Happy Easter Recovery Friends & Warriors. Topics of Recovery Ramblings on a Special Day. Learning My God-Given Purpose In Life Through Life Lessons…


He died for our sins so we can have eternal life with Him. Have you accepted His free Gift of salvation? He loves you unconditionally… Have a Blessed Easter!

~Lydia Brady Grimes
✝️


May be an image of text that says 'He IS RISEN MATTHEW 28:6 +I十'


I have been sharing and writing for over 14+years as a form of advocacy but also as a healing process to share my past of how far I have come within my recovery journey thus far. And through my redemption of my HP (God), he continues to have me grow and overcome challenges too. It’s a view into a life and journey from a cunning disease and what addicted gambling looks like. There is the GOOD, the BAD, and the very UGLY when deep in our addictions.


Today, I enjoy sharing all the GOOD and within the present, in the moment, and have built a new beautiful life with my amazing husband who, BTW, stuck with me all these years of CHAOS. I think he would agree that the past 14+years have been the best thus far! I have the blessings and honor of helping others, being of recovery service, speaking about the pitfalls of problem gambling, and I am proof recovery works.


I enjoy sharing my experiences, strength, and HOPE to others so they know they are not alone with addicted gambling problems and they can recover. It wasn’t always this way. Even though my past doesn’t define who I am, those years were rough and heart-breaking when I look back to this past addicted woman I was.


Many who have never been touched by any addictions or lived with an addict may not comprehend how much chaos and devastation that goes on with an addict and the people around them become caught in the cross hairs. It’s why we share are stories of addiction and what it takes to recover. It can be tools to help those reaching out for help.


When it comes to my side of the family, I had not hurt anyone when I was gambling addict. I lived in a different state at the time. And we had many beautiful memories of the years when my family came to visit us, we made sure we did lots of fun things and take my parents to many places in Oregon and have experiences they other wise may never had. And healing I have learned that full healing will most likely take a lifetime for me. That is the roots and the issues that sometimes I feel I still have more work to do around the old pain and hurt.

And it is why I hold firm to my faith and belief in GOD.

See, my father recently passed away on Jan. 29th, 2021, of COVID, which was the same day I made 14th-years celebrating my recovery. He lived in Southern California in the home I was raised and where horrible memories of my past childhood still lay. When I first began my recovery journey, I wasn’t ready to dive into my past childhood trauma, abuse, and haunting memories. Most this began and resurfaced when I turned 30, I lost my brother-in-law to cancer. He was the real brother I never had, and I would tell him everything.


After Mike’s passing, it took me a few years to get over his death with a lot of therapy to even begin to process it. Shortly after, is when all the haunting pain and memories flooded back. I had to learn to process them and forgive and lay those haunting memories away. It was some of the roots and underlying issues of how I got sucked into gambling addiction. I was using gambling as a coping skill, an escape, and numbing the pain of my childhood trauma and abuse until I finally could not stuff away any longer.


Then in 2003, my mom passed away. By then, I had about nine months of recovery when I began writing and journaling. The next few years were pretty rough. We seem to think our parents will always be with us. Still, more painful memories, and I was not ready to share that part of my past. Now that my mom and dad have passed on, here I go again; it has again begun to surface slightly. Even when I started to write my book all of 2010 into early 2011 to see all that gambling addiction had taken from me, was when I began a deep dive into all the sexual trauma and abuse I’d endured.


One of the many amazing things about truly working through my childhood was the act of taking every single thought and terrible memory that held me captive; I began to watch Christ redeem them, helping me face them, and feel them. Without making excuses. Without placing or taking the blame. Finally, today the abuse and abuser no longer linger in the darkest parts of your mind controlling or tainting the memories. That is how God works in your life!


So, now with the passing of my dad, even though we had not spoken in almost 15-years, I was able to still forgive him for it, accept and respect his choice. It still stung, but I have the comfort of knowing God and (my mom) has told him the truth about all that I went through as a little girl, was telling the truth, and that if he knew? I’m pretty sure he would have protected me. He would have understood the WHY I also sought his unconditional love and validation. I have the comfort of knowing he is now with our father above and at peace with my mom.


I will continue to live and build a beautiful and amazing life within my recovery!


May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'I'M LIVING PROOF RECOVERY WORKS THIS IS WHAT RECOVERY LOOKS LIKE FAVORUK'
ME and my HUBBY, Tom xoxo

Recovery Requires Overcoming our Past Pain …Identifying Underlying Issues and Roots to Your Addiction to Gain Recovery.

Recovery Requires Overcoming our Past Pain …Identifying Underlying Issues and Roots to Your Addiction to Gain Recovery.

……
I have recently been introduced to a new recovery friend who I may be helping him with a writing project of his memoirs. His story and testimony, like mine, are filled with many roots, underlying issues and old pain as to why he turned to addiction. 

Actually, what this man had endured and now causes him much haunting pain and nightmares today that had been suppressed in his memory for many years, it amazes me he is still alive to tell his story.

Why? Because the stats are alarming on how many people are sexually assaulted every year in America, and on average, there are 433,648 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assaults each year.  Every 73 seconds, a sexual assault occurs.

Just boys and men alone, 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse or assault, whether in childhood or as adults. This leaves many lives traumatically changed forever, constant pain and haunting memories as I had for years myself and those feelings of the shame, lost innocence, and feeling dirty as though it was my fault this happened to me. 

All those years of asking GOD?

 WHY ME? 


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child-1439468__340

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I won’t lie, even though I now have learned the tools to process what happened to me, talking with my new friend, it has brought up some of those feelings back. As we spoke, I felt his pain. I can hear the anxiety and anger.

I have told him he needs to let go of the anger and resentment I was hearing in his voice as he shared his story and events with me, and privileged he is, it needs to be validated for him instead of others just shutting him down or think he’s just crazy. He is a human being with feelings. I know just how much “words” can hurt and hurt more so than physical pain. Because I too have been ridiculed in the same manner by my own family members, I am estranged from today.

