Recognizing the Early Signs of Addiction: Sheila's Story
Introduction: Addiction is a silent and insidious force that can creep into anyone's life, often unnoticed until it's too late. Most people don't realize they're addicted until they reach a point where they desperately want to stop but can't. In this blog post, we will delve into the story of Sheila, a client whose journey through addiction illustrates the importance of recognizing warning signs early on. Sheila's experience serves as a powerful reminder that addiction can affect anyone, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Sheila, as we'll call her, initially lived a relatively normal life. Like many people, she enjoyed a glass of wine in the evenings to unwind and relax, especially after her three young kids had gone to bed. This practice seemed harmless and even sophisticated, but it was the beginning of her descent into addiction.
The Unforeseen Challenges:
Sheila's life took an unexpected...
Recognizing Addictive Thinking Patterns for Better Decision-Making
We all have moments when we contemplate making choices that may not be in our best interest. These thoughts, especially when they revolve around addictive behaviors, can be destructive. In this blog post, we'll explore how to instantly recognize addictive thinking patterns because once you can identify them, you can start making healthier choices.
Addictive Thinking Patterns
1. **Secretive Thoughts:** One of the clearest signs of addictive thinking is when you find yourself contemplating a thought or behavior that you wouldn't want to share with others, especially a counselor. This secrecy often precedes a bad decision.
2. **Feelings of Deprivation:** When you start feeling deprived and resentful about not being able to engage in certain behaviors that you believe others can, you're on the brink of a relapse. These thoughts are rationalizations, and they can lead you down a dangerous path.
3. **Believing in a False...
Before I tell you the circumstances in which they feel bad, I need you to understand why they usually don't feel so bad about it in the earlier stages of addiction. They typically don't feel bad about it because they feel like they deserve it.
The thinking is, "Hey, I work hard; I provide for this family." But, on the other hand, if they're young, they may think, "Everyone does it. I'm a teenager; I'm a college kid; what's the big deal?"
In later stages of addiction, it's not so much that they feel like they deserve it, but the truth is they're in survival mode, meaning they have to, and so the thinking in their mind is, "I have to this, we're in survival mode here. I have to tell a lie. I have to take the money, be dishonest about where I'm going or what I'm doing." So in the later stages of addiction, you constantly try to outrun this monster. Sometimes I describe it as being on a treadmill. For example, if you're addicted to pain pills, you are probably on a four-hour treadmill....
The simplest, easiest, and most effective thing that you can do to help yourself or a loved one conquer addiction is to change your expectations. You might be thinking, Amber, that's some woo-woo stuff. I'm going to explain to you exactly why and how that works. How can you use these scientific evidence-based findings to help yourself or a loved one overcome addiction?
I am a big believer in what you expect to happen, will probably happen. I don't believe that because it's some kind of magic wish for and get what you want kind of thinking. There's actual science behind this.
Research about expectations
To understand this concept, we need to go back to 1968. When two researchers, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, ran some studies about expectations.
They wanted to find out if the expectations a teacher has about her students will impact or affect the student's learning ability. They set up this study, and they pulled these kids randomly out of a hat and assigned them to...
How do you effectively manage your emotions? There are several ways to do this effectively, and we're going to start with part one, managing your emotions by controlling the influence you have in your life.
What are you allowing to consume your time, energy, and your thoughts? What and who we put ourselves around has major control over how we think, feel, and our behavior. If you want to have better control of yourself, you have to have a little more control over what you allow into your environment. Do you put yourself around negative people? We've all had someone in our life who's always down, depressed, or in a crisis.
Have you ever heard the saying, you are what you eat, as in the nutrition you put into your body? It has to do with how your body functions and works. Well, think about your friendships in this way, as far as an influence. You are only as healthy emotionally as the connections that you have.
Do you have people in your life that aren't...