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Memorial Day and Recovery

Alright everyone, what is up? Welcome, welcome back to another family education support group here with your host Parham. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be back again and to be able to hopefully share a topic that would add some value to your world, to your lives. And what do we got here? We got Blondie from Los Angeles, what up? Good to see you Jess from LA now, new location, same person, that’s awesome. So what we want to do today – it’s going to be kind of interesting. 

 

Let me give a quick introduction of myself. So I said my name is Parham. This is something we do here every single Saturday for the most part. I miss for travels of pickleball or training or something like that but for the most part, I’m very committed to this for the past four and a half years. I have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am a licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I am a college professor at a local community college here called Saddleback Community College. I am a high school basketball coach – I’ve been doing that for 15 years now. And I’ve also been in the recovery process myself, so June 13, 2008 is the day that I changed my life around, we’ll call it, because I don’t want to minimize it and dumb it down to just drugs and alcohol because it’s a holistic change. It’s all areas of life. It’s overcoming things anxiety and depression. And no Jake, I didn’t man. This is my buddy Jacob – he’s a good dude. Jake, I did never message you. 

 

But let’s get into this let’s get into this talk today. The talk I want to do is going to be really nice because we all know here, at least in the United States if you’re watching this in America, Monday is Memorial Day, and Memorial Day is a day that communities and societies, they all get together in remembrance of those men and women who fought the ultimate fight and they were willing to sacrifice their own lives for the greater good. And when that happens I want you to hear this, that it’s important to pause and just think and just reflect on the impact that has had on our lives, but also the impact that it’s had on their lives. This is a family support group so when someone passes away it doesn’t just impact that individual, it impacts their spouses, it impacts their parents, it impacts their children. There are spouses that now have to figure out what am I going to do in life, how am I going to go continue this journey. There are parents that it’s not natural for a parent to to lose their child before themselves and children are now wondering what’s going to happen to me. So the impact that it has is huge and this isn’t just veterans in this country. It’s all over the world. But Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and so what I want to do is to look at holidays when they come up. I did it for Mother’s Day, I did it for Persian New Years, I do it for New Year’s day, I’ll do it for Father’s day, maybe even Labor Day to talk about our toxic work culture. But I wanted to take a moment and see what type of lessons can we extrapolate and pull from this day and apply to our own lives with the intention of honor and respect there, but also with the intention of improving our lives and the quality of it. So don’t get me wrong, I am well aware that fighting in a war and recovery are two separate things. So when I’m comparing Memorial Day in the lessons to the lessons we can apply in our lives and recovery I hope that you don’t take it as face value, but look at the underlying theme and the similarities that exist, not the differences. Because in life if you choose to look at the differences in anything in life, it’s really hard to be able to find value and a learning opportunity in that. But when you look at the similarities then the possibility for transformation, for growth, for healing exists. I’m going to go ahead and share six different lessons that we learned from Memorial Day and what it represents, and how we can apply those to our own lives, our own recovery, with the intention of making improvements in all those areas.

 

Good Morning to everyone that popped up. Jaleh Joon, what’s up? Jacob, what’s up brother? Bita, what’s up? Mom and Dad, number one supporters, what’s up? Katalin, we got the whole world. This year we’re covering the globe so now what we’re going to do is just get into it.

 

  1. The very first one is this thing called the power of sacrifice. What collective group of human beings demonstrates the willingness to sacrifice than those who have fought in the armed forces? The men and women of the military and by the way, if you are an active duty or a past military member I just want to thank you for your service. And if you have lost somebody as a result of that, I want to extend my own empathy and my compassion to you, and I stand with you in whatever grief that you’re still holding on to. I’m well aware of this grief process now personally, but much deeper than I was before. I’ve seen the impact that it could have on parents and siblings and children and spouses. So I just want you to know that there’s a lot of compassion here available and present to you if it’s something that you need to hear or if it’s a community of support that you need to be a part of. You’re very welcome here. 

So the power of sacrifice. One of the things that always gets me when I’m watching a social media reel or something that it’s the moment that it’s a hidden video and in that hidden video there’s a little kid, a little boy, a little girl that might be in class. I’ve seen one in a karate studio, I’ve seen one in a baseball field, softball field. And the kid’s there and the camera’s kind of hiding and then as the kid’s doing whatever they’re doing, they’re talking to the class, or they’re doing some karate, or they’re swinging a bat, all of a sudden the mom or dad rolls up in their active duty gear and they just walk up to their kid and they embrace their kid, and the kid turns around. They can’t believe that the parent is there and I get goosebumps, man, that stuff gives me goosebumps. Because it shows the power of human connection, it shows the power of love, but also it shows the ultimate sacrifice. If you have someone in your life that you love that much and you could just tell that Mom or Dad just freaking loves their kid, you could tell that kid loves their parent. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do any deductive measures of analysis of what you’re seeing in the video. It’s right there and how do we know it’s right there? Because whoever watches it they feel the same way. It’s universal. It exists. It’s as true as the truest truth that exists. But check this out. Despite of that love, despite of that connection, they still choose to go on and sacrifice. Now why is this important in recovery? Because there are things in our lives when we are trying to heal and recover that we must sacrifice. The question I always ask people in the recovery process is the following. Are you willing to sacrifice who and what you are for who and what you want to become? Are you willing to sacrifice the comforts, the repetitive nature, the way you’re living your life, are you willing to sacrifice it all in order to get uncomfortable, in order to grow, in order to experience a new life? Are you willing to? Some people are and some people aren’t. I’m telling you this – if you are in the recovery process your new life will cost you your old life. Are you willing to make that sacrifice? And if you want to know what that looks just look no further than those videos. I’m telling you. The power of sacrifice is so big because if you’re willing to take that risk, if you’re willing to put it out there, knowing that you may lose the things you love the most in life, yet you do it anyways, that’s powerful. That’s where you can transform, that’s where you can just experience a life unlike anything else. And I believe that that’s a very beautiful way to be able to see it.

 

What’s up Jim? Hey Jim, you’re gonna be the topic today, my man! Feel free to share it anytime you want, and that’s the first thing that we can learn on Memorial Day – the power of sacrifice and can we apply that to our own recovery? Can you apply it to your own recovery? I mean, parents sometimes, you got to sacrifice your enabling behavior, sometimes you got to sacrifice the cape that you put on and become super mom, super dad, super spouse to go save and rescue somebody. Sometimes you might sacrifice sitting on the couch because you’re tired because you got to go do something for your mind, your body, and spirit. Are you willing to? They teach us really well. day in and day out, what that sacrifice looks like.

 

  1. The next one I have here is commitment to a greater cause. What is the greater cause? Well in that specific case it’s often times for safety, for protection, but mostly that greater cause is for something or someone, not themselves. The greater cause is for others. The greater cause is for society. However for individuals in the recovery process, the greater cause if it’s not yet established, if it’s not well defined, if it’s not crystallized in your mind and manifested in your thoughts through your actions, if you don’t have that greater cause, what happens? I’ll tell you exactly what happens. At the first sign of adversity, at the first sign of overwhelming fear, at the first sign of psychological and emotional triggers, what people do is they lose that commitment, and they go back to the way that they were living their lives. You’ve seen this in your loved ones if you’re in recovery yourself, you understand what I’m talking about. What they do is as soon as they just get uncomfortable they forget their commitment and they go back because they have no greater cause. Let’s look at that in the soldier analogy that we’re using here because of Memorial Day. They take on a greater cause, they’re committed to a greater cause, they go places and in those places that they’re at, you don’t think that they experience fear? I’ve talked to countless people, over a couple hundred veterans in my life. They tell me as strong and brave and powerful as they need to be they experience fear. They’re human beings. You tell me that they don’t get triggered, they don’t hear things and see things that bring up all of their own unresolved stuff? They absolutely do. You tell me that they don’t experience sadness from being away, homesickness from being away, for their loved ones receiving cards in the mail rather than being able to hug their families? They experience sadness but do they just say “I’m out of here?” No. Want to know why? They’re committed to a greater cause. That’s what you got to think of. In recovery what is the greater cause? And what the greater cause for all this stuff, my friends, is through the recovery process we not only help our own lives, we not only help the lives of those around us, I truly believe that we help our communities, we help society, we make the world a better place. So all that being said, thank you, so that’s the greater cause right there! And that’s where we learn it. So that was number two – number one was the power of sacrifice, and number two is a commitment to a greater cause.