Being molested and experienced trauma of this kind is challenging to find the proper words to describe your loss of innocence and your identity stripped away, leaving you confused, empty, broken, and feeling worthless and ashamed. I carried that into my adulthood. I learned I could use a mask of humor to appear I was just as happy and healthy like everyone else while my pain and rage began building through the years. Many other issues came into play as I was growing up. Feeling significant sensitivity when my parents physically disciplined me, as I got older, the verbal abuse.

Of course, all the while, the anger was building a perfect storm, as it continued brewing into my adult life, and turning to addiction to try and cope, numb out and not feel the haunting pain and nightmares that came back around age 30.  By 33, I was almost into full-blown gambling addiction.  Right before my first suicide attempt and treatment and was not my last, I began to abuse alcohol toward my second suicide attempt as addicted gambling stopped working as my escape and hide from the pain.

I began gaining a few years of recovery time, is when I started writing in a journal.  Those journals helped in releasing my book/memoir. I started my research for my book learning dark secrets that had me looking at my parents much; differently, it is an uncomfortable feeling to see your parents in a whole new light. And not a positive one either.

I share these feelings as it seems, even after fifteen years of estrangement from my father and the rest of my dysfunctional side of the family, they still feel the need to add salt to the old wounds even today by leaving “ugly” comments of my book as reviews anywhere they think they can hurt me. I’m OK today, so I ignore it.

WHY?

Because I set those boundaries long ago and learned the tools not to let any of that as blame to make me relapse nor relapse from any of my roots and underlying issues that used to make me run to escape with a few hours of gambling, and ALL THE TIME.  You can learn the full-back story as I wrote a recent recovery post about this topic here on my recovery blog  https://betfreerecoverynow.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/family-may-not-understand-about-addiction-nor-support-you-as-you-change-maintaining-recovery-the-2nd-chance-syndrome-some-dont-get-it/


See, one of my new years “fear busting resolutions” is to share more
about this side of my life and embrace the fact it happened, and I made it out the other side of my sexual trauma and abuse. Not as a victim any longer, and I know it wasn’t me or anything I did to invite sexual molestation to happen to me.

Again, I want to be clear that I am a recovery warrior and no longer a victim.  NO, I don’t blame my parents either, but we don’t get to pick and choose who our family is.  But I won’t continue to be treated poorly, seek their approval, or be verbally abused by them any longer.  I don’t have to keep and use my moms’ old poor behaviors as they have used for years and enabled my mom.

So, sadly,  I needed to distance myself to keep my own sanity and recovery intact later in my life and did so many year’s ago.

My main point to my ramblings? 

Learning the roots and underlying issues of why we turned addiction, and these were some of the fuel to mine, we have to process them healthily, know it is OK to seek professional help, and no shame in doing so.  This will aide you from relapse.  I learned that the hard way.  When you do, you can begin to forgive, let go and “Let God” and begin to heal, find true peace and happiness, and start a successful long-term recovery road.

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Today, I have the comfort of knowing that GOD and those who have passed on like my mother, my brother-in-law, just a couple of dear friends who are the only ones who know my real truth of what I went through.

This is the only validation I need that keeps me in peace and serenity.

As I know GOD will always love me unconditionally . . .  ✝💞👼🙏🙏

 

Guest Holiday Recovery Post By Author, Alek Sabin About Childhood Trauma.

Guest Holiday Recovery Post By Author, Alek Sabin About Childhood Trauma.

Why It’s Essential to Tackle Childhood Trauma, Early

by Alek Sabin

 

Every year, we are beginning to learn more and more about the effects that trauma in childhood has, as victims get further and further into adulthood. While it’s been known that behavioral issues and development problems can frequently stem from traumatic events that occurred in childhood, new research is coming out that shows how other mental disorders (such as clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder) can develop out of childhood trauma. Individuals who have experienced childhood trauma are significantly more likely to struggle with addiction in life, which is why it’s something that anyone involved with addiction should be informed about.

 

This emphasizes the need to get help to children who suffer from trauma while they are still children, rather than assume that it will go away as they reach adulthood. Here are some reasons why it’s important to tackle childhood trauma, early…and in early recovery.

 

PTSD in adults often comes from childhood events

 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has many symptoms that can severely impact a person’s quality of life, including nightmares, aggression, anxiousness, struggles with socialization, and rapid changes in emotion, among other things. Recent studies have shown that a large portion of adults who suffer from PTSD developed the disorder after a traumatic event that occurred during childhood.

 

Tackle Childhood Trauma 2

Since this disorder has a profound impact on a child’s development into adulthood, and can impact their social, mental, emotional, and even physical health, it is better to deal with these traumatic events when a victim is younger, so that the impact of trauma doesn’t shape behavioral responses, when they are older.

 

Youth suicide is becoming more common

 

Suicide is a major killer of young people, today. As a matter of fact, the suicide contributes more to the mortality rate of teenagers and young adults than a combination of cancer, stroke, AIDS, pneumonia, influenza, lung disease, and birth defects. Nearly 3,500 teenagers and young adults commit suicide, on average, every single day in the United States.

 

When it comes to the indicators of suicide, trauma can be a major factor that leads to a mental state where a young person attempts to take their life. For this reason, it’s important to help a child’s mental health heal from trauma when they are younger, so that this trauma doesn’t develop into something even more sinister.

 

Complex trauma is more difficult to tackle, later on

 

It is common therapy practice to consider the environmental influences of an adult patient, particularly from childhood. As stated above, it’s been found that trauma experienced in childhood is a very common source of mental disorders found in adults. However, the problem with dealing with these traumatic events as an adult is that the person has been forced to develop their own coping mechanisms for dealing with that trauma, throughout the course of their life.

 

This means that the true source of trauma can often be buried throughout other behavioral influences, and can complicate the therapy process. The earlier we are able to tackle trauma in a child, the easier it is to address the source of that trauma, head-on, which makes it easier to identify and move towards healthy progress.

