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Victory Blog

Stop Saying Should: Exercise and Recovery

Posted on Aug 14, 2017 in Blog, Recovery | 0 comments

Stop Saying Should: Exercise and Recovery

When going through a particularly difficult time in life, no one wants to hear the advice “You should exercise.” We’ve all heard that exercise releases endorphins that give pleasant feelings known as “a natural high.” We know that exercise not only makes bodies stronger, but that it’s also mood-boosting and improves our outlook on life. We know these things, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the motivation to exercise. We all know we should exercise, but those in recovery are already hearing a lot of “shoulds” about healthier life...

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17 Health Problems Linked to Alcohol Abuse

Posted on Jul 25, 2017 in Alcoholism, Blog | 0 comments

17 Health Problems Linked to Alcohol Abuse

In addition to causing difficulties in your relationships with family and friends, alcohol abuse can take a severe toll on your physical health. The full effects of long term alcohol abuse on the human body are still unknown, but researchers have been able to link heavy drinking to a number of serious medical issues. 1. Anemia Anemia is characterized by an abnormally low number of oxygen carrying red blood cells. When someone is anemic, they will experience symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, chest pain, and pale or...

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A Dysfunctional Marriage: Addiction and Depression

Posted on Jul 3, 2017 in Addiction, Blog | 0 comments

A Dysfunctional Marriage: Addiction and Depression

Depression and addiction have been described as a married couple who bring out the worst in each other but can’t live apart. Professionals have various perspectives about which comes first—depression or addiction. It’s a “the chicken or the egg” situation. But experts agree that depression and addiction often go hand in hand. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry estimates that at least a third of adults who struggle with addiction also struggle with depression. Dual Diagnosis Many people turn to substances to numb pain, whether it’s pain from...

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Getting Your Hands Dirty: Art Therapy and Recovery

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 in Blog, Recovery | 0 comments

Getting Your Hands Dirty: Art Therapy and Recovery

Imagine a man who is not comfortable expressing himself verbally. The traditional approach of group meetings or talking-based counseling doesn’t work well for him. However, when given a paintbrush, the man expresses his pain from years of alcohol addiction and hope for the future through colors, shapes, and images. Because addiction can be brought on by many things—childhood trauma, PTSD, depression—it makes sense that what works for one person in therapy might not work for another. And that’s where visual art therapy can help. What is visual...

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Rewriting Stories: Using Creative Writing in Recovery, Part 2

Posted on Jun 10, 2017 in Blog, Recovery | 0 comments

Rewriting Stories: Using Creative Writing in Recovery, Part 2

A previous post discussed the reasons why writing can be helpful to those in recovery. This post gives a few more specific exercises for writing memoir and poetry. They can be used by oneself or in a group meeting. Because writing is highly personal, writers can choose to share or not share their work in group settings. Notice that a lot of these exercises can be structured to be about recovery, but they don’t have to be. Sometimes it is helpful to write about recovery, but sometimes those who struggle with addiction need to think about other...

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Rewriting Stories: Using Creative Writing in Recovery

Posted on May 26, 2017 in Blog, Recovery | 0 comments

Rewriting Stories: Using Creative Writing in Recovery

In recovery, building skills is encouraged—parenting and household managing skills; budgeting and life skills; or useful work skills like computer knowledge or a trade. But what about skills that may not earn a lot of money or may not seem applicable to everyday life? Do skills such as writing a poem or a short story also have value? How can creative writings skills be useful in recovery? Writing stories helps process emotions and the past. Although not a substitute for therapy, writing a memoir, poems, or fiction based on real life can help...

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Recovery and Improv: Just Say “Yes”

Posted on May 19, 2017 in Blog, Recovery | 0 comments

Recovery and Improv: Just Say “Yes”

Perhaps “recovery” and “improv” seem odd in the same sentence. Improv is usually associated with comedy and entertainment. Shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and comedy clubs like The Second City come to mind. But did you know improv techniques were originally designed to build life-coping practices? Before it was entertainment, improv was therapy. Viola Spolin, one of the first innovators of Improvisation Theater in the 1920s-1970s, worked with inner-city and immigrant children. She used theater games in groups as a way to build confidence...

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How to Know if Your Loved One Has an Addiction

Posted on May 1, 2017 in Addiction, Blog | 0 comments

How to Know if Your Loved One Has an Addiction

When you think of substance abuse tell-tale signs, what do you think of? Maybe bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, or drastic weight loss? But would you recognize substance abuse red flags if you saw them in your spouse, child, parent, sibling, or friend? Addictions aren’t formed overnight. They grow gradually, making it difficult to tell when recreational use has crossed the line into full-blown addiction. It can be hard to tell if a friend appears anxious because she’s abusing stimulant drugs, or if she’s anxious because her job and marriage...

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Addiction Treatment for Professionals: How To Stay Discreet

Posted on Apr 24, 2017 in Addiction, Blog | 0 comments

Addiction Treatment for Professionals: How To Stay Discreet

Many people who seek addiction treatment may feel nervous about others finding out about their illness; they may fear losing their jobs, relationships, or reputation. People whose professions are high-profile, like executives, school superintendents, or prominent newscasters, may feel even more pressure to keep their addiction treatment private. In fact, the fear of being “found out” often keeps these professionals from seeking help, sometimes until it is too late. Because of the social stigma of addiction, most treatment centers value and...

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Gender Specific Therapy

Posted on Apr 13, 2017 in Blog, Recovery | 0 comments

Gender Specific Therapy

A Personal Experience: Sponsorship is a key element to 12-step recovery. Although there are no rules, there are suggestions based on the experience of others. One of these suggestions is that men sponsor men and women sponsor women. To be blunt, I thought that was a ridiculous and archaic thought process. What is the difference in who sponsors you? Well, as a gay man, I soon learned the importance of this suggestion. My sex life in addiction was out of balance, to say the least. Just like all other relationships in my life, I did not have a...

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