I MADE IT ….. a NEW BLOG Site . . . .

Please join me in celebrating my move …. AND with a NEW website ADDRESS.

NOTE:  I had planned to KEEP the old address, but was advised (due to “branding”) that it was best to change it …..

THEREFORE, please join me at www.CounselingOnAShoestring.net

1welcome www

Now for Computer Lesson 101:

It has been brought to my attention that some of my “Senior Readers” (smile) do not know how to get to “the blog” . . . your options follow:

  1. Click on the graphic above (with the World and www . . . ) OR click on my underlined website address above OR
  2. GO to the VERY TOP of your Google screen and type in either www.counselingonashoestring.net   -or-   counselingonashoestring.net  OR
  3. Don’t tell anyone; however, the following addresses will ALSO work . . . www.counselingonashoestring.com   -or-    counselingonashoestring.com
  4. Now if you get emails from me (even on you CELL PHONE or TABLET), you JUST LINK (click on) from the email (this time I “think” I even gave instructions as to where to CLICK).
  5. Now, concerning WHAT IS A BLOG?   Definition borrowed from … http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blog
    blog [blawg, blog]
     1.  a website containing a writer's or group of writers' own experiences,observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.
     2.  a single entry or post on such a website:
     She regularly contributes a blog to the magazine's website.
    verb (used without object), blogged, blogging.
     3.  to maintain or add new entries to a blog.
     verb (used with object), blogged, blogging.
     4.  to express or write about on a blog:
     She’s been blogging her "accomplishments" for almost a year.

NOTE:  I have been advised to limit my “word count”; however, I have decided that the MAIN REASON for my new Blogging-Career is because I want freedom from censorship and control . . . therefore, because I have LOTS to say, I intend to say it “my way” . . . after-all, YOU have Reader-Power — feel FREE to stop reading when you are tired — however, I Do Hope You Return (once rested-smile) . . .

’cause …. we need to tie together! …. ’cause …. souls need support!

ALSO, BEFORE you leap over to my NEW and IMPROVED site, please finish reading this one–this site has my blogging-roots!  :-)


P.S.  If you ain’t having a good time …. at least one of us is!  xoxoxo

cropped-logo1-blog-png-with-copyrite1.pngNEW Website/BLOG … CounselingOnAShoestring.net


 Janis Small Omide, Blogging-Counselor ♥

Thanks for stopping by, thanks for letting me share—let’s keep in touch!

I’m still improving …..


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I’m still working to enhance my BLOG . . . to be the way I WANT IT!


This time it is NOT moving (will keep the same address);

but Counseling-on-a-Shoestring is changing THEMES.

Please be patient with me.

I too would rather be blogging (writing) & posting (submitting) exciting material . . . AND will once the “technical” stuff get fixed.

Believe me, it will be worth the wait.

under construction


New postings will be up by

Aug 24th … and then weekly!lace3


P.S.  Meanwhile, please re-read (or actually read–smile) my previous postings . . .  AND add comments!



When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. -Benjamin Franklin

Thanks for stopping by, thanks for letting me share—let’s keep in touch!



Ok …. Welcome to my new blog-home … hope you like it … I’m settling in (smile).

Well, let me pick up where we left off . . . once upon a time I promised to explain the meaning of RECOVERY as it relates to addiction.

But first, let us see how it relates to common English.  At 56-years-old, I still refer to good-ol’ Merriam-Webster for my first choice of definitions:

websters  recoverynoun re·cov·ery \ri-ˈkə-və-rē, -ˈkəv-rē\

: the act or process of becoming healthy after an illness or injury : the act or process of recovering

: the act or process of returning to a normal state after a period of difficulty

: the return of something that has been lost, stolen, etc.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦  ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦  ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Now, believe it or not, our taxpayer-dollars actually pay folks to sit at tables to come up with common definitions for words.

And in this case, it is a good use of tax-dollars because the word defined is – RECOVERY.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.


posted an article, “Definition of Recovery”, where various definitions of RECOVERY were published:


FIRST:  SAMHSA posted their Working Definition of Recovery:

“Recovery is a process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential.”samhsa



SECOND: In November 2014, the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute posted its definition of recovery: alcohol research group

“. . . Alcoholics who no longer drink, and are trying to pursue an improved way of living/being, say that they are ‘in recovery.'”

lace1betty ford

THIRD:  Then in 2007, the Betty Ford Institute created a Consensus Panel to define Recovery–their definition follows:

“Recovery from substance dependence is a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health, and citizenship.”

lace1Now, the definition I use with my clients comes from a person “in recovery”, an ex-offender and a nationally recognized correctional training specialist, Ned Rollo.  In his book,  MAN, I NEED A JOB! he defines RECOVERY as:

ned rollo book“Nothing is more important than our recovery and the growth that follows healing.  This includes recovery from addictions, depression, anger, fear, bad relationships, isolation, and false expectations of ourselves and the world.