 

Children don’t just get better from trauma

 

One of the biggest misconceptions that keep trauma-suffering children from getting the help that is going to enable them to work through their issues is that they will get over it as they get older. While certain traumatic events may not be at the forefront of their mind after several years, the reality is that their development and behavior are going to be influenced by that trauma, which means that it can have a profound impact on a person’s identity, years down the road.

Mental health problems are like any other problems. They don’t just go away. Problems need to be addressed, talked about, and worked on, in any field. This is especially true for therapy, which is why it is so important to get a child to therapeutic and/or psychiatric health when they are younger. It isn’t impossible to deal with these things when they are older, but the issues are buried under less experience, which makes them easier to tackle.

 

Tackle Childhood Trauma 3

I would like to add a little as Alek’s article brings out some very good points. I am a childhood sexual trauma survivor, and it is not easy to talk about. I even skirted around going into details about what I went through within my current book. However, I am finally able to embrace this part of my life.

Through much processing in therapy, I have been able to learn my past childhood trauma was some of the direct to “roots to my gambling addiction as I was using it to “escape, cope,” and not feel that past hurt little girl. So, it is important to begin the work from the trauma of any kind early in your recovery journey. “Let Go and Let God” as he’ll help you learn to “forgive” yourself. It was never your fault, and you are not alone… 

Catherine XoXo  

 

Finally. Research Validates What I Knew Already About Childhood Trauma and Addiction.


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A Guest Article By PsyPost.org  …

Childhood abuse and chronic parental domestic violence
linked to later addiction.

BY ON JUNE 2016

“Adults who have drug, alcohol, or gambling dependence have experienced very high rates of early adversities, according to a new study published by University of Toronto researchers. One in five drug dependent Canadian adults and one in six alcohol dependent adults were survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This compares to one in 19 in the general Canadian population. More than one-half of substance abusers had been physically abused in childhood compared to one-quarter of those who were not addicted. After accounting for mental illness, poverty, and social support, both sexual and physical abuse were associated with twice the odds of drug dependence.”

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“We found that both direct (physical and sexual abuse) and indirect (witnessing parental domestic violence) forms of childhood victimization are associated with substance abuse” said lead author, Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Institute for Life Course & Aging.

“We were surprised that chronic parental domestic violence exposure remained significantly associated with both drug and alcohol dependence, even when we adjusted for childhood maltreatment, depression and most of the known risk factors for substance dependency” said lead author, Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Institute for Life Course & Aging.

“In fact, the odds of alcohol dependence among those who witnessed their parents’ chronic domestic violence were about 50% higher than those without that exposure, and these odds were similar in magnitude to that of childhood sexual abuse. One in seven adults with drug dependence or alcohol dependence had been exposed to chronic parental domestic violence. This compares to one in 25 in the general population. Parental domestic violence was considered ‘chronic’ if it occurred 11 or more times before the respondent was age 16.”

Further research is needed to understand the pathways through which witnessing chronic parental domestic violence and childhood maltreatment during the respondent’s childhood may increase the prevalence of drug and alcohol dependence across the life course. ” Fuller-Thomson suggests that “the chronic chaotic and violent home environment may have predisposed individuals to turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of coping.”

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The study was based upon a representative sample of 21,544 adult Canadians drawn from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health components. At some point in their life, 628 of these respondents had been dependent upon drugs and 849 had been dependent upon alcohol.

Co-author and recent MSW graduate, Jessica Roane commented, “Our findings underline the importance of preventing childhood abuse and domestic violence. In addition, social workers and other health professionals must continue to support survivors of these childhood adversities across the lifespan, with particular attention to substance abuse and dependence issues.”

Other significant predictors of both alcohol and drug dependence include lower levels of education, poverty, being male, being single as opposed to married, and a history of depression and/or anxiety disorders.

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Author’s Note:

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“I can tell you from my own past childhood sex abuse and
trauma, that I always knew turning to gambling and alcohol
was my “comfort and escape” in my adulthood. Those who have
read my memoir knows some of what I went
through as a little girl.

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And, I can also tell you NO little girl should have to go through that type of trauma or parental physical discipline abuse. Each child from one household can be affected differently as well. I learned most of these underlying issues in therapy. So, some of us DO learn some of the “why’s” when going through treatment and therapy. It is also why I don’t fully agree with the “12-Step Program.”  They say in their materials that “we can recover without knowing the WHY?”  Well, many of us do learn some of the “why’s.”

NO, no excuses, just my own insights of my addiction and recovery experience. I now feel more validated after reading this study, as I have been saying this for years. All I ever wanted was to be heard as a little girl. All I wanted as a grown woman was to heard and to just be validated. The day I was brave enough to tell my parents about the sex abuse, I could not keep locked deep inside anymore. They didn’t believe me. My mother thought I was saying she was a bad mother, as she told me she would “have known” if that had really happened to me. Well, gee, slap my face again!

That is what it felt like. Her telling me what I DIDN’T GO Through? That was like being abused all over again. I felt rage and anger that they didn’t believe me. That was when all my side of the family started treating me like a mental freak and it only got worse after my first failed suicide attempt and crisis center stay. When they found I was suffering bipolar  depression and PTSD they had no understanding and our relationship became even more distant. Not on my part. That is when I learned acceptance, or I would have really lost my mind! Always remember friends, you sanity, well-being, and mental health depends upon YOU and no one else to  “Feel Validated & Heard!” . . . .

Until Next Time Recovery Friend!

Author & Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
“Gambling Recovery Starts Here!”

 

A Special Guest Author Article ~ By Author, Dr, Kevin T Coughlin on “Eating Without Emotions.”

A Special Guest Author Article ~ By Author, Dr, Kevin T Coughlin on “Eating Without Emotions.”

