Category Archives: Guest Posts

Walking the Walk: Tips to Keep You Moving Forward After Addiction


Avoid relapse tips

Addiction is a terrible disease that strips you of your life and tries to take you to the darkest corners of “rock bottom.” If you’ve given yourself the tools to begin your ascent toward a new and healthy life, congratulations. You’ve found an inner strength that can get you through the lowest of lows. But sometimes, even the strong need a little something to keep them going. Here are a few ideas that can help you on your journey.

  • Engage in exercise. Strong body = strong mind and your mind is what’s going to get you through this. If you don’t already make fitness a priority, begin a group exercise class, which will help your regiment your time and give you something to look forward to.
  • Create positive social relationships. If you’re like many addicts, you started taking drugs/drinking alcohol after succumbing to peer pressure. When you get sober, you have to leave the negative friends and influences behind. Surround yourself with people who see your best qualities and make you feel good about being you.
  • Nourish you mind. Read a book, work a puzzle, or enjoy a good laugh with friends. These things may not make you more productive, but they will help you keep your mind centered and clear of the clutter and confusion that might lure you off your path.
  • Learn a new skill. If you lost your job because of your substance abuse, there’s never been a better time to change careers. Don’t be afraid to pursue a new degree or take classes to help you learn new job skills. Fast Company cautions that the first few days and weeks obtaining new skills is the hardest; don’t allow yourself to give up. A new career might just be the long-term change you need to maintain your sobriety.
  • Do something good. Addiction can rob you of your sense of purpose, especially if you lost important parts of your life along with it. Start regaining your sense of self by volunteering for a cause near and dear to your heart. Psychology Today explains that when you volunteer, you make a choice to do something positive and can focus on something you feel strongly about.
  • Set goals. Goals are what keep us motivated. They help us create structure and allow us to draft our own plans, whether for professional success or personal freedom. Set goals for yourself that will help you turn your vision of the future into a reality that doesn’t involve the things that brought you down. Start with small goals that will lead up to larger, more meaningful ones. For instance, if you lost custody of your children, set the goal to earn those privileges back by creating a “to-do” list of actions you must take to prove you’ve changed so you can regain their trust.
  • Establish healthy habits. Your time as an addict was likely filled with negative actions: drinking, stealing and lying. Instead, replace these with healthy habits that can help to keep you safe and sober. Make a point to spend time outside each day, wake up in the morning and take a minute to just breathe and be alone with yourself, start cooking at home and make nutrition a priority. Other healthy habits include taking a time-out when you’re angry, limiting screen time and learning how to accept criticism without getting down on yourself.
  • Avoid relapse triggers. Perhaps most importantly, if you want to stay sober, you have to learn to identify and manage problems that might lead to relapse. This might be arguing with your spouse, stressing over money, or driving by the liquor store. Whatever your trigger, eliminate it from your life or take steps to change your reaction so you aren’t tempted by your vice.

Addiction doesn’t have to win. Celebrate each victory and know that you are strong enough to keep going. It takes work, and you have to fight for it constantly, but sobriety is a battle worth winning.

About the Author

Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction. His mission is to provide people struggling with substance abuse with resources to help them recover.

P.S: I really appreciate being found out and by people with whom I share common passions, values and all in between. I am very grateful to Adam for finding my website cool enough to host his article. Such useful tips and I will sure be dispensing copies out to my clients. Such articles will go a long way to beat the Stigma surrounding addiction and recovery, and mental health/illness overall. Please while here, you can reach Adam via an email: information@addictionhub.org

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Embracing Alternative Therapies and Their Role in Addiction Recovery


Addiction by Tiffany
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Engaging in addiction recovery may be the most important challenge you ever undertake. It’s vital to use the best tools available to you. Alternative methods can help you achieve success.

Holistic therapy. There is an increasing awareness of holistic therapies, with some studies showing sixty-five to eighty percent of the population participating in holistic naturopathic medicine as a primary form of health care. Demand is so great, half of all medical schools offer courses in holistic methods. Holistic therapy is defined as treating the mind, body and soul of a person, and typically uses both traditional and alternative methods to address and prevent health conditions. Practitioners aim to treat not only symptoms but causes of issues, they encourage communication with patients, integrate whole-body approaches in their programs, and support not only physical concerns but also mental and spiritual ones throughout treatment.

