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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome New Friends,

 

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Todays recovery message is to “Just Get Your Wiggle Butt” in gear and don’t be afraid to dig in and do the work needed to start, stay, and have a CATTASTIC RECOVERY LIFE!!
Many know I am a cat lover, and sadly when we had to relocate from beautiful So. Oregon to hot, dusty Arizona, I had to leave my 2 kids, ( Kitty Cats) Buttons & Callie behind with a good friend of ours until will get back to Oregon. My hubby works for a large grocery store chain and is starting meat-cutters school for them soon. The closest training school was here in Arizona, or the ones back East, and I wasn’t going there! No Way!…LOL.

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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 Drug Addiction

What is Detox?

Detoxing is the important first step that one will undergo if being admitted into a rehab. There is a lot of uncertainty and confusion about what detoxing actually is.

A detox is the porcess of weaning the body off of a substance. A detox addresses the physical aspect of rehabilitation, but not any psychological aspects.

 

Detox Happens in 3 Stages

There are 3 stages to a detox and each one is crucial for the process to be successful.

Stage 1: Evaluation- upon being admitted into a rehab, the medical staff will evaluate the severity of the addiction in the patient. Tests will be done to see which drugs are present in the blood. This knowledge will help to assist the staff in knowing how to best move forward with the process.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and New Addictionland Visitors,

quotes-about-helping-others-making-difference-oprah-103177
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“So I keep having this “Dream” about the broken relationship I have with my Father.”
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It’s seems to come as the backside of a once broken life. My life. When I finally started a serious recovery from gambling addiction and booze, my mom had been sick and in and out of the hospital. But as if God knew she would be gone soon, I was able to go spend a week with her and my family in So. Cal shortly after my crisis center stay from a very bad gambling slip and undiagnosed bipolar depression. It was also my first failed suicide attempt. That was Nov, 2002. So I had this overwhelming need to be close to my mom, so I went down in March, 2003. The week went great, as I even got to see my older brother and his son too! He was on vacation in Laguna Beach, CA, and invited me and my other two sisters to come and spend the day with him there.

That was the FIRST time all four of us kids had been together like that in years! It was also like a dream, so thank goodness I have photo’s to remind me of that wonderful day. It would be the last time we were all on good terms. As July 2003 came around and mom was back in the hospital and on Life Support. We almost lost her then. I was called to be told that she may not make it, so I needed to come down to be with her. She made it, but only lasted until mid August, 2003. While I was there in July, I could not believe how I was being treated. Now I had never hurt anyone in my family with my addiction, and I felt is was more about my “Mental illness” that was the problem. Like they couldn’t understand, or wonder what was so wrong with me. Don’t you just hate when people find out and they “Treat You Differently”?

Their attitudes were much different too, as if I’d go “Postal” on them at any moment is the only way I can describe it to you. See, I was still living in So. Oregon at this time, so it was a long way to So. California. It wasn’t like I lived in the same state or city, so we didn’t see each other very often. Now for those who haven’t read my current book, I should back up a bit.

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Posted by on in Recommended Reading

I recently called a friend to talk with her about a choice I needed to make. I've learned through the program of recovery how valuable perspective beyond my own helps assure I’ll do the next right thing.

However there are times, like this one, when I already know what I want to do yet I go through the motions anyway.

Bad idea.

Sure enough things didn't pan out the way I had wanted. When I ran into my friend, I had to fess up about the result. This is pretty much how that conversation went:

FRIEND:  So how did everything work out?

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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 Other Addictions

The link between childhood trauma and porn use is strong, with significant physiological and psychological impacts. Children who experience trauma are more likely to develop emotional intimacy issues later in life, including porn addiction, sex addiction and x.

 

What is Childhood Trauma?

In children, traumatic experiences can include sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, exposure to violence, witnessing violence, divorce, deaths, neglect, a natural disaster or troubling event like a car crash or fire. In each case, children are exposed to events that are too overwhelming for them to cope with.

 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

One of the larger challenges in recovery is learning how to overcome a desire to use alcohol or drugs. In previous articles I've offered a host of tools to support recovery and encourage you to think about recovery in ways other than a conventional approach to sobriety. In this article I would like to offer a simple relapse prevention tool.

