Sunday, November 27, 2016

Love Addicts List of Recovery Tips: Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Love Addicts List of Recovery Tips

1. Don’t ever, ever give up! Recovery is possible. If you slip, get right back up – or, as the old saying goes: “Fall 7 times; get up 8!”
2. Learn everything you can about your addiction.
3. Stick to your treatment program, even when you don’t feel like it. Attend every session.
4. Don’t compromise your personal values just to fulfill an urge.
5. Have a game plan in place for those times when temptation rears its ugly head.
6. Keep a log of all the times you are successful – this will help keep you motivated during the most difficult times because you’ll see how far you’ve come.
7. It’s okay to desire “Mr. Right” or “Ms. Right” – BUT, don’t make it your highest priority or put your life on hold while you’re waiting – the more fully you live your life, the more attractive you will be to that right person for you when he or she comes along.
8. Don’t try to be someone other than who you really are.
9. No matter how low you feel, never put yourself down – truly be your own best friend and treat yourself with the same respect you would treat any dear friend.
10. Learn to forgive yourself and others. Holding grudges takes a lot of energy, and the underlying hurt and anger can be a trigger for giving into urges.
11. Don’t try to manipulate someone in an attempt to make them stay with you.
12. Don’t look to others to validate you – that must come within. The more you believe in yourself and value yourself, the more others will admire and respect you.
13. Don’t ever settle for Mr. or Ms. Wrong because you’re scared of being alone – you’ll just end up exchanging one type of pain for another.
14. Don’t dwell on past mistakes or regrets. Accept that you can’t change the past, forgive yourself, and focus on the present and the future.
15. Don’t make perfection a goal – it will never be attainable. Instead, strive to be excellent.
16. Surround yourself with trustworthy people who will support you while treating you with the respect you deserve.
17. Take responsibility for the decisions you have made.
18. When you’re feeling alone or scared, find opportunities to spend time with others in a healthy environment. This may include volunteer work or participating in support groups.
19. Remember that being alone does not mean you are worthless or undeserving of love.
20. Make time in your life to focus on something you are passionate about or that gives you a strong sense of purpose.
21. Rid your life of anything or anyone that is toxic or not good for you. This may include bad habits, a relationship with someone toxic, or replacing an old bad habit with a healthy new one. (Note – don’t try to do this all at once – just focus on one or two things or people at a time.)
22. Visualize often of a life without this addiction. Imagine yourself living that life right now, not some day down the road.
23. Learn something new that you enjoy. Focusing on a new task or project is a great way to ward off intrusive thoughts.
24. Make sure that your expectations of yourself as well as others is realistic.
25. Always stay focused on your goals and be true to your heart.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, it will hopefully help you see the importance of getting treatment for your love addiction.
FOR HELP call us TODAY PH 0432 944 027: Email 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Addiction Recovery Coaching Ideal Solution: Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Addiction Recovery Coaching the Ideal Solution for Professionals.

The most common reason that people give for not wanting to go through drug or alcohol rehab is that they are afraid of the social or professional ramifications. Specifically, they are most afraid that entering any type of rehabilitation program will damage their careers in some way.

Studies have shown that about 3 million people in Australia have a drug,alcohol, gambling or sex addiction for which they never seek professional help. Not only are these individuals damaging their physical and mental health, they are also putting their safety, and the safety of others, at great risk.

Ramifications of Seeking Help

Since so many people are afraid to seek help for their addictions, it is important to try to understand their reasoning. Many people believe that if they enter any type of addiction treatment, they will either be ostracised at work or fired from their jobs. Even if they have insurance coverage that would pay for at least a portion of their addiction treatment expenses, these individuals are still reluctant to seek help because they are afraid of their employers’ reactions.

Researchers have discovered that people’s fears are often greater than the realities that would be facing them if they would only come forward and admit to needing help. For example, someone who is addicted to alcohol might feel so guilty and self-conscious about their problem that they are afraid if they come forward, others will judge them as harshly as they are judging themselves.

While it certainly is possible for people to experience negative reactions from co-workers or employers when it becomes known that they have some type of addiction, the reality is that most often the reactions of others are not nearly as bad as people anticipate they will be.

Why Addiction Recovery Is Important

A very important thing to remember is that your health is the most important thing in your life. Even in these tough economic times, your health and well being is still more important than a job. In addition, statistics have shown that people are actually more likely to keep their jobs if they get help for their addiction than they are if they simply let their addictions go untreated.

Think about it: If you are addicted to drugs,alcohol,gambling, or sex etc,, your life at some point is going to begin to unravel and, eventually, it will probably begin to spin out of control. If your addictions become the focal point of your life, you will probably wind up losing your job because of poor attendance or poor performance. As a general rule, people who regularly use drugs or abuse alcohol are much more likely to become chronically unemployed, as they will reach a point where they are simply no longer capable of holding down a job.

