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ANOTHER SOBER ALCOHOLIC: SOME THOUGHTS ON GRATITUDE

ANOTHER SOBER ALCOHOLIC: SOME THOUGHTS ON GRATITUDE.

Many of us Peeps (“We the Peeps”!) from time to time write our gratitude lists in the posts.  It is GooooD for me to read these, and to be reminded how important it is–to know and recognize that God is the constant Giver, and I, the undeserving receiver.  I am SO grateful for SO many things which I take SO for granted.

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  • Leaving an Abusive Relationship

    For abused women, leaving is a complex and confusing process

    Adult couple arguing and walking on street uid 1453650 I have seen and heard of this process in many of my clients (men and women) who were partners of alcoholics, addicts, compulsive gamblers or sex addicts.

    Additionally, I have seen these stages of leaving in recovering people who have codependent partners who will not change their behaviours. In other words, the codependent behaviour is itself abusive.

    —————————————————

    Nothing could be easier than walking out the door, right? According to a new University of Illinois journal article, an abused woman actually goes through a five-step process of leaving that can be complicated at every stage by boundary ambiguity.

    "When a woman is disengaging from a relationship, she is often unclear about her family’s boundaries. Is her partner in or out of her life? A woman’s spouse may be physically in the home but psychologically unavailable. He’s not caring for the kids or being a loving partner.

    "Or she may have physically left him but still be psychologically connected. She misses him, and for the sake of her children, she’d like for her family to be together again," said Jennifer Hardesty.

    "We could see this struggle clearly in the pictures women drew of their families at different points in the process of leaving. It’s a confusing time. The boundaries are ambiguous,"" she said.Group of teenagers watching movie in a dark theater uid 1176402

    "It’s not unlike the experience of having a child leave for college," she noted. "Your child isn’t living at home, but you’re still very connected to them emotionally. Yet, when they come home for visits, they may pay little attention to you while they make the rounds of their friends. It’s always hard to figure out what the new boundaries are as you move into a new stage of life."

    Khaw has applied the model to 25 abused women from varied backgrounds, identifying boundary ambiguity within the five stages of the process of leaving.

    "In the first two stages, women begin to disconnect emotionally from their relationships. You hear them say things like, I started not to care for him anymore," Khaw said

    Stage 3 is often marked by a pileup of abusive episodes and noticeable effects of the violence on their children. "Women make preparations to leave, such as finding a place to stay or secretly saving up money. This stage is important for women as they switch from thinking about leaving to actually doing something about it," she said.

    "Then, at Stage 4, when women take action, we see a lot of what we call back and forthing because when women leave, the emotions often come back. They need clarity. They want to be physically and emotionally connected again," said Hardesty.

    The last stage, maintenance, is achieved when women have been gone for six months or more. "But even then they may have boundary ambiguity if their ex-spouse won’t let them go. With continued contact through court-ordered child visitation, the potential for ongoing abuse remains as well as continued confusion over the abuser’s role in the woman’s life," she said.

    In the past, Khaw and Hardesty have used the model to focus on what individual women are going through. But applying boundary ambiguity to the model gives a more complete picture of the process.

    "Leaving a relationship is much more complex than just deciding to change, and it involves more than a woman’s prioritizing her safety. Other actors are involved. The abuser makes decisions that affect a woman’s movement through the stages. And children can be a powerful influence in motivating a woman to get out of a relationship and in pulling her back in," Hardesty said.

    It’s important for social work professionals and frustrated family and friends to understand the process of leaving, Hardesty said.

    "Often shelter workers focus on safety and tangible needs such as a job and housing. They don’t help women disentangle themselves emotionally. But it’s hard for women to get out of the situation if they haven’t resolved these relationship issues.

    "Discouraged friends and family members have to learn to view leaving as a process and realize that there’s little they can say to speed it along. It’s important for them to reinforce the risks the woman is facing by asking such questions as ‘Has he become more abusive? Does he have a gun?’

    "When talking to an abused friend or family member, one should always emphasize safety, but for your own sanity, you should realize that leaving is a process and she has to work her way through it herself," she said.

