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My Family Had No Bearing On My Addiction

Born into what I now know to be an epic family, truly one of the greats, I can firmly say and absolutely believe they had no bearing on my addiction.
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John SFYB Admin/Outreach

Perhaps the enabling could be pointed as what made them sicker as my disease progressed but I was what I was and am what I am because of something far from their blame. Constantly I here to people making references to the genetic factor titling addiction as a “family disease” and yes there may be far more exposure and access drawing those with the inkling to cross over the threshold and place themselves beyond the power of choice in some situations.

This undeniable truth doesn’t account for those who have no real trauma to speak of or upbringing that might be to blame yet still suffer and hit bottoms the same if not lower as those that do. In my ancestral chain, there exists a mild prevalence of self-diagnosed alcoholics along with obvious addicts regardless of their denial and this personal experience is where I speak from.

No medical or psychological training supports my opinions nor does academic study reinforce that which I have lived, the views I express are and have been hard-won through experience alone.

They are mine and if you disagree with them yet still find yourself wanting to read further I hope I can at least entertain you if not provoke some thought and consideration. Each of us walks their own path and in reflecting on the steps we take, we can either argue the differences keeping us terminally unique or seek the similarities in search of the message that is almost always found.

The third of four siblings, when I was brought screaming into this world my older brother was 4 years old and our sister 2 years my senior. Only but a few months earlier had my father been rendered sober by means of industrial intervention when his employer offered him a chance to go away and do something about his uncontrolled alcoholism or simply go away. In a moment of clarity, he saw the young family and pregnant wife who depended upon his ability to provide for them not fairing so well had he not at least accepted the offer.

The 30 days in “spin-dry” he was blessed with prompted 38 years of uninterrupted sobriety thus far and to this day he affirms his absolute intent to drink again as soon as he satisfied them.

Once they were off his back he would tip his hat, pull up to the bar and rejoin the rest of the only society he had ever know.

This was Far Rockaway in 1979, nothing but Irish Catholic working men of the middle class, tightly knit and socially married to the ritual of the drink. Breezy Point was, at that time and in many ways, remains an extreme case of voluntary segregation. I only recall one single child that didn’t have Celtic blood flowing through his veins when growing however two lovely Hibernians adopted him.

Every man of marrying age wore the Claddagh Ring, Cead Mile Failte on every doorstep and exclusively populated by friends and family of the same socio-economic and ethnic background.

Irish town through and through with as many police officers as fireman residing within its confines, one church which of course was Catholic and a pub that needed no décor to dress up as any more authentically Irish. Booze was as part of the culture in that NYC off-shoot as anything else and the exposure as children we had certainly didn’t slap away the thought of having that first drink.

The point I’m making is simple, my father’s alcoholism wasn’t passed to me in anyway more than his was to him and the proof of that is seen in my siblings who don’t suffer as I did yet still have drank and used drugs. If this genetic predisposition held some validity it would also be shared with those of the same bloodline, especially my elder siblings who were there to witness to my father’s drinking yet can maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol.

This is a Human Disease and if you happen to have humans in your family then there lies potential for it to spread.

That isn’t to say that environment doesn’t play a part in the perpetuation of addiction or ferocity of its spread, it just is one such form I’ve found of owning what is mine. This disease wasn’t something I contracted at conception although there might be some merit behind having born with it by no fault of Mom and Dad.

The older brother I mentioned earlier and I went to the same schools, grew up in the same loving household, same parents, churches, priests, sports, and overall environment. Today he teaches at a Catholic school, married his high school sweetheart, is raising FIVE beautiful children, owns a home, and has a pension from a FedEx Career of 15 years. In stark contrast despite the identical circumstances and situations we shared growing up my story includes 9 felony convictions, 27 months in every county funded treatment facility in San Diego, countless arrests, track marks that outdated his starting at FedEx, homelessness and not a single romantic relationship that has made it over a year.

This phenomenon is by no means a rare or unique case study, do your own research and call me a liar but that’s my life.

The older sister who also is a teacher of special needs children for Catholic schools was closer in age and even used dope herself early on yet is also a happily married mother of two remarkable youngsters with a career and home to call her own. The youngest of my siblings has a similar story short of the Catholic teacher career, she owns a fitness business that is thriving, has an amazing marriage and is a mother of 3 incredible kids that raises with her husband in THEIR home.

For FAR too long I sat and stirred in the pathetic thought of “Why Me?”, victimized by this clearly unjust world and fueling the fire behind my need to get high, if you felt like I did you would use like I was too! The thing about the family background I just described is I had no way to blame them, if it were their fault in any way it would have affected them as it had me.

The faith shared by my older siblings is something I envy yet my younger sister only 18 months my junior isn’t a devote Catholic as they are so my lack of faith isn’t what made me different, what did that was my disease telling me every day that I was so.

Not being able to point a finger and show the world what had been done to me, granting myself permission to carry on only prompted me to create such a tragic tale that would justify the self-loathing lifestyle I clung to.

The only tragedy today is that I didn’t see myself sooner or at least open enough to let you see me, I wasn’t willing to change, my surrender was not complete and so on it went. In the end I found a beginning and cleared away the old lie of yesterday, we do recover and I am worth the life I lead today. Day by day life improves and more is revealed, the stigma and lies of yesterday slip away and my faith grows. It took a long time to get my head out of my ass, it’ll probably take a while to clean it off as well…

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Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Critter Under the Bed (written because for some: “it is time to open your eyes and see”)


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My husband of 13 years was one of the local pharmacists plus owned 5 drug stores in our coastal town in Oaxaca.  He was highly respected and loved in our community. And he was labeled as the town widower with five adult children, who had married the American Teacher.  (That’s me.)  Pharmacist Gabriel was wealthy, yet extremely frugal.  He cut corners on everything except his own London style clothing and holiday family banquets.  The family had had the same Ama de Llave ( head servant ) for 20 years .

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She ran the house her way and usually with her blame game of verbal control.  Her expertise of Gabriel’s favourite recipes, taught to her by his late mom, gave her leverage to do as she pleased.  The adult children were very fearful of ever having to manage daily life, house cleaning and meals without her.  They could not fantom the many family celebration “ fiestas” without her.  Who would do all the cooking?  Even though she was a prized housekeeper, Pharmacist Gabriel never gave her a raise.  He assumed Vicky was where she was supposed to be, caring for whom she was supposed to care for. 

One of my husband’s passions was his love for Mexico’s culture and terrain.  We often took bus tours to different states in Mexico to see the ruins and cathedrals.  In addition, we looked forward to spending time in the local produce markets tasting  ‘fixed on the spot’ tamales, cheeses, sauces, hot soups, etc.  Of course, we only toured on economy class buses with economy tourist packets and native guides.


These second class trips involved traveling with 30 folks I did not know, sightseeing through the bus’ dusty opened windows, patiently controlling between bathroom stops with my own supply of sanitary paper in my pocket, fitting elbow to elbow around family style restaurant tables, and posing in tightly grouped camera shots.   All that was easy for me.  Even having to sit crunched up beside strangers on bus, taxi, ferry-boat and train trolley seats never bothered me.  

Critter 2 girl sitting in bus

You see, my ex-husband did not sit beside me / he didn’t permit physical contact.  I found no challenge with Mexican village menus and praying to bless the unsanitary food settings where the bus driver unloaded us to grab a bite.


 In route to the next big towns the bus driver would park on a shoulder of the highway where people had set up stands to cook and serve ‘fast food’ for travelers.   We would stand in line waiting for our food to be served out of hot towel covered buckets and from the makeshift sizzling hibachis.  Our ‘GO’ plates could be anything from pre torn squares of pinkish butcher paper to large banana leafs. Passing cargo trucks added exhaust fumes and muffler noise to the ambience.  Now that’s real getting down and being one of them!  Actually, I love it!  You know the ole saying: “When in Rome…..do as the Romans do”.

This trip was going to be my last adventure as the highly respected Pharmacist’s wife. I was privately preparing for a departure back to my own country. (Exciting but terrifying) I had been in this familiar, Mexican habitat some 21 years while raising my innocent son. He never deserved to be put through my codependence prisons we had endured.  He was gone now and learning the American way of life. That’s a culture shock for any new comer to The United States, I assure you.  And now it was my turn to go through that challenging period of adjustment as did my son.  

My thought life secretly pondered:  What was ahead? What to take with me , where to go, could I get a job, would I ever find a true love, could I stay clean and sober, could I drive on a freeway, survive snow, build credit, make friends? This was all so scary. 

I had been in a recovered alcoholic over 2 years now.  One day, just for today, I did not drink no matter what.   And being in substance abuse recovery via the 12 step manual, internet sponsors, & 12 Step Study audios, I had learned one thing for over 2 years.  And that lesson is to “trust and rely on God”.

My heart had run out of hope for my marriage and the painful loneliness was beginning to kill me. My private doctor and physiatrist agreed that I had one chance to live and not die. And that last resort was to leave. I had been doing the same thing over and over some 13 years and expecting a different result. No matter how hard I perfected and care gave and gave up me, I could not make my husband, Gabriel, love me. I was making him and me unhappy. His coldness, flippant indifference and public unfaithfulness were subconsciously suffocating my desire to live.   


My mind and body had shut down 2 months prior on New Year’s Day 2006. I had flown to Chicago to witness my wonderful son’s boot camp graduation. 

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Oh how beautiful that day and weekend was. … (I’ll tell that miracle tale on another day). 


But briefly I had waited my turn at the taxi pick-up point outside the Chicago O’Hare Airport two hours from midnight to 2:00 a.m.  I was heavily exposed to a snow blizzard. I was used to 110 degrees hot weather south of the border.  My lungs got much too cold waiting for that taxi outside 2 hours.  So, three days later when I returned home to Oaxaca I had developed a bad constant cough. 

It was almost Christmas and my spouse wanted us to take the overnight tour bus to Mexico City to see the famous Almeda Park Christmas lights. 


Adam, my son, used to go with us each year. Just a Christmas tradition, but I had to pay my own way and my son’s expenses everywhere we went and ate.  That held true for about 90% of our expenses at home, too.   


I was asked to pay for my own laundry soap, cleaning agents for ours and Adam’s room.  I was responsible for my share of the telephone and electric bill as well.  These were senseless ‘roommate type’ living expenses that most husbands absorb, (especially wealthy ones).  The 74 year old pharmacist had money, but only for his family (whatever that meant).  

