The Power of Addiction

“One of the hardest lessons I learned was that I was worth recovery.”

Demi Lovato

The term addiction is not a one size fits all kind of term, which is why many people need multiple rounds of treatment in order to truly begin sobriety.

For some, their addiction may be to a chemical or drug. This would be considered a substance dependence.

For others, their addiction may be gambling or eating. This would be a behavioral addiction.

Either way, addiction at its root is defined as “is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.” *

Those who are caught in the midst of addiction struggle on a daily basis with overcoming the demons that got them there in the first place. Most people start voluntarily, but each time it becomes harder and harder to overcome the physical and mental pull addiction has. Self-control slowly diminishes as the person tries to “medicate” their body. The power of addiction is so strong that it is a leading cause of death in our country.

Addiction is like that friend you wish you never had. It gave you what you thought you wanted and then began to take everything from you.

The key to recovery is wanting it, and wanting it more than your addiction. Sometimes that can take years. Or other times, one addiction can manifest into another.

I am one of those people who struggle with an addictive personality. While I might recover from one addiction, I often find another to take its place – especially in times of distress.

The addictive pattern started in the form of cutting when I was a young 13 years old. I thought if I could take that pain I was feeling and put it somewhere else like in a physical wound, it would make more sense to me. This distorted thinking lasted for a while. Working with a therapist, I was able to stop and found other healthy ways to manage my stress.

However, shortly after, while trying to loss a few pounds, I got stuck in that addictive mindset again and a full blown eating disorder shortly followed.

Each time I tried to recover from one addiction, another one set in. Many people do not know the full extent I suffered because I have never disclosed it.

If I were to map out my addictions, it would look something like this:
13 yrs old – Cutting
16 yrs old – Anorexia
18 yrs old – Bulimia
21 yrs old – Drinking
28 yrs old – Physical Self-Harm and Pills
29 yrs old – Binge Eating

Looking back at this timeline, it is disturbing for me. It makes me feel horrible, which is generally what most recovering addicts feel while in recovery. It is almost like a cycle. The guilt can be consuming, which makes you want to go back to what soothed you.

The key is positive and factual self-talk – reminding yourself that the future is a blank slate and that you are in control. Yes, it might be an everyday struggle for a while – and it is definitely easier said than done. But, just like in real life – boundaries can be set.

You need to know you are worth recovery. You are worth a life beyond addiction. While this can be a hard fact to digest, saying it outloud and matter of fact, can actually fight those inner demons telling you “you are worthless.”

The power of addiction will always try to pull the person back into its cycle. It is a long journey, but it is not hopeless. A lot of organizations can help. If you or someone you know is struggling, please know help is available.

*Medical News Today, “What is Addiction?”

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Self-Discipline Reminders

When I start to feel off-balance, it is often because I have begun to skip the activities on my Self-Discipline tactics I am about to list. While I know it is counter-productive, the pattern is so easy to get trapped into. It starts with (a) getting overwhelmed then (b) crawling up on the couch and vegging and then (c) sleep and repeat.

Once I do this for more than one day, I find myself getting stuck and it is very hard to get unstuck – especially with the chronic pain I suffer from. For you, it may be pain as well that stops you or it might be just negative thoughts – which can be just as exhausting.

I am hoping this list will serve as a good reminder of your projected daily goals. You can alter it slightly to fit what works for you. The point is to at least have a list that you can refer to when you start to feel yourself feel off balance. A good tip is to read through them in the morning (out loud) so that the universe can hear your intention. As I have stated before, what you put into the universe usually cycles back around to you.

