Category Archives: Life Controlling Issues

CHANGE ~ How Bad Do You WANT It?

If you are perfectly content with your life, then praises to you … You are a very small percentage of the population.  Most people are in pursuit of change. The American Dream is full of change and upgrades that people believe will make them happier. However, most people are not willing to put forth the hard work necessary to make their dream a reality. Therein lays the real challenge to addiction recovery.

everything-in-your-life-is-a-reflection-of-a-choice-you-have-made-if-you-want-a-different-result-make-a-different-choiceI had breakfast with a group of old friends the other day. During the conversation, one of the women expressed her struggles with worry and fear. I shared truths from my own experience that worry was a choice to not trust God, that fear is not from God, that there are many places in scripture that tells us, “Do not worry,” ”Do not fear,” “Be anxious for nothing.” Why does he tell us not to worry? Because it is a sin to do so, and the “wages of sin is death!” I choose to believe and trust that I have a bigger God than my problems.  My friend was very offended and continued to clutch her emotions as if it were old friends. What would happen if she WANTed relief as much as she NEEDed it? For those who struggle with life controlling issues, change is necessary to gain freedom. Most people NEED to change to overcome the struggle. However, do they WANT it bad enough? When the pain outweighs the fear, a person will do the necessary work to change.

Everyone who comes to Faith Farm Ministries needs recovery … they NEED to change something. However, our Intake Counselors attempt to identify those who truly WANT to change.  We have 445 beds for men and women to receive a free, 9 month, drug and alcohol recovery program consisting of spiritual training, life skills, college accredited recovery and vocational classes with a work project. We provide a safe place … a non-judgmental place … where students obtain knowledge, skills and tools that help them learn to overcome life-controlling issues. We provide the necessary time needed to heal, restore, renew and build a strong foundation with faith, which provides strength to overcome life’s challenges and obstacles. We provide the place but there is no magic here! A student who comes to Faith Farm must WANT recovery. For those who WANT it bad enough, there is a 100% success rate.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries, serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary and is a member of the Emmaus community. She is a published author,  copy writer and editor. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through Celebrate Recovery 12 Step materials combined with The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is a co-founder of the Boynton Beach Celebrate Recovery Group that currently meets at Faith Farm’s campus. As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. She is a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy shares her powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is an enthusiastic disciple that models agape love. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.” 
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

 

Recovery – From The Inside Out

header_02I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition (PBCSAC).  In attendance was a plethora of addiction industry, well-connected professionals from various South Florida rehabs, sober homes and focus groups.  This group, together with like groups from counties all over the State of Florida and the United States, is credited with the overdue attention given to the opioid epidemic. In May, Governor Scott declared Florida’s opioid epidemic a “public health emergency.” As a result, additional funding can be realized in strategic areas for heroin antidotes. Funds were made available for the Sober Home Task Force to stop the greed and help provide safe homes for people in recovery. New addiction awareness initiatives, locally and in Washington D.C., are being implemented.

With that said, the addiction battle is against an enemy that is so vast that we can only combat the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” The Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., Vice Admiral, recently submitted his report, “Facing Addiction in America … Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health” and he stated “… addiction is a health condition, not a moral failing or character flaw.” As such, addiction is a disease that affects body, soul and spirit. Many 28-day programs provide medically assisted treatment where patients can detox and address physical/body recovery. There are many behavioral health rehabs providing counseling services to address the soul in 30 to 60 day rehabs. Rehab defined … restores an addict to their condition prior to using the substance.

ego-says-once-everything-falls-into-place-ill-feel-peace-spirit-says-find-your-peace-and-then-everything-will-fall-into-place-quote-1Faith Farm Ministries was the only faith-based organization represented at the PBCSAC meeting. We understand that there is an obstacle to the “rehab” approach. An addict may not have dealt with whatever caused them to use in the first place. For this reason, Faith Farm’s approach provides a regeneration program, or spiritual recovery.  Just like a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis, then a beautiful butterfly … this is what Spiritual Recovery does for a person.

Making an impact in the external addiction battlefield is a daunting goal.  It seems to me that the battle strategy to combat the addiction enemy can best be fought from the “inside – out!” We stand a better chance when we try to help a person by loving them and helping them to love themselves.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries, serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary and is a member of the Emmaus community. She is a published author,  copy writer and editor. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through Celebrate Recovery 12 Step materials combined with The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is a co-founder of the Boynton Beach Celebrate Recovery Group that currently meets at Faith Farm’s campus. 
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. She is a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy shares her powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is an enthusiastic disciple that models agape love. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.” 
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

I’m a “Groupie” for Life!

