Oscar de la Hoya goes to rehab

Oscar De La Hoya has admitted himself to a treatment facility as he continues to fight substance abuse.

The former boxer issued a statement Tuesday saying he voluntarily admitted himself to an unnamed facility. The move comes on the eve of the biggest fight of the year for his promotion company in a fight expected to be one of the richest in boxing history.

“I will not be at the fight this Saturday to cheer Canelo to victory since I have voluntarily admitted myself into a treatment facility,” De La Hoya said in his statement. “I explained this to Canelo and he understood that my health and long term recovery from my disease must come first.”

Alvarez said De La Hoya called him on Monday to tell him he wouldn’t be at the fight.

“I support him in the great battle he has in his life,” Alvarez said. “I’m sure he’s going to win his battle and I’m going to win my battle.”

Mayweather, who beat De La Hoya in 2007 but has been at odds with him in recent years, said he wished him well.

“Hopefully he can get better and pull through like a true champion,” Mayweather said.

De La Hoya first admitted two years ago that he was an alcoholic and drug user and had been in treatment. He told the Los Angeles Times last month that he sometimes attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings six days a week, but had slipped at times in his treatment.

“The fight life, that was easy,” he told the paper. “This is a battle I have every day.”

De La Hoya is a partner in Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Alvarez and is promoting the fight against Mayweather. He appeared several times on Showtime’s “All Access” show cheering on Alvarez in what is expected to be one of the richest fights in boxing history.

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said he did not try to talk De La Hoya out of going into rehab before the fight, even though he is active in the promotion.

“It’s not perfect timing,” Schaefer said. “But they say that the show must go on and it will.”

De La Hoya won world titles in six classes and an Olympic gold medal in 1992. He retired in December 2008 after being stopped by Manny Pacquiao in his last fight.


20 Ways to be Happy

Happiness is ephemeral, subject to the vagaries of everything from the weather to the size of your bank account. We’re not suggesting that you can reach a permanent state called “happiness” and remain there. But there are many ways to swerve off the path of anxiety, anger, frustration, and sadness into a state of happiness once or even several times throughout the day.

1. Practice mindfulness. Be in the moment. Instead of worrying about your checkup tomorrow while you have dinner with your family, focus on the here and now — the food, the company, the conversation.

2. Laugh out loud. Just anticipating a happy, funny event can raise levels of endorphins and other pleasure-inducing hormones and lower production of stress hormones. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, tested 16 men who all agreed they thought a certain videotape was funny. Half were told three days in advance they would watch it. They started experiencing biological changes right away. When they actually watched the video, their levels of stress hormones dropped significantly, while their endorphin levels rose 27 percent and their growth hormone levels (indicating benefit to the immune system) rose 87 percent.

3. Go to sleep. We have become a nation of sleep-deprived citizens. Ting a daily nap or getting into bed at 8 p.m. one night with a good book — and turning the light out an hour later — can do more for your mood and outlook on life than any number of bubble baths or massages.

4. Hum along. Music soothes more than the savage beast. Studies find music activates parts of the brain that produce happiness — the same parts activated by food or sex. It’s also relaxing. In one study older adults who listened to their choice of music during outpatient eye surgery had significantly lower heart rates, blood pressure, and cardiac workload (that is, their heart didn’t have to work as hard) as those who had silent surgery.

5. Declutter. It’s nearly impossible to meditate, breathe deeply, or simply relax when every surface is covered with papers and bills and magazines, your cabinets bulge, and you haven’t balanced your checkbook in six months. Plus, the repetitive nature of certain cleaning tasks — such as sweeping, wiping, and scrubbing — can be meditative in and of itself if you focus on what you’re doing.

6. Just say no. Eliminate activities that aren’t necessary and that you don’t enjoy. If there are enough people already to handle the church bazaar and you’re feeling stressed by the thought of running the committee for yet another year, step down and let someone else handle things.

