Addiction

Five Tips for Breaking Your Tech Habit

It’s tough to disconnect in an always-on world. Many people have shared with me how their devices are an extension of their bodies to them. Arriving at the store or their office, realizing they’ve forgotten their phone, results in anxiety. Most of us probably know that overuse of the internet is not a good thing for us, but like all habits, they are hard to break.  Since connectivity a bit part of today’s culture and can negatively influence our mental health, it’s a trend to we need to pay attention to. Here are five of my favorite tips that address negative tech habit.
Continue Reading

Addiction

Carrie Fisher, Bipolar Disorder, Addiction & The People She Inspired

When Carrie Fisher passed away on Tuesday morning at age 60, she left behind a legacy of being one of the first and most vocal Hollywood celebrities and actors to speak openly about mental illness. Specifically, Fisher battled bipolar disorder and addiction throughout most of her life, but never was shy speaking about these demons, all the while never letting herself be solely defined by them.

So while most of the world will remember her as Princess Leia -- the fierce, independent heroine in the original Star Wars movies -- many people will remember her for her ability to give dignity to those living with the most debilitating silent disease -- mental illness. As a champion for people with bipolar disorder and addiction, we remember her today along with millions of others.

Continue Reading

Addiction

How to Build Character

“Character is a diamond that scratches every other stone.” - Cyrus A. Bartol
The desire to be of good character is not only a laudable effort, but also a worthwhile one that pays handsome dividends. It’s unfortunate that more people don’t see the value in striving to achieve character.

There’s nothing like good character for making an indelible impression. When faced...
Continue Reading

Addiction

7 Ways to Deal With Difficult People

Difficult people are like the termites of the human spirit. They can be eating away at the tender parts of you for months on end before you notice, and then, suddenly, at a work meeting or a family dinner, you lose it. You might scream something unkind or have a temper tantrum much like the two-year-old on "Nanny 911", or even do something drastic like start binge drinking again after a few years of sobriety. Unfortunately, living on earth as a homo sapien requires dealing with other homo sapiens -- unless you want to isolate yourself and watch Dr. Phil all day long. So having some techniques in mind, especially during the holidays and other times of vulnerability, can help you arrest their damage before your structure crumbles.
Continue Reading

Addiction

5 Reasons the Christmas Season Is the Worst Time for Workplace Incivility

We’re rapidly approaching the worst time workplace incivility. What is that time? I believe it’s the Christmas season -- but why? Here are my 5 main reasons:

1) Social activity ramps up during December. There are work Christmas parties to contend with (oftentimes more than one) and difficult people are even more difficult with an increased blood alcohol level. Harassment, gossip, “walking on eggshells” and “making nice” can all place you under such increased strain that the temptation to drink and “make it all go away” is powerful.
Continue Reading

Addiction

Why Do We Become So Addicted to Sugar?


Addiction is a medical condition in which the person has uncontrollable desire to take a substance or engage in an activity, despite knowing that it may lead to adverse effects. Taking that substance or engaging in that activity will make the person feel good. Does sugar fit the bill? Clearly yes, as so many of us cannot control cravings for something sweet.

Continue Reading

Addiction

Naloxone: How Many Second Chances Should a Person Get?


"It’s hard to feel empathy for an intoxicated person who caused a crash when you are looking at innocent people he has killed."

On November 1st, Wilmington, North Carolina resident Jonathan Hayes plowed his pickup truck into the back of a family car, killing a two-year-old boy, Mason Richardson, and injuring the boy’s pregnant mother and sibling. The fire department and EMS personnel who arrived on scene found Hayes unconscious from an apparent heroin overdose and revived him using the opioid antidote, naloxone. This was the fourth time Hayes had been brought back from an overdose with naloxone.

Continue Reading

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.
Continue Reading

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.
Continue Reading