HI_recovery1(1)I’m a “Groupie” and I’m proud of it! Small groups are where life happens. Think about it! From the moment you enter this world, you become part of a group … a family! Perhaps you are the blessed one who was born into the stereotypical “mom and dad with beautiful children” family. In the not so typical foster care system, you may have many siblings that change from time to time. It is still a group … a family. Growing up, you enter classrooms … many different groups with different people, focuses and chemistries.  We join scouting groups, youth clubs, sports teams and mission groups.  After beginning your career, you have certifications, accolades, professional organizations and licensing groups providing credentials that make you a better and more successful businessperson. Groups build us up, teach us and prepare us for life.

There are music groups, Facebook groups, church groups, bridge clubs, ethnic clubs, collectors clubs … groups for everything.  However, recovery small groups for addicts, codependents and hurting people are so important because they truly save lives. Why are they so important? First, small groups are Biblical. Genesis 2:18 states, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Life is meant to be done together.  Second, small groups build community.  People get close enough to each other to care, challenge, encourage and confide in one another, and this allows for maximum personal growth, which does not happen in isolation. Finally, small groups provide accountability. The chemistry in a small group that is non-judgmental and safe provides for an open, honest and intimate experience.  Holding a member accountable for their behaviors can often prevent an excursion down a dangerous path.

Faith Farm Ministries is structured around this small group accountability, education and spiritual foundation.  Morning classes, work projects and dwelling accommodations are all a type of small group. Our students attend Celebrate Recovery small groups as well.  For 65 years, Faith Farm has provided a free, drug and alcohol, addiction recovery program for men and women.  Our program is now 9 months long and we have 445 beds at three South Florida locations.  If all people understood the value of small groups as they live their lives, perhaps Faith Farm would not always have a waiting list of those who are seeking help from their hurts, habits and hang ups.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries and serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter as she draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

When You’re In It … You Can’t See it!

Have you ever been in a dark room? I mean REALLY dark … so dark that you cannot see your hand when you hold it up to your face.  You cannot see darkness nor can you see anything within that darkness. The fact is … there is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light and its different intensities.

Life is much the same. For those who have had marital problems, received a chronic illness diagnosis, or experienced financial ruin, they know what darkness looks like. Marital counseling, a good doctor or financial planner can bring light to the darkness. Letting the light into the life situation allows for the proverbial “light” at the end of the tunnel. Until then, hopelessness is the darkest place we know.

The disease of addiction is darkness for the addict and those that love them (co-dependents.) Unlike other diseases, the stigma connected with this disease adds shame and guilt to the hopelessness often preventing those affected to seek the light. The disease of addiction is so cunning that it convinces the addict to stay in the darkness of denial rather than expose their problem to the light for all to see.

This morning I learned that two young women I know, both in their early 20’s and both with a young child, lost this battle yesterday.  They refused to see their problem, keeping it in the darkness and not allowing the light to expose them. One died of an overdose yesterday. The other is in a coma on life support with no chance of recovery.

Faith Farm Ministries is a 65 year old, free, faith based drug and alcohol recovery program with 445 beds for men and women. It is that safe place where people can emerge from the addiction darkness into the light with no shame or guilt. Light gives new hope, new purpose and new life. I am aware of nowhere else that provides a free program with free education, including recovery classes for up to 9 college credits, GED Classes, life-skills and spiritual classes, vocational training and life counseling.  We help those who want to heal, restore their families and contribute to their communities.

If you want to help Faith Farm in its mission to save lives, you can text FAITHFARM to 41444 or visit www.faithfarm.org and click the Ways to Give tab to make a gift. For every $1 you gift and invest in our addiction recovery program, there is a tax dollar savings to you estimated at $12 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, theft and health care expenses. (Source: Association of Gospel Rescue Missions) 

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries and serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter as she draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

What’s Your “Popeye Moment” … Efficiency vs Effectiveness

I like to consider myself to be a very efficient person.  I’m an expert at multi-tasking and consistently juggle many activities at once. Sometimes I find a couple two or three dozen Windows open on my computer all at once and I work efficiently! Efficiency is doing things right! However, Effectiveness is doing the right things.  One can be so busy being efficient … that they fail to be effective.

