Addiction

Some of the Worst Cliches in Recovery Circles

If you spend time in recovery circles you will hear these same clichés over and over again. Some make you want to run to the nearest bar just for spite, others may become mantra.

You can't not hear them.

If you have spent any time in a 12-step meeting of any sort, or if you have spent time in rehab, chances are that you are more than familiar with recovery clichés. They are often spouted by the old timers in a meeting, or if you are in rehab, by your group counselor.
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Addiction

How to Be True to Yourself

Every once in a while I pull out my one-year sobriety chip, which reads on the front, “To Thine Own Self Be True.” I've been sober for more than 26 years now, but it was my one-year chip that meant the most to me, because it was during that first year that I realized how difficult it is to be true to yourself.

Everyone thought I was crazy for calling myself an “alcoholic” and going to 12-step support meetings. I mean, at 18 years old, I wasn’t even of a legal age to drink.
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Bipolar

It Shines: Living with Bipolar II Disorder

I’m quick to reflect on high school glory days. It’s pretty silly, seeing as how I’ve not even reached the 10-year reunion mark. Flipping through my old yearbook, I noticed one of my favorite teachers wrote “Dear Beth, calling you a delicate flower would not give justice to your violently cheerful exuberance. It’s been amazing to watch your shifts from scarily giddy to sleepy to gloomy then back again.” I didn’t learn until later that this was a much abbreviated but also decent description of someone with type two Bipolar Disorder. Even with the intensity of my demeanor back then, no one would have pegged that onto a cheerleading prom queen.
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Marriage and Divorce

Marriage Mentors Are Everywhere

When it comes to marriage, I cannot overstate the value of mentoring. If you were blessed to have grown up with happily married parents who communicated well, you probably learned, as though by osmosis, how to become happily hitched. Your live-in mentors paved the way.

But what if you grew up with parents who stayed together unhappily or divorced? Or if you were raised by a single parent? Typically, couples who see me for therapy grew up without viewing a healthy marriage. For them and for others desiring a happy, lasting union, good mentoring can fill the gaps.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Brainfood

You are what you eat?

Maybe so.

In the everlasting quest for mind health, there is a growling connection to body health. Body health entails more than feverishly pumping weights at your local gym; it means consuming heart-healthy and, more importantly, mind-healthy foods.

“Mind-healthy foods? What are those?” you ask.
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Bipolar

Feeling Sad? Get in Touch with the Holidays

My great grandmother who lived to be 102 said the best medicine for unhappiness was to get busy. When Gram lost her mojo, she’d ironed, washed windows and made beds.

People often get depressed around major holidays. They might miss deceased loved ones. They might long for the fun and excitement of the holidays of their youth. They might be alone. They might be affected by the fall/winter darkness. If you’re struggling with major depression, see a doctor. But if you’re just a little unhappy, I have a fix that might work for you.
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Depression

Can Life’s Comforts Can Make You More Depressed?

As a late teenager, I went through a bout of depression where I could sleep 24-hours straight, waking up only to use the bathroom. I had a stable circle of friends, was respected in school by peers and teachers and was active in many school organizations and was loved by my family.

Like anyone who experiences depression, the feeling of depression is exhausting and depleting and doesn’t turn off like a light switch. It was a long journey to unravel all the internal pain and like a bad memory, the feeling doesn’t just go away. I’m now in my 30’s and I feel that a lot of my depression stems from comparing my life to others. My ego often gets in the way of my own happiness, but I use small things to remind myself that I have joyous things and experiences in my life to celebrate.
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