Some of the alternative methods used in holistic-oriented addiction recovery are as follows:

  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a time-tested therapy using needles to reduce cravings, aching muscles, detoxification symptoms and withdrawal symptoms. According to HealthLine acupuncture works to help to restore the body’s balance.

  • Biochemical restoration. This treatment examines what imbalances in the body are producing cravings and restores balance through nutrition.

  • Biofeedback. As The Treehouse explains, with biofeedback, machines monitor brain waves to evaluate what is occurring during an addict’s cravings. By understanding the addict’s thought patterns treatment can be modified to address issues.

  • Exercise. Some experts note exercise helps improve mood, enhance brain function, and improves strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Addicts can enjoy achieving a natural, healthy “high” through the chemicals released in the body by exercise.

  • Herbs. Symptoms of detoxification can be treated with herbs like valerian, kaya, and ginseng. Some herbs reduce insomnia and anxiety as well.

  • Hypnosis. By instructing the subconscious mind toward different thought patterns, an addict’s self-esteem can improve and the desire for drugs be eliminated.

  • NAD. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a derivative of vitamin B3 – also known as niacin. It’s a basic element in all living cells and plays a key role in metabolism. NAD is thought to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms during recovery.

  • Prayer and meditation. These two therapies are similar, requiring the addict to focus intently and embrace a higher level of understanding.

  • Yoga. Yoga encourages engaging mind, body and spirit to improve patience and relaxation. Addicts learn to look inward to understand their choices and navigate recovery.

Holistic treatments should be used in conjunction with rehabilitation and lifestyle changes. You should embrace a healthy diet and fitness program, and understand emotional wellness is a key component in recovery. Psychotherapy, mental health and behavioral therapies can help improve emotional health.

Exercises such as journaling benefit many addicts. Journaling provides the opportunity to review patterns and look inward for what drives your personal choices. It also encourages you to stay balanced and maintain a healthier focus on reality and on the present, reducing anxiety and stress.

What alternative methods aren’t. As explained by Psychology Today, alternative methods are not meant to be stand alone treatments. It’s important to participate in an organized recovery program guided by proven treatment practices. Ensure your care provider is using evidence-based therapies and treating your whole person with other proven methods. As some experts explain, everyone is different and your program should be tailored to your needs. Any treatments should be discussed with your therapist and used in conjunction with your entire recovery plan. Engaging in a treatment on your own, especially if it neglects another vital component, can be dangerous. Ensure you participate in a healthy, balanced recovery plan with the guidance of your therapist.

Alternative therapies can help. Addiction recovery is a difficult road, and with alternative therapies you can better navigate the obstacles. Discuss your options with your health professional. With a sound, balanced approach your recovery can be a success!

About the Author

Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.

P.S: I am sincerely very honoured that Kimberly sent me a request to do a guest article on a topic I was embracing after coming in touch with the terrifying reality on the ground. When I did my internship at the lone psychiatric ward in my city of Douala – Cameroun, about 2/3 of the teenagers admitted were for addiction and dis-intoxication. I definitely can’t wait for her book’s release and hope she writes another article for my blog.

Facing My Fears, series 4 BY ASHLEY ROSE!


I started posting the facing fears series of my friend ASHLEY ROSE Ashley Roseand I am glad to be doing the fourth and last one today.

For recaps; we could just follow the clicks 1, 2 and 3.

In the fourth and last post in these series, Ashley shares with us how she over came her fear of  – hold your breath – yes of becoming a writer.

