Dee's House Stinking Thinking

“Stinking Thinking” – Short Tale of A Woman On Drugs

stinking thinkin

Image by: Angelina Litvin

Women and drugs are a lethal combination when it comes to thinking with any clarity. We have all heard the phrase “stinking thinking” as it pertains to an alcoholic or addict essentially going off the rails in order to use again. Her brain just starts telling her things in order to get what it wants – more alcohol or drugs.

But we recently ran into another version of that and it was with a young woman who contacted us through our website. This young woman had been using heroin for a few years. She first started doing it to help with her meth addiction and then became addicted to the heroin to the point where it had destroyed her relationships with her family and was now threatening her job. She was using more and more which was also costing her more and more which became another problem. She contacted Dee’s House because she finally felt she needed treatment.

So, where does the “stinking thinking” come in?

Here is where: when we spoke to her (through emails only, she refused to call even though we gave our founder’s personal cell number) she told us all about the problems heroin was causing her; but when we asked her whether she was ready to come into treatment, she explained she could not unless Dee’s House could also take her dog – a small.

Our staff asked if she had someone who could look after the dog and she replied, “No, there is no one.” Since she was not on good terms with her family, they would not take her dog and she did not have friends whom she could trust.

First, what does not being able to trust her friends tell you? However, we digress, that is another story. How much did she really want treatment? We understand that she loved her dog, half our staff have dogs! But if you have a life threatening disease and need treatment, you get treatment and you do not let your dog stand in the way. Ultimately, it is not that she could not live without the dog, or that the dog would have missed her, it was an excuse not to get into treatment. She created a roadblock to treatment, a barrier; and a bogus one at that. Dee’s House does not allow dogs because we only have a maximum of six people in our program at any time. It is small and intimate, so the women here can focus on recovery and themselves.

They need to be their focus, themselves, not a dog. It is also unfair to the other women.

We could hear how she was going over it in her head, telling herself what a good person she is. How she loved this little doggy and can not simply abandon it. However, finding someone to look after your dog for a few weeks is not abandoning it. If she needed an operation and were going to a hospital, what would she have done then? You can not take the dog there. This is also treatment.

So, you see, there the stinking thinking that helps you use, then there is the stinking thinking that keeps you from getting help.

Of course, we knew she was not serious about getting treatment anyway. One reason was she just would not call us no matter how many times we asked her to. We told her she can not bring the dog, we explained why. She has not emailed us since.

Who’s Your Daddy

treatment center orange county

For many of us, when we get sober, connecting with a higher power seems absolutely daunting. Whether it is because we do not believe in one, do no know one or simply lost touch with the one(s) we had to begin with.  Whatever reason, giving our lives over to something greater than ourselves is detrimental to getting and keeping sobriety. So… who’s your daddy (momma)?

While in our addiction/alcoholism, we relied on our own understanding and this didn’t work out for us. We made hasty and unreliable decisions. Our decisions may have seemed well thought out or well-planned but for some reason, we ended up in a place of incomprehensible demoralization. What now? Where do we go? Where do we turn? The answer is to something other than ourselves. This doesn’t mean giving up your logical sense; it means turning it over to a power who knows better. Any power, any being, any group conscience that you know has your best interest at heart; it lead and guide you into a place of serenity.

This idea, we know, sounds entirely vague and there is a good reason for it. The concept of a higher power is not one size fits all. If the higher power does not fit, you must acquit (we’re so so sorry about that pun). With the vast amount of religions and faith based practices in our ever evolving world, how could one possibly be expected to be given a carbon copy? Much like choosing a sponsor (someone who has what you want), choosing a higher power has to fit your needs. And guess what! Your higher power can change and it can evolve as you do in your recovery. This evolution can possibly come from your growth and from your understanding of yourself and your higher power. Whichever power you subscribe to now, may be a more comprehensible version of itself as time passes. Do not feel that your decision is as set in stone as the Ten Commandments.