    When women do finally achieve both physical and emotional separation, research shows that they experience fewer health problems and less depression, Hardesty said.

    From a press release by; Lyndal Bee Lian Khaw, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign doctoral student, and Jennifer Hardesty are co-authors of the paper, which was published in the Journal of Family Theory & Review.

    Pajama Gamblers

    Digital image of woman s face on laptop screen uid 1278928 Pajama gamblers could lose their shirts: Online gambling can be dangerously comfortable

    People who gamble from the comfort of their home tend to think they’re more in control of their gambling than people who gamble in casinos, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

    Authors June Cotte (University of Western Ontario) and Kathryn A. Latour (University of Nevada-Las Vegas) found surprisingly little previous research on their subject: the habits and motivations of online gamblers, who contribute to a $10 billion a year industry.

    Their study found that, unlike casino gamblers, who seek thrills and social experiences, online gamblers seek the anonymity their home computers provide. "For casino gamblers, gambling provides a perceived social connection with unknown others in a sense of shared fates and temporary community. Online gamblers, on the contrary, perceive a lack of social connections in the online realm."

    The researchers conducted a study of 30 Las Vegas gamblers. Ten were online gamblers and 20 were casino gamblers, and all considered themselves to be regular gamblers. The study involved in-depth interviews using visual images and collages created by the participants.

    In the course of the study, the authors found significant differences in perceptions and attitudes between people who gamble in casinos and people who gamble on their home computers. Because sensations are not as intense in online gambling, online gamblers tend to play for longer amounts of time, and they think they’re more in control of their gambling, the authors found.

    The authors believe that regulating online gambling may remove the excitement of doing something illicit.

    "When gambling consumption moves into the home, gambling behavior becomes a part of everyday living. When not seen as reserved solely as behavior for an outing, gambling is more likely to become an insidiously integrated component of a consumer’s life," the authors conclude.

    Research report; June Cotte and Kathryn A. Latour. "Blackjack in the Kitchen: Understanding Online Versus Casino Gambling" Journal of Consumer Research: February 2009.

    See also;

    Helping Teens Cope with Stress

    Teenaged boy in blue jacket uid 1181059 Stress is a common problem among teens, and as a parent, you have a role in helping the teen in your life cope with it. So what exactly is stress? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stress is the body’s physical and psychological response to anything perceived as overwhelming. This may be viewed as a result of life’s demands—pleasant or unpleasant—and the body’s lack of resources to meet them.

    While stress is a natural part of life, it often creates imbalance in the body, especially a teen’s body, which is already experiencing so many changes. Girls also report feeling "frequently stressed" more than boys. Visit Teens Today: An Inside Look to learn more about how teen girls and boys change from early to middle to late adolescence.

    A certain amount of stress can be helpful as a way of keeping your teen motivated. But too much or too little may render them ineffective and interfere with their relationships at home and socially, as well as their physical well-being. According to a recent survey, 43 percent of 13- to 14-year-olds say they feel stressed every single day; by ages 15 to 17, the number rises to 59 percent. The day-to-day pressures teens experience, such as the pressure to fit in and to be successful, can lead to stress. Jobs and family economics can also prove stressful for teens, as nearly two-thirds of them say they are "somewhat" or "very concerned" about their personal finances.³

    If stress becomes unmanageable and teens are left to their own devices without guidance from a parent or caregiver, they may find their own ways of coping. Sometimes these coping mechanisms involve unhealthy behaviors such as drinking, smoking marijuana, and engaging in other risky behaviors.⁴ Here’s how you can help the teen in your life with healthy, productive coping strategies.

