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"Who Says You Can't Be Happy In Recovery"? I AM!

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 19 April 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments
Hello And WELCOME Recovery Friends, Seekers, and New Friends,

 

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Can We Have The GOOD LIFE In Recovery? Can We Be HAPPY?


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I just happened to be tweeting on my Recovery Twitter here @LUV_Recovery and came across this pic. I just seemed to gravitate to it, and my mind started to WONDER!…LOL.
And we all know what seems to happen when my “Recovery Mind” does THAT…..LOOK OUT! You never know what falls out of my mouth and into a Recovery Blog Post! I always blame that part of my mouth on just being an Italian! Yeah I know, excuses, excuses. And where did I learn THAT HABIT?? Need I go on?
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But seriously, when I seen this, it made me think of many things when I was still addicted gambling and drinking. The BIG thing was the time lost from my life that I will never get back. That’s why it is true when people say, “Life Is To Short.” What about being happy? When we were in the throes of our addiction, happy to me meant having to lie about how I was really feeling inside myself. You know what I mean right? How we MASK our true feelings on the BAD DAY we were having in our addictions. Trying to make our “Outer self look Perfect” to others with that fake smile, and say how much money I was winning when I gambled, but really wasn’t! All the while the “RAGE” of shame, doubt, hate, blame, low self-worth, and feeling, “LESS THAN” each time we used. For me it got even worse when I first tried to stop gambling and drinking. Because each time I gambled,  I entered the “RECOVERY TWILIGHT-ZONE”!!
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Now I know you KNOW what I’m talking about right? It’s that long period when we think we can GET better by going to meetings, and try treatment, but we really haven’t Surrendered Yet. That time when SHIT we hear in our meetings and treatment group starts to sink in just a wee little bit, but we are still in the mindset that we can still CONTROL bits and pieces of our addiction right? Who were we fooling? NOBODY! Just ourselves! BUT, then this “stuff” we hear starts to interrupt our addiction a little here and there. I remember when I started an outpatient gambling treatment group and therapy, one of the first things my councilor said to us was this, “Even if you come here to treatment group, and still go out and use (drink & gamble), these things we teach you will start to POP UP in your head WHILE your out using.”
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And you know what? She was SPOT ON! When I’d relapse and go out and gamble, all this crap I was learning started to make an appearance in my mind and thinking! Gosh it annoyed the hell out me! For me, at first in early recovery, it made me feel even more doubtful, self loathing and low self-worth. See, recovery is a process, a life long process. No, lapse & relapse does not have to be part of one’s recovery, but it does happen for some. WHAT’S the difference you ask?
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A “lapse” is just a “ONE TIME SLIP”…..a “relapse” is when you have that slip, but you continue back into the “Cycle” of the addiction, and you relapse over and over. I did this a lot on and off until 2006, after 2 crisis center stays, and after attempting 2 failed SUICIDES, most recent was in 2006. I got myself tangled in a criminal event from my gambling addiction. That’s when I started, and got a foot hold of long-term recovery working with an Addictions Specialist,  intense therapy, and 3 GA Meetings a week for a whole year. That was my first goal. Seriously work and give it a year to start!
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I also got a sponsor and finally started in-depth step work. I was at the point of being “Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired”….Really the biggest 1st Step we have to take in the start of our recovery is, TRULY admitting to ourselves and another that gambling and alcohol had me beat to HELL. I had lost everything, almost my marriage and husband and my LIFE. It was time to grown up, work hard in my recovery, PUT IT FIRST, and get my LIFE BACK! I think some of the thoughts and feelings I had for thinking what I was doing in my addiction was OK was I felt like a “Victim” of my past Childhood Trauma and Abuse.
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So I felt a sense of entitlement, which we all know is horse shit! I needed to finally feel and walk though all that passed PAIN, HURT, and FEAR of all of that.  PLUS, what I had done to others and myself within my addiction! In order to REAP the RECOVERY REWARDS later years later, to really get what seems so “ELUSIVE” in the start of recovery, and what all of us IN Recovery want, just some “PEACE & SERENITY,”……you have to do the WORK order to achieve it, not be GIVEN IT.
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So, the BAD news is, you have to work hard in early recovery and beyond. Make those GA, AA, NA or what ever meetings that help support your recovery through *Fellowship and Unity.* You need to start your 12-Step work as well, or what ever recovery program you choose to help you have a balanced recovery. Some important things is re-learn healthy Mind & Body balance. Start a journal, read those materials that are “given” to you at meetings and at treatment. THEY REALLY DO HELP, and help guide you by learning and being informed about your addiction.
A support PHONE LIST is very important in early recovery. People you can call to help you through “Urges & Triggers.” And get back those healthy habits and hobbies you enjoyed in life, before all your time got sucked up by your addiction.
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The Good & Fabulous news of recovery? YOU GET YOUR LIFE BACK! YES, it will take time, so LEARN PATIENTS.  But it will come. The more you work your recovery, the more of your life you get back in return. And a much BETTER LIFE at that! Again, Recovery is a life long process, not an inconvenience. As before you know it, you’ll having years in recovery, not minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months. You’ll have YEARS of recovery time, and that’s when the “GOOD LIFE” really starts to happen!! It’s when all the hard work you put into your recovery gets good! You finally get to enjoy that early “elusive” in recovery, PEACE, CALM, and SERENITY. You can then start to “Pay It Forward” by being strong in your own recovery, to then help and support others as being of recovery service to others.
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So, just Breath In a Deep,……AWE, DO YOU FEEL IT YET? I SURE DO! It’s called “Success In Recovery”…
“AWE, THE GOOD LIFE”…
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May God Bless You All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
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Emergency Sobriety Card

Posted by tbranston
tbranston
tbranston has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 17 April 2014
in Alcoholism 0 Comments

One of the larger challenges in recovery is learning how to overcome a desire to use alcohol or drugs. In previous articles I've offered a host of tools to support recovery and encourage you to think about recovery in ways other than a conventional approach to sobriety. In this article I would like to offer a simple relapse prevention tool.

