COVID-19 Update: We are currently accepting new clients with increased safety measures. LEARN MORE ›

6 Tips for Setting Healthy Boundaries

“If someone throws a fit because you set boundaries it’s that much more evidence that the boundary was needed.”

This is a quote that I love, I mean I genuinely genuinely love this quote. So if someone you love, someone you know, someone in your life gets upset and throws a fit because you set a boundary I want you to know that that experience is more evidence, is more proof, that the boundary that you just set with them was needed. Because if I set a boundary with someone who is healthy and understands, they say, “you know what, I understand, I get it.” But if I set a boundary with someone who just fights back or gets upset or this and that it’s like, “Yo, that’s exactly why I got to set that boundary with you.”

I’m going to give you some tips, now that we’ve kind of identified all this stuff. Tips for setting healthy boundaries.

1. Set Your Limits

Now, the limits are different for everybody in this talk. We all have different thresholds for boundaries and you just have to set what yours are. You got to set your emotional limits, your financial limits, your time limits, your conversational limits, your content limits. You got to set all those limits. And once you set them, like we were talking earlier, you got to make sure that you uphold them and enforce them. If you don’t there’s no point for them. It’s like having borders on countries, like those little lines on a map but it doesn’t mean anything. You’ve seen that, the problems that arise all over the world for that kind of stuff. Everyone has their own world and you got to make sure that you have a limit of where you start and someone else, where you stop and someone else starts. Set your limits, identify your feelings, because when you set your limits you’re going to start to feel some things. Like I said earlier, you’re going to feel some fear, you’re going to feel some guilt, you’re going to feel some shame. Identify those, it’s okay. You’re a human being, you can have feelings. What we want to do is we don’t want to feel those bad feelings so we don’t set boundaries and there you are again, getting the same repeated life experiences over and over again. Not why they keep doing it but why do I keep allowing it? Remember that.

2. Consider the past, the present and the future

Wow, what a way to go about setting boundaries. You don’t have to go find some imaginary information and some imaginary book that tells you what type of boundary to set. No, look at your own life, look at your life experience with that person. Consider – I don’t say just exclusively – consider the past, what have you done before, what’s worked, what’s not worked, what’s helped you feel better, what’s helped them get better. Consider it all, the past. Consider the present, do you have the same financial means you had in the past? Do you have the same emotional bandwidth you had in the past? Do you have the same energy you had in the past? Consider the present. You’re a human being going through a human experience in the present moment. And then consider the future. Can I continue to live the way the past was? Can I continue to handle the past? Can I continue to go through all that stuff? So consider the past, the present and the future please, that’s where all the information is. You don’t need someone to tell you. You don’t need someone to tell you what to do – consider the past, the present and the future, and all the information you need to know is there, it’s all there.

3. Direct Communication

Be authentic. So remember the following. What is not expressed in life does not exist. So if you don’t directly communicate your boundaries with who it is that you’re setting your boundaries with you didn’t set your boundaries. “Well, they should know what my boundaries are.” No, they shouldn’t. I mean, who the heck says that? They should be a mind reader and know what they are? “Well, they just need to know that I can’t do this anymore.” Like who are you talking about? I’ve had parents – it’s so funny dude. I’ll be in the room, the parent is there, and the loved one is there that’s struggling with addiction, and the parent tells me that they don’t even talk directly to them. They already know what my boundaries are. I’m like, “Do you know what their boundaries are?” He’s like, “I have no idea.” “Well, they should know what my boundaries are.” People are so afraid of direct conversations and assertive conversations because of fear of what they’re going to do. So man, be authentic, be true to yourself, to thine own self be true, is what they’ve been teaching us in this thing called life. What is not expressed does not exist. Just because it exists inside your mind does not mean it exists inside of somebody else’s mind, nor their world. Express it directly. And if you’re not good at communication maybe that’s a sign for you, not them, to improve on your communication skills. Why not use boundary setting as a way for self-improvement?

4. Honor Yourself

Yes my friends, you are the most important person in your life. You might say, “whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, I mean my children, they’re my everything, they’re my world.” Okay, you are the most important person in your life. I’m so happy to hear that you have children in your life that mean that much to you but if you don’t honor yourself, set boundaries and take care of yourself, you are not the best version of yourself for those children. You are not the person that you want those children to see you as. Some people say their partner, their spouse, significant other is the most important person in my life, I die for them. Okay how about you live for you? So you have a chance to be there for them? How about we don’t start putting ourselves second and sacrificing ourself for the betterment of another human being? A lot of people in specific caretaking roles do that. They sacrifice their whole life for others. They give every ounce they have for other people. They neglect themselves and at the end of it it’s a very sad ending, man. I mean you guys know my parents – I don’t know if they’re here right now but I love them dearly. Cool people, good people. You can ask a 100 people about my parents and 100 people will say they’re good people. I put myself first. You might say what a selfish man! No, I put myself first so I could show up the best version of a son I can for them. The intention is important.

5. Make Self-care a Priority

We’re not going to get too much into it because I have 4,000 talks on self-care but when you’re setting boundaries you got to do self-care because here’s what happens. Let’s say you set a boundary with someone and you tell them they’re no longer allowed to do X Y and Z. They’re going to freak the hell out. You’re going to feel guilty, you’re gonna feel ashamed, you’re gonna feel like a bad person, you’re gonna feel like a bad mom, a bad dad, a bad friend. And then you’re going to be stuck with that emotional experience if you don’t apply some self-care and do some stuff to help your emotions in that moment, the odds of you going back on your boundaries, the odds of you going back on your word, the odds of you just giving in, becomes very high. Not why do they keep doing it but why do I keep allowing it?

6. Seek Support

I just worked with somebody last week and she needed some support with setting boundaries. She said, “I just don’t know what to say,” and I said, “Well, what kind of boundaries you want to have?” And she named off like 77 things. I’m like, “Well, there it is.” See, it’s not that they don’t know what to say. They’re just afraid that if I say it something bad’s going to happen. It’s such a fear-based approach. I went ahead and wrote down six or seven boundaries pretty much exactly as she told me and she’s like, “Oh thank you so much!” I can say seeking support sometimes give you the permission to do something that you know you need to do but you don’t have the psychological emotional muscles to do it. That’s okay, but eventually you want to be able to set boundaries authentically from yourself, knowing that there’s no way that you’re going to say this thing that’s going to go bad. If you’re true to yourself and know your intentions and your motives.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

You Probably Don’t Know These 5 Signs of Broken Boundaries

We are going over some signs that your boundaries are weak or even broken. And a majority of you will be able to identify whether in the past you’ve done this, you are currently doing this, and then you got to decide if this is what you want to continue doing. So the following are signs that you got to watch for, to know that you have weak or broken boundaries. 

You cannot change your future unless you set boundaries. Because if you don’t, the past leads into the future and there you are again. Some of you have been there for a very very long time repeating the past over and over again, thinking that it’s because of someone else. If I tell you my friends, that you have the sole ability to transform your future by setting boundaries, you might say that I’m out of my mind, but I’ll tell you this. It’s the only way we do because what if that person that you’re not setting boundaries with never changes? That means your future will never change. Now it’s up to you. Do you want your future to look different than your past? If the answer is yes, gain the courage to set boundaries and see what happens.

1. You are taken advantage of, or stolen from

So if you’ve had loved ones in your life that have stolen from you it’s probably a safe sign to say that your boundaries are weak or broken. Whenever I do this talk, sometimes people that struggle with addictions get on this weird moral high ground. And what I mean by that is this. They’ll be like, “Yeah but you know I’m not one of those kind of guys. I mean I love my family. I would never steal from them. I’ve never taken one thing from the house.” They get off on the fact that they’ve never stolen a material item from somebody and then I always stop them in their tracks and say, “Yo, have you ever stolen someone’s trust? Have you ever stolen sleep from somebody? Have you ever stolen somebody’s heart?” And they’re like, “Well, I mean yeah, but I never stole anything.” I’m like, “Bro, the trust is priceless, sleep is priceless. Yeah you can go take a piece of jewelry and pawn it for a thousand dollars and do some drugs for a couple days, but when you steal the other stuff…” And some of them get it and some of them don’t. It’s sad, but if you’ve allowed somebody to steal from you constantly over and over again, it’s a sign that the boundaries are weak or broken.

2. You walk on eggshells to avoid conflict

This one happens all the time. Parents are actually usually scared to set boundaries because they’re worried of someone’s reaction, that they’re going to get mad. Okay, what do you mean by that? So they’re going to get mad, fair enough. So if you tell them they can’t do this or they’re not welcome back here, they’re going to get mad. How many times have you gotten mad for them doing something to you? Thousands of times. But that’s okay you don’t matter as much as long as they don’t get mad. Some people need to get mad, some people need to get their feelings hurt, it’s okay. How many times have your feelings got hurt in your life? And why are you trying to protect your kid from getting their feelings hurt, or protect them from getting mad? Because you’re afraid of the emotional reaction and the potential things that they will or won’t do. But here’s the thing. Even without the boundaries and even without setting it, don’t they do those things anyways? At least if one person’s got to be protected here, protect yourself. By the way, by doing so, you actually start to help them. 

3. We Carry the People who are Capable of Walking

“We [ __ ] people who are capable of walking because we choose to carry them.” 

We really really do, and the sad part is, it’s not just anybody. It’s people who are capable of walking. If there’s someone that literally or legitimately can’t do something and you got to carry that person that’s okay. Sometimes people need that. But if it’s someone, for example, if I fall down and just shatter my femur in my leg or my knee and I can’t walk and someone comes and grabs me and picks me up and helps me walk, that’s okay. But if I’m a body and nothing’s wrong with me and I’m not injured and I can walk and someone chooses to carry me that person that’s making that choice has to also accept that they’re choosing to [ __ ] that person. Now this happens usually unconsciously. It’s not a casual thought. It’s not like something you go into intentionally – you’re doing it with good intentions. You’re doing it because you love them. You’re doing it because you care. But I’m telling you, the sooner you allow people to walk who are capable of walking, the sooner they will be able to walk, they will be able to jog, they will be able to run, they will be able to fly. Stop carrying people. I’m not saying stop caring about people. I’m saying stop carrying people. Let them walk. You might say, “but they don’t know how to walk.” Well, let them crawl, let them just sit on their butt and scooch inch by inch forward into life. Stop carrying them. And the sad part is, a lot of you have developed this role of the caretaker. You got to really look at that role. You didn’t start with your loved one’s addiction by the way. It started when you were a little person and you just continue to manifest and recreate it.

4. Stop Asking Why they keep doing it and Start Asking why I keep Allowing it

Stop asking why they keep doing it and start asking why I keep allowing it. Anytime someone’s boundaries get violated say, “Why did you do this? How could you do this? Why do you keep doing this to us? Why, why, why, why, why?” Stop it. Turn the freaking turn it backward this way. Don’t worry about what they did or didn’t do, and say, “Why do I keep allowing it to happen?” I know, low self-esteem, fear, uncertainty, worry, I get it. But if you know those things then just realize it’s not about them. When someone does something to you over and over and over again, or someone does something over and over again, you got to make a choice at some point. And by the way, when you ask somebody why they keep doing something, what do they say? “I don’t know. I don’t know, it’s just what I do, alright?” Well, if that’s the best response they have then just start looking at your part, because obviously they’re not looking at theirs. Do your work because obviously they’re not doing theirs. How long do you want to wait for someone to get it before you can say okay, now I can set a boundary? Because they’re good. Setting boundaries when you don’t need to set boundaries is like the easiest thing in the world to do because they’re not crossing them anymore anyways. Setting boundaries when you’re in the midst of it, that’s where the magic happens. 

5. “No is a complete sentence”

A lot of codependents have a hard time saying No in life, and it’s not because they’re weak, or it’s not because they’re bad, or they don’t have any backbone to them. No, it’s none of that stuff. It’s because at some point in your life when you were growing up, your environment was such that you couldn’t really say No. You may have come from a dysfunctional home, you may have had some specific things happening in the house, like you were caretaking for other siblings, or you were caretaking for an adult parent that was struggling with alcoholism or depression, or you were moving a lot to different places. You just couldn’t say no and so it becomes like this identity. And now that you have your own life and you got your own experience you still can’t say No. But it’s something you really got to learn at some point. Whenever I tell people to say No they just say, “Well if I say No to them they’re going to think I don’t care.” Who says that? Saying No to someone equals not caring? It’s something you’re coming up with. If I say no to them they’re going to think I’m a bad friend. Who says saying No to somebody equals being a bad friend? Why can’t saying No just mean saying No? “Well, they’re going to judge me, or they’re going to think I’m a bad person.” Maybe that’s how you feel when other people say No to you. Why are you projecting it onto the world? And if they do believe that, they’re probably not the best friend or the best person. Are you ready to accept that? Remember, because if someone throws a fit for you setting a boundary it’s that much more evidence that the boundary is needed. If someone throws a fit for you saying No probably that much more reason why you got to say No. Most parents usually feel a significant amount of blame or shame or guilt if they say No. They feel like they’re bad parents. Again, who says saying No equals being a bad parent? They also think that if they say No then the loved one’s not going to love them as much. Well, if love was conditional based on Yes or No responses then we would be really royally screwed in this thing called life, and you just got to build that psychological emotional muscle to say No.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

5 Signs That Your Boundaries are Weak or Broken

Today we are going to talk about something that’s very very very important in the space of recovery, healing, transformation, and it’s this thing that is oftentimes talked about but nobody practices. So my goal is to be able to raise your insight, your awareness of why it’s important in your life and then understand if there’s some signs in your experience that your boundaries are broken. If you’ve heard boundary talks before but you still struggle with setting boundaries then probably continue to listen because there’s something that you missed along the process.