7. Make a list. There’s nothing like writing down your tasks to help you organize your thoughts and calm your anxiety. Checking off each item provides a great sense of fulfillment.

8. Do one thing at a time. Edward Suarez, Ph.D., associate professor of medical psychology at Duke, found that people who multitask are more likely to have high blood pressure. Take that finding to heart. Instead of talking on the phone while you fold laundry or clean the kitchen, sit down in a comfortable chair and turn your entire attention over to the conversation. Instead of checking e-mail as you work on other projects, turn off your e-mail function until you finish the report you’re writing. This is similar to the concept of mindfulness.

9. Garden. Not only will the fresh air and exercise provide their own stress reduction and feeling of well-being, but the sense of accomplishment that comes from clearing a weedy patch, watching seeds turn into flowers, or pruning out dead wood will last for hours, if not days.

10. Tune out the news. For one week go without reading the newspaper, watching the news, or scanning the headlines online. Instead, take a vacation from the misery we’re exposed to every day via the media and use that time for a walk, a meditation session, or to write in your journal.

11. Take a dog for a walk. There are numerous studies that attest to the stress-relieving benefits of pets. In one analysis researchers evaluated the heart health of 240 couples, half of whom owned a pet. Those couples with pets had significantly lower heart rates and blood pressure levels when exposed to stressors than the couples who did not have pets. In fact, the pets worked even better at buffering stress than the spouses did.

12. Scent the air. Research finds that the benefits of aromatherapy in relieving stress are real. In one study people exposed to rosemary had lower anxiety levels, increased alertness, and performed math computations faster. Adults exposed to lavender showed an increase in the type of brain waves that suggest increased relaxation. Today you have a variety of room-scenting methods, from plug-in air fresheners to essential oil diffusers, potpourri, and scented candles.

13. Ignore the stock market. Simply getting your quarterly 401(k) statement can be enough to send your blood pressure skyrocketing. In fact, Chinese researchers found a direct link between the daily performance of the stock market and the mental health of those who closely followed it. Astute investors know that time heals most financial wounds, so give your investments time — and give yourself a break.

14. Visit a quiet place. Libraries, museums, gardens, and places of worship provide islands of peace and calm in today’s frantic world. Find a quiet place near your house and make it your secret getaway.

15. Volunteer. Helping others enables you to put your own problems into perspective and also provides social interaction. While happy people are more likely to help others, helping others increases your happiness. One study found that volunteer work enhanced all six aspects of well-being: happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health, and depression.

16. Spend time alone. Although relationships are one of the best antidotes to stress, sometimes you need time alone to recharge and reflect. Take yourself out to lunch or to a movie, or simply spend an afternoon reading, browsing in a bookstore, or antiquing.

17. Walk mindfully. You probably already know that exercise is better than tranquilizers for relieving anxiety and stress. But what you do with your mind while you’re walking can make your walk even more beneficial. In a study called the Ruth Stricker Mind/Body Study, researchers divided 135 people into five groups of walkers for 16 weeks. Group one walked briskly, group two at a slow pace, and group three at a slow pace while practicing “mindfulness,” a mental technique to bring about the relaxation response, a physiological response in which the heart rate slows and blood pressure drops. This group was asked to pay attention to their footsteps, counting one, two, one, two, and to visualize the numbers in their mind. Group four practiced a form of tai chi, and group five served as the control, changing nothing about their lives. The group practicing mindfulness showed significant declines in anxiety and had fewer negative and more positive feelings about themselves. Overall they experienced the same stress-reducing effects of the brisk walkers. Better yet, the effects were evident immediately.

18. Give priority to close relationships. One study of more than 1,300 men and women of various ages found that those who had a lot of supportive friends were much more likely to have healthier blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar metabolism, and stress hormone levels than those with two or fewer close friends. Women, and to a lesser extent men, also seemed to benefit from good relationships with their parents and spouses. Studies also find that people who feel lonely, depressed, and isolated are three to five times more likely to get sick and die prematurely than those who have feelings of love, connection, and community.