Remember me mentioning the controlling personality of the house cook?  She was the one who made sure Adam and I knew that the family fruit, milk supply and soda pops were just for that….the family provisions and not ours!  In my point of view, every-time I shopped for these household supplies, it was a stinging reminder that my own husband did not care for me! It was not about money. To me it was all about unkept marriage vows.

After getting home home from Chicago,my personal physician, told me it was dangerous for me to travel until my lungs were better, but my husband insisted we go to Mexico City.  So my doctor gave me an injection to get me thru the holiday trip.  Back then, Mexico City had very visible pollution.  And Mexico 

City has mile high altitude…not good for congested lungs.

Upon return we soon had a house full of 4 step daughters and 5 grandkids visiting grandpa’s house for Christmas and New Year’s. 


I slept in my son, Adam’s room to not keep ‘My Love’ awake by my nonstop coughing. Dec. 31 about 10 a.m. my Gabriel called me over to our bedroom and stated very firmly with stand-up tall, self-dignity: “Gueda, (white one) I have told you two other times that I married you to take care of me and not for me to take care of you. Your coughing is keeping one of the babies awake. You need to leave now.  Go where you need to go. If you need to return to your country, I will help you. But you need to leave.”

He adjusted his tie and walked out of our bedroom to go to his office.  I turned around and entered the bathroom, looked up to my God of my understanding (which is Love, Love, Love) and said: “Well, Sir, I have been asking You over three years to do your will in my marriage and this hideous triangle of lovers my husband has. I take this as my answer from You. Thank- you, Sir.”

I had no fear. I packed a tiny bag, Bible and 12 step readings. 


The doctor had the car that day so I took a cab to an internet web café to email my on line alcohol recovery sponsor, who lived in California.  After that I called the dad of one of my former university students, as his dad was also in recovery.  I asked him to suggest a safe and clean hostel or pension. He hurried to where I was in total shock of what had been done to me!  He found a clean pension and drove me there.  I was just fine and prayed, read and slept well. But the next morning my body had shut down from a truly whipped and broken heart. I could not talk so I very slowly texted Josephine, a girlfriend.  Josephine rushed over and got me to the emergency room of the clinic that my doctor owned. My doctor was away for the holiday season. 


The staff workers rolled me into the emergency room and popped a pill under my tongue.  I only remember Josephine screaming to Jesus and digging in her purse for anointing oil. 

Critter 26 hand picking up bed sheet corner

Then 4 days later I awoke at Josephine’s home and she insisted it was time for me to talk to my husband. I finally yielded under her sweet nagging.  I called him and agreed to return home per his request. He wanted to discuss something with me.  And he wanted me to come back home. 

The day I went back home I called Mary, a dear friend I had taught English with at the university.  Actually I had had to leave my director position at the university in order to have free time to attend 12 step meetings in the mornings. That’s the way I did not relapse.  Meetings were and are my reminder of the illness I have and where I came from, not to return by picking up one little sip. 


I still owned my little school that I ran at night. Mary and I were going to drive around town and wait in the car, while my secretary posted signs about a new course I was opening.

That cough; that cough. I needed to buy some cough drops and there was a new convenience store caddy corner to my husband’s office over his main drug store.  So I pulled in the parking lot of the handy little store to buy the cough drops real fast.  As I was reaching for my coin purse, I glanced in the rear view mirror. Oh my goodness! I grabbed my chest and tried to catch my breathe!  I then pointed to them so Mary would turn and look.  One of my husband’s girlfriends and he entered a cab beside his office building.  He had just called that he was having coffee with Attorney So and So and would be home a little late for dinner.

I whispered to Mary: “ I need a drink.” She firmly returned: “No.  No drink.  Breath deeply.  Collect yourself.”

I dropped my face on the steering wheel and asked God “why?”   This was happening on my first day home and my husband had asked me to return.  He couldn’t have the consideration to pretend faithfulness just one day!

I heard the answer in my inner self. I think that was the first time I had literally known that Still Small Voice. 

“Because it is time for you to open your eyes and see”

Long story made short, Mary, my secretary and I drove to every coffee shop in town and called Lawyer So and So.  The lawyer had not talked to my husband in three months and the coffee shop he later said he went to was now out of business!

So I secretly began to make all arrangements to disappear. First, I needed to leave in good graces with all Mexican government departments.  Secondly I wanted to bless my girlfriends with my worldly possessions.  I couldn’t take my material accumulations of 21 years with me.  So, I had a blast giving them away!  Most of my friends were on very modest budgets, so they were excited about the gifts I bestowed on them saying I was down sizing.  And I commenced to settle all immigration and Hacienda (Mexican IRS) matters before leaving the country.

My physician and psychiatrist told me to prepare my departure without telling anyone or I would shut down again from the heart breaking experience of “goodbyes”.  I was silently bidding “goodbye” to my community, profession, coworkers, blended family, town, new adopted culture and foods of 21 years.  It would be too hard for my emotions and mind to handle.  I was told that my codependence addiction toward my cold shouldered husband was so extreme, that I could go into withdrawal. My instruction was just get to America and get immediate help for codependency. These two professionals informed me that in medical school they had learned that 10 out of 100 emotionally abused women pass away within 24 hours after walking out of the relationship.  The doctor gave me 10 pills from Germany to calm me until I got to a Co-da ( codependency anonymous ) meeting for support.  They were a non mind altering medication prescribed to start taking the day before I left. 

Preparations were in motion to escape quietly to the airport one early morning soon.. But one last detail had to be completed on this tropical rain forest vacation trip before I left.  I would make my last attempt to see if my spouse could ever love me. I hadn’t totally given up.  Yet, I was finally at peace. I really knew the answer and only needed to cross my “T” and dot my “I “confirming I had done my part before fleeing.

This Chiapas journey was so beautiful, as it was extremely close to nature in the raw sense of the word. We’re talking about some nights without even an outhouse, much less electric lights, fan, TV, carpeting.  I learned to whirl a rag in a propeller motion while waving it up and down my body length to keep insects away, to bathe with half a pail of well water behind nature’s shower curtain of late night darkness, 


to be a quick change artist in broad daylight while sitting on my bus seat (without anyone getting a peek), to tear a piece of cardboard box off at the market to be a most valued hand fan, to use an old t-shirt for a bath towel and lay it across my seat back to get dry in transit. All these lack of modern conveniences have never fazed me as hardships. I enjoy the art of being in nature’s flow full of gratitude and adventure.  I practice focusing on expectation for what God has around the bend.

Actually one of the most exciting memorable praise times I have ever had was on this last trip when we spent a day where there were several shallow clear natural pools. They looked very “you Tarzan, me Jane”. 


It was quite a hot day so dipping in the clear water was tantalizing. Each pool was a different color.  They ranged from turquoise to powdery blue to a purple hue. In order to enter the water one had to carefully step over and maneuver around thick intertwining tree roots. The pools were not beside each other so a mini hike was in store between swims. I was alone and having a peaceful blast quietly planning my preparations for my return to my motherland. My husband always stayed near the tourist guide’s 17 year old helper.  We had been on several tours with this guide and his young assistant to different Mexican states.

Actually Gabriel was always kinder and more considerate to that teen tour guide than he ever was to Adam, my son – his own step son.

I had raised my boy to the best of my ability. To tell the truth, Adam had survived his childhood but by the grace of God. We had really been thru the emotional wringer. I had made our bed and poor Adam had had to sleep in it. He finally had a father and that father’s name was Uncle Sam!  I was now able to go back to my homeland without the worry of providing for my son.  I didn’t have to worry about my son should I not get a good job or find a decent place to live. His address was at sea with room and board!  


I had never had family for us to go back to in the United States.

As I daydreamed about starting my new life at last, I sang my own made up songs to the Lord.  After the water time our guide gathered us to a picnic sight to have beans and hand patted tortillas. There was also a paper thin slice of sun dried meat. (What animal the jerky was from, I have no clue, but it was unbelievably tough!) 

After eating, my husband started off for a climb in the jungle mountain. He had a game he would laugh about as he periodically enjoyed telling the tale. The story was in memory of his late wife. He would make her walk from one end of downtown Mexico City to the other while he marched in rapid pace glancing in shop display windows. He was an athlete and walked at a very fast speed with great ease. He would laugh about how his late wife would be limping and exhausted after the almost 2 mile hike on asphalt and cement. I had also been victim to his game twice on our Oaxaca town seawall. Both times I needed injections in an ankle and ended up having to drag one leg for months.  It was just not healthy to try to keep up with him. Too fast!!!

He was up to it again. ..This time the game was for me to keep up with his climb up the jungle mountain as he followed the teenage guide. 


But I grabbed a strong long, dry pole from the ground and let my husband hurry off thinking I would race behind frantically.  I was in my own spiritual world of praise and worship, singing to my Lord at the top of my lungs. 

I didn’t see the danger of all the twig and leaf covered trail steps leading up and up. I didn’t think anything about snakes or critters in the vines and under fallen foliage.  I was just finally having the freedom to worship and sing without having people around. There was no church, Bible time or prayer before meals at the house. So this very private alleluia session in a tropical forest was wonderful! I never hesitated to grab onto vines and pull myself up and step on the unknown footings.  And then, I realized I was on top of a high jungle mountain!  I had arrived! 


I was overlooking magnificent waterfalls. I sang even louder and happier. I know the feeling of an eagle now. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.  Yeh! Oh Father God, how beautiful!!!

I had to return pretty fast because it began to rain hard and the path down could get muddy and slippery.  Long fall….

What a nice day. I guess it got me filled with the conscious contact with God that I was going to need for that very evening.

Our guide had given us a pep talk that he saved the best for the last two days! Yippee! We were spending the night at a luxury beach resort area for the middle class National Mexicans.  The vacation spot was called Puerto Risco. Needless to say we arrived both bushed from swim and  hike;  all famished for a real meal.


As the bus entered the city an unpleasant stench appeared at each street corner. There were high piles of stinky, fly covered garbage thrown at the end of each block on the media. Whoa! What an invite!  It was some festival and carnival time.  The booth lights were set up in little parks. The few restaurants in the resort town were full of customers eating, and our tummies were empty. So we piled out of the tour bus to walk the main street spreading out to fin for ourselves in quest for dinner.  We were to reunite at the town square for our hotel arrangements in one hour.

The guide confessed we would be scattered all over as no one hotel had had enough room for the whole bus load. 


Some ladies were even staying in private homes with families. One basement room had three  twin beds in a circle with  a toilet in the middle of the room and a curtain was improvised around the toilet. The only mini window looked out to the sidewalk as sandals and flip flops walked by.  Poor ladies!

The beloved pharmacist and wife (us) were to get the best accommodations (or so we were told).

