Addiction Will Affect Your Relationship

EDITORS NOTE:

CITB focuses on chronic illness. I have personally experienced and live with the chronic illness of substance abuse. This is a guest post by Caleb Anderson of RecoveryHope.org. RecoveryHope.org was started by Caleb and Molly Anderson after Caleb received treatment for opiate addiction. Molly has made it her mission to learn how to help Caleb fight his battles and support him in his recovery. Together they now help others by providing research and resources about the many challenges of overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.

We thank Caleb and Molly for their contribution to  CITB. We know you will enjoy their insights. Please visit their website RecoveryHope.org for more information on substance  abuse and recovery.


There are plenty of ways relationships can become strained. It’s possible to have a strong, healthy relationship, but it’s not easy. It takes work.

When you add an addiction to the relationship, things get much harder. Substance abuse can challenge even the strongest relationship, and many couples break up over it. Thankfully, there are actions you can take to both help your partner and save your relationship. But before you can help, you need to know whether your partner has a problem.

Substance Abuse Leads To Unhealthy Relationships

How do you know if your partner is struggling with addiction? Medical News Today lists a number of signs and symptoms of addiction to watch for, including: bouts of moodiness, bad temper, poor focus, a feeling of being depressed and empty, frustration, anger, bitterness, obsession, denial, etc.

The Mayo Clinic has an exhaustive list of signs related to specific addictions, including marijuana, opiates, and cocaine.

Having a relationship with an addict can lead to pain and stress. It can also lead to heartbreak because addiction can lead to infidelity. Swift River explains this is due to several factors, including a higher chance of risky behavior such as sex with others. Some even use sex as payment for whatever they need.

How You Might Be Enabling

Whether it’s secrecy, anger, or infidelity, the addict is responsible for their own behavior. However, there are ways you might be enabling your partner’s addiction. Enabling is when you help your partner to continue abusing substances even if you don’t realize it. Here are a few ways you might be contributing to the addiction:

  • Ignoring evidence that they have a substance abuse problem.
  • Helping them avoid the consequences of addiction.
  • Buying or using the same drugs and alcohol along with them.
  • Failing to hold them responsible when you’ve set boundaries or rules that are not met.

Even if you mean well, you can enable addiction because your partner has no reason to change. Addicts often need to get treatment or hit “rock bottom” before they realize how bad things have become due to their addiction. Protecting your partner makes it harder for them to get help.

Helping Your Loved One

Then how can you help your partner get better? Many people think about staging an intervention, but as Psychology Today notes, these should be last-ditch efforts as there’s no evidence they help an addict in the long-run. Instead, you need to politely and gently convince your partner to go to a doctor or therapist. Focus on how it’s hurting the relationship and ask, not tell, if they would consider getting help.

Once they have entered addiction recovery treatment, you need to be loving and accepting of your partner. Work with your loved one to find healthy habits and activities. This can mean social activities with friends who don’t use as well as healthy ones like yoga, exercising, or just taking a nice walk. Not only will this help your partner get better, but it can heal the relationship as well.

Don’t Let Addiction Ruin Your Relationship

The worst thing you can do when facing your partner’s addiction is to ignore it. This actually enables substance abuse. Instead, understand how addiction impacts your relationship. Then you can focus on getting your loved one the help they need to get sober. By helping your partner, you are also helping your relationship.

 

Please visit RecoveryHope.org for more information on substance  abuse and recovery

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Everything in Your Life, Is Your Life!

I’m sick, very sick. Sick enough that after twenty years my team of doctors still have little idea what’s wrong with me. I am unable to work and unable to properly function at home. This is a challenging scenario for me. But, there are benefits here. There’s purpose in experiencing life in these ways. I am convinced of this because of a learned awareness of spirituality.

I grew up seeing spirits, astral traveling, feeling other people’s emotions, and hearing their thoughts. These experiences were so normal for me that I had to be taught how to “properly” interact with others. I learned that very few people could do the things I could, and that there were things I shouldn’t say to others. I had to curb my comments, very often just sharing knowing smiles.

These days it seems fewer people take responsibility for their life.
It seems less and less people master their emotions.

They don’t run their lives, they allow life to run them. Their problems are blamed on everyone and everything. Most never take responsibility for their own life. More importantly, they never take responsibility for how they feel.