Let’s ponder together about YOUR higher power:

  • Am I agnostic/atheist because I’m angry at my current higher power (think this one through because the one you have may be a good fit and you simply have to make an amends to him/her)?
  • Was my HP (higher power) pinned to me at birth?
  • What do I need from my HP?
  • What does a power greater than myself look like? Is he/she/it all knowing?  Does my HP have my best interest at heart? Can I TRUST my HP? Can my HP trust me?
  • What does LOVE look like to me (Wowza.. big question – What does unconditional LOVE mean to you? Where can you find that)?

Write out your answers to these questions and think them over, talk them through with someone and ask them who their HP is.

HP’s come in all shapes and sizes. Below is a list of the HP’s we’ve come across. Maybe you can borrow one for now. Our intent is to show you how different everyone’s HP is and how this doesn’t have to be a stressful decision. Happy hunting!

  • God (the Christian God)
  • The Prophet Muhammad
  • Mother Earth
  • The Ocean
  • The Universe
  • AA as a Whole
  • The Human Connection
  • The Force (yes – The Force from Star Wars)
  • Gautama Buddah (more precisely his teachings)
  • Someone’s Horse
  • A Doorknob
  • Confucius
  • The Goddess
  • Dayside/Nightside (vampires)
  • Jesus (the son of God)
  • Wakan Tanka (Sioux Nation)
  • Certainty of an HP borrowed from another person.
  • _________________? (fill in the blank)

Sitting at the Adult Table

As the holidays approach I remember the 48 years of holidays gone by.  As I take a moment to reflect on the family and friends that are no longer with us, and everything they contributed to make “the big event and traditions” all happen almost magically, I am transported back in time to sitting at the kid’s table with my cousins, laughing and having fun. I remember the year I felt I was too big for the kid’s table, and wondered how I could get a seat with the “big people.”

Kids Holiday Table

Image by Marco via Flickr

I had no idea what would need to take place to open a spot for me. I had no idea the responsibility and organization it requires to make all the magic happen.  I had no idea that I would take the journey through addiction and that I would spend time drinking and using. There were many times where I would be hung-over and obsessing about things, instead of gaining the skills and emotional maturity it takes to pull off the “perfect” holiday (and is there any such thing?). I had no idea I would build resentment toward a cousin who’s a kleptomaniac, who neither acknowledged her addiction or apologized for all the things she stole from me. I had no idea I would refuse to go to the only house that was paying attention to all the holiday festivities.

Recovery Center for Women

Image by Josh McGinn via Flickr

Now fast forward several years. I am now 48 years old. My grandparents are gone, as are many other family members. Two cousins my age are gone due to addiction. It’s now my turn to create magic during the holiday season. I don’t know how to cook a turkey. I can barely get bacon, eggs and toast onto a plate while they’re still hot; the bread remains cold and the butter refuses to melt.

WHY OH WHY didn’t I pay attention?

Could I have spent more time in the kitchen? Could I have listened more closely when my gramma rattled off EVERY SINGLE ingredient with DETAILED instructions EVERY time anyone told her something tasted good? How did I miss the LIFE lesson of how the f*uck to do a holiday meal?

Now I sit here, piling more shame onto myself, with the familiar burn in my stomach that reminds me just how much I suck, how I’m just not enough.  If that doesn’t do the trick, I can toss my kids into the mix.  Oh gosh, I haven’t taught my children any skills. What in the world is going to happen? It’s ALL my fault!

I sit in that familiar feeling I’ve known since birth—shame.  And then I stop, and I say out loud:

I’m gonna learn!

It’s never too late!

I can ask for support from somebody who is great at all of the holiday preparations! There are apps!

And the list goes on….

I experience an immediate energetic shift, and I’m surprised there is not a noise as my head pops out of the low vibrating energy of victim and into positive thinking.

Once that transition occurs, I am instantly filled with hope, gratitude and joy.