It was almost impossible to communicate with my husband. His past time at home was sitting in front of the TV upstairs in the family room. He watched Hitler movies about three hours a day never getting bored of them. His library had shelves and shelves of books based on this hero of his. I had discovered two times that it was effective to call his secretary and just make an appointment as a client if I had an issue I needed to discuss with him. I had done that upon two different occasions when I had been particularly upset about one of his public displays of infidelity. 

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Tonight was going to be one of those rare times we could communicate, or so I planned.  We walked on the beach and sat under a palapa (palm leaf shelter) while awaiting our room. As we sat and viewed the foamy tide I took in a deep breath and bravely asked:

“I am confused about some things.  Why is it you have never even turned your head to look at any of my photos when I want to share my life with you through them?

When I tell you memories of when I worked at NASA or was an airline hostess / model / had my jewelry supply business / was an Indian jewelry trader on the road in my motorhome, you never even pretend to listen, much less make a comment.

You have never told me you are proud of me for the books I have written or the language institutes I have launched.  I don’t understand. Please tell me why.  Today I want to know why.”


Now inside my love starved imagination I suddenly saw my husband gallop in on a white horse, hop off the stallion and run up to me, kneel and kiss my hand as he declared how blind he had been and now he suddenly had fallen deeply in love with the beautiful accomplished women that I am!!!  I almost crossed my fingers waiting for his love and kindness to evolve.

His answer was quick and cutting to the core! It took my breathe away. It slapped sense into me at last.

“Oh Guerda (white one), even your son says you are crazy” at which he got up to swipe off the sand and he walked away not even waiting for me much less helping me up from the ground.

That is just what I had taken this trip to discover.  And I remembered what the Still Small Voice had told me:

“It is time to open your eyes and see”


Remember the story about the frogs in the big tamale pot (or crab pot or canning pot / what did your area call it?) 

Well, the frogs settled in close together and made the best of it as the water got hotter and hotter. Maybe they were thinking: “It’s O.K.  It’s all good.  I can do this. Things will get better soon”.

And the water began to boil and they never even tried to escape and they killed themselves.  Did I tell you that the pot was very shallow and they could have jumped over the rim at any time, should they have chosen to live? They all died.

My hidden flight itinerary was dated for March 10, 2006. In two more weeks, I was going to leap over the rim of the boiling pot, passing goal and not going to, but getting out of my own jail. My husband, Gabriel, had just dropped the last straw on this camel’s back!  I held back the tears and put on a peaceful face, as always. My eyes were opened.  I finally could see.  He had just given me permission to carry on with my escape plan.

But first for a good’s night sleep….tomorrow would unfold tomorrow.

Critter 23 hammock and spray can

The guide was at the nicer hotel in town waiting for us to return from eating. The lobby was under the hotel rooms in an opened area patio that was tropically furnished. On the front desk counter was a little bell to wake the clerk if he was asleep on the nearby hammock. Oh yes, and a broom was propped up against the wall. Plus there was a spray can of insecticide at one end of the counter. (That should have been my clue.)

The guide had brought our luggage from the bus and he explained this was the nicest room left in the city and he would see us at the plaza at noon. Off he scurried with his young male assistant. They were probably going to sleep in the bus.

Critter 24 simple Hotel room

I rolled my flight bag on wheels into our room. Double bed, marble floor, one wooden stick chair, mini closet without a door on the left of the room and 2 steps that entered a sterile bathroom with only the necessities.  There was not even a shower curtain or toilet seat. I checked and the bathroom window was well locked. As was my custom, I emptied and lined up my toiletries, went to the closet and got my Bible and 12 step manual out of the luggage along with my flashlight, towel, flip-flops, and night wear to go take a shower. Gabriel was just sitting in the chair. There really wasn’t room to do anything else.

The Voice, the Voice; It said: “Go over to your side of the bed and look under the bed.”

Now, Mexican hotels are very practical about bases for beds. To save on wear & tear and because cement is so much more affordable than wood, most teachers’ desks in public schools and hotel bed frames or just poured cement. One never had to clean under the bed and it was great on the spine. So beds were merely a mattress over a concrete rectangle.

I knew that and I knew God knew it. So, I thought ‘nah’ it must have been my imagination. I went to brush my teeth. 

The Still Small Voice repeated ever so kindly: “Go over to your side of the bed and look under the bed.” 

Oh! O.K. Maybe someone left a gold watch or 100 pesos there. Yeah right. I better get the flashlight and  a coat hanger to reach with. I mean there is no “under the bed” so best not get too close.

As you recall the broom against the wall in a hotel lobby and insecticide ready to grab and aim, were clues I didn’t pick up on. About every two months, my spouse’s grandkids, Sonny and Adriana,  would come screaming ““Night-Night”, “Night-Night”, un raton!” 

They named me “Night-Night” because I said that before we departed to go to sleep at night. And raton means a mouse. So when they spotted a mouse the hunt was on. Vicky, the maid, and I would run for the brooms on the back steps and head for the last scene of the crime. How the kids would shrill and jump up and down as the mouse would escape from one piece of furniture to the next and laugh at Vicky and me do our routine until mouse died ~ we won.


Where was Gabriel all this time the mouse hunts were on?  Hiding in the bedroom. He hates critters.

So, that is why the hotel night clerk had the broom ready for action. They had critters!

With close toed shoes on (not flip flops); with the flashlight in one hand; and a wire coat hanger in the other; I cautiously leaned over to see my side of the bed which was 12 inches from the wall and window.

Nothing visible. Using the coat hanger I elevated the long white sheet that draped over the side of the bed almost to the floor. “WOW!” 

Wow, Wow, Wow.

Big, Big…….sooooo Big!!!

As I was moving swiftly to the bathroom to collect my beauty aids and then to the closet to rapidly stuff my towel, books and other possessions in my luggage and zip up, I was singing praise songs with eyes as big as a deer looking at a spot light! That’s what I do in the middle of any crisis once my vocal cords can function. I sing to the Lord…glory, glory, glory, glory…

Gabriel asked where I was going. I said back to Oaxaca; that I had had enough. He said that there were not any buses or trains or an airport. I said I would walk; I had had it.

I handed him the flashlight and demanded he go see, but to be very careful.

Critter 26 hand picking up bed sheet corner

He tip-toed over very slowly, bent over a bit, peeked using his fingers at the corner of the cover sheet.

He looked about a whole minute (like he was frozen) and said: “It’s a scorpion”

He left the room and I stood in the hall with my baggage in my arms and my eyes focused on the pathway from me to it! How can I explain this for you to really get it? Oh yes. A banana. That’s it, a banana. Think of a dark, over ripe yet firm banana standing on one end and curving up other end. The tip of the curved up end pointed up in the air was in a striking position! 

Critter 27 giant scorpion

BIG scorpion!!!

Gabriel and the night clerk arrived with spray can and that broom. They entered. I walked down to the exit area. 5 minutes later they returned to the hall and closed the door behind them. We were all walking to another building. No one talking except then the man informed us this is a brand new wing to the hotel and everything was new. I tip toed around to check it out. There were high cedar closets that did not go all the way to the ceiling. The bed didn’t have a headboard installed yet, so there was a three to four inch space between bed and wall. I went over everything singing under my breath. “Glory, glory, glory, glory”.  Then I told them to get a ladder and look on top of the cedar closets. Gabriel had never been so obliging before. He told the man to go get the ladder.

I must have shined the flashlight between the wall and bed and over the closets and around the room ten times thru out the night. I have to admit I was not totally trusting and relying on God. 

Why didn’t I meditate on the fact that God did not tell me to look under my side of the bed so I could be moved to another room just to be stung by a ‘Critter’. Duh, Cindy ! “Have some faith!  Know who your God is!”

The next morning I was able to get Gabriel’s attention long enough to learn the whole amazing story.

They had killed the banana sized scorpion I had seen. But they decided to check the rest of the bed to spray it.

Here goes.

The cement bed base was hollow to save money on construction costs. The base had cracked open with a 2 inch gap and the sheet was hiding the hole. The nest, better yet, scorpion colony was in that bed base. Gabriel said there must have been 20 of them! He and the night attendant just hurried out and shut the door behind them.

I wouldn’t be here today if I had not listened to the voice of my Shepard. Sing to Him when I get scared or angry or confused? You bet I sing to Him! Yes! Even in public He is worthy of my praise.

Behold, I give unto you power to thread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Like 10:19

I invite you to enjoy my addiction recovery tales ( Oh yes!  This tale was the addiction of codependency ) Check out my Lizard Tales.  They are fun, insightful readings.  And guess who the lizard is?  Me!  Www.StopFryingYourBrain.com. Just type: Lizard Stories in the search box on the right midway down or got to the category and select right menu bar. Here’s what to look for (see or click below)

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Everyday Weapons against Cravings

Every 4th Quarter, (that means the last three months of the year that are packed with holidays involving spending, celebrating, toasting, expectations, seeing past folks and places, very mixed emotions, maxing credit cards, malls, traffic jams, weather delays, transporting foods and gifts, meeting sales quotas, the good guys and the bad guys at family gatherings). 4th quarter attacks the memories and regrets especially hard on New Year’s Eve. In recovery we call it the evil:  IF WHATs  &  IF ONLYs.

suicide prevention ribbonAnd then the following chatter channel flips on in the minds of those in recovery from drug and alcohol or any other addiction: Have you ever heard them within you?
“Just one won’t hurt. I just need to take the edge off. After all, I’ve been good a long time.”

Hold on! We have defense weapons. Grab the right ones! Dhaaaaaaaa
When it comes to cravings and mental obsession with Drugs/Alcohol/Dysfunctional behaviors:

Assortment of unusual confusing road signs over a white background.

 Breathe in. Feel the desire. The signs can be confusing.

• Ask what it would feel like if I didn’t act on it.
• Describe the feelings. Does it hurt? How so / where?
• What would be lost if I didn’t act on it? What would be lost if I did?
• How important is my recovery?
• Who’s affected? What would be gained?
• Continue to watch for feelings, do they change? Can I let them pass for now?
• Think about a higher power / God.
• Is there something else I desire more, that is actually a healthy alternative?
• Am I avoiding something?
• Can I talk about these things with another person who understands / sponsor?
• Can I laugh at myself for wanting things that are not good for me? Hahaha
• Can I put it in perspective: What do I truly want?
• Can I stop and be thankful to God for all the gifts in life this moment,
even if some parts are not what I want?
• Happiness comes from within.



