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Friday, July 29, 2016

Mindful and Intuitive Recovery: Tips for Healing PTSD & Addictions

Recovery from trauma and addictions is hard enough but if your mindset is not correct or positive then what is your direction. If your mind is left to its own direction, your mind tends to wander through all kind of painful and suffering thoughts. These thoughts are based on negative core beliefs that were formed during abusive, traumatic or addicting situations. 

Connected thoughts and associated emotions to those negative core beliefs that surface include anger, self-harm, cravings, desires, fears, depression, pain, revenge, self-pity, suffering and sometimes suicide. The mind left to itself does not always views or processes negative events accurately so your thoughts become distorted which results in you forming false emotions, therefore, you’re not perceiving what is going on in your body, mind or spirit correctly. Your perceptions and expectations seem to turn upside down. Safe becomes unsafe, real becomes unreal, causing you more pain and suffering. 

When your mind wanders freely your thoughts are directed toward the regrets, shame or guilt of the past or fearing the possibilities of the future that probably will never occur. Know that your past happened and is not happening. Your future is just a fantasy until it happens. You can’t fix the past and 99% of future predictions never works out the way you project, think or worry it will. As a survivor and addict, the one moment you actually can experience and effect changes in is the one you seem to avoid, now.

Meaning of Mindful and Intuitive

Probably you have not been introduced or have limited exposure to the concept of mindful or intuitive.

Mindful means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, body, mind and spirit without being judgmental. 

Intuitive is a different way of interpreting, of a sensing who you are, how you think, how your body feels, understanding your feeling, why you react the way you do and where you with yourself without evidence or proof. Being intuitive is using gut sense to be compassionate and connecting with yourself, your body and mind.
Tips for Mindful & Intuitive Recovery

Mindful and intuitive recovery is being consciously aware of your mind, body, beliefs, emotions, spirit, and thoughts as well as your intuitiveness. 

Mindful and intuitive recovery is knowing how you respond to PTSD symptoms without any self-judgement. A question is "how do I make what happen to me and things I have to learn productive for me in my life?" In recovery being mindful involves always paying attention to your mindset, intentions to recover and “on purpose”. 

Mindful and intuitive recovery means having a conscious direction of your awareness. Sometimes talk about being “mindful” or “aware” as if these words are interchangeable terms, but they are not. Think of it this way. You may be aware that you feel angry or afraid, but that wouldn’t mean you are being mindful of your anger or why you are fearful. In order to be mindful you have to be purposefully attentive, aware and focused fully on yourself and your body as well as ready, able and willing (RAW) to change, not just vaguely or habitually aware. 

Take Away

Traditional recovery methods and separation of PTSD and addiction treatment have not worked. Both survivors and addicts end up with Post-traumatic Stress symptoms either traumatic experience or developing an addiction. Maybe alternative methods for recovery should be explored.

So successful mindful and intuitive recovery maybe a different method which might reduce the rates of relapse in both.

 Mindful and intuitive recovery is noticing what is going on inside you and around you right now at the moment. Being mindful does not mean you can no longer reflect on your past or future, but when you do you do so be ever mindful of your mindset. 

Mindful and Intuitive recovery and healing from trauma or addictions is an action not a state of mind.
            Coach Bill

More information on this subject at my website and click here for free eBook download.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

7 Tips on Why Survivors Seek Addictions

Survivors of abuse and trauma gravitate toward forming addictions for many reasons due to the intensity of their Post-traumatic Stress symptoms post abuse or trauma experiences. 

The following are 7 tips on what to look for if your are a survivor who is experiencing intense PTSD symptoms and are attempting to fight them, numb them out or suppress them.

1. Hiding abuse or trauma symptoms because possessing 
    these symptoms is viewed in mental health field as 
    weakness of character   

Reacting to abusive or traumatic post experiences was seen as a weakness of personal character, particularly in men. The non-traumatized population understood that addictions were a disease, so survivors pick up on it and realized it was more acceptable to have an addiction and be label for an addiction rather than Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) so they would not in their mind be seen as weak or damaged.                                                                                                                                  
2. To numb out emotional, cognitive, physical and 
     memory symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder  
Survivors discovered getting habitually involved in certain behaviors, emotions, substances and thoughts initially reduced the vast array of PTSD symptoms. Each behavior, emotion, substance and thought attacks a different symptom. This is a reason that 
many survivors have many different addictions. Once the effects of a PTSD symptoms are diminished, the individual is already into a severe or toxic stage of addiction.             