Never forget that our recovery is the key to a positive future.  And if you wonder what recovery is, think of it as achieving balance and harmony in the way you think, act and relate to the world around you.  By working to balance all the different parts of ourselves and our lives, we will find everything is richer and far more meaningful.”

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦  ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦  ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

So, basically they are all saying the same thing–with different slants.

I just wanted us (my readers and myself) to have a general definition of RECOVERY so that we can be “roughly” on-the-same-page when this blog refers to recovery, and those who are in it.


And of course, we wouldn’t be complete without Buddy Roy’s very own answer to the question.  Roy, “What does Recovery mean to you?”

“A healthy way to deal with life without using substances to try to escape life.”  Even Roy couldn’t find humor in a word as serious as RECOVERY.


STAY-TUNED:  Within the last week I’ve stumbled across some GREAT topics for future postings  ~  So, tighten your laces . . . check out the topics to come:

  • What are Oxford Houses?
  • The Legalization of Marijuana in Washington, DC . . .
  • How to address a co-worker who is drinking on the job?
  • How to help a friend who has relapsed (on crack and/or chemicals as severe)?
  • How to become a Substance Abuse Counselor?
  • And more …….



The goal of spiritual practice is full recovery, and the only thing you need to recover from is a fractured sense of self.   

♦♦♦ by Marianne Williamsonspiritual teacher, author and lecturer ♦♦♦


Thanks for stopping by, thanks for letting me share—let’s keep in touch!

Stay Tuned . . . (This was the LAST posting on the OLD SITE) . . .

I hope that someone is reading this other than me (smile).

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Today, July 18, 2015, family, friends and I are honoring my mother’s 92nd birthday!

Therefore, I’m going to have a blog-entry-delay (smile) . . .
Additionally, I am working on a New Counseling on a Shoestring Blog Theme . . . which is exciting, stressful, time-consuming and worthwhile (I hope).
 . . . There is SO MUCH behind-the-scenes to getting the blog to look and do what I want (this reminds me of the joke:  How many counselors does it take to change a light bulb? …. ANSWER:  None, the light bulb has got to want to change — haa haaa haaaa!).
I do digress well (smile) . . .
Anyway, you will be getting an email in a couple of days–announcing a “new” posting …. and an email in a few weeks announcing a total BLOG FACE-LIFT (with a new address as well).
My blog will be as major of a change as Bruce to Caitlyn Jenner!
 So, please be patient with me … Rome wasn’t built in a day … and I’m ready to Roam
Thanks for stopping by, thanks for letting me share—let’s keep in touch!

“Those People”

Welcome Back! . . . July 11, 2015

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. . .  and thanks for all of the positive feedback and support of my blog—I hope to keep you engaged.  (I’m under 500 word-count this time ~smile ).


People say to me, “You work with ‘those people’?” …

And I rebuttal, “no, YOU work with ‘those people’”.

You’re in the community—where the alcoholics and drug addicts run riot!

Have you noticed the amount of beer and wine sold in stores these days? . . .

And let’s not even mention prescription drug use—with the “ask your doctor ads”; a drug store (or two) on every corner, pharmacies in grocery and department stores, and check out the impact of online pharmacies —whew! ….


Au contraire, I’m working with people who are in recovery (for whatever reason: legal, financial, professional, medical, relational, and sometimes even personal–smile).

As a substance abuse counselor, I work with people who have a chance to make a positive life change.  One of my favorite recover slogans is:



Note that the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use reports that 76 percent of all binge and heavy drinkers are employed.  And over half of the adults aged 18 or older with substance dependence or abuse were employed full time in 2013.

To read more from the 184-page report (a survey of the primary source of information on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the United States aged 12 years old or older), click here:  The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Or, to learn about Nationwide Trends on drug use (a 4-page pdf file), go to DRUG FACTS: Nationwide Trends



This week I asked my buddy Roy, “How does bringing the confederate flag down in South Carolina relate to recovery?”  . . . Roy replied, “Better late than never!”

STAY-TUNED:  I realize that I keep using the word RECOVERY–yet, some don’t know what it means.  Tune-in next week!  ~ Tighten your laces . . . (smile) ~



When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

Quote by:  Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D.—an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development.

