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What are Some Signs a Child Has a Dependence Problem?

Sometimes children develop addictive, compulsive and dependent behaviors long before adulthood, long before the behaviors would be considered to be related to addiction. We associate addiction with adulthood but it can also develop in childhood. What are some signs that children might exhibit indicating they have a dependence problem? One sign is a child askingRead More

Practicing Patience

Those of us living with addictions and mental health issues have often been struggling with these things for many years, if not most of our lives. We can feel depressed about our situations and frustrated with our lack of progress. This can cause us to be impatient with ourselves as we’re trying to recover. ImpatienceRead More

How Do I Hold onto Hope?

When we are struggling with addictions, depression and other mental health issues, one of our greatest challenges can be trying not to give up hope. We feel desperate and hopeless. Our trials feel insurmountable. We feel we’ve damaged our lives, relationships and reputations beyond repair. We feel like we’ll never be able to fix theRead More

Choosing Clarity

Recovering from our addictions and mental health issues involves making important decisions about our wellbeing. It involves deciding that we are worth leaving behind the things causing us pain. It means deciding that we want inner peace. When we are ready to make these decisions, it is often because we have been languishing in confusion,Read More

How Do I Ignore the Stigmas Around Addiction?

The stigmas surrounding addiction can be really hard to ignore and can make us feel even worse about ourselves than we already do. The stigmas tell us that we are weak, lazy people. They tell us we are bad, immoral, promiscuous, dangerous people. They tell us that we’re doomed to fail and that we can’tRead More

Learning About Manic Episodes

Many of us can experience manic episodes, whether or not we’ve been formally diagnosed with mania or bipolar depression. The cycles of addiction can be very similar to those of mania and bipolar depression, anyone can experience them, and they are often related. Being able to recognize manic episodes is important for moving through themRead More

Riverside Recovery: Refuge in Tampa for Those Struggling with Addiction – Tampa WTSP 10 News

Riverside Recovery: Refuge in Tampa for Those Struggling with Addiction – Tampa WTSP 10 News We were recently featured by Tampa WTSP 10 News to talk about our treatment programs and our experience with substance abuse recovery. Two of our core staff members, Dr. Michael Sore, medical director, and Elizabeth Stockton, marketing director, were interviewed.Read More

How Can I Reprogram my Mind to Help Myself Heal?

Our subconscious minds store our emotional information and memory, including our fears, the pain we’ve held onto from trauma, the grief we carry from loss. Even when we consciously want to be free of these things in order to be happy, our subconscious mind, which directs the majority of our thoughts, is holding onto themRead More

How is my Thinking Fueling my Addiction?

Our addictions and mental health issues are often fueled by the destructive, limiting beliefs that we’ve adopted over time and allowed to become our truth. When we experience trauma or loss, we develop fears that inform how we feel about ourselves and how we operate in the world. We are afraid that we are inadequateRead More

Our Recurring Life Patterns and What We Can Learn from Them

When we experience the same patterns recurring in our lives year after year, it is often because we have unhealed wounds and unresolved issues within us trying to get our attention. We are being sent the same lessons over and over until we learn them, and often they come back bigger and heavier each time,Read More

Am I in Denial?

Many of us have a very hard time facing the reality of our addictions. It can be much easier to turn a blind eye to them. Sometimes we are conscious of our addictions and don’t want to admit them to ourselves or to other people. Sometimes we’re not yet conscious of them. We ignore theRead More

Strengthening Our Intuition

We very often ignore and neglect our intuition when we are struggling with addictions and mental health issues. The drugs and relationships have a way of drowning out our inner voice, along with all of the other ways in which we distract ourselves. We are too busy dealing with the conflicts in our tumultuous relationships,Read More

Am I Enabling My Loved One’s Addiction?

It is very easy for us to be in denial about our loved one’s addiction, to be unconscious of it, or even to enable it. The difficulty of addiction can be so overwhelming and so stressful that we want to pretend it isn’t there, sweep it under the rug, or hope the problem will goRead More

Using Fear as a Motivator

Living with addictions and mental health issues can mean we live with fear on a regular basis. Many of us struggle with chronic anxiety, debilitating panic attacks, fear-based obsessions and compulsions, neuroses and phobias. When struggling with addictions, fear can be one of the things that we allow to hold us back the most. WeRead More

How are Codependence and Addiction Related?

