When you or your loved one(s) suffer from an unhealthy habit, blame and anger or guilt and shame, are states of mind that many of us are all too familiar with. We feel guilty and ashamed for the suffering we cause. We are angry and blame others for our own pain. What we sometimes do not realize is that these states become an unhealthy habit in themselves. We become used to them. Our lives and the way way deal with people, places and events, and especially how we perceive them, are dominated by them. It has become a form of energy we fuel our lives with. But why would we want to be fueling something that causes us pain and negativity? And what can we do to end this behavior? I have found that forgiveness is the key.Read more
Contemplating the statement “I am an addict” or “I am addicted” is an important step in unlearning unhealthy habits. The key question is who the “I” is. The answer may surprise you and may radically change the view you have of yourself.Read more
To get rid of unhealthy habits many people turn to so-called 12-step programs, such as AA, CA, Al-Anon, to name just a few of the more than 50.
Regular meetings in which the participants suffering from the same habits share their personal stories and experience form the basis of these programs.
It is common practice to have a so-called “step 1 meeting” when there are newcomers in the group. I remember my first al-anon meeting vividly (note: al-anon is a 12 step program for people living or having lived with an alcoholic partner, family member, parent , child, friend, colleague, etc.) and it may be worth while to share this experience with you.Read more
In many cases recovering from living with an addict leads to ending the relationship. It is quite natural that you carry feelings of disappointment, betrayal, anger and pain with you after such a rupture for quite some time. You blame your addict for them and these feelings can stand in the way of engaging in new relationships. You are afraid to get hurt again. We generalize our anger and mistrust towards people we meet (“men are all the same anyhow” or “you cannot trust women.Period.”)Read more
For those suffering from unhealthy habits the holidays can be a difficult time of the year. I often hear that to many of us, days like Thanksgiving, St. Nicolas, Diwali, Hanukkah or Christmas are triggers to watch out for. Of course this is not so (see my previous post on triggers). Also, the end of the year is the time for making life changing resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking, and so on. This too is not the most helpful way to recovery and happiness (see this post). So, what can you do to enjoy this time of the year?Read more
People pleasing is said to be one of the character traits in many people suffering from unhealthy habits. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this. Being nice and helpful to others is a good thing, as long is it feels right. The truth is that often we feel just the opposite: fear, anger and frustration. Why is this and what can we do about it.Read more