Tuesday, May 2, 2017



Part of my own journey toward change has involved recognizing that the power to change lies within myself, and I can’t place blame on any other person for what I choose to do with my life or choose not to do with my life. That being said, my own experience has also shown that the people I surround myself with play a major role in supporting me in my desire to change, accepting the person that I am or dragging me back toward the person that I used to be.

The types of people you may have to clean out of your lives if you want to move forward in a positive direction. Keep in mind that some difficult relationships and some challenging relationships are well worth keeping. Its the toxic relationships are the ones we need to clean out which are characterized by the following;

* Toxic relationships take heavily from us without giving anything back.
* Toxic relationships sap our joy as well as our mental and emotional energy.
* Toxic relationships represent people who are hateful, hurtful, critical and discouraging the
   vast majority of the time you are around them.
* Toxic relationships constantly leave you feeling empty, guilty, incompetent and ashamed
* Toxic relationships represent people who are verbally and emotionally abusive to you.
* Toxic relationships bring out the absolute worst in you.

Standing up to the people who are pouring negativity venom into your mind is a difficult thing. After all, many toxic individuals have mastered the art of manipulation and have ways of turning the situation around on you and heaping guilt on you when you confront them about their behavior. Patrick Mathieu said it well in this Using Mind Control With Difficult People when he provided an interesting twist on the old “insanity” line. He wrote: “Insanity is dealing with the same person over and over again and expecting them to act differently this time.” Confronting the person and making ultimatums again and again can only do so much.

Just because you have decided you want a change in your life, doesn’t mean the people represented in toxic relationships do too. You may have to close yourself off to these people to heal yourself from past wounds and proceed with the changes you want to see in your life. This might involve ignoring phone calls, deleting friends off social networks, blocking e-mails, breaking up, going separate ways or even moving out.

On some occasions, toxic relationships also represent people who tempt you back into destructive habits. For instance, if you are a recovering alcoholic and have a pack of friends who completely disregard your need to stay clean and continue to urge you to throw the brews back with them every weekend, these would be considered toxic relationships. You may have to separate yourself from these people, at least temporarily, until you are strong enough or have a personal breakthrough.

If you are experiencing these problems please make sure you reach out to your recovery sponsors, aftercare or alumni freinds, or seek out a suitable recovery coach..

If you or someone you love is in the grips of addiction call us today for a confidential assessment. CALL US TODAY PH 0432 944 027 OR EMAIL rmittiga@icloud.com

Sunday, April 30, 2017

THE COMMON SIGNS OF ADDICTION: Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach


Facing an addiction is not always easy. It is hard to acknowledge when a problem has occurred and to admit that a certain relationship with a substance or behaviour has gotten out of hand. Yet, with realization comes the ability to face the issue head on and start eliminating the negative behaviour altogether. Being educated on the key signs of addiction is important in recognizing it and catching the problem before it is too late.

If you are in the grips of an addiction or you have a loved one you feel may be suffering from addiction, check out the following signs. If you do identify with most of the following it is strongly suggested you reach out for help NOW.
In the process of becoming addicted to a substance or behaviour, a person’s life will become completely centred on that specific behaviour or substance. This often means social withdrawal and engaging only in activities that involve whatever the person is addicted to. The once light-hearted activity or substance becomes a need that initiates negative responses, should it be denied. This leads to a change in personality and often will accompany an increase in financial or academic/work-related issues. Soon, the only thing of importance will be fulfilling the need to engage in the destructive behaviour.

The more something is consumed or the more a person does the same thing over and over, the less exciting it becomes. This is due to an increased tolerance for the substance or activity. If intensity or volume levels need to be continuously raised in order for satisfaction levels to be met, then there may be a bigger issue at hand and help is probably necessary. Risk levels may also be raised with tolerance levels, meaning the person is doing something that may threaten their life, in the hope of gaining their high back.

Addiction to one thing means lack of interest in anything else. The main focus becomes the addiction and fulfilling the need for it at all costs. If a person loses interest in things that he or she once enjoyed doing, and replaces them with one overpowering behaviour then it is likely to be due to the development of an addiction. The addictive substance or behaviour will take priority over anything else and other social engagements will likely be avoided, should the substance/behaviour not be present.