 

  1. Let’s get into number three. These are lessons that we learned from Memorial Day lessons, that we learned from the the lessons that they have taught us over years of dedication and sacrifice. Number three is perseverance, the importance of resiliency and perseverance. If you’re having a hard time tracking this in terms of how is the recovery process similar to people that go off to the war, if you’re thinking you’re comparing apples and oranges let me hopefully share some insight to you. And the insight that I want to share is this. People that have experienced trauma in their life, it could be you watching this right now, it could be your loved ones, people who have experienced psychological, physical, emotional, sexual abuse inside of their own homes, people who are tormented by mental illness, those individuals I truly believe wholeheartedly from the bottom of my heart, are of the most resilient human beings on this planet. They have been able to overcome what they’ve experienced. Not give up, show up every day, and continue to fight. There’s a reason why trauma that happens to soldiers overseas used to be called shell shock. They’ve been able to change that label around and make it more humanistic and they turned it into something called post-traumatic stress disorder. There are different modalities of treatment for that type of trauma therapy. There’s a TMS for treatment resistant depression, there’s EMDR for traumatic trauma symptoms, there is talk therapy, all that kind of stuff for that specific population. However what they realized is that sometimes people didn’t even have to leave their hometowns, sometimes didn’t people didn’t have to leave their homes, to experience the same symptoms of those who go fight the wars. They experience the same thing – the battlefield is inside their house. So we learned that from them on Memorial Day. It’s easy to say Bam! right there, that’s the definition of resiliency. Those people are as resilient as this planet comes. I’m telling you this. People that have endured substance abuse, trauma, mental illness, grief and loss, they have the same DNA. They have the same resiliency so that’s another thing that’s really important for us to not only acknowledge and internalize, but hopefully accept. You might say, “Man, I don’t know, it’s just not landing well.” Guess what the symptoms are? The same! If you look up at the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that happens to soldiers, hypervigilance, inability to sleep at night, jumpiness, shakiness, being triggered by smells, by sounds, not being able to think clearly, being foggy, having anger outburst, impulsivity, if you look at all those symptoms guess what? They are exactly the same as people experiencing PTSD that never went to war. So if we can acknowledge that in those individuals, “Hey you guys, you men and women, you guys are just straight resilient, you persevere through all obstacles.” Why don’t we extend that same grace to those who have fought those fights inside of their own homes? I hope this encourages somebody to look at it that way.

 

By the way if there’s any questions or if there’s any feedback, feel free to share. This is always a dynamic conversation – it’s for us to be able to learn from each other, to grow from each other, and we go from there. 

 

  1. So the next one is this thing called acknowledgement and gratitude. On Memorial Day the whole society of the United States, at least let’s just talk about America, they pause, they completely stop. I mean it’s a federal holiday so everything just stops. What’s the main purpose? Remembrance. Acknowledgement and gratitude. We all know that that’s the theme of it so we know that for those individuals who go fight those fights, they deserve at least that one day for that. I’m telling you as human beings, even if you’ve never been in a war, that type of war, we all deserve the same acknowledgement. Being acknowledged for who you are and the things you do in life is a human need. It is something that when experienced, when we allow ourselves to experience it, it is something that feels good. It has healing potential. However, since I’ve been working in the mental health space for 12, 13, 14 years now, I’ve noticed something. There are a lot of people that have a problem with being acknowledged. There’s a lot of people that have a problem with receiving compliments, receiving positive words towards them, and if you think about it, it kind of sounds bizarre. Because it’s why would a human being have a hard time experiencing someone saying, “Hey I’m proud of you. I see how well you’re doing. I see how hard you’re trying.” You’ve made so many changes in these areas of your life why would someone have a hard time receiving that? Two reasons. Number one, they never received it in life. Nobody ever told them “I see you, I’m proud of you.” Nobody ever told them “you’re doing a good job.” What they probably heard is, “You’re not good enough. It’s not good enough.” Or they didn’t hear anything at all. Their actions were unnoticed by those around them. So then they get into therapeutic circles. Their peers or counselors say, “Hey man, I see you man, you’re grinding, you’re working so hard. I’m so proud of you,” and they get uncomfortable. They can’t accept it. The second reason is because when you don’t receive all of those things in life growing up, in active developmental years, the impact that it has on your self-worth and self-esteem is profound. If you never got compliments your self-esteem stays low. If you never got told that you’re doing well and you’re worthy of love your self-worth is low. A person that has minimal to no self-respect and selfworth, first of all does things to their mind, their body, their spirit, their soul that matches that kind of relationship with that, but also has a hard time receiving acknowledgements and love back. In 2011 my brother and myself, my brother rest in peace, we did this workshop together and it was one of those intensive workshops. It was multiple days – each day was over 12 hours long. 12 hours in the same room. You didn’t leave. And let’s just say there’s 60 people in that group. It was an advanced forum and one of the things that people had to do was, one at a time you had to go on the stage, with all 60 people and the group presenters and the people that were helping there, they were all watching you on stage. First of all, that’s just a terrifying experience for a lot of people, believe it or not. As much as I love talking and I’m all into this back then, it was scary, man! If you’ve never done it before it’s not an easy thing to do. But you would go there and you have to say “Who I am is the possibility of…”, and you would say three different things. So for example, health, love, generosity. Whatever you wanted to to create and bring about this world you would acknowledge that you’re the possibility of that. And if you said it kind of under the breath, if you said it low with no energy, they’d be like, “Nope, say it again!” And you say, “Who I am is the possibility of health.” And “nope, say it again, get to the point.” You would have to stand there and say, “Who I am is the possibility of…” and you would say it as loud as you could and if it passed the test of the facilitators, the entire 60 people in that room would stand up and start giving you a standing ovation. They would whistle, they would holler, they would scream, they would yell, and they would just clap for you. And you’re standing on the stage vulnerable and there’s people clapping for you, and just screaming and yelling your name, and just really energetically giving you love. I learned something back then. I wasn’t even a therapist yet. I was just a counselor. I barely got through graduate school. I learned something there. Oh my God, we are all uncomfortable with being acknowledged. We are all uncomfortable with having that energy coming towards us. And some people would just start crying on the stage. I’m not kidding – they would just start be falling on the stage when people are acknowledging them because they felt they didn’t deserve it. Some people would just get so uncomfortable they get off the stage and walk away and they’d have to bring them back on. By the way, no one could leave that night until everyone was done with all these experiments. So it was powerful. So if you had to be there for 20 hours you would stay until everything finished. But what happened was after the first 30 seconds of discomfort, 30 seconds of just feeling so uncomfortable in your own skin, because you’re getting a standing ovation for the first time in your life, then they started to just smile and laugh and just look around the room and make eye contact. They were soaking it in. And then something even more profound than that happened when they went off the stage and the next person went on and they did the same exercise. “Who I am is the possibility of…” and once they passed people start clapping. Once they did that guess what happened? Those that got off the stage, they were the loudest, they had the most energy. I mean all 60 people, for a minute, every single time with a timer, you had to go as hard as you could. So for 60 minutes straight everyone just gave everything they had to those on stage, to acknowledge them, to make sure they were seen. Everyone lost their voice and I’ll tell you this. The ones that would go off the stage were the loudest because they received the need that they never had in a long time. It’s kind of like walking through the Sahara desert just dehydrated, dying of dehydration, and that one minute was the water you needed for life. That’s the power of acknowledgement and the power of gratitude.

 

I mean Jim just put there, “Gratitude’s an attitude.” I believe that. And “Grateful people are happy people and those who aren’t, aren’t.” I also say, “Gratitude that’s not expressed doesn’t exist.” So the reason why we’re grateful for what those people did when they go overseas and fight the wars, those men and women in armed forces, were grateful for it is because it allows us to have a specific thing in our life and that is the ability to live the way we all live, the freedoms we experience. And unfortunately when it comes to the world of mental illness and substance abuse, not only do we take that freedom for granted, we also double down on it and imprison ourselves in the prison of the mind and the body and the spirit and the soul through those substances and those lifestyles. So please make sure that you acknowledge yourself. Be grateful for your progress, acknowledge those around you, and be grateful for who they are and how they show up in your life.

 

  1. The next one that we have here is honor and respect. I mean, if you see someone with a veteran hat or you see a young guy or a girl wearing an active duty thing you walk up to them and often times they’ll give them a little handshake and say, “Hey yo, thank you for your service.” There’s places like Home Depot which have designated parking spots for those individuals to visibly demonstrate their respect and the honor they have for them. And we know what it is to honor those people. We know what it’s to respect those people. They do something that is honorable and respectful because it’s so damn hard. But if we have accepted the fact that I’m correlating the experiences we have in life when you endure substance abuse, trauma, mental illness, grief and loss, if we accept in this conversation that even though they’re completely different on paper, they’re different experiences, but the impact that it has is very similar, then guess who else deserves that honor and respect? A person watching this right now, the human who’s endured all of that in their life and they’ve been resilient and persevered and got here to this moment, deserves that honor. But guess what we do with ourselves? Often times we don’t honor ourselves, we don’t honor our mind, our body, our spirit, our soul. Sometimes we don’t respect it. You put things in your body that purely disrespected it. So because I know you understand that honor and respect with them it tells me that you should understand it with you. And if you understand it with you and you choose not to honor and respect yourself, then you got to stop and ask yourself why. What is it in them that I see that I don’t see in myself? What is it in them that I respect that I’m not respecting in myself? Because if you have the same characteristics and you don’t give it to yourself then there’s a significant problem. There’s a quote that says, “Compassion that is not extended to self is incomplete.” Extend that compassion to yourself, honor yourself, and also honor the journey that you have been on. I just did this talk a few minutes ago for our program participants and I said, what’s really fascinating to me is that there are 8.something billion people in this world and not two life journeys have ever been the same. Think about it – the journey that you’re all on is completely different than the journey of any other human being in this world. That’s awesome man, honor that, cherish it, respect it, but I will tell you this. When you get off this talk and you go do whatever you’re going to do this weekend, or next week, or next month, or next year, or next decade, you’re still on a journey. And if you choose to live life through these principles that we’re teaching today you’ll be able to honor the hell out of that. But if you live it the way you did before with all the pain and agony and all the discomfort, all the heartbreak, why do you think your journey is going to change? See, I don’t think that the journey stays the same because I believe in the possibility of human transformation. So if you transform yourself, you transform your journey. Now it’s a matter of what kind of journey you want to live.