As a clinician with nearly 30 years of experience I've worked in a variety of agencies. Every agency would encourage you to develop a relapse prevention plan that attends to places in your life where you get stuck as well as high-risk situations that would encourage use. I think knowing what to do what you get stimulated is important, but I've never been a fan of the long-form relapse prevention plans. Having to look through 20 pages to see which intervention is best suited for a particular issue is a grind. My sense is that more isn't better, different is the key. I would invite you to get several 4x6 cards and create your entire plan on one side of the card.  Include the following:

Mission statement: one of my friend's is a pilot for a major airline. He let me know that 95% of the time a plane is off-course and that you need to make adjustments to keep the plane on course. Much like a plane, we can get off course in our recovery. I would invite you to create a statement at the top of the card which supports you to make corrections in your life when your recovery is in trouble. This is my mission statement: my sobriety is the single most important thing in my life - if anything jeopardizes my recovery, I eliminate it. As I believe that recovery is a choice, it is important to be mindful that every decision we make can support long term-recovery or allow us to engage in maladaptive behaviors that support relapse and are less than flattering to our ego. All I need to do is to simply think of my mission statement and compare it to anything I want to do. Will this action stimulate a desire to use or further support my recovery? While I do not broadcast my sobriety, it is the single most important thing in my life.

Phone numbers: I would invite you to include 6-7 phone numbers of people you know who are supportive of your recovery, likely to help you if you feel like you're falling down in your life, and are consistent in their own way. When I had about 12 years of sobriety I had a pretty strong desire to drink. I was fortunate in that I collected a list of 100 phone numbers. As my desire to drink came on the weekend during the time between Christmas and New Years most people were on vacation and out-of-touch. I needed to call over 95 people before I found someone I could talk to. Some people might consider a list of 100 people as extreme, but my sense is that I am absolutely committed to making sure I remain sober and I am willing to put in extreme effort to that end.

Alternatives: I invite you to list six to seven things you can do beyond drinking and using. I can always go to the judo hall, watch horrible sci fi, volunteer, support people online, read, play with my cat, go for a run, and remember the commitment I made to my grandmother when I got sober. It's important to be mindful that we tend to drink or use to change the way we feel, and it's imperative that we remember that relapse only offers temporary relief.

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Four Years In Recovery - So What Have I Learnt?

Posted by Cathryn
Cathryn
Cathryn has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 28 March 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

It’s been four years since I emerged from rehab, blinking into the new light of sobriety, a shivering, puking, frightened wreck. That terrified wreck is still inside me, I don’t suppose she will ever go away, and I don’t suppose I will ever want her to – it’s that part of me that keeps me sober. Keeps me sane (ish) and centred, no matter what life throws at me. But what has recovery given me? What have I learnt so far?

Recovery has given me everything – a life. End of.

It has also given me everything that comes with a life ie a profound realisation of my failures, my fears, my insecurities, my disappointments and expectations, my long-held resentments, my pride, my vanity and, for good measure, my greed. It has given me loss, a deep grief which has become a treasure chest of wisdom, and hope as clear and sharp as a sunny winter morning. It has given me difficulties and strife, chaos and uncertainty punctuated by glimmers of deep resonance, kindness, friendship and love in every possible permutation. It has given me, me.

So, today, sitting here with four years’ of sobriety and (relative) sanity behind me, and a present filled with opportunity and potential, I want to share these small pearls of wisdom gleaned from the recovery trenches:

1) Sometimes you need to do the wrong thing to get to the right place

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Treatment Options for Addiction and Teen Defiance

Posted by camryenwalker
camryenwalker
camryenwalker has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 25 March 2014
in Other Addictions 0 Comments

your teen’s experimentation with drugs and alcohol may be the cause, or at least a trigger, of the defiant behavior?

If so, the time to get control of your teen’s negative behavior is now. Oftentimes, parents try to ignore bad behavior, hoping it will just “grow” away. But, things just end up going from bad to worse. In time, you also end up losing your credibility as an influential authority figure in your teen’s life. And, once that’s gone, it’s extremely hard to gain it back.

Now, throw in the issues of addiction. People can become addicted to just about anything: alcohol, narcotics, prescription drugs, shopping, eating, social networking, internet use, exercising, video games, pornography, and even sex. When it comes to teen addiction, it’s important for parents to take action immediately. Ignoring the problem, or taking a passive approach, will only lead to even more defiant behaviors.

The Myth about Hitting Rock Bottom

American culture, along with various infamous alcohol and drug addiction programs, are sticklers about the “hitting rock bottom” myth. The general idea is that an addict must sink to the lowest depths possible before he/she will accept help. Now, don’t get it wrong. When parents seek help for teen addictions, it’s often the direct result of the family hitting rock bottom, not the teen specifically.

When it comes to teens, however, it’s best that parents get help for both addiction and teen defiance long before teens reach the bottom of the pit. In most cases, teens who are forced into treatment do just as well as teens who seek out treatment for themselves. As a matter of fact, there’s some really innovative technology available these days, related to addiction treatment. So, even defiant teens who are violently against treatment have been known to sober up and straighten up, with professional help.

