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Additions and Working Through Life’s Challenges

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Understanding Addictive Behavior

We all face problems, stressors and anxieties in our everyday lives. This is a fundamental part of the human condition, and there is no escaping this basic truth. Indeed, challenges help us to grow. The normal process is to perceive a problem and then bring our emotional and thinking abilities into play in order to solve the problem. We can …

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Recovering from Addiction

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Understanding Addictive Behavior

“Not I, nor anyone else, can travel that road for you. You must travel it yourself.” – Walt Whitman Coming to terms with addiction may be the most important journey of a person’s life. Because the addict’s primary relationship is with the addictive substance and everything else is secondary, only used to pursue the addictive high, the addict’s safety, security …

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Components of Addictive Behaviors

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Understanding Addictive Behavior

Addictive behavior usually contains the following components: Acting Out Behavior: Addicts create a mood through a change in their behavior that sets the stage to go into the addictive high. Thus, sex addicts will purchase pornographic material. Drug addicts will make the call to the drug dealer. These “acting out” behaviors are a preliminary part of the addictive process and …

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The Stages of Recovery from Harm

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Forgiveness

Sidney and Suzanne Simon, in their book, Forgiveness, identify several stages in the process of recovery from abuse. Recovering from hurt is a challenging but potentially rewarding life task. Recovery involves – 1.) recognizing that the harm has occurred. We may cling to our old “family secrets,” or we may feel that “that was then and this is now.” Denial …

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Defining Characteristics of Addictive Behaviors

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Understanding Addictive Behavior

The addictive quest for pleasure has some defining characteristics. Many addictions aim to increase arousal. This is the all-powerful feeling that might come from cocaine, amphetamines, the first few drinks of alcohol, shoplifting, sexual acting out or gambling. This omnipotent feeling, however, is eventually undermined when the addict realizes that a dependency has been formed. A feeling of fear replaces …

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Pleasure and Addictive Behaviors

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Understanding Addictive Behavior

“To thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare We are all pleasure seekers. There are pleasure centers located within the human brain, which, when activated, are associated with feelings of euphoria. This is part of the daily cycle we all experience. During the day we go through naturally occurring periods when we feel comfortable, secure, happy, and fulfilled – …

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A Forgiveness “To Do” List

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Forgiveness

____Understand fully that forgiveness does not mean that it is all right for the aggressive behavior to ever be repeated. Forgiveness is meant for past behavior that was unacceptable. ____Give up the unrealistic hope that the perpetrator will apologize, answer your questions or be able to explain why he or she hurt you. Even if apologies or answers were forthcoming, …

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What is Forgiveness?

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not a way of forgetting the past. Indeed, if you have been harmed, you should not forget it. You can learn from the past about how to avoid being harmed in the future. Nor is forgiveness a way of exonerating the perpetrator. Recognize that the harm did happen, that the other person is responsible for this and must …

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Choosing to Forgive

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Forgiveness

Forgiving the one who caused you harm may seem like the last thing you would want to do. After all, by not forgiving, you can hold onto the belief that you have some power over the perpetrator and that you can therefore prevent the harm from ever happening to you again. Or you may be so invested in playing the …

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The Ways We Are Hurt

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Forgiveness

There are many ways of being hurt. Some are minor and some are more severe. In some cases we are the unwitting victim of those who hurt us. At other times we collude in allowing ourselves to suffer by building expectations that make us vulnerable or placing our trust in the wrong places. Whatever the nature of the damage done …

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