 

  1. So the very last one I have here is something called leaving a legacy. On Monday, at a lot of the different cemeteries in the United States people go and they have real memorial services honoring those who have fought and served and lost their lives. And again it’s not just them. Please don’t ever forget about their moms and their dads, their spouses and their children, don’t even forget about their dogs. I’ve seen a German Shepherd – man, destroyed me, this little German Shepherd which was a canine, a military canine. He lost his handler and the human that was taking care of him and he went to his memorial. Oh my goodness he knew that he’s in the boxes. I’m sure he could smell it and it was just the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. So don’t neglect those little guys, they’re awesome. To leave a legacy we learn that and people go to these memorial sites and they sit there and they look at their names of these people that have lost their lives, and they left the legacy. I mean, that is it, that’s a legacy. So why is it important for us to leave a legacy? Here it is man, simple. I’m 40 years old. If I’m lucky I got another 50 in me. If I’m super unlucky I got another 20 in me. And if I’m somewhere in the middle, all the things I do in my life, all the things I say, all this and that when it’s all said and done, it’s over. However, the way we realize in the military because of what they did and how they lived their life their memory remains. So you, my friends, have the same choice in life. Some of you might have 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, some of you might have 60 years, 70 years, maybe if you’re watching this in your young 80 years, if you’re just super advanced and you want to level up your life, I really envy you if you start that young. But that’s it, somewhere between 10 and 80 let’s just say is the range of this audience, then it’s all done. So leaving a legacy becomes probably the most important factor of this whole thing called life. How do you want to be remembered? What do you want to leave behind? How are you going to go about accomplishing that? See, when you think about that higher purpose, that greater purpose, that greater cause, the little things you go through day in and day out in life shouldn’t matter as much. Because if it’s not in the legacy it don’t matter. If it’s not in the end why does it matter? 

 

Now so in conclusion of today’s talk, I want to tell you guys that the reason I did this was because first of all it’s something thats happens in our community, society right now. And I said it’s a day of remembrance of those men and women who have fought for this land or whatever land they got. They lost their lives, the ultimate sacrifice. They’ve sacrificed things that are very important to them. How do we know that? We’ve watched enough videos to know that the love that mom or dad has for their kid when they come back and visit them is as good as it gets. But the reason I really wanted to do this talk is because I wanted to wake some people up to the fact that some of you who who have endured pain as a result of addiction, mental illness, grief and loss, and trauma, man, you’re soldiers, you’re fighters, you’re resilient. Make sure that you extend that same dignity and grace that you do to those individuals, to yourself. Because you deserve it. Because you’ve been fighting a fight. You’ve been battling a war. Yes, mental illness and addiction is a fight, and it doesn’t just impact the person. It impacts the whole world. And if you apply what I’m saying today to your own life and get out of this war, and ultimately experience some freedom in your life, here’s the thing. I’ve shared this before, and I usually do this on my fourth of July talk. I say this – addiction comes from the Latin root, Addictus. Addictus means to be enslaved to. So back when the word was originated, back in the the Latin world we’ll call it, if I owed Jim here $100 and I couldn’t pay Jim back, Jim would take me to court, and the judge would say, “That Parham is addictus to Jim,” which means that he is enslaved to Jim. That’s the Latin root of addiction, addictus. You ask any slave in the world what’s the only thing they want – it’s freedom. They don’t want want a job, a car, money, wealth, status, prestige. They want freaking freedom. When you get free from the buyings of active addiction, from the chains of active addiction, when you heal your mind and work on your mental health and you experience freedom, first of all, you’ve honored and respected what those men and women go fight for anyways. Second of all, you can live the life you deserve. You can leave the legacy you want to leave. You can have the impact you want to have and just make this world a better place. All that being said, love and appreciate all of you. I’ll see you back next week, same time, same place for another education support group. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the long weekend, get some sun, get some good food in your system, and I look forward to seeing you soon. 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.

Understanding The Recovery Process

Explore the transformative journey of recovery as we navigate the intricate layers of self-rediscovery. Let’s dive deep into reclaiming your essence and overcoming adversity. For a more in-depth discussion on the recovery process, watch our YouTube video below and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more empowering content about addiction recovery.

Defining The Recovery Process

Recovery is a journey of the self, through the self, and to the self. At its core, recovery signifies more than just overcoming addiction; it symbolizes a profound exploration of one’s essence. To grasp the essence of the recovery process, let’s dissect its components.

Understanding Recovery

To recover is to reclaim what was once lost, stolen, or destroyed. It’s a poignant act of redemption, a testament to resilience in the face of adversity. But recovery transcends mere restoration; it’s a rebirth, a metamorphosis of the soul.

Deciphering Process

Process denotes a sequence of deliberate actions, meticulously orchestrated to yield a desired outcome. In the context of recovery, it represents a structured journey towards healing. Every step, no matter how small, propels individuals closer to wholeness.

Overcoming Stagnation and Regression

At times, recovery may seem like a stagnant pool, devoid of progress. It’s during these moments of stagnation that individuals must summon their resilience, pushing past the barriers hindering their journey. Similarly, setbacks are an inevitable part of the process. But in the face of regression, one must persevere, drawing strength from the lessons learned along the way.

Recovery is a Journey

Above all, recovery is a journey—a voyage of self-discovery and renewal. It’s a testament to the human spirit’s capacity for transformation, reminding us that within every setback lies the seed of opportunity.

Contact Buckeye Recovery Network Today!

Are you ready to embark on your journey of recovery? Contact Buckeye Recovery Network at 949.258.7580 and take the first step towards a brighter tomorrow. Don’t forget to watch, share, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for invaluable insights into the recovery process.

10 Clues for Success in Recovery

Success leaves behind a trail of clues. Are you ready to follow them? Let’s delve into this concept by drawing inspiration from the profound insights of luminaries such as Rob Bell, Jim Rohn, and Anthony Robbins. In our YouTube video below, we unravel the ten essential clues left by successful individuals, providing a roadmap for transformative change. Join us on this journey of discovery and unlock the secrets to achieving your own success. Remember to watch, share, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more insightful tips on personal development.

10 Clues to Transform Your Life

Finding Purpose:

Reconnect with your purpose, transcending conventional notions of religion.

Self-Confidence:

Cultivate confidence through consistent daily habits and disciplines.

Enthusiasm:

Nurture your goals with relentless enthusiasm and proactive effort.

Expertise:

Sharpen your skills and knowledge to become an expert in your field.

Preparation:

Success favors the prepared mind; be ready to seize opportunities.

Sense of Responsibility:

Embrace accountability and ownership for your actions.

Image:

Present yourself authentically and positively to the world.

Character:

Develop integrity and values that elevate your worth.

Self-Discipline:

Master the art of doing what needs to be done, even when it’s challenging.

Extraordinary:

Differentiate yourself by going above and beyond the ordinary.

Take Action Toward Success

Now armed with these invaluable clues, it’s time to take action. Whether you’re on the journey of addiction recovery or seeking personal growth, incorporating these principles into your life can lead to profound transformations. Watch our YouTube video to dive deeper into each clue, and start applying them today.

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For personalized addiction treatment and support, contact Buckeye Recovery Network at 949.258.7580. Don’t forget to watch, share, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more insightful content on addiction recovery and personal development. Your journey to success starts now.

The Keys to Personal Development

“For things to change, you have to change.” These words by Jim Rohn encapsulate a fundamental truth in personal development. Understanding and embracing this quote is pivotal in the journey toward growth. Let’s explore this statement’s significance and break down the acronym “Development,” revealing the essential characteristics for meaningful change. Watch our YouTube video below for more in-depth insight on this topic. Remember to share and subscribe to our channel for valuable personal development and transformation insights.

Deciding for Change

D – Decide: At the core of personal development lies the power of decision. It’s about committing fully to a path, understanding that to move forward, you must eliminate other options.