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Defeating the Mental Trap

Posted by Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty is an interventionist, Registered Addiction Specialist intern an
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on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

I'm sure that many of you can relate to coincidences like when you learn about a new word, you find that you hear it more, but when in reality it's just something new that has come into your awareness, it was really there all along.  This is of course something that happens to me often, but has certainly been my experience since I have been writing this blog, as it is now always in my awareness to look for opportunities for what to discuss next and they just keep popping into my life!

Working in the addiction field, and the job I have in particular, keeps me very focused but also very isolated.  Working in addiction also creates a sort of bubble, being that my clients are all trying to get out of their active addiction, my co-workers are all in recovery, and the doctors are addictionologists.  I had been in California for four or five years and didn’t realize that I was protecting myself in a way, by not branching out of my comfort zone.  So it wasn’t until about two years ago, that I started to go out to new places and interact with new people that have never struggled with an addiction.  (People that experience temporary stress instead of chronic anxiety are still a wonder to me!)

The benefit, however, of the bubble realization was that all of that prep work that I had been doing (working with a sponsor, doing the steps, going to multiple types of therapy to figure out the core issues as to why I was using inhalants, then working on those core issues) was in preparation for returning to the real world and all its challenges and this time having a more positive impact, on myself and on those around me, and it was time to use them!  The tools I have learned (especially emotional regulation, coping skills, and trigger identification) and the resources I have developed have been crucial in my relapse prevention, because life sure does throw me some curveballs and when I did come out of hiding, I found that some of my wreckage from my past was still there waiting for me.  I am definitely grateful that I was given the opportunity to have a second chance, to get to be the same person, but a better version.  By doing the footwork, it allows me to look at the same situations but have different reactions and therefore different outcomes than I would have in the past.

I feel that in order to be effective in communicating with people who are also struggling and/or looking for solutions or education, I need to write about things that truly affect me emotionally, because if what I'm writing doesn't induce some sort of feelings for me, how could it in someone else?  So full disclosure in the hopes that someone can relate and hopefully allowing me to be of service.

The reason that the ability to have different reactions that produce different and better outcomes is on my mind is due to some events that occurred in my week.  I felt discouraged this week for two reasons, and I feel like they have happened while I have volunteered to write this blog for a reason.  I am a person that falls victim to a certain type of mental trap, where your brain immediately jumps into negative thinking or disaster mode when you hear certain things that are not ideal.  In the treatment facilities I work with, we refer to it as addict brain.

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Tags: 10th tradition, 12 step, 12 step recovery, AA, abstinence, accurate self-appraisal, action program, action steps, addict, addiction, addiction help, addiction memoir, addiction recovery, Addiction Specialist, addictive behavior, addicts, affected, affirmations, Alcoholics Anonymous, answers, anxiety, anxiety and recovery, ask for help, Asking for help, attitude of gratitude, awareness, balance, being a loving mirror, being a loving person, being of service, Big Book, Caring for those who still suffer, co-addiction, co-occurring disorder, compassion, courage, dealing with a using loved one, depression, discomfort, drug abuse, drug addiction, emotional management, emotional maturity, emotional regulation, emotional sobriety, emotions, faith, family recovery, fear, first step, goal setting, goals, gratitude, gratitude journey, Guest Blogger, guilt, healing, HELPING OTHERS, higher self, inadequacy, inner satisfaction, intervention, inventory, letting go, Life Challenges, life on life's terms, literature, memoir, mental health, mindfulness, mindfulness and recovery, Motivation, My Story, openness, positive energy, program of recovery, recovery, recovery talk, relapse prevention, Resilience, right action, right intention, self care, Self Love, self-compassion, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-help, self-honesty, serenity, shame, sobriety, sponsor, stepwork, struggle, substance abuse, suffering, suffering addicts, Support, surrender, tenth tradition, thinking, thinking errors, Trying to save a Life, turn it over, twelve step recovery, twelve steps, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, twelve steps of aa, twelve traditions, twelve traditions of aa, why i used drugs
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Inhalant Awareness and Education

Posted by Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty is an interventionist, Registered Addiction Specialist intern an
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on Tuesday, 11 March 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

March 16th marks the beginning of the week for National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week!

I work in assisting the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, a contact I made after my episode of Intervention, when I joined Director Harvey Weiss to speak on a panel with others affected by inhalant abuse in Washington DC.  Many of the people that I have spoken with were once inhalant addicts themselves or friends and family (especially parents) of inhalant users who devistatingly passed away while using inhalants. This is an organization that works on reducing, preventing, and making the public aware of inhalant abuse, a goal that we both have in common.

In their most recent newsletter, the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) defines inhalant abuse as "the intentional misuse, via inhalation, of common household, school and workplace products and chemicals to “get high.”  This definition also infers two primary inhalant abuse slang terms:  “Sniffing” and “Huffing.” In a sense the Process of“huffing” defines the slang terms for the Activity i.e. bagging (huffing from a bag); Glading (misusing air freshener); etc."

NIPC also regularly provides the public with updates and facts imperitive to spread the awareness and prevention of inhalant abuse.  Here is an update of some of the most recent facts:

1.  Any time an inhalant is used, it could be a fatal episode.  This could be the first time you ever use inhalants, or the 100th.  NIPC notes that there is research showing that "of those people who died from huffing, about one-third died at first time use."

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How to Let Go of Shame

Posted by CathyTaugh
CathyTaugh
Cathy Taughinbaugh has experienced the devastation of substance abuse and addict
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on Wednesday, 22 January 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive.”  ~ Brené Brown

Do you feel shame because of your addiction?

