Category Archives: Psychology

Love, Happiness, Safety

Have you ever thought about why we do what we do? Have you ever looked at someone and wondered “Why on earth would you do that”? This includes the people walking through hip deep water from the storm Katrina with a 54” TV, the person that split their tongue in two and has implanted horns, and the person tailgating you going 80 on the highway. Why are they doing what they are doing? Well, the answer is they are trying to find love, safety, or happiness.

“But that doesn’t make sense!” I hear you exclaim. How does a person taking a TV with them while evacuating from the flooding from a storm help them find any of those three? I didn’t say it made sense. In that moment, their brain is telling them that they need that TV to live and to find safety. Sometimes the panic brain doesn’t make sense. And yet they are still trying to find safety. And the person tailgating believes that if they get where they are going they will be happy. And the person that uses body modification to express themselves is working to find love in a way that works for them.

Our base motivations are usually pretty simple. Why do people lie, cheat and steal? They believe that they can find happiness or safety in money or things. I worked with someone that was horrible to all of the employees. The ideas he came up with were ridiculous, and he always had a frantic energy about him. We all disliked him greatly. We found out that he had a brain tumor and he was desperate to keep the job so that he could earn as much money as he could for his wife and children after he died. The ridiculous ideas were his attempt to keep from being fired like the last three people that had had the job before him. He was trying to find safety.

When we start to see people through the lense of attempts to find love, safety, and happiness then we can start to find understanding and even some empathy in their craziness. The behaviors may not be conducive to getting what they want, and in fact they may in all actuality be accomplishing the opposite. And yet, even in our worst moments and cruelest behaviors we are working to accomplish love, safety, or happiness.

Often the things that drive us the most insane are when someone we care for goes about trying to find love in a way that drives us further away. In that case, it can often be helpful to let them know what they can do to get your affection. Letting them know (kindly!) how they can change their behavior to get your love, kindness or affection gives helpful and constructive feedback. It actually helps both people feel less powerless, and often more connected.

As a professional I have done things for money that I probably shouldn’t have, taken client’s that could have been served better by others with more training, or taken too many clients in a day just because I wanted to maintain my feelings of safety. I have driven faster than I should have to get home and be happy. I have made choices that have hurt people to make myself happy. I think we all have. Then there are the times that people’s attempts to find happiness or safety actually compromise your safety. People that are happy to lie, cheat, and steal in an effort to provide safety for themselves or their family. I can understand their motivations. If I lived in Russia and the safest way to keep my family fed was to hack people’s accounts and steal from them, if I were desperate enough I would probably do it. I don’t have to understand, like, or agree with their behaviors. I may need to keep myself safe from them though. I need to set boundaries, I need to maintain my own safety. I need to watch to whom I give my money, time, and love. Unhealthy people are looking for the same things, and will find unhealthy ways to get love, safety, and happiness. I can have compassion without making myself a victim.

I had a conversation with a client today about their path. They are in a place on Maslow’s hierarchy where they are able to start thinking about the more esoteric path they want to be on instead of just working to make sure they don’t lose the basic needs for safety of food and shelter. The path that looks at how he wants to feel about himself at the end of the day, about how he wants to go about getting love and happiness. Like me, he wants to know that he is healthy in finding love and happiness, and he doesn’t do at the expense of others. We all want the same things. The difference is how we go about getting those wants met. I also want to be able to find compassion for those that meet their needs and wants for love, safety, and happiness differently than I do, even if I need to protect myself from them. Underneath we aren’t that different.

It’s time to play!

“The opposite of play is not work, it’s depression.” Brian Sutton-Smith

There are millions of toys for kids to play with. Kids are kind of like cats, and even without toys, they can make something to play with. We know that animals learn how to be adults through play (there is a video of an adult lion faking injury when bitten by a kit. This is play for both the adult and the kit). We watch adults in most animals play if give the chance. For some reason though, we think that once we leave childhood we are no longer allowed to play.

What we have learned is that play is as important for adults as it is for children. It helps mental acuity, it helps with connections and intimacy, and it helps manage depression. Play is time spent with little purpose other than fun. It is part of why Pokemon-go has helped so much. It is play. Hobbies, board games, and playful teasing. It eases stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as increases bonds among friends and partnerships.

Take time each day to find time to play. Don’t ever let yourself think that you are too old to play. Don’t let others tell you that you need to grow up when you play. I will play until the day I keel over. I encourage you to do the same.

