What is up, everyone? It is July 1st of 2023. As I like to say, how did it get so late so soon? And we are officially in the second half of the year and I’ll do a little talk about second halves and the possibility that exists. What’s up Jess? Let me actually wait till all the people come say Hi and say Hi back and all that kind of stuff. But while everyone’s trickling in let me just give a quick introduction to myself and what this live stream is all about. So my name is Parham. I have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Child Development. I am a high school basketball coach, an assistant varsity basketball coach at Aliso Miguel High School. Been doing that for 14 years. I am personally in recovery myself from substances and and I would say anxiety, depression, all that kind of stuff, and June 13th of 2008 is the day that I fundamentally transformed and changed my life. I’ve been able to maintain it – knock on wood! What’s up Kenny and the PSRC crew? And the Flaherty’s, Good Morning! A couple other things about this whole process is, I used to do this in person on Saturdays and when Covid happened and I was like, “Alright, I want to make sure that we continue this family education stuff,” and we went on Zoom at first and I was able to get a little educated on different platforms and all that kind of stuff and for the past 3+ years we’ve been doing this live stream and it’s been wonderful. Because it’s an opportunity to connect to people from all over the country and even the world, and to be able to provide some resources and information on various topics such as addiction, codependency, mental health, communication, trauma, boundaries, self-care and a little bit of everything in between. And you know it is a holiday weekend so I assume there’s going to be a lot of people traveling and probably not on right now, but hopefully they’ll be able to watch this on the recording and be able to get some value out of it. So all that being said, and what’s up Roxanne, and whoever else pops up if I miss you, just want to say Hi in advance.
Oh man, it’s halfway through 2023 and for some of us it’s been a wonderful year and for some of us it’s been a difficult year and for some of us it’s been somewhere in between. But you know, as a coach there is something that’s very important when it comes to at least athletics and what that is, is this thing called halftime adjustments. So if you are in the halfway point of your 2023, which in this moment that I’m speaking to you live on July 1st of 2023, we are literally at the halfway point, so in any sporting event when the teams come into the locker room at halftime it’s an opportunity to take a look and reflect back on what happened in the first quarter, second quarter, for a second quarter first half, and just say what type of changes can we make to either maintain the outcome we have, to get a better outcome than we have, or to completely change the course of this game. So if that is something that is resonating with you, because here’s the thing. There’s a lot of teams that go defeated in halftime to come out victorious. Why is that the case? Because they have halftime adjustments. So if you are in some type of a situation right now for yourself and you’re looking at the score of the year, we’re using metaphors, and I hope you’re picking it up, and you’re not happy with the way that it’s going, you’re not happy with the outcome, you’re not happy with where you said you were going to be, and where you are right now, it’s on you to make these halftime adjustments. Because I believe that with six months left in the year you still have the ability and the possibility to transform your year and hopefully get a different outcome than before. So don’t sleep on halftime adjustments. Marina Harbor crew, what’s up from the bay?
So today’s talk is something I’ve done in the past but I’ve changed it around a little bit to use different words that’s a little bit more appropriate for the broad range of audience that we have. Before, I would primarily just talk about addiction and substance abuse and then a lot of family members started coming on and a lot of people that were just curious about transformation or curious about mental health came on so I’m kind of just trying to use the terminology and language that is more suitable for a larger audience. And pretty much what we’re going to do is I’m going to talk about the 12 fears in the healing journey that can destroy your transformation. So what I mean by that is all of you on this channel, you’re healing from something. Some of you might be healing from childhood trauma, some of you might be healing from grief and loss, some of you might be healing from substance abuse, and just destroying your body with poison, some of you might be healing from codependency, some of you might be healing from mental illness. And there are fears that are common with all the people on the healing journey that completely just throw them off the track that they’re on and destroy their chance at transformation. And those fears are what we’re going to talk about today.