4       SECRECY
If the person with the addiction hides what they are doing, it is likely due to the fact that he or she is facing problems with controlling it. When secrecy comes into play, there is a level of shame involved. The person clearly knows what they are doing is affecting day-to-day living and knows that a reprimand will follow, should they be caught. In hopes of avoiding conflict, and due to a lack of willingness to face the problem itself, secrecy is implemented. This keeps the addiction low-key and away from everyone else’s attention.

5.      DENIAL
It is not uncommon for friends and family to become aware of an issue before the person realises that they may have an addiction. If it is ever brought up that an addiction may be developing, it is typical for the person suffering to become defensive, denying there is a problem at all. The individual may confidently express that everything is under control and that the substance or activity is something that is easy to give up at a moment’s notice. This lack of acknowledgement is a clear sign of addiction.

If someone has an addiction, then withholding the addictive substance or activity from this person can cause certain types of reactions to occur, known as withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms range from light moodiness to major physical reactions, such a shaking or seizures. With certain drugs and even some behaviours it may even cause violence, as commonly seen with withdrawals from ICE. If deprivation brings about a change in personality and causes bitterness, anger, depression, or something similar, then an addiction has likely formed. Other things to watch out for are issues with sleep, digestive problems, and an increase in violent-like actions.

Making a commitment to stay away from a certain activity or substance can be a challenge, based on what that activity or substance is and how it influences one’s life. If happiness levels become dependent on a certain activity, then setting limits or taking a break from it for a specific amount of time is always a good idea

The inability to follow through on commitments is a clear sign that an addiction has developed. Often times, this lack of follow-through is accompanied by thoughts that make engaging in the negative behaviour seem like the logical option.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION: How addiction hijacks the brain. Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach.

How Addiction hijacks your brain:

Addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences. Addiction changes the brain, first by subverting the way it registers pleasure and then by corrupting other normal drives such as learning and motivation. Although breaking an addiction is tough, it can be done.

What causes addiction?

The word “addiction” is derived from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to.” Anyone who has struggled to overcome an addiction—or has tried to help someone else to do so—understands why.

Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.

For many years, experts believed that only alcohol and powerful drugs could cause addiction. Neuroimaging technologies and more recent research, however, have shown that certain pleasurable activities, such as gambling, shopping, and sex, can also co-opt the brain.

Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition or DSM-IV describes multiple addictions, each tied to a specific substance or activity, consensus is emerging that these may represent multiple expressions of a common underlying brain process.

New insights into a common problem

Nobody starts out intending to develop an addiction, but many people get caught in its snare. Consider the latest government statistics:

Nearly 2.3 million Australians—almost one in 10—are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. More than two-thirds of people with addiction abuse alcohol. The top four drugs causing addiction are ice/meth, marijuana, opioid (narcotic) pain relievers, and alcohol.

In the 1930s, when researchers first began to investigate what caused addictive behaviour, they believed that people who developed addictions were somehow morally flawed or lacking in willpower. Overcoming addiction, they thought, involved punishing miscreants or, alternately, encouraging them to muster the will to break a habit.

The scientific consensus has changed since then. Today we recognize addiction as a chronic disease that changes both brain structure and function. Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and diabetes impairs the pancreas, addiction hijacks the brain. This happens as the brain goes through a series of changes, beginning with recognition of pleasure and ending with a drive toward compulsive behaviour.

Pleasure principle

The brain registers all pleasures in the same way, whether they originate with a psychoactive drug, a monetary reward, a sexual encounter, or a satisfying meal. In the brain, pleasure has a distinct signature: the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, a cluster of nerve cells lying underneath the cerebral cortex (see illustration). Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens is so consistently tied with pleasure that neuroscientists refer to the region as the brain’s pleasure centre.

All drugs of abuse, from nicotine to heroin, cause a particularly powerful surge of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The likelihood that the use of a drug or participation in a rewarding activity will lead to addiction is directly linked to the speed with which it promotes dopamine release, the intensity of that release, and the reliability of that release.