A Can Do Attitude

When running a marathon there is an event called “hitting the wall”. It is a place in the race when you’ve run about 18 of the 26 miles and you’re exhausted. You hurt. You’ve run so far, and yet you still have another 8 miles to go. You start to wonder if you can keep running. While many of you have not run a marathon, you have had a difficult task that took physical or emotional effort to complete. You have had something that you made it ¾ of the way through and you’ve hit the wall I speak of. The place where the physical or emotional strain of the goal made finishing seem huge, and almost impossible. The words “I can’t” went through your mind.

It happens to all of us. Every single person out there has hit this wall, some have bounced off, some have broken through, some went around, and some went home. What is different about the people that bust through or find a way to continue when the going gets rough, and the people that stop or run away?

A willingness to be uncomfortable.

People that go further than the first couple of belts in Martial Arts have a strong understanding of this concept. There comes a point in the process where stuff just hurts. Your knees, your hips, your nose after someone kicked you in the face, something just hurts. There are days when there are bruises on your bruises. Your ego especially is bruised, over and over again. Any physical sport has this. This concept is easy to explain to people in sports, in construction, in any physical hobby or employment. It is easy to understand the concept of pushing through physical discomfort.

You actually know very well how to deal with being uncomfortable. You’ve gone to work when you were sick and pushed through. Being able to push through discomfort comes from knowing you can make it through to the other side and it will get better. You will finish the race. You won’t stay sick forever. You won’t hurt forever, and there will be some kind of reward or relief on the other side. It comes from knowing that even though it hurts right now, it will be better.

It also comes from knowing there is no other choice. In 2010 I did a 60 mile trek to Mt. Everest Base camp. It took 14 days, 9 days there and 5 days back. There would be days where I was tired, hurting, sick, and wanted to stop. My choices were: stop and sit on the side of the mountain; or keep going until I hit the Tea-House we were staying at. Can you guess what I picked? You’ve also had these moments, that didn’t feel as though they were moments. The place where your choice was to power through or to stop, and you think “but I had no choice”. You did. You had a choice to give up and stop, and you didn’t.

When we think of a “can do” attitude we think of chipper and annoying. We don’t think of just moving through an experience that is miserable and horrible, knowing that you can make it through to the other side. A “can do” attitude is hitting the most difficult moment, and thinking “I can do this”. It’s easy to say “I’ve got this” when the experience is easy or moderate. When you’re in the crucible and fire is all around you, “I’ve got this” is more difficult. At the same time, you have successfully moved through every single experience in your life up to date.

I can do this. There are moments in everyone’s life when they are thinking the exact opposite. There will be those that push through the fear through to the other side. It may take a moment or it may take a year. There are those that fear the wall so much that they don’t even start. There will be a moment when you are faced with a choice. Do I give up, or keep going. A can do attitude is knowing that you can do it. No matter how scary, difficult, or hard it is.



Rewards and punishment part 1

We always have things we want from other people or animals.  The best way to get someone to change their behavior or give us what we want is to give them something nice when they do what you want.  We all have heard “You get more flies with honey than with vinegar”, and that is very true with people.   Rewards are much more successful at changing a behavior than punishment is.

Very basic positive reinforcement is about catching the behavior you want and giving a reward of some kind; attention, food, objects, when it is done.  Positive reinforcement is about specificity and timing. I have to make sure my rewards are actually rewarding, and I have to make sure it really is a good time to train. This means knowing your trainee, if your girlfriend doesn’t like jewelry, then buying her a braclet when she doesn’t what you want won’t mean much because it doesn’t give her the brain “zing” that makes her want to do the behavior again. If you’re in the middle of a stressful time, it may not be the best idea to train your partner to give you more massages (or even to do the dishes). The training is about catching the behavior when it happens and rewarding it. Not 30 seconds later, not the next day, but when it happens.


When teaching a dog to sit he gets a reward every time his but hits the floor. This is when things get tricky, I have to make sure the bottom actually hits the floor, because in the case of my dog it will sit about three inches above the floor, and that isn’t want I want.  I can’t wait for 30 seconds after it hits the floor because by then he has moved on and won’t understand what it is getting rewarded for.  I need to be specific in my goals and my rewards.  If I don’t catch the sitting or I punish it, I will confuse the dog and set myself back.  The thing to remember about training is if the trainee isn’t getting trained it is the trainer’s fault, not the trainee.  If my dog isn’t learning what I want it to learn, it is because I am not teaching correctly, not because the dog is bad. I’m not catching the behavior correctly, I’m not using something that the dog finds rewarding, I’m training at a bad time, whatever.

