"I look inside myself to find my peace"



Steps for Dealing With the Triggers That Lead You Back to Your Addiction

Get off the Addiction Ride to No Where!
Ok, you've made your choice. You've decided to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. You believe in going to meetings for support, you read all the material written about addictions, you've decided to stay away from friends that use or drink and you're determined, this time, to make it. To not be an addict any longer. You want to wake up feeling good about living without having to pop a pill or take a drink of alcohol. Things are going ok, but could be better. You still have the "CRAVING MONSTER" on your back. You come into situations, whether negative or positive, that use to be triggers that made you use or drink before. Whether it is a happy time, a cook-out event, visiting relatives or friends, you use to have a drink, pop a pill, snort or shoot your drug of choice. But now you have to deal with these events without falling back on your addiction. It sucks! It's hard, but you tell yourself you're not going to give into those cravings or triggers. Sometimes when we are deciding to truly stop using or drinking, we fear knowing that we will have withdrawal symptoms, we think that we can't survive without our drug or drink of choice. We miss and desire that first hit feeling we get when we use or drink. It's very powerful. This is where we face our demon. Whether it's drugs or alcohol, we have to face this craving and deal with it properly. How many times have you had that strong craving for either your drug or drink of choice, even after a long time of being clean or sober?

"I'm not giving into this craving!"
You've been thru detox, you've been weaned off of your drugs or alcohol, you're clean, sober, straight, dry however you call it. So why are you still experiencing these cravings? Sometimes it's so strong that you think you'll fall back into your addiction. Sometimes people do. But you are at the end of your rope of using or drinking. You want the desire for this addiction gone! What can you do? When you crave your drugs or drink, you need to deal with the craving quickly. If you don't you can find yourself right back in the same chaos of using or drinking again. Feeling this craving, desire, hunger for, compulsion doesn't mean you have to give into it. You can start by reducing the things you use to do that would always be a trigger for you to use or drink. You will have to stay away from certain places and friends that influence you to stay in the addictive behavior. A true friend would not try to make you use or drink, when they know you're trying to quit. Cravings happen to everyone when they are changing their addictive ways into non-addictive ways. But they do eventually stop being so over bearing. By getting into things that are positive influences for you is another way to curb cravings and triggers. Start by developing a healthier outlook towards your life. Start by learning to live a more balanced life. Remember this most of all. Just because you have a craving or you come into a trigger moment, doesn't mean you have to use or drink. You don't have to give into it. Change your behavior and you'll change the addiction.

"I'm so glad you spoke with me...I feel better now."
If you have a sponser call them right away for support. They can be very helpful to you. If you go to meetings, get to one. Find comfort from your spouse or good friends, just talking about how you're feeling can help the craving subside. The power of prayer can help. Take a moment to recall all of the problems you have had because you were drunk or too high. Occupy your mind with something fun that doesn't involve using or drinking. Play a game with your children, go to a park and run thru the exercise routines along the path. Go see a movie you're interested in watching. Play tennis, go swimming. Get into playing a sport like baseball or bowling and go play. Paint that area in your home thats in need of a lift. Rearrange your furniture. Take a hot shower or bath. Whatever you choose to do that can help you to take your mind off of that craving. Learn to fall back on those things instead of giving into your craving. You'll find that when you stick with this method it really does work. Because cravings are fleeting. Exercising is a perfect way to get rid of cravings. Because exercising releases chemicals in our brains such as Endorphin, which helps to decrease stress, gives us a euphoric feeling, and helps to decrease appetite(for those trying to lose weight)and improves our immunity system. Serotonin is another neurochemical released in our brains when we exercise. It is a natural mood enhancer and decreases symptoms of depression. BDNF aka brain derived neurotrophic factor also released into the brain when we exercise. It has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of depression and also enhance brain health and memory.

There are many other ways to feel good naturally without having to use a chemical or drink alcohol. Think of all the things you can do sober. Its also a hell of alot healthier for us. Over time people are successful and they find their own strategies for dealing with their cravings and triggers, and you can too. But when we first start out it would be better for us to have support from others that have been there and done that, and are now no longer addicts. Thats the main goal. You want to no longer be an addict. You want to find ways to overcome your cravings and triggers. I guarantee you this, if you truly want to no longer be an addict, by following the above advice, it will work, if you just give it a chance to work for you. After all when you can wake up everyday and start your day without having to use or drink. You face the day with a positive outlook. You feel good physically and emotionally. You can handle the routine of life-pressures that will always be there. You know you are able to handle life on a clean, sober, capable, positive mind. When you know you don't need or want to drink or use any longer, its a thing of the past. Then you'll know you can handle your cravings and triggers. With each day that goes by, you get stronger and those cravings and triggers get weaker. You gain control over yourself. You are truly happy and grateful. Take it one day at a time. You can do it. Enjoy the day.

