You don’t lose your days clean when you lapse/relapse.

 So often I see and hear people new in recovery and even some that had put together a pretty impressive consecutive stream of days clean, get frustrated with a lapse/relapse.  Ok….be frustrated. Why? Because it is frustrating and embarrassing.  It’s hard to step back in to the rooms or let anyone know that you used.  But when you work a program of recovery you learn how to process through that frustration and not let it define you as a failure.  So really it’s the amount of time you spend feeling sorry for yourself that matters more. 

Relapses and lapses are unfortunately more common than we would like to admit in our profession.  But contrary to popular belief, they are not a part of recovery.  They are a part of the disease.  It’s evidence that being clean and sober will take more evidence driven practices.  To some this may include adding a physician and/or counselor that understands addiction, participating in a 12-step program, or any other options available to you.  What a relapse does NOT mean, is that you are a failure.  Feeling like a failure results in depression, increased fear, anxiety, and isolation.  It can also paralyze a person to not immediately get back into the routine that was initially working.

Recovery is a lifestyle that can take some time to understand and get used to.  It often involves changing almost everything if not everything, depending on the person.  Many people still hold on to some friends, thinking, behavior, or even substance they may consider harmless like marijuana, medication, or alcohol.  I get it….some want to do the least amount of change but want the most amount of reward.  Sounds like a normal thought process for a person who suffers from this disease of self hustle.  And if it works…who cares.  That’s fantastic.  But when it proves to not be working, by way of lapse or relapse, then it’s time to take another look at your sobriety plan.  What is it that I still struggle with changing?  What is it that I can do more of?  What is it that I have been recommended to do but I have refused? 

The reason I say that you don’t lose your clean days is because they are in the past. Done. And, you did them clean.  So from THAT you learned what was working, even if it was temporary.  For more permanent changes you simply tweak the plan knowing that you’ve mastered the hardest part of this disease.  The desire to get clean.  The willingness to change.  The ability to do this for at least one 24 hour period.  You have proven this to yourself and the only thing you lost was the consecutive stream.  But you hopefully gained more insight into how this disease works, how it sneaks up on you, and what you need to improve on. 

So after you’re done beating yourself up…..get back to business.  Remember you are not defined by this disease or the relapse….You are defined by the qualities you possess. 

It takes courage and strength to even accept this lifestyle of change and balance.  Enjoy the day you are in and embrace it like it’s the only day that counts.  Day 1 or day 365 or multiples thereof.  So don’t get caught up in the numbers.  This is a lifestyle practiced daily. 

Victory and freedom will be yours…………then share it.

Lui….

Aka- the Dope Doctor (tDD)

We need your support for The N.O.W. Matters More Foundation

Hey everyone, we could really use all of your help.  We are really making a push to bring more awareness to The N.O.W. Matters More Foundation and what it’s mission is.  You can learn more about it by going to the website www.nowmattersmore.org.  However, right NOW we are asking you to go to www.facebook.com/nowmattersmore and LIKE the page.  Then share it with all of your friends.  Let’s use the power of social media to help bring more help to those that are suffering from the disease of addiction.  Your few clicks can do more help than you know.  We are truly grateful to all of those that have already been helping us and to those that will in the future.

Then go to website, get your N.O.W. Matters More Foundation black band, take a pic of yourself doing something cool and upload it on the Facebook site with the tag line “What are YOU doing N.O.W.?”

Thanks again fellas and filas. tDD.

What are YOU doing N.O.W.?

The N.O.W Matters More Foundation has it’s first Fundraiser

The N.O.W Matters More Foundation

The N.O.W Matters More Foundation founded by Lui Delgado, aka The Dope Doctor on The Couch Live Radio and TV Show, is having its first fundraiser and needs your help.  Our Mission Statement is:

 

The NOW Matters More Foundation champions creative efforts and solutions for prevention, education, and treatment of substance abuse and the disease of addiction.  It also supports and celebrates those in recovery, from today and yesterday, as well as memorializing those lost along the way.  The NOW Matters More Foundation uses relevant and effective images, discussions, and entertainment via print, internet, radio, television, film, conference, and personal appearances to promote awareness, discussion, and understanding of our purpose.  The motto always being that NOW Matters More because your tomorrow depends on it.

