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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
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 none

In response to some questions I asked Dr. Lerner regarding an article on the brain of bulimics http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/uocd-nbr071111.php , he wrote:

"I wouldn't overanalyze it but here's what the research suggests:

1. Both Cocaine, and related stimulant drugs [Adderall, speed, diet pills, etc.] flood the synapses with dopamine making us feel high and great, at least until the crash. Binge eating, loading on high glycemic foods [sugar, flour, fat] also flood the synapses with dopamine, albeit, it's a much more subtle effect for the food addict / bulimic.

2. This has been documented by PET scans and radiographic tomography showing the receptors lighting up like a Christmas Tree for both bulimics and stimulant addicts - Likewise, both substances [certain foods or volume of food and stimulants] will then cause not only the dopamine to rebound [creating a deficit of available dopamine]

 3. It also DAMAGES the actual dopamine receptors in the brain. This damage to the structural part of the brain [dopamine receptors] is what we now know accounts for the protracted withdrawal and lingering craving that food addicts and cocaine addicts experience long after the substance(s) leave the system. It also accounts for the phenomenon of TOLERANCE. Less receptors = need for more and more dopamine to get high or even "normal" [sound familiar] 

...
0

Posted by on in Alcoholism

“Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.  Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.” Pg. 62 Big Book

This paragraph can apply to a multitude of situations in recovery.  Today, I am thinking about my ego and how it likes to puff itself up at meetings.  Listening to other people’s opinions on the recovery process, I judge and become annoyed.  Why is this woman with twenty years of sobriety telling newcomers it is fine to wait two years before doing a fourth step?  I want to correct her.  I raise my hand in an attempt to do so and the person in front of the room does not call on me.

Internally, I ask my higher power if there is a reason I should not share.  I hear the words of a former sponsor in my head. She said, “Other people have a right to be wrong.  No one likes a know-it-all.  Allow people their journey.  Just pay attention to your own actions and make sure they are in accordance with God’s will. Learn to sit in the back of the busIncrease without needing to be noticed.”

I also reflect on a woman who once approached me at the end of a meeting to make an amends to me.  She told me how put off she was by my constant sharing at meetings.  She apologized because she realized it was my passion for recovery that led me to so.  There was a lesson for me in her feedback. Sometimes the best way to get a message out is to be a living example of the message and, nobody likes a know-it-all.

Best,

...
0

Posted by on in Co-dependency

Cate has over a decade of full recovery from food, drug, alcohol, cigarette and unhealthy relationship addiction. Cate’s approach to recovery is based on the 12 step process, 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 in 12 step programs.

0

Posted by on in Other Addictions

"The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear--primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration.  Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing these demands.  The difference between a demand and a simple request is plain to anyone." Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 76.

As far back as I can remember, I demanded my needs be met.Increase  I demanded my brother pay attention to me as a child.  I demanded my mother buy me expensive jeans like my best friend's mother did. I demanded my body look like Brooke Shields in her Calvin Kleins. I demanded my boyfriend never speak to his ex-girlfriend.  The more demands I put on myself and others, the more paranoid and fearful I became.

Fast forward a good twenty years later and I have learned how to reduce my demands.  There has been no quick fix-rather a very painful process of trying to push my way through brick walls until I finally surrendered and became willing to act in a new way.  The more I was forced to act differently (or else drink again), the more I came to trust that my Higher Power always knew what was best for me.  The things or situations or people I thought I wanted ended up being wrong for me.  The things or situations or people I thought to dispose of ended up being best for my personal growth.

Whenever I become frustrated or disturbed, I ask myself what I am afraid of.  I remember all the ways my life has expanded as a result of working the 12 steps and changing my behavior.  I stop pounding my fists, take a deep breath and calm down.  Almost as soon as I relax, a new miracle occurs.

Best,

...
0

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

0
Hits: 3349

Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Here are some questions from the National Council on Problem Gambling. Increase If you or a loved one answers yes to any of the following questions, it is likely that gambling has become problematic.

 

  • Have you gambled until your last dollar is gone?
  • Have you often gambled longer than you planned?
  • Have you lied about your gambling to friends or family?
  • Have you used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid?
  • Have you made repeated attempts to stop gambling?
  • Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling?
  • Have you felt depressed or suicidal because of your gambling losses?
  • Have you been remorseful after gambling?
  • Have you gambled to try to get money to meet your financial obligations?

Best,

Cate Stevens

Hits: 2196

Posted by on in Other Addictions

"This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime.  Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear.   When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.  Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.  Love and tolerance of others is our code." Pg. 84 Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

I call this the sobriety formula. Increase No matter what problem I complained about, my sponsor directed me to this page and promised me I would "cease fighting anything or anyone" if I followed these steps.  I remember being very irritated by this response early in my sobriety because I felt I wasn't being heard or understood. How could words on a page in a book written back in 1935 solve my dilemma with my current boyfriend? my job? my family?

To this day, whenever I am disturbed, I utilize this formula. I have watched my various, deadly addictions drop from me year after year like the useless skin of a snake. I have noticed my ever widening circle of friends.  I have experienced an ever increasing peace inside of me, even when I fly upside down in the middle of a thunderstorm.  I no longer run the show.  I have the great pleasure of demonstrating to others, through my ever increasing freedom, the miraculous power of Truth and selflessness and abstinance. 

