Saturday, June 22, 2013

Here's to the Crazy Ones!

I love this quote!  

You and I have the power to change the world, because we have the power to change ourselves. We are all born with this power, and all that is required to harness it is a shift in thinking - a shift in the way we perceive ourselves, our lives, our circumstances, our problems, and each other. 

We can either see ourselves as victims, or we can see ourselves as capable and in control of our own thoughts, words, and actions.

In any circumstance, we can ask ourselves, "Is there anything I can do about this to change the situation and make it better?" If the answer is "No", we need to let it go! We cannot let things out of our control drain us of time and energy. If on the other hand there is something we can do to change a situation, then by golly...we must DO IT! Take action, watch what unfolds, learn from it, and repeat the process.

If we focus our thinking and behavior on the things we can control, we will naturally change the course of our lives as well as our collective destiny!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How Do You Help an Addict?

What do you do when someone you love is in the throws of addiction? Keep in mind that I am not a doctor, psychologist, or therapist {yet!}; but, I will share what I’ve learned from my own experience as an addict. The best way to help someone with an addiction, is to follow these five rules:

1. The only person that you can control in the whole world is YOU. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink – or in this case, not drink. You may be concerned about another person, provide them with resources and knowledge, give them all the love in the world, and plead with them to do something or change what they are doing, but there is no guarantee that they will comply with what you want for them. This is particularly true for addicts. We may physically hear what you say and you can say it a million times, but it may never register in our consciousness or hearts. And even if it does, we may still not do what you want for us. 

The primary focus of your attention and activity should be on the one thing you can control -- YOU - your thoughts, words, and actions. This is where your power lies; and this is where God works!

2. Take care of yourself first. In the pre-flight safety review, flight attendants, for example, tell parents to put on their own oxygen mask before placing one on their child. The reason is simple: the child can’t be helped if the parent passes out! There is no way you stand the chance of helping or influencing another individual if you don’t take care of yourself first. 

Once again, this is particularly true if you are in a relationship with an addict. They will drain you of energy, time, money, and resources if you let them. You must take care of yourself {physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually} or you will have nothing left for you or your loved one!

3. You must set boundaries  - do not enable the addiction. I repeat: you must not enable the addiction! For example, do not bail out the addict financially; do not let them borrow money; do not permit the behavior in your household, etc. Enabling the addicts behavior just roots it more firmly in their brain. He / she must smack his / her ass on the bottom sometimes in order to change! And, setting boundaries not only helps provide this bottom for the addict, but it is part of your own self-care too.

4. Shine the Light in dark places. If you suspect someone you love is in the throws of addiction (alcohol, drug, gambling, sex, etc.), let them know what you observe. For example: “This is your third glass of wine in one hour. You drink too much."; “You have a gambling problem, and it is tearing the family apart.”; “You smoke too much pot; you need help.” 

Though they may deny it, minimize it, get angry, or ignore you, telling the addict what you observe and that you think they need help will plant a seed in their unconscious mind which may well germinate in the future. At very least, it will give them another check mark toward a diagnosis of “addiction” on a Do I Have an Addiction quiz, should they take one in the future! 

5. If you have accepted that ultimately you only have control over yourself, you take care of yourself first, you let the individual know what you observe, and you set boundaries, and still nothing changes, you must accept that the rest is up to the individual and up to God

I think the serenity prayer sums it up best:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I know this is a bitter pill to swallow and is easier said than done when you love someone. I promise, though, it is the only way you stand the slightest chance of helping; and it is definitely the only chance you have of maintaining your own health, happiness, and sanity.



AL-ANON - - “Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers.”

GAM-ANON - - “...a 12 Step self-help fellowship of men and women who have been affected by the gambling problem of a loved one. “

Co-dependent No More, by Melody Beattie

The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pink Hi-Top Adventures

The Far Side®, by Gary Larson

For those of you new to this blog, I thought I'd give you a little background. Pink Hi-Top Adventures is my first blog ever! I started it back in January 2013 as a chronicle of my ongoing recovery from depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. 

Seven and a half-years ago, I entered treatment for alcohol addiction. At the time, I thought it would resolve whatever it was inside that was stopping me from moving forward in life; however, it only drained the pool and uncovered the disease within.

Though I had been anxious and depressed but functioning for years, last September I finally imploded. I spent about three weeks in bed - unable to work, unable to shower, unable to function. My thoughts were turning darker too. I fantasized about death and hurting myself; and for the first time ever, it felt comforting and logical.

When I shared this with my {wonderful!} husband, he reached out to my therapist; and I was admitted to a partial hospitalization treatment program {PHP}. There I was diagnosed with major depression, dysthymia {long-term, low-grade depression}, and generalized anxiety disorder. Fortunately, I was treated by wonderful doctors and therapists; and, though I've experienced periodic set-backs along the way, I've been doing better overall since.

This blog is a chronicle of my continuous recovery and progress toward achieving my goals - one of which is graduating from college with a psychology degree. {I've been in college - on and off - since September 1984; and graduating would be quite an achievement indeed!} I also hope to inspire and inform with personal stories, resources, and a little humor!

The blog title is inspired by my favorite pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s that I wore when I last felt my happiest and freest. 

And finally, Pink Hi-Top Adventures is a place for you too. Please feel free to comment and discuss - either in the comments section of this blog, or on the blog's Facebook page!

Thanks for reading!


Here is an overview of some of my favorite posts from the past six months:


Thoughts from my addiction (2/27/13)
Alcoholic or problem drinker? (3/14/13)


Obstacles (5/22/13)
Social Anxiety (5/29/13)


Notes from the Vortex (2/11/13)
Life (3/7/13)
Lifeline (3/8/13)
Grey veil...again?! (3/16/13)
Overcoming...inertia! (3/19/13)
Can't sleep (4/23/13)
Do the next right thing - part II (4/25/13)
The daily struggle (6/6/13)
Taking down the wall (6/7/13)
Contained emotions (6/13/13)


"Nervous breakdown" (3/6/13)
Depression is not a character defect (3/27/13)


Never underestimate your own power! (2/26/13)
Acceptance (3/1/13)
Recovery step #2: sleep, damn it! (3/5/13)
Rebirth (3/30/13)
Wellness part I: physical (4/26/13)