Addictionland Blog with Cate Stevens

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My sponsor's husband died from esophogeal cancer.  During his treatment, she told me "Cancer is like alcoholism.  In fact, I call it cancerism.  IncreaseAt it's root, is resentment."

I believe it.  I can see my mom's cancer as untreated anger that converted into bitterness.  It has destroyed her insides and is like that rapacious creditor they mention in the Big Book that eats the person from the inside out.  Unfortunately for her, there is not a 12 step program called Cancer Anonymous or Anger Anonymous.  Lucky for us alcoholics, we learn about resentment and how to treat the number one killer.

My mom doesn't know she is not a victim of her circumstances today like she was as a child.  Her wounded, inner child has never been healed.  In fact, she probably doesn't even know she has a wounded inner child.  The poor, frightened child in her is buried so deep under her walls of pain, my mom can't hear her screaming.  But, boy does this cancer let her know something is terribly wrong on the inside.

I would be the perfect candidate for cancer if it wasn't for the 12 step program, my awareness of my resentments and my honest seeking to get better a day at a time.  After a lifetime of witnessing and brewing in my parents' resentment, I have trouble being happy in my romantic relationships. I need to release that pain in order to fully own my own happiness.

The 12 step program has enabled me to see and surrender many thoughts and habits that don't serve me or others. Yet, I am still surrendering my anger over the way they treat eachother. My wall protects me from being vulnerable.  I am allowed to say no to them.  I am allowed to be less than perfect.  I am allowed to have needs.  I am allowed to let other people be responsible for themselves. I am allowed to be immune to their personal problems.

Even now, I want to be there for my mom and dad yet I also need to tell them how it affects me when they talk so negatively about eachother.  I can't be their dumping ground.  I can't feel responsible when they choose not to rely on other healthy outlets and people to address their pain. That is not my job.  In accepting that role, I stay sick. How clear it becomes why I remain so bound.

Everything that happens in my life and your life is not an accident.  It is a circumstantial gift that allows us to choose to stay sick and suffering or grow and enjoy more peace/joy. For today, I will ask my HP to guide me to a healthier relationship with my parents and a better relationship with my soul.

All my best,


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Cate Stevens. Founder of, 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.

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