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Addiction, Dependency, Uncategorised

Why Don’t More People Go to Rehab?

By Jennifer McDougall

The number of overdoses killing millions of Americans leave us to question, why don’t those who desperately need addiction treatment ever receive it? Some may ask, “What will it take for them to finally agree to get the help they need?” Even after multiple DUIs, years of abuse and embarrassing themselves in front of friends and family, some people still refuse to get the help they need. The reasons why are tragic. With all of the resources available to people, they still refuse to grab a hold of the help being offered.

You most likely know someone who drowns themselves in substance abuse to cope with pain, past traumas, a chemical imbalance, or untrue beliefs. We turn on the evening news and see people all over the world hurting themselves and others from substance abuse. Maybe they have attempted rehab before and it didn’t work so they are unwilling to try it again; unwilling to even try something with a better approach. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why people refuse rehab for professional help. Here are five of them.

  1. They see addiction as a weakness and feel ashamed to admit they need professional help.

When we go through hard times or face difficulties in life, sometimes it can be hard to admit the suffering because we don’t want to look weak. Many of those in the most depth of helplessness refuse help the most.  They would rather try and pick up the pieces alone without bringing anyone into the solution. This is also known as pride. For many people, it’s more comfortable to suffer alone than to reach out to a friend, family member, or professional for help. Coming to terms with this issue can take a lot of time and hard work, but it is possible and it is not something anyone should feel bad about. Asking for help is not a weakness. It takes a great deal of strength and courage to admit you need help—that you can no longer do it on your own.

  1. They are afraid to lose their job or career.

When a person’s job or income is on the line, they will put aside just about anything to save it. The only problem with this is their job is probably suffering from the abuse that they are hiding behind closed doors. If they got professional help and healed the underlying conditions causing them to use and abuse drugs or alcohol, their career would more than likely sky rocket or improve drastically.

  1. They don’t have insurance coverage for treatment or enough money to fund it.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we accept a handful of insurance policies that cover treatment at our facilities. We offer 30-90-day treatment programs that most insurance policies will cover. For more information, please call (888) 397-0112 and ask to speak with our admissions department about pricing and program options. There are other resources out there such as SAMHSA which help those who have no money and limited insurance coverage. They can be reached by calling 1-800-662-4357.

  1. They are not ready to quit using.

Many of those who are in denial of having an addiction to drugs and alcohol are also not ready to quit using. The process to finally come around could take up to years for them to finally admit they need help and they can no longer live a life burying their hopes and dreams with substance abuse. Even when they see what the damage is doing to them physically, mentally, emotionally, and ruining their relationships, opportunities, and abilities—they still would rather continue using and abusing drugs and alcohol just to cope with the pain and suffering they can’t deal with without numbing it down with substances. It’s sad to watch someone you love and care about so much ruining their lives and belittling their potential just to stay high. We understand how truly difficult it is for those trying to get their loved one to come around and get the help they need. We ease into the approach. We yell and scream with tears dripping down our face unable to get through to the one we are trying so hard to help. If the person who’s using and abusing drugs and alcohol refuses to get help and are not ready to give it up, the likelihood of them to go to rehab can feel almost impossible.

  1. They are suicidal and would rather die than fight to overcome the battle of addiction.

Those who have literally given up on everything in their lives and find the only times they are slightly alive is when they high are experiencing some incredibly deep and dark battles. They should not be left alone. Be available as often to reach out to them, check in, give support at any given moment. Do not let them feel ignored or invisible. If you or someone you know is suicidal, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Image via Pixabay

Uncategorised

15 Things to do Instead of Smoking a Cigarette

By Jennifer McDougall

Quitting nicotine can be tough. For many people, it doesn’t happen overnight and anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking cigarettes will tell you how difficult it is. Here at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers we have several suggestions for you to do instead of smoking. Whenever you have a sudden desire to light up, do one of these 15 things instead.

  1. Have a cup of herbal tea
  2. Go for a walk or run
  3. Get out your notebook and write down your thoughts, ideas, frustrations, worries, or fantasies
  4. Have a healthy snack
  5. Take a nap
  6. Do some gardening
  7. Begin to color in one of those awesome adult coloring books
  8. Play a game on your phone or computer
  9. Meditate
  10. Spend time at a place nearby where smoking is not allowed
  11. Clean the house
  12. Take a relaxing bath
  13. Go swimming
  14. Organize a junk drawer or closet
  15. Appreciate your smoke free living space and lifestyle

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Image via We Heart It

Passages Malibu, Passages Rehabs, Uncategorised

Passages Malibu: Revolutionizing Addiction Treatment for 15 Years.