Embracing Eagerness

E – Eagerness: Recapture the excitement of anticipation. Channel that eagerness into your pursuit of growth, fueling your journey with enthusiasm and a relentless drive for progress.

Embodying Values

V – Values: Your values are the essence of who you are. They guide your actions and shape your identity. Embrace your unique set of values, allowing them to permeate every aspect of your life.

Consistency Every Day

E – Everyday: Success is not achieved overnight. It’s the result of consistent, disciplined effort every single day. Embrace the journey, knowing that small daily actions lead to significant long-term results.

Embracing Lifestyle Changes

L – Lifestyle: Transformation often requires leaving behind the familiar and stepping into the unknown. Are you prepared to let go of old habits and embrace the lifestyle necessary for your desired future?

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

O – Overcoming: Break free from the shackles of limiting beliefs. Challenge the narratives imposed upon you and take bold, decisive action to redefine your possibilities.

Harnessing the Power of Planning

P – Planning: Success favors the prepared mind. Embrace the power of planning, laying the groundwork for your aspirations and ensuring you’re equipped to navigate challenges along the way.

Cultivating a Growth Mindset

M – Mindset: Your mindset shapes your reality. Take ownership of your thoughts and beliefs, recognizing that you have the power to create the world you desire.

Managing Expectations

E – Expectations: Manage your expectations wisely. Recognize that unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and heartache, tempering them with realism and resilience.

Learning to Say No

N – NO: Learn the art of saying no. Prioritize your goals and guard your time fiercely, understanding that saying no to distractions is saying yes to your dreams.

Thriving Together

T – Together: Foster connections and collaborations. Recognize the value of community and support as you embark on your journey of personal development. Remember, if you want to go far, go together.

Take Action Today!

Remember that transformation is within reach as you enter your personal development journey. Watch, share, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more insights and guidance on your path to growth. For addiction treatment and support, contact Buckeye Recovery Network at 949.258.7580.

The Backpack of Life in Addiction Recovery

Imagine carrying a heavy backpack everywhere you go. But this isn’t just any backpack—it’s filled with the weight of your past: regrets, traumas, and unresolved emotions. This metaphorical burden, known as The Backpack of Life, weighs on your shoulders, influencing every aspect of your journey. Join us as we explore this concept through personal anecdotes and insightful reflections. We explore the profound impact of addiction on individuals’ lives and the transformative power of shedding the past’s burdens. Watch our YouTube video below to gain a more in-depth understanding, and don’t forget to share and subscribe to our channel for more insightful content.

Understanding The Backpack of Life

Addiction isn’t just physical; it’s a complex mix of psychological and emotional burdens. The Backpack of Life represents the weight of past traumas, regrets, and unresolved emotions that individuals carry, often without realizing. Like a heavy burden, addiction strains the mind and spirit, profoundly impacting thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

When suffering loses its value, healing becomes instantaneous. Confronting The Backpack of Life helps individuals break free from addiction’s chains, paving the way for healing and growth.

Codependent Toxic Relationships

In the realm of addiction, codependent toxic relationships only add to the weight of The Backpack of Life. These relationships, marked by dependency and enabling behaviors, further entangle individuals.

Awareness is crucial for liberation. Recognizing codependency patterns within The Backpack of Life empowers individuals to build healthier connections grounded in respect and support.

Take Action With Buckeye Recovery Today

Ready to embark on your journey towards healing? Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today at 949.258.7580 to take the first step towards liberation from addiction’s grip. Remember to watch our accompanying YouTube video for deeper insights and inspiration. Please share it with those who may benefit from it and subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay updated on our latest content.

Embracing Change in Addiction Recovery

If you seek to make changes in your life, it’s crucial to understand that it takes more than just wanting it. You need a set of essential ingredients to fuel your journey. Imagine a simple acronym, ‘CHANGE,’ representing the fundamental elements necessary for meaningful growth. From summoning the courage to face fears to embracing humility as you progress, each component is vital. Our YouTube video below explores the art of making meaningful changes in your life, especially in addiction recovery. Watch, share, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more inspiring insights.

Defining "Change"

Change isn’t merely a concept; it’s a process that demands dedication and resilience. Let’s break down each ingredient of “CHANGE”:

C – Courage: Summon the bravery to confront your fears head-on. Despite the uncertainty, taking action is paramount.

C – Commitment: Sustain your momentum beyond the initial burst of motivation. Genuine commitment endures, even when enthusiasm wanes.

C – Compassion: Practice kindness towards yourself. Silence the inner critic and embrace self-compassion as you navigate challenges.

H – Honesty: Align your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Acknowledge and express your emotions authentically, without judgment.

H – Help: Recognize the power of seeking assistance. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards growth.

H – Humility: Stay grounded amidst progress. Remember your journey’s beginnings and remain humble as you evolve.

A – Accountability: Hold yourself responsible for your actions. Whether to yourself or others, accountability fosters growth and integrity.

A – Adaptability: Embrace flexibility in your approach. Be willing to pivot and adjust course when necessary, embracing detours as part of the journey.

A – Acceptance: Embrace yourself unconditionally. True transformation begins with accepting yourself at every stage of the process.

N – NO: Set boundaries and prioritize self-care. Master the art of saying no to protect your well-being and honor your goals.

G – Goals: Set clear objectives and milestones. Our video “6 Steps to Riches” guides you through establishing and managing goals effectively.

G – Generosity: Share what you can, however small. Cultivate a spirit of giving, knowing that generosity breeds abundance.

G – Gratitude: Express appreciation openly. Gratitude fuels positivity and connection, enriching your journey with meaning.

E – Everyday: Consistency is key. Take daily actions aligned with your goals, knowing that progress is made one step at a time.

Your Journey Starts Now

Change is not just about starting; it’s about finishing with integrity. At Buckeye Recovery Network, we’re here to support you every step of the way. If you’re ready to embark on a transformative journey toward addiction recovery, call us today at 949.258.7580. Watch, share, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for insights, guidance, and inspiration. Remember, the power to change lies within you. How bad do you want it?

9 Emotional Masks in Addiction Recovery

In Japanese culture, it’s said you have three faces: one for the world, one for close ones, and one deeply hidden. Going beyond that, let’s uncover the nine emotional masks people hide behind. Understanding these emotional masks can be particularly enlightening for those in addiction recovery, offering invaluable insights into the complexities of identity and self-discovery on the path to healing. For a more detailed explanation of this topic, watch our YouTube video below and share it with anyone you think may benefit. Additionally, subscribe to our channel for more inspiring insights.

Understanding the 9 Emotional Masks

Emotional masks serve as shields, concealing our true selves from the world. These masks, rooted in past experiences, traumas, and unresolved emotions, manifest in various forms, each with its unique purpose. Let’s uncover the nine masks:

  1. The Humorist: Using humor to deflect deeper emotions.
  2. The Overachiever: Striving for success to mask insecurities.
  3. The Martyr: Sacrificing for others to gain validation.
  4. The Bully: Projecting strength to cover vulnerabilities.
  5. The Control Freak: Seeking control amidst chaos and uncertainty.
  6. The Self-Basher: Criticizing oneself as a defense mechanism.
  7. The People-Pleaser: Prioritizing others’ needs over one’s own.
  8. The Introvert: Withdrawing to avoid confronting inner turmoil.
  9. The Social Butterfly: Seeking constant external validation through social interactions.

Unmasking the Masks

Our video above offers invaluable insights and eight practical tips for peeling away these masks and embracing authenticity. By confronting our fears, acknowledging our genuine emotions, and aligning with our core values, we can embark on a journey toward genuine self-expression.

Questions to Consider:

To further your understanding, ponder these questions:

  • When and where did you learn to wear your mask?
  • How does it serve or hinder you? What are the costs?
  • What does living authentically look like for you?
  • What fears hold you back from removing the mask?

Take Action with Buckeye Recovery Network!

Ready to shed your emotional masks and embark on a path to genuine living? Contact Buckeye Recovery Network at 949.258.7580 to explore our tailored addiction treatment programs. Don’t forget to watch, share, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more empowering content.

Follow your Values and Do the Right Thing

To understand and implement your personal values first you got to clearly define what your values are. President John F Kennedy said, “Stand for something or you will fall for anything.” So you got to make sure what are the things in my life that I stand for, what are your values? Are they honesty? Are they integrity? Are they healthy communication? Because if they are, every time you’re dishonest, every time you have no integrity, every time you communicate with passive aggressiveness, or with anger, you are living incongruent to your values. And what happens if we live incongruent to our values? That’s where a lot of stuff, frustration and guilt and shame, and lack of passion, and lack of motivation, lack of drive lives. When our values and our actions align that’s one of the strongest version of ourselves. And if you don’t know what your values are go online, look at values clarification exercises, identify your top 10 most important values, and then live by them. You’ll transform your experience. When you live by your values, if someone says my values is health and they’re eating crap and they’re sitting on a couch and they’re not moving, their values and their actions do not align. Therefore they’re going to feel bad about themselves. They might even go to the point of saying, “I don’t like myself, I hate myself.” But if someone says my values is health and they eat clean and they don’t consume crap on television and they go outside for an hour walk every day, all of a sudden they start to feel better and say, “I kind of like myself.” Values, actions, align them, it’s a positive thing.