To view Wayne Dyer on YouTube doing a 3-minute speech of this topic, go to: https://youtu.be/urQPraeeY0w

Thanks for stopping by, thanks for letting me share—let’s keep in touch!

Welcome to my 1st Posting ~ Free to Blog, 4th of July!

I have been waiting to exhale–and now I can . . .

Illustration by Ronald Slabbers
Illustration by Ronald Slabbers


Over the years I’ve written for small papers, editorials, “other’s blogs”, and personal expression.  As a result, I experienced tight constraints, impossible deadlines, projects fold, poor editing, and lack of motivation.  I had to be certain to be “politically correct” —‘cause wouldn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings (really?)!  I had to be certain to stick to “assigned topic”; otherwise, I’d get canned (smile).

In other words, I always felt “censored” while writing—not to mention the number of editorials that were never printed—my voice, “they” did not want heard.  And then along came BLOG (smile)!


I’m now a member of the BLOGOSPHERE (blog stratosphereJ)—and I’m ready to be heard—at 56-years-proud, I’ve lots to share, lots to say.

Initially, the goal of this blog was to provide support to substance abuse counselors who are working with agencies with zero-budgets (as I’ve done for many, many years)—thus, “counseling on-a-shoestring”.  $$

I wanted to not only give fellow counselors moral support to not give-up, but also hands-on tools that were shared with me—tools that WORK.  I primarily know I have “working tools” as a result of repeated feedback from clients of varied races, gender, economic backgrounds, faith, professions, etc.

You see, one thing about addiction, and recovery, is that we are more alike than we are different.


Does that mean that I ignore cultural diversity?  NO! . . . on the contrary; I, and those I work with, CELEBRATE differences while embracing similarities.

When addressing the big “D” word of addiction—Denial, I often suggest that clients “compare themselves in, rather than compare themselves out”.

During the creative-time of my blog-development, I had an epiphany when I was about to give the heading a subtitle to address alcoholism and drug addiction.  I said to myself, “Wait, Self (smile), ALL counselors can benefit from your professional experience—after all, some type of addiction is frequently at the core of many issues—often masked as ‘anger’, ADD, depression, anxiety, etc.  In fact, perhaps many medical doctors and psychiatrists would be less likely to prescribe medications if they better understood (or cared about chemical addiction).”


I remember when drug and alcohol counseling was considered a “field” and not a profession.  I was very fortunate in being trained by the “old school” counselors in recovery (and for some I use that term loosely –smile), as well as, experienced professionals and scholars.

I’ve experienced what most don’t.  I’ve seen addiction first hand from my family and friends; I’ve seen it glorified when I worked in corporate America for ten years; I see it repeatedly play-out in the media; and having been a substance abuse counselor for over 20-years, I’ve directly witnessed the damaging affects addiction has on individuals and families.


For sure, alcohol and other drug addiction (misuse, abuse, dependency—whatever we choose to title it) is the most non-discriminating, equal opportunity thing in the world!

It doesn’t care about economic-group, age, race, religion, gender, intellect, occupation, education, zip code, family-of-origin, title, weight, talent, looks, popularity, fame, etc.—it destroys ALL equally.


And then there is RECOVERY . . . which is just as non-discriminating —PEOPLE DO RECOVER!  . . . and my passion comes from having witnessed thousands of people (and their families) recover from the destruction of addiction.

My goal for this BLOG is to share with fellow counselors many of my “tricks of the trade” that clients have repeatedly said helped them, as well as, provide valuable information for anyone interested in recovery.


Counseling on a Shoestring is my way of helping to motivate kind-natured therapists who are about at the point of burn-out (or in the words of one of my best buddies, and fellow counselor, Roy, “you is burnt-up”) because of an insurmountable task to perform with little to no funding.

Another frequent quote from Buddy Roy is:   “We live in the biggest state in America, the ‘State of Denial’.”   Note: I will quote Roy throughout my blog-life, he is a cross between Mark Twain and Richard Pryor—so I’ll be sharing my Roy-moments in future blogs (smile).

Well, my blog-training-manual suggest no more than 300-words per posting … I’m over 700 … obviously, I’ve an extra-long shoestring (smile).


Thanks for stopping by—let’s keep in touch!

. . . and I intend to always end with a Recovery  Quote:

“As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well.” Basic Text, p. 57


NOTE:  This posting was originally posted on my FIRST blog site…I moved it here in order to keep all of my writing together.