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

Diane Cameron, author of the women's recovery blog "Out of the Woods," is Director of Development at Unity House in New York, as well as columnist and writer for Times Union and other newspapers.  She previously served as the Executive Director of Community Caregivers and as Director of Philanthropic Services for Community Foundation for the Capital Region.

Tagged in: recovery sobriety
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Posted by on in Food Addiction

Caroline Miller, author of the bestselling book "My Name is Caroline", recalls the bulimic dream job of cleaning up after the family meal in this excerpt from her memoir. 

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Yesterday, I felt like crap.  I was irritable, restless and discontent.  A classic alcoholic focused on myself, my world looked bleak and limited despite all my good fortune. Throughout my decade of sobriety, I have found a black cloud resting above my head whenever I put material things before my conscious contact with G-d.

Lately, I've been obsessed with figuring out what to do about my current occupation.  I know I want to change careers and work as a full time writer, yet I am not certain whether that means giving up pharmaceuticals entirely or just rebalancing my life.  Because I no longer travel recovery alone in my head, I called my spiritual advisor and asked his opinion.

He listened to my thoughts, ideas and concerns and then he replied, "When's the last time you went for a good run?" 

"A run?" I responded in suprise. "Well, now that you say it, I've only been exercising once a week.  I used to run everyday before I had my son."

He added, "For people like us, pounding the pavement is a necessity-not a luxury.  There is something about the release of dopamine in the body that transforms an addict from a state of suicidal, homicidal lunacy to a state of peace, joy and optimism."

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I know I am juggling too many plates at once when I develop an uncontrollable twitch in my eye. Besides working a full time pharmaceutical job, I sponsor multiple girls in recovery, care for a 4 year old child, manage Addictionland and finalize my query letter.

While each activity is rewarding, the load of responsibility is more than I can handle at once. At this juncture of my recovery, balancing all aspects of my life is a challange. Increase I still do everything in extremes. Like my physician father who put his whole heart into the treatment and care of his patients, I put my whole heart into my career/recovery/childrearing and have little energy or enthusiasm for romance or relaxation.

I sense I am going through a big shift in my recovery because I can feel it within.  I am exhausted and stressed because I won't let go and let G-d. While I am excellent at pharmaceutical sales/promotions, I no longer want to be selling medications to doctors. Instead, I want to use my passion and skill set to educate people on the miracle of personal transformation with 12 step recovery. To achieve that, I must surrender my current income stream and trust that my needs will be met when I put my full attention on my heart's desire..

The universe keeps sending me signs to go with the flow and follow my dream. Unbelievable people and opportunities keep knocking on Addictionland's door.  My good awaits me and I can only accept it if I open both hands, drop the weight and allow myself to be happy.

Best,

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Posted by on in Food Addiction

In this excerpt from her bestselling book on bulimia, Caroline Miller describes the criticism, shame and pressure that fueled her relentless self-loathing and despair.  Ordinarily successful in all her endeavors, Caroline has trouble accepting her inability to assert will power to fix her eating disorder.

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

In my experience, getting honest is a long and interesting process.  I take baby steps in the direction of my ideal and day by day I arrive.  Currently, I am in the process of coming out of the proverbial closet with my addiction memoir.  As a working professional in an unrelated industry, I write, blog and interview under a pseudonym to protect my career and my family.

Getting honest in public is extremely liberating, however,  I struggle with the feeling I am leading a double life since I have not gone public with my real identity. Increase While I have many good reasons for remaining anonymous, if I am honest, I also have several unhealthy reasons for doing so. Primarily, I am a caretaker and worry how my experience of the truth will cast unfavorable lights on the people I love.

In the areas I hold back, I ask for spiritual help and wisdom.  After years of recovery, I know better than to make important decisions on my own. I do not know which road I am meant to follow, but I know I will be guided if I am open.  As the literature says, God is more interested in the buiding of my character than the name of my character!

Best,

Increase

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Posted by on in Food Addiction

Reading Caroline's memoir brings up a great deal of emotion in me. Mainly, I feel gratitude for the new methods I have discovered in recovery to purge my emotions.  Before recovery, I often felt I was the only girl in the world tormented by food.  I felt worthless, disgusting and weak.  I expected little good for me and my future and bulimia was my way of coping with my despair.

In college, I came undone emotionally and exploded into multiple addictions. Bulimia was always a constant thread which held me together. Some days, I got in my car and drove from fast food restaurant to fast food restaurant ordering donuts, cheeseburgers, french fries and ice cream. IncreaseI never waited until I got home to begin binging on the food.  Instead, I drove around shoving fries in my mouth like a mad man on a hunger strike who has been without water for weeks.

I ate until my stomach was about to burst. I ate until my head was dizzy and my body was exhausted. To get the food up, I drank cups of water and pushed on my belly to dislodge the food.  I experienced deep relief when piles of vomit spewed from my mouth.  In those moments, I dispelled every once of pain I carried around with me.  In those moments, I expelled everything dirty and wrong and ugly about me.

Best,

Increase

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Within myself is a dark closet.  Inside the closet is a lost girl.  For years, she's pounded on the door of my heart begging to come out.  When she gets too loud, I tell her to be quiet.  When she rages for my attention, I tell her to hush. Attending to her needs would force me to put myself ahead of others.

For years, I've dragged her through the mud like a rag doll hanging in the arm of a toddler.  I've given little attention to her needs and wants.  Occasionally, I throw her a bone and let her do something fun or creative. But, for the most part, I make her work extremely hard and I rarely give her a break. On top of that, I insist she does everything perfect.

Lately, she's had it with me. She let me know that if I continue to do what I am doing, she's going to make me suffer.  Already, life has a stale feel and I attribute that staleness to her dissatisfaction.  So, recently, I decided to open the door Increaseand ask her what she needs.  She didn't say much, but I got the message.

"Thank you for paying attention.  Thank you for letting me know I am a priority.  I can't grow in this darkness.  I need fresh air and sunlight.  I need to play and I need to dance.  If you let me out, your whole world will expand.  If you let me out, your sour mood will dissolve.  If you let me out, new worlds will appear.  If you let me out, you will come to know happiness as you have never known it before."

All this time I thought I was angry at life when, in fact, I was angry at myself.  I, not anyone around me, stood in the way of my own dreams.  To be happy, I must pay attention to the lost girl in the closet. It's time for her to come out.  It's time to be happy.

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Posted by on in Co-dependency

In the story "Big Shot" from my soon to be released memoir, I explore the multiple character defects of a young girl primed for addiction.  Even before I ever picked up drugs or alcohol, my deep seated insecurity led me to be manipulative, sneaky, and dishonest.

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

The Afflicted & Affected offers podcasts and video webcasts for professionals and individuals in recovery from alcohol, substance abuse and other addictive disorders. The shows highlight the most current and effective treatment methods for addictive illnesses as well as the latest tools available for building a successful long-term recovery

 

 

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