Addiction

A Higher Power for Those Who Don’t Believe in a Higher Power

This article is not directed toward individuals who do not find themselves struggling to embrace a Higher Power of their understanding while working toward recovery. It is directed at those who may want to embrace something, yet cannot identify with what they are comfortable.

Several of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (and Narcotics Anonymous) involve a Higher Power, so one could imagine this being offputting to someone who does not identify one. It can be challenging to wrap your head around the steps if God or a Higher Power is not in your life.

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Addiction

What if They Find Out?

A regular worry that I've had as of late is about people finding out I struggle with mental health issues.

Although I have been casually open about having “anxieties,” there are few people who know the depth of what that means in my case. My recent coming out of the mental health closet has been attempted before, through previous blogging that I quickly halted before “they” might see.

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Addiction

8 Healthy Reasons to Ditch Your Bad Habits

There comes a time of self-reckoning in everyone’s life. After months and possibly years of indulging in known vices and allowing yourself to slip into bad habits, you realize that this isn’t what your life is supposed to be. While you’re not quite sure where to begin, you know that you need to do something different. Consider these reasons for changing things up.

1. Feel better about yourself.
The decision to change is never easy. The pros and cons for doing so will occupy a lot of time at first. But once you commit to a decision to make a change, you will start to feel better about yourself. The fact that you’re taking proactive steps is reinforcement that only builds over time. When you start seeing improvement as a result of the actions you take, your mood lifts and your perspective changes. It’s no longer a corner you’re backed into, but a wide open path that beckons.

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Addiction

Two Sides of My Anxious, Depressive Soul

Yesterday


Yesterday I woke up and couldn’t make it to the end of my block while I walked the dog before this overwhelming, out-of-the-blue panic hit me. I immediately turned around and could see my house but I felt like I could not get there fast enough. I began to run, trying to match my movement with my heart rate. When I got home there was both a sense of relief and of disappointment. My home is my comfort zone, and that is sometimes disappointing.

As the day went on, I had bouts of crying. Five or six times I broke down as I watched my husband sit there not knowing what else to say other than “You’re going to be okay, you’re just going through a bad time right now.” He held me in the bed as I cried again. He has known me for six years and he has not seen me go through this before. But I have, many times. I warned him about these times. I don’t think he believed me. I don’t think he ever thought the vibrant, happy, and full of zest for life woman he married could be the same person sitting in front of him telling him “I promise I won’t kill myself, but I just feel like I am dying.”

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Addiction

8 Reasons You Should Pour Out the Booze and Socialize Sober


When you’re used to taking shots before any social interaction, it feels weird when you show up anywhere sober. But I learned that it's actually better this way.

Let’s face it, socializing is something that is historically associated with alcohol. If you’ve watched television, surfed the Internet, or even browsed your Facebook feed, you’ve seen advertisements from the alcohol industry -- or pop culture sites in general -- on what you should be doing on a Friday night, what you should be mixing your vodka with, and how you can meet good-looking people at the bar. It’s one reason it took me such a long time to try sobriety. I truly thought the only way to socialize was by going out for drinks or by eyeing up my next boyfriend from across the club while listening to “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

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Addiction

Solitary Confinement Crushes Any Chance of True Recovery


Solitary confinement is a torture device. In New York, an inmate can be sent to solitary for a nonviolent rules infraction like too many stamps or being in the wrong place.

For Maria, solitary confinement “made me want to use more.”

“I went from not caring to not giving a f--k,” Maria said.

The Queens native is currently serving time in one of New York state’s female prisons. Though she was already a drug user before she got locked up, Maria says that her addiction has only gotten worse since she’s been behind bars, where she started experimenting with more substances than the pot, alcohol and occasional pills she was doing on the outside.
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Addiction

Hitting Rock Bottom: Some, Not All

Hitting rock bottom is a phrase I hear all the time when people talk about addiction. “She needs to hit rock bottom to stop drinking.” “Once he hits rock bottom, he will realize the damage that drugs have caused.” “After they hit rock bottom, they will understand how negatively addiction has affected their careers, finances, and families.” These are common phrases I hear when people talk about friends, family, or acquaintances with addiction.

Yet, what does it mean to hit rock bottom? Literally speaking, it means someone has fallen so far -- perhaps off a cliff -- that they have hit the ground. Metaphorically, hitting rock bottom describes a point in one’s life when they reach a definite low as a result of addiction problems. People generally see it as the lowest point possible, an epiphanic moment or process where one becomes cognizant of their addiction’s destructive nature. This point may be financial, emotional, physical, social, or spiritual.

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Addiction

How ‘Mad Men’ Taught Us about Trauma, Shame & Healing

Don Draper, a character on the TV series "Mad Men," was a survivor of childhood trauma.

But when we first met Don, we met a man who had it all. He was at the pinnacle of his career, happily married to his gorgeous wife, Betty, and father of two adorable children. His haughty, arrogant and aloof facade was easily mistaken for genuine confidence.

We soon found out, however, that Don was a man with flaws. An alcoholic, a womanizer and an adulterer, he lied about things, not the least of which was his fake identity. These flaws, or what a therapist would consider symptoms, were an indication that Don was unwell. Symptoms are often brilliant clues that let an individual know they have underlying yet blocked emotions, often from the past, that need attention and release.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: May 7, 2016


As I mentioned last Saturday, I had a pretty stressful last week of April. I was crunched for time to meet an important deadline, and it looked like I was going to fail.

I did -- fail, that is -- but fortunately, my boss was completely chill about it. So, I spent this week finishing up and, given how tightly wound I've been for the past, oh, five or so weeks, I am absolutely ecstatic about today (well, "today" if you're reading this on Saturday).

Why, you ask?

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