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Keys to Personal Development (Recovery and Life)

What is up, everyone? It is Saturday, November 11th of 2023. I am here with you for another family education and support group. Really grateful to be here. I missed you guys last week. I will be here today, we’ll be here next week, so we’re good to go. We’ll deal with the following week as that time comes. It’s going to be Thanksgiving, the holiday kind of weekend, but so if you’re coming into this channel for the first time, you’re tuning in, you’re logging in, I want to welcome you first and foremost and say that my hope is that you’re able to find something in this channel, on this stream, in our content that helps you and your family in your healing, recovery and transformation process. It’s a journey, it’s a process and in order to get to where you want to get to in life you got to go through certain steps and certain experiences that allow you, that provide the catalyst for change. 

 

So a couple things about myself as we wait for others to pop on. And this is interactive so as you’ll be able to see soon I could put up comments like, for example, Marilyn’s saying “What’s up?” to myself and everyone else on the channel. Mr Jim Shand, our esteemed colleague and  clinician and a good friend. Mom and Dad, anytime your mom and dad are able to pop on anything in life, be grateful for it. For those of you who are still fortunate enough to have a mom and dad you know what I’m talking about, and for those of you who don’t you also know what I’m talking about. So it’s nice to have my parents there. Going to dinner with them tonight at a Persian restaurant. How cliche, Persians going to a Persian restaurant, but it’s okay. Sometimes you have to have a little bit of that. Bita, well, she has been following us for a good amount of years. Kenny and the crew at Pacific Sand Recovery Center what’s up everyone? Hossein Jan, what’s up from the Bay? Katalin, how are you my friend? So you could see that people can pop up and say what’s up.

 

About myself real quick, so my name is Parham, I have a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Child Development. Let’s see, my specialty comes with addictions and the addiction processes and behaviors. But I am a Mental Health clinician. I am on the faculty of a local community college to teach a community college class. I’m still waiting on the bench for them to put me in but I am on the faculty and I attend all the staff meetings. I do coach high school basketball – I’ve been doing it for 15 seasons right now and that’s why I missed last week. And if I miss any of these upcoming Saturdays that’s going to be the reason  but it ends around January so you know there’s no more conflicts. I am in recovery myself so June 13th of 2008 is the day that I say I changed my life around and ultimately changed my world and in the world of those around me. And so my hope is that my personal experience, my professional experience and my expertise that I’ve gained over years of doing this allows for a platform to be created for you to sit here and get some value out of it, to give you a good return on your investment – it’s called ROI. You are investing your time with me right now so make sure that you leave this experience with something that you didn’t have before and we’ll go from there. 

 

So you know I’m really big on this thing called personal development. A lot of people want their lives to get better, they want their relationships to get better, they want their health to get better, they want their I don’t know just the way they feel get better, but not a lot of people want to actually get better. So if you want your life to get better my friends, you have to get better. And I’m not saying that you’re bad, I’m saying you’re whole, perfect and complete the way you are, and the way you’re not. There’s nothing wrong with you, be you, but there’s a version of you in the future that is better than the version of you right now. And if you want to become that version in the future you must become better today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, until that vision becomes a reality. Okay, so that you know, what I did was I started to think of all of the people that I know that have been able to gain some type of transformation in their life and I kind of looked at their common denominators and I created an acronym system on the word Development. Some of you have heard this before, that’s okay, we’re always hearing it for the first time because each time you listen to something the goal is that you are a new version of yourself and a new version of yourself can retain information and apply information in a way that it probably couldn’t before. And the other thing that I’m really big on is, you know sometimes people say, “Well I’ve heard this before, I’ve heard this before in the past,” and what I say to them is this. 

 

What’s up Jaleh Joon? You got Jaleh in hare, let me just say Hi. Jim: “I want my day to get better.” Man, don’t we all! Well, I’m happy that you do the things you got to do for your day to get better because if you want your day to get better and don’t do them, guess what’s going to happen? Nothing. And your day stays the same and your week stays the same and your month stays the same and your year stays the same and your decade stays the same and people say, “Why is my life just never changing?” Because you never changed. You resist change. You go against the forces of nature which are always teaching us and showing us the importance of change. If you’re stuck in your old ways wondering why life doesn’t look new and there’s no new ways it ain’t about life. It’s about you and your commitment to complacency and staying the same version. And there’s a lot of people who do it because they’re afraid. What if I do all these things? What’s going to happen? I don’t know. Let’s find out. So I looked at all these people and by the way, this is why it’s important. So if you say I’ve heard this before let’s say that you just went out and worked out or you were out in the sun all day or you were just kind of like in a really humid place and your body got full of sweat, well, what do you have to do as an adult that hopefully has running water? You go and take a shower, you wash your hair, you rinse your body, you wash your face and afterwards you come out looking, smelling, feeling like a million bucks. Smelling good, smelling fresh, but if the next day and the next day and the next day and the next day you don’t go and take another shower what’s going to happen is you’re going to start smelling like body odor. You’re going to start looking disheveled. You’re going to start looking tired. Someone walks next to you and they go like, “Oh my God,” because here’s the thing. The shower you took four days ago doesn’t do anything for your cleanliness today. So the talks you heard in the past, the inspiration you gained in the past, the motivation you found in the past, if you don’t constantly re-engage with content that inspires you, motivates you, even if it’s repetitive, it doesn’t mean anything. We must continuously remotivate ourselves the way we shower if we want to stay motivated. Simple. You know the simple things in life, things that are easy to do are also easy not to do. Ain’t that the truth? Ain’t that the simple truth? 

 

Okay JD in the house what’s up over there good to see you my man! 

 

So, what do we got here? You got this acronym system. Let’s start it off. It’s the word Development, and we’re going to go and we’re going to break it down all the way through.

 

1. And the first one is, if you want to grow in life, if you want to personally develop in life, if you want to go from where you are to where you want to go in life, you must make a decision and decide. I just did this group for a few group members a few days ago and I taught them this and it resonated with them so I want to say it to you so it resonates with you. What does it mean to make a decision and decide to change your life? What does it mean to decide? Well, let’s look at the word Decide. It’s spelled D-E-C-I-D-E. What other words do you know of in the English language that end with CIDE? Homicide, suicide, genocide, pesticide. Homicide means to kill off another person. Suicide means to kill off self. Genocide means to kill off a group or a race of people. Pesticide means to kill off bugs, insects, and rodents. So when you make a decision and decide to change your life around you kill off the previous version. You kill off the other options. You kill off the other choices. But what do people do? They decide to do something only when it’s convenient, only when it’s comfortable, and as soon as they start to feel their emotions dysregulated, as soon as they start to feel a little anxiety, a little bit of fear, a little discomfort, they go back to their old way again. It’s not a decision. You haven’t decided until you kill off the previous version. If someone decides to get sober that means you kill off the option of drinking and using it no longer exists, but what happens to them as soon as they get triggered somewhere, as soon as they get dysregulated somewhere, they go right back to the drink. Man, you never made a decision. You never decided. You just temporarily halted something. And the same thing goes to personal development. If you want to become a different version of yourself you have to decide to kill off the old version of life. Some people do and some people don’t. I got out of the business of trying to find out why. None of my business.

 

So let’s see what we got here. We got Ricky from Alabama, oh my goodness, Hey Bro! Good to see you, welcome, that’s awesome man! I know you said you were gonna be on here and you actually showed up. I appreciate that. That’s cool stuff. Oh I’m back. Okay sorry Jim, I don’t know what was happening there but yeah, take the bad options off the table full of choices. Thank you for letting me know if I disconnect or something like that. It really helps me and “My day is better because I’m here taking wisdom from Parham.” Thank you my friend, you’re really welcome. You know, it’s my pleasure. My day gets better when you’re here writing  comments to me so it goes both ways.

 

2. So the next one we have here is this thing called expectations. If you want your life to develop and you want to grow in different areas of your life you must learn how to curb your expectations. William Shakespeare, a very famous poet that most of us at least know of, says that expectations are the root of all heartbreak. I’m gonna say that one again. So if you are trying to develop in life and you are trying to become a different version of yourself you must learn how to manage your expectations. William Shakespeare, a pretty famous poet, has the following statement. He says that expectations are the root of all heartbreak. And many people that come into this recovery world, this healing world, this transformation world, they have unrealistic false expectations, that by walking on this path and this journey for 30-60-90 days, that their life is going to all of a sudden magically get better. Don’t lie to yourself, my friends. It’s not the only thing that gets better when we discontinue the use of drugs and alcohol is the problems related to drugs and alcohol go away but every other challenge and problem and obstacle that you have in your life or have had in your life that you’re trying to overcome will be right there glaring you in your eyes. They don’t go away until we work on them, until we address them and that’s what it is. You know, family members come in, their kid gets sober, they’re like, “Alright, everything’s good now.” No, it’s not – their inability to manage their emotions, their inability to communicate properly, their inability to follow through with goals and expectations, their inability to become self-sufficient and manageable and reliable of their own life. That’s not all of a sudden going to change. It can change, it will change, if we curb our expectations and realize it takes time. It takes time to build new skills, to build new habits, to build a new way of life. Be careful of your expectations. 

 

Jim wrote here that expectations can kill your peace and serenity. He doesn’t say they reduce it. He says they kill it. And you know, they say that our expectations and our level of serenity are a zero sum. So what is a zero sum? A zero sum means that let’s say two things cannot be more than 100. So if our expectations are 80 our serenity can only be 20. If our expectations are 50 our serenity can be 50. If our expectations are 20 our serenity could be 80 and if you got no expectations in life you can be blissfully living in peace. Katalin: “Consistency is the key.” Consistency over time is the key you know, because people can be consistent for 30-60-90 days, consistent like machines, and then all of a sudden they put their foot off the gas and they start to relax and before you know it they’re right back to living the way they used to live, doing the things they used to do, engaging in things they used to engage in. So that part of time consistency over time is where the magic happens. And that time is different for everybody based on how long you’ve been experiencing life, based on how long you’ve been experiencing life. Hossein Jan, yes, commitment is a key. It’s probably the key, you know. Let’s say if you want to develop in life, personal development, and I’m giving you this acronym system, let’s say all of this stuff is inside this box. The key to open the box up in the first place is being committed. But what do we do? Most people don’t want to be committed in life. Let’s see, we got a group member here, Julie says, “Repetition, repetition, repetition.” Repetition is the master of all skills. Doing something over and over again polishes our skill set. You know some of you have been on record telling me, “Hey, how are you such a good speaker? How do you speak so well?” I promise you, the first time I did a speech in class I was drenched in sweat. My jaws clenched. I blacked out. A five minute speech was a minute and a half, and I ran out of things to say. Well, right now I can speak for five marathon days and I won’t run out of things to say. Repetition, repetition, repetition. It is the mother of all skills. People want to do things a few times here and there. Oh my God, I got a quote that I love. This is helping me in my pickleball journey. Okay so, “Amateurs do something until they get it right. Professionals do something until they can’t get it wrong.” Man, how many people do something just to be able to do it. If you really want to level up you got to do it till the point that you can’t do it wrong. That’s powerful. And that comes from commitment, consistency and repetition to put everything together. 

 

3. So the next one that I have here is our Values. Our values are our guiding light in life. Our values allow us to experience a life that aligns with our truest self but here’s the thing. If you don’t know what your values are you will never have the opportunity to experience that. If you’ve never sat down to identify what your values are in life you will never experience a relationship that is abundant of those values. If you’ve never sat down to realize what is important in your life you will have a life full of things that are not important. Sit down for 5 or 10 minutes and write down your values. And when you have that list make sure and ensure that everything you do in life aligns with those values. See, when we live by our values we are our strongest self. We are full of life, full of vitality, full of creation. If you say my value in life is honesty, my value in life is respect and my value in life is health, and you live a life that aligns and is congruent with those values at the end of the day you will feel good. If your value is honesty and you’re honest to yourself and honest to others you can look at yourself in the mirror, be proud of the reflection. If you say your value is respect and you respect yourself and respect others you look at the mirror at the end of the night and you like your reflection. If you say your value is health and you live a life that is mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, healthy you will look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with the reflection. But if you lie, cheat and steal and live a dishonest life, if you disrespect yourself and disrespect the world, and you live a life that is not only in line with health but the exact opposite of it, self-sabotage and destruction of self, you will look in the mirror and feel lost. People don’t even know their values in relationships and they put up with anything and everything. We only get in life what we’re willing to tolerate. You only get in life what you’re willing to tolerate. If you tolerate a specific toxic human being in your life and you’re pissed and annoyed and frustrated that person keeps treating you a certain way it’s not about them – it’s about what you have been willing to tolerate in your life. Because the moment you say, “This does not align with my values I will no longer tolerate this,” you just free yourself of everything that human being says and does. People don’t do it sometimes unfortunately. Whatever it takes to maintain my peace and serenity takes a lot of work but worth it. Yeah it’s  the number one thing we got in life is peace and serenity. Number one thing. You know, I could be happy as a clam as long as I got peace and serenity or I could be stressed out, annoyed, frustrated. No serenity, no peace, and just hoping and searching for it. So sad that people just don’t understand how simple this is.