1. You constantly mention what he, she or they have done wrong in the past

You give them guilt trips, you let them know that. “Don’t you know what I’ve done for you? Don’t you know how I’ve sacrificed my life for you?” I’m telling you man, that whole martyr thing is something that you got to look at because if you continue to sacrifice everything you are and all you have for another person you’re just a martyr. And you’re like, “Well, what do you mean? It’s my loved one, it’s my son.” And just because you do that doesn’t make him not your son, or not your daughter at some point. You can’t keep bringing up the past. If you’re not resolved with the past, find out what happened and why you’re not. Maybe go do some counseling, do some writing, do some work on yourself and then make a commitment to stop letting it happen to you. But if the person keeps repeating the past and the future (I’ll share a quote later that will resonate with that), you have weak or broken boundaries if you’re always talking about what they did wrong in the past.

2. You are constantly telling them what to do or warning them what will happen if they don't

Constantly telling someone what to do and then telling that, “Hey but but listen, if you don’t do it this is what’s going to happen.” News flash! Unless your child is 8 years old and they really don’t know what would happen most adults know exactly what happens if they don’t do what they need to do. There is no need to tell them. So when you tell them it’s a form of control. And by the way, whenever we do those kind of things it’s self-regulating our own anxiety. So I had this mom she would go log on to her kids’ Community College portal every semester. And when I say kid, her kid was like 27 or 28 years old. Every semester she would go there, she would study the schedule of classes, she would register for four classes for her son. Now the son has four classes at Community College that he didn’t sign up for, nor agreed to. And usually after week two, he dropped out because the parents said as long as he’s in school we’ll support him. So he would drop out and then they would cause this huge fight for years. And it’s like, “Come on, you know!” And it’s like, “If you don’t do these college classes this is what’s going to happen to you.” He knows. I mean at some point we got to realize our power and what it is and what it isn’t. So if you’re doing things for other people, telling them what to do, telling them how to live their life, just know it’s more of your own stuff and less to do with them.

3. You criticize more frequently than compliment

This is a perspective thing. I think everybody can be criticized including myself and I can criticize everybody. However, it’s a choice because you either look at what someone’s doing wrong or you focus on what they’re doing right. As soon as I see what someone is doing right I immediately let them know. I don’t wait to see them do something wrong and say, “Oh, you could have done this better.” Because by identifying the positive traits and the positive actions and the positive steps that human beings take and make it makes them do more of it. It’s management 101. For years, anytime a staff member did anything positive an email went out. I was always the first one on the email chain saying, “Hey, appreciate you, wonderful job, you’re making a difference!” I believe that type of feedback to people about complimenting them, as long as they’re true and real compliments, goes a lot further than criticizing people, a lot further. And the goal is to always catch it immediately and compliment them immediately, because that’s when people actually know that “hey, all my actions, not just my negative actions have consequences.” Positive actions in life can also have consequences. They just happen to be good ones. Positive reinforcement, positive reinforcement. A sign of weak and broken boundaries is like negative reinforcement. Criticizing them, letting them know what they did wrong. Lift and motivate with positive reinforcement.

4. You give solutions when you haven't been asked

Oh the parents love this one. Like someone opens up to them and before they’re even done talking they’re in problem solving crisis mode. It’s like, “This is what you have to do,” then all the way down. I learned something from a client in the family group. So every Tuesday as you guys know, if you’re ever in person in Orange County, California at Huntington Beach, every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 we do an in-person family support group. It’s not on Zoom because it’s pretty therapeutic and people share some heavy stuff and I like to honor that but it’s for anyone who firsthand or secondhand has experienced pain as a result of addictions, mental illness, trauma, grief and loss. One of the program participants taught me something. She said when her 12-year-old son starts talking to her she says the following: “Do you want comfort or do you want a solution?” I was like, “Damn, I’m going to use that.” I’ll give her credit a few times and then I’m going to say it was mine. But I just love that so much because sometimes people just want comfort. I can’t tell you how many times clients have come and talked to me saying, “I called my loved one, I called my spouse, I called my partner, I called my parents, and I just wanted to talk to them but they immediately wanted to solve everything.” So do you provide solutions when you weren’t asked? A lot of you do, and again it’s your own anxiety, it’s your own stress, it’s your own inability to deal with unfinished business, or something wrong that forces you, compels you to do that.

5. You cover for them

This is something a lot of codependents have done. They call in sick for work, pick them up, all that kind of stuff, from a bar. I remember when my alcoholism was at its peak, you know 23-24 years old and I would go out, I’d either drink at home with bottles under the bed or I’d go out to a local TGI Fridays, you know. Rest in peace to those restaurants that used to be open a long time ago. I used to go to TGI Fridays and there was a few times my poor mom, at like last call, would come pick me up, or I would find a way home. And the next morning, early in the morning, she would have to drive me to the place so I can pick up my car that was left there the night before. She’s doing that because she was wanting me to be okay but that’s what I mean. You cover for people, you don’t let them go through the natural consequences of their actions. My mom was doing it with really good intentions, not knowing at the time that she’s enabling. But I’ve had parents calling work. So we have a program, an outpatient program – there’s been parents that have called in the counselor or the front office saying, “Hey, my son or daughter is not coming in today because they’re not feeling well.” I’m like, “Your kid’s like 40 years old you know. You probably shouldn’t be the one making this phone call.” “Yeah, but I was worried that they’re not going to call.” “Well, you still probably shouldn’t have made this phone call.” And they just don’t get it. Here’s the thing. They’ve even had talks about boundaries. This is the part that’s baffling. They’ve had people talk to them and teach them about boundaries, yet they pick up the phone and call. Fascinating stuff. 

 

For parents or people that are struggling with someone that struggles with addiction, the same way that you’ve heard all these talks about boundaries yet you don’t apply them is the same way your loved one hears talks about addiction recovery doesn’t apply them. People are stubborn and you start to implement and utilize these things that you learn if you want to get better. If you don’t it’s not going to happen. It’s really important to know that.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Do You Know The 4 Types of Boundaries?

When we talk about boundaries some people don’t even know what a boundary truly is. So let’s just think about it this way. A boundary is just a line – it’s a dividing line that separates one thing to another. Now that could be a person to a person, that could be a country to a country, that could be an experience to an experience, but it’s something that separates it. And why do we need to separate it? Because when boundaries don’t exist, or they’re weak, or they’re a mesh, people don’t know where the limit is. And when you don’t know where the limit is there is no limit. And that’s why people constantly say, “I feel like a doormat. I feel like I get stepped on, stepped over all the time.” Don’t set boundaries if you can’t or won’t enforce them. The worst thing you can do is set boundaries and then just be like, “Ah, it’s okay.” What did you do in the first place? If you can’t set a boundary that you know you can’t enforce then don’t set it yet. Set it when you’re ready because if you do it sends the wrong message, the wrong signal. That “oh it’s okay, my boundaries don’t mean nothing.” So that’s a key point right there. To be able to only set boundaries that you can enforce. I want to go through and share with you some different boundary types because people don’t even know really what boundaries are first and foremost, and then that there’s types of them.

1. Boundaries around Time

How do you spend your time? Do you have a time budget? Someone might be saying, “a time budget? What the hell is this guy talking about?” Yeah, a time budget. I mean, you got 24 hours in a day. Do you budget how you will spend that time? If you have $1,000 in your bank account you must budget how you will spend that. I know that Starbucks or the convenience store takes up a significant amount of our financial budget. I read something that was pretty funny – it said, “my debit card is a food diary of ways that I’ve spent money.” But you want to budget your time. So how are you spending it? Do you budget it? Who are you spending it with? Who are you spending your time with? Such an important element. The next one is physical boundaries. And this could just be your physical space. It could be things like physical touch. But I think our physical boundaries are important. So when you look around your room and you look around your house and you feel clutter, overwhelmed, you feel stressed out, there’s something that needs to happen. When you allow people to get too close to you whether it’s intimately or just platonically, there’s a physical component there that’s really important to address. And we all have different physical boundary limits based on the things that have happened or not happened to us growing up.

2. Conversation Boundaries

So important! What kind of conversations do you get involved in? I was doing this talk with our program participants this morning. I said, “When someone starts talking about or glorifying their drug use you know what I do? Peace, I’m out!” I mean, I get it like if you’re young and you’re like 17 or 18 and you want to talk about that stuff, cool! It’s new but if you’re a grown adult talking about the days that you did this and that it’s like, “Come on, let’s get out. Let’s raise our vibration, let’s raise our energy, let’s raise the things that we talk about.” If someone’s gonna talk and by the way like some of these kids will be like, “Yeah man, I used to get direct pickups from the Mexican Mafia,” it’s like, “No, you didn’t. If you were working with the Mexican Mafia number one, first of all you weren’t. Number two, you wouldn’t be in a therapeutic recovery space using your parents’ insurance to be receiving treatment.” I just don’t talk about that stuff. When people are talking about other people, like gossiping, saying negative things about other people, I’m not going to be in that conversation. I just walk away. People are talking really passionately arguing over political or religious views, get out of here. To each their own, whether you’re the farthest left hippie liberal of all time, or you’re the farthest right extremist on that side, I’m not gonna sit there and talk to you about this. What’s the point? I’ve set boundaries with people in this chat about that stuff and it’s like, “we’re cool with it.” Love and respect, very easy to do but if you get into that whole divisive stuff I mean, come on.

3. Relationship Boundaries

Sometimes I tell people, “you got to set boundaries with your kids,” and they’re like, “But I love my kids. They’re the apple of my eye.” What does that have to do with anything? I sometimes tell clients, “You got to set boundaries with your parents,” and they’re like, “no, they’re going to feel I’m disrespecting them.” Oh man, you got to set boundaries with people you’re in relationships with because it’s where one thing stops and one thing starts. If there is no line then there is no line, then anything can happen.

4. Boundaries around Content

What do you expose your eyes to? What do you watch? I showed the program participants. I went on my cell phone and I showed them how many minutes a day I spend on social media and it was 16 minutes a day. I’m not including this. On Instagram, 16 minutes a day. I did the same exercise with the kids that I coach basketball at Aliso Niguel High School. Three hours a day was on their phones. Tik Tok average three hours a day. What kind of content do you expose yourself to? What do you watch? For those of you who are serial television watchers, and you watch show after show and you binge watch, you got to set some boundaries around that.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Understanding Boundaries

Okay, what is up everyone? Welcome back, welcome back! We are here and this is live, so if you’re watching this in the present tense it is Saturday, March 23rd of 2024 at 9:15 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. So if you’re here right now with us, welcome, and as you trickle in to say hello and check in and all that kind of stuff I’ll go ahead and give a quick introduction of myself, and what it is we do here, and what the intention and the purpose of this group is. So this group is for anybody who firsthand or secondhand has experienced any type of pain as a result of mental illness, addictions, trauma, grief and loss. It is for those who are trying to level up their lives and go from where they are to where they want to be. Ooh, sounds exciting! It is for anybody here that just wants to get a little bit of education in this space. So whether you work in the field, or you got a loved one that’s struggling with something, or you’re struggling with something, the topics rotate and they change. We’ve been doing this very consistently for four years now which is just mind-blowing to me. It was actually Covid that was the inspiration of the beginning of these live streams. Before that I was old school. I was like, “no, no, I don’t want to be online. I want to do this stuff in-person,” and Covid kind of helped us get there, which is what I think is really important here.

