Monthly Archives: October 2017

help for gambling addiction

Signs of a Gambling Addiction

In the great rat race of life, what is it that we are all racing for with an invisible finish line? Some of us adapt to the sheep-like mentality of most and travel with the masses. Others may stray from the herd and find trouble and majestic wonders outside of the norm. Whatever this drive is, what we do know is that we are limited with time in the physical vessel that our souls have been placed upon. With the grains of sand falling ever so quickly in the hourglass, we find something to drive us into the unknown while simultaneously giving us purpose.  

Whether it’s love and understanding, or its money, power, respect- none of us truly know the meaning of life. We march forward in pursuit of happiness while dodging the curveballs of disease and famine that life throws at us. Too many in the 21st century are moreover familiar with the disease of alcoholic thinking. Those who know of its treachery are aware that alcoholic thinking is an addictive mindset that doesn’t necessarily pertain to imbibing. Gambling addiction, amongst a slew of other addictions, is just one sick branch off from the life-threatening disease of alcoholism.

Penny for Your Thoughts, Penny for Your Life

In this pursuit of happiness, some find their vision clearer with dollar signs in their eyes. Through money laundering and bribery to pyramid schemes and gambling addiction, money becomes the essence of life for some. The smell of the cash, the volatile numerology, the pay off (metaphorical and literal) – it’s the reason to get out of bed in the morning. Yet, believe it or not, money is just as much an addiction as drugs can be.

We focus all our effort on obtaining this piece of paper or precious metal of sorts that has been declared valuable- but why? It is okay to provide for self or to be motivated to take care of family for instance, but the lengths some are willing to go for this financial security becomes an issue. Money will create sanctuary while in the process of rising/lowering life, love, stress and setbacks. However, any educated alcoholic knows that money is just a symptom of greed and an x-factor of gambling addiction.

poker

Can’t Buy Me Love

Gambling addiction and health are antithetical in many perspectives of alcoholic thinking. As mentioned beforehand, most equate addiction to substance abuse but quickly forget how fast eating disorders or codependency can create powerlessness and unmanageability in an individual’s life.  Often times gambling addiction is a side effect of sobriety. Many with the disease of addiction enter recovery under the mindset that the substances we’re the only thing manifesting problems in life, only to later discover that cross-addiction is a very real thing.

The signs of gambling addiction and relapse have much in common; behaviors in the individual begin to progressively shift for the worse over time to come. Many behaviors from betting alcoholically include:

  • Grandiosity and Arrogance
  • Ignoring Fellowship Needs
  • Putting Recovery on the Back Burner
  • Close Mindedness
  • Reclusiveness and Isolation
  • Financial Irresponsibility
  • Irritability
  • Always AWOL

Addiction is not an easy beast to conquer, so when somebody is feeding the disease- it shows. It’s a little easier to see when people are starting to become complacent and putting their recovery on the back burner. Eventually, it will all go up in flames regardless of the type of addiction. Addiction creates an unfortunate game where if you’re not first, you’re dead last. Dead last.

Betting On Life

Addiction numbs us to reality and causes us to always look at things from the perspective of the glass always being half empty. Everything in life starts to have this hollow feeling to it and the mindset of “nothing we ever do is good enough” roots itself into every forced step we take. Just like the drugs, the highs are high but the lows are so low. Losing a fistful of dollars in gambling addiction can be one of the worst withdrawals to strike the addict down. Nothing is alright but everything is okay. The inside and the outside justify different emotions.

Gambling addiction will convince us to give up on ourselves. Usually, the addict will begin losing interest in the things they love as the slots consume every inch of their obsessive thinking. The cards, the chips, and the stale smoke- it becomes this depressing way of life that everything revolves around. Things will just seem off to our loved one as they start pushing friends and family away in attempts to hide the casino-driven mania rooted within. From here, dreams only turn into nightmares as the bets on precious life are made.

House of Cards

Gambling addiction for some will suck the life out of the person until drinking or getting high seems like the only rational solution. On top of that, the playgrounds and playmates that come with this type of gaming do not speak highly for recovery-oriented individuals. The people and places will only help in the enablement of shifty decision making and questionable activities.

