Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Gift of Gratitude


By
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

If you haven't been living in a hole in the past 24 hours, you've probably noticed that there has been a significant 'weather event' occurring on the East Coast of the U.S.  That's right, I'm talking about Hurricane Sandy, a mammoth 700 mile wide superstorm that has left 7.6 million people without power. 

Today I am full of gratitude.  For whatever reason, my house was spared and I have electricity.  I say that with a profound sense of thanks and not from a place of bragging.  You don't know what you've got until it's gone.  This storm has taught me that it is even better to remember what you have before it is taken away from you and you have to realize it then. 

Of course, this is a substance abuse blog so I do need to talk about that subject.  However, this weather incident fits right in.  It is the storms of addiction that decimate families and the individuals who suffer directly from the disease itself.  Pounded by waves of insecurity, low self-esteem, guilt, and shame, the beach of their life is turned and churned into a liquid wasteland.  And all hope seems to be lost.  Pretty depressing huh?!?

Never fear.  As a famous book once said, "Joy comes in the morning!"  And that is true.  There is hope for the alcoholic and the addict.  Recovery clears the clouds and the storms of addiction to reveal a new life. 

Just as people seek recovery from substance abuse, we also rise up in spite of Sandy's best efforts.  Now we will see humanity at it's greatest place: helping one another.  And, in turn, by helping each other, we increase our gratitude as well.

Today, at The Coleman Institute, we pause and reflect with gratitude the many gifts and blessings we have received especially in light of this horrific storm.  Our staff is safe and many of our clients have come through this storm ok.  Also, in our hearts, we are thinking of those still without power and in need of other assistance.  Let us all do our part today and in the coming days to show the best of our humanity and help those who cannot help themselves in the wake of the disaster this storm has caused!         

                                                                          

Monday, October 29, 2012

Courage: It's What We Need!

By 
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

As a kid, I used to love to watch war movies.  While the reality of war is hell as it has been said, watching it on the big screen is whole different story.  The common theme in any war movie is the courage of those in the midst of the fight.  Regardless of which side you root for, all soldiers must have courage or face certain death.  The same can be said of the war with substance abuse so many of our patients face on a daily basis.

Alcohol and drugs are a cruel enemy.  They take no prisoners.  They leave behind no survivors.  Woman and children are not offered amnesty but are victims as well.  These substances know only one battle plan: divide, conquer and decimate.  

It's important for those who are entering recovery to keep this in the forefront of their minds.  Like a new soldier arriving for basic training in the Marines, addicts and alcoholics must prepare for the hard work, discipline, and intensity that their training will require in order to be the best they can be and remain sober and recovered. 

Courage is not the absence of fear rather it is pushing forward in the face of fear.  It is not easy.  It is not fun.  It is essential.   "Pain instructs, " as a wise man once said.  The truth is our biggest fears revolve around anticipation of pain whether it is physical or emotional pain.  Courage helps us to push forward in the face of adversity through the pain which can instruct us and teach us how to grow if we will listen.  

Are you listening?  Are you standing up with all the courage you can muster to put one foot in front of the other each day you wake up in recovery?  If not, why not?  What can you change and what do you have to release?  Perhaps a healthy prayer, mantra, or conscious thought would be,"Higher Power, please give me the courage to have courage in the face of my fears".  After all, courage is what we all need!  

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We are in the business of helping restore courage in our client's hearts so they can get the life they want free from addiction.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

Friday, October 26, 2012

First Time for Everything!


By
Chris Newcomb, M.Div. 


Recovery from substance abuse is a full-contact sport!  It's not for the meek or the mild.  It requires everything of you and more.  And the prize is totally worth it!  

Remember the day when you first starting abusing drugs or alcohol?  Remember how you rushed into it with reckless abandon?  It wasn't that hard, was it?  You just did it!  Take a clue from Nike:  just do recovery!

Notice the fish bowl above with all the fish inside?  It's crammed and it stinks (work with me here).  And the neighbors are blowing bubbles all around you and you can't get a moment of rest.  It's ridiculous.  It's overcrowded.  And that fish in the middle never shuts up!  You get the point. 