So my name is Parham. I have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I’m a licensed Addictions Counselor. I got a dog that’s biting my hand right now. “Go downstairs, dude!” Let’s see, so I am in recovery myself – June 13th of 2008 is the day that I say I changed my life around and I went from living a very low vibration experience to living a life that’s connected to self and others. I do coach high school basketball and I’ll share a little bit later about my class that’s starting here at a community college locally in Orange County. By the way, this is an interactive talk, so three people have written comments so far. For example, Counselor Jim: Just want to say good luck in the upcoming few weeks, my friend! Speedy recovery! We look forward to having your wisdom back at Buckeye in person every morning. You’re the first person in the door which says a lot about who you are. And Katalin, what’s up? Jaleh Joon, what’s up? Jessica: “made it on time!” Oh, time management skills are improving, a few years later. So if you write whatever in this chat I could put it up here is what I’m trying to say and if you watch this later in recording feel free. Oh Allan, what’s up? I just gotta say Hi to Allan. Allan said, “Parham, whenever you see me on these chats it means I’m doing good.” So you know what my friend, I’m going to take your word for it and just assume that you’re doing good because that’s the best version of you that I want you to be able to experience all the time. 

So today we are going to talk about something that’s very very very important in the space of recovery, healing, transformation, and it’s this thing that is oftentimes talked about but nobody practices. So my goal is to be able to raise your insight, your awareness of why it’s important in your life and then understand if there’s some signs in your experience that your boundaries are broken, and ultimately give you some tips on how to set these. If you’ve heard boundary talks before but you still struggle with setting boundaries then probably continue to listen because there’s something that you missed along the process. So give me just one second, let me just see if I can remove this pup from my experience. Let me see if I can do it. Okay so my hand is getting bitten very very hard at the moment but I’m gonna start now. Okay so everybody, let’s get into it. 

What we’re gonna do is get right into this talk and there is a quote that I love, I mean I genuinely genuinely love this quote and here it goes. It says, “If someone throws a fit because you set boundaries it’s that much more evidence that the boundary was needed.” Okay, I’m gonna say that again. So if someone you love, someone you know, someone in your life gets upset and throws a fit because you set a boundary I want you to know that that experience is more evidence, is more proof, that the boundary that you just set with them was needed. Because if I set a boundary with someone who is healthy and understands, they say, “you know what, I understand, I get it.” But if I set a boundary with someone who just fights back or gets upset or this and that it’s like, “Yo, that’s exactly why I got to set that boundary with you.” When we talk about boundaries some people don’t even know what a boundary truly is. So let’s just think about it this way. A boundary is just a line – it’s a dividing line that separates one thing to another. Now that could be a person to a person, that could be a country to a country, that could be an experience to an experience, but it’s something that separates it. And why do we need to separate it? Because when boundaries don’t exist, or they’re weak, or they’re a mesh, people don’t know where the limit is. And when you don’t know where the limit is there is no limit. And that’s why people constantly say, “I feel like a doormat. I feel like I get stepped on, stepped over all the time.” I know where that accent came from – all the time! Wow, first time I’ve ever done that in my life. I think it’s a byproduct of too much caffeine on an empty stomach. Oh I love Jim! Thank you so much for saying this because you know I will. By the way, when you recover one of these talks we’re coming back and delivering on what we promised last week. To have you do a little split screen with me like we did back a couple years ago, and just have you share some wisdom, maybe some of this stuff. He says, “Don’t set boundaries if you can’t or won’t enforce them.” The worst thing you can do is set boundaries and then just be like, “ah, it’s okay.” What did you do in the first place? If you can’t set a boundary that you know you can’t enforce then don’t set it yet. Set it when you’re ready because if you do it sends the wrong message, the wrong signal. That “oh it’s okay, my boundaries don’t mean nothing.” So that’s a key point right there. To be able to only set boundaries that you can enforce. I want to go through and share with you some different boundary types because people don’t even know really what boundaries are first and foremost, and then that there’s types of them.

 

1. So number one is boundaries around your time. Okay, how do you spend your time? Do you have a time budget? Someone might be saying, “a time budget? What the hell this guy talking about?” Yeah, a time budget. I mean, you got 24 hours in a day. Do you budget how you will spend that time? If you have $1,000 in your bank account you must budget how you will spend that. I know that Starbucks or the convenience store takes up a significant amount of our financial budget. I read something that was pretty funny – it said, “my debit card is a food diary of ways that I’ve spent money.” But you want to budget your time. So how are you spending it? Do you budget it? Who are you spending it with? Who are you spending your time with? Such an important element. The next one is physical boundaries. And this could just be your physical space. It could be things like physical touch. But I think our physical boundaries are important. So when you look around your room and you look around your house and you feel clutter, overwhelmed, you feel stressed out, there’s something that needs to happen. When you allow people to get too close to you whether it’s intimately or just platonically, there’s a physical component there that’s really important to address. And we all have different physical boundary limits based on the things that have happened or not happened to us growing up. 

People have popped up right now: Marilyn, good morning! Jose Jan, good morning! Just saying what’s up to you guys!

 

2. The next one that we have here are your conversation boundaries. So important! What kind of conversations do you get involved in? I was doing this talk with our program participants this morning. I said, “When someone starts talking about or glorifying their drug use you know what I do? Peace, I’m out!” I mean, I get it like if you’re young and you’re like 17 or 18 and you want to talk about that stuff, cool! It’s new but if you’re a grown adult talking about the days that you did this and that it’s like, “Come on, let’s get out. Let’s raise our vibration, let’s raise our energy, let’s raise the things that we talk about.” If someone’s gonna talk and by the way like some of these kids will be like, “Yeah man, I used to get direct pickups from the Mexican Mafia,” it’s like, “No, you didn’t. If you were working with the Mexican Mafia number one, first of all you weren’t. Number two, you wouldn’t be in a therapeutic recovery space using your parents’ insurance to be receiving treatment.” I just don’t talk about that stuff. When people are talking about other people, like gossiping, saying negative things about other people, I’m not going to be in that conversation. I just walk away. People are talking really passionately arguing over political or religious views, get out of here. To each their own, whether you’re the farthest left hippie liberal of all time, or you’re the farthest right extremist on that side, I’m not gonna sit there and talk to you about this. What’s the point? I’ve set boundaries with people in this chat about that stuff and it’s like, “we’re cool with it.” Love and respect, very easy to do but if you get into that whole divisive stuff I mean, come on. 

 

3. There’s relationship boundaries. Sometimes I tell people, “you got to set boundaries with your kids,” and they’re like, “But I love my kids. They’re the apple of my eye.” What does that have to do with anything? I sometimes tell clients, “you got to set boundaries with your parents,” and they’re like, “no, they’re going to feel I’m disrespecting them.” Oh man, you got to set boundaries with people you’re in relationships with because it’s where one thing stops and one thing starts. If there is no line then there is no line, then anything can happen. 

 

4. You got to set boundaries around content. What do you expose your eyes to? What do you watch? I showed the program participants. I went on my cell phone and I showed them how many minutes a day I spend on social media and it was 16 minutes a day. I’m not including this. On Instagram, 16 minutes a day. I did the same exercise with the kids that I coach basketball at Aliso Niguel High School. Three hours a day was on their phones. Tik Tok average three hours a day. What kind of content do you expose yourself to? What do you watch? For those of you who are serial television watchers, and you watch show after show and you binge watch, you got to set some boundaries around that.

 

So those are the different boundary types. Now I’m going to go over some signs that your boundaries are weak or even broken. So all the parents watching this right now, you codependent little cupcakes, I’m going to tell you some stuff right now. And a majority of you will be able to identify whether in the past you’ve done this, you are currently doing this, and then you got to decide if this is what you want to continue doing. So the following are signs that you got to watch for, to know that you have weak or broken boundaries. 

1) Number one, you constantly mention what he, she or they have done wrong in the past. You give them guilt trips, you let them know that. “Don’t you know what I’ve done for you? Don’t you know how I’ve sacrificed my life for you?” I’m telling you man, that whole martyr thing is something that you got to look at because if you continue to sacrifice everything you are and all you have for another person you’re just a martyr. And you’re like, “Well, what do you mean? It’s my loved one, it’s my son.” And just because you do that doesn’t make him not your son, or not your daughter at some point. You can’t keep bringing up the past. If you’re not resolved with the past, find out what happened and why you’re not. Maybe go do some counseling, do some writing, do some work on yourself and then make a commitment to stop letting it happen to you. But if the person keeps repeating the past and the future (I’ll share a quote later that will resonate with that), you have weak or broken boundaries if you’re always talking about what they did wrong in the past.

2) The next one, this is parent 101 that they do. You are constantly telling them what to do or warning them what will happen if they don’t. Constantly telling someone what to do and then telling that, “Hey but but listen, if you don’t do it this is what’s going to happen.” News flash! Unless your child is 8 years old and they really don’t know what would happen most adults know exactly what happens if they don’t do what they need to do. There is no need to tell them. So when you tell them it’s a form of control. And by the way, whenever we do those kind of things it’s self-regulating our own anxiety. So I had this mom that for sure is not on this chat and probably not listening to this because she knew it all. Every semester she would go log on to her kids’ Community College portal. And when I say kid, her kid was like 27 or 28 years old. Every semester she would go there, she would study the schedule of classes, she would register for four classes for her son. Now the son has four classes at Community College that he didn’t sign up for, nor agreed to. And usually after week two, he dropped out because the parents said as long as he’s in school we’ll support him. So he would drop out and then they would cause this huge fight for years. And it’s like, “Come on, you know!” And it’s like, “If you don’t do these college classes this is what’s going to happen to you.” He knows. I mean at some point we got to realize our power and what it is and what it isn’t. So if you’re doing things for other people, telling them what to do, telling them how to live their life, just know it’s more of your own stuff and less to do with them.

3) The next one says you criticize more frequently than compliment. This is a perspective thing. I think everybody can be criticized including myself and I can criticize everybody. However, it’s a choice because you either look at what someone’s doing wrong or you focus on what they’re doing right. As soon as I see what someone is doing right I immediately let them know. I don’t wait to see them do something wrong and say, “Oh, you could have done this better.” Because by identifying the positive traits and the positive actions and the positive steps that human beings take and make it makes them do more of it. It’s management 101. I mean Jim’s probably the only person here that could vouch for this right now. I’m a little bit more hands off because we have people running the company, program directors, clinical directors, all that kind of stuff, which I really empowered them to be the ones communicating with staff. But for years, I mean Jim, from 2016 to probably 2021 anytime a staff member did anything positive an email went out. I was always the first one on the email chain saying, “Hey, appreciate you, wonderful job, you’re making a difference!” I believe that type of feedback to people about complimenting them, as long as they’re true and real compliments, goes a lot further than criticizing people, a lot further. And the goal is to always catch it immediately and compliment them immediately, because that’s when people actually know that “hey, all my actions, not just my negative actions have consequences.” Positive actions in life can also have consequences. They just happen to be good ones. Positive reinforcement, positive reinforcement. A sign of weak and broken boundaries is like negative reinforcement. Criticizing them, letting them know what they did wrong. Yeah, “Lift and motivate with positive reinforcement.” I didn’t even see that one when I was saying that, Jim. Telling you Jim, I think you’re finally getting ready to the days that you can start teaching this class instead of me. Just kidding, my man! I still learn from you all the time.

4) The next one says you give solutions when you haven’t been asked. Oh the parents love this one. Like someone opens up to them and before they’re even done talking they’re in problem solving crisis mode. It’s like, “This is what you have to do,” then all the way down. I learned something from a client in the family group. So every Tuesday as you guys know, if you’re ever in person in Orange County, California at Huntington Beach, every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 we do an in-person family support group. It’s not on Zoom because it’s pretty therapeutic and people share some heavy stuff and I like to honor that but it’s for anyone who firsthand or secondhand has experienced pain as a result of addictions, mental illness, trauma, grief and loss. One of the program participants taught me something. She said when her 12-year-old son starts talking to her she says the following: “Do you want comfort or do you want a solution?” I was like, “Damn, I’m going to use that.” I’ll give her credit a few times and then I’m going to say it was mine. But I just love that so much because sometimes people just want comfort. I can’t tell you how many times clients have come and talked to me saying, “I called my loved one, I called my spouse, I called my partner, I called my parents, and I just wanted to talk to them but they immediately wanted to solve everything.” So do you provide solutions when you weren’t asked? A lot of you do, and again it’s your own anxiety, it’s your own stress, it’s your own inability to deal with unfinished business, or something wrong that forces you, compels you to do that.

5) The next one which is something a lot of codependents here have done: you cover for them. Like they call in sick for work, pick them up, all that kind of stuff, from a bar. I remember when my alcoholism was at its peak, you know 23-24 years old and I would go out, I’d either drink at home with bottles under the bed or I’d go out to a local TGI Fridays, you know. Rest in peace to those restaurants that used to be open a long time ago. I used to go to TGI Fridays and there was a few times my poor mom, at like last call, would come pick me up, or I would find a way home. And the next morning, early in the morning, she would have to drive me to the place so I can pick up my car that was left there the night before. She’s doing that because she was wanting me to be okay but that’s what I mean. You cover for people, you don’t let them go through the natural consequences of their actions. My mom was doing it with really good intentions, not knowing at the time that she’s enabling. But I’ve had parents calling work. So we have a program, an outpatient program – there’s been parents that have called in the counselor or the front office saying, “Hey, my son or daughter is not coming in today because they’re not feeling well.” I’m like, “Your kid’s like 40 years old you know. You probably shouldn’t be the one making this phone call.” “Yeah, but I was worried that they’re not going to call.” “Well, you still probably shouldn’t have made this phone call.” And they just don’t get it. Here’s the thing. They’ve even had talks about boundaries. This is the part that’s baffling. They’ve had people talk to them and teach them about boundaries, yet they pick up the phone and call. Fascinating stuff. 

