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Addiction Doesn’t Have To Be A Hopeless Situation!

There is a Better Way than the 12 Steps!

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Over the course of helping tens of thousands of substance users over the last 31 years, I’ve come to some realizations about what makes the “addict” or “alcoholic” overcome and move on successfully from their habits. If you are a person that believes you are powerless, well, you will be powerless. If you are someone that thinks they can move on successfully, you will – provided you have the correct information and attitude. In The Freedom Model for Addictions, Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap, we cover the topic of how your beliefs about your addictions can affect the outcome. Take a look (from Chapter 13, Success):

“You are free to rethink the benefits of reducing or quitting

You may have thought that life without heavy intoxication would be miserable or intolerable. You are free to challenge that belief, and to see life with less substance use as a happier option, rather than a miserable loss. There are potential gains for everyone in quitting or moderating if you look for them.

In saying this, we need to be clear that we are not talking about avoiding costs. Avoiding costs is, of course, part of the equation when deciding to change your substance use, but this is a negative, and in the long run your actions are motivated by positives. The PDP says you will be motivated toward what you see as your happiest option. Quitting substances can free up time and energy to find more exciting things to do, more peace, a greater sense of freedom, a return to health, etc. In some ways, these are the flipsides of the costs, but they are real gains; they are benefits. Will you choose to consider them as you decide whether to abstain, moderate, or use heavily? Will you give yourself a chance to find your happiest option? Or will you stay focused on costs rather than benefits? You are free to choose how you think about this.

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You are free to shift your focus from costs to benefits

In every area of life, people make their decisions primarily focused on benefits. They don’t seek to incur more costs, or hope for more disasters to scare them in a new direction. Going back to the example at the beginning of this chapter, if you’re unsatisfied with your job you don’t hope for it to get worse to motivate you to quit. What most people do when they recognize that a job or career is unsatisfying is look for a better job or career. The dissatisfaction motivates them to look for better options, but if they don’t look or don’t find any, they usually stay right where they are. When people think they’ve got a better job in sight that is when they quit. Yet when it comes to this issue of unsatisfying patterns of substance use, many people look for more negatives, more consequences, more pain, in order to motivate them to quit. It’s commonplace for people to tell us things such as “I wish I would get arrested because that would make me quit,” or “I wish my doctor would tell me I have to quit that would make it easier.” Or “the problem is I don’t have enough negative consequences, I’m a functioning alcoholic.” This is in line with the recovery ideology of a substance user needing to “hit bottom.”

It would be quite strange indeed to think things such as “I wish my boss would threaten me more,” “I wish my coworkers were more annoying,” “I wish they would give me more work than I can handle, because that would make it easier to quit my job.” Most people’s natural inclination is to simply look for a better job, promotion, or transfer to another department where they think they’d be happier.

A substance use habit is a normal life choice. It can be approached in the same way that people approach other life changes. If you are unsatisfied, you can look for a way of living that satisfies you more, that has the potential to make you happier. You are free to approach it this way, or you are free to continue to think of it as something that you need to be scared and forced out of doing in some way. This shift in approach is your choice to make.”

And it is that last paragraph that really sums up the perspective change that needs to be made. Knowing that the human psyche is motivated by benefits and the happier option in all decision making is the key. While costs and consequences will motivate you temporarily, they don’t provide the fuel for sustainable lifestyle changes. You can only hide in AA and NA meetings so long before your desire to move on and become a happier more fulfilled person takes over. Embrace the happier choices in life. Become aware of your motivations and desire to be happier, and act accordingly. If you do so, you just might find you no longer need to scare yourself straight, and you can finally move on to a much better place in life.

Mark Scheeren is the co-author of The Freedom Model for Addictions, Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap, and is the co-founder and Chairman of the St. Jude Retreat, the only residential non-12 step model for addiction in the world. For addiction help, call 888-424-2626

For more information about The Freedom Model go to TheFreedomModel.org

For more information about the St. Jude Retreat, go to www.soberforever.net

Opinion

Biden Mandate Busted Again, This Time in Lone Star State

It was a BRUTAL smackdown at that!

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From the very moment that Joe Biden began to speak about a federal vaccine mandate, there were concerns about its constitutionality.  You see, this is a nation founded on the ethos of freedom, and there is nothing more authoritarian than forcing a population to undergo unwanted medical procedures.

And, thusly, in the weeks following the Commander in Chief’s declaration, a number of judicial bodies took up the argument, and with devastating results for the White House.

The latest smackdown comes to us from Texas.

A federal judge in Texas Friday blocked the federal government from enforcing President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees, arguing that he didn’t have the authority to do so “with the stroke of a pen and without input from Congress.”

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Biden has pushed several different iterations of vaccine mandates in recent months, including one for large businesses which the Supreme Court blocked and another for healthcare workers which it allowed to go into effect.

There was no beating around the bush, either.

Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Friday ruled against the administration on a separate mandate generally applying to federal employees.

“While vaccines are undoubtedly the best way to avoid serious illness from COVID-19, there is no reason to believe that the public interest cannot be served via less restrictive measures than the mandate, such as masking, social distancing, or part- or full-time remote work,” Brown wrote. “Stopping the spread of COVID-19 will not be achieved by overbroad policies like the federal-worker mandate.”

