This is a guest post by Tracy Winchell sharing the HEART Check Journaling method.
Raising teens and young adults struggling with chemical addiction can be tough.
Lack of sleep.
I’m scared of phone calls at 2am.
I’m wondering if you are helping or hurting the situation.
Struggle with the guilt and shame of your misplaced role in your child’s struggles.
A recent post by Cathy Taughinbaugh offers sage advice for parents during the storm of anxiety, fear and terror.
Do you have any advice for parentsCathy shares three pieces of advice from Dean Dauphinais.
The third point was particularly resonating.
In summary, Mr. Dauphine expressed the importance of – necessity, Really – working on my own recovery.
So many parents and loved ones of people who suffer from addiction do not realize that their own recovery is just as important as their children’s recovery. If you are a physical/emotional wreck, you cannot help your loved ones in a positive way. There are two people, and neither of them are able to help others.
5 minute heart check every day
One of the most important skills I have learned through my recovery is the ability to disentangle my thoughts from my emotions and communicate those thoughts and feelings appropriately to others.
Pro tip: I know when Sharing our thoughts and feelings and keeping our lips tight when we do is an essential skill.Sometimes I want to share my thoughts and feelings with someone who, but no Someone who might be triggering my feelings.
I learned how to untangle my feelings and thoughts and learned how to express those thoughts and feelings more safely. heart check Methods – Journaling Habits I Learned Celebrating the Recovery Beginning the Journey: Growing in Christ While Helping Others – Participant’s Guide Revised 4, By John Baker.
By the way, this method does not depend on recovery.Do recovery in a safe context you. There’s a reason there are so many 12 flavors, right?
Part of the genius behind this method is that it is bookended by community and accountability.
It keeps us from being isolated. This is very dangerous.
The HEART check consists of 5 questions.
- H.bring the action
You need someone you can trust to plan what to do. when:
- worldyou answer yes Up to 3 to 5 questions in one day.
- you answer yes 3 or more questions several days in a row.[/li]
When I first learned to use the HEART Check method, the process went something like this:
- Yes to two questions: Either deep breathing, prayer, calming music, or something positive and upbeat.
- Yes to 3 questions: Add text, accountability groups to the previous step.
- Yes to 4 Questions: Take a Walk and Call Your Sponsor
- Answering yes to three or more questions on several days in a row was a warning sign that your emotional health was headed in the wrong direction.
- Set up a meeting with your sponsor or therapist to try to understand what is causing me externally or internally.[/li]
After doing this exercise 4-5 days a week for about 3 years, I found myself consistently only answering yes to one or two questions once in a while.
Why Heart Check is popular
For me, this system (along with the 12-step process of medication, counseling, and recovery) has helped break the cycle of cortisol overload. Here’s why.
- I was forced to stop and describe how I felt in 5 areas
- I made a commitment to my accountability team to be honest with myself and with them about my feelings.
- I’ve shared the results where appropriate. I felt silly the first few dozen times, but then it was such a relief to know that I didn’t have to bear the burden alone.
- By tracking my reactions, talking about my thoughts and feelings, and recognizing patterns, I was able to understand many of the root causes of my anxiety and eliminate or neutralize them.
- Ultimately, the cortisol levels in my brain are the result of medication and behavioral modifications (think, less sugar, more exercise) and changes in my relationship with the world (I don’t have data to support this, so this Speculation due to lack of supporting data) has begun to normalize. I accept that the world is indifferent to me at best), and my relationship with the Creator (God loves me for who I am)
Ultimately, the cortisol levels in my brain are the result of medication and behavioral modifications (think, less sugar, more exercise) and changes in my relationship with the world (I don’t have data to support this, so this Speculation due to lack of supporting data) has begun to normalize. I accept that the world is indifferent to me at best), and my relationship with my Creator (God loves me).
In my personal experience, trying to deal with fear and anxiety alone can be very dangerous. that’s right What I was doing before using this exercise:
- capture my thoughts
- label your feelings
- act before emotions explode
- Share your thoughts and feelings safely and appropriately
The most liberating part of this process is finally understanding that you didn’t have to navigate your emotions and fears alone.
for several months Before After discovering the Heart Check method, I arranged people to help me, including therapists, psychiatrists, pastors, doctors, and family members.
But while this five-minute daily ritual helped me learn to get out of my head and share the burden, I wasn’t sure how to tap into a support group to help relieve my anxiety.
Full disclosure: this is not mine every day No more journaling habits.
But if you feel your anxiety levels rising, you’ll be able to unpack your thoughts and feelings, articulate the underlying issues to your healthcare team, and develop a plan to correct your body chemistry. Until then, heart checks will be resumed for a few weeks.
Determine what the warning signs are with someone you trust.
Twice a day yes?
Commit to a plan of action that helps calm you down. Talk to a trusted friend or professional counselor who can help you make a plan.
Here are the ideas:
- Take a walk
- deep breath
- call a friend
- puppy and catch ball
- scratch behind the cat’s ears
- playing soft instrumental music
keep it real
Let’s keep it real here – I’ve never been a parent of a teen or young adult in crisis.
I have never worn your shoes.
I cannot imagine the pain and horror of what you are going through.
But Cathy has an amazing network of women and men who have persevered and survived just like you.
A recent blog post that gathers the best advice from experts who have endured, or are trained to weather this storm, tells us that if you take care of yourself, your children will be safe from the other side. It strongly suggests that there will be more opportunities to come out.
The HEART Check exercise is the tool that taught me how to understand how I feel and what I think. Long before he unleashes his uncontrollable rage on strangers and incomprehensible loved ones. TRUE worry.
Try the heart check method
If this is what you’re interested in trying, We’ve created a free guide to help you get started with HEART Check.
If you’d like to talk about journaling or anxiety over the phone (I’m no anxiety expert, but I’d be happy to listen), send me an email.
Remember – and this community won’t let you forget if you hang around long enough – you no Alone in this battle.
May peace be upon you and yours.
– Tracy Winchell
Tracy Winchell helps people navigate change. For the past three years she has lost her job and her close friends. She is the host of her Reboots Podcast. RebootsPodcast.comIn , she interviews people about navigating change. Tracy actively practices her 12 steps to recover from unresolved grief, self-doubt and perfectionism.