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

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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)!

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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.

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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).”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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

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

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Janis Omide

Janis Small Omide, MS, CSAC is a certified substance abuse counselor with a M.S. Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling for Addictions. With over 20 years in the profession, her past experience includes extensive work with individuals involved in the criminal justice system, as well as, impaired healthcare professionals. She shares the vision of the late Father Joseph C. Martin who celebrated a career in which his goal was “to ease the suffering of individuals and families, around the world, affected by addiction”.

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