They will constantly convince themselves that they got a bad deck of cards and that next time will be better- and it never is. Gambling addiction will without question destroy all aspects of a person’s life the same as the bottle. Knowing the signs of this type of alcoholic thinking can be the difference between slipping back through the cracks of misery or living life happy, joyous, and free. If you think you or a loved one may have a gambling problem, we suggest you checkout out a Gamblers Anonymous meeting

Stop Relapse Before It Stops You

It can be intimidating to know that addiction and alcoholism are always right around the corner in different shapes and sizes. Knowing your demons and what you’re prone to can make all the difference in the world. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 888-481-1993 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

emotions in early sobriety

What to Expect in the Emotional Rollercoaster of Early Sobriety

Can you picture an amusement park? Cotton candy and cheap life-sized versions of stuffed animals everywhere. There’s the faint smell of throw up and loud screams echoing about in the background. The bulk of your time spent standing in line for hours for the ride that last 2 minutes. Ah, good times good times.

The roller coasters are the thrilling life-threatening experience that some of us crave- they make camping out in these lines for the quick cheap high almost worth it. There’s the ups, the downs, the loopty-loops, the unexpected change in speeds- it can all be so much fun or terrifying for others. However, fun aside, take that roller coaster of an idea and apply it to our thoughts and emotions in early sobriety.

While in the thick of addiction, most succumb to the complete numbing of the chemicals we choose to imbibe in. Without any recognition of the fact, our emotions quickly dissolve into non-existence. Whether intentional or not, alcoholic thinking will prevail and mute our feelings away. Once we decide to finally turn it all around and choose recovery, it is then that we must buckle up for the roller coaster starting its slow climb. Early sobriety is not for the weak of heart.

You Must Be THIS Sober to Ride

Dropping the booze and mind-altering substances doesn’t put us program people in the clear completely. There’s a lot of introspection and self-awareness that must be done to prevent us from returning to the desolate lives we once knew. It’s almost like a form of rebirth as we start discovering ourselves again. We begin to really understand the gears that make our clock tick. Once our feelings come back, the flood of sensations and ambitions that spawn can be overwhelming of course.

Emotions are a tricky thing. Most people don’t realize that emotions are one of the strongest cognitive abilities human beings are capable of. Our emotions are something we have the ability to feel mentally AND physically. You think about a purgatory-like room with white walls and for most, there’s little to no emotion. Then think about how much of a jerk Roger was being at work yesterday- completely different stimulus. The anger can give us hot flashes and make our thoughts fly around more impulsively. Learning to control the reactions we have from our emotions in early sobriety is the skill to be practiced.

To Feel or Not to Feel

When we became sober and rid all the toxicants from our bodies, the emotions in early sobriety appeared out of nowhere. Emotions for addicts/alcoholics are the ultimate vanishing and reappearing act. It’s no secret that alcohol and narcotics numb us but they never disappeared entirely. Upon getting sober we start noticing positive feelings we thought were long lost such as:

  • Love
  • Trust
  • Surprise
  • Optimism
  • Admiration

Just to name a few. Unfortunately, we also begin experiencing the gut-wrenching heavy emotions such as:

  • Rage
  • Apprehension
  • Disgust
  • Grief
  • Remorse

It’s our ying and yangs to life as both joy and fear-based emotions are reintroduced in early sobriety. All of the emotions can be a positive thing if harnessed in the right way though. It doesn’t have to be such a roller coaster if we keep everything in control.

girl with varying emotions

Staying Buckled Up

Emotions in early sobriety are a matter of comprehending and understanding all the feelings that arise. It’s a matter of understanding ourselves and dealing healthily with the good, the bad, and the ugly that life curveballs at us. Not losing it and falling into a downward spiral because something unfortunate occurred. Being able to agree with the concentrated mood swings and the spine-chilling feels, that’s the idea behind it. Understanding that emotional roller coaster is a matter of accepting our emotions in a sense. Life can be all about perspective for some.  

We walk into every situation in life with a preconceived expectation, good or bad, about how it will turn out. Understanding these emotions in early sobriety can be just a matter of opening up to others’ perceptions at times. This can be from eating a piece of chocolate to visiting family to whatever, you name it. The idea is that emotions will sneak up on us and catch us off guard- it’s all about how they’re channeled.

All Over the Place

Learning to cope with life’s stresses and becoming present in the moment is a tough one, but that’s what it takes to slow that roller coaster of feelings down. Positive or negative emotions, it can throw even the wisest off their game. Those recovering in early sobriety learn the tools for living in the present moment and accepting things for what they are. Not all are so fortunate to really get to understand themselves and dissect their problems like a 12 step program can teach most addicts and alcoholics.

Many people get clean and continue to live a dirty lifestyle and they become victim to their emotions. It’s a constant conscious effort to deal with life on life’s terms. It’s understandable to be caught off guard, but when you’re recovering it can be just the smallest thing that sends you into a quick nose dive. It’s truly amazing how keeping a positive outlook on things makes the world a difference. Keeping in mind that all our emotions are fleeting, feel them and embrace them with warmth in early sobriety. If done right, this may be the last time we have to ride this roller coaster.