 

4. So the next one I got here is this thing called everyday. So the D was Decide, curb your Expectations, understand your Values, and then do it everyday. And why do we got to do things everyday? Because that’s the only way it becomes something tangible and it becomes something real and it becomes a part of your identity. Three days on, four days off, five days on, two days off, it doesn’t do anything but create an inconsistent experience in life. And are you willing to do something everyday for your personal development? Are you willing to go on a walk, read a book, talk to someone that levels you up? Are you willing to take care of your mind, body, spirit? Are you willing to help others everyday? If the answer is yes, your life’s going to get real good, real fast. If the answer is no, my question is, “Why?” If the answer is no, my question is, “When?” Simple as that. When are you going to start doing something everyday for your life? You know, the funny part is by the way, sometimes parents that talk to me they’re like, “Yeah, my kid’s not doing X Y and Z, they’re not doing this and that,” and my question is like, “Oh that’s cool, what are you doing everyday?” and they’re like, “No no no, I’m not talking about me. I’m talking about my kid, I’m okay.” I’m like, “I know you’re okay but do you have the life that you want? Are you the version of yourself that one day when you were a child you thought of becoming? If the answer is no, then what’s the difference between you and your kid? What’s the difference between you and your spouse? Just because they have a raging alcohol and drug problem they have to do something that you don’t? Remove the drugs and alcohol. All human beings must take steps for personal development.” Sometimes people say, “Why can’t I just be myself?” That’s okay, I just know that oftentimes people that think they just want to be themselves have resigned on the idea that they can be something different. They resigned on the idea that at some point in their life they had dreams, hopes, aspirations, goals for themselves and as soon as life hit him in the face, as soon as they experience some trauma, as soon as they experience some pain, they just said, “You know what, I’m just going to settle. I’m just going to settle.” I’m okay with it but they’re not peaceful, they’re struggling inside. So make sure you’re doing something everyday.

 

5. The next one we got is this thing called Lifestyle. So in Development, the L is lifestyle. Here’s what it means. Well, here’s what I think it means. Are you ready? If you want to grow and develop in life you have to remember the following. That your new life is going to cost you your old life. Are you willing to pay that price? Some people are and some people aren’t. Some people want to hold on to certain aspects and elements of their old life. They hold on, wondering why they don’t embrace or experience a new way of life or experience. You can’t have it both ways. If you want to grow and develop in your life you have to look at the areas in your life that you have to let go of that don’t serve you, that don’t help you get to your destination, that are holding you from your progress. And you got to become willing to let them go. And sometimes that means people. There might be people in your life that you might need to let go of. And some of you might say, “Well, that person is my family member, that person’s my this.” That’s cool. I’m not saying end your relationship. I’m just saying let go of the type of relationship you have with them. Some people say, “Every time I talk to this person and when I’m with them for like five or six hours, or I’m with them for a day, it just drains me. It’s too much to handle. They suck my soul out. They’re manipulative.” Well, hey, how about instead of five or six hours, you go kick it with them for an hour? Protect yourself, change the way you view the world, change the way you view others. Let go of certain aspects of your life that don’t serve you. Yeah yeah here’s Jim: “My old life sucked. This one doesn’t. Plain and simple.” Isn’t it funny Jim? Sometimes people know that their old life sucks but they still don’t want to let go of it? They know that they’re not happy, joyous and free and they still choose a life of misery. They get moments of glimpses of like, “Wow, there’s so much contrast to this new life versus the old life. If only I continue on this path for a little longer, maybe I’ll get to another destination. But life slaps them in the face and guess what they do? Revert back to the old lifestyle. They settle for status quo. They settle for their comfort zone. They settle for a life lack of progress. So sad man, so sad.

 

6. So the next one we have here, my friends, is that you must overcome your negative beliefs about yourself and others. So if you are trying to grow in life, if you are trying to take steps in your personal development in life, you must identify your negative beliefs and then you must overcome them. Here’s a good question to ask anybody in life. Who were you before the world told you who you ought to be, who you need to be, who you should be, who you shouldn’t be? Before the world stripped you of your authenticity, before the world stripped you of your uniqueness? Who were you when you started to believe things like, I am not smart enough, I’m not good enough, I’m not tough enough, I’m not blank enough, I’m not tall enough, I’m not skinny enough, I’m not buff enough, I’m not rich enough. Who were you before all these negative limiting beliefs started to penetrate your mind and penetrate your soul and your heart? You got to overcome them and how do we overcome our negative beliefs, is by massive action by contrary action. By doing what it is that we think we can’t do, doing it with commitment and consistency and repetition over and over and over again until you do it. And how long do you do it? Until it’s done. Here’s a fair question – how long does a mom give their infant child or their young child time to walk? Until he or she walks. It’s not like, “Oh you got six months and if you don’t walk by then, it’s over.” Different Strokes for different folks. It takes different times for different people. How long do you go on this path of personal development to accomplish your goals and dreams? Well, until you do and when you do a very profound and powerful thing happens. You get split into two and there’s a different version of you. Are you the person that can’t or the person that just did and now you have a binary choice. Black or white. One or two. Yes or no. Which one are you? And the moment you choose the new version of you the old you can die. You shed that skin. You free yourself. The caterpillar, the butterfly, the cocoon, the transformation, you know the story. I try the best version of myself and improve myself 1% every day. And by the way, I like this 1% Marilyn, here’s why. 1% is a significant, significant number. And someone might say, “Dude, what are you talking about? 1% is nothing. It’s like one out of a 100 is 1%” Well, if you don’t think that 1% matters, 1° matters, let’s just look at physics. Let’s look at nature, water, the life source. What makes the world live? Oxygen and water, right? What makes the world live? At 211° Fahrenheit water is water. At 212° Fahrenheit water changes form and turns into steam. On the flip side at 33° Fahrenheit water is water. At 32° Fahrenheit water changes its form and turns into ice. See, 1% can change our form. So 1% better can change your 1% better, it can change your life, if you subscribe to the importance of just getting 1% better in each and every single thing we do. 

 

Eileen, what’s up Eileen from Miami? That is the mission. Too often we have no idea who we were. The tapes were implanted so young. Yeah you know, the tapes were implanted so long ago. You know, sometimes it’s like the people planting us love us. That’s the weird part you know. It’s people that care about us and they just want the best for us, you know. It’s kind of like that hypercritical parent that really wants their kid to be good at school and their intention is because if they’re good at school they have a chance to go to college and get a good job and just be a good member of society, but they’re so critical and so intense that when the kid gets a B they tell them, “Hey, like what happened there? What’s wrong with you?” You don’t even have to work. All you have to do is study. Why can’t you just get an A?” And that kid doesn’t internalize it that way. They think, “My mom or dad doesn’t love me and I’m stupid,” or “I’m not good enough.” So the intention was really pure by the mom to be like, “Hey, let’s do well in school,” but when the kid struggled and failed for whatever reasons the kid doesn’t think, “Oh it’s because my mom had best intentions.” “I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough.” And that kid’s screwed, because everything he’s gonna do in life he’s never going to be good enough. So we unintentionally can do damage to people we love and then of course there’s the intentional stuff. People genuinely puts some tapes in their head that it’s really painful. Kids that get bullied all the time, man their self-esteem, their self-worth, really tough to overcome. People that experience trauma and the tape of what they’re worth, oh so hard to overcome. So we got to eventually overcome all these negative beliefs because they’re not us. They’re just thoughts. 

 

7. So the next one is planning. I know Julie over there probably has a good one for planning here. I talked about it yesterday. But planning is very important because here’s the reason why. You ready? If you don’t plan for your life you will fall into someone else’s plans. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. They got nothing on their agenda for you. You’re not even a part of their plans. You’re not even a blip on the radar. Because you want to know why? Whose plans? They’re into their own. So if you want your life to get better you must plan and prepare and here’s a wonderful powerful quote by a very, very, very successful college basketball coach named John Wooden. “If you fail to plan in life then prepare yourself to fail.” “If you fail to plan and prepare in life then then you must plan to fail,” because you are going to fail. You know people that wake up in the morning and say, “What am I going to do today? Where am I going to go today?” Man you’re already screwed up if you didn’t set that up the night before. It’s too hard to catch up when the day starts. It’s like changing the flat tire of a moving car. Did you get that one? If you try to plan your day after you wake up instead of planning it the night before right before you go to bed, it’s the equivalent of trying to to change a flat tire of a moving car. Good luck with that. It’s easier to plan when we’re stopped. It’s easier to adjust when we’re stopped. It’s easier to make repairs when we’re stopped. And then in the morning when you wake up you’re ready to go. You got boom boom boom boom boom lists of things that you’re going to get done and accomplished. Don’t sleep on the power of planning. It’s a game changer. Stick to the plan once you have one. Persistence. You know, that’s another thing what people do. They plan for a little bit and then when adversity comes in they hit the eject button. And they abort. They’re not persistent. They just get up and go. You know, it’s kind of like when people build a house and there’s proper planning that’s happening and then all of a sudden they’re building it one day and something doesn’t go as planned. Do they just abandon the house and say we’re going to go build somewhere else? No man, they’re persistent until they find the solution. They work around it and they figure it out and they move forward and build the house. Life is the same way. Plans are plans and if and when the plan changes we must change with it. It is very important to know. Like in sports you go in with a game plan. How good of an example is this? In sports you go in with a game plan, you have it all dialed in, you’ve worked on it all week, you feel like it’s going to work and execute perfectly with the goal of getting a win, and all of a sudden it’s all falling apart at halftime. You go in, you got a choice – do I stick with the plan? Yes, because we worked on it. Do I need to make some adjustments to the plan? Yes, we adjust and continue on the same path. Hopefully, those adjustments are enough to produce a positive outcome. And yep, proper planning, there it is. Proper planning prevents poor performance. I love that thing you know you shared it the other day – that was a very powerful one. I like it. Katalin says, “If I don’t plan my day I actually get very tired throughout the day, lost all day.” It’s 100% true. Because we’re trying to play catchup. We’re trying to pull all of our resources and finding out what’s the most efficient way to do it. And by doing so we are already burning at both ends of the candle because psychological thinking also has a physiological effect. So when she says she gets very tired, if you sit down and just think all day and not even move you’ll feel tired. Thinking even burns calories. People don’t know that but it’s very important to plan. So I’m glad we’re all on the same page with that one.

 

8. Now, the next one that I have is this thing called Mindset. So a growth mindset looks at challenges in life as opportunities for progress. A growth mindset and that’s what we want to have. We don’t want to have a mindset that’s based in stagnation and complacency, and it’s based on scarcity. You don’t want to have a mindset that’s afraid of obstacles and challenges. Because my friends, the only way you get better in life is by overcoming those obstacles and challenges. And here’s why. Because you have to become a different version of yourself. You have to tap into a higher vibration of yourself. You have to tap into a more resourceful version of yourself to climb and overcome that. And when you do, on the other side you are different. Look at all of the challenges of serious adversity you’ve had in your life. Have they not changed you? Have they not changed your perspective, your mindset? Oftentimes for the better. Then why when we get faced with challenges, and we get overwhelmed instead of fighting, we go in our turtle shell and hide in fear. We succumb to fear and as long as you do so fear will always win. And you will always be stuck in the same place. This talk of personal development doesn’t mean anything. So your mindset matters. How you do anything is how you do everything. Your mindset matters. What do we got here? Yep, obstacles are chances to grow. You know there’s another powerful quote I like. It says that anytime in life you experience a setback, a challenge, a problem, a breakdown, just know that after every breakdown there is the possibility of a breakthrough. A breakthrough of a new world, a new experience, a new you, so when you break down and you fall and you and your world is spinning around you either look at it as like I failed, I struggled, it’s over. Or you say what type of a breakthrough is possible, available for me on the other side of this breakdown? Embrace the breakdown. That’s where the magic happens.

