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Addiction

Mother’s Memoir of Son’s Opioid Addiction Offers Hope

Lisa Hillman never meant to become a poster child for parents coping with a child’s drug problem. She was an accomplished health care administrator, a fundraising executive married to former Annapolis Mayor Richard Hillman, and the mother of two.

Few people knew about the nightmare that was unfolding at home starting with a phone call from her son’s high school teacher the start of his senior year, alerting her to his possible marijuana use. Jacob’s addiction unraveled from there, resulting in a dependence on opiates that threw his life into reverse: preventing him from returning to the University of Maryland; presenting troubles with the law; and deteriorating most of his relationships, including his once-tight bond with his mom.
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Addiction

To Everything There Is a Season: Can Time of Year Impact Our Perspective on Death?

Recently I was speaking with a couple whose adult son died two months ago of a drug overdose. These parents adored him and knew he was dealing with emotional challenges. They did what they could to let him know he was loved and they were with him come what may. They attempted to get him help. He was surrounded by a multi-generational family who thought the world of him.

As we processed their experience and they openly shared their grief, they said something that in all my years as a therapist, I had not considered. They both acknowledged that as we approached the threshold between summer and autumn, they were experiencing a heightened sense of loss.
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Addiction

Codependency Is About Your Relationship with Yourself


To be acceptable to yourself and others, you hide who you are and become who you aren’t.

Most people think of codependency as being in a relationship with a addicted partner. And though that was true in my own years of active drinking, when I got sober, I discovered that codependency is much more. Codependency is about the relationship you have with yourself. It’s a set of characteristics and patterns of behavior we develop to help us cope, typically from a childhood that revolved around (but not limited to) addiction, emotional instability and trauma, and physical or mental illness.

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Addiction

How Technology Can Help Your Sobriety


Whether you need some words of encouragement or to be talked out of picking up a drink, instant communication is extremely valuable.

It’s no secret that people have been going through the process of getting sober for decades. But over the years, that process has changed. The stigma around alcoholism and addiction has shifted and the advancements of technology have allowed for a more open dialogue. For those of us who have gotten sober in recent years, technology has likely been part of the ride. Inventions such as the internet and smartphones have provided us with a number of resources that haven’t always been around.

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Addiction

5 Ways to Safely ‘Get High’ with Your Kids


Everyone needs to feel EXTRA alive sometimes.

I've been thinking lately about the term “getting high”, as it is so commonly used in our culture today.

As a student of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), I know the real power our language has in influencing our lives.

This leads me to wonder about the relationship between how we define getting high and the epidemic we now face with substance use disorder in our country.

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Addiction

America’s Drunk History: An Interview with Christopher M. Finan


The Fix Q&A with Christopher M. Finan, author of Drunks: An American History, on our nation's history of alcoholism, recovery and AA.

The origin story of America is typically told as a fight for freedom. But a new book, Drunks: An American History, by Christopher M. Finan, recounts a struggle that predates our wrestle for independence: a three century long battle to sober up.

Drunks begins in 1799 with the story of Handsome Lake, a member of the Seneca Nation whose drinking reduced him to “yellow skin and dried bones.” Stripped of their land and decimated by poverty, Natives sought solace in yet another empty gift offered by Americans: booze.

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Addiction

When Creative People Are Afraid Medication Will Dull Their Spark


Creative people worry that their essential spark -- that which makes them artists in the first place -- will disappear forever, or at least be hindered, if they seek chemical relief for depression or anxiety.

Like everyone else, writers today can address their depression and anxiety in numerous ways. Treatment options are omnipresent. It’s impossible to watch a TV show without encountering pharmaceutical commercials, after all.
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Addiction

Finding the Gems Among the Clutter

I am a professional de-clutterer, one who strives to give my clients the ability to find space in their minds, bringing them the peace we all seek and need to be our most productive selves.

Amongst everyone’s clutter are gems. Gems that my clients have been looking for, ones they have great stories about. In my work I've experienced both the crazy cluster of collected crap and that of treasured keepsakes, a brilliant trail of their history. I've learned more about people in my work with them than I would have through conventional, social means.
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Addiction

How to Recognize Your Possibilities — Especially When You Are Stuck

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

When problems arise, don’t you often think about first is that you can’t get past them? Then follows circuitous thinking fueled by becoming so consumed and distracted by the problem or issue that thinking about anything gets fuzzy. Solutions seem distant, if even possible. You are tempted to give up, to go on to something else, to bury yourself in some mindless task or numb out with a
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Addiction

When Internet Shopping Is an Impulse Control Disorder

For me, the danger zone is online book sellers. There have been evenings when I’ve gone looking for a particular book. With one click, it’s on its way to me. Fine. But then there are always pictures of book jackets strung across the bottom of the page: “People who bought this book also bought. . .”

“Oh”, think I. “That one looks interesting.” Click. “Oh, that one looks like it would be very helpful.” Click. “Hmm. I wonder how that writer approached the subject.” Click.  “Ah. This one is used but in “like new” condition for half price. That’s a great deal!” Click.
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Addiction

Jerry Garcia and Heroin Examined in Grateful Dead Documentary


"[Jerry was] a complicated, creatively talented and unconventional person...he had an equal proclivity for transcendence and self-destruction.”

Amir Bar-Lev’s rockumentary, Long Strange Trip, about the Grateful Dead, is aptly named for what is arguably the band’s most famous lyric: What a long, strange trip it’s been. The film takes you on a four-hour ride (much like the band's live shows) but this is not just another indulgent music doc.

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