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Why Do We Become Addicted to Certain Behaviors?

We tend to associate addiction with being dependent on addictive substances, but many of us who identify as addicts have become dependent upon certain behaviors in addition to substances or instead of them. Our behavioral addictions, or process addictions as they’re sometimes called, can be just as debilitating as substance abuse issues. We can findRead More

Disassociating Relapse with Failure

Many of us recovering from addiction, and especially those of us who have relapsed, often associate the pain of relapse with having failed ourselves and the people we care about. We feel embarrassed, ashamed and disappointed in ourselves that we’ve failed at reaching our goals of sobriety. We feel we’ve let everyone in our livesRead More

Shadows Of The Past: Epigenetics and Patterns of Inherited Trauma

Growing up, your great-grandfather was your hero. A prisoner of war camp survivor, he was exposed to appalling conditions, extreme overcrowding and the daily threat of death by starvation or illness. Despite the trauma he endured, he survived and returned home to start a family. His experiences changed him, however — his job prospects wereRead More

How is Sobriety More Than Just Having Self-Control?

A common misconception about addiction is that it is based on a lack of self-control and that addicts are lacking in willpower and the ability to control themselves and their behavior. While it’s true the recovery process helps us increase our willpower, resilience, and self-control, they are not the only factors contributing to our dependenceRead More

Helping Young People Understand Addiction

If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It’s becoming more and more common to find real-life, difficult examples of addiction right in our families and communities. Young people, whom we want to protect and shield from these painful realities, are coming face to face with themRead More

Facing Hatred for Our Addictions

Many of us recovering from addiction have faced many difficult experiences that feel like insurmountable obstacles we can’t overcome but which end up being part of what strengthens us as we work to get better. For many of us, these experiences have to do with the hatred we experience, and they can be some ofRead More

Why Do We Prioritize Other People Over Our Recovery?

As recovering addicts, we’ve grown accustomed over the years to neglecting our own health and sacrificing our needs for the needs of others. We often have a very hard time focusing on ourselves, opting instead to focus on our relationships, including the toxic, unhealthy relationships that are keeping us from healing. We don’t make ourRead More

How Normalizing Addiction Detracts From Our Healing

Sometimes one of the ways in which we cope with our addictions is to normalize them and treat them as if they are acceptable, reasonable parts of our lives that we can treat normally. We normalize everything we go through as if it’s not problematic. We tell ourselves that the struggles we’re going through areRead More

What Can We Learn From Our Recurring Issues?

Many of us struggling with addiction share in common the fact that we tend to experience the same recurring issues again and again, often without being mindful of our patterns or understanding where they’ve come from or what they mean. We find ourselves in the same addictive cycles year after year. We experience similar depressiveRead More

Learning from Real-Life Experiences

As we’re working to recover from our addictions, and as we’re learning more about all the different elements of addiction and mental illness, it can serve us tremendously to learn from people’s real-life experiences and to witness their growth firsthand. Oftentimes the things we read about and learn intellectually can’t impact and motivate us inRead More