  1. Wake up on Time (or even earlier). Set an alarm and get up when your alarm goes off. Just by doing that simple task, you are inserting your drive to succeed. It takes self-discipline to get up on time or even early.
  2. Daily Exercise. It does not have to be crazy but MOVE. When we move, we release endorphins which helps with depression and anxiety. My personal goal (beyond daily exercise) is to exercise for thirty min. five times a week.
  3. Eat Healthy. When we eat crap food, we often feel crappy inside. When I am consistent with my macro counting, my energy levels increase and I generally feel happier. You can enjoy a piece of chocolate or a cookie every now and then, but try to watch your overall consumption.
  4. Follow-Through. Self-discipline is often in the follow-through. This does not mean saying yes to everything. What it means is if you do commit to something, try to keep that commitment.
  5. Avoid Temptation. A great way to build self-discipline is to avoid things you know you don’t want. For example, if you know your overall goal is to eat healthy, don’t buy doughnuts.
  6. Show Respect Toward Others. Being kind can have a ripple effect. Control your inner anger/frustration and choose to be respectful toward others, even if they are not that way toward you. Take the higher road.
  7. Personal Growth Time. Give yourself at least fifteen minutes a day to do personal growth, whether that is reading, listening to a podcast, or writing in a journal.
  8. Meet Deadlines, AKA: Don’t Procrastinate. You have to do something? Just do it. Don’t put it off because you don’t feel like it.

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How Your Core-Conflict Shapes Your Identity

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

William James

One of the coolest things about being a human being is that we are each unique due to our various experiences and circumstances. These layers of influences have shaped our beliefs whether we realize it or not, and have created the person we are today.

This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. While we use our values to have a positive impact on the world, we also have limiting beliefs about ourselves that we have formed from an early age. The negative beliefs, while we try to repress them, are actually working subconsciously throughout our everyday life.

While on a coaching call the other night, my friend pointed out to me that I had a pattern – a pattern that was influenced by something called a “core-conflict”. We began talking it out and I realized that everytime I thought I wasn’t going to succeed in something, I gave up. I wouldn’t let myself completely fail. By doing that, I never let myself completely succeed in something because I stopped anytime a bump in the road came. The road to success is often very bumpy. As Rachel Hollis says, you have to let yourself “fail forward” many times in order to achieve the very thing you want. Success is not linear, but rather a curvy line.

When I realized this talking to my coach, it angered me. I began to think of all the things I quit prematurely – – multiple sports, swimming, acting, singing, piano lessons, and dance. I asked her, “Well I just don’t understand…when did I start feeling ‘not good enough’? What was the turning point and why did I feel like I needed to protect myself?”

Her response – “Your core-conflict is often shaped by an event in your childhood (sometime between the ages of two and six) and then continues to fester over time. The good thing is you can rewrite your story. You just have to face it head on.”

I think back and it’s amazing to see how that core-conflict of mine negatively affected my identity and how I went about doing things. To be completely honest and transparent – there have been many times even recently when I thought “what’s the point of my blog and what’s the point of Arbonne – I’m not really helping anyone anyway.” Even though this is not completely true, it “feels” true and it feels safe to take the easy way out. “I can’t fail this way” is what I tell myself. But, in reality the only way I do fail is by quitting.

I know in my heart that God has a huge purpose for me. As I sit here writing this, I know that if I were to continue down this path of self-destruction, my potential would not be met and the people I want to help will never be helped. I have learned I need to trust myself, as I begin to rewrite my story. Trust what I know to be true, and allow those bumps in the road to happen.

According to the Law of Attraction (which I have discussed in my blog before), what you send out into the universe is what you get back. In other words, “believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create that fact.” So if I am to rewrite my story and send positivity out into the world, I must first start by abandoning my core-conflict and allowing myself to feel the emotions connected with failure. By doing that, I will have to practice seeing these experiences as opportunities to practice mindfulness and self-development rather than times that I am “not good enough”.

Whatever your core-conflict is, I challenge you to do some self-reflecting as well. It will hurt to uncover the past and it will be challenging to relearn a new truth about yourself. But I guarantee you it will be worth it. Your purpose is just waiting for you to discover.

#healing #love #meditation #selflove #health #wellness #selfcare #yoga #energy #mentalhealth #spirituality #spiritual #mindfulness #peace #crystals #nature #reiki #motivation #life #inspiration #spiritualawakening #loveyourself #awakening #recovery #anxiety #therapy #positivevibes #energyhealing #consciousness #bhfyp #coreconflict #fear depression

When You Find “The One”

“There are many forms of love, as there are moments in time.”

Jane Austin

How do you know when you find “the one”? It’s going to sound simple, yet not simple all at the same time. The cliff notes version is you just know.