Effectiveness is directly related to passion. What is your passion?  What condition, situation or cause drives you to sadness or anger?  What breaks your heart? What drives you to want change?  Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor at Willow Creek Church, defines that one thing in your life as your Popeye moment” … that moment when you say to yourself, “I can’t stands it no more!!!”  I can recall that Popeye always did things right.  He was quite an efficient sailor.  He also puts up with a lot of abuse from Brutus UNTIL Popeye’s own “Popeye Moment.”  The sailor man has had enough when he says, “I can’t stands it no more.” Then, he eats his spinach, grows huge muscles, and proceeds to let Brutus have it with both anchors.  And, he wins the heart of Olive Oil … toot, toot!!!  I’d say he became effective!

There are many world issues that can break our hearts:  child abuse, animal abuse, environmental issues, human trafficking political issues, senior citizens, 3rd world plights, homelessness, Alzheimer Disease, cancer, heart disease, mental illness  or a plethora of other diseases.

In my own life, the pain resulting from addiction and co-dependency in my own family was my “I can’t stands it no more” moment.  I went from being busy as an efficient real estate broker to being effective at Faith Farm Ministries.  I use ALL of my experience and talents that I have accumulated throughout my long career and apply it to my passion for helping people overcome life controlling issues so that they, too, may live effectively.  I can honestly say that I LOVE my work.  It is not like work at all when you love what you do.

Faith Farm Ministries is a 64 year old, free, long term, residential drug and alcohol recovery program for men and women.  Three locations provide an intense, college accredited recovery curriculum, a comprehensive work training program, spiritual guidance and counseling.

I am also blessed to lead a Celebrate Recovery group at Faith Farm in Boynton Beach on Friday nights.  This is a 12 Step program that is accessible to the students as well as their families, alumni of Faith Farm, and the community members that have struggles with any life controlling issues.

My passion for what I do translates into my effectiveness for those I serve.  Passion allows your life to take on meaning, purpose and effectiveness. I used to be very efficient, busy … and unhappy.  Today, I have purpose, effectiveness, joy and peace that surpasses my understanding.

What’s your “Popeye Moment?”

DARE TO DREAM

This month, Faith Farm Ministries will hold its 63rd annual Homecoming celebration.  It is unlike any homecoming events you might have attended in college.  Approximately 1,000 students, alumni, staff and families of those once addicted to drugs and alcohol will gather to celebrate their recovery from addiction and/or co-dependency.  They worship, fellowship, share their stories and give hope to those still struggling.  They received another chance at life; some recently and others many years ago.  Recovering addicts are the bravest and most courageous people you’ll ever meet.  They have been through hell and back, and they are willingly to share their stores because of what God has done for them.  They are transparent (real), and they use terms like hope, new life and eternity … and they “Dare to Dream;” such an appropriate theme for this year.

Keynote Speaker, Dean Middleton, is President of United TranzActions, Inc., is also the founder of Spirit in South Florida, a nonprofit that has funded two opportunities for Faith Farm’s students to attend a free Phillips, Craig and Dean Concert at the Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale.  Dean funded bus transportation, tickets, venue and band for approximately 200 Faith Farm students; once in May and again in December.  Additional concerts are being planned to bless similar rescue mission/recovery type ministries.  Dean’s heart and message is a one of hope and concurs with our “Dare to Dream” theme.

Three of Faith Farm’s courageous alumni will share testimonies, each with a passion to help those who are going through what they experienced many years ago.  Roy Foster went on to become a 2009 CNN Hero nominee for his passion to help veterans and recently broke ground on The Village of Valor, an entire community devoted to serving veterans and their families.  Alyssa Schroeder attended our women’s program.  Since Faith Farm, she married Eric, also an Alumni. They now run a successful business while they continue to help others who struggle with addiction. They are expecting their first child.  Marty Angelo attended Faith Farm in the ‘80s and was mentored by Founder, Rev. Garland “Pappy” Eastham.  Marty answered the call to prison ministry in California and has counseled celebrities who struggled with addiction.  He has authored five books and continues to give back.  All “Dared to Dream!”

Underwriters for this event include Solid Rock Church, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary, The Tucker Group, LLC, Alpha Ministries, LLC, plus two anonymous employee staff members.  All day live music by their own Faith Farm bands, barbecue, Pappy’s Old Fashioned Lemonade, Ice Cream and other home-baked goodies, fishing, Volleyball, Kite Flying, Bounce Houses and Face Painting are some of the other activities typical of the day, but the highlight of the afternoon is always the extremely competitive annual softball tournament between the farms. There is nothing like witnessing a bunch of competitive, recovering addicts … humbled and praying and giving thanks before and after (sometimes during) these softball games.  “Dare to Dream!” It’s Tim Tebow times 30! And, it’s beautiful!