Woah, how we often think some things are so natural. Read on:

“I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder roughly five years ago. Since being diagnosed, I have been on this journey of facing my fears. Some of my fears have been snakes, bridges, moving, and lately I have been facing my fear of becoming a writer. I know you may be thinking that is not really a fear, but it is. One of my friends put it best; she said she has not only a fear of failure, but also a fear of success. According to the book “Dancing with Fear,” the author describes fear as paralyzing and stifling future endeavors. So terrified to death, I started putting myself out there for the entire world to see. Okay, I don’t have that many followers, but you get my drift. Writing is baring ones soul and becoming vulnerable to others. I have always felt called to write and ever since I can remember I have wanted to write. So this is part of my current journey of becoming a writer.

Conquering my past: In the 8th grade, the entire class was asked to write down three professions that we wanted to be when we grew up; I wrote that I wanted to be a writer, teacher, and zoologist. I remember being so proud to show my list to the teacher, but feeling very discouraged when she looked at it and made a disapproving face. My heart sunk down to the ground. Why would she not encourage me to write? Am I that bad of a writer? I made it all the way to 8th grade with mostly A’s and B’s. Why does she not like my chosen profession? Mind you, my entire friends pretty much all put down that they wanted to be teachers. Yes, I have always been a different child. And no, I have not always embraced it. So for the first time putting myself out there and in my eyes, getting rejected, I started to rethink my destiny. To make a long story short, I decided to trade that profession in and try to find a more “realistic” career. Sadly, all the careers I have tried are all washed up and it’s just me and my pen staring at each other. My pen never left my side and neither did my true dream.

Keeping a journal: I toyed with the idea of writing a novel about four years ago, but procrastinated mid-flight. I decided to start journaling as much as possible. I started to have that feeling of pure joy again. Finishing a poem or discovering an ah-ha moment while writing was exhilarating. I had not felt this way since I was 13 years old. I wanted more of this feeling, so I continue to journal and create poetry.

Writing down every idea: After three years of journaling, I became so addicted to venting that I was writing more and more often. I learned how to get all the negative thoughts out of my head onto paper and then turn the negative thoughts into positive ones. With my mindset getting stronger and my need to write becoming deeper, I decided to write whatever came to my head. Some of these ideas were made into songs and rough drafts for books that I intend to write. My spirit lifted every time I created something. My creation was a reflection of me and I found a profound meaning in my life. My dreams were planting seeds.

Start finding gigs: After being a counselor and nanny on and off for the past eight years, I decided that I was burnt out from both professions. I no longer had any more energy to change one more diaper or help one more person with their problems. It was time to start living the dream I always envision. I was worried because I felt that I was getting too old to change careers, but the desire was much stronger than logic. I made a resume geared toward writing and started sending it out. Then I joined several online sites and started the writing process. My niche was writing about relationships, which I would not have been that great at if I did not have my experience as a counselor. Things started falling into place and more jobs lined up.

Published: Seeing my first article published online was amazing. I never thought in a million years that this long lost dream would ever come to pass. It will probably be the cheesiest article I will ever write, but it is mine. I knew at that moment that this is just the being of a long fulfilled journey that is ahead of me. I felt deep down that I am a writer. I am a professional writer. I still have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I am so thankful that I faced the fears in my life and decided to follow my dreams. My seeds are now starting to blossom and I could not be happier.”

Source: Dancing with Fear: Controlling Stress and Creating a Life Beyond Panic and Anxiety; Paul Foxman, Ph. D.

What do we think of Ashely Rose and her series? How motivating are they?

I was so grateful to get these from her and I wish I could get more people share posts with me on my platform just like Talasi from Braver than Before generously did a while ago. Come one come all this is a very guest friendly platform!

Learning to Face My Fears Part 3 – The Ashley Rose series!


anxiety-and-fear

I started exposing the roses of my dear friend Ashley Rose and if you want a recap of series 1 and 2 then click here: and here:

Today I expose part three and I am happy the way it turned out for her in this particular series that she not only overcame the fear of moving to ‘Atlanta’ but she ended up ‘liking and craving’ for Atlanta.

Read on, enjoy and leave a comment, share with us how you overcame any fear of yours, and of course do not hesitate to share the post with your friends…

Atlanta Braves Statute of Liberty!