Welcome Recovery Friends and Readers,

Today we have a fantastic Guest Author and Featured Article about Eating Disorder. We all know addiction is addiction no matter the type. But I find there can be different components to the behaviors and habits to each addiction, and I have not shared much about my eating habits and seeming to switch addictions. After I stopped gambling and began treatment and recovery? I too started using food as a comfort and ‘escape’ from the stress of giving up gambling and alcohol abuse. Thankfully, it did not turn into a full-blown addiction or eating disorder.

So let’s learn more about it by this wonderful article shared by my dear friend and fellow author, Rev. Kev.!

 

Learning to Eat Without Emotions

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Man eating a Lemon
(Contributed by:  Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D., Editor in Chief, Addicted Minds & Associates )

 

There is an emotional element to all food addictions. Most who suffer from eating disorders cope with overwhelming emotions of depression, guilt, and shame. They feel that they are less than, not good enough, faulty, they don’t measure up, and are ashamed of how they look and feel. Low self-esteem and a constant need for validation and love are always there. [1]

Compulsive overeating typically begins in childhood; when eating patterns are usually formed for boys and girls; although, girl’s challenges can be quite different at times. [2] Food is used as a way of blocking out painful emotions, instead of dealing with stressful situations in effective and healthy ways. Some compulsive overeaters use body fat as a protection from former sexual abuse situations, feeling that the excess fat makes them less attractive and, therefore, less likely to be abused in the future. [3]

In most cases dieting only exacerbates the condition. Dieting can lead to feelings of deprivation, further binging, continued feelings of guilt, shame, and depression. This becomes an unending cycle until the emotional reasons for bingeing can be resolved. In addition to the emotional element, there may also be a physiological addictive element. [4]

Food addiction can be similar to substance abuse and alcoholism in some ways. Fats, flour, and refined sugar become what alcohol is to the alcoholic, or heroin is to the substance abuser. When a compulsive overeater eats foods in this group, the addict sets off the phenomenon of craving. They will also experience the mental obsession of addiction, just like an alcoholic or substance abuser. [5]

The compulsive overeater can experience withdrawals when attempting to cut down on foods that trigger cravings; just like a substance abuser or alcoholic experiences withdrawals. Some individuals can have minor to severe physical problems, and self-loathing which can lead to self-abuse.

Signs of compulsive overeating can be: [6]

  • Preoccupied with food, your body, and your weight.
  • To relieve worry or stress, you compulsively overeat.
  • You never leave any food on the plate.
  • You have feelings of guilt during and after eating.
  • Eating at a rapid pace.
  • Because of shame and embarrassment, you often eat alone.
  • You can never eat just one of your favorite treats.
  • When the diet ends, the binging begins.
  • You’re aware that eating patterns are abnormal.
  • You have a history of weight fluctuations.
  • You no longer participate in activities because of embarrassment about weight.
  • Dieting has never worked out for you.
  • Continuing to binge eat, even after feeling sick.
  • Anxiety while eating.
  • Drifting off in thought or worry while eating.
  • Drastic mood swings including depression.
  • Overeating and eating way too fast..

Man Eating a Dohnut
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Compulsive overeaters consume food to numb out emotions and feelings. Sugars, salts, carbs anything that boosts their serotonin norepinephrine combination in the brain and the physical act of eating distracts them from the issue that they are trying to avoid. Just like a substance abuser or an alcoholic picks up a drink or a drug to numb out their problems. [7]

A certain level of euphoria comes from thinking about food, smelling food, and eating food; thoughts and euphoria associated with food turn into an obsession. Some individuals plan their schedule around food and eating. Food addiction comes with physical, mental and emotional cravings that develop over time.

Some people will obsess about food at all hours of the day and night. They have a preoccupation with food and are often binging or dieting uncontrollably. They are dishonest about their eating habits, hide food, and eat in secret.

Food Addiction and substance abuse, and alcoholism have some similarities:

  1. Numbing feelings
  2. Stuffing feelings
  3. Escaping feelings
  4. Self-fulfilling prophecy
  5. Out of control
  6. Unresolved past issues: trauma, grief, and loss, PTSD
  7. Following cycles
  8. Simple biology says that cortisol, the stress hormone will flood into your body with stress, which makes you crave carbohydrates, sugar, and fatty foods. Food is soothing due to the chemical changes it creates in your body.
  9. Tune Out: distracts from emotional problems.
  10. Beliefs: The belief that food helps relieve pain
  11. Convenience: Vending machines, eating out, and fast food
  12. Entertainment: boredom is a challenge for people.
  13. Good Vibes: Emotional linkage to childhood.

Stress can increase levels of cortisol; excessive levels brought on by stress cause many problems in the body. One of the problems is that it creates cravings for salty and sweet foods. Often we meet with friends for social support over food, usually unhealthy food. Boredom and nervousness leads to eating when not really hungry. Bad habits that have carried over from childhood, where coping skills were not developed lead to individuals who are uncomfortable with confrontation who will often stuff emotions and eat rather than communicate. Direct communication and problem-solving skills are a challenge for many people today.

Different types of brain chemicals involved in food addictions: serotonin and endorphin are the main two; however, there are others that play key roles. Serotonin promotes relaxation, peacefulness, and a decrease in anxiety. It is mostly in the part of the brain that regulates eating, sleeping, aggression, drinking and sex. Ninety percent is located in the stomach.

Endorphins are the body’s natural morphine; they make us feel good. For some people, eating sugars, starches, or fats cause the release of endorphins which relieves discomfort. Certain endorphins also can stimulate eating. If you eat sugar, and your body releases beta-endorphin, you will want to eat more sugar. That second helping of sugar will release more beta-endorphin and stimulate more eating, and so on and on. Sugar may trigger the release of endorphins, which in turn will make eating sugar a pleasure.

In the brain, dopamine: functions as a neurotransmitter, (similar to adrenaline) a chemical released by nerve cells they, in turn, send signals to other nerve cells. There are different dopamine systems in the brain, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Many of the foods that we favor can elevate our dopamine levels just by sight.