Now – you are probably reading this and thinking “that is the stupidest answer I have ever heard”, but let me explain further.

There are many kinds of love in this world. Many people end up settling for what they think is “the one” because they love them…however, you can love someone and also not be meant for them.

My ex-husband and I met about twelve years ago and were together for nearly ten years. We were only eighteen when we met so we spent a good part of our early years growing up together and figuring out life. During the ten years, I definitely did love him. At the time, I thought because I loved him, he must be “the one”. I had no other life experiences to tell me otherwise. While we had our issues and there were disagreements, I was conditioned to think all couples go through this (which they do to some degree). So I would repeat – “we will get through”. In doing so, I ignored several times when I questioned if I was in the right relationship. We were slowly drifting apart and going in separate directions. Yet, giving up my wedding vows was not something I was ready to do. Toward the end our relationship, it became very unhealthy – yelling, cursing, punching walls, infidelity…you name it. Clearly us ignoring we were not meant to be was no longer working.

Did we love each other? Yes. Were we supposed to be together? No.

Staying together because you love someone is not always the answer, especially if you analyze that love and find that something feels off. If you meditate on it, quite often you will find the answer. It is important to trust your gut at this point.

When I met my current girlfriend, within that first month I knew she was the one. I know – completely crazy – especially because within the ten years I was with my husband – I was never that sure.

My love for her is completely different from the love I felt for my husband. It doesn’t mean I loved him any less – it just means I loved him differently.

There are certain signs to look for that signal the passionate kind of love you feel when you meet “the one”. That does not mean you have to end every relationship you come across because they aren’t perfect for you. But for those of you that want to settle down, get married, and start families – it is important to consider if your significant other is really the right match for you before you move to the next step.

So here are ten things that I noticed are different in my current relationship versus my last relationship:

  1. I feel more myself. I don’t have to worry about my mistakes or flaws because they are all accepted.
  2. Our goals and values align. We want the same things.
  3. She doesn’t complete me, but rather she makes me a whole person on my own and then just adds a wonderful light to it.
  4. We handle any problem or challenge in a mature way. We talk things out, we never argue.
  5. We have overcome obstacles together.
  6. Every day I wake up excited about life. I feel grateful to be alive and grateful to have her.
  7. Home is not always a place, but rather a person.
  8. I had a gut feeling she was the one.
  9. Our physical chemistry is off the charts and continues to be even years later.
  10. We are addicted to each other, but in a good way. We love being together, but also respect each other when we want to do our own thing.

I do not regret my marriage or being in a relationship with my ex-husband. But, I do regret staying longer than I should have. I was afraid to move on because I did love him and did not understand how I could just walk away from someone I loved. Then I learned, “there are many forms of love, as there are moments in time.” It was okay to love him and let him go because he was not “the one” for me.

#love #like #instagood #follow #photooftheday #happy #instagram #beautiful #photography #fashion #cute #life #art #picoftheday #family #music #style #nature #followme #smile #beauty #bhfyp #likeforlikes #travel #likes #friends #fun #instadaily #relationships #the one

Mindset – Ready, Set, GO!

“The biggest disability is a bad mindset.”

Nick Santonastasso

The world is full of negative people. In your lifetime, you will come across many people who will tell you that you can’t do something or that your vision is too big. Many of us get discouraged and then tell ourselves that we are incapable of achieving our dream.

I’m here to tell you – GET THAT OUT OF YOUR HEAD. You will be amazed how many opportunities were missed because you told yourself you can’t.

The excuses and mindset blocks keep you from your potential. The only thing you actually need is a desire and indestructible will to get rid of any self-doubt or untrue belief keeping you stuck.

We constantly create our outer world with our inner thoughts without even realizing it. But you can change that.

First, you need to align yourself with a positive outer world who supports your dreams and encourages you to be your best self. Just a fun fact to consider: the five people you hang around the most are what you become. So, if you hang around with people who drain and deplete you, your outer world is going to continue to suffer. If you are not happy at your job, change it. If you aren’t happy in your relationship, change it. Refuse to stay stuck because it will affect your mindset and how you move forward.

