In the world of addiction, making amends means that you apologize or do whatever you feel is necessary to make up for whatever you did to them in the past, while you were in your addiction. It is a cleansing of sorts, a starting fresh on a new page, turning over a new leaf and not going back to where you were. In general everyone should be trying to make amends to the people they’ve hurt in the past. It is not only addictive people who have to make amends because of their behavior. We have all done things that we regret doing, sometimes we realize right away, sometimes later. Whenever we realize that what we did or said was not alright is when we should be apologizing. When we don’t, whatever it is that we’ve done sits between, you and the person you did it to, like the elephant in the room no one mentions. You know it’s there, you feel it’s there, but no one says anything. This usually results in the relationship breaking apart because at least one of you are not going to be able to keep up the pretense. Admitting you are wrong and apologizing takes courage for some of us. It is necessary though, if you want to keep the relationship, if you care about it and the person you’ve hurt. We’ve all made mistakes that we wish we could take back from time to time. That’s just part of being a human being. It’s owning your mistakes and making amends for them that is difficult. We all seem to think that being perfect is the end goal for this life. It’s not. Being a good person is the end goal for this life. Being a good person entails owning up to what you’ve done to others that may have hurt them. It means owning up to the mistakes you’ve made to the people who mistake involved. That takes courage and a strength of character that is not seen too much anymore. It takes integrity. We all have it, even if we’ve never used it, it’s there waiting to come out. Like most things the muscle you exercise is the one that is the strongest. If you begin to exercise the ownership of mistakes and wrongful things, you will soon find yourself owning them immediately. It will refresh your soul and lighten your heart. Like a lot of things based in fear, you will need to let go of the fear, of needing to be right and looking bad among your friends or maybe just being human like everyone else. The following link will help you to let go of those things that are holding you back from removing the elephant in the room.
Most of us make choices on a daily basis without even thinking about it. Some of us will spend more time thinking about the more important choices. Some of us genuinely do not care about some choices and only engage in what we consider the more important ones. If you grew up in dysfunction, you probable have trouble making choices. You rely upon other people to make them for you. The reason for this is because when you were with your family of origin and you made choices and they were never right. No matter how much or well you thought about something, the choice you made was wrong. Usually because it did not benefit them. Anytime you stepped out of the role you served for them, was wrong. Anything that may have benefited you alone, was wrong. Anything that placed you out of the role they made for you, was wrong. If you are now an adult and out of that role, you should be aware of the fact that you no longer have to be afraid to make decisions that benefit only you. Even if you are involved with a person who is trying to put you into that role, as an adult you can and should resist any efforts. You should get away from people who would place you in those positions. You have a right to make decisions that benefit you, make your life better. You will have to let go of the fear that drives the inability to make choices for yourself. The fear that allows you to give that power to someone else. If you let go of the fear, you can take your power back. The following link will help you to let go and replace it with your own power to live your life the way you want.
Being sick and tired of being sick and tired is usually an indication of being ready to change the behavior you’re sick and tired of doing. That behavior can be something you are doing or something someone else is doing. Either way you are ready for it to change. You have made a decision to make it change. The decision may involve you changing your own behavior or making a decision about how much or what you will tolerate in someone else. If the change is about you it is relatively easy to change something. It will take 3 weeks of continually catching yourself doing whatever it is that you want to change and replacing it with a new, more acceptable behavior. It will also take another 3 weeks of practicing that behavior to make the new behavior a habit. If it is about someone else, do not expect that they will change for you. You do not have the right to ask. You do have the right to tell them what it is that is bothering you. You should be as clear as you can so they will understand how much it is bothering you. The change, or not, will be up to them. If they do not or will not change, you will have other decisions to make. How much does this behavior bother you? What are you going to do about it? If it bothers you so much that you can no longer tolerate it let them know that. If they still will not change it, you will need to decide what you will do about it. Will you stay or will you go? Is this behavior so abhorrent to you that you have to leave? Is this behavior so bad that you cannot accept this behavior anymore or the person that is doing it? Do you have to leave in order for you to be alright with yourself and this person? Does this behavior change your feelings about this person to the point that you have to leave? Do you no longer love and respect this person? If you answered those questions with the realization that you have to leave, then leave. Do not use this information as ammunition or to manipulate the other person, threatening to leave, but not doing it. Just do it. Remember you have no right to make another person do anything they do not want to do. You have no control over what, if anything, they do or do not do. You only have control over what you do, think and say. The following link will help you to let go of the need to make this person do what you want, just because you want. It will help you to let go of the need to control what other people think, say and do. You do not have that right.