The thing is, there is plenty of shame to go around when it comes to addiction.

Family members, especially parents, feel it as well. I felt anxious when I realized that someone in my family could not manage their life. I felt responsible and yet shame and fear stopped me from asking for help.

Addiction and shame go hand in hand. It is hard to understand where one starts and the  other ends. Addiction leaves us feeling powerless, isolated and unworthy whether we are the addicted person or the family member. There is a strong sense of secrecy and silence about addiction. It feels like something that is easier to hide and just not talk about.

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Finding My Way Through Addiction

Posted by CathyTaugh
CathyTaugh
Cathy Taughinbaugh has experienced the devastation of substance abuse and addict
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on Thursday, 02 January 2014
in Co-dependency 0 Comments

I have hardly met a family that has not been touched in some way by addiction. Yet when my kids were growing up, it never occurred to me that this could happen to our family.

I didn’t suspect my child’s experimentation would ever lead to addiction. I was in denial, hoping that time would cure this problem as it does so many other things. I know now how wrong I was.

Addiction is a disease that hurts deeply, it breaks the entire fabric of love and respect that binds the family together. I felt the hurt. My days were challenging and painful when I was in the midst of dealing with my child’s addiction. I felt manipulated, used and rarely appreciated.

I could feel myself enabling, doing things that did not help. I was hoping for a quick fix. I knew deep down that this wasn’t going to work, but I couldn’t stop.

On occasion, the fear engulfed me as I lay awake with my eyes staring at the ceiling watching each hour pass by until dawn.

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Sharing a Foreign Language

Posted by AlisonFSmela
AlisonFSmela
Alison Smela, is in long-term recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder follo
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on Monday, 30 December 2013
in Other Addictions 0 Comments

There have been many times in my life when words or phrases came to mean something other than what many understand them to mean.  Off the top of my head I can think of a few examples.

My husband and I communicate in ways often causing our friends to do a double-take and wonder what in the world we are talking about.  For example, I might be in the living room doing something and yell down to my husband in the basement to bring me “that thing next to the big thing.”  Seconds later he hands me exactly what I needed.  We share a language created during our many years of living together.

Another opportunity to share a unique means of communication is in the work environment.  When I was still active in the corporate world, my team of many years knew exactly what each other needed or what we meant by a simple nod of the head or a raised eyebrow. We had spent hours together creating, editing, masterminding and learning to trust one another.  In all that time we eventually understood things without needing to say a word.  When we were in situations where verbal connection wasn't an option, those non-communication actions spoke volumes.  I was somehow comforted by this; feeling a sense of security knowing I was part of something uniquely special.

When I was drinking and rarely eating, there was a lot of conversation in my head which was uniquely special for me too.  I never shared these ongoing internal dialogues with anyone because I couldn’t explain them.  I had a difficult enough time myself just trying to understand how and why the subject matter would roll back and forth like a pendulum. One moment I’d be justifying my irrational behavior and the next I’d be mentally berating myself for having such thoughts.

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I Wasn’t Ready but I Was Willing

Posted by AlisonFSmela
AlisonFSmela
Alison Smela, is in long-term recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder follo
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on Sunday, 08 December 2013
in Alcoholism 0 Comments

Even when I was in the absolute worst stage of unabashed drinking and irregular, unhealthy eating habits, very little if anything could have pushed me to seek recovery any sooner than I did.

Those who love me worked tirelessly in the effort to convince me I needed help.  Each gesture or suggestion was met with resistance, denial and deflection.  Those caring and compassionate individuals had all but prepared themselves to receive the dreaded phone call I’d finally succumbed to the disease of addiction.

The more people tried to persuade me of my destruction, the more my distance from them widened.  I wasn’t ready to stop.  I liked being able to decide for myself when, where and how much I engaged in what I believed was pure merriment.  I’d perfected my silent rationalization to slip into the haze of too much alcohol with little food. When I was in the state of nothingness, life’s emotional ups and downs didn’t matter anymore. I cherished my ability firmly and sternly control what I put my mental energy into and what was erased. As long as I kept my booze supply up and my weight down, all was well in the world.  And oh boy, did I love the “high” I felt when the deception, manipulation and lies all fell into place.

Until they didn’t.

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Happy Birthday to Me! Wait, Which One?

Posted by AlisonFSmela
AlisonFSmela
Alison Smela, is in long-term recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder follo
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on Sunday, 01 December 2013
in Alcoholism 0 Comments

I am honored to be the December Expert particularly because this first day happens to be my birthday. Yet the date does not mark the only time I was shifted from a place of comfort to a visceral shock to the system.

I’ve been given the most precious gift of life three times. I was physically born in December of 1961, almost died in 2001 and then tested fate again in 2008. The 46-year journey was a roller coaster of addiction, emotional chaos and nonstop searching for a way out.

Although I can't remember the first few celebrations of the date I entered this world, all accounts indicated they were joyous, happy and fun. I’ve been told people poured attention on me with beautifully wrapped boxes to open and cards read by others with messages for a future far better than their own.

 

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*Sad to have to say "Good Bye"...but I'll keep Blogging!*

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 31 October 2013
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

Hello Addictionland Recovery Friends & Visitors,


So my time here as *The Guest Expert Blogger* for "Gambling Addiction" is coming to a close. So I wanted to take this time to say to all of you who came by my blog here this past Month, a very BIG THANK YOU, for your emails, and your wonderful recovery support! I hope I was able to share info, and educate all who came and took the time to read what I had to say about "Compulsive Addicted Gambling" the disease. Many still just don't see it that way, and is why there is such *STIGMA* around those in recovery from this CUNNING illness & addiction.