 

Please help by sponsoring our runner in the Disney Marathon, Jared Combs, aka Youngblood.  He is a counselor at both Quest and Colonial Counseling with Lui Delgado and is his right hand man at both treatment centers.  The Marathon will be Sunday January 8th, 2012.  We are asking that you contribute $1 for every mile he runs.  Of course you can donate more if you want, but at $1 per mile you are looking at helping us with $26.20 total if Jared makes it.  And he darn well better. haha.

 

You can respond here with your acceptance of this donation request or email us at info@thedopedoctor.com.  Either way we will follow up with you on how to send the contribution after the race.

 

Thank you so very much and we look forward to many more events that you can not only support but that you can join us at.  We would love to meet as many of you as possible.  Please share this invitation with all of your contacts as well.  Their is a solution and you being involved is one way to prove it.

 

Gracias,

 

Lui…..aka tDD.

Be on the look out for www.nowmattersmore.org


 

Holiday Sobriety Plan

HOLIDAY SOBRIETY PLAN

by E.B Fisher, CCA staff, & CCA clients

  1.  Write down, by the day, all the things that you will be doing during the Holiday Season.  This means that you must examine the work parties, family reunions, etc. and come up with a PLAN.  (tDD- what do they say about those that fail to plan?)
  2. Who is going to be at the get-together?  Do they do drugs?  Will alcohol be served?  (tDD- it’s important to be real honest with yourself on this one. You know how you get and with who that get that way with.)
  3. Have an EXIT STRATEGY.  Many people did well during the dinner and gift exchange.  But after that, the drinking begins and they did not have a ride home so they stayed.  Next thing you know, you’ve used.  Now you feel guilty.  Guilt brings pain, so we self-medicate and use more…. (tDD- take control of the power by being the ride instead of getting the ride.  Your terms and you can leave when you want.  Hmmm, some of did that when using, just this time it’s to go do the right thing.)
  4. Plan to have clean and sober people over to your house so that you can plan a clean and sober party and have a great time……stress free.  (tDD- it beats complaining that there is nowhere to go. And again, you are in control and can keep the festivities focused on what truly is important, good friends and family.)
  5. Schedule to attend extra support meetings.  Find out the schedule at the clubhouses for cookouts and fun activities.  (tDD- unfortunately there are alot of people that feel very alone at this time. If you are new these marathon meetings may just be the ticket you need.  If you are an “old timer” it’s a good time to give back and be there for those suffering.)
  6. Learn to say NO to situations that you know will not be good for your sobriety.  (tDD- again, you must be real honest about this one.  This is not the time to test yourself.)
  7. STICK TO THE PLAN.  (tDD- what good is creating it if you don’t DO IT!  Commit and DO!)
  8. Fill your time up with positive activities.  Stay busy but relax.  (tDD- get creative like a child.  Getting un-stuck is part of recovery.)
  9. Explain to friends and family members that you are working your Sobriety Plan and that you will not be coming to parties that you consider to be a risk.  Make arrangements to see them earlier in the day or the next day to spend time with them in a non-party environment.  (tDD- this makes for better and more meaningful conversations and catching up anyway.)
  10. Watch your diet.  Don’t over eat and go easy on the sugar.  (tDD- we can abuse anything, but high levels of sugar can be problematic and mimic the high and low effects some of us must avoid.)
  11. Make time to relax and get caught up on your sleep.  You have been working very hard and need a break.  (tDD- it’s important to learn how to relax and enjoy your quiet time in recovery.  We can be on the go all the time and expect a healthy recovery.)
  12. Bottome line:  HAVE FUN…..CLEAN AND SOBER! (tDD- yes you CAN have fun CLEAN and SOBER.  Feel blessed and know that you are worthy, because we lost alot of people again this year that don’t have this day to enjoy.  In their memory, we can appreciate this moment.

Special thanks to the clients and staff at Colonial Counseling Associates, Inc. (www.colonialcounseling.com) that created this plan.  We truly appreciate you all, especially E.B Fisher, co-owner and CEO of CCA, that called in to the show to share it live and allowed us to share it with all of you.

Happy Holidays to you all and stay safe…..tDD.