When Chris and Pax Prentiss opened Passages on August 11th, 2001 they had one goal in mind, to open the world’s finest treatment center, and help as many people as they could. Now, fourteen years later and it’s clear they have accomplished their goal, not only has their groundbreaking, holistic approach made them the No. 1 rehab in the world, but they’ve also revolutionized the industry.

“When we opened 15 years ago, we were ridiculed by other treatment centers for not incorporating the 12-Steps into our program, but why we should, we knew the 12-Step philosophy was contradictory to what we believed to be true about treating addiction. Ultimately, we refused to use it and instead relied on professional one-on-one treatment to be the mainstay of our program. Over the years, as Passages grew in popularity other treatment centers were more inclined to adopt our ways or be faced with becoming stagnant.” Said co-founder and CEO Pax Prentiss.

At the core of the Passages’ game changing philosophy is their focus on healing the underlying conditions that cause addiction. They do this through a holistic program that offers an abundance of one-on-one therapy. “One-on-one treatment is far more effective then groups when it comes to treating someone’s underlying conditions.” Says Prentiss. Pax should know, he was addicted to heroin, cocaine and alcohol for ten years, and failed many times at traditional rehab centers that incorporate the 12-steps and offered only group meetings.

Passages is Joint Commission Accredited, has been ranked the No. 1 rehab in the world, and was named by Forbes magazine as one of the “Most Luxurious Places to Dry Out.” In 2009 Passages opened its sister facility in Ventura California.

On August 10th, 2015, Passages opened their very first outpatient treatment center located in Venice, California for those who are in need of holistic outpatient treatment that is similar to what is provided at Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura.  Passages also has a sober living facility located in vibrant Santa Monica, California.

 

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers – Addiction Ends Here

About Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Founded by Chris Prentiss and Pax Prentiss, Passages Malibu opened in 2001 with its second location, Passages Ventura, opening in 2009 and an outpatient center in Venice, California which opened in 2015. The three drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers offer an alternative to the 12-step/AA model of addiction treatment by taking a holistic approach with a program that focuses on the underlying issues of substance dependency, rather than suggesting that addiction is an incurable disease. Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura have earned the coveted JCAHO (Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accreditation, which has only been given to 6% of the nation’s behavioral health treatment programs. The co-founders are also authors of the acclaimed series of treatment books that include their groundbreaking flagship book, “The Alcoholism & Addiction Cure.” At Passages, we believe: Addiction Ends Here.

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Uncategorised

Heal Anxiety Without Prescription Drugs

By Jennifer McDougall

You can feel it explode from your very core and spread through your entire body. Your heart is racing at an excessive rate and that tightness in the center of your belly sends several waves of discomfort making it hard for you to concentrate. Some people experience anxiety because of their own worries and fears. This can include a wide range of reasons, but no matter what that reasons are the truth is that anxiety is stealing your happiness and life is too short to be anything but happy!

What can you do to stop this dreadful feeling? The first thing you need to know is you don’t need prescription medicines to ease any of this tension; anxiety can be healed through natural remedies such as essential oils, breathing exercises, natural herbs, as well as many other techniques. Here are 10 ways you can naturally heal anxiety and live life more comfortable and breathe freely.

1. Meditation

2. Avoid drugs and alcohol

3. Take a break every now and then and cut yourself some slack from the overwhelming emotions of stress

4. Be sure you’re getting enough sleep

5. Limit your coffee/caffeine intake

6. Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day

7. Welcome good humor and laugh your day through the day

8. Eat well-balanced meals to maintain proper nutrition

9. Close your eyes for 10 seconds and take three deep breaths

10. Talk to a professional who can help you manage your stress and anxiety to avoid it becoming a life threatening problem

 

Also see:  Anxiety Disorders and Substance Abuse

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image via We Heart I

Uncategorised

What to Know About Chakra Healing

By Jennifer McDougall

 

There are thousands of ways you can heal your chakras using simple techniques that you can practice from home or in a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. If you are someone who is unfamiliar with the techniques of cleansing your chakras, it is important to first know what chakras are. They are energy sources that live within each of us. They are positioned within our core but are not visual with the human eye. There are seven chakras and each of them holds a spiritual power; according to ancient Indian beliefs.

