Drug and Alcohol rehabs are designed to enslave you in perpetual treatment. Even the common mantra stated at every 12 step meeting worldwide – “Keep coming back!” is enough to give you cold shivers. Drug and Alcohol treatment is designed, not to get people sober, but rather, to break down the spirit of self efficacy to the point where perpetual rehab stays becomes the norm. To break free of this cult like tactic used by the alcohol and drug treatment industry, individuals with substance use issues must work with two basic ideas.
First, is there an alternative to the typical control model treatment. The answer is yes, the Freedom Model® based St. Jude Retreats. Our goal is to build your self confidence to the point where you naturally will move on in your life to a sober and successful future. You are free! The next idea that can make this goal a reality is to change your self image, to an image that is based on success and happiness rather than self defeating labels such as addict or alcoholic.
As we have stated in the St. Jude Program and in many other articles we have written through the years, our goal is to help you adapt and change according with your life circumstances. We want to empower you to grow past the counterproductive patterns of your past. Remember, changing your life is the most important of all the amends you can make to those you have hurt in your past. In order to make this occur, it is crucial to have a clear idea of the future person you want to become.
Your new self-image may be that of a person who is kind and handles situations productively. You will learn to be patient, stable, loving, forgiving and productive. However, if your self-image remains as it has been, you will probably remain unproductive. There has to be a starting point for your new existence. You must begin to dream and change. Imagine the person you want to be. All the successful people around you have done this and continue to grow each day. Isn’t it time for you to join humanity on a mature level and let go of self-hatred and depression?
It will be very difficult to make transform your life, if you do not have a vision of yourself handling situations differently from the way you have in the past. Occasionally people who complete the St. Jude Program at one of our retreats, have a tendency to put the cart before the horse. It is almost impossible to transform who we are if we have not made the commitment to stop behaving in immature ways. Building trust is the only way that a person we have hurt in our past will come forward and ask for a reconciliation discussion. That is why it is necessary for you to create a new or at least a modified self-image that includes other’s feelings and needs as well as ours.
To do this you must have a clear vision of the new person you want to be. As an example, it is hard to say “I will no longer have affairs” if you do not have a self-image that is fully committed to marriage. A self-image is a personal mission statement. It states what kind of person you want to be, and how you will behave today, tomorrow and the day after that. It is what enables you to gain trust and thus have productive discussions with those you have harmed in your past. In previous articles, we have discussed maturity and our need for it if happiness and joy are to be a consistent part of our lives. We defined maturity as an individual’s ability to adapt and change according to life’s circumstances which are always in a state of flux.
Transforming your self-image is pivotal to your progression to happiness. It is a personal choice that you will handle situations in accordance with the five axioms described in detail in the St. Jude Program. One of the best examples of a naturally occurring shift in self-image is the drastic changes that occur in an average person between the ages of five and fifteen. Those changes are radical and happen quite naturally. A five year old may carry around a security blanket for comfort, sit on Mom’s lap and play with stuffed animals, while a fifteen year old plays baseball, has a part time job, plays video games and hangs out with friends at the skate board park.
Between the ages of 5 and 15 a child matures and changes quite naturally. But as a child grows older changing requires more and more input in the form of conscious choices. Around age twenty, maturation occurs through willingness to change and hard work. It is not by natural processes like the changes of early life.
Why should progressing through adulthood be any different? Do 40 or 70 year olds handle problems the same way 15 year olds, 20 year olds or even 30 year olds do? Many unhappy adults are shocked by the maturity stagnation that is revealed in their autobiography as demonstrated in the St. Jude Program. They finally see just how their unwillingness to live a purpose-based existence has diminished their quality of life. To stop this pattern, they have to decide who they want to be in the future and how they will accomplish this personal conversion. The question then becomes: who is the person you want to be?
For more information on the Five Axioms, or any of the terms or process mentioned in this article, I can be contacted at 1-888-424-2626. Ask for Mark Scheeren.