The Family Can Hit Their Bottom, Too

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
The Family Can Hit Their Bottom, Too
We have all heard from friends, neighbors, professionals, television shows and aliens from other planets that when the alcoholic/addict has hit his or her bottom then and maybe only then will they be ready for a recovery program. Usually that comes at the heels of a traumatic event in their life, like a DUI, being fired from a job or getting kicked out of the house. Rarely, does the alcoholic/addict come to a thunderbolt realization, in the comfort of their surroundings that maybe, just maybe their life is out of control and they need help.

I have often told my clients that when the alcoholic/addict in their life says “I will do whatever it takes to get clean and sober,” then and only then there might be a shred of hope that they mean it and more importantly follow through. Not just “I’ve got to cut down on my partying” or, “I really shouldn’t drink so much and will only have four beers instead of 11.” Or because they are feeling sick swear off liquor all together, but usually when they are feeling better again, their mind will not allow them to remember how they felt and the vow they made at the time.

So, what does the bottom look like for the family member that just can’t have the alcoholic/addict in their life anymore? When the wife, sibling or even mother/father face this decision it’s always heartbreaking (especially if it’s their child), but they are physically and emotionally exhausted and can’t face another day with their loved one and their ride of addiction or addiction/recovery that is stressful and overwhelming.

My client Marta came to our session and presented her hands to me. I asked what the meaning of this action was and she reported that she had completely and totally washed her hands once and for all of her alcoholic boyfriend. She added an interesting analogy that I chuckled at, and yet realized that it was right on. She said that she loved shoes and often bought them on a whim. One day she was looking in her closet at a pair of expensive, fancy shoes that she knew she would never wear. She said “what was I thinking”?

She compared this to yet another go round with her boyfriend’s alcoholic recovery. He said all the right things, did all the right moves and even sponsored a few newcomers to his AA meeting. But, after a year of sobriety, he relapsed. She couldn’t help but ask herself (like the shoes), “What was she thinking?” to go this path yet again?

A few years ago I wrote a column entitled “When is it time to throw in the towel?” I have listed a few pertinent ones and added some new ones that might hit home as well.

1) You are mentally and physically exhausted in dealing with the alcoholic/addict’s out of control behavior.

2) You can no longer trust what the alcoholic/addict says or does.

3) You look back and quietly scold yourself that you didn’t heed the signs and get out earlier.

4) The emotional punching bag you have been is so bruised you wonder if wounds will ever heal.

5) You are embarrassed and even ashamed that he/she is/was in your life and you had to always explain to everyone how he/she is doing or what happened AGAIN?

6) Unable to recognize yourself anymore and wondering where you went.

7) You just can’t be friends/lovers with someone that has such a self destructive streak.

8) The thought of spending one more minute of your life like this is beginning to make you physically ill.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what straw finally broke the camel’s back, as they say. It’s broken into a thousand pieces and can’t be fixed no matter how much glue is used. Marta told me that for years she kept a candle in the window for her mate. Six months of recovery and she would be there again. She wouldn’t date anyone else, but just hoped that the next time it might take. As she left my office, she had a smile on her face and what seemed to be a glow of a sense of relief and contentment. She felt free for the first time and though the road ahead might be bumpy and lonely, she was grateful that the alcoholic/addict monkey was really and truly off her back. Anyway, she said she was off to the shelter to find her new companion — a four-legged friend that is kind and gentle and only requires food, water and some petting to make it happy.

If I can be of service, please visit my website http://www.familyrecoverysolutions.com and I invite you to explore my book Reclaim Your Life — You and the Alcoholic/Addict. It can be purchased through PayPal or at Amazon. In addition, my book is available as an audio through PayPal only.

For more by Carole Bennett, MA, click here.

For more on addiction and recovery, click here.

Entire Highway Lip Dubs To ‘Build Me Up, Buttercup’
Being stuck in traffic really sucks, unless you are driving next to TJ Smith, who will brighten your day with a little bit of song, and a lotta bit of smile behind the wheel.

Come on, who could possibly resist not singing along to “Build Me Up, Buttercup” by The Foundations? Who?

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Why Heart Disease Strikes Women Later Than Men
By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer

Published: 09/24/2013 01:09 PM EDT on LiveScience

Women tend to develop heart disease about 10 years later than men, and new research suggests this is partly due to women’s bodies being better at compensating for insensitivity to insulin, which controls blood sugar.