By the way this talk’s really good for parents or people that are struggling with someone that struggles with addiction. Because the same way that you’ve heard all these talks about boundaries yet you don’t apply them is the same way your loved one hears talks about addiction recovery doesn’t apply them. People are stubborn and you start to implement and utilize these things that you learn if you want to get better. If you don’t it’s not going to happen. It’s really important to know that.

6) The next one: you are taken advantage of, or stolen from. So if you’ve had loved ones in your life that have stolen from you it’s probably a safe sign to say that your boundaries are weak or broken. Whenever I do this talk, sometimes people that struggle with addictions get on this weird moral high ground. And what I mean by that is this. They’ll be like, “Yeah but you know I’m not one of those kind of guys. I mean I love my family. I would never steal from them. I’ve never taken one thing from the house.” They get off on the fact that they’ve never stolen a material item from somebody and then I always stop them in their tracks and say, “Yo, have you ever stolen someone’s trust? Have you ever stolen sleep from somebody? Have you ever stolen somebody’s heart?” And they’re like, “Well, I mean yeah, but I never stole anything.” I’m like, “Bro, the trust is priceless, sleep is priceless. Yeah you can go take a piece of jewelry and pawn it for a thousand dollars and do some drugs for a couple days, but when you steal the other stuff…” And some of them get it and some of them don’t. It’s sad, but if you’ve allowed somebody to steal from you constantly over and over again, it’s a sign that the boundaries are weak or broken. 

7) You walk on eggshells to avoid conflict. This one happens all the time. Parents are actually usually scared to set boundaries because they’re worried of someone’s reaction, that they’re going to get mad. Okay, what do you mean by that? So they’re going to get mad, fair enough. So if you tell them they can’t do this or they’re not welcome back here, they’re going to get mad. How many times have you gotten mad for them doing something to you? Thousands of times. But that’s okay you don’t matter as much as long as they don’t get mad. Some people need to get mad, some people need to get their feelings hurt, it’s okay. How many times have your feelings got hurt in your life? And why are you trying to protect your kid from getting their feelings hurt, or protect them from getting mad? Because you’re afraid of the emotional reaction and the potential things that they will or won’t do. But here’s the thing. Even without the boundaries and even without setting it, don’t they do those things anyways? At least if one person’s got to be protected here, protect yourself. By the way, by doing so, you actually start to help them. If there’s any feedback, any parents that have gone through the setting boundaries roller coaster, if you’re still struggling with it, if you have made some success with it, if you’ve had some success with it, whether it’s yourself your loved ones, feel free to write whatever that’s pertinent or relevant to today’s talk in the chat. I know it’ll help some people out.

8) The next one: we got three quotes to consider when it comes to setting boundaries. Number one, “We [ __ ] people who are capable of walking because we choose to carry them.” So I’m going to say that one on the camera because when I do so it’s because it’s important. “We [ __ ] people we choose to carry in life.” We really really do, and the sad part is, it’s not just anybody. It’s people who are capable of walking. If there’s someone that literally or legitimately can’t do something and you got to carry that person that’s okay. Sometimes people need that. But if it’s someone, for example, if I fall down and just shatter my femur in my leg or my knee and I can’t walk and someone comes and grabs me and picks me up and helps me walk, that’s okay. But if I’m a body and nothing’s wrong with me and I’m not injured and I can walk and someone chooses to carry me that person that’s making that choice has to also accept that they’re choosing to [ __ ] that person. Now this happens usually unconsciously. It’s not a casual thought. It’s not like something you go into intentionally – you’re doing it with good intentions. You’re doing it because you love them. You’re doing it because you care. But I’m telling you, the sooner you allow people to walk who are capable of walking, the sooner they will be able to walk, they will be able to jog, they will be able to run, they will be able to fly. Stop carrying people. I’m not saying stop caring about people. I’m saying stop carrying people. Let them walk. You might say, “but they don’t know how to walk.” Well, let them crawl, let them just sit on their butt and scooch inch by inch forward into life. Stop carrying them. And the sad part is, a lot of you have developed this role of the caretaker. You got to really look at that role. You didn’t start with your loved one’s addiction by the way. It started when you were a little person and you just continue to manifest and recreate it.

9) The next one we have here is stop asking why they keep doing it and start asking why I keep allowing it. Stop asking why they keep doing it and start asking why I keep allowing it. Anytime someone’s boundaries get violated say, “Why did you do this? How could you do this? Why do you keep doing this to us? Why, why, why, why, why?” Stop it. Turn the freaking turn it backward this way. Don’t worry about what they did or didn’t do, and say, “Why do I keep allowing it to happen?” I know, low self-esteem, fear, uncertainty, worry, I get it. But if you know those things then just realize it’s not about them. When someone does something to you over and over and over again, or someone does something over and over again, you got to make a choice at some point. And by the way, when you ask somebody why they keep doing something what do they say? “I don’t know. I don’t know, it’s just what I do, alright?” Well, if that’s the best response they have then just start looking at your part, because obviously they’re not looking at theirs. Do your work because obviously they’re not doing theirs. How long you want to wait for someone to get it before you can say okay, now I can set a boundary? Because they’re good. Setting boundaries when you don’t need to set boundaries is like the easiest thing in the world to do because they’re not crossing them anymore anyways. Setting boundaries when you’re in the midst of it, that’s where the magic happens. 

10) The last one here for quotes to consider is something you know we talk about in this room all the time. There’s a reason I do it for specific reasons. It just says, “No is a complete sentence.” A lot of codependents have a hard time saying No in life, and it’s not because they’re weak, or it’s not because they’re bad, or they don’t have any backbone to them. No, it’s none of that stuff. It’s because at some point in your life when you were growing up, your environment was such that you couldn’t really say No. You may have come from a dysfunctional home, you maybe had some specific things happening in the house, like you were caretaking for other siblings, or you were caretaking for an adult parent that was struggling with alcoholism or depression, or you were moving a lot to different places. You just couldn’t say no and so it becomes like this identity. And now that you have your own life and you got your own experience you still can’t say No. But it’s something you really got to learn at some point. Whenever I tell people to say No they just say, “Well if I say No to them they’re going to think I don’t care.” Who says that? Saying No to someone equals not caring? It’s something you’re coming up with. If I say no to them they’re going to think I’m a bad friend. Who says saying No to somebody equals being a bad friend? Why can’t saying No just mean saying No? “Well, they’re going to judge me, or they’re going to think I’m a bad person.” Maybe that’s how you feel when other people say No to you. Why are you projecting it onto the world? And if they do believe that, they’re probably not the best friend or the best person. Are you ready to accept that? Remember, because if someone throws a fit for you setting a boundary it’s that much more evidence that the boundary is needed. If someone throws a fit for you saying No probably that much more reason why you got to say No. Most parents usually feel a significant amount of blame or shame or guilt if they say No. They feel like they’re bad parents. Again, who says saying No equals being a bad parent? They also think that if they say No then the loved one’s not going to love them as much. Well, if love was conditional based on Yes or No responses then we would be really royally screwed in this thing called life, and you just got to build that psychological emotional muscle to say No. 

 

I’m going to give you some tips, now that we’ve kind of identified all this stuff. Tips for setting healthy boundaries. So we kind of touched on the first one a little bit with Jim earlier, but number (1) just says set your limits. Now, the limits are different for everybody in this talk. We all have different thresholds for boundaries and you just have to set what yours are. You got to set your emotional limits, your financial limits, your time limits, your conversational limits, your content limits. You got to set all those limits. And once you set them, like we were talking earlier, you got to make sure that you uphold them and enforce them. If you don’t there’s no point for them. It’s like having borders on countries, like those little lines on a map but it doesn’t mean anything. You’ve seen that, the problems that arise all over the world for that kind of stuff. Everyone has their own world and you got to make sure that you have a limit of where you start and someone else, where you stop and someone else starts. Set your limits, identify your feelings, because when you set your limits you’re going to start to feel some things. Like I said earlier, you’re going to feel some fear, you’re going to feel some guilt, you’re going to feel some shame. Identify those, it’s okay. You’re a human being, you can have feelings. What we want to do is we don’t want to feel those bad feelings so we don’t set boundaries and there you are again, getting the same repeated life experiences over and over again. Not why they keep doing it but why do I keep allowing it? Remember that.

(2) The next one, this is important. Consider the past, the present and the future. Wow, what a way to go about setting boundaries. You don’t have to go find some imaginary information and some imaginary book that tells you what type of boundary to set. No, look at your own life, look at your life experience with that person. Consider – I don’t say just exclusively – consider the past, what have you done before, what’s worked, what’s not worked, what’s helped you feel better, what’s helped them get better. Consider it all, the past. Consider the present, do you have the same financial means you had in the past? Do you have the same emotional bandwidth you had in the past? Do you have the same energy you had in the past? Consider the present. You’re a human being going through a human experience in the present moment. And then consider the future. Can I continue to live the way the past was? Can I continue to handle the past? Can I continue to go through all that stuff? So consider the past, the present and the future please, that’s where all the information is. You don’t need someone to tell you. You don’t need someone to tell you what to do – consider the past, the present and the future, and all the information you need to know is there, it’s all there.

Oh what’s up bro? Let me say Hi to this gentlemen. AG, what’s up dude? Long time man! We go back… what are we right now? We’re 40 years old. 18 years old we were balling together – it’s a long time to do that – that’s 22 years. Always good to see you man! I hope you’re still doing well. I know you were passionate about the film industry and all that kind of stuff and screenwriting and movies and yeah a creative mind. Wish you well, my man! Hope you’re doing well.

(3) So the next one that we have is direct communication. Be authentic. So remember the following. What is not expressed in life does not exist. So if you don’t directly communicate your boundaries with who it is that you’re setting your boundaries with you didn’t set your boundaries. “Well, they should know what my boundaries are.” No, they shouldn’t. I mean, who the heck says that? They should be a mind reader and know what they are? “Well, they just need to know that I can’t do this anymore.” Like who are you talking about? I’ve had parents – it’s so funny dude. I’ll be in the room, the parent is there, and the loved one is there that’s struggling with addiction, and the parent tells me that they don’t even talk directly to them. They already know what my boundaries are. I’m like, “Do you know what their boundaries are?” He’s like, “I have no idea.” “Well, they should know what my boundaries are.” People are so afraid of direct conversations and assertive conversations because of fear of what they’re going to do. So man, be authentic, be true to yourself, to thine own self be true, is what they’ve been teaching us in this thing called life. What is not expressed does not exist. Just because it exists inside your mind does not mean it exists inside of somebody else’s mind, nor their world. Express it directly. And if you’re not good at communication maybe that’s a sign for you, not them, to improve on your communication skills. Why not use boundary setting as a way for self-improvement?

(4) The next one I have is to honor yourself. Yes my friends, you are the most important person in your life. You might say, “whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, I mean my children, they’re my everything, they’re my world.” Okay, you are the most important person in your life. I’m so happy to hear that you have children in your life that mean that much to you but if you don’t honor yourself, set boundaries and take care of yourself, you are not the best version of yourself for those children. You are not the person that you want those children to see you as. Some people say their partner, their spouse, significant other is the most important person in my life, I die for them. Okay how about you live for you? So you have a chance to be there for them? How about we don’t start putting ourselves second and sacrificing ourself for the betterment of another human being? A lot of people in specific caretaking roles do that. They sacrifice their whole life for others. They give every ounce they have for other people. They neglect themselves and at the end of it it’s a very sad ending, man. I mean you guys know my parents – I don’t know if they’re here right now but I love them dearly. Cool people, good people. You can ask a 100 people about my parents and 100 people will say they’re good people. I put myself first. You might say what a selfish man! No, I put myself first so I could show up the best version of a son I can for them. The intention is important.

(5) The next one here: make self-care a priority. We’re not going to get too much into it because I have 4,000 talks on self-care but when you’re setting boundaries you got to do self-care because here’s what happens. Let’s say you set a boundary with someone and you tell them they’re no longer allowed to do X Y and Z. They’re going to freak the hell out. You’re going to feel guilty, you’re gonna feel ashamed, you’re gonna feel like a bad person, you’re gonna feel like a bad mom, a bad dad, a bad friend. And then you’re going to be stuck with that emotional experience if you don’t apply some self-care and do some stuff to help your emotions in that moment, the odds of you going back on your boundaries, the odds of you going back on your word, the odds of you just giving in, becomes very high. Not why do they keep doing it but why do I keep allowing it? 

