The Power of Addiction

“One of the hardest lessons I learned was that I was worth recovery.”

Demi Lovato

The term addiction is not a one size fits all kind of term, which is why many people need multiple rounds of treatment in order to truly begin sobriety.

For some, their addiction may be to a chemical or drug. This would be considered a substance dependence.

For others, their addiction may be gambling or eating. This would be a behavioral addiction.

Either way, addiction at its root is defined as “is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.” *

Those who are caught in the midst of addiction struggle on a daily basis with overcoming the demons that got them there in the first place. Most people start voluntarily, but each time it becomes harder and harder to overcome the physical and mental pull addiction has. Self-control slowly diminishes as the person tries to “medicate” their body. The power of addiction is so strong that it is a leading cause of death in our country.

Addiction is like that friend you wish you never had. It gave you what you thought you wanted and then began to take everything from you.

The key to recovery is wanting it, and wanting it more than your addiction. Sometimes that can take years. Or other times, one addiction can manifest into another.

I am one of those people who struggle with an addictive personality. While I might recover from one addiction, I often find another to take its place – especially in times of distress.

The addictive pattern started in the form of cutting when I was a young 13 years old. I thought if I could take that pain I was feeling and put it somewhere else like in a physical wound, it would make more sense to me. This distorted thinking lasted for a while. Working with a therapist, I was able to stop and found other healthy ways to manage my stress.

However, shortly after, while trying to loss a few pounds, I got stuck in that addictive mindset again and a full blown eating disorder shortly followed.

Each time I tried to recover from one addiction, another one set in. Many people do not know the full extent I suffered because I have never disclosed it.

If I were to map out my addictions, it would look something like this:
13 yrs old – Cutting
16 yrs old – Anorexia
18 yrs old – Bulimia
21 yrs old – Drinking
28 yrs old – Physical Self-Harm and Pills
29 yrs old – Binge Eating

Looking back at this timeline, it is disturbing for me. It makes me feel horrible, which is generally what most recovering addicts feel while in recovery. It is almost like a cycle. The guilt can be consuming, which makes you want to go back to what soothed you.

The key is positive and factual self-talk – reminding yourself that the future is a blank slate and that you are in control. Yes, it might be an everyday struggle for a while – and it is definitely easier said than done. But, just like in real life – boundaries can be set.

You need to know you are worth recovery. You are worth a life beyond addiction. While this can be a hard fact to digest, saying it outloud and matter of fact, can actually fight those inner demons telling you “you are worthless.”

The power of addiction will always try to pull the person back into its cycle. It is a long journey, but it is not hopeless. A lot of organizations can help. If you or someone you know is struggling, please know help is available.


*Medical News Today, “What is Addiction?”

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30 Years: 30 Life Lessons

It’s crazy to think I am thirty years old – not because I think it is an old age, but rather because time is going so insanely fast. One moment we are all graduating high school and the next, everyone is settling down in their careers and building a family of their own.

To celebrate this monumental age, I wanted to share thirty lessons I have learned along the way. Some I wish I had known (or come to realize) sooner!

Hint: You might recognize some of these lessons as topics of previous blog posts.

  1. Mindset is everything. A negative mindset will keep you from reaching your full potential in life. A positive mindset will make you unstoppable! Force yourself to challenge your thoughts, and say positive things to yourself like you would to a friend.
  2. Friends come, and friends go. Life is always evolving. Some people may be here for a season or some for a lifetime. Either way, chances are there is a lesson attached.
  3. Change is always possible. Never settle. You are never stuck if you don’t want to be.
  4. Toxic is toxic. Set boundaries for yourself and keep them.
  5. Stop comparing yourself to others. Each of us have different experiences in life that make up who we are. Your path is unique to you.
  6. Be transparent. Be real. Share your story with others, even if it is scary. You never know who you may inspire.
  7. Fall seven times, get up eight. Keep going.
  8. Self-love and compassion are essential.
  9. Be around like-minded people and people who share the same vision as you.
  10. Don’t rush time. Time goes fast. Enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.
  11. Be mindful who you take advice from.
  12. Learn to take constructive criticism so that you are able to grow.
  13. Be open-minded. Try to see situations from all angles.
  14. Feel your emotions, don’t run from them. When you try to numb pain, it just manifests into something negative. Allow yourself to feel and heal from what is hurting you.
  15. Love the people that support you.
  16. Time helps to heal. It doesn’t erase memories; it just makes them easier to grasp.
  17. Complaining about everything will not help solve your problems.
  18. Never work for money, work for your passion.
  19. Take educated risks. Do your research, but do not be afraid to change things up.
  20. Work out to make your body stronger, not because you feel like you have to look a certain way.
  21. Do some type of personal growth daily – whether it is reading, journaling, yoga, etc.
  22. Gossiping is useless and hurtful. Challenge yourself not to engage in it.
  23. Listen more, talk less.
  24. Speak up for yourself and for those you love.
  25. Travel – see how differently the world is beyond your world.
  26. Give back to the community, whether it is charity work or fundraisers. Think beyond just you.
  27. Worry less about what others think and worry more about what God has placed on your heart.
  28. Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.
  29. Don’t worry so much about the past. It is done and over with. You can’t go back – you can only make this moment and beyond count.
  30. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy. Happiness comes from within.

#selfcare #selflove #love #skincare #mentalhealth #wellness #beauty #loveyourself #health #mindfulness #motivation #healing #meditation #mentalhealthawareness #yoga #fitness #inspiration #anxiety #positivevibes #healthylifestyle #selfcarethreads #life #relax #happiness #skincareroutine #wellbeing #instagood #threads #massage #bhfyp #life #lessons

Improve Your Self-Esteem

After going to a conference a month ago, I decided to pick a word for 2020 that I would force myself to work on throughout the entire year. My word was “confidence”. While it may look like I have a ton of confidence and high self-esteem, it is far from the truth. I do my best to portray confidence, so that in return, I might gain confidence back.