Does life happen to you, or does life happen for you?

Think very carefully before you answer. The answer you give will shape your life.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason? I believe that life is hard. That we all are going to go through things that are hard and challenging. But, what if every painful experience in your life was actually sent to benefit you?

  • To make you stronger.
  • To make you wiser.
  • To make you better.

What if the challenge you are facing was sent to make you grow? What if the difficult person was actually sent to teach you things?

Things like:

  • Compassion
  • Patience
  • A reminder of how not to treat people

What if the loss you experienced was sent to make you appreciate the way we feel.

Everything in your life is your life!

Every human being decides how they are going to live their life.

It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.

We all decide what meaning we give to each and every moment in our lives. We do not decide what shows, but we do decide how we show it. We do not decide the circumstances that arrive each day, but, we absolutely decide how we are going to react to each circumstance.

There is no such thing as actual reality, there’s only our perception of reality.

Think about any event in your own life.

Your version of it, is only your opinion of it and will be completely different to many other people.

Two people could attend the same event, see the same things, speak to the same people, and leave with absolutely opposite thoughts about that event. How could this be it was the same event? That is because it’s an interpretation. The meaning both people gave the event is different. That meaning is based on the life of conditioning and personal experiences. A life of absorbing other’s opinions and therefore making our own.

The point is:

  • We decide that meaning.
  • We decide our perspective.
  • We decide our reality.
  • We decide OUR TRUTH!

The experiences I’ve had, force the point for me. I don’t ‘believe’ there’s more out there. I KNOW! I’ve had contact with various attuned and enlightened people who guided me through things.

They explained the subtle realms:

  • How energy in life flows
  • Why we are here on earth
  • The various and multiple layers of existence
  • The true nature of the soul and how we are connected
  • That there is no one formal religion that is right for everyone.

I’ve seen and experienced things that many people so readily disregard. People say ‘spirits aren’t real’ because they can’t know anything else. But, I know they are there, not just because I’ve seen them. I know they are there because the universe gave me teachers. Mentors that have been there with me. Coaching me through life’s interactions.

The universe guided me by:

  • Explaining that I should try things and see what happens
  • In learning to protect myself
  • To help them when they needed it
  • Most importantly, teaching me how to identify who they are and what they want.

There’s a great degree of science behind spirituality. Much more than you could think possible. That science, the understanding of connections and interactions between things, being able to control and shape them means I don’t have a choice. I don’t ‘believe’ anymore, I know!

Bob Marley said…

“Some people dance in the rain,
others just get wet.”

This is true for everything in life. Some people hate life. Some people just get by. But, some people live life to the fullest. Those people appreciate the little things, which in turn, make a huge difference in their lives. Don’t worry about what other people do!

What do you do?

  • Do you appreciate all the good in your life?
  • Do you look for the good every day?
  • Do you wake up expecting great things?
  • Do you believe every tough moment in your life is it to make you stronger and in some way improve your life?

Every meaning, you give to everything in your life, makes your life!

I know that my sickness is a part of my spiritual journey. It serves a purpose by improving me and those who interact with me. Every life and death, no matter how beautiful or tragic is a wonderful experience for the soul.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself or try to blame others for your misfortune. This is your doing and it’s an amazing thing that you’ve chosen for yourself.

There is no fault!

You need this experience in your life to evolve mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You’ve got people around you who also chose to be there and experience a different reality to the situation with you. They’re also benefiting from you, learning and evolving as a result of your situation.

Choose empowering meanings, because the better your meanings, the better your life. The stronger your meanings, the stronger your life.

Between stimulus and response,
there is a space where we choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
It’s our decisions, not our conditions,
that control life and fulfill destiny.

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Being Brave

5 Ways How To Develop Courage

  • The guy who jumps onto subway tracks to save a stranger with a train approach
  • The clerk who chases down a robber,
  • A passerby stops at an accident site to save victims:

When you hear stories of incredible acts of courage,

Do you wonder, would I do the same?

Some scientists say those risk takers are wired differently, Studies show genetics play a significant role in the willingness to take risks. Recent research finds environmental factors and emotions greatly influence risk-taking behavior too. Other scientists look to brain mechanisms for answers:

“The best things in life are on the other side of fear!”  – Will Smith

Being Brave
Free-Photos / Pixabay

A great example of this situation is explained by Will Smith when he went skydiving. He explained this “The concept of fear” is only present up until the point where he took action. Immediately afterward he was in the moment – after he left the airplane it was pure bliss.