Always know you can stop by my own "Recovery Blog" at: http://CatherineLyonAddictedToDimes.wordpress.com and check out my *Recovery Resources Page* as well as my Book/Writer Blog at: http://www.simplesite.com/CatherineLyonAddictedToDimes
where I show case *FANTASTIC* recovery books, reads, authors, and writers. Along with Featured Stories, Book Reviews, and Guest Authors & Blogggers and websites. I will continue to come here to Addictionland and blog as well. I have learned SO MUCH while being this months Guest Blogger.


For those who are in recovery from addicted gambling, or maybe having a rough time in recovery, there are some "Excellent" websites for help, treatment, and Support. Here are just a few of my favorites I visit OFTEN....


Gamblers Anonymous http://www.gamblersanonymous.org
Safe Harbor Compulsive Gambling Hub http://www.sfcghub.com
Author, Marilyn Lancelot "FOR" Female Gamblers  http://www.femalegamblers.info *Marilyn has 2 fantastic books out here)
http://www.GrippedbyGambling.com and the last website I LUV...
Journal of Gambling issues http://www.camh.net/egambling
FREE TREATMENT Options http://www.myaddiction.com
Every Wen Night on Twitter is #ADDICTIONCHAT @LUV_Recovery 
6pm Pacific time   9pm Eastern Time That's were I am :-)


Always know, you are NOT ALONE anymore. YOU CAN Recover from any addiction, you just have to take that 1st step,"When we admit to ourselves we have a Problem" then reach out for help, someone will be there for YOU.....

MY *SPECIAL THANK YOU TO "Cate Stevens" for allowing me this wonderful platform to share with all of you, my TRUE & SINCERE message of "HOPE" to others. To be able to give you all an Inside Look of the dangers of becoming addicted to something that was intended for *FUN & Entertainment*....but SADLY for some of us, IT IS NOT.

So CATE, from my *HEART* to YOURS, I Appreciated the invite to be a guest here, and call on me ANYTIME if I can be of *Recovery Service* to you and the Fantastic members here on "Addictionland"....May God Bless You All!

Warm Regards,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon :-)


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Learning To Live With Your New Life Of Sobriety

Posted by The Clean Life
The Clean Life
I had an addiction to alcohol for many years and found that my life was going do
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 18 September 2013
in Alcoholism 0 Comments

For alll of us that have had an addiction to alcohol for many years, we are so frighten to change our life, and live that life of sobriety.  For myself, I wanted to live sober, but I was so frightened of how I would be able to get along in life without my crutch of alcohol.

Our first step is to want to get sober and stay sober for the rest of our lives.  That is the number one thing, at least it was it was for myself.  You need to want sober and not be forced, threatened into changing your life.

For many alcoholics that want to change their and get sober, I would advise you to get the Professional Help needed to detox in a safe and healthy manner.

For myself, I did not take that approach, and to tell you the truth once I made up my mind to surrender to my demons and get sober, I was so afraid of what would happen to me over the period of time in the beginning of my sobriety.  I truly took a huge change on my life by not getting sober in a safe and healthy manner.

I was one of the lucky people that nothing happened bad to me, although I was a nervous wreck for weeks, but I stood my grounds and never broke my promise to myself that no matter how I felt and how bad I wanted to have drink I would NOT pick up an alcoholic drink for the rest of my life.

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Alcoholism without Alcohol

Posted by The Easier Softer Way
The Easier Softer Way
The Easier Softer Way has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 28 August 2013
in Alcoholism 0 Comments

When I was newly sober, I heard the cliche that "alcoholism has very little to do with alcohol" many times. As I have stayed sober longer, I have found this statement to be extremely true. Alcoholism comes in a person, not in a bottle.

Prayer in Alcoholics AnonymousThe First Step of Alcoholics Anonymous has two distinct parts. The first part states that we are powerless over alcohol (and drugs), and the second part states that our lives had become unmanageable. When I first saw this, I read it as "our alcohol abuse had become unmanageable." The truth is that our lives are unmanageable without alcohol as well. In my experience and opinion, my life became even more unmanageable without alcohol than it was with alcohol.

Alcohol was the solution. It worked. It helped me manage. Getting sober and admitting I was powerless over alcohol, I no longer had my chief form of comfort. Alcohol allowed me to not feel, and I wasn't sober frequently enough to fully experience the path of my unpleasant emotions. Suddenly I found myself in a world where I had no buffer between me and my emotions.

This unmanageability to me means that I cannot healthily and safely manage my life sober or drunk. My mind does not by default know how to appropriately respond to life. Alcoholism carries on just as well without the alcohol. As the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, we have a physical allergy, mental craving, and spiritual malady. When I stop drinking, the physical allergy is no longer an issue. The mental craving is caused by my spiritual malady. It is for this reason that the focus of eleven of the Twelve Steps is on this spiritual malady.

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How Many More Have To Die?~~DO you know about Addicted Gambling & Mental Illness?