  1. Root Chakra: Earth and Foundation (Smell)

Meditation Mantra: “Lam”

  • Located at the base of your spine and in your tailbone area.
  • This chakra relates to survival, trust, safety, and family loyalty.

Answer the following questions with honesty to see if this particular chakra is blocked or unbalanced.

  • Do you feel physically fit?
  • Are you able to put your thoughts into action?
  • Do you accomplish most of your goals?
  • Have you had self-destructive thoughts recently?
  • Are you able to easily make a decision or do you find yourself to be very indecisive?

How to strengthen your root chakra:

  • Use aromatherapy oils such as cedarwood, lavender, vetiver, or patchouli.
  • Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine such as yoga, cycling, jogging, hiking, or swimming.
  • Surround and dress yourself in the color red more often.
  • Eat root vegetables.
  • Listen to stimulating music with deep beats.
  • Meditate in a comfortable and quiet space for 10 minutes.
  • Walk barefoot in nature.
  • Repeat affirmations such as “I am safe.” “I am.” “I belong.”
  1. Sacral Chakra: Water and Emotional Identity (Taste)

Meditation Mantra: “Vam”

  • Located in the lower abdomen about two inches below the navel.
  • This chakra elates to creativity, manifestation, sexuality, pleasure, relationships, and learning to let go.

Answer the following questions with honesty to see if this particular chakra is blocked or unbalanced.

  • Do you feel emotionally stable?
  • Are you hiding or trying to control your feelings?
  • Do you feel creative?
  • Are you experiencing jealousy?
  • Are you feeling withdrawn?
  • Are you dependent on someone else?
  • Are you accepting of gifts and love?
  • Are you embracing the changes in your life?
  • Are you truly living in the present moment or are you holding on to something in the past?

How to strengthen your sacral chakra:

  • Embrace sensations by cooking or testing a new meal.
  • Watch an emotional movie.
  • Take a hot bath with essential oils such as orange, jasmine, and rose.
  • Listen to music with soft a variation of flowing sounds such as water, thunderstorms, and other natural sounds with a little bounce.
  • Surround and dress yourself in more orange clothing and décor.
  • Visualize the color orange while meditating and using the “Vam” mantra.
  • Practice letting go of unhealthy emotions and people that consume you.
  1. Solar Plexus Chakra: Fire and Energy (Sight)

Mantra: “Ram”

  • Located in the upper abdomen.
  • This chakra relates to personal strength, courage, fears of rejection, ambition, learning, and comprehension.

Answer the following questions with honesty to see if this particular chakra is blocked or unbalanced.

  • Are you having trouble focusing?
  • Do you quickly lose concentration?
  • Does your mind seem cloudy?
  • Are you afraid of being alone?
  • Do you have a lot of doubt?
  • Do you find it difficult to trust people?
  • Do you truly feel confident and comfortable within your own skin?

How to strengthen your solar plexus chakra:

  • Get in the sunlight.
  • Clean out a messy room or closet.
  • Set a few reasonable short-term goals.
  • Incorporate the color yellow into your wardrobe and décor.
  • Repeat affirmations such as: “I am powerful.” “I know who I am and where I am going!” “I love and respect myself.” “I am my own person.” “I choose how to think and behave.”
  • Use essential oils such as rosemary, lemon, peppermint and ylang ylang.
  • Eat yellow foods, as well as grains and fiber.
  1. Heart Chakra: Air and Love (Touch)

Meditation Mantra: “Yam”

  • Located at the center of the chest, right above the heart.
  • Allows you to love and give unconditionally. This chakra helps guide your relationships and allows one to forgive, trust, and let go.

Answer the following questions with honesty to see if this particular chakra is blocked or unbalanced.

  • Do you have a difficulty saying “no” to people?
  • Are you envious of what other people have?
  • Are you dependent on someone else for your own happiness?
  • Do you feel hurt emotionally?
  • Are you holding back from forgiving someone, or even yourself?
  • Are you afraid of abandonment?
  • Have you been betrayed by someone close to you?

