PTSD, Alcoholism and Veterans: What is the Connection?

Harsh. Hostile. Volatile. These words only begin to describe the experience of combat veterans. They are in fight-or-flight mode for extended periods of time. They must make decisions that deeply move against religious, moral and value coding. There is no time for grieving, no safe space to process, no place for emotion of any kind.

It’s no wonder some develop PTSD along with an alcohol use disorder in an attempt to self-medicate.

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Coping with Job Loss and Rebuilding Your Life

No matter what has caused you to lose your job – losing employment can be devastating, and if you aren’t managing your stress in healthy ways, relapse can be right around the corner. In order to avoid slipping back into old behaviors, follow these important tips as you begin to navigate your new situation.  

Recovery Before Everything
If you’re in recovery, it’s likely you have heard the saying “anything you put before your recovery, you risk losing” hundreds of times.

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How to Change Your Life with 3 Daily Habits

“If you are someone who has struggled with addiction, you are excellent at forming habits.”

The first time my friend Dr. Darlene Mayo said that sentence to me, I was a little taken aback, and very intrigued. She was right: addicts are great at forming habits, and that propensity, when applied for good, can be life-changing.

During our conversation on The Recovered On Purpose Show, I shared with Dr. Mayo the story of my past as a homeless heroin addict, and my present as someone seeking to change other people’s lives through the power of the lessons I’ve learned on my journey to recovery.

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Why Journaling is a Powerful Recovery Tool

Of the many helpful tools you can use to aid you in your recovery, keeping a journal is among the easiest and most powerful. It’s easy in the sense that you can do it pretty much anywhere, at any time. All you need to start journaling in recovery is a piece of paper and a pen. It’s powerful because it works in so many different ways to help you organize your thoughts, process your feelings, and alleviate stress. Here are some of the benefits of journaling for recovery, as well as tips to help get you started.

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Arrested? Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol? Look for Drug Court

Getting arrested is a scary thing. It can be even more so when you are dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction. Traditionally, if you were found guilty of a drug-charge, you’d receive a long jail sentence.

Thankfully, drug court entered the picture in 1989. It diverts selected defendants with drug or alcohol related charges – typically those with less serious offenses – into treatment versus prison.

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Eat Up: 7 Recovery Foods to Manage Mood Swings

Mood swings are some of the most common symptoms experienced during the early stages of addiction recovery. These can include increased irritability, stress and anxiety. While many people seek relief via anti-stress and anti-anxiety medications, that is simply not an option for most people in recovery. Luckily, there are some simple dietary changes you can make that will help to boost your mental state and offer renewable energy. Here’s a look at some trusted recovery foods that are known to help manage stress and anxiety.

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The Stages of Me

My sober friends who have come to know me also know that I like to chunk things down. Give me a list and I’m good to go!

When I look at my life in retrospect without the fog of alcohol, and also look at my life with curiosity going forward, I can segment it into four categories: Outside Me, Reclamation Me, Inside Me and Journeywoman Me.

Outside Me

In my Outside Me phase, I became a pro at personal and physical reinvention.

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Addiction and Estrangement

Addiction can roil relationships with abuse, betrayal, and domestic violence, placing great stress on a family. Typically, parents and siblings who try to help or manage a family member’s addiction find themselves sapped of emotional energy and drained of financial resources. My survey shows as many as 10 percent of respondents suspect that a sibling is hiding an addiction.

I wonder: Does the addiction produce family problems, or do a dysfunctional family’s issues result in addiction?

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What to Expect during Family Therapy

When a family member is struggling with a substance use disorder, it affects the entire family. Their substance use may make others in the family feel like they are dealing with a stranger. It’s not uncommon for the person experiencing addiction to act completely out of character, making the entire family feel out of sync.

If your loved one is in this situation and your family feels upside down, things may start to improve after they begin rehab.

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Collegiate Recovery Programs: Keeping the Door to Opportunity Open

There are two ways to think about college, both equally prevalent in our cultural knowledge of the subject. The first is about doors opening: doors to opportunity for economic advancement and financial security, and doors to a deeper understanding of one’s own true self. The second conceptualization of college is also about discovery, but of a different kind: the discovery of substances, usually alcohol, sometimes drugs.

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