Iâ€™m a Recovering Addict, Child of an Addict and Psychology Major. I write this blog in the hopes that sharing my knowledge of addiction recovery can help people achieve a happy life in recovery. I want people to know they are not alone in this fight. This common struggle will hopefully bring us together so we can find support, in which we can gain the strength and the courage to keep fighting. I want this blog to help people understand addiction and inspire compassion within them for addicts. I hope to eliminate the discrimination and stigma of an already difficult struggle by raising awareness of the challenges addicts face, and hopefully increase peopleâ€™s acceptance of them. As a society, I believe we need to stop punishing addicts and increase our harm reduction efforts.
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Experiential therapy was developed in the 1970s and has quickly become popular since it was introduced. Researchers and mental health professionals all over the world have attested to the positive benefits that experiential therapy can provide to those who participate in it. While it is still a relatively new form of therapy, it has still […] The post Experiential Therapy: What It Is and How It Helps appeared first on Recovering Addict...
Experiential therapy was developed in the 1970s and has quickly become popular since it was introduced. Researchers and mental health professionals all over the world have attested to the positive benefits that experiential therapy can provide to those who participate in it. While it is still a relatively new form of therapy, it has still proven to be successful and offer a number of benefits that other forms of therapy often do not. Here’s a quick breakdown of what experiential therapy is and how it has been shown to help.
As its name suggests, experiential therapy is a form of therapy that incorporates other activities into the process. The fundamental theory behind it is that when people are focusing on other tasks, they are much more relaxed and are able to access parts of themselves that they otherwise wouldn’t want to or even be able to. When done correctly, experiential therapy is much more than simply having fun; it’s a way for people to reconnect with the hidden parts of themselves that they have been suppressing, ignoring, or unaware of.
It is important to know that when people are participating in these activities, they are not simply having fun. While that is an important element, they are also being guided by a therapist who is using the activity to relax the client and help them to lower the defenses that they so naturally put up. Here are only a few examples of experiential therapy, all of which have been shown to be effective with many people, especially those who have not responded well to talk therapy.
As mentioned before, experiential therapy provides a wide array of unique benefits, most of which revolving around openness, communication, and present awareness. You see, when people are involved in an activity such as music, art, writing, or any other activity that is used in experiential therapy, they are focusing on what is happening right now. They cannot dwell on the past or the future and instead are living completely in the moment. That is very beneficial because it helps them to stay present, even while they are talking about the past or the future. In this way, it allows them to think about the past and the future without dwelling on them and it therefore enables them to be more productive in their thoughts.
People who regularly participate in experiential therapy are able to better process traumatic events that happened to them in the past and are able to think about the future without being fearful or anxious. They are also able to open up more, be more vulnerable, and address issues that they otherwise would not have wanted to or been able to. Those are all incredible benefits that can change people’s lives for the better. It’s no wonder that experiential therapy has become so popular in such a short amount of time!
What makes work addictive to some people and the exact opposite to others? It is hard to say what causes certain people to become addicted. There are a wide variety of addictions to various substances and activities. What they have in common is that there is a compulsive drive to repeat an action that causes […] The post Work Addiction And Workaholism: Finding Peace In Life and learning to #CHILL appeared first on Recovering Addict...
It is hard to say what causes certain people to become addicted. There are a wide variety of addictions to various substances and activities. What they have in common is that there is a compulsive drive to repeat an action that causes self-harm. This obsessive-compulsive symptom of addiction is caused by activities that stimulate the reward centers of the brain. Hence, a person can become addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, video games and even work.
This kind of thinking has lead us right into a work addiction epidemic. In our modern world where everything seems to center around social media, we have come to idolize financial success. We follow motivational speakers, successful entrepreneurs, and see everyone we know working hard to find financial success. While work addiction is becoming a serious problem, it is not a new problem. In previous generations, people were encouraged to get respectable jobs and work hard to get ahead in the company. The world has changed since then, but the problem of overworking is as bad as ever.
We see multimillionaires and billionaires on television and social media bragging about their magical lives of wealth and freedom. Yet, they keep working. Why do they need more money? If you had a billion dollars, would you want to start another company? While there are some business successes who make their money and then retire from work to do the things they truly enjoy in life, these people seem to be the exception to the rule. Next time you are watching a hard working millionaire on social media or a screaming motivational speaker telling you to hustle and work 10 times or 100 times harder, consider the possibility that you are looking into the face of a work addict.