How to strengthen your heart chakra:

  • Eat more green foods.
  • Use essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree and spearmint.
  • Take a walk or a hike outdoors and enjoy the sounds of nature.
  • Read a romantic novel or watch a romantic movie in dim lighting.
  • Spend time gardening.
  • Wear or carry a green gemstone.
  • Spend time with small children or animals.
  • Try to forgive someone who has done you wrong and let go.
  • Practice forgiving yourself for past mistakes.
  • Add green décor to your home and/or office.
  • Repeat mantras such as: “I am loved.” “My heart is full.” “I forgive myself.” “I am at peace.” “I am connected to everything in the universe.”
  1. Throat Chakra: Sound and Vibration (Hearing)

Meditation Mantra: “Ham”

  • Located in the throat.
  • Communication and self-expression of feelings.
  • Relates to mania, overeating, and cigarette addiction.

Answer the following questions with honesty to see if this particular chakra is blocked or unbalanced.

  • Do you tell the truth often?
  • Do you find it easy to express yourself through words?
  • Do you find yourself talking too much and not listening to what others have to say?
  • Are you afraid of speaking the truth?
  • Can you express yourself freely without getting angry or feeling frustrated?
  • Do you speak with optimism?

How to strengthen your heart chakra:

  • Speak positively throughout the day.
  • Respond to negativity with silence.
  • Listen when someone else is speaking and wait 5-10 seconds before responding.
  • Sing, sing, sing!
  • Close your eyes and imagine the color blue.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Prepare for conversations you want to have with someone, then when you have those conversations you will be sure and more confident in what you want to say and allow your truth to be heard by a group or individual.
  • Practice speaking the truth every day.
  • Write a poem, short story, or create a blog to express yourself.
  • Use essential oils such as peppermint, chamomile, and ginger.
  1. Third Eye Chakra: Light and Vision (“sixth sense”)

Meditation Mantra: “Om”

  • Located within the forehead and between the eyes- the pineal gland.
  • Expand intellect, intuition, and spiritual insight.
  • Relates to a poor body image, OCD behaviors, and addiction to any mood altering substance.

Answer the following questions with honesty to see if this particular chakra is blocked or unbalanced.

  • Do you trust your intuition?
  • Are you able to balance your imagination and fantasies with the realm of reality?
  • Do you give yourself credit for your work or do you lack self-pride?
  • Are you often depressed or feel lonely?
  • Do you have vivid dreams?
  • Do you trust your thoughts?
  • Are you open to other people’s point of views?
  • Can you see beyond the surface of a particular situation?

How to strengthen your third eye chakra:

  • Go stargazing.
  • Meditate for 15-20 minutes in a comfortable and quiet space. While doing so, focus your attention in the center of your head at the same level of, and slightly above your eyebrows.
  • Use essential oils such as patchouli, frankincense, jasmine, and myrrh.
  • Listen to Mozart or Bach.
  • Draw, or go out and practice photography.
  • Keep a dream journal and write in it within the first 20 minutes of waking up. Write before you get up out of bed. It’s best to keep your dream journal in a nightstand beside your bed.
  • Take a short break every hour (5 minutes) to breathe and center your thoughts.
  • Imagine the best possible version of yourself and then ask yourself how you can get to the place you want to be in order to be the person you imagine to be.
  • Add the color indigo to your wardrobe and décor of your home and/or office.
  1. Crown Chakra: Consciousness and Awareness

Meditation Mantra: Silence

  • Located at the very top of the head.
  • Meaning and identity.
  • Relates to religion, prayer, depression, and anxiety.

Answer the following questions with honesty to see if this particular chakra is blocked or unbalanced.

  • Do you trust the universe?
  • Do you often worry?
  • Do you believe that all of your experiences hold a deep purpose in your journey?
  • Do you believe everything that happens in life is just random?

How to strengthen your crown chakra:

  • Turn off the TV, radio and computer to enjoy the beauty of peaceful silence.
  • Go for a run outside and listen to your inner thoughts.
  • Wear or carry with you a violet or white gemstone.
  • Use essential oils such as lavender, jasmine, and armoise.
  • Write down your dreams and imaginations.
  • Meditate or pray.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises to help calm and release your busy mind. Focus on pure bliss and the quietness around you.
  • Help someone in need.
  • Practice letting go of your ego.

Chakra

Images via We Heart It

Passages Malibu, recipes, clean food
Passages Malibu, Uncategorised

Fresh Flavors : Two New Citrus and Acai Recipes

Whether you’re planning a cleanse or making healthier eating choices, smoothies, juices, and other blended beverages are delicious ways to provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.  The two recipes below, provided by the Passages Malibu Pinterest page are both tasty starts toward turning over a new leaf.  Citrus works wonders to rev up your metabolism and acai berries are loaded with antioxidants to help rid your body of nasty free radicals.