When you have a large goal it is often best to use shaping.  Shaping is reinforcing behaviors that move your dog, cat, or person closer to doing what you want through the concept of “successive approximations”.  This comes when you have a large goal you are trying to work toward, and you break it down to smaller goals and using positive reinforcement to reward each lesser goal when it is met.  Think of the game “Hot and Cold”.  The “hot” is the reward, letting your subject know when he is moving in the right direction.  The “Cold” the equivalent of “whoops!, nope that isn’t what I want, try again!”.  The “Cold” is not punishment, but giving the message in neither a positive or negative manner that isn’t what I want.   For example:  Teaching my dog the “beg” command (sitting back on his haunches with his front paws in the air).  Because he is a lab and bigger dogs don’t do this easily, I had to start small.  In the very beginning I would reward him every time he lifted both of his paws off the ground.  Then as he became more comfortable with that level he had to lift his paws higher and higher to get the reward.  If at any point he hit the ultimate goal or begging I would “jackpot” him, and make the reward large to know that he did something I liked.  As he moved forward to the goal he stopped getting rewarded for doing the lesser goals. If he missed the goal he would hear me say “whoops!” as a marker that he didn’t do what I want, without punishing him.


The above example can be used for potty training a dog, potty training a kid, or ever training your partner to give you massages more often. For example;  If your goal is to get your partner to give you more back-rubs, When your partner puts his hand on your shoulder or on your back you can smile at him, say “It feels good when you touch me”, etc. Once he realizes (consciously or not) that you’re nicer to him when he touches your back, he will touch your back more. Then you let go of the reward until he is actually lightly rubbing your back. Once he does that more often, you let go of the reward until he massages with pressure.   When you have him rubbing your back regularly, always reply with at least a “thank you” or “I really enjoyed that” as a small reward, and at times give a bigger reward to keep the motivation up.

The key is using the reward consistently at the beginning until the behavior is understood. Until it is understood that a reward is possible either the task isn’t understood, or it is undesirable enough that it is avoided. After the task is understood, or trained enough you can slowly remove the reward, randomizing when it is given. The use of random rewards (never knowing when a reward is going to be given) is the single best way to encourage a behavior.   This is why gambling is so addictive.  It uses a reward or the possibility of a reward and randomly gives smaller rewards to encourage us to work harder for a big one.  Once it is understood that a reward is possible often the trainee will work twice as hard for the reward.

Don’t ever remove the reward completely or you will extinct (allow the behavior to die) what you just “trained”.  When training something like cleaning of rooms for children (when it is a new expectation), start with them something small, such as putting laundry in the bin.  Every time they do so, they get a reward.  As they move forward toward keeping a cleaner room, start only rewarding for doing most, then all of what you expect.  At this stage it is important to avoid using punishment as much as you can, as it will set your progress back.

The use of food as a reward should be used sparingly, as well as physical rewards. The reason for this is simple; especially with children the use of food or objects as a reward externalizes the reward system so that kids loose the ability to find intrinsic rewards through success, as well as the possibility that food rewards can be a cause of obesity. Verbal rewards actually still release the “happy” chemicals in the brain the same as money  or food can, and teaches that rewards don’t have to be physical (today it seems that the younger generations are only in something for what they can get out of it, they don’t care for the accomplishment. I personally find this rather annoying).


You can also use rewards and punishment to train yourself. I personally hate unloading the dishwasher. If I get a small reward after I do it, maybe just a small piece of chocolate, I will be more willing to do something I don’t like to do because I enjoy the reward. There is an alarm clock that will take $10 out of your account and give it to a fund that you hate every time you hit snooze. If you’re a Democrat, think of giving $10 to the Repulican National Party or the Coch brothers every time you hit snooze. Talk about a punishment.    Giving yourself little rewards of a small (you did catch the word small, right? Not 30 minutes) abreak on FaceBook, or a small piece of chocolate or a nice massage when you reach a goal then you get the “zing” and will want to meet the goal again.

