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Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Other Addictions

Happy Thanksgiving Addictionland & Recovery Friends & Readers,

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As many gather around festive tables this Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to take sometime to think about those in recovery who may not have *FAMILY* to celebrate this day with. I also want to “Share” what I’m “THANKFUL” for in recovery, and in LIFE.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

2. How does positive psychology differ from regular psychology in terms of addiction recovery?

I think Positive Psychology offers a different approach from traditional therapy that focuses more on what you are doing "right" and how to amplify that instead of focusing on what is wrong and what you are trying to avoid.  When you focus on your strengths, particularly in the beginning of recovery, it can feel empowering and give you a much-needed boost of confidence.

Knowing and using your top 5 strengths in new and creative ways (I use the VIA Strengths test at www.authentichappiness.com) has been found to make people both happier and more successful.  Positive psychology also brings in concepts of getting into flow by challenging yourself with hard goals, and then using your strengths to make progress on those goals.

There is research showing that all success with goals is preceded by being in a flourishing emotional state, so I'd also suggest that everyone in recovery learn about the research on "positive interventions" - the behavior/mental shifts you can deliberately perform to put yourself into a flourishing state.  It's important to also understand how to set the "right" goals that will enhance success, not focus on superficial or extrinsic outcomes.

There are also concepts around savoring that can be taught, as well as mindfulness meditation, that enhance self-regulation and reduce impulsivity.  I'm also a big believer in teaching people how to become more resilient, much like is being taught to the US Army right now by Positive Psychology researchers from the University of Pennsylvania.  You need resilience and grit to survive the setbacks and challenges that inevitably occur when you are pursuing recovery, and although you may stumble upon these concepts in random ways, I believe they offer so much hope and practical guidance that Positive Psychology should be integrated at the start of anyone's recovery.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

This is such an interesting and relieving time in my sobriety. Proof positive that outer conditions do not dictate our inner state is the fact that I have many of life's greatest challanges before me and yet, I have never felt more at peace or hopeful.

I have always been told 1) God never gives you more than you can handle and 2) God gives you what need, not what you want.  Thirteen years into sobriety, I say "Thank God" on both accounts.

Because I do conduct a daily personal inventory, I have noticed that all of my needs are accounted for as long as I work my spiritual program. When I get to meetings, correct my mistakes, help others, pray, and meditate, the conditions of my life steadily improve and I notice synchronicity everywhere.

My mom has lung cancer and I yet I notice I am surrounded by loved ones and friends for support; when I need information regarding her medical treatment it comes through healthcare professionals I met at work; my boss allows me to take the time I need to be with my mom; the family all came together for my mom's recent birthday; my brother stayed in town all summer so she could spend time with her grandson, etc.

I look for the good and I find it.  A lifelong habit of being angry and focusing on what's missing in my life is changing for the better. I hit my knees one day a year back and prayed that I be grateful for what I have. That time has come.  The thought of losing a loved one as significant as my mother puts me in touch with the precious gift of every breath and every moment.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I have spent the last month unable to tear myself away from streaming a popular TV series that I didn’t watch while it was on the air weekly. There are 142 episodes and I am almost finished with the lot! Some days I have watched as many as 5 episodes. I am annoyed with my behavior and what a waste of time it is. Yesterday I tried to stop and couldn't.

Then it dawned on me that I am using compulsive TV watching to escape because I am going through withdrawal from my reading addiction! I have run out of books that interest me; most of the book stores in town have closed down; and the library is closed tomorrow. I guess that I will distract myself with a few more hours of TV and hope for the best while my Kindle is charging.

I am ashamed to admit that I am a book junkie. I mean the "hard stuff," the paper books, not the audio books. I love to lose myself in a good story or fascinating biography. The feel of turning the pages and the weight of the book is so satisfying. There is nothing like the sense of expectation I feel when I start a 500-page book!

I have been an avid reader since childhood. I remember how happy I used to feel going home from the local library with my arms filled with books. When I gave birth to my son I knew that I was going to have a c-section, so I went to the library ahead of time and made sure I put some books in my suitcase to take to the hospital since I was told that I would be there for up to one week. I knew that I wouldn't be able to get out for a while once we were home, therefore I needed a stockpile.

When I have nothing to read I experience withdrawal. I tend to feel antsy, anxious and sometimes get grumpy when away from my “fix.” My worst withdrawal experience came many years ago, before Kindles were invented, when my husband and I were invited to visit one of his friends who had moved to a nearby city. Chuck picked us up at the airport and drove us to his new home on top of a hill.

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