As a clinician with nearly 30 years of experience I've worked in a variety of agencies. Every agency would encourage you to develop a relapse prevention plan that attends to places in your life where you get stuck as well as high-risk situations that would encourage use. I think knowing what to do what you get stimulated is important, but I've never been a fan of the long-form relapse prevention plans. Having to look through 20 pages to see which intervention is best suited for a particular issue is a grind. My sense is that more isn't better, different is the key. I would invite you to get several 4x6 cards and create your entire plan on one side of the card.  Include the following:

Mission statement: one of my friend's is a pilot for a major airline. He let me know that 95% of the time a plane is off-course and that you need to make adjustments to keep the plane on course. Much like a plane, we can get off course in our recovery. I would invite you to create a statement at the top of the card which supports you to make corrections in your life when your recovery is in trouble. This is my mission statement: my sobriety is the single most important thing in my life - if anything jeopardizes my recovery, I eliminate it. As I believe that recovery is a choice, it is important to be mindful that every decision we make can support long term-recovery or allow us to engage in maladaptive behaviors that support relapse and are less than flattering to our ego. All I need to do is to simply think of my mission statement and compare it to anything I want to do. Will this action stimulate a desire to use or further support my recovery? While I do not broadcast my sobriety, it is the single most important thing in my life.

Phone numbers: I would invite you to include 6-7 phone numbers of people you know who are supportive of your recovery, likely to help you if you feel like you're falling down in your life, and are consistent in their own way. When I had about 12 years of sobriety I had a pretty strong desire to drink. I was fortunate in that I collected a list of 100 phone numbers. As my desire to drink came on the weekend during the time between Christmas and New Years most people were on vacation and out-of-touch. I needed to call over 95 people before I found someone I could talk to. Some people might consider a list of 100 people as extreme, but my sense is that I am absolutely committed to making sure I remain sober and I am willing to put in extreme effort to that end.

Alternatives: I invite you to list six to seven things you can do beyond drinking and using. I can always go to the judo hall, watch horrible sci fi, volunteer, support people online, read, play with my cat, go for a run, and remember the commitment I made to my grandmother when I got sober. It's important to be mindful that we tend to drink or use to change the way we feel, and it's imperative that we remember that relapse only offers temporary relief.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Why do people put Labels on others?


I happen to have a bad week last week, as I had a Cyber Harrasser reak havoc on my Recovery Blog, and hecked one of my social media sites, about.me.com.....
I really don't understand why or what I could have done to deserve being harrassed like this. They posted some really mean things and choice words with no reason given as to why? I only try to Help & Support others in their Recovery, if they suffer Mental illness as I, or are a Childhood abuse survior. But, all is fixed and back to normal!! So, I thought I'd write a little about.....

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*WARNING LABELS*
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It seems in today’s society and everywhere you turn, people are slapping labels of who they think other people are? As we live in an age of “Reality Stars and TV Shows,” everyone wants to have a LABEL….
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They look for labels like, Diva, Famous, Rich, Star, Rock Star, even Important,” on and on. But all I see when people put labels on you per say, it can be like a virus! Now when a doctor or psychiatrist label you, it can make a person feel uncomfortable. But when other people give you a label, it may cause them to NOT seek help they made need from maybe a health or mental health issues, or wanting help from an addiction, along with other area’s.
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So when others out there put a  label on us, I feel like it’s just another way for “STIGMA” to run rampant. I think and feel it leaves way to many doors open to judge others, possible discrimination, and put others in departmental boxes. Now, of course for medical purpose’s, labeling is a way for our medical professionals to give a patient a description of their aliments. But in our society, labels have been used for multitudes of reasons, some OK and many in not so positive ways.

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I think you know what I mean. labels have become almost a cruel way to describe others as a sect, or group if you will. And yes, we can’t forget that there are many “Positive Labeling” as well, “Mentors, Roll Models, Sponsors, Donors, and Advocates, and so many more. Many of us  have a positive message we share to help others. It’s in our nature and in our blood!
Even Actor’s and Actress’s can be positive role models, which is a far cry from “Reality Stars” because actors learn and go to school and work hard on their craft. I had an interesting “Comments” conversation here on my blog of a really nice follower who came and shared her thoughts about one of my earlier blog posts about, Mental illness and the Fort Shooting that happened a week or so ago.
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Interesting enough, that is where I got to thinking about labels. She had mentioned about mental illness, and that she was not comfortable with a therapist or psychiatrist putting a “Label” on her, or of what she may or may not have. So I’ve been thinking about her feelings. ( You can see her “Thoughts” in my comment section of that earlier post )

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We had a great conversation about it, and there were no hard feelings, as we did disagree a little about gun control for those who suffer from mental illness. But the point was that we were able to share how we both felt, and isn’t that what having a blog and conversation all about? Talking about important issues? Engaging with others to so we can help break down “STIGMA” around issues that need it? That is why I started BOTH my blogs.

