Addiction

Does Tough Love Lead to Wellness? A Glimpse into One Family’s Experience with Addiction

Heroin abuse in the United States is reaching epidemic proportions. According to SAMHSA, between 2007 and 2012, the number of heroin users has doubled from an estimated 375,000 to over 665,000. Additionally, in 2010, the number of deaths as a direct result of overdose surpassed auto accident deaths.  

It is impossible to avoid the facts about heroin. We are bombarded daily by the national and local media and extensive online resources. So, is tough love the answer?
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Anxiety and Panic

Introspection Overload Part 2: The Value of Not Journaling

Back in 2013, I wrote “Introspection Overload? The Value of Journaling” for Psych Central’s “World of Psychology Blog,” where I adamantly sang the praises of journaling to combat overthinking. To cathartically unleash thoughts and feelings and therapeutically decode them via the written word.

Since I’ve kept journals by my side ever since I was a young girl, it only seemed plausible to turn to them when I was dealing with that brand of anxiety -- the rumination, the reflections that go into "overdrive."
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Addiction

Addiction: Accepting the Treatment Norm Is Not an Option

For over fifty years the treatment industry has categorically failed. Personal experience of this writer as well as objective data has demonstrated that 3-5% of individuals who complete residential treatment will remain “sober” for a year or more. Additionally, according to the Baldwin Research Institute Inc., over 90% of all treatment in the U.S. is 12-step based and over 95% teach the disease concept. From any perspective and surely from a business perspective, a 95% failure rate is utterly unacceptable. Why does society and the medical/clinical community accept these findings? The answer seems to be “this is how we have always done it.”
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Happiness

Office Space: When You Need More Space Than Office

“What am I doing here?” my mind raced.

In an overheated cubicle with five other underemployed attorneys, frustration and disillusionment vied for supremacy. As my co-workers and I labored through the mind-numbing document review, sighs, grunts, and biting comments pierced the silence. Laboring in this dead-end job, a sense of despair wafted through the stuffy cubicle. I wanted to quit. But only after I shrieked in frustration.
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Aging

One Year Later. Mom’s Still Dead.

Grief. It's a funny thing. I don't understand it and I don't want to, I just wish it would go away. One year and a half later and I still find myself crying mid-day because I can't call my Mom to remind me that everything is going to be okay. Sure, the impact of losing her has changed -- the first year I spent many nights dreaming about her, re-living the events leading up to her death, and wishing that I would awaken and somehow she would be there, here, with me. I cried and prayed that I would awaken and find out that this was all unreal, that she somehow miraculously came back to life! That she is still here, still alive, and still with me. Day after day, I waited, hoped, listened, for her return. Wishful thinking...and emotional exhaustion is all that I have been left with.
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Addiction

I Miss Booze

I was never a big drinker; certainly, drinking was never a problem for me.

I started drinking beer with my older brothers and hating it. It was not until I’d consumed it for a couple of years that I began to love it. We’d drink beer down by the river, standing around a huge bonfire, our fronts toasty and our backs cool in the fall air.
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Habits

3 Ways to Cultivate Happiness

I recently attended the Mindful Self-Compassion workshop with Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. There were a number of practices I took away from the workshop that resonated and ultimately could provide a foundation for living a happier and more peaceful life.

While self-compassion and mindfulness were at the heart of each practice the idea of there being 3 ways to cultivate happiness really stuck in my head. Three ways or practices seems rather simple, made it easier for me to remember and more likely for me to actually practice. Because, let’s face it, if it hard or not really enjoyable, it is less likely that one will do it. Keeping that sentiment in mind, below are 3 ways to cultivate happiness:
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Anorexia

Pickles, Mustard & Diet Coke: Self-Talk in Eating Disorder Recovery

Oh…and shirataki noodles. Anyway…

I am a recovering anorexic. Well... most of the time. Sometimes I'm just "anorexic." (Relapse is part of recovery, right??)

Regardless of how “evolved” I may be now, nearly every comment made about my physical appearance, or my intake, or my weight... cuts through me like a knife. People think that they are being kind, but they don't hear their words through the same ED filter that I do. 
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Autism

My Son is Autistic, Not Improper

It was Christmas day, 2014. My husband and I were planning to visit my best friend, Jan, in the morning and then head to my great uncle’s in the afternoon. We had our son, Sammy, with us.

We got to Jan’s house about 10:00 A.M. There, we opened presents and made cookies. Jan gave Sammy a big, red truck that lit up, complete with a horn that blew.
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