, to change the narrative from what it used to be like to what it is now. And what does that narrative need to include? Small victories. They need to taste victory. They need to taste success. That’s why it’s so important when someone gets a 30-day chip – it’s the first time in a long time that person tasted some victory, that I can do something that I was unable to do for so dang long. The first time someone takes one community college class and gets an A, B or a C they taste some victory that they’re able to be a student which they thought they could never be. When someone gets in a relationship with someone and treats them with love and respect and honesty and loyalty it’s the first time in a long time that they didn’t fail in a relationship, and so on and so on and so on. When someone gets a job and they show up for it and they clock in on time and they leave on time it’s the first time in a long time that they changed the story of they just abandoned work and didn’t show up and had a lie and excuse for every time they weren’t there. Change the story, change the narrative. Massive action changes failure. 

The next one that I have – number seven – is being unable to learn from others. This is one of the most common traits of the self-saboteurs, self-sabotaging people. So this type of person has an I problem. Like I’m perfect, I am inflexible, I am stubborn, I am fearful, so it’s just I, I, I. Their ego is up here so they say egomaniac with an inferiority complex. That’s what it is. So when you’re looking at that, when you’re looking at that individual, someone who is unable to learn from others, it’s somebody that will self sabotage. So the example I give is actually one of my favorite examples, so bear with me. It’s a story of your loved ones and it might even be the story of you. I use a really, really weird analogy. So let’s say my name is Parham and I am addicted to banging my head against a wall: full-blown addiction. What is the definition of addiction? Continued use of a substance or behavior despite negative consequences. So my name is Parham and I’m addicted to banging my head against the wall. So let’s say I’m just walking through life one day and I go and I see this brick wall over here and this brick wall is just majestic – I’ve never seen a brick wall so nice in my life. And I go there and I take one look at it and I love banging my head against the wall so I go, I whip my head back as far as I can and I bang my head against the wall and all of a sudden I’m like, “Oh my god, I’m seeing little stars like Tweety Bird and Tweety Dum,” whatever the little cartoons are. I have a pounding headache, my eye is bruised – it looks like I just got punched and I walk away and I’m like, “Oh man, I don’t think I’ll ever do that one again.” And maybe I take off for 30-60-90 days and I say I just can’t do that, I have to figure it out, I have to get my stuff together. And I go through and remember the definition of addiction is continued use of something despite negative consequences so my addiction comes in and I’m walking and I’m addicted to banging my head against the wall so I see another wall over here and this wall is way nicer than the wall before. I mean, this one’s like high-end. It has art on it, handcrafted, stitched, different textures, different surfaces, I mean it’s a nice wall. So I go there and I say, “Hey, I’m gonna bang my head against this wall so I whip my head back as far as I can go and I bang my head against the wall as hard as I can and this time my orbital socket breaks, shatters my eye and the concussion is so bad that I fall down on the ground, I start throwing up. I’m in so much pain that I need to be taken somewhere and I need to go rest for a while, maybe 30 days in some facility. 30-60-90 days go by and I’m a self-sabotager. So what I want to do is leave and I’m like, “I just can’t bang my head against walls anymore. I got to find something else to do.” But then all of a sudden I see this wall behind me and I’m like, “Wow, I’ve never seen a wall so exciting. I’ve never been in this place in my life that I’m so compelled to bang my head against the wall. I just want and I need to bang my head against this wall. But the last few times I hit it this way it was bad. Maybe this time I’m going to go from the back of my eye just to not hurt my eyes or my nose or anything.” So I put my head forward and I bang my head up against the wall as hard as I can and it knocks me out, lights out, kind of like the TKOs you see in fights and I’m out I’m on the floor. And they have to come and take me to the hospital because I’m unconscious. In the hospital my family’s there. They’re thinking, “Oh my god, is he gonna wake up? Is he coming back to life?” My family is thinking, “Should we call grandma and grandpa and tell them what happened? I don’t think they can handle this. It might kill them to hear the news. Let’s not do that.” My family is saying, “Should we tell the kids what happened? They’re so young. We might not need to tell those kids. I don’t know how they’re going to deal with it.” The doctor’s coming in, they’re talking about, “Do we pull the plug? Do we not pull the plug?” And I told the program participants this morning, “Hey, the days you guys end up in the hospitals – those are the conversations that are happening while you are out, when you’re laying there unconscious, not knowing what happened. Mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle – they are having those conversations. And for whatever reason the same way a lot of your loved ones have woken up miraculously in hospitals (I know I have), the kid wakes up, and this is a phenomenon of addiction by the way, family members and people that might not know, you might think you wake up in the hospital and you’re all regretful and remorseful about what happened. For many people their first thought is, “I want to go get high again, I need to go get high again.” They rip off cords and they just leave the hospital. To that extent. So let’s say I wake up out of the hospital and all of a sudden I check out of the hospital and I’m walking by and I’m leaving and I go to the parking garage and I look at this brick wall, a concrete brick wall, oof that’s my favorite, and I’m looking at it – I still got my hospital bracelet on me, and I look at this concrete brick wall and I say, “Oh God, I can go bang my head against that wall!” And here’s where being unable to learn from others is one of the causes of self-sabotage. So the remedy for that is learning from others. And this is what I hope and dream that everybody gets to one day, is that I’m going up to this wall, hospital band on, just got released from banging my head against the wall, and I want to go bang my head against this concrete wall. Because it’s just so fascinating. And someone like Jim – Counselor Jim – that I just talked about, is sitting there, 18 years of sobriety and recovery. He says, “Hey, can you pause for a second?” And I say, “Okay.” He’s like, “I banged my head against that wall one too many times. I’ve lost a lot because of that. I ended up homeless because of that. I lost my health because of that, family members because of that, lost the job because of that. It was the worst pain that I’ve ever experienced in my life and my hope and dream is that nobody ever has to go through that pain again. And if I can have you – if I could support you – help you go have coffee together, sit down and talk, it helps me in my recovery. My hope is that it helps you as well.” And I go with my head back to where right before I slam my head I say, “What, I’m gonna take your word for it?” Learning from others prevents us from so much pain, so much unnecessary misery, so many consequences of our ignorance and lack of knowing, decisions and actions we take because someone that’s been there, done that, can probably help me not do that anymore. And that’s why this recovery stuff works. So the moment I tell somebody, “Hey, I’ll just take your word for it,” is the moment I start to gain this thing called wisdom. And I told a lot of your loved ones this morning or people watching in our program I said, “Hey, the problem with that is a lot of you also have trust issues.” So when someone like Jim tells me, “Hey, don’t bang your head against the wall,” and I say, “I’m going to take your word for it,” that means I need to address my trust issues so I can handle some comments like that without trust issues. I mean, yeah, but I’m not you and you’re not me and you don’t know what you’re talking about. I bang my head against the wall and that has nothing to do with the wall, nothing to do with the person, but the lack of trust that’s built in that person. And when does people’s trust get established? Trust me, it’s not in the addiction process. For many people, their core understanding of trust happens when they’re younger, when someone lies to them, when someone tells them they’re going to be there and they’re not there, when someone physically, sexually, psychologically, emotionally abuses them, when someone neglects them, they have already established their understanding of trust already, long before the drugs and alcohol. So they got to get back to that and process that stuff out, to work on that stuff.

