Admitting You Have a Problem Will Be the Best Feeling You’ve Ever Had

You know that feeling you get when you make a good decision? It’s a deeply satisfying thing, isn’t it? And it can sure be elusive – after all, you only ever know a decision was the right one long after you make it. Same thing with bad decisions, for that matter; hindsight is 20/20, after all.

But what if there were decisions you could make that could be guaranteed to have a positive impact on the trajectory of your life?

Well, it would be a lie. Nobody can make such claims. But what I can tell you is that admitting to your personal problems could be one of those decisions. It might not feel like it, and you might not really know right away, but I can personally guarantee that you’ll feel as though a weight has been lifted, and even more importantly, you’ll feel as though you’ve taken control of your life. I can imagine few things in life more rewarding than feeling a degree of balance and control return to your life.

So what kind of stand am I talking about making? Let’s start with the most obvious. The 2012 edition of the Treatment Episode Data Set indicates that some 1.5 million teenagers in America could be considered to have a substance dependency. Just over half of them – about 51.2% – had been referred to some kind of alcohol or drug treatment program by a court.

The thing is, I’m not just talking about chemical dependencies here, although that’s obviously the most well-known sort of addiction. Here are a few others: There’s every reason to think that certain types of video games can be addictive. Sex and porn can be addictive. Even relationships – particularly unhealthy ones – can be addictive.

In case you think I’m speaking hypothetically here, you should know that some of the men in my family have struggled with alcoholism over the years. Too many of them spent too many joyless days by themselves after their closest family members couldn’t be around them any longer. They think of the lost time, lost money, squandered ambition, and missed opportunities over the years, and the regret is sometimes enough to overshadow even the satisfaction of having made a change.

But they did change. Others might make their own personal admission of weakness long before they did, and good on them.

Life is full of temptations. I won’t tell you for a moment that some of them aren’t worth pursuing – responsibly, in moderation, or in the right company – but a great many more will turn your world upside-down and inside-out.

Furthermore, I won’t tell you that there’s an orderly and clearly delineated multi-step program that works for everybody. The Church-sanctioned 12 step program is a great place to start, but like all matters of faith, how you interpret its teachings and put them into action are wholly and decidedly yours.

Know, too, that self-deception is not one of the 12 Steps.

I’m not going to drag this on for much longer. What I’ll leave you with is this: if there was something tugging at your conscience while you read this article, know that it’s probably time to address it. Doing so might be the start of a painful road toward recovery, but the feeling of relief will be an immediate and lasting reward.

Image Credit: Flickr (via Creative Commons)

What’s health care really like in Canada?

This guest post is provided to you by Johnna Cornett, an Our Thoughts reader living in California. If you’d like to be a guest poster on Our Thoughts, email us at ourthoughts@gmail.com.

They’re talking about the Canadian health care system all day long on the radio down here in the United States.

frex: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111084018

I’m hearing great anecdotes, like that one reason Canada works is that it has fewer people than California, and that someone couldn’t get health insurance in California because her injuries treated for free in Canada (hit by a car while she was on her bicycle) were considered a pre-existing condition in the States.

And I find, I’m really no closer to understanding what the Canadian health care system is really like. On one hand, I’m hearing a lot of stories about waiting four months to see a primary care physician, and long waits to have one’s cancer treated, hospital beds in halls, or 19th-century style 20 beds to a room. On the other hand, I’m hearing about the peace of mind of being able to see a doctor whether you’ve changed jobs, to get health care whether or not you have a pre-existing condition. I’m hearing it’s easier to start a business if healthcare is not one of the overheads.

I had a baby when my husband was between jobs. We lost our COBRA coverage though a paperwork error, and then I couldn’t be insured because I was pregnant. Pretty big consequence for paperwork. So I’ve had a baby on a cash basis, knowing I had no way to cover the expenses if my child was born with any complications. I don’t think I really got what it was like to be uninsured until it happened to me. I don’t think I understood the difficulty of getting insurance once you’re in that class of uninsured. And I thought the health insurance paperwork was bad enough when I was family-of-an-employee.

So, you LDS Canadian insiders, what is it really like getting health care in Canada?

Do you have to be clever at navigating bureaucracy to get care? To see a doctor you respect? It’s not atypical here to have to fight the paperwork fight when your insurance decides something wasn’t covered. What’s the analogy there?

And does the Canadian system have challenges when you’re LDS?

Do they give you a hard time about having lots of children? (Actually, that’s happened to me in California.) Do you worry about resources going to abortions? Is care being withheld from the elderly?