Holiday challenges and addiction
By Debbie King
The holidays are both a blessing and a curse for someone who struggles with addiction. You want to be with your family, friends, and loved ones but the pull of the beast is so powerful that it consumes your life, your spirit, and your soul. To restate the old familiar adich, “I want my cake and eat it too.” What one must learn is how to “Respect the Beast to Defeat the Beast”, especially during the holidays.
The holiday season is meant to partake in festivities. Where there are festivities, there are equal or more temptations. This holiday season welcome and share love, peace and joy with those who support your recovery. Here’s my message to those in recovery who want to enjoy the freedom of what this life has to offer during this holiday season. To understand and appreciate Love, Peace, Joy, and Giving.
- BE GRATEFUL. Write a list of gratitude. Be specific in expressing the hell from which you came to appreciate the peace you now know. Writing out a list of what you’re thankful for can shift your mood and attitude.
NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU COME FROM , TO APPRECIATE HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME.
- BE ORGANIZED. Identify your holiday triggers individually and write what coping skills you can use to avoid any setbacks or distractions to your recovery program. List your Sober Support Group in its entirety. Be very selective in what invitations you accept.
- BE REAL. Set realistic
goals for yourself when going out this holiday season. Don’t place unnecessary stress on yourself. Setting unobtainable goals may set you up for failure. Remember recovery is not a race; it is an ongoing marathon.
- BE CAUTIOUS. Avoid Holiday gatherings/parties that would tempt you to relapse. Be very selective in what invitations you accept. Steer clear from any events where there is chance of substance to be pre-sent. Stay strong! Your loved ones will support you.
- BE POSITIVE. Avoid the negative people, places and things that initially put you in harms’ way. Spend quality time with your loved ones and sup-port group. Peace and positivity only.
- BE GENEROUS. Go and give back to the less fortunate. Volunteer. Visit the sick and suffering. Feed the homeless. Remind yourself that you’re not the only one going through hardship.
- BE HELPFUL. Attend an AA meeting and help another addict in need. You may recognize your struggle may not be that big when relating to other addicts. Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to help some-one else in need. Keeping things in perspective is essential for an attitude of gratitude.
Don’t forget to PRAY! Never forget to say thank you for the gift of life, health and freedom. Prayer and meditation rejuvenates your spirit and allows you to clear your mind of all negatives and focus on the positive.
About Debbie King
She was born to boxing promoter legend Don King and his late wife Henrietta King on August 29,1961 in Cleveland, Ohio. Growing up with notable public figures, Deborah was overwhelmed by the “daily plethora of new experiences.” With her parents placing such importance on normal education, Deborah was sent to a private girls’ school in Pennsyl-vania so she can earn her high school diploma with some privacy.
Following high school, Deborah enrolled at Baldwin Wallace College where she was a member of the National Honor Society and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, until she transferred to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. A Dean’s list student, Deborah at graduated from Jay College in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and a minor in forensic science.
In September 2014, Deborah earned a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from South University and is now a certified Intervention and Recovery Life Coach. Drug addiction plagues more than 85 million people
After graduation, Deborah assisted her father as a consultant at Don King Productions. She later became a sports manager for various boxing champions and went on to become the youngest recipient of the “Manager of the Year” award from the International Boxing Federation. Switching gears, Deborah became an entertainment manager and founded Deb-b King Management which managed both entertainers and professional athletes. Deborah was an instrumental force in the Ice Breaker Tour, featuring the late Tupac Shakur, The Ghetto Boys Reunion Tour, and Bad Boy Entertainment Tour (featuring Notorious BIG) in Cleveland, Ohio.
Unfortunately in 1999, Deborah hit a lull in her career due to a struggle with drug addiction. King battled her addiction publicly, during her DUI arrest in 2006, that also resulted in a drug possession charge. The arrest played out in national newspapers like USA Today and other publications. Since her successful time in rehab, Deborah has remained drug free for the past 10 years.
Deborah founded Limitless Life Recovery and Holistic Group after vowing to use her own personal battle with drug addiction and establishing limitless goals for her life. From destruction, Deborah says she has “risen from the ashes like a phoenix” and wants her clients to know that “as long as you got life, you got hope.” Through Limitless Life Recovery, Deborah is helping high profile individuals, star athletes and people from all walks of life overcome the demons of chemical and alcohol addiction as well as mental illness. She evaluates each client’s situation, assesses the degree of severity, and formulates a plan to help them find the inner strength to solve their own problems.
Deborah uses a five-role counseling program to better help her clients’ recovery process. The first and most important role is Deborah being a keen listener and expressing great empathy toward her clients. By allowing clients to share their experiences, Deborah is able to better understand each client’s struggle thus tailoring their recovery process to each client’s respective needs. The second role is acting as a mirror; being a real-life example that clients can see a potential recovery within themselves. Thirdly, Deborah acts a mentor not only sharing her experiences with clients but the wisdom and knowledge she has acquired from them. The fourth role is acting as a consultant, identifying client’s personal objectives, establishing and meeting goals, all while developing various skills to stay on course. The last role is acting as an advocate. This role sometimes extends to her addressing the stigma and misunderstanding of addiction and recovery in the larger community, as well as to family members of her clients.
“My goal is to have all clients I encounter experience a mixture of recovery and inner peace within themselves that allows them to self-validate, accept and appreciate who they are in order to be satisfied with the person they have become while maintaining long term sobriety and life success.”
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