Be free!  Be different!  Be unique!  Look at that fish jumping out of the fish bowl and into the...fish bowl.  Ok, so here's the deal.  You're still going to be around other people.  You'll still be invited to other places where people party.  But you will see the world much differently.  It will appear fresh, clean, and different.  It won't matter to you what other people are doing.  It will only matter to you that you are healthy and feel so much freedom inside.  You will be in full-contact with life and recovery not partying and destruction.  Isn't that more appealing?!?

As Thomas Jefferson once said, "If you want something in your life you've never had, you'll have to do something, you've never done."  Think about.  There is a first time for everything!  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Take My Friend, Please!




By
Joan Shepherd, FNP


Our office staff regularly meets to discuss the kinds of things medical offices must discuss. Occasionally at these meetings we look at our website and ask ourselves if it is communicating what we are truly about.  A fascinating fact emerged recently as we combed and sifted through the website stats: while many of our clients find us on-line, most of our clients are referred by friends!

I don’t know why that surprised us so much.  In fact, as I think about it, it’s no surprise at all.  Many folks who become our patients have been treated as criminals, not people with the disease of addiction…as if they had a choice about having this condition.

From the moment a person becomes involved with The Coleman Institute, the camaraderie begins to develop.  He or she experiences respect, warmth, humor, reassurance and—perhaps most importantly—real hope that once and for all- they can be released from the wretched noose of opiate addiction.  Our Accelerated Opiate Detox technique is based on science; our rapport is based on loving what we do.

We love what we do because there is nothing quite so satisfying as being able to say with true conviction that we see people get better all the time.  And because our staff knows this is a disease, we are free to love our patients and hate the illness.  After all, love is what we all need, right?

Admittedly, we are just a stepping stone in the process; the real work starts when our client leaves and re-enters their real world.  Like the sculptor who ‘frees’ the carving trapped in stone, a person who embraces recovery must daily release what they no longer need, continually revealing the life they are meant to live.

So, thank you to everyone who has trusted us to send a beloved friend or family member. It is a great privilege to be a small part of their journey.  

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We offer a non-judgmental, safe, enencouraging atmosphere to start your healing process from addiction.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Who Am I?

By 
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Who am I?  It is one of the toughest questions you will ever answer for yourself.  It usually starts in teenage life around age 12 or 13.  If that age isn't awkward enough with all the physical changes we go through such as zits, it is even worse when we are faced with this existential question for which we usually have no clue how to answer.  Do you know who you are?  Have you figured it out yet?  

One important point to consider in this regards to this question is this: are we always just the same person or do we change through time to become a different person?  Are there qualities that are constant and those that change inside us as we adapt and experience life on life's terms?  For example, I am a redhead (insert ginger joke here).  I'll always be a redhead however I have changed considerably in the way I look now versus when I was a teenager.  As a teenager, I couldn't gain weight to save my life.  I could eat the buffet AND the table and STILL not gain weight.  As an adult, that problem has been solved with a little issue known as 'metabolic decline' (a.k.a. I don't burn calories off like I used to)! 

What about on the inside?  I hope that I am not the same person I was when I was 12!  If so, forget everything I am about to write.  It will do you no good.  

When people enter recovery, they are usually faced with an existential question like "Who am I?" because their entire world has changed.  Everything they identified themselves with and used to create who they were is now gone.  No more drugs.  No more alcohol.  No more parties.  No more being the cool guy or girl in the party scene.  Welcome sobriety!  Most people don't welcome it because they are having an identity crisis.  I don't blame them.  It's hard enough figuring out who you are without drugs and alcohol! 

The important task in recovery is figuring out your new identity which, paradoxically, is really your old identity before you started partying.  It's usually the person you always knew you were but tried to run from through the alcohol and drugs.  Maybe you really wanted to be an academic but feared what people would think so you became a "stoner" instead.  Perhaps you wanted to be a police officer and bust drug dealers but didn't believe you could do it so you started dealing drugs.  These examples sound far fetched but they happen all the time.  