Tips to overcome compulsive overeating? [8]

  • Keep a daily food journal.
  • Cage your stress.
  • Check yourself; are you really hungry.
  • Find support networks.
  • Don’t give in to boredom.
  • Don’t set yourself up for temptations.
  • Don’t deprive yourself.
  • Eat healthy snacks.
  • Learn from mistakes and past experiences.

How do we know when to seek help or advice from professionals, is a question many have asked: If you’ve tried self-help; however, still can’t control emotional eating, consider therapy or counseling with a mental health professional. Therapy can help you understand why you do what you do so that you can change. If you have a problem, it’s time to learn to eat without emotions.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

In what ways have you learned to effectively manage your emotions? What activities work well for you?


About the Author: Reverend Dr., Provincial Superintendent Kevin T. Coughlin PhD., is an International Certified Master Addictions Coach, specializing in Drug & Alcohol abuse addiction recovery & family recovery coach, gambling addiction, Life coaching, Christian Coaching, Case Management, Prevention & Relapse Prevention, Lama, Ethics, Spirituality, Sexual Addiction, Anger Management, Domestic Violence Advocacy, Interventionist & Life Recovery Coach, Licensed & Ordained Minister. He is Founder & the Spiritual Director of New Beginning Ministry, Inc., a residential addiction recovery program. He is an instructor at The Addictions Academy and the President and CEO of Phase II Christian Coaching, LLC.

 

He has been awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Counseling, Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling, and Doctorates Degrees PhD, DCC, DDVCA, DLC, DD, and is a Board Certified by DIT Seminary IN Christian counseling. He is an Associate Professor at Dayspring Christian University and a Board Member and has been approved by the Board for a year of study to be consecrated a Bishop at the Florida Conference next year.


References:

[1]: http://www.psychologistanywhereanytime.com/addiction_psychologist/psychologist_addiction_food.htm
[2]: http://www.timberlineknolls.com/eating-disorder/binge-eating/signs-effects/
[3]: http://whyeat.net/about-disorders/compulsive-overeating/
[4]: Compulsive Overeating – Articles on compulsive overeating, including what causes binge eating disorder and how to stop it. (Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center)
[5]: Binge Eating Disorder: A New Diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (PDF) – An overview of binge eating disorder, including basic facts and symptoms. (National Eating Disorders Association)
[6]: Binge Eating Disorder – Written for teens, this article describes the symptoms, causes, effects, and treatment of binge eating disorder. (Nemours Foundation)
[7]: What is Binge Eating Disorder? – Diagnostic criteria and summary of binge eating disorder, including the signs, symptoms, and underlying causes. (SomethingFishy.org)
[8]: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20047342?pg=2 Tips to get your weight-loss efforts back on track.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
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We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

 

By Rev. Dr. Kevin T Coughlin, Author . . . .

“More of my Recovery Ramblings & Mental Health Journey~Is Fear still lingering”?

Hello Recovery Friends & New Visitors!

 

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Don't let the fear of failure stop you from doing what you were called to do! Kick FEAR to the curb and move on!

It has been awhile since my last rambling life session, and there has been a few things bothering me the last couple of days.

I have thought of my mom recently of her passing in 2003, and the legacy of bad behaviors she left behind. Now I’m not ‘mom or dad bashing at all, I’m sharing because I also been thinking of my dad as well. His 80th birthday is coming up at the end of this month, and it’s coming on almost 9 1/2 years since we have had any communication. I have been thinking of the FEAR around not making some form of effort or amends with him before he pass’s away. I have shared a little in the past about this subject, but it’s the FEAR that seems to be driving my thoughts about this.

Been thinking of my own life a lot to, and fear around how short of time I may have myself before I move on to the next realm. Which I hope is Heaven, but not one of us can say for sure if we will. Thanks to one of the Mental/Emotional disorders I battle,  Agoraphobia with Panic, my ‘fears” can be a little extraordinary Some of my fears are, “did I do enough in my lifetime to help others?  or did I even put a dent in, or leave a recovery foot print & some goodness here on this earth”? After all the devastation I caused to a lot of people within my addiction, the dependency on my husband due to my mental health disorders, and the daily challenges that comes with it, have I been working enough on the inside of myself personally, and within my recovery?

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I wonder this sometimes. My main mission in life was God-given, as I try to ‘walk by Faith not by Sight’ …
But even with having a strong faith in a power greater than myself,  my mind can trick me into feeling at times, Less Then”, which can be a litter ‘left overs’ of the disease of addiction. When I feel like I’m entering a danger zone?
I unpack that big box of tools I use in my recovery, and my box of life skills I’m still learning in my therapy. Yes, I’m back in therapy for a bit, as my psychiatrist thinks that damn PTSD from the  trauma I endured from my childhood has been back and bothering me again with the bad dreams.

So I ask myself, “when will this ever end”?  If I was to be able to look in the future, say 20 years ago, and someone said that this is where I’d be at 51? I’d have said there CRAZY! See, we just never know what is prepared for us in gods path.
So I have to believe, and to look at all I have been through, even to current, is a learning experience. It’s up to me to figure out what all this means. But when “FEAR” comes knocking, my mind is off and running again with doubt.
Why is that? I guess that is a question I’ll need to explore. Is it just me or can our life journey be that complicated?

I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is that I need to reel this all in a bit. WHY?