The loss of our dear friend Dr. George Schulz

I am very sad to inform everyone that this past Saturday July 16th, 2011, we lost Dr. George Schulz to Cancer.  He spent his last moments at home with his family probably doing what he does best.  Smiling and comforting others.  For those that witnessed his brilliance and kindness first hand, you know exactly what I mean.  He shared the set with me on The Couch Live Television Show for years, and my most favorite moments with him will always be while we were in commercial break.  Wonder if they ever rolled tape on those conversations?  Second to those moments will be our hours on the golf course.  Nobody can hit a 5 wood like George….nobody….he used it like a pitching wedge.  And those jokes.  Where did you get them?

He was my friend, a mentor, an inspiration, a fan, a co-worker, a co-host, a partner, a golfing buddy, my boy Georgie, and so much else to just me.  He was so much more for so many others, including his wife, children, and grandchildren that will forever mourn the loss of this great man.  All I know is that he is no longer with us and we all lose because of that.  But I’m going to look on the bright side like he expects me too.  And that is that he came and did what he had to do and now he has left to a better place.  I am blessed to be one of the missions in your life and for that I thank you so much George.  I can only hope that in those very painful moments while fighting your illness, you found comfort in knowing that you mattered so much and were truly loved.  I will carry you with me always brutha and know that you will help me complete what I have come to do as well.  So as I plan to get ready for the day and go see you one last time, I just wanted to thank you.  You hyperactive corny joke telling giant…hahaha…thank you….love you Georgie.

Lui…

To Celebrate the Life of Dr. George Schulz

Thursday, July 21 · 4:00pm - 5:30pm

at DeGusipe Funeral Home- 9001 N. Orlando Ave. Maitland, FL 32751

Things to consider before doing K2, Ivory Wave, or any other OTC

Lui "The Dope Doctor" Delgado, CAP

So you want to get high but you’re on probation, you’re being drug tested, or you simply like trying anything that you hear can give you a pleasurable effect?  I get that.  But take step back from this decision for a second and allow me to review this with you real quick.

Whether it’s a JWH-018 product marketed as K2 or Spice, an MDPV, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone product marketed as Ivory Wave or Vanilla Sky, or any other over-the-counter flavor of the day; this stuff is usually labeled “not for human consumption” for a reason.  For those that don’t know, JWH-018 is a synthetic chemical and the active ingredient in some smokeable products sold in order to mimic marijuana use, as it binds to the cannabinoid receptors 1 & 2.  It is labeled as incense in stores and online.  MDPV is a synthetic chemical and the active ingredient in some products sold in order to mimic cocaine and or other stimulant use.  It is often labeled as bath salts in stores and online.  Both are highly overpriced if they are to be used as the packaging indicates.

But back to the point.

I will give you at least 3 reasons that it carries the label “not for human consumption.”

  1. Because it isn’t.
  2. In order to sell it legally.
  3. In order to avoid the legal responsibility when you die from it.

Look I love Capitalism and respect the right of those providing a service or product for those seeking it, but ignorance, negligence, and irresponsibility also play roles here.  I choose to focus on becoming more aware and therefore being better able to make a personal decision.

Legality does not make anything safe.  We see evidence of this daily, not just with these types of products, but with the numerous amount of recalls on unsafe foods and products.

The entire marketing campaign for these drugs, and yes, they are drugs, is based on word of mouth marketing.  Or better stated, what I call Street Propaganda.  The polar opposite of Government Propaganda which often pushes people to believe in the marketing campaign in the first place.  I find fault in both sides by the way due to the hypocrisy.  But for the intent of this blog I will focus on the subject and not get too distracted.  I find it sad how, when we are seeking a high, we are so hypocritical to our own belief systems.  Here are three examples.

  1. People may use the statement at some point that “it’s legal” as an excuse to do something.  But yet, when something is illegal, they use it anyway.  The statement at that point changes to “it should be legal.”  So in other words, trust the government and it’s agencies when it’s convenient.
  2. People may use the statement that “it’s natural” or “God made.”  O.k you are correct.  But when you then use a synthetic and chemical copy of that drug, then what?  The statement changes to “if they would let me smoke pot” or “because I get drug tested.”  So in other words, you don’t really care about natural or God made plants, you simply want to get high and are willing to compromise your own belief system to do so.
  3. People get into trouble with the legal system for drug or alcohol related reasons, get sent through a series of court ordered sanctions, then say “it’s all about the money.”  But for some reason forget that the alcohol, tobacco, drug, and even over-the-counter copy cat industries, are truly ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.  You pimp out your health willingly then become frustrated, distrustful, and close minded when you are being helped.  How much CASH did you spend to get into the mess you’re in?  Some of you have even paid with selling possessions you once valued or stole from someone close to you.  I don’t know any bars, drug dealers, or stores that sell this stuff that take your insurance.  You can use it for pharmaceuticals but that’s another bag of BS that requires it’s own blog entirely.