No matter what...first things first:  Remember that the number one quality you now have is being a sober person.  That is the first quality of your new identity.  The second quality of your new identity is that you are a person who is willing to learn about who you are, that is, you are open to self-analysis and change.  Last, you are a person who can change.  You already have if you've quit drugs and alcohol to become a sober person! 

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We love helping addicts and alcoholics figure out who they are as they decide to get sober.  Are you tired of trying to be someone you're not?  Why don't you call Jennifer and talk with her about our detox options so you can work on being who you really are anyway.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Function of Freedom


By 
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Yesterday I was talking with a patient who was completing his detox.  He was resistant to change, as most patients are, telling me that he wasn't going to talk to anyone because he doesn't do things he doesn't want to do.  Sound familiar?  I told him no one likes to be told what to do.  I went on to say that one of the gifts of being an adult is the freedom to decide what you are going to do with your life positively or negatively.  His ears perked up.  I had my audience.  

We live in a country based on the principle of freedom.  In our great society, people have the privilege of choosing their own way of life.  They are free to start a business, join a civic organization, protest against the government, or support a cause they believe in.  They are also free to break the law (just watch the news) and go to jail.  Many do not ask, however, what is the function of freedom?


Is the function of freedom merely to gather as much stuff as I can before I die much like the humorous bumper sticker that says, "He who dies with the most toys wins"?  Could there be a higher principle for which freedom exists?  As the patient and I spoke yesterday, I tried to help him see that the function of freedom was to help others get free.  That is, his freedom from drug addiction was predicated on the reality that he must go help others get free in order to stay free himself. 


The function of freedom is to spread freedom.  That is why service work is emphasized in the 12 step community.  You see the same principle in medicine.  When a doctor discovers a cure for a disease, he or she doesn't keep the formula to themselves rather they let the world know that there is a cure so people can become free from the pain of their disease.  


If you are free from drug and/or alcohol addiction today, are you using your freedom to help others get free?  If not, why not?  Is there someone you know you can reach out to that needs your help?  Remember what it felt like to be free?  Wouldn't you love to pass that on to another desperate soul so they can experience it too?  It's never to late to reach out and give the gift of freedom!  Let me encourage you to reach out and help someone if you haven't already.  If you have, great job and keep it up!


At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We love serving addicts and alcoholics.  It is a privilege to help our patients get their first taste of freedom through our detox process.
Many of our patients are tired and barely holding their gloves up against the tough opponent of addiction when they first arrive for detox.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Knock Out Punch!!!


By
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

I love boxing.  I call it "Planned Violence".  Of course, I don't want to see any one really get hurt except for the occasional k.o. with a brutal right cross to the nose,  I'm kidding (maybe)!  I don't know what happened to the young man pictured above but suffice it to say that he didn't get up in time to stop the 10 count!

Sadly, we live in a violent culture.  Just this week, there was a horrific event in Pittsburgh, PA where an innocent teacher was walking down an alley past several young men as he walked to his destination.  He never looked at the group of men.  He never said a word to any of them.  Out of the blue, one of the young men steps behind his friend for cover and at just the right moment he lands a vicious right cross to the teacher's left cheek.  Immediately, the teacher falls headlong onto the pavement, his body on the ground while his face lands on the sidewalk.  All of this event was captured on video.  Thankfully, within 24 hours, the offender was captured by police.  It was a disturbing story to read much less to see the video.  Our thoughts go out to the victim for a speedy recovery and to the perpetrator that he will be humbled by his actions and choose a different path after he faces his punishment.  It is a sad situation all the way around!