Because it robs me of my peace, serenity, and makes me feel at times, unstable. That’s what fear can do. It makes us second guess ourselves. Now, maybe normal people can not think twice about it. But for a person who has mental/emotional distress, it’s challenging to ignore at times.
I do know that a little of those ‘uncomfortable feelings’ remind me of the worst part of my life, the past two suicide attempts I had. I’m sure that’s where some of the fear comes from as well …
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So it’s why I come and write how I’m feeling. I have so many of you who come support me, and accept for me!
That means so much to me. It makes me know and feel that I’m not alone. I always get good feed back anytime I seem to have a little “bump in the road”! Have I told you all thank you for that lately?  Well, THANK YOU!
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When we use our blogs to share about Mental Health, Addiction Problems and Recovery, or even speak about how Childhood Trauma has affected us in the now,  it is the only way I know of to be able to shed light on these issues that touch millions of us everyday. Back to my dad. See my family don’t understand at all any of these important issues.
They treat me ‘different’. Hard to explain how, but they do. Don’t let others treat you different …
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It’s easier said then done. But if we speak up and speak out, it’s the only way to help SHATTER STIGMA, Raise Awareness, Inform, and help Educate others about these important issues. Yes, my mouth can get me in hot water at times, but when it comes to speaking out, Well, I do because IT’S WORTH IT!

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Much Happiness & Blessings All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author

“FEAR”….It’s In My Recovery, In My Mental Illness, And In My Past Pain Of Childhood Trauma”…

Hello And Welcome Recovery Friends & Seekers,

 

What does fear mean to you?
Do you live with any type of fear?
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How can one word have so many different meanings? Even though FEAR happens to most people if we let it, fear comes in many different forms. Some fear we can control, but there is much about fear that we have no control over. Lets start with just the definition of FEAR:
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fear
fi(ə)r/
noun
noun: fear; plural noun: fears
  1. 1.
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
    “drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby’s murder”
anxiety, worry, angst, unease, uneasiness.
informalthe creeps, the shivers, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, jitteriness, twitchiness, butterflies (in the stomach)
“he felt fear at entering the house”
informalhang-up
“she overcame her fears”
  • archaic
    a mixed feeling of dread and reverence.
    “the love and fear of God”
  • a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone.
    “police launched a search for the family amid fears for their safety”
verb
verb: fear; 3rd person present: fears; past tense: feared; past participle: feared; gerund or present participle: fearing
  1. 1.
    be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.
    “he said he didn’t care about life so why should he fear death?”
    synonyms: be afraid of, be fearful of, be scared of, be apprehensive of, dread, live in fear of, be terrified of;

    be anxious about, worry about, feel apprehensive about
    “she feared her husband”
    have a phobia about, have a horror of, take fright at
    “he fears heights”
    • feel anxiety or apprehension on behalf of.
      “I fear for the city with this madman let loose in it”
      synonyms: worry about, feel anxious about, feel concerned about, have anxieties about More

      “they feared for his health”
    • used to express regret or apology.
      “I’ll buy her book, though not, I fear, the hardback version”
    • archaic
      regard (God) with reverence and awe.
      synonyms: stand in awe of, revere, reverence, venerate, respect More

      “all who fear the Lord”
Origin
Old English fǣr ‘calamity, danger,’ fǣran ‘frighten,’ also ‘revere.’

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What stands out the most about the word fear is the words, scared, frightened, apprehensive.
See, I have many different types of fear I live and struggle with daily! Some comes from recovery, some come from my mental illness disorders, and even though I have 7yrs from the bet,  from gambling addiction, I still have a couple amends fears I still need to work through.
The biggest at the moment is the one with my own father.
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That’s a whole other blog post. I have guilt about this one amends as I’m now only 4 hours away from where my dad lives, as opposed to when I was still living in So. Oregon, which is an 11 1/2 hour drive. I have to get past the fear of my father turning me away if I was to go down and visit, and try to make an amends with him since it has been 9 years since he has spoken to me, and for a reason I have no clue of. So I guess in the back of my mind I feel that I wasn’t the one who stopped communicating with him, so why should I have to make the amends?

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But as we all know in recovery, we need to be the better person regardless, and I need to at least try. I know that. But knowing and doing are very two different things. The other huge fear I have in the amends department is the one to my Best Friend! I’ll call her Deb. What prompted this whole “Fear Thing” was, yesterday I found out my best friend Deb’s dad passed away on May 8th, last month. My heart fell into my stomach. Deb and her family moved next door to us in So. Calif. when we were 13 years old, her and I. We had done everything together. Sleep overs, school, dating, and more! We were like sisters. This month we actually would have been friends for 37 years! But because of my addiction, we became estranged. She went into AA, and I was still gambling my Ass Off! I didn’t try, or reach out for recovery from addicted gambling and alcohol abuse until a year and half later.
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But within that year and a half I had done some pretty bad things to her, again, another whole future blog post. But with her going to AA, I thought, “well she would understand some day how stupid I was within my addiction, and that I never meant to hurt her.” We had been friends to long for that. I also thought, “well, she is in AA so she will understand the whole forgive and amends thing right”?  WRONG! She also has the choice to not forgive and not be friends, which is what happened. SO,….. that’s another amends I need to get done. But that stupid, freaking, FEAR keeps holding me back!
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Or am I using it as an excuse because of fear of rejection, of being hurt myself? Then I have the fears that come along with my daily challenges of mental illness on top of the recovery fear challenges, and it all sometimes gets a bit overwhelming for me some days. So I’m currently working on my fears, dissociation, depression, and agoraphobia with panic with my mental health psychiatrist and councilor on life skills to help me through all this. I also was asked by them to journal at the end of each day the “thoughts” I tell myself of why I don’t follow through on the things I want to do outside my home, but my fear from the agoraphobia holds me hostage! I felt like telling my councilor, I don’t have a discussion going on in my head all day, or talk to myself! But he says I’m doing it in my conscience somewhere. What Ever….
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Here is what ‘Agoraphobia fear’ definition:

Breaking down the term agoraphobia gives us its literal definition.
A phobia is an intensely irrational fear. This meaning suggests that agoraphobia is an intense and abnormal fear of open or public places. But, this definition falls short in explaining the true meaning of this condition.
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For the agoraphobic, the fear is not necessarily associated with open spaces. The central feature of agoraphobia is intense fear (panic response) of being in certain situations in which escape is difficult or potentially embarrassing, or where help is not readily available. This may include many places that would not meet the definition of open spaces, including many confined spaces. Such situations may include leaving home alone, being home alone, traveling by car, train or bus, being in an elevator, being in a crowd, being in a large store or mall, being on a bridge or standing in a line.
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The fear associated with agoraphobia results in behavioral changes in order to avoid feared situations. An individual with agoraphobia may survey settings for escape routes and avoid situations where an exit is not easily available. This leads to avoidant behavior that may include only driving on certain roads, always sitting near the door in meeting or school settings, avoiding crowded places, or avoiding any place where it may be difficult to get to an exit. In extreme cases, the fear may become so consuming that the individual will not leave the house alone or becomes homebound altogether.
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Now there is more, but I don’t want to bore you death!…LOL. But the key word we see over and over is FEAR. So, am I doomed to never be a part of life, part of the living, enjoying all the outdoors has to offer me? At this point, I don’t know. I take each day as it comes. I do however, feel the trauma I endured as a child plays a big part in this big nasty mix of things. It definitely made it difficult for me to feel close to my father when I was younger, and into my teens. But I have had worked hard to get through all that, as it was/is part of my recovery work and therapy, what happened to me was not my father’s fault when I was a little girl. And it was not my fault either.
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I also think I had a set back from the quick and traumatic move that happened this pass Sept 2013, from having to make the choice for my hubby’s job to move from SO. Oregon to Glendale, AZ. I really don’t care for the desert, it’s why I moved from So. Calif. to SO. Oregon when I was only 25 years old. I wanted away from the heat, smog, and long drive for work. Our lives began there, my husband and I, and lived there for 26 years. I miss if very much. And don’t get me started about the whole move and drive for 2 days to get here. AWFUL!!
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I’ll close with an Inspirational Quote….
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Recovery has given me a life now with no regrets…. just a few things to do.
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Happiness & Blessings All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Today Is Double Guest Blog Post Thursday! Meet A Few Of My New Recovery Friends…

Welcome & Thanks For Visiting Today,

 

You all are in for an awesome treat as I have TWO Special Guests for ‘Double Guest Thursday”!
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My first blog ‘Guest Spotlight’ is a new friend I met on Twitter recently. She does amazing work to help others! We have a little in common as she helps teach, and mentor parents, single moms, and many more. She has had a rough childhood like many of us out here, and she is determined to help be the “Solution & Break The Cycle”….
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Many were raised to not speak of family problems outside our homes. Loads of deep, dark family secrets can destroy families, and not to mention the impact it has on the children.  It’s what happened to me. Some of us use addictions, or many other unhealthy habits and behaviors we learn from an unhealthy family dynamic, addiction, or other things that we need to change and interrupt so it’s not passed down to the next generation of our families. That’s just the tip of the iceberg that my caring friend ‘Athena Morberg’ tries to accomplish in a safe and caring enviroment. Her is a more about her, and how she helps others…

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About Athena

Athena-Moberg-Logo“Helping parents. Changing lives.”

 

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Hi I’m Athena!
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I am an aspiring entrepreneur who is passionate about helping other single moms get FREE from limiting beliefs so they can build a business and life they enjoy while spending more time with their children.
I was a single mom for 17 years and I struggled almost every step of the way.
 
Back in the 90′s when I was a teenager raising my son, I didn’t have a CLUE and I definitely didn’t receive a lot of family support.
 
Looking back, I remember a couple of things very vividly:
 
1) I didn’t have the best example set for me through my immediate family {multiple divorces, drugs, alcohol, ongoing abuse in many areas, neglect, multiple step parents, etc…}
 
2) I was determined to break the cycle for my child someday!  
 
I also knew I lacked the valuable-life-changing resources I needed to be a great role model for my son… and that overwhelmed me… literally almost every day. {really}

WE  NEVER  “ARRIVE”
 
Fast forward and here I am with my very own website, podcast & internet radio show.  I mean…really?   {pinch me}
 
If I could talk to the 19-year-old Athena right now, I would tell her a lot of things…
 
Mostly, it would be on the topics of parenting, having faith, {those not-often-talked-about struggles in life} and I would definitely mention business, now that I have been in it for 21 years.  
 
I would say, “Athena, build a business for yourself – sooner rather than later…  now rather than years from now.”
 
“Find what you’re passionate about and find a way to do that. It will be a great example. And whatever you do…don’t give up!“.
 
Since I have been doing this for a couple of decades now, I have made thousands of mistakes, maybe more. The best part?  I am so happy to be able to share my 21 years of first-hand knowledge and experience with YOU: a fellow traveler… a mom just like me.  A powerful, amazing woman with the capacity to love greatly and make a huge impact in the life of your child.   Yes, you.    “But Athena, you don’t understand my upbringing… I’m not equipped to be amazing…”    Yes.  You.  Are.   It doesn’t matter if you had dysfunction and poor role models growing up.  It doesn’t matter if you had no role model. The level of dysfunction you experienced in your life is insignificant at this moment.  {Believe me, if you wanna talk about dysfunction and ridiculousness I could make your head spin…we could probably share stories for days.}  
 
What matters in NOW.  Right now.  You have taken the first step to secure that your child gets the life he or she deserves, otherwise you wouldn’t be here on this website right now reading about how I can help you.  You have made a conscious choice to break the cycle and raise an incredible man or woman.  Good job mom! 
 
That is why I am here.  That is why I exist.  That is my purpose!  I am so passionate about helping YOU with your journey and I can’t wait to see a difference in your life and in the life of your child.  I finally found a way to do this for a living and I count my blessings more times than I can mention.
 
I consider it a privilege to work with single moms just like you. I want to stand beside you as you overcome your past struggles, hurts and disappointments.  I will be with you when you become the most amazing role model you can be.  The role model you were created to be.

