Let’s face it, change is hard. Like, really hard. So much so that many of us have to be utterly miserable with the way things are before we’re ready to make changes. I totally get it. I’m a procrastinator through-and-through and I’ve noticed a troubling pattern about myself: I have to be in a lot of pain and discomfort (figuratively speaking) before I even consider making changes. And even then, it usually takes me a good several months before I take action. Here are 11 reasons making changes is so hard.
#1. We’re don’t realize that we need to change in the first place – aka – denial
First of all, we might not even know that there’s a problem with our way of thinking or acting basically because, on some level, we’re in denial about it. Hey, it took me a whole decade before I ‘realized’ I had a problem and was willing to get help.
#2. Breaking old habits is hard to do
A habit is an ingrained thought and/or behavior that most likely took a while in the making. So, imagine trying to undo that habit. They say that it takes about 3 months of consistently doing a new thing before it becomes the new habit. That’s why in the program, they suggest “90 in 90.” Bet you didn’t know that. Going to a meeting a day for 90 days (3 months) will set you up for a better chance at successfully getting into the habit of going to meetings from there on out.
#3. Fear of the unknown
Everyone experiences it. The fear of the unknown is what keeps us from venturing outside of our comfort zone (see #4). It also keeps us small, in the figurative sense. People from small towns, you know what it’s like when you go back home and you see people who have lived there their whole entire lives? How nothing’s changed? I mean, that’s OK for some people but, it’s not really living a life beyond your wildest dreams.
#4. It’s called a “comfort zone” for a reason
Exactly. We get set in our ways; comfortable; complacent. Well, that’s boring. Just being honest.
#5. It takes effort to make changes
You can hope, wish, and want all day long but, if you are to actually achieve change, you have to take committed action and put in hard work.
#6. We often try to change too much too quickly
Once we do get a wild hair to make a change, we often want too much of a change and in very little time. This will only set you up for failure. Making changes takes baby steps. And patience.
#7. We let our past failures discourage us
It’s true, past experience is the ultimate teacher. However, don’t decide you’ve failed before you’ve even started. Draw on past experiences for insight but, don’t let them dictate you’re ability to make changes from here on out.
#8. We forget to align our goals for change with our values and principles
Sometimes we decide we want to make a certain change for whatever reason (it’s popular, it’s “trending”) but for whatever reason, we can’t seem to even get started on accomplishing said goal. It might be that the change you say you want really has nothing to do with what you truly believe or value.
#9. It’s difficult to be objective
In fact, it’s impossible. We’re talking about making personal change and growth as you decide it to be and how you want it to look. How on earth can you be objective? This is highly personal. So, it’s difficult to assess your current status (whether change is needed) as well as your progress along the way. If you’re like me, you’re your own worst critic and so, even if you are making progress to whatever goal you’ve set, you won’t allow yourself to bask in the little victories.
#10. We don’t know how to get started
If we do know what changes we want to make, it can be difficult to actually make those changes because we simply don’t know how or where to start. We know where we want to go and we passionately want to get there but, we just have no idea how to get there. When this happens, our desire to quickly dies out.
#11. We’re afraid of relapsing once we make the change
Relapse simply means ‘to slip or fall back into a former worse state’ after a period of improvement. Many of us find that making changes is so hard because, even after making some progress, we allow fear of returning to the way things were to paralyze us.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Having a loved one in treatment is tough. It leads to tough love, tough times, and tough conversations. There is a variety of concerns, arguments, or confessions that may come from someone you love seeking help for an issue with substance abuse, alcoholism, or drug addiction, and there are many ways each individual may handle these obstacles based on personal preference and each unique situation, the important thing is to keep in mind the result your loved one is trying to reach, and be sure that the end of each conversation justifies the means in which you conduct yourself.
When I was first brought to treatment I came with my ex-fiance. Before the month of inpatient was over, we had split up. Now THAT is a tough conversation to have. So I would like to focus on what I feel I learned most from that situation.
You could be discussing with your loved one how their substance abuse, addiction or behavior has affected you, or you could be discussing the changes you intend to make to your relationship with them or your own life. Another possibility is that they are communicating their troubled to you, and you want to be sure you hold up your end of the conversation in a manner that will be most appropriate towards helping them complete treatment. He are 7 tips for tough conversations while your loved one is in treatment.
- Be respectful of their situation
Being respectful of your loved ones situation is important. To keep a consistent and productive dialog going, both parties must be respectful of one another. You cannot show them less respect as a person just because they are in treatment. Even if you have suffered as a result, be sure to respect their choice to try and change.