(6) And the last one is to seek support. I just worked with somebody last week and she needed some support with setting boundaries. She said, “I just don’t know what to say,” and I said, “Well, what kind of boundaries you want to have?” And she named off like 77 things. I’m like, “Well, there it is.” See, it’s not that they don’t know what to say. They’re just afraid that if I say it something bad’s going to happen. It’s such a fear-based approach. I went ahead and wrote down six or seven boundaries pretty much exactly as she told me and she’s like, “Oh thank you so much!” I can say seeking support sometimes give you the permission to do something that you know you need to do but you don’t have the psychological emotional muscles to do it. That’s okay, but eventually you want to be able to set boundaries authentically from yourself, knowing that there’s no way that you’re going to say this thing that’s going to go bad. If you’re true to yourself and know your intentions and your motives.

 

So all in all, today we talked about boundaries. A very very very important talk when it comes to the healing, recovery and transformation process. You cannot change your future unless you set boundaries. Because if you don’t, the past leads into the future and there you are again. Some of you have been there for a very very long time repeating the past over and over again, thinking that it’s because of someone else. If I tell you my friends, that you have the sole ability to transform your future by setting boundaries, you might say that I’m out of my mind, but I’ll tell you this. It’s the only way we do because what if that person that you’re not setting boundaries with never changes? That means your future will never change. Now it’s up to you. Do you want your future to look different than your past? If the answer is yes, gain the courage to set boundaries and see what happens. Love and appreciate all of you. I will see you next week, same time, same place. Have a wonderful wonderful weekend! Bye, everyone!

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Taking Care of the Self in the Sobriety Journey

One of the most important things I talk about is Self-care. Why do I talk about it all the time? It’s because our society as a whole is completely in a deficit of self-care. Everybody is running on stress, everybody’s running on fear, everybody’s running on anger, everyone’s running on sadness, everyone’s running on differences. And self-care is what slows us down and allows us to take care of our self, the person that’s experiencing this life, to hopefully show up 1% better each day. The biggest hack I could tell you about how to implement self-care in your life is simple. Every day when you wake up, make sure you do one thing for your mind, one thing for your body, and one thing for your spirit. Don’t set it for another time of the day because guess what, when life happens and it evolves and stress kicks in? The odds of you saying, “I’m just going to do a little self-care right now” goes out the window. I prioritize self-care first in my day so I don’t have to fit it in later. I fit my day around self-care, that’s the difference. And self-care doesn’t always have to be going to get a massage, or self-care doesn’t have to be taking a little nap, or this and that. Self-care could just be a quick five minute introspection of self. It could be a quick 15 minute walk around your neighborhood. It could be sitting down and having that apple on the table. I don’t know what self-care it could be talking to a friend, a confidant, but please please please please make sure that you get all these things right.

The Story of your Self

How is your story another one of the main components of the recovery and transformation process? Well, this is for all human beings. Most of us identify with the stories of our lives with the events that you’ve gone through, with the things that have happened, good or bad, with the decisions you’ve made. Some are you’re proud of and some you hang your head and you’re full of guilt and shame. And the more you identify with the stories of your past the more your future will be filled with your past, because your story is constantly changing and evolving. If you don’t identify with one version of it, for those of you who continue to repeat the same story over and over again, three times, five times, 10 times, have you ever stopped to consider that maybe life just isn’t happening to you? It’s just like, what am I supposed to do? It keeps happening but what are you doing that’s influencing the same outcome over and over and over again? Some quotes are really good and some quotes are kind of corny. There’s a corny quote that I like and it says,

You are the author of your life. You are the creator of your life.

And the quality of it, the story you are experiencing when you realize that you’re writing it in the present tense and not in the past tense. That’s the moment you realize that you can write whatever the heck you want. You can create whatever the heck you want. You can influence whatever the heck you want. I’m not saying in the lives of others. All you codependents are like, “Okay, so if I change my story, my son or daughter’s story is going to change?” No, change your story so your life can change, and hopefully they do the same.

The Story That Keeps Repeating

For the repeating stories, just to give you a nice metaphor of how powerful it is, let’s say you go to the movie theater and you sit down and you’re excited to watch this movie, you’re excited to watch this story. And two, three minutes, five minutes goes into it, and it shows some characters. It shows a potential hook, a plot, something like that, and you’re like, “Okay, I’m getting into this, it’s good!” And then all of a sudden the movie theater stops and it repeats from the beginning. Again the same exact five minutes you watched and you look around whoever you’re watching it with, “Did you see that? Was that weird?” And you’re like maybe it was just a glitch, maybe the film just automatically started from the beginning and that can’t happen again. And you watch another three, five minutes of the very same thing you watch and all of a sudden it stops and it starts right back from the beginning again. And you’re like, “Oh my God, is this someone punking us? What’s going on over here?” Maybe you get up and want to go tell the movie theater manager, but be like, “No, no, let me just sit through this. This can’t be happening.” And after five minutes, the same thing happens again. After five minutes the same thing happens again. After five minutes the same thing happens again. After the fifth time of watching the same thing over and over again you’re going to walk out of the story and say that was a waste of time. You’re going to go complain to the manager, get your money back and walk out of there. 

Now some of you have been doing the same five minute dance for five years, for 10 years, for 15 years, over and over and over again. The moment you realize that you have the ability to change the story of your life back, the moment the story of your life will change. We write the story of our lives in the present moment, in a moment by moment interaction. Everything you do from this moment moving forward will change the story. However, if you’re not willing to sacrifice the past, if you’re not willing to sacrifice who and what you think you are, if you’re not willing to stop identifying with the stories of your past, the future will look exactly the same. That’s up to you to decide, my friends.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Why you need Support and Sponsors on your Journey

None of us will ever get through this thing called life without support. I know that’s a tough thing for some people because you love to support others but when it comes to yourself you don’t ask for support. I know it’s a tough thing for some people because they feel like they’re strong enough or smart enough or should be able to get through everything in life. But not one person in the history of mankind has ever been able to start this thing called life and end this thing called life without support, let alone during times of casualties, during times of pain, during times of loss. I mean, how powerful do you think you are to be able to handle circumstances and situations in life without the help of other people? You know, when we talk about people being powerless and you’re like, “No man, I don’t. I don’t believe in that,” what we’re actually saying is look at an infant.

Needing Support for Something New

An infant when they’re zero to like two years old, you know kind of like 18 to 24 months old, they’re powerless. You can’t get through life without support. So anytime you start something new for the first 18 months to two years of it, just like a baby you’re powerless with all this stuff. You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know how to do it. You need support to get through it. There’s no shame in that. Sometimes you just got to put your ego aside and put your pride aside and put your “I can do this by myself” aside. It’s okay to get support if you’re trying to transform, recover, heal, obtain sobriety, maintain sobriety, have emotional sobriety. You got to need some support and this moment that we’re having right here is a moment of support. You tuned in, you realize that, but what about all the other 23 hours in a day, 6 other days a week? How are you going to go about that? So please don’t underestimate the power of support when it comes to this.

Find Someone who knows the Way

When you’re doing something new, the first time you might not really know how to do it. There’s a lot of people that say they started the program, they’re doing the steps on their own because they don’t want to do it with somebody else. I mean first of all, that’s better than nothing, I’ll tell you that. Because at least you get exposed to the information. But second of all, if you don’t know what you’re doing then you don’t know what you’re doing. Because there’s a profound quote that I love and I’ve been sharing it over and over again because I used to talk about it all the time and I forgot about it but here’s what it is. It says, 

“The eyes can’t see what the mind doesn’t know.”

I love that. The eyes can’t see what the mind doesn’t know so if you’re trying something for the first time or you’re new to it there is so much you don’t know. Therefore your eyes are not able to see what it is that you’re looking for. So the whole point of a sponsorship or a mentor or someone who knows the way, shows the way, goes the way, is to help you uncover the unseen and to make it seen, so you can see it. And then you can do something about it. If you want to see further in life stand on the shoulders of giants. A sponsor is not a perfect person – it’s a human being – they are flawed. A sponsor is not somebody that takes over every aspect of your life. If they do that they’re overstepping. The sponsor is just a human being that’s very committed to the recovery process themselves and they have understood that by working with other people it is a way that they can maintain the progress they’ve had while also helping somebody else out. And it’s somebody that can create a little bit of a road map, a little bit of structure, especially in your early stages. Now sponsorship is wonderful throughout recovery but those early first two stages, I think, are probably the most important part and need for strong sponsorship.

How to Find a Sponsor

The benefit of having a sponsor is tenfold. I mean, you get through something the way it’s intended to get through, you work through the different challenges that might come up, and you continue to grow in this thing called sobriety and recovery. And it’s really hard to do it without it. Now there’s different styles of sponsorship. Some people are more structured and strict in requirements and all that kind of stuff, and some people are a little more loose or a little bit more open-ended and they don’t really engage unless you engage and that kind of stuff. Whatever it is for your so called continuum, you know yourself better. If you work really well with someone a specific way then find someone a specific way. 

How do you find one, by the way? Obviously, number one would be like a straight referral. You see someone that’s doing well and you ask them some questions and say, “hey, do you have a sponsor?” They’re typically going to say yes because if they’re doing well there’s a likelihood that someone’s helping them. And then you say, “Is there any way I can get their number, or if you can connect me to somebody that you might know?” And because they’ve been going they have a better idea of who would be a good candidate for that person. Doesn’t always have to be same sex or anything like that but it’s recommended. Because in any type of inventory there is a lot of potential issues that arise that it’s just a little bit more comfortable talking to someone of the same gender. It’s not a requirement but it’s a best practice, if you will. And the other version is this. If you don’t know anybody and you go to the rooms for the first time, just go to about six meetings. The same meeting so six weeks, so it’s a little bit over a month. Go to the same meeting at the same time because typically they’re called regulars or usuals. Kind of like any bar, if you go at a certain time there’s certain people sitting in certain chairs. Rooms of recovery are the same way – the same people sit in the same chairs. 

So what happens is if you go to these meetings and you see the people in the same seats they become familiar. You’re like, “Okay I trust that person’s there, I trust that person’s there,” but then people typically share if it’s a sharing meeting and then you can just sit back and listen to what they’re saying and see if it resonates with you, if it vibes with you, if you’re comfortable with their approach or their outlook on life. And then here’s the part that’s scary for some people. You gotta walk up to them like you’re in junior high getting ready to ask somebody for a date. You walk up to them and say, “Hey, I’ve heard you share a few times. You’ve said some things that have really resonated with me. Do you have a few minutes or some time to sit down and have a further conversation?” Eventually through that process, or you just walk up and straight away say, “hey, would you like to sponsor me?” Everyone’s different with that. Some people are more reserved and some people need to slowly work into it but it’s a request, it’s a simple request. They will give you an answer yes or no, oftentimes yes. And if they say no, which can happen.  A sponsor might have like 30 sponsorees. He might have 10 sponsorees, and he’s just booked and he might say, “Hey unfortunately I can’t sponsor you but I have these sponsors that have been recovered for a while now and I work with them directly and you can be a part of our sponsorship family. They can sponsor you,” and in that case that sponsor would become like a grand sponsor right? It’s nice to have that kind of a support so no one leaves you hanging if you go ask for it.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

An Overview of the 12 Steps in Sobriety

If you’ve gone to any type of recovery resource program center, you’ll hear (quite frankly) a strong suggestion and recommendation to do the Steps of Recovery. So I’m going to do my best to provide a five minute psycho-education on what this is, how it can benefit you and why it’s worth a try.

Types of 12-Step Programs

There are a lot of various 12-step programs out there. We have Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, they even break it down to specific drugs for people to really be able to identify. So Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous. But they also have it for things that are related to our emotions, like emotional sobriety. They have Codependents Anonymous, which I strongly suggest anyone who struggles with a loved one that you continue to enable to go give it a try. They have Al Anon which is for family members, children, parents, spouses, siblings of those who are struggling with addiction. They have things that are related to other addictive processes like gambling or sex or smoking. And what some of you might not know is you think, “Hey, those 12 step programs are good for those people that are dealing with something.” All 12 steps, except the first half of the first step, are identical. So the first half of the first step says, “I am powerless over…” and it’ll say the drug or the behavior or the person and that “my life has become unmanageable.” The rest of it’s all the same. So what it’s trying to say is that it works for all types of people.

Spirituality in Sobriety

And so what are the benefits and what are the 12 steps?  I’m not going to read them one by one but I’ll summarize them together so you have a better understanding of it. So if I do the 12 Steps how is that going to help my life? Fair enough! 