And lastly, how much research have you done on the substance you are using, substance abuse, and addiction?  Seriously?  And I am not talking about the Street Propaganda research.  I mean real, valid, and true research.  It amazes me how little people know about addiction, yet are very knowledgable about active ingredients.  Just compare how much time you have spent looking up drugs, how to get them, and how to better take them, in relation to what your own genetic/health risk factors are.  Being the humans we are, we often feel very arrogant, and in control of any and all products we use.  We feel that we will know when it’s dangerous or getting out of hand.  However, we are our own test study, research lab rat, and who is logging the results?  We don’t like the feedback that we get from loved ones, true friends, and obvious losses or lack of interests, so we ignore those results.  Therefore, we skew the outcome by only focusing on the things that support our desired outcome.  That makes your research and study invalid people.  Also, we often compare the substance we use to others we consider more harmful.  Again, in an effort to validate the use.  For example, I don’t hear many people comparing things that are smoked to oxygen, which in this case Oxygen would be the true control for a study, not another drug like alcohol or heroin.  Remember studies require a control.  A control being a standard in which other conditions, such as in this case smoking or drinking, can be compared in a scientific experiment.  And none of us have a parallel life that we can see how it is WITH our substance and WITHOUT our substance.  Therefore all of our results are biased and we often only see what we want to see.

All I am saying is to take a real good look at this.  Speak to some recovering addicts about some of your interests.  If you wanted to get into practicing law, wouldn’t it be wise to speak to an attorney or school advisor on the subject before dedicating so much time to it?  Well, before becoming a professional substance user, ask those that have lived through it, and/or are professionally trained in it.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

Anyway, that’s enough for now on this subject, sorry for it being so long.  I leave you with this:  If you are thirsty- drink water.  If you want to inhale something- try air.  And if you want some beans- add the rice.  Adios amigos.  Lui…..aka..tDD.

P.S. I am totally responsible for the following urban myth:  If you smoke pot on the regular you can get a high 10 times more than that of resin by gathering up your earwax or mucus and smoking it. Since marijuana is fat soluble and unable to be flushed out by our water system, it bleeds out slowly in things like our mucus and earwax.  So you can smoke either and get a serious high.

I actually started this fake myth in my first year of private practice (1993) in order to prove how gullible newbies and young drug users are.  My clients went out and tested this and found that they could easily find at least one to try it.  To my knowledge you cannot die from it so I think I am safe with just messing with those heads.  But maybe just to be on the safe side I should say this- Boogers and Earwax are not intended for Human Consumption.  There, I’m protected.  Bye again.

Relapse is not a part of Recovery but IS part of the Disease

Lui "The Dope Doctor" Delgado, CAP

I hear the statement “relapse is a part of recovery” so often that I felt that maybe I should throw my own 2 cents in.  Ok, maybe a few more than 2 cents, but hey, it’s what I do right?

Anyway, as many of you already know, my co-host Denise McLean Solis is the mother to Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, who I will refer to as Alex for the remainder of this blog.  Many of you are also very aware of his history with addiction and attempts at recovery.  If not then let me update you.  Alex came on our show during his Christmas Break from the NKOTBSB World Tour.  This alerted some attention because up until that point many fans were wondering “is he drinking”, “i think i saw him drinking”, “yep, he is drinking”, and if so, why would he be coming on The Couch Live, where he knows that his mom and Lui are all about discussing recovery?  Well, he came on to admit to us, to you as his fans, and of course, himself, that he not only has been drinking, but that it was out of control, and that he recognized the need to enter into a rehab and recovery once again.  I’m not sure you all understand how difficult this must have been for Alex, but anyone out there suffering from this disease knows, that putting it out there like that even without the fame is very difficult.  Many of us don’t want our own family, friends, or even a sponsor to hold us accountable.  Well how about millions of fans?  He didn’t give excuses, ask for pity, or cry out for attention.  He simply admitted to the struggle and let us know what he intends to do about it.  Very shortly after the show he solidified his plans and set the date.  Now he didn’t broadcast the exact date and was seen out on New Years, other celebrations, and enjoyed his birthday, so this caused concern to many of you, as to his sincerity.  That makes sense.  But, again, he had a plan and has followed thru with that plan to date.  We all wish him well as so many of you do.