The study found that among people with insensitivity to insulin, women were less likely than men to have risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as high blood pressure and triglycerides. This, in turn, could delay the onset of heart disease, the researchers said.

The findings were published today (Sept. 24) in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Blood sugar

After eating carbohydrates, blood sugar rises. The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that tells the body’s cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream, thereby lowering blood sugar back to normal. [8 Tips for Fighting Sugar Cravings]

But some people’s bodies are insulin-resistant, meaning their cells require a much higher amount of insulin to take up glucose from the blood.

When people develop insulin resistance, initially their blood sugar levels may remain normal, but over time, their bodies can no longer produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

At this point, people may develop metabolic syndrome, a group of five risk factors including high blood sugar, triglycerides and blood pressure, low levels of good cholesterol and a large waist. Metabolic syndrome can be a precursor to diabetes and heart disease.

Protective effect

Dr. Sun Kim, an endocrinologist at Stanford University Medical School, and her colleagues wanted to understand the factors that affected this process. They asked 468 women and 354 men to fast overnight.

Afterward, they injected the participants with glucose, insulin and a hormone that prevents the body from producing its own insulin, and then measured the participants’ blood sugar a few hours later. The test allowed them to measure the exact relationship between insulin levels and blood sugar.

Women under 50 with insulin resistance, meaning they had high blood sugar after a meal, somehow avoided the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

But as women aged, that advantage disappeared, and older women who were insulin-resistant had the same heart disease risk factors as men.

“Younger women, when they are resistant, are able to handle the complications a lot better,” Kim said.

Still, it’s not clear why younger women have some protection against heart disease. One possibility is that the hormones that affect the menstrual cycle play a role.

But the role of female hormones isn’t clear-cut: For instance, giving women synthetic versions of hormones such as estrogen doesn’t have the effects seen in the study, Kim said.

Either way, there are things that insulin-resistant people can do to avoid the onset of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

“The two lifestyle things that are closely associated with insulin resistance are gaining weight, and being sedentary,” Kim told LiveScience. Exercising and losing weight are the best ways to reverse insulin resistance, she said.

Follow Tia Ghose on Twitterand Google+. Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

7 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease 9 Meal Schedules: When to Eat to Lose Weight 9 Snack Foods: Healthy or Not? Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. ]]>

Huffington Issue 68: Self-Driving Cars, Distracted Walking And Bad Fall TV
This week in Huffington magazine, we take a spin in a self-driving car and discover that the biggest danger it poses has nothing to do with the car itself, but rather with who’s sitting in the driver’s seat: us. Elsewhere in the issue, we look at the growing problem of “distracted walking” — or walking while texting — and why it’s often wrongly treated with humor over social media. On the lighter side, we show you how to make a killer mayonnaise at home, sniff out the world’s most marijuana-friendly countries and tell you what fall TV shows to avoid.

Huffington free in the iTunes App store

Huffington, the weekly magazine app from the team behind The Huffington Post, will now offer iPad users an in-depth Huffington Post experience on a mobile platform. Huffington takes the best of HuffPost’s Pulitzer Prize-winning original content–including news of the week, deeply reported features, enticing Q&As, photo essays, top-tier commentary, and notable quotes from the HuffPost community–and puts it in an elegantly designed showcase that allows readers to have a deeper and richer reading experience.

Download it free in the App Store today and spend a little more time with Huffington.

‘FUNDED’ With Comedian Baratunde Thurston Reminds You Just How Cool Crowdfunding Can Be
Did Zach Braff ruin crowdfunding for you? Well, it’s time to get over it, because there are plenty of truly independent artists and entrepreneurs out there using it in brilliant ways.

Need proof? Take a look at the new series FUNDED hosted by comedian, author and former Onion Digital Editor Baratunde Thurston.

In these five episodes, Thurston shines a light on the coolest crowdfunded small businesses around the country, from the “offline” funded Detroit Soup to a “street legal, environmental go-cart for adults.”

Watch all five episodes of FUNDED below:

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Get Good at Change: Life Lesson 101
They say that two things are certain in this life: death and taxes. But there is another aspect to our reality that weaves inexorably through our lives, from our first breath to our last — the certainty of change.

We are constantly and forever changing. From developmental changes (infant to adult to elder) to circumstantial changes (jobs, homes, partners, pets, living companions, health). We even face cultural, economic, and political changes — the rise of the computer, the proliferation of cell phones, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Great Recession.