Even taking the same drug through different methods of administration can influence how likely it is to lead to addiction. Smoking a drug or injecting it intravenously, as opposed to swallowing it as a pill, for example, generally produces a faster, stronger dopamine signal and is more likely to lead to drug misuse.

Brain's Reward Centre

Addictive drugs provide a shortcut to the brain’s reward system by flooding the nucleus accumbens with dopamine. The hippocampus lays down memories of this rapid sense of satisfaction, and the amygdala creates a conditioned response to certain stimuli.

Learning process

Scientists once believed that the experience of pleasure alone was enough to prompt people to continue seeking an addictive substance or activity. But more recent research suggests that the situation is more complicated. Dopamine not only contributes to the experience of pleasure, but also plays a role in learning and memory—two key elements in the transition from liking something to becoming addicted to it.

According to the current theory about addiction, dopamine interacts with another neurotransmitter, glutamate, to take over the brain’s system of reward-related learning. This system has an important role in sustaining life because it links activities needed for human survival (such as eating and sex) with pleasure and reward.

The reward circuit in the brain includes areas involved with motivation and memory as well as with pleasure. Addictive substances and behaviours stimulate the same circuit—and then overload it.

Repeated exposure to an addictive substance or behaviour causes nerve cells in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain involved in planning and executing tasks) to communicate in a way that couples liking something with wanting it, in turn driving us to go after it. That is, this process motivates us to take action to seek out the source of pleasure.

Do you have addiction?

Determining whether you have addiction isn’t completely straightforward. And admitting it isn’t easy, largely because of the stigma and shame associated with addiction. But acknowledging the problem is the first step toward recovery.

A “yes” answer to any of the following three questions suggests you might have a problem with addiction and should—at the very least—consult a health care provider for further evaluation and guidance.
  • Do you use more of the substance or engage in the behaviour more often than in the past?
  • Do you have withdrawal symptoms when you don’t have the substance or engage in the behaviour?
  • Have you ever lied to anyone about your use of the substance or extent of your behaviour?

Development of tolerance

Over time, the brain adapts in a way that actually makes the sought-after substance or activity less pleasurable.

In nature, rewards usually come only with time and effort. Addictive drugs and behaviours provide a shortcut, flooding the brain with dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Our brains do not have an easy way to withstand the onslaught.

Addictive drugs, for example, can release two to 10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do, and they do it more quickly and more reliably. In a person who becomes addicted, brain receptors become overwhelmed. The brain responds by producing less dopamine or eliminating dopamine receptors—an adaptation similar to turning the volume down on a loudspeaker when noise becomes too loud.

As a result of these adaptations, dopamine has less impact on the brain’s reward centre. People who develop an addiction typically find that, in time, the desired substance no longer gives them as much pleasure. They have to take more of it to obtain the same dopamine “high” because their brains have adapted—an effect known as tolerance.

Compulsion takes over

At this point, compulsion takes over. The pleasure associated with an addictive drug or behaviour subsides—and yet the memory of the desired effect and the need to recreate it (the wanting) persists. It’s as though the normal machinery of motivation is no longer functioning.

The learning process mentioned earlier also comes into play. The hippocampus and the amygdala store information about environmental cues associated with the desired substance, so that it can be located again. These memories help create a conditioned response—intense craving—whenever the person encounters those environmental cues.

Cravings contribute not only to addiction but to relapse after a hard-won sobriety. A person addicted to heroin may be in danger of relapse when he sees a hypodermic needle, for example, while another person might start to drink again after seeing a bottle of whiskey. Conditioned learning helps explain why people who develop an addiction risk relapse even after years of abstinence.

Recovery is possible

It is not enough to “just say no”—as the 1980s slogan suggested. Instead, you can protect (and heal) yourself from addiction by saying “yes” to other things. Cultivate diverse interests that provide meaning to your life. Understand that your problems usually are transient, and perhaps most importantly, acknowledge that life is not always supposed to be pleasurable.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ZERO TOLERENCE: A New Drug Policy for AUSTRALIA - Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach


As a treatment and recovery professional with 20 years experience in this field, working with many addicts and their loved ones on the front lines, I have been grappling with the dilema of how can we as a society stem the growing public health problem of drug addiction.