Codependence and addiction can be related to one another and can fuel each other. The same patterns we learn that develop into codependence can also lead to addiction, and vice versa. When we are in codependent relationships, we are emotionally dependent upon another person. We look to them for direction on how to feel, whatRead More

Developing Self-Respect

At the root of many of our emotional problems, including our addictions and mental health issues, is a lack of self-respect. We don’t feel we deserve respect from ourselves or from other people. This lack of self-respect manifests as toxic relationships, self-harming behaviors, and self-destructive patterns of addiction and depression. Developing a sense of self-respectRead More

How Can Grounding Help with Addiction?

Our addictions and mental health issues can contribute to our feeling lost, scared and overwhelmed. We can feel as though we are not centered or grounded within ourselves and our lives. We don’t feel safe or secure. We have a hard time being present and embracing the moment. Grounding is a way of reconnecting withRead More

Neglecting Ourselves for the Other Addicts in Our Lives

A common theme many of us share is our tendency to prioritize other addicts in our lives over ourselves. Their struggles become our main concern. We’re more worried about their wellbeing, or lack thereof, than our own. We give them the majority of our time, attention and energy and sacrifice our own needs. We doRead More

What is Smartphone Addiction, and Why is it so Harmful?

Smartphones are a helpful part of developing technology that help us to manage our lives, run our businesses and stay in contact with loved ones. Many of us use our smartphones for various purposes and have come to rely on them. Just like with any other behavior, using smartphones can become addictive, and we canRead More

The Rise of Addiction in Teenagers

Drug and alcohol use in teenagers is on the increase, and there are some key factors in this disturbing trend. Part of the problem is that young people’s brains are still developing, so when they start using drugs and alcohol at an early age they are putting themselves at greater risk for both brain damageRead More

How are Families Affected by Addiction?

When it comes to addiction, the addicts themselves aren’t the only ones affected. Their families and loved ones are also profoundly impacted, sometimes irreparably so. Addiction takes over our lives in various ways, and one of the ways it can be most destructive is how volatile it can make people. Addicts can be hostile, abusive,Read More

Self-Harm: Why We Hurt Ourselves

Many of us living with addictions and mental health issues also have a problem with self-harm – self-destructive behaviors which are linked to our deeper emotional problems and which compound and perpetuate them. We might hit, cut or burn ourselves or otherwise cause ourselves physical harm. We might be emotional cutters, where we are masochisticRead More

Seeing Things from Our Higher Power’s Perspective

One of the ways we can approach our mental and emotional healing is to try to replace our ego-based thinking with the perspective our higher power might see us with. When we are facing difficult challenges, we can ask ourselves how would my spirit view this? What would my higher power say about this? InRead More

Why is Isolation So Bad for Us?

When we are struggling with addictions and mental health issues, many of us have a tendency to isolate ourselves from other people. We retreat from the world and from our loved ones. We stop participating in the things we once enjoyed. We don’t communicate with other people about how we’re doing, and they often worryRead More

Accepting Our Flaws

When it comes to healing from our addictions and mental health issues, we are recovering from many different things, including the negative, self-hating perspectives we have of ourselves. To really love ourselves and heal, we have to learn to accept our flaws and weaknesses. This is one of the hardest things for us to do,Read More

Why Do We Procrastinate on Our Health?

It’s not uncommon for us to know that we have a problem, with drugs, alcohol, another substance, or an addictive behavior or relationship, but avoid dealing with it. We are aware that we have a problem but procrastinate on our health. We postpone making a therapy appointment, researching treatment centers or reaching out for help.Read More

Bingeing and Self-Destruction

Bingeing is commonly misunderstood as being simply an inability to control one’s self or a problem with greed and gluttony. Just like with any addictive or compulsive behavior, there are often deeper meanings behind people’s bingeing. Using food bingeing as an example, bingers will eat long past when they are full, until they are uncomfortable,Read More

How Can I Learn to Embrace my Pain?

When it comes to our pain, our usual and customary response is to want to reject it, remove it from ourselves, and feel it as little as possible. Our depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are often the responses we have to our pain when we haven’t learned healthy strategies for coping with it.Read More

Understanding Bullying

We usually associate bullying with mean-spirited children picking on and abusing innocent children, but bullying is a phenomenon that happens with people of all ages, and the principles are the same for both adults and children. Many of us who experience addiction and mental health issues at one time or another have been bullied inRead More

How Can I Have a More Optimistic Outlook?