Faith Farm is making a huge difference in thousands of lives and needs your financial support to continue saving lives being lost to addiction.  It is because of special people like you that we can continue to help restore lives of people who struggle with life controlling issues.  For more information on how you can help, visit www.faithfarm.org, or contact Judy Walters, Project Manager, at (561) 737-2259 or email Judy at  jwalters@faithfarm.org.

Photo from Homecoming 2013 by Christina Wilkof Photography

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Why is addiction called a “Family Disease”?

By Kathy Brock Frasier, Regional Director of The Addict’s Mom

Addiction is called a “family disease” yet many will dispute this by responding “I do not have the problem. He/she has the problem because he /she is the one taking drugs.” However, addiction wraps its tentacles tightly around those closest to the addict, most typically family and friends. Good times, family events, love, happiness and joy are replaced by an obsession to stop the destructive behavior of the addict. Family resentment is fueled by the “enabler” who repeatedly attempts to fix the problem, using consequences that are otherwise effective with non-addicted children.

Following many attempts, strategies and years spent to stop the addict from taking drugs, the failed cycle remains in place and family dynamics change. Living with an addict causes severe trauma to everyone within the home. The stress brought about by addiction often manifests itself through physical ailments, including high blood pressure, headaches, frequent colds, chest pains, to name a few. Because we are so busy worrying about others, we fail to take care of ourselves. Brothers, sisters and spouses often feel excluded and unimportant, ultimatums are demanded to choose between the child and spouse, and strife in the household has become the norm. The family begins to disintegrate and resentment festers. The entire family feels anger, sadness, depression, fear, loneliness, jealousy, shame, inadequacy and failure. Purses and wallets become bedtime companions, deadlocks are placed on bedroom doors, valuables are hidden away in locked safes and the home becomes a fortress. Finances are depleted, friendships are lost, relationships are damaged, our health is poor and the home is a war zone. It feels helpless.

There is a word for behavior that enables an addict and it is called codependence. Some consider codependence a disease itself. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines co-dependence as “a psychological condition or relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as in an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly: dependence on the needs of or control by another.”

Families are manipulated by addicts who will do or say anything to minimize their disease and to continue drug usage. As parents we want to believe the best of our addicted children as we always hold out hope that their words are true and there will be an end to the madness. What we fail to understand is the strength of the disease of addiction. When we choose to believe them and give in to their requests, only to be let down once again, we take it personally. We ask ourselves “how could our child do this to us?” Education surrounding the true brain disease of addiction is paramount to our own recovery of this disease, as well as theirs.

Once we recognize our futile attempts to stop a disease for which there has yet to be found a cure, we can begin to utilize different strategies in dealing with our addicted children. We can allow our children to feel the consequences and results of their behavior. In essence, we can “raise their bottom.” We can begin to take care of ourselves by reaching out to mothers who have had similar experiences. As we build friendships and feel supported and loved, it becomes easier to make difficult decisions and we learn new ways to cope with the reality of addiction.

While it’s commonly agreed that providing our addicted children with cash is not a good idea as it likely contributes to buying more drugs, and hiring expensive attorneys might provide a short reprieve, but does not guarantee recovery, we must remember that each circumstance and every child is unique. There is no right or wrong way to respond to a situation. We must live with our own decisions regarding enabling/codependence and each decision must be carefully weighed. One indisputable fact remains…a healthy and educated family is better equipped to face the trials of an addicted child.

Barbara Theodosiou
Founder – The Addicts Mom
www.addictsmom.com
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The Addict’s Mom reaches out to families dealing with addiction.  We invite them to join us, where they can “Share without Shame,” the daily struggle, their sorrows, their victories with other families who understand the impact of this devastating disease.  We off resources, groups, referrals, but most of all we offer hope and the knowledge that we are not alone in this fight to change perceptions and save lives.  The Addict’s Mom is currently registering for non-profit status and growing by the hundreds daily.  Find us on Facebook as well as the web.  We Are Not Doctors or Therapist. We Do Not Give Medical Advice or Opinions or Engage In The Practice of Medicine or Therapy.  Opinions expressed by our members are opinions and should not be used as therapy or medical advice.  Always see guidance from your doctor or therapist before proceeding with any treatment or procedure. 

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