Taking Drastic Measures

I’ve battled with my weight most of my life.  Over the years, I managed to lose up to a 100 pounds only to regain the weight.

That’s when I decided to take drastic measures.  I called a surgeon and asked about bariatric surgery.

Before the surgery date, I had to participate in a weight loss program, talk with a nutritionist, get a psychiatric evaluation, and there were few other things that needed to be accomplished.

I managed to meet all those goals and my insurance company gave their approval.  I had the surgery last Thursday (16 August).

I am looking forward to starting my new life, now that I have the tools to succeed.

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Breaking Addiction – A 7 Step Handbook for Ending Any Addiction by Lance Dodes, MD

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According to Dr. Lance Dodes, our current treatment model for addiction is ineffective.  In many cases, people are sent to programs that deal with addiction only and then sent to a different program to treat their mental health issues.  This fragmented treatment plan ignores the fact that addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

Addiction persists, because it serves a purpose.  The addictive behavior is often intended to reverse a profound feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.  Addressing those feelings is key to treating addiction.

The drive behind addiction tends to be rage and feelings of being trapped.  This rage compounds the feelings of helplessness, so addiction becomes a displaced action.  Addiction is a symptom of deeper psychological problems.

The book lists seven steps for overcoming addiction.

Step 1 – Understand addiction as behavior driven by psychological/emotional distress

Step 2 – Addictions are compulsive behaviors and need to be treated through therapy which allows the person to gain a better understanding of themselves.

Step 3 – Recognize key moments in the addiction processes.  The thoughts and feelings that drive addictive behavior are clues to the cause and treatment options for the addictive behavior.

Step 4 – Recognize your defenses that hide the root cause of your addiction.  Look for the feelings and thoughts that are driving you.

Step 5 – Understand what is happening at the key moment, what’s the trigger.  What are the corresponding feelings that make you feel helpless or powerless?

Step 6 – Develop short-term strategies to deal with triggers and emotional distress.  Ask yourself why you are thinking about your addiction and look for alternative behaviors.  Restore feelings of power by finding a practical way out of the trap.  If you can’t change your circumstances, focus on the feelings and learn to deal with those feelings.

Step 7 – Eliminate or reduce feelings of powerlessness and helplessness by being an expert on yourself.  Also, learn to identify high risk situations.  Knowing the risks in advance allows you to prepare for it.

Favorite Childhood Memory – Fishing in the Bathtub

Today is Aaron’s birthday.  He would have been 42 years old.  I thought I would honor the day by sharing one of our adventures together as children.

During the summer of 1988, my brother and I spent most of our free time exploring the woods and playing in a creek.

One day, we were hanging out in the woods and fishing.  We had a bucket full of fish, but it started to rain.  Neither one of us wanted to leave, since we were having so much fun.

I suggested we take the bucket of fish home and put the fish in our bathtub.  That way we could continue having fun while we were at the house.  Aaron thought it was a great idea, so that’s what we did.

My mom came home from work, as she passed by the bathroom, she saw Aaron sitting on the toilet with a fishing pole.  She went into the bathroom to find out what in the world her son was doing.

When mom looked into the bathtub, she went ballistic.  She started yelling at both of us to get those **** fish out of the there.

We put the fish back into the bucket and walked down the street.  We decided to release the fish in our neighbor’s pound.  Once we got home, Mom made us scrub the bathtub multiple times with several different cleaning solutions.

Personally, I think she may have overreacted just a little bit.

Censorship Doesn’t Equal Freedom

It bothers me when people demand their right to free speech, while at the same time trying to censor contradictory opinions.  I see this coming from both sides of the fence.

However, you can’t have freedom of speech and censorship.  They are contradictory terms.  Allowing this behavior will erode our freedoms and in the end we all lose.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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