Not a week goes by that I am hearing from Australian families from all walks of life that are being torn apart by the consequences of drug addiction. This is across the board in all states, cities and regional areas.  It is heartbreaking to say the least. 

Grandparent after grandparent having to take over the care of young children, because the their adult children are so out of control, and in some cases causing harm to their innocent little children. Parents reporting being physically and emotionally abused by their own children. Parents becoming frieghtened of their own children. Ive had a few parents becoming suicidal because they have been so traumatised by their loved ones drug addiction. 
I have even had cases over the last few years of parents having to re-mortgage their homes to pay off drug dealers for their loved ones drug debts, because their lives have been threatened by these "scumbag" drug dealers.
The Government of our day is spending millions and millions fighting terroism, and sure this is a serious issue, however I believe the real "terroism" fight is in the fight agaist drug addiction in our own backyard. Many  lives are being senslesly lost each day due to drug addiction in this country. It is estimated that at least 35 people are dying each week in this country directly from drug addiction. Yet in comparison the amount of money invested by the government in fighting drug addiction is very minimal compared to the money thrown at terroism. Doesnt make any sense to me at all, except there obviously must be more "VOTES" in the terroism fight than drug addiction.
Sydney's senior law enforcement agency has made the astonishing admission that they have lost the war on drugs, as reported in the Daily telegraph on 27th January this year. The Telegraph also reported that organised crime in NSW is “out of control” and anti-drug agencies are failing dismally to stem the tsunami of narcotics flooding the  streets.
The Telegaph also  revealed that the number of drug lords operating in Sydney has soared to 607, and law enforcement officers are unable to track them due to the criminals’ use of ­hi-tech encrypted phones.
These shocking revelations follow a recent report by the NSW Crime Commission which says organised crime is at levels not seen previously in NSW”The report found the rise of “public enemies” was “almost entirely driven by the prohibited drugs market”  Methamphetamine (ice) and cocaine supplies are high and prices for both are considerably lower than five years ago,” the report says. Offshore interests decide the volume of drugs that are imported into Australia and the domestic drug consumption market will consume whatever is available. When an oversupply occurs, the result is a reduction in the price of prohibited drugs, which is precisely what we are seeing at present.
IN MY RESEARCH OVER THE YEARS....Sweden is the model nation for a drug-free society. Its drug consumption rates are a fraction of those in Spain and Germany, and what follows is low crime rates. What a surprise!
When you hear hysterical cries from the pro-drug lobby about the futility of law enforcement to curb drug use, they rarely cite Sweden’s zero-tolerance approach. The Swedes as a race condemn illegal drugs and, with the exception of a few pro-drug academics, they support their police and judiciary in keeping drugs away from young people.
Critics cite a number of overdose deaths among recidivist drug users, but those critics won’t or can’t tell you how many thousands of lives have been saved.
Here in Australia, the folly of "harm minimisation" and the head-in-the-sand attitude of our governments to a drug-free solution are appalling. It’s time we had a debate that included all Australians, not just the so-called experts.
Personally I believe ZERO-TOLERANCE has to be the answer. It would give the authorities and health services the opportunity to identify the individuals that need help, and then the problem would be given back to the addict. What this means very simply.....identified addicts would be given the choice accept help or suffer the consequences.
One of the goals of Swedish drug policy has been not to punish drug users, but to offer help and rehabilitation, described as a "caring chain" of outreach services, detoxification, out-patient care and institutional care comprising abstinence based treatment. I believe that this type of drug policy, perhaps with some adjustments, may be our only way of steming this soul destroying and heartbreaking epidemic of DRUG ADDICTION in our land. 

Robert Frank Mittiga
International Addiction Recovery Coach / Therapist
Ph 0432 944 027 EMAIL rmittiga@icloud.com

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach AUSTRALIA

To understand the addictive disorder, you need to understand that an addictive illness can be physical, mental, and emotional. Whether or not it is one or all of the three, it is always spiritual. Substances, people, behaviours, etc. are merely symptoms of a much deeper and perverse soul sickness. An addiction is something that gives a person an immediate sense of feeling whole, even though many claim to enjoy the side effects, the real sense of seeming pleasure comes from the immediate gratification and or distraction from reality they achieve with any given symptom.