The first three steps, steps one, two and three, they help you get connected to a power, a source that is not only greater than yourself but also can restore your sanity, which means your soundness of mind. Most people who come to these types of spaces are really struggling with their sanity. They feel like they’re losing it, they’re making bad decisions despite knowing the opposite would be better. They’re struggling with the fact that they feel lost, lonely, afraid in this giant thing called this planet Earth. The first three steps allow us to not only disconnect ourselves from thinking that we’re the master of this whole thing and everything revolves around us, to understanding that there are powers that are much greater than the self. Now some people choose to call that God and there’s nothing wrong with that, if that word resonates with you, if that word fulfills you, and you can connect to that word feel free to. But if that’s a word that you’re like, “Hey, I’m not into this whole God thing,” that’s okay because there are different ways to tap into resources and powers and energies that are much greater than yourself during difficult times. I mean the collective group of people like this group that’s watching this right now, I don’t know 20 people watching this right now, is greater than one person. There’s more wisdom, more energy, more experience, more knowledge, more solutions when it comes to the group. You don’t have to go through it alone anymore. You tap into the power of the group, you ask for support. Maybe for some people it’s nature. I mean there is high medicinal value and therapeutic value in just being connected to nature. Go stand in front of an ocean, watch the waves crash, hear them crash, feel the Sun. That’s way more powerful and great and mysterious than your own thoughts and feelings. Go underneath the canopy of majestic trees in the forest that are breathing living life forces and feel the relief you get when you’re under that magnitude of nature. Go in the desert, stare at the stars and look at the artwork that exists inside this thing called space, the countless stars that are just painted perfectly up there. So the first three steps help you connect to all that because you need that support. You need that to not feel alone and scared in this thing called life, especially when you’re going through painful situations, traumatic experiences, a loss of self for a long time.

Get Right with Yourself

Steps four, five, six and seven make you right with yourself. I always say when you look in the mirror do you recognize the person looking back at you? If the answer is no, four, five, six and seven is going to help you get a clear and crystal view of the person in the mirror. You sit down and you do this thing called an inventory. Sounds scary but it’s really not. You sit down, you write down all the resentments you have in life, the people, places, things, institutions, principles, whatever the heck you resent in life, all the way back. And then you find out what kind of harms you’ve caused to people. I mean, that can always happen. What, how have I harmed these people? You look at some of your behavior when it comes to relationships and all that kind of stuff. And you really start to get a full comprehensive view of how you’ve impacted life and how life has impacted you. And once you write all that down you go and you share it with another person. For some people it might be the first time they ever have and it’s like this because once you share it with another person it becomes real. But guess what, it also loses its power because when it’s inside your mind just for years and decades it starts to get really, really dark and tainted and nasty.

Know Your Character, Values, Assets

And then six and seven, man you’re looking at your character defects. You’re looking at the things in life you want to change. You’re looking at your assets, things that are good about you, identify those. Sometimes we forget the good we have in us when we’re going through a hard time. The good values, the good character traits, the good qualities, the beautiful parts that make your assets. So the four, five, six and seven makes you right with yourself.

Make Right with Others

Eight and nine, what does it do? Step eight and nine, it makes you right with others. You make a list of all the people you’ve harmed in life and you become willing to go make amends to them. And then whenever the time’s right, whenever the time arises, whenever the opportunity is just right, you reach out to those people, you meet with them, you call them, you write a letter, just randomly see them in a grocery store, and you make amends for what you’ve done, and you ask them the following question. “What can I do to make it right?” Whatever they say that’s the amends process. Sometimes the amends goes really, really well and sometimes it might not but you’re not doing it for them. You’re doing it for you. Hopefully it goes well so that both people feel reciprocated. But sometimes people might say, “I don’t want your amends but at least you did your part.” So it leaves three steps here. 

Stay on the Journey

Steps 10, 11, and 12. They’re also known as maintenance steps. Step 10, you continue to take daily inventory of yourself, very similar to step four, but just a mini version of it. It’s not about your whole life and your whole past. It’s just about your day. “Was I resentful, selfish, dishonest, afraid? Do I owe anyone an apology? Is there anything that I got to go clean up and fix?” So you continue to stay clean with yourself. It’s kind of like tiding up the house. Step 11, through prayer and meditation you try to stay in constant contact with that Source, the Infinite Source, and it’s a maintenance step. It’s a maintenance step to stay connected. And number 12, you go and help another human being out. After you learn all these steps you go give it to someone else. It continues to keep us right with the world with others.

Benefits of the 12 Steps

So the reason why people say, “do these steps, they help,” is because it makes you right with a greater power that’s actually going to help you through some dark times, whether that’s people or the universe or God of your understanding. 4, 5, 6 make you right with yourself, 8 and 9 make you right with others, the maintenance steps maintain all those. So that’s the steps in a nutshell. Whenever family members get frustrated they say, “Hey, I don’t know, my kid’s not going to meetings. He’s not doing steps.” My thing is like, “Well, do you go to meetings and do you do steps?” And they’re like, “No, it’s not for me.” “Alright, well, you know what, your kid thinks it’s not for them.” I’m not saying everybody’s got to do this and live it forever. I’m just saying try it for one time because there’s also something that we learned in the program, and it says ‘contempt prior to investigation.’ So some people knock things down before they even try them and I get the reasoning behind it, but it’s fair to give something a shot.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Sacrifice and Spirituality are not Old-fashioned

Are you willing to sacrifice who and what you are in this moment for who and what you want to become? I’m going to ask you that question again. Are you willing to sacrifice who and what you are in this current moment in time for who and what you want to become? Some people are, and are willing to do so, and some people are not. I don’t know why but when you want to transform your life you must make sacrifices. 

Why is Sacrifice Important?

You have to sacrifice your comfort zone to experience discomfort. You have to sacrifice certain patterns and behaviors and habits you have in order to establish and create and develop new ones. You have to sacrifice certain people in your life, certain toxic people, certain bad influences in order to surround yourself with people that can help you in your healing journey. You must be willing to sacrifice some sleep in order to really take care of yourself and get on this path of transformation. Some people are willing to make that sacrifice and some people are not. I don’t know why we just like to hold on to what’s comfortable. We like to hold on to what’s familiar. We don’t want to sacrifice because we’re afraid if I let go of something then what am I going to hold on to? Well, that’s the beauty of it. When you let go of something you can hold on to anything and everything you choose to, but you cannot grab on to anything new until you let go of something in your past. Sacrifice is a very strong trait of those who are strong, those who are powerful. Not those who are weak. I really hope that with the upcoming spring you take a look at your last 365 days and with the new found inspiration of a new beginning, you say, who and what do I need to sacrifice in my life? And sometimes the sacrifices we make potentially are short term for long-term gain. Are you willing to sacrifice some of your habits that are holding you from achieving the life you want in order to achieve, the life you want long term? So please do not sleep on or discredit the power of the word Sacrifice.

Spirituality is a Big part of Sobriety and Recovery

I think Spirituality a very big component of the sobriety and recovery process. It is one of those polarizing words because oftentimes people connect spirituality with religion. Furthest thing from it. So this morning I went to go get my coffee with espresso shots in it. As you can tell I’m fired up. And right next to it, there’s a gas station right there and by where I live and there’s someone out there that was struggling, and as soon as I walked into the gas station to get my protein bar to have with my coffee he’s like, “Hey man, you got a few bucks?” and I say, “I sure do but first, what’s your name?” and so he tells me his name and I said, “Hey man, it’s really nice to meet you man. It looks like it’s going to be a good day out here,” and he’s like,”Yeah, I guess. I’m just really down and out.” I said, “Well, what’s going on with you, man?” and he kind of shared a few minutes of what’s going on with him and I gave him some suggestions and some resources and you know I said, “Hey, so what do you want from the store?” I’m thinking this guy’s going to say probably some alcohol or something like that which I wouldn’t have gotten for him. I would have given him money and if he chose to buy alcohol I wouldn’t have cared but I didn’t go buy him alcohol but it was different. He said, “Can you please get me two soups? Can you get me some orange juice? And can you get me some super unhealthy cookies or crackers or something he wanted. But I was like, “Yeah man, not a problem at all!” I got him all that stuff and threw a bag of chips in there for him and we had a little one more minute conversation and then I left. I wished him a good day but I’ll tell you this. I’m not saying that to talk about myself because that’s completely not the point. I’m saying it because I want you to know that that conversation was a spiritual act. That conversation was about connection, connection to another human, connection to Life Source. And yes, it feels good to know that you helped somebody but that person walks away feeling seen and heard, and feeling connected.

What is Spirituality?

Spirituality could be going somewhere and helping people, feed homeless people. Spirituality could be sitting down, closing your eyes and going deep within yourself in the galaxy of self, and tapping into the God within which just means the infinite source of wisdom that all of us have inside. We all have something that knows what is right and wrong. Sometimes when people say, “I just don’t know if it’s right or wrong,” it’s like, “yeah you do think about it, feel it,” and they’re like, “oh I guess you’re right. I just didn’t want to admit it.” So spirituality, I don’t know how you access it in your life but please find a way to access it. It is what helps us through dark times. It keeps our candle lit when life is trying to blow it out. It is something that can be found in many different places at many different times, sometimes when you least expect it. People find spirituality through church or mosque or temple or religions, yes of course, but you could find spirituality in places that are uncommon like gas stations in the morning.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

7 S’s of Sobriety inspired by Nowruz

What is up, everyone? Happy Saturday March 16th of 2024! Welcome back to another live stream, a live stream in which a collective group of like minded individuals who are here to get some support in their own journey and maybe the journey of others as it relates to the healing, recovery and transformation space gather. I am your host on a week to week basis. My name is Parham. If I don’t know you, that’s the introduction. I do have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am a licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and I do have a personal history and background of being in recovery. So June 13th of 2008 is the day that I decided to pivot and change my life around, and change the way that the story was going. And you know it’s an interactive live stream so whenever you come and post comments, whether you use our Facebook page or you come on YouTube, and whatever you write in the chat box I do have the ability to read it and see it and hopefully answer it, and I also do have the ability to post them. So for example, counselor Jim here said Good Morning, and the way that I just put his comment up is the way that your comment could get placed if you have any questions about any of this stuff. So I hope my personal background and my professional background creates the platform for me to be able to share with you and give you some words of wisdom, nuggets, some inspiration, information, and help you in your healing journey. 

So today is an interesting day. I’ve done this talk two years ago – I looked – it was 2022 March. I did this talk and it’s actually inspired by the changing of the seasons. So as we all know, the Spring Equinox which is the official start of spring is right around the corner, right? Usually March 20th or something around there is the start of spring. And spring is a really fascinating time in this thing called nature. Why is that the case? Well, it’s when everything and everyone wakes up from the cold darkness of winter and some of you have experienced a winter that was beyond one season. Maybe you’ve been in a winter of your life for a couple years, it’s just been dark, cold, gloomy, uncomfortable, wet, frozen, but that’s the opportunity that’s in front of us right now. It’s with the changing of the season can you also change the narrative of your life. Animals wake up and come out of hibernation, birds start singing, trees’ leaves turn green, flowers bloom, the oxygen freshens up, life source vitality. So why not take what is happening around us and apply it to what’s happening to us in our world? Why not have it be a new beginning for you, a new chapter, a new start? And thank you! I got the Persians are already coming in saying “Hey, nice background!” We’re gonna be talking about the background here in a second. Also I was born in the country of Iran and there are a few Iranians that tune in and watch this on a week to week basis, and I just wanted to kind of use my background as a celebration and a representation of that culture and the traditions that exist within it. I’m going to teach you a little bit about it and then from there we’re going to pivot to why you’re here. Because not many of you are here for a historical, cultural, or traditional lesson. You’re here because you yourself in your life are struggling with something, or you got a loved one in your life that’s struggling with something, and you’re here for some suggestions, advice, solutions in that space. So I’m going to get right into it. 

