Mindful News Blog
Wednesday, 5 November, 2014
Growing up, my mother emphasized the importance of saying my “pleases” and “thank yous.” As a result, I have rarely forgotten to say “thank you” when appropriate. However, looking back on my life before getting sober, I can’t say that I always meant it. It was more of a formality, something that I had to do. Like most things in my life prior to getting sober, I was able to be physically present and to appear as though I meant what I said, but my heart was rarely in it. Over the past 21 months, being in the program has softened some of the rigidity that characterized me over the past two decades. As I have let myself be open to suggestions and the ways of others, I have learned that the way that I do things, while very efficient at times, is not the only way to do things. Understanding the concept of gratitude has been one of the many new ideas that I have learned. In treatment and through my sponsor, I was introduced to the idea of writing a “Gratitude List.” It seemed so simple to me, yet it was so difficult for me to sit down and actually write one. Like most things in this program, it was the seemingly “easy” ones that I never seemed to be able to do. Probably because they seemed too easy; what was the catch? This aversion to these simple tasks kept me away from the serenity that I feel today for a while. I don’t remember the first time that I sat down to write my own Gratitude List, but I remember the feeling. Upon completion, I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace, and for lack of a better word, gratitude. There were so many little things that I had in my life (and some very big things) that I forgot about every day. Forgetting these things is what kept me from truly enjoying the life that I had started to build for myself. Forgetting these things allowed me to continue getting angry at the driver in front of me who was driving too slowly for my liking, or getting restless when the line was too long at Starbucks. These days, I like to try to keep, in the forefront of my mind, all that I have in my life, the things that I have always had and the new things that I have been blessed with as a direct result of getting sober and trying a new way of life. I can’t say that I am grateful all day everyday, but when I take the time to remember just how lucky I am and how much I have in my life today, all my problems seem to carry much less weight.
Tuesday, 2 September, 2014
Thanks for the kind words! I’m truly blessed to be able to come back to D.C. I never thought it was possible. Lifeskills was such an instrumental part of getting me started on my journey and I’m so happy I made the decision to come there instead of doing an IOP in D.C. I’ll let my parents know that you said “hello!” They are actually coming to visit me in a couple of weeks before school starts again. There is so much change happening, but it is truly exciting! I will definitely keep you updated :)! Thank you for reaching out. It made my day!
Thursday, 28 August, 2014
When a family member decides to take their own life they leave a legacy of pain. Although this might be an unintended side effect it does not minimize the pain experienced by the surviving family members. While we can never really know how much pain another is experiencing. And we feel compassion for those who end their lives. We must remind ourselves that problems in our lives and emotional pain are short lived, things change. It was so ironic that Robin Williams was quoted as saying “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. Remember hope, have empathy, love our children, laugh, play, ask for help, let others in, we are part of a bigger whole-connected-one. Don’t leave a legacy of pain.
Sunday, 24 August, 2014
All too often it is the tragic loss of a celebrity that brings mental illness to the forefront of our minds. In losing Robin Williams to suicide, the press has been abuzz with words like “suicide,” “depression,” “mental illness,” and “addiction.” What has not been as frequently mentioned is a key component in managing all of those challenges…hope.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, One in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given year. Of those 61.5 million, only 60 percent receive any mental health treatment. I wonder how much of that is related to shame, embarrassment and fear? Scientific research has consistently shown that those with even low levels of hope are less likely to act on suicidal thoughts or impulses. But how do we impart hope to those who are struggling with depression and feel all alone? Education. We live in a society where independence and self-sufficiency are valued. Looking to others for support is often seen as a weakness. By helping others to understand depression is a medical illness, not a character flaw, we can begin to impart hope that things can get better.
Wednesday, 30 July, 2014
Tuesday, 22 July, 2014
Monday, 5 May, 2014
Peter Larmon CBHT, CAICI
Lifeskills South Florida
Peter is a proud member of the PBCSAC Relapse Prevention Task Force. A life-long musician, he has found he is also passionate about recovery. As a person in long-term recovery, which for him means not having used a drink or drug since March 2007, he is working to positively affect the direction and perception of treatment and recovery in Palm Beach County and beyond. Currently, he is employed in the treatment field as a CBHT Supervisor/Residential Manager at Lifeskills South Florida, where he is also the Director of Alumni Services. All of this affords him the unique opportunity to work with and for, his community, and people whose “shoes he’s walked in” yesterday and today.
Monday, 8 July, 2013
In your busy life, whether it is school or work, how often do you get caught up in the motions? Sometimes it feels like you are a robot walking around, being cordial with others but not feeling satisfied. This lack of satisfaction may stem from not knowing your purpose and direction in life. Without purpose and direction it may feel like you are floating disconnected from others. This can lead to using people, places, alcohol and drugs to feel better.
Alcohol and drug addiction, gambling, people pleasing, shopping….well the list can be endless, I am sure you can think of a few I didn’t mention. Addiction traps you into feeling good and creates a false sense of connection. You hope that the temporary feeling will not be fleeting. But unfortunately, it does leave and you are left with feeling hopeless, depressed, and anxious and unfulfilled.
Purpose and direction are not easy to find but you do have it built inside you. Extra support may be needed to help peel away the layers hiding who you really are. Don’t struggle with attempting to figure this out on your own. Find a loved one, a professional or a qualified treatment center to help you find your true purpose and direction in life.
Lifeskills of South Florida is a co-occurring residential treatment center near Miami, Florida that can help you or a loved one stabilize mental health issues, manage personality disorders and break away from patterns of addiction. Our admissions staff can be reached at 844-749-1560.
Tuesday, 4 June, 2013
Do you ever feel panicked because you are unsure of why your parents, friends and spouse make statements or behave strangely towards you? Frustration that your loved one doesn’t understand you, may feel like they are giving up on you. Thoughts that may cross your mind ; “Are they abandoning me?” and “Are they hurting me on purpose?” This can lead you to look for ways to get rid of these intense emotions and awful thoughts. Cutting, alcohol and drug addiction, promiscuity and other self-destructive behaviors become unhealthy ways of coping with feeling unloved and not accepted.
Often times, your loved one doesn’t realize why you are panicking, behaving in self-destructive ways or how they may be hurting you. The miscommunication and lack of understanding can cause terrible storms in your life. Learning to manage your emotional response and being mindful will help you stop unhealthy coping patterns and help you become more effective in your relationships.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can help you stabilize your emotions, manage uncomfortable feelings and learn to respond rather than react to situations. It is important to observe, describe and participate in the emotion that you are experiencing before jumping to conclusions such as your loved one is abandoning you. This will help to decrease your initial panic when things seem uncomfortable in your relationships.
Lifeskills South Florida has an adult residential treatment center, as well as an outpatient treatment center in Delray Beach, Florida, that can help you or a loved one face the challenges of substance use disorders, while stabilizing mental health issues, and managing personality disorders. The Lifeskills South Florida residential offices are located in Deerfield Beach, Florida and can be reached at 844-749-1560.