Is it love or is it an addiction?

Do you feel your happiness is predicated on being in a relationship? Do you feel incomplete without a man?

Why do women base their self-worth on whether a man loves them or not?

Well, I have the answers for you. Being completely transparent, I must admit I was addicted to love. Or, should I say, the feeling of being loved by someone else. The only problem was, the men I picked  didn’t love me back. Yes, I was one of those women that felt the only way I was complete and happy was to have a man paying attention to me.

I spent many years pursuing useless relationships that caused me more pain and self-loathing than love. I wore my heart on my sleeve, so that others could rip it off and walk over it. The men I attracted didn’t have any sincere interest in me but liked being seen with me. The harder I tried to make them like me, the bigger the rejection I would experience.

In other words, I was looking for love in all the WRONG places. I realize now this is a very common situation for women with low self-esteem. Read these words very slowly:

 A man will never complete you

He can only enhance your life. Anything more is too much responsibility for one person. Your truest form of love starts within you. If you don’t love yourself, then you can forget about a man loving you. The harder you try, the faster they run. Bottom line, you need to have something in order to be able to give it away.

Here are 5 updated rules for romance:

  1. If you feel like you can’t live without him, you should.
  2. If you are doing all the work to make it happen, then you need to step back.
  3. Meditate daily on the fact that you deserve to be loved, starting with being loved by yourself.
  4. Keep your clothes on until you know what the other person’s intentions are.
  5. Be yourself, it’s easier to sustain being the real you than it is to be a weak imitation of someone else.

Loving relationships do not need to be so challenging. But if you continue to put the wrong vibrations out, you will keep attracting the wrong men. A real relationship is a mirror image of the one you have with yourself. Do the inner work so you can experience the outer joy of connecting with someone who truly appreciates and loves you.

Live Faithfully,

Mal

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Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, CBS Radio, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over one hundred Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.

Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on Amazon.com.

How to Spot a Growing Addiction

Spot a Growing AddictionSubstance addiction can come in several different forms, stemming from recreational usage or even from a medical prescription. It can be difficult to distinguish between harmless usage and a growing addiction, either in your loved ones or yourself. As far as the physical signs go, here are some behaviors to look out for in those that are close to you.

1. Changes in Physical Appearance
You may be aware of a loved one’s occasional usage of a drug or alcohol, but watch for physical signs exhibited in more inappropriate circumstances. If you notice large pupils, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech during strange times like a family outing, this could be an important warning sign.

2. Running Out of Prescription Too Soon
If you or someone you know uses up their prescription sooner than the doctor ordered, this could indicate a growing dependency. If there is a desire to continue to receive monthly prescriptions even though the pain has lessened, this is also an indication of potential addiction.

3. Shirking Obligations
Obligations like school and work become less important when the brain is running off of an addiction. Watch for changes in responsibility and behavior; if someone is continually showing up late or skipping work completely, they may be struggling with a developing problem.

4. Change in Finances
If you see a significant change in finances, such as an uncharacteristic lack of funds or even stealing money, this is a big indicator of a consistent habit. If someone is being overly secretive of their finances, it could be that they’re trying to hide where their money is going.

5. Personality and Mood Swings
Any unusual mood swings (especially if they occur more frequently) point to a growing dependence on an addictive substance. Overall drastic personality changes also point to an addiction, so trust your instincts and observations when analyzing your loved ones.

6. Socializing with New Crowd
A sudden change in socializing habits is often connected with teen drug abuse, but it also applies to adults. If a person has dropped a group of friends for a new one, and especially if the new group of friends has questionable habits, this could be an indicator of a slippery future.

What to Do Now?
It’s difficult to recognize some of the signs when you’re looking at a loved one, but as the support system you’ll need to be aware of what’s going on. On the other hand, if you’re worried about yourself and whether or not you’re growing a substance dependency, you can and should be a little more honest with yourself by answering some questions:

• Have you built up a tolerance to whatever substance you’re using “casually,” causing you to use more and more to feel the same effects?
• Do you use the substance to fill a void of some kind, whether the void is represented by sadness, anxiety, or anger?
• Have you begun to use the substance just to feel normal?
• Have you begun to question whether or not you should be using at all anymore, and yet you continue to?

There is hope for you, and you don’t have to wait for all hell to break loose before you get help. There are plenty of teams over medical research in Cleveland, OH and other cities that are working daily to find the best solutions for tackling addiction early. You can find some form of help in every community, whether it be support groups, medical programs, or rehabilitation centers. If you or someone you know seems to be starting a descent into drug addiction, tackle the problem before it’s too late.

Chris Miller is a professional writer, blogger, and English grammar enthusiast. Chris enjoys learning about new health products, procedures, and ideas. For more information about medical research studies done on drug usage and addiction, visit Rapid Medical Research website.

Live Faithfully,

Mal

If you like our content sign up here for updates and a free gift!


Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, CBS Radio, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over one hundred Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.

Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on Amazon.com.

Willingness + Honesty = Recovery

new you

What is it that causes women to relapse even after they have started discovering the gifts of sobriety, rebuilding their lives, and regaining a lot of what they lost in their addiction?  Is it despair?  Is it lack of faith? Is it simply reverting back to familiar bad behavior because it is easier?  Perhaps they lose sight of hope.  They don’t really believe things can get better, or that they deserve better.  The people closest to them have hurt them, so they withdraw and put walls up.  The fear of the unknown overwhelms and chokes them and makes them reluctant to go down a new path. They have built a defense mechanism of forgetting the consequences of their actions. The only thing they feel will comfort them is what they know, another drink or drug.

“Sometimes, especially in early recovery, we concentrate on our losses instead of our gains.  We see a chapter in our life closing, and we must mourn.  We must leave some friends behind, or say goodbye to a social life we enjoyed.  We must give up our addiction, which had become our best friend and only comfort.  We may even need to leave our families, at least for a time, in order to concentrate on our own needs.” —  Body, Mind, and Spirit by Anonymous

Last week a girl in the facility where I teach a class, who is in early recovery was struggling terribly with the flood of happy, sad, and reminiscent emotions that were happening as a result of the changes she is making in her life. She is actively taking part in her program and is realizing that acceptance of these changes is not easy.  It is painful walking through the emotions along this new path of our journey. She was feeling hopeless and desperate and all she wanted to do was buy a bottle of booze, go sit at her parents’ grave, drink, and cry.  She wanted to escape the difficult and uncomfortable feelings.  Fortunately, she spoke up at a meeting and was honest about what was going on in her head.  Afterwards, as she was getting ready to drive away, someone from the meeting came up to her and asked if she was o.k.  He asked her if she would promise him just one thing.  Would she buy a cup of coffee and take it to the cemetery instead? “Just give it a try, and if it doesn’t work, go back to Plan A.”  He asked if he could call her later to make sure she was alright.  She bought a cup of coffee and went to sit by a lake and cry.  He called later and she was still sober.  That is how the program works! 

You think to yourself at times “I can’t do this, it’s too much, it hurts, I can’t face this pain, I am not strong enough, I give up!”  That’s right!  YOU can’t, but WE can!  There is Power and Hope in WE!!!   Honesty is a choice ONLY YOU can make.  A fellowship cannot give you the strength and support you need if you do not ask for help, and tell someone how you are REALLY feeling.

I know when I was actively drinking that I used to choose not to talk about it when I wanted to drink because I didn’t want anyone to talk me out of it.  I wanted to isolate, wallow in my self-pity, and drink.  End of conversation.  I wanted to stop the pain of feeling worthless. (That’s another blog post about all the bullying I experienced as a teenager.)

But when you are blessed with the gift of desperation, it opens a new door to Hope.  You decide you have lost ENOUGH.  Sadly, you have a chronic and fatal disease that will end up putting you in jail, an institution, or even killing you if you do not change.  Today, you know that this old default behavior of using will unquestionably make the situation worse.   You have proven this to yourself time and time again.  Choosing sobriety and recovery is the only answer. 

I love this quote from Seth Jaffe, The Sober Coach

“When the drugs and alcohol are taken away from an addict, it leaves a vacuum which abstention from using does not fill…This feeling of uneasiness will continue to exist until the vacuum is filled with recovery, a healing and awakening of the spirit.  Recovery will work for any addict if they have the desire to stay clean and sober above all else and the willingness and honesty to do whatever it takes to have a life of recovery”.

What challenges have you had with your recovery?

If you would like to learn more about the Life Recovery Process and creating what you desire, check out my web page about the symptoms of not living with passion and purpose by clicking here.

I am passionate about helping women to recover their lives and to clearly identify the behaviors that are keeping them chained to the past. Life Recovery Coaching is a process for helping all women become the best expression of their divine.

Live Faithfully,

Mal

If you like our content sign up here for updates and a free gift!


Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, CBS Radio, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over one hundred Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.

Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on Amazon.com.

Guess Who’s In Recovery?

Recovery: verb – The act of regaining or saving something; returning to an original state or a gradual healing.

Because September is National Recovery Month, I started to think about how recovery is a part of all of our lives.  I don’t feel it applies strictly to people suffering from an addiction. Everyone I can think of is involved in a type of recovery.

Most residents in the Northeast are still trying to recover from the recent hurricane, Irene. I know personally I was without power for three days. Because I carry an iPhone on a mitten clip, I must admit, I was in the throes of cyber withdrawal. Sadly, many people lost their homes and everything they owned.  I am truly grateful that my three properties were not severely damaged. There was a lot of flooding around them, but I was spared. When I drive around and see the uprooted trees, the signs of water penetration, personal furnishings on the street and people dragging more to the curb, I am filled with gratitude for my good fortune.

