How Could I Have Done What I Did? (And How to Get Out of This Mess)

Suspended? Arrested? Caught cheating? Woke up in the Emergency Room after a super-binge?

“How did I get here?” you ask. Not just, “How did I end up in the Emergency Room?” You know that. But, “What cycle led me here?”

I definitely do not speak to you in judgment, but in compassion. We’ve all done things that we later regretted, to a greater or lesser degree. Many people have walked the path of despair, the path of embarrassment, shame, or disgrace.

And, if you’re like me, you don’t want to feel so out of control. You don’t want to let down those you love.

The one advantage to being here at the bottom of life is that you may be able to see what you couldn’t see before. You may be able to engage in self-reflection that will be life-saving.

Assuming that this bottom-of-the-rung-of-life status is due to some type of out-of-control activities and not to something that was done to you, there was probably some barrier or hurdle that you had to remove or weaken in order to enter an addictive space you never meant to enter.

Without even thinking about it, we all have certain barricades in our minds that protect us from total destruction. In fact, when therapy clients come to me seeking help with an addiction, there are usually more vices that they are not hooked on than on which they are. Their addiction to alcohol may be wrecking their life, but an assessment may reveal, for example, that they are not addicted to drugs, food, sex, gambling, cigarettes, shopping, etc. Why? Because there are barriers in their mind against overindulging in those things. But somehow the barrier to excessive drinking came down. What was that process that they went through that led to the out-of-control

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Summer’s here, teens and parents — now what? – Harvard Health Blog

Summer is upon us, and for many teens in this country, school’s already out. Now what? Typical and cherished summer activities like jobs, internships, and camps may be on hold. There is a general sense of uncertainty about what the coming months will bring, and higher levels of worry in cities and states that struggled with many cases of COVID-19. This is going to be a very different summer than usual for many teenagers and their families. As the weather heats up, here are four tips to guide parents in helping their teens plan for the months ahead.

Validate your teen’s reaction to current circumstances

Teens may be feeling disappointed, anxious, and/or sad about cancelled activities and events. They may have a sense of uncertainty about what is to come. They may also be missing friends and feeling socially isolated. While it can be tempting as a parent to jump into problem-solving mode when you see your teen in distress, first take some time to listen to their concerns. Express their worries back to them, letting them know that you hear what they are saying through your words, tone, and expression. It’s more important to help your teen feel heard and understood than to try to fix the problem in that moment.

Enlist your teen’s help in mapping out a daily structure

This could mean agreeing on rough times for meals, wake-up and bedtime, and incorporating physical activity into each day. (Accept that most teens like going to bed later and sleeping later than they did when they were younger.) Next, brainstorm together about how to fill the remaining time. Strike a balance between structure and down time, incorporating expectations for screens into the plan. Having a voice in these decisions and the opportunity to make adjustments as time goes

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