Addiction recovery is not a system that changes the effects of the substance, but rather heals the person in a way that their new sense of reality is that they do not need anything or anyone to feel whole, complete, and content with life. Many people with an addictive personality disorder will shift their attention from one substance to another, and what usually transpires is that they become addicted to poly-substance abuse. Once the initial high or effect is achieved, they will go to the point of overdose to try and experience that feeling again, and the results are always disappointing. People will go to some outrageous extremes and expense, only to find what they want isn’t there.

Alcohol for example, is a sedative, depressant anesthetic drug, which puts the brain to sleep from the front to the back, and no matter how much of you drink, the euphoria is very temporary, and the central nervous system depression (hangover) is the only thing that lasts. Then the insane craving for more leads to untold disasters. The same is pretty much true for any substance, belief, behavior, attitude or whatever a person uses to achieve the initial high, no matter how much of the substance or behavior they apply to their lifestyle, they never get that initial feeling again. People become disillusioned that they didn’t take enough, or didn’t use enough of the symptom substance and consequently overdose.

Recovery is first about abstinence and a time of withdrawal from the addiction of choice. The person must then find a new sense of wholeness, so that reversion back to the false sense of well being is not sought in the addictive items of choice. There are a variety of options available to someone with an addictive personality disorder to recover a sense of dignity, identity and purpose in life that will make further addictive behaviors unnecessary.

The first step to recovery is to understand what the substances/behaviours, etc. are, what they actually do or don’t do, and then realize that what one wants in their life cannot come from these items, simply because they don’t provide those effects.

Then one needs to discover something that empowers them to resist the lure of old patterns. Twelve Step groups use a “Higher Power” or God to give them the spiritual stamina to remain abstinent, and the guidance to realize that all that is needed for a person to be whole and well is within them. It’s finding a new sense of self that makes a person feel comfortable in their own skin without a perceived need to add something to that persona that wasn’t already there.

It’s important to take an honest look at the past and see what the effects of the addiction were, and the damage caused to self and others, and feel genuine remorse as well as an honest desire to set things straight with their universe. Self-reliance along with interdependence on others is a healthy relationship with one’s universe. As people clean up their side if the street, they feel a sense of spiritual pride, which replaces the false high they sought from addictive behaviors.

As people begin to develop a sense of character and confidence, they find no need to revert back to old ways of doing things. The majority of addicts will recidivate at least twice in the first couple of years in recovery, but many do continue to work on their new way of life until they achieve some long term abstinence coupled with a recovery of a life they will be unwilling to trade for the instant gratification of an addictive illness.

The single largest ingredient in the success formula of the recovery programs that i use, is working with others, and becoming both a support system and role model for people who are new to recovery. This gives a person yet another strength they need to enjoy freedom from addiction. Most people who gain the values, habits, attitudes and beliefs of a well person will not return to the old way of living. They may have some emotional relapses into old behaviours and habits over time, but they will also have acquired the skills to stop the day and start over whenever needed to retain their recovery.

If you or someone you LOVE is in the grips of ADDICTION, call us TODAY  0432 944 027
EMAIL rmittiga@icloud.com

EATING DISORDERS and TRAUMA ..the link: Robert Frank Mittiga RECOVERY COACH

EATING DISORDERS and TRAUMA ..the link: Robert Frank Mittiga RECOVERY COACH

Studies show that the link between experiences of trauma and developing an eating disorder are very strong. Research reveals that those who are affected by eating disorders have a disproportionately high experience of neglect and/or abuses of all types: sexual, emotional and physical, usually during childhood.

These traumas often result in psychological problems such as depression, low self-esteem, loneliness and anxiety. When addressing disordered eating, it is necessary to also address prior traumas the patient may have undergone.

Though trauma can also be experienced through living in a dysfunctional or alcoholic home, the death of a loved one, violent assault or even by living through a natural disaster, the commonality is an occasion of deep hurt and feeling helplessly out of control in the situation. It should be noted that while Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also linked to experienced trauma, it is not linked to eating disorders and has its own distinct criteria.

