Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Dealing with Unplesant Emotions with Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction

This photo on the right describes a position I take on any addiction problem. Alcohol, drugs, overeating, pain killers, smoking, sex, and vaping are problems unto themselves however, all reflect an attempt to escape both reality and unwanted emotions. If you don't want to feel some unpleasant emotion, try an addiction, it works fast and is quite effective. What to do? Well, therapy will help. Quit the addicting behavior and look deeper to explore what you are truly trying to escape. Notice and realize the solution and impact is temporary. The "drug" may distract or ameliorate the mood or emotions at that moment, but they will be repressed, stored and become ever more prevalent.
  • Develop a plan or strategy on what to do instead. 
  • Understand that the emotions will not go away, but become more intense and remain unresolved.
  • Identify triggers and stressors that induce or contribute to the addiction.
  • Find the courage to confront the feelings and address them.
  • Develop a support network to redirect your emotions. 
  • Liberate yourself from the addiction and emotional prison.
  • Get support and help to uncover and deal with your emotions.
  • Remember, alcohol is a depressant influencing sleep, energy, mood and more.
  • Prepare yourself for a flood of emotions that you have repressed. 
It may be time to find, create, reconstruct a reality that works for you. Of course, you have to stop, treat or eliminate the addictive process, then proceed with the deeper exploration and remedies. Out with the old, in with the new. Replacing habits is the pathway to change. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Compassion Fatigue--What is it? What to Do?

On Friday, January 11th, 2019, I participated on an esteemed panel of professionals from the Texas Bar Association in collaboration with TLPA (Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program) and TYLA (Texas Young Lawyers Association) on the topic of "Compassion Fatigue" among lawyers. Chris Ritter, Director, Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program,
Erica Griggs  from TLAP presented programs and services available for lawyers in Texas from the Texas Bar Association.  Stan Perry, attorney with ReedSmith LLP was the moderator. Jenny Lee Smith was the program organizer for this CLE program. My role was to elaborate on the impact of compassion fatigue mentally, physically and behaviorally. This is a delicate and crucial topic impacts many lawyers in very destructive ways with severe consequences over time including, problems with depression, anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, cumulative stress. It is not uncommon for lawyers with compassion fatigue to attempt to ameliorate these symptoms with alcohol or drugs, causing even greater dysfunction. Self-care gets neglected and overtime, problems with work, marriage, children escalate can become catastrophic in their lives. These problems  don't have to be the case. TLAP CAN HELP. Life balance, wellness, time for social interaction, exercise all contribute to a greater sense of well-being. Review this problems, symptoms and treatment options in the handouts that were provided to the attendees. There will be a podcast available to listen to the  entire program soon. 

Why Worry? Recently, a reprint of the book  Why Worry  by friend and prolific author, Eric A. Kimmel was recently released. Gayle and ...