 

9. The next one is this thing called Eagerness. 

Do you remember my friends like when it was the night before your big birthday or like a holiday like a Christmas or something, or the first time you went on a family vacation, you’re about to go to an amusement park, you remember the feeling in your gut? Couldn’t sleep at night, so eager and excited for the life experience? As a child I know you experienced that but when I ask adults when’s the last time you were truly eager and excited for something they say, “Nothing man, I just get excited for the weekend.” I’m like, “Why?” “I’m not working.” It’s like, Okay, well, find another job, find another career if you don’t get eager and excited to show up every day for your life and you have to wait for the weekends, that means you’re just a walking zombie five days of the year. You’re pretty much dead. You’re not even living. You’re just existing. Be eager for change, for transformation. Be eager for a new way of life. Get excited, lose sleep, why not? Oh it’s not for you? It’s only for kids? If I only knew how hard your life was, if I only knew what you’ve experienced, do you really think people that are excited and eager and passionate all the time haven’t had similar life experiences? Do you really think that? See, it’s not a matter of what you’ve gone through. It’s how you deal with what you’ve gone through. Everybody goes through something. Do some people have it a little bit worse than other people? For sure. Do some people experience more pain and trauma than other people? For sure. But everybody experiences something. Just the fact that we’re watching this on the internet talking right now we are ahead of probably two billion people in the world that don’t have this opportunity but we don’t think about those things. We just live in a world of fear, you know. So please, please, please find reasons to be eager for your life. It’s a beautiful thing. Bita: “Unfortunately I’m not good at planning to exercise so I get help from a personal trainer. Now I have a plan to meet up with her at a certain time and day.” So what she’s talking about right now – it’s wonderful and it’s a proven method for success. You know there’s a little cost associated with it, but the reason why that works is because of the accountability piece. Now some people say when they use their dollars and their money you know it raises a level of accountability but the research actually shows that people that have an accountability partner or a gym partner or a workout partner are significantly, significantly more likely to exercise than people that don’t. So if you’re like sitting back and saying, “Well, you know she has the money to get a trainer, I wish I had a trainer, if only I had a trainer, I’d be ripped and fit too,” I want you to know that’s categorically false. The reason why this trainer is working is because she’s accountable to this trainer. It’s the accountability piece and ultimately the goal, by the way, is as she develops her psychological and emotional and physical muscles to become more consistent with her exercise routine and planning, as she gets better and better and better and better at it because if you repeat it, if you’re committed to it, if you’re consistent to it, it eventually becomes a part of your identity. We learn how to be accountable to ourselves. It’s a powerful thing. I cannot operate or function unless I do certain things in life. One of them is exercise. Zero chance, no way in heck I don’t need an accountability partner, no more for it, because I’m obsessed with it. But at some point I did. And yep, that’s the plan. I know it is. So hey, enjoy that trainer right now. Learn as much as you can. Gather from their expertise, build a workout routine, build a few of them, and then eventually you know, 6 months from now, a year from now, you won’t even need that. And you can become the accountability partner for somebody else, and show them the things you learn. And that’s how it goes on. How about having an open mind about the new ideas for more growth in life? I think we have to have an open mind for everything, for new ideas, for old ideas. I think a human being that closes her mind has stopped the possibility of learning and gaining knowledge and developing, all of this, everything I’m saying right now, you need an open mind for, because if you have a closed mind for any of this stuff then you’re just saying, “Hey, I’m okay with who I am and what I know.” And by the way, Hossein Jan, those people won’t even end up on talks like this. As soon as they hear me talking about “Hey, it’s important to plan in life, or it’s important to be eager in life, or it’s important to be consistent or be committed in life,” they’ll just skip through it. They’re like, “Yeah yeah yeah whatever,” and that’s okay. Some people do and some people don’t. Like I say, I got out of the figuring out why business.

 

10. The next one here – I talk about it all the time. If you’re trying to become a different version of yourself, if you’re trying to grow, if you’re trying to develop, you must develop and strengthen this. The emotional muscles, psychological muscles, to learn how to say No. Because the more you say No to other things, the more you say No to other people, the more you say No to some of your impulses, the more you say Yes to yourself, to a new way of life. We can’t overextend ourselves by saying Yes to anything and everyone in a path of personal development. It’s going to be a little selfish at first because you got to grow, you got to develop, kind of like a boxer that’s getting ready to go for a fight. They say No to everything. Temptation. They say No to their diet, they say No to their loved ones, they say No to their sleep schedule, they say No to everything. They wake up early in the morning, they grind, they eat right, they work out their mind, they exercise, they rest, they repeat, they repeat, they repeat, they sacrifice a lot of stuff, to be ready for the fight. And life is that way sometimes. We have to say No to people, places, and things, and say Yes to ourselves in order to be able to grow and develop. And some people do it and some people don’t. The people that do it have learned boundaries. The people that do it have learned the value of saying No. The people that do it understand the importance of saying Yes to yourself. The people that don’t do it are usually codependent. They’re afraid of people’s judgment. They’re afraid of how they will be perceived if they say No. They have people pleasing tendencies and if that’s your way of life just know that you’re going to keep experiencing that. You know you’re always going to be the person that’s being taken advantage of. You’re always going to be the person that’s always feeling like the floor mat in front of the door. You’re going to be the person that feels like nobody respects them. And they think it’s the problem of the world, when it’s just – you don’t know how to set boundaries. You don’t know how to say No. No wonder everybody walks on you because they can. I’ve said that before to somebody and they got so disrespected. They got so mad at me, they got so pissed. “How dare you say that to me?” I’m like, “You just told me that for years people in your life walk all over you, you told me that I didn’t know that about you, that everybody walks all over you. It’s not about them walking. It’s about you letting them walk. The moment you say No and choose yourself, people will learn the lesson quick. They understand the assignment but they won’t learn it until you teach it. Why don’t they just know it on their own? Because you’ve conditioned them not to. You’ve enabled them for 10, 20, 30 years that this is who you are and what you do, so that’s what they expect. They are just doing to you what you have allowed them to do and they didn’t like that either.” But it’s okay. I spoke the truth and maybe one day they come back around and say. “Hey, I started to value myself. I started to set boundaries. I started to say No to people and I feel like even if they don’t like me as much I can respect myself more.” I don’t know if they will. They’re going to go to another therapist or counselor saying that people in my life walk all over me and the therapist or counselor will say, “Oh, how does that make you feel? What do you think of that? Oh I hear that you’re really sad and overwhelmed.” Man, if you want to hear that kind of stuff this ain’t the channel for you. I’m not the guy for you.

 

11. And the next one here is the last one in the Development is the T. There’s an African proverb that says the following: “If you want to go fast in life, go alone, but if you want to go far in life go with others.” We only develop and transform with other human beings. Cohesive, get in the middle of the herd, follow the direction of people that have been there, that know how to get there, that can show you the way, and get better 1% everyday, everyday, everyday.

 

So I will be back next week for another talk. I love and appreciate all of you. Feel free to share this video or share the link with anybody who you think finds value from the content. I love and appreciate all of you, and I look forward to another family education support group next week. We got some thank yous, and bye everyone!

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Some Examples Of People Who Wear Emotional Masks

We listed 9 Emotional Masks people wear in this blog post. Read that first to get an overview of each of the masks, and see if you can recognize which mask you tend to wear.

 

Here we talk about a few examples of people wearing emotional masks, and what that could look like.

 

Example of a Humorist

The person that I love the most when I think of stand up comedy is Mr Robin Williams. Oh did I love this human! Robin Williams made human beings of multiple generations laugh in moments of darkness and despair. Robin Williams brought laughter and joy to the lives of people who desperately needed it. I know a personal example. I was 10 or 11 years old and I moved to the country of Iran after living in the United States for the previous five years. I’m in Iran and I’m just depressed. I’m in an all boys school wearing a uniform. I can’t read the language, I can’t write the language. I just don’t want to be there. It’s oppressed, it’s Islamic, it’s just horrible. I want to be in the US and I remember we got this bootleg video of Miss Doubtfire and I probably watched Miss Doubtfire a thousand five million times. That’s not even a number but God, did it take me out of my mind, and God did it make me laugh, and boy, did it bring me some joy in those moments. And when you look at Robin Williams’ life behind the camera when no one’s around he struggled with major depressive disorder. When you look at Robin Williams’ life he struggled with cocaine abuse and alcoholism. When you look at Robin Williams’ life it was far from funny. He struggled and he’s open about it and ultimately it led him to believe that the depression was so severe that a person that successful and well known had to take his own life because he couldn’t live another day feeling the way he felt. 

 

Example of an Overachiever

I can identify with this – I told you we’re all guilty of these, and Bam! here I go – the Overachiever. It’s oftentimes because we have this innate inadequacy. We don’t feel good about ourselves and who we are and how we live, so we overcompensate with accomplishments. We overcompensate with making sure that we are doing the best of their abilities at all things we can do and we’re burning at the both ends of the candle and we’re just always on the go and we’re trying to get good grades and we’re trying to be good at work and we’re trying to do good at relationships and they’re trying to be the best at everything. Because we feel that by doing so we can receive the love, the recognition, the acknowledgement, whatever you want to call it, of the world, and when we don’t get it it’s an empty feeling.

 

Example of a Martyr

I was at the grocery store like A Mother’s Market where for the most part people that go to Mother’s Market are a little bit more health conscious, they just think a little bit differently, they’re willing to pay a premium to get a product for their health and this and that. We’re just standing in the checkout lane, and bless their heart, there’s one person working over there and I’m in the line and it’s probably going to be like a six to seven minute line. And the person in front of me is just losing their mind like, “This is ridiculous. We have stuff to do, we got places to go. I’m here right now trying to get this stuff and this is literally what’s happening. They’re making me wait for 5 minutes. I mean, how hard is it for them to get another cashier in this place and make this go by faster? I’m missing out on the opportunity to go do XY and Z.” It’s like, “Yo dude, chill out! just wait for five minutes, grab your groceries and walk out, be grateful you’re buying groceries.” But that mindset doesn’t just apply to the register at a grocery store. It applies to their loved ones and their relationships and their children. 

 

Example of a Bully

I experienced bullying when I was a child growing up. I remember vividly going from the US to Iran and sitting in school and it was just tough. They make fun of you for being an American. I’m like, well I was born in Iran. They make fun of you for not being able to read and write or the way you speak has a certain accent to it, or sounds cute or funny. And then when I came to the US in my high school years, my formative high school years, sophomore, junior year, nobody was overtly outright mean to me but I would get really bad comments and stuff. Like if you look at my face up close I don’t know if you can see I have all these like acne scars on my face and I think this camera is a little polished so it’s removing them but I was to the point that I was afraid if someone touches my face, my face was going to bleed. I had so much social anxiety. I have this thing called Vitiligo which is like these little white dots or spots that I have on my hand and I get made fun of for those. Or people wouldn’t want to touch my hand because they thought it’s contagious and this stuff just hurts. 

 

Example of a Control Freak

I call them helicopter parents. They’re just always around and it’s like they want to know every little detail and for them they’re like, “I’m doing it because I love my kid,” and they know their kid says, “I can’t stand my mom or dad. They just control every aspect of my life.” So the intention is good: “I love my kid.” The actual interpretation of what they’re doing is, “This person just doesn’t trust me. This person hates me. This person is just XYZ.” 

 

Example of a Self Basher

I tell parents all the time, “Be careful of what you tell your children, because one day it will become their inner critic, the inner voice inside their mind.” So, if you always tell your kid, “You’re not good enough, you’re not doing it right, you should have done it this way,” do you really think they just take that and say, “Oh thank you so much, I appreciate you Mom, I appreciate you Dad, for telling me that. I didn’t do it good enough.” They start to internalize that. “When they told me that, it means I’m not good enough. I’m inadequate. I’m not smart. I’m not worthy. I don’t deserve.” And guess what that inner critic becomes? Their inner voice. And it starts to become their identity. They over-identify with it and believe the BS that they’re telling themselves. And they bash themselves and they bash themselves and they bash themselves. “Oh I can’t do it anyways, what’s the point? Why even try? I’m stupid.”

 

Example of a People Pleaser

There’s a lot of people in the recovery rooms that say, “Hey, I’m just like a chameleon. I could be anything I want to be. I could talk anyway I want to talk. I can do what I got to do because that’s what I am.” No, that tells me who you exactly are not. There is no sense of self, there is no truth, there is no realness, authenticity to you. If you could be whatever color paint that you have to be to look a certain way on a wall, what does that say about you?

 

Example of What One of these Roles Looks Like

My favorite show growing up was this thing called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and it was Will Smith and he was a child from Philadelphia, from like the hood. An adverse childhood experience was when his dad abandoned him when he was a child. He eventually moves over to Bel-Air where he had an aunt and uncle somehow but his dad pops into his life after a lot of years, like 14 years of not being there. So the dad comes into his life and Will Smith is like a freaking humorist, the humorist mask. He’s a funny guy. This scene is going to show you what’s underneath it and how he quickly taps into that mask before underneath it comes out. So his dad comes and one more time his father says, “Hey sorry son, I gotta go.” So his father comes in and and they’re about to go on this road trip for a few weeks and he’s so excited he comes and he’s like, “Dad, I’m here,” and his dad’s right about to walk out and he says, “Hey son, something came up and I gotta go again.” And immediately Will just goes, “Okay whatever, take care!” He’s like, “We’ll do it some other time.” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. We’ll go,” and the dad walks out and Will turns around. His uncle’s there and his uncle’s like, “Hey Will, I’m so sorry that your dad did this to you again.” And then Will says, “Oh it’s not a big deal. Actually I’m happy that he’s gone because all the girls in school at summertime, they’re going to be wearing nothing, they’re going to look good, I’m gonna go play ball, I’m going to party, I’m gonna have a good time,” and then he’s like, “Will, it’s okay to be mad,” and he says, “Why should I be mad? It’s not like I’m 5 years old and I’m waiting at the window asking my mom when dad’s going to come home. It’s not like I had 14 birthdays without him. It’s not like I learned how to do all these things without him,” and he starts to get angry and then he starts to say, “I’m gonna graduate college, I’m gonna have myself a bunch of families, a bunch of kids, and I’m never gonna be what this guy was, because he never taught me what it’s like to be a dad.” And then it’s a really overwhelming scene and then he just starts crying and he says, “Why can’t he just love me?” So immediately when he got hurt he started cracking joke joke joke joke joke. Underneath it was, “Why can’t he just love me?” And I want you guys to know that whichever one of these masks we share today, underneath it there is a wounded self. This mask is protection. 