People who receive addiction help, on the other hand, not only stand a better chance of keeping the jobs they already have, they are also far more likely to obtain better jobs after they have completed help. Even if you find it necessary to quit your job or take a leave of absence while you are going through treatment, you are likely to be able to find another job once you have embraced your recovery.

Finding Support

Having a healthy support system is essential for people who are going through addiction recovery.  For professionals or sports people Residential rehab facilities are not ideal in regards to maintaining confidentiality. Recovery Coaching provides the support and a structured plan for getting people into a quality and sustainable recovery. Recovery Coaching provides a highly personalised process that can be maintained even while the individual continues their professional obligations and with absolute confidentiality.

If you are really worried about losing your job, your best option is to engage a highly experienced Addiction Recovery Coach.  It isn’t necessary that you tell your boss or co-workers. Always remember that you are entitled to your privacy and that your treatment is nobody else’s business.

If you or someone you love is in the grips of any addiction call us today in confidence for immediate help. Robert Frank Mittiga RECOVERY Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Australia PH 0432 944 027 (7days)  Email
Confidentiality and privacy assured.

LOVE and/or Sex Addictions serious triggers for Drug /Alcohol RELAPSE: Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

LOVE and/or Sex Addictions serious triggers for Drug /Alcohol RELAPSE
In my 15 years of helping individuals and their loved ones in the grips of addiction, I have come to understand that love and sex addiction is far more common than most people and even professionals realise. In fact in my experience most people I have helped have all had some element of love or sex addiction or both, even if they presented primarilarly with alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction etc. What is most important about this in helping individuals from my experience is that if these deep underlying core addictions are not addressed in treatment, then they remain serious “triggers” for the alcoholic, drug addict etc, back to their presenting addictions and often serious relapse.

A classic example of this was Chris who stopped using his drug of choice, meth/ice and alcohol but had not fully addressed his underlying emotional issues. Then one warm January night I received a call from the police lock up asking that I go and bail out Chris from the holding cells. He had been arrested for masturbating and exposing himself to a female in another car beside his whilst he was stopped at the lights on a main road. He was also high on Meth.

Chris had never spoken about this behaviour in treatment. His shame was too overwhelming. Once I got him out he broke down and divulged to me that he had been acting out in this way for several years, and had been cautioned once before for similar behaviour. In fact this behaviour came before the drugs and alcohol. The drugs and alcohol where part of what I describe as “Addiction Interaction Disorder”. Addictions more than coexist, they interact, reinforce, become part of one another. They become packages. Chris had come from a very rigid religious family background, where he grew up being told sex and sexual behaviour was “bad” “dirty” and only reserved for marriage and producing children. Chris’s mother also did not provide any form of physical affection, in fact he told me he could never remember his mother ever giving him a hug or even telling him she loved him. It is not hard to work out that Chris’s very core had been terribly shamed, along with his desperate need for love which he had totally sexualised in an extremely distorted manner. 

This is not uncommon, perhaps not as extreme, however many find themselves transferring their drug or alcohol addiction, to the obsessive pursuit of love, romance, sex or relationships. Some who used to be hooked on drugs may now obsessively search for a romantic or sexual partner, pick up strangers at 12 step meetings, masturbate compulsively, have multiple affairs, or spend much of their day looking at pornography or seeking out partners online.

For some women early recovery may present new challenges, some the challenge of being alone, feeling worthless or unloved when not in a relationship, or needing the attention of prospective partners to boost self-esteem can all point to a deeper issue of sex and relationship addiction. Women may start using drugs with their partners or cruising for partners in bars, clubs and other places where drug and alcohol use is prevalent. Not only are these hook-ups distracting and dysfunctional, but they also put the recovering addict at increased risk of drug relapse.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Long-term consequences of being raised by a narcissistic parent: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

You know that feeling you get when you’re visiting your mother for holidays, you bring her gifts and all she says to you is ‘I don’t really know if this shirt will fit me. Couldn’t you get me something else?’ Then, you help her set the dinner table and she controls your every move-you should use these plates and not those or this set of forks, they’re new.
This is how it was for me to be around my mother. Even though, I love her, our relationship was turbulent, much like the one between Charlotte and Eva, the two protagonists in the 1978 movie, ‘Autumn sonata‘.
Charlotte is a renowned concert pianist who comes to visit her daughter, Eva, after a seven-year absence. During the visit, she discovers that her second daughter, Helena is slowly fading from a degenerative disease, while Eva is torn between loving and hating her. It was eerie to see Charlotte’s cold behavior in the movie and her lack of empathy towards her daughter’s pain. It reminded me of my mom.
However, even though the effects of being brought up by a narcissistic parent are long-lasting, it is possible to handle the anxiety that comes from such experience. Here are seven ways on how narcissism impacts adult children negatively:

1. People-pleasing behavior

It is common for an adult child of a narcissistic mother for exanmple, to become a people pleaser. The explanation of why this happens is this: when the child is raised by a mother whose main concern is her unresolved issues and pain, the child becomes enmeshed with her.
The child will often ask himself what is wrong with him for making his mother so upset. He’ll think that, if he will extend himself to his mother, then he’ll receive the love he yearns from her.