In an attempt to manage the pain and negative emotions associated with trauma, a person may develop an eating disorder. Underneath the behavior is an attempt to take back a measure of control. As an example, the woman who suffers rape may overeat to excess (binge) and gain weight to avoid attracting further male attention.

Conversely, she may severely restrict her food intake (anorexia) to assert control over her own body. It is imperative that patients deal with prior trauma in order to truly recover from an eating disorder. Until the trauma is addressed, relapse casts a large shadow over treatment.

If YOU or someone you love is in the grips of an Eating Disorder; Compulsive over eating, Bulimia, or Anorexia call us today for immediate confidential help.
PHONE 0432 944 027 or EMAIL rmittiga@icloud.com

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ADDICTION RECOVERY CHECKLIST: Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Addiction Recovery Checklist
There may be debate about the general stages of recovery, but almost everyone agrees that the first 90 days of recovery are critical. That’s because it’s during this time that most relapses occur. You’re still so new to being clean and sober that you haven’t yet become comfortable in practicing your recovery skills or dealing with everyday life without your “drug” of choice, whether that’s a substance(s) or a behaviour(s).
If you’re just returning home from treatment, there’s so much that gets thrown at you — your home, family, job and friends. Sometimes — often, in fact — it can feel like too much. When you give up an addiction, you give up more than a substance or behavior; you give up a means of navigating (however ineffectively) life. Without structure, routine and consistency, you’re likely to find your recovery far more difficult to manage, and it may even collapse.
So start off slowly so that you don’t become overwhelmed by all that you want or believe you need to do. Remember that recovery isn’t a race but a lifelong journey.
A list of important goals for your first year of recovery. Use it as a reminder and to help you stay on track in the days and months ahead.  

  • Accept that you have an addiction.
  • Practice honesty in your life.
  • Learn to avoid high-risk situations.
  • Learn to ask for help.
  • There are many paths to recovery. The most difficult doing it alone.
  • Practice calling friends or coach before you have cravings.
  • Become actively involved in self-help recovery groups.
  • Go to discussion meetings and begin to share. You are not alone.
  • Get a sponsor and do step work.
  • Get rid of using friends.
  • Make time for you and your recovery.
  • Celebrate your small victories. Recovery is about progress not perfection.
  • Practice saying no.
  • Take better care of yourself.
  • Develop healthy eating and sleeping habits.
  • Learn how to relax and let go of stress.
  • Discover how to have fun clean and sober.
  • Make new recovery friends and bring them into your life.
  • Re-evaluate your lifestyle periodically to make sure you remain on track.
  • Deal with cravings by “playing the tape forward” What will happen if you start?
  • Find ways to distract yourself when you have cravings.
  • Physical activity helps many aspects of recovery.
  • Deal with post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
  • Develop strategies for social environments where drinking or drugging is involved.
  • Keep a gratitude list of your recovery, your life, and the people in it.
  • Say goodbye to your addiction.
  • Develop tolerance and compassion for others and for yourself.
  • Begin to give back and help others once you have a solid recovery.
  • See yourself as a non-user.                                                                                          

Saturday, March 18, 2017

UNDERSTANDING SELF-WORTH and SELF-HATE: Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach


Self-worth is how someone defines their value or worth as a person. Many people measure their value or self-worth on external factors, from body image and possessions to acceptance from others and social standing. However, self-worth is about who you are, not what you do or what you have. Looking for your worth as a person by comparing yourself with others is always a losing battle and can have lasting negative effects.

Many people who struggle with their self-worth can easily slip into a cycle of self-hate, characterized by destructive thoughts and often triggering self-destructive behaviour. Self-hate is often referred to as “low self-esteem” or “bad self-image”. No matter what term you use, self-hate is a self-worth problem. If you struggle with these extremely critical thoughts, you aren’t alone.