When we are struggling with addictions and mental health issues, many of us have adopted negative ways of thinking that influence our behaviors, our patterns, our overall energy. How do we change our outlook to be more positive, in order to manifest more of what we want in life? Being optimistic is a habit that,Read More

You Are Not Your Illness

Many of us living with addictions and mental illnesses can find ourselves so consumed with our afflictions that we end up centering our identities around them and creating our lives based upon them. As we recover, we come to see that our illnesses are just one part of us. They don’t have to define allRead More

What Can Celebrities’ Addiction Stories Teach Us?

When celebrities are vocal about their struggles with addiction, there is a lot we can learn from their stories. We are reminded of the realities of human nature and of the extent of our pain, how difficult and debilitating it can be. When a celebrity opens up about addiction, we are reminded that we areRead More

Becoming Aware of Our Stress

Often when we are struggling, we have buried our emotions so far down within ourselves, under our duties and obligations, under the logistics of our daily lives, under our prioritization of other people over ourselves – that we often aren’t conscious when we’re experiencing toxic levels of stress. Stress is a normal part of life,Read More

How Do I Transform My Limiting Beliefs?

When we become more mindful of our self-talk and limiting beliefs, we can start to shift our perception and create healthier, more empowering beliefs about ourselves. This process takes time and practice but is invaluable to our recovery. When we work to believe in ourselves, our potential for healing grows exponentially. Let’s take our limitingRead More

How Do I Discover What My Limiting Beliefs Are?

Many of our addictions and mental health issues are driven, compounded and exacerbated by the limiting beliefs we’ve developed about ourselves. We hold onto them as though they are the truth of who we are. Often they have become so ingrained within us that we can’t separate them from our true selves. They’ve become partRead More

Why Do We Become Addicted to Risky Behaviors?

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). We can be addicted to any number of things, not only to substances but also to risky behaviors that we engage in compulsively even though we know they endanger us and put us in harm’s way. Why doRead More

Share Your Story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou After years of lived experiences both good and bad, we’ve accumulated stories that can be very difficult to face within ourselves, let alone share with other people. We hide our stories and bury them, blocking them out, trying to forget them.Read More

How Do Recovery Meetings Help?

Treatment programs and support groups offer recovery meetings to help in the recovery process. How do they help? When we are in recovery, we often isolate ourselves, out of shame, out of fear of burdening those around us, out of the sheer anxiety of being around other people. Living our stories is hard enough. HavingRead More

How Our Family Dynamics Affect Us

Energetically we are very connected to the families we live with and grew up with. Even if we’ve separated ourselves by space, time and emotional distance, we still share an energetic bond with our family. Their thoughts, emotions and behaviors affect us, and vice versa. Our family dynamics and how we relate to our familiesRead More

Why Do We Relapse?

Addiction recovery is a process, one that for many of us takes the rest of our lives to uphold. Sobriety, or abstinence, or being “clean” are not finite destinations, single points in time and space that we reach and our problems are erased. Recovering from our addictions is not a one-time thing, where we goRead More

How Self-Hate Fuels Addiction

Many of us aren’t aware of just how pervasive and all-encompassing our self-hatred is, as well as how much it can contribute to our addictions. When we struggle with insecurity, jealousy, envy, bitterness, resentment and judgment, very often it is our self-hate that is at the root of all of that. We instinctively try toRead More

Why is it So Hard to Recover Alone?

For those of us struggling with addictions who have tried to recover, we know just how hard it can be. Many of us try to face the recovery process alone. We think that because it is our issue, we should get through it on our own. We feel we’ve burdened the people who care aboutRead More

The Joy of Recovery

When we are in the midst of our struggles with addiction, it can be really hard to see our way out to the other side. We can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve given up hope that we will be able to recover, and we’ve lost faith in ourselves. If you’reRead More

How Do We Stop Sabotaging Ourselves?

Because our self-sabotage often comes from our underlying fears of inadequacy and unworthiness, stopping our self-sabotaging behaviors and patterns comes down to changing our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. As part of our healing, we can choose to start seeing our traumatic experiences not as evidence of some kind of failing on our part, butRead More

Finding Emotional Freedom

In our quest to heal from our addictions and mental and emotional health issues, perhaps our greatest goal is to find emotional freedom. What is emotional freedom, and how can we achieve it? A common misconception about emotional healing is that we are trying to replace any negative emotions we feel with positive thinking andRead More

What is Self-Sabotage?