 

“We all have three faces. The first face is the face that we show the world. The second face is the face that we show our friends and family. And the third face is the face that we show to nobody, in that third face is our truest self.” 

-Japanese Saying

Check Which Emotional Mask Are You Wearing?

Halloween isn’t the only time of year that people wear masks. What if I told you that people like you and me oftentimes wear masks consciously or unconsciously as a result of our life experiences? 

 

“We all have three faces. The first face is the face that we show the world. The second face is the face that we show our friends and family. And the third face is the face that we show to nobody, in that third face is our truest self.” 

-Japanese Saying

All of us, including myself, wear masks throughout the year. Now the goal is to be able to be aware that we’re wearing a mask and the second one is to be able to remove it when necessary to be able to be fully authentic and fully stand in our own space and our own presence and to be able to communicate with others mask-free. 

 

This post is going to identify 9 different emotional masks that human beings wear, why they wear them, what’s the background, and for you to recognize which of these masks you might be wearing. 

 

1. The Humorist

The humorist is also known in layman’s terms as the class clown we all know what that person’s like. No matter what the situation is, they deflect with humor. They could be dealing with something super sad or overwhelming and somehow they’re cracking jokes in the middle of it. Or it’s like a Class A kid in the classroom – they’re just constantly acting out to the point they got removed from the class. The best example for a professional humorist or Class Clown would be our beloved stand-up comedians. If you read the autobiography of most funny human beings their childhood is riddled with pain. 

 

So if you are a humorist, just know that the reason for it is coming from some type of sadness that you experienced in your life that was so overwhelming that instead of dealing with it you just crack jokes about it, crack jokes about it, crack jokes about it, and you’ll never let anyone close. It’s one thing for the kid to be the funny kid but when you’re an adult and you’re the funny adult that’s always cracking jokes and never takes anything seriously you might want to look at that.

 

2. The Overachiever

The Overachiever is something that a lot of people can get away with. You want to know why? Because society rewards you for this one. Society says, “Oh, you’re really, really good at something,” or “You’re really, really good at a lot of things,” and you do everything really well. But it comes with a cost so why do certain people become overachievers? It’s oftentimes because they have this innate inadequacy. They don’t feel good about themselves and who they are and how they live so they overcompensate with accomplishments. They overcompensate with making sure that they are doing the best of their abilities at all things they can do and they’re burning at the both ends of the candle and they’re just always on the go and they’re trying to get good grades and they’re trying to be good at work and they’re trying to do good at relationships and they’re trying to be the best at everything. Because they feel that by doing so they can receive the love, the recognition, the acknowledgement, whatever you want to call it, of the world, and when they don’t get it it’s an empty feeling. So if you’re an overachiever there’s nothing wrong with that. 

 

I want you to know that we are human beings, not human doings. If you only identify with the things you achieve and not who you are as a person you’re going to be set up for disaster. And overachievers oftentimes come from dysregulated family systems. If there’s a lot of moving, if there’s a lot of chaos, if there’s a lot of dysfunction, if there’s a lot of instability, they think that the X Factor is going to be by accomplishing everything I can accomplish. And this can lead into things like perfectionism which causes significant impairments in life. And again, society pats you on the back for this one. Society pats the standup comedians on the back too. So we got to be really careful when we’re wearing these masks on days that are not Halloween. Do we have the time, space, the moment to take them off and actually identify with the person underneath the mask? 

 

3. The Martyr

The Martyr is the one that is always self sacrificing themselves for their environment, for their people. And the most annoying thing a martyr does is they tell the people around them,
How much I’ve sacrificed for you, I’ve given up my hopes, my goals, my dreams, my ambitions for you, and this is how you reward me.” The Martyr always feels like he or she is the victim in every circumstance of their life. I want you to know this if you are a martyr. First of all, I know you get defensive to be called a martyr but if you are a martyr I have compassion for you even if I’m saying it with a goofy smile. Do you want to know why? Because at some point in your life there’s a very high probability that you actually were the victim. There’s a high probability that your needs never got met, that your self esteem was never nurtured, that you were never given the love that you deserved. What you’re doing now is you’re going through life, giving everything and anything of yourself to others to just feel loved. And when they don’t love you back the way that you’re loving and when they don’t give back what it is that you’re giving them your expectations get shattered and you start to feel resentful. 

 

I’m not saying it’s wrong being any of these things. I’m just saying when we over identify with these personas it becomes our reality. I mean someone that is a martyr or a victim, they just happen to be that way everywhere they go. 

 

4. The Bully

So we all know what a bully in school looks like, Let’s just say there’s a fifth grader that’s a class bully, like one of those fifth graders that we all know about, that just says mean things to kids and hurts kids and does harmful things to kids and everybody gets mad at the bully. 

 

I’m not justifying their behavior by the way. I’m not saying it’s right to be a fifth grader and be a bully but if fifth graders oftentimes are like 11 or 12 years old, if you had a chance to watch that bully walk home all the way to his house, like bird’s eye view and go inside of his house, and put a little camera and observe what happens inside that kid’s house, there is a very high possibility /probability /predictability that that child is experiencing some type of bullying behavior inside the home, or is observing and watching some type of bullying behavior inside the home. He is just doing to others what is being done to him or what’s familiar to him. I’m not justifying it but I’m saying that’s the reason why it’s so painful to watch that or experience that, that you go out and you do it to other people as a coping skill. It’s another mask that people wear. Now when it’s a child we can all say, “Well, that kid is a victim of their circumstances and surroundings,” but where I start to have a challenge and an issue is if that you’re a bully and now all of a sudden you’re 18-20-25-30 years old and you’re still bullying other people, it’s no longer on the environment that brought you up. Now it’s on you. Because if you’re aware of it you must do the work to change it. Because if you don’t you will do to others what was done to you, even if it was painful, and if you want to break multigenerational patterns of dysfunction in multigenerational patterns that get passed on the negative ones you got to break that cycle. 

 

So finding out why I lash out or act out and bully other human beings, why do I exert my dominance? By the way, bullying sometimes can come in the form of intellectual stuff. So some people that are really smart can use intellectual kind of comments, and they can intellectualize things, they can use sarcasm as a form of bullying somebody else’s intelligence. I mean it’s ridiculous but the bully is someone that at some point in their life was feeling it. Nobody just randomly becomes a bully ever, ever. So that’s another mask right there.

 

5. The Control Freak

How does one become a control freak? It usually happens as a response to adverse childhood experiences when our environment, the people, places, and things in our environment as we’re growing up were out of control. Maybe there was family discord, and maybe there was fights, and maybe there was abandonment, maybe there was a lot of moving, maybe there was a lot of noise and chaos, maybe there was a volatile socioeconomic status, maybe it was just a very difficult upbringing that was out of the control of the child, so the person starts to overcompensate by engaging in thoughts and behavior that are kind of overly controlling. This can happen with our environment. Things like OCD, people that have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that are in a constant strife and need to control things. It could become with our physical bodies, people that have eating disorders – there the only one thing you can control is yourself. If you can’t control the environment it can come in relationships and people do this with their loved ones all the time. So the control freak is a response. So remember it’s a response and an adaptation for someone who growing up, experienced adverse childhood experiences that were related to things being out of control. And the control freak annoys people because nobody wants to be around one.

 

6. The Self Basher

This is the person whose environment was so hypercritical on them and was so overly intense on them that they start to believe the stuff that was told to them. How many people say they’re stupid when they’re not? How many people say they’re not worthy of love or happiness when they are? Where do you think all this comes from? It’s a mask they put on, adaptations to adverse childhood experiences. It’s sad when I see someone being super critical of themselves. You know what I tell them? Start to, at the end of every day, identify three things that you did well. Just three. Maybe it was a conversation you had with somebody, maybe it was a few tasks that you had to complete that you got done. Maybe it was the way that you loved yourself and you went around the block and took a walk and ate an apple and meditated and slept early. Whatever it is, whatever it is, start to identify the positive, and the positive will grow. Keep focusing on the negative, and the negative is all that there will be. 

 

Having to deal with the core belief of not being good enough can be a real challenge. These thoughts, these ideas, these experiences start to become something called a core belief. Now a core belief is something that we hold as true about self as a result of the life experiences we had, however it’s not the truth. It’s just the belief that we have that we over identify with. So he says that it’s really challenging to overcome. It is, because we over-identify with it. And it’s trying to say, “Hey, how can I overcome who I am?” It’s not who you are. It’s who you think you are. It’s who you had to become. The beauty of life is that we could transform our story and we can create new core beliefs, ones that are around and geared towards our personal and professional development, ones that align with our true self, who you actually want to be in life. 

 

7. The People Pleaser

A People Pleaser says what they think that others want to be told, they do what they think others want to be done, and they go where they think others want them to go. There is no sense of self. They get their entire self worth of becoming who and what they think they’re supposed to become for the environment and the people in that environment to approve of them, accept them, and ultimately love them. But guess what? It’s never enough. And in that pursuit of being accepted and loved, in that pursuit they completely get disconnected and lose touch with who and what they actually are. 

 

Here’s the reason why people do that. It is because it all comes from low self-esteem. It all comes from lack of self-worth. It all comes from inadequate receiving of this thing called love growing up, and they go on this constant pursuit. People Pleasers have a really hard time and they start to experience a lot of things around the world of anxiety and depression, a lot of things.

 

8. The Isolationist

We have these words, introvert and extrovert. Those are kind of healthy expressions of human behavior and personality. We can be a little bit introverted, we could be a little extroverted, we could be a little bit of both, we could be more leaning or more dominant on the other one, but the isolationist is completely on the extreme introvert side. And here’s the reason why. Because if I go put myself out there, if I connect with other people I’m going to get hurt. It’s safer to be by myself than it is to be in the world. I’d rather do everything on my own, than expose myself to the possibility, the potential of let down. And the introvert experiences extreme loneliness and sadness in life, extreme. Somebody that’s an isolationist, because what is a human being? What is the human experience all about? It’s about the connection we’ve talked about in these rooms, that the opposite of addiction is connection. So the opposite of misery and sadness and loneliness and all that stuff is connection. So if you’re an isolationist I get why you do it – because the world hurt you. But I’m also telling you that the cure for sadness and loneliness is connection. It’s a double-edged sword. Eventually you got to start to learn to trust and you got to start to learn to try and you gotta start to take some risks – small ones – to break away from that. And you might always be okay with being an introvert but not an isolationist. 

 

9. The Social Butterfly

A social butterfly can’t be by themselves. Because when they were by themselves growing up they were probably just around some intensity and all they wanted to do was get the heck out of the house. Get the heck out of the house and be anywhere but there. They just wanted to be with people 24/7. They can’t be by themselves. They just go and go and go and they just kind of feel like that’s the way that they’re going to be okay. But as soon as the lights are off and the cameras are off and the people are gone and they’re by themselves again they get very, very, very uncomfortable. The exact opposite of the isolationist. So the social butterfly is draining, oftentimes to keep that persona up, things like drugs and alcohol have to kick in, or just some type of a you-gotta-be-a-chatter-box that drains the heck out of me. I’m a big, big talker. I could talk for 12 hours in a day but trust me, I got to go home and plug myself into the wall, if you will, and just disconnect. 

 

So in conclusion, Halloween is not the only day of the year that people wear masks. This post is to inform you and notify you that all of us, including myself, can wear these masks any day of the year, but please make sure that you take these off once in a while and you look at the person underneath the mask and honor that person and make sure you connect to that person. 

9 Emotional Masks We Wear

What is up, everyone? It is Saturday, October 28th of 2023. We are back with another support group. I call it the family education and support group but it’s really for any human being here that might be interested in learning a little bit about various topics such as personal development, mental health, addictions, communications, boundaries, understanding how our life experiences impact us in the present moment even if they happen days, weeks, months, years, or decades ago, and a little bit of everything in between. So this is an interactive community. So for example, Miss Jess, one of our fellow group members says, “What’s good?” Marilyn says Hi and people kind of share from where they are. Feel free to let people know where you’re from. I can post up your comments, I can post your questions and it’s going here. I love this talk, well I love talking to you guys. We got Katalin, we got Tony Dupree, counselor Tony, we got Mom and Dad in the house which is always nice and I’m gonna go ahead and talk and we’ll get there.