1. Everything will change.
So the first fear is when you’re trying to walk down the path of your healing journey is that everything will change. Well you know what, everything will change but that doesn’t necessarily equate to a negative possibility. What I mean by that is if you are watching this channel right now and you’ve experienced some of those things I talked about, like the trauma, the grief and loss, the substance abuse, the mental illness, if you’ve experienced all that in your recent past or your distant past don’t you want everything to change? Don’t you want to have a better relationship with yourself and others? Don’t you want to be able to live life on life’s terms? Don’t you want to be able to be free from the crap from the past that’s holding you back and not allowing you to have a different future? So not only is everything going to change but I want to double down on that and say, lean into the change, lean into that discomfort. Because the only way your life is going to change is if you change. And that’s okay. I know that’s scary. Yesterday, in one of the community groups we had, the topic was the fear of the unknown. And wow, these program participants gave the most profound shares on this topic about the fear of the unknown and how it just cripples people. But at some point in our life when we were little versions of ourselves everything was unknown. The first time you tasted a certain food it was unknown, the first time you watched a certain movie it was unknown, the first time you got in a relationship with someone it was unknown, the first time you went to school it was unknown, the first time you listened to a certain song it was unknown, everything in life is unknown until we start to experience some negative experiences, until something happens to us. And then the pain of that experience cripples us and puts us in the fear of the unknown. The fear of the unknown is just the fear of life. The fear of changes is the fear of life. But when you heal from the past, see for example, if you have a fear of relationships it wasn’t like that from the get-go. Someone hurt you, someone lied to you, someone cheated you, someone broke your heart, someone emotionally shattered you, and now you go into the next relationship, “I’m afraid of commitment, I’m afraid of relationships.” See, that wasn’t there before that experience. The fear of the unknown is beautiful. Change is beautiful. I actually know that if you don’t want to change your life I wouldn’t even recommend you listening to me. If you’re happy with everything that’s going on in your life and you’re content, I’m not the guy for you. I’m sorry about that. I’m not going to sit here and just sugarcoat things but if you’re listening to me I know there’s a reason and there’s an area of your life, if not multiple areas in your life, that you’re desperately wanting to change. So lean into that fear of the change, you know, let everything change. It’s okay.
Hopefully that makes sense. By the way if you’re new to this or watching it for the first time when you say something, like for example when Eileen said, “it has been a beneficial experience these last three years”, by the way she’s watched like 99% of Parham stuff. Eileen is a Super Fan. CJ self-identifies as a super fan, and I think so does Jess, but Eileen is actually you know she’s been there done that in life, realtime. And again, like anyone over there if you guys are watching in Marina Harbor, if you have any questions let the individual putting this on for you guys let them know – they can write the question. I can respond in real time, so it’s kind of interactive. I want you to know that.
2. You are going to Fail
So the next one is, you’re gonna fail. And we’ve talked about this one numerous times. And the problem that we have with this is, people are so afraid of failing. And why are they afraid of failing? You want to know why? Because they get their past experiences of failure, so maybe they failed in a relationship, or at a job, or they failed with their fitness routine, or they failed with their ability to communicate with their loved ones. They take that experience, they bring it in the present moment, and they project it into the future. Now Henry Ford has been quoted saying, “Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.” So in the present moment if I think that I’m gonna fail in the future guess what’s gonna happen my friends, you’re gonna fail. For those of you who are in the recovery process and you’re saying, “You know what, I’m going to relapse in the future,” you’re gonna relapse. And it’s not like, “oh I’m just a realist.” No, you’re not. We’re meant to be dreamers. We’re meant to have goals, dreams, aspirations, hopes. We’re not meant to be cynics and realists. Anybody that’s ever achieved something, what do they say? I made my dream become my reality. They don’t say, “oh it just happened. I made my dream become my reality,” because they believed they could. Everything in life happens twice – once in the level of the mind and once in reality. You have to visualize yourself and see yourself as someone that succeeded and it becomes true with the right actions. The hocus pocus stuff doesn’t happen unless you take the actions but the fear is something that’s really important.