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Copyright(c)2011.What Can I Do About CRAVINGS or TRIGGERS? Written by Sherrie Vitello. All Rights Reserved.

The Rainbow Tree - An edited version that improves our quality of life.

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did.

You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back. Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Learn to let go of people that cause you pain. Hold fast to those people in our lives that lift us up and help us feel happy. Let go of all the things that you can do nothing about. Mistakes made in the past are there to help us to learn not to do them again and to help someone else who we see is going down that same path. Lift others up that seem to be down, sometimes a word of encouragement can make all the difference. Never be too quick to judge someone you don't know.

For as much negative things that are always around us in our daily lives there is a vast amount of positives. Always think of the possibilities instead of the obstacles that can trip us up. Take on the day as if it was your last. Take nothing or no one for granted. Be grateful for your health, loves, beauty in the world, things that make you happy and rainbows.

...everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives. It is a path we all must take. Enjoy the day.

Written by Author Unknown with excerpts added in by Sherrie Vitello

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Copyright(c)2011.The Rainbow Tree, written by Author Unknown and edited by Sherrie Vitello. All Rights Reserved.


Have You Had A Hug Today? - The Outstanding Benefits of Hugging

Did you know that when you hug someone it not only gives you a good feeling but it also helps to reduce deseases that can effect your overall health i.e. heart desease and blood pressure issues. Research has found that hugging increases the bonding or love hormone, Oxytocin, which decreases the risk of heart desease. Also hugging decreases the hormone, Cortisol, which decreases blood pressure. Although studies show that the decreases in Cortisol(the Fat-Causing-hormone)is mostly found in women. Oxytocin was found to increase in both men and women, especially those in healthy, positive, loving relationships. A research study was conducted by Dr. Karen Grewen, Researcher/Psychologist and results showed that handholding and hugging decreased the effects of cortisol caused by stress.

Interesting Facts from Wikipedia: Oxytocin is best known for its roles in female reproduction. It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor and after stimulation, facilitating birth and breastfeeding. Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety and maternal behaviors. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the "love hormone."

Cortisol is a steroid hormone or glucocorticoid, produced by the adrenal gland. Sometimes referred to as the fat-causing hormone. Studies show that due to the release of cortisol in the body it has been connected to increased abdominal fat. It is released in response to stress and a low level of blood glucocorticoids. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also decreases bone formation. During pregnancy, increased production of cortisol between weeks 30-32 initiates production of fetal lung surfactant to promote maturation of the lungs.

So in other words, the more positive and stable relationships are the better it will benefit our health. Perhaps those peace loving hippies from the seventies that would always say: "Make love not war.." weren't far off the mark of the benefits of holding and hugging one another. As human beings we are social creatures by nature. Studies have shown that people who are married, have friends and are social, tend to be healthier and happier. Which makes me wonder about people that are anti-social or have antisocial personality disorders. There must be some sort of emotional or biological distortion with those people that cause them to be that way. Some people don't even want to be touched, let alone hugged, and they will avoid getting close to anyone physically.

It has been found that those people have other emotional issues that could probably use some form of counseling. This is not a ridiculous claim. The absence of touch can have an effect on our emotions. The positive benefits touch has on us emotionally and physically are key to retaining a heathly sense of well being. I can't help but think that how we feel about getting touched or hugged stems from when we are babies. A child can grow up disturbed or having social problems with others due to them not being nurtured properly, which normally involves loving hugs and positive reinforcement. Where as a child that was raised in a loving family that was hugged and nurtured grew up having self-assurance and they too were a loving human-being. Of course we can't dismiss the fact that no matter how much we love our children some will fall into the wrong crowd of peers and can become lost and change their entire outlook towards others and life.

For them, even though they came from a loving, nurturing childhood, they have chosen to be influenced by others, whether positive or negative, and they will have to learn from their experiences. Even so, usually people will come to their senses once they've realized they have made a mistake, and they will fall back on the key character builders they learned as a child. Hopefully those were positive reinforcements and nurturing times. Positive touch(or stroking)has been shown to facilitate physical and psychological functioning paritcularly in terms of reducing stress, relieving pain, increasing the ability to cope and general overall health. So when you wake up in the morning take a few moments to hug your spouse, your children, your pets. Even when its appropriate, hugging your co-workers is extremely beneficial too. This can significantly improve your quality of life. Enjoy the day!

\Sources: University of North Carolina, Dr. Karen Grewen-Researcher/Psychologist, Dr. Ben Kim-Natural Health Care, Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Copyright(c)2011.Have You Had A Hug Today?-The Outstanding Benefits of Hugging.Written by Sherrie Vitello.All Rights Reserved.