How Do I Help A Loved One Struggling with an Addiction?

  One of the most painful things to experience is watching the person you love deteriorate in front of your eyes. At this point, it can be easy to feel both helpless and resentful towards this person who is now becoming a shadow of the person you once knew. Previous attempts to approach this individual likely resulted in their denial or piercing words of anger. Eventually, after exhaustive attempts to help them, one fact will stand out like black on white… In life, all that we can control is self.   There is a reason that Al-Anon selected this idea…

Addiction and Cancer: Treating Diseases Differently

  Brad has seen how people treat diseases differently. When he was going through addiction, people crossed the street to get away from him. Meanwhile, when he was going through his cancer treatments, people wanted to get closer to him. Whether Brad was battling addictions or cancer, he was still the same person suffering. His experience speaks volumes to the stigma that still exists around drug and alcohol addictions. Education and understanding will reveal that we all deserve love and respect.        Brad’s story Becoming the Father I Knew I Could Be   is featured in MENtal Health:…

Healing Words from the Former Humboldt Broncos Assistant Coach

I don’t know about you, but I found it really difficult to examine my pain. It was easier to project my pain onto others, turn to alcohol in an attempt to escape it, or immerse myself into work. Healing is work.   Chris Beaudry reminds us of this truth. Now, it’s impossible to comprehend what Chris pulled up to that fateful April evening, and what transpired over the following days. But what is evident is that in order for Chris to heal, he had to go through the middle of his pain. The following video explains not only what he saw as…

Don't Fix. Listen.

Have you ever tried to fix someone? Did it work? As a counselor and even as a friend, it took me a long time to understand that I had no right to fix someone. Who am I to decide what is best for another individual? To truly understand someone means that I have to listen to them. However, talking about one’s challenges does not come easy for many. After letting an individual know that I would be happy to listen if they needed to talk, the ball was now in their court. When they were ready for a conversation, it…

4 Lessons Learned from Suicide

Silence is not the answer. It’s time to talk openly about suicide.   I have spent the last few months traveling to several communities to discuss this prevalent issue of suicide, and I wanted to share a few of the lessons I have learned. 1. Ask the tough question, “Are you feeling suicidal?” Pay attention to the guts. If you think there is a problem then there probably is. At that point it is important to ask this difficult question. Yet, I think we fear asking the question because we fear the response. What happens if the person you care about…

10 Years Sober and Proud

Today marks 10 years of sobriety.  I am emotional even writing that. The reality is that nothing in my life would be possible without my sobriety. Nothing. I would not be blessed with a beautiful wife, four incredible sons, and a home not a house. From day one my wife, Tanya, said we were moving forward, not backward. She was (and always will be) my rock. I want to share 3 key lessons that I have learned along the way. 1. Use Your Voice in Times of Need Silence has never equalled strength. Staying behind closed doors can make us…