I have worked with a lot of families throughout my career, both directly and through supervision of Bachelor and master level clinicians. They have come through the BHRS (Behavioral health Rehabilitative Services) system looking for an answer for their child. Sometimes they have been sent there by the school, sometimes by the courts and sometimes by parents looking for answers for their child’s behavior. A child is relatively simple. They need their parents to love them, set limits for them, help them with problems that come up for them at home, in school, on the bus and in the community. They need to be guided by an adult because they are still children and don’t know what to do. That adult can be at home, in the community, on the bus or at school, it takes a village. It doesn’t have to be harsh, it can be someone saying to them “No, that’s not a good idea because you could get hurt or hurt someone else” then explain why. If you are a parent and you’re paying attention to your child, you know when they are having a problem. In today’s society organizations are so afraid of being sued that they do not get involved with what is going on with your child, unless your child has broken some kind of rule. Then your child is the problem, even though this problem has been going on for some time without being dealt with in an appropriate manner. Your child is now the scapegoat for that particular situation and will be labeled for the rest of their school life. An example of what I am talking about is as follows: There were two boys that started school together. One of these boys was the son of a teacher and the other a child from the same neighborhood. The teachers son began bullying the other boy, taking his lunch, pushing him in the hallway, making him fall on the playground by tripping him, throwing things at him during class while the teacher was writing on the board. The boy’s mother had been in school complaining many, many times. The school claimed they could not do anything because no teacher ever witnessed any of the events. These boy’s are now in 5th grade and all of these things have been going on since kindergarten. Both boy’s are an academic success and never in any real trouble, except the fact that the one boy’s mother keeps complaining about the other boy. One day at lunch the teachers son throws peas at the other boy who is sitting across the table from him. The boy who had been picked on by this child since kindergarten leaps across the table at the other child and begins to hit him and shove peas in the child’s mouth. The school is now involved because they have a zero tolerance for violence. The boy is sent to BHRS and cannot come back to school until he is cleared by a Psychologist. The parents comply and this child tells his story. The school wanted him medicated to control his violent behavior. BHRS sent him back to school cleared and asking that the other boy come into services because of his violent behavior. Whether the school witnessed anything or not, it needed to step up and address this issue after the second or third time the child’s mother came in to complain. It should not have been allowed to go on for 5 years. Neither of these children need medication. Even the bully. He needs his mother to stop trying to hide the fact that her son is a bully and allow him to take responsibility for his behavior. He needs to accept the consequences for his behavior. He needs to make amends. Apologize to the children he has been bullying and to their parents for causing the problems that happened as a result of his behavior. He needs to make reparations for the damage he had caused. Medication does not solve the problem, most problems in the mental health system are solved by someone acknowledging the fact that they exist and then doing something concrete about it. That requires hard work, emotional work, facing things you may not want to face and then doing something about it. Medication will not solve it. When you medicate a growing body, you can alter the chemistry within that body permanently. We do not know how exactly that happens. All of the children that have been medicated by psyotrophic drugs have been part of a longitudinal study on what will happen to children who have been medicated for long periods of time. We should know a little bit about what that is because we have an entire generation of children who have been medicated due to poor interactions with the adults in their life, not just parents but all of the other adults in their life that they have encountered and chose to look the other way. It takes a village.
Doing the right things takes courage theses days. A lot of the times you are standing alone. No one is standing with you except God and then only if you believe. Medicating a child only makes the child subdued, it does not fix the underlying causal factor. That could be anything from poor parenting to molestation and rape. Most children will behave, want to behave. If they’re not there is a reason. If you take the time to find out what that might be and then work with the child to fix it, it will go away and the child will behave. It is only when the adults in that child’s life fail that they act out and misbehave. Children are not adults, they are people who are being formed by what you are and are not doing. They are being formed by every singe adult in their life. If you are a parent, teacher, neighbor, Judge, Police or Clergy and you are looking the other way at things that should be addressed, you’re teaching that child that it is okay to do whatever is being overlooked. The child will not be able to discern that they are only getting away with it because they are the teachers son. They are being taught that it is okay to do because that child is getting away with it, because none of the adults said that it wasn’t. You are then responsible for that child doing whatever it was you were trying not to address. Not the child. Did you punish yourself? Probable not. Letting go of the lack of courage, building the strength and courage it takes to address the system and make them responsible seems like an untenable task. You don’t have to change the entire system, you just have to make them responsible for their part of the particular situations you’re dealing with at the time. That will be more than enough to handle because they will fight you with everything they have. You will have to teach your child right from wrong no matter what the outcome might be. The following link will help you to let go of the need to be right and for the powers that be to agree with you. That probable won’t happen. You will be okay anyway.