Citrus Dream Detox Juice

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 grapefruits, peeled
  • 2 blood oranges (or regular oranges or tangerines), peeled
  • 7 carrots
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 inch knob of ginger

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Simply run all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy!  

If available: consider purchasing organic produce – not only are organic fruits and vegetables often more flavorful, but they lack harmful pesticides that are often found on conventionally grown produce. Check out the

The 2014 Dirty Dozen list by the Environmental Working Group to learn more.

 

Passages Malibu, clean food, recipes

Acai Bowl Superfood

INGREDIENTS

  • Yield: 2 medium-sized servings
  • Acai Puree:
  • 1 pouch frozen acai puree (find at your local health food  store)
  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 5 oz. Greek Yogurt
  • Toppings:
  • 1 medium mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut chips (or shredded coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries
  • 2 tablespoons silvered almonds
  • 2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons granola (or toasted rolled oats)
  • 1 teaspoon cacao nibs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using your blender or food processor, blend the acai puree, banana, and greek yogurt until smooth. Pour into two small bowls.
  2. Finish by topping bowls with desired toppings and enjoy!

via Passages Malibu Pinterest

Passages Malibu, healthy eating
Uncategorised

Super Healthy Super Bowl Snacks

When the Broncos and the Seahawks face off on Super Bowl Sunday, everyone knows that delectable snacks are just as important as the big game (and some pretty amazing commercials).  If you’re planning a Super Bowl party and want to keep things healthy, we’d like to offer you these delicious, clean food alternatives to the usual junk that all too often finds its way onto coffee tables across the country.  Special thanks to the Passages Malibu Pinterest page for these tasty treats!

Pizza Bites, Zucchini Style

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Marinara Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Part Skim Mozzarella
  • Fresh Veggies, Lean Meats for topping (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut zucchini about 1/4 inch thick. Spray both sides of zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Broil or grill the zucchini for about 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Top each slice with sauce, cheese and optional toppings if desired. Broil for an additional minute or two. Be careful not to burn cheese.

toast

Guacamole Toast with Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

  • A dozen shrimps
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 White onion
  • Coriander
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Lemon
  • 4 Slices of Black Bread (or any kind of bread you like!)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by shelling shrimp. Cut them into small pieces and put them in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice, sesame seeds, chopped coriander and a little salt and pepper. Let marinate for 30 minutes in a cool place.
  2. Peel the avocados, chop the onion and put everything in the bowl of your food processor. Add two pinches of cumin, two pinches of paprika, a pinch of cayenne pepper, some coriander leaves and remaining lemon juice and mix until the mixture is just blended.
  3. Cut the black bread into small thin strips, then add a title avocado puree and a few piece of shrimp.
Passages Malibu, new year resolutions
Uncategorised

Starting Fresh in 2014

Many people look to the New Year as an opportunity to commit to joining a gym, quitting smoking, or making other, more significant, life-enhancing decisions. It’s often all too easy to find reasons to continue in the direction you’re already heading, but the new calendar year often inspires a moment of pause; a fresh perspective.

1. Embrace the present moment: Being conscious of your thoughts is the clearest path toward changing your heart, mind, and body. Also, awakening yourself to the environment around you will allow you to see positive opportunities as they come into your life.

2. An attitude of gratitude: Appreciate all that you have in your life and find ways to celebrate it. For some people this means making a list, taking note of all that you have. For others, expressing appreciation to people in your life is more important. Don’t forget to acknowledge your own talents and abilities.

3. Be mindful of the company you keep: Not everyone out there can be your dearest ally, but those who are, should be kept in close confidence. Surrounding yourself with people who reflect back the most positive aspects of your life is essential, but it’s also important to stay connected with people who offer realistic advice so you can remain grounded.

“We welcome anyone who’s made the choice to stop using drugs or alcohol,” said Pax Prentiss, CEO of Passages Addiction Treatment Centers. “The exceptional treatment team we’ve assembled at Passages does an excellent job of empowering our clientele, so they can move forward with their lives.”

Tom Fitzsimons, run4sobriety
Uncategorised

Moving East: A guest blog by Tom Fitzsimons

We all remember moments of clarity in our lives, moments when we are awakened spiritually. Moments when we realise that our lives have different meaning, that our lives have purpose. That moment of clarity came for me when I was watching the Redbull Stratos team as they attempted to jump out of a balloon on the edge of space.  I don’t know if you watched this but for me it was a truly magical moment. The mission was: Supported by a team of experts Felix Baumgartner ascended to 128,100 feet in a stratospheric balloon and made a free-fall jump rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground.

