Posted by: RealisticRecovery | September 28, 2015

10 Tips for Recovering From Addiction

10 Tips for Recovering From Addiction

Tips and Reminders for a Successful Recovery

from Dr. Urschel, Enterhealth LLC and The National Geographic Channel

Anyone who is in recovery or seeking help for the first time should understand that alcohol and drug addiction is a disease, not a moral failing or a weakness of willpower or a lack in ability to just say ‘no’.

Addiction cannot be cured, but it can be managed.   Getting help from a professional that approaches addiction as a disease is first step to a successful recovery.  By following the recommendations of experienced professionals with access to the latest advances in therapy and medicine, individuals will have the best chance at recovery and bright and happy future.

Here are 10 key tips for making a successful recovery:

1.      Make your recovery a priority – put yourself first and stay in touch with trained professionals who know you and can provide you with comprehensive treatment options and sound advice throughout your recovery.

2.      Take it one day at a time – recovery is a process, not a destination.  Do not let thoughts of use or old habits get the best of you.  Learn techniques to overcome any negative thoughts and feelings

3.      Communicate – addiction can be very isolating so talk to your friends and family about your challenges.  While it may be tough, the support system you create will give you an enormous boost.  They will be there when you need them and will help you stay motivated and focused.

4.      Change your environment – one of the best ways to maintain a healthy recovery is to replace your bad habits with healthy, new ones.  Surround yourself with positive people, things and experiences.  Search out cultural events and activities in your area that can stimulate your body and mind in a new, exciting – and healthy way.

5.      Change your friends – some of your friends may have been enabling your addiction instead of helping you control it.  If you have friends that may jeopardize your recovery, it is time to find a new circle of friends.  The right friends will help you to maintain a healthy recovery.

6.      Get out and exercise – spending 30-60 minutes walking or at the gym will just a few days a week will do wonders for you.  Exercise will not only boost your physical strength, it will boost your mental health as well.

7.      Improve your diet – in addition to exercise, eating right is another key ingredient to a successful recovery.  Whether you get help or do it on your own, improvements in diet will make you healthier mentally and physically.

8.      Join a support group – whether you join a church based group, AA or other social support network, they can provide wonderful value, help and wisdom to your recovery efforts

9.      Work or donate some of your time – being productive at your job or giving back to a cause you believe it will do wonders for your self-esteem.  Making a positive contribution at work or for others will give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride.

10.   Never give up – whatever you do, regardless of the challenges or obstacles you face, do not give up or give in to the disease.  Rely on your family, friends and support tools to keep going in the face of temptations and difficult days.

Please visit the original source website for possibly more useful information:

Posted by: RealisticRecovery | August 16, 2015

10 Tools for Restarting Your Life

10 Tools for Restarting Your Life
Start small and don’t put too much pressure on yourself, by Barton Goldsmith,

For many, finding their way through the next year will feel like starting over. Not a completely horrible prospect, but the workload can be daunting. Here are some tips to help you create some new beginnings and make your life a little more emotionally fit in the process.