2. Low self-esteem

Very often, children of narcissistic parents grow up feeling not good enough in everything they do. This is because they were corrected since young age and told that they always do the wrong things. I would often hear from my mother how I do things the ‘wrong’ way. For example, she would show me how to fold clothes and if I did it wrong, she’d say that she rather do it herself because, I can’t do it the way she wants me to. A narcissistic mother is never pleased with how others are doing things.
She sets high standards for herself that only few people can reach. That’s why, the child will feel like he’s lacking something. After years of being told that he’s doing things wrongly, he ends up thinking that it must be something wrong with him. He’ll not feel comfortable in relationships and will try to make others love him by ‘performing’ for them.
At one point in ‘Autumn Sonata‘, Eva performs for her mother a piece of classical music. Due to the fact that playing piano was not her forte but writing was, the daughter’s interpretation sounded bland.
But, instead of letting this go, her mother Charlotte took the spotlight and showed her how to play Chopin like a pro. She didn’t need to say anything to Eva so she would feel inferior and unworthy. Her hurtful actions were enough to show her daughter how she is not good enough. For a narcissistic mother, being competitive is a way of life. She wants to be better than everyone else, to win at all times, even during arguments.

3. Lack of a sense of self and direction

When you are raised by a narcissistic parent (s), you might realise you have no self. During childhood, even though your parent might have tried to give you attention and care, there wasn’t any opportunity for you to express yourself. The narcissistic parent needs to live through his/her children, thus, the children are not allowed to have different thoughts, values and dreams. If they show signs of being different, they are made to feel guilty. Thus, the child needs to be what the parent wants him/her to be. That’s how the child ends up denying their own self.

4. Lack of boundaries

A narcissistic parent makes you become enmeshed with them, much like how Eva was enmeshed with her famous mom. She had no idea who she was, why did she learn piano at an early age, why was she trying to impress Charlotte by playing Chopin for her.
There is no clear distinction between you and your parent, you have the same needs and aspirations. That is why, the child grows up thinking that everybody can ask anything from him and he/she will have to comply. The adult child will be upset with other people’s boundaries and feel insecure about his own abilities to support strong and healthy relationships.

5. Anxiety, panic attacks, addiction or depression

Because there is no sense of self in the adult child of narcissists, the adult will often ask him/herself what do they want to do with their life. Is it OK to do say this and that? Is it allowed to feel like this? This insecurity becomes stressful in time. The adult child can’t trust themselves, thus, it will be difficult to trust others, as well.
In relationships, the adult child won’t know how to express his/her own needs and feelings. Due to this frustration, he/she might resort to drinking, gambling, eating, obsessing or panicking in order to cope.

6. Difficulty in establishing healthy relationships

The adult child of a narcissistic mother for example, would be afraid of being abandoned or rejected by the person he loves. Although we’re all afraid at some level, to be left by our partner with whom we share so many great things, the adult child of narcissists is constantly terrified of saying or doing something wrong. He believes that, if he does something wrong, his partner will pack their bags and hit the road without them.
The adult child of narcissists would be attracted to emotionally unavailable partners or highly critical of others. If he/she enters a relationship with someone who offers them unconditional love, they will feel anxious and undeserving. The adult child also feels that he/she needs to keep the partner happy and fulfilled, even if this means to ignore his own needs. Sometimes this can lead to domestic violence.
Generally the adult child of narcissists will ignore their needs in relationships with friends and significant others. It is an automatic  and unconcious behaviour of putting everyone first. In recovery you have to learn how to acknowledge your needs and look at relationships as being two-sided. Both partners should give and have a chance to express themselves, without judgment.

7. Narcissistic personality disorder

Therapists say that, if you can’t fight a parent while growing up, you will choose to become like them. Why? Because that is the easiest and most convenient option. For a child to survive in an abusive environment, he needs to become similar to the people around them. It’s like a defense mechanism.
We will imitate the narcissistic parent and often find ourselves manipulating others or putting them down. If we don’t question our actions and seek HELP, we might develop an unhealthy type of narcissism that will hurt those around us.
N.B: We must remember that we all have a narcissistic side in us. It is important to have it so we can develop a healthy self-esteem. However, there are two other types of narcissism that are not helpful.
There are people who are likely to manipulate others to get what they want. They are approval-seeking and depend on the need to feel special. These people like to provoke negative reactions in others and use them to fulfill their needs.
Another type of narcissism that is less discussed in the media is ‘echoism’. Echoism manifests through people pleasing behaviors and a poor sense of self. People with high levels of echoism put others first and think more of how to make others happy than how they feel. 

