Friday, December 27, 2013

My Blogs One Year Anniversary

Here are some of the first posts I wrote last year Christmas Posts 2013

It’s my blogs one year anniversary can you believe that? It's funny that until last year I didn't even know what a blog was and had never read any. What introduced me to the blogging world was the movie Julie and Julia, but the one that actually got me to look into it was the movie Textuality. I started this blog last Christmas and I'm extremely happy I've kept it up for a year. To commit to a project that long is a first for me and I'm really proud of myself. I even started two other blogs this year that I ended up deleting because I wanted to focus on this one. The great thing is I'm not tired of it yet and I'm as dedicated as ever.

I know in the past I didn't always proofread my posts and didn't always do a spell check on them because I was so eager to post them. But for the last couple post now I've been proof reading them and running a spell check on them, thanks to some advice from an awesome aunt. I also decided that I'd get some kind of editor when I purchase my new laptop in January (mines about 6 years old lol, I think it’s time to get a new one, plus I'm having a bunch of problems with this one). I figured I'd benefit from more than just a basic spell check since I tend to use some words often and I don't always structure properly. So for this upcoming year my resolution for my blog will be better writing quality, hopefully; and of course another year of commitment posting at least once a week, even if it’s only a quick update.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Has Christmas Changed or Have I ?

This Christmas just seems different from the rest. Last year my boyfriend asked me why I expected gifts from my parents and my answer was they have always done it and well this year I really wanted an e-reader. The truth is I needed the gifts to feel special and I felt like I deserved it. It was tradition I didn't want to let go of. Every year I looked at Christmas as an opportunity to get something, like most kids do. At 23 I was still feeling this way which seemed a bit old to my boyfriend, who said he hasn't expected anything from his parents in a long time. I just didn't see how he could compare the two since he never see's his family and I'm really close to mine, which is something I value greatly. Now one year later at 24 I didn't even think about what I wanted so when my parents asked I was at a loss. This felt odd to me because I'd always had a huge list ready for them every year, well not really for my dad anymore since I learnt years ago that something always happens around the holidays where money goes missing and he can't afford much. I didn't know what to ask for and after thinking about it real hard I mumbled something about if their dog had puppies I'd take one, pajamas, a spice rack, a computer desk or a crock pot. Whatever they could afford was fine and it could be second hand stuff. All I was really thinking about was spending time with them.

It's weird how my way of thinking changed without me even realizing it. Now I don't need presents from them to feel loved and I feel like whatever I need I can buy myself. Christmas and holidays should be about family but sadly our society puts a lot of importance on gifts to get us to spend tons and tons of money and in result kids expect it and parents feel the need to buy the best. I expected it for years, I'm not any different from anyone else, but I'm glad this year I've experienced this deep spiritual growth that’s made me realize what's really important. I'm just really happy to be at my mom's this holiday and it’s a big relief to not have to worry about school. I hadn't came to my mom’s since this summer which is probably the longest time I've went without seeing her and I missed her so freaking much. I even really missed my little brothers which don’t happen because I never go this long without seeing them. I just feel so blessed to have them in my life and to be able to spend time with them. To make things even better the oldest brother who's lives literally 3 days drive away is also at my mom’s for the holidays and my boyfriend who didn't get to come last years is coming down on Tuesday to be with my family for the holidays. Not to spoil the moment but I'm still a little worried he won't show up so I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed and will let you know what happens.


My Christmas Tree @ home

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Is It Rape ??

This has to be one of the hardest things I've ever written about. I don't even talk about this to the people closest to me but I’m letting it be known so that others girls might not feel as alone. Too many women that are raped under the age of 18 feel that's it’s their fault so they never report it. According to Wikipedia, a research that was done in 65 countries shows police reporting more then 250 000 cases of rape or attempted rape annually. Astounding number isn't it?  What’s even more astounding is most rapes aren't even reported. Doubt in ourselves is so damaging especially when it comes to rape. I should know I still doubt myself to this very day, believing I should of done more to stop it, or I asked for it, or I put myself in that situation so it’s my fault. Sadly we were raised to believe this because that's exactly what society wants us to believe. But even knowing all this a part of me still holds on to that doubt, although less than before.

At 14 years old I went to a New Years Eve party with my best friend and her much older boyfriend who drove us to the party at his best friend’s house out of town. It wasn't really a party though, only 5 people including me, my best friend, her boyfriend, his best friend and his best friends’ girlfriend. Now did you get that, it’s kind of confusing. Anyways we were meant to spend the night since her boyfriend would be drinking. And yes he was of age. Needless to say my bestie and I drank; it was New Years Eve after all. Being 14 I hadn't drank that often, I hadn't even done drugs yet, well besides weed. They had even made jello shooters for us so the booze, we weren't use to, would go down easier. When I eventually started getting really drunk they showed me to the room I'd be staying in for the night to let me sleep it off and let me tell you, I passed out pretty fast. I was knocked out until in the middle of the night when everyone was sleeping someone sneaked into the room. His best friend, the guy who's house we were at, had left his girlfriends side to come sneak into my room. Scared shitless and half asleep from the booze I never said a word while he got on top of me and did his thing. When he was finally done he left to go back to his girlfriend who was fast asleep in another room. I think that in his head he really thought I wanted him because he kept saying something like "is it good". I don't know what the hell he was thinking to be honest. He was more than 15 years older than me, and I was only 14 so whatever he was thinking is irrelevant. I was just so scared that no one would believe me that I never said anything to anyone for years and years.

I'm not sure how much this event has changed me and my life but I know it had its effects on me. I thought for years that all guys just wanted sex and if I wanted them to like me I had to sleep with them. After that I started acting out more, doing harder drugs and sleeping around. I don't know if this event caused those things to happen or if it pushed me into that direction. Despite this happening I enjoy sex today. I guess in some way I've healed and I've moved on. I'm not having sex for them anymore I have sex for me now. I don't sleep around either; I keep that for my people I get a serious connection with.

Even though I've healed, for the most part anyways, I've never thought of reporting it. It just isn't the right decision for me and it wasn’t required for my healing process. I've moved on and I don't want people in my hometown to know what happened, or worst what if they don't believe me and shame me. This makes me glad to this day that I didn't report it because of how much worst things could have been if I had. This is the world we live in and something needs to change. No matter what I still have this doubt deep down that I've never been able to get rid of, probably because of how society chooses to look at rape. I’ve heard so many girls blaming other girls for rape or not believing them which is really sad because we need to support each other and stop denying that this could happen to someone we know. I'm hoping that by sharing this with you that girls who feel alone because of how our society is will find some comfort knowing they are not alone. Dealing with an assault and not reporting it can make you feel very alone but know that you are not alone. And even if you decide not to report it to the police, you should tell someone you trust completely, it really does help.

Sincerely Charmed

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Am I a Sex Addict ???