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
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on Sunday, 18 August 2013
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments
Posted on August 15, 2013 by Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon ANOTHER SAD HEADLINE…..SO How many more is it going to take to DIE because of many Un-Diagnosed Emotional or Mental illness?…….Why do others JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND, or WANT TO?…….Is Ignorance REALLY BLISS? Sorry, but I’m NOT sorry to be so forward about that FACTS of mental illness, addictions, recovery, and many emotional Disorders. Gia Allemand Dead of Apparent Suicide….Why does it always have to be when someone dies or commits SUICIDE to SHOCK people into Compassion, Empathy, or Understanding? WHEN IT’S TOO LATE? *Gia Allemand Dead of Apparent Suicide* Gia Allemand, The Bachelor contestant who competed for Jake Pavelka’s heart on season 14, died of an apparent suicide. She was 29.She was found Monday night in her New Orleans home by her boyfriend, NBA player Ryan Anderson of the Pelicans, her family says in a statement. Anderson called 911 and Allemand was transported to the hospital, where she was in critical condition on life support.”Due to a critical loss of brain and organ function, life support was withdrawn” on Wednesday, the family statement says. “Ms. Allemand passed away peacefully with her mother, boyfriend, and other lifelong friends by her side. As a practicing Christian, Gia did receive the sacrament of last rites.” “Loved ones and fans will remember Gia Allemand as a caring woman who loved her family and was well-known for her compassion towards animals and mission to rescue homeless pets.”………**AND AN UPDATE SINCE I POSTED THIS POST*****ANOTHER HAS DIED??**………… **Lisa Robin Kelly in 2000‘*That ’70s Show’ star Lisa Robin Kelly dead at 43** Lisa Robin Kelly, the actress who played Laurie Forman on the FOX sitcom “That ’70s Show” and had experienced legal and substance-abuse troubles in recent years, died Wednesday, her agent said, on Thursday. She was 43. Kelly died while attending a rehab facility while attempting to battle her demons, the agent said. “Unfortunately Lisa Robin Kelly passed away last evening. Lisa had voluntarily checked herself into a treatment facility early this week where she was battling the addiction problems that have plagued her these past few years,” the agent said. “I spoke to her on Monday and she was hopeful and confident, looking forward to putting this part of her life behind her. Last night, she lost the battle.” A cause of death has not yet been released. Since exiting the series in 2003 — she was replaced by Christina Moore for the show’s sixth season — Kelly had grabbed more headlines for her legal troubles than her acting career. The actress was arrested in November 2012 for allegedly assaulting her husband in North Carolina, which followed a charge of corporal injury on a spouse in March of that year. (Those charges were dropped.) While Kelly denied the March assault, she did admit to struggling with alcohol abuse, telling “Good Morning America” interviewer Abbie Boudreau that she developed a drinking problem after suffering a miscarriage. “I had lost a baby, and as a result of that, I lost everything, and I was abusing alcohol, which I no longer do,” the actress, who claimed to be sober for three months at the time of the interview, said. “With ‘That ’70s Show,’ I was guilty of the drinking problem and I ran. And I am not running from this. And I have paid my dues. And if I can make it through this, I can make it through anything.” …… **ANOTHER PRECIOUS LIFE TAKEN TO SOON BY MOST LIKELY ADDICTION/EMOTIONAL HEALTH ISSUES’S** **”I have been that close myself to Suicide and Death TWICE…..and for some Higher Power at BE….....(My GOD) pulled me back and whispered in my ear, “Catherine it is not your time, you have too much unfinished business here on earth”,….I’m to work Through you to help you Speak out about MANY things.” And you know what?……He was right!” “My first order of business was to write my story of addiction, childhood trauma, abuse, and, Daily Challenges with my Mental illness. I try to help *SHATTER the STIGMA* around people in Recovery from Addictions, and to STAND UP for others who suffer from Mental/Emotional illness! I say this ALL the time that EVERYONE in their Life has a Story to tell. Here on my blog, I continue my Journey, and write Frequently of what it is like to Struggle with Mental Illness! My gambling addiction is what brought out my Severe Symptoms of Bi-polar.” “Then in Recovery, I found, and was left with Anxiety, Panic, and Agoraphobia Disorders. Not to mention the 7 meds I take daily to try to function like a Normal Person what ever that maybe??? YES….I’m a work in progress, and YES,……I’ve worked hard in my almost 7yrs in Recovery. But what I don’t understand is how others can be Cruel at times to people with mental disabilities. That is why I speak out! This needs to stop!! People need to be a little more educated on what WE go through on a DAILY Basis. So here are a few descriptions of some Mental illness & Disorders definitions”………. *Agoraphobia*: “ Panic disorder with agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which a person has attacks of intense fear and anxiety. There is also a fear of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available.A.D.A.M. Agoraphobia usually involves fear of crowds, bridges, or of being outside alone. This article discusses panic disorder with agoraphobia. For information on panic disorder itself, see also: Panic disorder“ Causes, incidence, and risk factors The exact causes of panic disorder and agoraphobia are unknown. Because panic attacks often occur in areas or situations where they have happened in the past, panic may be a learned behavior. Agoraphobia sometimes occurs when a person has had a panic attack and begins to fear situations that might lead to another panic attack. Anyone can develop a panic disorder, but it usually starts around age 25. Panic disorder is more common in women than men. **Symptoms** Panic attacks involve short periods of intense anxiety symptoms, which peak within 10 minutes. Panic attack symptoms can include: Chest pain or discomfort Choking Dizziness or faintness Fear of being out of control Fear of dying Fear of “going crazy” Hot flashes or chills Nausea or other stomach distress Numbness or tingling Racing heart Shortness of breath Sweating Trembling With agoraphobia, you avoid places or situations because you do not feel safe in public places. The fear is worse when the place is crowded. Symptoms of agoraphobia include: Being afraid of spending time alone Being afraid of places where escape might be hard Being afraid of losing control in a public place Depending on others Feeling detached or separated from others Feeling helpless Feeling that the body is not real Feeling that the environment is not real Having an unusual temper or agitation Staying in the house for long periods of time **I SUFFER FROM THESE TWO DISORDERS TOGETHER** *Bi-Polar 2 Disorder*: What Is Bipolar II Disorder? Bipolar II disorder (pronounced “bipolar two”) is a form of mental illness. Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time. However, in bipolar II disorder, the “up” moods never reach full-on mania. The less-intense elevated moods in bipolar II disorder are called hypomanic episodes, or hypomania. A person affected by bipolar II disorder has had at least one hypomanic episode in life. Most people with bipolar II disorder also suffer from episodes of depression. This is where the term “manic depression” comes from. In between episodes of hypomania and depression, many people with bipolar II disorder live normal lives. Nearly everyone with bipolar II disorder develops it before age 50. People with an immediate family member who have bipolar are at higher risk. *What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder?* During a hypomanic episode, elevated mood can manifest itself as either euphoria (feeling “high”) or as irritability. Symptoms during hypomanic episodes include: •Flying suddenly from one idea to the next •Rapid, “pressured,” and loud speech •Increased energy, with hyperactivity and a decreased need for sleep People experiencing hypomanic episodes are often quite pleasant to be around. They can often seem like the “life of the party” — making jokes, taking an intense interest in other people and activities, and infecting others with their positive mood. What’s so bad about that, you might ask? Hypomania can also lead to erratic and unhealthy behavior. People in hypomanic episodes might spend money they don’t have, seek out sex with people they normally wouldn’t, and engage in other *impulsive or risky behaviors. (My past Gambling Addiction was risky behavior)* Also, the vast majority of people with bipolar II disorder experience significant depressive episodes. These can occur soon after hypomania subsides, or much later. Some people cycle back and forth between hypomania and depression, while others have long periods of normal mood in between episodes. Untreated, an episode of hypomania can last anywhere from a few days to several months. Most commonly, symptoms continue for a few weeks to a few months. Depressive episodes in bipolar II disorder are similar to “regular” clinical depression, with depressed mood, loss of pleasure, low energy and activity, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide. Depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder can last weeks, months, even years!.......... **I can tell you it's NO PICNIC being in Recovery and suffer from these disorders. People treat you different. There are people who can be very cruel to others because it is easier to make fun of something you KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, then it is to have compassion for others. That is why I SPEAK UP and SPEAK OUT, to help SHATTER the STIGMA Around these issues. I hope this gives others a little more Understanding. Have a Great Week ahead! *Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon*
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A Book Junkie Admits All