When someone bases their self-worth on external factors, the result is a distorted view of their own value as a person. 
Common signs of self-worth issues are:
  • ·        Feelings of not being good enough, unloved or incompetent
  • ·        Constantly comparing oneself with others
  • ·        Avoiding people or activities, like social gatherings or school, due to negative        self -perception
  • ·        Intense, highly critical thoughts about your self
  • ·        Being extremely judgemental towards others and yourself

Self-worth isn’t just an emotional issue. Not dealing with thoughts of negative self-worth can often lead to other self-destructive activities, such as intense self-hatred, depression, eating disorders, drug and alcohol addictions, cutting and even suicide. 

What starts out as a negative internal thought process can quickly turn into a pattern of self-hate that impacts every area of your life. Learning how to break the cycle of self-hate and adjust your self-perception is the key to developing a healthy self-worth.

Challenge your inner critic. Everyone has a critical “inner voice” inside their heads that constantly judges and criticizes, like a bully. If you don’t stop this type of unhealthy internal dialogue, over time you may accept this destructive critique as the way you actually see yourself. In order to separate your thoughts from the negative critique, try writing down a compassionate response. 

For example, if your “inner voice” says “You can’t do anything right”, your written response might be “I might not always do everything perfectly but I am smart and capable”. This will help you gain a healthier perspective and stop the negativity.
   Stop comparing yourself. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Nothing will drag you down faster than comparing yourself to someone else. Everyone, no matter how famous or seemingly perfect, has their own struggles and issues with which they deal. In the age of social media and celebrity, the images and lifestyle people portray online are rarely ever an accurate picture of real life.

    Be mindful of your thoughts. Every time you think you aren’t worthy, loved or cool, stop and remind yourself that you are. Your thoughts impact how you perceive yourself and eventually it becomes your reality--that’s why it’s important to stop negative thinking in its tracks.

     Find activities that are worthwhile and help others.

  Try a new hobby, do something nice for someone or volunteer for a local non-profit. New experiences often provide perspective on what really matters, cultivates gratefulness and offers an opportunity to grow as a person.

    Chat with one of our self–esteem recovery coaches. If you need to talk about self-worth issues or just need some encouragement, chat online via SKYPE with a caring and understanding coach. PH 0432 944 027 Email rmittiga@icloud.com

Comparison is THE thief of Joy!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

CODEPENDENCY: A simple understnding: Robert Frank Mittiga RECOVERY COACH

Codependency is simply the loss of sense of self.  It is when you do not have the conscious ability to separate yourself emotionally from another or others.  

The following questions can be helpful in making a beginning self-assessment.

1.    Do I often feel isolated and afraid of people, especially authority figures?
2.    Have I observed myself to be an approval seeker, losing my own identity in the process?
3.    Do I feel overly frightened of angry people and personal criticism?
4.    Do I often feel I’m a victim in personal and career relationships?
5.    Do I sometimes feel I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, which makes it easier to be concerned with others rather than myself?
6.    Do I find it hard to look at my own faults and my own responsibility to myself?
7.    Do I get guilty feelings when I stand up for myself instead of giving in to others?
8.    Do I feel addicted to excitement?
9.    Do I confuse love with pity and tend to love people I can pity and rescue?
10.  Do I find it hard to feel or express feelings, including feelings such as joy or happiness?
11.  Do I find I judge myself harshly?
12.  Do I have a low sense of self-esteem?
13.  Do I often feel abandoned in the course of my relationships?  Do I tend to be a reactor, instead of an actor?
If you answered yes to any of the questions you may have a problem with codependency.  
If you answered yes to 2 or more questions you definitely have a problem with loss of sense of self and it would be to your advantage to seek some type of support or help.  

 I need to be very clear about this next point; your recovery or change is directly tied to your willingness to experience your feelings and trust someone to be there for you.  Recovery, change and healing do not happen in a vacuum.

Alice Miller, author of “Drama of the Gifted Child” states, and I wholeheartedly agree, "That it is not the traumatic event or events in your life that is the problem today its your unwillingness or inability to talk about it fully connected to the feelings associated to the event that bring about today’s problems.”

Being willing to tell the truth about yourself all the time is a key recovery activity; open, honest communication with yourself and others is indispensable.