3. To fight negative thoughts that seem to originate 
    out of thin air  

First of all, “every addiction starts with a thought or set of thoughts.” Survivors find out that thoughts are his or her most powerful enemies as well as allies. So the survivors create and enlist addictions to substance or inanimate objects to eliminate the constant excruciating, upsetting and damaging noise of negative looping thoughts (thought addiction) which seems to surface out of thin air. This unwanted negative looping thoughts seem to surface out of a dark place in the subconscious and come racing into the conscious. This occurs due to a trigger. This trigger then causes a flashback or a memory related to a past traumatic experience.

4. To increase denial of reality through “gas lighting” self   

The definition of gas lighting is to undermine yourself or 
another's perception of reality. To create a false inner reality to veil any knowledge or memory of a past event or situation and what happened. The one main thing a survivor does not want to realize is that he or she was abused or traumatized and he or she was changed forever forming a core belief of “I will never be the same again.”  

5. To produce a false sense of security

Many survivors live in a constant fear of everything around 
them. Having addictions gives survivors a false sense of 
being safe, something to focus on and alleviates emotional 

6. To mask PTSD symptoms with addictions

If both the addiction and PTSD are not treated together, a resurgence of PTSD symptoms will send a survivor into an addiction relapse. Conversely if he or she relapses due to a craving on an addiction relapse to mask over the surfacing PTSD symptoms. 

7. To reduce re-experiencing of recollections of past traumatic events

Traumatic memories or flashbacks is one of the main and 
worse symptoms of PTSD. Survivors who are re-experiencing traumatic memories or flashbacks will attempt to control, 
fight or suppress these through addictive patterns, behavior, thoughts or substances. A survivor will turn to taking illegal 
or legal substances (alcohol or drugs or prescribed pain or 
mental health medication) to block out flashbacks (visual, emotional, and auditory as well as body memories) or 
participate in unhealthy behaviors (eating or depriving of 
food, pornography, self-harm, self-sabotage, sex, and/or 
excessive exercise) to mask over suffering PTSD symptoms 
as well as engagement in repetitive harmful thoughts and/or destructive relationships to block out hurt and pain of re-experiencing 
what happened to them.

Take Away

Not only does a survivor use an addiction to stop one of the seven reasons mentioned above but would enter into more than one addiction at a time to accomplish his or her goal to suppress suffering PTSD symptoms and hide the symptoms from the world. 

A survivor may even be juggling 7 different addictive relationships at the same time to resolve all 7 reasons above. 

If you are a survivor who has addictions it is important to face and heal both your PTSD symptoms and addictions at the same time otherwise one will counter act the other causing a relapse in one or both.  
        Coach Bill                                       
More information at website and click here to download free eBook

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

3 Tips on Eliminating Emotional Wounds

Are you searching your past for answers about why your life is not fulfilling? Maybe you are still holding onto old pain. 

As everyone knows who has followed me knows I am a big supporter of making closure with past emotional wounds and regrets rather than attempting and failing to make than resolution. 

Closure to resolution is like “doing your best” as compared to “trying to achieve perfection”.

If you are not able to make closure with your past emotional hurts or painful events then those deep hurts stay with you. If you have not let go of them or have not gotten over them, they will revisit you constantly even without your consent. These emotional hurts leave a negative emotional charge or painful scar in the form of a regret on your core and the result is you spend too much time reflecting on your past. 

These emotional regrets of your past don’t allow you live in the moment. Your life passes by, there is no going back and can never be recovered.

Also, these emotional wounds that have not been dealt sometimes from childhood will cause you an inability to function later as adults. They will deplete your energy and spirituality as well as not permit yourself to move forward, have a successful relationship with yourselves or with other people in your life. 

In order to move forward in your life and grow, you need to make closure with your past emotional wounds.

3 Tips on Making Closure and Dumping Your Regrets

1. Recognize 

   Take time to recognize and evaluated by writing a list of 
   all your emotional wounds and the regrets connected to them.

2. Denounce

    Openly denounce these emotional wounds and regrets 
    by verbalizing that these past hurts don’t define you 
    as a person and that you are no longer giving them 
    mental space or energy.

3. Engage 

    Honestly, connect and interact with the moment. 
    Follow through on you promise in tip 2 then turn 
    your back on those past wounds and walk away 
    down a new path and never look back.