3. You are going to Succeed
The next one that we have here is that you’re gonna succeed. Now some people might say, “well, Parham, isn’t that a good thing if I succeed?” Absolutely, but what happens is people have a fear that if they succeed then they have to maintain and then they start saying, “I don’t know if I can maintain, if I get the good job, how am I going to keep it? If I get the good relationship how am I going to keep it? If I get the sobriety how am I going to keep it?” That’s so overwhelming, that’s so scary. And you know what people do? They feel like they are not worthy of it, they feel like they don’t deserve it. So what do they do? That was my sound of self-sabotage and destruction. They blow it up. But if you’re watching this I want to tell you something: you are worthy of it, you deserve it. If you failed a bunch of times and you’re finally starting to taste a little bit of success I want you to sit in it, experience it, feel it, be grateful for it, and tell yourself, “I’m worthy of this success,” because a person that believes they deserve to succeed has a much higher probability of maintaining it. If some of you in the addiction recovery world if you’ve done a lot of bad things, let’s just call it what it is, you live the lifestyle that you’re not proud of, and now you’re achieving a little bit of happiness and joy and fulfillment in your sobriety where you’re like, “I just don’t deserve it,” you feel like an imposter and put all that stuff. Besides, you deserve it, we all deserve it. What is it besides the fact that we work hard to get positive things in our lives today? What else do we got? By the way, if you can ever break through the fear of success it’s by succeeding and maintaining it and having some tangible evidence that you’re able to do it. Anybody that’s ever succeeded in something and maintaining it is proof that it’s possible. So if they’re able to do it you’re able to do it. We’re all the same species. By the way, I understand some of us might be more intellectually capable of doing certain things and some people might be more artistically capable of doing things and some people might be more creative and some people might be more oriented with numbers and stuff like that. Our intelligence manifests in different ways but we’re all the same species. If one species can do it I could do it, you know what I mean? If there’s a human out there that could do something I can do I’m going to be able to do it. For example, Kobe Bryant can play basketball. Maybe I can’t be Kobe Bryant but I can play basketball. Hope is a really important thing my friends.
4. You won’t know who you are anymore
The next one that I have here is that you won’t know who you are anymore. That’s a fear people have in the healing journey that destroys their transformation. Well, I’ll tell you this. I’m going to give you a newsflash. What if, before your healing journey you have no idea who you were? Let me say that again. What if before you embarked on your healing journey you had no idea who you are anyways? Whenever we experience some type of trauma, whenever we experience some type of abandonment, a loss, whenever we experience some type of abuse, whenever we experience moving from town to town, whenever we experience financial difficulties and challenges when we’re a kid there is a high probability that we already got disconnected from ourselves, that we already lost connection with who and what we are. We go through life wearing these different hats and being these different characters and putting on these different masks, assuming and thinking that we know who we really are. But oftentimes we don’t until we do the deep work and the healing work and get to know ourselves. I told this to our program participants and I’ll tell it to you too, because I don’t see human beings being any different. They just happen to be in the program and you just happen to be at home, but we’re all the same. If you just genuinely sat down in front of a mirror, full body, for five to ten minutes straight, no phone, no distractions and you just started looking at yourself, staring in your eyes like you’re looking at a person closely and just observing yourself, looking at your face, looking at your body, looking at yourself, there will be a profound experience. If you haven’t done something like this you will have a profound experience that at some point in that you will realize that you barely know yourself. Some of you will feel like you’re looking at a stranger. So there shouldn’t be any fear that if I go on this healing journey I won’t know who I am anymore. If anything, you should go on the healing journey so you can figure out who you are. That’s why we do this stuff, so we can get to know ourselves and here’s why. We want to figure out who we are so we can be at peace with ourselves, because when you are at peace with yourself you’re at peace with the world and all of the people and places and things in it. And that’s a place of empowerment, that’s a place of transformation, that’s a place that you can actually become who it is you’re trying to become in life. And for the ones watching this in the facilities, the treatment centers right now, you know what I’m talking about. You go towards the end of using you don’t dare look inside of a mirror because you’re like, “who the hell is that monster? I don’t want to look at that person.” You’re going to recognize yourself but what if I told you six months down the line in recovery it could be the same process if you don’t do the work.
