Five ways to support an addicted love one

As we make our way towards the end of National Recovery Month I want to discuss helping a love one that is struggling with addiction. Often times that love one is left out to battle the battle alone. Then there are other times that we want to help our love ones but just don’t know how. Well here’s 5 ways to support a love one battling addiction.

  1. Be supportive. Showing support for someone with an addiction means going to meetings with them, listening without judgement, shame, and blame, giving them a phone call to simply say hello, understanding that addiction is a disease, owning your feelings and not covering up the behaviors.
  2. Set boundaries. Provide your love ones with what you will and will not tolerate and be accountable for sticking to those boundaries. It is not tough love. Setting boundaries is a way to disable the behavior.
  3. Go to therapy. Encourage the love one to seek professional help. As a family member it will be very important that you go to therapy as well to work on any unresolved and unaddressed feelings and thoughts around the addiction. Therapy can also help you address your codependency in the relationship with the love one. Family therapy is also a good idea to help the family work on family of origin challenges that keeps the family in the dysfunction around the addicted love one.
  4. Be an example. If you use drugs or alcohol or have an addiction of certain behaviors then you lead by example through lifestyle change. You model healthy living by changing unhealthy behaviors, going to support groups, having a sponsor, or going through a recovery program as well.
  5. Self Care. It is very important that while you are supporting a love one with an addiction that you also do some self care. You want to make sure that you are getting your needs taking care of without falling into the trap of constantly meeting the needs of others and abandoning yours. Honor you.

So there you have it. This is just a few of many ways to care for a love one with addiction. Remember that addiction doesn’t just affect the one person. It affects the whole family.

 

Tahiyya xo

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please reach out for professional help. Don’t go at this alone!

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

 

I am located in Matthews, NC. I specialize in working with individuals, families, and couples who struggle with addiction, codependency, eating disorder, disordered eating and relational challenges. How may I serve you?

 

Addiction is a Family Thing

Day in and day out we are looking at the opiod crisis that is spreading like wild fire. It reminds of the crack epidemic that also spreaded like wild fire in the 80s and 90s. I remember being a little girl and seeing how this new lust was calling people’s names and calling them to do things that they would have never imagined doing. It was addiction. It was the ugly face of addiction.

Fast forward and as I look all around me addiction has grown increasingly among our youth; our adults, our families. Addiction comes in many forms. You have the typical drug and alcohol addiction. Then we have food, sex, gambling, social media, shopping, relationship/love, gaming, etc. They may not seem as harmful as drugs and alcohol however addiction is addiction and it affects one all the same.

I grew up around addiction. I grew up where there were alcoholics, drug addicts, gambling addicts, perhaps even food, sex, and relationships addicts. I saw how the addiction affected the souls of the individual. I even saw how addiction affected the family; the community.

Addiction doesn’t just affect the individual. Addiction affects the family. Each individual in the family takes on a role to either enable or disable the addict. These roles occur as a way to provide what most believe as support, tough love, or avoidance of the the addict. These roles include the following:

The Addict- the one with the addiction; the center of the dysfunction; where the world revolves the addict making them the center of attention.

The Hero– the one who is always to the resuce of the addict, the dysfunction, the family in the home; they work hard to make the addict, the family, and themselves look good. They are the perfectionist of the family.

The Mascot– the one that is the comedian of the family; to make light of the dysfunction; sometimes the jokes are not funny at all

The Lost Child– the one that gets lost in the dysfunction; they stay out of the way of the addict and the dysfunction.

The Scapegoat– the one that is the rebel and tries to bring attention to them and not the addict or the dysfunction

The Caretaker– this is the one that is the enabler; they take care of the addict and the dysfunction; they enable the addict to be the addict and the dysfunction to remain as dysfunction; the roles to remain the roles; they are the people pleasers trying to keep everyone and everything happy

When there is addiction in the home each family member will step into their role or roles…yes you can actually be in more than one role. The family members step into their roles and play the scenes of a movie that is not easy to watch and also not easy to live. After owning these roles it becomes “normal” and the addict continues to be the addict and the family also become addicts…codpendent (that’s another blog). Whenever someone in the family steps into recovery and decide that this is not the role they want to play any more and that this movie has to end is the moment that a change has to take place. A disruption has occurred in the family and either the family will stand with the dysfunction or take a stand and work on recovery as well. If you’ve ever seen Intervention on A&E you will know exactly what I mean.