I need to say this to you perfectionists that may be reading this article; perfect, honest communication 100% of the time is not the goal, it’s a set up for failure.  The goal is to be willing to be as honest as you can be at the time of each communication and notice rather than judge your behavior.  Since honest communication is such an important part of the recovery process it is worth spending time on.

I'll frame this information on the

formula as taught by Terry Kellogg, an expert in the recovery field and author of, “Broken Toys, Broken Dreams.”  

His formula is as follows:
  • Acknowledge that there was a wrong done. 
  • Acknowledge that you had feelings about the wrong done.
  • Embrace the feelings.
  • Share the feelings.
  • Decide upon the kind of relationship you want to have with the wrong done and the wrong doer.
  • Move to a position of acceptance and forgiveness.

I love this formula because it is simple, direct and a way to direct my clients through a healing the process.

As far as communication goes the most important dialogue we have is with ourselves.  When we can get honest enough, have awareness enough to acknowledge that there has been a wrong done to us, we begin to speak the truth about ourselves.  We are breaking through walls of fear, denial, minimization, justification, victimization, ignorance, etc. to simply get to the surface jumping off point.  It is a step in reclaiming our lives. 

Remember the simple definition of codependency is loss of sense of self.  The first step in finding ourselves is to acknowledge that something happened to us when we were growing up. Now I need to speak to those of you who might say, “My parents did their very best, how can I blame them” or “I don’t want to swim around in all that history, besides if they could have done better than they would have.”  You are correct; they probably would have if they could have.  

I believe that we all simply do what we were taught, covertly and/or overtly, unless we consciously learn to do something different.  This process has nothing to do with blaming anyone.  It is about calming your feelings about what ever happened that you repressed at the time of the event/events.

You will repeat what you do not complete… This is a completion process.  It’s reclaiming your emotions, thought life, spirituality, sexuality, comprise your relationship with yourself, and if any aspect is repressed; you do not have a truthful relationship with yourself.

The first step in recovery is to acknowledge that you had feelings about the wrong done. It is at this point, once again, that your internal dialogues will either be helpful or hurtful. Some say, “Why bother getting into the past- just live your life and forget about the past,” or “Why dwell on what you cannot do anything about,” while others use this to rage on and on in endless self-justified anger, refusing to move forward in recovery.  

Others will be found in the middle of the two extremes.  When you acknowledge that you had feelings about a wrong done to you, you begin an honest internal dialogue with yourself.  It is only when something becomes real that we have the possibility to change.

Therapy/coaching can play and important role in this stage of recovery.  Since you do not develop your problems in a vacuum you need others to affect a recovery.  Other people can act as a mirror for the codependent to show them the behavior that which they may be unaware of at this point.  Also, other people can make statements as to how they feel about what has happened to you. This sharing process can give you alternative ways to feel or simple validation to your feeling reality.

If you were raised with physical, verbal, mental, emotional, sexual, and financial, spiritual/religious abuse or incest, than your norm is that type of abuse and unless there is some education to explain what abuse is, you will probably continue to accept it in your life.

Through activities that support your awareness about your feelings around the harm done; you can move to the next phase of recovery, which is, embrace your feelings.  Honest communication involves connection and through embracing your feelings you enhance your personal connection.  To embrace means to accept, to include.  To embrace your feelings means to stop any addictive compulsive behaviours, end the minimisation or rationalisations that block or deflect the emotions.  

The main reason people avoid their feelings is to negate the pain.  I believe that pain has been given a bad name in our society.  The belief is that somehow when we are feeling emotions that aren’t joyous we need to get rid of them.  Pain is just nature’s way of letting us know that something is wrong.  

When you can embrace your feelings you claim your truthful relationship with yourself.

Through the development of inner strength and trust exhibited by embracing your feelings, you are empowered to move to the next stage of recovery and forgiveness, which is to share these feelings with another or others.  Trust is something that needs to be earned by others.  

When you are looking for someone to share your emotions with ask questions to see if they have the willingness and ability to really be there for you.  Here again self-honesty is the key. Notice how they respond when you ask specific questions or you give them some surface information.  If they seem to be there for you trust your gut reaction.  

Remember- “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”