Unfortunately, using drugs and alcohol can be very similar to being sucker punched in an alleyway out of the blue when you least expect it.  The addictive/alcoholic voice waits in the alleyway looking to strike the unexpected, ill-prepared addict or alcoholic.  That is why it pays to be vigilant in your sobriety.  As Benjamin Franklin once noted, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

What parts of your life are like a dark alleyway where addiction can hide ready to punch your lights out?  Is it people you hang out with that are not sober?  Is it places where alcohol is sold or drugs are taken?  How about relationships with people who are a major source of stress in your life.  All of these and many other scenarios are potential sucker punches to your sobriety.  

In boxing, the point is to hit your opponent and not to get hit yourself.  That's why boxers practice 'bobbing and weaving' which is boxer-speak for moving out of the way of incoming punches.  In sobriety and recovery, people 'bob and weave' their way around temptation through activities like attending 12 step meetings, talking with a sponsor, spending time with sober friends, doing service work, and other sobriety-enhancing activities.  

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We love serving addicts and alcoholics.  Many of our patients are tired and barely holding their gloves up against the tough opponent of addiction when they first arrive for detox.  However, most feel rejuvenated, encouraged, and strengthened for the battle ahead armed with a strong aftercare program.  Furthermore, many of them elect to participate in 12-months of Naltrexone Therapy to protect them.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

Monday, October 8, 2012

How Do You Speak?

By 
Chris Newcomb, M.Div. 

"What are words for when no one listens anymore?"  It's a great question.  Those words were sung in the early 1980's by the band Missing Persons.  While I agree that many people aren't that great at listening these days, I also contend that words are very, very important!

For example, if words aren't important, why do we tell people, "I love you"?   It's certainly has some deeper meaning than just a frivolous verbal greeting.  We tell them that because we want them to know that they are valuable to us.  Words do matter.

One time when we need to watch our words is when we are angry.  I remember about 10 years ago I took a group of high school students down to New Orleans to give out hygiene kits to the homeless.  It was a great time save for one unfortunate event.  All the students had been prepped ahead time about behavioral expectations and knew that we would send them back home on a greyhound bus if they misbehaved.  All in all, the kids were well-behaved except for one student.  

To be fair, John* came from a rough background.  He was spending his money a little to quickly early in the trip.  One of my associates was gently encouraging him to curb his spending habits as I was walking by one afternoon.  John got angry and yelled at the other adult telling him what he could kiss and where.  This was in front of about 40 other people.  At that moment, I knew I was sending John home if not that afternoon than the next day for sure.  

I gathered my leaders together (7 including me) and we each cast a vote on whether to send John home.  It was a 3-3 split amongst my leaders.  To be fair, I didn't want to be the tie breaker so I deferred to my supervisor.  He instructed me to give John one more chance.  

As I was walking back to tell John he had been given a last minute stay, a student came up to me and informed me that John was talking badly about me the entire time I was talking to my supervisor.  Upon hearing the news, I immediately decided that John has just used his last chance.  When I got to where he was, I informed him of my supervisor's decision and then what I heard about him saying about me and then my new decision to send him home anyway.  What happen next I couldn't have guessed in a million years!

As the weight of my decision took hold of John, he responded loudly and with conviction and cursed me out using only the F-word.  I was stunned.  I was insulted.  I felt disrespected.  I was angry.  I wanted to retaliate.  At that moment, I froze.  I weighed my options and decided to silently turn and walk away.  So I did.  I turned and walked.  And walked.  And walked.  I walked for about 2-3 city blocks without ever looking back.  I had never been so insulted in all my life!  

Eventually, I came back.  We told John we cared about him and expected to see him hang out with the group when we returned to Virginia.  I had my doubts he would.  

Eventually, John humbled himself, came back around with the other students and apologized to me.  I forgave him.  He went on to serve in the U.S. Army in Iraq and was severely wounded by a bomb that exploded nearby.  Today, he is healed from his injuries, married, a new father, and retired from the Army.  

The point is this: words carry power.  John's words will always ring in my head when I think of him although I've forgiven him.  It permanently altered our relationship although I think for the better in the end. 