So just three more here. We’re perfect, 35 minutes. I’m glad a lot of you are relating to this. This is really good. I don’t think you’re going to forget that head banging addiction ever, if you just replace whatever it is that you do with that head banging because it feels the same at the end of it, right? So whether it’s addiction, whether it’s codependency, whether it’s anger, whether it’s whatever, it is exactly what I’m talking about. Codependency is the same way. You say, “Hey, I’m not going to help my kid ever again,” and this and that. You do it again – it’s just like banging your head against the wall. And you say, “Okay, I’m not going to do it this time. This is all. It’s over now. Everything’s changed, I’m different,” but you do it again. It’s like banging your head against the wall and then eventually you get to the point of being in enough pain that you want to bang your head against the wall because you don’t know if you can set boundaries, you don’t know if you can stay firm to those boundaries, you don’t know if you can have the psychological and emotional strength to be strong. And then one day another family member says, “This is what you need to do.” A counselor says, “This is what I suggest,” and you say what? “I’m tired of banging my head against the wall. I’m going to take your suggestion and your feedback forward. I’m going to stop the enabling process because I can’t do this anymore.” We always say to family members, “You got to hit bottom just like the person struggling with addictions. The bottom might be different but you have to hit your bottom too,” and that’s different for everybody. Everybody’s bottom is different and a lot of factors go into that. 

So the next one is refusing to take a risk. So people that self-sabotage refuse to take a risk. Remember we talked about lack of focus? This one is related to a lack of goals. They don’t have to be big ones. It could be super small goals. Small goals over time can create a masterpiece. Think about it – it’s like if you have a 500 little piece puzzle and each day you just put one of the pieces together, eventually, just one piece at a time you’ve created a complete beautiful puzzle. People want to go do it all at once – they can’t do it and they get frustrated. So what happens is this – so many people in the therapeutic space, whether it’s someone struggling with addictions, or just someone coming to therapy because they’re experiencing anxiety or depression. So a completely subtle version of it, a different version of it: they always talk about this thing like, “I just have a fear of failure or I have a fear of success. My whole life I’ve been that way.” They talk about perfectionism or the exact opposite of it of just not trying – same coin by the way, different sides. And you hear it all the time. So up until the moment that person has awareness of that fear of failure or fear of success they just don’t know the first time they hear it they’re like, “Yes, that’s exactly what it is – I’m afraid of succeeding or I’m afraid of failing so I don’t do anything.” Once you’re aware that you have that in you now you are responsible regardless of whose fault that was by the way, because it was someone’s fault – it was someone’s fault that that happened to you. If you have a super highly critical parent growing up and you’re afraid of making mistakes, yeah they caused that in you, but now as an adult if you’re still afraid of making mistakes even though it was their fault, guess who’s responsible for overcoming that? You. If you feel like you’re not good enough because somebody always told you you weren’t good enough, so therefore you don’t try, because you’re like, “Why should I try? I’m not good enough.” It was their fault for saying all those things to you. At some point in your life now it’s your responsibility to do something about the fact that you’re not good enough, that you don’t feel like you’re not good enough. Because you are good enough by the way, you’re good enough exactly as who you are, and exactly as who you’re not. But you just don’t have a connection to that. So the antidote, the remedy for this is, you just have to do something, you just have to get an action, massive action, do something. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re going to succeed or fail, you just have to get into the action. Because that’s where it all comes from. 

