Addictionland Blog with Cate Stevens

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FEELING FEELINGS

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I created Addictionland.com for many reasons. One reason was to have an outlet to express myself in writing, which I enjoy and need.  Writing helps me purge my emotions, become aware of my thoughts and feelingsIncrease and, ultimately, guides me to what needs doing.

Right now, I am feeling a full range of emotions due to my powerlessness over my mother's chemotherapy gone wrong, ongoing ordeal.  I have felt angry, sad, irritable, grateful, hopeless, hopeful, desparate, guilty, and relieved.  Today, I feel a combination of tired, sad, strong, healthy, powerless and scared.  I am grateful recovery has put me in touch with this range of emotions.  When I was active in my addiction, all I felt was frightened, angry, depressed and bewildered.

My mom is having trouble breathing due to  her lung cancer, chemotherapy, medications, emotional trauma and COPD.  I don't know of many situations worse than that, excluding the loss of the life of a child or something of that nature.  I know what it is like to not be able to catch your breath.  When I used to use cocaine, I sometimes had full fledged anxiety attacks where my heart would pound and my breathing was rapid and I thought I might die.  When I see my mom breathe hard like that, it takes me back to those moments and I feel tremendous pain for her.

This morning, my mom said she felt depressed and wanted to be alone today to sort through her options and thoughts.  When I spoke to my dad, he couldn't handle her wanting to be alone.  It brought up tremendous waves of pain and fear in him.  Feeling safe with me as he should, he let his grief out and I caught it.  My dad's inability to cope combined with my mom's coming to terms with her situation left me in some agony myself.

Quite naturally, I felt inspired to call my sponsor.  She said exactly what I needed to hear.  She reminded me that on my birthday (which is today), it would help my parents if I enjoyed my birthday.  She reminded me that anytime I start projecting into the future, I need to stop myself and get back in the day.  She reminded me that no one ever benefitted from worrying and she suggested I take care of myself so I could care for them.

I felt a bit better after talking to her.  My husband asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and I said "Let's go to a comedy club."  I could use a laugh.  Life is very serious and it is also very precious.  The message from my parents' experience is to live life fully and consciously and joyfully when you can. I can't control my parent's experiences, thoughts or feelings but I can consciously choose how I will respond.

In order to respond with Love and Peace, I need to be in the Love and Peace.  In order to be in the Love and Peace, I need to process the pain and fear.  I can't walk around my emotions.  I cant pretend I don't think what I think or experience what I experience.  I make a conscious decision to accept life on life's terms and be as healthy as I can be so I can be helpful.

I don't like what my mom is dealing with right now and I certainly don't like the idea of living without her, but just for today, I am going to live in this 24 hour space.  For today, my mom is here and I can call her on the phone and tell her how much I love her.  For today, my mom is at the hospital with the best possible support for her condition.  For today, my dad is getting some rest.  For today, there is the hope that her cancer can be treated through alternative methods when my mom stabalizes.  For today, I am surrounded by friends and family who love us all and who are there if we reach out for help. For today, it is my birthday and I will celebrate it with my husband and child and thank God I am above ground to experience the good and the bad.

With blessings,

Increase

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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.


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