Parents argue that they don’t want to give rewards for behaviors that a kid should be doing anyway.  There are two parts to the response to this.  First; they aren’t doing it in the first place and punishment is used to teach people to avoid something, and thus is not good when you want to teach them to do something.  Second; We as adults get rewarded for doing what is expected all the time in the form of a paycheck.  It is an expected reward, but a reward none-the-less.   Final rewards once a behavior is learned can be in the form of an allowance, thus “payment” for work completed.  When teaching something that isn’t being done already, if you want it to work you need to use rewards, plain and simple.

As working through the “training” of your partner, child, employee or dog remember: patience is key.  In the above example of teaching my dog to “beg” it took about three months to get the complete behavior.  It was incredibly important to “catch” the behavior I wanted and reward it, even when I wasn’t specifically asking for it.  If I missed him offering the behavior it confused him as to what I wanted and he would take longer to learn.  In the example of teaching a child to clean his room, if he at any time he picks up his plate after dinner, picks up his room, cleans more than you expect make sure to “catch” him and reward the behavior.  Believe me, he will notice if you don’t and begin to wonder why he should bother.  This is not an easy fix, or a quick process but if you stick with it you will find that results last longer and you will overall be happier with yourself and your child, dog, partner etc.

What would you do?

I look back historically at some of the best and the worst of humanity, and I wonder what role I would play. Would I step out of comfort and risk myself for others, or would I watch from the comfort of my life as others suffer? Would I actively hurt other human beings in order to curry my own favor as some French and Germans in WW2 did by turning in their Jewish friends and neighbors?

I would like to think I would stand up and protect my fellow humans. I would like to think I would put myself out there and stand up for humanity. What about you? Where do you think you would stand up for inequity and suffering caused by fellow man, where would you find fear and run, and at what point would you actively participate?

I hear you thinking; “Not me, I could never!” History has proven you wrong. We are capable of some of the greatest acts of kindness and love and decency. And we are capable of some of the basest most inhumane acts. In the Milgram Experiment we studied how far a person would go; violating their own personal ethics, values and morals if an authority figure told them to. The answer was that we would go pretty far. In the Stanford Prison Experiment mentally and emotionally healthy students were taken and divided in to groups of guards and prisoners. The outcome was so unexpected and drastic they had to cease the experiment only a couple of days as it was found exactly how far people were willing to go under certain circumstances, especially under the group mentality.

If I had been a soldier at Abu Ghraib (article and pictures may be disturbing and contain nudity) would I have stood up to my fellow soldiers, risking emotional and physical abuse from fellow soldiers; would I have watched but not participated; or would I have joined in. Would I have participated unwillingly just to avoid not fitting in, or would I have jumped on the bandwagon. I know what I would like to believe I would do, which is stand up to the others.

All around us there are little moments and sometimes big moments when we have the chance to go against the stream to do what is right.  In France and Germany in WW2 people risked their lives and hid others in their homes and formed underground rescues to save complete strangers.  In the Milgram experiment some of the subjects stood up to the testors and said no, I won’t hurt someone.  We are capable of great acts in times of stress.  We need to remember to stay true to our values even when the situation makes it difficult.  It takes true courage to stand in the fact of what is popular or powerful to do what is right.  I know what I want to do in these situations, what would you do

Harriet Beecher Stowe
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
in response to Uncle Tom’s Cabin

She told the story, and the whole world wept
At wrongs and cruelties it had not known
But for this fearless woman’s voice alone.
She spoke to consciences that long had slept:
Her message, Freedom’s clear reveille, swept
From heedless hovel to complacent throne.
Command and prophecy were in the tone,
And from its sheath the sword of justice leapt.
Around two peoples swelled a fiery wave,
But both came forth transfigured from the flame.
Blest be the hand that dared be strong to save,
And blest be she who in our weakness came–
Prophet and priestess!
At one stroke she gave
A race to freedom, and herself to fame.



When is it time to get help?

It can be very obvious that we are in over our heads in
different parts of our life.  When
we have a flat tire, when our plumbing needs fixed, when the shingles are torn
off our roof; it is pretty obvious that we need a little help from a
professional.   It isn’t as
obvious is when it comes to our hearts. 
Often life has become almost unbearable by the time someone decides to
look me up to talk about therapy.  For
some it is because there is a stigma attached to seeing a therapist, and for
some it is just ignoring the self, thinking that there isn’t time, there are
other things that are more important, or it will just work itself out.  The truth is that sometimes having
someone there even just to listen, someone who won’t judge, can help a
situation seem a little less desperate. 