We’re going to start talking about the Persian New Years, and something called a Haft Sin which is a literal definition of the 7 S’s. So here we go. All over the world right now, in this moment that I’m talking to you, there are people from the Iranian culture, also known as the Persian culture, people that whether they’re in the country themselves or like myself have been able to immigrate and come out to the United States, however you know. I’m going to a family gathering later today and I promise you that one of these will be on the table somewhere and on the table there are seven things that start with the letter S or known as Sin in Persian or Farsi. And each one of them represents something unique. So the first one is called Sabzeh, which is that big green thing behind me and Sabzeh is usually like some type of a sprout that starts growing before this happens, and it kind of represents something really unique. It represents rebirth and renewal. And man, how many people come into this channel needing a little bit of a rebirth and renewal of their life. So that’s what that represents. The next one is something called Senjed, which is just dried fruit. Dried fruit is oftentimes sweet and sometimes from the lotus plant, the lotus flower, the lotus tree. What it does is it represents this thing called love. Why not have love represented on the tables across the world? The next thing that we have there is this thing called Sib, AKA apples. And you see some apples there behind me and in front of those apples are the Sib I was talking about. Apples represent beauty and health. I mean, every culture for thousands of years says an apple a day keeps the doctor away. You ever wondered why? Apples are superfoods and I hope that each one of you eats an apple a day, I really, really do. And the next one that we have is something called Seer, which is also known as garlic. Garlic is a powerhouse. It represents medicinal values, it represents taking care of yourself. If you go Google medicinal values of garlic you will be blown away. Not only is it antifungal, antibacterial, and not only does it help kill all those kinds of things that really invade us and hurt us, but it also helps with things like blood sugar regulation, it helps with cholesterol, it helps with blood pressure, it helps with the heart. Go look it up and you’ll see some garlic on that table right there behind me. The next one we have is something called Samanu which is a kind of sweet pudding. You can’t leave that one on the table at all times – you got to keep it refrigerated because it can go bad, but what Samanu represents is wealth and fertility. It’s right behind me right there. If I move a little bit right there, well you can’t see where I’m pointing, but you know right there. Wealth and fertility, so sweet pudding known as Samanu. The next one we have is something called Serkeh, which is also known as vinegar, which represents the wisdom that comes from aging another year. I hope each one of you looks back at your last year version and you better have some more wisdom than you had last year. Because I know you’ve gone through some experiences. I know last year was a potent year in my life and some of the lives of those around us. But it has caused and created and influenced some wisdom in my life and our lives. And the last one over there that you have is called Sumac. You’ll see this Persian spice at Persian restaurants. It has a very nice color to it. It comes from crushed sour berries and pretty much people use it on top of their food, their rice, their various meats. If it’s a beef kebab, chicken kebab, in my case a tofu kebab, you put it on top and it kind of makes it taste a little bit better. It represents the sunrise of a new day. So those are the seven S’s that you’ll see on tables in any type of Iranian or Persian home during this time of year. And now you understand the meaning and the representation behind all of them. So if you have any Persian friends send this to them and say, “Hey, we represent!” but if you have any other friends send this to them and say, “Hey, this is why they do what they do.” We’ve all integrated to a lot of different cultural norms and holidays out here as a product of immigration, whether that happens to be celebrating things like Christmas, and you learn about those and the tradition, the culture of them, and why not just get a little bit more entrenched or ingrained with a culture of another country? So Happy New Year to everyone that’s saying that to me! Good Morning to everyone that’s saying Good Morning.

Now I want to kind of take a little bit of pivot about seven S’s of the sobriety piece. Sobriety, remember, it’s not just abstaining from drugs and alcohol. There’s a whole emotional sobriety, there sobriety is a very vast and deep concept. So the seven S’s that exist, I’m going to go through them one by one and it’s just a play on kind of what I just taught earlier, so let’s get into it.

 

1. Number one, Sacrifice. Are you willing to sacrifice who and what you are in this moment for who and what you want to become? I’m going to ask you that question again. Are you willing to sacrifice who and what you are in this current moment in time for who and what you want to become? Some people are, and are willing to do so, and some people are not. I don’t know why but when you want to transform your life you must make sacrifices. You have to sacrifice your comfort zone to experience discomfort. You have to sacrifice certain patterns and behaviors and habits you have in order to establish and create and develop new ones. You have to sacrifice certain people in your life, certain toxic people, certain bad influences in order to surround yourself with people that can help you in your healing journey. You must be willing to sacrifice some sleep in order to really take care of yourself and get on this path of transformation. Some people are willing to make that sacrifice and some people are not. I don’t know why we just like to hold on to what’s comfortable. We like to hold on to what’s familiar. We don’t want to sacrifice because we’re afraid if I let go of something then what am I going to hold on to? Well, that’s the beauty of it. When you let go of something you can hold on to anything and everything you choose to, but you cannot grab on to anything new until you let go of something in your past. Sacrifice is a very strong trait of those who are strong, those who are powerful. Not those who are weak. I really hope that with the upcoming spring you take a look at your last 365 days and with the new found inspiration of a new beginning, you say, who and what do I need to sacrifice in my life? And sometimes the sacrifices we make potentially are short term for long-term gain. Are you willing to sacrifice some of your habits that are holding you from achieving the life you want in order to achieve, the life you want long term? So please do not sleep on or discredit the power of the word Sacrifice. 

 

2. The next one that we have here is something called the Story. How is your story one of the main components of the recovery and transformation process? Well, this is for all human beings. Most of us identify with the stories of our lives with the events that you’ve gone through, with the things that have happened, good or bad, with the decisions you’ve made. Some are you’re proud of and some you hang your head and you’re full of guilt and shame. And the more you identify with the stories of your past the more your future will be filled with your past, because your story is constantly changing and evolving. If you don’t identify with one version of it, for those of you who continue to repeat the same story over and over again, three times, five times, 10 times, have you ever stopped to consider that maybe life just isn’t happening to you? It’s just like, what am I supposed to do? It keeps happening but what are you doing that’s influencing the same outcome over and over and over again? Some quotes are really good and some quotes are kind of corny. There’s a corny quote that I like and it says, “You are the author of your life. You are the creator of your life.” And the quality of it, the story you are experiencing when you realize that you’re writing it in the present tense and not in the past tense. That’s the moment you realize that you can write whatever the heck you want. You can create whatever the heck you want. You can influence whatever the heck you want. I’m not saying in the lives of others. All you codependents are like, “Okay, so if I change my story, my son or daughter’s story is going to change?” No, change your story so your life can change, and hopefully they do the same. For the repeating stories, just to give you a nice metaphor of how powerful it is, let’s say you go to the movie theater and you sit down and you’re excited to watch this movie, you’re excited to watch this story. And two, three minutes, five minutes goes into it, and it shows some characters. It shows a potential hook, a plot, something like that, and you’re like, “Okay, I’m getting into this, it’s good!” And then all of a sudden the movie theater stops and it repeats from the beginning. Again the same exact five minutes you watched and you look around whoever you’re watching it with, “Did you see that? Was that weird?” And you’re like maybe it was just a glitch, maybe the film just automatically started from the beginning and that can’t happen again. And you watch another three, five minutes of the very same thing you watch and all of a sudden it stops and it starts right back from the beginning again. And you’re like, “Oh my God, is this someone punking us? What’s going on over here?” Maybe you get up and want to go tell the movie theater manager, but be like, “No, no, let me just sit through this. This can’t be happening.” And after five minutes, the same thing happens again. After five minutes the same thing happens again. After five minutes the same thing happens again. After the fifth time of watching the same thing over and over again you’re going to walk out of the story and say that was a waste of time. You’re going to go complain to the manager, get your money back and walk out of there. Now some of you have been doing the same five minute dance for five years, for 10 years, for 15 years, over and over and over again. The moment you realize that you have the ability to change the story of your life back, the moment the story of your life will change. We write the story of our lives in the present moment, in a moment by moment interaction. Everything you do from this moment moving forward will change the story. However, if you’re not willing to sacrifice the past, if you’re not willing to sacrifice who and what you think you are, if you’re not willing to stop identifying with the stories of your past, the future will look exactly the same. That’s up to you to decide, my friends. 

 

3. The next one that we have here is something called Support. None of us will ever get through this thing called life without support. I know that’s a tough thing for some people because you love to support others but when it comes to yourself you don’t ask for support. I know it’s a tough thing for some people because they feel like they’re strong enough or smart enough or should be able to get through everything in life. But not one person in the history of mankind has ever been able to start this thing called life and end this thing called life without support, let alone during times of casualties, during times of pain, during times of loss. I mean, how powerful do you think you are to be able to handle circumstances and situations in life without the help of other people? You know, when we talk about people being powerless and you’re like, “No man, I don’t. I don’t believe in that,” what we’re actually saying is look at an infant. An infant when they’re zero to like two years old, you know kind of like 18 to 24 months old, they’re powerless. You can’t get through life without support. So anytime you start something new for the first 18 months to two years of it, just like a baby you’re powerless with all this stuff. You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know how to do it. You need support to get through it. There’s no shame in that. Sometimes you just got to put your ego aside and put your pride aside and put your “I can do this by myself” aside. It’s okay to get support if you’re trying to transform, recover, heal, obtain sobriety, maintain sobriety, have emotional sobriety. You got to need some support and this moment that we’re having right here is a moment of support. You tuned in, you realize that, but what about all the other 23 hours in a day, 6 other days a week? How are you going to go about that? So please don’t underestimate the power of support when it comes to this. 

Let’s see, we got some comments here. Jim said, “You can’t change your past but you can change your future’s past.” Yeah, 100% man! And that’s where the tie-up is, right Jim? People come in with guilt and shame, anger, resentment, sadness about their past and they just choose to over identify with it. And guess what’s filled in their future? Guilt, shame, anger, sadness and they’re like, “I don’t know why I can’t catch a break.” Because you haven’t let go. You haven’t sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice, which is like I said, sacrificing who and what you are in this moment for who and what you want to become. I wish more people would do it.

 

4. The next one that I have here is something called Steps. Now if you’ve gone to any type of recovery resource program center, you’ll hear quite frankly a strong suggestion and recommendation to do the steps of recovery. So I’m going to do my best to provide a five minute psycho education on what this is, how it can benefit you and why it’s worth a try. So there are a lot of various 12-step programs out there. We have Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, they even break it down to specific drugs for people to really be able to identify so Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, but they also have it for things that are related to our emotions, like emotional sobriety. They have Codependents Anonymous, which I strongly suggest anyone who struggles with a loved one that you continue to enable to go give it a try. They have Al Anon which is for family members, children, parents, spouses, siblings of those who are struggling with addiction. They have things that are related to other addictive processes like gambling or sex or smoking. And what some of you might not know is you think, “Hey, those 12 step programs are good for those people that are dealing with something.” All 12 steps, except the first half of the first step, are identical. So the first half of the first step says, “I am powerless over…” and it’ll say the drug or the behavior or the person and that “my life has become unmanageable.” The rest of it’s all the same. So what it’s trying to say is that it works for all types of people. And so what are the benefits and what are the 12 steps?  I’m not going to read them one by one but I’ll summarize them together so you have a better understanding of it. So if I do the 12 Steps how is that going to help my life? Fair enough! Well the first three steps, steps one, two and three, they help you get connected to a power, a source that is not only greater than yourself but also can restore your sanity, which means your soundness of mind. Most people who come to these types of spaces are really struggling with their sanity. They feel like they’re losing it, they’re making bad decisions despite knowing the opposite would be better. They’re struggling with the fact that they feel lost, lonely, afraid in this giant thing called this planet Earth. The first three steps allow us to not only disconnect ourselves from thinking that we’re the master of this whole thing and everything revolves around us, to understanding that there are powers that are much greater than the self. Now some people choose to call that God and there’s nothing wrong with that, if that word resonates with you, if that word fulfills you, and you can connect to that word feel free to. But if that’s a word that you’re like, “Hey, I’m not into this whole God thing,” that’s okay because there are different ways to tap into resources and powers and energies that are much greater than yourself during difficult times. I mean the collective group of people like this group that’s watching this right now, I don’t know 20 people watching this right now, is greater than one person. There’s more wisdom, more energy, more experience, more knowledge, more solutions when it comes to the group. You don’t have to go through it alone anymore. You tap into the power of the group, you ask for support. Maybe for some people it’s nature. I mean there is high medicinal value and therapeutic value in just being connected to nature. Go stand in front of an ocean, watch the waves crash, hear them crash, feel the Sun. That’s way more powerful and great and mysterious than your own thoughts and feelings. Go underneath the canopy of majestic trees in the forest that are breathing living life forces and feel the relief you get when you’re under that magnitude of nature. Go in the desert, stare at the stars and look at the artwork that exists inside this thing called space, the countless stars that are just painted perfectly up there. So the first three steps help you connect to all that because you need that support. You need that to not feel alone and scared in this thing called life, especially when you’re going through painful situations, traumatic experiences, a loss of self for a long time. Steps four, five, six and seven make you right with yourself. I always say when you look in the mirror do you recognize the person looking back at you? If the answer is no, four, five, six and seven is going to help you get a clear and crystal view of the person in the mirror. You sit down and you do this thing called an inventory. Sounds scary but it’s really not. You sit down, you write down all the resentments you have in life, the people, places, things, institutions, principles, whatever the heck you resent in life, all the way back. And then you find out what kind of harms you’ve caused to people. I mean, that can always happen. What, how have I harmed these people? You look at some of your behavior when it comes to relationships and all that kind of stuff. And you really start to get a full comprehensive view of how you’ve impacted life and how life has impacted you. And once you write all that down you go and you share it with another person. For some people it might be the first time they ever have and it’s like this because once you share it with another person it becomes real. But guess what, it also loses its power because when it’s inside your mind just for years and decades it starts to get really really dark and tainted and nasty. And then six and seven, man you’re looking at your character defects. You’re looking at the things in life you want to change. You’re looking at your assets, things that are good about you, identify those. Sometimes we forget the good we have in us when we’re going through a hard time. The good values, the good character traits, the good qualities, the beautiful parts that make your assets. So the four, five, six and seven makes you right with yourself. Eight and nine, what does it do? Step eight and nine, it makes you right with others. You make a list of all the people you’ve harmed in life and you become willing to go make amends to them. And then whenever the time’s right, whenever the time arises, whenever the opportunity is just right, you reach out to those people, you meet with them, you call them, you write a letter, just randomly see them in a grocery store, and you make amends for what you’ve done, and you ask them the following question. “What can I do to make it right?” Whatever they say that’s the amends process. Sometimes the amends goes really, really well and sometimes it might not but you’re not doing it for them. You’re doing it for you. Hopefully it goes well so that both people feel reciprocated. But sometimes people might say, “I don’t want your amends but at least you did your part.” So it leaves three steps here. Steps 10, 11, and 12. They’re also known as maintenance steps. Step 10, you continue to take daily inventory of yourself, very similar to step four, but just a mini version of it. It’s not about your whole life and your whole past. It’s just about your day. “Was I resentful, selfish, dishonest, afraid? Do I owe anyone an apology? Is there anything that I got to go clean up and fix?” So you continue to stay clean with yourself. It’s kind of like tiding up the house. Step 11, through prayer and meditation you try to stay in constant contact with that Source, the Infinite Source, and it’s a maintenance step. It’s a maintenance step to stay connected. And number 12, you go and help another human being out. After you learn all these steps you go give it to someone else. It continues to keep us right with the world with others. So the reason why people say, “do these steps, they help,” is because it makes you right with a greater power that’s actually going to help you through some dark times, whether that’s people or the universe or God of your understanding. 4, 5, 6 make you right with yourself, 8 and 9 make you right with others, the maintenance steps maintain all those. So that’s the steps in a nutshell. Whenever family members get frustrated they say, “Hey, I don’t know, my kid’s not going to meetings. He’s not doing steps.” My thing is like, “Well, do you go to meetings and do you do steps?” And they’re like, “No, it’s not for me.” “Alright, well, you know what, your kid thinks it’s not for them.” I’m not saying everybody’s got to do this and live it forever. I’m just saying try it for one time because there’s also something that we learned in the program, and it says ‘contempt prior to investigation.’ So some people knock things down before they even try them and I get the reasoning behind it, but it’s fair to give something a shot.