I was talking with a nice lady on twitter when she asked me if my addiction was love and sex like her. My last post about starting a blog on sexuality and spirituality might have gotten her confused. I answered I didn't believe I was because sex doesn't interfere with any aspect of my life in a negative way, and I asked her what she considered to be an addiction to sex. 

She said:
Sex addiction is not much different than an alcohol addiction. Two people can drink the same amount but only one feels the "need". I would use sex to medicate myself from feeling sad, lonely, angry, or scared. Sex itself is wonderful but how I used it was not. You can also go onto sex/love addict websites like SLAA to get information about ways that addicts like me, act out.

So she got me wondering what the differences between need and a deep want are. I see myself as someone who really enjoys kink and I want it often, but I never stray from a relationship because of this deep want or is it need. Is sex something most humans need or is it just a deep want. I’ll let you decide that for yourselves. As for me, I did some research and got a brief idea of what a NEED or addiction to sex would be considered.

Spending considerable time in activities related to sex
Neglecting obligations such as work, school or family in pursuit of sex.
Engaging in excessive sexual practices despite a desire to stop.
Continually engaging in the sexual behavior despite negative consequences,
Escalating scope or frequency of sexual activity to achieve the desired effect
Being preoccupied with sex cravings and unsuccessfully attempting to limit sexual activity.
Feeling irritable when unable to engage in the desired behavior.

I also found a site where you can take a test/survey to see if you’re a sex addict or have those tendencies. @ Sex Addiction Survey But no survey will be 100% accurate and it efficiency depends on the honesty of your answers. As for me a the survey said my answers didn't  fit the criteria needed to be a sex addicted but that I was compulsive when it came to sex and that I spent too much time thinking about it. And I'm fine with that. If something doesn't affect your life and the people in it negatively, and you’re happy, then why worry. 

Embrace your sexuality and all your fantasies, trust me if you thought of it someone else has also, you’re not alone. Research, research, research and mostly just be happy. For those of you who think you might have an issue with sex or your survey score pointed to you having an addiction I suggest you check out this site Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and talk to a professional. Take care of yourself.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Detachment Guilt Sucks

Sometimes you just got to do what’s right for you. Ya not as easy as it sounds. I've been feeling guilty as hell ever since I avoided my best friend’s calls. I never answer unknown numbers and even then I rather text then talk on the phone.  Now the one time I do pick up it ends up being my best friend who I hadn't talked to in forever. I had kind of detached myself from her ever since I realized how bad the addiction was. It’s hard for me to see her like this, knowing all too well the lifestyle. That the lying and manipulating goes hand in hand with addiction. I believe myself to be strong in my recovery but I don't want to tempt fate. We have a lot of good memories partying together and that scares me. The good memories scare me. A lot of my recovery was supported by remembering the bad memories.

When I first answered I was still smiling but that quickly faded as I remembered her situation and her new picture on Facebook. She didn't look well to say the least. I knew right then before she said anything that she definitely wanted something and my stomach became all knotted. I'm the type of person who has a really hard time saying no, so I tend to avoid the situation all together. This means I tend to miss out on a lot. Yes it’s definitely something I'm working on. She first asked me if she could come spend the night which probably meant she had no where to stay, although she never actually said that. I wasn't even aware that her situation was that bad. I told her I had school the next day and that my boyfriend worked. But she insisted she was tired and she just wanted to sleep. So out of a moment of weakness I said I’d ask my boyfriend once he got back from the store and she said she would call back. 

In the middle of all this she slipped in a little fact she forgot to mention at the beginning about her boyfriend coming with her. A man I've never met. Needless to say I didn't answer when she called back and I felt terrible about it. But I was in the middle of studying for my finals and I wasn't leaving her and a strange man in my home alone. I doubted very much that they would wake up and leave the following morning when my boyfriend and I left for work and school. I know better than to leave a full blown addict unsupervised in my home. I was an addict I know all too well how terribly wrong this stay over could of went. And probably because I was an addict I was even more fearful and cautious about the whole thing. I know all too well what we are capable of and just how terrible things could have been. But this still doesn't stop the guilt and that what ifs.


Friday, November 22, 2013

9 Things You Might Not Know About Me

1. I wanted to be a veterinarian growing up
2. I kissed a girl before I kissed a boy
3. I'm bisexual and I've known it since I was 12
4. I moved out on my own at 15
5. My Moms my Best Friend
6. I have 4 of half brothers and sisters
7. I started to love reading very young
8. I've been dying my hair since I was like 11
9. Got my tongue pierced at 13

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Im Coming Out Of Hiding, Yes Im Back :)

First of all I’d like to say sorry, sorry, sorry for not posting before now. Although I doubt anyone noticed I haven`t been posting. My 3rd year in Psychology has kept me really busy, much busier then all the other years. It feels like it gets harder every year. Plus I've been working on weekends while also attending class during the week, for the first time since attending college I'm doing both. Although I don't mind being busy since I like what I'm doing, I rarely get time for myself anymore. And whatever time I do get is usually spent taking care of my fishes. I have 4-5 tanks now, I kind of lost count. But I'm still glad I got fishes instead of a dog. I love my fishes I'm a Pisces after all. One of my girls got pregnant on Sunday so I had to get another tank for her and her soon to be babies. First time I've had a cichlid get pregnant; pretty cool how they hold the eggs in their mouth. I also have a Freshwater Angelfish tank and a German Ram tank, plus tank for the babies. Here's a quick picture of my African cichlid tank.

It’s funny how life turns out sometimes. I never stop learning and growing. My growth sometimes surprises me but I still find myself wishing other aspects of myself would grow faster. I have always had a hard time with relationships and recently I've been having a hard time knowing if I'm asking for too much, or if I'm giving in too much. Knowing when to give and when to take is not my strong suit. But somewhere deep down I wonder if it’s not the other person that might be partly responsible. I feel like I've tried everything and still I'm at a loss of how to make this all work. After my last post I had broken up with my ex and was kind of seeing someone else but my ex kept trying to get me back and pretty much scared the other guy so I just told that guy to move on if he didn't think I was worth a little trouble. I'm almost positive he would have stuck around to see how we would have worked out or until he couldn't handle my ex anymore but things were just not the same between us after my ex freaked out on him. I just didn't want to give anymore of my heart to him if there was a chance of him leaving because of something my ex did. Something I had no control over. So I finally gave in with my ex, his promises and changes really seemed sincere at the time. Or maybe I just didn't want to be alone and he was something familiar.