    1. Recognize when your teen is stressed-out. Is your teen getting adequate rest? Are they eating well-balanced meals? Do they ever get to take breaks to restore their energy? If these needs are unmet, your teen will show it through chronic moodiness, irritability, anxiety and/or long bouts of sadness. If you have a teen daughter, be particularly aware if she is obsessing about looks or weight.
    2. Introduce positive coping strategies to your teen. Let’s face it, stress will be a part of your teen’s life. Help them identify ways in which they can relieve their stress in a healthy way. It can be as simple as having your teen talk to you about their problems or pressures. Other ideas include: exercising, getting enough sleep, listening to music, writing in a journal, keeping a healthy diet, seeing a counselor and reminding them of their accomplishments.
    3. Be a good example. Young people often pick up their coping strategies by watching their parents. If a child sees a parent drink an alcoholic beverage or smoke a cigarette every time they are overwhelmed, they are more likely to imitate the same behavior. So, be mindful of your own reactions to stress and set a good example for your children.

    If signs of stress persist, ask for help. Some sources you can consult include: a health care provider, mental health center, social worker, counselor, nurse, therapist or clergy.

    Full story at Managing Teen Stress

    See also;

    10 Signs of Bad Relationships

    Adult couple arguing and walking uid 1453647 Many people have experienced or practiced abuse in alcoholic or addictive relationships. You may be an alcoholic, addict, codependent or child of a bad relationship (ACOA).

    In recovery these behaviors need to be addressed in the program in confidence with a sponsor or counselor.

    This list is not complete, but it may help you begin to find understanding and ways out of the quagmire of pain.

    1.  Isolates you from friends and family

    2.  Is verbally abusive

    3.  Blames others for his problems

    4.  Alcohol and drug use

    5.  Does things to instill fear

    6.  Punishes you for spending time away from him

    7.  Expects you to wait on him like a servant

    8.  Is extremely jealous of all aspects of your life

    9.  Controls you through his emotions

    10.  They get physical

    Abuse may be generated by any amount of factors not the least of which is altering thought processes by alcohol, drugs or relationship dynamics.

    Full story at; Health Central

    More information at; Help Guide

    See also;

    Alcohol Collateral damage

    Adult couple arguing on street Al-anon in Israel

    Studies have found that when actively drinking, an alcoholic affects at least four people around him or her.

    According to members of Alanon (a 12-step support group for relatives and friends of alcoholics), spouses and children of alcoholics often suffer from depression, mood swings, anger, guilt, and resentment of their situation and a feeling of isolation.

    Ariel S., a long-time member of Alanon, said, “My husband was addicted to alcohol and I was addicted to him.” She said that after she went to her first Alanon meeting, she learned what is called the “3 Cs.”

    • I didn’t cause alcoholism,
    • I can’t control it and
    • I can’t cure it,'” she said.

    Learning that alcoholism was a disease helped her understand her husband’s situation, relieved her guilt and helped her improve her life.

    “Only people who have lived with alcoholism understand how terrible and hopeless you feel,” she said. “But going to meetings gave me a new sense of hope.”

    Full story and links at The Jerusalem Post

    See also;

    11 Ways to Detect and Solve Internet Addiction

    typing on keyboard uid 1177655 People in recovery are always in danger of switching addictions from alcohol, drugs, gambling or codependency. This article may help if one follows the tips before a real addiction develops.

    I’m not a psychiatrist: if you fear your problem is so serious you need professional help, go out and see one.

    I’m going to write this article for those who might have trouble leaving the computer behind when the back of your eyes are telling you it’s definitely bedtime, but your spouse hasn’t packed up and left yet as a result of it – not quite a full-blown addiction, just on your way there.

    Detecting the Problem

    The problem with many addictions is that it can be hard to tell when a hobby has become more than just that, and taken a hold on you. It can also be hard to be honest with yourself when facing a list of symptoms, so make the extra effort now – we’re going to go through a few.

    1. You spend more time with the computer than with people.
    2. You can’t abide by your own boundaries.
    3. Lying to others about your computer usage.
    4. Feeling unable to live without the computer/internet.
    5. Misguided spending on your computer.

    Solving the Problem

    Solving the problem on your own, or with the support of your family, requires that you’re doing so before it gets out of hand and to the point where you need to pay excessive prices for therapy. If you’re unsure, trying to solve it on your own and seeing how far you get is a great test – if you can’t manage it, go get help.

    These tips should get you well on your way to a more balanced life.

    Full story and explanation of the tips at; 11 Ways to Detect and Solve Internet Addiction

    See also;