 

So a quick introduction about myself: my name is Parham. I am your weekly host of this talk and we won’t have one next week because of basketball but I’ll talk about it later. Let’s be present and not worry about next week. I do have a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy with an emphasis in child development. I am a licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor which also includes addictive behaviors and patterns and processes. I am a high school basketball coach as I just shared that I’m going to be missing next week because of a game and I’ve been doing that for 15 years. Very grateful for the opportunity and I am in recovery myself too, so we’re recovering from something that takes the pain away but I am in recovery and June 13th of 2008 is the day that I changed my life around from damage and destruction to self and others to healing and recovery and rebuilding community. And so hopefully my personal experience, my professional background and all that provides a platform to be able to deliver some content for you that might help you in your life. 

 

And pretty much this group is for any human being that firsthand or secondhand has experienced any type of pain as a result of addictions, mental health, or mental illness, trauma, or grief and loss, and so I believe that a majority of people, if they kind of tune into what I’m saying they’ll be able to gather something from this. These talks are there for free and they’re provided on a weekly basis for the most part. Feel free to share them with anyone you want. I’m not big on plugging all the social media stuff but feel free to share them with whoever you want and we’ll go from there.

 

This talk is one that I’ve done now, this is the fourth consecutive year, around the same time of year. I do this talk (it’s a little dark in this room is it let’s see I got this new camera that I’m working with. Let’s get a little light in here, yeah whatever. As long as you can hear my voice.) So let’s get right into this specific talk and what I want to share with you guys is that Halloween is coming up and Halloween is a time that we all associate with people wearing various types of costumes and masks but what if I told you that Halloween isn’t the only time of year that people wear masks? What if I told you that people like you and me oftentimes wear masks consciously or unconsciously as a result of our life experiences? The Japanese have a very famous saying that I love, and they say the following. “We all have three faces. The first face is the face that we show the world. The second face is the face that we show our friends and family. And the third face is the face that we show to nobody, in that third face is our truest self.” Now when I say that and we use that beautiful Japanese kind of proverb if you will, what does it make you think of, and where does your mind go with it? I want you to know this. That all of us, including myself, wear masks throughout the year. Now the goal is to be able to be aware that we’re wearing a mask and the second one is to be able to remove it when necessary to be able to be fully authentic and fully stand in our own space and our own presence and to be able to communicate with others mask-free. Okay, so this talk is going to identify nine different masks, emotional masks, that human beings wear, why they wear them, what’s the background, and for you it’s to think of, “Oh man, I know I wear a few of these, or I know I wear one of these, or I know I wear all of these,” and it’s not just to say, “Oh that person in my life wears this mask, my my son, my daughter, my mom, my aunt, my uncle, my siblings, they wear these masks.” Well, what if they wear something? You’re wearing something too. I want you to know that and again this is interactive so if you want to pause me, slow me down, ask me questions, feel free to and we’ll go from there.

 

So these masks that I’m talking about, these emotional masks that we wear, are a byproduct of adverse childhood experiences or negative experiences through our lifetime that caused a little bit of potentially negative impact or trauma. I’m going to go through them one by one and I’ll give you some good examples to really help you understand and grasp the concept and see which ones you identify with.

 

1. The very first mask that human beings wear and there’s no specific order but it’s called the Humorist. The humorist is also known in layman’s terms as the class clown we all know what that person’s like. No matter what the situation is, they deflect with humor. They could be dealing with something super sad or overwhelming and somehow they’re cracking jokes in the middle of it. Or it’s like a Class A kid in the classroom – they’re just constantly acting out to the point they got to remove them from the class and say, “Yo, something’s wrong here.” And the best example for a professional humorist or Class Clown would be our beloved stand-up comedians. Not all of them, so if you’re a stand-up comedian watching this and you’re saying, “This is BS. I had no negative childhood experiences. I just like to make jokes and make people laugh,” that’s a different story, good on you. But for the most part, if you read the autobiography of most funny human beings their childhood is riddled with pain. 

 

The person that I love the most when I think of stand up comedy is rest in peace Mr Robin Williams. Oh did I love this human! Robin Williams made human beings of multiple generations laugh in moments of darkness and despair. Robin Williams brought laughter and joy to the lives of people who desperately needed it. I know a personal example. I was 10 or 11 years old and I moved to the country of Iran after living in the United States for the previous five years. I’m in Iran and I’m just depressed. I’m in an all boys school wearing a uniform. I can’t read the language, I can’t write the language. I just don’t want to be there. It’s oppressed, it’s Islamic, it’s just horrible. I want to be in the US and I remember we got this bootleg video of Miss Doubtfire and I probably watched Miss Doubtfire a thousand five million times. That’s not even a number but God, did it take me out of my mind, and God did it make me laugh, and boy, did it bring me some joy in those moments. Robin Williams, yeah rest in peace my friend, absolutely rest in peace. And when you look at Robin Williams’ life behind the camera when no one’s around he struggled with major depressive disorder. When you look at Robin Williams’ life he struggled with cocaine abuse and alcoholism. When you look at Robin Williams’ life it was far from funny. He struggled and he’s open about it and ultimately it led him to believe that the depression was so severe that a person that successful and well known had to take his own life because he couldn’t live another day feeling the way he felt. 

 

So if you are a humorist, just know that the reason for it is coming from some type of sadness that you experienced in your life that was so overwhelming that instead of dealing with it you just crack jokes about it, crack jokes about it, crack jokes about it, and you’ll never let anyone close. It’s one thing for the kid to be the funny kid but when you’re an adult and you’re the funny adult that’s always cracking jokes and never takes [ __ ] seriously you might want to look at that.

 

2. The next one that we have here is – oh I can identify with this – I told you we’re all guilty of these, and Bam! here I go – the Overachiever. The overachiever is something that a lot of people can get away with. You want to know why? Because society rewards you for this one. Society says, “Oh, you’re really, really good at something,” or “You’re really, really good at a lot of things,” and you do everything really well. But it comes with a cost so why do certain people become overachievers? It’s oftentimes because they have this innate inadequacy. They don’t feel good about themselves and who they are and how they live so they overcompensate with accomplishments. They overcompensate with making sure that they are doing the best of their abilities at all things they can do and they’re burning at the both ends of the candle and they’re just always on the go and they’re trying to get good grades and they’re trying to be good at work and they’re trying to do good at relationships and they’re trying to be the best at everything. Because they feel that by doing so they can receive the love, the recognition, the acknowledgement, whatever you want to call it, of the world, and when they don’t get it it’s an empty feeling. So if you’re an overachiever there’s nothing wrong with that. 

 

I want you to know that – I say this every week and I’ll say it again – we are human beings, not human doings. If you only identify with the things you achieve and not who you are as a person you’re going to be set up for disaster. And overachievers oftentimes come from dysregulated family systems. If there’s a lot of moving, if there’s a lot of chaos, if there’s a lot of dysfunction, if there’s a lot of instability, they think that the X Factor is going to be by accomplishing everything I can accomplish. And this can lead into things like perfectionism which causes significant impair in life. And again, society pats you on the back for this one. Society pats the standup comedians on the back too. So we got to be really careful when we’re wearing these masks on days that are not Halloween. Do we have the time, space, the moment to take them off and actually identify with the person underneath the mask? 

 

So far we got two of these masks in and by the way for the humorist I’m going to show a video that’s pretty emotional from my favorite show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, so that’s coming at the end, just to personify what this actually looks like. And whoever came on said Hi. We had Hamid Joon, Hi. Eileen, what’s up? Bita, what’s up? Jim, there you are my man! And Fariba, what is up?

 

3. So the next one we have here is the Martyr. Let’s put the Martyr up because if we don’t put the Martyr up the Martyr is going to complain that they weren’t up. See what I did there? Okay so the Martyr is the one that is always self sacrificing themselves for their environment, for their people. And the most annoying thing a martyr does is they tell the people around them,
How much I’ve sacrificed for you, I’ve given up my hopes, my goals, my dreams, my ambitions for you, and this is how you reward me.” The Martyr always feels like he or she is the victim in every circumstance of their life. I want you to know this if you are a martyr. First of all, I know you get defensive to be called a martyr but if you are a martyr I have compassion for you even if I’m saying it with a goofy smile. Do you want to know why? Because at some point in your life there’s a very high probability that you actually were the victim. There’s a high probability that your needs never got met, that your self esteem was never nurtured, that you were never given the love that you deserved. What you’re doing now is you’re going through life, giving everything and anything of yourself to others to just feel loved. And when they don’t love you back the way that you’re loving and when they don’t give back what it is that you’re giving them your expectations get shattered and you start to feel resentful. 

 

See, I’m not saying it’s wrong being any of these things I’m just saying when we over identify with these personas it becomes our reality. I mean someone that is a martyr or a victim, they just happen to be that way everywhere they go. I was at the grocery store like A Mother’s Market where for the most part people that go to Mother’s Market are a little bit more health conscious, they just think a little bit differently, they’re willing to pay a premium to get a product for their health and this and that. We’re just standing in the checkout lane, and bless their heart, there’s one person working over there and I’m in the line and it’s probably going to be like a six to seven minute line. And the person in front of me is just losing their mind like, “This is ridiculous. We have stuff to do, we got places to go. I’m here right now trying to get this stuff and this is literally what’s happening. They’re making me wait for 5 minutes. I mean, how hard is it for them to get another cashier in this place and make this go by faster? I’m missing out on the opportunity to go do XY and Z.” It’s like, “Yo dude, chill out! just wait for five minutes, grab your groceries and walk out, be grateful you’re buying groceries.” But that mindset doesn’t just apply to the register at a grocery store. It applies to their loved ones and their relationships and their children. 

 

Parents oftentimes come from dysfunctional homes themselves and then they also have a loved one who is struggling with drugs and alcohol, they sacrifice everything of themselves for their loved one. It’s codependency 101. But they’re doing it with good intentions and that’s the other thing. A parent that sacrifices everything for their kid, they’re doing it with good intentions, not knowing that the help that they’re giving them is actually crippling them and enabling them to continue doing what they’re doing. That’s a whole different talk but it’s something that’s very important to consider.

 

4. So the next one that we have here is – and again if you have any questions about any of these feel free to ask. This is what this conversation is for. The next mask that people wear when it’s not Halloween is the mask of the Bully. So we all know what a bully in school looks like, and I know I’ve experienced bullying when I was a child growing up. I remember vividly going from the US to Iran and sitting in school and it was just tough. They make fun of you for being an American. I’m like, well I was born in Iran. They make fun of you for not being able to read and write or the way you speak has like a certain accent to it, or sounds cute or funny. And then when I came to the US in my high school years, my formative high school years, sophomore, junior year, nobody was overtly outright mean to me but I would get really bad comments and stuff. Like if you look at my face up close I don’t know if you can see I have all these like acne scars on my face and I think this camera is a little polished so it’s removing them but I was to the point that I was afraid if someone touches my face, my face was going to bleed. I had so much social anxiety. I have this thing called Vitiligo which is like these little white dots or spots that I have on my hand and I get made fun of for those. Or people wouldn’t want to touch my hand because they thought it’s contagious and this sh just hurts. It really hurts a human being but here’s the thing. Let’s just say there’s a fifth grader that’s a class bully, like one of those fifth graders that we all know about, that just says mean things to kids and hurts kids and does harmful things to kids and everybody gets mad at the bully. 

 

I’m not justifying their behavior by the way. I’m not saying it’s right to be a fifth grader and be a bully but if fifth graders oftentimes are like 11 or 12 years old, if you had a chance to watch that bully walk home all the way to his house, like bird’s eye view and go inside of his house, and put a little camera and observe what happens inside that kid’s house, there is a very high possibility /probability /predictability that that child is experiencing some type of bullying behavior inside the home, or is observing and watching some type of bullying behavior inside the home. He is just doing to others what is being done to him or what’s familiar to him. I’m not justifying it but I’m saying that’s the reason why it’s so painful to watch that or experience that, that you go out and you do it to other people as a coping skill. It’s another mask that people wear. Now when it’s a child we can all say, “Well, that kid is a victim of their circumstances and surroundings,” but where I start to have a challenge and an issue is if that you’re a bully and now all of a sudden you’re 18-20-25-30 years old and you’re still bullying other people, it’s no longer on the environment that brought you up. Now it’s on you. Because if you’re aware of it you must do the work to change it. Because if you don’t you will do to others what was done to you, even if it was painful, and if you want to break multigenerational patterns of dysfunction in multigenerational patterns that get passed on the negative ones you got to break that cycle. 

 

So finding out why I lash out or act out and bully other human beings, why do I exert my dominance? By the way, bullying sometimes can come in the form of intellectual stuff. So some people that are really smart can use intellectual kind of comments, and they can intellectualize things, they can use sarcasm as a form of bullying somebody else’s intelligence. I mean it’s ridiculous but the bully is someone that at some point in their life was feeling it. Nobody just randomly becomes a bully ever, ever. So that’s another mask right there.