Serenity Prayer:
God, Grant me the Serenity, to accept things I cannot change,
Courage to change things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.
Tell myself I can do that later if I still want to. Focus on something else I may be avoiding out of fear.
A project I am stuck on, a person I need to amend or get back in touch with. Work.
Talk about the procrastination with sponsor.
Consider doing something healthy / productive or relaxing that affects me in a positive way:

• AA meetings / step work
• Meditate / pray
• Shower
• Cup of coffee / tea / snack
• Listen to music
• Get a massage
• Help others
• Schedule things I may be avoiding
• Positive affirmation to myself or others

All we have in life is this moment!
We are all miracles!
Each moment is a gift and a blessing~ Anonymous Lizard

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Lizard Reveals 3 Gift Givers

cropped 3 wisemen

Christmas is around the bend. For many it is time to get back in credit card debt, something like dads who have to create giant credit card balances annually during family summer vacation. Christmas expenses are accrued because presents need to be bought, wrapped and maybe mailed out. Ingredients for holiday meals need to be brought home from the supermarket.

My first Christmas as a mommy, Adam was still within. I had gotten pregnant on our honeymoon at the end of summer. Hubby#3 no longer needed to pursue me, so the lavish courting had stopped. And taking care of his latest wife and prenatal expenses never even began. I was still working at the airline reservation center and putting in 12 hour shifts in order to save up for the gynecologist bill. It was due before my 7th month of pregnancy as required to maintain my doctor’s service. I had selected a Spanish speaking doctor so Adam’s dad would be comfortable during my labor. Our plan was for him to be present in the delivery room. He had wanted us to move to Mexico right away. I was having a child at a ripe age and did not know Spanish, yet. Hence, my doctor insisted I remain in America for childbirth procedures.


Boy! Am I glad that I did stay in my country. I never got an ultrasound taken to know Adam’s gender in advance. I could not afford it and was suddenly the bread winner. I chose to believe all my spouse’s lies and excuses as to why he never had money to help out with my living costs and prenatal care. Even the fees for hubby#3’s free flight passes were deducted from my pay checks. I had a whole dollar to my name the day I walked into the hospital to have our son.

I had sold most of my collectibles like the RCA Victrola, rod-iron Singer sewing machine stand converted into my vanity, the TV cabinet I had had made in the orient, and ginger jar lamps that were shipped over. I even sold the sofa. It didn’t matter. I was now in survival mode and needed to eat right, buy my vitamins, try to get enough rest and have gas money to get to church.

I taught myself to sew my own maternity tops and was complimented a lot on how gorgeous my clothes were. I cut out the zippers and tummy sections of my slacks and inserted elastic panels to convert them into my ‘expanding’ need. How grateful I was that it was Christmas season! I designed quilt patched stockings and took orders at work. I would create 3 a night after work. I had been blessed with a long list of special stocking orders (each with names to be hand embroidered on them). I would sew until 2:00 a.m. and clock back into the reservation call center at 8:00 a.m. for my 12 hour shift. It was literally: “Oh my aching back!”


I never permitted my heart to acknowledge that I was being used and abused. I only knew I was being a good Christian wife standing by my husband! Duh…..? We were not equally yoked. I had messed up again.  Oh those codependent songs I listened to as a teen like: Stand by Your Man, My Man, Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries. (‘As a man thinketh so is he’.). I had been brainwashed to die to self, but instead of dying to self for the Lord, it was habitually dying to self for hairy legged men.

We did move to Mexico and we rented a horrid house in a very rich zone, that was painted and fixed up little by little. I was not permitted to leave the house by myself. That was reinforced by me being guarded. There was a daytime guard and a night guard. If I did have to go somewhere I had to be chaperoned by paid servants. I would sneak to the market on the bus to buy fruits or drive to a tiny new church in the sandy beach colony once in a while. Many times hubby#3 would screech up to the market place or church on the beach and the public eye would witness in amazement how I was pulled into the vehicle by an ear! I lived in exhausting, continuous prayer due to my fight against fear.

By the time little Adam was in kindergarten, I had gained enough trust to take him to and from school or walk 2 blocks another direction to the local supermarket. I would use a stroller to take Adam to and from school as it was too hot for a child to make it walking in the scorching sun. We were below the equator. I had permission to leave the house just long enough to go to the kindergarten and quickly get back. I was being checked up on. Eyes were everywhere on us.


Adam’s first year in school I asked God for a Christmas tree to try to have holiday for my little boy. At that period of time, there were no Christmas trees in our area. Christmas with Santa was not big in Mexico, yet. Latinos there had their own way of celebrating the birth of our Lord.

There was a very rich man who lived in a fortress of a house not far from the kindergarten. The cement walls around the house were 10 feet tall and a watchman stood guard at the gate. This rich man was married to a British lady. So, she knew about Christmas trees and could afford to have anything she wanted flown in or shipped over. We lived in a port city.


Soon after asking God for a Christmas tree, we were coming back home from school and I spotted our Christmas tree lying beside the garbage can cage in front of that mansion! I guess the British lady had gotten a new tree. I was singing thanks to God all the way home as I pushed Adam’s stroller with one hand and was dragging the artificial tree with the other. The next time I walked to the supermarket 2 blocks away, I bought 30 cents of different red and green fabrics. Adam would sit with me as we decided on kitty, heart, bell, ball, angel, and other patterns to draw, cut, hand stitch and stuff with whatever was available except the plastic grocery bags.


Those were highly valued and we even washed them, hung them to dry to reuse over and over. Zip lock and baggies had not arrived yet; nor had throw-away-diapers made it’s way to our area. I was able to get some paper clips to hang the ornaments. And the thick metal pull off seal from Adam’s powdered milk served to cut out a star for the top of the tree! We were so pleased and tickled!

The next Christmas we still had bits of fabric left over and I had saved ribbons, etc. We sat after school for a month and made individual Christmas cards for each house on our block and the relatives of my spouse, plus Adam’s teachers. They were amazingly divine! (Gifts made with love are anointed with beauty.) I hand wrote the greetings inside. We were so excited as we walked the block and knocked on the doors to deliver them. One house was even the mayor’s.

The next Christmas I learned to use old bread buns called bolillos, to make bunt cakes of different tropical fruit flavors or natural chocolate cocoa cocoa beans. The cocoa cocoa beans exported to the Hersey Company in Pennsylvania for candy come from 2 hours away from our town. We had the real thing! And the natural vanilla was from 5 hours away!


The bread buns are peddled from a deep braided basket harnessed to the back of a hiking vendor. He makes his round about 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The bread is still nice and hot. The vendor walks his route announcing “Boliiiiiiillo”. I developed a way to make the bunt cakes in the microwave. I got very good at it and secretly sold them as part of my ‘escape money’ I was saving up. Making these bunt cakes in volume was an activity of togetherness we could only enjoy when Adam’s dad was away. There was no joy when he was in town. One never knew when he would blow in like a destructive tornado hissing, accusing, striking, throwing, commanding, demanding. Adam would run and warn “Dad’s coming!”. And he would run and crawl under his bed.



I remember once there was a traffic jam and the city chief of police was detained in the backed up line of cars. He had his car window opened. I bravely hurried out of my kitchen and crossed the street to try to convey to him in my limited Spanish that Hubby#3 was beating me. The law officer had a jolly laugh much like Santa does. He made a fist with one hand and punched the palm of his other hand, telling me to hit my husband back. The traffic began to move and he drove off having a good laugh.We had no phone. Each letter I wrote soliciting help from love ones in America, was returned to me by my spouse in rage. My communication with America had been cut off.


So, I trusted and relied on God for protection and a way out. I got both. As much as I was battered, I must tell you I thought I had some type of blood disorder. I never bruised. Only once in those 8 years did I have any mark left on me from his anger attacks. Oh I had a cut scar or two, but no bruises. The one mark I mention was a big V from the shape of his boot tips where he had kicked me around on the floor. My son was forced to watch and listen as his daddy instruct him that he would someday hate his mother as much as he, his dad, hated her now. Thank God that Our Father takes that which was meant for evil and turns it into good for those who love Him.

Despite the evil one, Adam and I did our best to have Bible story time, make crafts with tidbits of whatever supplies we could find, and make bunt cakes for the poor. We had to have fresh bread in the house everyday for hubby#3 whether he came home or not. We also were demanded to have the daily Mexico City newspaper with the lottery ticket winners announced in it. If I failed to have them I was beaten. Even on days that the bakery was closed and the days the airplanes could not fly in to drop off the Mexico City newspaper, I physically paid for it.  At least we always had lots of cold bread (as it is called in Mexico). I guess in America it is called ‘day old bread’.

Adam learned to make the bunt cakes while standing on a chair. Christmas and Children’s Day we made about 20. We had a blast driving into the colonies (outskirts of town where huts were on sand roads). I let Adam select the kids to hand a bunt cake to. His Spanish is perfect even today. So, he would explain that we made the cake to celebrate Baby Jesus and we were giving them with love. The kids would get giant smiles on their faces and run off toting the special treat home to the rest of the family.

I remember one pre Christmas Day, when I had built up more trust and could drive to town for the daily newspaper with Adam (without chaperon); we were stopped at a red light. Adam and I always saw the thin man with no legs walking on his hands wrapped in rags on the median. Most of the year that cement was extremely hot and abrasive! Drivers would hand him money from their windows. We never had money. The bread and newspapers were paid for by one of my husbands girlfriends who was also his head chaffer. She managed his petty cash in a brown paper bag. I know at times his brown paper bag had up to $100,000.00 in it.


Anyway, it was one of the days to take our Christmas bunt cakes to the colonies.  We were waiting at the red light and the thin man with no legs was on the median in the cold wind. He was so tiny. Adam was about 6 years old and they were the same size. Adam asked me to row down the power operated car window. He pulled off his only jacket and leaned over through the back passenger window and said: “Feliz Navidad!” That gift to that freezing man made my wonderful son very happy inside and out! It was an electric moment to see the eye contact of two hearts giving and receiving non committal generosity. There were no ulterior motives. It was an understanding of: “This was meant to be. Enjoy.”  We had no Santa in our town, yet. But we asked God to provide so we could be living Santa helpers. We had fabric scraps and glue. We had day old bread crumbs. We had a jacket!


Amidst the beatings and all, my life was being of value. I was able to raise my son to know the meaning of brotherly love. Oddly, even this year, as Adam is 31 years old, he is very steadfast to reach out to donate to our local rehab. He drops off good work boots, hoodies, and well made winter jackets. As those boys in rehab reach the phase of their recovery program where they need to go out to do manual labor in order to pay rent for their sober housing, warm work clothes are a must. This was instilled into Adam that cold Christmas Eve when he hurt inside seeing a man without legs exposed to the cold on a nasty cement street median.
cropped Santa on throneWhen my son was a small child, only major hotel chains in touristic cities had Christmas trees displayed in the lobbies for American visitors to enjoy. And major cities like Puebla, Mexico City and Cancun had throne chairs with Santa placed around their parks so family photos could be taken. Santa was the ‘gift giver’ north of the border.

