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Connecting with Our Inner Selves for Recovery

When we are embroiled in our addictions, we very often lose our connection to our inner selves. We lose our sense of identity, purpose and direction in life. We forget who we are. Recovering from our addictions and mental health issues is largely about reconnecting with our inner selves for true healing. To reconnect withRead More

Why Do I Judge Myself So Much?

The tendency towards self-judgment is something many of us share. Those of us struggling with addictions can judge ourselves so harshly and be so critical of ourselves that we feel like we’re our own worst enemies. We might think that we are judging ourselves because we don’t approve of our addictive behaviors, but another wayRead More

Who Am I?

When we have been living with addictions for much of our lives, we can easily lose sight of who we are. Our attachments to substances, behaviors and relationships can cloud our vision, and we lose touch with our identities, our purpose, our connection to our higher power. We can feel like we’ve lost everything. ItRead More

Connection as a Remedy for Addiction

There are many tools to help us in our recovery from addiction, and one of the most powerful ones we can access is that of connection. We very often feel disconnected from other people and from our higher power, making us feel even more alone. How can we develop a sense of connection, and howRead More

Can Therapy Help Me?

Many of us have associations with therapy that are negative, based on our past experiences or on cultural stereotypes around therapy. We may have had an experience with a therapist that made us hesitant to try therapy again. We might have heard other people discount therapy as being useless and a waste of time andRead More

Setting Intentions for Recovery

Often when we are thinking about recovery, we don’t know where to start. We think of recovery as an overwhelming process and don’t know how to go about it. To help us work on our recovery, let’s set some intentions for ways we can implement healing in our lives. Reach Out We very often wantRead More

What Does it Mean to Have an Addictive Personality?

Many of us living with addictions also identify as having addictive personalities. What does this mean, and how do you know if this applies to you? When we have healthy ways of coping with life’s challenges, we can handle our emotions in productive ways. We have emotional independence, and we feel strong in our abilityRead More

Facing Our Fears

Our addictions, depression and mental health issues are very often manifestations of our fears. The inner pain we feel about our fears can develop into many of the emotional challenges we face, such as our addictive behaviors and toxic thought patterns. Sometimes we focus our recovery on stopping our behaviors, because it is in thoseRead More

How Can I Learn to Appreciate My Story?

Each of us has a unique story, full of the lessons we’ve learned, challenges we’ve faced and experiences we’ve had. Sometimes when we’ve struggled with addictions, we have a very hard time looking back at our life story. We are overcome with embarrassment, shame and disappointment with ourselves. We carry so much remorse and regretRead More

Developing Emotional Resilience

Those of us living with addictions and mental health issues can find ourselves struggling with emotional overwhelm – feeling anxious, overly worried and frightened when challenges arise. As part of our recovery process, we can work to increase our emotional resilience by adopting a few changes to how we go about handling things. For one,Read More

What Are My Emotions Trying to Tell Me?

Those of us struggling with addictions have a tendency to want to ignore our emotions and avoid feeling them because they can be painful and difficult to cope with. Our addictive behaviors are very often what we use to try to escape our emotions, but when we can look at them closely and figure outRead More

Self-Empowerment for Recovery

When we are working to heal from our addictions and mental health issues, we often carry within us limiting beliefs that we’ve developed over the course of our lives that tell us we aren’t strong, powerful or capable. We believe that our illnesses mean we are weak. We believe we don’t have the power toRead More

How Do I Know When I’ve Hit Rock Bottom?

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). When we use the term “rock bottom,” we’re referring to that point we reach in our addiction where we simply can’t go any further. The pain of our addiction has become unbearable, life has become unmanageable, and weRead More

Healing from an Inadequacy Complex

Many of us living with addictions, depression and other mental health issues also suffer from deeply rooted fears that we are inadequate or not good enough. These fears can be so deeply ingrained within us that they become thought disorders. When we are struggling with an inadequacy complex, it can make recovering from our addictionsRead More

Accepting Ourselves and Our Addictions

One of the most significant moments in our addiction journey is when we are able to come to terms with our addictions for the first time. Accepting that we are addicts and all that that means for our lives can bring up a whole range of emotions. We often are in such denial about ourRead More

How is Grief Related to Addiction?

The more we learn about ourselves and our addictions, the more we come to see that our addictions are very often our attempts to escape the pain within us that overwhelms us and that we feel is unbearable. One of the sources of our pain that many of us share is that of grief. OurRead More

Embracing the Idea of Emotional Freedom for Recovery

Many of us living with addictions and depression have been living under the weight of our emotional challenges for most of our lives. We feel sadness and fear on a regular basis. We feel ashamed, and we often hate ourselves. When we think of recovery, we might think of it as this impossible, insurmountable ordealRead More

Confronting Our Unhealthy Behaviors

As we are working to recover from our addictions and mental health issues, one of the things we will inevitably have to face are the unhealthy, self-destructive, harmful behaviors we have developed over the course of our lives. We are often in denial about our behaviors, have yet to become conscious of them, or areRead More

Why is Friendship Important in Recovery?