Oh, by the way, I get it… you’re not really here for you… in fact you rarely do anything for  “you” , am I right?  You’re here for your kids.  I get it.  Been there.  And I also want you to know – that is more than ok, in fact it is fantastic!  I am so proud of you.  You are here because they deserve a chance.  Perhaps a chance that you were never given.  A chance at a healthy life and a bright future. Bravo mom!  This is a turning point for you, this is where your journey gets good.
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*Here is a little more from her clients she has helped in changing lives*

what others are saying about athena

Athena-Moberg-Logo“Helping parents. Changing lives.”

 

“Athena’s obvious passion is encouraging single moms by helping them overcome their circumstances & build healthy, abundant lives for themselves and their families.”

 “I plan to continue with Athena, as I know she will be a large part of making my dreams come true.”

 “Athena’s enthusiastic and honest style puts me at ease every time I connect with her.”

I know for a fact, without Athena’s help in the beginning, I would not be where I am today.”

Athena’s energy, excitement, and ideas spurred me along”!

Athena is so encouraging.”

I always feel like Athena understands the vision I have for my life and my business. I have the utmost confidence that when she says she will do something, it will be done with perfection.”

As a business and personal development coach, Athena is improving our local economy, one business at a time.”

“Athena’s honest observation of my situation truly was spot on. Since our session, I’ve prayed wholeheartedly for God’s direction in my work life and my personal life.  For too long now, I’ve been stuck in a rut, with no knowledge or courage to get out.  Things are now starting to move and change.  I know life is going to pick up as I start being more aware of the opportunities that are coming my way!”

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In life we always need to remember it’s not about ‘Perfection,’ it’s about being a ‘Work In Progress’! So I encourage you to visit her helpful website if you have had a hard childhood, trauma, or just need help being a better parent, single or not. If your past trauma is knocking on your door? Then go see how Athena can help. I myself am a childhood sex abuse survivor, and went through things no little girl should ever go through by two family friends of my fathers. And it did come back to haunt me in my late 30’s through my mid 40’s.
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I wish I had known proper ways to process all of it when it did come back and bothered me. I got  tangled into an addicted gambling addiction and alcohol to try to ‘escape’ all those horrible memories. I used them both to cope, and that led to 2 failed attempted suicides. I felt it was MY fault for what happened to me some how. Not knowing any better that it wasn’t. My point is that we need to get help and process what we have been through in a healthy way. It’s why I share my story, and to let others have a voice, and know they are HEARD! I feel Athena does this a well through her helpful website!

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SUCCESS: you will never-ever forget this feeling

I have successfully transformed my parenting style and my lifestyle by focusing on the foundational principles I’ve learned in the bible. I have developed a specific method for my mentoring and coaching which focuses on 5 specific areas. I call it The ALOHA Method. Not because I live in Hawaii : ) ALOHA is an acronym for 5 areas of your parenting journey. It is powerful when implemented and has forever changed the lives of many parents & children. 
The lives of single mothers and their children have literally been transformed. Really.
I have not always lived this blessed-abundant life in Hawaii; my childhood and upbringing could make your head spin… To say I have an “underdog to overcomer” story would be an understatement. 
My testimony has encouraged thousands of women and given them hope during times of great discouragement and I am ready to encourage you….
Your can find, and connect with Athena Moberg on her website  http://athenamoberg.com and these other wonderful links!
http://about.me/AthenaMoberg/   Google+   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  and  Facebook ….
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My next guest is an interactive site all about ‘Shattering The Stigma About Addictions’ and raising awareness that ‘Addiction Is A Real Disease!
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We all know that stigma around those of us in recovery is still out there! So I wanted to help and share this important message from my new friends of, ‘The Truth About Addiction” http://thetruthaboutaddiction.org/end-the-stigma/
That addictions of all kinds are NOT a personal choice, but real diseases. Here is a little more about my recovery friends, and how you can help by  “Signing The Wall.”
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About and Contact Info

The truth about addiction is a community created to end the stigma against addiction and alcoholism.

TTAA  is a community of people united to show the world that addiction is a disease. When we speak of addiction, we refer to anyone who was or is addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, relationships, gambling, shopping, love, sex, etc. Our sole purpose is to end the addiction stigma. We do not speak for any organization, diagnose or treat any illness, or recommend any treatment program. The truth is, addiction is a disease, not a choice or a crime. It’s a chronic, fatal illness affecting more than 23 million Americans. We stand together in peace and serenity, united in the knowledge that we suffer from a disease.

For more information, please email thetruthaboutaddiction@gmail.com
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Sign the Wall to End the Stigma

Please join our mission to end the stigma against addiction and alcoholism. Our goal is to have one million people sign our wall. Together we can show others that we are suffering from a disease, not a choice or a crime.

To participate, please fill out the contact form below or email your name and location and you will be added to our wall.

Addiction is a Disease

No matter what it is you’re addicted to – drugs, alcohol, food, etc. – you are suffering from a disease, not something to be ashamed of!

  • Addiction is a chronic illness that is fatal if left untreated.
  • No one wants to be a drug addict or alcoholic when they grow up.
  • It’s not a choice. It’s a disease.
  • Drugs and alcohol (or food, money, relationships, etc.) are solutions to the problem, not the problem. They are what we use to ease the symptoms of our disease.
  • Addiction begins long before drug and alcohol use.
Want to submit your thoughts? Email thetruthaboutaddiction@gmail.com.
*SO PLEASE, if you our you know someone who has been touched by ADDICTION, then please visit their website today and SIGN THE WALL in that persons HONOR.*
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Together we can save & change lives one signature at a time!
I want to THANK both “Athena Moberg & The Truth About Addiction” for letting me ‘Share’ them with all of you today!
I’m a firm believer that we can’t have too much information and help at our disposal to guide us through a beautiful Life!
And since I have daily challenges being in recovery for a bit over 7yrs, living with mental illness, and learned to work through my own childhood traumatic past,I will continue to share my progress so others may know the is always  HOPE* with a little faith on the other side of despair…

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GOD BLESS ALL!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon


AND STIGMA! …