My Top 3 Recovery Tools For Dealing With Stress in Recovery

Here’s my top 3 addiction recovery tools for dealing with stress of any description when in recovery:

1. Deep Breathing from the Stomach

Deep breathing from the stomach helps reduce stress almost instantly. By breathing deeply from the stomach, we automatically get our mind, body and spirit more in synch with each other. This then frees us up to come at any anxiety producing situation from a more balanced perspective.

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The Dark Passenger of Addiction

After working with, and being around, many thousands of active and recovering addicts through the years I have come to the conclusion that ALL addicts – when in escalating active addiction – are driven by what they, and myself, often term a “Dark Passenger”.

To be human means to have both a soul and a shadow self. The yin and the yang. This is what makes us human. This is the human condition. We are both Jekyll and Hyde when the situation calls for it. And this is normal. Each day we are given choices for which one we will be. What our choices are each moment then determines where we end up in life and in what kind of character – dark or light…

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Rock Bottom is Where the Magic Is

butterfly coming out of it's cocoonWhen addicts are at rock bottom with their addiction, they usually despair at their situation. Myself included back in the day. What addicts don’t realise though, at that most vulnerable point in their lives, is that rock bottom is always where the magic begins. Rock bottom is where we transform from a caterpillar of self-will-run-riot to a butterfly of surrender to our soul’s guidance.

When addicts (and the loved ones of addicts) are at rock bottom

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The Agony – and Hope – of Rock Bottom Addiction

The man getting out of a taxi and accidentally exposing himself in a dressing gown in this photo is 49 year old alcohol addict Paul Gascoigne. Oh and he is also a former professional British soccer player who during his long and successful career earned 57 caps for England and was described by the English National Football Museum as “the most naturally gifted English midfielder of his generation.” For a time following his retirement from playing professional soccer, Gascoigne also coached professionally but his escalating alcohol addiction ended his coaching career and he hasn’t worked since 2005.

In this photo of Paul Gascoigne, who is obviously under the influence of alcohol, he had just gotten out of a taxi to go buy alcohol and cigarettes. To leave his home wearing just a dressing 

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Loved Ones: The “Three ‘Cs” You Need to Know About

Most, if not all, loved ones of escalating addicts – who are not in recovery themselves – become, over time, consumed with the idea of rescuing their addict from themselves and their addiction. This is, of course, understandable as to witness someone you love going downhill at breakneck speed and throwing their life and future away can be challenging at best and heartbreaking at worst. Sadly though, the cost to the loved ones of all this attempted rescuing is often the deterioration of their own mental, physical and emotional health.

So, if you are a loved one reading this and your health is going downhill as a result of the chaotic life choices of an addict in your life – and your

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“Fix-aholism” and “Care-aholism”: the Addictions of the Loved Ones of Addicts

Most loved ones of addicts have hidden addictions few people know about or understand. These addictions are “fix-aholism” and “care-aholism”. I define “fixaholism” as when someone becomes driven to distraction by the idea of “fixing” another person who they perceive as having a problem and does all they can to try and fix that person to the degree that they become mentally, physically and emotionally depleted over a period of time when their attempts at fixing doesn’t work and the person perceived as having the problem doesn’t change. And I define “careaholism” as when a loved one makes themselves mentally, physically and emotionally ill over a period of time doing for another what that person should be doing for themselves – usually at the expense of that person’s own needs.

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