Anyways we eventually moved in together. I was very doubtful and hesitant at first but I went for it. I still sometimes wonder what made me go back. I should of known all his promises were too good to be true and that he would go back to his old ways soon enough. Don't get me wrong things aren't terrible but I feel like I deserve more. Now isn't that selfish of me. I want him to listen to me, not say something if he's not going to do it, and to spend some time with me. I start building up some resentment when I feel myself giving in too much and sacrificing what I want for what he wants. And that makes me feel like he should at the very least show me some appreciation and attention since I give him what he wants all the time. Specially because if I don't he will often pick a fit, give me the silent treatment or guilt me into giving him what he wants. I don't know but that sounds like major manipulation but even though I kind of know that I'm still not ready to leave. I want to make it work. If I get enough time I’d like to blog about it and maybe even get your input. If anyone even reads these post, lol. Ok well got to go for now busy, busy.

:) Charmed

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cheers To New Beginnings

Wow! Work has kept me really busy since coming back from camping. I got the job at subway and I actually enjoy working there. I'm taking on more hours until school starts then I’ll be taking only a shift or two a week. I didn't expect to take on this many hours this month. So much for part time, right.... meh it’s all good I need the money anyways. I don't get much time to myself but having a job I like and working with people I like has given me the support and strength I needed to detach from the destructive relationship I've been in. This gave me the chance to let someone new in my life that makes me happy but I’ll talk more about that in another post.

I booked this weekend off for my cousins’ baby shower and I slept at camp last night. I spent some time with my little brother (half on my mom’s side) peddle boating. We saw a family of ducks and caught a frog. We made a nice fire and made marshmallows. I'm really happy I got to spend quality time with my little brother. We even watched Jack the giant slayer before bed. The moon stars and lake were so beautiful last night. I had fun even if it was just for a night. We are heading back to my mom’s this afternoon and the baby shower is tomorrow.

I also promised my dad that I’d come over and see my little sister (half on my dad’s side) tomorrow when she gets there because she’s been asking to see me for more than a couple years and she’s only 8. We never get to see each other because she lives so far away and I do miss her. I often wonder how much she has changed in these many, many years. But I'm a little worried about how that's going to work out since I have to be at the baby shower and my ride back home is leaving right after baby shower and I don't want to leave any later than that anyways because I want to hang out with the new guy in my life.

I hope it all works out and I get to spend time with everyone since I don't get many weekends off and I want to make the most of it. I'll also be writing a post shortly about what’s going on in my love life. I know I should write more and even get back to drawing. I don't even read as much since I started my new job at Subway. The main thing right now is that I'm truly happy and I feel blessed to have this new person in my life.

Take care Everyone and Have a great Weekend.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Some Roommates Should Come with a Warning Label

Warning Label:

I don't do dishes.
I don't take out the garbage
I steal your toilet paper & soap
I dont hang up towels
I steal all the spoons.
I don't sweep, mop or any cleaning actually

My landlord rents out the 3 rooms in her basement apartment and the other two rooms were empty since the beginning of the summer until she found a guy who wanted one of the rooms. He moved in at the beginning of July and hasn't cleaned anything since he moved in or hasn't taken any of the garbage out. I've had to constantly clean after him, on top of having him leave cigarette butts in the sink with the dishes he doesn't clean after himself in the bathroom. Finding stains and shaved hairs in the toilet or the tub filled up with dirty water is not what I signed up for. If that wasn't annoying enough he uses my supplies, toilet paper etc. Not to mention I'm not working at the moment and he's suppose to be so he should pay for his own supplies. I'm broke enough as it is. I've told him twice to simply put the toilet seat down and he can't even do that. And last night I got all the garbage ready hoping he would take them out but noooo, they were still there in the kitchen this morning so now we have to wait till next week for garbage day. I'm just so annoyed I'm really thinking about moving out but I can't even look at other places right now because the internet that's included in my rent isn't working and the landlords gone so she can't fix it. I don't want to keep putting up with this. I have enough to deal with without having to clean up after a grown man. That's all I can say for now since I'm using my phone's internet and its costing me too much.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Finally Going Camping

Well I'm leaving tonight at midnight (since I missed the 1 o'clock bus) on the bus to go to my mom’s so we can leave to go camping tomorrow. Thankfully it’s only an hour away, and just over an hour on the bus. I'm super excited. I put a joke up on Facebook about me hitch hiking there and a friend told me there was a tornado warning so to be careful. My response was that I might get there faster if the tornado picked me up ... hehe... But seriously I hope we have good weather while we are camping. I've been looking forward to this for a long time. I really want to go swimming and do some tanning (I'm so white its ridiculous). I haven't gone swimming in who knows how long, but it’s been years. I've been buying 1 swim suit every summer for 3 years thinking i'll be swimming and tanning that summer and now I have 3 swim suits with the tags still on them so I'm bringing them all and making good use of them. I even downloaded some Shakespeare plays on my e-reader to read in the sun while I'm getting my tan on.

I'm finally going to get out of the house and do some socializing. I've been trying to do that more of that lately. I even joined fetlife a couple weeks ago to meet new people and find events in my area. Although I haven't gone to one yet I'm hoping I get too soon. I almost made it to one this month but when I got down town the person I was going with was late and we missed our bus to go to the beach event. So going camping will do me some good and I even got some interviews done which I was worried about getting done before leaving. The people from the 2 interviews I did this week said they would call me next Tuesday or Wednesday to let me know which is perfect since that's about the time I’ll be coming back from camping. And if they don't call I'll probably end up staying longer, but not too long since I need to keep looking for another job. Although I think my chances are pretty good since I got along well with the people who were doing the interview. **Crossing my fingers and praying I get the job** I really need it.

I'm mostly done packing for the camping trip but I'm also bringing a bag of laundry that I’ll need to do when I get to my mom’s at 1:30 am tonight so it’s done for when we leave tomorrow. I need a few things washed for the camping trip and I figured I'd bring the rest of my laundry which has been piling up ever since I heard a rumor that are local wash and dry has been spreading bed bugs. Not to mention that I have such an extreme and irrational fear of bugs that the first couple nights after I heard this I barely slept. I would lay there for several minutes and then turn the lights on and do another complete search of my comforter, sheet, mattress and box-spring. I kept imagining that those things were crawling on me to the point where I thought I felt them. I also did a bunch of research on them and I looked at pictures of them and of how the bites look like. I would even do a full body search every morning to make sure I had no bites anywhere. PARANOID, much!! Well it seems I'm in the clear, no bed bugs for me but I'm definitely not going to that laundry matte ever again. I don't want to go through that ever again, especially when I've just calmed down.

I'm not sure when my next post is going to be since I'll be gone for about a week but I’ll be back I promise :) Now enjoy your weekend everyone and have fun in the sun, I know I will. Also wish me luck or pray I get a call saying I have the job. I really need the money. Thanks.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sharing Past Addictions With New People

Relationships and making new friends usually requires us to share things about ourselves, and I believe that sharing our past is often the fastest way to get closer to someone. Although sharing our past isn't always necessary and some people manage without sharing, its still an important part of a relationship, specially if our past plays an important part in our present. I know from experience that it isn't always easy to share a past that was difficult but its probably the more reason to share it with the people you want to be close to.