5. You will be bored
So the next one that we have here is number five, that you will be bored. Well, the transformation work isn’t boring, it’s just intense, and afterwards it actually frees us, to free ourselves from the feeling of boredom. See, boredom is defined as the inability to sit with oneself. So when someone tells me they’re bored I don’t really see it as like, “oh it’s like a problem. They need to be stimulated.” I see it as this person can’t sit with themselves. Then the question comes, why can’t they sit with themselves? Why is it so uncomfortable to be with their thoughts, to be with themselves? What happened to them at some point in their life that they were so uncomfortable with their surroundings that they needed to do something or distract themselves or go somewhere just to not be with themselves? And if you’re in that case, if you have a hard time sitting with yourself and you think that there’s a lack of stimulation in life the problem isn’t out there. The problem’s in here. And that’s the opportunities that arise for us in the healing journey. They allow us to be able to break through that because once you’re able to achieve peace with yourself you can go out in nature and just go on a walk and experience a freedom that is completely the opposite of boredom. The hyper levels of stimulation we need for those of you again in the program that are dealing with substances, substance abuse, all that kind of stuff, you need constant stimulation. Adrenaline Junkies, this and that, and you think that’s the only way to achieve boredom. That’s just like a coping skill to not be with yourself, like the whole ‘addicted to chaos’ thing. The way you’re addicted to chaos, you love the chaotic life, you’re doing anything and everything you can to just not be with yourself. That’s pretty much all that’s happening. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. So that’s another fear right there.
“We don’t want to be our old selves. It’s powerful to decide to change to die to ourselves and become something new. “Have compassion for the old you and create something new. -CJ” Damn right, I love that you wrote, have compassion for the old self because a lot of people that do the healing work, they have this weird distaste or negative connotation or negative feeling towards their past but here’s the thing. You can’t be who you are and you can never be who you’re gonna be without that person. So you better have some compassion and make friends with your past. Make friends with parts of yourself in the past at least and just know that you wouldn’t be here and you won’t be there if it wasn’t for that person. So I always have compassion for my past self and sometimes there are times in my life that I look at my 13, 14, 15 year old self and I am so proud of that person because he was so resilient and that’s so much perseverance and was so tough and dealt with so much anxiety and depression and he still made it. Wow, what a little guy that was! Some of you, by the way you know I can’t really talk on this public forum, but you’ve had some tough upbringings and childhoods and we look back and you’re so annoyed or resentful about it. How about you look at it and say, “wow man, what an awesome person that little kid was!” That kid was so tough, tough as nails, so be grateful for the different selves, the different past selves. Thank you for that CJ.
6. You will lose your friends
The next one that I have here is, you will lose your friends. Well, anytime you’re going through the healing journey there are certain people that were a part of the old life that probably won’t be a part of your new life because you can’t have both. Sometimes you got to let go of the old to embrace the new and I always say your new life is going to cost your old life. Are you willing to pay the price? So you’re gonna lose some friends – I call them acquaintances – they could be called using buddies. It could be just people of a certain lifestyle you’re going to lose them but you’ll meet some new people in your life that are really powerful and awesome. But then also you’ll be able to selectively find out who your true friends were, who the good people were, and they’re the ones. If you had 20 of them and maybe you only keep two and it’s always about quality over quantity. So the fear of losing friends is not too significant but it does hit people sometimes, especially the younger population. If you’re in high school or college and your friends are your life, you know your friends are your everything. No, I’m not not judging it – it’s just what happens. In high school for example, you got 50 friends and the only reason a lot of those people are friends with each other is because they happen to go inside of the same building at the same time. Because they all live in the same city within like four or five miles. That’s the only reason these people are bunched up together. It’s not because they have interests or hobbies or likes. It’s not like they’re the same song, they vibe together long term. But you might keep a few like that. But for the most part life isn’t that way. It’s harder to make friends when you’re an adult but at least you get to pick what type of people you want to bring in your circle and who you want to give your energy to.