19. Take care of the soul. In study after study, actively religious people are happier and cope better with crises, according to David Myers, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. For many people faith provides a support community, a sense of life’s meaning, feelings of ultimate acceptance, a reason to focus beyond yourself, and a timeless perspective on life’s woes. Even if you’re not religious, a strong spirituality may offer similar benefits.

20. Count your blessings. People who pause each day to reflect on some positive aspect of their lives (their health, friends, family, freedom, education, etc.) experience a heightened sense of well-being.

© 2013 The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.

Slashing his Drug Habit

Photo: Slashing his drug habit (in the first comment.)

There are few rock stars with the notoriety of the band members in Guns and Roses. Slash, who played guitar for the band, is one of the most famous rock stars of his generation. Although the fame played a role in his addiction to drugs, the rocker admits that his initial drug use was also related to his image and idea of himself.

The Drugs
Slash was known for his use of heroin and alcohol rather than other drugs that are commonly associated with rock stars. He admitted in interviews that he was using the drug because he felt it was appropriate for his personality. Unlike other rock stars, who abused cocaine and speed, he preferred using heroin to get into a relaxed state of mind. The rock star felt that it fit his laid back mentality. As a band member, the drugs were easy for Slash to obtain. The entire band was known to abuse drugs and he did not see any reason to stop when he was taking the substances. Although he started using the drugs when he was part of the band, the famous guitarist gave up the substance when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was still in his 30s when he was forced to get a pace maker to keep his heart pumping and healthy. With the help of that news and the support of his wife, the rock star began taking measures to overcome his addiction. While he originally gave up drugs and alcohol in 2001, the rock star did have a few challenges along the way. He briefly used drugs again a few years after giving up heroin due to marital and career problems. He admitted that the drugs did not seem as appealing to him after so long without them and gave up the drugs again after that short relapse. At that time, he went into a rehab program to get help and was able to come out of the program without the drugs. Since giving it up a second time, the guitarist has not continued abusing drugs. Living the dream lifestyle of a rock star can only provide satisfaction for a short period of time. Although Slash admitted that he cannot bring himself to regret his life in the past due to the music, he also admitted that he is able to accomplish more after giving up the drugs. He overcame the addiction and has inspired others to follow his path to sobriety.

Narcotics Anonymous App


NA Meeting Search - screenshot thumbnail NA Meeting Search - screenshot thumbnail NA Meeting Search - screenshot thumbnail

NA Meeting Search is an application developed to help you locate NA Meetings anywhere around the world. Also bundled with this app are the daily Just For Today meditations. Websites and helplines for your area are also listed.

I have this app, and I use it daily. I love that it has the Just for Today built into it so I don’t have to have 2 separate apps! It Saves about 10MB of space on my phone. I definitely recommend it for any NA meeting goer. There is a downside though… it uses an internet connection, so if your phone’s service is cut off for any reason, you can’t use the app.

A Little Introduction Pt. 2

Okay.. so where was I?

