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Celebrities Leading Addiction Transparency

I was asked if the transparency of celebrities who are suffering with addiction has had an impact on the addicted individuals and their families in the way of treatment and moving forward in life. Here are my thoughts.

I have been working with addiction for over 30 years. What I have seen at the core of all people suffering with addiction is the shame and absence of belonging. So, overall, when someone with social popularity openly presents their personal struggle with addiction, recovery and life, it offers them reprieve from shame and the opportunity to see that their sense of not belonging can exist in anyone. With this as a basis to the understanding of this possible phenomenon, let me list several ways the transparency of celebrities may directly affect those suffering from addiction.

Celebrities are diverse in their cultural and social backgrounds. Therefore, they cross the spectrum of people who find themselves trapped by the challenge of addiction. Our celebrities range from actors to musicians to athletes and more. They come from a diverse background of culture, socioeconomic beginnings, family structure, and social acceptance. Children, adolescents and adults can identify with someone who is a celebrity because of this diversity.

Celebrities are leaders. Leaders who are transparent and genuine create forward thinking, confidence, and ownership in others. As leaders, their transparency is clearly helping to create those characteristics in families of addicts and addicts themselves. They are thinking of ways that they can gain healing from the challenge of addiction and they open themselves to possibilities.

Celebrities have family and friends. Their transparency has allowed for people to see how addiction may enter one person but truly affects all of those around them (team, band, family, friends, fans). They realize the whole family or more must join the idea of recovery. For example, a newly recovered person must be supported by friends and not thrown back into the party scene. Celebrities’ lives have shown that level of support and more.

Celebrities represent success and capability. Their transparency offers the acceptance of addiction among the successful. It also offers the person struggling with addiction the opportunity to imagine being successful once they are beyond drugs and alcohol. Further, because they see continued success and likability in the celebrity, they feel a relief from being socially ostracized and judged for being an addict.

Celebrities have life after addiction and through recovery. They are, consequently, helping families see beyond addiction so that addiction doesn’t feel like an end point in life. The reality of life after addiction is critical to the individuals and families of addiction.


Modern-Day Murders: How Can The World Change?

How do we begin to understand the number of massacres this country has endured? I am constantly finding myself in the middle of this question. Here are my thoughts. This is not a political statement or a gun statement. It is a statement of what I see as a line of explanation for the frequency of massacres at this time.

I’m 57. Growing up we did not see mass murders. We would hear of some serial murders but not mass shootings/killings. The weapons that were available back then were not much different than today. In fact, some of the weaponry was the same. Yet, the way people murdered was different. Back then it was one person at a time. Back then we talked a lot about copycat murders. We don’t hear that on the news anymore. I want to talk about the copycat concept together with modern day massacres.


Speak Your Truth Podcast: International Women’s Day

March is Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day, on May 8th, officially commemorates the movement for women’s rights. Join Kristen as she discusses articles from the UN on their plans to and how the #MeToo movement continues the global movement for equality.

Emoji’s Don’t Emote: Texting Away on Valentine’s Day

How are you going to use texting this Valentine’s Day? Will you text your beloved that you love him or her with a heart-based emoticon? Will you send a text to your friends saying “Happy Valentine’s Day” as a meme or gif? Will you try to be the first to say I love you in a text? Pay attention to how you text on this Valentine’s Day.

Too often people are developing and maintaining their relationships through texting or messaging rather than speaking. That may not be the best way to express our love to those who are important in our lives. It is a day to express our love for our friends and our beloved. Just about every one of us will send at least one text to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” or “I love you.” Be conscious of those texts. Ask yourself, “Would I be as comfortable calling this person(s) and saying exactly what is in the text? If the answer is yes, ask if you would be as comfortable saying it to their face, and then if you are you should do so. If the answer is no, honor that fear within yourself.


A Tradition of Giving Children Gifts of Love

As parents and families approach the holidays gifts are fun and yet stressful due to the amount of money most people feel they need to spend. Let’s review some ways you can make your children happy and not create stress or financial worry.

Historically, gifts given during the holidays were in honor of creation in life — whether that is freedom from tyranny, the birth of a master, or the end of the dark and beginning of light. In other words, gifts were an exchange of a spiritual honoring. Each family needs to come back to their religious or spiritual meaning with their children. Spiritually, gifts were useful and promoted the life of those who received them. If parents use that philosophy they can bring the kids to a different mindset about the types of gifts they will receive at this time of year.