Since I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder five years ago, I have made a conscious decision to face all of my fears. One of my biggest fears was moving to a big city. All the traffic, people, crime, and change were too much for me to face all at once. I was sure I would move to Atlanta and all this bad stuff would happen to me and I would come crawling back home to my small middle Georgia town. Surprisingly, I learned to adapt to my environment and thrive.

Visiting Atlanta: I knew that I wanted to move to Atlanta because I wanted to attend graduate school at Mercer University. While visiting, I was nervous driving in this big city with all the traffic and noise. Sitting in traffic can make you feel like you are so small in this big world. The only traffic I ever sat in was at the local Dairy Queen drive thru. Learning how to get from one place to the other was difficult because I relied on my GPS who sometimes has mood swings and works when she wants to. Sometimes I change her accent because I think she will sound nicer, but it doesn’t work. I decided to visit the college and ride through downtown on a Friday. It was not the visit I envisioned because I spent hours in traffic and stared at more tail lights than the actual city. But, I knew beyond all that I feared, Atlanta was calling my name.

Finding a place to call home: I finally got my acceptance letter from school, so now things were becoming a reality. I had to find my very own apartment. Looking for apartments in a city is much different from the country because you never know what you are going to stumble upon. Within the same price range, I could view a beautiful apartment in metro Atlanta, but a complete dump in the city area. So this task was going to be harder than I expected. After viewing several places, I decided to call a cute two-bedroom town home my residence. I went to the country, packed up my cats and belongings and headed to the big peach city.

Moving and adjusting: Deciding to keep my home where I grew up was a safety net decision; I guess I was not ready to completely let go of my small town. The moving process went well. I was able to buy a lot of new things and call the place my home. The first few months were really hard because I missed my family and friends. My anxiety kicked in high gear. According to the book “Dancing with Fear,” the author describes major life changes can cause a feeling of stress overload. I was feeling it and dealing with some panic attacks, but started counseling around this time to gain insight. I remember the first month I was there, I was so lonely because I didn’t know anyone and class did not start for another three weeks. I was bored out of mind, but eventually when school started, I was faced with more than I bargained for. Once I got a part time job and settled into my school schedule, I started to really enjoy my life changing decision.

Thriving: I ended up graduating school and staying in Atlanta for a total of three years. I moved to Los Angeles for a year and then ended back in Atlanta because I missed the east coast so much. If I had never made the decision to move to Atlanta, there would have been parts of the world I would have never been comfortable experiencing. I have decided that I am a true city girl. When I go back to my small town, I am now an outsider and don’t fit in well, but still make time to visit loved ones. Facing my fear of moving to a bigger city exceeded my wildest dreams and enabled me to even follow my dreams.

Source: Dancing with Fear: Controlling Stress and Creating a Life Beyond Panic and Anxiety; Paul Foxman, Ph. D.

Roll out the Red carpet!!!Guest Post: Escaping the Nightmare


escaping-the-nightmare

Hello World; I know beyond reasonable doubt that consistent and engagind actions yield succulent fruits. Join me ye all gentle readers and followers of mine as I roll out the red carpet for my first guest post of the season: Ms Talasi Guerra of the epic blog Braver than BeforeRead on and tell for yourselves if the title of her guest post and even that of her blog don’t resonate with each of us in one way or the other.

talasi-guerra
Her smile is so sweet, I just had to put her picture here for more effect as we read on

Have you ever had that nightmare where you are desperately trying to run away from something or someone, but no matter how hard you strain, you just can’t get your body to move fast enough? It’s like there are these invisible wires attached to all of your limbs, pulling you in the opposite direction as you exert all of your energy to move ahead one inch at a time. While you don’t know exactly what the danger is, you are certain that it is just behind you and ready to pounce at any moment! And in your mind, you are running away with all your might! But in reality, you are moving more slowly than a weary sloth.

I’ve had this dream many, many times in my life. It is such a frustrating and disconcerting dream to wake up from. And though I have never made the connection until this moment, I think that living with anxiety is almost exactly like living in this nightmare.

When you live with anxiety, it is like there is this mysterious danger constantly looming over you, coming at you from every direction. Fear kicks in and tells you that you must run in order to survive, but you simply can’t move. Sometimes it seems that the harder you try to get away, the more stubbornly your body refuses to cooperate.