I watched as Felix opened the door of the capsule at 128,100 feet and I gasped as I saw the world from a completely different angle.  It looked beautiful beyond words. “The world is a magnificent place” I heard myself say. I had never viewed the world as beautiful.

I hated the world and all it had given me. Childhood poverty, parental addiction and violence, racism, parental death and eventually my own alcohol addiction. I had hated the world for as long as I could remember. During my five years of sobriety my views had slowly changed. I had started to get more out of life. I thought I was getting 100% until I saw Felix stand on the edge of the capsule and say the words:  “I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are… I’m coming home now.”

I realised that I was operating at less than half my potential. I had to do more with my life. I had to achieve more and to help more people. I had to help change the stigma of my illness, something I feel has held me back for so long. I had to find a new challenge that would test me to my limits both mentally and physically so that I could have my “I know the world is watching” moment. It was that day that I began to realise my potential.

Tom Fitzsimons, run4sobriety

Over the next few months I planned Run4Sobriety. A not for profit run from San Francisco to New York City. 3100 miles on foot, averaging 31miles per day for 100 days. “Why run across the USA Tom?” was a question that I was asked quite often “why not run in the UK?” the simple answer is that the UK is not big enough. It is not big enough to reflect how hard it is to fight addiction. I needed something that would almost break me, somewhere that would bring me to my knees, somewhere that would have me crying out in pain and asking for it to end. You see that’s what it’s like fighting addiction. I also wanted to show people who are going through this pain that there is hope. The run was to symbolise the highs and lows of recovery.

If you imagine that your addiction lays in the Pacific Ocean. You make a decision to leave it behind so the only way to get away is to head east towards NYC. When you make the decision to leave your addiction people are super supportive. You get handshakes and slaps on the back and people genuinely look like they want to support you on your journey. The trouble is by the time you hit Sacramento or two weeks sober these people seem to thin out, they disappear. Understandable, as they have their lives to lead. This leaves you on your own, alone and afraid to carry on. The easy decision is to head back to San Francisco and to your addiction, but let’s takes a chance and keep moving east. Let’s see if we can survive a few days on our own. Wow how awesome is California, sunshine on your face feeling good about leaving things behind and then boom you hit your first mountain range. Again a decision to make, head back to San Fran or tackle the mountain. Put up with the pain of the climb. Will it be worth it? Who knows? Is going back to your addiction worth it? No? Then let’s keep moving east!

At the top of Echo Summit I can see Lake Tahoe one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. The journey is worth it. All the way across the USA I was faced with decisions of quit or continue as I am everyday with my addiction to alcohol. What I discovered in The USA is that when I think I’m ready to quit I find another level of determination to succeed. I found that the rewards for my hard work far outweighed returning to a life of addiction. I found that my potential was as far away from my addiction as I ever thought possible. 100 days on the road and I reached six years sober and New York City. My Run4Sobriety had ended but my battle against my illness continues.

I’m happy to fight now because I know that my courage and determination will be rewarded. I will see the smiles of my children and I will feel the love of my wife. This love will make my heart grow so strong that addiction will never again control me. As you enter your recovery keep focused on the goal. There will be mountains to climb and deserts to cross. You will have days when you feel that you cannot go on, but, you will also have days of extreme beauty and days of joyous laughter. You will make new friends and re-establish old ones. You will discover a new inner strength. You will grow and find that your life has finally got purpose.   Keep the faith!   Keep moving East!   Every day I fight! Every day I win!

Live the life,

Tom

@dryingout

Run4Sobriety 2013

The Finish 1

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An Audio Introduction to Passages Malibu co-founder Chris Prentiss

After helping his son Pax Prentiss overcome ten years of addiction to heroin, alcohol, and cocaine, Chris Prentiss co-founded Passages Malibu with Pax in 2001. The goal was simple, to offer an exclusive, luxury environment to treat and heal drug dependency and addiction. The addiction treatment philosophy of Passages stems from Chris’ inspiring talks and numerous books on self-empowerment, including Zen and the Art of Happiness and The Laws of Love. Below are several audio clips that reveal some of the secrets of Passages treatment philosophy, taken from Chris’ metaphysics talks, a regular part of the Passages addiction treatment experience.