American culture is based on spending and uses marketing to the children as a way to coerce families into spending money they may not have. We do not want to transition away from toys completely because they are the gifts that promote the life and creativity of the child. Furthermore, society pushes toys as gifts of expression and, so, the children would have an emotional reaction to the absence of gifts of this nature. I do, however, think by setting a very different stage based on love and growth, children will not compare their gifts to those children who do not have meaningful gifts for the holidays. That awareness must be set into the traditions.


Thanksgiving: Can You Be Thankful for the Good and the Bad?

This is a time of year to be grateful for the freedom that our country offers. This is an American holiday. We, as a people, have the opportunity to make infinite choices and have infinite experiences. It is our free will that opens us to all that this life has to offer. So, how might we expand our gratitude this Thanksgiving?

Each year we are given the opportunity to be thankful for our freedom in life and our freedom to choose. People generally express thanks for their loved ones, their home, their career, their ability to travel, their meals, etc. We tend to think of giving thanks for the “good” things in our life. It is a time to “avoid” the “bad” things. What if we weave the bad things into our gratitude?! Some of you will think I have lost my mind but I have not.

Everything that you experience in this life is with purpose: great purpose. If the experience stirs any of your fear-based emotions, e.g., hurt, loneliness, or abandonment/loss, you may have a tendency to ignore those experiences at this time of Thanksgiving. Some of those experiences are too painful to completely ignore and so they interrupt your holidays.


Facebook Live Event: Kristen and Patricia discuss the upcoming gathering

The Loss of a Child: Siblings

Last week I spoke about the loss of a child but what if that child who crossed over had siblings? Parents grieve in one way and siblings grieve in another. At a time of deep grief, how do the siblings feel parenting from parents who are lost in their own grief?

Going through the loss of a child can be very difficult for parents and siblings. Yet it can be very difficult for them to “share” in the loss. The parents may be feeling one set of emotions while the siblings may be feeling differently. Parents may feel the helplessness of not being able to protect the lost child. They may feel an emptiness that is unique to mother or father. They may feel a devastation that erupts from letting the child free into life only to now endure their crossing over. They may feel the loss of the dreams they had tied to that child. The list goes on.

The siblings, on the other hand, may have feelings of having lost a best friend, or a part of their self. They may feel guilt for surviving or for not getting along with their sibling. They may feel a loss of their own dream because their family is shattered.


The Loss of a Child

We all hear that the worst pain is the loss of a child and that it is a pain that will never go away. Then you lose a child. How do you even begin to cope, let alone heal, when you’ve been conditioned to believe it is something “you will never get over”? In this article, I will only look at a couple of thought patterns that can interrupt the healing and keep the suffering alive.

There is a helplessness that goes with the loss of a child because as a parent you were always the protector and the caregiver. That helplessness makes the grieving more difficult. The parent more often than not wants to turn inward and ask what they could’ve done to prevent, rescue or save the child. Those questions can keep the suffering alive. Whether the child has died in a car accident, from suicide, from an overdose, or from illness, the parents still have thoughts of what could have been done to prevent the death of a child. The internal questions that come about as a result of the helplessness, can cause thoughts that bring back the pain of the loss rather than the healing. In order to heal from the loss of a child the parents must be ready to accept a new beginning in the way they think about their child. They have to be willing to let go of the point of death and get back to the life the child gave them and the life they gave the child.


Creditors Can Teach Us About Change!

In working with individuals who are in relationships, many of them want more out of their relationships. I find myself saying, “you must hold steady in the experience you wish to have to create change in the relationship.” Often times, the person doesn’t want to believe in the teachings. So let me give you a metaphor.

A creditor will demand that you pay what you owe. They do not care how much you’re going through, how much you’re trying, who you are, your integrity, or myriad of other things that might make you special. They know they want you to behave based upon the experience they wish to have: Pay the amount they tell you to pay by the date they tell you to pay it. You can get angry, you can rebel not pay, you can yell and scream at them because they should give you a break, or a variety of other behaviors, emotions, thoughts. No matter what it is you do, however, the creditor holds steady and tells you either you pay what is owed or exactly what the creditor said would happen will happen. Fees will be applied and more fees will be applied until one day you were sent to a collection agency at which time your phone will blow up with multiple phone calls and you will be demanded to pay until you either start to pay, don’t pay and ignore them, or claim bankruptcy.


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Kristen Bomas, PA
398 Camino Gardens Blvd., Suite 104
Boca Raton, Fl 33432


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