Walking into recovery isn’t easy for the addict or the family. However it is not possible with just one person. The family unit will need to stand with addict or the person that interrupted the dysfunction and go through recovery together. Recovery begans with admitting that there is dysfunction; a problem and then seeking professional help. Family therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, support groups, etc.  will be professional help that the family and the individuals can attend to work on walking out of patholgy to recovery and healing.

The road to recovery isn’t easy. It is tough. It is not pretty. It is not that movie with rainbows and unicorns. It will take work; committment, and consistency from the addict AND the family. It can be done. Hope is there!

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or in one of the family of addiction roles and would like help you can contact me at tahiyyamartin@gmail.com or check out my website at http://www.tahiyyamartin.com.

Tahiyya xo

 

Tahiyya is a licensed professional counselor associate and licensed clinical addiction specialsit associate that works with adults and teens who struggle with addiction, codependency, disordered eating, and relational challenges. Her private practice is in Matthews, North Carolina. In addition to therapy she is also a life coach for women for emotional wellness and recovery as well as a mom and wife. 

 

My Vision

Last night I attended an experiential group and was introduced to this little exercise that I want to share with you the results.

But first let me explain what experiential therapy is. Experiential therapy is the concept of how I came up with the name No Couch Needed. When you are working with an experiential therapist like myself and many others you will find that you are spending less time on the couch talking and more time moving around in your session either physically, mentally, and/or spiritually. Experiential is about movement so that you can re-experience and reenact your emotional experiences, uncover hidden or unresolved issues all by using activities such as role play, empty chair, guided imagery, use of props, music, art,  and other active experiences. So as you can see No Couch is Needed in most cases.

No on to the exercise.

I give myself permission to trust the process.

In 2018 I see myself growing into my role as a wife, mother, therapist, and business owner. I see myself starting new habits and letting old ones go such as doubt, inconsistency and obsessive worry. I see myself trusting myself more to be authentic, to be me, and to trust that where I am going is my journey and not me imitating the journey of someone els.e’s journey. Authentic. Imperfect. Me!

In the work, being a part of the therapist training group, I’m learning to be confident and move past my imposter syndrome, to belive in my passion and not the position. It rings me joy to take what I’ve learned and apply to practice. It brings me joy to be with others who are learning just like me and not shaming or judging but loving

I am done with comparing myself, doubting myself and I’m learning to make all my roles my own.

I want to vacation with my family in a cabin, in the woods, in the Fall, sitting by a burning fire enjoying nature and laughter. TOGETHER!!!

I live inside my mind, my soul, my spirit. I live in a house away from others surrounded by nature.

I need to be reminded that…it is ok to be you, ok to not be perfect, ok to grow, ok to trust your instinct, ok to be scared, but most importantly know that you are good enough!

My vision for me for 2018.

What’s your vision for you for 2018?

Want to know the prompts to create your own vision?

Interested in experiential therapy?

Contact me at tahiyyamartin@gmail.com.

 

Tahiyya

xo

http://www.tahiyyamartin.com

 

 

New Year Reflections

As I move into the new year I have started to do a lot of self reflection. These self reflections have focused on both my personal and professional life. Well after last night’s group, a Facebook post, today’s periscope message that a client invited me to listen to I have finally made sense of my self reflection.

I want to share with you..