Let me see the comments, sorry! Oh actually, you know one day I’m gonna have Jim just here to do this. So Jim, he’s going to be off for a couple weeks doing some personal stuff but when he comes back, if he’s feeling well, I’ll bring Jim to do an entire talk on what I just talked about. One is, I can’t. Two, someone else can. Three, so I can let him. So what happens here is like Jim’s got a really really fantastic way with words when it comes to breaking down the steps, and in the program itself, to the point that people call Jim all the time and say, “Hey, can you drive down to our meeting? Can you drive up to our meeting? We just want to hear you speak for our group.” And Jim does it, bless his heart. You know he travels. I don’t do that kind of stuff anymore but Jim goes and he travels and he shares his experience, strength and hope, and he makes people laugh, and he makes people cry, and he makes people think, and he makes people change, and he’s very knowledgeable in this space. So I did a pretty good job giving you the summary but I’ll have him come down and do the the full enchilada.

 

5. So the next one that we have here is something called Spirituality. I think it’s a very big component of the sobriety and recovery process. Spirituality again, is one of those polarizing words because oftentimes people connect spirituality with religion. Furthest thing from it. So this morning I went to go get my coffee with espresso shots in it. As you can tell I’m fired up. And right next to it, there’s a gas station right there and by where I live and there’s someone out there that was struggling, and as soon as I walked into the gas station to get my protein bar to have with my coffee he’s like, “Hey man, you got a few bucks?” and I say, “I sure do but first, what’s your name?” and so he tells me his name and I said, “Hey man, it’s really nice to meet you man. It looks like it’s going to be a good day out here,” and he’s like,”Yeah, I guess. I’m just really down and out.” I said, “Well, what’s going on with you, man?” and he kind of shared a few minutes of what’s going on with him and I gave him some suggestions and some resources and you know I said, “Hey, so what do you want from the store?” I’m thinking this guy’s going to say probably some alcohol or something like that which I wouldn’t have gotten for him. I would have given him money and if he chose to buy alcohol I wouldn’t have cared but I didn’t go buy him alcohol but it was different. He said, “Can you please get me two soups? Can you get me some orange juice? And can you get me some super unhealthy cookies or crackers or something he wanted. But I was like, “Yeah man, not a problem at all!” I got him all that stuff and threw a bag of chips in there for him and we had a little one more minute conversation and then I left. I wished him a good day but I’ll tell you this. I’m not saying that to talk about myself because that’s completely not the point. I’m saying it because I want you to know that that conversation was a spiritual act. That conversation was about connection, connection to another human, connection to Life Source. And yes, it feels good to know that you helped somebody but that person walks away feeling seen and heard, and feeling connected. Spirituality could be going somewhere and helping people, feed homeless people. Spirituality could be sitting down, closing your eyes and going deep within yourself in the galaxy of self, and tapping into the God within which just means the infinite source of wisdom that all of us have inside. We all have something that knows what is right and wrong. Sometimes when people say, “I just don’t know if it’s right or wrong,” it’s like, “yeah you do think about it, feel it,” and they’re like, “oh I guess you’re right. I just didn’t want to admit it.” So spirituality, I don’t know how you access it in your life but please find a way to access it. It is what helps us through dark times. It keeps our candle lit when life is trying to blow it out. It is something that can be found in many different places at many different times, sometimes when you least expect it. People find spirituality through church or mosque or temple or religions, yes of course, but you could find spirituality in places that are uncommon like gas stations in the morning. 

Nice, I like that word hope, Dorothy, I like the word hope, I really do. It’s a personal definition for everyone, right? But I think it means a lot and it’s a very loaded word, and I mean loaded in a good way, not the bad way that we talk about in these rooms.

 

6. The very last one that I have is something you know I talk about all the time is Self-care. Why do I talk about it all the time? It’s because our society as a whole is completely in a deficit of self-care. Everybody is running on stress, everybody’s running on fear, everybody’s running on anger, everyone’s running on sadness, everyone’s running on differences. And self-care is what slows us down and allows us to take care of ourself, the person that’s experiencing this life, to hopefully show up 1% better each day. The biggest hack I could tell you about how to implement self-care in your life is simple. Every day when you wake up, make sure you do one thing for your mind, one thing for your body, and one thing for your spirit. Don’t set it for another time of the day because guess what, when life happens and it evolves and stress kicks in? The odds of you saying, “I’m just going to do a little self-care right now” goes out the window. I prioritize self-care first in my day so I don’t have to fit it in later. I fit my day around self-care, that’s the difference. And self-care doesn’t always have to be going to get a massage, or self-care doesn’t have to be taking a little nap, or this and that. Self-care could just be a quick five minute introspection of self. It could be a quick 15 minute walk around your neighborhood. It could be sitting down and having that apple that’s on the Persian Nowruz table. I don’t know what self-care it could be talking to a friend, a confidant, but please please please please make sure that you get all these things right. 

 

7. I did forget an S right there, sorry about that. It was Sponsorship. So the reason why I forgot sponsorship – I had it after steps and because I gave you the bird’s eye view, I gave you the macro view of what it is. Each step has its nuances and each step has certain types of not assignments but suggestions and recommendations to do it as it’s followed, as it’s suggested or recommended. And when you’re doing something new like I said earlier, the first time you might not really know how to do it. There’s a lot of people that say they started the program, they’re doing the steps on their own because they don’t want to do it with somebody else. I mean first of all, that’s better than nothing, I’ll tell you that. Because at least you get exposed to the information. But second of all, if you don’t know what you’re doing then you don’t know what you’re doing. Because there’s a profound quote that I love and I’ve been sharing it over and over again because I used to talk about it all the time and I forgot about it but here’s what it is. It says, “The eyes can’t see what the mind doesn’t know.” I love that. The eyes can’t see what the mind doesn’t know so if you’re trying something for the first time or you’re new to it there is so much you don’t know. Therefore your eyes are not able to see what it is that you’re looking for. So the whole point of a sponsorship or a mentor or someone who knows the way, shows the way, goes the way, is to help you uncover the unseen and to make it seen, so you can see it. And then you can do something about it. If you want to see further in life stand on the shoulders of giants. A sponsor is not a perfect person – it’s a human being – they are flawed. A sponsor is not somebody that takes over every aspect of your life. If they do that they’re overstepping. The sponsor is just a human being that’s very committed to the recovery process themselves and they have understood that by working with other people it is a way that they can maintain the progress they’ve had while also helping somebody else out. And it’s somebody that can create a little bit of a road map, a little bit of structure, especially in your early stages. Now sponsorship is wonderful throughout recovery but those early first two stages, I think, are probably the most important part and need for strong sponsorship. The benefit of it is tenfold. I mean, you get through something the way it’s intended to get through, you work through the different challenges that might come up, and you continue to grow in this thing called sobriety and recovery. And it’s really hard to do it without it. Now there’s different styles of sponsorship. Some people are more structured and strict in requirements and all that kind of stuff, and some people are a little more loose or a little bit more open-ended and they don’t really engage unless you engage and that kind of stuff. Whatever it is for your so called continuum, you know yourself better. If you work really well with someone a specific way then find someone a specific way. How do you find one, by the way? Obviously, number one would be like a straight referral. You see someone that’s doing well and you ask them some questions and say, “hey, do you have a sponsor?” They’re typically going to say yes because if they’re doing well there’s a likelihood that someone’s helping them. And then you say, “Is there any way I can get their number, or if you can connect me to somebody that you might know?” And because they’ve been going they have a better idea of who would be a good candidate for that person. Doesn’t always have to be same sex or anything like that but it’s recommended. Because in any type of inventory there is a lot of potential issues that arise that it’s just a little bit more comfortable talking to someone of the same gender. It’s not a requirement but it’s a best practice, if you will. And the other version is this. If you don’t know anybody and you go to the rooms for the first time, just go to about six meetings. The same meeting so six weeks, so it’s a little bit over a month. Go to the same meeting at the same time because typically they’re called regulars or usuals. Kind of like any bar, if you go at a certain time there’s certain people sitting in certain chairs. Rooms of recovery are the same way – the same people sit in the same chairs. I mean I’ve never been to Jim’s home group but I can bet my entire life that Jim sits in the same damn seat over and over again. So what happens is if you go to these meetings and you see the people in the same seats they become familiar. You’re like, “Okay I trust that person’s there, I trust that person’s there,” but then people typically share if it’s a sharing meeting and then you can just sit back and listen to what they’re saying and see if it resonates with you, if it vibes with you, if you’re comfortable with their approach or their outlook on life. And then here’s the part that’s scary for some people. You gotta walk up to them like you’re in junior high getting ready to ask somebody for a date. You walk up to them and say, “Hey, I’ve heard you share a few times. You’ve said some things that have really resonated with me. Do you have a few minutes or some time to sit down and have a further conversation?” Eventually through that process, or you just walk up and straight away say, “hey, would you like to sponsor me?” Everyone’s different with that. Some people are more reserved and some people need to slowly work into it but it’s a request, it’s a simple request. They will give you an answer yes or no, oftentimes yes. And if they say no, which can happen.  Jim might have like 30 sponsorees. He might have 10 sponsorees, and he’s just booked and he might say, “Hey unfortunately I can’t sponsor you but I have these sponsors that have been recovered for a while now and I work with them directly and you can be a part of our sponsorship family. They can sponsor you,” and in that case Jim would become like a grand sponsor right? It’s nice to have that kind of a support so no one leaves you hanging if you go ask for it. 

 

So again in summary, today we talked about the seven S’s that exist on the Nowruz table of Iranians all over the world and what each one of those S’s represent. So if you didn’t watch it just watch the first 10 minutes and then we talked about spring and what it represents, meaning rebirth, renewal, the start of something beautiful, and how we can apply all that to ourselves. And then I pivoted to the seven S’s of the sobriety recovery transformation process that I feel are important. You can go back and watch what those were but all that being said, it’s almost time to leave and I just want to thank each and every single one of you for being here. Again, another beautiful experience with you. Feel free to share this with anyone you want, especially the Iranians. Feel free to spread this around because I think there will be a sense of pride in the fact that we used our traditions and cultures to teach something that helps humankind and mankind. I’ll be back next week, same time, same place. I love and appreciate all of you. Thank you for your ongoing support for these past four years. Let’s make it another 40. Take care everyone! Bye!

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

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.