Ahhh… Jacob.. that’s right. So in September of 2008 we had our 2nd child that we named Isaiah. Things were picture perfect. No fights, no verbal confrontations of any kind. We were living in our own apartment and even engaged and looking to get married. The holidays had just passed and it was January 2nd 2009. We got into such a bloody fight. My sons room was destroyed from him slamming me through walls, his bed, his toy box… there was blood everywhere. I was knocked out from the bottle that hit my head. I still have a scar from that night. It used to remind me of pain and sorrow… now it reminds me of how STRONG I am!!! I’m alive and well. After getting out of trauma, it took me 2 weeks to locate my kids. His family had them and didn’t want to return them to me. I eventually got them back though, and was awarded full custody and child support. I ended up staying with my mother in a one bedroom apartment. It was my two kids, myself, my mother and my brother, all living in this tiny apartment. I switched my sons school and things were going good. My son Isaiah was in his teething stage and was always cranky and crying. My mother couldn’t deal with it. She was always fighting with me and saying things like “Can you shut your fuckin’ kid up? I can’t fuckin’ sleep! I really regret having you live here!” “Can’t you shut them up?!” “What the hell is wrong with him now?” I didn’t want to be there anymore than her not wanting me there, but I was… and I had to find a way to deal with her craziness. We got into a really bad fight and she started throwing things at me and it hit my son so I decided to call the police on her and try to have this dealt with once and for all. The cop knew me and my bad behavior in the past and knew I had a couple warrants for my arrest and ended up locking ME UP! (In front of my kids too…) After a week in county, I was released on ROR. I stayed at my sister Danielle’s house and got my kids back. Since they went with their father on the weekends, I drank on the weekends. Weekends only. My drinking got worse and worse. My sisters husband kicked me out, my kids went back with their father and I started staying in a party house, which was a friends house. I couldn’t have my kids there because everyone was doing drugs and drinking everyday, and it really did kill me inside. My son would cry and scream for me.  That made me drink and drug even more. I was a bad mother. I did nothing for my kids at this point in life. I felt worthless and was filled with self pity. I just wanted to die. Eventually, everyone was kicked out. I stayed with my cousin this time around. She was very strict with me, and I got a job and started doing good. I seen my kids, but nearly as much as I should have been seeing them. I didn’t want to bring them to her house either because she drank at the time and drugged too.. and there was always fights breaking out and I didn’t want my boys near that. I met up with someone I used to smoke pot with and asked if he could get some ecstacy. He did and we hung out and I started seeing him regularly. His name is Joseph. He treated me SO good. He cared for me and not a lot of people did so I kept him close. We started dating and soon after I moved in with him. I started seeing my kids more often too. My boys loved him just as much as I did. We were so in love.. and decided to start a family of our own! After trying to get pregnant for 3 months it finally happened. We were a family. Something I never had and I always wanted. I just couldn’t stop smoking marijuana and popping roxy’s, oxy’s, and percs during my pregnancy. We moved into our own 3 bedroom apartment, and things were great! I couldn’t have been happier at this point in my life. My kids were back in my life, I had a wonderful fiance, and we were having a baby! I gave birth to a baby boy named Joseph Jr September 3rd 2008. A social worker came into the room and said they had to call DYFS because I tested positive for marijuana. I thought they were going to take my son away! They let us go home from the hospital. I automatically signed myself into an intensive outpatient program and tried staying clean. The state took us to court for custody of our son and the judge denied them. They did implement a homemaker to watch us with our son for 12 hours a day. My best friend passed away July 8th 2010. I started drinking very heavily. When I drank I turned into a different person. I was mean and cruel. Especially to Joseph.. the one who cared and loved me and my kids for who we were. The one I was so happy and in love with. I tried killing him numerous times. Once, I had our son in one arm, and a butcher knife in the