Recently, I had the pleasure to interview Bryan Robinson, Ph.D., author of “#CHILL, Turno off Your Job and Turn On Your Life”. Our conversation was eye-opening. Dr. Robinson is a scientist who has studied workaholism for decades. He is also a recovering workaholic himself. He has accomplished a great deal in this field to define the disorder of workaholism. This includes many fascinating studies where MRIs were performed to study how the brain is affected. He is also the inventor of the Work Addiction Risk Test (WART). Now, Dr. Robinson helps people around the world with his best-selling book that helps them to identify workaholism in their lives. While not as immediately deadly as heroin addiction, work addiction is a serious problem. If left untreated, workaholism can steal your life away, leaving you with anxiety, depression and regret. You can listen to my interview with Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. where we discuss his new book, #CHILL, on the Mental Health News Radio Network.
You may not believe that you have a work addiction problem. Yet, if work is always on your mind, you could be a workaholic . Do you procrastinate, putting your work off until another day? Are you constantly obsessing over the work that you are avoiding? Do you find yourself feeling sick with anxiety over work you need to get done. These may be signs of work addiction. Workaholism does not mean that you are necessarily a millionaire who can’t stop building one company after another, neglecting your own life along the way. If work is taking over your life and hurting you, keeping you from enjoying the beautiful things around you, you may be suffering from work addiction.
There is a support fellowship for the workaholic. If you believe that you are addicted to work, you may be interested in Workaholics Anonymous. This is a 12-step organization where you can come face-to-face with other workaholic members. The program is derived from Alcoholics Anonymous. Going to WA meetings is one of the treatment options available to the workaholic. In these meetings, you will meet like-minded people and develop a support system of new friends who are also recovering from work addiction. The 12 steps are an excellent way to work on yourself to recover from addiction. And, in the program, you will develop a relationship with recovering friends and with the program rather than an ongoing relationship with the work that is stealing your life away. Workaholics Anonymous is a place where one recovering addict can help another to recover from work addiction.
Dr. Robinson’s book, #CHILL, goes into the 12 steps in a very subtle way. Each chapter is related to a month of the year. In each of the twelve chapters, he gently introduces the steps in order. Additionally, he provides many useful tools to move in the direction of enjoying your life and getting away from unhealthy overworking. In my interview with Dr. Robinson, he gives an example of such a tool. He asks listeners to stop what they are doing at that moment and focus on a sound in their environment. It could be a singing bird, the wind blowing through the trees, or it could be the sounds of distant traffic on the road. It doesn’t matter. By stopping the busy running around and overthinking that happens throughout the day, you break the cycle of your addictive behavior. You start to live in the moment. Take a deep breath, in and out. Take a break from your life to look around and listen. It is essential to your physical health to take these breaks from the never ending hamster wheel of overworking that has become a full blown addiction for many people.
Yes, work addiction treatment through therapy is available. There are psychologists who have experience in treating many types of addiction, including other behavioral addictions related to workaholism. Self-help and group meetings can only go so far. Sometimes, to treat addiction, you need professional help from a trained therapist. Addiction treatment is also available in specialized rehab programs. You may want to consider going away to a workaholics retreat. In such a retreat, media use, such as using your smartphone, playing video games, social media or any other type of technology would be restricted. Internet use would be either severely limited or not allowed at all. While long hours without online access may seem impossible for a hard worker or someone suffering from internet addiction, it is important to make this break. If you are in such a retreat in a natural setting, such as out in the woods or on the beach, you will come to appreciate the beauty of nature and slowing down.
Learning to overcome workaholism does not mean that you cannot work. Most of us must work in order to make the money we need to live. However, in order to maintain your mental health, you must learn to step back from your work. You need to set boundaries. And, when you are at work, you need to take breaks throughout the day. When you are with your family, enjoy being with your family. Put the work aside. Being aware of workaholism is the first step to recovering. Treatment starts with simply being aware that this addiction exists in your life.
I highly recommend visiting the website of Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. You can find his book, #CHILL, on Amazon and in all major book stores. I recommend also downloading the audiobook of #CHILL from Audible. Dr. Robinson narrates his own book. He has a very nice, soothing voice that is perfect for the book. The audiobook can be your companion while driving, on your way to work.
The post Work Addiction And Workaholism: Finding Peace In Life and learning to #CHILL appeared first on Recovering Addict Advice.