What can you do?

There are some things to consider if you were raised by a narcissist. First and foremost, seek therapy or counselling. It will help you discover how the world really is, how relationships should function, what is healthy mature love, how to self-soothe and create better opportunities for yourself.
Secondly, do your research. The more you read and talk about narcissism with others, the clearer the subject will become. It is not an easy topic, I know.
If you’re dealing with the psychological consequences of being raised by narcissistic parents, I want to tell you that you’re not alone. We will help you to accept that you weren’t given the love that you needed and  deserved and move forward, towards healing. 
If you idenify with any of the above please call us TODAY PH 0432 944 027or email us PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Drug Addiction warning signs of a friend or family member: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Warning signs that a friend or family member is abusing or addicted to drugs

Drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. If you’re worried that a friend or family member might be abusing drugs, look for the following warning signs:

Physical warning signs of drug abuse

* Bloodshot eyes or pupils that are larger or smaller than usual.  
* Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.   Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
* Deterioration of physical appearance and personal grooming habits.
* Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
* Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.

Behavioral signs of drug abuse

* Drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
* Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
* Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
* Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
* Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities).

Psychological warning signs of drug abuse

* Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
* Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
* Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
* Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
* Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason.

If you recognise that one of your friends or a family member is in the grips of drug addiction, then call us TODAY for immediate assistance.(7days) PH 0432 944 027

The most loving thing you can do for someone you love who is in the grips of drug addiction is to do whatever it takes to get them HELP.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Addiction: A Disease of Spirituality: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Addiction: A Disease of Spirituality

“Spirituality” is a vague term, but it means a lot…
especially for addicts and recovering addicts. Addiction affects your spirituality, which can be broadly defined as anything “of or relating to the spirit.” Your spirituality is your own individual path toward inner peace and happiness. It’s the quality of your spirit and the way you feel connected to the world around you.

Addiction affects your spirituality in a deeply devastating way.

Rather than follow your moral compass and do positive things, addiction sends you down a path of destruction and immoral acts. While some people use religion as a means of achieving a spiritual state, you do not need to believe in any higher power to be spiritual; it is simply a matter of right versus wrong.

As the disease of addiction grabs hold of your body, it is begins to affect your spirit. Gradually, as your addiction damages you physically, you begin to be broken down spiritually, too. You start by lying about your drug or alcohol use to others (as well as yourself). Eventually, you will forego your morals in order to get your fix, stealing and hurting others when necessary. You become a person who you and your loved ones don’t even recognize, because you are saying and doing things that you would’ve considered morally wrong in the past when you were sober.

Once you decide to quit using and get clean, you don’t automatically go back to being a totally moral person. When the fog of drugs and alcohol lifts, you will begin to remember your morals, and it will be easier for you to distinguish right from wrong. Truly repairing your spirituality, however, will take time. Unfortunately, immortality is a habit you’ll also need to break.

The flood of intense and confusing emotions that you need to deal with in recovery are mostly spiritual. It’s extremely common for people in recovery to feel guilty about immoral things they did during their active addiction. Forgiving yourself isn’t easy, but it is essential; if you can’t learn to feel good about the person you are in recovery, you’ll go back to your addiction.

In recovery, your spirituality can keep you strong. As you improve your spiritual side, you’ll be less likely to relapse. Fixing your moral and spirituality will require practice. The most important thing to start with is honesty. The recovery process demands honesty and truthfulness, starting with the admission to yourself and others that you are an addict. Most addicts become so used to and so good at lying that telling the truth can be extremely hard in early recovery.

Addiction fellowships (like AA and others) are meant to address spirituality and help members readjust their moral compasses. A strong support system (outside of a fellowship, too) can help you stay on the right moral track by providing positive guidance. It’s important to have people who make you feel “safe” so that you can be honest without fearing rejection.

Addiction is a physical disease,  but it’s also a disease of spirituality and morality. If you don’t seek help for addiction, you’re letting your spirit be crushed. Fortunately, damage to your spirit doesn’t have to be permanent – as long as you concentrate on your spirituality in recovery.


Monday, November 7, 2016


By Robert Mittiga 

Science is showing that recovery is possible....

1. Brains Recover
The data from new scientific studies on the brain’s healing from meth use is very good news. When tested, meth users who were abstinent for five years or more and non-meth using control subjects had similar neurochemical levels. In short, after 5 years the brain can often show no sign of meth destruction. In another study, a group of meth addicts were compared to a control group of age-matched non-meth users. Just upon quitting, the meth addicts performed far worse on measures of cognitive performance and neuropsychological functioning, as well as emotional distress. But, after a year of continuous abstinence from meth, these subjects performed comparably to the healthy control subjects.