Do the Right Thing when No One is Watching

This is very important because when we do the right thing when no one is watching, it creates this thing called integrity. Integrity for example, Integrity of furniture means it’s really strong and sturdy. Integrity of a human being allows them to not break despite of circumstances around them really really wanting to break them, despite of people around them, people, places and things really trying to break them. Integrity makes us stay whole and complete despite of circumstances. How do we develop our integrity? Do the right thing when no one’s watching. Do the right thing when no one’s watching, and that’s how we get to experience it. It’s a powerful, powerful thing. And in the early stages it’s easy to kind of do all the right things and say all the right things because you feel if the spotlight’s on and everyone’s watching and all that kind of stuff, but down the line when no one’s around who are you, and what are you doing, and how are you living your life?

Recovery is for Me

June 13th of 2008 is the day that I decided I can no longer live the way I’m living with drugs and alcohol, and I need to do something different for my life. At that time in my life, you got to understand this, I was pretty depressed. I was a 25 year old with no education, a 25 year old with no real job, a 25 year old that was struggling in all different aspects of life, no relationships, none of that stuff. And during that time my family was going through some stuff. My mom wasn’t feeling that well. She was diagnosed with some health conditions and I was just tired of hurting them, hurting mom and dad, and hurting all those people, and pretty much what I wanted to do was do it for my mom. I know in recovery there’s certain people that say if you don’t do it for yourself it doesn’t matter. I believe it’s okay in the beginning to do it for someone else but here’s the thing – that won’t work and it won’t sustain if that’s the only motivating factor. So eventually the goal of recovery is to go from being externally motivated which I was for my mom, to being internally motivated which is I’m here for myself. 

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.

Recovery is Work. Have a Good Support System

Recovery, especially in the first few years, is work. You will only get out what you put in. I will share this and I’ll share it for those who struggle with addiction. When you stop the use of drugs and alcohol the only thing that gets better are the problems related to the use of drugs and alcohol. Everything else that you experienced prior to ever picking up a drink or drug, everything you are experiencing, and everything you will experience, will not go away because you stop using drugs and alcohol. If anything it comes in and just overwhelms you and floods you and makes it even harder to process and handle at first. If you’re a family member and your loved ones stop using drugs and alcohol and you think everything’s going to be okay, no it’s not. Don’t lie to yourself – the only thing that’s going to be okay now are the problems related to their drug and alcohol use are going to go away. Everything else about your inability to communicate with them, with your lack of trust to them, with your fear of their relapse, with your financial frustrations of supporting someone when you’re barely able to support yourself, none of that stuff goes away. If anything, it just starts to surface itself. So I don’t want anyone here to be under the wrong impression that when you stop using drugs and alcohol everything gets better. You want to know when it gets better? When you get better. If you want your life to change then you have to change. Straight up changing the use of substances or stopping uses that’s absolutely a positive change, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the end-all be-all.

The Power of Choice

Let’s see what Jess said. “That’s very similar to my upbringing being around constant cigarette smoke from my family and my two siblings became smokers. I never touched a single one because of always hating to be around it.” Yeah that’s really it. Then there could be someone that in your situation Jess would say, “I started smoking at the age of 13 because it felt so normal to me because everyone around me was doing it. So I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.” So that’s the individuality that I’m talking about, that’s the power of choice that sometimes we think we don’t have. The only time you can actually see things and resolve them is when you can see them clearly. Not behind goggles. And you’re able to see them and you’re like, alright I have to deal with this right now because if I don’t, if I just sweep it under the rug, what’s gonna happen? The smell is going to come out sooner or later.

Understand the Value of Support Systems

Here’s why it is important to understand the value of support systems. Early stages of recovery are scary. Early stages of recovery are, let’s use a metaphor. It’s dark, it’s unfamiliar, it’s unsettling, the fear of the unknown. What do support systems do? They create light in the midst of that darkness. Support systems guide us through the fear of that initial unknown. These support systems give us a sense of identification that makes us feel that even though nothing is okay that everything could be okay if I just stick around this little support system. When you are doing something new for the first time and you have no idea how to do it that’s when a support system comes in and breathes air into the lungs that are just hyperventilating and scared. None of us, including myself, have gotten to where we get to in the recovery process without support systems. Now these support systems can be family, they could be genuinely family members, moms, dads, siblings, spouses, grandparents, friends, upbringing that kind of stuff, but if you’re like “I don’t have a healthy one of those so I’m screwed,” no you’re not. Our family of origin doesn’t necessarily have to be our family of choice. If you come from a dysfunctional background with a lot of toxicity and addictions and mental illness and in chaos and abandonment and all that kind of stuff, and you’re like, “well, I don’t have a healthy family so I have no support system,” you can’t believe that narrative. Your family of origin may have put you in a disadvantage but you’re an adult.

Create a Family of Choice

They might not have the same biological characteristics or they might not share the same last names but a family of choice can still be family. And then support system can also be non-family members, people we meet in support groups, people we meet in the community, some of the closest human beings you’ll ever meet in your life have nothing to do with your family and that’s what we have to embrace. And if you can’t find them in traditional places 12-step meetings or support groups or church, maybe you find some in working out in a gym, maybe you find some in a book club, in a hiking club, whatever it is maybe you just find support for yourself because I’m telling you this my friends, as something who watched firsthand. It happened to me and my family. 

Two months ago on this exact date, April 10, 2023 was when my brother passed away. Today is June 10, 2023. I’m still here, my mom is still here, my dad is still here. You want to know why we’re all still here? Because of support systems, because of support systems. And we really really really need that. And here I mean I’m telling you, when someone like Jim says finding a new support system saved my life, he is talking literally. Because of the lifestyle that he had at the time, homeless, just living like a street creature, no offense to him. I know you’re okay with me saying those things. He needed that support system save his life because what he was doing was life and death. But what about this? Sometimes there’s family members that come in for the addiction of a loved one. Their life and death is not in jeopardy because they’re not the one using the substances but they’re in an existential crisis – they’re going through life and death inside their mind with their loved one and they need the same support system to be able to save their lives, to save their sanity.

When I find recovery and I do for 15 years, their worlds are by association also improving. To the point that where this tragedy hit close to our home a little bit ago I was able to suit up and show up despite of my own experience for others and to be able to help heal and work through all this stuff together. I never thought that was going to happen when I started this journey but those are the kind of the gifts of recovery.

Support System is a Big Family

Hussein said, “With support system I feel we are all a big family going through this lifetime journey and gives me so much hope and strength.” Yeah, because when we go through it originally it’s very lonely for us. His family for example, they probably thought that they’re the only people going through this, they thought they’re the only people going through this, and who do you talk to? You can’t talk to your actual family about it because there’s shame involved and then all of a sudden you meet other families, moms and dads, and they’re sharing very similar stories, and it allows us to get that strength to work through this. “Family of origin that is chaotic can lead us to clarity of what we do not want to do, not only for ourselves but also when we have our children and grandchildren.” 

I mean everybody’s a teacher. Some people teach us what to do and some people teach us what not to do. There’s a very good analogy that I heard somewhere that I’ll share with you. I think it’s pretty cool. So there were two identical brothers, two brothers, twin brothers we’ll call them. And they both had an alcoholic father. One of the brothers became an alcoholic and one of them never drank a sip of alcohol. When they asked the brothers, so they asked the alcoholic, “hey why are you an alcoholic?” and he said, “I watched my father.” And they asked the other brother who never drank a sip of alcohol, “why did you never sip a drink of alcohol?” He said, “because I watched my father.” See, two versions from the same story. Oftentimes people that are chaotic or toxic or abusive or this and that they might not teach us what to do but they sure as heck teach us what not to do and that becomes a choice. So as Eileen said here it allowed her to be able to, when we have children and grandchildren, to be able to raise them differently. Either you do it or you don’t. If you do, you break multi-generational patterns of chaos and dysfunction and if you don’t unfortunately my friends history will repeat itself. I hope that’s not the case for most of you. I hope you’re able to break those patterns.

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.