Many of us living with addictions isolate ourselves from our loved ones, for various reasons. Sometimes we can’t invest in our friendships because we don’t have the emotional energy or strength to, from battling our addictions day in and day out. Sometimes we retreat from other people because we’re afraid of being judged by them.Read More

Sit with the Pain in Order to Heal It

Our addictions, depression and other mental health issues are often manifestations of our resistance to our pain, the ways in which we try to run from it, hide from it, bury it, avoid it or escape it. Healing on a deep level means being able to face our pain, to sit with it and withstandRead More

I Don’t Use Drugs or Alcohol, But Am I an Addict?

Addiction is most commonly associated with a dependence on drugs and alcohol, but any substance or behavior can become addictive. Any time our reliance on something becomes problematic for us and causes us distress, we can consider it to be an addiction. Do you find yourself worrying about your use or behavior? Does it causeRead More

Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms

As we do the work to figure out our unhealthy behaviors, patterns and coping mechanisms, we can also be creating new healthy ways to cope that are self-affirming rather than self-destructive. We’ve created coping strategies over the years to deal with our trauma, our woundedness and our fears, but these strategies not only don’t healRead More

How Can I Calm My Thoughts?

One of our biggest challenges when dealing with the stress of addiction, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, is our overactive minds and how much our thoughts race. We often think that there is nothing we can do about this and that we can’t control our thoughts, but with some practice and some helpfulRead More

How Can I Face My Fear of Getting Help?

Many of us share the fear of reaching out for help in our recovery. When we are still caught in the cycles of our addictions, we often aren’t ready to take the steps needed to stop those cycles. We’re afraid of the withdrawal symptoms, the painful emotions of losing the substance or person we’re attachedRead More

Our Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

One way to understand our addiction, depression and other mental health issues is to see that they are essentially the unhealthy coping mechanisms we’ve developed in response to our emotional pain. Very often we don’t understand why we struggle the way we do, why we’re suffering so much. While we’re in the midst of ourRead More

Why is it Important to Have Patience with Myself?

When we are working towards recovery, it is often after years of suffering with addictions, depression and other mental health issues. Oftentimes we’ve been struggling so long we feel fed up. We want to feel better as quickly as possible, which is totally understandable, but sometimes we are impatient with ourselves in recovery which canRead More

Supporting our Loved Ones in Recovery

Supporting our loved ones through their recovery process can be incredibly challenging for us, whether or not we ourselves struggle with addictions. Each recovery process is different and unique to the individual, but there are some things we can do to support our loved ones as they recover. Listen When it comes to addiction recovery,Read More

Why is Fun Important in Recovery?

Living with addictions and mental health issues presents us with some very difficult challenges, and an important part of recovery is discovering ways to find enjoyment in our lives again. We often neglect our happiness and stop doing the things we love. We think we don’t deserve to be happy because of our shame andRead More

Making Peace with the Past

Many of us living with addictions and mental health issues have a hard time letting go of our pasts. We carry the weight of our traumatic experiences. We struggle to forgive our mistakes. We dwell on our regrets. We cling to our shame and embarrassment. We tend to be emotionally self-destructive rather than self-protective, oftenRead More

How Do I Actually Learn to Love Myself?

When we talk about self-love, it can feel like a foreign concept that we don’t know how to apply to our lives. How can we actually learn to love ourselves? In what tangible ways can we implement self-love in our lives? How can we incorporate self-love into our healing and our recovery process? Self-Acceptance ARead More

How Acceptance Can Help Us Heal

Many of us with addictions and mental health issues have a tendency to resist our pain rather than accept it. We have developed such a resistance over the years, often unconsciously, that we are giving our painful thoughts and emotions even more power over us. When we can learn to accept them, we are ableRead More

How Can Self-Love Help Me Get Better?

Of all the healing tools we develop in our recovery process, self-love might be the most important. Self-love is the active process of giving ourselves love, accepting ourselves unconditionally, and respecting ourselves. Self-love is offering ourselves compassion, understanding and forgiveness. When we love ourselves, we set ourselves up for a greater chance of recovery. Self-loveRead More

Developing Emotional Independence

Many of us with addictions and mental health issues find ourselves in codependent relationships, and we often are emotionally dependent on the other people in our lives. We base our emotions and moods on other people’s and are emotionally susceptible to their changing feelings. As part of our recovery, we can choose to develop ourRead More

Why is Self-Love Important for Recovery?