 

Let’s see what Marilyn said here. “My grandma always says… (by the way grandmas are cool because they got some wisdom and they got some nuggets)… my grandma always said if you can’t say something nice to someone you don’t say nothing at all. Just give them a smile. Kindness goes a long way. Bullying must stop.” Yeah, I mean, the wisdom of all generations is beautiful. There’s a book there Marilyn. I have a talk – I don’t think you were with us, like you weren’t following us consecutively when I created it, but it’s a book that I read that inspired me to do a talk. So go look it up. It’s called ‘I learned everything I needed to learn in life in Kindergarten.’ I love that topic. I love that title so much but it pretty much is that one. Let’s see. “It seems that the bully feels so powerless that that is the only behavior that makes the bully powerful.” Yeah, it’s a pursuit of power, it really is. There is no ability to go and feel that they are something in life because they feel this big so when they go and yell and scream and push and act it makes them feel bigger. But they oftentimes go home and they remember that they feel this big and they repeat the cycle. Let’s see what Jess says. “This is exactly what happened with my son’s bully a few years ago before we moved. I have seen him walking to and from the bus stop by himself, even from like second or third grade. We didn’t live in a nice neighborhood either. It was a pretty decent walk and his parents never came to the parent-teacher things or events. The one time his dad did, he was awful.” First of all Jess, I want you and your son to know that I’m sorry that your son had to experience that. It’s not fair to the child but I’m proud of you for being big enough and having compassion enough to not personalize what’s happening from this little child, and to know that there’s the bigger picture thing going on. Because if a kid – and not saying like a kid’s walking home is a bad thing – but if it’s a bad neighborhood and it’s always all the time and the kid’s walking a long long distance and he’s just always kind of down and out by himself, if that’s happening out there, it’s also happening in the home. That kid ain’t going to a home that’s emotionally present and loving and caring. He’s going home and there ain’t no one there. And when you said the father finally showed up, they never came to anything, and when he came he was awful. If someone’s awful at a parent-teacher meeting where you’re supposed to put your best foot forward, imagine what that person’s like behind closed doors. Imagine what that person’s like behind closed doors. So a very good lesson to teach and to use your personal example for it, thank you.

 

5. The next one that we have here is number five, the Control Freak. Some of the parents are like, “Oh oh! He’s getting personal. Now he’s starting to talk about us.” Yeah, I wouldn’t go that far but I’m talking about you control freaks. So how does one become a control freak? It usually happens as a response to adverse childhood experiences when our environment, the people, places, and things in our environment as we’re growing up were out of control. Maybe there was family discord, and maybe there was fights, and maybe there was abandonment, maybe there was a lot of moving, maybe there was a lot of noise and chaos, maybe there was a volatile socioeconomic status, maybe it was just a very difficult upbringing that was out of the control of the child, so the person starts to overcompensate by engaging in thoughts and behavior that are kind of overly controlling. This can happen with our environment. Things like OCD, people that have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that are in a constant strife and need to control things. It could become with our physical bodies, people that have eating disorders – there the only one thing you can control is yourself. If you can’t control the environment it can come in relationships and people do this with their loved ones all the time. So the control freak is a response. So remember it’s a response and an adaptation for someone who growing up, experienced adverse childhood experiences that were related to things being out of control. And the control freak annoys people because nobody wants to be around one. I call those helicopter parents. They’re just always around and it’s like they want to know every little detail and for them they’re like, “I’m doing it because I love my kid,” and they know their kid says, “I can’t stand my mom or dad. They just control every aspect of my life.” So the intention is good: “I love my kid.” The actual interpretation of what they’re doing is, “This person just doesn’t trust me. This person hates me. This person is just XYZ.” 

 

And by the way Jess just included one more thing: “We’d seen him a year ago and he was hanging out with much older boys. It’s really sad.” People always say these little kids go into gangs. 12-year-olds hanging out with 16-18 year olds. It’s like, “Hey, why are these kids hanging out with such older kids? Why don’t they hang out with kids their own age?” Because when they go hang out with the older kids it’s the first time in their life that they experience love from somebody that’s older than them. And we all need that. If you talk to gang members about what they get out of a gang do you really think they talk about, “Oh, I get my watches, or I get money in my pocket, or I get respect”? What they say: “I get love, I get family, I get loyalty…” That’s what they’re striving for, that’s what they’re looking for. 

 

6. So the next one we have here is the Self Basher. This is the person that their environment was so hypercritical on them and was so overly intense on them that they start to believe the stuff that was told to them. I tell parents all the time, “Be careful of what you tell your children, because one day it will become their inner critic, the inner voice inside their mind.” So, if you always tell your kid, “You’re not good enough, you’re not doing it right, you should have done it this way,” do you really think they just take that and say, “Oh thank you so much, I appreciate you Mom, I appreciate you Dad, for telling me that. I didn’t do it good enough.” They start to internalize that. “When they told me that, it means I’m not good enough. I’m inadequate. I’m not smart. I’m not worthy. I don’t deserve.” And guess what that inner critic becomes? Their inner voice. And it starts to become their identity. They over-identify with it and believe the BS that they’re telling themselves. And they bash themselves and they bash themselves and they bash themselves. “Oh I can’t do it anyways, what’s the point? Why even try? I’m stupid.” How many people say they’re stupid when they’re not? How many people say they’re not worthy of love or happiness when they are? Where do you think all this comes from? It’s a mask they put on, adaptations to adverse childhood experiences. It’s sad when I see someone being super critical of themselves. You know what I tell them? Start to, at the end of every day, identify three things that you did well. Just three. Maybe it was a conversation you had with somebody, maybe it was a few tasks that you had to complete that you got done. Maybe it was the way that you loved yourself and you went around the block and took a walk and ate an apple and meditated and slept early. Whatever it is, whatever it is, start to identify the positive, and the positive will grow. Keep focusing on the negative, and the negative is all that there will be. 

 

And Mr Jim, “Having to deal with the core belief of not being good enough can be a real challenge.” Yeah and so Jim used the clinical word. Jim’s a counselor, if you guys don’t know. These thoughts, these ideas, these experiences start to become something called a core belief. Now a core belief is something that we hold as true about self as a result of the life experiences we had, however it’s not the truth. It’s just the belief that we have that we over identify with. So he says that it’s really challenging to overcome. It is, because we over-identify with it. And it’s trying to say, “Hey, how can I overcome who I am?” It’s not who you are. It’s who you think you are. It’s who you had to become. The beauty of life is that we could transform our story and we can create new core beliefs, ones that are around and geared towards our personal and professional development, ones that align with our true self, who you actually want to be in life. Nobody wants to be these things. Nobody wants to be the Class clown.  Nobody wants to be the Overachiever. Nobody wants to be the Martyr. Nobody wants to be the Bully. Nobody wants to be the Control Freak. Nobody wants to be the Self Basher. Yet so many people are all of those things. Curious to know why.

 

7. The next one that we have here is something called the People Pleaser. This is for my codependents who are like, “Oh I like this one, the people pleaser.” Just kind of says what they think that others want to be told, they do what they think others want to be done, and they go where they think others want them to go. There is no sense of self. They get their entire self worth of becoming who and what they think they’re supposed to become for the environment and the people in that environment to approve of them, accept them, and ultimately love them. But guess what? It’s never enough. And in that pursuit of being accepted and loved, in that pursuit they completely get disconnected and lose touch with who and what they actually are. There’s a lot of people in the recovery rooms that say, “Hey, I’m just like a chameleon. I could be anything I want to be. I could talk anyway I want to talk. I can do what I got to do because that’s what I am.” No, that tells me who you exactly are not. There is no sense of self, there is no truth, there is no realness, authenticity to you. If you could be whatever color paint that you have to be to look a certain way on a wall, what does that say about you? And here’s the reason why people do that by the way. It is because it all comes from low self-esteem. It all comes from lack of self-worth. It all comes from inadequate receiving of this thing called love growing up, and they go on this constant pursuit. People Pleasers, they have a really hard time and they start to experience a lot of things around the world of anxiety and depression, a lot of things.

 

8. The next one I have here is the Isolationist. So we have these words, introvert and extrovert. Those are kind of healthy expressions of human behavior and personality. We can be a little bit introverted, we could be a little extroverted, we could be a little bit of both, we could be more leaning or more dominant on the other one, but the isolationist is completely on the extreme introvert side. And here’s the reason why. Because if I go put myself out there, if I connect with other people I’m going to get hurt. It’s safer to be by myself than it is to be in the world. I’d rather do everything on my own, than expose myself to the possibility, the potential of let down. And the introvert experiences extreme loneliness and sadness in life, extreme. Somebody that’s an isolationist, because what is a human being? What is the human experience all about? It’s about the connection we’ve talked about in these rooms, that the opposite of addiction is connection. So the opposite of misery and sadness and loneliness and all that stuff is connection. So if you’re an isolationist I get why you do it – because the world hurt you. But I’m also telling you that the cure for sadness and loneliness is connection. It’s a double-edged sword. Eventually you got to start to learn to trust and you got to start to learn to try and you gotta start to take some risks – small ones – to break away from that. And you might always be okay with being an introvert but not an isolationist. 

 

9. And the flip side of it is this thing called the Social Butterfly. And we’re like, “Oh, it must be really cool to be like that person.” A social butterfly can’t be by themselves. It’s the opposite and by the way why is that the case? Because when they were by themselves growing up they were probably just around some intensity and all they wanted to do was get the heck out of the house. Get the heck out of the house and be anywhere but there. They just wanted to be with people 24/7. They can’t be by themselves. They just go and go and go and they just kind of feel like that’s the way that they’re going to be okay. But as soon as the lights are off and the cameras are off and the people are gone and they’re by themselves again they get very, very, very uncomfortable. The exact opposite of the isolationist. So the social butterfly is draining, oftentimes to keep that persona up, things like drugs and alcohol have to kick in, or just some type of a you-gotta-be-a-chatter-box that drains the heck out of me. I’m a big, big talker. I could talk for 12 hours in a day but trust me, I got to go home and plug myself into the wall, if you will, and just disconnect. 

 

So I want to show you what one of these roles looks like. It’s a 3 minute clip. Yeah, Jim just said it right there. “We all need solitude sometimes but none of us need isolation.” Isolation is not for humankind. What I want you guys to know is my favorite show growing up was this thing called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and it was Will Smith and he was a child from Philadelphia, from like the hood. An adverse childhood experience was when his dad abandoned him when he was a child. He eventually moves over to Bel-Air where he had an aunt and uncle somehow but his dad pops into his life after a lot of years, like 14 years of not being there. So the dad comes into his life and Will Smith is like a freaking humorist, the humorist mask. He’s a funny guy. This scene is going to show you what’s underneath it and how he quickly taps into that mask before underneath it comes out. So his dad comes and one more time his father says, “Hey sorry son, I gotta go.” So his father comes in and and they’re about to go on this road trip for a few weeks and he’s so excited he comes and he’s like, “Dad, I’m here,” and his dad’s right about to walk out and he says, “Hey son, something came up and I gotta go again.” And immediately Will just goes, “Okay whatever, take care!” He’s like, “We’ll do it some other time.” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. We’ll go,” and the dad walks out and Will turns around. His uncle’s there and his uncle’s like, “Hey Will, I’m so sorry that your dad did this to you again.” And then Will says, “Oh it’s not a big deal. Actually I’m happy that he’s gone because all the girls in school at summertime, they’re going to be wearing nothing, they’re going to look good, I’m gonna go play ball, I’m going to party, I’m gonna have a good time,” and then he’s like, “Will, it’s okay to be mad,” and he says, “Why should I be mad? It’s not like I’m 5 years old and I’m waiting at the window asking my mom when dad’s going to come home. It’s not like I had 14 birthdays without him. It’s not like I learned how to do all these things without him,” and he starts to get angry and then he starts to say, “I’m gonna graduate college, I’m gonna have myself a bunch of families, a bunch of kids, and I’m never gonna be what this guy was, because he never taught me what it’s like to be a dad.” And then it’s a really overwhelming scene and then he just starts crying and he says, “Why can’t he just love me?” So immediately when he got hurt he started cracking joke joke joke joke joke. Underneath it was, “Why can’t he just love me?” And I want you guys to know that whichever one of these masks we share today, underneath it there is a wounded self. This mask is protection. 

 

So in conclusion, Halloween is not the only day of the year that people wear masks. This talk was to inform you and notify you that all of us, including myself, can wear these masks any day of the year, but please make sure that you take these off once in a while and you look at the person underneath the mask and honor that person and make sure you connect to that person. Because the Japanese say, “We all have three faces. The first face is the face we show the world. The second face is the face we show our friends and family. The third face is the face we show nobody, and the third face is our truest self.” So to that known self, be true my friends. Make sure you tap into that. I love and appreciate all of you. I’ll see you back not next week – I’ll put an announcement – I got basketball, but the week after that. Take care, Bye everyone!

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Huntington Beach’s Best Treatment Center

When you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Huntington Beach, CA, choosing the right treatment center can be a pivotal and life-changing decision. At Buckeye Recovery, we take immense pride in being recognized as Huntington Beach’s best treatment center. In this comprehensive article, we will delve deep into what sets us apart and how our outpatient addiction treatment programs can provide you with the support and tools you need for a successful journey to recovery.

Why Choose Buckeye Recovery?