Sometimes, out of fear, we attempt to stave off change or try to avoid it altogether. But more often than not, change is thrust upon us without our consent. And, whether we are blindsided or see it coming, one thing is for certain — change is inevitable.

Resisting the continuum of change is futile. You may as well row a boat into a stormy ocean. Resistance, in fact, only increases your pain and suffering. Instead, honoring the change, accepting it, and even using it as fuel for better living is a healthier strategy.

The following five steps will help you to meet change with less stress and a greater feeling of ease:

1. Assess — First, you have to determine what is within your power to change and what isn’t. If you’re in a toxic job situation, for example, you might mobilize yourself to seek other employment options. However, if your spouse is having emergency surgery, you need to recognize that acceptance is your goal. To paraphrase Reinhold Niebuhr’s oft-cited serenity prayer, look for serenity in what you cannot change, courage in what you can change and the wisdom to know the difference.

2. Grieve — Change has loss implicitly embedded within it. It’s a natural human reaction to experience sadness as a result of loss. Let yourself feel the poignancy of an ending, the sweet delicacy of a door closing. Allow yourself to experience your full range of human emotions.

3. Open the window — Change brings an end to one era but ushers in the possibilities for something new. Look for the new opportunities that arise. Anticipate what lessons might be learned, what paths might unfold as a result of this change. Learn and grow with curiosity as you open the window to the new.

4. Flow — You can either feverishly resist the current of life or flow with it. And flowing is always less stressful. So get in the habit of intentionally flowing with “what is.” In my book, Shortcuts to Inner Peace, I suggest aligning yourself with flow every time you wash your hands during the day. As the water touches your hands, use the sensation as a cue to say or think the words, “I go with the flow of life.”

5. Now — Knowing that change is occurring at every instant can intensify our pleasure in the moment. This present moment is where and when we experience all of life. Rather than waste it with worried anticipation or regret, you can heighten your experience of its preciousness with awareness. Stop what you are doing and savor the amazing details right in front of you, right now. Breathe in this one moment with gratitude.

When you get “good’ at change, life becomes a miraculous adventure. So stop complaining about how things used to be better in the good old days. Stop hunkering down, hoping that change will pass you over. When change comes knocking at your door — and it will — open up and say, “Welcome.”

For more by Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

Good News – The Huffington Post
Get Good at Change: Life Lesson 101
They say that two things are certain in this life: death and taxes. But there is another aspect to our reality that weaves inexorably through our lives, from our first breath to our last — the certainty of change.

We are constantly and forever changing. From developmental changes (infant to adult to elder) to circumstantial changes (jobs, homes, partners, pets, living companions, health). We even face cultural, economic, and political changes — the rise of the computer, the proliferation of cell phones, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Great Recession.

Sometimes, out of fear, we attempt to stave off change or try to avoid it altogether. But more often than not, change is thrust upon us without our consent. And, whether we are blindsided or see it coming, one thing is for certain — change is inevitable.

Resisting the continuum of change is futile. You may as well row a boat into a stormy ocean. Resistance, in fact, only increases your pain and suffering. Instead, honoring the change, accepting it, and even using it as fuel for better living is a healthier strategy.

The following five steps will help you to meet change with less stress and a greater feeling of ease:

1. Assess — First, you have to determine what is within your power to change and what isn’t. If you’re in a toxic job situation, for example, you might mobilize yourself to seek other employment options. However, if your spouse is having emergency surgery, you need to recognize that acceptance is your goal. To paraphrase Reinhold Niebuhr’s oft-cited serenity prayer, look for serenity in what you cannot change, courage in what you can change and the wisdom to know the difference.

2. Grieve — Change has loss implicitly embedded within it. It’s a natural human reaction to experience sadness as a result of loss. Let yourself feel the poignancy of an ending, the sweet delicacy of a door closing. Allow yourself to experience your full range of human emotions.

3. Open the window — Change brings an end to one era but ushers in the possibilities for something new. Look for the new opportunities that arise. Anticipate what lessons might be learned, what paths might unfold as a result of this change. Learn and grow with curiosity as you open the window to the new.