So on to the real reason for this post.  Back to the statement “relapse is a part of recovery.”  What?  Recovery by definition is “gradual healing (through rest) after sickness or injury.”  A relapse is to “deteriorate in health.”  So if you look at these definitions you can see that although during a healing process we may suffer a relapse, the relapse is actually a part of the sickness or disease, but not the recovery process.  Those are polar opposites.  A lapse or relapse in our attempt for recovery from the disease of addiction is usually predicted by an interruption in our efforts, attitude, and/or thoughts related to our disease.  Therefore, they can be very useful in finding out where we need additional work, how to adjust our plan, and how to identify future interruptions when they are coming but not fully there yet (red flags).  Although very alarming, upsetting, and sometimes traumatic and/or chaotic, the relapse is most often survived.  Not always unfortunately, so don’t take this to mean that you can relapse and be o.k, because many of us know someone that paid the ultimate price for their relapse.  May they all rest in peace.  But, for those that survive it, it’s time to get back to work.  But not by excusing it as part of your recovery, because it wasn’t.  It was part of your disease and therefore the appropriate action and understanding on your part is necessary to avoid continued relapse.

For those that consider themselves “chronic relapsers,”  then the deal is to go deeper, harder, stronger, and with a very solid support system. To thine own self be true, as we say, and get with someone who truly understands how to help you through this.  But do not try this alone.  Never do you have to do this alone.  Starting your recovery over is never a crime.  Dying from it is.  Sure you feel embarrassed, ashamed, and disappointed, but we have steps for that.  That’s what recovery helps you deal with.

Recovery is possible, is worth it, and you deserve to experience it.  But never forget that it is a “process”  a “gradual process.”  And for those that have an addict as a friend, loved one, or idol, remember that.  Respect that.  And know, that nobody wants this disease or what comes with it.  This disease has no prejudice of race, color, social status, economy, or popularity. It affects us all and therefore all are invited to support any and all efforts of recovery with hope, faith, and understanding.  So please support anyones efforts for recovery whether it’s the first or 1000th time they do it.  It’s always real, it’s always possible, and always difficult.  But so very very very worth it.

Thanks for letting me share this with you and I hope that it helps where it needs to.  Smiles and hugs to you all.

Lui…..aka the dope doctor.

Where the Miracle meets the MAN!

Lui "The Dope Doctor" Delgado, CAP

Why can’t the recovery from difficulties and uncertainties be easier?

Not really sure about that.  What I do know personally, is that the progress we often call the journey is what made me the man I am proud of being today.  Professionally I also know that embracing acceptance of one’s situation and focus on the changes that are in one’s power is what is vital to that progress.

But I’m not in the mood for psychobabble.

Instead I want to encourage those that are currently in one of these most uncomfortable challenges to keep soldiering on.  I can’t predict or promise the one thing I am most often asked.  How long will it take?  The standard thought of ‘how long did it take to get here’ and ‘some are sicker than others’ quickly enter and are released in words one way or another.

What I can promise is that within this journey forward, if done honestly and with purpose, you will find yourself repairing ideas, thoughts, feelings, and even memories.  New instincts will build bridges from fear to hope.  It will be like you’ve been given a new set of lungs to breathe it all in.  A new heart to connect you with those that support you.  A new set of eyes to see not only what you want, but to also see that the old ways don’t work.  And ears that are sensitive to those influences that require a delete button and those that need to be set to record.

We often suffer short memories when negative emotions are involved, so documenting this journey via journaling is a phenomenal tool.  Oddly enough, on the flip side, we also suffer long memories within those same emotions, so venting to someone you can trust to just listen is equally as important.  I know bringing up the word trust strikes a chord for many of you, but that is a discussion for another day.