And yet somehow, though you can barely move at all, the negligible progress you are making depletes almost all of your energy. It is all you can do to survive at this point, never mind trying to dodge the danger. But giving up is not an option either. You can’t stop trying to run or the threat will catch up to you and you will face certain destruction. So you are stuck in a state of constant torment—the battle between the danger you perceive and your inability to escape this approaching doom.

I’ve lived like this for most of my life. It is an exhausting existence. Always running; always trying to escape. But quite frankly, I am tired of running. I am tired of attempting escape when I don’t have the energy to move. I am tired of fighting with a peril that I can’t even identify.

So that’s it then. It’s time for me to turn around and face the danger. It’s time for me to look this thing in the eye and say, “No. I’m not going to run from you anymore.” And something tells me that when I do—when I finally stand up to it—it will lose a little bit of its power. Each time I take a stand, it will lose a little bit more, and a little bit more, until the tables finally turn and it becomes the one on the run. In that moment, I will be the one chasing it… until it is gone forever!

About Talasi

Talasi Guerra is the Director of Children and Family Ministries and Graphic Designer at First Baptist Church in Lloydminster, Canada. She loves to write, travel, and create. Follow Talasi on twitter @talasiguerra. We are welcome to her blog where she invite us to Journey with her through the day-to-day mess of anxiety and fear as she seek to cultivate courage each and every day. She is a fighter and survivor, and although she battled an eating disorder for 7 long damn years, it’s now 10 years she escaped from that nightmare – Amen!!!

Learning to Face My Fears Part 2!


This is part two of the series I started last friday and which I explained were those of my dear friend Ashley Rose

If you missed out on part one you could refresh here: When I am done with her series, I will share just one of mine, for now let’s read on, like, comment and share:

Facing fears can be a very difficult thing to do. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder four years ago. With having an anxiety disorder, I have dealt with being afraid of going over bridges. When I was 8 years old, I went on a school field trip to the beach. While the bus was crossing over a bridge, a huge boat went under the bridge causing the bridge to open up so the big boat could make its way through. At the time I was panicked because I did not exactly understand what was happening. My teacher saw that everyone was scared, but was delayed in explaining the situation. I still get scared when I cross over bridges, but I have been able to lessen the panic significantly.

Watched video of bridge: I forced myself to watch a video of someone driving over one of the longest bridges in the United States. Watching the video was not as bad as I expected. My stomach turned a little in the beginning of the video, but I finished feeling very strong about facing bridges.

Drove over a small bridge: Usually when I go to the beach, I am with a family member or a friend who will drive over the bridge for me or coax me through it. I decided to face my very own fear and drive over the bridge in Savannah, Georgia which leads to Tybee Island. The bridge is very high and it is the one that we went over when I was eight years old. I finally drove it all by myself and it was the scariest thing I could imagine at the time. I was so nervous and held my breath. I was really scared because there was a big boat getting close to passing under the bridge and I was scared the boat would come busting through the bridge and my car would fall into the Savannah River and I would be gone forever. Of course, everything went smoothly going over and coming back.

Drove over a huge bridge: So I moved to Long Beach, California for a year to face fears and get different scenery from my home state of Georgia. I had to go to San Pedro to see a client one day and I tried my best to avoid going over the super big green Vincent Thomas Bridge, but it was inevitable. It was terrifying because the people around me were driving so reckless like they were on the set of “2 Fast and 2 Furious.” They were too fast and I was too furious. The bridge felt like it was a hundred miles long and it never ended. There was a lot of traffic and the lights were stop and go. The bridge looks old so I was worried it was going to fall any minute, but somehow I made it back home safe and sound.

I have continued to drive over bridges, not because I want to, but because I want to get to other states and places. I continue to face my fears head on and pray the entire way. My fear of bridges may seem a bit irrational, but it is very real to me. Slowly and surely, I hope to continue on my journey and face the fears that have paralyzed me for too long.

 

Confronting my Fears 1: The Ashley Rose Series!