other… running after him throughout the house. I was extremely intoxicated. Anything could have happened. Thankfully I calmed down and slept it off. Another time I had a bunch of friends over and we were reminiscing about our friend Jojo who passed. I snapped and started hitting, punching, and kicking everyone in the house. It took 4 grown men to pin me down to the floor so I couldn’t move or hurt anyone else. The police came and spoke to me. They were about to let me go back upstairs but I threatened Joey in the hallway and he took me back out to the cops and they took me to the hospital. The nurse at Bayonne Medi Center was very mean to me. She was laughing at how I lost my kids and how I was a junkie. I was soooo furious, I escaped from the hospital. It was summertime and I was going through peoples backyards and I grabbed clothes off of a clothes line. Every officer in Bayonne was looking for me that night. I walked right past them and to my friends apartment. It was 3 in the morning when I got there and my friend convinced me to go back and deal with what I had done. I took a shower at her place, and she drove me back to the hospital with Joseph. They strapped me in and kept me on psych watch. I was released the next morning. I went back to the apartment and started cleaning up and Joey and the baby were gone. He didn’t want to come back because of my using and bad behavior, but he did. We tried to work on things. DYFS took us back to court again for 24 hour homemaker services. They were granted what they asked for. I tried so hard to stay clean, but sobriety didn’t have a priority. I stopped drinking once again but was still using opiates. I was getting them from the doctor for years for my back problems. Now it’s the beginning of August. Joseph had come home smelling of alcohol. That set me off and I went out, drank and threw what little time from alcohol I had away. Emergency DYFS workers came to the house and I was asked to leave my own home because I was intoxicated. I left. I came back in the morning and Joey took the baby and left to his fathers house. I wasn’t allowed near my son at all at this point because of my using. Eventually… they took my son and placed him in foster care. This sent me spiraling down in self destruction. I used ALL the time. I just wanted to be NUMB. They tried putting me in rehabs and detoxes and I would leave every single one of them. I wasn’t ready to quit. I always kept up with my visitations though. I loved seeing my kids, but it was getting harder and harder to stay sober during my visits. 2 years went by and eventually Joey and I weren’t together anymore, and I lost the apartment. In January of 2012, I BEGGED my case worker to put me in rehab. It was life or death at this point. I went into Sunrise House in Lafayette NJ on January 31st. It was the only program I didn’t leave AMA (against medical advice). I completed that 28 day program. I stood clean for about 70 days until I relapsed with heroin thinking that I can still hang out with the same people. I picked myself up and got on a MMTP in the Bronx on May 2nd 2012. I haven’t used since. I went to court still fighting for my son, but they were ready to terminate my parental rights to my son Joseph. I signed my rights away to my sister Danielle who ended up adopting him, and still has him to this day. I never get to see him anymore. I think that made me so much more closer to my two oldest boys, Jeremiah and Isaiah. They’re so proud of me. They tell me all the time how proud they are, and happy they are that I’m okay now. Jeremiah told me something that will stay with me for the rest of my life…. “The next time, you don’t need to go to rehab. All you need is us (Him and his brother Isaiah), we’ll make you happy when you’re sad. We’ll be here for you.” Those words keep me going to this day. They tell me how much of a good mother I am, and how happy they are when they’re with me. I get them on the weekends and I keep up with all my visitations with them. They’re very sad they never get to see their brother Joseph anymore and I feel bad because it is my fault he’s not with us. Danielle won’t let me see my son anymore and neither will her husband. What really bothers me is that Joseph and I were both using. He went to rehab too…. he was right along with me doing the same things, but he gets him every weekend and spends a lot of time with his son. I wish I had that. I’m a bit jealous. I’m his mother and I want time with him too. I’ve missed his whole life because he was taken at 2 1/2 months old. Sometimes I wish I could do things over with what I know now. I would never ever put my kids in this situation..