Many of us living with addictions and mental health issues believe on a fundamental level that we are inadequate, that we are unworthy, that we are undeserving of happiness. We believe we are unlovable because deep down we don’t love ourselves. These beliefs are often what drive us to try to escape our pain withRead More

How Nature Can Support Us in Our Recovery

Many of us live in cities without much regular access to the natural world. This separation from nature is known to contribute to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues and is sometimes referred to as Nature Deficit Disorder. Spending time in nature, even in small amounts, can be wonderfully beneficial to our healing andRead More

How Can I Calm My Anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues we face when living with addiction. When we learn ways to manage our anxiety, we have more control over our daily lives, and we are better able to navigate the many challenges that come with mental and emotional health difficulties. Anxiety is essentially our innerRead More

Common Signs of Addiction

Many people living with addictions go to great lengths to hide their behaviors from other people. They find ways to normalize their behaviors and minimize their addictions to keep others from suspecting how serious their issues really are. Addicts will sometimes need their drug of choice or compulsion in order to cope. They might useRead More

How Can I Become My Own Best Friend?

When we are living with addictions and mental health issues, we are often our own worst enemy and harshest critic. We adopt the voice of our inner demons and forget that they aren’t our true self. We live in fear rather than self-love. How can we change our inner voice to be our own bestRead More

Self-Acceptance as a Practice

Coming to accept ourselves is a process, and it takes time, practice and patience. We’ve grown so accustomed to hating parts of ourselves, wishing certain things about us were different, feeling ashamed of certain things about ourselves. When we’re in recovery, we’re actively working to process our addictions and mental health issues, all of ourRead More

What Can I Do When an Urge or Compulsion Hits?

When we are faced with an addictive urge or compulsion, there are other things we can do that are healthier and more self-protective. The more we practice giving our energy to these other healthier things, the more we’ll develop them as coping mechanisms that we can use to help us recover from our addictions. JournalRead More

Healing Our Wounded Inner Child

When we talk about trauma and healing, we often use the term “inner child,” which represents our childhood self. Our inner children are a part of who we are. We don’t leave them behind in the past as we get older. They stay within us. We carry their hurts and wounds with us. Our traumaRead More

How Can I Overcome Addictive Urges and Compulsions?

Mindfulness can be an invaluable tool in our recovery from addictive urges and compulsions in that it allows us to bring our conscious awareness to our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. When we are in the grips of addiction and depression, we very often are not conscious on a deep level of what we’re experiencing. We’reRead More

Working with Affirmations to Heal Anxiety

When we are most anxious, we tend to let our thoughts run out of control, often without realizing it. We believe that we don’t have control over our minds and that we are powerless over them. We create beliefs around this powerlessness which actually work against us, but we can work to consciously direct ourRead More

How are Addiction and Mental Health Issues Related?

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Many of us struggling with addictions are also living with mental health issues, and vice versa. Oftentimes we aren’t aware of the connections between the two. Many of us don’t have a deep personal understanding of why we’re strugglingRead More

Suppressing Our Emotions

One of the worst things we can do for ourselves is suppress our emotions. When we don’t allow our emotions to flow in healthy ways, we create blockages within us that can cause us tremendous amounts of pain. Our emotions are a significant part of who we are, and when we don’t allow ourselves toRead More

What Am I Running From?

Often when we are caught in our addictions, we haven’t yet gotten to the point where we are clear on what exactly it is we are running from that is fueling our addictions. We are obsessed with our drugs of choice, our addictive relationships and our compulsive behaviors. These things are on the surface ofRead More

Finding Sources of Strength in Recovery

When we are struggling with our addictions and mental health issues, we very often aren’t tapped into our inner strength to guide us. We feel powerless in dealing with our challenges. Along our path to recovery, however, we find sources of strength that help us to believe in ourselves and our recovery, that remind usRead More

What Do I Have to Look Forward to in Recovery?

Sometimes when we are in the midst of the cycles of our addictions, we are afraid of recovery because we think we can’t live without our addictive substances and behaviors. We associate recovery with painful withdrawal and abstinence. We dread recovery. We can choose instead to focus our energy on all the wonderful parts ofRead More

Limiting Beliefs of Addiction

Our beliefs are the thought patterns that we choose to give our energy to, that over time become instilled in us. Our limiting beliefs about ourselves are the beliefs that disempower us, that hold us back, that chip away at our self-worth and self-esteem. We form our identities around these beliefs. We stop believing inRead More

How Can I Heal My Inner Demons?