15 years of recovery, personal development, and transformation (Part 1)

What is up everyone? Happy Saturday! It is Saturday June 10th of 2023. We are back with another family education and support group. We already got our first person in. Miss Jess from West Virginia. Let’s make sure. Last time I think I said she was from Pennsylvania, so hey, tomato – tomato. Just kidding, just kidding! You’re welcome here. Jim, what up my man, good to see you as always! And today’s gonna be a really cool one. So we got Debbie from Miami, what’s up? Welcome back! You guys are always great! And whoever else pops up, good morning in advance. We got some more. Marilyn from Seattle, Washington. I know it’s from Seattle, that’s cool. This is nice man, look at this, we got all these different people – we got pretty much the west coast and the East Coast covered, pretty sure. I’m excited. I know pretty sure we’ll get maybe some Middle East, the Middle East you get in here too right now. That’d be cool. We got Pacific Sands Recovery Center in, yeah this is great! So thank you so much everyone for being here already and getting into this family education support group with myself. And oh CJ! I got to say hi to all these people. My cousin, the Flaherties! Good morning everyone! The first part of this is just saying hi. So hello everyone! Alright, so today is it’s going to be an interesting group.

 

Quick introduction about myself. My name is Parham. I come here each and every single Saturday for the most part. Once in a while you’ll see me miss a few but nothing too out of the ordinary. Let’s say if there’s 52 of these in the year I’ll probably get to about 46 of them so I got a pretty good ratio. What I want to do is this. First let me introduce myself. My name is Parham. I have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Ttherapy. I’m a licensed Addictions Counselor. I am a high school basketball coach and an avid pickleball player. I’m also in the recovery process myself, so June 13th of 2008 is the day that I decided I can no longer live the way I’m living with drugs and alcohol, and I need to do something different for my life. And speaking of the motivational points, Mom and Dad just popped on. At that time in my life, you got to understand this, I was pretty depressed. I was a 25 year old with no education, a 25 year old with no real job, a 25 year old that was struggling in all different aspects of life, no relationships, none of that stuff. And during that time my family was going through some stuff. My mom wasn’t feeling that well. She was diagnosed with some health conditions and I was just tired of hurting them, hurting mom and dad, and hurting all those people, and pretty much what I wanted to do was do it for my mom. I know in recovery there’s certain people that say if you don’t do it for yourself it doesn’t matter. I believe it’s okay in the beginning to do it for someone else but here’s the thing – that won’t work and it won’t sustain if that’s the only motivating factor. So eventually the goal of recovery is to go from being externally motivated which I was for my mom, to being internally motivated which is I’m here for myself. 

 

This is pretty cool. We got a Sharon which I don’t think I know yet but I do know it’s in this space. “I love being here with you from Florida, from my office after I hold a group in recovery.” I think I already gave a shout out to Sharon last week to thank you for the work you do in the space. I really mean that. We need more people out there that are doing this. 

 

So what I thought about doing is on Tuesday if knock on wood everything works out as planned I will be celebrating 15 years of a new life. In the program we know that we don’t get fronts so someone, an old timer like Jim, would tell us we don’t get fronts. So what? I’m not giving myself a front and I’m not saying I have that time yet but I wanted to do a talk that’s a two-week part one, part two. And the goal of this talk is to be able to capture 15 things from my perspective of someone who went through the recovery process, someone who understands the recovery process, to be able to share with you what some of those nuggets of wisdom and experience are to hopefully help you. And if you’re watching this and saying you never had a substance problem, it doesn’t matter, we are all recovering from something that takes away the pain. Some of you might be recovering from codependency, some of you might be recovering from childhood trauma, some of you might be recovering from post Covid depression, some of you might be recovering from ending an old life and starting a new one, and some of you might be recovering from drugs and alcohol like most of us on this station. But regardless I want to share these nuggets. I’m only sharing half of them today and half of them after my birthday so that way I’m not giving fronts. I’m kind of messing with the line a little bit but I think you’ll understand. Oh and real quick before I get into that. This is for all the local people. Starting Tuesday at Buckeye Recovery Network at 6:30 P.M every Tuesday for the most part I’ll be facilitating a one hour to one hour and a half, a family support group and it is always free of charge. There is no upsell. The only purpose of it is to be able to provide a support group for people that may need it so you’re all welcome to come there. Shoot me a message and I’ll give you the address and all that kind of stuff. Can it also be in Zoom? I don’t think so and here’s the reason why because if somebody comes in there and they’re sitting inside the group and this is going to be more group therapy it’s not just a support group that everyone just raises and shares and everyone claps I’m giving feedback and if somebody starts talking about their loved one or their identified patient or they start using the name of their spouse for example in the therapy session or in a group session I can’t promise them that their confidentiality can’t be upheld when it’s virtual so what I can do when people are there is create a space so if you’re ever in town from San Jose on a Tuesday you’re welcome to come is what I’m trying to say.

 

So the 15 years of recovering, 15 years of transformation, 15 years of personal development, I’m going to summarize into 15 little key factors for you. 

 

  1. The number one thing that I believe is important is the belief in the possibility of human transformation. So when people come into recovery they’re usually pretty down and out on themselves. They’re experiencing symptoms like depression, anxiety. You could be a family member – by the way too you are probably having some type of guilt or some type of shame or some type of internal dialogue with yourself or the coulda-woulda-shouldas, and is this my fault, and blah blah blah. But you have to believe that you can transform from that hopeless state of mind and body. Sometimes the individual might not have the belief themselves. They might not believe themselves that they can do it then you just got to believe that someone else believes. I did this talk this morning with our program participants and I said, “Hey man, I don’t care if you guys don’t believe you can change. You just have to believe that. I believe it because I wouldn’t be coming every Saturday morning and doing a talk with all the clients if I didn’t believe in the possibility of human transformation. And then on top of that one I want to add is, don’t ever stop dreaming. And yes, even if you’re an adult, even if you’re a parent, even if you’re a grandparent, which I know I got a few watching this. Don’t ever stop dreaming. Why do I say something like that is because have you noticed children when they’re growing up, they tell their parents and their teachers I want to do this when I grow up, I want to be this when I grow up, this is what I want to do with my life. And what does everybody say? You can do it, you can do it, there’s nothing is impossible in this life. But as soon as we become young adults and you tell your family members what you want to do, or who you want to be with, or where you want to go, what do they say? No no no no no no, not that, that’s a bad idea, you can’t make a living doing that, that person’s not going to be good for you. And all of a sudden they tell us to stop dreaming. Well I’m telling you this as infants in the recovery world when you’re coming new to this recovery stuff, if you have a lot of dreams, if you have a lot of goals and desires, double down on them. Look at this: “Dreams can come true. Just go to work at it.” And yes Sonia. Sonia is someone I’ve known for many many many years. She’s seen me in the downfall so 15 years is a big deal, I know, I know, thank you for your support through all these years, my friend. 

 

  1. The number two thing that I have on the the 15 years of experience I’m trying to share is to really really really get clear and understand what is your why. Why are you doing this recovery thing? Why are you committing to a life that is completely different than the previous version of the life you were living? Because for a person who knows his why, the how takes care of itself. When you know why you’re doing something you’re going to figure out how to do it but if you don’t know why you’re doing it, as soon as you’re faced with adversity, challenges, struggles, obstacles, you’re gonna go change course, change gear, go to a different direction. You got to get clear with your why. Show me a person who knows their why and I’ll tell you a person that’s gonna get there. And this is the time I usually recommend a book it’s called ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Victor Frankl. I strongly suggest it to anybody who does not know their why, and I believe it’s a powerful tool that we can add to our recovery arsenal. I don’t know what your why is – everybody’s why is different. The why that I have, if you’re curious to know, is to do what I can to make the world a better place, that’s it. Some of you might think that’s not enough for me. That’s okay, maybe that’s not your why. My why is to do what I can to make the world a better place. How do I do that? To make every interaction I have with somebody to improve the quality of their life, to leave places better than I found them, to constantly challenge myself with making this world a better place. I don’t know what it is but whatever it is you got to make sure you know your why. Look at this. This is actually really good Jim, thank you for sharing that, your why. I said earlier in the talk you could be externally motivated. Jim got into recovery because he was faced with you either do this or you go to prison. So he was externally motivated at first to get the judge off his back, to get the court off his back, to get the probation off his back. He had different ulterior motives but here’s the thing. Once all of those things were off of his back, once the judge no longer gave him a nudge, once the probation was no longer knocking on the door, once the record was clear, he continued on and I promise you, there was something he found there that became his new why. So yes, our why can change. Like I said earlier, my why was because my mom was just crying herself to sleep every night and I didn’t want her to experience that anymore. That was my why in the beginning. That’s not the case right now. That’s not the case 7, 10, 15, 12 years ago I found a new why. So it evolves like everything else in life. 

 

Hussein said, “Having a reason for doing creates a commitment.” Yeah and it’s got to be a reason that’s so strong that compels us and pulls us through the challenges of life. So if the reason is very surface level the commitment is also going to be surface level. If the reason is big, I just taught you guys last week about my dear mentor Francia Mac who passed away. He always said, “In life you got to take on something bigger than yourselves, take on something greater than yourself, because by doing so the little obstacles in life tend to go away.” If you take on world hunger, he did by running over 60 or 70 marathons. If you take on world hunger then all of a sudden, “oh I’m feeling a little hungry today” goes away. So by doing something big you resolve the little issues in life, big time. Believe in that. 