Yeah, and that’s another thing too – this is good – Jim’s giving some good one-liners here today – so fear – we talk about fear of failure, fear of success, FEAR is ‘Face Everything And Recover.’ Or F* Everything (I can’t say what that means), F* Everything And Run. So two options, same coin. Face Everything And Recover is a choice. Recover means to regain something that’s been lost, stolen or destroyed, so face everything, even your demons, even your inadequacies, even your resentments, even your traumas, and recover something that’s been lost, stolen or destroyed. And that’s your connection to yourself and connection to whatever spiritual entity or connection to others. How about that? That’s a good one. Or F* Everything And Run, self-sabotage over and over and over again – it’s a choice. People are free to make the choices they want but they are not free of the consequences of those choices. Ain’t that the truth? You’re free to do whatever you want, my friends. You can or you cannot take any of the words I’m saying and do anything with them however and that’s your choice and that’s totally cool by the way, I accept that, but you’re not free of the consequences of those choices. So that one is up to you.

The last two. The next one says people that self-sabotage a lot have undisciplined living. So they’re just undisciplined, whether it comes with their schedules, it comes with their patterns, their habits, it comes with their values. Our discipline and values are a thing. Because if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. So in life, you have to show up and work by your standards, not your moods. People who are undisciplined are dominantly controlled by their moods. “When I feel like it I’ll do it, when I feel like it I’ll go to a meeting, but I don’t feel like it. When I feel like it I’ll go have a conversation with someone that i’ve been avoiding but I’m just not feeling like it. When I feel like it I’ll take care of myself but I’m just not feeling like it.” If you allow your feelings and your moods to dictate your life you will have one undisciplined life that will always lead to self-sabotage. But if your standards and your values are your north star, your guiding principles, regardless of how you feel you’re gonna do you’re gonna take the action. They always say get into contrary action, so if you’re not feeling like you should do something that’s a sign, it’s like a glaring headlight, so that’s exactly what you need to do in that moment. Contrary actions of your moods.

And the very last one, number 10 says, being stopped by failure. So people who self-sabotage stop completely when they experience failure or perceived failure, because you could spin failure and make it a really big success. And I’m gonna leave with this favorite, favorite quote of mine from a man named Robin Williams, which I’m pretty sure you all know (Rest In Peace). Anytime you’re feeling down or sad, put on a Robin Williams movie and watch that man continue to give for days and generations and years and on and on and on. It says, “A hungry stomach, an empty wallet and a broken heart can teach you the best lessons in life.” Isn’t that the truth? I’m really big on autobiographies of people that are influential, people that are successful in whatever field that they’re in. Obviously, success is a very wide range, loose word, but whether they’re chefs or they’re athletes or they’re humanitarians or they’re just influential people, actors, that kind of stuff, actresses, when you learn about these people, the really successful ones, when you learn about them and you read about their upbringing and read about their life, you will notice a very, very quick pattern and trend. Not all of them, obviously there’s exceptions to everything, but many of them come from very difficult and challenging childhoods and upbringings. So they didn’t let failure stop them. And for people that self-sabotage, when they experience one failure they’re just, “This isn’t for me, this is too much.” So if you have a hungry stomach right now, if you have an empty wallet right now, and you have a broken heart right now I hope that could be the foundation that you can build up your entire life. That’s what I want you to take with you today. So don’t self sabotage it. Don’t quit before the miracle happens. Don’t be impulsive without having all the information prior to investigation. Don’t have contempt prior to investigation. Investigate honestly, openly, ask questions, learn from people, know as much as you can before making a big life decision. And my hope is that you’re able to build a really beautiful life for yourself on the foundation that failure can bring. 

So all that being said, thank you for another family education and support. And by the way, these are always, always, always on our Facebook page. All you have to do is rewatch them, or if you share them with anybody in your world it would be appreciated, because this is good stuff for a lot of people to hear. Yeah, thanks, all the thank yous, for coming in. Russ, Lynn, Eileen, appreciate you guys for everything. On a weekly basis, you can count on me to be here again next week, and hopefully for many weeks to come after that, so you’re welcome Jim. I’ll see you guys soon, okay, have a wonderful weekend!

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.