Think about this quote -

 “The inability to make closure with one world stops you from                        moving forward and opening another one.”
     Coach Bill                                           
 Click here for free eBook download.

Monday, July 25, 2016

7 Tips on Reducing Effects of Emotional Triggers

The Trigger Experience

Every time you go through the following experiences of rapid heartbeat, like your heart is going to beat out of your chest, sweating in every part of your body, cold hands and feet but hot body core, unusual smells for no reason, tightening of your throat, dry mouth and unable to say anything, physically frozen (unable to move) and unable to do anything, feeling dissociated, constricted visual field, quick onset of fear or terror for no apparent reason, emotional numbness, confusion, loss of the ability to focus, loss of the ability to concentrate, consciousness in and out, intense anxiety as though something is going to happen, hypervigilant, hyper responsive, hyper emotional and hypersensitive as well as a rapid onset of irritability it may not be what you thinking is happening to you.The experience is not a panic attack. Rather a clue of forthcoming flashback or better known as a subconscious trigger response.

If you are honest with yourself and review all the aforementioned reactions, you will see that you are really experiencing a subconscious trigger response of a flashback rather than going through a panic attack. As a client said after reporting experiencing all those symptoms as mentioned, stated "my past is still alive and part of me. Everything triggers me after all these years."

Unfortunately the diagnosis of a "panic attack" seems to have become a knee jerk catch-all diagnosis made by many professionals who are unaccustomed to the impact of Post-traumatic Stress symptoms and how PTSD mirrors many other diagnoses.

Definition of Trigger

A trigger is anything that arouses your senses and sets off mental, emotional, or behavioral cues and activates memories of a past hurtful, painful abusive or traumatic situation. Triggers a particular to situations you have experienced. 

Triggers are connections between your conscious mind and the specific memories you have stored that have not been processed. Triggers revert you back to the emotions, behaviors, thoughts, physical sensations and reactions causing you to experience the memory the triggers are connected to and make you feel as though the experience is happening all over again.

Types of Triggers

Triggers set off a recollection of a memory or flashback which transports you back to the event of her/his original trauma. Triggers are very personal; different things trigger different people.

A trigger can be a: 

Muscle constriction 
Negative self-talk
Seeing something on TV
Specific locations

Methods for Coping with Triggers

Now, the best way of coping with triggers is to avoid them altogether. However, this is almost impossible to do. Why? Well, you cannot really avoid your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Much of these are out of our control. In regard to external triggers, we can take some steps to manage our environment (for example, not going to certain places that we know will trigger us), but we cannot control everything that happens to us. For example, you might inadvertently come into contact with a news story or conversation that reminds you of your traumatic event.
Because we often cannot avoid triggers, it is important to learn ways of coping with triggers. Effective, healthy coping strategies for lessening the impact of triggers include:

Identify and monitor triggers by making a list
Increase positive emotions through positive activities
Intuitive techniques
Expressive writing
Muscle relaxation techniques
Social support
Intuitive breathing

Quick Tips Solutions 

Sometimes triggers are outside of your control and impossible to avoid. When that happens, though, there are some things that you can do to lessen the anxiety, disappointing, over-expecting, and negative thoughts and reactions that follow. 

7 Tips to Calm Emotional Triggers

Some tips which may work for you are to reduce the effect of a trigger:

Being mindful: 

Making yourself aware of where you are, in the present moment, and knowing that in that moment you are alright and can work to alleviate the anxiety and fear that has been triggered. 
You’re so busy focusing on daily situations that you forget to enjoy what is happening right now as they come. You sometimes become trapped in the confines of the day-to-day activities that you forget to be grateful for the beauty of life and the little things.
Being more mindful helps remind you that all good things come with time. It helped me escape the pressures of my job and embrace my writing without allowing it to consume my life, and it helped remind me to enjoy life again by tapping into the power and enjoyment of the present moment.
Using your recovery support system: 

Talking to someone who understands your PTSD and is supportive in your recovery, is a way to let go of the effects of being triggered.

Be authentic and honest with yourself: 

Be open with yourself and tell yourself the truth. Identifying the feeling you are having and what is causing them in the moment. Remind yourself you are safe now and not back in the situation as your traumatic event. Becoming aware of your fear and anxiety. Be mindful to know what is real in the moment and what is not so you will react appropriately. Positive self-talk or journaling when you’re triggered by unknown feelings, thoughts or situations can be extremely helpful dealing with triggered memories or flashbacks.