 

Let’s see what Katalin said. By the way, the same way some people are writing messages feel free to write. I put them up. It’s very interactive. It’s cool. If any of you are in a treatment center you may tell the person, like Kenny can put up a question something that I don’t mind. “My why was because I felt I had something to create in this world and I had to wake up from my depression.” See how powerful that is? It’s such a powerful message right there Katalin, because the person’s laying in bed knowing that they got something more to give to this world than to create something in this world, but their depression is so loud that they can’t get up and do it until one day the depression was so loud and she’s like, “I’m not gonna live like this anymore. I have more to do, I have things to accomplish, I have unfinished business,” and that’s where it started. Oh man, okay good, yeah the book is called Man’s Search for Meaning. It’s a short read. Highly recommend it for pretty much any age level and it’s heavy. The topic is pretty heavy but the context is beautiful.

 

Let’s see what CJ said. I like this participation it makes me do less work, I like that. So CJ said, “I got sober to give my pain a purpose to help others. Now at five years sober.” By the way, Congratulations, that’s a big deal! “I work at sobriety so I can be the person I want to be. For me recovery is the most selfish and selfless thing I do.” Isn’t that weird? It’s selfish and selfless at the same time. And by the way, that’s okay, you got into it because of other people, you stay in it because of yourself. And that’s like I said, going from being externally to internally motivated. What I actually do is helping other people, but it came from the opposite of it – it’s starting from you going out, rather from out going in, which is pretty powerful. Good stuff, good feedback everyone! 

 

  1. Number three that I have is understanding the value of support systems. And here’s why. Early stages of recovery are scary. Early stages of recovery are, let’s use a metaphor. It’s dark, it’s unfamiliar, it’s unsettling, the fear of the unknown. What do support systems do? They create light in the midst of that darkness. Support systems guide us through the fear of that initial unknown. These support systems give us a sense of identification that makes us feel that even though nothing is okay that everything could be okay if I just stick around this little support system. When you are doing something new for the first time and you have no idea how to do it that’s when a support system comes in and breathes air into the lungs that are just hyperventilating and scared. None of us, including myself, have gotten to where we get to in the recovery process without support systems. Now these support systems can be family, they could be genuinely family members, moms, dads, siblings, spouses, grandparents, friends, upbringing that kind of stuff, but if you’re like “I don’t have a healthy one of those so I’m screwed,” no you’re not. Our family of origin doesn’t necessarily have to be our family of choice. If you come from a dysfunctional background with a lot of toxicity and addictions and mental illness and in chaos and abandonment and all that kind of stuff, and you’re like, “well, I don’t have a healthy family so I have no support system,” you can’t believe that narrative. Your family of origin may have put you in a disadvantage but you’re an adult. You get to create a family of choice. They might not have the same biological characteristics or they might not share the same last names but a family of choice can still be family. And then support system can also be non-family members, people we meet in support groups, people we meet in the community, some of the closest human beings you’ll ever meet in your life have nothing to do with your family and that’s what we have to embrace. And if you can’t find them in traditional places 12-step meetings or support groups or church, maybe you find some in working out in a gym, maybe you find some in a book club, in a hiking club, whatever it is maybe you just find support for yourself because I’m telling you this my friends, as something who watched firsthand. It happened to me and my family. Two months ago on this exact date, April 10, 2023 was when my brother passed away. Today is June 10, 2023. I’m still here, my mom is still here, my dad is still here. You want to know why we’re all still here? Because of support systems, because of support systems. And we really really really need that. And here I mean I’m telling you, when someone like Jim says finding a new support system saved my life, he is talking literally. Because of the lifestyle that he had at the time, homeless, just living like a street creature, no offense to him. I know you’re okay with me saying those things. He needed that support system save his life because what he was doing was life and death. But what about this? Sometimes there’s family members that come in for the addiction of a loved one. Their life and death is not in jeopardy because they’re not the one using the substances but they’re in an existential crisis – they’re going through life and death inside their mind with their loved one and they need the same support system to be able to save their lives, to save their sanity. Leela, which is my cousin, first cousin, “Your answer in hard work not only helped you, it helped our little village and you contributed to our community, thank you for the start 15 years ago.” And that’s another thing – this is my cousin and they’re living in Orange County now, but for the most part we’re living in Indiana for my whole life and yeah, my active addiction at the time didn’t really impact their lives on a day-to-day basis. What if they would see me they’d feel sad, they probably got worried, if they saw me under the influence and this and that, which I know they did a few times. I’m sorry about that but all of a sudden when I find recovery and I do for 15 years, their worlds are by association also improving. To the point that where this tragedy hit close to our home a little bit ago I was able to suit up and show up despite of my own experience for others and to be able to help heal and work through all this stuff together. I never thought that was going to happen when I started this journey but those are the kind of the gifts of recovery.

 

Let’s see what Hussein said, “With support system I feel we are all a big family going through this lifetime journey and gives me so much hope and strength.” Yeah, because when we go through it originally it’s very lonely for us. His family for example, they probably thought that they’re the only people going through this, they thought they’re the only people going through this, and who do you talk to? You can’t talk to your actual family about it because there’s shame involved and then all of a sudden you meet other families, moms and dads, and they’re sharing very similar stories, and it allows us to get that strength to work through this. “Family of origin that is chaotic can lead us to clarity of what we do not want to do, not only for ourselves but also when we have our children and grandchildren.” Yeah, I mean everybody’s a teacher. Some people teach us what to do and some people teach us what not to do. There’s a very good analogy that I heard somewhere that I’ll share with you. I think it’s pretty cool. So there were two identical brothers, two brothers, twin brothers we’ll call them. And they both had an alcoholic father. One of the brothers became an alcoholic and one of them never drank a sip of alcohol. When they asked the brothers, so they asked the alcoholic, “hey why are you an alcoholic?” and he said, “I watched my father.” And they asked the other brother who never drank a sip of alcohol, “why did you never sip a drink of alcohol?” He said, “because I watched my father.” See, two versions from the same story. Oftentimes people that are chaotic or toxic or abusive or this and that they might not teach us what to do but they sure as heck teach us what not to do and that becomes a choice. So as Eileen said here it allowed her to be able to, when we have children and grandchildren, to be able to raise them differently. Either you do it or you don’t. If you do, you break multi-generational patterns of chaos and dysfunction and if you don’t unfortunately my friends history will repeat itself. I hope that’s not the case for most of you. I hope you’re able to break those patterns.

 

  1. The next one that I have is recovery, especially in the first few years, is work. You will only get out what you put in. I will share this and I’ll share it for those who struggle with addiction. When you stop the use of drugs and alcohol the only thing that gets better are the problems related to the use of drugs and alcohol. Everything else that you experienced prior to ever picking up a drink or drug, everything you are experiencing, and everything you will experience, will not go away because you stop using drugs and alcohol. If anything it comes in and just overwhelms you and floods you and makes it even harder to process and handle at first. If you’re a family member and your loved ones stop using drugs and alcohol and you think everything’s going to be okay, no it’s not. Don’t lie to yourself – the only thing that’s going to be okay now are the problems related to their drug and alcohol use are going to go away. Everything else about your inability to communicate with them, with your lack of trust to them, with your fear of their relapse, with your financial frustrations of supporting someone when you’re barely able to support yourself, none of that stuff goes away. If anything, it just starts to surface itself. So I don’t want anyone here to be under the wrong impression that when you stop using drugs and alcohol everything gets better. You want to know when it gets better? When you get better. If you want your life to change then you have to change. Straight up changing the use of substances or stopping uses that’s absolutely a positive change, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the end-all be-all.

 

Let’s see what Jess said. “That’s very similar to my upbringing being around constant cigarette smoke from my family and my two siblings became smokers. I never touched a single one because of always hating to be around it.” Yeah that’s really it. Then there could be someone that in your situation Jess would say, “I started smoking at the age of 13 because it felt so normal to me because everyone around me was doing it. So I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.” So that’s the individuality that I’m talking about, that’s the power of choice that sometimes we think we don’t have. So Katalin, “Yes the difference is that now we see the other problems more clearly, but that’s okay, we can deal with them.” Yeah, she’s talking about when she discontinues the use of alcohol you’re able to see the other problems more clearly. The only time you can actually see things and resolve them is when you can see them clearly. Not behind goggles. And you’re able to see them and you’re like, alright I have to deal with this right now because if I don’t, if I just sweep it under the rug, what’s gonna happen? The smell is going to come out sooner or later.