Being that I'm a recovering addict, its not hard to imagine that I've dealt with this issue before and I'm assuming more recovering addicts out there have dealt with this too. Its funny how I don't have a problem talking about it on my blog or going on the radio to go talk about it (I went on CBC radio this week) but that's mostly because I'm somewhat anonymous. People don't know who I am and I don't know who they are. I'm guessing it all has to do with rejection and how being anonymous lessens that possibility. Its different when we fear rejection from someone we've actually started to care about.

Since I've already realized that its important to share my past addictions if I want to be closer with the person I've moved on to different types of questions. For example; Should I tell them right away or is it OK to wait? How long can I wait after meeting someone before mentioning my past ? Its still difficult to start the conversation and find the appropriate time but now I'm also trying to figure out if I have to tell them right away. I imagine I don't have to say anything right away but how much time do I have.

I guess it really depends on the depth of the relationship, how close we are and how close I want us to be. For me I usually tell a person once I trust them but what I'm worried about is waiting so long that the person asks why I didn't tell them sooner. What it really comes down to is being able to trust and being able to let people get close to us. Trusting the person will understand and not reject us because of our past. For me, this probably stems from the belief that I should be rejected for what I did. I don't know if this applies to anyone else but if it does accepting ourselves would be the first step in making it easier to talk about our past.

What I'm trying to say is we should accept ourselves and believe the people in our lives will do the same. Trust in ourselves and our judgement of people. People are more reasonable then we give them credit for and if they don't accept us and our past then we should be glad we found out who our true friends are. Remembering the people in our lives that already know our story and have accepted us can bring us strength when telling a new friend. Once we tell one person and realize that they still accept us will make telling the next person a little easier.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Job Hunting

Since losing my job on June 29th I've been actively looking for a job for the past 2 weeks. The first week I mostly sent resumes online and got a couple interviews that way but with out any luck. So this week I decided to go print out some resumes and drop them off around where I live since I don't have a car and the bus cost money. I haven't had any call backs yet, but I'm hoping I get some as soon as possible this week so I can get the interviews done before I leave to go camping on Thursday, since Ill be gone until Wednesday. Although getting a job is really important to me right now, I just cant miss this camping trip. I've been looking forward to doing the annual camping trip with my mom again ever since I left for college 3 years ago. And this camping trip has been planned for over two months now. Hopefully my cell still works where I'm going camping in case I get a call for a job.

I also made an appointment for Tuesday with someone to help me find a job but I realized afterwards that he is probably not going to want to do anything until I get back from camping. I believe he is going to want to wait because that's exactly what he did when I went and seen him around exam time in April. And then what happened was we kept missing each others calls and leaving each other messages until I just ended finding a job with out him. Hopefully this time he is more helpful and helps me during our appointment instead of rescheduling for when I get back. Although I do understand him maybe wanting to wait, he could still send me to places on Wednesday with my resume. But then again I wont be able to interview until I get back so it might be pointless. As long as our appointment is productive Ill be happy. Maybe he can get a sense of what kind of job I'm looking for and I'm qualified for so that while I'm gone he can find some good places for me to apply at when I get back.

I'm just hoping this week isn't a waste of time on getting closer to finding a job specially since I could be at my moms taking care of my brother and spending time with him while my moms out of town helping my aunt move. I would rather be helping my mom then worrying about finding a job. But after thinking about it I realized that getting a job as soon as possible would mean my mom wouldn't have to keep helping me with money and worrying about me as much. I just want to do the right thing, it was such a difficult decision. Id like to start working as soon as I get back since I really need the money and theirs only going to be 1 month left before I go back to school and cut down my hours to only 1 shift or 2 a week. At this point Id take pretty much any job I can find.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Journal Entries

I started writing more in this daily journal style last week and I enjoyed writing about my current situation because it helped me clear my mind and give me some kind of peace. Some of my posts are more general, or their about my past, like my posts about addiction, recovery, self help methods and personal growth motivation. Although I've already written about stuff in my past I haven't written many posts about my current situation and I want to write these types of daily journal entries at least once a week so I can keep track of my mental and emotional growth. I want to be able to look back one day and see the progress and change I've made in my life.

I'm hoping that my journal entries still help and inspire my readers, and make them feel a little less alone for the moment like some of my other post have in the past (or so I've been told). But just in case I'm going to try to mix things up and not only do journal entry posts. Now if you have any suggestions on things I can write about or even a general question I can answer in a post that would really help since I've been having a difficult time finding new things to write about. I've already written about, The fear of Change, Finding Happiness, Letting Go, Alternative Recovery Programs, etc. so I'm looking for new ideas.

I believe a thanks are in order to Annette @
The idea of doing more daily journal style writings is thanks to Annette, a fellow blogger whose writing style I really enjoy. Her posts talk about her day to day which really drew me in and because I've enjoyed reading about her day I felt more comfortable doing this myself knowing my readers might enjoy it also.


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Taking on Responsibilities

Since moving away to go to school, I've been adjusting to the fact that I needed to take on more responsibilities. I guess I've also been fighting that fact, just barely floating by. Always eating take out and getting by with the bare minimum cleaning. Getting paper plates, plastic utensils etc. I always felt tired and like I didn't have the time. I would miss appointments or often be late (except for work). I felt exactly how my life was unorganized and barely making it work.

Before I moved I had my ex who would do the cooking and cleaning specially when I was working and going to school since I just didn't have the time or energy. I also had my mom to bring me to my appointments, to get my medication and to any kind of shopping I needed to do. I guess that's why I never really got accustomed to doing those things for myself and made it that much harder when I moved to a new town all by myself only a couple years after getting sober.

At first things were extremely hard specially since I was dealing with a major break up from a 6 year relationship which is most of my teenage years. I was truly alone for the first time. Taking anymore responsibility at that point just seemed impossible so I did the bare minimum to get by. I guess you could say I could barely take care of myself. I went to school and fed myself but that was about it.

Then something changed this past year, starting with last summer. I'm not exactly sure what it is but since working full time for the first time in my life (44 hours a week graveyard) everything else seemed a bit easier in comparison. At first I still ate take out and tried to not get anything dirty, that way I wouldn't have to clean as much. I just didn't seem to have time for those things although I was getting more energy so I got better with getting to my appointments in time and getting school essays done in time.

And that's how the changed started.

Now these past few months something else has changed. I started cooking most of my meals, doing groceries, cleaning regularly, doing laundry dished, scrubbing the bathroom, going out for walks, etc. I don't know why its possible now when it wasn't before but I feel like this past year has changed a lot in me. I'm more ready to face whatever life brings my way. I'm more confident that I can make it on my own when before I was barely holding on, waiting for someone to rescue me.

