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Showing posts from July, 2013

Let's Talk About Relapse - Day 12 - The Mask of Denial !

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Last week, I blogged about the 3 Masks of Relapse.  As an introduction, I wrote, "I believe that the very moment we are triggered and are tempted  into relapse, we are presented with three masks.These masks seduce us into further relapse and they extend our stay there." And I went on to say that we have a choice - either to adorn the masks and re-enter into the dance of destruction or to leave the masks behind and continue embracing the dance of discovery.Today, let's start learning about the 3 Masks of Relapse and how understanding them can indeed help us sustain our recovery!
We will begin with the Mask of Denial - probably the one we are most familiar with; and, in my opinion, probably the one that is the toughest to deal with.Although the 3 Masks can present themselves in any order, I find that typically it is the Mask of Denial that rears its ugly face first! This is important.  Think back for minute about what was going on with your thinking as soon as you were tri…

Let's Talk About Relapse - Day 11 - The 3 Masks of Relapse!

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For several weeks, we have been talking about the importance of triggers in relapse. We have discussed how triggers can propel us back into an episode of relapse, and yet, we learned how they also can be timely teachers that direct us on our paths of wellness!  We learned that triggers can be external - coming from every place, every thing and every one! We also learned that triggers can be internal - emanating from our life messages  that we carry with us based on our past experiences. And, we even learned about relapse tools that are easy to implement  such as a "trigger thermometer" and a 4 step exercise. And, finally, we discussed the importance of professional guidance, support, and/or counseling if there are unresolved issues of injury or injustice.

Today, I am going to begin blogging about the 3 Masks of Relapse. What am I talking about?  Why are they important? Let's begin our discussion!
First of all, when we think of the word 'mask', I think most of our …

Cory Monteith - Relapse Claims Another Shining Star

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Cory Monteith made no secret of his struggle with drugs and alcohol. Given his notoriety from the hit series GLEE, Cory chose not to hide behind a pain-filled past but instead was transparent about his difficult journey. As a fan of GLEE for some time, I couldn't help but wonder how and why relapse claimed this shining star so soon after leaving rehab. Given the importance of triggers that we have been discussing in previous blogs, my attention was drawn to this article about Cory's untimely passing.

In a Health Blog posted by Nancy Churmin (dallasnews- life,2013/07/17), she states, " It's important to understand how difficult it is for those who are suffering from addiction to avoid cues that trigger a heightened level of urge to use drugs."  

Ms. Churmin goes on to say,
"These cues [triggers] include objects and environments that have been conditioned or have been associated with the drug.  Sometimes these cues in themselves increase the rewarding effects o…

Let's Talk About Relapse - Day 10 - More Triggers! What Are Life Messages and How They Can Help Us!

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Over the last two blogs, we have been discussing some really good news about triggers!

Although triggers can and will catapult us back into previous unhealthy patterns of thinking, behaving, and feeling, they can also serve to teach us more about ourselves and how to move forward in healing and healthy ways!
In the last blog, I described several different examples of how individuals became triggered by someone or something. I went on to show how these individuals took time to stop and calm themselves, how they listened to and payed attention to how the trigger was affecting them, and then, how they made a deliberate choice to implement a healthy response. In two examples, I demonstrated how individuals kept a pulse on their levels of wellness and strength by checking in with their internal 'trigger thermometers', which helped them in making healthy decisions as well as utilizing additional support.
In each of the previous three stories, the triggers experienced by the individua…

Let's Talk About Relapse - Day 9 - Triggers: More Good News!

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Last time, we learned some really good news about triggers!
Although triggers can and will catapult us back into previous unhealthy patterns of thinking, behaving, and feeling, they can also serve to teach us more about ourselves and how to move forward in our recovery in healing and healthy ways!
In the previous blog, we were introduced to two important strategies to use as our triggers signal to us that we need to take care of ourselves and make different healthy choices. Let's take a look at a few examples of how these strategies work. (The names and people I am referencing are fictitious.)
Robert has been working on his sobriety for over two years.  He faithfully works his program of recovery - attending 12 step meetings, checking in with his sponsor, and has formed new friendships within the recovery community.  However, Robert has one old friend, Paul, who is still actively in his addiction.  Every once in a while, Paul will call Robert and want to 'hang out'. When th…

"Mountain Air" makes it to the "Authors' Show"! Take a listen!!

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