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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Mindset – Ready, Set, GO!

“The biggest disability is a bad mindset.”

Nick Santonastasso

The world is full of negative people. In your lifetime, you will come across many people who will tell you that you can’t do something or that your vision is too big. Many of us get discouraged and then tell ourselves that we are incapable of achieving our dream.

I’m here to tell you – GET THAT OUT OF YOUR HEAD. You will be amazed how many opportunities were missed because you told yourself you can’t.

The excuses and mindset blocks keep you from your potential. The only thing you actually need is a desire and indestructible will to get rid of any self-doubt or untrue belief keeping you stuck.

We constantly create our outer world with our inner thoughts without even realizing it. But you can change that.

First, you need to align yourself with a positive outer world who supports your dreams and encourages you to be your best self. Just a fun fact to consider: the five people you hang around the most are what you become. So, if you hang around with people who drain and deplete you, your outer world is going to continue to suffer. If you are not happy at your job, change it. If you aren’t happy in your relationship, change it. Refuse to stay stuck because it will affect your mindset and how you move forward.

Next, start saying positive things to yourself. Consistency is the key. Once you repeat it enough times, you will start to believe it. Try saying these positive affirmations below everyday and let yourself sit with it. Then see the difference it begins to make.

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The Truth About Being an Empath

“When empaths absorb the impact of stressful emotions, it can trigger panic attacks, depression, food, sex and drug binges, and a plethora of physical symptoms that defy traditional medical diagnosis from fatigue to agorophobia.”

Judith Orloff, M.D.

Growing up, I was always told I was “emotional” or “overly sensitive”. While I knew wholeheartedly this was true, the comments would make me feel like something was wrong with me. I hated crying at the drop of a hat and feeling overwhelmed so easily. But, at the same time, I knew I had a gift of helping people. Being emotional allowed me to connect with people; I could empathize easily and be there for others who needed a shoulder to cry on.

I spent years not really understanding this gift/curse; that was until I came across the definition of an empath. According to Dr. Orloff, a psychiatrist and empath herself, an empathic person is someone who “feel(s) everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings.” She states that, “intuition is the filter through which they experience the world. Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners.” I remember thinking, “wow, okay… I guess I’m not weird after all.” I honestly had thought there was something wrong that I could feel ten times more than the normal person. This definition is basically me in a nutshell.

Now, while being an empath has allowed me to help others (like all of you reading my blog!), the downside has been the following:

  1. Overwhelmed by large crowds. Too many emotions at once.
  2. I have to have my down time in the day to decompress.
  3. I am a homebody. It is my safe zone.
  4. If someone is distraught, I start feeling distraught. My heart breaks as if it is me.
  5. Yelling terrifies me.

Stating these things make me feel vulnerable right now, but I feel like it is important to convey. For empathic people, negative behavior is often a result of “the impact of stressful emotions” if boundaries are not set in place. It can “trigger panic attacks, depression, food, sex and drug binges, and a plethora of physical symptoms that defy traditional medical diagnosis from fatigue to agorophobia.”

It is a fantastic feeling to have endless amount of love and compassion. But it can easily become draining if I do not take care of myself. That is why I put so much emphasis on self-care now. Most people I find have a hard time understanding why I am the way I am and WHY I need to put up boundaries. I mean, I don’t blame them – I find myself questioning it myself sometimes.

If you are an empath like me, it is important to find your inner peace – whether that is yoga, meditation, writing, or something else. You will drain yourself taking care of others if you do not recharge. Also know, you are not alone. There are many of us empaths out there going through the same struggle! Honor your gift, but also know when it’s time to take a step back. It does not in any way mean you are a bad person. It means you are human.


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You are Not a Tree

“If you are not happy with your life, you need to do something to change it. Do not stay stuck. You are not a tree.”

If you read the name of the article and the quote, you might think – “Wow that’s harsh, what does this girl know?”

Let me tell you what I know. If you backtrack my life to about two years ago, I literally lost everything – some by choice and some by a domino effect. It broke me in ways I cannot explain. I literally just laid on the bathroom floor one day and said “God just take me because I cannot do this anymore.”

Now fast forward two years. I am beyond happy. I look forward to each day and am excited for my future. But this feeling did not come overnight. It took time. But first, I needed to change what was not working for me and accept that things were going to be dicey for a while in order to have the future I wanted.

In a year’s time, I had a miscarriage, filed for divorce, filed for bankruptcy which included losing my house and good credit score, lost my job, moved back in with my mom, and said goodbye to my three cats who stayed with my ex. My life was hell. I also lost friends along the way who claimed my shit was “too much” for them to handle.

So, as you can see, it was as if a wrecking ball had come flying into my life taking everything with it. It started with the miscarriage, which really had me reevaluate my life and what I wanted. I had been unhappy in my marriage for a while, but was too scared and too sad to do anything. My miscarriage forced me to focus on myself.

After spending many nights crying my eyes out, I decided I needed to make a change no matter how terrifying it was. Once I signed my name on the petition for divorce, I knew there was no turning back. On top of it just being plain scary to end a ten year relationship with someone, I knew that going through with the divorce meant I had to be willing to file for bankruptcy (due to the house loans we had taken out). It was as though one thing just lead to another.

Frankly, looking back, I still don’t know how I did it all – except for just putting one foot in front of another and never looking back.

The point of my story is this – if you are unhappy, it is up to you to change it. Do not stand still and hope for the best. Don’t wait for the circumstances to be perfect or the right amount of money to come along. It is never going to happen. If you want to be unstuck, YOU need to get yourself moving.

It starts with a decision – one powerful decision to change your life. Then comes an action. And after that, it’s one small thing after another. The key is never looking back. Look toward your future and make your dreams come true.


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