Next, start saying positive things to yourself. Consistency is the key. Once you repeat it enough times, you will start to believe it. Try saying these positive affirmations below everyday and let yourself sit with it. Then see the difference it begins to make.

Affirmations work, Affirmations, Success affirmations, Self love affirmations, Love affirmations, Manifestation affirmations - Learn how to speed up your manifestations using the power of positive thi -  #Affirmationswork

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Body Image: Looks vs. Health

“When did we become a society focused around looks and not health?”

Body image is a sensitive topic to many people, myself included. Even as a recovered anorexic, I still have my moments when I cringe at my body or nitpick every little roll or imperfection.

I often wonder why I have a certain image in my head and why I think my body is not good enough. And then I remember the power of social media and marketing. An ad, a picture in a magazine, a post on the internet – everything has influence over our brain. As we grow up, these societal ideals are built in our head as the “norm”. It is almost like we are brainwashed from the beginning on what the perfect body entails.

But, my question is this – why have we become a society focused around looks and not health?

Let’s flash back to about twelve years ago. People were quick to assume I was losing weight to be “healthier” and did not hold back their comments of how good I was looking. Little did they know, I had no clue about accurate nutrition and was starving myself in order to match the idea of what I thought looked perfect. My potassium was quickly dropping and my intestines were barely functioning. And then mentally – that’s a whole other story. There was nothing good going on in my head. It was filled with negativity, body dysmorphia, and just a poor outlook on life. So while I fit within society’s body type, I was in very poor health.

Seeking validation based on our body type is a dangerous territory to tread in. The make up of our body should not matter, other than focusing on optimizing our health to feel physically better – not try to change our body because society says that’s what we should do.

It’s also important to note that, the problem isn’t always with our body – most of the time, it’s what we think of our body and – more importantly – what we think of ourselves.

the scale.

#bodyimage #bodypositive #selflove #fitness #loveyourself #bodypositivity #motivation #intuitiveeating #bodyacceptance #selfcare #weightloss #confidence #gym #health #nondiet #haes #love #selfesteem #mentalhealth #loveyourbody #foodfreedom #wellness #diet #selfconfidence #happiness #healthateverysize #body #workout #workoutmotivation #bhfyp

My “Coming Out” Story

“I am gay. I am straight. I am a lesbian. I am bisexual. I am trans. I AM HUMAN.”

My story is anything but ordinary, especially when it comes to my relationships and sexual orientation.

The most common question I get is, “Did you always know you were attracted to women?” The answer is quite simple – yes, and no. 😉

Growing up, I knew I was attracted to women’s bodies but – if I’m being honest – women, frankly, were annoying to me. I am a low maintenance, fun outdoorsy type. I don’t need a lot of things to make me happy. The girls I grew up with were not like that. So to me, the thought never occurred,”Oh, maybe I could be a lesbian.” I also had the longest crush on a guy for most of my schooling, so again, my sexual orientation was never a question.

During my teenage years, while I was not aware of my own identity, I supported others who were discovering themselves and would praise friends who came out. In addition, I would occasionally check out the LGBT events, but that was about as far as that went.

Then college came. Within the second week of Freshmen year, I fell for a guy, who would later become my husband. For the first year or two, things were great. Then I found out he cheated on me with my roommate, and things were never the same after. We spent ten years in an on-again, off-again relationship (I was definitely not a saint during those years, let me make that clear).

While he grew restless with our relationship, I did as well. Even before getting married, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. In this mixed up time, I was starting to wonder about my sexuality. He found it enticing at first that I could be interested in women, so I began to explore that part of me. As our issues continued to mount, he and I both realized “that part of me” grew louder – especially the more our relationship unraveled.

Fast forward to Fall 2017, I found out he cheated on me again and was browsing internet dating sites . At this point, after just having a miscarriage as well, I was mentally done and checked out of the relationship. I could not give anymore to this marriage no matter what he did to try to make it up. We began living separate lives, but we still lived together. As I described in previous posts, I overdosed on anxiety meds twice during this period of time and drank heavily to deal with the pain. It was December when I downloaded the app “Her” – a lesbian dating app. I was so annoyed at my situation and figured if he can get something from these apps, why can’t I? And a lesbian one, even better – no fucking men!