And, given the narrowest of margins in Congress, there is little doubt that any attempt to ratify this mandate legislatively would fail.

From the very moment that Joe Biden began to speak about a federal vaccine mandate, there were concerns about its constitutionality.  You see, this is a nation founded on the ethos of freedom, and there is nothing more authoritarian than forcing a population to undergo unwanted medical procedures. And, thusly, in the weeks following the Commander in Chief’s declaration, a number of judicial bodies took up the argument, and with devastating results for the White House. The latest smackdown comes to us from Texas. A federal judge in Texas Friday blocked the federal government from enforcing President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees, arguing that he didn’t have the authority to do so “with the stroke of a pen and without input from Congress.” Biden has pushed several different iterations of vaccine mandates in recent months, including one for large businesses which the Supreme Court blocked and another for healthcare workers which it allowed to go into effect. There was no beating around the bush, either. Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Friday ruled against the administration on a separate mandate generally applying to federal employees. “While vaccines are undoubtedly the best way to avoid serious illness from COVID-19, there is no reason to believe that the public interest cannot be served via less restrictive measures than the mandate, such as masking, social distancing, or part- or full-time remote work,” Brown wrote. “Stopping the spread of COVID-19 will not be achieved by overbroad policies like the federal-worker mandate.” And, given the narrowest of margins in Congress, there is little doubt that any attempt to ratify this mandate legislatively would fail.

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Fact Checkers Make Exception for Liberal-Leaning News Outfit

Perhaps one of the several other “fact checking” corporations would like to take a stab at it?

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If there was ever a reason to doubt the authority and authenticity of the mission of the so-called “fact checker” organizations it is this:  There are more than one of them.

You see, if “facts” and “truth” were binary, there wouldn’t be a glut of competing companies out there attempting to sell their services to social media corporations and other media outlets.  We wouldn’t have any disparity whatsoever.  There would be one fact-checking group because, as stated in their creeds, there should be but one set of “facts”.

The entire industry is a bit of a scam, if we’re ready to be that honest with ourselves.  And, if we’re not, there are plenty of examples out there of these companies massaging the narrative in order to maintain their lucrative contracts.

NewsGuard, the establishment “news rating” project that claims to fight untrustworthy media outlets, is cautiously defending NPR as the establishment media outlet continues to claim that U.S. Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonya Sotomayor are at odds over masks, even after a statement from both Justices and Chief Justice John Roberts debunking the story.

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On Tuesday, NPR released a story claiming that Justice Sotomayor had opted to work remotely after Justice Gorsuch refused a request from Chief Justice Roberts that all justices mask up when on the bench.

Later in the day, a Supreme Court source told Fox News that neither Justice Roberts nor Justice Sotomayor had made any such request.

But then:

Despite the total breakdown of the initial story, Newsguard refuses to make any judgments on NPR’s reporting, arguing that the situation is still unfolding.

Prior to the statement from Chief Justice Roberts, Newsguard maintained that the facts of the story were still unclear.

“There are two conflicting reports, one from NPR and one from Fox News, both citing anonymous sources,” said Matt Skibinski, general manager of Newsguard. “It’s hard to say anything definitive about either report without more information.”

But Newsguard cannot hide from this fact:

However, even after all three Justices named in the story – Gorsuch, Sotomayor, and Roberts – made public statements debunking it, while NPR refused to issue a correction, Newsguard maintained that the story was still unfolding.

Perhaps one of the several other “fact checking” corporations would like to take a stab at it?

If there was ever a reason to doubt the authority and authenticity of the mission of the so-called “fact checker” organizations it is this:  There are more than one of them. You see, if “facts” and “truth” were binary, there wouldn’t be a glut of competing companies out there attempting to sell their services to social media corporations and other media outlets.  We wouldn’t have any disparity whatsoever.  There would be one fact-checking group because, as stated in their creeds, there should be but one set of “facts”. The entire industry is a bit of a scam, if we’re ready to be that honest with ourselves.  And, if we’re not, there are plenty of examples out there of these companies massaging the narrative in order to maintain their lucrative contracts. NewsGuard, the establishment “news rating” project that claims to fight untrustworthy media outlets, is cautiously defending NPR as the establishment media outlet continues to claim that U.S. Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonya Sotomayor are at odds over masks, even after a statement from both Justices and Chief Justice John Roberts debunking the story. On Tuesday, NPR released a story claiming that Justice Sotomayor had opted to work remotely after Justice Gorsuch refused a request from Chief Justice Roberts that all justices mask up when on the bench. Later in the day, a Supreme Court source told Fox News that neither Justice Roberts nor Justice Sotomayor had made any such request. But then: Despite the total breakdown of the initial story, Newsguard refuses to make any judgments on NPR’s reporting, arguing that the situation is still unfolding. Prior to the statement from Chief Justice Roberts, Newsguard maintained that the facts of the story were still unclear. “There are two conflicting reports, one from NPR and one from Fox News, both citing…

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