  • I am worthy. I am worthy of all that God is bringing into my life. All that the universe has aligned up to provide me. I am worthy of the love I receive. I am worthy of my practice. I am worthy of my profession. I am worthy despite the trials and tribulations my family goes through or has gone through.
  • I will no longer be inconsistent. I just watched on a periscope about letting loose the spirit of inconsistency. As a mother, wife, therapist, entrepreneur I walk around in busyness which leads to me being very inconsistent but not intentionally. I will walk in consistency and ask my support system to hold me accountable.
  • I will be mindful. As a therapist I had the opportunity to learn about mindfulness and teach it to clients. I practice mindfulness as well to help with my anxiety. As I walk into the new year I will continue to be mindful to stay present and give attention to those that ask for my attention.
  • I will walk in my purpose. Too often we get scared of our gifts and run away. However when there is feeling of worth, consistency, and mindfulness walking in your purpose will come with ease. This year I will walk in my purpose and continue to help couples, families, and women be their best selves!!

I wont’ end with the cliche’ of new year new me however I will end with doing self reflection is a great way to bring about awareness into you life.

Have you done some new year reflections? I would love to hear them. Leave me a response:)

 

Tahiyya xo

 

Fried chicken and brownies: Tale of emotional eating 


So it's the weekend and I had Saturday dinner at my mom's. Like all black families when we gather we eat. Yes we eat at funerals. We eat at weddings. We eat at baby showers. We eat at any type of gathering where family and friends get together. Eating has become a source for comfort. Food is comforting.
The foods we eat have become a part of our emotions. You know you that question "what do you feel like eating?". My husband asks this question all the time. Of course I will answer with the food of choice based on how I'm feeling. If I'm feeling sad I want some good 'ol cooking like fried chicken and add the dessert to make everything right…brownies. There have been days where I've needed to calm my anxiety and I'm heading to the local Chinese restaurant for General Tso or Sesame chicken and white rice. Again food choice is based on my emotions. The other night I was mad at my husband and needed a McDonald mango pineapple smoothie. Emotional eating.
Emotional eating is when you're eating to cope with your emotions instead of eating because you're physically hungry. Emotional eating satisfies you and your emotional needs for the moment however the cause for the emotion is still there lingering. It's the same as addiction, self medicating to cope with challenges, emotions, thoughts, and situations.
Recovery from emotional eating does exists. Here's a list of ways to manage the urge to grab that bag of potato chips when you're bored or the gallon of ice cream when you're sad

  1. Use STOP. I spoke about this skill in another post called STOP. The Stop skill is a DBT skill that is used for distress tolerance or when you're in crisis and need to take a step back in order to problem solve and respond without impulse to urges (https://nocouchneeded.com/2017/07/24/stop/).
  2. Give a name to your emotion. Most time when we are emotional eating we are not even aware that is what we're doing. We get so wound up in our emotions that the eating is done unconsciously. Instead when you're feeling mad, sad, glad, happy, etc. put a name to that emotion. Say I feel…! Sit with the emotion. Allow yourself to feel it. Don't escape from it with food.
  3. Talk it out. Instead of running to get that pineapple mango smoothie talk it out. Express what you're feeling and thinking. Then work on resolving the problem with a solution not with food. You can definitely do this with a friend for support.
  4. Go for a walk. When the emotions hit you and food is on your mind redirect your thoughts to walking, running, jogging, or some form of exercise. Exercise is a form of healthy coping to help fight off the urges.
  5. Listen to your body. The body will tell you when it's hungry. So if you're eating and it's not because you're hungry stop and get in tune with your body. Listen to what it's saying and feeling (I'm bored or I'm sad or I'm stressed). That's your que to use a healthy coping skill to manage the urge to eat and do some problem solving.
  6. Lean in to the urge. If the urge to to eat is becoming overwhelming then lean into the urge with an alternative. Try fruits and vegetables instead of that cake and ice cream or that bag of potatoes chips. It's ok. You will beat it next time.
  7. Develop a stress management plan. Stress is the reason why many of us emotional eat. Talk to a professional about developing a stress management plan that will improve the stress in your life thus leading to urges to emotional eat.
  8. Seek professional help. There are therapists out there that can help you address the root of the issue and help you develop healthier coping skills to overcome emotional eating. It's ok to go to therapy. We're here to help and support you. #noshame #noblame #nojudgment

If you or someone you know struggles with emotional eating or food addiction and would like to know how to start recovery contact me today!
http://www.tahiyyamartin.com

Tahiyya xo

Check out

Breaking Free from Emotional Eating
http://a.co/cHCNPzy

STOP

This week I believe everyone’s anxiety has been through the roof. I have really put my DBT training to use and I have been teaching the STOP skill. Not only have I used it with clients, I have actually had to use it for myself. Often we become so quick to react to our feelings and thoughts instead of mindfully responding. STOP is a skill that will help you respond and not react.