2. Careers Recover
If you started using meth when young, you most likely never got the opportunity to start that career path you’d once imagined for yourself. But I personally know dozens of people who have recovered from meth use and gone back to finish high school and/or Uni to work in a field they love. If you started using later in life, you most likely torpedoed your career, perhaps beyond repair. But I know many former addicts who have reclaimed their once-thought lost careers.. And, on the flip side, I know just as many recovering addicts, who went on to wholly new and promising careers – often jobs more satisfying than the ones they had before becoming an addict. Sure, we usually have “recovery jobs” for a few years – those easier and simpler jobs that allow us to focus primarily upon our recovery in that first difficult year or two. And perhaps this recovery job will grow into something more career oriented, or get you through school, but either way there’s no rule that says you can’t dream big again career-wise (at any age).
The simple fact is the longer you stay clean and sober, the better your skills at life and work become and the more opportunities you have presented that you can capitalize upon – because you are clean and clear headed. It just takes time. Your career, like Rome, can’t be built in a day. But give it a few years of clean time and you’ll be amazed at where your life goes. This is one of the many reasons it’s good to go to recovery-based meetings: because there you will hear the stories of just such successes. You’ll hear of addicts who were just as bad off, or sometimes even worse, than you who have now made new lives for themselves. I know of one homeless addict who went from driving a shopping cart to a Mercedes. Sure it took her well over a decade of hard work in her new career of real estate to achieve this, but she did it. And I mention the fancy car as a symbol, not an end in itself. What’s most important is: today she is respected by her clients and coworkers. And she respects herself.
If you are new to recovery and a career that brings passion to your life seems so far out of reach as to be laughable, cheer up. That’s your brain today. Your brain a few months and then years from now will be much healthier and able to take on responsibilities that now you can’t begin to imagine. Stay clean and you’ll be amazed.

3. Relationships Recover
Here’s a big one. Our relationships can recover. Perhaps not all of them. It’s a sad truth that usually some relationships don’t survive our addiction to crystal meth. But what can definitely recover is our ability to have open and honest relationships once we get clean and sober. When using, we couldn’t be trusted to show up and participate in what it takes to be a good spouse, parent, child or friend. We were married to the drug. But once we got some clean time under our belts, we learned to show up and be responsible. We could again be counted on in times of crisis. (In my experience, the recovered addict is often one of the more solid people to have around in times of crisis just because they have survived living hell before, and so they have a larger perspective on life.)
But big miracles occur once we get clean and demonstrate, over time, that you can live life free of meth and other drugs. Those who had rightly learned to distrust us often come to love and trust us again. And rightly so.

4. Connection with a Higher Power Recovers (Spirituality)
A friend of mine, whom has gone on many a call to empty out a person’s home who died of an overdose, tells a familiar tale. When he gets to the dead meth addict’s home, there’s always a lot of at least two things – drug paraphernalia and books on spirituality. Why are so many meth addicts interested in spirituality? I think it’s because, while using meth, connection to that higher power (however you define it) is blocked.
Certain other drugs have a history of being used in connection with the pursuit of spirituality (peyote, acid, marijuana) and there’s a healthy debate about the validity of that, especially for those of us with an addictive personality. But I think that most of us can agree, meth takes one to a dark place where the light of spirituality doesn’t shine. As you recover from meth addiction it’s quite common, more common than not, I think, that we find ourselves actively seeking to rekindle a spiritual connection. Often this comes at the local church or synagogue, but just as often it’s a less organised more private affair. Either way, our deep longing to reconnect with a spirituality usually grows the longer we stay clean.
Even for those former addicts who are atheists, many will tell you they still have a strong sense of spirituality – or something close. It may be defined as a connection to a goodness or “loving kindness” in humanity, or to self awareness, or some other path that doesn’t involve a deity, but it’s a path of seeking nonetheless.
In Summary:
The truth is: YOU can recover and YOU will recover. Many have done it before YOU. Many will after.
New Year is your time. Join life. Join in recovery and leave the former darkness of your using life behind.
The message for a New Year is: You can do more than just quit your addiction to crystal meth – you can recover a life that’s truly worth living!
FOR HELP TODAY call ME 0432 944 027 Anytime



The real secret to getting the serenity that you want in recovery has to do with surrender. This is a difficult concept to grasp at first for most alcoholics and drug addicts because we initially believe that this is something that we have to achieve. That serenity is a goal to be met, something that we reach after we have gone through the proper checklist.

It generally does not work that way. Instead, achieving serenity in recovery is about letting go. It is a release. We have to turn it over in order to get the relief that we are seeking. Perhaps it is said best in the serenity prayer when we accept the things that are beyond our control.

