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Happy New Year from Changing Lives!

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We thank you—our loyal friends, readers and supporters for joining with us to help families struggling with addiction. We will soon be announcing some very exciting new resources to provide help and hope!

Please sign up for blog updates, our newsletter
and follow us on Facebook so you’ll be among the first to know.

Joe and Judy Herzanek

Author, Chaplain Joe Herzanek and Judy met in 1984 at an AA meeting in Kansas City and have been married for over 30 years. Both are in long-term recovery. She loves working from her home office in Berthoud, Colorado and the opportunity to combine her design, marketing and online skills with her 30+ years of sobriety to bring the message of hope to families struggling with addiction.

Please visit our Changing Lives Foundation website

RESOURCES:
> Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts.

> Addiction Recovery Resources for Families of Substance Abusers, Addicts and Alcoholics

Why Don't They Just Quit? by Joe Herzanek
Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about
addiction and recovery.

~By Joe Herzanek

Some recent Amazon.com reviews:
Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~Lynda A

Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you to better understand those who are dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ

I, like many people, have some knowledge of what drugs and addiction are, but are clueless on what the process of recovery entails. This book does a great job in what it would take to help a loved one, who is an addict and is willing to get clean and stay clean. It also gives one hope that your loved one will survive the nightmare they are living through with their family. ~CG

> Paperback
> Audio Book CD (Listen in your car)
> Kindle
> Audible Audio Download (LISTEN TO 4 MIN. SAMPLE)

ASK JOE:
> If someone can stop using drugs or alcohol for weeks at a time, they “aren’t an addict—correct?

> Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?

>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?

>”I need help because I’m not able to deal with my live-in Fiance’s need to get drunk every night.”
>Should my husband “back off?”

>Gambling vs. Drug Addiction? What is your opinion?

>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?

>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?

RETURN:
from “Happy New Year 2016” to Blog Home

_________________________________________________
Happy New Year from Changing Lives Foundation

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The Bitter Taste Of Dying: A Memoir

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Book Review:
The Bitter Taste Of Dying: A Memoir
~Review by Judy Herzanek/Changing Lives Foundation

We have just added this new memoir to our popular resource: Favorite books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts.

 

The Bitter Taste Of Dying: A Memoir
~by Jason Smith

“A Wild Ride: Disturbing, frightening while brutally honest, witty and sarcastic.”

 


Author Jason Smith has a rare talent . . . and an amazing story.
The Bitter Taste of Dying is his memoir of addiction, struggle, despair, discovery and ultimately, recovery. The book is engaging, brutally honest, dead serious while at the same time,  sarcastic and “laugh-out-loud funny.”

The Bitter Taste of Dying leaves the reader with graphic mental images of life and death, struggle and surrender. We witness the insidiousness of addiction as it slowly and completely consumes Jason.

Jason describes the all-consuming nature of drug addiction:
“Drug addiction is a love affair, pure and simple. It’s hot, and passionate, and seductive, and engrossing. It’s captivating, in that it makes an addict think about the drug non-stop, never content because you know what you have won’t last, regardless of the size of the most recent score. Maintaining addiction is a game of chess, ever contemplating the NEXT move, the NEXT score, for fear that when what you have is gone, you’ll be without.”

He describes the moment he realized he was addicted:
“The drugs didn’t get me high anymore. They just kept me from being sick. It’s like the drugs have turned on you, refusing to hold up their end of the bargain. No matter how much I did, I couldn’t get high. I went from chasing a high to running from a detox.”

And we read about an ingenious little trick he learned from watching an episode of the “Intervention A&E series.”
“I never thought of doing drugs like that.
It took about 30 seconds, and when it hit, it hit hard.
Woooosh.
Euphoria, Instant Euphoria.
For the first time in a year, I FELT SOMETHING. Sure, the high was great. But I was just relieved to be able to feel again. I had energy. I could eat. I could leave the house. I could interact with people again. I had life.”

Just when we are sure Jason will  “reach his bottom” and turn his life around, he veers off onto another detour. Through his honest “no-holds-barred” descriptions, we ever-so-slightly, glimpse into his dark world.

“ I wanted to stop with every fiber of my being, but could not. Nothing obliterates the human spirit and self- esteem more than using a substance against your own will, while hating every second of it. I was homeless, living outside of a train station, stealing bread and drinking from public toilets. And when given money to survive, to eat, to re-hydrate, to live like a civilized primate, I chose the drugs.”

The vivid memories of his time spent incarcerated and detoxing alone in a Tijuana jail cell is disturbing and frightening.

He speaks of his fear of withdrawal:
“The only thing worse than a journey through hell is knowing that you’re about to go on a journey through hell.”