  1. Starting over is not the same as recouping from a failure. It is a new beginning, and you have gained experience and knowledge to help you reach your goals. Reignite your passion by imagining what it will feel like when you achieve the desired result.
  2.  Moving through life is like climbing stairs. You go up a step or two, and then you level off and you may go down a step, but you are still higher than you were. That’s the process of life (and therapy) nothing is ever a straight shot. Have some patience with yourself and with your newfound direction.
  3. You can create a whole new life if you want it. You just have to approach it in the right way. Sometimes little ideas can turn into big things. Visualize a positive outcome for your issue. Medical doctors recommend visualization to patients with chronic and potentially fatal illnesses. If it can help them, it can do the same for you.
  4. Endings are not necessarily bad things. Even if you lost your job, savings or home, what comes to you in the future may be better than what you had. Sometimes the phoenix has to burn, so it can rise again.
  5.  Starting over may feel scary, but it can be a cause for celebration. Think of it as exciting, and many of your anxious feelings will begin to fade. The truth is that anxiety and excitement feel exactly the same to the body. It’s our minds that make it scary versus exhilarating.
  6. Remember that your future is not governed by your past. No matter what has happened in your life, you can find a way to make things a little better for yourself, and hopefully for those around you as well.
  7. Having to start over is different from choosing to start over. For many whose lives are still in chaos because of the trying times we are in, starting over is not a choice. It can be hard to accept support from others. If you find it difficult to take that in, just promise yourself that you will return the favor and do something to “pay it forward” as soon as possible.
  8. Healthy alternatives to negative lifestyle patterns abound. If you can’t stop a bad habit, start by cutting back. It’s okay to give yourself a little time to moderate or stop something that’s hurting you.
  9. Starting over is about creating and reaching new goals. We are happiest when we’re moving toward a goal. It’s not all about the end result, in fact when you do achieve a dream you must find a new one as soon as possible in order to stay emotionally fit. Think about it this way, you can either be green and growing or ripe and rotting. Which do you prefer?
  10. Starting over is about giving yourself a chance at real happiness. You will have to be brave and get good at learning new things, but how bad can that be? At the very worst, you will acquire the skills you need to start on the next project.

Finding ways to begin anew will give you energy. The excitement of moving toward what you want will also bring you happiness. Just start small and don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you’ll get there sooner than you think.

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Posted by: RealisticRecovery | July 11, 2014

Video: SHAME Part 4 – The Signs of Love Addiction

SHAME Part 4: The Signs of Love Addiction

Runtime: 11:03  Speakers: Various Panel, see below

Sex experts and sex addicts speak about sex and love addiction during a panel discussion in Los Angeles following a special screening of SHAME at American Cinematheque at Aero Theater on April 17, 2012.

Clips from SHAME courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. © 2012 FOX. All Rights Reserved.

“SHAME and Sex Addiction” documentary video produced by Center for Healthy Sex.

Anna David, Executive Editor of

Alexandra Katehakis (author of “Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction”,)
Chris Donaghue (host of Logo TV’s “Bad Sex”,)
Ethlie Ann Vare (author of “Love Addict: Sex, Romance, and other Dangerous Drugs”,)
“Miles” from SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous,)
“Bud” from SCA (Sexual Compulsives Anonymous,)
“Carmen” from S.L.A.A. (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.)

Posted by: RealisticRecovery | July 11, 2014

Video: John Bradshaw – Addiction and Addictiveness

John Bradshaw – Addiction and Addictiveness

Runtime: 1:31  Speaker: John Bradshaw

John Bradshaw is a Senior Fellow at The Meadows treatment program in Wickenburg Az discusses the importance of deep feeling work in the process of addiction treatment. Bradshaw is a Senior Fellow at The Meadows, which is located in Wickenburg, Arizona. Learn more about the Meadows at

John Bradshaw is a world-famous educator, counselor, motivational speaker, author and one of the leading figures in the fields of addiction, recovery, family systems and the concept of toxic shame.

Specializing in helping individuals recover from the effects of relationship trauma, drug and alcohol addiction as well as sex addiction, The Meadows of Arizona addresses the underlying issues with the most comprehensive array of therapeutic and holistic services to be found anywhere. The Meadows Treatment and rehab center is the most trusted name in trauma and addiction recovery. Learn more about the Meadows at or call toll free 888-289-6177

Posted by: RealisticRecovery | July 6, 2014

10 Simple Ways To Overcome Depression and Sadness

10 Simple Ways To Overcome Depression and Sadness
By Jay White ,

We’ve all been upset. Sadness is a totally natural emotional response to certain environmental stimuli. Most of us have support, or systems in place to overcome sadness, reach balance, and go on to be happy as quickly as possible.

There are two groups of people that have prolonged sadness, or depression.
One group consists of those that have a severe chemical imbalance, which requires a doctor, and possibly medication to treat. This article is not geared for that group. Rather, this is directed to the people in a funk or seem stuck in a rut, those that lack the tools, know-how, and support systems to bounce them back.