So how do you know that it is time to take the step of
finding someone to talk to?  Easy
signs and symptoms are eating too much or too little, or drinking too
much.  Our enjoyment or use of food
is generally a good weather vein to our mental health.  We often resort to food for comfort or
to distract.  When you find
yourself stress eating, stress drinking, or not eating enough it is time to
find someone to talk to. 


Another sign is when you feel as though you don’t have
anyone to speak to, feel as though you are all alone in the world even then
you’re surrounded by people.  A
huge struggle in life is when we feel so overwhelmed by life that we start to
isolate.  At the time we need to
use our supports the most we feel as though we need to turn in and take care of
ourselves.  When it is too
overwhelming to turn to friends, for whatever reason, seeking a profession can
ease the burden and help you not feel as alone. 



It is the natural instinct to turn in and protect the
heart.  The shoulders pull forward,
the neck starts to hurt and we get more headaches in general.  If you notice that you are having more
physical problems, especially headaches and shoulder problems this could be a
sign that you are struggling with stress and could use someone to talk to. 


The best sign is when you start thinking that maybe it’s
time to talk to someone but follow that thought up with an excuse; I’m
embarrassed, it’s too expensive, I don’t have time; it may be time to find
someone to talk to.  If your car
weren’t running right you wouldn’t hesitate to get someone to fix it for
you.  You’d spend the time and
money without hesitation.  You
argue; “But I have to have my car, I can’t function without it” .  What happens when you fail?  What happens when you break down at
work, or with your kids? Your mental and emotional health is just as important
as your car’s health, if not more. 
It is honestly easier to put a car back together when it breaks


Couples are often the worst about waiting until the last
minute to get help.  Generally one
or both sides of the partnership are considering leaving by the time they walk
through my door.  It’s like waiting
until the cancer reaches stage four before seeking treatment.  The likelihood of success is a great
deal less than coming in earlier. 
Relationships are going to have their ups and downs, but a good gage is
the ability to joke and laugh with each other.  A couple of days, maybe a week of not being able to laugh
with each other can be normal. 
More though, and it may be time to talk with someone together.  Another is fighting that leave both of
you feeling empty until things even out again.  Relationships include disagreements, but fights that leave
the couple reeling is a sign that it is time to seek help.   This is especially true when these
fights are fairly frequent.  If you
are fighting weekly, or enough that the good times don’t make up for the
fighting it is time to get some help.


No matter where in life it is needed, it is difficulty to
swallow some pride and admit that it’s time to see outside help. A therapist
can help to see outside the box, often in a way that friends can’t.  A good therapist will help you push
your edges and discover solutions that you couldn’t see before, and parts of
yourself and strength inside of you that you never knew existed.  If you find yourself reading this and
thinking that you have one or more of these signs, don’t wait. 



Sites that help you find a therapist that works with your
insurance in your neighborhood:







What you see is what you get

Everyone has goals, wants, wishes and would likes.  Some of them are unrealistic, such as
wishing to win the lottery or play for the NFL (for most of us anyway).  Many though are closer than people
think they are.  The difficulty is
we see what we believe, and if we believe that our goal is unreachable, we will
only see the things that prove that. 


I was speaking with a client, and I asked what she wanted to
do that she had never tried before. She immediately got a downcast look to her
face and said “Travel, But I could never afford it”.  I asked her if she likes to camp and her face lit up.  I also told her about the travel watch
sites that help find the best air-fares and the sites like that do world wide
travel adventures for fairly decent prices.  She couldn’t see the possibilities in front of her because
she knew that traveling was too


Let’s do this exercise.  Look at the image below and count the number of squares you
see.  Try not the cheat and scroll
down to get the answer before you find as many as you can.



How may squares do you see?


 Were you able to find all of them?  For the final one, your hint is to look outside of the


There are 31 squares. We see
what we are looking for.  There are
16 smaller squares, and one large one, totaling 17.  Each group of four makes a square, each group of nine makes
a square.  There are nine groups of
4, and four groups of 9.  The final
square is the word “square” on top of the grid.  That is the most often missed because we just aren’t looking
for it. 