16 years later, Jason finally got clean and sober. He writes:
“It took me losing everything to appreciate anything.”

This memoir reveals great gems of wisdom as it nears the conclusion. Through powerful and painful episodes with his wise, experienced sponsor, Jason eventually learns what it takes to stay clean and sober and truly comes to know that “you help yourself by helping others.”

 

About the Author Jason Smith

Jason Smith is a graduate from the University of California, Davis, whose work has been published extensively in both online and print media. His eclectic style ranges from personal essays to investigative reporting, drawing on his own personal travels and experiences.

Jason’s pieces have been translated into multiple languages and published in multiple countries, demonstrating his ability to connect with readers across cultural lines. Jason has multiple projects currently in production after being acquired for film rights.

Jason is heavily involved in the recovery community in Northern California, where he frequently shares his experience, strength, and hope in getting out of the hell that is addiction. He is a frequent speaker at the California Medical Board and California Board of Pharmacy.

Jason is currently the Creative Director of The Real Edition.com, an online community for people who’ve struggled with addiction, and their loved ones, to tell their stories and share their experiences.

Jason lives in northern California, raising a family with his wife Megan and their two children, Isabella and Jaden.

Buy “The Bitter Taste of Dying” on Amazon

Judy Herzanek Telluride

Judy Herzanek is currently the Director of Creative Development and Marketing for Changing Lives Foundation. She graduated from Columbus College of Art & Design in 1976 and worked as Graphic Designer and Art Director for Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, MO (12 years), Celestial Seasonings, Boulder, CO (16 years) and owned and managed her own design business.

Author, Chaplain Joe Herzanek and Judy met in 1984 at an AA meeting in Kansas City and have been married for over 30 years. Both are in long-term recovery. She loves working from her home office in Berthoud, Colorado and the opportunity to combine her design, marketing and online skills with her 30+ years of sobriety to bring the message of hope to families struggling with addiction.
Please visit our Changing Lives Foundation website

RESOURCES:
> Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts.

> Addiction Recovery Resources for Families of Substance Abusers, Addicts and Alcoholics

Why Don't They Just Quit? by Joe Herzanek
Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.

~By Joe Herzanek

Our most recent Amazon.com reviews:
Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~LyndaA

Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you to better understand those who are dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ

I, like many people, have some knowledge of what drugs and addiction are, but are clueless on what the process of recovery entails. This book does a great job in what it would take to help a loved one, who is an addict and is willing to get clean and stay clean. It also gives one hope that your loved one will survive the nightmare they are living through with their family. ~CG

> Paperback
> Audio Book CD (Listen in your car)
> Kindle
> Audible Audio Download (LISTEN TO 4 MIN. SAMPLE)

ASK JOE:
> If someone can stop using drugs or alcohol for weeks at a time, they “aren’t an addict—correct?

> Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?

>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?

>”I need help because I’m not able to deal with my live-in Fiance’s need to get drunk every night.”
>Should my husband “back off?”

>Gambling vs. Drug Addiction? What is your opinion?

>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?

>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?

RETURN:
from “The Bitter Taste Of Dying: A Memoir” to Blog Home
_________________________________________________
bitter taste, taste dying, bitter taste, taste dying,

 

 

 

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How to respond when offered a drink in recovery?

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How To Respond When Offered A Drink In Recovery

Joe Herzanek Addiction Counselor
Ask Joe: How to respond when offered a drink in recovery?

Q: “How does one respond to being offered
a drink after beginning life in recovery?”

 

Dear Joe,
I’m brand new in recovery and I haven’t yet had the courage to go out and socialize with friends or family yet. I’m scared to death about what to say when offered a drink in public. I know it sounds silly, but I’ve never had to deal with this before and I just don’t know what people will think and don’t trust myself to make the right decision. Can you help please?

A: Just say “No thanks.”
The first few times may be a little scary for you as you wonder, Will I have to explain why? What do I say? How do I say it? Is everyone going to know now?

This was something my wife (Judy) obsessed about when she was new in recovery. She remembers sitting at a big table of co-workers in a Mexican restaurant, and when the waitress came to their table, her friends ordered
margaritas. She thought, What am I going to say when it comes to me? As it turned out, ordering a Diet Coke was not a big deal and no one really noticed.

A polite “No thank you” is all that is necessary when the waiter offers the wine list. There are many reasons for not drinking other than addiction—medical reasons, dietary restrictions, being the designated driver, pregnancy, and just plain not wanting to drink. Saying no does not mean that you have to tell the world of your past.

For some people, this may be a bigger issue than for others. For this group, I would suggest developing a “canned response” and even practice it if necessary. Find a response that you are comfortable with—something like, “I’m done with that part of my life,” or “Not today.”