What Is Meditation? It’s not a surprise that the crazier life becomes around us, the more we seek out ways to alleviate the stressors we feel building. Maybe your goal is to feel less stressed, less reactive to the insignificant stuff, or gain focus. Perhaps you’ve decided to use meditation to further your personal development, […] The post Meditation For Beginners appeared first on Recovering Addict...
It’s not a surprise that the crazier life becomes around us, the more we seek out ways to alleviate the stressors we feel building. Maybe your goal is to feel less stressed, less reactive to the insignificant stuff, or gain focus. Perhaps you’ve decided to use meditation to further your personal development, or to improve your relationships with those around you. Whatever the reason may be, you’ve decided that meditation is the right direction to take. After all, meditation is defined as a technique to encourage yourself into a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Let’s face it, we can all use more of that.
Picture this. You sit down in silence, your only company are your innermost thoughts and feelings. All the emotions you’ve been carrying with you. You’re purposefully doing what seems like absolutely nothing. It may feel a little ridiculous. After all, the basic concepts of meditation are the things we actively seek not to do in our day to day life. Sitting with our thoughts can be a challenge we often resist, and clearing our minds of thoughts altogether can be even more difficult.
It’s because of this that meditating as a complete beginner can feel awkward. Not only can it be difficult to ask our minds and bodys to “take a breather” so to speak, it’s difficult for us to wrap our minds around the very concept of doing nothing, but somehow finding balance. That idea alone can be daunting, but meditation is fairly simple and moderately straightforward.
What we have to remember is that people from cultures all across the world have been practicing meditation for centuries. Many before us have undoubtedly felt like they were practicing incorrectly from time to time. We have to remember that meditating is in fact a skill, and as with any new skill, it’ll take time to feel proficient at it. In order to unlock and calm your mind, you’ll have to sit with it in it’s awkward, untamed stage.
Meditation isn’t about becoming a new, or different person. It’s not even about becoming a better person. It is however about training your mind and body to be more aware. That extra consciousness will help you in finding a healthier sense of perspective in the world around you.
Meditation is meant as a time to reflect and find a greater harmony within yourself. You’re not turning off your thoughts or feelings, you’re learning to eventually observe them without shame. Over time, this may even help you better understand them, and in turn yourself. It doesn’t hurt that there are some undeniable benefits to practicing meditation.
Because of its simplistic nature, mindfulness meditation is a fantastic place for beginners to start. In this form of meditation, the idea is to take some time and activate the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are, and what we’re doing. It’s not meant as a time to be overly reactive, or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While we can practice mindfulness at any point, in any situation, it can be pursued through proven techniques.
“Mindfulness” can be used in a multitude of aspects of everyday life, whether your intention is to meditate or not. To be mindful you don’t need to change anything about who we currently are, but it does give us the potential to become far more transformative, both internally and socially. It allows us to really tap into what is affecting us, how we view ourselves, and how we feel overall. Best of all, it can be practiced by anyone, at anytime.
Lastly, mindfulness is a way of living! It’s more than just a practice as it brings awareness and caring into everything we do. As our lives become increasingly complex and uncertain, try to bring things into your life that help you find moments of tranquility and clearity. Find or create a space in your home that gives you a sense of calm, and then get started!
Remember, this is a new skill, and as such it’ll take time to fully grasp the concept. Give yourself time and make the effort to practice. Have confidence and be mindful in whatever way you see fit, eventually the energy you put in will yield results.
If you ask anybody who has suffered from an addiction what the road to recovery is like, they will likely tell you that it’s extremely difficult and uncomfortable. From the physical discomfort to the lack of hope they consistently feel, being trapped in addiction can seem scary and overwhelming. It doesn’t help that the alcohol […] The post What Addiction Recovery Looks Like After One Year appeared first on Recovering Addict...
If you ask anybody who has suffered from an addiction what the road to recovery is like, they will likely tell you that it’s extremely difficult and uncomfortable. From the physical discomfort to the lack of hope they consistently feel, being trapped in addiction can seem scary and overwhelming. It doesn’t help that the alcohol industry (among others) benefits from addictions and seems to do all it can to foster them.
It’s no secret that the road to recovery is a long and difficult one. But on the bright side, it’s been said that “nothing worth having comes easy,” and that is especially true for addiction recovery. Substance abuse addictions adversely affect almost every part of people’s lives, but all of the negative effects they bring can be reversed through hard work and strict abstinence.
