Adam Krolicki’s Path to Peace and Finding Healing Through Vulnerability.
Growing up in the beautiful state of Colorado, Adam Krolicki enlisted in the United States Army as a young man to make a difference and see the world. In the 11 years he spent as a combat soldier, he became a Ranger, earned the rank of Staff Sergeant, and was also a part of the United Nations Protection Force in Macedonia during the Bosnian-Serbian conflict. After his time in the Army, he became a contractor with Blackwater USA and was in Iraq during the battle of Fallujah in 2004.
After being stationed in various theaters of war, Adam returned home to Colorado to start the next chapter of his story, becoming a civilian and starting his life as a private citizen once again. However, reintegrating into society after years of military service isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Because of his experiences in the Army and those as a military contractor, Adam would be eventually diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.
Before finding refuge in excellent mental health services and support in those around him, Adam found himself turning to alcohol when he came home from the Army to combat, numb, and manage his PTSD. Alcohol abuse crept in slowly, and then, gradually, it became all-consuming and unmanageable over time. For many years, alcohol wasn’t Adam’s problem – it was the answer to his problems…until it wasn’t. He had reached his rock bottom. That’s when Adam knew he needed help and couldn’t do it all on his own.
One in eight American adults, or 12.7 percent of the U.S. population, now meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder, or what’s colloquially known as “alcoholism.”
— The Washington Post
After his life-changing moment of clarity and self-realization, Adam made his mental health a priority and sought out services and resources that also made him a priority. Additionally, he connected with an outside support group of men and women who live by similar principles and practices. By doing the deep self-work necessary to heal those extensive emotional wounds, Adam rediscovered his true self while in recovery. He knew as a former soldier and man of action, his experiences weren’t so dissimilar to many prior service members. Adam knew to keep the precious thing he received in recovery, he had to give it away and be of service to others. By sharing his own story of redemption through vulnerability and shared experiences, he could help those who are on a similar self-destructive path – just as someone had helped him.
“Make your mess your message.”
— Robin Roberts
Now, with true clarity and inner peace, it was time to get to work in a new way. At the age of 39, Adam went back to school. He knew helping others was his life’s mission and decided to major in Human Services, with an emphasis on mental health. He became a Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) and a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) and has over 5000 hours working with clients who struggle with addiction. Adam is passionate about helping others figure out why they need to medicate and numb the slings and arrows of life and supports them to release the shame and guilt surrounding addiction.
Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.
Adam believes alcohol abuse and drug addiction issues are the outward projection of more profound emotional obstacles. He often says, “You don’t have a drinking/drug problem. You have a drinking/drug solution to your problems.” At some point, life became unmanageable because of it. Alcohol abuse and drug addiction is not a causal effect of the internal condition. Adam likes to take an action-based approach in his sessions, and through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), you’ll “do the work” and become accountable to yourself. Talk therapy is only a portion of his sessions. Taking a strong moral inventory is paramount to healing, and recovery doesn’t happen overnight. Adam is going to be there every step of the way to safeguard your healing and recovery process.
In addition to his extensive alcohol and drug abuse counseling, Adam also prioritizes men’s issues in his practice. Even though mental health as a whole is coming out of the shadows of society and being discussed more openly, it seems this area still has a stigma attached to it. Adam’s goal is to bring men’s issues to light and normalize and encourage those seeking support for their mental health.
According to a poll of 21,000 American men, nearly 1 in 10 reported experiencing some form of depression or anxiety, but less than half sought treatment.
— National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
Men brought up in a culture which encourages a standard of “traditional” masculinity contribute to creating complex feelings towards their own emotions. The term “toxic masculinity” seems to be thrown around a lot lately. While that term does not mean being a man or masculinity is inherently toxic, the inward tumult created by avoiding certain emotions deemed “weak” or “feminine” can be.
Men are often taught or personally feel it’s sufficient to show only a few emotions. The messages received from today’s society seem to dictate it is only acceptable to feel and express the feelings of being “angry” or “happy,” and it doesn’t seem there’s much room in between for anything else. But the simple truth is that there is so much more.
Interest – Joy – Surprise – Sadness – Anger – Disgust – Contempt – Self Hostility – Fear – Shame – Shyness – Guilt
— The Twelve Basic Emotions
Often, the goal is to attempt to shut off emotions or avoid them altogether. Because of this emotional evasion, conscious or not, it’s believed this is the reason why men are more likely to use external methods to manage the inward unrest and are also inclined to suffer from undiagnosed anxiety and depression.
Adam’s message for anyone who feels emotionally trapped by the world around them or because of previous trauma is that it’s far more common than you perhaps realize. Emotions are part of what it means to be human, and those feelings are in no way shameful or wrong. You are a whole and complete person just the way you are, and you shouldn’t deny a part of yourself just because others may perceive it as “weak.” It isn’t. Experiencing your entire spectrum of emotions is natural, and nothing about it should be deemed “unmanly.”
Let Adam’s counseling techniques turn anger into assertiveness and allow yourself to gain an internal locus of control over external influences in life. It’s Adam’s goal to enable men to express and verbalize their emotions safely and healthily and break out of what is “allowed” by society and redefine what true inner strength and masculinity really mean.
Besides addiction and men’s mental health issues, Adam also enjoys working with young people. Of his six kids, four are currently teenagers. You can be sure he can help you or your teen with anything you could throw his way. He’s either been through it or is currently going through it himself. A burden shared is a burden halved, and Adam is here to help lighten the load.
Adam’s goal and ambition for everyone he sees at South Platte Counseling are to help them find true meaning and deep purpose in their daily lives. Your past doesn’t define your future, and you have the power to make the change and become who you desire to be. Adam’s here to help.
You can schedule an appointment with Adam at South Platte Counseling at (720) 295-6847 or [email protected]. His counseling hours are Monday through Thursday from 1pm – 6pm. To learn more about Adam click Here.