Just being honest is also an option: “I found it was difficult to drink in moderation, so I just quit,” or “I’ve had enough to last me a lifetime.”

Who knows? This could actually inspire someone else to quit.

This post excerpted from Pg. 232 of “Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.”  (See below for purchasing options)

MORE ASK JOE:
>Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?
>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?
>”I need help because I’m not able to deal with my live-in Fiance’s need to get drunk every night.”

>Should my husband “back off?”
>Gambling vs. Drug Addiction? What is your opinion?
>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?
>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?
>Is a Relapse–Failure?
>If someone can stop using . . . they “aren’t” an addict–correct?
>
If both parents are addicts, does that increase the child’s chances of addiction?

RELATED:
> Self-Tests: Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Sign up for our Free Changing Lives E-Newsletter!

SPEAKING:

Author/Chaplain Joe HerzanekTo arrange a workshop or presentation at your organization
call: 303.775.6493 or email: Jherzanek@gmail.com
More info about Speaking Engagements with Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek

RESOURCES:
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
>
Addiction Recovery Resources for Families of Substance Abusers, Addicts and Alcoholics

Get the help you need today.

Why Don't They Just Quit? by Joe Herzanek

Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.

> Paperback

> Audio Book CD (LISTEN TO 4 MIN. SAMPLE)

> Kindle

Audio Book Download (LISTEN TO 4 MIN. SAMPLE)


RETURN:

From “Ask Joe: How to respond when offered a drink in recovery?” to Changing Lives Foundation Blog Home

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How to respond, offered drink, drink in recovery

 

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Our Addicted Child

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Our Addicted Child:
that feeling of powerlessness was horrible.

Our Addicted Child

 

~By Daniel Green (Recovering Addict)

Daniel Green interviews his parents on how they coped, living with an addicted child.

Daniel: So, first thing’s first, what was it like living with a child in active addiction?

Mom: It was horrible. Horrible beyond words. We never knew what to expect. I never knew what to expect and that’s true of the big stuff and the little stuff. When I say the big stuff, I mean thinking you were going to get arrested, overdose, or die. You know what’s so bleak about having a child who’s also an addict?

At the end of your addiction, I wanted you to get arrested. At least then I would know where you were and that you were alive. Having to seriously consider the fact that my child might die was also probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Imagine feeling all that and knowing there’s not much you can do to change it. Of course, I thought there was a lot I could do at the time.

“Coming to terms with my own, and your mother’s, powerlessness was very hard.” ~Daniel’s Dad

Dad: Yeah, your mother pretty much covered it. I’d just add that that feeling of powerlessness was horrible. I thought, man I even knew, there must be something I could do to help you. I tried everything. We paid for therapists, counselors, drug treatment, school, everything. None of it worked. Coming to terms with my own, and your mother’s, powerlessness was very hard.

Daniel: How did you cope?

Mom: I don’t know that we did cope. Well, I don’t know that I coped anyway. From the time you were about fourteen to nineteen, I was pretty much a mess. I lived in fear and anxiety. Once of the outpatient clinics you went to had a parents’ support group. I went there once a week and kept in contact with the other mothers. That was probably the most helpful action I took.

Dad: I’m with your mother on this one. I don’t think I coped too well, if at all. I tried going to the parents’ group, but I found it more depressing than helpful. We all sat around on these folding chairs. I don’t know. It just wasn’t for me. I threw myself that much harder into work [my dad is a doctor]. When I was at the hospital, I wasn’t thinking about you. Well, that’s not 100% true, but it offered me some relief.

Daniel: Where there other resources or techniques you used to deal with me basically being a living, breathing train wreck?

Dad: Well, I didn’t mention prayer. I prayed a lot. That helped, but again, it wasn’t a magical cure. It wasn’t a silver bullet. There probably wasn’t anything that was a silver bullet. I sought counseling from our Rabbi. That only went so far. I think part of having a child struggling with addiction is just gritting your teeth and hoping that things will get better.

“I never gave up hope. I don’t think a parent can.” ~Daniel’s Dad

Mom: The support group was really what helped me the most. Like your father, I did prayer and seek religious help and that was absolutely helpful. It only went so far though. Mainly it was talking with other parents who had been where we were and some whose kids had found recovery.

Daniel: Did you blame yourselves for my addiction?

Mom: I did for a long time. Certainly I did when you were using drugs. I questioned myself a lot. Things along the lines of “what if I had done this?” and “Why am I such a bad mother?” It was hard! I’ve come to learn that I’m not responsible for your addiction or your recovery. That was another big thing for me to learn. There’s not much I could do to make you stop using drugs. I thought doing this or that would work. Ultimately, it was up to you.