It doesn’t take very long for those effects to begin to manifest—after just one year of abstinence, people who once suffered from even the most severe addictions have reported miraculous positive changes in every aspect of their lives.
Of course, substance abuse addictions negatively affect physical health. Substances like drugs and alcohol have adverse side effects and vary depending on the substance abused and the length and duration of the addiction. However, with most addictions, there are secondary side effects as well, such as a decline in hygiene and difficulty sleeping. If someone who struggled with an addiction abstained for one year, their physical health would likely improve in some or all of the following ways:
Better oral hygiene and the health benefits it brings. Their teeth would be less yellow, their gums less black. As they recommit to taking better care of themselves, their mouths will look and feel much better. There are plenty of health benefits correlated to good oral hygiene that will help the person feel much better.
Normal weight. Substance abuse addictions often cause weight loss or weight gain that can be reversed as the user abstains from the substances.
Better overall hygiene. They’ll shower more, use deodorant, keep their hair trimmed, and even dress better. People who are engulfed in addictions often either don’t think about or care about their physical appearance and as they begin to abstain from using, they will start to look as good as they feel.
Mental health problems often accompany substance abuse disorders. The point of most substances is to alter people’s minds (often as a coping mechanism to escape their problems). The mind-altering substances have negative side-effects, including an increase in suicidal thoughts and risk of depression. If someone who frequently abused substances abstained for one year, they would likely:
Substances frequently cause their abusers to withdraw from people. In addition to the abuser’s sudden disposition for social interaction, the interactions they do have are tainted by their agitated state and irritability. The combination of their antisocial behaviors and their unpleasant personalities often causes abusers to damage their relationships with their friends, family members, and loved ones. If, however, they were to abstain for one year, their relationships would improve drastically. They would:
Most people who suffer from addictions have difficulty finding or keeping a job. Their addictions negatively impact their lives and behavior enough for them to not be appealing to employers. Many addicts cannot abstain from their substances for eight hours at a time, making it impossible for them to get a full-time job. Others resort to stealing money or resources from their workplace which promptly gets them fired. There are many other ways in which addictions negatively impact people’s occupations, but if the person were to abstain for one year, they would be able to reverse the effects. They would:
Substance abuse addictions almost always adversely affect people’s spirituality. Most people, in an attempt to feel less guilty about their addictive behavior, decide to stop believing in a higher power. Others become cynical and begin only to believe in themselves. Other people stop going to their respective churches out of a desire to not be judged. Regardless of the individual circumstance, it remains true that spiritual problems almost always accompany addictions. If a struggling person were to stop abusing for one year, they would:
While addictions do negatively affect people’s lives, they can be overcome. Even people with severe addictions and no hope in themselves or their future have overcome addictions and rebuilt their lives. Addiction recovery is a long-term process and often requires long-term treatment to solve, but it is absolutely possible—and undoubtedly worth it.
By Milly Day What is Recovery Trekking? In a nutshell, Recovery Trekking is a brand new recovery platform, both for addicts stuck in active addiction, and for those who have already begun their journey, whereby you’re guided along an ancient pilgrimage route as a form of healing for the mind, body and soul. Over the […] The post Recovery Trekking: Walking to Get Well appeared first on Recovering Addict...
In a nutshell, Recovery Trekking is a brand new recovery platform, both for addicts stuck in active addiction, and for those who have already begun their journey, whereby you’re guided along an ancient pilgrimage route as a form of healing for the mind, body and soul.
Over the course of the trek, you will eat, sleep and breathe a new way of living that takes you into history, 12-step addiction fundamentals and fellowship. Each day will consist of moderate physical exercise, guided meditation, journalling, 12-step meetings, stepwork, as well as other writing activities.
Sparrow, one of the founders of Recovery Trekking, hiked the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain and experienced firsthand its healing powers, which gave her an idea: after losing a sibling to heroin addiction and adopting her husband’s two children, whose biological mother had had multiple unsuccessful attempts at rehab, it occurred to her that this could help addicts for whom other methods were failing. In 2017, she founded the company alongside her good friend and business partner, Peter, who she met in recovery almost a decade ago.
Since then, the pair have successfully partnered on two other companies and numerous charity projects. Between them, they have raised more than US$2 million for various charities and they continue to volunteer, fundraise and spread the good news of recovery, specialising in working with addicts that have not found lasting recovery through traditional channels.
