Addictionland Blog with Cate Stevens

A Cutting Edge Addiction Recovery Blog about one woman's journey to recovery from multiple, life threatening addictions to reclaim her happiness and life.

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Cate

Cate

Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery from food, drug, alcohol, cigarette and unhealthy relationship addiction. Cate’s approach to recovery is based on the 12 steps, as well the practice of spiritual principles, exercise, good nutrition, and meditation. Cate’s personal, ongoing recovery process has benefited tremendously from the free sponsorship of other women.

Cate has successfully coached hundreds of women to develop specific, daily action plans to support their personal and professional goals. Cate majored in journalism and communications and is the author of "Addictionland: Key Lessons from My Rollercoaster Ride to Freedom from Food, Drug, Alcohol, Cigarette and Unhealthy Relationship Addiction", a series of powerful vignettes.

As a motivational speaker, educator and coach, Cate is highly effective and inspirational. Cate leverages her experience from premier sales, management and leadership training programs to teach her clients how to be sober, productive and fulfilled.

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

As a meditator, I can attest to seeing colors, having unusual experiences and knowing deep peace when I close my eyes. While all of that is well and good, it is far from the spiritual experience I now consider profound. Instead of looking for my connection with G-d by sitting cross legged in silence or looking up at the clouds, I now seek my connection by facing life conditions as they exist and accepting them as they are.

My truth is often painful. Sometimes my truth is that I am ridiculously envious of another person's life conditions and I think G-d has forgotten me. Sometimes my truth is that I miss taking the edge off of life without drugs and I think excitement eludes me. Sometimes my truth is I don't like the people I am supposed to love and I think I would be happier if I interacted with other people.

To have a spiritual experience is to know that my truth is separate from the Truth. The Truth is that all people, places and conditions of my life are perfectly designed to bring me closer to G-d and lasting peace. When I look at life from the perspective of lack, I will be depressed and angry and am likely to act out in a negative fashion. When I look at my life from the perspective of abundance, I am likely to feel grateful and find satisfaction in all.

Best,

Increase

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

At 47, my cousin teeters between life and death as he lays in a hospital bed in critical condition. The heart surgeon said his endocarditis is the "worst case" he ever treated. According to the physician, my cousin didn't take proper care of his teeth. As a result, an infection from his mouth entered his bloodstream and ate away half of his heart. Still, a miracle was performed through the physician's hands as he stitched my cousins heart back together and gave him another shot at life.

Like me, my cousin spent most of his life struggling with personal demons and compulsions. He suffered in silence. Listening to family members close to him, I learned about his isolation, despair and low self esteem. I remembered the time in my life when I felt I did not deserve the best attention. I remember the time in my life when my unyielding insecurities rotted my insides.

Like my cousin, I once sat at death's door uncertain of the outcome. Like my cousin, I wanted to live but didn't know how. I had to learn to put first things first. Like the surgeon who had to repair my cousin's heart first so he could attempt to save the other organs in his body, I had to stop drinking and drugging first so I could learn a better way to live.

Best,

Increase

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I began dating my husband in 2002. He is an incredible man. He is supportive, fun, hard working, positive and a great dad. Still, I find myself dissatisfied and bored in our relationship at times. After great thought, I have come to the conclusion that my restlessness is a side effect or consequence of my previous addiction to unhealthy relationships and not a result of being with him.

While in my twenties, I used to date a new guy every 3-6 months. (Ah, the high of the chase! ) I never knew how much I enjoyed the ritual of flirting, waiting for phone calls, buying new outfits and/or going out on dates until I stopped dating. I also never knew how much the routine of hopping from one man to the next distracted me from my fear of abandonment. Because of an incident with my dad in high school, I questioned whether I was acceptable.

Today, when I feel frustrated or bored, I ask myself "What's really going on?" When I answer honestly, I can see that I am inflicted with another form of addiction called workaholism. Increase I find it very hard to just sit and be. I constantly feel a need to do, create or go. Because I rarely get enough rest or vacation time, I feel taxed, unhappy and shut down. I know this because recovery has taught me how to stop blaming other people for my own frustration. It's not my husband that needs replacing, its my all too serious nature that doesn't know how to relax without liquid lubrication and its my fear of taking risk that requires adjustment.