Dad: I did blame myself. I thought maybe I wasn’t a good enough father or role model for you. I thought there were things I could have done differently when you were a child. I even blamed my genes. Addiction runs in our family, you know. I never had a problem, but others did. I used to wish I had different genes. That our whole family did. After doing a family workshop at the first residential rehab you went to, I learned I wasn’t to blame. I guess I knew that all along, but it’s one thing to know it and it’s another to feel it.

Daniel: Is there anything you’d like to say to parents struggling with a child in active addiction or alcoholism?

Dad: Don’t give up hope! You went to seven outpatient rehabs, two inpatient ones, and more private therapists than I can count. You seemed hopeless. That’s it. I never gave up hope though. I don’t think a parent can. I think it’s hardwired into us to never give up on our children. Anyway, I kept hoping you’d get it one day. That it [being sober] would click. And it did.

Mom: Yes, don’t give up hope and seek help for yourself. It was so important for me to have support during your addiction. Your father was amazing, but I needed more. He was just as clueless as I was. I needed parents who had been there before, who had come out and were able to smile again.

BIO:
Daniel Green
is a writer and media specialist at Lighthouse Recovery Institute  He’s been sober since 2008 and loves being able to give back to the still struggling addict or alcoholic.

FAMILY PHONE COUNSELING:
> Phone Counseling for Family Members

Gain peace of mind, knowing that you are taking the steps necessary to begin healing and recovery—for your loved-one and your family.

MORE Al-ANON-RELATED ARTICLES:
> Why is Addiction Called A Family Disease?
> Twelve Signs of A Spiritual Awakening in Al-Anon
> The Critical Role of Al-Anon in Family Addiction Recovery
> Are AA, Nar-Anon or Al-Anon twelve-step meetings really important?

RESOURCES:
> Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery
~by Joe Herzanek

Author/Chaplain Joe HerzanekTo arrange a workshop or presentation at your organization with Author/Speaker Joe Herzanek
call: 303.775.6493 or email: Jherzanek@gmail.com

More info about Speaking Engagements with Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek

RETURN:
From
“Our Addicted Child” to Changing Lives Foundation Blog Home

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How Alcoholism Affects the Entire Family

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How Alcoholism Affects the Entire Family

Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015

~By Jail Chaplain Joe Herzanek, Family Addiction Counselor and Author of Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.”

This article is included in the current FREE magazine download:  Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015  (Page 21).

Alcoholism is devastating to all members of the family. Family members may have watched someone they love turn into a stranger. They ask, “How did this happen? Why didn’t we see it sooner? Are we somehow to blame? How do we make it stop? What if we can’t make it stop? Why won’t this person listen to us? Can’t they see what’s happening to them?” The list is long.

From the shared experiences of Al-Anon members at meetings and in Al-Anon literature, the family learns that alcoholism is not their fault. With that understanding, some of the pressure is lifted. By attending Al-Anon meetings, my clients gain clarity and peace of mind, so that they can take positive action.

“My family phone counseling clients who attend Al-Anon meetings come to understand that they can have peace, regardless of their loved one’s poor choices.”

Al-Anon supplements and reinforces the information I give my clients about alcoholism as a disease. My clients gain encouragement from attending Al-Anon meetings. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Doing what’s best (which sometimes means doing nothing—but allowing consequences to happen) is often extremely challenging. Al-Anon members help and play a special role because they are like-minded and share common experiences as a result of living with an alcoholic.

My phone counseling clients who attend Al-Anon meetings come to understand that they can have peace, regardless of their loved one’s poor choices. Family members learn that recovery is a process that takes time. But they learn that they are not alone, and that help is available from the Al-Anon program.

FAMILY PHONE COUNSELING:
> Phone Counseling for Family Members

Gain peace of mind, knowing that you are taking the steps necessary to begin healing and recovery—for your loved-one and your family.

MORE Al-ANON-RELATED ARTICLES:
> Why is Addiction Called A Family Disease?
> Twelve Signs of A Spiritual Awakening in Al-Anon
> The Critical Role of Al-Anon in Family Addiction Recovery
> Are AA, Nar-Anon or Al-Anon twelve-step meetings really important?

RESOURCES:
> Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

Author/Chaplain Joe HerzanekTo arrange a workshop or presentation at your organization
call: 303.775.6493 or email: Jherzanek@gmail.com

More info about Speaking Engagements with Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek


RETURN:
From “How Alcoholism Affects the Entire Family
to Changing Lives Foundation Blog Home

______________________________________________________________________________________
Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon, Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon, Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon,

 

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