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Category contains 4 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Co-dependency

People often forget about the needs of caregivers, especially when you’re caring for someone with a drug or alcohol addiction. It is equally important for you to seek help and develop a support system. Therapists can offer you guidance on how to: stop enabling the person with the addiction, improve communication, set boundaries, avoid caving in to manipulations, promote your own social life and maintain relationships with others, and gain knowledge about addiction. Addiction is a family illness that doesn’t just impact the person addicted to drugs or alcohol.

 

 

BARRIERS TO SEEKING SUPPORT

While there are many benefits to having a support system, there are barriers that often prevent caregivers from reaching out to friends and family. If you fear being judged or rejected by society, you’re not alone. Caregivers often feel shame or have guilt for caring for someone with an addiction, as if they have failed that person. If their child has an addiction, they often feel they have failed as a parent. Sometimes caregivers feel they don’t deserve help, or feel guilty for acknowledging their own pain, as if they are being insensitive to the person with the addiction. It can be difficult admitting and accepting that you need help as the loved one or caregiver, when you spend most of your time caring for and attending to the needs of someone else. Sometimes friends and family aren’t supportive of the caregiver. You might be viewed as being too supportive (enabling) or not supportive enough (abandoning). It may feel like a lose-lose situation, but it is important to put your own needs and mental health first.

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Posted by on in Co-dependency

We had been gatheing for about three days collecting the poison that we would  need to stir like a witches brew till it was ready to inject in ourselves and make an unreal amount of money with it. Actually there's little money to be made cuz every penny would be invested in the next cook. If you find a truly good cook, you'll find that they are only truly happy when there cooking. 

Anyway my friend outlaw and I we're headed to the deep country to meet his partner who's barn we would be working  in. We ended up in the middle of nowhere. So we sat down and punched pills and clipped lithium batteries and drained that air of cans of starter fluid. Everything was almost ready so I went into the other half of the barn where my car was parked and where I would be the town cryer if anyone came up. So I went to post up in my car and promptly fell asleep. Because what I never told them was my plan was to haul ass and yell over my shoulder that they should run too. Hahaha!! Anyway I was sleeping when the cook jumped in my car with his arms filled with all the cook ingredients.  He said "Let's go hurry. " I could smell smoke. "What happened? " I asked. "Nothing just go." "What about your buddy? " I asked.  "He'll be fine. Just get us the he'll out of here.  I still have to gas it!! " Feeling like a monster, I punched the accelerator and sling dirt we backed out of the garage and I was too close to one side and pulled out catching my bumper on the door and pulling it loose. We flew down the country until I couldn't stand it and pulled over on the side of the country road.  I said "I can't do it.  I can't leave a man in a burning building to be roasted so we "Can gas it. " I'm going back if you want to wait here I'll be back to get you. " he said he'd wait. So I went back to try to help a guy I didn't even know. 

When I got there smoke was still rising.  I tied a shirt around my face and entered the smoke filled room. "Hey are you still in here? " I asked.  I could hear someone answering but mostly heard their coughing. Finally he made it to me. We both groped our way out of the Smokey barn. He kept asking about the cook. Not the person. He said he'd be fine and told me he appreciated the thought but told me to go back and pick up my passenger.  I left feeling better. I went and scooped him up along with his pot of gold. I'm always shocked although I shouldn't  be, by the way it becomes the priority in everything. All consuming. No time for family, for baseball games played by little boys or softball for little girls, only druggie "friends". I hope nothing I post makes life in the drug world seem like the book thing to do. I recently stopped by an old friend who is still caught up in that scene but is trying to get out..I told her and her boyfriend that "nobody retires from slinging,  or cooking methods. It's not like you'll someday be able to rock on your porch with your nice things all around you.If it's I'll gotten then you won't get to keep it. Somehow all those stolen things that you got for a pittance will all gradually slip away. You'll in go to jail and in everything. Or you'll die from abusing your body,  (I've destroyed my health.) In if you quit at any age youll have a better life. Thank you for your time. 

 

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Posted by on in Co-dependency

On my run this morning, I was thinking about the "waves" of life and how to stay afloat when the going gets rough.  Perfectly calm water can only exist in a vacuum.  Because other elements exist, like earth, air and fire, the water is affected and waves arise.  On a perfect day, when I have practiced many of my spiritual disciplines such as acceptance, exercise, breathing, service to others or meditation, my inner self is calm and I have a better chance of responding to life.  On other days, when I rush out my front door to work without reading a positive passage or taking time to get centered, I am more easily disturbed by the blowing of the wind, shifting of the earth and heat of the fire.

I am extremely grateful for my recovery lifestyle which shifted me away from constantly being a victim into a life of empowerment.  I face many circumstances today which have the potential to completely paralyze me with fear or pain and, instead, I CHOOSE recovery.  I am able to choose it because I am not on drugs.  When I use drugs/alcohol or any mind/mood altering substance, I lose my choice.  I work a program one day at a time, year after year, for close to 17 years now, because the risidual effect of doing so is what helps me face and flow with life's waves.

Today, I expect waves.  Today, I do my best to not close my eyes and turn my back on the waves.  Today, I believe I can turn into the wave and ride it in the direction intended for me and end of up exactly where I am meant to be for the moment.  Circumstances, like my mom's terminal illness, certainly weigh on my heart and mind greatly.  I choose to be there for her.  I choose to feel my feelings, share with my loved ones, cry my eyes out and then get up and go see my mom as often as I can.  Changes at work impact me.  My territory had two representatives working it for eight years.  Now, it's just me.  I could tell myself I can't do the work and complain or I can sit with my manager and strategize how to best spend my attention/effort and take responsibility for my efforts.  Recovery teaches me to give every outcome to my higher power.  I am only in charge of my attitude and my effort.

