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10 Symptoms of Depression to Look Out For

Jun 10, 2021

The Role of Mental Health in Sobriety

In early recovery, many of us discovered we were suffering from an underlying mental health issue – or a co-existing disorder – that was masked by drugs and alcohol. In the process of my own recovery, I learned my mental health was just as important as my physical and spiritual health. I uncovered how mental illness manifests in my everyday life, how to deal with symptoms in a healthy way, and how to get professional help.

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Say “No” to Toxic Relationships

Jun 8, 2021

Hazardous love: Is this relationship toxic?

Love can seem addictive. That feeling can hook us fast, for some, maybe even faster than a drink or drug. And when we’re no longer drinking or using, a relationship can be an alternative to that high or an unhealthy distraction from our pain.

In early recovery—or even later in recovery—we may enter relationships too quickly because the other person makes us feel good. Sometimes it works out. But it’s easy for loneliness to lead us to bad choices of partners.

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How to Get Self-Control

Jun 3, 2021

Self-control is what you build up, develop, create and learn by controlling your behavior repeatedly. We should regard self-control as a skill. It is not a character trait or a thing you have to have that lets you control your behavior (or a thing that not having it prevents you from doing so!)

If someone says, “I have no self-control over my drinking or drugging, or eating sweets or whatever,” it might be asked, “Are you well practiced at resisting your urges or opportunities to use or to overeat the wrong things?” The answer would likely be, “No.” This person is well practiced at giving in to those urges and opportunities to use. (No criticism from me! I did this for years and years.)…

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4 Tips for Staying Strong as the World Reopens

Jun 1, 2021

Like any big change in life, emerging from the pandemic may be difficult for people who are newly sober.

A year ago, we were all reeling from the adjustments to pandemic life. Wearing masks felt confining and absurd; our tongues were still wrapping around new words like “social-distancing” and “quarantine.” And yet, over the past 12 months, pandemic life, with its social isolation, remote work and six-foot distances, has become our new normal. Now, as vaccines become more widespread and the world opens up, some people are finding that transition to be challenging and uncomfortable as well.

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Stand By Family No Matter What

May 27, 2021

Family is forever, or at least, that’s what the chintzy wall stencils say.  During times of hardship, sickness, death, misfortune, mistakes, and malaise it is helpful to rest assured that our families will stand by us and help us.  My esteemed mentor, Dr. Horvath, often says that 90% of social support is who shows up.  Who shows up in the hospital during chemo?  Who shows up to console after a break-up or job loss?  Often times, family shows up when no one else will.  But who shows up when a so-called ‘addict’ hits the proverbial ‘rock bottom?’  Often times family members desert loved ones when addictive problems are at their most severe.  Why is an exception to the golden rule of family standing by one another made when it comes to addiction? 

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7 Reasons Why Staying Healthy Is Fun

May 25, 2021

To many people, with or without substance-abuse struggles, “healthy living” is the lesser of two evils. No one wants the inconvenience and danger of heart trouble; no one aspires to obesity that makes crossing the room exhausting; but when it comes to preventative wellness, we often visualize a life sentence of bland meals and monotonous exercise. Hence the quip, “Will this really help you live longer—or will it just feel longer?”

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7 Reasons it Feels so Good to Give Back in Recovery

Apr 8, 2021

Whether you’re newly sober or well into your recovery, volunteering in the community is an essential part of your recovery process. Those who are of service to others have a far greater chance at long-term sobriety.

Getting Involved

Organizations like AA and NA have their own volunteer opportunities, but almost any national non-profit organization or charity offers opportunities for people to give back in some form or fashion.

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5 Ways To Quickly Calm Down In Moments Of Stress Or Anxiety

Mar 18, 2021

Stress is a human reaction to many events or environments. Acute stress can appear and disappear quickly, without lingering effects. Chronic stress, however, can take a toll on a person. Living with chronic stress can damage the mind and body. It could also fuel an addiction, unless you have go-to methods for quickly calm down when stressed.

Use A Deep Breathing Technique
Breathing techniques are a foundation for combating stress or anxiety. Breathing is something we can control, making it useful for relaxing and clearing the mind.

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I’m Addicted…And I Just Don’t Care Anymore

Mar 16, 2021

Have you ever felt like you understood and shared another person’s experiences and emotions? The ability to share someone else’s feelings is called empathy. And if you’ve never known substance abuse, you may take this ability for granted.

Those struggling with addiction often lack the capacity to tune into the emotions and behaviors of others. Along with so many other important pieces of their lives, the addiction seizes their empathy.

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