I’m not quite sure why I continue to put myself in my self-created “hell on earth,” but I do know that I am using my tools and getting out of the muck faster and faster.

If being happy is what I desire to be, then I am the only one who can make this happen—it’s completely and forever up to me. To let go of old negative thinking, to walk away from the intoxicating temptation of shame-based thinking, to immerse myself in my old pain—some bestowed on me, some self-created.

So watch out, adult table, here I come! And if the holiday magic I create, the turkey and the fixin’s, are terrible, then there is always pizza, and there is always next year.

Join me at the adult table, knowing that we belong there, because we have everything we need within ourselves to create a truly magical holiday.

Take your first step towards recovery at Dee’s House of Orange County. Our Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center for Women has a variety of treatment options to help you overcome alcoholism or drug addiction. Read our clients’ testimonials, or contact us today or visit us at our Southern California recovery center.

Addiction and Your Inner Woman

women's addiction programInside every woman there is an inner woman. She is the woman who you could be. She’s the little girl you were and would have grown up to be… if only. If only there hadn’t been all the nonsense, the problems, the craziness that came into your life. If only you’d had better luck, made better choices, started out in better circumstances.

She is ultimately good, this inner woman. A good friend. A good wife. A good mother, daughter, worker, thinker, helper. A good person.

She’s the “you” that you know is in there. The “you” that you want to become. And, I swear, she’s in there. I’ve seen so many women reconnect with her here at Dee’s House.

It isn’t always easy to get to her, to uncover her, to bring her out. In fact, sometimes it’s really challenging. Sometimes there are set backs, relapses, mistakes. But the great thing about her is, she’s always there. She’s always ready to emerge, whenever you’re ready.

This process can be frightening. It can feel like she brings a lot of expectation, a lot of responsibility. And that can be a scary thing. At least it can seem like it is. But if you’re willing to be honest and vulnerable all of these negative emotions can be a faint memory as you integrate her back into your life.

It’s actually easier than you might think. Because when she does emerge it means you’ve let yourself off the hook, you’ve forgiven yourself, and you’ve grown. You’ll discover that you actually feel comfortable in your own skin. Because it is the authentic you. You will have realized that the person you became and the behaviors you exhibited while using alcohol or drugs isn’t the real you at all. And definitely not who you want to be.

You’ll feel connected to other people. People who will love the real you. Because it’s real.

If you’re struggling with alcohol or drugs, come to Dee’s House. Let us help you find that inner you.

Women and Drugs – Different Needs in Treatment

women's drug treatmentWomen and Drugs

Women and drugs can be a very lethal combination. But when women seek treatment, what really are their needs? Most addiction treatment facilities are coed, based on the notion that one addiction is pretty much like another and can basically be treated in much the same manner for everyone. But much of why someone becomes an addict is not only personal, but often gender specific. There are, in fact, biological differences. Men and drugs and women and drugs are very different things. There are also highly different social and environmental factors which not only affect the motivations for drug use, but also for seeking and being successful in treatment. Women who use drugs don’t become addicts for the same reasons as men, or under the same circumstances. Moreover, women have different needs in treatment than men do. And, frankly, both genders are better off in treatment centers where they can be more focused on their goals in treatment and more able to be open and frank in therapy groups – which often isn’t the case in coed groups.

Additionally, women tend to be more sensitive to the needs of others, more supportive and work far better in groups. Women tend to be more open with their feelings and can make faster progress among other supportive women.

It is true that addiction care, in the form of AA, started among men and only later became inclusive of women. And while the basics of AA are a great foundation for any program, women addicted to drugs have other needs and require a more holistic approach to be successful in attaining, and maintaining, sobriety and long term healing goals.

There are many life circumstances that predominate in women’s lives that aren’t a factor in a man’s. Research has shown, for example, that physical and sexual trauma, followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is much more common with women and drug abuse than it is in men seeking treatment.