We would like to believe we
see most of what is in front of us. 
The dificulty is that there is so much out there, we have to filter events
out in order to keep from going insane. 
We start to prioritize the things we see, and don’t realize what we are
filtering.  It means we miss things
that are right in front of us. 


Believing that what we want
is possible is one of the first steps to making our wants come true.   At times that may mean adjusting
our expectations, if you want to travel you may need to admit that being a
first class jet-setter isn’t in the cards yet, but seeing new places can
be.   We see what we expect to
see, and sometimes that makes us limit our own possibilities. 











You’ve got to laugh!

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without
springs.  Jolted by every pebble in the road.  Henry ward Beecher

When was the last time you laughed?  Not just looked at something and smiled, but really laughed?  When was the last time you were able to laugh at yourself?  Life at times is anything but a joke.  It can be cold and dark and miserable.  It makes being able to laugh at the craziness of life even more important.

lick my owner

hes making that face again

cry like a baby



What does “holding space” mean?

I’ve mentioned the concept of holding space a couple of
times recently.  I wanted to go a
little more in depth about the concept of holding space.  Holding space is very simple to
explain, but difficult at times to do. 
Holding space is essentially being present with whatever situation is
happening at the time.  It is
allowing the situation to be, whatever it is, however it is without attempting
to change it.  It is creating and
holding a space for life to be what it is as painful or as beautiful as it is in
that moment. 


It is easy to be present with happy moments.  Sitting in front of a fire with hot
chocolate in a snow storm with slippers on for me creates a warm fuzzy feeling
that I have no problem creating space for and being with.  Hearing my partner and being present
with him when he is saying something nice to or about me and being present with
his thoughts and feelings is easy. 
 Think for a moment the last
difficult thing in your life.  I
think back to the last disagreement I had with my partner.  In the moment of the difficulty the
emotions were strong and painful. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say, and
I didn’t like the emotions I felt.  Creating a space for those emotions and being present for
them was difficult.  I didn’t want
to hold them to me, I wanted to push them as far from me as I possibly could. I
did not want to be present with what he had to say, and I want to push them
away as well.  Had I done that
though, I would have lost something from the moment.  I didn’t want to get lost in the feeling and be carried away
with it, and at the same time I did want to be able to deal with the issue at
hand without running from it. 


Holding space also means being able to be present with all
facets of a situation.  When my
partner tells me something I don’t like and I have strong feelings, I need to
create a space for his feelings and beliefs and thoughts, and be present with
them.  In the moment where the
thoughts and feelings step right up to who I am and challenge me, especially
when I feel invalidated, it is difficult to hold space.  What I want to do is challenge his
belief or feeling and defend myself. 
We then get in to an argument about who’s beliefs and feelings are
right, instead of being able to be present with the possibility that we both
can be right. 


Holding space is facing situations head on.  It isn’t getting lost in our emotions
and letting them run away with us, it is being present with the situation.  It isn’t trying to force the situation
to be something that it isn’t.  It
is being present with the feelings, the person and the ideas that are in the
room with me at the time.  This
week, work to take one thing that is unpleasant for you and hold space with
it.  Create room in your heart and
your head to let it be just what it is, without trying to move or change
it.  After, pay attention to your
heart, and see if holding space for it helped you to tolerate it just a little

What am I willing to do?

Change is not easy.  It does not come without some kind of work and effort.  No matter if the change is losing weight, finding peace out of pain,  or finding sobriety.  There is no quick fix.  There is no diet pill that will create a miracle for you.  Even anti-depressants need help to alleviate depression and anxiety.  The ways that I know to help find peace of mind take dedication and effort, constantly working to focus and redirect the mind from the patterns that it has been stuck in. 

 The desire to change has to be stronger than the desire to stay in comfort zones. Any kind of change, even good change is scary and often uncomfortable.  The question is always “What am I willing to do to make this change happen?”  Am I willing to give up beliefs that I have held my entire life, if they no longer serve me?  Am I willing to change what I eat so I can become healthier?  Am I willing to share my space and my give up a little of what is mine so that I can share my life with a partner?  Am I willing to go through the pain of detox so I can give up my addiction?

 Change requires effort.  I often see people that want their lives to be different, but when it comes to what needs to be done to affect the change, therapy comes to a halt.  Some change is more pleasant than other change, and some change is easier than other.  It always comes down to what I am willing to do to make the change I want happen.

What are you willing to do?