How do you deal with your anger?  Do you express yourself in an honest, cool, collected,  fashion when someone makes you angry or do you fly off the handle like John did at me?  We all get angry from time and time.  It is ok to be emotionally honest and share our anger too.  However, we must temper, pardon the pun, our words with self-restraint.  How will you deal with your anger today?  Tonight?  Next month?  Next year?  Plan ahead so the words will be beautiful and not ugly!  

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We love serving addicts and alcoholics.  Many of our patients are angry when they arrive because they're sick and tired of being sick and tired, so to speak.  However, many leave that anger here when they leave from a successful detox experience.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Take Me Higher!


By 
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.


Anyone who knows me knows I am a music lover!  Today's title is an off shoot of a song by the 70's funk and soul powerhouse band Sly and the Family Stone called "I Wanna Take You Higher".  It's a great tune if you get a chance to listen to it you should check it out!  

Do you know that your higher power wants to take you higher?  Now before you get all mad that I'm bringing up a 'higher power' or the notion of 'God' or "religion", please hear me out before you dismiss the rest of the article.  If you don't know how to swim and you fall into the deep end of a pool, there is a great chance that you are going to drown and subsequently die.  If I happen to be at the same pool in which you are drowning, I could jump in and save you (literally, I'm a certified lifeguard).  However, the first rule in lifeguard work is NEVER jump in to save someone who is argumentative and will not submit to your expertise.  So, if I say to you, "Hey, start acting like you're riding a bike and you'll stay afloat."  And then you reply, "Drop dead, I'm not gonna act like I'm riding a bike in a pool.  Only stupid people do that!"  And I reply, "Please just do it, I can come save you if you listen to me."  Eventually you have a choice to make: listen to me, accept my help and live, or die.  That's it.  No other options.  

At that moment, I am a power greater than you.  I am your 'higher power' because I can save your life.  That is, I can do for you what you cannot do for yourself.  However, it requires participation on your part.  Will you participate and live or foolishly and stubbornly drown a horrible death.  Clue: Choose life!

Now, back to the discussion of religion and higher power(s), personally I don't care what you believe.  I care more that you stay clean.  You are free to believe what you want and I am free to agree or disagree with your beliefs as you are my beliefs.  That is the beauty of the 12 step tradition.  Many people who are atheists or agnostics choose to follow a self-improvement program in the place an actual religion belief(s).  For example, as I type this article for our blog, there are literally billions of people that get up each day and choose to stay sober in spite of the cirumstances life hands them.  That is amazing when you think about it.  They use good nutrition, healthy sleeping habits, exercise, relational management, career goals and other things to remain healthy and sober.

This weekend, why not consider your relationship with your higher power, if you have one, and if you don't, perhaps consider what a higher power might do to help you in sobriety.  A Higher Power is important because we lack the power to stay clean on our own.  It is only when we surrender to something bigger, more powerful, and more compassionate than ourselves do we begin to gain strength and vision to carry on in sobriety and recovery.  Who or what is your higher power?  If you can't answer that question, give yourself the gift of the journey of exploration into a relationship with a higher power of your choice.  You will be amazed at the way your life will change!

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We love serving addicts and alcoholics.  Our detox is kind of like a 'chemical higher power", so to speak, as it helps you get clean so you can help yourself in into recovery once you are sober and detoxed.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

P.S. Sly and the Family Stone's "I Wanna Take You Higher"...
http://bit.ly/3vnhDD

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Be Different: Blaze a Trail!

By

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

As a kid, I loved the stories of Stan and Jan Berenstein known as "The Berenstein Bears" (RIP Stan and Jan, and thanks!).  As a matter of fact, the first book I ever read was one of their books.  It holds a special place in my heart.  I read incredibly deep things now.  I should...I'm 39!

In the book pictured above, the Berenstein Bears go on a trip through the woods with Papa Bear.  They experience all kinds of adventures through out the tale.  The young bears started out trying to blaze their own trail but Papa Bear ended up going with them.  It was good he did to show them the way.  Still, we have to give the little guys credit for trying something new on their own!

