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 Alcoholism

Monty Meyer. (the Monty'man) is the owner and Executive Producer of K.H.L.T. (K-HALT) Recovery Broadcasting, The Take 12 Recovery Radio Show and Sponsor to Sponsor Recovery Publications, a web site publication that has been serving the recovery community since 1997. Working on the Pastoral Staff of Lebanon Foursquare Church and with local drug & alcohol services, Monty's work is primarily with those who have a desire to become whole through the process of recovery.

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

I remember being pissed off that I couldn't drink or use anymore when my friends continued to use cocaine and drink alcohol. An overdose forced me to do the unthinkable-put down liquor and cocaine for good- and find new and creative ways to get high and happy.

For fun in my first few years of recovery, I traded in one addiction for another. I turned to a sexy guy in the rooms of recovery to produce a high in me equivalent to the one I got each time I waited for my drug dealer to show up.  Ah! The anticipation of the first kiss! Ah! The first time we had rocket-to-the-moon sex. Ah! Never mind the guy was totally unavailable emotionally and had no ambition beyond being a guru in the rooms of recovery. I was madly in love because I had to work extremely hard for his affection and when I finally got it, it got me high.

When I finally realized I didnt want to continue getting high on people, places and things that eventually returned me to my emptiness, I looked for new ways to get off in sobriety. I began to develop friendships with women who could make me belly laugh from their stories. I joined artist groups and developed an idea for a website. I made plans with my husband to go to Europe, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York. We took our son to Disney World and experienced the magical park from the eyes of a toddler.Increase And, I connected with a passion far greater than any fire when I finally wrote my memoir and fulfilled a life goal.

I no longer drink like a fish, get bombed like a tanker and make a fool of myself for free. I happily exchange the meaningless drinks, drugs, food and relationships of the past for a peaceful interior, an incredible circle of friends, a loving home, a healthy child and miraculous lifestyle. As my sponsor always promised, life in sobriety gets better and better and she was absolutely right.

Best,

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I feel most anxious inside when I am indecisive.  When I have one foot headed in one direction and the other foot headed a different way, I feel disoriented, frustrated and hopeless. The third step says, "We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of G-d."  The third step says therere is Power in making a decision.  The third step promises that the care of G-d awaits us when the decision we make comes from a desire to share our good with others.

Still, I continue to struggle about quitting my job in pharmaceuticals and pursuing a career in recovery.  I want to have all the answers about what I will do, how much I will make and how happy I will be before I quit my job and take a big risk.  What am I risking? Well, in my mind, financial security and freedom.  My job in pharmaceuticals allows me to save money, spend money when I want and enjoy certain luxuries like vacations or shopping sprees.  I don't have to ask permission or rely on my husband to take care of my needs.  I feel more in control.

However, when I ask myself how happy these exterior luxuries really make me in the long term-or, better yet-how long the fulfillment lasts once I complete a vacation or buy a new purse, I realize I am only buying temporary joy. Real happiness is a by product of right living and right living is a by product of seeking the will of your heart and following its dictates-no matter how scary or risky they seem.

If I want to experience true joy, I must be willing to face my fear and walk out into the unknown. Leap and the net will appear. Increase Countless other people have taken a huge risk with fantastic results.  Why not me?????  Why not you???

Best,

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

My head aches.  I feel like my skull has been invaded by two opposing armys going head to head in a fight to the death. The winner will occupy my body as my liveihood and while I am inclined to support my writer/speaker/coach personality, my pharmaceutical personality is putting up an incredible fight.

I used to be one of those people who took out a peice a paper and wrote down the pros and the cons of a situation. That no longer makes sense. To me, there is a con for every pro and a pro for every con. Increase I can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks and months in my head debating the reasons I should or should not engage in a certain project, move to a new house, take a certain job, etc.  Or, as my Sponsor taught me in early recovery, I need to stop asking everyone else what they think and go within for my answer.

When do I usually stop neurotically debating in my head and turn to meditation for my answer? Usually, when I am on the verge of going insane. When pushed to a ledge, I remember I have a choice. I can stay in my head with my crazy thoughts or I can make a decision to pray for relief and wait for the Spirit to guide me.

"Pray on one issue at a time," my Sponsor advised. "You won't get a specific answer if your prayer is not specific."

She also reminded me that the answers I needed would not come by demand, force, begging or freaking out. "Just put your attention on God, pray from the heart, open the channel and allow the transmission to occur. If you seek him, he will reveal himself to you."

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Recently, a girl I sponsor in recovery came to me with a relationship dilemma.  After many years, her high school boyfriend came back on the scene and the two began dating long distance.  It seemed a fairytale come true, except for the fact she constantly needed to board a plane to see him.

Over the past year, she called me every couple months to complain about a dynamic between them.  Minor facts would change, but the basic problem remained the same.  She did not feel she was a priority in his life and whenever she vocalized her upset, he felt pressure. 

Having trouble expressing her upset in a calm way, Increaseher requests came across as demands and her boyfriend would shut down and not call her for days on end.  Past abandonment issues rose to the surface.  In despair, she called me to figure out what was wrong with her and how she could make the relationship work.

"The relationship is exactly as it should be," I said.  "Relationships exist to help us heal from our false ideas. If you examine your resentments and behavior now, things will change."

