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Posted by on in Co-dependency

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of self-love, it is a phrase used to describe positive or compassionate actions, thoughts, and feelings towards ourselves. Although self-love may sound simple, putting it into practice is much more difficult. Many of us are in a pattern or habit of being critical and demanding upon ourselves. We are out of shape, we don’t make enough money, we are not beautiful enough, we are not smart enough, etc. The list of ways we use to belittle or judge ourselves is endless. Sometimes we are our biggest critic and the hardest to please. Maybe guilt and shame from our past looms over us like a black could. We say to ourselves, “I’m an awful parent/spouse/friend”. The degree to which we practice self-love varies, but for most of us it is generally very unfamiliar. In this post I will discuss how to begin practicing self-love and what mental and emotional benefits will follow. It is never too late to learn how to treat yourself with the love and compassion you deserve.

Practicing Self-Love Techniques

One of the best ways to start bringing self-love into your life is to practice positive self-talk. Contrary to thinking negative thoughts about yourself, positive self-talk is telling yourself helpful and rewarding things. If you have been judging or harsh on yourself for years, this can feel fake or forced. Like most things, an attitude of ‘fake it til you make it’ can lead into an authentic practice. It can be as simple as looking in the mirror and naming all the physical qualities that make your beautiful or unique. Tell yourself throughout the day that you are deserving of all the blessings you receive. If you believe in a higher power, think of the love that he/she has for you and how wonderful you must seem to them. Practicing positive self-talk can change the way we think about ourselves, do not underestimate how important the way we talk to ourselves is.

Another simple way to incorporate self-love is to write gratitude lists. A personal gratitude list is different than a gratitude list for your blessings. A self-gratitude list is when you search for and acknowledge all your positive traits, qualities, and aspects. For instance, it could include “I am grateful for my long hair, my sense of humor, my intelligence, my ability to comfort people, etc.” Recognize the great unique things that you were born with or inherited. When you practice noticing and acknowledging your positive qualities, you begin to make your self-worth a reality.

Lastly, self-love can be increased by practicing self-care. This is about taking time out of the day to relieve stress to our body and mind. Self-care of our body can be as simple as keeping ourselves nourished, exercising daily, and getting enough rest each night. Taking care of our mind is equally important. This includes things such as reading your favorite books, listening to your favorite music, or something creative that you enjoy. Self-care is about understanding your body and your mind’s needs and taking actions to meet those needs. Doing this can ease daily stresses and strains. When we make our personal needs a priority, we are enjoying and loving ourselves.

Benefits of Self-Love

When we start to incorporate self-love in our lives the benefits become apparent. Learning to love ourselves can dramatically change the way we feel about ourselves and the way we think others perceive us. We can notice a change in confidence in groups and a sense of calmness in our relationships. We no longer feel unworthy or not good enough. A strong program of self-love can help combat depression and anxiety, as well as reduce mental stress. Having self-love will protect us emotionally when disaster strikes (break-up, an illness, unemployment, etc.). We no longer have to rely upon people for approval and affection. It is empowering to know yourself completely and be proud of the person you are. Begin cultivating self-love today and see how much your life can change.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction
Hello Recovery Friends, Recovery Seekers, And Welcome New Visitors,
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I was cleaning up my Author Facebook page when I came across this “Quote” and it got me thinking about my current published book and my recovery from Addicted Compulsive gambling, and a bit too much alcohol. It took me back to when my book first released on my 50th birthday! I felt so proud that I actually accomplished one of the biggest goals I’d had for myself. I owe it to the “Grace & Power” of God, and my own 7 years of hard work in recovery for my book  to even be a “Dream to Reality” event in my life.
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Well, also I Thank my awesome publisher too, Steve Laible, of TKG… http://KodelEmpire.com And yes, he is as funny as he looks! But seriously, he is a fantastic publisher, and a “Children’s Book Author” Too! Check out my Pal http://StevieTenderHeart.com If it wasn’t for him nagging me to want to publish my manuscript my friend put together for me, I wouldn’t be a published author today. I was so scared of what people might THINK of me because of all the terrible things I’d done as an addict.
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Author - Steve Laible
Author – Steve Laible ~ Great Guy!
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I know I blog a lot about life being difficult to move on from, especially from our addictions when we first enter recovery. I know this because I to had a hard time grasping the fact that I had become an addicted to gambling and alcohol. It’s hard when we are at our worst in our addictions to even LOOK at ourselves in the mirror, and god knows that happened a lot for me. From the woman and wife I was, having a successful banking career, working hard to have a home and beautiful family life, to this black, ugly, darkness of addiction that took such a hold on me I thought I’d never make it out alive! And I almost didn’t, Twice.  When I was in the depths of the ugliness of addicted gambling, I used to think in my head about all the “negative” shit my mom and dad used to say about me, and it seemed I made that a “Reality” all by myself…

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As if I bought into all the years they said I didn’t love my family, never wanted to be around them or stay home, that I lied, or wasn’t an honest person. I really made that come true with my addiction! Even when you start recovery you have so many doubts about yourself. It takes time and a lot of hard work to learn WHO you really are. You have to retrain your brain, your diseased thinking and thoughts. I also had a hard time about 2 years into my recovery about “Feeling Stuck. I don’t know if you know what I mean? When I went to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I’d hear others speak about feeling “Stuck” in their recovery. Not sure which way to go, or what to do next to continue to grow in our process to recover.

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For myself? That’s when I had to start on Step 9. I was stuck on this step for a while. Making “Amends,” wow that was a hard job, and I’m still doing it today! Step 9 is making “Direct Amends” to such people wherever possible, as long as it doesn’t injure anyone in the process. Now that sounds easy enough, but with gambling addiction, it often means you owe money too, to someone you hurt, or never paid back. Well, most all the people I did owe, I had paid back. That is when though I learned about “Pawn Shops” and started selling stuff to get money to gamble. Also for me it was more of how I let down others. Like employers, if I stopped to gamble before work, and got on a winning streak, well, I’d call in sick and say I couldn’t make it in. Sadly, these people hired me to do a job and BE THERE to do it. So then that plays into your “Reputation & Character” of who you are. When I gambled? I was a Flake!! I even did it to my friends, and lost many good, long time friends because I couldn’t be counted on anymore. Now this may not sound like a big “DEAL” to many, but for me? That used to be WHO I WAS. People knew they could always count on “Catherine” when things needed getting done.
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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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