Courage and muscle have a lot in common.

The more they are used them the stronger they become. Neglected they slowly become frail, weak, and atrophied.

 Make a list, a long list of everything thing that scares you and slowly tackle each one by one. Start small and build up. Just like exercising a muscle – exercise your courage. The more often you do so the stronger it will get and the more confidence you will build to tackle bigger and bigger challenges.

Let’s look at some easy ones you can try.

  • The Coffee Shop Challenge – Go to your area coffee shop, place your coffee order, and when you’re ready to pay – Ask them for a 10% discount.
  • The Eye Contact Challenge – While walking in public, make eye contact with the people you pass. Keep eye contact until one of you break it. It’s important that you keep an open/warm/positive expression on your face (you don’t want to look scary or crazy).
  • The Laying Down Challenge – Walk into a crowded place and lay down for 15 – 20 seconds. Do not select a place where you will be a nuisance. If someone asks what you’re doing, just tell them you’re taking a break and collecting your thoughts.
  • The Cold Shower Challenge This is one of my best discoveries:  The last 2 minutes of my shower I turn off all the hot water and blast the cold. It’s something that I do because I feel great afterward. I do it instinctively now, without hesitation or thinking of it, but when I got started I would get really nervous before doing it. On a lesser scale, it’s like that skydiving example – it’s scary before you do it, it’s intense while the cold water is flowing, it’s amazing afterward.

    “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.”  –  John McCain

  • Public Speaking Challenge – There the old saying that people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. There are many sources of information across the internet. Why? Because almost everyone has a fear of public speaking. Toast Masters is a great way to practice! 

 

You should definitely find things that make you so nervous that you feel it in the pit of your stomach. The more you practice, the stronger you will become!

Remember:

Being Afraid fear alone
Gallila-Photo / Pixabay

There are many different kinds of courage required in life, and you will hardly find one person who has them all.

Some people are fearless when approaching girls/guys or standing up to bullies. Going to the gym as an overweight person, the safety of a steady salary to become an entrepreneur, quitting an addiction, ending toxic relationships, chasing your dreams etc.l

 Courage isn’t a habit you can form, but a choice you must make that doesn’t get easier each time.               

Now that your path becomes more organized and clear

You will begin to like you.When you begin to like you, you will do what you like.

[Tweet “When you begin to like you, you will do what you like.”]

If you believe in being brave, you will be brave. Just believe and become. But first have a clear mind to focus, remove the things pulling you back.

Scientists don’t know for sure if being courageous is something you’re born with; they also don’t know whether we can target the parts of the brain active in overcoming certain fears. What experts do know is that many different behaviors and traits define a courageous act, some of which can be learned.

[Tweet “Big challenges produce big courage!”]

Practice courage often. Display it by doing and trying different things.  Things Like being unique, or facing a fear. Big challenges produce big courage but small ones every so often maintain its strength.

Do what scares you. Quieting your fear of is putting yourself in the thick of it. Plus, by choosing to face your fear, it gives you a feeling of control.  Believe in your own ability to achieve a goal and a component of courageous acts.

Plan to be brave. Being prepared may help you draw on that reservoir of courage; the moment of indecisiveness is when your emotions come in.”

Remember the why. Courage is more than just facing fear; it involves taking risks for a noble or good cause. Focus on the reason you wanted to take an action to help boost confidence. When that reason is important or morally right, it may be the most encouraging of all.

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Rikki Speaks – Upgrades for All! What About You?

In today’s world, it has become imperative to upgrade. Society has placed a high regard on updating your phones, your television, your computers and even your home. In a time where advancing everything that is held dear, riddle yourself this: have you remembered to upgrade yourself? Grab the tools because, for everyone, it is far overdue.

Taking the time to “upgrade yourself” is the far least monetarily taxing thing you can do. It can also become the most arduous of tasks. Is it simpler to deliver a computer to the shop than it is to look within and find what needs to be fixed? Is it easier to pay the repairman, for adding memory, when you need to work on your own? Do you allow yourself the same consideration you do your own inanimate objects? If you answered “no”, then ask yourself why.