Accepting the things that you cannot change

Obviously it is a not a good use of your time to fixate and obsess over the things that you have zero control over. The key is to recognize when you are doing that and then develop tactics and strategies to pull yourself out of those mental traps.

For example, maybe you are worried about a future event that is completely beyond your control, such as the inevitable death of a family member. What can you do in such a situation other than to let your mind dictate a mountain of worry to you each day? There are various approaches that you can take. For one thing, you should ask for help. If you go to an AA meeting, for example, and ask the group how they handle a situation in which they cannot seem to stop worrying about something, you will get all kinds of different suggestions as to things that you might try: Prayer and meditation, talking to your sponsor about the situation, writing in a journal about your worries, and so on. You don’t have to face anything alone any more now that you are in recovery. 

You can ask for help, you can share your worries, you can enlist the help of others to help manage your problems. In this way you don’t have to be trapped in your own mind any longer and buried under a mountain of worry and anxiety.

We all come to acceptance in various ways. You should give yourself a break when it comes to the acceptance process. What does that mean? It means that you need to take a step back and recognize that you are just doing the best that you can in life, and that if something comes up that is difficult for you to accept that it may take some time for you to work through it. Give yourself that time. Give yourself a break. Maybe someone close to you is dying–that is really tough for anyone to go through. So don’t beat yourself up just because you don’t have instant acceptance of the situation.

When we resist reality it creates frustration and anxiety for us. The answer in many cases is to accept reality instead and make peace with the world. But that is often easier said than done, which is why you need to be willing to ask for help.

The other part of the serenity prayer is about knowing when to resist reality and try to change the world versus just making peace with things and accepting things as they are. When do you make peace, and when do you try to change the world? The prayer says that this requires wisdom. If you don’t have that wisdom then you can borrow it from others. That’s right–other people in recovery may be wiser than you are. I know that this has definitely been the case for me in my own personal journey.

For example, when I first got clean and sober, I did not believe that anyone else knew how I could become happy again. I was miserable, I was even more upset that I had just quit drinking and taking drugs, and I felt as if I would never be happy again in my life. The old timers in AA and NA told me to just hold on for a minute, stay clean and sober, and that things would get better. They told me that I would find a new happiness in sobriety if I gave it a chance.

I did not believe them. This is important. I really did not believe them, not even a little bit. I thought they were stupid. Because I was different, you see. I was special. No one had ever loved drugs and alcohol nearly as much as I had, or so I believed. So when they told me that I would find a new happiness in sobriety I thought that they were stupid.

Well, I was wrong. They were wise and I was the stupid one. And so what I had to do was to trust them, I had to let go, I had to believe in them and trust in them and have a tiny shred of faith that they might just be right. And I did this, I decided to reserve judgement for a moment, even though I thought that they were all stupid. And I went to treatment and I stayed clean and sober for a while and then one day I looked back and I realized that I was no longer miserable. I did not even notice when this happened–the transformation just simply occurred when I wasn’t paying attention. I was too close to my own transformation that I did not see it happen. But it did. And suddenly I looked back and realized that I had not been miserable for a long while. For several weeks or even several months I had been what I would call “happy” in recovery. And yet I had thought that the people of AA were stupid for telling me that I would be happy again some day, that my life would transform in this way, that I could be happy again if I just trusted in them and did what they told me to do.

So this is surrender. You let go of everything, you let go of your own ideas about recovery and about addiction and about life. Let all of that stuff go because you don’t have the answers anyway. If you come into recovery and you are already happy then that doesn’t make any sense! Go away, you have all of the answers. No, people who come into recovery are miserable. They don’t have the answers. They are seeking. They don’t know how to be happy any more. They thought that happiness was in their drug of choice, but it turned out that they were wrong. And now they finally admit this to themselves, that their drug of choice does not lead them to happiness, and they don’t know what to do. They are miserable and they are at the end of the line. This is the turning point, the moment of surrender. You admit that you don’t know how to be happy, that you do not have the answers, and that you would like to be happy again. Someone can show you how to do this. You don’t know how, you can’t get there by yourself. You need help to figure it all out. Hence, you surrender. You ask for help. You let go of your old ideas and make way for new instructions.

Recovery is about a new way of life. Someone tells you how to do it. Someone shows you how it all works. You get quiet and you listen. If you are not in the mood to get really quiet and humble and to listen then you are going to miss the instructions. Normally we are so busy figuring out what we want in life and then telling other people what we need and how we want to go about getting our needs met. Recovery is not like that. You have to admit that you don’t know what you want, that you don’t know what would make you happy any more, and that you want someone else to tell you what to do. If you are at that point then you have finally surrendered.

You must surrender to a new solution. In practical terms, this means that you have to be OK with the idea that someone else will dictate your life for a while. Most people resist that idea heavily, because how in the world could anyone else possibly know what you need, or what would make you happy?

