Letting Go of Shame

Shame is a common emotion associated with addiction because of a strong stigma attached. If you feel ashamed of your addiction or things you have done in the past because of your addiction, it is vital to learn how to let go. Recognizing Inner Shame Shame is not always an easy emotion to identify as it can feel a lot like guilt. You might find yourself feeling awful for things you have done in your past. You might wish that you could go back and change those actions. You might even view yourself entirely in a negative light. This emotion can affect your self-image and make you feel less deserving of love and empathy. Shame is an uncomfortable emotion and can cause you to internalize your feelings. To move on from shame, you must first identify where and what it stems from. Combating the Stigma When using substances and suffering…

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What the Seventh Step Can Teach About Humility

The Seventh Step of AA, “Humbly ask your higher power to remove your shortcomings,” gives a lesson in humility. Learning how to ask humbly requires the acknowledgment that you are not the center of the universe. You are not more, and you are not less important than any other person. This lesson in humility can become an important step in recovery, giving you the perspective you need to heal. The Seventh Step: The Beginning of Action In AA, NA, and other 12-Step programs, Steps 1-6 set you up to address your addiction head-on. They ask you to confront the things that could get in the way of sobriety, like ego, denial, and a need to be entirely in control of your life. Now that you have broken down the layers that keep you from addressing core issues, you can take the actions needed to begin the process of becoming a…

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When Your Client Continues to Put Up Walls

When Your Client Continues To Put Up Walls

Sometimes, a client might start to put up walls, especially if they are discussing a subject that is difficult for them to talk about. Even if you have built a rapport with your client, they still might shut you out. There are many reasons why your client has stopped opening up. Why a Client Might Put Up Walls There are many reasons why a client might start to put up walls, even if you have established a rapport of trust. An hour-long session is only a glimpse into what your client is experiencing daily. There is a chance that outside events might influence your client’s sense of security, ability to be emotionally vulnerable, or energy they can put into a session. A client may also be shutting down because they are not ready to tackle a particular subject. Take note of what topics cause a client to shut down or…

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Planting Seeds: The Beginning of Goal Completion

Planting Seeds: The Beginning of Goal Completion

You might have already forgotten your New Year’s resolutions, but it is early in the year, and there is time to get back at it. Whether your goal is to maintain sobriety, become or stay physically fit, or master a new hobby, there is always a critical starting point.  It Isn’t Too Late to Start Your Goals Even though it is already March, it is not too late to start your New Year’s resolutions. Many might feel discouraged because they slacked on goals they established earlier in the year, but there is still plenty of time left in the year to accomplish what you set out to do. Since many New Year’s resolutions and goals focus on bettering yourself, it is a fantastic idea to hop back on that wagon and get started—after all, getting started is the key. Taking that first step might feel intimidating, especially if you struggle…

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Combating Mental Health and Substance Use Misinformation on the Internet

Combating Mental Health And Substance Use Misinformation On The Internet

Online spaces can be a source of misinformation on all kinds of topics. Stigmas, myths, and lies can spread like wildfire. Clients and counselors alike need to take the steps they can to make sure individuals get the facts straight. Misinformation on Social Media  If there is anything the last ten years has demonstrated, it is that social media platforms can be a haven for misinformation on various topics, from the political to the scientific. Some platforms have tried to stop the spread by adding fact-checking to posts or slowing down a person’s ability to share. Despite these efforts, misinformation still reaches thousands. Even political leaders and large news networks willingly publish misleading information, often to push a policy that works in their favor. For example, in February, news sites published articles claiming President Joe Biden planned to give out free “crack pipes” to people with addiction in the inner…

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Is Medication Safe if I Have an Addiction?

Is Medication Safe If I Have An Addiction?

Having a history of addiction can make taking medication a frightening experience. While the U.S. battles a major opioid addiction crisis, taking medication for pain or mental illness might be concerning, especially if that substance has the potential to be addictive. This article discusses how to use medicine safely and when and why taking controlled substances might not be safe. Using Medication When You’re Addicted If you have an addiction, being prescribed medication can be troubling. There are plenty of common medicines that are easy to become dependent on, yet doctors and psychiatrists prescribe them for various health conditions. These medications have been clinically tested and found to alleviate symptoms in people with a particular illness or disease.  Unfortunately, many misuse prescription drugs and develop an addiction. Suppose you have an addiction to illicit drugs or pharmaceutical medication. In that case, it makes sense to be wary about receiving a…

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Accepting What You Can’t Control

Accepting What You Can’t Control

Hanging on to things that are not in your control can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. It is important to learn when to let things go and focus on what you do have control over. It can be challenging to notice the things that you do have control over, which is why it is essential to step back and take stock of what is and what is not within your control. We Admitted We Were Powerless The first step of the 12-Step philosophy focuses on admitting that you are not in control of yourself or your life under the influence of substances. You acknowledged that your life had become unmanageable. This realization can be a difficult one to admit. You might have started using substances as a way to feel more in control of the chaos around you, but all it did was make things worse. In…

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Comorbidity of Chronic Illness and Substance Misuse

Those who are chronically ill might need to rely on medication to function in their day-to-day lives. Yet, others might use alcohol or illicit drugs to cope with the pain. It is essential to know the facts about chronic illness and what factors might lead an individual to substance use. Knowledge about a person’s health condition should become a factor in how individual treatment is tailored to help their case. This article covers information on the overlap between chronic illness, substance misuse, and what you can do to help. Chronic Illness Is Lifelong When a person is diagnosed with a chronic illness, they have a condition that will not go away over time and cannot be cured with any type of treatment or medication. Some chronic diseases are easier to manage than others, depending on the symptoms. Either way, they can heavily burden the diagnosed person. Many factors influence the…

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The Realities of Compassion Fatigue

The Realities of Compassion Fatigue

There are times when caring can feel exhausting. This experience does not mean that someone is insensitive, but rather that they feel burned out emotionally. It can be difficult to cope with compassion fatigue, especially in the wake of Covid. Staying Sensitive During Global Disaster The 2020 global pandemic uprooted the lives of every person on the planet. Delays, cancellations, closures, and shutdowns changed the course of the future. The world has been coping with grief, instability, and isolation as everyone must navigate this “new normal.”  Additionally, economic instabilities have affected the way of life for millions. The Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing, two years later, with no end in sight. Those in the healthcare industry face the brunt of it all, whether they work in a hospital, as an EMT, or as a mental healthcare professional. Having dealt directly with the worst-case scenario for so long, it is no…

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Waiting It Out Until Spring: Holding Onto Hope When Things Are Hard

A plant grows in the springtime, proving that hope is possible.

For many, winter tends to be the most challenging time of year. The days are shorter, and it’s unbearably cold. The wind feels like it rips straight through to the bone. It can feel downright miserable. This tends to be more noticeable after the holidays when there isn’t anything to distract from those winter winds. It can feel absolutely bleak. The Day He Saw His Shadow A tradition many celebrate to get through the winter is Groundhog Day. It might seem like a goofy holiday as it centers around Old Phil the groundhog, leaving his burrow on the second of February. Phil either remains out of his lair or returns if he sees his shadow. If the latter takes place, legend says there will be six more weeks of winter. If it doesn’t, then an early spring is on its way. While Phil’s predictions’ accuracy is only around 35 to…

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