Saturday, December 1, 2007

Word of Wisdom




I am currently employed at an addiction recovery facility working in the admissions department. Being the Mormon girl that I am (aka: female member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I don't know very much about drugs and their effects because I've never taken drugs or drank alcohol. My supervisor gave me a book called Uppers, Downers, All Arounders to teach me the way of the drugs. It's a fascinating read really, and everyday that I read that book I am grateful that I was raised "drug free." Now, I know that not everyone who drinks becomes an alcoholic, or not everyone that uses drugs becomes an addict, but there are a lot of people who do become addicts, and the consequences are catastrophic. Some examples of loss are the incredible amounts of money to maintain the addiction, relaxed inhibitions leading to behaviors a person would not have acted upon otherwise, lying, lost work time/productivity, and, depending on which drugs a person uses and how they are administered, diseases. The biggest consequence I've observed is when a person is so far gone in the addiction that they need to drug just to function, or maintain. They can't even feel the high anymore; they need to drug just to feel normal. The people I see hate being in this position because the drug has complete power over them.

If I tell people that I've never used never used drugs or drank before, or that I'm Mormon, they often ask if we're "allowed" to drink. I tell them that we are free to make any choices that we want to, but it is against our teachings to do so. And I am free because I chose to follow those guidelines set for me. Drugs are interesting in that they imitate the naturals chemicals already provided in our bodies, like endorphins and adrenaline. I'm sure you've heard of the addict needing more and more of the drug to feel the same effect, that same high as the first time they used. So more poison needs to enter the body to feel the escape. On the very positive flip side of this reaction is our body's natural ability to teach itself how to release good-feeling chemicals just by practicing. For example, I enjoy doing yoga and relaxation at home. The more I practice relaxation/meditation, the easier it becomes for my body to enter that state, and hence the more readily my body releasing those relaxing chemicals, whatever they are called (I should know their names by now). Isn't that great?!?

One more tangent before I conclude: back to the following-the-rules thread. I also lead a relaxation/meditation class at my job, and there is a favorite imagery that I borrowed from a well-loved mentor of mine. He taught me that following the rules/making good choices is like being a kite. We need that string to connect us to the ground, something to keep us reigned in a bit in order for us to fly. Without that restraint, the kite would never even get off the ground. And if the string is cut mid-flight, the kite may soar higher for a little while, but eventually it will fall.

Hope you enjoyed some Thanksgiving pictures. We had a great time with the Hemenways. Thanks for coming to see us!

3 comments:

amypete said...

I've never had any trouble "just saying no," and I love the natural high that comes from exercising! Hope work improves soon . . .

Michael Family said...

Speaking of alcohol and addiction, what are those people drinking in that picture? Hee hee!

Shauna said...

I realized after I posted that blog that the picture was a bit ironic. I think it was hot chocolate; definitely nothing alcoholic.