- Be willing to listen and stay open-minded
Staying open-minded and hearing someone out while they are in treatment means you are willing to try and understand the process they are in, the feelings they are experiencing and the opinions they have with a little more clarity. Again even if you suffered at one point, be willing to see your contribution to any circumstance and humble enough to hear them out.
- Be honest about your feelings
Being honest is essential to the tougher conversations while a loved one is in treatment. As important it is to be aware of the delicate situation they are in, in order to more forward effectively the truth needs to be in every dialog. Lying to someone to protect their feelings will only enable them to avoid coping.
- Be consistent with your boundaries
Again, you have to make sure you do not enable their obsessive, dependent, or manipulative behaviors if you hope for them to begin recovery while in treatment. It is important that once you have set boundaries as far as what kind of support your loved one can expect, to persist in these boundaries so they believe it is up to them to do what they have to in order to change.
- Be assertive with your feelings
If the conversation is difficult but important to you, you have to stay steadfast in your resolve to express yourself. It is true that their feelings can be fragile, but yours are important too. Remember to stick to your values. If they want to fight you on a subject, you should remain calm but firm.
- Use tough-love only when necessary
When keeping boundaries or being steadfast you should always remember there is a big difference between being assertive and aggressive. Tough love can be an asset when used correctly and constructively. However it is counter-productive to bully or belittle your loved one who is already struggling to get help.
- Stay supportive even on difficult topics
If it is a family member, friend or partner it is vital to stay supportive to the changes the individual is making in their life. Sometimes this can be harder than others. If you are asking for time apart from a partner or friend it helps to express how the loved ones happiness and health is the most important thing for their recovery and give them positive re-enforcement. Not false hope, but give them hope and let them know their worth to you as a person.
If you have a loved one in treatment than the key word there is LOVE. The best tip you could possibly have is to include love in all affairs. For the tough conversations while a loved one is in treatment, make it a point to have a firm grasp of what it is you expect from the conversation, what healthy or supportive contribution can you make, and how can you let that person know you say what you say out of a level of love.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
One street drug that has been growing recently in publicity and popularity has some seriously troubling and lasting side effects on users. The drug referred to as “Molly” or “Ecstasy” is MDMA (short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) and is a man-made substance which can include chemicals or additives such as caffeine, dextromethorphan (found in some cough syrups), amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine to be used as substitutions for MDMA in the commonly manufactured tablets it is sold in. Those who actually cook up this narcotic can make it with whatever they want, putting its purity at question, and causing its potential to be lethal to be a high risk factor if mixed with dangerous materials. MDMA has been called a “club drug” due to its popular use at all night parties and in the rave subculture. It has effects similar to those of other stimulants, and it often creates a feeling of euphoric connection to others, even though it comes at a high cost.
Long Term Effects of Molly Use: Biochemical
The long term effects of Molly use have a lot to do with the biochemical effects induced upon people taking the substance, which include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine release. Long term effects of Molly use can also act directly on a number of receptors. Research on possible long-term effects of Molly use have mainly focused on two areas.
- The first area of long term effect of Molly use is possible serotonergic neurotoxicity, because so much of the effects of MDMA are said to be attributed to the drugs influence on serotonin levels released in the brain.
- The second area is psychiatric and behavioral problems that might result from MDMA use.
In addition to these two main areas of research on long term effects of Molly use, there have been a number of animal studies suggesting MDMA can cause other possible neurological changes, including apoptosis and non-serotonergic neurotoxicity. So in short, using Molly can actually slowly but surely perform its own negatively charged brain-surgery on someone abusing the substance. The only trouble with the exact measurement on the long term effects of Molly use on the brain is that these studies have primarily been performed on animals.
- Some animal studies have shown that high doses of MDMA in non-human primates can cause long-term damage to the serotonin nerves in the brain. The average user takes a smaller and safer dose, but it is possible that the human brain is more susceptible to damage
Long Term Effects of Molly Use: Cognitive Function
Some studies find that repeated MDMA use may lead to subtle changes in learning, memory, attention, mood, and decision making. Long term effects of Molly use is expected to have the most influence on these cognitive function, which primarily refers to things like the ability to learn new information, speech, and reading comprehension. A list of long term effects of Molly use includes the following:
- Long-lasting brain damage affecting thought and memory
- Damage to portions of the brain that regulate critical functions such as learning, sleep and emotion
- Degenerated nerve branches and nerve endings
- Memory loss
- Kidney failure
- Cardiovascular collapse
Over 100 studies on the long term effects of Molly use have found a consistent negative effect on cognitive and psychomotor function (which is the relation between cognitive function and physical movement). Even more troubling is that these long term effects of Molly use appear to be permanent, as those who were users in the past who have been without recent exposure to MDMA showed performance difficulties that were equal to or even exceeded those noted in current users.