But the reality is that this is exactly what the struggling alcoholic or drug addict needs. If you let go and allow someone else to tell you how to live, your life will get exponentially better. And one day you will look back, just as I have, and realize that your life is so much better than it ever was. And you will be happy again, and grateful that you allowed yourself to surrender, to let go of the need to control.

Long term changes and accepting the challenge of personal growth

If you want to succeed in recovery then you have to make changes in the long term as well.

It should be obvious to every alcoholic who has sobered up for a weekend (and then returned to the madness of drinking) that you need more than a quick fix. You need long term changes in recovery.

We can label this concept as “personal growth.” We all make changes in life. You either get better or you get worse. If you are getting worse then we label that as “addiction.” If you are getting better we can label that as either “recovery” or “personal growth.” In my experience they are the same thing. If you are not improving yourself and your life situation then you are not in recovery. You are stagnant or complacent and that means you will eventually relapse.

So the opposite of addiction is personal growth. This then is your challenge in long term sobriety. Not only do you have to stop using drugs and alcohol, but you must also make an effort to improve yourself as a human being. The 12 steps of AA are one path to do this through. There are other paths as well. Most people believe that if they only find the one perfect path to recovery that they will be healed. The truth is that there are many paths and the important thing is that you take positive action, that you are consistent, that you are on a path of growth and positive action. The details are not what “cures” people. There is no cure, only process. Are you involved in the recovery process today? That is always either a yes or no question.

I managed to figure this out in my own time in rehab, and many years helping other addicts, watching many different people in recovery who were all around me. Some of them were involved in the 12 step program, some of them were involved in religious based recovery programs, some of them were not using any programs, and some of them were using alternatives to these concepts. For example, I knew at least one person who was using martial arts to stay healthy in recovery. I knew someone else who was using strictly meditation to remain sober. I knew someone else who focused on exercise heavily as their personal program of recovery.

And at the same time I knew a lot of people in the 12 step program who were failing. People who relapsed. And what scared me is that a lot of those people tried to convince me that AA was the only path to recovery. And so it scared me in that it woke me up, made me question my own path of recovery. I started to look at the fundamentals of sobriety that went beyond the AA program, that went beyond the treatment centers, that went beyond the 12 steps. What really kept an addict sober? I wanted to dig deeper.

So I started to dig. And what I found was that there really are fundamental principles in recovery. These are often discussed at AA meetings and are also used in other forms of therapy and recovery. For example, surrender is one such fundamental principle. It is universal to recovery–whether you get sober through AA, a religious program, an exercise program, or something else entirely. It doesn’t matter how you get sober or by which process you go through, you have to surrender in order to do it. You have to come to that cathartic moment when you realize that addiction is no longer serving you well, and you let go of all of those old ideas (“my drug of choice can make me happy”) and then this allows a space for a new way of life to come into being.

Until you surrender and let go of the old ideas, you cannot possibly change. There is no way for a new life to begin until you let go of the old one. In this way, surrender is a fundamental principle. It is vital to recovery, no matter which method or program you choose to follow.

Surrender to outside ideas, advice, feedback, and suggestions

Surrender is always to ideas outside of yourself.

If you surrender to your own ideas then you are not truly surrendering to anything. You cannot surrender to yourself.

So in order to truly surrender you have to let go of your own ideas about how to make yourself happy in life.

This should not be difficult for an alcoholic or a drug addict who is truly miserable. At some point you realize that your ideas are no longer working for you and that you are never going to be happy if you continue to abuse your drug of choice.

I reached a point in my own life where I realized that my drug of choice could only make me “happy” if I went a few days without any drugs or alcohol of any kind. In other words, I had to sober up for at least 3 or 4 days, then return to my drug of choice, and only at that point would I truly be “happy.” And then I noticed something else–when I did this little experiment, that moment of happiness only lasted for a very brief window. It was maybe an hour or two of “happiness” at the most, and then I was suddenly miserable again. And that was what perpetuated my addiction, because I would then try to use more drugs and booze to try to get back to that “peak happiness.”

But the peak was gone. And the only way to get back to that peak feeling of happiness was to sober up completely for 3 or 4 days.

And when I finally grasped this situation, when I finally realized that I could only have that tiny window of happiness every fourth day or so while being miserable for 99 percent of my time, that was when I broke through my denial. That was the moment that the light bulb went off for me. I realized that I was like a hamster in one of those little wheels where they run and run and they don’t go anywhere. I could finally see that I was chasing my own tail when I drank alcohol because I was chasing a happiness that I could never really hang onto. It just wasn’t worth it any more.

My brain tried to trick me, because it was remembering “the good old days.” That was when I had first started drinking and taking drugs, and my window of happiness was much larger. In the good old days, I could drink all night long and be happy all night long, and then I could drink and take drugs tomorrow too and be happy again. That was before my tolerance developed and I was not yet a full blown alcoholic and drug addict.