I then met Sparrow in the summer of 2017 and we instantly connected. Though we lived in separate countries, she and I stayed in touch and by some wonderful coincidence, she contacted me shortly after I’d left another job to tell me she had some “potentially very exciting news” for me, which was that she wanted me to be involved in Recovery Trekking as a guide.
If you are new to recovery, and are perhaps struggling to get well through the conventional methods like rehab, we offer a 30-day program called Rehab Reimagined. On these treks, the group recovers together, a reminder that we are not alone on this journey of recovery. The guide provides individual guidance for each participant, while the group provides encouragement and support along the way. Participants will be taken through a specific set of writing exercises and group activities to help them identify relapse triggers and behaviours that deflect personal responsibility and other causes of self-destructive behaviour.
Alternatively, you can opt to go on a shorter trek with our Adventures in Recovery program. This is ideal for anyone looking to reconnect and recharge their spirituality. Over the course of eight days, you’ll have the opportunity to break away from your routine and immerse yourself in recovery, without any distractions. Each day includes morning meditation, a walk of between four and six hours and an evening 12-step meeting, moderated by the guide.
Both programs have been created by people in recovery who have found a way to be free of the yoke of addiction. We are not a traditional rehab facility nor a conventional halfway house. We are people who live recovery in our personal lives, every day of our lives. If you choose to journey with us, we will try to instill in you or your loved one the tools which have allowed us to become free.
Mind: There is no doubt that walking through nature has a restorative effect. It has been shown that time spent outdoors refreshes one’s focus, and improves cognitive function. You don’t hear much while you are trekking, besides the birds, wind and rustling of the trees, meaning there are fewer distractions and you’re able to think more clearly. This can help you understand your place in life and make you see what you want to get out of it.
Body: Like all other forms of exercise, trekking helps you stay in good physical check. It also enables you to sleep better, and a good night’s sleep is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle – not only will you feel great, but you’ll also have a whole lot more physical energy.
Soul: When you look out at the beauty of the nature surrounding you, it is hard to not to feel content. Somehow stress is processed differently when you’re in nature, which is inevitably connected to the fact you’re away from any environment that induces stress and anxiety. Fresh air, sunlight and those soothing sounds will give you the chance to connect with what’s real.
Our first trek along the Camino de Santiago will begin on March 1st and the deadline for registration is February 15th – to register your interest, contact email@example.com. If you have any questions, you can send them to the same email address or alternatively, contact us via our Facebook page.
We are hoping to get another trek up and running along the beautiful C&O Canal Trail in Washington DC soon, so watch this space!
How do I find free Suboxone Clinics? Fortunately, with the signing of the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 into law, we should see more funding of Suboxone programs soon. However, if you need help now, you will be happy to hear that there are already affordable and free clinics. Therefore, you should be able […] The post Affordable Suboxone Doctors: Finding Free And Sliding Scale Clinics appeared first on Recovering Addict...
Fortunately, with the signing of the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 into law, we should see more funding of Suboxone programs soon. However, if you need help now, you will be happy to hear that there are already affordable and free clinics. Therefore, you should be able to get help you need. You just need to know how to find affordable suboxone doctors and their clinic programs.
Dr. Mark Leeds, an osteopathic physician in South Florida, has written several articles about how to get free Suboxone and free treatment, including this article. He has also released a YouTube video demonstrating how to use a new Needy Meds database. This database lists free and low cost addiction treatment programs around the country. You can find a useful article that describes pilot programs in the US at The Rehab Podcast official website here.
The Opioid Crisis Response Act will provide two billion dollars in new funding. Program directors can start applying for grants right now. In fact, you can learn much more about this process here. That link will take you to a fascinating podcast episode. The guest is a Washington D.C. lobbyist who is prepared to help programs apply for grants and funding. This podcast is produced by The Rehab on The Mental Health News Radio Network.
I believe that there will soon be many more programs opening their doors to provide affordable care. There are already many more since the last time we discussed this topic. In the meantime, keep checking back to see if the Needy Meds database has new entries in your area. Also, consider using existing tools, such as Treatment Match to find the closest possible affordable Suboxone doctors.
The post Affordable Suboxone Doctors: Finding Free And Sliding Scale Clinics appeared first on Recovering Addict Advice.
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