While there is some controversy as to the addictive nature of Molly being mental rather than physical, or some dispute if it is even a reality, it is still relevant to understand that due to the nature of how the drugs Molly or Ecstasy are made with so many different chemical combinations the risk of overdose, serious health complications, or death is very much a real factor. Also it is important to consider that one of the obvious long term effects of Molly use is how it disrupts behavior and emotional responses, and how the mind and body correlate those feelings. Long term effects of Molly use can permanently damage the way the mind processes emotions and other chemical reactions in the brain.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
If you’re struggling with heroin addiction, the first thing to realize that there is more to it than physical dependence. Sure, that’s a BIG part of it, right now but, if you want to beat your heroin addiction and have lasting sobriety, it’s important to understand a few things first. Then we’ll discuss how to beat heroin addiction.
How to Beat Heroin Addiction: Heroin Addiction vs. Heroin Dependence
Heroin and other opiates are an inherently physically addictive substance which means that after being on heroin or painkillers for even a short time, your body and brain become dependent on the opiate. This becomes quite apparent when you try to stop your heroin use: you begin to experience really uncomfortable symptoms. This is called withdrawal syndrome and among people who are struggling with heroin addiction and dependence, it’s known as being ‘dope sick.’
Heroin addiction takes things a step further. You might get physically sick when you run out of your stash but, it’s paired with an extreme obsession and compulsion to use, despite negative consequences, such as loss of job, legal issues (i.e. arrest), loss of relationships, and even literally losing friends to the disease of heroin addiction. Let’s delve further into the idea of ‘addiction-as-a-disease.’
How to Beat Heroin Addiction: Disease Model
There is scientific evidence that supports the theory that addiction is a genetic disorder that affects the brain of individuals who later develop addiction issues. Heroin addiction, and addiction, in general, is defined as a chronic, relapsing, progressive disease. As such, it is recognized by the medical community as a disease that is chronic, and for which there is no cure but there is treatment.
How to Beat Heroin Addiction: Specialized Treatment
The good news is that there is treatment available to help you learn how to beat heroin addiction. It is specially designed to deal with both the physical and psychological aspects of your heroin addiction. Treatment that involves a medical detox, inpatient rehab, and intensive outpatient (IOP) is probably the best route to take when addressing your substance abuse and addiction issues. That’s because this process treats first, your withdrawal (during detox) and then educates you on the nature of heroin addiction.
How to Beat Heroin Addiction: Why Rehab?
Many people struggling with heroin addiction make the mistake of rushing their recovery by solely doing a detox program. If you really want to know how to beat heroin addiction, you will have to be willing to dedicate more time to your recovery than the mere 5 to 7 days that you are in a detox unit. Detox only treats your withdrawal symptoms. Heroin addiction involves much, much more than that.
During inpatient rehab and IOP, you will learn the necessary tools to support you in ongoing recovery and successful sobriety. You will gain self-awareness – learning your patterns, triggers, and facing any unresolved trauma, which is often at the root of substance abuse disorders – which is the first line of defense against relapse. Although addiction is defined as a ‘relapsing disorder,’ it’s important to know that relapse is not always a part of recovery; that it’s possible to recover without experiencing relapse but, you have dedicate the energy and time to the treatment process as well as to doing the work during the period of aftercare and onward.
If you or someone is struggling with substance abuse, addiction, or you would like more information on how to beat heroin addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
At the ‘Nymphomaniac’ Premiere – 64th Berlinale International Film Festival
image via nypost.com
Yesterday we posted an article about Shia LaBeouf in which we wondered whether he was suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, or whether it was all part of his idea of “performance art.” Well, news broke this morning that LaBeouf, 27, has checked himself into rehab. So, it seems, we weren’t far off the mark; LaBeouf is indeed struggling with alcoholism – and perhaps as a result, some form of mental illness, as the two often go hand-in-hand.
