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Posted by on in Alcoholism

My father was an alcoholic since as long as I can remember and the same goes for my grandfather. After a long battle, I was able to overcome and am now have 8 years of sobriety. But my fathers story is different, because he never took up that battle. He remained an alcoholic till the age of 71. Given the physical toll it took on him, I am surprised he is still alive today; though with some serious health issues. With his decline in health, his doctor approach me to discuss Hospice Care for him. I didn't know what to think, but I started the look for a hospice Colorado Springs, CO. I wanted him to be nearby and I knew he defiantly wouldn't want to leave Colorado Springs. Though I did also look for a hospice of northern Colorado, but that was a bit farther then I was hoping to travel. 

As I continued to search I found it difficult to find a Hospice or Home Health Care that could accommodate my fathers needs as a lifetime alcoholic. Not only was he facing serious health issues, but he still longed for the relief that Alcohol had brought him for decades.  He'd still try to get alcohol into his house whenever possible and it really took a lot of vigilance to keep him off it. I needed a hospice that could really understand his needs and care enough to work with him in a loving way. 

That's when I found SunCrest Home Health and Hospice Colorado Springs. They seemed to know just what to do. Their care for my father has been above and beyond and I have actually seen an improvement in my fathers health both physically and mentally. He seems to speak with more clarity and I believe he is finally realizing that sobriety is a better way of life. 

Despite all of this, I know my father's health will give out sooner than latter, and I am so thankful for the help of SunCrest Hospice Colorado Springs. I wanted to put this out there in-case anyone here on Addiction Land has a loved one needing hospice or home health care. There is quality help out there, even for an old drunk like my dad. If you are not in Colorado, SunCrest also has locations in Denver, Pueblo, Fort Collins, Des Moines, Phoneix, Chicago, and San Jose. I can't speak for these other locations, but if they are anything like the Hospice in Colorado Springs, then they are well worth the look.

Thanks for listening!

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction
Hello And WELCOME Recovery Friends, Seekers, and New Friends,

 

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Can We Have The GOOD LIFE In Recovery? Can We Be HAPPY?