In my opinion, and I’m no doctor (BA, Psychology; MS, Biomedical Science), the latter group of people are wise to seek natural treatments instead of simply medicating the symptoms. That’s why we’re going to look at 10 ways to overcome sadness, without the happy pills.

        Set Goals
Something special happens the moment the paper meets the pen and we write down our goals. Our brain chemistry changes, neurons fire, hormones are deployed, and we start thinking about how we can achieve those goals.

Getting the right amount of sleep is healthy for our body and mind. Some argue that sleep deprivation treats depression, but I don’t buy it. I think it’s a cheap distraction that catches up to you within days. Get enough rest.

If you’re physically capable, try one hour of cardio (or as much as you can). If you’re tee-shirt is soaking wet, you’re standing in a puddle of your own sweat, and you can feel the endorphins pumping through your body, you did it right. Shower up and try not being happy, I dare you.

Many times we’re making ourselves sad for no good reason at all. People have been known to keep grudges for lifetimes (most religions and nationalities keep them for generations). When you forgive, you remove this weight off your shoulders and put yourself in a position to be happier.

Many times when we complain we can cause ourselves to be sad. Complaining is just a factor of not taking into account what we’re grateful for. Sit down and make a list of 100 things you’re grateful for right now (and I dare you not to feel better).

Certain people have a disorder, in which, due to a lack of sunlight, they experience seasonal sadness. I’m somewhat affected by this in the winter when the days are shorter. That’s why it pays to grab your iPod (or your friend) and go for 30 minute walks each day and embrace the sunlight.

This has always been my downfall; I don’t drink enough and chances are you don’t either. Some days I drink only 1 cup of water, and I feel horrible. When I remember, and drink 2-3 liters, I’m happy as a kitten on cat-nip, and productive as a bat out of hell.

Your life force, support system, and everything that matters. It’s not hard to make friends if you put the time in. Everyone wants to be heard, appreciated, and loved. Start off by listening, appreciating and loving, and it will come back your way.

Take a temporary leave from reality and bury yourself in one of your favorite books. A lot of wise people have been through what you’re going through and they made it through to the other side to tell about it.

This could be an escape but it doesn’t have to be. You can write about fiction, and transport yourself to another world, or you can write about what’s going on, and let your thoughts carry you through to a solution. Many great books were written by people who were, at least at the time, going through a period of pain and suffering.

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Posted by: RealisticRecovery | July 6, 2014

Fastest Ways to Get in Shape in 2 Weeks

Fastest Ways to Get in Shape in 2 Weeks
By Joseph Eitel

You’re two weeks away from putting on your swimsuit for the first time in a while, and it doesn’t fit like it used to. It isn’t easy to drop a few pounds in two weeks, but it is possible. The key is to boost the intensity of your workouts to burn more fat and calories and rev your metabolism. Diet is also crucial; focusing on nutritious calories can help you lower your daily caloric intake, which will help you lose weight fast. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight-loss program.

The process of losing weight comes down to the basic concept of creating a calorie deficit, which means you consume fewer calories than you burn. The fastest way to create a calorie deficit is by making changes to your diet. Specifically, eliminate unnecessary calories, such as those coming from soda and other sugary treats. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests eating a well-balanced diet consisting of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, reduced-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat. It points out that adult women can consume lose weight at a safe rate by eating 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day, while men need 1,200 to 1,600 calories each day.

Interval Training
A vigorous exercise such as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, can help you get in shape fast. According to Dr. Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico, HIIT is more effective than moderate aerobic exercise when it comes to burning fat, improving aerobic capacity and building muscle. He explains that vigorous exercise effectively stimulates the fat oxidation process in the body, which means your body burns fat for fuel when you exercise. Three days per week of interval training can lead to fast results. Do 30 to 60 seconds of moderate exercise followed by 30 to 60 seconds of vigorous exercise; repeat this cycle for 20 to 30 minutes each workout.