Best,

Increase

...
0

Posted by on in Co-dependency

One of the promises of 12-step recovery is fear of financial insecurity will leave us.  After my first few years of sobriety, I connected with the security of keeping a steady job without a concern for being put on a performance plan.  I no longer missed work, padded an expense account or used on the clock.  At five years sober, I noticed the continual rise in my income year after year and a newfound desire to donate money to worthy causes in addition to AA. 

Now, at eleven years sober, with a large amount of in savings and a six figure income, I am ready to face my feelings of inadequacy in the area of money management.  I do not want to join the ranks of women who allow a man to manage their finances only to find themselves scared to death one day when their husband passes on or the relationship ends. AA has taught me that I am self supporting through my own contributions and "God could and would if he were sought".

Sometimes I lay awake at night wondering, "Do I know enough about money management to support my child and take care of myself in my retirement? How will I manage my finances after my savy father passes on and I don't understand the concepts my financial planner presents?  Someone could be pulling the wool over my eyes and I would never know it. On top of that, I feel uncomfortable asking the questions I really need to ask.

I will never feel I have enough or am enough until I own my power in all areas of my life. This is why I am choosing to work with a great therapist to help me understand my blocks and connect with my needs and my voice.  As with every other area of my life that was once in need of correction, I expect to be led through this uncomfortable process to the land of greater freedom.Increase Even though I already have everything I need, the fear of financial insecurity will never leave me until I face and overcome situations which overwhelm and regress me. Another step to healing from co-dependency.

Best,

...
0

Posted by on in Co-dependency

IncreaseAfter a decade of recovery, I am free from my addiction to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food and sex/unhealthy romantic relationships. The more conscious I live, the more in touch I become with my emotions and my emotional blocks.  This year, it has come to my attention that certain personality types cause me to regress, shut down and emotionally hide.  I feel this has come to my attention because it is time for me to address this issue and live in greater freedom.

Over the years, I have learned that the so-called crisis is really just a gift in disguise.  My Higher Power presents me with a situation so that I can see where I am wounded/misguided and rise above to change. Growing up in a household with adults who lacked emotional tools, I often held my breath hoping for the disturbance of the moment to subside.  Sometimes the disturbance would be my depressed father's mood.  Other times, the disturbance would be the unspoken tensions between my mother and my father. Both of my parents have strong personalities and I often felt swallowed up in the power of their judgement or pressure to conform.

In speaking with my phenomenal, intuitive and loving therapist today, I got in touch with some childhood pain I had yet to process.  He had me close my eyes and guided me back to my childhood to face and experience my feelings of loss, pain and isolation. When he did, fur balls of repressed emotion came up from my core and disintegrated. He instructed me to have my adult side comfort my inner child and acknowledge her needs and wants. I visualized myself at age 7 with my auburn hair and freckled face and grieved for her sense of worthlessness.

I said to her,"It's alright for you to come out of hiding.  ou no longer have to hold your breath for the pain to pass. You no longer have to tip toe around and pretend you don't feel.  You no longer need to follow other people's direction.  I have a good head on my shoulders and a loving heart in my chest and I will not allow anyone to step on your wings again.  You are colorful and beautiful with a voice that deserves to be heard and a brilliance which deserves to shine.  Breath in and receive your good. I will be your support through every storm.

Best,  

...
0

Posted by on in Co-dependency

I went to temple as a young girl but more for appearance sake than anything else. I did not grow up in a family where God was a topic of daily conversation. My family did not observe the Sabbath or take part in daily rituals to connect us with God. To me, my parents were God and what they said was law from the highest intelligence.  I was taught by their example that a person with intelligence and will power can accomplish most anything on his or her own.

Like many others, I accomplished much on that premise.  I was an honor student, Editor in Chief of the Yearbook, Most Likely to Succeed and I enjoyed a relationship with a terrific guy and had a multitude of interesting friends.  Yet, somehow, when senior year came around and I wasn't feeling too sure of myself-things started to go sour. Where would I go to college?  Would my parents ever accept my boyfriend?  Are my thighs to fat?  Am I enough? Increase Without a God of my understanding to turn to and parents who found it hard to understand my insecurity, I fell to pieces.

In recovery, I first came to believe in the power of a 12 step program to turn my life around.  Later, I came to believe in the love of the fellowship as well.  Eventually, I saw how I projected my parents ability (or inability) to unconditionally love and support me on to the God of my Understanding.  I limited God's power by viewing God as an extension of my parents rather than a separate entity with all power, all love, all understanding and all intelligence. 

Today, I see myself as a hand of God in the human world. When I choose to be a vehicle of his will (meaning less self-centeredness and more giving), my world expands.  If I feel forgotten or lost or filled with pain, it is because I have stepped away from the practices which connect me with my inner purpose.  Am I still getting to meetings? Am I still reaching out to those in need?  Am I doing my personal inventory on paper?  Am I asking for help? Am I admitting my errors and correcting them? Am I praying? Am I getting still and waiting for my direction.

God dwells within me as me.  If I can't find him, its probably because I am not sitting still.

...
0


website by DesignSpinner.com | © Addictionland LLC