But today things are different. Today if I take a drink that window of happiness has shrank down to almost nothing. It lasts for a mere hour or two, and then I am completely miserable as I desperately try to drink more and more in order to chase that peak experience. But I can never reach it because my body has created this tolerance to drugs and alcohol. It is not fun any more. It is just a hamster wheel with a whole bunch of negative consequences and the false promise of happiness.

Give away your power and watch it return to you a hundred fold

How do you surrender?

Give away your power. Give away your choices. Give up your power to choose, to decide.

This sounds like a moment of weakness. It’s not. It will make you strong to do so.

Ask your sponsor in a 12 step group or therapist / coach to tell you what to do and how to live. Take their advice and put it into action.

Ask your therapist what you should do next. Follow directions.

Ask for help, then take the directions and follow through with things.

It’s that simple. Do this, and your life will transform for the better. You will become happier, stronger, and your life will get better and better.

This is the power of surrender. By letting go of your own ideas, you get to use the best ideas that the world has ever had. You get to borrow wisdom. And then you benefit from that wisdom and your life gets to improve by leaps and bounds.

It is almost criminal how easy it is, once you let go and surrender. Listen to others and let them improve your life for you. This is the power of true surrender. And all you have to do is let go of your own ideas.

Can you do that? Can you let go completely, absolutely? If you do, you will one day look back and realize that it was the smartest thing you ever did.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS IN THE GRIPS OF ADDICTION call us today for HELP    PH 0432 944 027 (7days)   EMAIL

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Here is a list of six simple commitments that have made the biggest difference to me:

1. Stop pretending in an attempt to please other people.

Have you heard the quote “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”? Knowing that someday you will be “found out” is what kills the self-esteem.
Hard as it is and vulnerable as you will feel, let go of your pretenses. Just be your authentic self. At first, the fear is crippling, but if you manage to get past the initial fear and take the plunge, it’s so liberating. And that freedom to be who you are, without excuses or pretenses, paves the way for a much healthier self-esteem.

2. Learn to say no. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Often we say yes because of the fear of authority, the fear of hurting someone’s feelings, or worries that we will let someone down. But every time you say a yes that you don’t mean, you’ll end up doing a half-hearted job. And then you are unhappy that you said what you didn’t want to say, and you are unhappy that you did such a lousy job of what you said you would do.
Break out of that habit. Instead, just say what you mean and mean what you say. You don’t have to be rude about it; just be firm and decisive. Developing the ability to speak your mind in a kind but firm manner, and to really deliver on your promises, will go a long way in building lasting self-esteem.

3. Grant yourself the permission to make mistakes, and see them as opportunities for growth.

You can beat yourself up over a failure, or you can give yourself the permission to make mistakes and vow to learn from them. Let’s face it, whichever route you take, you will still make some mistakes in your life. One approach chips away at your self-esteem; the other helps you become a better person. Which sounds like a better choice to you?

4. Take responsibility for your actions.

Again, at some point or the other in your life, intentionally or accidentally, you will let others down. When that happens, quit making excuses and accept them as a consequence of your choices. Quit the regret and focus on repair.
Always be prepared to say “I’m sorry” followed by “How can I fix it?” and make sure you put in genuine effort to fix things in a way that is acceptable to everyone involved. It takes a lot of effort, but a healthy self-esteem is rooted in knowing that you always do the right thing.

5. Help others.

No amount of fortune, fame, success, beauty, intelligence, or strength can give you the same sense of personal gratification or a sense of purpose as a genuine “thank you” from someone you help.
When you stop being so wrapped up in your own worries, sorrows, and melodrama and start being a part of the bigger picture, with a role to play in this universe, your sense of self-worth and self-esteem gets a whole new definition. Give freely. Help whenever you can. You will get more than what you thought you ever needed.

6. Immerse yourself in whatever you decide to do. Quit worrying about your choices.

Either do something or don’t. Stop second-guessing your choices.
For instance, if you want to make some tea, first learn how to make tea. Next gather all the ingredients you need. And then make tea.
Don’t worry about whether it will come out right. Don’t worry if anyone will like it. Don’t worry about whether you are worthy of making tea. Don’t worry about coffee drinkers. Don’t worry if you will ever get to make tea again. Don’t worry about what you will do after you make tea. Just. make. tea. And when you are done, move on.
Constantly worrying about your choice as you make the tea will not do any good to you, the tea, or anyone else around you. Immerse yourself in what you do.
Your self-esteem is a measure of how worthy you think you are. Don’t look outward for affirmations. Set your own expectations of who you should be and then do all you can to live up to those expectations. You have it in you to be the person you can be proud of.
Commit to it and go become that person!    FOR HELP CALL US TODAY PH 0439 399 809