Posted by glotao
glotao
Gloria Arenson, MFT, DCEP, specializes in using EFT and other Energy Psychology
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on Friday, 16 August 2013
in Other Addictions 0 Comments

I have spent the last month unable to tear myself away from streaming a popular TV series that I didn’t watch while it was on the air weekly. There are 142 episodes and I am almost finished with the lot! Some days I have watched as many as 5 episodes. I am annoyed with my behavior and what a waste of time it is. Yesterday I tried to stop and couldn't.

Then it dawned on me that I am using compulsive TV watching to escape because I am going through withdrawal from my reading addiction! I have run out of books that interest me; most of the book stores in town have closed down; and the library is closed tomorrow. I guess that I will distract myself with a few more hours of TV and hope for the best while my Kindle is charging.

I am ashamed to admit that I am a book junkie. I mean the "hard stuff," the paper books, not the audio books. I love to lose myself in a good story or fascinating biography. The feel of turning the pages and the weight of the book is so satisfying. There is nothing like the sense of expectation I feel when I start a 500-page book!

I have been an avid reader since childhood. I remember how happy I used to feel going home from the local library with my arms filled with books. When I gave birth to my son I knew that I was going to have a c-section, so I went to the library ahead of time and made sure I put some books in my suitcase to take to the hospital since I was told that I would be there for up to one week. I knew that I wouldn't be able to get out for a while once we were home, therefore I needed a stockpile.

When I have nothing to read I experience withdrawal. I tend to feel antsy, anxious and sometimes get grumpy when away from my “fix.” My worst withdrawal experience came many years ago, before Kindles were invented, when my husband and I were invited to visit one of his friends who had moved to a nearby city. Chuck picked us up at the airport and drove us to his new home on top of a hill.

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Social Anchoring, a Tool to Manage Recovery

Posted by tbranston
tbranston
tbranston has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 15 August 2013
in Alcoholism 0 Comments

Staying sober requires that recovering people remain motivated towards sobriety. Recovering individuals need to become involved in Social Anchoring, a skill which comprises five very distinct actions to enable long-term support for recovery. Through the development of these actions people begin to learn a practical application of principles which offer a sufficient substitute other than alcohol or drugs.

Most newly sober people have trouble evaluating their experience and abilities objectively. This lack of objectivity can result in poor decision making and a lack of awareness which does not put your skills and achievements in a positive light. This article is intended to be a starting place so you can best determine how to best present your specific skills and find various ways to enliven your sobriety.

1) Attendance at recovery based meetings. It is imperative that people who want to remain sober, spend time with other people trying to achieve the same thing. Recovery based fellowship enables people to see what works, what doesn’t, learn skills to support long-term abstinence, and develop friendships so that when one experiences a desire to drink and use, they can call upon their fellows in these meetings, rather than answering the call of their favorite chemical.

2) Remaining accountable. We need to spend time with people who are working a recovery program and exhibit behaviors that are suggestive of a life committed to personal growth and sobriety. Junior members are encouraged to find senior members who “have what they want” and develop a mentor relationship with one another. These junior/senior members meet regularly to discuss how they can apply what they have learned, offer objective feedback, and help you to develop a plan of action for meetings goals.

