• Love First Blog

What’s The Plan

Our 29-year- old daughter is just completing inpatient treatment for alcoholism.
We think she’s done well in treatment, but she doesn’t seem interested in her aftercare
plan. What can we do to encourage her?
– Anxious Parents

Dear Anxious,

What’s your aftercare plan? The best help you can give your daughter at this phase of her recovery is to model the behavior you hope to see from her. Is she being encouraged to attend Twelve Step meetings like AA? We assume these meetings will be a key component of her continuing care plan. In that case, it’s critical for both of you to begin attending Al-Anon meetings. Al-Anon is the Twelve Step program for friends and family members of alcoholics. (Tip: just Google “Alanon” and your home town)

The Great Pretenders

Want to have some great non-alcoholic beverages to offer your friends and family this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. For many years, AAA has published “The Great Pretenders” holiday drink guide, with creative and delicious recipes.

Festive Peppermint Cocoa Cocktail
Submitted by Erle Webber – Executive Chef Formerly The Ritz-Carlton,
Dearborn MI

6 each peppermint stick candy or candy canes, crushed
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
Whipped cream/peppermint patty candy for garnish

Place 3 crushed peppermint sticks in a food processor until fine powder. Add sugar, creamer, and cocoa and pulse until mixed. Add 1/4 cup mix to 3/4 cup boiling water for each serving. Use remaining 3 crushed peppermint sticks to rim your glass. If you like, serve topped with whipped cream and garnish with a peppermint patty candy.

Trust The Process

Dear Jeff and Debra,

I’m feeling overwhelmed. I finally got my wife into a residential treatment program for her alcoholism, but I’m being asked to go to Al-Anon and begin something called Structured Family Recovery. In addition, I’m supposed to work a program of some kind myself, and stop enabling. It seems like too much. Haven’t I done enough?
– Harried Husband

Dear Harried,

Treatment is a launching pad, not a cure-all. It may feel like you’ve reached the goal line by getting your wife into treatment, but it’s really just the beginning of the process.

The Myth of Hitting Bottom

Dear Jeff and Debra,

My daughter is an alcoholic, and she refuses to get help. People tell me there’s nothing I can do until she hits bottom, but she has two small children, and I just can’t bear to watch this go on much longer. Is hitting bottom the only way?

Worried Mother

Dear Worried,

Why not raise the bottom to right now? You don’t have to wait for a drunk driving or a medical problem or an accident with the children. You don’t have to wait for something terrible to happen. You can take action right now, without waiting for her to hit bottom (whatever that means).

, , ,

Clearing the Channel

Here is an article I wrote for Human Development magazine, focusing on burnout in the helping professions. It contains a cautionary tale, an action plan, and a success story.
––Jeff Jay

“Make me a channel of your peace….” —Prayer of St. Francis

We can all admire the prayer attributed to St. Francis, no matter what our pastoral, teaching, or care-giving role. But what can I do to keep my own channel clear? Having worked as an addiction counselor for decades, I know something about crisis management and unrelenting stress. For most of us, they’re part of the job description. What can I do to keep the channel clear and avoid burnout?

The neglect of this question killed a co-worker of mine, shocking everyone in the organization. It was early in my career, and burnout was not yet well understood. As a staff, we dismissed the notion of self-care, but our nonchalance withered as his funeral approached.

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