Remind yourself you’re not your triggers:

Whenever a trigger surfaces in your mind, simply identify it as a “trigger” and move on. You’re not your past or negative events you experienced. You’re separate from your triggers and they’re separate from you, so you do not have to respond or react to them.

Go for a nature walk:

Go for a walk and blend into the environment around you. Listen to the sounds, notice the colors of the trees, and bushes as well as the smell of the essence of nature. Nature will reduce the influence and impact of the triggers naturally.

Take a warm bath.

Baths can help you reduce your focus and put you into the moment by allowing you to sense the warmth and sensation of the water. It will take your mind off of the trigger that has surface, and a bath can help disconnect from your past, allow your worries fade away into the heat of the water.

Using intuitive methods: 

Intuitive methods of connecting with your gut use your senses to get yourself back in the present moment through intuitive breathing and intuitive thinking. Use your sense to hold a special object, listen to music you like, smell or taste something with a strong scent or taste, take notice of your environment, count your blessings or hug another to bring yourself back into the moment.

Take Away

Being mindful and intuitive doesn’t have to consume all your time. You can easily use any of these techniques above throughout the day to decrease the impact of your triggers. These tips can also reduce your anxiety and calm your mind. Connect with the moment and the connection will free you from your recollections of the past.
           Coach Bill                                        

Visit my website and click here to download free eBook.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Treating Addiction and PTSD Recovery as One

The majority of mental health professionals and theorists in their writings separate and differentiate between addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder clients. All professionals on both sides express how addicts and survivors should be treated separately

Addiction clients are considered to have a disease and PTSD clients are theorized as having a psychological anomaly of the mind in their writings, research and practice.

Surprisingly these two groups are more similar in their symptoms and needs than not


It is very commonly known that 98% of all addicts have a history of abuse, combat, trauma or painful and hurt experiences in their lives. In the group of individuals who are labeled PTSD 98% of them involve themselves in 1 or more addictions.  On one hand it is widely known that a triggering or flare up of PTSD symptoms will cause an individual with both conditions to relapse on their addictions. On the other hand a relapse of their addictions will cause a triggering or flare up of PTSD symptoms. Yet these groups are not treated for both symptoms at the same time which may account for high rates of treatment failure and high rates of relapse.

Both viewpoints omit the similarities in both which they have in common which may lead to improved integrated programs, better mindful recovery methods and enhanced success rates as well as lower relapse rates.


Maybe there are alternative ways to view post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction recovery together by looking at the similarities of both.

1. Symptoms of the process of addiction and PTSD formation are         comparable:
  • Loss of connection with self, partners, family, and community
  • Feeling of emptiness
  • Strong feeling of fear, unsafe and insecurities 
  • Lowered self-worth, esteem, and confidence
  • Negative beliefs of not being good enough, lacking, weak, diseased, damaged
  • Formation of inappropriate and unhealthy connections
  • Denial, anxiety, stress, panic and  worry 
  • Constant flow of negative thoughts and self-talk
  • Strong desire to be loyal to what is destructive and toxic 

2. Habitual involvement in toxic relationships whether with a               person, a group or inanimate object (thought, emotion, 
    behavior or substance) are accompanied by an 
    unwillingness to stop no matter what the cost.

3. Addictions and PTSD are considered long-term conditions.

4. Triggers in survivors are equal to cravings in addicts.

5. Living and holding secrets. Survivors hold and live the secret 
    of what happened and who did it. Addicts keep secrets of 
    their use and how much they use and the frequency.

6. Widely known and proved that exposure to primary or
     secondary abusive, traumatic and combat situations can 
     cause Post-traumatic stress and its symptoms. What is not 
     known is the creation and process of the formation of 
     addiction is an abusive, traumatic and toxic experience, 
     and causes Post-traumatic stress and related symptoms 
     in the user. 

7. Exposure to primary or secondary abusive, traumatic and 
    combat situations alters how a person’s brain and body 
    functions and reacts. The same is true about addictions.
    Addictions also alters how a person’s brain and body 
    functions and reacts.

2 Tips 

The present traditional mode of treating both is not working. Something has to change.

1. Unite the treatment of both addicts and survivors in the same environment.

2. Unify both professional fields would allow the development innovative and customized programs targeted at decreasing the relapse rate and increasing the success rate.  

To learn more visit my website and download my free eBook.

         Coach Bill