Working out your innermost demons can be a daily struggle, but it is necessary in order to grow. But where do you even begin?

It begins with decision, which is then accompanied by daily ACTION. Mindset is everything when it comes to overcoming negative self-esteem.

Here are some simple tips on how to build self-esteem and gain confidence:

  1. Start your morning out right – Set your intention for the day. Say out loud – in front of a mirror – your affirmations (ex: “I am strong. I am smart. I am a warrior.”)
  2. Stop the negative voices/self-talk – Anytime you hear yourself saying something negative, stop and think about what you are saying. Would you say that to a friend?
  3. Widen your lens – Get out of your own head and body. What good can you do out in the world? Volunteer, hold a door, help a friend, fundraise.
  4. Manage your expectations – What are you asking of yourself? It is good to think big; but in retrospect, keep your goals measurable. Look up “S.M.A.R.T.” goals for more reference.
  5. Don’t compare – Your fifth step cannot be compared to someone’s tenth. There is so much that is unseen and each of our journey’s are different. Stop yourself from trying to compare.
  6. Practice meditation/self-reflecting – Practice for at least 10-15 minutes a day. Slow down your mind by either meditating or doing yoga so that you can release those negative thoughts into the atmosphere.
  7. Reflect, Rather than React – Accept constructive criticism rather than react to it. Let it better you, not tear you down. No one started at the top.
  8. Take risks – Seek out the uncomfortable because ultimately it will help you grow.
  9. List the positive – List out three positive things you did each day.

#selfcare #selflove #love #skincare #mentalhealth #wellness #beauty #loveyourself #health #mindfulness #motivation #healing #meditation #mentalhealthawareness #yoga #fitness #inspiration #anxiety #positivevibes #healthylifestyle #selfcarethreads #life #relax #happiness #skincareroutine #wellbeing #instagood #threads #massage #bhfyp

Anniversary of My Suicide Attempt

The semicolon project: my life could have stopped, but I continued on.

Exactly seventeen years ago, I attempted to take my own life. I don’t talk about it much because I don’t like to remember that day or the events after it. In actuality, I think part of my psyche has blocked it from my memory because I only remember bits and pieces.

I was thirteen. I remember the pain I felt; deep, intense, hopeless. I felt alone. Yet, when I went into the inpatient/outpatient programs, everyone just looked at me and said “You don’t belong here.” It wasn’t out of malice, even though it may sound like it. All the other teenagers around me had severely broken childhoods and families that really did not give a damn. And there I was – with two parents who loved me and who tried to give me the best life possible. It pains me to think of it because the guilt I felt was tremendous. “I didn’t deserve to feel pain”, I thought.

But the truth? Everyone is entitled to their emotions. We cannot compare circumstances. It does no good and it does not solve the problem.

While I did not have a broken family, I had a severe chemical imbalance – most of which I contribute to getting my menstrual cycle early. My body was developing fast, but my surroundings were not and my brain was still one of a thirteen-year-old. I would get conflicted as to how I should be feeling and what I actually was feeling.

In addition, the meds I was put on for my depression and anxiety were not handled properly. The doctor started me off on a high dose and then did not monitor it. My parents did not know any better. After all, they trusted the doctor.

To this day, I remember my dad’s face when he found out I overdosed on pain medication. I stayed home that day because I needed a mental break from school. I felt so alone with my feelings that I just broke – I grabbed the bottle without thinking and continued to shove the pills down my throat. My dad knew I did something. He kept asking, “What did you do? What did you do?” I don’t remember what tipped him off honestly, but he knew. I was honest. Then he called 911.

The cops showed up with an ambulance. I was so scared. I was crying. “I’m fine! I’m sorry. I won’t do it again. Please don’t take me away.” I just wanted them to go away.

Once at the hospital, they pumped my stomach full of charcoal. I met with some doctors who I tried to convince “I WAS FINE”. But since I had made an attempt, I had to be inpatient for a couple days.

Those days were filled with the scariest moments I had seen yet being only thirteen. I was trying to understand my emotions, while also be frightened into seeing the worst of the worst situations. To give you an idea – someone smashed their head through a glass panel on a door in an attempt to end their life.

I wouldn’t understand this experience until much later in life. I never wanted to end my life. I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted to understand my feelings and how to feel better.

Since I refused to deal with it, those emotions just fostered into an eating disorder three years later. I used food as a cop out to control the emotions I felt were out of control.

Now almost two decades later, I have completely done a 180. I’m so glad I failed that day because I had so much to accomplish that God was planning for me. I look at my struggles with mental health as a time that made me stronger and more understanding. I am now able to help others with my story and encourage them to keep fighting. It is no walk in the park; it takes time, dedication, continual therapy, and patience. BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT. I truly believe we were each created for something special. Sometimes it takes others longer to find it and that’s okay. We each bloom at our own time.

When you feel at your lowest, remember me as an example to keep fighting. You have no idea what God has in store for you and whose life you will one day impact. I’m in your corner.

If you or something you know is suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Help is available.


#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #anxiety #depression #selfcare #selflove #mentalillness #love #therapy #health #wellness #mentalhealthmatters #motivation #mindfulness #recovery #healing #ptsd #fitness #psychology #bipolar #wellbeing #life #loveyourself #inspiration #meditation #positivevibes #happiness #trauma #support #bhfyp