Don’t Become Comfortably Numb

Once our emotions have gone completely numb, there’s no doubt that change is needed soon. Recovering from chemical dependency will help us to be able to truly feel again. It takes getting clean and sober for our senses and true happiness come back to us. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-888-481-1993 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.

codependency

Signs of Codependency and How to Break the Cycle

Drugs and alcohol will take down just about anybody that dances with the devil for too long- but then there are addicts and alcoholics. In pertinence to that thought, society often forgets that love is one of the strongest drugs in existence. The right kind of love will manipulate time, break down barriers, and engulf every aspect of a person in emotionally uplifting ecstasy. This can be the case for anybody- but then there are addicts and alcoholics. Those with alcoholic thinking tend to handle things that make them feel good in a different manner.

Different manner…okay, let’s call it an obsessive one. At the end of the day, nobody wants to be entirely alone in this world. It ties into our primal nature and is just who we are. We want love, friendship, and somebody who just plain old understands. Some people might be more introverted or see themselves as the lone wolf, but even those people crave companionship to some degree.

It’s quite easy to start codependency on a relationship with substances. Addicts and alcoholics use drugs, amongst other things, to fill the hole inside as an attempt to distract from self. Even after an addict makes it to the sobriety side, they will find codependency following them in all sorts of aspects. It’s difficult to mute the obsession entirely.

Healthy Independence

In a totally twisted way, substances are often that understanding companion that we convince ourselves we were searching for in the first place- but that never sustains for long. This chemical dependent relationship eventually threatens the blood in our veins and we find ourselves looking into the realms of recovery. Unfortunately for many, once one x-factor walks out the door, another then bursts thru in a “Kramer from Seinfeld” type style.  As we end a codependency based relationship with narcotics, our natural alcoholic thinking is to find something or somebody else to fill that void.

It’s amazing how different addicts and alcoholics are once they get clean, but perfection is still far off in the distance. However, the results are night and day with the complete switcheroo as we move recovery onto the front burner of our ever cooking mind. The 12 steps and the anonymous programs attached are the saving grace to millions. However, a few things like a relationship wrapped in codependency can deter even the strongest of recoveries. It’s on us to separate wants from needs during this sober prioritization.

unhappy couple

Falling to the Wayside

Let’s take a good look at reality: any good relationship takes time to blossom. Everybody has a different story to tell and Father Time takes the cake on this. Love is often confused with infatuation and the results can be rather sloppy- especially with addicts and alcoholics involved. Those who have just gotten sober are often still discovering themselves and an early relationship can divert from where the focus should really be. Before long, codependency easily becomes the bi-product of this equation as things regress for one, if not both of the parties involved.

When codependency becomes prevalent, it’s important for that person to recognize their behaviors and make sure they’re still taking care of themselves. Often times this codependent behavior can cause problems in recovery such as:

  • Relapse
  • Confused Emotions
  • Combinational Chaos
  • Preoccupied Priorities
  • Clouded and Irrational Thinking

Once we have actually gotten clean we are through the worst of it, but mistake not- codependency will show different angles to alcoholic thinking that some of us never knew to exist.

Dependent Thinking

If you think about it, just because the substances are taken away doesn’t mean that the problems are all patched up. Yes, the booze and powders were the cause of the powerlessness and unmanageability, but it’s our alcoholic thinking that causes us to obsess. Therefore the solution comes from within also. It is not until we can learn all the inner workings of ourselves that we should try to educate ourselves of another being in such an intimate capacity. Relationships are the key to the fellowship and recovery, but they need to be healthy ones at that.

There is a slew of factors that relationships in sobriety must be contingent upon. Imagination easily takes over for many and we can find our thoughts revolving entirely around one particular individual- just like the drugs. It is when this happens that we must search for CODA meetings or seek for independence and alone time.

The Band-Aid

It’s truly amazing how much can change in a matter of minutes, hours, or even days. Time is the ruler of all and utilizing that time with introspection can be the difference between ignorance and wisdom. Giving any addict or alcoholic time to figure themselves out gives them time to figure out the things they desire in life. Upon getting sober, we often latch onto the first thing that provides comfort. Time with ourselves allows us to figure out boundaries with ourselves as we push codependency to the curb.

Even though codependency is based on a relationship with another, sometimes it’s wisest to split all that free time into other healthy relationships. Your life does not have to revolve around somebody else. Recovery is about learning to manage our time and emotions with the new way of life provided, so it takes a lot of trial and error while figuring these things out. We belong right in between extreme independence and codependency. Mistakes are okay, it’s just all about balance.