Life's hard but the more I do for myself the more I realize I can make it. I'm finally becoming the independent woman I always wanted to be. I still have a long way to go but for the first time since getting clean I feel like I can actually do this whole normal life thing on my own. This is a big step towards being emotionally ready to be single or stay in a relationship because I want to not because I'm scared of being alone. If this year changed me this much I wonder how much more things will be different next year.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Another Day, Another Problem

A case of bad luck has got me pretty bummed out. Every summer since I left for college I usually go on social assistance since my school loans are only for the school year. But the last two summers I've gotten jobs with good hours so I never stayed on it very long. This summer was different the job I got only gave me 11 hours a week so I had to stay on social assistance for help while I looked for another job.

This Friday I found out my social assistance worker didn't give me the amount of money I was suppose to get which means I'm getting less money working then just being on social assistance which is really discouraging. Just finding out I cant pay my phone bill or my rent or even food has me pretty stressed out. Especially since my usually understanding landlady told me a couple of days ago that her farther was sick so she really needed the rent on the first.

Oh but that's not all, yesterday morning my job calls me very early when they know I worked until midnight the night before and tell me, and I quote: We wont be needing your services anymore. So now I'm fired for no apparent reason but at lease I had been warned by past workers and current workers that they fire people all the time for no reason before people reach the 3 month mark. Although that did nothing to make me feel better or make it any easier. And as shallow as this might sound my prides a little hurt cause I know I'm a good worker.

On a better note and some twisted part of fate at lease I had already been looking for another job. I needed more then 11 hours so I had been handing out resume these past two weeks. I'm thinking that maybe some part of me took the warning seriously that they fired people a lot and was getting ready for it. So thankfully I had already 2 interviews planned for this Tuesday (since its a long weekend and Monday is Canada Day) and hopefully I get hired but even if I do, I'm still not going to get a pay check for 2 to 3 weeks after the day I start working which might not be right away. Its so hard to stay positive but I'm trying.

Remembering a little good news I got this week helps change my mind. I got my first check sent in the mail from eBay for the ads I have on my blog. Its my first check since starting my blog in December 2012 and its only 30 cents, since its a pay per click thing, but I plan on framing it and putting it on my wall. I want it to be a reminder to keep doing what I love, and that maybe one day my writing might pay off and that hopefully Ill be a success in my field of psychology. I really need something good like that to happen I don't want to keep living like this and even though I know my mom would help me with whatever she could, she also doesn't have much money and I want to be the one helping her for a change. I don't like taking money from her because I know she needs it. I want to be an adult who can financially support herself and its embarrassing to still need my mom to help me financially. I want to take care of her and I swear one day I will.

Another thing that made me happy and changed my mind off the fact that I'm broke and fired was that I finally got my first fire of the summer last night. Its was so beautiful and I think I appreciated it all the more because I had been waiting 2 months for a fire. It took so long since these last 3~4 weeks it had either been raining or I've been working and before that we needed to get fire wood which took my boyfriend about 3 weeks to do. After we burnt the little amount of wood we had the fire had been burning almost an hour and I had made a few roasted marshmallows by then. We also talked about going to watch the fireworks for Canada Day on Monday which I'm really looking forward to. Long weekends are great so I'm going to try and concentrate on that instead of my problems and hope every thing works itself out this week.

Have a Great Weekend Everyone!


Friday, June 28, 2013

Don't Worry I Didn't Relapse

Oh ya, that's me pulling a disappearing act for almost a full month. Sorry about that. I could say summer has kept me busy but in all honesty I just couldn't get inspired. I guess I got my first taste of writers block. 

You know, I just got to that point where I felt like I'd just be repeating myself if I tried to write. So I sat back and thought about my content. So far I've written about events in my past and about certain issues that were important in my life such as fear of change or finding happiness but the one thing I didn't write about very often was about the here and now which is kind of funny since that's what I first intended to do when I started my blog. So it made me want to start writing about my days that way I can avoid well somewhat repeating myself.

Here it is. 
Today, I went to town to get my methadone for the week and got some other stuff at the pharmacy... lol... woman stuff, that's all I'm saying. While I was walking back home in the occasional rain I noticed it was around the time my boyfriend (for about 2 and a half year) got off work so I sent him a text asking him where he was so we could meet up for a couple of minutes since I know he usually gets dropped off down town.

On my way to meet him I past the grocery and thought well a bacon tomato sandwich would be good tonight  so naturally I changed course and  headed in to the store, getting me some bacon and two hot house tomatoes (it was all very delicious by the way). My boy friend met up with me and on our way out of the grocery store I say I'm so hungry I want something right now to get some energy to walk home since I hadn't eaten yet today. And voila a stop at the hot dog stand and some fresh squeezed lemonade with a squirt of cherry later and we're on our way home.

Can you see how easily I can be diverted sometimes, my mind jumps from on thing to another. Nothings ever really planned, it just happens, which is exactly how I like it. Well besides the important stuff like money and work/school.

Now before we parted ways to each go home we made some half plans about maybe him coming over after he showered. But he ended up not coming since he was tired and his feet hurt which was kind of disappointing because I'm always the one going over to his place, like every weekend which is getting very unpractical.

We have already lived together at the very beginning of our relationship but that didn't work out so well for us. So as unpractical as it is we have to make it work some how if we want to see each other. Which is why I told him that for the next little bit he will have to come to my place if he wanted to see me. That way I can get the break from the back and forth between his place and mine. Time I'll have to think about what to do next.

"If we don't see each other moving in together which would be the next logical step, specially since I'd like to get married one day and have a kid, what are we suppose to do next." That's the exact thought that's been in my head tonight and well, to be honest, on a lot of nights recently. I know its hasn't even been 3 years yet but when I mention future plans all he says is I don't think about stuff like that or the future. I should take this as a bad sign, right?

We already did the living together, getting pregnant and being told he wanted no part of it which was one of the big reasons I got an abortion which still hurts me to this day (I've spent many, many nights tossing and turning over not keeping it and simply mentioning it took a lot of courage). But I made the decision and now I'm accepting it with the firm determination that it will never happen again.

But it still comes down to "So what happens next?"

I care for him deeply but some part of me knows its probably not meant to be but that does nothing to help me decide and commit to what comes next.

And that's how I'm spent my day.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Drug Free I Finally Notice the Seasons Changing

I believe this is the first spring that I've actually taken the time to notice every little change that this seasons brings. Its even more noticeable in the north where we had such a severe winter. Everyday I would look at the tree in my yard and wait for the leaves to appear little by little. I remember leaving for a weekend and  when I came back it seemed like the tree had grown double if not triple the leaves. I was in awe of these simple leaves growing anew so beautifully every spring. I would also so watch the grass and the plants grow near my house and it seemed like almost overnight they got really tall despite my watchful eye, their growth surprised me.

