Tag Archives: recovery

Loneliness during the Holidays

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Gertrude Abercrombie’s “The Stroll” (1943). Credit Credit Oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Gertrude Abercrombie Trust

Loneliness is a worthy foe, and with the rise of social media, most of us are suffering from it in some form – especially this time of year. It’s easy to feel isolated in tense family situations or even parties.

Striving for connection along with a healthy dose of self-care will get you through the season.”

So how do we cope? I’m glad I ran across this article today. It has some fantastic actions we can take to combat loneliness, especially this time of year. Along with the list from the article, I would add these things:

Encourage Friendships

Having a social life and human connection is important for us to thrive in our lives. A lot of people are shy about reaching out, or inviting people to do things. Do It!! Same sex friendships are particularly important in my opinion. If you have trouble meeting people then volunteer for something you care about…. and/or get a pet.

Having Pets

Animals are awesome. If you don’t, or can’t,  have one, volunteering at the local shelter is a great way to interact cats and dogs, and to be of service at the same time!

Go to a Gym

It took me awhile to build up to it, but now I go three times a week. Working out keeps my blood moving and my endorphins running. I think more clearly, and I’m able to make better decisions. And I have more energy. Exercise is the best thing for everyone.

Limit Alcohol

I’m personally sober since 2005, but if I wasn’t I would severely limit alcohol and stay away from drugs. In my experience these things end up making loneliness much worse.

Limit Sugar

This time of year is next-to-impossible to eat right, but I SO stay away from eating sugar. It keeps my blood sugar steady throughout that day so there’s less moodiness.

Good Night’s Sleep

I strive to get a good night’s sleep every night – which means eight solid hours in a dark, cool room.

Practice Gratitude

List ten things you’re grateful for when you feel low and it will completely change your thinking and mood.

Walk in Nature

I take a walk in nature everyday with my dog. Looking at trees, grass, and feeling the warmth of the sun brings me lots of joy.

Be Creative

It doesn’t matter if you’re good at it. You’ll probably improve as you go along anyway. I’ve taken multiple creative paths and it feels so good to create something. Write something or pick up and instrument… or a pen!

Be of Service

Get out and be of service to people. Being of service in some way is crucial.

Get a New Job

I know from experience, if you’re unhappy with your job, you HAVE to make a change. Life is too short and we spend too much time there. Anyone can do it. Make a plan, get some training or education, and DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Full Moon in Taurus

pagandawnSun at 18 Scorpio.
Mercury at 19 Scorpio.
Mars at 24 Libra and Venus at 11 Sagittarius.
Jupiter at 24 Sagittarius.
Saturn at 16 Capricorn, Pluto at 21 Capricorn.
Uranus, Neptune retrograde.

Big events this week with Mercury crossing the face of the Sun today, and a Full Moon in Taurus tomorrow.

Mercury conjunct Sun in Scorpio allows us to connect with our soul’s purpose and express it outwardly. We go deep and finally say things we’ve been repressing or hiding. It’s time to be as authentic and real as possible.

Monday, 11/11: Moon in Taurus. Mercury crossing the Sun is the BIG thing today! It brings fresh ideas, new beginnings and clarity. We see the next phase of our path and we move towards it. This is a rare event that won’t happen again until 2032! Today we are also within the orb of the Full Moon in Taurus tomorrow, but first the Sun conjuncts Uranus, bringing an air of rebellion and independence.

Tuesday, 11/12: Full Moon in Taurus 5:34am Pacific, Sun in Scorpio. The Moon is exalted – in it’s best position – in Taurus, which allows for grounded thinking. We can sort through our emotions and make solid choices on the best direction.

Wednesday, 11/13: Moon in Gemini on the day of Mercury. Since the planet is currently retrograde, our focus is on researching, re-doing and re-working. Lots of chattiness and socializing too.

Thursday, 11/14: Moon in Gemini. Kind of a weird day with the Moon opposing both Venus and Jupiter during their square to Neptune. Facts evaporate as we grasp them, and the progress we made earlier in the week seems like a far off dream. Go with the flow and avoid excesses.

Friday, 11/15: Moon in Cancer. We slow down and turn our minds towards taking care of ourselves. Emotions rule the day, and comfort food is encouraged. Avoid confrontations because feelings are highly sensitive and you may not be forgiven.

Saturday, 11/16: Moon in Cancer. The Moon opposes Saturn and Pluto today, casting a melancholy shadow over our affairs. Try not to ruminate on yourself too much – or on the intentions of others. Distract yourself by going to an uplifting movie, or being of service to a friend in need.

Sunday, 11/17: Moon VOC in Cancer. It’s a “nesting” day of getting the house in order and cooking some nice meals.

The Three Types of Trauma that lead to Addiction

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Excellent article. This is why it’s so important to treat an addict or alcoholic with respect, love and care, and to encourage them to get HELP.

Trauma is not your fault, but healing IS your responsibility.

“Did you know that those who experience something traumatic during their childhood are seven to 10 times more likely to abuse substances?”

“What are the leading causes of addiction? Could it be hereditary? What about peer pressure, poverty, or toxic stress? All of these can play a role, but there is another factor that is known to have a bigger impact.

You may have heard stories of those who have suffered from some sort of trauma ending up abusing drugs or alcohol. This is actually a lot more common than some may think. In fact, 75% of men and women who receive treatment for substance abuse report histories of abuse and trauma.

Physical or sexual violence occurring during childhood, neglect, and veterans who are diagnosed with PTSD are just a few scenarios that most of us have heard of before.
Many have “taken the edge off” after a stressful day of work before, so it makes sense that people who have suffered from some sort of traumatic event use drugs or alcohol to help numb their pain.

Unresolved Traumatic Events from Childhood Can Hinder Long-Term Recovery

Childhood trauma can be so impactful, even years after the abuse or neglect ends, because a child’s brain is still in development. The frequent and high levels of stress that occur while a child experiences something traumatic can impede brain development. Results from multiple studies have proven that this level of stress causes victims of childhood trauma to be more vulnerable to substance abuse in adulthood.

Experiencing physical or sexual violence, neglect, or other forms of abuse can affect anyone at any age. But these traumatic events imprint children differently. It’s much more impactful for children because they rely on their parents or other members of their family that they trust for guidance and protection. If these family members abuse that trust and are the cause of trauma for the child, they no longer have a support system that they desperately need.

Creating this foundation of toxic stress and trauma while a child’s brain is still developing basically wires their brain differently, and makes it much more difficult to grow and function normally as a child, and later on in adulthood.

It makes sense that an adult would feel anxiety, shame, and sorrow after going through something traumatic as a child, right? Survivors of childhood trauma usually need comfort, and sometimes that source of comfort is drugs or alcohol.

Another serious issue you may not be familiar with is how likely it is for veterans to be addicted to anxiety or pain medications, which are normally prescribed for PTSD diagnoses. Veterans can become addicted to medications like OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, and Ambien. These drugs can offer an escape from the trauma they’re still experiencing in their minds, but is not a healthy way to cope with it. If an addiction has developed along with PTSD, it’s called a dual diagnosis and it’s important to reach out to a professional that treats both the PTSD and the addiction.”