3) Developing a connection with a Higher Power. This right-of-passage usually involves coming to terms with archaic religious views and discarding the codified structure of what isn’t working, and which prevents people from reaching full integrity in their recovery program. New members are encouraged to set-aside what they know and begin to see things differently. Remembering that setting aside what you know isn’t asking you to discard what you know, rather it is about becoming willing to consider a different viewpoint or understanding that our way doesn’t support us to get what we want.

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How to Benefit From a Binge

Posted by glotao
glotao
Gloria Arenson, MFT, DCEP, specializes in using EFT and other Energy Psychology
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on Friday, 09 August 2013
in Food Addiction 0 Comments

Binge eaters hate themselves because they can’t stop overeating. They promise themselves that they will stop tomorrow and be good, punish themselves for pigging out or panic because they can’t close their zipper. The one thing that bingers don’t do is to pay heed to the binge. Bingers tell themselves that binges are bad and the overeater is bad for being so weak.

If you are find yourself going out of control with a substance or behavior, I want you to consider that compulsive behaviors are a sign of a life out of balance. Instead of going into denial or trying to avoid binging again, let’s look at a binge as a message from your inner self trying to tell you that something is wrong in your life, and you are unwilling to face the pain or do something about its origin.

Stuffing yourself with food is like taking an aspirin when you have a broken leg. It may dull the agony a tiny bit, but it will not heal the problem. Often when an overeater curbs her gluttony she may often switch to another behavior that brings temporary pleasure such as overspending, gambling, alcohol, drugs, etc.

A young woman who had been hospitalized in her teens for treatment for her severe bulimia told me that she was grateful for that experience since she received help in understanding herself better and learned tools for problem solving, as she became an adult. A binge is an invitation to examine your life and create skills for dealing with the inevitabilities of life.

There are 5 steps to each binge.

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Cravings Anonymous

Posted by glotao
glotao
Gloria Arenson, MFT, DCEP, specializes in using EFT and other Energy Psychology
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on Thursday, 01 August 2013
in Other Addictions 0 Comments

Many years ago when Overeaters Anonymous was in its infancy in Los Angeles, members of AA who had years of sobriety were invited to speak at OA meetings. They brought experience, strength and hope to a group struggling to get on its feet. Among the AA helpers was a wonderful woman named Dottie who was an inspiring speaker. Dottie was welcomed at the burgeoning OA meetings and became a friend and supporter of those wanting to be free of compulsive eating.

As the years went by and OA grew, other anonymous meetings sprang up for drug addicts and later spenders and sex addicts. Then word went around that Dottie was starting another new meeting that was different from all the rest. It was a meeting open to any and all people suffering from addictive or compulsive behaviors. No type of addiction was considered more serious than another. It was a meeting where all attendees were practicing the 12 steps.

Soon after this meeting got underway I moved away from Los Angeles so I never found out what happened to that group, but I never forgot it. We desperately need a new support system today that is like Dottie’s since we have become a society riddled with addictions and compulsions of all sorts. People switch from one to another but are never free of the cravings to feel good at all costs.

I recall Betty, the very first client I treated after I was licensed as an MFT. Betty was an overeating, drug-addicted alcoholic. She wanted me to help her stop her compulsive overeating. Then she met her husband, who was a drug dealer, and she dropped out of therapy. She eventually returned, having divorced her husband. She was not using drugs and was trying to stay off booze, but food was a constant battle.

I worked with Betty for quite a while as she tried to kick all three of her compulsions. She never managed to get rid of all three at the same time.  Finally she relocated to another city. I remember one of her letters in which she said that she went to an alcoholism counselor who told her, “I don’t care what you do, just DON”T DRINK!” She wrote that she stopped drinking and immediately gained 35 pounds!

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5 Facts About Food Cravings You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Posted by manejwala
manejwala
Omar Manejwala, M.D., former medical director of Hazelton and author of soon to
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on Tuesday, 23 July 2013
in Food Addiction 0 Comments

It happens far too often.  You read about some celebrity who has a new diet that is guaranteed to help you shed those pounds.  Or you talk to a friend who has lost a ton of weight by following a new plan.  You even hear the experts describe it not as a diet, but as a new way of life.  So you go on it.  Then the inevitable happens: you get bored, you get stuck, you cheat a little and then the cravings hit.  The next thing you know it’s a slip then a relapse.  Your choice is to try again, or head off to the next diet.  Atkins. South Beach.  Body for Life.  Paleo.  Is it going to work? In fact, research shows that dieting actually increases cravings.

What if the problem isn’t what you eat, but what you do when you are not eating?  For most people that’s exactly the issue: the problem is cravings.  Cravings are why you switched from one plan to another; cravings are why you feel you need to “cheat.”  And cravings will come no matter what diet or “way of life” you choose.

So instead of, yet again, changing what you eat, why not change you, by changing what you do when you’re not eating?  Here a 5 suggestions that will help you do just that and get those pesky cravings under control.

Write it down

“Wait… you want me to write down every single thing I eat or drink?”  Absolutely. Keeping a food diary greatly improves your chance of success.  Food diary users are more likely to lose weight, less likely to crave and more likely to stick to their plans.  If writing down your meals is too cumbersome, a number of smartphone apps like LoseIt! and MyFitnessPal make logging a snap, and even allow you to scan the barcodes of foods to automatically enter their nutritional information.  If you have issues with orthorexia, this may require some special modification/attention, but most people who struggle should take inventory. Many food diary users, however, will log their meals for a while and then stop, which leads to the next suggestion:

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