Every spring I get this immense joy that anything can happen and that great adventures are in my near future. This spring the sensation of excitement and hope are even more prominent then I can remember. I believe having not seen the sun or any of the summer last year has given me a new found appreciation for the wonderful thing that is mother nature. Last summer I worked night shifts from 9:30 pm to 5:30 am which means I slept during daylight for the whole summer. I haven't done any camping or anything adventurous in at lease 4 summers which has given me this extreme determination to make the most of this summer. I definitely do not want to spend my whole summer inside again. 

I just recently got a part time job for the summer because I wanted all the extra time to make the most of my summer despite not having a lot of money I decide to make my priorities different this summer. I've already made plans to enjoy my first fire this weekend, I'm even getting marshmallows. Were going to make a BBQ and have a fire later in the evening. I've also made plans and booked time off the go camping at the end of July with my Mom. I want to hear the waves on the beach and looked at the stars in the sky and I sincerely hope I get to go camping more than once or at lease once more with my boyfriend this summer. My best friend and I also talked about going for a road trip to an amusement park 4-5 hours away. I know that almost every summer I say I want to do all these things but end up not doing it. No matter this summer will be different and I'm already taking action to make sure of that.

The job I got had me a little worried at first but all seems to be going well for now except for not even getting 10 hours this week. Like I know I wanted part time but, wow, 10 hours is just ridiculous. I wanted between 16 and 20 hours but at lease 15 hours. They seemed pretty up tight and strict at first and I kept hearing the same thing from people who had worked at this corner store. They tend to fire people a lot and they say that they won't ever give the person a reason. They also have a lot of rules about personal appearances that I don't really tend to agree with. For example, no visible piercing and no visible tattoos so I have to take mine out and cover my tattoo before every shift. Also my hair has to stay a natural color and I can’t have two different colors in my hair. But whatever I can deal with all that, a job is a job and money is money.

The one thing that’s really bothering me is that they don’t give breaks unless you work more then 5 hours and funny things is they hardly ever put you down on the schedule for more then 5 hours at a time. Oh but hear this, we always have to be there 15 minutes early and we almost always leave 10-15 minutes late which means technically were working more then 5 hours. Oh and because I'm new I have to do all the shitty work, which I think is just crazy at a corner store. Usually tasks are separated equally among the workers, its like that every where else I've worked in the sales industry. I'd understand if it was a corporate office or something of the like but a corner store, its just weird and kinda unfair in my opinion, and probably why they have such a hard time keeping employees. But that could also have to do with the fact that it’s in the worst part of town near where I live so its supposedly gets robbed a lot. Anyways I think I’m going to keep dropping resumes anyways and see if I can’t get a backup plan in case it don’t work out there. 

Despite the job situation I'm still so excited for this summer. I just know it going to be a good summer. I'm enjoying the beautiful weather and the fresh air. I'm enjoying taking walks despite having hurt my ankle really bad 3 weeks ago. It's getting better but not as much as I would of thought after 3 weeks and I know I should probably stay off it but I can't stay inside with this nice weather and I have to be on my feet the whole time I'm at work. Sometimes the pains wakes me up at night so hopefully it gets better soon. I'm really looking forward to that fire and BBQ this weekend. 

Have a great weekend and a great summer everyone!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Recovering Addicts Fear of Change

I'm re-posting this because I find the topic important. Hope you enjoy!

I watched the movie Eat Pray Love tonight and it definitely became one of my all time favorites  It made me think of how much we struggle to hold on to our present situation, it being good or bad makes no difference. All we want is to stay in the safety of the familiar even if it makes us unhappy. Its funny how all this is usually about wanting to be safe but in wanting to be safe we put ourselves in danger of being unhappy. 

How easy t is to stay in the constant rather than move on to the unknown. The fear of being alone, of the unknown or of failing can paralyses us to stay exactly where we are and we don't even realize it. As miserable as it makes us we rather stay in the familiar. Our fear of change can be of either our relationship status (which is the case for me), or of moving, changing jobs, having kids, growing up. This never ending list keeps us trapped and unable to grow and experience the wonders that could be.

Even knowing this, I'm still here, in a relationship where I'm more unhappy than happy lately. I am so very good at fooling myself into believing that everything is ok. But the truth is, it hasn't been ok in a very long time. How so very tired I am of giving my everything and being left with nothing. I don't like thinking about this because I'm a usually a happy positive person and this makes me sad. 

How very strongly I struggle to stay exactly where I am, as irrational as it may be. I'd like to make a promise to myself here and now that I'll make the change. But I've made this promise to myself so many times before and I've lost hope of a follow through on my part. I haven't been single since I was 14 years old and I just don't know how to be alone anymore. If I had friends near me I believe it would really help because I need people around me even if it's not every day. 
Making new friends just isn't the same because they don't really know me, they don't know the hard things I've been through, how big my heart is, how sensitive I am even if I don't show it. If they don't know this then I feel like I need to constantly explain myself. And I wouldn't ask of anyone who hasn't been a long time friend to be a support system if I hadn't had the chance to be there for them in the past.

I've been trying to find myself these last couple months, taking joy in the time I have alone, exploring the different things that make me happy like drawing, blogging or reading. I've been focusing on my strengths and make myself constantly remember them so that I may find courage to work on my weaknesses. I've also been trying to keep in contact with the people around me instead of ignoring everyone's calls. I've come to realize just how much friends can be a great support in times of need. 

When the fear of change finds its way to me I can find strength to go on from the people around me. Making me regret that I've pushed people away this long for fear that they just wouldn't understand me or that they would ask too much of me. I think that if I can get a good support system I'll be able to be single if that's what I have to do. All this is still a work in progress but I'm hoping I can be strong enough one day to do what needs to be done.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Being a People Pleaser Leads to Addiction??

Being a people pleaser comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. I used to think that I wasn't a people pleaser because I didn't please people all the time but I just recently realized that theirs a lot more to it than that.

What's a People Pleaser

It's about worrying what others think and watching what you do all the time so you don't offend anyone. It's also avoiding situations where you might want to say no because you don't feel comfortable saying no. It's about feeling bad and replaying a conflict you had with someone over and over in your head. It's also about doing things that we really don't want to do just because we know if we didn't it might upset someone. Not being able to take criticism or being hurt easily is another sign that you might be a people pleaser.

All these situations are based in some way or another on wanting to please people. So I came to realize that just because I don't feel like I'm always pleasing people doesn't mean I'm not a self-destructive people pleaser. Worrying or simply thinking that you don't always please people can be another sign that your a people pleaser. 

Is Being a People Pleaser a Bad Thing

Some people might say being a people pleaser is a good thing because you're selfless. Or some would even say that you couldn't possibly be a people pleaser because you didn't care when you were addicted. You definitely didn't try to please anyone while you were doing anything to get your next fix.

