Self-love is the key to Recovery

The idea that an addict or alcoholic has poor self esteem is rejected by many, if not most individuals in active addiction and recovery alike. Most addicts and alcoholics do not believe that any conversation about self esteem is relevant or important with respect to their drug and alcohol addiction or to their recovery. The most that may be admitted, and only by a few, is that some addicts and alcoholic have poor self esteem as the result of using drugs or alcohol. There is never a discussion about self esteem being related to the cause of their addiction to drugs and alcohol.

While I could discuss the ideational foundation of poor self esteem, that is, that the individual does not think or believe that they are good enough, the notion that there is a lack of self love is much more important conversation. While the idea that addicts and alcoholics lack self love will also be rejected by most, it is more difficult to do so especially when you relate it to the actual behavior of the individual. I believe that how I act towards or treat my body is an expression of my love towards myself. I believe that if I continue to drink alcohol and use drugs it is a clear indication that I do not authentically love myself.

I believe that addicts and alcoholics do not love themselves especially when they are in active addiction. I also believe that most addicts and alcoholics continue to have a lack of self love even when clean and sober and supposedly in recovery. Ones behavior towards oneself is the best judge of whether one loves himself or not, it does not lie. Unless a lack of self love is confronted and transformed it will continue to guide and dictate behavior and ones life in general. One has to first acknowledge that they do not love themselves in order for them to begin the work of learning how to authentically love themselves and as a result transform their life. I believe that self love is the key to recovery and transformation.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

The Man or Woman in the Mirror is the real problem!

The benchmark for your recovery from drugs and alcohol is not whether you are clean and sober. The true indicator of your recovery program from drugs and alcohol has to do with your relationship with the man or woman in the mirror.

The problem with your relationship with the man or woman in the mirror and your recovery is that you think you are not good enough and there is a lack of self love and self esteem. Your only problem is that you do not authentically love yourself. The problem is not the drugs or alcohol.

The true solution to your recovery and to having an authentic relationship with the man or woman in the mirror is that you have to learn how to respect, accept and love yourself just are you are in the present. The trajectory of your life will change when you learn to love yourself.

Once your learn how to truly respect, accept and love yourself you will only do things that will honor your existence and health and will immediately stop trying to self execute yourself with drugs and alcohol. Learning to love yourself is the real solution to drug and alcohol addiction.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

Creating Positive Self-Esteem is the Missing Link in Recovery

The missing link in the recovery process is learning to accept, respect and love yourself. The way that a person comes to authentically love himself is by changing his thinking, by changing his thought process.

Most individuals are not aware of the importance and power of their thinking. What is important is for us to fully understand that our point of power for changing our life is always in the present moment, in the Now. What we think in the present is important, it does matter.

Every thought we think is creating our present reality and our future experiences. Most people suffer from self-hatred and guilt. The fundamental thought that affects if not determines all of our thoughts and thinking patterns is that "I am not good enough."

When we think that we are not good enough we source or attract negative experiences into our lives, including the use of drugs and alcohol. As we are always choosing our thoughts and are totally responsible for them, we can change what we think and as a result what we experience and the trajectory of our life.

This process is what our Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program is all about, that is, helping you to change your thinking so that you can end your addiction to drugs and alcohol forever and learn to authentically respect, accept and love yourself as you are in the present, in the Now.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

Being positive is about loving ourselves and being connected to our Higher Power!

When we are truly positive in our life, when we think and say positive things about ourselves and others, when we are sincerely grateful for what we have in our life, when we authentically acknowledge ourselves, we are in the process of loving ourselves and also, of connecting to our Source, to Spirit, our Higher Power, to God. Connecting to our Source, to Spirit, to our Higher Power, to God is about changing and transforming the trajectory of our life from fear to one of love.

When we are connected to our Source, to Spirit, to our Higher Power, to God, we are connected to our Power within us in the Now and our life becomes about creating infinite possibilities! When we get connected to our Higher Power we not only beginning to experience authentic self love but are creating the possibility of ending our drug and alcohol addiction forever. Authentically loving yourself and being connected to your Higher Power are synonymous and create the foundation for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

Self Esteem and Addiction Go Hand in Hand

Self Esteem and addiction go hand in hand. Low self esteem is considered the number one factor for causing a drug and alcohol addiction!

There is a concept in my profession referred to as co-occurring disorders indicating a connection between substance abuse problems and mental health conditions. It is my opinion that both of these disorders exist with the addict and alcoholic. I believe that all individuals who suffer from a substance abuse or dependency problems have a mental health condition. I believe further that the mental health condition is the primary or fundamental problem for the addict or alcoholic.