With his latest brush with the law, being arrested for harassment, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass after some highly-publicized drunken outbursts during the Broadway performance of Cabaret Thursday, it seems that LaBeouf has hit rock bottom. LaBeouf, carrying The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, checked into a Los Angeles rehab.
And, apparently this isn’t the first time that the actor has attempted recovery.
In the past, LaBeouf had spoken about how, as a child, he attended AA meetings with his father. As a teen, LaBeouf seemingly had no issues with alcohol or other drugs as there were no incidences to speak of. Instead, the former Disney child actor spent his time wisely, focusing on building quite the promising film career. However, in 2007, he was arrested at a Walgreen’s for what he described as “intoxicated” behavior, and a year later, was arrested on drunken driving charges; it seemed that the actor’s alcoholism was burgeoning.
That same year, in 2008, the National Enquirer reported that LaBeouf had picked up a chip to celebrate his 60 days of sobriety at an AA meeting in Los Angeles. Which is troubling because of the whole anonymity thing.
In 2011, the actor spoke openly about his substance abuse, telling Parade magazine that that he was an “alcoholic” after being involved in a bar brawl.
At this time, LaBeouf was said to be attending AA meetings rather frequently in both New York and L.A.
By the following year, however, there was growing concern regarding the actor’s sobriety as he was heard bragging about drinking moonshine and dropping LSD while “researching” movie roles.
More recently, LaBeouf seems to be upping the ante with his antics, all of which seemed to involve alcohol. There was the recent NYC bar brawl, which took place after the actor was seen downing margaritas. Then LaBeouf was seen chasing a homeless man through the park. Then the whole Cabaret incident. All the while, the actor has appeared more and more disheveled in appearance. It’s clear that LaBeouf is struggling with his alcoholism and that it’s taking its toll on his health and mental well-being.
Original story reads below.
What the hell is up with Shia LaBeouf? A child Disney star who seemed to have successfully made the transition to adult celebrity status, what with his roles in the blockbuster Transformers franchise and a role in the ever-popular Indian Jones series’ latest installment The Crystal Skulls, among other projects. As of late, LaBeouf has been acting like a righteous d-bag. We’re left wondering: is it mental illness, substance abuse, or is it all just an “act?”
The latest news involves the 27-year-old actor being tearfully led away by police from the Broadway production of Cabaret on Thursday evening, after he allegedly disrupted the performance by shouting loudly at the cast on stage during the show, smoking and smacking lead actor Alan Cumming on the butt.
While being escorted out of the theater by police, the actor hurled insults and profanities at police officers.
Due to his drunken display during the Broadway show and subsequent arrest, LaBeouf was arraigned in Midtown Community Court on Friday. He was charged with harassment, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass following the incident. Reports describe the actor as “bleary-eyed and unkempt” as he was released from custody by the New York Police Department on Friday morning.
LaBeouf’s bizarre behavior in New York City is just the latest in a string of outbursts from the former clean-cut Disney Channel star.
And a week before his Broadway stunt, LaBeouf apparently almost got into an altercation outside a strip club in New York City. TMZ’s website posted a short video clip Sunday, showing LaBeouf bouncing around as if he’s getting ready to throw punches at another man; LaBeouf appears to be taunting an unidentified man but then quickly walks away after an exchange of words.
Even his former co-stars have been expressing concerns for LaBeouf. Siobhan Fallon Hogan, who starred in Holes with Shia, told The Metro: “I think there’s a ton of pressure when you’re in the acting business. It’s hard growing up acting – being a child actor. There’s so much pressure to act the right way. There’s so much attention from the press that, if you make one wrong move, it’s under a microscope. I can see that being hard for him.”
LaBeouf made headlines in February after he wore a paper bag over his head with “I am not famous anymore” scrawled on it at a Berlin film conference, saying that it was an act of “performance art.”
Perhaps the most memorable cringe-worthy incident involving LaBeouf occurred December of last year when it came to light that the actor ripped off graphic novel writer Daniel Clowes when he released the short film, HowardCantour.com, but passed it off as his own work.
What made matters worse was LaBeouf’s reaction to being exposed a plagiarist, as he issued a series of bizarre apologies. Most notable was the one in which he hired a skywriter to write “I am sorry Daniel Clowes” in the Los Angeles sky on New Year’s Day, which the actor then promptly snapped and tweeted along with three definitions of the word ‘cloud.’
In a tweet, he blames his plagiarism on his alcohol use: “I lifted the text, probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.”
LaBeouf is due in court on July 24.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.