South of the border kids were not forgotten during the celebration of our King’s birth, either. But the ‘gift giver’ was just enjoyed in a more Bethlehem theme. The day of giggling children being remembered during the holidays is called:Three Wise-men Day. The three Wise-men are actually referred to as the Three Kings. Children write their wish list to these Wise-men who took gifts to Baby Jesus. They can hardly sleep the night of January 5 because when they wake up January 6 the gifts will have been laid out by their beds.
cropped 3 wisemen


Oh! I forgot to tell you the kiddos need to line up their shoes beside the bed. Even if a child only owns a meek pair of rubber flip flops, the God loving Kings, who traveled so far to bear gifts to Mary and Joseph, are not prejudice! Upon those precious poverty feet protectors there will be a toy.
January 6th is a holiday representing the height of the Christmas season. The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas. The children of Mexico in particular look forward to this holiday as traditionally, gifts are exchanged on this date, not on Christmas Day by a Santa.

And now my deep desire is to reveal a non hidden, yet little known truth, about the other Christmas ‘gift giver’. This universal ‘gift giver’ is experienced by those hearts and souls focused on treasures that are not wrapped in pretty paper nor tied with a bow.  In the natural world gratitude is expressed after the gift has been received. There are different cultural traditions for saying ‘thank you’ worldwide: maybe nods,cheek kisses, hand shakes, phrases, bows, jumping joy, etc. That is the earthly way of giving, receiving and thanking.

There is another unseen world. It is the spirit world. It is governed by laws of nature just as the touchable world has laws of nature. Many successful businessmen know the following un-hidden truth to be extremely yielding! They give with the right motive of helping another. These ‘gift givers’ do this faith action with a grateful heart because they are thankful to be capable enough to give (whether that be a tangible gift or helping out with their influential services). They celebrate the success of the person they are helping. They thank God that they, too, have a need for which God will provide solution in the midst of their own service to another. So they become their very own ‘gift giver’ by being the ‘gift giver’ to another!


This spiritual principal is receiving by giving. After ‘gift giving’ one’s turn to receive will come and will come in great multiplication! What am I saying? Plant seeds of the type of gift you need. Thank God for the harvest of what you need before you get it. In your heart expect the manifestation of what you are praying for. Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. NIV Luke 6:38
You will reap.


Smart millionaires seek out struggling persons, who they can help, support and sponsor in the business world. They know that by being the ‘gift giver’ to help another become successful, the harvest multiplies their own wealth and empire.  What theories are these?

  • Plant a seed, reap a harvest.
  • Faith with action.
  • Calling in miracles by thanking God prior to and acting as if by sharing the miracle before receiving it.
  • Being a living catalyst for God to use when helping others.

The more we can be trusted to be a channel to bless others, the more God will supply us to keep the channel flowing with provision for those in need.
Be your own ‘gift giver’! Give and you will receive. However, this ‘gift giving’ is not to be done trying to manipulate or control, but thru the joy of seeing others blessed and believing you can trust God’s provision.
If we want apples we must plant apple seeds.

If we want our loved one to find sobriety; if we want our loved one to get shelter while on the streets; if we want our loved one to have good food while being a lost wanderer.

cropped city mission

Bingo! Be a ‘gift giver’ at city missions, help out the drug treatment rehabs, take provision to transitional housing and sober living places.
cropped donate rehab

Expect your own miracle. Help out the recovery world with joy in your heart.  Sacrifice material things trusting your Higher Power to supply your own need later.

So: Santa, 3 Wise-men, and WE are the ‘gift givers’!
cropped 3 wisemen
It works if you work it! Merry Gift Giving!.
From the Cindy Lizard gang & Stop Frying Your Brain!


Funniest DUI Arrest Ever

Funniest DUI Arrest Ever


Why Allergy Testing is Important to Alcohol Addiction


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Many treatment centers think they have the best program, protocols, and staff to treat addiction. They are so confident in their system and that they believe they know exactly what their client is experiencing. It almost becomes a “cookie cutter” treatment process, however many do not address that Alcohol addiction can also be perpetuated by hidden food allergies.


We can all agree that our clients have abused their bodies in many ways including their diet, severely damaging the “gut” during the course of the disease. This abuse is usually bad enough where the client cannot correctly decipher the signals from the body; telling them what is going on and why they are felling badly. The doctor and clinicians generally attribute this to the disease, mental, and the behavioral issues concerning duel diagnosis.


Most treatment centers do not address the issue of allergies and the role they play in addiction. Consider this, alcohol is distilled from corn, wheat, and rye. These are all common allergens that 50% of all Americans suffer from. Based on this fact alcohol addiction can be perpetuated by hidden allergies. William Philpott, MD, PhD, and Board Certified in Neurology, Allergy and Psychiatry, explains the body produces endorphins (enkephalins), when stressed by an allergen. These opiate like endorphins reduce anxiety and perpetuate the addiction.

Most medical scientists agree that the primary cause of allergies is the unregulated release of histamine from the cells. This is caused by genetic malfunctions within the immune system. How does this tie into addiction? Drugs are a toxin to the body not unlike rye, ragweed, dust, etc… Whether it is those or alcohol (alcohol contains many known allergens; corn, wheat, and rye) they are dealt with by the immune system. The immune system tries to get rid of these “poisons”.


Through the distillation of corn, wheat, and rye they concentrate allergenic congeners. Hidden allergies to these foods can perpetuate these addictions or trigger violent or unpredictable behavior. This behavioral is common with alcoholics.

Joan Mathews-Larson and Mark Mathews, in “The Role of Allergies in Addictions and Mental Illness,” from the 2009 Praeger International Collection on Addictions, unveil some interesting information on food allergies relating to alcoholics. They present that abstaining alcoholics will crave “allergy-provoking foods” like grains, sugars, and yeast. All of these are the basic ingredients in alcohol. All of these attribute to forming peptides that can bind to endorphin receptors.


Now we know that the raw ingredients of alcohol can actually be toxins to the body. What else happens, especially in the “gut” of an alcoholic? Concerning general food allergies, the “guts” inteninal lining gets damaged. This causes an irritation and a vast Increase with intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome). This is important because the leakage triggers an immune response from the body to protect itself. When this auto protection occurs, it can cause depression, headaches, loss of concentration and many other symptoms. These symptoms are often miss-diagnosed by the physician, and clinician at treatment center, and detox facilities as “cookie cutter” symptoms of the disease.


Click below for more information on offering your addiction treatment clients insurance approved allergy testing with no upfront center costs that also generates an income for your center.

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Baby Lizards Caught in the Middle of an Addictive Family Story 4 of 4 of the Lizard Tales Series

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Have you ever wondered why when an apple detaches from its mother tree, it falls downward and doesn’t fly upward?  Someone named Newton had a theory on that principle.  Mangos do the same thing. When it is time for them to detach from their mama tree they fall down in great abundance covering the ground below.  Actually when that drop off day occurs, all the villages and farms know that mangos are free for the taking!  Once mangos touch the ground, worms begin to grow inside them and they are no longer good for selling.


But what on earth can the natives do with so many mangos?  They do not have refrigerators!  But I did.  So I would go with my housekeeping helpers and we would gather all we could.  I would peel all of them and cut off the pulp into the wee hours of the night.  Then I would freeze the pulp to make mango popsicles. I had started a bolis (popsicles in thin long plastics bags with a knot on top) business selling them from my kitchen window.  I was saving up the money to run away with my baby. And I eventually did and that is another story.

Hubby #3 never provided furniture for the house.  He did win a blue fiber glass bed for our baby boy at the underground poker room (behind the coffee shop downtown).  Our own bed was borrowed.  All the interior doors had been detached and were leaning against each window facing the street in order to cover the fact that we had no drapes.  My American car was parked across the front yard for all to see that he had a Gringa wife.  The window to the kitchen was not permitted to have curtains so the public could see my modern kitchen devices, freezer and doublewide frig.  For him it was all about what the world saw.  


In Mexico we call that, lights on in public and dark at home.  So I had a good freezer and each mango harvest time my bolis menu had mango flavor on it.  And there were other flavors throughout the year: papaya, pineapple, lemon, prickly pear, guava and coconut. I even invented coffee and cream bolis for the policemen who would park in front of the house on the always hot nights to get their ‘pilon’ from me.  They needed coffee to stay awake but it was too hot for that.  So I made frozen coffee bolis as a ‘pilon’.  Pilon means something free we give to show appreciation.  The policemen watched the house and I invented cold caffeine for them.


Back to coconuts.  They were not expensive.  Expensive was paying to get them cut open.  I remember hubby #3 was seating under a palm tree one time getting some shade.  Now every Mexican knows not to ever park ones car under a palm tree because that results in a broken windshield. Yep.  A coconut dropped on his head. I heard it land!  The maids kept trying to tell me not to let him sleep.  He was very stunned and drowsy.  Despite his ‘raging’ we struggled to be near him and hold him up.  We needed to keep him annoyed and pestered, so he would stay awake.

So, there are 2 principles here.  Things drop down, not up. The further things fall the heavier they are.  

Now here is another dynamic law of nature and it really relates to addiction and lizard tails.  Plant a seed and reap a harvest.  It is even Biblical. Whatever type of seed a family plants, good/bad, generous/greedy, resentment/forgiving, addictive/self-disciplined:  that is the type of abundant garden that will produce within the family for many generations.

When a family member has been knocked on the head by an addiction coconut, he or she must get back up and keep moving. We in addiction recovery must not lay and rest on our laurel of medallions, keychains and rehab completion certificates.  “It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels.” Big Book, Into Action Page 85.


The battle is not over!!!  We need to stay aware of the younger family members around us.  Keep an eye on their tails. This is a family disease. Chances are the addiction monster has been active a long time in our family tree.  In some cases the monster enters through DNA and in other cases the beast is handed down by learned behavior. We have seen the different tails. We know that addiction is not only in a bottle, in a pill, in a chemical.  But addiction behavior is also in gambling, eating, spending, controlling, being a door matt and permitting oneself to be abused.  There is also bullying.  