Here are some compelling and in-depth reasons why Buckeye Recovery stands out as the premier addiction treatment center in Huntington Beach:

1. Comprehensive Care:

At Buckeye Recovery, we offer a comprehensive range of evidence-based addiction treatment programs. Our dedication to addressing all aspects of addiction sets us apart. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to providing compassionate care and unwavering support throughout your recovery journey.

Holistic Approach:

We firmly believe in treating the whole person, not just the addiction. Addiction is often rooted in underlying issues, and our holistic approach addresses these issues alongside the addiction itself. Our holistic approach encompasses various aspects such as therapy, counseling, nutritional guidance, and mindfulness practices, all of which contribute to promoting long-lasting recovery.

Convenient Location:

Accessibility can often be a deciding factor when seeking treatment. Our outpatient treatment center is strategically located in the heart of Huntington Beach, ensuring that residents in the area have easy access to our services.

Individualized Treatment Plans:

At Buckeye Recovery, we recognize that no two individuals are the same, and as such, their addiction treatment plans should be customized to meet their unique needs. We take a personalized approach to ensure that your specific circumstances and challenges are taken into account in your treatment plan.

Accreditation and Designation:

Our pride in being designated as Huntington Beach’s best treatment center is backed by tangible factors. We have earned accreditation from reputable organizations, assuring you of the highest standard of care. This designation reflects our unwavering commitment to excellence in addiction recovery.

The Designation

The designation of being Huntington Beach’s best treatment center is more than just a title. It represents a commitment to providing the highest quality addiction treatment services to our community. Let’s take an even more in-depth look at what this designation signifies:

  • Positive Client Outcomes: Our success stories and heartfelt testimonials from clients who have not only achieved sobriety but also transformed their lives underscore the effectiveness of our programs. Their triumphs serve as powerful testaments to the life-changing impact of our treatment.
  • Expertise and Experience: Our team of licensed professionals brings years of invaluable experience in addiction treatment to the table. Their collective expertise ensures that you receive nothing but the best care available.
  • Accreditation and Recognition: Buckeye Recovery has earned accreditation from industry-recognized organizations, further solidifying our position as the best treatment center in Huntington Beach. This accreditation is not just a formality but a rigorous evaluation of our services, ensuring that we maintain the highest standards of care.

Contact Buckeye Recovery Today!

If you or a loved one is in need of addiction treatment in Huntington Beach, do not hesitate to reach out to Buckeye Recovery. Taking the first step towards recovery can often be the most challenging, but it is also the most crucial. Our dedicated team is here to guide you through this journey and provide you with the support and resources you need.

FAQ's

Recognizing the need for addiction treatment can be challenging. If your substance use is causing problems in your personal life, relationships, work, or health, it may be time to seek treatment. Our experts can help assess your situation and provide guidance.

Our expertise extends to a wide range of addictions, including alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, and more. We understand that each addiction is unique and demands a tailored approach to treatment.

Outpatient treatment can be highly effective for individuals with a strong support system at home and a lower risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. It offers the flexibility to continue with daily responsibilities while receiving the necessary treatment and support.

The duration of addiction treatment can vary from person to person. We design personalized treatment plans that consider your specific needs, goals, and progress. Treatment may range from a few weeks to several months, ensuring you receive the care you need for lasting recovery.

Yes, we understand the importance of making addiction treatment accessible and affordable. We work with a variety of insurance providers to help you navigate the financial aspect of your recovery. Contact us for a free insurance verification to determine if your plan covers our services.

Understanding Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Facing a Fentanyl addiction can be a daunting challenge, and one of the most crucial steps toward recovery is understanding and managing the withdrawal symptoms that may arise when deciding to seek help. At Buckeye Recovery, an esteemed Outpatient Addiction Treatment Center located in the serene environs of Huntington Beach, California, we are dedicated to providing you with the support and information you need to successfully overcome Fentanyl addiction. In this in-depth article, we will take a deep dive into the multifaceted world of Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, ensuring you are well-prepared for your journey to recovery.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

When you make the brave decision to cease Fentanyl use, your body undergoes significant adjustments as it adapts to the absence of this potent opioid. These withdrawal symptoms can be challenging, but they are also indicative of your body’s natural healing process. Below, we will delve into the various facets of Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms to offer you a comprehensive understanding:

1. Intense Cravings: Fentanyl withdrawal often begins with powerful cravings for the drug. These cravings can be persistent and overwhelming, making it difficult to resist using again.

2. Flu-like Symptoms: You may experience an array of flu-like symptoms that can manifest in different ways, such as:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle Aches and Pains
  • Restlessness

3. Anxiety and Depression: Fentanyl withdrawal can lead to profound emotional disturbances, including anxiety and depression. Mood swings, irritability, and emotional instability are common during this phase.

4. Insomnia: Many individuals undergoing Fentanyl withdrawal struggle with sleep disturbances, often resulting in difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

5. Sweating and Chills: Excessive sweating, followed by chills, is a frequent occurrence during withdrawal, contributing to the overall discomfort.

6. Runny Nose and Watery Eyes: Some may experience symptoms similar to a mild cold, including a runny nose and watery eyes.

7. Digestive Issues: Gastrointestinal distress is common, with symptoms such as abdominal cramps and diarrhea adding to the discomfort of withdrawal.

8. Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: Fentanyl withdrawal can lead to elevated heart rate and blood pressure, contributing to feelings of anxiety and restlessness.

Dealing with Fentanyl Withdrawal

While Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be challenging, it is crucial to remember that they are temporary and a necessary part of the recovery process. Here are some practical strategies to help you cope with Fentanyl withdrawal:

  • Seek Professional Help: Reach out to a reputable addiction treatment center like Buckeye Recovery. Our team of experienced professionals can provide you with the guidance, medical supervision, and emotional support needed during this critical phase.
  • Lean on Your Support System: Family, friends, and support groups can play a pivotal role in your recovery journey. Their emotional support can help you stay motivated and committed to your sobriety goals.
  • Stay Hydrated and Maintain a Balanced Diet: Proper nutrition and hydration can help alleviate physical symptoms and boost your overall well-being.
  • Engage in Relaxation Techniques: Practices like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help you manage anxiety and stress, making the withdrawal process more manageable.

Understanding the Detoxification Process

At Buckeye Recovery, we understand that Fentanyl withdrawal can be challenging. That’s why we offer a comprehensive detoxification process that is designed to manage Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms safely and comfortably. Our dedicated medical professionals provide personalized care, ensuring you receive the support you need on your path to recovery.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

If you or someone you know is struggling with Fentanyl addiction and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, remember that you don’t have to face this journey alone. Contact Buckeye Recovery today to start your journey towards a healthier, drug-free life.

FAQ's

The duration of Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, but they typically peak within the first 72 hours and may last for a week or more.

While Fentanyl withdrawal is generally not life-threatening, it can be very uncomfortable and distressing. Seeking professional help is essential to manage the process safely.

Physical withdrawal symptoms are the bodily discomforts such as nausea and muscle aches, while psychological withdrawal symptoms encompass emotional challenges like anxiety and depression.

Attempting Fentanyl detox at home is not recommended due to the potential for complications. Professional medical supervision is essential for a safe detoxification process.

Yes, detox is just the initial step in addiction recovery. Ongoing treatment, including therapy and counseling, is essential for achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. Our team at Buckeye Recovery can help you create a personalized treatment plan to support your recovery journey.

Huntington Beach Drug Rehab

Choosing the right drug rehab center can be a pivotal step in your path to recovery, and Buckeye Recovery is here to provide you with the guidance and support you need. Our outpatient addiction treatment center in Huntington Beach is dedicated to delivering evidence-based care with a focus on individualized treatment. In this detailed article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the importance of choosing the right drug rehab center and explore how Buckeye Recovery’s approach can make a meaningful impact on your recovery journey.

Why Huntington Beach Drug Rehab Matters

The location of your addiction treatment can significantly influence your recovery process. Here’s a closer look at why Huntington Beach is a favorable choice for your rehabilitation journey:

  • Natural Tranquility: Huntington Beach boasts stunning coastal vistas and a serene atmosphere that can facilitate healing and self-reflection. The natural beauty of the area can provide a calming backdrop to your recovery journey.
  • Community Support: Our outpatient center in Huntington Beach is committed to building a supportive and empathetic community among clients. This community can be instrumental in helping you feel connected, supported, and understood as you navigate the challenges of recovery.
  • Convenient Accessibility: Situated in the heart of Huntington Beach, our facility offers easy access, allowing you to receive the necessary treatment without upheaving your daily life and responsibilities.

Understanding Outpatient Addiction Treatment

At Buckeye Recovery, we specialize in outpatient addiction treatment as a core component of our comprehensive approach to recovery. But what exactly does “outpatient” mean in the context of addiction treatment?

Outpatient addiction treatment is a versatile program designed to cater to individuals in need of care while still allowing them to maintain their daily responsibilities. This approach comes with several benefits:

  • Flexibility: You can attend therapy and counseling sessions at times that suit your schedule, enabling you to preserve your job, fulfill family obligations, and maintain social connections.
  • Personalized Care: Our treatment plans are tailored to address your specific needs and challenges, recognizing that each person’s journey to recovery is unique.
  • Structured Support: Regular check-ins with our experienced team provide the support and accountability essential for sustainable recovery.

Why Choose Buckeye Recovery?

When exploring drug rehab centers in Huntington Beach, it’s crucial to select one that offers exceptional care and support. Here’s what sets Buckeye Recovery apart:

  • Experienced Team: Our dedicated team comprises medical professionals, therapists, and counselors with extensive experience in addiction treatment, ensuring you receive the highest level of care.
  • Evidence-Based Approaches: We employ proven and effective treatment methods grounded in scientific research to guarantee that you receive the most effective care available.
  • Personalized Treatment: We understand that your journey to recovery is unique, and we adapt our programs to meet your individual needs, ensuring that you receive precisely what you need for your recovery journey.
  • Holistic Approach: At Buckeye Recovery, we focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit, addressing the root causes of addiction to facilitate long-lasting recovery.
  • Supportive Community: Our center fosters a profound sense of belonging and encouragement among clients, creating a nurturing environment that promotes and sustains long-term recovery.

Contact Buckeye Recovery Today!

You don’t have to let addiction control your life any longer. Take the critical first step toward a brighter, healthier future by reaching out to Buckeye Recovery in Huntington Beach, CA. Contact us today to explore our comprehensive outpatient addiction treatment programs and embark on your personalized journey to recovery.

FAQ's

Outpatient treatment can be highly effective, particularly for individuals with strong support systems and less severe addiction. Success largely depends on individual commitment and engagement.

At Buckeye Recovery, we offer comprehensive treatment for a wide range of substance addictions, including but not limited to alcohol, opioids, stimulants, prescription medications, and more.

The duration of outpatient treatment varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the addiction, individual progress, and treatment goals. It can range from a few weeks to several months.

Yes, we accept many insurance plans. We are committed to making quality addiction treatment accessible to as many people as possible. Please contact us for a free verification of your insurance benefits.

Absolutely. Our outpatient programs are designed to empower individuals to maintain their daily commitments, including work, school, and family obligations, while receiving the care and support necessary for their recovery journey.

Self-Appointed Rehab Strategies to Try

Facing addiction can be an overwhelming and isolating experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At Buckeye Recovery, an outpatient addiction treatment center located in beautiful Huntington Beach, CA, we are committed to supporting individuals on their journey to recovery. In this article, we will delve into the world of self-appointed rehab strategies, providing an extensive guide to help you or your loved one take proactive steps towards overcoming addiction. These strategies are designed to empower you with knowledge, tools, and the confidence needed to navigate the challenging path of recovery.

Understanding Self-Appointed Rehab Strategies

Before we explore these strategies in detail, let’s establish a clear understanding of what self-appointed rehab means. It encompasses a range of actions and behaviors that individuals can undertake independently to supplement their addiction recovery efforts. These strategies empower you to take control of your recovery journey.

1. Setting Realistic Goals:

Achievable and measurable goals are the cornerstone of a successful recovery journey. By defining clear objectives, you give yourself direction and purpose. Consider setting both short-term and long-term goals that relate to your addiction recovery, such as maintaining sobriety for a specific period, improving mental health, or mending strained relationships. Keep in mind that these goals should be challenging yet attainable.

2. Creating a Structured Routine:

A structured daily routine can be a powerful tool to help you stay focused on your recovery goals. A well-structured day minimizes potential triggers and provides stability during a turbulent time. Incorporate activities that promote your overall well-being, such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and quality sleep.

3. Seeking Support from Loved Ones:

Addiction can be isolating, but you don’t have to face it alone. Open and honest communication with friends and family is essential. Share your goals and progress with them, and don’t hesitate to ask for their support when needed. Their understanding and encouragement can make a significant difference in your recovery journey.

4. Mindfulness and Meditation:

Mindfulness and meditation techniques are invaluable tools for managing stress, cravings, and the emotional turmoil that often accompanies addiction recovery. These practices can help you stay grounded, increase self-awareness, and cultivate emotional resilience. Consider exploring mindfulness exercises or guided meditation sessions to incorporate into your daily routine.

