Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

intimacy                Hi everyone!  Today i want to cover the topic of intimacy, something vital to each of our lives, and a topic that is a big part of love addiction and codependency.

A lot of us have found that in relationships, we have lost ourselves, and a big struggle is trying to rebuild our behavior patterns in relationships so that we can have healthy relationships where that doesn’t happen.  We have also found that the people we choose to be intimate with are unavailable to us emotionally, or maybe we have even found someone to be intimate with, but we push them away and sabotage our relationships.  Intimacy can be scary!

Growing up, intimacy was not modeled for us properly.  Many of us are working on issues like love addiction and codependency because we grew up in a dysfunctional home of some kind, but the good news is we don’t have to keep those lessons we learned.  We can learn a new way to interact with intimacy in our lives, one that is rewarding and allows real connections to be created.

What we’ve seen so far has been nerve-wracking: watching our parents stumble through similar relationships to us told us that intimacy wasn’t worth it, or that being super intimate with someone was the only way to live life.  But there is a balance, one that we didn’t see.  Instead, we either latch onto someone, holding on for dear life, trying to be the perfect person for them, or we shove someone away, telling ourselves that we don’t care about the relationship because they are too this or too that.  We don’t have to do that!

When we start setting boundaries for ourselves in terms of intimacy, we can see the way healthy intimacy can work in relationships.  We don’t have to sleep with someone we just met because that is how we’ve always done it, and we don’t have to share our entire life with someone in one night.  We can make boundaries with ourselves to take intimacy in relationships one step at a time, rather than taking the full plunge, or not entering the contest at all.

As humans, we crave social interactions and intimacy.  It is such an important part of who we are and what it means to be human, but we can try to let people into our lives even though we are scared.  We can take it at our own pace, and nobody else’s.  The more you practice healthy intimacy, the more positive results you will see, and you will be encouraged to create more positive, healthy relationships.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com

abandoment               Hi guys.  Today I want to talk a little bit about the topic of letting go of our fears of abandonment.  I think it’s a really important subject when delving into love addiction and co-dependency, and fear of abandonment is one of the main things that prevents people from getting out of unhealthy relationships.

The idea of being abandoned is scary.  Nobody wants to be left alone to fend for themselves.  As humans, we are social creatures, and having other people and even animals in our lives is comforting and part of being human.  The issue then, is when our fear of being alone – a reasonable fear – becomes so deep that it prevents us from being independent.  We can be independent people without having to give up healthy relationships.  What we have to strive for there is balance.

Those of us that do have major fears of abandonment have a reason to be afraid – we were left alone as children, or left alone at many other times in our lives.  We have felt the pain of people leaving, and the pain of wondering what we did to make them leave.  It is only natural for us to want to hold on tight when we find something or someone we love.

We have also found at times that we have felt abandoned by our higher power.  Things were not working in our favor, and the pain was so great, that we did not honestly believe our higher power was there.  We were so caught up in chaos, that we blamed our higher power for not taking care of us.

There is good news in all of this: we don’t have to feel this way.  We can be independent people that stick up for ourselves, and strive to have a good relationship with ourselves and our higher power.  We can work hard to make sure that we can take care of ourselves, and know that we don’t have to rely on anyone else to take care of us.  We can remember that our higher power was always there, we just had too much chaos in our lives to hear their guidance.  We can understand that moving forward, and letting go with love of others and of circumstances are a part of life, and we will have feelings about it, but our world will not end.  If we become our own best friend, and let our higher power become our best friend, we can always have a best friend there for us when we feel alone.  Allow yourself to let loving people be a part of your life, because the more you push past the fear and step out of your comfort zone, the more you will grow, and the more you will see that there is another way to live life – one not filled with fear.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com

prince

For many people hearing about drug abuse, addiction is seen an issue faced by those with limited resources and limited ability to make changes in their life. However, celebrity drug addiction, including the recent death of Prince, shines a light on just how pain medication addiction can be found at any level of society.

According to friends of the late singer, Prince had an addiction to opioids that has been with him for at least a decade. He was first seen taking opioids after a hip strain, and he continued to up his dosage to continue to perform as early as a decade ago.

The Reality of Pain

The pain was not minor; rather it ravaged his body. According to friends, dancers and those involved in his life he used to opioids to be able to keep on performing, and he rarely if ever complained or asked for any special accommodations.

The hip injury was real, and in 2010, Prince had hip replacement surgery. His use of painkillers, according to his friends and coworkers, was to be able to keep performing even through this. Throughout it all, his fans and many of his family and friends were unaware of the issues he was facing with both pain and addiction.

The Identity 

It seems that even through the pain, Prince felt the need to keep performing at his top level of perfection. Where and how he maintained his supply of opioids is not yet known. Whether it was a doctor prescribing the medications is still unknown, but the fact that the star died under a doctor’s care has fueled the fire of speculation.

Whether Prince, like Michael Jackson and other stars, may have been given medications in dosages or for reasons that were outside the recommendations remains to be seen.

It is tragic, and well documented, how addiction to pain medications in the United States is not just a “star thing”. It is also a real people thing affecting millions of individuals per year throughout the USA, with deaths from opioid pain reliever overdoses increasing 3.4-fold from 2001 to 2014.

Perhaps, even through the tragedy of his death, the opioid addiction issue will finally come to light. While Prince will be greatly missed, the focus on this addiction may end up saving lives in the future.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com

 

In addition recovery programs that are holistic and client-based, resiliency training is one of the key elements of the program. People with addiction have lost their ability to be resilient, and they lack the coping strategies to deal with the challenges and obstacles life throws in their path.

Often this lack of resilience actually comes from unhealed and untreated trauma that may have occurred throughout childhood. This type of trauma can be devastating and lifelong, but it can also be treated even later in life, and the client can develop coping skills and rebuild the resiliency to be able to bounce back when life seems to be going in the wrong direction.

The Heart of Resiliency

At its most basic, resiliency is the ability to see yourself as successful and with the power to overcome the obstacles in your path. It is a belief in your own power, but it may also be the belief in a power greater than you to which you belong. For some people this power is God, Buddha or Allah, a Universal Energy, or a spirituality that creates a connection with the world around them.

There are several ways that resiliency can be developed through recovery programs. In many programs learning to have a spiritual side, which may be religious in nature, as well as different types of resiliency building exercises are part of the training.

These exercises or activities can include:

  • Identifying personal gifts, talents and skills
  • Learning coping mechanisms that are effective
  • Learning problem-solving skills
  • Becoming more effective at communicating with others to find necessary information and to make interpersonal connections that are positive.

Each program and each client will focus on different areas of resiliency training. Often for those in recovery, the hardest part of becoming resilient is in going back and addressing childhood trauma that may never have been discussed, acknowledged or processed. While difficult, this is the cause of most addictions, and doing this work will give you the ability to see yourself as healed, whole and empowered moving forward.

 

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com

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