For now just recognize that you are already strapped in for a ride.  Either ride out the one that you are no longer enjoying, but are loyal to the death to.  Or start the one that frightens you for many reasons you have to work through, but promises great reward.  Either way, it’s too late to not want to be on this ride.  That decision has left the building like Elvis.

The decision today is to live in life or live to die.  Live for real or live the lie.  Not I or anyone else can make that decision for you.  What I can do is to encourage you to know this.  If your reading this, there is hope.  The past isn’t going anywhere so you don’t have to fix it all at once.  Today is the task at hand.  Challenging enough.  Sometimes difficult enough.  But tomorrow, it will also be in the past.  And in that tomorrow there will be a new person you meet seeking what you have, even if you still are not where you want to be.  That person will see in you something that they want for themselves.  Because all along this journey, as long as you keep suiting up, showing up, and doing it daily, you will be one step closer to your own set of promises.

And THAT my friends is where the MIRACLE meets the MAN!

-Lui aka tDD

Welcome Backstreet Mom, Denise McLean Solis to the cast.

Lui "The Dope Doctor" Delgado, CAP

It’s been a few 24 hours since my last blog, but I have to do it now because this is blog worthy for sure.  We have a new co-host on the show.  She is the original Backstreet Mom, Denise McLean Solis.  For those that have followed the show since the early days remember my first co-host Tinker Cooper.  Since Tinker moved out of the Orlando area I have had Dr. Schulz on TV and Dr. Hoffman on the radio, but we all lack that key ingredient.  Call it estrogen, call it motherhood, call it experience from the other side, but I call it FOUND.  So I have asked Denise to join this cast of characters on the radio show and we are now all set for when we get the new season for television underway.

Denise McLean Solis is the author of the book Backstreet Mom, which detail the days she managed and toured with her son, AJ McLean and the rest of the Backstreet Boys.  AJ’s recovery played out in the media so Denise is used to the attention and subject matter first hand.  She is also a Certified Life Coach and an expert in Dream Interpretation.  You can read up on her a little more by going to her website www.starbeamcoaching.com.

Some other improvements are that we are now heard on WWNN 1470 AM out of Pompano Beach, FL thanks to our partner Holistic Lifestyles Radio.  For those in that area tune in from 2-3 PM on Fridays.  Also you can now subscribe to the youtube segments weekly by searching for thedopedoctor.  Older segments can still be found through our home station Rock100DIZ.com.

So I hope you enjoy the new lineup and join us in the solution of helping those still suffering.  Keep sharing what you got to keep it and if your searching and want it, WELCOME.

Lui….aka- tDD

External Victories are defeated by Internal Losses

Lui "The Dope Doctor" Delgado, CAP

The inner darkness of an individual wins again.  All to often we hear these stories of how someone just flips off their grid and does something that leaves everyone asking “why.”  Well today that guy is ex-boxing champ Edwin Valero.

Here is a guy that had a professional record of 27-0.  27 wins by knockout.  This is a great beginning of a career if your a heavyweight, but this guy did this in divisions that knockouts are not the norm.  Especially when the first 18 fights were first round knockouts.  He earned titles in the WBA Super Featherweight and Lightweight Divisions.

But those were the better days.  Now to the spiral downward.  His Lightweight Title was placed in a category called “champion in recess” when he was accused of beating his wife and he entered into rehab for substance abuse and anger management issues.  A slap in the wrist considering she had cracked ribs and a punctured lung, but hey, a man is innocent until proven guilty right?

Well, just several weeks later we have the spiral continue, because just this past Sunday his 24 year old wife was found stabbed to death in a hotel room and he told the hotel staff that he killed her before leaving.  He is later arrested and as everyone wondered what just happened, he hangs himself in his cell.  Another incident of knowing of the tragedy but not the story behind it.

So we are left with only the simple facts.  Facts that can help remind all of us that no matter what accomplishments and victories you may have in the world, the true battles and victories that matter are the ones internally.  And when you add substances to unresolved issues that produce emotions like rage, this concoction creates chaos.  The inside work is what truly pays.  The outside work only pays the bills.  Use this story as motivation to continue whatever positive changes you are making in your life because we all have an evening news moment within.  I’m in your corner but the bell just rang and you have to get back in there.  But no worries if your training is right.  If it’s not, then get to sweatin’.  You can do this.

-tDD