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For 39 years, I have belonged to the most underserved population in the addiction/mental health field. Dual diagnosis/co-occurring members have special needs. Living with the “Double Whammy”–addiction and depression recovery, I have had to learn relapse prevention for both. Luckily for me, I decided in 1976 that I would go all in with addiction recovery. I elected at 3 months sober to go to a very modest home for alcoholic women. At the time, it was the fashion to go to country-club style treatment in North Carolina. But I know that I needed to be in that modest home. While there, we worked the first 3 steps and I found the God of my understanding. I have never had anything happen that was more important to me than staying sober.

The 12 steps taught me the way out of addiction. But they didn’t help me with depression. I have dysthymia which is milder than other depression types and it comes and goes. I have had to learn everything about my depression by myself. I am sure that is true for most of us with co-occurring or dual diagnosis. The mental health field can provide labels, medication, and sometimes, if you are very, very lucky, good counseling. But we have to become our own mental health expert. It is an individual journey.

My passion is helping people in recovery learn how to rebuild their lives. Addiction generally wipes out everything. When you begin recovery, you have no clue if you will be able to continue not using your drug or aversion of choice. You know you have to change something, but don’t have a repertoire of things to do in order to stay sober.

How do you build a life in recovery? Once you give up an addiction, nothing in your life is the same. There is an old saying in AA that you only have to change two things in recovery: quit drinking and change everything else about you.

The twelve steps for addiction recovery work. In my opinion, they are a requirement for building your life addiction free. The twelve steps of addiction recovery offer the best chance in changing the addiction path. But how do we rebuild our lives after giving up the addiction? What do we need to do in order to become fully alive?

In addition to these twelve steps, structure is needed to develop habits and guidance. No one else has the answers for your life except you. So we each have an individual path to create. It takes courage and experimentation to learn the techniques that will work best for you.

One of the first building blocks in building a new life is learning how to make your mind your servant. Before we examine our thinking, we believe thoughts just come. But do they? Are you allowing your undisciplined ego to run the show dictating what you say and what you do?

As we shift our feelings and thoughts to positive from negative, we become aware of the power that we feel inside. We are becoming aware of our soul. The soul is bigger that just our mind. It includes our dreams and our feelings as well as our thoughts.

The healing principle is that as we believe we will get better, we will get better. But choices have to be made. You can’t hold on to misery with one hand and reach for happiness with the other. As the trapeze artist lets go of one bar before she grasps the next one, so also must we give up misery for happiness.

Having been in recovery since Nov. 24, 1976, I have learned much about recovery. Also being aware of how often we buy books we don’t read, I put most of my writings from the last 10 years on weekly newsletters.

Each Emotional Sobriety newsletter has one recovery theme. It includes 8 photos, 8 quotations and 8 direct links (highlighted in red) to posts about the theme. So it is designed to be a resource you return to throughout the week.

All 12 newsletters (3 months) are available from PayPal for one low price–$10.00. Each week you will receive one of the following recovery themes. You can order the newsletter on my main blog (Emotional Sobriety) or on my Facebook page also named Emotional Sobriety.

Week 1–Codependency Recovery
Week 2–Healing Your Pain
Week 3–Become Your Observer Self
Week 4–Relationships
Week 5–Intermittent Fasting
Week 6–Double Whammy: Addiction And Depression
Week 7–Finding Your Inner Child, Parent, and Adult
Week 8–Your Core Issues
Week 9–Spiritual Connections
Week 10–Personality Labels
Week 11–PTSD
Week 12–Food Determines Your Mood

How my newsletters can help you:
(1) Each issue is about one recovery theme;
(2) Recovery theme is easy to find in your email subject headline;
(3) All the newsletters can be accessed from any and all devices you own;
(4) You can read each newsletter over and over;
(5) I have 39 years of living sober and teaching sobriety.