Many of us with addictions and mental and emotional health issues have “inner demons” we wrestle with, that cause us extreme mental and emotional distress over the years. Our inner demons are the difficult thoughts, emotions and beliefs we’ve developed, that can often morph into obsessions, complexes, neuroses and phobias. They are what keep youRead More

Healing Our Suicidal Thoughts

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Living with suicidal thoughts, ideation and urges is one of the hardest, most painful things we’ll experience in dealing with our addictions, depression and other mental health issues. For many of us,Read More

Why Am I Afraid to Get Help?

Many of us struggling with addictions are afraid to get help. Wherever we are in the timeline of our stories, the fear of getting help often holds us back from recovery. For many of us, we have become complicit and comfortable in our addictions. We’re afraid of being pushed out of our comfort zones. SometimesRead More

True Recovery is Inner Peace

We often think of recovery as abstaining from our drugs of choice and addictive behaviors. It might serve us to think of our recovery as being deeper than that. Inner peace is the foundation for lasting happiness, and chances are that when we make abstinence our goal without also prioritizing inner peace, we will alwaysRead More

How Can I Create a Healthy Self-Image?

Many of us suffer from low self-esteem, and our addictions, depression and other mental health issues can contribute to it, compound it and exacerbate it. The self-image we’ve created for ourselves is often tainted by our fears of inadequacy, unworthiness and inferiority. We’re afraid that we don’t measure up, that we’re not good enough, thatRead More

How Can I Heal From Shame?

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Shame is one of the most painful and debilitating emotions we can feel, and it can be a huge factor in our addictions, depression and other mental health issues. How can we heal from shame and forgiveRead More

Shame and Self-Destructiveness

One of the most damaging and painful emotions that we experience as human beings is shame. Most of us feel guilt for the ways in which we’ve hurt other people, for the mistakes we’ve made, and for the wrongdoings we regret. This is normal. It tells us that we have a conscience, that we haveRead More

Why Am I So Self-Destructive?

Underneath our addictions and mental health issues, many of us will find that our troubling thoughts and behaviors point to a common theme – self-destructiveness. Why are we so self-destructive? Why do we engage in risky and dangerous behaviors even when we know they aren’t healthy for us? Why do we self-harm? Why do weRead More

Daily Gratitude Practice for Healing and Happiness

Many of us have developed thought patterns that repeatedly flood us with the thoughts we most associate with fear and sadness. It can feel like we’re drowning in our emotional pain. One way to transform these vicious mental cycles is to consciously choose to focus on gratitude. Oftentimes when we are suffering, we have comeRead More

How Can Gratitude Help Me With my Addiction, Depression and Anxiety?

Many of us living with addictions, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues develop certain thought patterns that can contribute to our challenges and exacerbate them over time. We form these thought patterns by continually, habitually choosing to focus our attention on certain thoughts. When we are in the midst of our cycles of addictionRead More

Gratitude Practice for Forgiveness

One thing many of us share is a history of trauma. Our traumatic experiences can affect us deeply and can contribute to our addictions, depression and other mental health issues. As we are healing from our trauma, we might find ourselves still angry with the people who hurt us. We might feel we are unableRead More

How Can I Start Believing in Myself More?

Those of us living with addictions and mental health issues often share in common belief systems based on low self-esteem and shame. We believe we are inadequate and inferior to other people. We believe that we are a failure, that the mistakes and regrets of our past dictate who we are. We believe that weRead More

Finding the Joy of Our Hearts

Finding true joy means discovering what brings us peace, fulfillment and satisfaction. Joy is not dependent upon external conditions or our current circumstances. It doesn’t only reside in the things we do or have done, but also in who we are as individuals, in what lies in our hearts and souls. We can lose ourselvesRead More

How Can I Find my Joy?

Joy is an energy source within us that we can tap into at any time. Joy is what makes our souls come alive and our hearts sing! Joy is different from happiness in that it is not based on our current circumstances. We can find a joy that is unconditional and then access it regardlessRead More

Riverside Recovery Hosts Pam Bondi Opioid Presser

Riverside Recovery of Tampa was honored to host Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at our facility on Tuesday, May 15th, where she announced the state’s lawsuit against large pharmaceutical producers and distributors of prescription opioids like OxyContin, Dilaudid, and Percocet. Announcing her lawsuit at a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center like Riverside Recovery ofRead More

How Addiction Develops

Addiction is a debilitating disease that corrupts nearly every aspect of your life. Although most associate addiction with harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol, dependency on behaviors can be just as devastatingly potent. It is important to understand how the addiction process develops, so you can recognize whether you may unknowingly be a partRead More