Trying Not to Try: The Wild Mind Workings of a Recovering Perfectionist By Andrea Wachter, LMF

If you are someone who has struggled with eating and body image, there’s a good chance you have also struggled with perfectionism. If this is the case for you, you’re likely no stranger to the concept of trying. Back in the days of my eating disorder, my trying looked something like this: Trying to lose weight Trying a new diet Trying to recover from a binge Trying to work out Trying to work out more (Pull up a chair, this could take a while!) Trying to improve my looks Trying to get a boyfriend Trying to look good Trying to fit in Trying to do well in school Trying to be cool Trying to be perfect   Next up were my early years in recovery: Trying to listen to my body Trying to eat intuitively Trying to get it right Trying to let go of being perfect Trying to be… Continue reading

Video Store Wisdom – Mark Masserant

  Pain is mandatory, but misery is optional. – some smartass Some days you’re the coyote, and some days you’re the cliff. Everybody runs into one of those days eventually, when problems pile up like an awkward balancing act in a Dr. Seuss story gone terribly wrong. My problem-solving skills used to come in a bottle, or so I thought. Now that I was sober, my biggest problem was that I had problems. I worried about how I looked while I was having them. How could somebody like me have stupid little problems like feeling so incomplete, insecure and broken? They were the worst. Attending meetings regularly was a must. There was too much drama at my house – and I lived alone. I was restless, irritable and discombobulated, but odds were I was making headway. Months after my second year of sobriety, I attended my favorite meeting on a Friday… Continue reading

The Tangled Labyrinth of a Chaotic Childhood – Kyczy Hawk

I have not felt as if I had any connection with my ancestors; but it turns out that I do. Not in the “descended from royalty” kind, or the “long line of heroes” type, but the “inherited a poor resilience structure” kind. I do have a history, and it is painful. After several years in recovery I had to look at my life before liquor, my childhood before cocaine, my minority before marijuana – you get the drift. There were behaviors and characteristics that had set the stage for my using, drinking, rampant sexuality, dependence on independence. I had to untangle my old solution set, and find a new structure for my character and inner self, just as I had found recovery for my disease of addiction. This had to start in my past. With a family that moved often between cultures but had no center in itself, this wonderful… Continue reading

Days in The Life of an Adult Child – Enough – By Sherry Hawn

As a young woman I never saw myself as an addict or a broken person. I smugly believed that since I hadn’t been arrested, hospitalized, medicated or forced to undergo EST, and I didn’t take alcohol or drugs, that I had narrowly escaped what seemed to grip my entire family of origin in one way or another. Over the years various family therapists inquired whether I was afraid of being found mentally ill and, of course, I shrugged these misguided questions off instantly. Considering that I worked, went to school, lived on my own, and was seemingly successful by worldly standards, I felt superior, and dare I say, blessed even though I had paralyzing fear and insecurity hidden in my soul. Yes, weight was always a matter of concern, but I wasn’t obese. I was able to camouflage the flesh, I thought, and periodically attempted dieting. Unlike weight, several other… Continue reading

Brain Recovery Following Alcohol Use Disorders – William L White

Since the early promulgation of addiction as a brain disease, I have warned that such a model could increase rather than decrease addiction-related stigma if not also accompanied by a parallel understanding of the neurobiology of addiction recovery (See HERE and HERE). To that end, I joined several colleagues in calling for a recovery research agenda that includes a focus on the degree to which brain functioning is restored during the recovery process (See HERE and HERE). In the intervening years, significant research has illuminated such healing processes and their implications for recovery management. The most significant of this work has been done on alcohol use disorders. The extent to which these findings are applicable to other substance use disorders remains unclear. Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are associated with significant cognitive impairment, though not all individuals with an AUD experience such impairment and the degree of impairment can vary widely depending on AUD severity and duration, number of… Continue reading