Best,

Increase

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Tagged in: flirting sex
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Posted by on in Alcoholism

As a person who regularly attends 12 step meetings, I am troubled by the low percentage of people who stick and stay in the rooms. The amount of pain an addict can handle before he or she loses her mind, valuables and/or life is beyond comprehension. Death by alcohol, pills and drugs happens more frequently than people imagine.

I have also heard many stories involving an addict in despair who puts a gun in his mouth or hangs himself because his hopelessness was too great. Sometimes, the person has years of abstinance but no longer attends meetings, helps others or works a program of recovery. Therefore, I beseech my readers to consider this stark fact about addiction-it can be a slow form of suicide or it can take your life in an instant.

Increase

Early in recovery, I was told that seals which swim away from the pack are the first to be eaten by sharks. Too many people attend a few meetings, feel better and then assume they no longer need the program or fellowship. Addiction is a serious enemy who  operates best when an addict is isolated. It takes a lot less effort to stick and stay in recovery than it does to clean up the horrific mess of addiction.

Best,

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

In early sobriety, I learned to concentrate on a 24 hour period instead of projecting into the future or worrying about the past. That task was not  for a girl accustomed to fleeing from reality. I preferred my dream world until the nightmare called addiction stripped away my dreams one by one.

“Make a plan for the day,” my early mentor said. “Build your day around recovery meetings. Once you know which meeting you will attend, you can fill in the rest of your day with meals, work, exercise and rest.”

I followed the suggestions. I mapped out my day the evening before. I made a plan of multiple positive actions I would take leaving little time to ponder my problems. I let sober individuals direct me since all prior decisions on my own resulted in disaster.

Agenda.jpg

The first 24 hour period without alcohol or drugs was extremely difficult. I forced myself to go to bed early so I would have less time to war with my towering compulsions. After my first 24 hour period sober, my mentor said something I have never forgotten.

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

911With a decade of sobriety under my belt, I look upon my darkest hour in life with gratitude. That may seem a strange thing to say since my bottom in addiction involved crawling around on a carpet and culminated in a drug and alcohol induced seizure. I must concede, however, that without the terror drenched occasion I would probably continue to use drugs, be insane or be dead.

In “Purple Fingers, Purple Toes”, an excerpt from my forthcoming memoir, you bear witness to the time when Johnny Walker and cocaine gripped me by the throat.

Best,

Increase

PURPLE FINGERS PURPLE TOES

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Tagged in: addiction overdose
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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I picked up my first cigarette in college.  My roommate smoked and asked me to join her for a Virginia Slim and a study break.  It didn't take long for cigarettes to accompany me to the coffee house or to bars/late night partys with alcohol and drug were served.  Soon, I developed a pack a day habit, although I rationalized that my ciggies were ultra lights.

I can't count how many times I tried to quit.  Each time I did, I lasted a few hours before a cigarette was back in my hand.  I purchased my  cigarettes from the drive through Farm store and every time I passed one, the cigarettes called me by name. "Pssst, Cate, come buy a pack. What's one more day going to matter?"

After a decade of smoking, I was choking and hacking.  I smelled, my car smelled, my clothes smelled and my breath smelled.  I couldnt leave the house without my ciggies in my purse.  I lied to dates so I wouldn't be a turn off.  I lied to my customers so I wouldnt be a fraud (hard to sell healthcare and smoke!)

A guy I was dating in recovery said to me, "It's me or the cigarettes."  My lust for him was greater than my desire to smoke so I decided to give quitting another try.  I used breathsavers to address my nicotine cravings.  I popped one in my mouth every time I wanted a smoke.  I jogged with frequency and used the 12 steps to address my obsession.

If the steps could remove my drug and alcohol dependency, they would work for my nicotine problem.  Even when the guy dumped me, I didn't return to smoking.  The obsession was finally removed. Instead of looking for something else to distract me from my issues, I worked on my insides and the compulsion left for good.

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