Well let me assure those people that being a people pleaser never goes away even during addiction. It's just numb during that time and for me this was one of the reason why I wanted to stay high. I just couldn't deal with all the displeasing I had done while high and it was easier to just stay high. Getting high was a relief because I could be who I wanted and do what I wanted without worrying about what others thought.

To those who think that being that being a people pleaser is a good thing because its selfless let me assure you that it isn't. We will go to any limits to please someone even to the detriment of our own happiness and safety. We aren't strong enough to have boundaries and in my case this led me to trying drugs and getting addicted. Nothing good about that. Being a people pleaser played an important part in the reason I got addicted and I imagine this to be the case for many addicts.

Why Do People Worry About Pleasing

I always doubted that this might be from a lack of confidence but I thought that because I was popular, I socialized a lot and make friends easy that I didn't really have a lack of self confidence. Its only recently that I've truly come to accept that I lacked self confidence. I always knew it on some level but never truly accepted it until now.

Self-confidence issues can be hidden very well and it's different from person to person. I always had this image in my head that having a lack of self-confidence had to mean that I was shy, didn't like my appearance or didn't have many friends. Even thought I didn't think I was any of those things I realized I really didn't like displeasing people, not even a little bit. That's until I was too high to care.

As a teenager, I always wanted to please my friends, but I had a big mouth and would portray this tough girl persona so no one really suspected that I was a people pleaser or a pushover. And before it could even really become noticeable I was already addicted so being a people pleaser was put on the back burner.

Does Being a People Pleaser Lead to Addiction

Although being a people pleaser probably lead me to getting addicted. For example, I did coke for the first time to be accepted and please my father. I wanted to be closer to him so when he offered I took it. Also  I smoked weed to be accepted by friends. Isn't that the case for many addicts? Peer pressure. I think self confidence building workshops in high school should be mandatory.

Now that I'm sober being a people pleaser has become an issue again. I worry about what others think and I avoid situations where I might want to say no. I'm easily hurt by criticism and get very defensive. Not pleasing the ones I care about all the time hurts me and it makes me sad. I've also noticed that I do more to please certain people and not as much for the people I would like to do more for and deserve more. I'm missing out on a lot by being this way so I really want to take some steps to build some self-confidence and not be a self-destructive people pleaser anymore.

Some Tips to Find Balance:

On Wiki How they say to "Start small by finding something small to say "no" to, and say it firmly. Say it politely, but mean it! You'll be surprised, the world will not collapse around your ears! People rarely take offense, and those that do aren't worth pleasing." We can also ask for time to think about it that way we don't feel put on the spot and we actually have time to evaluate if we really should be doing what there asking.  It's easier with time and as we realize people can be reasonable towards our desires. Then we might be able to start to voicing our desires on other things besides saying  no.

Also do something for yourself that you really want but were afraid others might not like, I think we might exaggerate what other people's opinions would be. Chances are if they matter they will respect your decision. Wiki How says: "Remember that there ought to be things that you truly want to do for yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks, not in spite of it. Other people's opinions are a factor in our lives, but they should not be the determining factor." Once we do something for ourselves it becomes easier to do a second and a third (like saying no).

Another important thing to do is examine our fears. Write it down and make a list. Are they realistic? Are they truly terrible? Try and determine the cause of these fears as well. We might be afraid that no one will like us, that someone will leave us, or that we will be left all alone if we don't say the right thing. Once the fears are laid out in front of us its becomes easier to realize they aren't realistic which is a step towards overcoming them.

Figure out ahead of time before people ask you for something what is acceptable to do for others and what is unacceptable? Being able to analyze this factor allows you to measure what can be done for others and what shouldn't be done for others in a much more objective manner. Wiki How says "Learn how to identify and label unacceptable treatment from others and how to set limits on their behavior when they violate your boundaries."

In Conclusion

Although these ideas are helpful I believe it doesn't address the root cause of the problem which is a lack of self-confidence. I'm working on another post dedicated to working on self-confidence and not worrying about pleasing people all the time. Finding that balance and not define our worth on what we do for others and what others think of us.


PS. Check out the Crystal Healing Trees I make myself. They are super pretty and I find they can be very soothing and healing.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Guest Post: In the begining

So here I am, sitting in front of this computer, about to tell the rotten tale of addiction that has been my life. I'm in my early 30's, been an addict for more than 15 yrs. You know how it goes, smoking dope and drinking turns drinking, smoking dope and eating mushrooms turns to ...blahblahblah... turns to isolated, miserable, angry, ashamed...addicted.

For me it started around 14, you know stealing beers off the old man, sneaking out at night, screwing around, being a punk. At that age everything’s new, an adventure, and me...well I'm adventurous. And so began the cycle of abuse. Pretty much did whatever I could get my hands on, other than oxy and heroin. And the only reason for that is I don’t like needles and I watched lots of people I respected lose everything including their lives, in some cases to those damn oxy's. I have a daughter. I can’t die, is what I'd tell myself. Honestly, I probably shouldn't be here ,the crazy bullshit that goes on when you're living the fast life from running around town at 5 am all drunk looking for another bag of blow, to waking up in some apartment not knowing where my truck is or whose place I'm at. Just remembering some of that shit gives me chills.

You know, at the time I didn’t care about repercussions, who I hurt or what I was doing. It was all about me, the selfishness of the party lifestyle. I couldn't see it, probably didn’t want to see it, right?
I had been through several long term relationships, all of which came to an end because of my drug and alcohol problems. I'd get fucked up and do or say stupid shit. I'll spare the details, pure embarrassment, and the kind of things people see and just shake their heads. I'm shaking my head right now, writing this. I hate that I can't take back a lot of things I've said/done, especially to women. Don’t get me wrong, No physical stuff, ever. Regardless...asshole type shit!  And I'm not that guy, but the years have shown me when I've consumed enough chemicals, I can be.

I'm finding my guilt is fuel for the fire that is my sobriety. I think the "fun" disappeared about 7-8 years ago. I slowly I became more and more miserable. My temper at work was out of control, co-workers didn’t want to work with me, or around me. I became a loose cannon. No patience whatsoever. It might have had something to do with getting only 2-3 hours of sleep night after night, drinking a 26-er of vodka and doing a couple grams of blow. At home too, family started telling me, "you’re looking rough" or "you should get some sleep". Ya ya, thanks for giving me a great excuse to lock my door turn my phone off and get tuned up again. You know how it goes. It starts to feel like you’re not yourself unless you're numb.

I started to think I couldn’t change. Even right now I'm so unsure about the future. The things I've been through and seen. Wow. All bad. I'm so sick of being sick and tired. I know this is a popular saying in rehab world, but it’s just so fitting for where I'm at right now. I went to detox a bit ago for 3 days, it was very difficult, but they gave me some ideas on how to stay clean. I'm hoping to get into an inpatient facility, I'm sure I need it. Just waiting for a call and hoping that I don’t slip. I’m trying to keep busy. I'm far from perfect, to say the least. I'm hoping I can find a real person in me if I can beat this thing, I think there was someone/something here before...years ago. I put myself here, in this hole. Hopefully I can dig my way out.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Guest Post: Depression & Addiction

This is a Guest Post from a wonderful strong woman in her 40s who would like to remain anonymous  This post really shows how depression can lead to addiction and how addiction can make depression worst after a while.