It is also my belief that both of these conditions have to be treated, the substance abuse issue and the mental health problem. Many people in the drug treatment industry minimize or deny the existence of a mental health condition. What happens when this is done is that the client will become abstinent from drugs and alcohol only to relapse quickly after treatment because the underlying mental health condition was not adequately dealt with and treated. The treatment of the mental health problem is something that is absolutely necessary for the well being and recovery of the addict and alcoholic.

While many addicts and alcoholics experience a great deal of anxiety and the underlying emotion of fear, I believe that depression and dysthymia are the primary mental health conditions and diagnoses that form the cornerstone of their drug and alcohol problem. One of the symptoms of major depression and dysthymia is poor self esteem. It is my opinion that poor self esteem is the root of the substance abuse and dependency disorder. It is also one of the symptoms that is not given a great deal of importance or even acknowledged in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.

It is also my opinion that until we recognize, acknowledge and begin to treat the problem of poor self esteem that addicts and alcoholics will continue to relapse and in many cases even die. At the basis of the addict and alcoholic's poor self esteem is a negative self image, negative thoughts and beliefs about their worth and value as a human being. It has been my experience that every addict or alcoholic that I have worked with have serious issues with their self image even if in the beginning of their treatment they deny its existence.

It is my recommendation that if you are looking for a treatment program for someone who has a substance abuse and dependency problem that you insist that there are master's level, licensed and trained therapists on staff to adequately counsel and treat mental health problems. This particular requirement is crucial to the addict and alcoholic receiving appropriate care and treatment. When researching a potential residential or outpatient treatment center simply ask the administration of the center for the qualifications of the therapists and counselors that provide all of the counseling services to addicts and alcoholics.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

It is Never About the Booze or Drugs!

I believe that a negative self image and the poor self esteem that is caused by our negative perception of our value and worth as a human being is the primary cause of drug and alcohol addiction. It is not the drugs or alcohol that is the problem, it never has been. The real cause of drug and alcohol addiction will not be found in any other person, place or thing but only inside the addict or alcoholic.

When we consciously decide to focus on helping addicts and alcoholics to transform their self image, then and only then will be we start to find authentic solutions to the drug and alcohol problems and epidemic that we are experiencing today in this country. Until we help the addict and alcohol look inside and learn to heal their relationship with the man or woman in the mirror things will continue to be the same.

Individuals who authentically respect, accept and love themselves will not use drugs and alcohol. The real solution to drug and alcohol addiction is to help addicts and alcoholic learn how to respect, accept and love themselves as they are now, to let go of their belief that they are not good enough and as a result of this work to stop using drugs and alcohol.

Drug and alcohol addiction is not a physical disorder so much as it is primarily a thought disorder. The real addiction is to a way of thinking, a way of thinking that tells you that you are not good enough, that you are inferior. The solution to drug and alcohol addiction is to be found only in a transformation of the addict and alcoholic's thinking and specifically in their thinking about who they believe they are as a human being.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

20 Ways to Daily Wellness

Making the decision to change your life for the better is no small feat. If you’ve gotten to this place, congratulations! But the hard work isn’t over. Even though your mind is ready your body is still operating on its habits. To break a negative habit you must be aware of those negative habits you currently have; these can be actions or even self-sabotaging thoughts. You then have to replace your negative thoughts or actions with positive ones. Incorporating practical positive things that you can do daily will help with your recovery (or personal transformation of any kind). 

Start to practice the 20 Ways to Daily Wellness listed below and watch as your life changes for the better; physically, mentally and emotionally.  You may even experience a transformation of mind, body and spirit.

5 Things For Successful Recovery Every Addict or Alcoholic Needs to Work On

In order for an addict or alcoholic to be successful in their recovery I believe there are 5 things that need to be worked on. Self-Esteem, Building a Recovery Program, Anxiety/Stress Management, Independence vs. Co-dependence and Daily Planning. Addressing these 5 areas forces an addict or alcoholic to confront the things about themselves that weren’t working, while giving them the opportunity to re-create themselves into the person they want to be, for the life they want to live. These 5 things are a huge undertaking that require the help of qualified and understanding individual, such as a counselor and a sponsor.  

Egomaniac with an Inferiority Complex

The death toll from drug overdoses continues to rise all across our country as a result of the epidemic we are currently facing. Authorities project that the problem will continue to escalate with no end in sight.  The shocking statistics and heartbreaking stories that are coming out leave one asking, “What is being done to begin to stop this epidemic?” 

Why We Must Stop Blaming Others

We must stop blaming others for the drug epidemic that our society is currently experiencing.

It is not the physicians, or even the drug dealers, that are the cause of the problem.

The cause of the problem is not even the drugs. It never has been and never will be.

Blaming people, places or things will not help us to find the true cause, and without the true cause we cannot reach real solutions. Searching for people to blame keeps us from asking the right questions, and allows individuals to hide from their personal responsibility.

So how do we ask the right questions?