For a long time, there was a point in our lives where the things we were saying were not being heard. Nobody was listening, and we didn’t understand. But we saw our mothers and fathers get things done in more evasive ways. They never came out and said directly what they needed or what they wanted done, but things got done. As we got older, we noticed that we had picked up the habit, but that other people didn’t communicate in the same way. They felt no shame asking someone for what they needed, and they didn’t have to stomp around, cursing and making noise in order to get a message across.
For the most part, passive-aggressive tendencies are not appreciated. For instance, someone I once knew moved to college and was put into a suite with several other ladies. Having an early class, and not wanting to wake the other girls, she left a note that asked if the person that left the dishes in the sink could please clean them up. Well intended as the note was, it did not have a happy reception on the other end. The note ended up causing tension, and the writer of it did not understand what was so bad about it. In her mind, she was doing what she was taught – tell someone something indirectly when she felt like she couldn’t directly. She felt since the note wasn’t angry or very urgent, it wouldn’t make sense to wake someone up just to tell them that. The other girls, however, thought that she was too afraid to go directly to the person that left the dishes and ask them. Of course, things were returned to normal afterwards, but it led the note writer to examine her communication skills, and find that she really was not very direct – even though, in this case, it worked out. Continue reading
Hello all! Today I want to talk about the topic of perfection. As codependents and love addicts, we have striven for perfection constantly, only to be disappointed when our expectations were not met. Whether it was someone else we were trying to impress or just ourselves, we were hard on ourselves for not executing it perfectly.
We don’t have to be hard on ourselves. Nobody in this world is perfect! We seem to hear that from people all the time, but the struggle is in understanding and really believing it.
We look at other peoples’ lives, especially with social media, and they seem to have it all – jobs, families, houses, vacations, and happiness. But there is so much of peoples’ lives that we do not see, and each person has their struggles. Truly, nobody is perfect. Continue reading
We all have a right to say no. Most of us are used to hearing this phrase in terms of drug use or consent (“Just say no!” and “No means no!”). Many of us feel as though we are obligated to do things, or that if we commit to something, we cannot change our minds and back out. This is false. We have the ability to make our own decisions, and to say no whenever we feel we need to.
Saying no can be hard! There are people that we want to impress, and a lot of the time, we truly don’t mind doing something for a person here or there. There are some of us however that feel overwhelmed with how much we have agreed to do, and we find ourselves unable to say no. Perhaps we want to seem like we are always willing to help, or we want to give a good impression of ourselves. Maybe, we don’t even realize that our problem is saying yes to everything. The good news is that there is always room to grow. Continue reading
Expectations: we all have them. Maybe we wake up and think it will be a good day. You were on time all morning, and just about to get to work when an obstacle arises, causing you to be late, thus ruining your momentum, perhaps even your day. We have all heard the sayings, “expect the unexpected!” and “it will happen when you least expect it!” Do we ever stop to think about what our expectations are? We certainly do.
In fact, we might do it too much. We expect to have a fun time at our friend’s party, or a mediocre time during family holidays. Sometimes, we are so focused on what we expect to happen that we miss out entirely on the events. Perhaps because we expected not to have fun, and sat in a corner sulking, trying to prove our own point. Maybe we had expectations and then were disappointed with the result because they did not fit our vision. When we put our hopes into expectations, we will usually be disappointed, because expectations are a wish, not a guarantee. The only guarantee that is true with expectations is that you cannot predict what will happen. Continue reading
Hi everyone! Today I want to cover the topic of intimacy, something vital to each of our lives, and a topic that is a big part of love addiction and codependency.
A lot of us have found that in relationships, we have lost ourselves, and a big struggle is trying to rebuild our behavior patterns in relationships so that we can have healthy relationships where that doesn’t happen. We have also found that the people we choose to be intimate with are unavailable to us emotionally, or maybe we have even found someone to be intimate with, but we push them away and sabotage our relationships. Intimacy can be scary! Continue reading
Hi guys. Today I want to talk a little bit about the topic of letting go of our fears of abandonment. I think it’s a really important subject when delving into love addiction and co-dependency, and fear of abandonment is one of the main things that prevents people from getting out of unhealthy relationships.
