Description 1) Esweni Ikein Abstinence Experience Reflection For the experience with abstinence, I chose to abstain from caffeine. There was no positive or negative effect on the family that I live with, family, friends, or others close to me. My overall progress was a success. I did not have relapses even though I wanted the caffeine. However, I worked through it and had discipline enough to stay away from it. Therefore, I could abstain from caffeine because I would tell myself, “I do not need it” and find alternative ways to eliminate the intrusive thoughts of having it. What Changed or Did Not Change in My Addiction Counseling Perspective. From week 1 – week 10, we learned the different components of Addiction Counseling. What changed in terms of perspective about addiction counseling is the information that I learned. I learned there is more to a diagnosis, and you must rule out the possibilities and things that do not make sense. Internal influences and external influences The internal influences that may have affected my success in abstaining from caffeine are my age (early 30s) and maybe my personality. I have an “all or nothing” mentality, so very black and white sometimes. So, abstaining from caffeine means doing it all the way or not. External influences are the cultural aspect. I see Starbucks and Dunkin Doughnuts; it is hard not to want a coffee, but then I look at the price, which deters me and motivates me to not think about it or want it. Working with clients with addiction disorders or those who do not. I believe addiction is not a choice but more like an involuntary bad habit. I do not think a person with an addiction voluntarily chooses to harm themselves or others by their actions. Based on the etiology that addiction is a choice and this abstinence experience, I think many factors play a role in addiction. Whether I intend to go into addiction counseling, the most important issue I could advocate for to affect positive social change in this field is better resources with fewer stigmas and disparities. There will always be someone who does not treat you how you should be treated, and you end up being another statistic. To combat that being a counselor who looks at the person as someone needing help and support goes a long way. My biggest takeaway from this course is to look beyond the addiction and look for the signs for help. 2) Maisa Danno Abstinence Experience Reflection I chose to give up carbohydrates and sugar for this assignment. I thought I would love to lose some weight, and the abstinence assignment gave me the push I needed. I had tried in the past to provide carbohydrates and sugar to lose some weight, but I failed. This time I tried the ketogenic diet, which was easy to follow, mainly since I used to limit my carbs. I was able to follow my diet for about a month and a half, but then it started getting complicated. I started craving bread, pasta, and rice, so I started stressing about not eating what I liked. I was still eating a lot of things that were delicious and nutritious, but I was unhappy. I wanted to eat what my family ate, I tried to enjoy what they did, but I couldn’t. In the first month, I lost 7 pounds, which excited me, so I kept going. In the second month, I lost four more pounds, so I decided to cheat and have chips once with friends. My family was supportive and helped me choose snacks and plan our dinner so I didn’t feel left out. They also started trying some of the meals and condiments I was eating. Internal influences I feel that the extra pounds I gained were the results of having children, working, and going to school simultaneously. I had close to zero time for myself. I used to work out on weekends, but only on weekends when I had no assignments. In other words, I was on the back burner. I always ate healthy food with an occasional treat, but the pounds started to add up when I exercised. Reflecting on myself and my body, I realized I needed to start making something. I needed to lose the weight I hate and feel beautiful again, so I thought keto would be my most straightforward option. I had found success with this diet because I was consistent and saw results, but I gained some weight back once I cheated. My consistency has to do with my responsibility and age. However, my cheat day was because of weakness. External influences I had some comments here and there about my extra weight from my mother, family, and friends. Also, my culture always exult the thin and healthy more than the choppy and round. We are working with clients with addiction disorders or those who do not. This experience has taught me how hard it is for an addict to overcome addiction. Eating bread every day was the norm until I tried to stop. I saw myself looking for substitutes and ways to satisfy my cravings and unwanted feelings. Now, I can relate to others on a deeper level. I know I will not tell someone to try harder or don’t think about it because the more I tried not to think of bread a pasta, the more I craved them.
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