Long story short, I downloaded the app but barely used it. One – I felt guilty, and two – I wasn’t in the right place to be with anyone. On December 20th, a girl messaged me saying “hey” and asking “what I was looking for”. I think I was in one of those moods where I just didn’t care anymore so I answered and went on about my sob story. The funny thing was – she was going through an almost mirror situation. Talk about the heavens aligning.

We spent a few months talking, supporting each other as friends as we both tried to end our long-term relationships and get our lives back. The more time we spent talking, the more I realized how much I liked her. This was the first time I really felt this deep about someone since my husband – and it was a woman! At the time I was discovering my feelings for her, we never crossed that line from friends to lovers because we knew things were already dicey – but the romantic pull was strong. I liked her as a person and I was insanely attracted to her. I had a hard time comprehending this concept.

After filing for divorce, I began telling my immediate family the situation. At the time, I had no idea if things would work out between her and I, but I knew that I needed to be real with them. My brother and mom supported me wholeheartedly, but it was definitely an adjustment for them as months went on and this girl and I actually began dating. They were not used to seeing me with a female, which lead to some awkward moments to say the least. There were times I cried because I felt like if I was dating a guy it would be different. Guys and girls show affection all the time, why is it so different now that I am with a girl? I knew it would take time for everyone to adjust, so we tried to be more considerate while everyone got to know each other better. It was hard to not show how in love we were though, because – honestly – for the first time in a long time, we both were so happy. We could not hide the happiness we were feeling.

I was hoping that by the time of my mom’s wedding later that year, everyone would be more comfortable. I remember calling my Aunt in fear that my family would not accept me. She told me to calm down, that people’s views are changing and evolving. It just takes time.

By the time of the wedding, everyone had grown to love my girl and, to my surprise, my extended family was so accepting and happy for me. My mom’s cousin’s comment stands out the most – “I’m just so happy -You are happy. Your mom is happy. Mike is happy. Everyone is happy!”

Now two years later, life couldn’t be more amazing. I am still with this amazing girl and she has become a part of my family. And most importantly, I am finally at peace with myself.

So the question I’m sure everyone has on their mind, if you are “bi”, would you ever be with a guy again? The answer is “no”.

The reason? It has nothing to do with my orientation and everything to do with me finding “my person”.

When you find yourself, you know when you have found the right person for you….whether you are gay, straight, bi, queer, lesbian, trans, etc. – you will know. That person will signal those heart strings that say “GAME OVER” and sexual orientation will mean nothing -“I am gay. I am straight. I am a lesbian. I am bisexual. I am trans. I AM HUMAN” just like you.

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The Pillow Method

“The idea is to write your affirmation on a piece of paper and place it underneath your pillow before you fall asleep.”

Okay, so I cannot claim”The Pillow Method” as my idea – I want to put that out there first and foremost. However, I think the whole concept is an amazing idea and I wanted to share!

As stated in the quote above, “the idea is to write your affirmation on a piece of paper and place it underneath your pillow before you fall asleep.” The reason for this? The moment you fall asleep and the moment you wake up are two crucial times in the day that impact our thinking. It is important to set the right intention to avoid unwanted and negative thought patterns, and to start retraining your brain to think positively.

Why specifically is this effective?

  1. You are allowing your last thoughts of the day to be positive. This can have a positive effect on your dream cycle and also allow you to carry that attitude to the next day. I mean think about it this way – how often do nightmares come from thoughts or events occurring prior to sleeping?
  2. Setting your intention before bed also helps you “rewire subconscious thought patterns” as you sleep. All those underlying thoughts that may be negative, this will help you retrain your brain overtime as you set a new intention for your life.
  3. As you are falling asleep, it is almost like you are “letting go” of any resistance to your desire/affirmation. Let those negative thoughts just float away as you drift asleep and just allow yourself to focus on your goal. Like I stated in a previous blog, there is such thing as the law of attraction. Your positive thoughts can have a huge impact on your outlook and what you achieve.

**The Pillow Method was an idea posted on **

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