The idea of being abandoned is scary. Nobody wants to be left alone to fend for themselves. As humans, we are social creatures, and having other people and even animals in our lives is comforting and part of being human. The issue then, is when our fear of being alone – a reasonable fear – becomes so deep that it prevents us from being independent. We can be independent people without having to give up healthy relationships. What we have to strive for there is balance. Continue reading
For many people hearing about drug abuse, addiction is seen an issue faced by those with limited resources and limited ability to make changes in their life. However, celebrity drug addiction, including the recent death of Prince, shines a light on just how pain medication addiction can be found at any level of society.
According to friends of the late singer, Prince had an addiction to opioids that has been with him for at least a decade. He was first seen taking opioids after a hip strain, and he continued to up his dosage to continue to perform as early as a decade ago. Continue reading
In addition recovery programs that are holistic and client-based, resiliency training is one of the key elements of the program. People with addiction have lost their ability to be resilient, and they lack the coping strategies to deal with the challenges and obstacles life throws in their path.
Often this lack of resilience actually comes from unhealed and untreated trauma that may have occurred throughout childhood. This type of trauma can be devastating and lifelong, but it can also be treated even later in life, and the client can develop coping skills and rebuild the resiliency to be able to bounce back when life seems to be going in the wrong direction. Continue reading
When people talk about visualization strategies it is often in the framework of seeing yourself as you want to be when you are at your goal. This is certainly important as one part of the visualization process since if you don’t know where you are then you won’t know the steps you need to get to that destination. However, there are smaller steps to visualizing success that can help you make the right decisions every day of your life. Instead of just focusing in on the huge mega plan, you also need to spend time seeing yourself being successful in the details as well. Continue reading
One of the best experiences I had in writing my book “The Law of Sobriety” was the opportunity to think back on the clients I have worked with throughout the years. By looking at many different cases I was able to clearly see patterns emerging that signaled either success in addiction recovery or a return to the life of an addict.
The biggest issue that I noted and, in my own life have found to be true, is that the more that you focus in on what you want in a positive fashion the more likely you are to reach that goal. The clients that I worked with that used the positive influences, energy and elements in their life were the most successful in recovery and continue to be throughout their life.
Most people, when they think about their future, think about what they don’t want to happen. They don’t want to be addicted, don’t want to hurt friends and family and don’t want to experience that constant downward spiral. Focusing in on what they don’t want brings a negative energy and mindset to your recovery. In keeping with the Law of Attraction you know that the more you dwell on the negative the more this becomes a reality. On the other hand, focusing in on the positive goals and objectives you have allows you to tap into the powerful energy in the world around you.
Key ways to set positive goals for your immediate recovery and life include:
- Take the time to really understand what you want in your life. What your friends and family want for you is important to consider, but you have to make the decision for yourself in order to be authentic and honest.
- Think both short and long term when setting goals. Short term goals are like milestones that will help you achieve your long term goals as a sober, happy person.
- Seek help and work with an addiction recovery therapist, coach or counselor that can assist you in taking full advantage of the power of the positive energy in your life.
Getting help in goal setting and focusing in on the positive goals in your life is a critical part of your recovery. This is a central part of charting your path forward and dealing with issues, challenges and the reality of this important lifestyle change.
Sherry Gaba LCSW, a psychotherapist and life, love and recovery coach, is featured on Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of The Law of Sobriety, which uses the Law of Attraction to help people recover from addiction; she is also a contributor to Conscious Entrepreneurs, and to several e-books: Empowerment Manual: Finding Purpose with Intention, Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction. The e-books Relapse Prevention and Eliminate Limiting Beliefs can be downloaded free of charge at www.sherrygaba.com. Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements.
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