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What’s the meaning behind the Monkey Fist?

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Monkey FistAfter posting our popular article  PDAP: “An Instant Army, of Love and Support”  about the Palmer Drug Abuse Program we started to get questions about the illustration of a “Monkey Fist.” People wanted to know, What the heck is THAT?

This symbol actually has great meaning for both the addict and the family.

What’s the meaning behind the Monkey Fist?

Reprinted from the PDAP website:
A symbol of success…

There are two primary symbols PDAP uses to acknowledge sobriety and family involvement. Teenagers and adults involved in the PDAP recovery groups receive a “Monkey Fist” for 30 days of continuous sobriety. Parents receive the “Parents Heart” for participation in PDAP family group for 30 days.

The “Monkey Fist” is a mariner’s knot used by ships to help them dock. A baseball sized knot with lines attached is thrown from the ship to the dock-the first contact the ship has with land. The crew on shore catches the knot, secures the line to the dock and pulls the ship to shore. At PDAP we have adopted this as a symbol representing our sobriety as we are being pulled in from the sea of drugs and alcohol. The fist symbolizes first contact to solid ground, with the group symbolizing the crew that pulls the newcomer safely to shore. Traditionally, the small leather monkey fist is suspended on a leather thong around the PDAPer’s neck. This symbol also serves as the PDAP logo.




The Johnson Institute reports that if a family is involved in a recovery program then the users have an 80% higher Parent's Heartchance of success then those who do not have family involved. In the PDAP Family Group the symbol for program participation is the Parent’s Heart. The heart is made from carved wood, and is also suspended on a leather thong. Embossed on the heart is a Monkey Fist symbolizing the drug abuser who lives in each PDAP parent’s heart.

READ MORE ABOUT PDAP:
Addiction: A Disease Powerless to PreventPowerless to Prevent
:
Trish Frye, Program Director of Palmer Drug Abuse Program, spoke at the funeral of “Brittany” on February 11, 2012.

InstantArmyGraphicPDAP: “An Instant Army, of Love and Support”
~ Written by grateful San Antonio PDAP Parents
In February 2007, we found out our youngest daughter, age 17, was a meth addict. This was of course a complete shock. We cashed in college funds and sent her to a treatment center, thinking that they would fix her.

Palmer Drug Abuse Program Home Page

Click Here To Sign up for the Free Changing Lives E-Newsletter!

RELATED:
Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Alcohol and Drug Addiction
Self-Test:
Take this Alcohol and Drug Addiction Self-Test for yourself, or for someone you love.

All Those AA Meetings: What he’ll hear when he goes to those AA meetings

AA Facts and History

12 Step Prayers12 Step Prayers

 


RESOURCES:
> Phone Counseling for Family Members

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery
> Paperback
> Audio Book CD (Listen in your car)
> Kindle
> Audible Audio Download  (LISTEN TO 4 MIN. SAMPLE)

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Snowboarding, the Brain & Addiction

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Movie Review: The Crash Reel

 

Movie Review: The Crash Reel
~Review by Judy Herzanek/Changing Lives Foundation

Snowboarding, the brain and addiction
What do these things have in common?

Although this movie has nothing to do with addiction, after watching it I realized I had a much better understanding of how damage to the brain affects decision-making, impulse control and logical thinking. We have added it to our popular resource: Favorite books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts.

Addiction damages the brain—even more so in the adolescent brain. Brain damage is invisible to onlookers, so the addict in recovery appears to be “normal” and after becoming clean and sober, life goes on.

What we often fail to realize is that this person’s brain will take time to function normally (if at all). We wonder why this person often continues to make poor decisions and not have normal impulse control.

For me, “real-life” examples that illustrate life-lessons resonate and really hit home. This is why it occurred to me as I was watching “The Crash Reel,” that what happens to Kevin Pearce due to his traumatic brain injury probably closely parallels that of a person in recovery from a serious addiction (remember, addiction damages the brain).

As parents and friends of a loved one in recovery, we often observe a lack of good judgment and poor decision-making. By the end of this movie, such actions are much more understandable. We observe the journey Kevin’s family makes as they observe their loved one learning life-lessons once again—the hard way (despite their efforts to jump in and control the outcome).

“Delivers insightful and sometimes “aha” moments to the viewer (especially toward the end).”

Young adults will be entertained from the beginning by the footage of extreme sports (the victories and the crashes) of snowboarding’s best, the friendship and rivalry of Shawn White and Kevin Pierce and an insider’s view of their lives (a great one to draw the viewer in, as the important message hits home regarding brain damage and how it can affect the rest of a young person’s life).

This movie gave me unexpected insight into some of the reasons why the recovering person may still “do what they do.”

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 her managed her own design business.

Author and 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 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.
Our website: www.whydonttheyjustquit.com

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

> 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?

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Crash Reel, Brain Damage, Snowboarding  Addiction

 

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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)


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How to respond, offered drink, drink in recovery

 

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Monthly Review: Accidental Addict, Relapse

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Monthly Review- April, 2015

 

 


 

 

Monthly Review: April, 2015

In case you missed any of our recent posts: The Accidental Addict, Relapse: What to Do and Just Right: Addiction to Redemption, here they are again! Thanks for partnering with Changing Lives Foundation to help struggling families.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

“The Accidental Addict”

Accidental Addict

~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.”

In the movie “Requium for a Dream” Sara Goldfarb (played by Ellen Burstyn), a widowed mother, finds herself hooked on diet pills. We watch as her world gradually spirals out of control.

This scenario and others that are similar, are becoming all too common. Teenagers, young mothers, parents and grandparents–all are susceptible to prescription drug addiction.
READ MORE

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Provides A Way to Cope with Life’s Struggles:
Just Right: The Road from Addiction to Redemption.

The Road from Addiction to Redemption

~By Barbara Bice

I prayed, I cried, and I prayed some more.
“Please God, don’t let him be doing it again.”

Barbara describes intervention as: “the deepest form of heartfelt pleading that a person can possibly do.” Although most of “Just Right” deals with very serious and emotional material, Barbara does find a way to present bits of humor such as her account of her husband Ed’s intervention. Ed recalls, “When I woke up and saw all of those people standing around me, I thought I had blacked out and woke up at a family reunion.” READ MORE

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________


Relapse: What to do.

What to do if your loved one relapses?

What to do if your loved one relapses?
~By Joe Herzanek

Is Relapse Part of Recovery?
Addiction has been called a chronic relapsing disease. Relapse is when the person in recovery chooses to try some controlled using again after attempting to remain abstinent. We know that addicts/alcoholics can’t control substance use. If they could, they wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. Relapse is one more failed attempt at trying to control how much they are able to use.

READ MORE

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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. . . a Colorado Non-Profit Organization

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> FREE NEWSLETTER:
Please sign up for our Free Changing Lives E-Newsletter!
> JOIN OUR PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP (now over 2,320 members):
This was sent to us recently by one of our wonderful Facebook Private Group members: “I feel I need the support of others that can relate to how I’m feeling. I’m unable to attend face to face meetings. Therefore groups, like Changing Lives has literally been a lifeline for me. Your group is the first I go to every day. I believe this was the first group I joined on Facebook. Thank you! My life has forever changed…for the better!” Please consider joining us. Ask to join and a group member will sign you in!

RESOURCES:
> 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

> Paperback
> Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 hrs. 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audio Book Download

RETURN:
From “Monthly Review: Accidental Addict, Relapse, Addiction to Redemption”
to Changing Lives Foundation Blog Home

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Accidental Addict, Relapse, Addiction to Redemption

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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“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
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Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon, Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon, Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon,

 

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