There are a lot of practical people around. People who can practical apply any thought, need, wanting or even theory to whatever it is that you’re looking for at the time. They can actually do the work that someone else or even themselves have thought up. Sometimes they don’t even need it written out or drawn out for them, the picture they have in their heads is enough. They use their common sense to figure out many of those things. They don’t always have book intelligence, things that are learned in books or told to us in a classroom or somewhere else and we retained. People who are practical will exhibit common sense in what they do and you can see their intelligence through their common sense. People who have intelligence do not always have common sense, however. They cannot always practically apply what they are thinking to what is in their heads. We give great credence to people who have intelligence, book knowledge and not enough to those people who can actually do the work that others think up. Knowing something from a book, has a place, but so does being able to practically apply that knowledge. Practical people can see the lack of common sense in others, intelligent people cannot see the lack of common sense in themselves or in others. They usually think they have all the answers, if only the world would listen to them. People with common sense know they don’t have all of the answers, no singular person does. If we could learn to work together, see each individual as significant and important to the whole, we could learn to use people for their gifts instead of using them for what we can get out of them for our own purposes. Letting go of our selfishness and greed would be necessary for that to happen. The following link will help you to let go of those things that are stopping you from uniting with the people around you.
In my line of work and in science there are a lot of theories. Theories are not facts. They are working hypothesis. They are the way you’re going to prove what you think might be true. It doesn’t make it true until you actually prove it. There are actual facts that go from your hypothesis to the fact. There are no missing pieces between the beginning of your theory to the end. If there is, it is still a working hypothesis. That is why it is called a theory. No one has the answer yet. There are a lot of theories about a lot of different mental health issues. There are a lot of theories about health issues. There are a lot of theories about how we got here. There is no one thing that will help everyone because we are so different. It also takes your participation. There will be missing pieces because we are all so different. Nothing is totally right for everyone. Even Darwin’s hypothesis has missing links in his theory that cannot be built upon until they find them. It will remain a theory until they do, otherwise you build a house of cards that will fall in the first good breeze.
A good therapist will work within the theory. The working hypothesis that works for the majority of people and tweak it to suite you. They will not try to force you into what works for the majority, even though they may use that theory as a basis. They will ask for your participation and expect it because without it, what you’re trying to do will fail. There are not magic wands to wave, no noses to twitch, no pill to take that will make the pain you’re feeling go away. There is only hard work, emotional work, mental work. There is letting go of what is no longer working for you and opening your mind to something new. It is changing your own behavior to something that you can be at peace about and stop needing to come to people like me. The following link will help you to let go of those things that are no longer working for you.
I am thankful for my family. My children, children-in-law, grandchildren, sisters, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. nieces and nephews in-law, first, second and third cousins. I am thankful for great friends. I am thankful for my home, food in my mouth, clothes on my back, an income, my health, unconditional love of my family, the gifts and talents that God has given me, the people who I help with those gifts and talents, the gift of forgiveness both in the giving and the receiving, I am grateful for those people in my life that have challenged me to continue to be me no matter what happened, I am thankful for my faith, hope, charity, gratitude, loving, giving and this day to celebrate all of those things. I say all of that each morning when I start my day. It is not a once a year thing for me or something that happens only during Thanksgiving and Christmas and then forgotten. I recognize that nothing in this life is assured, it is not stable or secure. It can change in a heart beat. So, I am grateful for what I have a long as I have it. When it is gone I will be grateful for whatever comes next. An attitude of gratitude is necessary for me to keep a positive attitude in my life and I am grateful for that as well. Life is not easy, nor do I have the expectation that it will ever get easier. different, yes. Easier? No. I have no control over what comes next most of the time, but I do have control over how I handle each situation. I can choose to find the positive, find the humor and something to be grateful for within each one. Being thankful and grateful for what there is in your life is a gift that you give yourself. Letting go of the need to control, letting go of the need to hold on to things that you have no control over is necessary in order to find those things for which you can be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!