Many of us living with addictions and mental health issues share patterns of self-destructiveness that drive our actions. For many of us, this can occur as self-sabotage. What does this look like, and why do we do it? Self-sabotage can take on many forms – interrupting our healing progress, choosing unhealthy relationships and behaviors, physicalRead More

Seeing the Possibility in Confusion

In times of difficulty when we feel a great sense of confusion, sometimes our instinct is to see our confusion as a negative thing. We feel afraid of it. We think it is working against us. We reject it and want to run from it. Confusion can be very difficult. We can choose to seeRead More

What Happens When We Don’t Feel Heard and Understood?

One of our basic emotional instincts is the need to feel heard, understood and validated by the people around us. We crave safe community within which to be supported and accepted. When we don’t have this, it can greatly impact our mental and emotional health in limiting and destructive ways. Our fears can be reallyRead More

Believing in Our Inner Power

Our addictions and mental health issues can cause us to lose faith in ourselves and to stop believing in ourselves. As we go through the difficult experiences in our lives, we often don’t believe we have the strength to get through them. We can feel hopeless and without direction. We give up on ourselves. WeRead More

How Can I Reframe Things More Positively?

One of our biggest challenges when it comes to addictions and mental health issues is our tendency to think the very worst – about the events and situations in our lives, about our relationships, about ourselves and our lives in general. We see things through a lens of negativity. This can lead not only toRead More

Where Do Our Limiting Beliefs Come From?

Many of us with addictions and mental health issues share in common a tendency to carry within us deeply disempowering limiting beliefs. While everyone’s beliefs are going to be unique to them, there are some limiting beliefs that many of us share – that we’re not good enough, that we are shameful, bad people undeservingRead More

The Miracle of Getting Through Painful Times

Sometimes when we are feeling extremely depressed, struggling with our addictions and going through especially difficult times, we can forget how far we’ve come, how much we’ve survived, how much we’ve already gotten through. The truth is we have already endured and survived so much. We are strong. We are survivors. When we are inRead More

What Happens When We Feel Rejected?

Rejection is a common theme for many of us. At some point in our lives we’ve felt rejected and then internalized that rejection. Many of us whose families separated or experienced any kind of loss developed deeply rooted fears of abandonment, especially if we were abandoned in one way or another, emotionally if not physically.Read More

Stigmas Around Mental Health and Addiction

One of the biggest things preventing people from getting the help they need is the pervasiveness of the stigmas still surrounding mental health and addiction. These stigmas cause us to fear being judged and shunned, so we isolate ourselves and struggle with our challenges alone, in silence. What are some of these stigmas, and howRead More

My Loved One is in Denial About Addiction – What Can I Do?

It can be extremely difficult to handle our loved ones’ denial about their addictions. To us it’s evident they are struggling and need help. We are so worried about them. We fear for their safety and for the safety of the people around them, including ourselves. When they are in denial, they are convinced theyRead More

Giving Ourselves Emotional Space to Heal

Often when we are struggling with addictions, depression and other mental and emotional health issues, we don’t have the space to focus on our healing. Many of us are in relationships that are so consuming that we can’t focus on ourselves, often because they are toxic or abusive. We prioritize our relationships over our ownRead More

What is at the Root of our Compulsions?

Our addictive urges and compulsions can be all-consuming and debilitating. They can drastically interfere with our daily routines. They can deter us from our healing progress. When we aren’t able to stop ourselves from acting on them, we are often filled with sadness, guilt, embarrassment and regret. We feel angry with ourselves. We know ourRead More

Embracing the Moment

When we are struggling with our cycles of addiction and mental health issues, we often have a very hard time being in the present moment. We dwell on the past and worry about the future. We replay things we find bothersome or troublesome. We give a lot of our attention and energy to the thingsRead More

How Can I Be Happy When I’m Struggling?

Our addictions and mental health issues can take over our lives and make us feel like there is nothing to be happy about in life, nothing to redeem us, nothing to look forward to. When we are struggling, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is learn how to look for theRead More

Pushing Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

When it comes to living with addictions and mental health issues, we can find that our addictive behaviors, relationships and thought patterns become so ingrained within us and so familiar that they, in a way, become comfortable. It can be easier to stay in our comfort zone than to do the difficult work of creatingRead More

Investigating Our Emotional Patterns

Sometimes when we are approaching recovery, it is relatively easy to identify our behavioral patterns. They’re pretty clear and easy to see. We can pinpoint our go-to drugs of choice and addictive behaviors fairly easily. What can sometimes be harder to identify are the emotional patterns underlying our behaviors. These patterns often drive our addictions,Read More

How Do I Stop Feeling Like I’m Not Good Enough?

