Addiction AllAddictionDisordered EatingIntervention and RecoveryPreventionTwisted Thinking I Don’t Always Feel Relief After a 12-Step Meeting Intervention and Recovery, Twisted Thinking Why would someone continue to go to something that they don’t always like and don’t feel immediate relief from? I'm playing the long game. Letting Go of Control: How I Stopped Trying to Force Solutions Healing Journey, Intervention and Recovery, Twisted Thinking Recognizing that I am not responsible for and cannot fix other people’s feelings is powerful; it frees up so much space and time for me to do my own healing and growing. Are the 12 Steps Safe for Trauma Survivors? Healing Journey, Intervention and Recovery, Traumatized Minds When the 4th and 5th steps are done without support for the symptoms of PTSD, they have the potential to retraumatize. What Is Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment? Healthcare as a Human Right, Intervention and Recovery There is no one-size-fits-all solution; any list of evidence-based treatments is going to include a wide variety of approaches. How Does AA Work? A Review of the Evidence Intervention and Recovery, Research AA is cloaked in misconceptions and mysticism: a society of “former drunks” who tout spirituality as a means to cure the chronic, genetic, and life-threatening disease of alcoholism. Addiction or Mental Illness: Which Should You Treat First? Crisis Intervention, Intervention and Recovery, Research Substance use can alter behaviors, moods, and personalities so severely for people with addiction that without specialized knowledge and experience, it’s difficult to determine underlying causes such as mental illness or trauma. Is Dad Drinking Again? Intervention and Recovery, Journal Journeys, Memories, Narratives “Are you drinking again?” I said it. It was out. The question was with me only as long as I said it. I was trying to be casually supportive. I Just Want To Drink Active Addiction Thoughts, Twisted Thinking Now that I’m here, I really want a drink, but Alejandro won’t let me. I’m so nervous and anxious. Lost. My thoughts are circling, and I can’t stop the spiraling repetitiveness of my obsessions. I’m afraid. The Importance of Women’s Recovery Spaces Healing Journey, Intervention and Recovery I’ve heard rumors suggesting that women’s only recovery meetings are not good because they’re just “man-bashing.” This is unequivocally false; just because something isn’t for you doesn’t mean it is against you. Is It Possible to Stay Clean Without Getting Sober? Addiction, Intervention and Recovery, Twisted Thinking For the purposes of this essay, clean is defined as being off “hard drugs” and sober is being off all drugs (alcohol included). Accepting these definitions, is it possible to stay clean without getting sober? Teaching Kids About Drugs: Alternatives to DARE Prevention Any program predicated on the idea that people need to “just say no” causes the opposite effect. High risk groups tend to be encouraged to participate in the forbidden behavior. Recovery Sayings One Day at a Time Healing Journey, Intervention and Recovery, Pictures, Quotes Doodling, drawing, and coloring impromptu art is a go to method for me to stay centered. Maybe it'll work for you, too. Weeding Out Anxiety Finding Healing, Healing Journey, Inspiration, Intervention and Recovery, Personal Discovery I allowed a seed of anxiety to grow and take roots in other parts of my psyche. It is kind of like when a tree brings water up through its roots to nurture itself, only in a much more fucked up and non-poetic kind of way. Binge eating at a holiday party Disordered Eating This is what a few hours in the life of a compulsive overeater are like. It wasn't a constant binge, but a stretched out lifelong binge. I cannot recount how many days I experienced this over three decades of my life. Am I depressed or just introverted? The truth about friendships. Intervention and Recovery, Self-Advocacy Being depressed and an introvert can make it hard to tease apart what these social urges are attributed to. Social contact helps treat depression, but depression causes social isolation. Is it depression or just introversion? Eating Obsessions and Body Negativity Active Addiction Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Inside Depression, Twisted Thinking I think I’m emotionally eating. I really need to not do that. I have to be really careful with addictions. I could very easily become an alcoholic I think. I need to be so careful to never do that. Where to Get Help for Suicide or a Mental Health Crisis Crisis Intervention, Prevention, Survival and Support A comprehensive listing of suicide intervention and crisis support hotlines and contacts. Talk to someone via chat, text, phone, or email. Find help for yourself or someone else. Suicidal and Not Giving Up Inside Depression, Traumatized Minds, Twisted Thinking TW: Suicidal ideation. Raw, honest, painfully real journal journey to a dark time of suicidal thoughts. Get help at suicidepreventionlifeline.org call 1-800-273-8255 Drinking as Self-Harm Addiction, Traumatized Minds When I can only see the world through foggy glasses, the urge to destroy myself by drinking again becomes an enticing option. Drinking can be a method of self-harm and was for me. Drunk Watching Intervention Twisted Thinking People say that reality TV is just scripted lies with a dose of reality, but Intervention showed me my own reality. My obsession with the show, Intervention, planted some warning flags in my line of vision. I had to fall over a ton of them before I realized they were there, but I finally did realize. Sobriety Can Be Scary Active Addiction Thoughts, Addiction Nothing negative is happening. I mean, no big things are occurring that I should feel threatened about. This anxiety and fear is coming from someplace else. I can’t sleep. I wake up every hour and am having vivid intense dreams and nightmares. What is wrong? It isn’t easy to deal with stresses again without my… Gendered Language in 12-Step Programs Addiction, Social Justice Resistance to changing the gendered text of AA literature places an unfair burden on the many people who want to get sober but feel ostracized by the oppressive language. It others people in a program that is specifically meant to be