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addiction in teenagers
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The Art of Becoming Bigger Than Your Addictions – 5 Tips to Help You Clean Up Your Act

addiction in teenagers 
 
This post is relevant to teenagers, parents of teenagers, teachers, therapists, social workers, life coaches or anyone who works with teens and anyone who has ever struggled with addictions. 

 

As a teenager, I had many addictive behaviors. I was a cutter, I smoked stuff, I snorted stuff, popped pills, drank and was completely out of control.

There is nothing cool about this.

These things will never be cool.

And they will definitely never make you cool.

But I get why you might think so. That’s what I thought.

 

Part of it was wanting to be accepted (not so much with cutting, but I’ll save that for another post).

Part of it was not being able to process my emotions.

Part of it was because I didn’t like who I was – and actually had no idea who I was.

But I think (know) the bulk of it was I didn’t feel like I deserved any better.

In other words, I had given up on a better life because it seemed impossible.

 

So I let myself become lost in my addictions.

They became stronger and more powerful than me.

Because I let them.

It was easier to just be high all the time.

You get it.

 

I had friends who weren’t my friends.

Who made fun of me.

Who talked about me behind my back.

 

And it’s okay.

 

I wasn’t very nice myself.

Because I didn’t know how to be nice to myself.

So how could I be nice to other people?

How could they be kind to me?

We just didn’t know anything else.

 

When I decided to stop, I had one person by my side. My boyfriend at the time was the only person there when I was ready to quit. In fact, he saved my life. Well, he helped me save my own life.

 

By believing in me.

By believing there was more to me than my addictions.

And by just being there until I could learn how to be there for myself.

 

So that brings us to…

 

Tip #1: Have Support

Find someone who will reflect your beauty and perfection back to you. Someone who won’t judge you and who will encourage you. This person is there to support you in becoming more of who YOU are. It doesn’t have to be a boyfriend or girlfriend. And in fact that can sometimes get messy. I recommend (if you’re a teenager) finding an adult you feel comfortable talking to. It could be a therapist, counselor or life coach who specializes in working with youth (that’d be me).

 

Tip #2: Write in a Journal

Remember when I said I couldn’t process my emotions? Journaling made it possible for me to do so. Let yourself feel your emotions and express them without holding back. Get it all out. I loved writing throughout my recovery.

 

Tip #3: Know What You Want and Why You Want It

See this as an opportunity to go on an inward journey. As you release your addictions, you unravel layers upon layers of false beliefs. About yourself. About the world. About the entire nature of reality. Every time you do this, more of your truth is revealed. This is the time to dream about a better and brighter future. Write down everything you want to be, do and have and start taking steps towards your goals. Remember why you want to achieve them because the more you can connect with your “why” the quicker and easier you’ll reach your goals.

 

Tip #4: Meditate or Find Some Other Relaxation Technique

The goal of meditating is to get you connected to your wise inner self. Some benefits of meditation include: improved concentration, better health and a calmer + happier disposition. When you practice stilling your mind, you become more self aware and better able to recognize and acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and therefor increase your power and ability to let them go. You can start by sitting in a quiet place for just a couple minutes and breathing very slowly and deliberately. Listen to the sound of your own breath and if any thoughts come up, imagine putting them in a bubble and letting them float away.

 

Tip #5: Eat Good Food, Sleep Well and Take Supplements

One of the first things I did when I stopped using was focused on eating right. I was already a vegetarian, but now a very healthy one. I received many benefits from fasting, doing cleanses, taking vitamins and eliminating a bunch of stuff from my diet. Soy (in excess messes with your hormones, which is especially bad if you’re a teenage girl), gluten and dairy to name a few. Your inner ecosystem greatly impacts your thinking and mood. I strongly believe in the power of natural medicine as its truly the only thing that’s ever helped me.

 

So that’s it!

These 5 things have all proven to be effective for me and continue to be a huge part of my life.

I hope you find them as helpful as I have.

 

Now, let’s journal! Grab a pen and paper, jot these questions down and then write out your answers.

 

What do I wish to accomplish in the next year?

Why?

 

p.s. Today I made one of my favorite soups EVER. The recipe is from The Body Ecology Diet which was practically my bible for a good year. I scanned the recipe for you. Get it here.

p.p.s. It’s toddler approved.

carrie leigh sandoval loves adin isaac sandoval

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions? Comments? What was your biggest insight from this post? Please share in the comments box below. 

Brain drain
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How to Drain Your Brain and Stay Sane

Brain drainIf you tend to overanalyze things, this post is for you.

If you become easily overwhelmed by the amount of thoughts and choices in your noggin, this is also for you.

If you’re ready to let some perfectionism go, this is DEFINITELY for you.

I’m going to share something I (have to) use on a regular basis. My thoughts race so bad sometimes and the more I “try” to make it stop or “try” to organize them into something coherent, the louder they become.

And so I surrender.

Not to the contents of my mind, but to the situation. I understand it’s time to take a break because something else is going on.

And now it has my attention.

Thankfully, this happens less and less. And I think it’s because the thoughts, or rather the part of myself that identifies with these thoughts is just not as needy as she used to be.

Doing a “brain drain” as I call it has become an important part of my self care.

It’s simple. Just write everything out of your brain and onto a piece of paper. If you’re not a fan of using actual paper, I highly recommend you do so at least for this exercise.

It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be nice. It doesn’t have to make you or anyone else happy.

It’s just to get everything out of the way so there will be space for something new to come through.

It could just be:

“This sucks. I don’t want to be doing this. Bananas. Bagels. Wow I haven’t eaten a bagel in a long time. Bagel. Bagel. Bagel. Barf bag. Banana. Bears.”

But decide upon an amount of time beforehand and don’t stop writing until your time’s up. I guarantee you will feel a little better and maybe even laugh at some of the ridiculousness of it all.

That’s it.

It’s easy.

It’s fun.

And if you set your intention beforehand to feel clearer by the time you’re done, it’ll be even better.

Let me know how it goes and feel free to share some random thoughts with me in the comments box below.

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Being vs. Doing

Let today be less about doing, and more about being.

Let it be more about remembering who you are and why you’re here.

Just let it be.

Stillness births new ideas greater than action. Do take action, but make sure that you are calm, you are cool and that you’re doing it because you want to. And if it is something you don’t want to do, but know you have to, ask yourself this: What do I need to remind myself of in order to feel better about this task? What can I choose to focus on that feels a little bit better than just dreading it?

Patience.

That’s what I need more of.

Patience with myself. With the world. With the way that everything is unfolding.

I’m learning it.

Trust.

Trusting myself. Trusting that all is well. Trusting that I can do this.

I’m growing it.

Reminding.

Reminding myself of what I’ve accomplished. What it took for me to be able to accomplish it. And knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I can do it again.

Yes, I can.

Because I want to. And that wanting and that desire is greater than the stress. It’s greater than the fears that are surfacing. It is greater than my old ways, old beliefs, old…stuff.

I am being.

The absolute best version of myself that I can be.

JOURNAL TIME!

Write down and answer the following questions:

What do I need to do when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed?
What activities most nurture my patience?
How can I accept this situation + learn from it?
How can I accept myself?

 

When you’re done, take some deep breaths and wrap your mind around this:

All is well. <3 <3 <3

Bonus: Make a “to be” list, rather than a “to do” list and share it here! Who do you choose to be today?