You know last count some 4 years ago I was talking to the General Service Office in New York for a fellowship called Alcohol Anonymous. I called to get permission to use the 12 Steps in a new meeting type.  The lady on the phone told me that her last count of different organizations requesting that type of permission was 543.  They are all uniting and using the 12 Steps to freedom in order to conquer issues in life.  So there are a lot of addictions.  There are a lot of tails telling their tales about the family ISMs.  They bud out, spring out and take the shape of different obsessed activities.  


Keep an eye on the little ones.  We now have natural kids (offspring), blended family kids, foster kids and even neighbor kids, who choose not to be in their own homes.  Watch the budding of their baby lizard tails telling where they gravitate to tap into a potion or relief when in the midst of a fabricated or true rejection.  They may feel fabricated or true victimization.  The little kids will not run to a lollypop.   They will not run to a jump rope outside or take some chalk to draw hopscotch on cement.  They don’t do that anymore.  

over eater jpg

They run to escape inside an ISM (I Sabotage Myself).

There are lots of heavy set kids out there wobbling from over eating ISM.  There are lots of kids out there with gaming and cell phone device ISM.  

My own son at 3 years old had blisters on his little thumbs!  Was he rejected?  Not intentionally, but yes, he was rejected.  I was not permitted to have the time I needed for my son. I had to cater night and day to a man with Rage ISM.  So my son was left out.  My son had an ISM.  And his higher power at that time that could relieve and comfort him was a video game with a little man jumping on bricks and knocking his head on a ceiling so that stars would pop out.

Within 24 hours after my son unwrapped that gift from his dad, he had blisters on his thumbs.  And what else?

Our house was next door to his kindergarten.  I was not allowed to get out.  It was to protect me from my hubby’s other wives and lovers.  I did not recognize that at the time.  And it was also because of the jealousy ISM and the control ISM.

device addicted jpg

So a teacher next door came and asked me to go see the director. She told me that little Adam was jumping from desk top to desk top and then running to the brick walls and knocking his head on them chanting: ”ding dong, ding dong, ding dong”.  Adam had a mini lizard tail at 3 years old, knots on his head and blisters on his thumbs. The ISM got him!   

And what about Napoleon?  Have you ever heard the term: Oh, he has a Napoleon complex?  Napoleon was very short.  He had probably been cruelly bullied.  If he had not been bullied, he may have just bullied himself.  (I Sabotage Myself = ISM) He made his mind up to be very, very tall through control and maneuvering of human beings.

So the last count of groups using the 12 Steps was 543.  They use the steps to discover a higher form of release in order to have comfort and not focus on the pain.
bully jpg
Lots of different types of lizard tails can pop up in our children. The youth are all susceptible to the growth of unwanted tails.  Once we get clean and sober, have recovered and are walking in the light; it is not over.   We tend to think: Oh Yeh! Finally all is well on the firing line. The battle is not over.  It is true we have escaped the insanity of it all.  This is Step 2 in our 12 Steps: “Came to believe that a power higher than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”  

Addiction is a family illness and our sanity has been restored for several reasons and new goals.  One of those goals is so that we can be there monitoring and guiding our own baby lizards and the new lizards in the 12 Step programs and rooms as we notice lizard tails that start popping up.

Go to meetings, get a sponsor, do the readings, remember to mediate and do your ‘walking around steps’ (immediate forgiveness and amends, conscious contact with God, carry the message of solution – not pollution!).  This way we will have the x-ray vision to notice budding tails.

12 Step programs for youth are a wonderful thing!   In Arizona there is an organization that brings 12 Steps to the middle and high schools weekly.  Those youth have actually rewritten their 12 Steps into teen talk. It is amazing the support that Teen Addiction Anonymous receives from the local law enforcement and board of education.  One can look them up on the web and see the beta test results of drastic improvement from: bullying, playing hooky, flunking, depression and suicide not to mention good grades.

Little lizards need self-worth, forgiveness toward others and toward themselves, tools to face life on life’s terms, belief in a God that cares, a positive support team and a mentor to run to in the midst of a hateful tribe. I love 12 Steps for youth.  It is a real tail snipper!

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Life’s Hard Knocks Fog Lizard Minds Story 3 of 4 of the Lizard Tales Series

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Article: 1  | Article 2 | Article 3  | Article 4


Even though my son was raised in another country, I taught him to love our homeland, the U.S.A…  Even though we lived in poverty with only 2 beds and cardboard boxes for night stands, I instilled American patriotism in him.  No one outside our home knew of our lack except the 12 and 13 year old farm girls hired by my husband # 3.  It wasn’t hubby #3’s rage attacks that pushed these girl out the door almost as unexpectedly as when they had been dropped off by one of hubby #3’s seven private chaffers.  These girls were used to macho rage on their ranches and farmlands.

Their peasant families had sacrificed them to come to the scary big city, so they could eat well and learn some American housekeeping and American cooking talents. That way the girls would have good resumes as far as house servant credentials are concerned.  I really tried to feed my baby and these helpers first.  What was left, was for me.  Hubby #3 ate at fine restaurants and perhaps in one of his other homes with another of his wives and lovers.

Unfortunately the young farm girls’ pallets were not satisfied by being rationed and consuming the cheap animal parts that my son and I ate.

You know how there are 101 ways to cook ground meat or shrimp or even chicken?  I bet I know 101 ways to cook chicken necks, chicken claws and chicken liver; cow guts, cow udder, and cow brains; hog cheeks, hog eyes, hog toes!  We survived and did it with organic fresh spice flavors, singing: “Jesus Loves Me”, Bible stories, and the daily pledge of the allegiance. Hence, I was not surprised my son joined the U.S. Navy.

Adam was on his second tour in the Navy, when he called and reported that his base housing felt like it was floating back and forth inside a bowl of Jell-O.   That was during the big earthquake in Tokyo!

His first year in the Navy I had escaped to America for my life.  He and I never had an apartment or house in the States.  But my loving husband #5 (we have skipped hubby #4 for now) worked night and day with only 3 days off that year Adam was coming home from active duty.  Hubby #5 was working to pay for an extra bedroom and on suite to be built for his blended family son. Good thing I was well versed in poor man’s cooking.  It was a very hard year money wise.  We didn’t mind a bit.  God had finally given us my 30 year dream of: Mama bear, Papa bear, Baby bear!  Our son was coming home! We tied yellow ribbons on the corner street sign, on the mailbox and on the carport.

Adam is no longer my son.  Adam is our son.  One day Adam came home from his civilian job with a new family member.  It was Hercules.  Hercules was an expensive cricket and lettuce eating, Australian lizard.

Gecko3 being petted

Oh man, how Hercules beamed up to ‘lizard heaven’ each time I stroked his little head!

He grew at a rapid pace. Hercules used to ‘play-like’ nibble at my fingers.  Soon his jaws gained cricket protein power and his nibbles smarted. One of the head stroking sessions Hercules bit way too hard.  I yanked back my hand and to Hercules’, Adam’s and my surprise; the lizard did a double back flip and landed head first on the bedroom floor. Ouch!

Hercules was stunned.  Our eyes were popped out as we waited to see if he would regain his senses.  He began to move and looked O.K.  But nope!  He never regained his senses.

Gecko bump on head

He had some good days, but most of the time his personality oozed fear, confusion, depression.  He never again liked touchy-touchy.  He trusted not and he hissed.  He flat refused to be loved! (I guess I just mentioned hubby #4)

Just like Hercules, there are so many people that will not let themselves be loved.  They suffer fear, confusion, and depression.  Because like Hercules, they are little lizards that have been knocked in the head before birth, after birth, physically or emotionally, or sometimes religiously. They have become as fragile as crystal goblets.  But the goblet can only contain so much rejection and condemnation.  After which, they begin to condemn themselves.  This is when lizards curl their tail between their legs under their tummy.

Lizard tail between legs jpg

They lower their roster, no longer feeling highly of themselves.  As they trough the rocky roads of normal life, the tale tips get scratches and stumped over and over on the stones along the way.

The tail inflames from the soreness of it all.  One side of the tail bears pain.  The other side seeks numbness.  The lizards are screaming: “I need drug & alcohol relief!”

That description is the classic lizard who needs Dual Recovery.  If you know a lovely lizard with emotional shortcomings and substance abuse habits, please read on.

Solution is real!  Solution is found at Dual Recovery Anonymous.  It is known as DRA.  They are 12 Step meetings.   They are chaired by peer support.  Peer Support means folks who have been there and already done that, so they get it.

I, too, needed this.  My mind had shut my body down unsuspectingly on 2 different occasions, while living in Mexico married to hubby #4.  My tail was so damaged and inflamed.  It was as if I had two tails glued together.  My tail had doubled in size.

The left section had some good days, but most of the time it oozed fear, confusion, depression.  The right side of my double tail, was trying to numb the left side’s discomfort by screaming for more stress pills and pain relief pills.  Or, if meds were not available the scream was for alcohol at any lever: starting with (a) laced coffee latte to (b) social classy martinis held with curled pinky finger to finally (c) the sugar cane moonshine that the town bums around the Mexican produce market drank as they passed out on the sidewalks.

I had fallen on my head one too many times. Then, I got into recovery and I learned the process.

I know the whispers, the voices and the internal screams. 

One voice tempts: “One little drink or pill won’t hurt.  You have been so good the last days.  Come on, you deserve a relief.  I will be O.K.”

The other lying voice tells us: “You don’t need today’s medication.  It’s all good.  You have been good a whole week.  What do they know?  You know better.  Don’t have your medication this one time.”

(Being professionally monitored as one is weaning off of a certain mediation is one thing. Drastically changing the body’s intake of a mediation all at once can cause havoc and relapse big time.  The thing about relapses is that one never can be sure in what state they will return from a relapse or if they will return all at. It is playing Russian roulette.)

In DRA, Dual Recovery Anonymous, our double wide inflamed tails do get healed.  We deal with life on life’s terms.  We learn to cultivate the 3rd voice.  This 3rd voice was chattered over before and we could not hear it.  This third voice warns us, alerts us, loves us. This third voice teaches us how to carry and use a light weight recovery tool box.  We stand upright. And….get this:

Lizard story part1.4 JPG

We laugh, live clean and sober, manage our medication correctly, keep our therapy appointments, and our healthy tails glow as we pamper and coach new comers through the 12 Steps of Dual Recovery into a good life.  We are pleasing ourselves, our recovery community, and our Higher Power (as we have come to understand Him.)

Cool stuff. Important. This is all important.  Oh!  Have you ever stopped to think about the baby lizards caught in the middle?  We can get clean, sober, and sane.  Yet, what happens to the baby lizards?  Be sure to check out the next Lizard Tail Tale story.  See Ya then!