Resistance Training
Resistance training, such as weightlifting, helps you burn more calories and promotes muscle growth. Increased muscle mass helps to tone your body, and it can help you lose weight faster than aerobic exercise alone. Muscle tissue burns far more calories than fatty tissue, so by increasing the amount of muscle you have, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories. Perform a resistance-training workout two or three times per week — 30 to 60 minutes per session — to start seeing results by the end of the second week.
Everyday Changes

Although the consumption of a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you meet your goal of losing weight in two weeks, making a number of everyday changes can also play a role. Consider such changes as rising early and taking a short walk or bike ride before work, walking around the block during your lunch break and playing outside with your kids in the evening. Even simple, household chores such as cutting the lawn can burn calories to help you create a calorie deficit.

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Posted by: RealisticRecovery | June 16, 2014

The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery

The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery

The Proactive Twelve Steps outlines how you can take a proactive approach to life, gradually stepping up from feeling stuck and powerless to enjoying a more balanced and happy life. The specific steps were inspired by the original Twelve Steps, but rewritten to describe a process of mindful personal growth. This short book (60 pages) defines the “steps” pragmatically, as a self-directed process, as opposed to a mystical process in which change somehow happens to you.

The Proactive Twelve Steps

  1.     I get it. What I’ve been doing is self-destructive. I need to change.
  2.     I see the big picture: The way to stop relapsing into self-destructive behaviors is to build a healthier sense of self.
  3.     I have an action plan: From now on, I am squarely facing everything that is in the way of feeling satisfied with my life.
  4.     I honestly look at the effects of my actions on others and myself.
  5.     I take responsibility for my actions.
  6.     I see that my knee-jerk reactions have to do with being in the grip of more or less conscious fears.
  7.     I strive to find my motivation in a deeper sense of who I really am, rather than fear and defensiveness.
  8.     I stop blaming and feeling blamed, with a willingness to heal the wounds.
  9.     I swallow my pride, and sincerely apologize to people I’ve hurt, except when this would be counterproductive.
  10.     I live mindfully, paying attention to the motives and effects of my actions.
  11.     I stay in touch with a broader sense of who I really am, and a deeper sense of what I really want.
  12.     A growing sense of wholeness and contentment motivates me to keep at it, and to share this process with others who are struggling.

The Proactive Twelve Steps were originally written for people who are not part of the “Twelve Steps” culture, and who are not comfortable with references to God or a Higher Power.  Over time, many people involved in 12 steps recovery have found inspiration in these “proactive steps”: Not necessarily as a replacement for the words they are so familiar with, but as a way to gain a new perspective on them.

Source: The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery ( page where you can download the entire book as a PDF file. Also please check out the rest of the “Proactive Change” ( website.

Also : here’s an entire article on  The Proactive Twelve Steps on the AA site. (

Posted by: RealisticRecovery | January 5, 2014

New Link: Procrastinators Anonymous

New Link: Procrastinators Anonymous (Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.)

I finally got around to adding this link on the “Useful Links” page, seriously, no joke intended.- Mike H – is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

P.A. Tools for Recovery
  1. Break It Down: Break down projects into specific action steps; include preparation tasks in the breakdown.
  1. Visualization: Plan what to do, then imagine yourself doing it. The more specific and vivid your visualization, the better. See yourself doing the task, and doing it well.
  1. Ask Yourself Why: While you are visualizing doing the task, see if you can detect what it is about the task that feels odious to you, what uncomfortable feeling you are avoiding. Knowing what’s behind the avoidance can help you get past it – for example, address real problems or ignore irrational fears.
  1. Focus on Long-Term Consequences: Procrastinators have a tendency to focus on short-term pleasure, and shut out awareness of long-term consequences. Remind yourself how panicked and awful you’ll feel if the task isn’t done, then imagine how good it will feel when the task is finished.
  1. Avoid Time Bingeing: One reason procrastinators dread starting is that once they start they don’t let themselves stop. Plan to work on a task for a defined period of time, then set a timer. When the timer goes off, you’re done.
  1. Use Small Blocks of Time: Procrastinators often have trouble doing tasks in incremental steps, and wait for big blocks of time that never come. When you have small blocks of time, use them to work on the task at hand.
  1. Avoid Perfectionism: Procrastinators have a tendency to spend more time on a task than it warrants, so tasks that should be quick to do take an agonizingly long time. Notice this tendency and stop yourself. Some things require completion, not perfection.
  1. Keep a Time Log: Increase your awareness of time by logging what you are doing throughout the day. This is a great diagnostic tool for discovering where your time went, and an excellent way to become better at estimating how long tasks take.
  1. Develop Routines: To help structure your day and make a habit of things you always need to do, develop routines for what you do when you wake up, regular tasks of your workday, and what you need to do before going to bed.
  2. Bookend Tasks and Time: Use the Bookending board on the P.A. Web site to check in throughout the day, or at the beginning or end of specific tasks you are dreading. Details are at the top of the Bookending board (

