Don’t buy into the blame game from the addict in your life

The blame game doesn’t just happen to celebrity and high profile families. It happens every day, too many times a day. The celebrity status of this story can promote hope and healing for families of addicts. You are not to blame! Talk about it, get help for yourself! Know someone who needs to talk about it? There’s help, there’s hope, there’s a plan.

From the Huffington Post:

Madonna’s Homeless Brother Says She ‘Doesn’t Give A Sh-t If I’m Dead Or Alive’

Madonna may be a billionaire now, but she’s reportedly not worried about her brother’s well-being.

The 54-year-old singer’s homeless brother Anthony Ciccone has spoken out about his famous sister, claiming that she doesn’t care whether he lives or dies.

Ciccone, who is an alcoholic and lives on the streets of North Michigan, tells the Daily Mail that Madonna “doesn’t give a sh-t if I’m dead or alive. She lives in her own world.”

“I never loved her in the first place, she never loved me,” he adds, “We never loved each other.”

It was first reported that Ciccone lived under a bridge in Traverse City, Mich., 16 months ago after he revealed that he had been homeless for over a year. In October 2011, he told the Daily Mail that he lost his job at the family’s winery due to his alcohol addiction and that neither his father nor Madonna had done anything to help him get back on his feet. And it appears his story hasn’t changed.

“My father would be very happy if I died of hypothermia and then he would not have to worry about it anymore. He’s old school, he grew up in the depression,” Ciccone explains to the Daily Mail of his dad Tony Ciccone, continuing, “He doesn’t want to be bothered, he’s lived his life you see. He doesn’t like me. He doesn’t want me to be me, he wants me to be somebody else. He thinks the way I live is intentional. He simply doesn’t know me.”

Still, Ciccone’s refusal to accept that he has a drinking problem seems to be the root of the issue. A family friend Kathy Meteyer said Madonna’s father and stepmother Joan were distressed by her brother’s actions.

“He just can’t come back until he stops drinking, because they think it will kill him, it already kind of has,” Meteyer admits to the Daily Mail. “They have helped him so many times. Tony has put him through rehab and given him lots of chances. I think Madonna paid for rehab a few times. The alcohol has taken over his brain.”

But Ciccone says he won’t seek treatment because he doesn’t think he needs it.

“I’m a human being, you can call me what you want. [Alcoholic] is a label, I don’t like it. I don’t need brain surgery, I merely need love and care of family and friends,” he explains.

“[I got] no family back up, when the chips fell, no family back-up,” he adds. “I’d rather be working. What would you do under these circumstances when your family has stood against you completely?” “

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Are 12-step programs the only way to recover from drugs and alcohol (part 2)

I wanted to start Part 2 with a clarification.  Sometimes, readers assume that I am not a fan of 12-step programs. That is not true, I am actually huge fan of 12-step programs; however, I also believe that if someone is not a fan of 12-step programs or won’t go to them, that there needs to be support options for them too. Refusing 12-step attendance is not necessarily a one-way ticket to death, jail or institutions.

In fact, there is little data about addicts and alcoholics who have recovered by other means. Or about people who attended 12-step programs for a time then stopped but continued to maintain abstinence and a successful life. Certainly treatment centers aren’t going to pay for these kinds of studies. I suspect it would be a challenge to find the subjects to participate. The data available is soft anyhow, as it’s all self-report. They can be tested for actual abstinence via blood, urine, breath and hair, but how to we measure “recovery?”  Is it living a life abstinent from substances? Is the quality of that life and where does the criteria for quality of life come from? [Read more…]

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Energy and more

There is so much to learn out there; it’s exciting but can be overwhelming also. How does one choose ?  Certainly, intuitively or serendipitously make sense when talking about energy. Oh, I’m not talking about the kind you literally get from plugging into an electrical outlet or filling your car with gas. I’m talking about connecting with the energy all around us, the energy field. Whether you believe or not, it is out there.

I have a stack of books, read and to be read, by wonderful authors that deal with energy on every level: intuition, energy medicine, energy healing, Reiki, meditation, mindfulness, positive psychology and yoga, by authors like Judith Orloff; Daniel Amen; Daniel Goleman; Jon Kabat-Zinn and Rick Jarrow.  The message overlaps in a many of these, but as a friend of mine once said, you can’t repeat a good thing enough.

I embrace these, not perfectly, but consistantly. I want to pass the good news on, and recommend books, and talk about ideas and concepts with my clients, friends and family.  So, when Daniel Amen’s newsletter came in my email today, I read it with interest. He also introduced Judith Orloff’s new book, Emotional Freedom. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist and medical intuitive;  I met her at the Kripalu center several years ago, and participated in her workshop being a medicial intuitive. And like many of the seminars and workshops we take, if we don’t actively do anything with the information, after about 2 weeks, that initial enthusiasm starts to fade away.

So serendipitously, she is back in my life, and since I am totally addicted to books, I will be ordering Emotional Freedom, and maybe the audio version for the car.  I hope it is not violation to post this link on my blog, since I am still new to blogging, but I came across this while seaching for the best deal on the audiobook:

The question of absorbing other people’s energy, espeically negative energy comes up frequently in my practice. It is something that I am acutly aware of myself, and talk with my clients about. The simplest way we discuss it is talking about boundaries. Although the energy word doesn’t always come up, depending on the client, or the friend I am talking to, it is inherent in learning to establish boundaries; that is, the way we let others know how we wish to be treated. It’s how we present ourselves, what we project to others, and how we allow other to treat us. It’s being assertive, while being mindful and compassionate.

My blog is one way I hope to introduce this to others; to inform, to inspire. I am delighted to announce that I will begin offering “To Your Health Saturday Seminars” beginning in May at my office in Pine Brook, NJ.  To find out more, contact me at jerri.shankler AT  Insert @ for the AT when you type in the email address.

To Your Health!

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