inclusive to all. Learning To Be Honest Active Addiction Thoughts, Addiction, Finding Healing, Mental Health Lying so often feels like the easy way out, but I've been learning the hard way that honesty is the only way to face demons and beat them. To learn from the shit in life and to handle the pain of the world, to see the good things and not just the bad. Why I am airing my dirty laundry Healing Journey, Inspiration, Intervention and Recovery, Self-Advocacy, Survival and Support There is a lot of value in talking about survival and moving forward in life. It is important to see what the future can hold, but when you feel alone in the thick of sorrow the only thing that you want is to feel less alone. Alcoholic and Spiraling Towards Bottom Active Addiction Thoughts, Addiction, Mental Health Angry at myself. I’ve been drinking every single day for like a week. I know why I’m doing it. Without something to confuse my sense, I don’t have to deal with this internal struggle. How To Practice Self-Compassion in 6 Steps Healing Journey, Intervention and Recovery, Self-Advocacy, Survival and Support Self-compassion protects us from ourselves. Another 2017 study published in School Psychology Quarterly found that self-compassion protects adolescents from inflicting self-harm because "those high on self-compassion may be more likely to use adaptive strategies" for dealing with pain and suffering. The Family and Medical Leave Act and Addiction Treatment Healthcare as a Human Right, Intervention and Recovery, Self-Advocacy The United States does not have a great health care system to help people with substance use disorders (SUD). At every socioeconomic level, treatment is not easy to access. Stereotypes about addicts are outdated and inaccurate. Addiction and alcoholism are usually treated like moral failings or personal choice. Why I Didn’t Try To Lose Weight For My Wedding Disordered Eating, Healing Journey, Inspiration, Survival and Support The author on her wedding day. Courtesy of Adrian Herrera of Victor Herrera Photographers To take care of myself in the months preceding my wedding I had to make a conscious effort to not dive into dieting. Wedding weight loss was off the list of things for me to do, or to even attempt. As… How to Stay Sober on Vacation Healing Journey, Intervention and Recovery, Travel Hacks Photo courtesy of Giuseppe Milo at http://www.pixael.com/en/shop Summer is here and the warmth radiating into the office window conjures up dreams of poolside lounge chairs and remote sun-kissed beaches. While you mentally plan your dream getaway and add pins to your vacation planning Pinterest board, guilty and anxious thoughts about drinking can trickle in. You… Willpower Doesn’t Keep Me Sober Addiction Surely, self-control and moderate drinking were skills I could learn. If someone would just tell me the secret, I would be able to solve the puzzle and be cured. If I tried harder, if I was punished enough to learn discipline, if I went to enough therapy…if…if… Opioids, Dissociation, and PTSD – The Shocking Connections Addiction, Mental Health, Science Animals that are put under constant duress seem as if they are on an opioid like heroin. Scientists also observed animals reacting like addicts in withdrawal when an opioid blocker was used to disrupt the flow of natural endogenous opioids. Why I Won’t Be Making New Year’s Resolutions Addiction New Year’s Resolutions are rarely successful. Research published by Statistic Brain, a non-partisan independent research group, found that only eight percent of people achieve their resolutions. That number is significantly higher for people in their twenties versus people over fifty. The longer we maintain certain behaviors, the less likely we are to be able to… Social Anxiety and Racing Thoughts Addiction, Feeling Anxious, Mental Health I prefer to go under the radar than let people get close and reject me once they get to know me. I am afraid to be honest. Is Guilt Selfish? Regret, Shame, and Relapse Addiction, Science Since guilt is cited as a frequent relapse trigger, we need to uncover the layers of internal regret. Looking back over journals from different periods in my life, guilt has always been a major character in my evolving chapters of self-destruction. I have heard it said that alcoholics tend to think they are the piece… 39 Excuses for Not Drinking Addiction, Funny Other people shouldn’t have a problem with you saying no to a drink. Unfortunately, as with many scenarios, "no" is not always accepted as a final answer. There may be people who, for reasons of their own, will pressure you to take that first drink. Not everyone wants to disclose alcoholism, so what can you say to make people leave you alone? Denial and Blackouts: A Vicious Cycle Addiction, Science Blackouts are drug-related amnesia. Binge drinking can lead to memory loss and make it difficult to form new memories. Someone in a blackout might turn into an incoherent version of Dory from Finding Nemo who won’t stop repeating the same phrase, but a lot of the time it is difficult to tell if someone is blacked out. How I Learned to Love Meditation Addiction, Inspiration, Mental Health It isn’t easy to deal with stresses again without my old crutch of booze. It can really suck. The world around me is loud, crowded, and smelly. Combine that with the obsessive thoughts that regularly run laps around my brain—it’s a recipe for a meltdown. To my surprise, sprinkling in some meditations completely changed the mix. Will Big Pharma Support a Non-Addictive Opioid? Addiction, Science With painkillers like OxyContin, the overdose reversal drug naloxone, and detox/maintenance medications like Suboxone, the pharmaceutical industry is making a profit off people addicted to opioid at every stage. Opioids are highly addictive and sometimes, especially in combination with other drugs, deadly. 5 Happiness Tips When You Have PTSD Addiction, Inspiration, Mental Health, Science Living with post traumatic stress disorder and her bluesy sister, depression, has drastically changed how I handle everyday life. Anxiety and lethargy applied for permanent residence in my body, and I thought I had to fight to have their applications thrown out. Turns out I didn’t have to fight, I had to give up and stop trying to control everything.