4. Flow — You can either feverishly resist the current of life or flow with it. And flowing is always less stressful. So get in the habit of intentionally flowing with “what is.” In my book, Shortcuts to Inner Peace, I suggest aligning yourself with flow every time you wash your hands during the day. As the water touches your hands, use the sensation as a cue to say or think the words, “I go with the flow of life.”

5. Now — Knowing that change is occurring at every instant can intensify our pleasure in the moment. This present moment is where and when we experience all of life. Rather than waste it with worried anticipation or regret, you can heighten your experience of its preciousness with awareness. Stop what you are doing and savor the amazing details right in front of you, right now. Breathe in this one moment with gratitude.

When you get “good’ at change, life becomes a miraculous adventure. So stop complaining about how things used to be better in the good old days. Stop hunkering down, hoping that change will pass you over. When change comes knocking at your door — and it will — open up and say, “Welcome.”

For more by Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

Green – The Huffington Post
What the Fungi? Not Our Snakes, Too!

By Justine Hausheer, OnEarth

Fungi are giving wildlife a real beating these days. Chytrid is walloping frog and salamander species worldwide, and here in the United States, white-nose syndrome, caused by an invasive European fungus, has killed millions of bats on the East Coast and is spreading west. Also worth mentioning is the nosema fungus, which may play in colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon devastating bees, and potentially the crops they pollinate, across the globe.

Now a fungal pathogen could be after our snakes, too. And it’s not pretty.

A milk snake found in western New York shows signs of a fungal infection.

Snake fungal disease, or SFD, is a little-known illness leaving snakes with gruesome, often-fatal skin lesions. First documented in 2008 on a rat snake in Georgia, the fungus has since infected at least seven snake species in 11 states, and scientists think it could spread. Within affected regions–mostly in the Northeast and Midwest–researchers are quickly assessing their snake populations and looking for signs of illness. These range from small bumps to severe blisters on the skin, cloudy eyes, lesions along the snake’s body, and facial deformities around the eyes and nose. (Illinois’ massasauga rattlesnakes seem especially vulnerable to the disease, suffering from grotesque facial disfigurement and near-certain death.)

“It’s got everyone worked up and worried about what the heck is going on,” says Doug Blodgett, a wildlife biologist for Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. So far biologists there have discovered the fungus only on the state’s endangered timber rattlesnakes, but they think more species are at risk.

Without the timber rattler, the Northeast would lose its only rattlesnake, an important player in the region’s forests (see “Tick, Rattle, and Roll“). The snake’s numbers plummeted in the 20th century thanks to bounty programs that put a price on its skin. Making matters worse, development has isolated populations of the species from each other, and low genetic diversity within those groups has put the species as a whole in a precarious position. “We are already in trouble,” says Blodgett, “and I’m concerned this might be a tipping point.”

A northern watersnake from an island in Lake Erie with crusty scales and body blisters.

The main suspect behind the serpent sickness is the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, but scientists have yet to positively identify the killer. O. ophiodiicola has been found on infected animals, but researchers need to prove that it’s the true culprit, because wild snakes are typically covered with many different types of fungi. So Jeff Lorch, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his colleagues at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison are testing both healthy and sick snakes from different parts of the country to see if O. ophiodiicola consistently comes along with the disease’s characteristic lesions and deformities. They are also developing a DNA probe¾a genetic marker for the fungus¾that they will use to detect if the fungus is, in fact, penetrating the reptile’s skin on a microscopic level.

Another mystery is why this fungus is striking now. Could it be teaming up with another pathogen to deliver a one-two punch to the reptiles, much as some scientists think the nosema fungus might work together with viruses and pesticides to kill honeybees? Tom French, an assistant director at Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife, says a virus could be weakening the immune system of snakes, allowing the fungus to take hold. Because the snakes often emerge from hibernation in spring with more severe infections, he says, it’s possible that the animals carrying a virus might be more vulnerable to types of fungi that thrive in the cool, damp dens where snakes spend the winter.

Meanwhile, Lorch and his colleagues are trying to determine whether or not the pathogen is invasive to North America, or if it’s a native fungus that has suddenly become more virulent–and if so, why? “If O. ophiodiicola and SFD are native to North America,” he says, “then it’s possible that environmental events such as climate change could be exacerbating the disease.” Either way, Lorch notes, the environment always plays a role in disease ecology. But at least for now, the reason behind the epidemic has slithered from our grasp.

A northern water snake found on an island in Lake Erie with signs of a fungal infection.

This story was originally published by OnEarth.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

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