5. Educate Yourself:

Knowledge is a powerful asset in the journey to recovery. Take the time to learn about addiction, its impact on the brain, and various recovery approaches. Understanding the science behind addiction can help you make informed decisions and better navigate the challenges you encounter. Seek out reputable sources of information, such as books, online resources, or educational programs.

6. Join Support Groups:

One of the most effective ways to bolster your recovery efforts is by connecting with others who share similar experiences. Support groups, whether online or in-person, provide a safe and understanding community where you can share your challenges and successes. Participating in these groups can provide motivation, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.

7. Track Your Progress:

Maintaining a journal or recovery diary can be a valuable tool for self-reflection and self-assessment. Use it to record your thoughts, emotions, triggers, and milestones throughout your recovery journey. By tracking your progress, you can identify patterns, monitor your growth, and make necessary adjustments to your strategies.

8. Stay Active:

Physical activity is not only beneficial for your physical health but also for your mental and emotional well-being. Engaging in regular exercise can release endorphins, improve mood, reduce stress, and help curb cravings. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy, whether it’s walking, cycling, yoga, or team sports, and make it a consistent part of your daily or weekly schedule.

9. Healthy Eating Habits:

Nutrition plays a significant role in your recovery journey. A well-balanced diet provides essential nutrients that support your physical and mental health. Focus on incorporating whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your meals. Staying hydrated is also crucial for overall well-being.

10.Practice Patience and Self-Compassion:

Recovery is a process that often involves setbacks and challenges. It’s essential to practice patience with yourself and cultivate self-compassion. Understand that recovery is not linear, and setbacks are a natural part of the journey. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a loved one facing similar difficulties.

11.Develop Coping Strategies:

Identify healthy coping mechanisms to replace destructive behaviors. Whether it’s journaling, art therapy, or engaging in hobbies you’re passionate about, having alternative outlets for stress and negative emotions can be invaluable during recovery.

12. Build a Sober Support Network:

Surround yourself with individuals who support your recovery goals. This may include sober friends, mentors, or sponsors who have experience in addiction recovery. Having a strong support network can provide encouragement and guidance during challenging moments.

13. Consider Professional Help:

While self-appointed rehab strategies can be highly effective, it’s essential to recognize when professional help is necessary. Addiction is a complex and often chronic condition that may require specialized treatment and support. Seeking assistance from addiction professionals, such as counselors, therapists, or medical professionals, can significantly enhance your chances of sustained recovery.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

At Buckeye Recovery, we understand that addiction recovery is a unique and deeply personal journey. While self-appointed rehab strategies can be a valuable component of your recovery plan, they should complement, not replace, professional guidance and treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and seeking comprehensive support, we are here to help. Our dedicated team offers evidence-based treatment programs, compassionate care, and a supportive environment to aid in your recovery journey. Reach out to us today to take the first step towards a healthier, happier, and addiction-free life.

FAQ's

Self-appointed rehab refers to the proactive steps individuals take independently to support their addiction recovery journey. It may include setting goals, creating routines, seeking support from loved ones, and practicing self-care. Professional treatment, on the other hand, involves specialized interventions provided by addiction experts, such as counseling, therapy, and medical support. While self-appointed rehab strategies can be beneficial, professional treatment offers a comprehensive and structured approach to recovery.

Self-appointed rehab strategies can be effective for some individuals, especially when used in conjunction with professional treatment or as a way to maintain recovery after completing a formal treatment program. However, the effectiveness of self-appointed strategies may vary depending on the individual’s unique circumstances and the severity of their addiction.

Finding the right support group or community for your recovery journey involves exploring various options and assessing what aligns with your needs and preferences. You can start by searching online for local support groups, asking for recommendations from healthcare professionals, or exploring virtual support communities. Attend meetings or sessions to determine if the group’s dynamics and focus resonate with your goals.

Relapse is a common and challenging part of the recovery process. If you experience a relapse, it’s crucial not to lose hope. Reach out to your support network, whether it’s friends, family, or a therapist.

Comprehensive Gabapentin Guide

Are you or a cherished family member confronting the formidable battle of addiction? At Buckeye Recovery, we empathize with the challenges you’re facing and stand ready to provide unwavering support on your journey towards recovery. In this extensive and exhaustive guide, we will embark on an in-depth exploration of Gabapentin, thoroughly examining its applications, potential benefits, associated risks, and its pivotal role in addiction treatment.

Unveiling Gabapentin

Gabapentin, originally designed as an antiepileptic medication, has found itself in a versatile position within addiction treatment due to its remarkable properties. This medication belongs to the anticonvulsant class and was primarily developed to address seizures and nerve pain. However, over time, Gabapentin has been prescribed off-label to assist in managing an array of conditions, including the distressing withdrawal symptoms linked to alcohol and opioid addiction.

Gabapentin's Significance in Addiction Treatment

The paramount importance of Gabapentin in addiction treatment lies in its ability to alleviate the arduous and often agonizing challenges that individuals grapple with during the withdrawal phase and early stages of recovery. Let’s delve deeper into the multifaceted ways in which Gabapentin can serve as a valuable ally in your quest for sobriety:

  • Alleviating the Agony of Withdrawal: Withdrawal symptoms can be an overwhelming hurdle, both physically and emotionally. Gabapentin, when administered under professional guidance, can provide relief from an array of symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and restlessness. This relief can significantly ease the initial hurdles of recovery.
  • Cravings Management: Cravings for the substance of abuse are a potent and persistent challenge in addiction recovery. Gabapentin has demonstrated promise in reducing the intensity and frequency of these cravings, offering individuals a lifeline to maintain their commitment to sobriety.
  • Enhancing Sleep Quality: Sleep disturbances often plague individuals in the early stages of recovery. Gabapentin’s calming effect can help promote better sleep patterns, providing a restorative element vital for overall well-being.
  • Addressing Anxiety: Anxiety is a pervasive trigger for substance abuse and poses a substantial barrier to recovery. Gabapentin’s anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties can help individuals gain control over their anxiety, ultimately facilitating their journey towards a substance-free life.

Safety Considerations

While Gabapentin holds immense promise as an aid in addiction treatment, it is imperative that its use be guided and supervised by a qualified medical professional. Like any medication, Gabapentin carries potential risks and side effects that should not be taken lightly. These side effects may include:

  • Dizziness: Some individuals may experience dizziness as a side effect of Gabapentin.
  • Drowsiness: Drowsiness is another common side effect, which can potentially affect one’s ability to perform daily tasks that require alertness.
  • Fatigue: Gabapentin may lead to fatigue or excessive tiredness in certain individuals.
  • Coordination Problems: Impaired coordination is a possibility and may impact activities such as driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Mood Changes: In rare instances, Gabapentin can induce mood changes, including depression or even suicidal thoughts. Monitoring for these changes is crucial.

It is of utmost importance to strictly adhere to your healthcare provider’s instructions, promptly report any adverse effects, and maintain regular check-ins to monitor your progress.

Determining the Right Gabapentin Dosage

The determination of the appropriate Gabapentin dosage is a nuanced process that takes into account a multitude of factors. These factors include the specific addiction being treated, one’s medical history, and the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Self-medication is strongly discouraged. A healthcare provider, specializing in addiction treatment, will conduct a comprehensive assessment to ascertain the most suitable dosage and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

At Buckeye Recovery, situated in the serene environs of Huntington Beach, CA, we comprehend the intricacies of addiction and are unwavering in our commitment to providing holistic, compassionate care to support your journey toward sobriety. Our dedicated medical team, with years of experience, may incorporate Gabapentin into personalized addiction treatment programs when deemed appropriate for your unique circumstances. If you or a loved one is grappling with addiction, we encourage you to reach out to us for assistance. Contact us today, and let us embark on this transformative journey towards recovery together.

FAQ's

It is not advisable to use Gabapentin without the guidance and supervision of a medical professional, especially during addiction treatment. A healthcare provider possesses the expertise necessary to assess your specific needs and ensure your progress remains on track.

The onset of Gabapentin’s effects can vary among individuals. Some may experience relief from withdrawal symptoms and cravings within a few hours, while others may require a few days to respond to Gabapentin treatment.

Gabapentin, as a medication, is not classified as highly addictive. However, it can be subject to misuse. Therefore, it is crucial to use Gabapentin only as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Gabapentin has the potential to interact with certain medications. To avoid potential interactions, it is vital to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking.

The decision to discontinue Gabapentin should be a collaborative one, made in consultation with your healthcare provider. Abruptly discontinuing the medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms and may not be recommended.

How Fentanyl is Abused Today

At Buckeye Recovery, our mission is to provide comprehensive information about the pervasive problem of fentanyl abuse in today’s society. As an Outpatient Addiction Treatment Center located in Huntington Beach, CA, we recognize the urgency of raising awareness about this pressing issue. In this detailed article, we aim to delve deeper into the multifaceted aspects of fentanyl abuse, shedding light on its various forms, consequences, and the critical need for intervention.

Understanding Fentanyl

To comprehend the extent of fentanyl abuse, it’s essential to grasp the nuances of this potent synthetic opioid:

  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was initially developed for medical purposes, primarily for managing severe pain in cancer patients and post-surgery situations. Its potency is staggering, ranging from 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and this high potency is what makes it both useful and dangerous.
  • Medical fentanyl is typically administered in various forms, including transdermal patches, lozenges (often called “lollipops”), and injectable solutions. These medical applications aim to provide controlled pain relief under strict supervision.
  • The concerning issue arises with the emergence of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which has inundated the illegal drug market. This illicit fentanyl is often produced in clandestine labs and used as an additive or substitute for other opioids, such as heroin or counterfeit prescription pills.

Ways Fentanyl Is Abused Today

Fentanyl abuse manifests in a multitude of forms, each carrying its own set of risks and challenges:

  • Injection: One of the most dangerous methods of fentanyl abuse involves intravenous injection. Individuals seeking an immediate and intense high mix liquid fentanyl or fentanyl powder with water and inject it directly into their veins. This method is exceptionally perilous, as it can lead to rapid overdose due to the drug’s potency.
  • Oral Consumption: Some individuals misuse fentanyl by swallowing pills or lozenges meant for legitimate medical use but obtained through illegal means. This method poses significant dangers, as it can lead to the development of tolerance and addiction over time.
  • Inhalation: Illicit fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, and inhaled as a powder or vapor. This practice compounds the risks associated with fentanyl abuse, as it increases the likelihood of accidental overdose and unpredictable reactions.
  • Transdermal Abuse: Fentanyl patches, designed for slow-release pain relief over a specific period, are misused when people chew, cut, or apply multiple patches to their skin simultaneously. This misuse accelerates the drug’s release, resulting in a rapid and intense high, which can lead to overdose.
  • Counterfeit Medications: The production and distribution of counterfeit prescription pills that mimic legitimate pharmaceuticals have surged in recent years. Many of these counterfeit drugs contain fentanyl, putting unsuspecting users at grave risk when they believe they are consuming a different, less potent medication.

The Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse

The consequences of fentanyl abuse are grave, affecting individuals, families, and communities:

  • High Risk of Overdose: Fentanyl’s potency means that even the smallest miscalculation in dosage can lead to a fatal overdose. It is increasingly responsible for a significant portion of overdose deaths in the United States.
  • Physical and Psychological Dependence: Fentanyl’s addictive potential is significant, and individuals who engage in regular abuse often develop a physical and psychological dependence on the drug. This leads to cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and an overwhelming compulsion to continue using.
  • Health Complications: Long-term fentanyl abuse can result in a range of severe health problems, including respiratory issues, cardiovascular complications, and mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
  • Legal Consequences: Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of fentanyl is illegal in most jurisdictions. Those involved in fentanyl-related activities may face criminal charges and legal repercussions.

How to Seek Help

Recognizing the gravity of fentanyl abuse is the first crucial step toward addressing this issue effectively. If you or someone you know is grappling with fentanyl abuse, seeking professional help is paramount. Buckeye Recovery is dedicated to providing comprehensive addiction treatment services tailored to your specific needs.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Today is the day to reclaim control of your life. Reach out to Buckeye Recovery, a trusted partner in your journey toward recovery from fentanyl addiction. Our experienced and compassionate team is here to support you at every stage of your recovery.

FAQ's

Early signs may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, constricted (pinpoint) pupils, and shallow breathing. It’s essential to recognize these signs promptly.

Encouraging your loved one to seek professional help is crucial. Offering emotional support throughout their recovery journey can make a significant difference.

While fentanyl is an opioid like heroin, its potency sets it apart, making it even more perilous when misused.

Call 911 immediately, administer naloxone if available, and perform rescue breathing if necessary until emergency help arrives. Swift action can save a life.

Yes, with appropriate treatment, support, and personal commitment, individuals can overcome fentanyl addiction and embark on a healthier, substance-free life. It’s a challenging journey but an achievable one with the right resources and guidance.

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.