Please visit for more info!



Posted by: RealisticRecovery | January 5, 2014

Video: The Chemistry of Addiction

Video: The Chemistry of Addiction

Published on Nov 18, 2012

This video from SciShow (on YouTube) describes how our brains respond biochemically to various addictive substances and behaviors and where those responses have come from, evolutionarily speaking.

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Posted by: RealisticRecovery | October 13, 2013

Eating a Healthy Diet in Recovery

Eating a Healthy Diet in Recovery

by Kelly McClanahan from Addiction Recovery Basics

Most people vow to eat better, exercise more, be generally healthier when ushering a new year. Eating healthily is especially important for recovering addicts. However, recovery is fraught with opportunities to shift addictions from one unhealthy lifestyle choice to another, and due to the nature of the addictive personality, many recover from drug and alcohol addiction and begin to participate in other addictive practices and behaviors, setting themselves up for another crash and burn into yet another 12-Step experience.

Food is an essential element of life. Many addicts have some kind of eating addiction or disorder. While they may continue to participate in the addictive patterns, they are courting disaster with relapse by practicing that particular addiction. They may revert back to drug/alcohol use to substitute for food and/or sugar, depending on which type of eating disorder or addiction they may have.

Then there are those who use certain types of drugs that seem to have a strong correlation with sugar consumption, usually those addicted to opioids or narcotic pain medications. Alcohol is made from fermented fruit, and primarily consists of sugar, which is addictive. Therefore, many who quit drinking or drugging are prone to switching to consumption of vast amounts of sugar. What little liver and pancreatic damage already done to their bodies by their addiction is exacerbated by overconsumption of processed sugar.

Learning to eat healthier foods is a process that will take time in recovery. Most addicts are not aware of the feeling that a healthy diet versus an unhealthy diet will produce for their bodies. They have skipped meals, used drugs or alcohol in lieu of meals, and generally ignored their physical health to the point of malnutrition. Most addicts in early recovery, even those who present with obesity, are undernourished and suffering from malnutrition. It will take time for them to regain dietary health.

Beginning with including more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets is important, because that is the fastest way to regain lost energy and stamina. Eating an apple instead of a doughnut is a good way to restore vitality and health to a depleted and suffering immune system and sluggish digestive tract. Learning how to eat balanced meals, with appropriate amounts of lean protein, heavy focus on healthy, complex carbohydrates, and only a tiny bit of good fats is a great way to kick-start recovery. Snacking on healthful fruits instead of sugary and fatty sweets or fried treats is very important, as these will convert to sugar and increase their chances for a fatty liver or diabetes, two risks most addicts have already increased in likelihood by their drinking/using behaviors. To help their liver, kidneys, and pancreas heal, it is necessary to begin to feed the body good foods that will help them heal.

Coffee is another addiction that many addicts participate in heavily. While there is a balance that is healthful and appropriate with caffeine and carbonated drinks, it is important to replace some of those with filtered water and teas that do not tax the kidneys so heavily. Cleansing the system with lots of water is important, as well, to help remove the toxins that have accumulated throughout their addictive behavior. All in all, a healthy diet and beverage regimen will pay off in rich rewards for the person who practices it with glowing good health and a surplus of clean, vibrant energy.

Kelly McClanahan has an MSW in clinical social work, with a specialization in substance abuse treatment. Having worked in this field for over 20 years, she is currently working on her certification as an addictions’ counselor.

original source: Addiction Recovery Basics (

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