Other factors that can have a greater effect on women in treatment are financial independence, pregnancy and child care, and self-image. Research has also shown that women are less likely to stay in treatment than men. In some cases this may be because the gender roles they experienced in life are being replicated in coed treatment programs or, in some cases, it may be the pull of family obligations and responsibilities, such as child care, that impacts a woman’s decision to leave treatment.

All of these are circumstances that contribute to the need for a holistic women’s treatment program such as we offer at Dee’s House. We began with the basics of AA’s 12 steps and built on that foundation, creating a program we call whole-hearted healing. We believe the mind, the body and the spirit all contribute to the wellbeing of any woman, and each of those three elements must be in balance with the others to achieve an optimal sense of purpose and joy in life.

If you are seeking treatment, or looking for a treatment option for a loved one, consider Dee’s House. Call us and let’s discuss how we can help. Many of the women who come to treatment here stay in treatment longer, maintain their sobriety and also stay involved with the women they went through treatment with. Dee’s House builds unique networks of support for those who truly want to find sobriety, healing, purpose and the joy of living.

To contact Dee’s House, call (714) 374-6873 today or visit www.deeshouse.com

Healing From Addiction via Kundalini Yoga

dees-yogaAt Dees House, Kundalini Yoga is a big part of our Healing work.  Many people have no idea what it is.  So I asked Marlene, one of our favorite teachers to explain what it is and what it does for us.

 Steps to Wholeness – Beyond Recovery

There are many ways addictions manifest. For example, obsessive thinking, substance abuse, gambling, overeating, compulsive shopping and other self defeating behaviors are all cries of externally searching to fill a deep void within. In a society that commonly supports quick fixes by a “take this for that” mentality; the concept of looking outside oneself to feel better is highly promoted. These external fixes are temporary as cycles of self defeating behaviors continue and the void becomes deeper and wider. One is left feeling hopeless, helpless and powerless.

 Kundalini Yoga and Meditation

Kundalini Yoga and Meditation is known as the “Yoga of Awareness.” It is a holistic practice that balances the body, mind and spirit through the practice of specific exercises, breath work, mantras, relaxation and meditation. One experiences the power of going inward and begins to develop a new relationship within themselves as they connect and become aware of their highest truth and highest potential.

Scientifically, this technology rebuilds and strengthens the nervous system and stimulates the glandular system, which has been weakened through substance abuse, life stressors and self-sabotaging habits. The internal environment of the body begins to function at its optimal level as biochemical changes occur. Clarity of mind, emotional stability and union with one’s true self transform body, mind and spirit bringing a renewed sense of vitality, strength and self empowerment. The internal void once felt is filled with a renewed spirit and becomes the home of compassion, commitment and love for not just one’s self but for all.

 Power of the Gong

Gong relaxation and meditation is a therapeutic adjunct for healing. Like yoga, the gong affects positive transformation of body, mind and spirit as the sound vibrations promote a deep state of relaxation. The sound waves stimulates the physical body by providing a type of sonic massage. This sonic touch relaxes the nervous system, internal organs, and all other areas of the body.

The spiritual healing power of the gong is perhaps best understood by its ability to create a deep meditative state and a connection with a vastness beyond the finite self. In this space, even for the briefest of moments, the gong is a portal to what has always existed and what can always be. In the presence of the gong, the listener is able to detach from the content of the mind in order to become free of habitual patterns.

*The gong has been used in programs for recovery for several years to rebuild the nervous system and to open a spiritual connection. As early as 1973, Yogi Bhajan incorporated Kundalini yoga technology, including extended gong sessions, to treat thousands of recovering drug addicts. The program was accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization and received its highest commendation. In its first year of operation, it distinguished itself as being in the top 10% of all treatment programs throughout the U.S, with an astounding recovery rate of 91%.

To learn more about Dee’s House and how Kundalini Yoga and Meditation can help your recovery.  Contact Kimmy today at (714) 374-6873 today.