Avoiding a Relationship With Self?

Relying on somebody or something too much? Recovering from chemical dependency will help us to be able to truly feel again. It takes getting sober before our sense come back to us and we become fine with just that. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-888-481-1993 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.

fear

5 Signs Fear is Running Your Life and How to Overcome It

It’s easy to see that we exist in a world where change is instinctual and every individual out there is unique in their own methods. It can be hard to see eye to eye with everyone when we are all genetically so adapt and dissimilar. Can we relate to this person? Have they been alike struggles? Do they see and hear with the same perception I do?

A favorite of mine is to point out that every human being that is currently living or has ever lived is made up of a different genetic composition than the last. That being said, we all love and hate in different capacities. We like and dislike specific things that our neighbor may not. We process it all differently. Along with this processing, all people have varying levels of being frightened. Sometimes fear is the appropriate response, but too often fear is stacked on other fears and we build this house or irrationality to hide inside of.

Much of the time, human beings like to assume as they let their imaginations take full throttle. We hear and see what we want to hear and see. We then build off the subjective fear and conjure great imaginaries inside. The thoughts then take over and swallow us whole. Once our pipe dreams and reality are indistinguishable, we have concocted a perfect set of apprehension to hold us back from life. However, what if it didn’t have to be that way?

Running from Yourself

Many of us forget fear is self-manifested in most scenarios. In the epic battle between nature vs. nurture, in a lot of aspects, we seem to be afraid of what life has to offer. We are not born with this incessant instinct to just be terrified of everything.  As the late great John F. Kennedy said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. You see it is when we allow these scared premonitions to take control- we are opening ourselves up to more possibilities of fright.

When we allow fear in, before we know it all these troubles have overcome our complete psyche and we are living in the anxiety of our every next step. However, there are tell-tale signs to keep an eye out for when becoming engulfed in fear. Some of them are recognizable in us and others like:

  • The individual is always on an emotional roller coaster
  • The person is always unsure of their next step
  • They are unable to stay sober
  • The person allows trivial matters to upset them easily
  • The individual is always living in secrecy

Sometimes a person may be living sheltered in a world of fear and it may be difficult to see it. Unfortunately, help sometimes cannot be provided to somebody when that somebody isn’t aware they need it.

face the things you fear

Fear and Funhouse Mirrors

Often times- especially for addicts and alcoholics, fear is manufactured from the thoughts of anxiety and thinking too much about our future. We live in such a fast-paced world with so many distractions that it is difficult to keep ourselves present in the now. We are always reminiscing about the past or tripping over our futures that we struggle to maintain consciousness with everything that is today. It’s easy to remain stuck in uncomfortable thoughts and to play them over and over in our heads. We just take the discomforting VHS tape of memories and rewind and play- rewind and play. Our magic 8 ball for what’s to come doesn’t do us much justice either.

Not staying in the present can have a dramatic effect on our awareness. When we allow ourselves to become distracted from the inevitable wandering of our minds, we begin to tune out our surroundings. Our focus then placates on unimportant matters and we allow hypothetical and irrational fear to set in. Introspection quickly goes down the drain when we start practicing this worrisome oblivion. When we live in fear, we allow our minds to be slaves to something just like substance abuse. Using tools such as prayer and meditation are imperative to making it through the adventures of our imagination.

Rational or Irrational?

Many of us used drugs and alcohol because we wanted to feel comfortably numb when dealing with the strife life provides. Having the constant impending fear of doom can get heavy after a bit of time. Using drugs to forget about life’s matters because it’s natural as we allow fears to trickle in and take over. Eventually for many, just like alcoholic thinking itself, fear begins to make things powerless and unmanageable.

Some build the fright up on the inside and convince themselves that they will fail if they try to get clean or do anything for that matter. They will fail at getting high and they will fail if they try this sobriety thing. Sometimes it’s a matter of taking that step over the thin line of comfort and growth.

It’s amazing to see what we fear before and after sobriety because the difference is yin and yang. When we take a look at most of the things that we allow ourselves to panic over, we find that when broken down, that most of our fears are irrational. Sure some of them sit comfortably on a pile of “what ifs”, but most of our fears originate from things we make up in our heads. Chances are if it’s not something that is currently affecting us- then it won’t. Staying in the present and acknowledging our reality from our pipe dreams is one of the best ways we can step closer to not letting that fear overcome us.

Don’t Let the Excuses Stop Your Life

When we fear it is because it’s something we seek in our lives. Don’t allow the fear of sobriety or trying to become sober prevent you from living the life you truly desire. Addiction and alcoholism add up and will only continue to tower the fear and torment over your head. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-888-481-1993 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.