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SFYB Staff Writer

How Your Alcoholism Affects Your Teens

By: Lisa

Recently I told my teenagers I have given up alcohol forever.  One didn’t say much and the other spouted out ‘you can’t do it Mum, you like have a bottle of wine a night.”

So there I was, quietly drinking away most nights, thinking I was being super sneaky, hiding it well and they didn’t notice. Ha!

Thank goodness I have given up now before too much more damage can be done.  They are younger rather than older teens.

Not only did they see Mum and Dad drinking on a regular basis, but whenever we went anywhere or friends came to ours, there was ALWAYS alcohol around, ALWAYS.  I even got them to fetch and pour it for us.  Sad!

This was normal in our house, and is normal in most peoples’ homes around the globe I suspect (to varying degrees)

Our kids are growing up thinking this is normal behaviour.  We are seen to drink when we are happy, sad, tired, depressed, cooking dinner, or just because it is the end of the day.

A_kids alcohol

But ‘do as I say, not as I do’ isn’t going to cut it.  It hasn’t stopped the many generations before us has it?

Did you see this in your home when YOU were growing up?  Did it stop you or encourage your behaviour that you are now struggling with yourself?

Do you remember sneaking alcohol out of the cupboard when your parents weren’t home, or having a swig from their drink when they weren’t looking?  Do you remember trying to buy it underage, or organising someone to buy it for you?

All this was because it was glamorized in the media but at home too as the cool, acceptable thing to do.

So if I may still assume none of us want this nasty addiction for our children and future generations in general, WE have to break the cycle.  Been there, said that already…..

It will be too late if our kids have too much exposure.  But my more pressing concern now is how do we deal with THEIR indiscretions when we have no credibility left?

Recently, as predicted and probably expected, a group of my teen’s friends were caught drinking a bottle of Vodka.  Luckily mine wasn’t there but it would have or will be, only a matter of time.

How can we honestly (with a straight credible face )  believe we have the right to lecture them on alcohol when all we have done is abuse it for decades in front of them?

My teens have already made innocuous comments about their perceptions of alcohol and socialising to me – they think that the two naturally go hand in hand already!  Needless to say I have put them straight, not only by saying but DOING.

LUCKILY FOR US we had a ‘heads up’ when we learned about the Vodka incident.  He had admitted that had he been in that situation with his friends, he would have tried it.  God love him for his honesty.

We bought some Vodka and sat our teen down after dinner one night. Lesson one, don’t drink on an empty stomach!


We allowed him to taste it straight and of course he hated it.  Then we mixed it with lemonade and of course it was now a sugary dangerous alco-pop.  He needed a gentle lesson in that what he was drinking was the same muck as earlier, just masked with soft drink.  Caveat Emptor, Let the Drinker Beware!

So of course all this stuff will naturally come up as our kids progress into adulthood, but I know we can have a much stronger and credible position to educate them from if we are indeed, practicing what we are preaching.

We have since phoned an Alcohol advice line and been sent a stash of paraphernalia on ‘Alcohol and your kids’.  It has a lot of useful information that we have started discussing as a family – over our plain lemonades of course!


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SFYB Staff Writer

The Day I Finally Realized: Yes, I am an Alcoholic

By: Lisa

I read a Paper the other day from an addiction specialist, and he said he HAS NEVER seen someone give up for good on the very first attempt, NEVER!  So isn’t that reassuring – phew!!  It wasn’t just me that couldn’t do it – personally speaking!

Truth is, I think I had been in a kind of Recovery attempt for two years before going Cold Turkey in August this year.  The phase of Recovery, looking back now was the Therapy sessions I was attending regularly because my kids were feral.  It was all their fault my family was chaotic, how could I ‘tame’ them, and my husband?

During this two years, I had a few attempts at trying to cut down my drinking, only drink on certain days, only have ‘one or two’, only drink spirits instead of wine, you know, the usual ‘chatter’ that goes on!  I didn’t have a problem OF COURSE, I just thought it would be good to cut back.  And the alcoholic word was NEVER to be pinned on ME< get real!  And because I could stop drinking for up to 10 days at a time, that confirmed I didn’t have a problem. Get off my case!!!!

So anyway, the kids’ and husband’s behaviour didn’t bloody well improve with all this expensive counseling.  What was wrong with them all?

The Day I Finally Realized: Yes, I am an Alcoholic

The tensions continued, so I just numbed it all out by drinking, and  then, ….. I may have become ever so slightly belligerent, and then the problems continued, so I drank more, and more often. When will this family of mine change and do what they are supposed to do?  Everything will be ok then !

I had learned a lot of Theory in this two years, and been told about a lot of my issues that I supposedly had.  But it was still mostly everyone else’s fault, they needed to change, not quite ME soooo much.

And then Rock Bottom appeared.  I know Rock Bottom must be different for everyone and I can only akin it to falling ‘in love.’  You ‘know’ when you ‘know’ ……..

Rock Bottom is a pit of evil and despair and you can EITHER, confront it or keep running.

Rock Bottom was my Day One of my new life.  Rock Bottom was when I accepted the label of Alcoholic. Rock Bottom for me was the day when I stopped drinking for good and there was never going to be an option of going back.  That was that, ‘party’ over, shipped sailed.  SEE YA.

You will all experience this in your own way and work through the stages of grief in your own time, but you do need to be patient.  It will not be forced, it has to be genuine and authentic and come from your Soul.  I suspect the rate of relapse will be high if the motivation is not genuine and authentic, and this is part of the journey too.

The Day I Finally Realized: Yes, I am an Alcoholic

After Rock Bottom, I had to quickly go about getting a load of tools to keep me on track. I still use them, and will continue to do so forever I suspect.

Now I am no expert, I only speak from personal experience and from the heart.  So I don’t know for sure whether you have to reach Rock Bottom, but I suspect it is highly likely!  The thing is, Rock Bottom will be SO different for each and every one of us.

It could come in the shape of a broken relationship, the loss of a job, a criminal conviction, self harm, harm to another, financial ruin, unnecessary risk taking, family chaos and turmoil or (insert anything else here that sucks BIG time! )…………….

And when you ‘find’ YOUR ROCK BOTTOM, treat it as a gift!  It is the path to sobriety, hence peace and freedom if you choose to embrace it and respect it for what it is trying to TEACH you.

You will know when it is time. Be patient.  It may take many attempts. This is OK.

Practice Self Compassion.

All I can say from my personal experience is that being Sober is the best thing I have ever done for myself, – I never thought I would say that.

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SFYB Staff Writer

I’m Saying it: Alcoholism is Child Abuse!

By: Lisa

I may have been known lately to jump on my high horse and call drinking in front of our kids – Child Abuse.  I think I may just stand by this description too!

While I blindly drank away night after night, sometime starting in the afternoons, I never for a moment considered the effect on my children, let alone friends or family.  Mostly because everyone did it and I wasn’t that bad. Ha!!

Well, guess what, they all knew exactly was going on, the kids, I mean! (AND OF COURSE the affected adults did too, how naïve was I?)

And if you think they are too little to know what is going on, they are not too little to at least ‘feel’ and ‘sense’ the tension of the aftermath – the inevitable fallout, such as arguments, moodiness, stumbling, slurring, vomiting, swearing etc. Need I go on?

Just about most people it seems I talk to had at least one parent who was an alcoholic, or knows of a family that does (and/or Grandparent).  It is an international epidemic that is being perpetuated inter-generationally from what I can see.

If and when we are lucky enough to realise for ourselves, the damage it is causing to ourselves and our immediate close ones, of course we wish the addiction on no one.  But often by then it is too late. Our kids have seen the role modelling that we have offered up and then another generation is potentially (most likely) affected.

A_drinking kids

If your kids see Mum and/or Dad, drinking most nights, or turning to it when they have had a busy or stressful day, what message is this sending?  It is sending a message that normalizes alcohol.  Because it is cheap, legal, and readily available, it is a common drug of choice, and is unfortunately seen as ‘acceptable’.  By default, our kids grow up often following in our footsteps.

Part of our Recovery decision I believe, should have some consideration for these affected parties.  If we can’t give up for ourselves, I believe we HAVE to give up for our kids.  We are abusing them and it is not right.  We will be inflicting the pain of Addiction on them and so the cycle continues!  Shame on us.

Personally speaking, my kids knew way too much about how much I was drinking and I thought I was doing a fantastic job of hiding it, honestly I did!  It has also been revealing, talking with them now, the ‘messages’ I have inadvertently implied.  “Mum, you were boring at that party, because you don’t drink anymore”.   True story!!  Yes, this was said to me and I am ashamed.

A_drinking kids 2

As an adjunct, how can we have an authentic discussion with our teens when we find out they have been dabbling in the alcohol cabinet behind our backs?  Ponder that one!

Then, more revelations come!  But wait there is more.  Friends and family have been worried forever, they have talked about my drinking amongst themselves, even phoned Advice Lines for help.  Yikes.  They have shed tears over me, had sleepless nights.  Who knew……not me, no siree.!  Would I have cared anyway, probably not.  These are the traits of alcoholism, – selfish, dirty, and ignorant.  It also thrives on denial and secrecy.

So, if at any point in your intoxicated state, (or the next morning) you can find a glimpse of compassion for those close to you, particularly your kids, try and muster the courage to get some help and/or talk to someone about it for their sakes if not your own.

The cycle of abuse, sorry but I reckon it is, will not stop unless the behaviour is recognised and stomped on.  Yes, jumped on, stomped on, bashed up, beaten to a pulp and sent packing into a pit of shame.