Hello world, the post I am resurrecting is three years old (Dec 2013). It definitely qualifies as a guest post, and so while waiting for submissions as I had gently begged for last week; let me start somewhere:

Introducing My Garden last month, I had said I would eventually expose the “roses” of my friends in my precious garden, especially if he or she had a Rose to his or her name.

My friend Ashley Rose,Ashley Rosegave me a series of “roses” to expose in my garden for this month of December and I am sure examining and appreciating them will surely help us in our wrap up of this year and our resolutions for a hopefully better new year.

Here below is the first of the “roses” in the Ashley Rose series:

” Facing fears can be a very difficult thing to do. Even though fear stands for false evidence appearing real, the fears can be more real than one can imagine. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder four years ago. Within this disorder, I have faced being completely terrified of snakes and other things such as bridges which I discuss in a following article. I first became frightened of snakes when I was 12 years old. I was walking through a small field when I saw a small black snake slither across my path. I quickly ran the other way and struggled with dreams of snakes for at least 15 years. Confronting this fear was really hard but very liberating.

Watch tapes of snakes: So I knew this was something that I wanted to tackle because I did not want this fear overtaking my life anymore. I was told by a counselor that “You create what you most fear.” So I knew from that moment that my biggest fear was being stuck in a jungle and an anaconda swallowing me whole. The likelihood of me ending up in a jungle in the middle of Georgia seems very unlikely, but you can never be too sure. So with all of that being said, I made the decision to watch tapes of snakes. At first, it gave me goose bumps all over and I thought I was going to die. But, I continued watching the snakes until I felt calm and at peace.

Limited Exposure to snakes: I went to the Atlanta Zoo and looked at the snakes in their enclosures. For the most part, the snakes looked like they were sleeping, but I did not stare at them for long. I was with my nephew who insisted on banging every snake enclosure; which caused me to panic. My worst fear was that the snake would become so enraged that it would bust out of the enclosure and attack everyone. Of course this psychotic nightmare that I made up in my head did not come true. The snakes were not even bothered. They seemed to be engaged with just resting.

Touching a snake: So I went to an animal show and tell presentation, which is similar to Jack Hanna when he goes on Maury; that is where I confronted my fear head on. There was this gorgeous yellow patterned python that was named Chiquita like the bananas. She was huge, but when I looked her in the eyes, I saw such a gentle creature. Of course I was leery of touching her head because I did not want her to even get a taste of me. But, I did touch her body and it was smooth and I was so in awe of her beauty. I asked myself why I am so scared of something so beautiful.

I would not say that I am 100% healed of my fear of snakes, but I no longer panic when I am faced with them in my presence. I think that facing fears can run so deep that it can takes years to fully overcome. I think my next goal would be to hold a snake, but I am not sure if I will ever build up the strength to. I am content and proud with my journey of facing my fear of snakes.”

I hope we liked it, look forward to series 2, let’s not hesitate to leave our comments and not fail to share…

My blog seeks guests; come one, come all hurray!!!


be-my-guest
Come one, come all  !

Wow, Hello World, I have been a guest on a few other platforms to be able to say without any doubt that there is indeed joy in sharing. I appreciate and hold in esteem those who shared or hosted me on their platforms, and I am impressed by my courage in responding to the offers to share something of my story on their platform, and answer the questions and comments therefrom.

It is all such experiences which moves this 38 year old me, to  via  my blog & platform, seek out some guests. Please come one, come all and share with us all. I remember and will even throwback 3 guests posts I had when I started blogging over 3 years ago; but the principle is simple. I want my guests to feel free to share anything within the confines of the different categories of my platform! That is, anything from ‘about you’, to inspiring and motivating stuffs, poetry, books and of course mental health. I sure reserve the right on when, why and what I publish, but you can surely guess that much of what a guest decides to share via my platform will be largely uncensored… so let your words flow…

You can even write mildly about religion provided you ain’t out to convert or condemn anyone; even a little ‘pissy’ politics will sieve through…

So, what are you and yours waiting for ? I can be contacted at all times…

Thank you
Gratitude all the way