Make it a goal to acknowledge your own faults, at least weekly. Name a day of the week that will be used to take ten minutes out of your busy schedule and stick to it. Forget the computer for a moment, and actually put a pen to paper and write a life changing goal to work on for the week. Don’t cheat yourself, as it would be like telling the repairman “it only crashes once in a while”, when it is a constant issue. Challenge yourself with provoking the truth. The following week, do the same, and compile it to the previous week’s goal. Don’t just write about it. Put a full aim into becoming the person it is your duty to be.

Continue in this way until you have a full upgrade of your sense of self and the newly acquired skills become your nature. When you have run out of ideas, enlist the help of someone who knows you best. Accept the constructive criticism graciously, after all, you wish to fix what’s wrong right?

Don’t become discouraged when you find a lot more than you expected. Everyone has faults inside themselves. The question is, do you have the strength to do a full upgrade where it really counts?

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5 Ways to Develop Independent Thought

A classroom full of 10-year-old students is asked to solve a problem with children crossing the street on the way to school. The children come up with ideas that have been used successfully in other places: traffic calming devices, overpasses, fluorescent jackets and speed limits. All these ideas are conventional, exactly what the teacher wants to hear.

Except for one. A student recommends that the school board sell the property and move the classroom online. This is not what the teacher was expecting.

This idea may not be practical, popular, or even possible, but when it’s ridiculed by the class it might be the last independent thought that the student dares to express — the death of another independent thinker.

Independent thought is not popular — it is absolutely rare. Nothing you read about in the papers or see on the television is independent. Whatever we take in from the popular media is regurgitated conventional knowledge. There is nothing independent about most of the world.

This is a tragedy — independent thought is essential for progress. Conventional thinking moves us forward gradually at best (at worst it pushes us backwards). Independent thinking is required to achieve any substantial jump in performance.

Logically, when we think like everyone else is thinking, the best we can expect is to achieve what they’re already achieving. If our aim is to over-achieve, we need to avoid the same banal influences and think impossibly. We need to become independent from conventional wisdom.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be particularly intelligent or well educated to think independently. Consider small children. Conventional wisdom says that shoes are for wearing and bananas are for eating. Independent thinking allows children try eating the shoes and wearing the bananas on their feet. Their lack of conventional wisdom and utter disregard for how others view their decisions allows children to experiment without anxiety. In this case they may be wrong, but in other cases they can be shockingly right.

Using these 5 strategies you can develop your independent thinking ability.

1. Disconnect from sources of conventional thinking

Instead of plugging into your TV, PC, or library for answers, think for yourself first. Without cutting yourself off from the world, you can increase your capacity for independent thought by limiting the conventional opinion you absorb. This means reducing the media you consume and the level of devotion you give to it. Independent thinkers aren’t necessarily contrarian, but they don’t agree with the status quo by default. They devise new criteria for perceiving the world rather than seeing everything through the screen of their computer.

2. Immerse yourself in experiences that conflict with your current perspective

Instead of substituting a new conventional thought for the old one, deliberately seek out experiences that challenge your views. These experiences may exist in foreign cultures, unusual subcultures, or between the pages of a book you disagree with. The point is not to adopt a new train of thought, but to disrupt the conventional railroad.

3. Watch the process from a distance

Leaving your normal life behind can give you the freedom to see issues from another perspective. Watching the world instead of eating it up gives you the peace of mind to think for yourself. Standing still from time to time gives you the opportunity to ridicule your own beliefs and explore new angles.

4. Randomize your sensory inputs

Instead of visiting the same places, eating the same foods, and talking to the same people, you can actively pursue new experiences. Many people cling to the familiar to simplify decisions and create a sense of security. If you truly want to think independently, you need to get outside your comfort zone.

5. Practice disbelief

Without becoming a cynic, you can develop the habit of instinctively distrusting thoughts that rely on conventional wisdom. Instead of assuming that these “truths” are self evident, suspend judgement until you’ve have confirmed that there is reality behind the logic.

If all of this sounds too difficult, consider what can be gained from independent thought. Even microscopic steps towards thinking independently will increase your contribution to the world. You will see opportunities and solutions that others overlook. You will obtain a competitive advantage over less creative thinkers. Most importantly, your thoughts will be your own and not just recycled media.

Think independently and you create a world of limitless opportunity. But don’t take my word for it…find out for yourself.

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