My kids were my high all along and I was so blind that I didn’t realize it. I’m glad I’ve been able to stay clean for this long. I’m getting treatment for my addiction and also my depression and mental health. If I don’t deal with the reasons why I use, I won’t get clean. I go to NA meetings, MA meetings, and tons of support groups. I have a huge network of people in recovery that are there for me. They’re good clean people and they love me for who I am.

I finally fit in somewhere. I’m single and focusing on my children. I don’t need a man to validate me like I thought. All I need is my sobriety, family and friends. I’m finally content with life and I deal with things a day a time.. and when things get to hard I deal with it a moment at a time. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment. I promise I will get back to every single one of you.

A Little Introduction Pt. 1

So my recovery speech at Beth Israel Medical Center is coming up September the 17th here in Manhattan. I’m really nervous to speak in front of 300+ people, but I know if I don’t get do something about my fear of public speaking, I’ll never get over it. Besides, I want to share MY story with the world. I’ve gotten myself out of a shitty time in my life, and I want to give other the experience, strength and hope that was so freely given to me in my time of need.

Since this is my first post, I will give you a little bit of information on me. I’m 26 years young and currently living in the Bronx, NY. I grew up in a small town called Bayonne, NJ for most of my life… until I met the man of my dreams… or so I thought! I had an OK childhood. There was a lot of fighting going on in the house and my mother was so depressed and miserable that she wanted everyone around her to be as miserable as she was. At times, I would have to beg her to make me food! I would have made it myself, but I was only 4 years old. My father was out working 3 jobs at one point just to provide for his family. My mother just stood home, on the couch, playing video games and watching TV with her dog. She didn’t work, she just collected child support from her ex-husband for my brother Philip and sister Danielle. My mother was aaaaaaaaaaalways fighting with my Daddy. I hated it. It made me depressed at such a young age. I was always so sad because I wanted them together and happy, but happy was a feeling my mother didn’t know. One day I woke up from a nap to my mother screaming and my father with a knife to his stomach and my father was up against the wall and I didn’t know what to do or how to react.. I didn’t want to call 911 because than my mother would get taken away, but I really thought she was going to kill him. I screamed and cried and pushed my Mom away from my Dad.

So yeah… things were rough for me as a kid, I guess. No child should ever go through what I went through. All my life, I’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places. I hung out with the wrong crowd because I thought they were really my friends and there for me, which ended up to not be true at all. I started using at age 11. It started with marijuana and angel dust. My cousin asked me to hang out with him so I went over to his house and we ended up smoking pot and doing drugs. I wanted to fit in so bad, so I did it. I started smoking marijuana on the regular… and drinking alcohol too. It became and everyday thing soon enough. The people I used with ended up gang raping me in Jersey City. Ugh it was terrible. I had to go to the hospital and they did a rape test on me.. as if I wasn’t violated enough, I had doctors sticking things in me to get DNA. They also put me on HIV medications just in case I did get infected it would slow the virus down. Thank Christ I didn’t catch anything!! This was around the time I met my soon to be sons father, Jacob. He was 19 and from Newark. I met him on MiGente.com in 2001, but we didn’t start actually seeing each other until 2002. I fell head over heels for that man! I could swear it was love at first sight. Little did I know it was going to be a nightmare. In the beginning everyone told me not to go for him… he wasn’t good for me. I’m stubborn and had to learn on my own. I was SO blinded by love, that when he held his .38 snub nose revolver in his hand and said he was going to kill his son Nathaniel’s mother, I was right along with him, ready to back him up. I never thought that he would ever be violent towards me. He wasn’t in the beginning at least. We had our first son May 29th 2004. We named him Jeremiah. It was love at first sight when I first held him in my arms. It’s strange, but I was 16 when I had him, and I knew exactly what to do. Those motherly instincts kicked right in!! So did the violence. I asked Jacob to change Jeremiah.. he was so angry that I kept asking him he grabbed me by the throat and lifted me up in the air. I ran off. I didn’t call the police. I was too scared. I didn’t even leave him. He cried and cried and said how sorry he was and that it would never happen again. Well it did. Quite a few times to be exact. My drinking got heavier and heavier, and fights got worse and worse. I ended up in the hospital a couple times. I couldn’t leave. I had no job, no education… and a baby. I needed a place to stay and I needed help with my son. My mother wasn’t there to help and neither was my father because he was incarcerated. I felt alone. It was okay though…. the alcohol was there for me. I thought it was helping but it was slowly killing me…

I’ll finish this later. I didn’t realize this was going to be this long. I want to be honest with my readers. You’re not alone… if someone who is going through something similar, I want you to know there IS a way out. People aren’t always out to get you. There are people who care. I care. I wish I had the money to start some type of organization to help women in need in similar situations.