As a teenager I struggled with depression, not knowing it at the time I was very confused. I was the youngest of 9 kids. This was back in 1979 when I first swallowed a full bottle of pain medication only to wake up throwing up and not telling anyone about it. Not too long after, at the age of 19 I met my future husband, who in my mind was exactly what I needed. He had access to wonderful drugs and my ticket out of depression. My marriage lasted 12 years and we had 2 children together. After all the partying and depression I still managed to raise my kids with good morals, self respect and confidence. I am very proud of my children but not of myself as much. Needless to say I self medicated to try to fix myself. To fix the unhappiness I felt. I finally got some help at 33 and was put on the anti depressant Paxil. Thats when I took time off work and separated from my now ex husband.

I was clean from drugs for a good 5 years and had my third child before I relapsed. A year of postpartum depression got me into drugs again. I had been heavy into drugs for about 4 months when I had my second suicide attempt. After that I got into therapy for about 2 years and managed to leave my second failed relationship with the father of my third child. I also got on the methadone program for 5 and a half years and eventually with the help of my doctor I was able to ween myself off methadone. It took me 3 attempts to finally get off and my third attempt was successful because I dropped my dosage by 2 mg each week for a year and a half. In the end, for the last 2 months I got daily migraines, for which the doctor prescribed both Tylenol and Ibuprofen  It will be a year at the end of May 2013 that I've been off methadone and off my anti depressants that I had been on for 13 years. I'm very proud of it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Alternative Addiction Recovery Programs

I worked very hard researching for this post and it took me a couple days to finish but as promised I'm ready to explain 2 of the different alternatives I had mentioned in my recent post We Need More Alternatives To 12 Step Programs. They were all great and different in their own way and I think that's important because we are all different. 
Options are important as I've mentioned in my other post because no one should be denied recovery.

 It would be a shame if someone were to be trapped in the never ending cycle of addiction just because they don't know about the alternatives or don't have the right program (for them) offered to them. I honestly believe that it took me way longer to get sober because the right program wasn't available to me. It would of been so much easier on me and saved a lot of time and heartache if I would of had something like SMART offered to me but I didn't so I had to do it the hard way without a program. 

We need to truly believe in the program we are working to recover, so forcing the wrong program on someone is pointless. Therefore, I hope by giving a brief description and my opinion on the programs will help others in search of recovery get an idea of what might work best for them and what else is out there. This is to help people find the right recovery program. 

I'll start with the SMART Recovery Program which stands for  Self-Management And Recovery Training. This program teaches us self-empowering tools based on scientific research to quit any addictive behaviors. You can find the power point Intro to SMART here. I love this program because its based on Self Empowerment which is something I fully believe in, and all that is needed is a want to stop the addictive behavior that is troubling you. 

None of that you need to abstain from everything, even sometimes your medication from your doctor. Its all about learning the coping skills necessary to address the thoughts and behaviors that lead to using. Theirs nothing religious about the program whatsoever, which makes me more comfortable with my recovery process.

 I like that this program isn't meant to be permanent because they believe people can fully recover so you can stay with the program only as long as you think you need it. SMART lets you build your own recovery with their tools like worksheets, power points and readings which are all based on their 4 point program. And they also have the support needed to help with your recovery thanks to the face-to-face meetings around the world, the daily online meetings, the online message board and the 24/7 chat room which are also all excellent places to learn about the program as well as getting support. SMART offers tools and techniques for each of the 4 points in the program:
  1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
  2. Coping with Urges
  3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors 
  4. Living a Balanced Life
I haven't been able to find the free version of the SMART handbook which talk about the 4 points so we have to pay for it at their bookstore but I know if I was an addict I wouldn't have the money to buy anything so I found other great material they offer such as articles and essays, forums and a blog. I found the blog was good for motivation and information on how to change. There is also more stuff once you register like the tool chest and the chat room

You can start pretty much with any tool in the tool chest since you create your own recovery with the help of the tools available but many people start by reading the power point for the Cost Benefit tool (CBA) with the cost and benefit worksheet. I also suggest reading the power points such as SMART ABC Tutorial and going to the forums and the chat rooms to get more information and support. I think this program is wonderful and the best for me so I'll probably try it out myself on my addictive habit of drinking caffeine. 

I love that their program works for any addictive behavior like smoking or caffeine. You only need to want to stop any one of your addictive behavior to join the program and you can do it all online, no need to leave home. Although I found it a little confusing at first not knowing exactly where to start. Hopefully this info will make it a little bit easier for you to get started. My finale advice is read all you can, it helps a great deal with motivation and the whole recovery process by giving you useful information.

Next is The Life Ring which is a none religious-secular recovery program that believes that addicts have a sober self  and an addict self who are in conflict with each other and can be easily influenced by other people's sober or addict self which is why meetings are so important. They say meetings empower your sober self so you have to keep attending meetings which means this program is meant to be permanent and can not be done completely online. Life Ring is based on their 3 "S" philosophy, Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help.

Sobriety: The basic membership requirement is a desire to remain abstinent from alcohol and “drugs.” They say: "Please look elsewhere for support if your intention is to keep drinking or using, but not so much, or to stop drinking but continue using, or stop using but continue drinking." Their motto is “we do not drink or use, no matter what.” 

Secularity: Life Ring Recovery welcomes people of all faiths and none.  You get to keep whatever religious beliefs you have, and you are under no pressure to acquire any if you don’t. Life Ring supports recovery methods that rely on human efforts rather than on divine intervention.

Self-Help: Self-help in Life Ring means that the key to recovery is the individual’s own motivation and effort. The main purpose of the group process (meetings) is to reinforce the individual’s own inner strivings to stay clean and sober. Life Ring is a permanent workshop where individuals can build their own Personal Recovery Plans.

The Life Ring book that you would really needed to buy so you can start using the program is the workbook called Recovery By Choice. This workbook provides a structure for the recovering person to build an abstinence based recovery plan that matches his or her particular problems and needs. Fortunately, they also have an area online called the Toolbox  with some information on the tools used to get sober that people have shared but there wasn't that much information there so you would indeed need the workbook. 

Thankfully, the Life Ring also have a BlogForums and Keepers which are stories of people using the Life Ring. They also provide Online Support such as chat rooms, Group Emails and a social network called Ning. The Life Ring also holds International Meetings which is great because face to face meetings is the most important tool for the Life Ring Recovery Program.

Hope this Helps 

PS: If I was misinformed about any of these recovery programs, please let me know, thanks