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I just happened to be tweeting on my Recovery Twitter here @LUV_Recovery and came across this pic. I just seemed to gravitate to it, and my mind started to WONDER!…LOL.
And we all know what seems to happen when my “Recovery Mind” does THAT…..LOOK OUT! You never know what falls out of my mouth and into a Recovery Blog Post! I always blame that part of my mouth on just being an Italian! Yeah I know, excuses, excuses. And where did I learn THAT HABIT?? Need I go on?
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But seriously, when I seen this, it made me think of many things when I was still addicted gambling and drinking. The BIG thing was the time lost from my life that I will never get back. That’s why it is true when people say, “Life Is To Short.” What about being happy? When we were in the throes of our addiction, happy to me meant having to lie about how I was really feeling inside myself. You know what I mean right? How we MASK our true feelings on the BAD DAY we were having in our addictions. Trying to make our “Outer self look Perfect” to others with that fake smile, and say how much money I was winning when I gambled, but really wasn’t! All the while the “RAGE” of shame, doubt, hate, blame, low self-worth, and feeling, “LESS THAN” each time we used. For me it got even worse when I first tried to stop gambling and drinking. Because each time I gambled,  I entered the “RECOVERY TWILIGHT-ZONE”!!
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Now I know you KNOW what I’m talking about right? It’s that long period when we think we can GET better by going to meetings, and try treatment, but we really haven’t Surrendered Yet. That time when SHIT we hear in our meetings and treatment group starts to sink in just a wee little bit, but we are still in the mindset that we can still CONTROL bits and pieces of our addiction right? Who were we fooling? NOBODY! Just ourselves! BUT, then this “stuff” we hear starts to interrupt our addiction a little here and there. I remember when I started an outpatient gambling treatment group and therapy, one of the first things my councilor said to us was this, “Even if you come here to treatment group, and still go out and use (drink & gamble), these things we teach you will start to POP UP in your head WHILE your out using.”
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And you know what? She was SPOT ON! When I’d relapse and go out and gamble, all this crap I was learning started to make an appearance in my mind and thinking! Gosh it annoyed the hell out me! For me, at first in early recovery, it made me feel even more doubtful, self loathing and low self-worth. See, recovery is a process, a life long process. No, lapse & relapse does not have to be part of one’s recovery, but it does happen for some. WHAT’S the difference you ask?
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A “lapse” is just a “ONE TIME SLIP”…..a “relapse” is when you have that slip, but you continue back into the “Cycle” of the addiction, and you relapse over and over. I did this a lot on and off until 2006, after 2 crisis center stays, and after attempting 2 failed SUICIDES, most recent was in 2006. I got myself tangled in a criminal event from my gambling addiction. That’s when I started, and got a foot hold of long-term recovery working with an Addictions Specialist,  intense therapy, and 3 GA Meetings a week for a whole year. That was my first goal. Seriously work and give it a year to start!
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I also got a sponsor and finally started in-depth step work. I was at the point of being “Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired”….Really the biggest 1st Step we have to take in the start of our recovery is, TRULY admitting to ourselves and another that gambling and alcohol had me beat to HELL. I had lost everything, almost my marriage and husband and my LIFE. It was time to grown up, work hard in my recovery, PUT IT FIRST, and get my LIFE BACK! I think some of the thoughts and feelings I had for thinking what I was doing in my addiction was OK was I felt like a “Victim” of my past Childhood Trauma and Abuse.
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So I felt a sense of entitlement, which we all know is horse shit! I needed to finally feel and walk though all that passed PAIN, HURT, and FEAR of all of that.  PLUS, what I had done to others and myself within my addiction! In order to REAP the RECOVERY REWARDS later years later, to really get what seems so “ELUSIVE” in the start of recovery, and what all of us IN Recovery want, just some “PEACE & SERENITY,”……you have to do the WORK order to achieve it, not be GIVEN IT.
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So, the BAD news is, you have to work hard in early recovery and beyond. Make those GA, AA, NA or what ever meetings that help support your recovery through *Fellowship and Unity.* You need to start your 12-Step work as well, or what ever recovery program you choose to help you have a balanced recovery. Some important things is re-learn healthy Mind & Body balance. Start a journal, read those materials that are “given” to you at meetings and at treatment. THEY REALLY DO HELP, and help guide you by learning and being informed about your addiction.
A support PHONE LIST is very important in early recovery. People you can call to help you through “Urges & Triggers.” And get back those healthy habits and hobbies you enjoyed in life, before all your time got sucked up by your addiction.
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The Good & Fabulous news of recovery? YOU GET YOUR LIFE BACK! YES, it will take time, so LEARN PATIENTS.  But it will come. The more you work your recovery, the more of your life you get back in return. And a much BETTER LIFE at that! Again, Recovery is a life long process, not an inconvenience. As before you know it, you’ll having years in recovery, not minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months. You’ll have YEARS of recovery time, and that’s when the “GOOD LIFE” really starts to happen!! It’s when all the hard work you put into your recovery gets good! You finally get to enjoy that early “elusive” in recovery, PEACE, CALM, and SERENITY. You can then start to “Pay It Forward” by being strong in your own recovery, to then help and support others as being of recovery service to others.
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So, just Breath In a Deep,……AWE, DO YOU FEEL IT YET? I SURE DO! It’s called “Success In Recovery”…
“AWE, THE GOOD LIFE”…
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May God Bless You All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Whether you are in shape, overweight, malnourished, or anywhere along the spectrum, exercise is an amazing tool in recovery.  Exercise and recovery go together well because when we are using, we exercise very little.  Our eating habits are often unhealthy.  We sit around, use, and do not utilize our bodies.  When we get sober, we often feel like doing the same, as our minds are running, we are full of anxiety, and we want to lie in bed all day.

Benefits of Exercise in Recovery

There are many benefits of exercising.  The most important point to mention is that exercise releases dopamine in the brain.  When we exercise, it keeps our dopamine receptors working and prevents them from dying off.  As we exercise, we are physically providing ourselves with the happiness chemical.  One day at a time, and over an extended period of time, exercise helps create happiness.  If we do not exercise or utilize these dopamine receptors, the brain prunes them off in order to increase efficiency.

As we exercise in recovery, we get rid of much negativity.  Exercising is a fantastic way to get rid of anxiety, anger, worry, restlessness, racing thoughts, and many many more emotions.  Working at a dual-diagnosis treatment center, I see many clients join us with anxiety disorders and anger issues.  They resist exercise as much as they possibly can.  However, when they finally begin exercising, they invariably admit to feeling the benefits.  As somebody who deals with anxiety and extreme anger myself, I find exercise to be absolutely invaluable in my recovery.  Exercising is one of my most useful tools when I am feeling any negative feeling.

Finally, when we exercise in recovery, we are taking contrary action and building esteem.  For many of us, exercise and taking care of our health are not things we have been doing.  When we begin to exercise, we begin to feel better about ourselves.  Whether we are losing weight, gaining weight, or remaining at the same weight, exercise helps us feel better about ourselves.  We are active, get outside, and ultimately are happier.

Ways to Exercise in Recovery

There are many simple ways to exercise without going to a gym or exercising in a tedious manner.  Some of us may be gym rats, but if you are like myself, the thought of going to a gym feels like going to work.  There are ways to exercise in a more relaxed, peaceful manner.

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