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To be able to engage with others on a wide range of issues. To help others seeking help from gambling addiction through my resources pages, talk about mental illness and childhood abuse issues, past or present. That’s what I am all about. I was recently cyber harassed as I did blog my feelings about it.
WHY? Why wouldn’t why?
It’s because this person was trying to out “Cruel Labels” upon me. Labels like, Fat, Lonely, Obsessive, fraud, mental and that I’m not who I present myself to be.
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Well, there you go!! People putting labels on another person. This can be very hurtful and a very good example of  demeaning labeling someone. All I can say is “GOD” and myself truly know what I stand for, and the “Goodness in my HEART,” and that’s all that matters to me!
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I have endured far worse than this all my life,……even from my own family, and I’m still here! Not labeling can possibly boil down to just “Being Kind To Others.”
Were we not born as human beings and pure of heart?
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Many of us deal with labels, discrimination, and much more everyday. In our family, work life, people we meet and many other area’s. Were judged by Color, Sex, Creed, Religion, Sexual preference, Gay, Straight, Rep. or Dem., and so much more. How is it that others find the mean spirit of purposely hurting others by slapping a label on them? I guess I’ll never know. But labeling in Recovery from addiction, also those who suffer from any mental or emotional illness. Labels and stigma sure is still alive and well.
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And to the person it’s directed to, is really like a Poison. Here are some types of labeling and the harm it could cause!
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What Is Labeling People?

Answer

Labeling people refers to the attachment assumed qualities to particular people. For instance, the British are stuck ups. It simply means trying to define the position or class someone occupies in society. As such, it works as a grading system for humans to see whether another is ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than the speaker in the hierarchical order. Labels determine a lot how a person is treated in society.
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Labeling Drug Users Certain Ways Can Inhibit Their Recovery

*For those recovering from an addiction, word choices can make a big difference and either help or hurt their chance of recovery.*


As kids, we oftentimes hear the idiom “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Well, for those suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, gambling, and more, the choice of words can make a big difference and even hurt their chances of recovery. A recent survey conducted among health care professionals reveals that labeling someone a “substance abuser” may prevent them from seeking the help they need.

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<3 The Sobriety Spot
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Posted by on in Co-dependency

Increase

Psychotherapy is a biological treatment, a brain therapy. It produces lasting, detectable physical changes in our brain, much as learning does.” –Dr.  Eric Kandel (Professor Columbia University and recipient, 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine)

This is the third in a series of articles about children of alcoholics who remain trapped in an alcoholic lifestyle as adults. Parts 1 and 2 explained that children who grow up in addicted families are likely to reproduce harmful features of their families of origin in their adult lives. When they involve themselves with destructive partners and activities that evoke feelings and patterns of behavior similar to those they witnessed and experienced as children, their lives become unmanageable. I examined the neurological and psychological underpinnings   of this painful “infinite loop” of chaos and disappointment that captures and captivates many adult children. In brief, neurological changes caused by traumatic experiences in childhood remodel the brain, producing chronic states of emotional distress that are difficult to soothe.  Moreover, parental neglect and abuse depress self-esteem and leave children feeling valueless, mistrustful and confused about how to construct rewarding relationships.

This week I’ll begin a discussion of ”exit strategies” that adult children from addicted families can employ to escape the infinite loop. These strategies hinge on exciting research aboutneuroplasticity that are a result of  advances in the field of   functional neuroimaging, including single photon emission CT (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), and functional MRI. Mental health theorists and clinicians once believed that changes in the brain occur only   during early childhood. Now that we can obtain actual pictures of the structure and activity of the brain, we understand that it continues to respond, throughout life, to events and interactions with others, by creating new neural pathways and altering existing ones.  So, while adverse events in childhood severely roil emotions and disrupt perception and behavior by changing the brain, we know now that there are activities people can undertake, even in adulthood, to normalize the brain. (Please continue reading)

It is very important for adults who were highly stressed and traumatized in addicted families to identify activities and experiences that facilitate neural growth and positive brain change, because, as last week’s post highlighted, anxiety and depression that stem from childhood trauma cause ongoing damage to brain circuitry. That is, there is the potential for “negative plasticity” in adult life, as well as positive brain change. And, as Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a neurobiologist at Stanford pointed out, “Early-life stress and the scar tissue that it leaves, with every passing bit of aging, gets harder and harder to reverse. You’re never out of luck in terms of interventions, but the longer you wait, the more work you’ve got on your hands.”

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