Successful content managers and bloggers alike need to keep focused on many different aspects of their craft, but the essential goal is being able to write compelling and engaging content on a consistent basis. However there are some basic principles of writing great content that might be worth keeping in mind, chief among them is understanding how your audience will experience your content. Most people read online by scanning the page for individual words or phrases, headings and other visual cues. Studies have shown that reading from a screen is more tiring and therefore about 25% slower than reading from paper – hence scanning becomes a technique that most employ. So keep it short, seed your blog posts with key words that will make it searchable and most of all keep it relateable.
Client: Marsha Schwartz Klein M.Ed. | LPC Principal Continuum Recovery Management Specialists
I have been writing for Marsha longer than any one of my clients. We meet once a month and discuss her latest topic and goals and go from there. The following are examples of the type of blog posts I collaborate on with her.
“The Time is Now"
For many of us the holidays and new year is a time of reflection, resolution and change. But for those in recovery the holidays can be daunting as they experience an upheaval of painful memories and facing the uncertainty of what lies ahead. The holidays can be a tough reminder of the challenges of maintaining relationships in the face of drug or alcohol addiction. Since the holidays focus so much on relationships, it is important that you as the person in recovery take the opportunity to declare and reaffirm your love for those around you.
Now is a good time to get in touch with the people you care about and who care about you- especially those who continue to support you through your recovery. You can do this any way that works for you even something as simple as a big hug is great and simple way to show someone you care. The best gift you can give to the people you love is to show them that you care and appreciate your support in remaining sober, and affirm with them your commitment to remaining that way.
Now is not only a good time to connect with people but also to assess how you have related to those you care about over the past year. Maintaining successful romantic or platonic relationships is hard enough without the stress of substance abuse. This is a good time to dedicate to repairing relationships that were challenged by your substance abuse. Drug or alcohol addiction can cause a person to focus solely on their own needs and one major step in the recovery process is to become aware and appreciate the people who love and support you. You can do this by reaching out and reaffirming your mutual love and respect. It takes a long time to (re)build strong and lasting relationships so be realistic; resist the urge to over romanticize the situation and approach it with an open mind and heart. If you believe you are ready, reconnecting with loved ones is a wonderful part of addiction recovery.
Above all, the most important thing to remember is to love yourself! It’s easy to forget that this is just as important as showing love to those you care about. Spend some time getting to know just who you are. Addiction hides you from your higher self and only through recovery can your true personality emerge. Recovery, and also the addiction treatment period, can be an exciting time to rediscover past passions and interests. You can’t do it alone thought; talking with a qualified professional therapist about relationships can be very helpful for many. These professionals can give a lot of insight into how to mend broken relationships and what to do to make the time you spend with your loved ones rewarding and healing.
During a holiday that focuses so much on the connections people have with each other it is easy to feel left out if you have been struggling to maintain relationships due to an alcohol or drug addiction. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone; we are here for you ready to face the challenges of what lies ahead.
As my cell phone came to life late last night, I fumbled with the buttons until the message appeared that my best friend’s father had passed away. My heart sank as I texted him my condolences and offered obligatory help. For the remainder of the night I laid awake contemplating my relationship with my father, who has battled addiction for much of his adult life.
I checked in with my friend the next day; he expressed his concerns were more for his children than anything else as they were very close to their “Pa”. He also mentioned he was having a hard time crafting a eulogy. I asked my friend why he thought it was so hard to write about his father; he said he wasn’t sure.
My relationship with my own father has always been hard for me too I suppose. At the height of his addiction, I was in my late teens struggling to find myself and needed his guidance more than ever. Sadly he was never able to fulfill this need, and I moved on to my early twenties ill equipped to face the many challenges ahead, filled with anger and uncertainty. We drifted apart as I eventually recognized he had to find his own way to sobriety, which thankfully he did.
For those of us affected by loved ones with addictions, it is a matter of trust. Over time we can learn to trust again, but it is very difficult; the damage caused by addiction more often than not lasts a lifetime. We move through our lives struggling to trust people and situations, always worried their addiction will return.
As I have gotten older I have learned to understand that it is more about trusting my self and my ability to manage my feelings about my father (and for him) more than anything else. I was fortunate to work with Ms. Klein who is a really good recovery care manager, she led me to understand the difference between empowering and enabling. I learned that I didn’t have to “solve” my father’s problems, but simply support him in taking responsibility for his actions.
It can be a fine line between helping and enabling. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering whether you are an enabler:
- Do you often ignore unacceptable behavior?
- Do you find yourself resenting the responsibilities you take on?
- Do you consistently put your own needs and desires aside in order to help someone else?
- Do you have trouble expressing your own emotions?
- Do you ever feel fearful that not doing something will cause a blowup, cause the person to leave you, or even result in violence?
- Do you ever lie to cover for someone else and their mistakes?
- Do you continue to offer help when it is never appreciated or acknowledged?
If these questions make you think, you might be an enabler and it is important that you take action now.
"Kirk was wonderful to work with, he helped me zero in on the essence of what the blog stories should be about and yet kept them relatable, as discussing mental health issues, addictions, etc. is challenging and must be handled with the utmost sensitivity."