People misbehave all the time.  I believe hurting people hurt people.  I believe people show you who they are and their behaviors are about their wounds, not anyone elses.  What the world needs now is a whole hell of lot more love, compassion and tolerance.  Anger and resentment don't take effort.   Rising above the wave does.  For me, that begins with self-care.  By attending to my mind, body and spirit each day, I calm the waters and can be of use to others instead of a hardship

All my best,
Cate Stevens

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Posted by on in Co-dependency

Originally Posted @ http://www.newbridgerecovery.com/newbridge-understanding-addicts-mind/ 

The mind of the chronic addict, and alcoholic, has been baffling spouses, friends, bosses, scientists, and therapists for centuries. What the heck is going on in the addict’s brain? To the casual outsider, the behavior of the addict seems irrational, confusing, and even insane. They are like the person who puts his hand on a hot stove and gets burned, yet five minutes later they do it again! People unfamiliar with addiction may observe the addict’s actions and think him/her weak-willed or moronic. A recovered addict myself, often even I can’t understand the minds of the addicts I interact with. Surprisingly the addict is generally a sensitive, self-aware, and complex individual; unpredictable at times. My experience as a former addict gives me additional insight into the mysterious realm of the addict’s mind, and here are my observations:

People (Generally) Don’t Choose to be Addicted

The first step in understanding the addict is to realize that they are sick, actually suffering from a disease called addiction. Similar to bi-polar and depression, addiction is a mental condition that results in a defect in the functioning of the neuro transmitters of the brain, specifically the dopamine-reward system. Put simply, the brain of the addict is vulnerable to dependency upon drugs and alcohol because of the effect they have on the brain. Most addicts try to stop or cutback their substance abuse when consequences and problems arise, like when the person burns his hand on the stove. Yet they find themselves succumbing to abusing drugs, putting their hands on the hot stove again. Eventually they lose control over their ability to moderate or stop using drugs. Although the addict is suffering from a disease, it shouldn’t be an excuse for their behavior or actions. Many parents or spouses of the addict think that their love, affection, or threats should be enough incentive to damper addiction, yet these methods often fall short to stop the neurological entrapment of drug addiction.

no-choice

 

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Posted by on in Co-dependency

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of self-love, it is a phrase used to describe positive or compassionate actions, thoughts, and feelings towards ourselves. Although self-love may sound simple, putting it into practice is much more difficult. Many of us are in a pattern or habit of being critical and demanding upon ourselves. We are out of shape, we don’t make enough money, we are not beautiful enough, we are not smart enough, etc. The list of ways we use to belittle or judge ourselves is endless. Sometimes we are our biggest critic and the hardest to please. Maybe guilt and shame from our past looms over us like a black could. We say to ourselves, “I’m an awful parent/spouse/friend”. The degree to which we practice self-love varies, but for most of us it is generally very unfamiliar. In this post I will discuss how to begin practicing self-love and what mental and emotional benefits will follow. It is never too late to learn how to treat yourself with the love and compassion you deserve.

Practicing Self-Love Techniques

One of the best ways to start bringing self-love into your life is to practice positive self-talk. Contrary to thinking negative thoughts about yourself, positive self-talk is telling yourself helpful and rewarding things. If you have been judging or harsh on yourself for years, this can feel fake or forced. Like most things, an attitude of ‘fake it til you make it’ can lead into an authentic practice. It can be as simple as looking in the mirror and naming all the physical qualities that make your beautiful or unique. Tell yourself throughout the day that you are deserving of all the blessings you receive. If you believe in a higher power, think of the love that he/she has for you and how wonderful you must seem to them. Practicing positive self-talk can change the way we think about ourselves, do not underestimate how important the way we talk to ourselves is.

Another simple way to incorporate self-love is to write gratitude lists. A personal gratitude list is different than a gratitude list for your blessings. A self-gratitude list is when you search for and acknowledge all your positive traits, qualities, and aspects. For instance, it could include “I am grateful for my long hair, my sense of humor, my intelligence, my ability to comfort people, etc.” Recognize the great unique things that you were born with or inherited. When you practice noticing and acknowledging your positive qualities, you begin to make your self-worth a reality.

Lastly, self-love can be increased by practicing self-care. This is about taking time out of the day to relieve stress to our body and mind. Self-care of our body can be as simple as keeping ourselves nourished, exercising daily, and getting enough rest each night. Taking care of our mind is equally important. This includes things such as reading your favorite books, listening to your favorite music, or something creative that you enjoy. Self-care is about understanding your body and your mind’s needs and taking actions to meet those needs. Doing this can ease daily stresses and strains. When we make our personal needs a priority, we are enjoying and loving ourselves.

Benefits of Self-Love

When we start to incorporate self-love in our lives the benefits become apparent. Learning to love ourselves can dramatically change the way we feel about ourselves and the way we think others perceive us. We can notice a change in confidence in groups and a sense of calmness in our relationships. We no longer feel unworthy or not good enough. A strong program of self-love can help combat depression and anxiety, as well as reduce mental stress. Having self-love will protect us emotionally when disaster strikes (break-up, an illness, unemployment, etc.). We no longer have to rely upon people for approval and affection. It is empowering to know yourself completely and be proud of the person you are. Begin cultivating self-love today and see how much your life can change.

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