Believable Hope: 5 Essential Elements to Beat Any Addictionby Michael Cartwright
Millions of people appear to be living normal lives yet they are secretly numbing their emotional pain with alcohol, drugs, food, and many other lifestyle addictions.See more details below
Millions of people appear to be living normal lives yet they are secretly numbing their emotional pain with alcohol, drugs, food, and many other lifestyle addictions.
There are a lot of books in the self-help genre that you read once, put it down, and don't carry a lot away from. Believeable Hope is not one of those sorts of books. It is a story of a healing journey that invites you along, both to view the success of others, but to spur your own success, and to utilize your failures as motivations for change. There is not a lot of advice offered in this book, which makes it stand out from the crowd. What you do get is practical information and self-assessment tools that guide you to finding your own focus, make plans, act on them, adapting and improving when necessary. I look forward to returning to this book to help myself, as well as my clients in substance abuse treatment.
- Health Communications, Incorporated
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Read an Excerpt
The young man writhed in pain on the floor of the sparse, white hospital room. The walls were melting, caving in on him, moving again in eerie undulating motions, each wave drawing closer to him, causing him to fear that he might be sucked into the plaster at any moment. His brain felt as though it had been immersed in battery acid and now threatened to explode. His skin crawled. A thousand mosquitoes and spiders chewed on his body at the same time. He flinched and jerked uncontrollably. Loud voices from invisible people screamed at him from every angle, the irritating cacophony sounding like fingernails scraping across a chalkboard; other voices whispered heinously behind him at even a moment of quiet respite.
He covered his ears with his hands, but the voices easily penetrated his palms. Indeed, the voices were already in his ears, inside his head, in his heart and soul. They threatened to maim and kill him, and at times, he wished they would.
Drug addiction had been bad enough; alcoholism had wracked his young body as well. But this was different. This was hell. Now the demons attacked his mind with a vengeance. All mental acuity acquiesced to the schizophrenia.
He tried to call out for help, but his parched tongue refused to cooperate. His voice died in his throat. Any sounds that managed to escape his mouth formed no sentences but dissolved into gibberish. Despair flooded over him again as it had so many times during the past several months he'd been in this room. He glanced around in a paranoid frenzy. He knew they'd be coming for him soon. The doctors. The nurses. Psychiatrists examined him daily, peering at him intensely as though he were a wild animal in a zoo. Nurses pumped his body full of drugs that were supposed to ease his anxiety, but none ever did. Instead he simply stared straight ahead, eyes wide open in a catatonic state.
When he calmed down enough to listen, he heard the doctors' and nurses' terse, fearful whispers. 'He will never be well. He is going to be like this for the rest of his life. The best thing we can do for him is to keep him on strong medications. Maybe with some luck and some occupational therapy, he may be able hold down a job someday. Assuming he doesn't kill himself or overdose first.'
A hopeless case.
Written off by the medical and psychiatric community. After all, they had done their best to help him, and their best efforts simply weren't good enough.
He would never amount to anything.
But he did.
How do I know?
Because I am that young man.
My name is Michael Cartwright. Don't tell me that you can't get free of drugs or alcohol or any other addiction, or that you will never be healthy and 'normal' again. I know you can get well. And I will show you how.
A Tool You Can Really Use
Someone you know desperately needs this book.
Do you know a person who is leading an emotionally damaged, pain-filled life, and pretending that he or she chooses to live that way? Do you know someone who is dealing with an addiction or alcoholism, struggling with a weight problem, or trying to overcome some sort of compulsive behavior?
I do. Most of us do. Maybe that person we know . . . is you.
As my Grandma Cartwright used to say, 'Everyone has something. Everyone has some challenge to overcome. It is how we deal with that challenge that determines our future and makes all the difference in our lives.'
Ironically, many people who struggle with addictions or compulsive behavior patterns are not homeless, living on the streets, or sleeping on park benches or in dark alleys. They are your family members, your neighbors, or your friends. They are us. Many people who need profound change in their lives are living in beautiful homes, driving late-model automobiles, wearing stylish clothing, and paying for their kids to go to the best schools. By all external appearances, they seem to be leading the good life. Yet deep inside, they are controlled by compulsions they wish they could overcome. They numb their pain with alcohol, drugs, food, nicotine, excessive shopping, pornography, gambling, hoarding, and a host of other compulsive behaviors. When one method no longer brings the desired euphoria, they desperately seek something else.
The good news is that there is hopebelievable hope, hope that is not a mere pipe dream, but actually leads to positive change. Thousands of women and men are leading active, joyful lives, free from the constraints of their formerly life-controlling behaviors. How did it happen?
They found freedom by improving their mindsets and discovering believable hope.
Whether a person is trying to get off drugs or alcohol, lose weight, overcome a persistent temptation to gamble away his life savings, turn away from pornography, or stop hoarding so much junk she can't find the floor, the key to transformation is to develop a new outlook on life. Indeed, no long-term freedom from compulsive behavior is possible without a change in a person's thinking and attitudes.
I know this truth well. Hooked on drugs and alcohol as a teenager, I landed in a catatonic state as a patient in a psychiatric hospital for five months during my early twenties. Despite rehabilitation programs and counseling, my life continued on a downward spiral until my sweet, loving grandmother hit me between the eyes with the truth. The essential truths she impressed upon me form the foundations of this book.
I'm not naively, pompously, or piously pontificating about 'other people's problems.' I've experienced many of these life-controlling issues as well. I empathize with you. I know how it feels to be addicted or overweight. But I'm not chained to my past anymore, and that's what gives me the confidence to encourage youthat you, too, can be free.
How did I transform my life? I got off drugs and alcohol by establishing a new mindset, fostered by advice from my grandmother and drawn from such classic books as Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking; Psycho-Cybernetics, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz; As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen; Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as 'The Big Book'; and dozens of other spiritually oriented works.
I don't want to toot my own hornwell, maybe just a littlebut it is important that you understand why I am so confident that my approach to overcoming your life challenges will work for you. By changing my mindset, I have not only been able to overcome my addictions, I have become emotionally healthy and happy as well. Once free of my own compulsive behavior, I opened a halfway house for drug- and alcohol-addicted mentally ill victims in one of the most drug-infested neighborhoods in Nashville. At twenty-seven years of age, I established Foundations Associates, and the first of several residential drug and alcohol treatment centers, through which I have helped thousands of other people plagued by compulsive behavior. I pioneered centers in various locations across the United States to address the needs of everyday people as well as high-end, celebrity-type, and executive clients. Today, as chairman of the board of American Addiction Centers, a leader in the addiction treatment community, I have renovated and reopened The Greenhouse, a luxurious, 'classic' spa property in Dallas, as well as the Desert Hope Center in Las Vegas. Additionally, I developed Fit-RX, a residential weight-loss facility and program located in Nashville. To date, thousands of people have completed rehabilitative programs at our treatment centers. Another 20,000 people contact our companies each month seeking information or help in dealing with some life-controlling issue.
Now, with more than twenty years of experience in dealing with addictive behavior in both 'down and outers' and 'up and outers,' I am considered a premier addiction specialist. With my emphasis on dual diagnosistreating addictive behavior along with the accompanying mental/emotional issuesour success rate has been so impressive that I was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate as an expert on substance abuse and mental health matters.
©2012 Michael Cartwright, MA and Ken Abraham. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Believable Hope. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
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