7. People will not like the new you
So the next fear people have is that people will not like the new you. Well, newsflash! There is a very high probability that some people did not like the old you. It’s going to be so bad that in the healing journey and trying to transform people didn’t like the old you either, you know some people, and that’s okay. Because what’s the ultimate goal of the healing journey? That you can stand in front of a mirror and say, “I like the person looking back at me.” That’s the bar and if you don’t get to that bar you’re constantly gonna look for other people to approve you and you’re going to look for other people to validate you and you’re going to look for other people to say, “oh you’re a good person.” You can’t achieve that true essence of approval until you can approve yourself and that’s one of the byproducts of the healing journey. That was good.
8. You won’t be able to handle your emotions
The next one is, you will not be able to handle your emotions without negative coping skills. You will not be able to handle your emotions without negative coping skills. So what does that mean? Many people that come in the healing journey they engaged with negative coping skills, destructive coping skills prior. It could be workaholism, it could be substance abuse, it could be promiscuity, it could be eating disorders, and then they say, “well if I go in this recovery thing how am I going to deal with my emotions? I’m not going to be able to handle my emotions.” Well, guess what, you never were able to handle your emotions. If you really break the denial and get honest with it, if you drink to deal with your anxiety you never handled your emotions. If you pop pills to deal with your emotional pain you never handled your emotions. If you shot cocaine to deal with your depression and get some energy you never dealt with your emotions. If you work 20 hours a day you never handled your emotions. If you had multiple partners and you’re always in the chase to get the next high of the relationship you never handled your emotions. If you have to spend money all the time you never handled your emotions. So the thought of the fact that you’re gonna get clean and sober now and you’re not going to be able to handle your emotions it’s actually not reality. It’s because you never were able to. For the first time you’re actually going to be able to learn how to handle your emotions. So it’s an irrational fear.
Let’s see what she said here: “Hi from Florida! I’m working today too changing lives. I play your chats in my recovery groups all the time. I love this topic. Thank you so much. -Sharon” I’ve said this to you before but I’ll say to you every time I talk to you. Thank you for the work you do in the front lines of addictions: the recovery centers and the recovery groups. It is like people like you and myself and a few other people (they’re not here right now because the holiday weekend but), these clinicians, counselors, the people up there in a couple treatment centers watching, the Kenny’s of the world, that are kind of watching this thing, wonderful wonderful stuff! Man, we’re doing good work, we’re helping people out, so thank you for that! And next week or whenever I do this again I’m gonna fix this audio. I can’t do this for another week like this because it’s driving me nuts.
9. People will judge you
The next one that I have here is people will judge you. I’m gonna give you a newsflash, my friends. Ready for this? Something you might not like. People are always judging you. People are always judging me. We are always judging people. So some people right now might say like my friend Sharon just said right there from Florida, “hey you’re great, thank you for what you do, I appreciate it.” Someone else might say, “hey these talks really help me.” Someone might say, “your face is annoying and I don’t like the way you talk. You’re actually cocky or condescending.” Someone might say, “this is a waste of my time.” Someone might say, “this is such a valuable use of my time.” We are always being judged and we are always judging people. So when you go on the healing journey, yes some people will judge you. They’ll say, “oh you gotta go get help for this.” This kind of stuff happens to everybody. Just get your s___ together. They’re gonna judge you and some people might say, “I’m so proud of the work you’re doing for looking in the mirror.” “I’m so proud of the fact that you’re trying to break multi-generational patterns of trauma in your family, keep going. We’re always going to get judged. So you can choose to listen to the negative stuff or stand in your truth, stand in your authenticity, and just keep moving forward in the direction that you need to go to get to know yourself.
