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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What Can I Do To Change My Life?  EP:000

What Can I Do To Change My Life?  

This question is simple, the answer is quite complexed. Especially, to those in the chronic illness community.

Let’s establish a foundation to the development of a healthy mindset. Living with the many ways chronic illness changes your life, places stress on your life, making you feel damaged, weakened, and even broken. As people go through life they develop active or passive attitudes depending on comfort and/or feeling in control of that situation. Often, chronic illness forces us into a self-protective, subconscious reaction by taking control of our emotional and physical surroundings.

To achieve this, we develop a Fixed Mindset.

FIXED MINDSET

A Fixed Mindset is when you need to look smart and in control while internally feeling weak and out of control. In order to achieve this, you develop a Fixed Mindset and you:

  • Avoid Challenges
  • Give Up Easily
  • See Effort As Fruitless Or Worse
  • Ignore Useful Negative Feedback
  • Feel Threatened By The Success Of Others

This Fixed Mindset obviously leads to stagnation and the feeling of being physically and emotionally stuck.

You want to change your life and so you have to do the opposite. Our starting point is Changing YOUR Mindset.

The key to any successful life change is a Positive Growth Mindset.

POSITIVE MINDSET

The very first and most important step is, change your thought patterns. If you are thinking negatively about life and all the things around, then you should change your thoughts.

To really change your life, you need a Positive Growth Mindset.

GROWTH MINDSET

Having a Growth Mindset you can change anything in your life. The view you adopt in your life changes the way you lead your life.

Having a growth mindset means:

  • Seeing Effort As Path To Mastery
  • Learning From Criticism
  • Finding Lessons Of Inspiration In The Success Of Others
  • Embracing Challenges
  • Persisting In The Face Of Setbacks

The result is a better sense of free will. You create a life that YOU desire.

POSITIVE GROWTH MINDSET

Keep a Positive Growth Mindset.

Dive deep into it and urge yourself to ask even more questions.

  • Every person is unique,
  • Every person is connected with everyone
  • Each person needs to develop his/her personal reality.

That should be based on what is real, valid, no matter the time, place, circumstances. Then, you can develop methods, explanations, perception suitable to your uniqueness, and compatible with the rest of the universe.

If you really want to change your life, watch for my next post “The 2 Minute Rule”

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  2. It’s impossible to tell if someone is really awake without close medical supervision. People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of it.
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  3. Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you’re sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you’re still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.
  4. A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year
  5. One of the best predictors of insomnia later in life is the development of bad habits from having sleep disturbed by young children.
  6. The continuous brain recordings that led to the discovery of REM (rapid eye-movement) sleep were not done until 1953, partly because the scientists involved were concerned about wasting paper.
  7. REM sleep occurs in bursts totaling about 2 hours a night, usually beginning about 90 minutes after falling asleep.
  8. Dreams once thought to occur only during REM sleep, also occur (but to a lesser extent) in non-REM sleep phases. It’s possible there may not be a single moment of our sleep when we are actually dreamless.
  9. REM dreams are characterized by bizarre plots, but non-REM dreams are repetitive and thought-like, with little imagery – obsessively returning to a suspicion you left your mobile phone somewhere, for example.
  10. Certain types of eye movements during REM sleep correspond to specific movements in dreams, suggesting at least part of the dreaming process is analogous to watching a film
  11. No-one knows for sure if other species dream but some do have sleep cycles similar to humans.

    OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay
  12. Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep but lie down for REM sleep.
  13. Some scientists believe we dream to fix experiences in long-term memory, that is, we dream about things worth remembering. Others reckon we dream about things worth forgetting – to eliminate overlapping memories that would otherwise clog up our brains.
  14. Dreams may not serve any purpose at all but be merely a meaningless byproduct of two evolutionary adaptations – sleep and consciousness.
  15. REM sleep may help developing brains mature. Premature babies have 75 per cent REM sleep, 10 per cent more than full-term babys. Similarly, a newborn kitten puppy rat or hamster experiences only REM sleep, while a newborn guinea pig (which is much more developed at birth) has almost no REM sleep at all.
  16. Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain’s sleep-wake clock.
  17. British Ministry of Defense researchers have been able to reset soldiers’ body clocks so they can go without sleep for up to 36 hrs. Tiny optical fibres embedded in special spectacles project a ring of bright white light (with a spectrum identical to a sunrise) around the edge of soldiers’ retinas, fooling them into thinking they have just woken up. The system was first used on US pilots during the bombing of Kosovo.
  18. Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.
  19. The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which sleep-deprivation played a role.
  20. The NRMA estimates fatigue is involved in one in 6 fatal road accidents.
  21. Exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Unfamiliar noise, and noise during the first and last two hours of sleep, has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle.
  22. The “natural alarm clock” which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.
  23. imageneserik / Pixabay

    Some sleeping tablets, such as barbiturates suppress REM sleep, which can be harmful over a long period.