 

  1. Number five that I have here is facing fears. And these fears can be internal and these fears can be external, but we have to face our fears. What are some of our fears? The fear of intimacy, the fear of trusting people, the fear of getting sober, the fear of trying something and failing, the fear of trying something and actually succeeding, the fear of not being able to do the things I used to do, the fear of trying something I’ve never done before. We have to face our fears and if you’re wondering why, because everything that you want in your life is on the other side of your fear. Everything you want is on the other side of fear. We have an acronym system in the rooms of recovery. Fear is spelled f-e-a-r so we have an option with this word. You can either ‘Face Everything And Recover,’ or ‘F— Everything And Run.’ So when you’re faced with your fear you got two options – you deal with it, you face it, and you recover from it, and you learn something from it. Or you just say this is too much for me, I’m out the other way. That choice is yours, my friends, that choice is yours. 

 

Thank you, I appreciate it, I’m not there yet Adrian, I got three days but I’m only doing half the talk today so I’m not taking no friends. I got three days but hey, I appreciate you. If you guys ever see big Adrian Lopez I think he’s got a lot of comedy stuff, go check them out in person. I’ve known for probably seven years now, a little longer than that, nine years now, good member of our sober community, go give him some love.

 

  1. The next one that I have on, number six, is embracing your failures. Embracing failures. Now let’s see what Rula said. Okay Rula, I’m gonna try to answer this to the best of my ability. “Is it possible that it’s genetic if one member of family uses drugs, one of the parents, is it possible that one of the kids would inherit the genes to be receptive for using drugs?” So this is a very good question and I’m gonna do my best to answer it because I believe a lot of people have the same question. I am not going to sit here and say that genes and genetics don’t play a role in how we express ourselves and how it manifests and how it shows up in life, but I don’t want anybody in life to ever think that just because their mom or dad or grandparents had substance abuse issues, or were alcoholics or drug addicts, that because of that that they too will become that. That is categorically false. See it’s not the genes that get passed down from generation to generation that makes people engage in the use of substances. It’s the environment in which alcoholism and addiction exists. For example, if you have an alcoholic father and that alcoholic father comes home every night and is angry or is emotionally disconnected and it creates a space in life that the kid feels scared, or the kid feels unheard, or unseen, and they feel their parent doesn’t care about them, if they feel all those things and all of a sudden that kid goes one day and starts drinking alcohol, and all of a sudden it feels warm and feels comfortable, it feels happy and feels passionate, and feels they are okay, all of a sudden it wasn’t because they had the alcoholic gene. It’s because alcohol gave to them something that they were missing from their environment. So the environments of addiction get passed down which creates the same behaviors in them. That’s what I truly believe. We always have that nature versus nurture argument. I know nature has something to do with it but I’m telling you it’s mostly nurtured because I know many people and Rula, I know people over I’m talking about more than a thousand people, that despite of any type of alcoholism and addiction in their family despite of having the potential gene, all that kind of stuff, they do not use. It doesn’t express itself in their lives because they chose for it not to. It’s treatable. I can’t say things are curable because I’ve seen other people come around later on in life and they can struggle again but it’s treatable on a daily basis, and I hope that helped you, I really do. I can do a longer time I try to answer your question in two minutes but that’s an hour response that I really would need to give.

 

“Another acronym for fear: Future Expectations Appearing Real.” Absolutely, absolutely and they’re never really good ones. It’s always the negative ones that scare you. And alcoholism helps us escape from trauma. So what do we got here? Oh the facing fears and some of them are external fears, internal and external, so we just gotta take them on head on and really handle them. I’m sorry, I was on embracing failure, that’s when she popped in. Sorry, my apologies, I just want to make sure I covered all that. So embracing failure is a part of every successful person’s story, it really is. We sometimes think that if I do something and I fail that means I’m a failure. No you’re not, people. Show me someone who’s never failed in their life and I’ll show you someone who’s never tried. Damn that was good huh. Show me someone who’s never failed in anything in their life and I’ll show you someone who’s never tried in anything in their life. Because if you try things you will fail. I say every week. Failure is not a bd thing. Failure is an awesome thing because it teaches us so much about what to do if we ever did it again. And then we got choices. Then our failure becomes where our wisdom exists. I’m a perfectionist and I’ve been a perfectionist since I was a child and that’s why substance abuse was a very weird thing for me. If you think about it, if someone’s a perfectionist why would they destroy their entire life? So imagine that the conflict that I was in but I’ve learned the beauty of failure even as a perfectionist because then it just allows me to perfect my craft a little bit even more with every failure. There’s a book called The Spirituality of Imperfection, a pretty good book. It makes you kind of become friends with your perfectionism if you struggle with it. I liked it, it helped me out. But yeah, it’s an important thing for sure, to embrace it rather than reject it, or run from it, or be ashamed of it. It’s really good to be able to just own our failures. If you’ve tried something with your loved one and your child and it didn’t work out don’t be hard on yourself. It just taught you a lesson of what not to do again. But the parents that do something and it doesn’t work despite of professional guidance they do something doesn’t work and they fail through it when they repeat it again it’s still another lesson but you’re going against some evidence, you’re going against some personal evidence that it didn’t work once. You do it the second or third time. It really isn’t about that no more. 

 

  1. So the next one that we have is number seven, doing the right thing, especially when no one is watching. This is very important right here because when we do the right thing when no one is watching, it creates this thing called integrity. Integrity for example, Integrity of furniture means it’s really strong and sturdy. Integrity of a human being allows them to not break despite of circumstances around them really really wanting to break them, despite of people around them, people, places and things really trying to break them. Integrity makes us stay whole and complete despite of circumstances. How do we develop our integrity? Do the right thing when no one’s watching. Do the right thing when no one’s watching, and that’s how we get to experience it. It’s a powerful, powerful thing. And in the early stages it’s easy to kind of do all the right things and say all the right things because you feel if the spotlight’s on and everyone’s watching and all that kind of stuff, but down the line when no one’s around who are you, and what are you doing, and how are you living your life? 

 

  1. And the very last one for today’s talk that I have is understanding and implementing personal values. So you got to clearly define what your values are. President John F Kennedy said, “Stand for something or you will fall for anything.” So you got to make sure what are the things in my life that I stand for, what are your values? Are they honesty? Are they integrity? Are they healthy communication? Because if they are, every time you’re dishonest, every time you have no integrity, every time you communicate with passive aggressiveness, or with anger, you are living incongruent to your values. And what happens if we live incongruent to our values? That’s where a lot of stuff, frustration and guilt and shame, and lack of passion, and lack of motivation, lack of drive lives. When our values and our actions align that’s one of the strongest version of ourselves. And if you don’t know what your values are go online, look at values clarification exercises, identify your top 10 most important values, and then live by them. You’ll transform your experience. When you live by your values, if someone says my values is health and they’re eating crap and they’re sitting on a couch and they’re not moving, their values and their actions do not align. Therefore they’re going to feel bad about themselves. They might even go to the point of saying, “I don’t like myself, I hate myself.” But if someone says my values is health and they eat clean and they don’t consume crap on television and they go outside for an hour walk every day, all of a sudden they start to feel better and say, “I kind of like myself.” Values, actions, align them, it’s a positive thing. 

 

And what did Marilyn say here? “Well in my mind it’s just a stumbling block.” Absolutely, we just gotta get up and move on, take on to the next 100, Marilyn. It’s some of these stumbling blocks – they build on each other and they allow us to eventually stand on them and see places we otherwise couldn’t see. So please tell me whoever’s watching, we got a lot of people watching this today, tell me what your takeaway is from today’s talk and we’ll put some up on the board and once we do we’ll kind of go from there. So hopefully this was some good stuff. This is only part one. Part two is next week. Part two is next week. So let’s see what some of your takeaways are from today’s talk and I’ll let you out of here. And again real quick, for anyone who came on late, every Tuesday 6:30 p.m Pacific Standard Time, Huntington Beach, California, in-person support group, free of charge, facilitated by myself. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come. There’s no sales gimmick, you don’t need your credit card, you don’t need your checkbook, you just need to come there to get some support for your mental health of yourself, maybe someone else going through the process, and to be able to create a little strong community and see what we can do from it. So thank you, for the thank you for the birthday wishes. They are on Tuesday I said so again not taking any fronts, cuz! Appreciate you guys, thank you. “Failure can translate to new opportunities with clear visions and responsibility.” Damn right, love the reminder of remembering our why. 100%! “Finding support and sticking with it.” “Learn, learn, learn, God bless you!” God bless you too, that’s a good one! “More deeply at myself and my plans.” That’d be another great session, thank you. Alright, so it’s all coming in right now. There’s some more, early congrats for 15 years, it will be after, yep I know it’ll be after but it’s okay. “Awareness brings change and challenges.” Look at this, all the students are becoming teachers now! Pretty soon I could just sit back and let everybody do whatever they got there. What did Marilyn say? “Everything that you talked about today is such an inspiration for all of us to follow. Using our life on this journey to be trained.” Yeah, that’ll make, that’s what I want for my birthday. Follow this stuff and let’s see where the journey takes you. but that’s what I got. I love and appreciate all of you. I will see you next week, same time, same place. Family education support. Have a wonderful wonderful week everyone, 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.

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.