10. You will never fix your mistakes
Almost done. Number 10, you will never be able to fix your mistakes. This is categorically false. You can ask anybody that’s been a part of this thing that we call humanity. In society we love second chances, we love third chances, we love fourth chances. You want to know why? Because everybody’s waiting for the true version of that person to come out, and when he or she does society rallies around them. There were a lot of mistakes with guilt and shame and all that kind of stuff that I didn’t think I could overcome, but I could probably say I have the intention not to repeat them. So we do these things called living amends. We say, “if I harmed you or hurt you please forgive me.” If they don’t you just one day at a time live in a way that you’re able to one day get it and eventually they do. And if they don’t at least you know that you’ve never harmed another person that same way again, and it’s a very powerful thing. So some of you have guilt and shame for some of the actions you’ve taken or haven’t taken in the past. Don’t allow the fear that you’re never going to overcome those mistakes get in the way of your progress and your healing journey.
11. It’s too hard
Number 11, people have a fear that it’s too hard. Well another newsflash! This talk should be called Newsflash, by the way. Another one that everything’s hard so staying actively drunk, ripping and burning and getting money for the lifestyle and getting high and getting by, that’s really hard, it really is. The hustle is hard. Doing the healing work, looking at your past, looking at your wrongs, taking different actions, changing your life, building a foundation, that’s hard. They’re both hard, so you got to just choose your hard. You just got to choose which one you want to do, this one or this one. So I can’t make that decision for you. If you’re signing into a detox right now and it feels like you’re looking up a mountain and you’re like, “dude, this is too hard,” so is addiction. Addiction is a mountain you’re looking up to. It’s just one you’re more familiar with. It’s all hard. You just gotta choose your hard.
12. You will have to battle the rest of your life
And the last one is, you will have to battle with this for the rest of your life. I don’t like to use the negative connotation of the word ‘battle.’ I like to use the word maybe – you might have to dance with this for your whole life. Sometimes, some chapters in life, the song is so mellow and you’re just barely there, just kind of slow dancing and smiling and it feels good. And sometimes the music turns into some crazy psychotic techno thing, and it’s overwhelming, the strobe lights are going and you don’t know what to do or how to dance. Or you’re just overwhelmed and flooded with emotions and you just gotta dance your way through it. This healing journey is not linear. There’s a lot of blind twists and turns but it’s not a battle every day, it just isn’t. In the early stages it is so please know, if you’re in your first six months of sobriety, and I’m like, “this ain’t a battle.” You’re like, “dude, I feel like I go to warning every day trying to stay clean.” It is hard at the beginning but eventually it starts to just be like a dance. It’s a part of your life and eventually you get familiar with the steps and the movement and the song and the rhythm and it becomes a lot easier. It becomes a way of life. Anybody that has a certain way in life they never say their way of life is hard. They just say, “it’s just what I do.”
Let’s see what we got. Absolutely, that’s why that’s what I’m saying right there Eileen, at the very end where I said “eventually it becomes a lifestyle.” And the steps and the rhythm and the movement and all that kind of stuff like that it becomes easier. So it’s just a process of learning all this stuff. So anybody, feel free to share atake away with me if you got one, and I will let you go from here. And it is Fourth of July so I want you to please please please have fun, be safe, and enjoy this time if you celebrate the freedoms that come with it. And the freedoms are not just at the level of historical point of references. They’re the everyday battles of life. And freedom from active addiction is also a beautiful beautiful thing to celebrate. Let’s see what we got there. “Another great session, thank you!” Yeah I know, I’m just so hard on myself. Like the audio is not matching the video and it’s just driving me nuts. It happened last week too. I didn’t know until afterwards and I thought I fixed it but at least the camera quality is really high but now the audio is all messed up. “I love the term ‘Dance.’ Really resonates. It’s cool! I have to dance. -Debbie” Thank you for dancing with me for the past three years if you will, since we’re using that metaphor. Love and appreciate all you guys! I will see you next week. I’m coaching high school basketball next week and it’s in Las Vegas. It’s a basketball tournament and they don’t give you a set time, because if you win or lose it changes the next game and time. So overall I’m not sure if I’m gonna be around next week but I will leave a message on the Buckeye business and personal Facebook pages so you’ll be able to see and we’ll go from there. CJ, you needed this today, good! Glad I could provide what you needed, and thank you so much for being a super fan as you call yourself. I appreciate you all! Everyone, have a wonderful day! I’ll see you soon!