So let’s look at exactly what STOP is.

Stop

STOP is a distress tolerance skill that is taught by DBT trained therapists. A distress tolerance skill is a skill that helps an individual that is heading into an emotional crisis and they need help to tolerate the emotional pain. The STOP skill allows one to become mindfully aware of what is going on and to take a different course of action if possible. In other words I like to say it stops you in your track so that you can step outside yourself in order to bring awareness to the situation that is causing distress and bring awareness to yourself.

S= Stop. Freeze in your tracks. Don’t react to the situation just because your emotions is driving you to do so. 

T= Take a step back. It is time to step away from the siutation. Take a break by breathing in through your nose; out through your mouth. Deep calming breaths. Don’t react. 

O= Observe. Take notice of what is going on with you inside and out. What are you feeling? What are your thoughts? What exactly is the situation? What are others doing and saying that are around you. 

P= Proceed mindfully. You should act mindfully; with awareness. Consider your thoughts and feelings when making a decision. You should also take note of the feelings and thoughts of others and the situation before responding. Ask yourself “Which actions will make matters better or worse?”

This skill can be applied to any situation that you believe is distressing such as relationship conflict, urges to self harm or use substances, urges to participate in an addictive behavior, fear provoking situations, anger provoking situations; or any feelings or thoughts that makes you uncomfortable.

As a therapist I help clients put this skill to practice by practicing in session how to use the skill to respond to situations and not react. Reaction is on impulse and usually driven by our thoughts and feelings. Response is with awareness and driven by being mindful and being informed.

If you find yourself struck with an event that is distressing and need to get yourself in check, try the STOP skill. If you find yourself needing some help, hey I am available by phone or teleconference. I provide skills training, coaching, and DBT therapy.  I’m just an email away so schedule today!

 

Tahiyya xo

Resources

DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets by M. Linehan.

http://www.tahiyyamartin.com

 

If you like what you are reading and want more; hey follow the blog. I love helping others by teaching new skills, educating and bringing awareness, and just being me…Tahiyya:)

Healing from our past

Today I saw a client that is still healing from his past emotional pains from childhood. Although he believes that he’s fine and has moved forward reality hit over the weekend when he was faced with family calling him names and putting him down like they did when he was a kid. He said ” it hurts. It starts in my head and down to my stomach”. 
His words speaks truth as I’m reading The Body Keeps the Score. This books talks about how trauma, when not addressed, starts to break down the body. Our bodies feel the pain just as if we fell down and hurt ourselves and left a scar. We get older then we “forget” about the fall but the scar is still there, a reminder that we sometimes try to hide depending on the location. The scar isn’t healed it’s just there and can be reopened if it’s been manipulated or bothered (wound). It bleeds again. Or people begin to ask you how you got that scar and then you remember. The memories come back as if it just happened. 

Healing isn’t about allowing self to forget and let the wound become a scar. Healing is about facing the pain and rewriting the story. Healing is about experiencing the emotions behind the trauma and not being afraid to ride the emotions through in a healthy way (support group, helping others heal). Healing is about being able to speak your truth and not afraid to do it. Healing is about building relationships with positive supports. Healing is about knowing that healing is a process and you must trust the process in order to heal. Healing is about allowing yourself to get unstuck. Healing is…

Tahiyya Martin LPCA LCASA


If you’re ready to heal from your past emotional pains schedule an appointment today with me at 910-434-5325. Let’s talk.