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  • American Society of Addiction Medicine Facts and Figures Opioid Addiction • Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine,...
  • A Simple Way to Survive the Loneliness of the Holiday Season By: T.E. Pepper Here’s the thing. A lot of us have burned through friendships and family, and no one wants to see us anymore....
  • The Scripps Research Institute – Special Recognition and Thanks By: Robert Henslee CEO/Founder Stop Frying Your Brain Sometimes it’s easy to forget who also is at the forefront of fighting addiction. It’s easy to spot...
  • Holiday Survival at Toxic Family & Office Festivities StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. If you are serious about making it through the holidays still clean and...
  • Beware of “Blackout Wednesday” By: Allie Holbrook Thanksgiving.  A day for gratitude, but also a time of excess.  Tables groan with turkey and pumpkin pie, wine flows freely, and there’s a sense that nothing bad...
  • Hope Without Handcuffs @StopFryingBrain By: Robert Henslee SFYB Founder To all my brothers and sisters I would like to introduce you to Hope Without Handcuffs. Working with law enforcement across the nation, great organizations like Families...
  • Thank You Mom, For Never Giving Up On Me BY:Katie Donovan For so long, I never understood how my mom stuck by my side. After all of the harm I’ve done, the lies I’ve told,...
  • Big Pharma Wants To Shut You Down… @StopFryingBrain Help us spread the word about the liberty movement, we’re reaching millions help us reach millions more. Don’t let corporate America dictate your freedom of speech on...
  • You’re too Stupid To Figure Out What’s Fake News and What’s Not…. Alex Jones breaks down the vast web of lies the media continues to spin in order to discredit Donald Trump, after he has...
  • No Matter how many women on the job… It still takes 9 months to have a baby…. Hello, my name is Robert Henslee. For those you that don’t know me, I am an avid Internet...
  • We are an “organic” social media community marketing content model. Come join our marketing effort today!  StopfryingYourBrain.com becoming one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation. Learn why below we are a...
  • 5 Signs of Addiction for Seniors Other relevant articles you may be interested in; 1) Opiate Dependence among the Elderly 2) Elderly Addicted to Opiates 3) 5 Signs of Addiction for Seniors 4) Things Are...
  • Addiction a Disease? Or Learned Behavior? StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Yo big dogs listen up. My name is “FUBAR”. If you don’t know what that means...
  • Muscle-bound millionaire of addiction treatment under scrutiny By Christine Stapleton – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Expensive cars. Flashy watches. Strip clubs. Casinos. Tattoos. Selfies of ripped biceps and b-boy stances. This is the lifestyle...
  • What is Addiction Really, and How do We Fix it? MD Lukens, PhD  © May, 2016 The Disease Model is Not Well Constructed To start this discussion off I need to repeat what I’ve been...
  • The Art Of Enabling…And I Was The Master! Ok, I know what you’re thinking….Oh LAWD, another article on enabling! And well, yes, I guess it is….but I’m not going to tell you what to do,...
  • First Responders having Addiction Training My name is TJ McWain and I am a police officer in Southern New Jersey.  As a police officer, I come into contact with substance abusers on a daily basis...
  • Fort Lauderdale and Atlantic Shores Hospitals would like to extend our hand We at Fort Lauderdale and Atlantic Shores Hospitals would like to extend our hand in helping you and your patients receive the best...
  • Treating Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms Dr. Cali Estes, of The Addictions Academy, has teamed up with Dr. Kenneth Blum, creator of Synaptamine to provide a new class that focuses on Reward Deficiency Syndrome and Post Acute...
  • CBD Oil Now Legal In All 50 States Strains of Marijuana that are Most Effective to Detox a Client from Opiates Strains of Marijuana that are most effective to detox a client from Opiates and...
  • Stop Patient Brokering In Your Facility Cold The Addictions Academy announced that they are offering a class to combat the rampant patient brokering going on in the addiction treatment industry. Dr. Cali Estes, of The...
  • Who Is YOUR Therapist? One of the reasons I made the decision to become a consultant was my desire to properly inform treatment center owners and CEOs after witnessing several being misled. I recently had...
  • Addiction specialist Cali Estes joins Dr. Drew Addiction specialist Cali Estes joins Dr. Drew to talk about her work with high profile people in managing and overcoming their addictions. Dr. Estes tell’s Drew about the...
  • Addiction NOT a disease… MD Lukens, Ph.D.   © 2016  Not a Disease The way I see it, addiction is NOT a disease.  It’s something else entirely.   However, as is the case with alcohol addiction,...
  • Great FB Groups @ Pages For Addiction I’ve been working with the best support people/groups in the addiction vertical on Facebook for a number of years now. All the groups (below) are some of the...
  • Say You Want To Help People With Addiction? The Addictions Academy was founded to increase education in the areas of addiction that have been previously unavailable to the general public. We offer on site training,...
  • Do’s and Dont’s When Opening A Treatment Center Though I am eager to help those interested in opening a treatment center/facility, there are some important things I tell my investors and CEOs to consider before...
  • United Health Law Suit vs. Sky Toxicology – Patient Brokering Breaking Down the United Health Law Suit vs. Sky Toxicology, Frontier Toxicology, numerous other labs, treatment centers and individual owners AND DOES 1-150. Case Number:...
  • Katie Donovan Named Executive Vice President of Families Against Narcotics  Other relevant posts: (1) My Daughter the Addict-A Suburban Mom’s Nightmare (2) Families Against Narcotics Announces Run Drugs out of Town Event (3) No One...
  • My Daughter the Addict – A Suburban Mom’s Nightmare @StopFryingBrain By: Katie Donovan I was the PTO mom, the carpool mom, the Brownie leader. We ate family dinners at the table, taught our children manners...
  • Prince. It’s a name that everyone knows, whether you liked him or not. He made an unforgettable name for himself with his signature eclectic fashion, wild dance moves, & flashy hair & makeup. While some...
  • Pain Pill’s the Addiction. Food for thought and advice… Hello, my name is DRUGS – I destroy homes, tear families apart, take your children, and that’s just the start. I’m more costly than diamonds, more...
  • Hi my name is Organized Crime. Friends, supporters and users, of my products and services, call me OC and my middle names are corruption and immorality. I see that you are a supporter and user so...
  • Patient Brokering Kickbacks Lawsuits and Jail… Are You Next? If you have a facility/practice you need to look at this. Click on the posts to read articles. ..
  • When I was 15 years old and my Grandfather passed away of cancer. @StopFryBrain Friends and family brought over casseroles, pies, and lasagnas. Warm cookies left on the porch and neighborly visits of talks and...
  • The Friend Who Introduced Me to My Undoing I was 18 when I met the person who would introduce me to my ultimate undoing, Oxycontin. His name was Miles. I was outside smoking a cigarette...
  •   I am a aggressive Internet marketer (Certified Master Coach Internet Marketing) with 40+ years experience that specializes in the drug and alcohol vertical markets. Look at my endorsements above from executives in the drug...
  • How Do You Find A Good Rehab? By: Steve Castleman It takes courage to break through denial and begin to consider getting professional help. It may start with a glimpse, a fleeting flash of willingness....
  • Exposing the FDA StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. There is also an excellent companion clip to this one which may be found by clicking here Wa...
  • Got Empty Beds at Your Facility? Updates and more discussion on this topic please join our FaceBook Group by clicking on image below. StopFryingYourBrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click...
  • Stop Frying Your Brain Our Capabilities Please join our network of over 250 facility operators ! stopfryingyourbrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here to learn more Do you...
  • Lost In Limbo? Hey if you need a friend and some help reach out to me Robert @ 772.206.6676 If you’re a service provider and wish to become a member of our network call John...
  • Is Your Landlord Partially Responsible for Your Relapse? This website is becoming the most visited substance abuse site in the nation. Click here to learn more I saw an article on allergy testing as it...
  • Allergy Testing Can Save Your Life, stop migraines and so much more StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Published with permission SFYB is a Tedx publishing partner...
  • Watch this man react to the world after 45 years in prison StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. After rock-bottom, rediscover life! Oh what a wonderful world...
  • A Day in the Life of a Crack Dealer. Think about this for a while… Stop being so dam stupid. Be Smart. You have a choice. VOTE: While You Still Can! Donald Trump? StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming...
  • How PTSD Leads To Addiction. If you need some help your in the right place. StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. How PTSD Leads To Addiction. Today...
  • 5 Things You Need to Know About Living With PTSD. If you need some help your in the right place. StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. PTSD...
  • Elderly Addicted to Opiates who would have ever thought Grandma was a drug addict ? StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn why. Other relevant articles you may be...
  • Sober Living plays a critical role in the recovery process. Individuals that decide to drive the road to recovery encounter may detours and obstacles that can sidetrack their recovery. While there are many choices of...
  • Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. This video is adapted from Johann Hari’s New York Times best-selling book...
  • 50 Pounds of Marijuana Shipped to Wrong Address You Should Join You Should Join to learn about the best digital marketing for the drug and alcohol vertical? Click the button below. LinkedIn Groups You Should...
  • Prisons Abuse People with Mental Illness StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Are we using the prison systems in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks...
  • Drug Addictions Alternatives That Work StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Are we using the prison systems in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks that way...
  • Criminalizing Mental Health In America… StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Are we using the prison systems in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks that way...
  • Are we using prisons to treat mental illness? Are we using the prisons in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks that way to the citizens. Thoughts? Do you have any suggestions what could be done differently....
  • US Government Turning Veterans Into Drug Addicts StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Other Relevant Article – Click Here  You Should Join to learn about the best...
  • Veterans Being Pumped Full of Addictive Opiates StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Other Relevant Article – Click Here Updates and more discussion on this topic please...
  • StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans You Should Join to learn about the best digital marketing for the...
  • stopfryingyourbrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here to learn more   We are looking for the best books to recommend to our user community. If you are an...
  •  StopfryingYourBrain.com becoming one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation stopfryingyourbrain.com  becoming one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation. It is a community of 131,000+ registered users and...
  • “Our” LinkedIn groups you should join if you have a product or service to sell or if you wish to engage yourself in the drug and alcohol community. Before you do anything else, you should...
  • Members of Congress, the Betty Ford Foundation, the Christi Foundation and Many Others Meet to Discuss Opiate Deaths Today. Click on the image below to join our automated drug, alcohol training and marketing series if...
  • Seriously an automated marketing system/robot for the drug and alcohol vertical that has real value? The behavioral health national referral list with FREE automated marketing system by the “brian”…is designed specifically to bring service providers...
  • Dealing with Pushy Boozers & Surrounded By Assholes By: J. Bella Last night was a big night for me. Not because it was Friday, but because I was sober and surrounded by drunk people. This...
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  • Heroin Kills More People Than Automobile Accidents Heroin in the suburbs? Are you freakin kidding me?! Didn’t we learn not to mess with that junk back in the 60s? Holy crap!! Yet heroin use is...
  • stopfryingyourbrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here to learn more When someone talk about the long-term consequences of war, let’s talk about the men and women who came...
  • Mexican Cartels Worse Than ISIL A United Nations report estimated over 9,000 civilians have been killed and 17,386 wounded in Iraq in 2014, more than half since ISIL fighters seized large parts on northern Iraq in...
  • Jeffrey Clark is native to Southern California. Jeffrey comes to WJW Treatment Centers after a successful career in both Real Estate and Residential Treatment. Jeffrey sought his own recovery in 2011. He then realized...
  • Everything was going fine for her. She had a great job, a solid marriage, and two wonderful kids. Slowly she became easily annoyed by the least distractions or inconveniences. Then what seems like all of...
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