"But how do I get him to understand how his behavior affects me?" she replied.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I remember feeling so sorry for myself when New Year's 2000 arrived and I was unable to drink or drug with my friends. Due to a drug and alcohol induced seizure which landed me in an emergency room on November 6,1999, I was forced to get sober. I thought my "fun" was over when in fact my life was on the verge of a wonderous and drastic transformation.

Reflecting now, I hadn't enjoyed a New Year's Eve for a long time prior to my overdose. The "fun" was over. When the clock struck midnight each year, I missed the joy of celebrating the year to come due to my stupor and/or blackouts. New Year's Eve was just another holiday to get shit faced and forget about the emptiness of my life. 

I made many resolutions to quit drinking, smoking, puking, screwing, snorting, etc and failed miserably. Almost as soon as I swore off something, I was using that something again. Attempts at self control led to further lack of control and down the rabbit hole I fell. I was certain I was doomed to a life of misery, pain and disappointment. I wanted to stop using but didn't know how.

For anyone contemplating putting down the drink, the drug, the sugar, the shopping, the sex or the gambling this year, I have only one suggestion to make. Pray from your heart for the willingness to stop and accept the opportunity to change when the miraculous moment arrives. Your help might arrive in a form you would never expect. Mine came in the form of an overdose which introduced me to the real possibility of death.

I still possess the letter I wrote to God on August 22, 1999 which resulted in my hitting a bottom and finding a spiritual solution. I haven't had to feel that kind of despair ever again. I wish the same kind of freedom for you. Increase

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

The holidays are difficult for many people. Usually, people spend the holidays reflecting on the people they love or reflecting on the people they have lost.  Since addicts have a very difficult time with personal relationships, holiday get togethers bring added stress and anxiety.

When I first quit drinking, I worried how I would get through a work or family gathering without a liquid lubricant.  Feeling guilty, ashamed and uncomfortable from many choices I made prior, being around co-workers and family brought up all many latent, negative emotions.

Oldtimers in the program made suggestions to me which I follow to this day.  The only one I know I have to follow perfectly is "Don't drink or use drugs, no matter what." IncreaseOther suggestions which help a great deal include:

1) When going to someone else's house to celebrate, bring a sober companion and/or drive your own car.  When the going gets tough, you can always exit.

2) Have your cell phone handy.  You can always duck out of a room and make a call from the bathroom.  Sober friends are but a few digits away.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Last weekend I went away with my husband to visit his daughter in NYC. She is about to get married and the purpose of the trip was to join her for her fitting, get better acquainted with her in-laws and to be part of the wedding planning process.

From the goodness of my husband's heart, he purchased two expensive tickets to to the city, took groups of people out Friday and Saturday night and happily attended his daughter's fitting.  Seemingly out of nowhere, his daughter pulled him aside and accused him of being "emotionally abusive to her for the past ten years."  Her parents got divorced ten years ago. This coincided with the end of her limitless supply of money from her father.

Immediately, all kinds of judgment formed in my head about her behavior, her perspective and her upbringing. To me, this was a girl who went from spoiled rotten to severly resentful. Despite the financial constraints post divorce, she made a decision on her own to move to the Big Apple and ignore its high cost of living. She would make it on her own she said, yet continues to take a couple hundred dollars from dad each month.

While I was bitching in my head about her disrespectful behavior, several other thoughts came to mind. "Who are you to judge her?" "Maybe you are jealous of the lifestyle she is about to marry (her husband to be's familyis filthy rich and she doesn't have to work)." "How do you know what her experience was with her father growing up? Maybe his ADD did get in the way of them forming a deep personal relationship.  Maybe she wanted to connect with him on a deeper level and when she couldn't. Maybe shopping for her is a way to distract herself from her pain.

At the age of 24, I was a hot mess. I wanted to live in New York, but didnt have the courage to move away from my family.  His daugher found a great job on her own, met a terrific guy she is going to marry and is simply facing the pains of growing up a little later than desired.  Instead of getting angry or annoyed at her, I need to send her love and pray for the harmony of this family. IncreaseThis child was not raised in a vacuum.  She was raised by two parents who were caught up in shopping addictions of their own.

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Season 4 Episode 5: Janice Dickinson Talks To Therapist Sherry Gaba

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Sobriety is about progress, not perfection. December is my anniversary month and if I continue to do what I have done the past ten years, I will have 11 years of sobriety December 20th. Still, with all that "knowledge" and experience, I revert to quick fixes to get me high. No longer willing to drink, drug, smoke, screw or lie to get high, I occasionally go on a nice shopping spree to get my rocks off.

The combination of acquiring something new on sale at half price truly excites me. My progress comes into the picture when I recognize the reason behind my purchase and do something about my realization. IncreaseAs I try on the new shoes or jacket in front of the mirror at my home, it dawns on me I have plenty of clothes in my closet I still haven't worn. Why then do I go out and buy more?

Because it makes me feel good. Because it fills the emptiness I experience from time to time when I forget who I am and why I exist. Because I am not paying enough attention to my spiritual health. Because it's time to slow down.

As usual, it takes a lot of pain to get me to realize there is something awry with my program of recovery. This time, I was off the spiritual beam by putting my practice of meditation behind my practice of making money. When I did my personal inventory, I realized its been a long time since I sat down a half hour each day to give attention and gratitude to my only true Employer. I do many positive things each day in recovery such as working with others, attending meetings, tithing, etc.. but if I dont make the time to contemplate the true Source of all my Goodness, I feel disconnected and find myself wanting to fill the void with something material.

Best,

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