  24. In insomnia following bereavement, sleeping pills can disrupt grieving.
  25. Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a “neural switch” in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.
  26. To drop off we must cool off; body temperature and the brain’s sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That’s why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep. The blood flow mechanism that transfers core body heat to the skin works best between 18 and 30 degrees. But later in life, the comfort zone shrinks to between 23 and 25 degrees – one reason why older people have more sleep disorders.
  27. A night on the grog will help you get to sleep but it will be a light slumber and you won’t dream much.
  28. After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, three drinks will have the same effect on your body as six would when you’ve slept enough.
  29. Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.
  30. Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode.
  31. Ten per cent of snorers have sleep apnoea, a disorder which causes sufferers to stop breathing up to 300 times a night and significantly increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
  32. Snoring occurs only in non-REM sleep
  33. Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal
  34. Some studies suggest women need up to an hour’s extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men.
  35. Feeling tired can feel normal after a short time. Those deliberately deprived of sleep for research initially noticed greatly the effects on their alertness, mood and physical performance, but the awareness dropped off after the first few days.
  36. Diaries from the pre-electric-light-globe Victorian era show adult
  37. Most of what we know about sleep we’ve learned in the past 25 years.
  38. 18 to 24 year-olds deprived of sleep suffer more from impaired performance than older adults.

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Here is my interpretation of what this means:

Think Less: You procrastinate less and this eases the stress that hinders our positive view of life.
Feel More: Our instincts tend to lead us in the right direction. We go in the wrong direction typically because we defy those instincts.

Frown Less: Hopefully we frown less because we are happier but if not, then frown less so you don’t admit emotional defeat knowing that you can turn that frown upside down (there is hope).
Smile More: When we smile more because of the positives we experience, we focus on and as a result magnify those positives.

Talk Less and Listen More: We learn more when we listen because either we change or reinforce our positions. If there is a reason to change, then be open to it and if our ideals are reinforced, then we must be thankful for the wisdom we have.

Judge Less: We do not know a person’s heart nor “their” perspective on their situation. People do not know ours so we shouldn’t judge.
Accept More: Don’t fixate on what you cannot fix; accept it and move on.

Watch Less and Do More: Again, don’t fixate. If you can fix it, then do! The opportunity to “do” may pass you by if you don’t.

Complain Less and Appreciate More: Much like “frowning less and smiling more”, we must focus on the positives.

Fear Less and Love More: In this context, fearing less and loving more is about focusing on the positive “what ifs?” as opposed to the negative ones. There is always a possible downside to things but that should not keep us from exploring with a view to the potential positives. We should look at the situation, weigh the two, and then make an informed decision. If the negative results, remember, “Accept More”!

 

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If you don’t know what a sensory deprivation tank is, don’t worry. You’re not alone.  Primarily used for relaxation and meditation, there is some promising evidence that suggests that some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia could be treated or at least kept at bay by frequent sessions.


Flotation REST is a form of Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) that uses a shallow pool of heavy water about the size of a large bed. The water is made heavy by super- saturating it with Epsom Salt (MgSO4) to the point that a person floats on his or her back effortlessly on the surface of the water like a cork. The water is heated to skin temperature and the pool is enclosed in a lightproof, soundproof environment. This device, invented by Dr. John C Lilly, effectively removes external stimulation and creates a neutral environment that gives the feeling that one is floating comfortably in space.

Other symptoms like insomnia, depression, and anxiety are more speculative in their beneficial claims but there are studies connecting the decrease of stress and the decrease of each of these things as well. Another interesting link is the theory that fibromyalgia could be closely linked with the body’s lack of proper levels of magnesium, an element that is incredibly prevalent in the same medical-grade Epsom salt that is used in sensory deprivation tanks in order to increase buoyancy.

There is still much more study to be done in linking the effects of sensory deprivation tank therapy and fibromyalgia but there could be promising results on the horizon. More information can be found out about the Fibromyalgia Float Project here.

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How To Change A Habit

Have you ever been sitting at work, wondering to yourself, “is there a flowchart that can tell me how to change a habit?”

Now there is! Please feel free to download, email, post on your wall, send to friends or make paper airplanes out of this handy guide to changing a habit.

Click here to download! (Right click on link to save to your desktop.)

How-to-Change-a-Habit

 

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