Have you ever blazed a trail in your life?  It could be a new career.  It could be a new relationship.  It could be sobriety from drugs and alcohol.  If it is the latter, you are a trail blazer indeed.  

I tell clients all the time that the easiest thing to do is continue using drugs and alcohol.  "Everyone is doing it.  Why not fit in?  Why try to live a life based on good morals and good health?  To hell with health and freedom, I wanna destroy myself!"  These are the attitudes the drug and alcohol culture holds in high regards.  In the sober world, we laugh at such nonsense.  Now, let me be clear, we don't laugh at the people caught in the scourge of addiction rather we laugh at the mindset that addiction causes that is so illogical.  It's not a trail blazing mindset.  It so run-of-the-mill it is sad!

Life is beautiful.  This much we know, there will always be good and bad times.  There will always be a call to join the status quo as well as a call to live a life that is different from the pack.  I invite you to blaze a trail right where you are whether it be into sobriety and recovery or some other life-giving, self-growth affirming direction.  You won't regret the new trail at all! 

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We love helping trail blazers like you get help along the way.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Guilt: A Gift?


I remember those days of early youth when I would get busted for doing something stupid by my stepmother.  I would do immoral and ignorant things like take money out of her purse (as if she would miss it being a banker), use a certain finger to express my feelings when her back was turned and she happened to be standing in front of a mirror (I never claimed to be a genius), or eat dessert before dinner when I was told explicitly not to eat dessert before dinner.  Yes, confession is good for the soul and I feel better!  Now that I got that out, let's get on to the related topic of guilt!

Guilt is a tricky feeling.  While necessary to have, it is not fun to feel.  Ever felt guilty?  I hope so...otherwise that would label you a sociopath and then we really do need to talk (preferably with you on one side of the bars and me on the other)!  Yes, guilt is a quite normal and natural human experience.  What's the point of guilt?  Have you ever pondered that question?  It's a good thing to consider because guilt can be helpful.  

Guilt is basically a message from your internal moral compass telling you that you have violated your predetermined moral code of behavior.  Guilt is a warning light.  It's job is to tell you that you have gotten off track with a recent action(s) or word(s).  We often get hung up on the feeling of guilt and never ask the question of what is the message of guilt.  Could guilt be a gift?  It depends on how you look at it.  

If we look at guilt as a gift, we set ourselves up for a new future.  By this, I mean, choosing to see guilt as a gift means you are open to receiving the message of guilt and to then apply it to your life.  On the contrary, if we see guilt as an awful, horrible, feeling that should cause us extreme shame, embarrassment and sorrow then we're missing the greater point.  The point of guilt isn't to beat us down and destroy our self-esteem rather it is to lift us up to a higher standard of behavior that will help us flourish and not wither.  Don't get me wrong...sorrow and embarrassment have their place as a deterrent from future behavior but they should be experienced with some temperance (I no longer steal from my stepmother's wallet because at 39 that would be pretty lame.  I also no longer feel shame or embarrassment about it because I have forgiven myself). 

How do you deal with guilt?  Do you choose to learn the lesson it's trying to teach or do you wallow in self-pity or continue in the guilt-causing behavior?  Even worse, because of guilt, do you choose to use drugs and/or alcohol to soothe the guilty pangs?  Guilt is a huge cause of relapse.  That is why it is crucial to deal with it appropriately so you can benefit from it's message, amend your behavior and maintain your sobriety.  That is our task in dealing with guilt. 

The next time you experience guilt, ask yourself what is the guilt trying to tell you?  What moral code have you broken that caused the guilt?  Then ask yourself what can I do with this message to change my life for the better?  If you apply these two questions, I believe you will experience guilt in a whole new life-affirming way versus how you have been experiencing it up until now: a death blow to your self-esteem and a dismal forecast of the future.  Finally, your sobriety will remain intact and be strengthened by your experience thus giving you hope for the future!

At The Coleman Institute, we
specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  Many of our patients struggle with guilt about their addiction.  You can relax if you struggle with guilt because we're not here to judge you.  We're here to help you become the best version of you possible.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!