One thing so many of us share, whether or not we struggle with addictions, is this incessant feeling that we’re not good enough, that we don’t measure up to other people, that we aren’t who or what we wish we were. These limiting beliefs are a part of what connect us as human beings. TheyRead More

Being Honest with Ourselves

Facing the truth of our addictions and mental health issues is one of the most challenging things we’ll ever have to do. It means owning up to our mistakes and the ways we’ve hurt other people and ourselves. It means recognizing our shortcomings and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. It means embracing humility and theRead More

How Can I Start Letting People Help Me?

Many of us living with addictions have a very hard time accepting help. We might be prideful and not want to show our vulnerability by asking for help. We might be afraid that people will judge us as weak, or hold it against us that we needed help. People who we hoped would help usRead More

Releasing Self-Blame

One of the patterns many of us share is our tendency to blame ourselves for our traumatic experiences. Our self-blame causes us to feel deeply ashamed of ourselves, often for things we could not control and that weren’t our fault. We take the blame away from the people and events that traumatized us and putRead More

Can Addiction Start in Childhood?

We often think of addiction as something we face as adults, but when we look back at the development of our addictions over the course of our lives, many of us find that we were beginning our addictive behaviors early on, as children. We can see evidence of our addictions tracing back to when weRead More

Learning to Live with Loneliness

One of the most pervasive emotions we deal with when struggling with our addictions is loneliness. Much of the time we’re trying to avoid feeling lonely and trying to escape our loneliness. We’re afraid to be alone, we’re afraid to feel the painful weight of loneliness, and our go-to coping mechanisms for loneliness are oftenRead More

How Can Writing Help Me in My Recovery?

Living with addictions means dealing with some very intense, very difficult emotions, including the sadness, fear and anger we’ve been carrying for many years. When we don’t have healthy ways of processing our emotions, we often turn to substances and addictive behaviors. Writing can be a powerful way to handle our emotions and is aRead More

What to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For those of us living with addictions and mental health issues, we can have times when we are in so much emotional pain and distress that we feel like we want to give up. We struggle withRead More

Should I Seek Treatment?

The decision whether or not to seek treatment for our addictions can be a difficult one. When making the decision, we are often confronting some very real fears- the fear of having to face the reality of our addictions, the fear of being judged by people, all the fears we have about ourselves that we’veRead More

Meditation for Navigating Painful Emotions

When we are struggling with addictions, one of the hardest things we’re dealing with is the abundance of painful emotions we feel on a regular basis. We react to our emotions in unhealthy and self-destructive ways rather than choosing healthy coping mechanisms. Many of us have lived through traumatic experiences which can influence us onRead More

Can I Recover?

When we are in the thick of our addictions, we often can’t see our way out. We’ve lost hope in ourselves and in the possibility of recovery. We feel despair and desperation, and recovery can feel like a distant, impossible ideal that we will never realistically be able to attain. Can we hope to recover?Read More

Separating Ourselves from Toxic Relationships

One of the best things we can do for ourselves in recovery is separate ourselves from the toxic relationships that have been bringing us down. When we are struggling with addiction, we often attract other people also living with addiction. Our relationships are often toxic and destructive, we enable one another’s addictions, and we contributeRead More

Learning How to Handle Our Emotions

Learning how to deal with our difficult emotions is one of the most important things we’ll do in our recovery from addictions and mental health issues. Our tendency when dealing with our challenging emotions is to want to avoid them at all costs. We don’t want to feel the weight of their pain. The painRead More

How Do I Find Inner Peace?

This question is at the root of our healing and recovery. Without inner peace, we can’t really experience true wellness. How do we find inner peace? The process of finding inner peace involves going beyond our pain, beyond our fears, to access that deep part of ourselves that is connected to our spirit and ourRead More

Service as a Tool for Recovery

Often when we are caught in the destructive cycles of our addiction and depression, we lose our sense of self-worth and value in the world. We become stuck in our pain and feelings of worthlessness, and we forget that there are infinite ways we can give back and help other people. Serving others is aRead More

Why Do I Feel So Numb?

When talking about our addictions, we often are dealing with some very difficult and painful emotions. Some of us, though, don’t feel like we understand our emotions or have access to them. We have become so emotionally blocked that we no longer feel anything at all. We have become numb. How does this happen? ManyRead More

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