There are so many people caught suddenly in a financial downturn and trying to recover. Unexpectedly they lost their jobs and are trying to get new ones. Many are barely holding on. Can we extend a helping hand to aid in their recovery?

What about all the women who are trying to recover from failed marriages or relationships and are consumed with guilt and self-loathing? Maybe the housewife who yelled at her husband today is trying to recover from the harsh words that were spoken between them? Let’s not leave out the young couple who may have torn each other up in a fit of jealousy. It goes on and on.

Then we have the truest definition of people trying to heal from an addiction: the abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs is prevalent, especially in tough times. The age of the addict is becoming younger and younger.

So, you see, we are all touched by the act of recovery in some form. It is not exclusive to one individual group. During the month of September we should contemplate more about what it means to recover and then look around us to see who we can lend a hand to. There may be someone closer than you think.

Live Faithfully,
Mal Duane


Mal Duane is a certified Personal Life Coach with more than 23 years in recovery from alcoholism, who has overcome devastating life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships and attract that which they most desire, as she has, through a connection to the divine power within. Her book Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power is coming in February 2012.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular Alpha Chick updates and invitation to the Alpha Chick telesummit coming soon

The Power of Choice – Reflections on Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Choice is an opportunity; it is a gift we are all given when we are created.  However, over time we lose sight of the fact that we have the ability to choose.  I think the loss starts when we are very young. We want to be good, we want to be accepted, we want to fit in. And so instead of asserting    to choose, we compromise and go along with people or with the situation.  Over time this compounds so that we barely recognize any longer that we have choice as an option. In short, it becomes so much easier if we don’t say no.

As we lose the power to choose, we can easily replace it with damaging bad habits.  It is so easy to turn to something that comforts us and weakens our power even further. I suspect that this was part of the problem for Amy Winehouse.  She lost her power of choice.  She became tied to alcohol and drugs.  No matter what rehab center they sent her to, she returned to the comfort of anesthetizing herself and drowning the voice she did not want to hear. The courage to choose a different path had been stripped away by all the sensationalism written about her psychological decline and frequent binges. They painted a gory picture of this poor, suffering soul who lost her grip on reality. This young woman had very little left to hang on to. Sadly something happened last Friday night to Amy Winehouse. We do not know what the official cause of her death was. I suspect it was related to making the wrong choice, probably the only one she thought she had.

Through my own experience with alcohol, I can relate to feeling like this. The addiction clouds your process to make decisions. If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction, simply try to stop even for just one day. The fog will start to clear and you will see that you do have the power of choice. It was there all the time. Choice brings you joy!

I would love to hear your own inspiring stories of how you moved from pain to power by over coming addictions.  Please leave your comments below. I really look forward to reading them.

Live Faithfully,

Mal Duane
Alpha Chick


Mal Duane is a certified Personal Life Coach with more than 23 years in recovery from alcoholism, who has overcome devastating life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships and attract that which they most desire, as she has, through a connection to the divine power within. Her book Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power is coming in February 2012.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular Alpha Chick updates and invitation to the Alpha Chick telesummit coming soon.

 

Thank You Elizabeth Ann – A Farewell to Betty Ford

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“My makeup wasn’t smeared, I wasn’t disheveled, I behaved politely,and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?” ~Betty Ford

A woman that I admire passed away a few days ago.  We heard the news on TV about the death of the amazing former First Lady, Betty Ford.  She was recognized worldwide for her candor about her personal struggles with breast cancer, alcohol and addiction. Shortly after leaving the White House she admitted she was going into treatment for her addiction. The preconceived face of the female alcoholic changed that day, replaced by this beautiful, smart, energetic woman who famously behaved politely. She wasn’t a stumbling, rude, social misfit! It was a giant step for women struggling with alcoholism and addiction. Through her public admission, Mrs. Ford removed the social stigma of women’s addictions

She helped so many women by being open about her own battles.  Mrs. Ford openly discussed her breast cancer and the required surgery with the press.  She posed for photos shortly after her operation and was very candid about her mastectomy. This─ at a time when the word was barely whispered! A subject that had been taboo became news headlines and people were finally free to openly discuss their personal battles.

Mrs. Ford was a strong women’s advocate throughout her life. I loved reading an article about her recently that described her going to the Betty Ford clinic, walking into meetings and introducing herself: “Hi, I am Betty Ford; I am an alcoholic and an addict”. I can just imagine the reassurance that her presence gave the others in attendance.

Living life authentically, with grace and appreciation for what you have, is what Betty Ford showed us all how to do. Even when confronted with personal challenges, she openly shared her feelings of trepidation about them.  I know that she has left an indelible mark in the recovery community and has advanced the treatment of addiction to where it is today. Thank you, Betty Ford.

If you’ve been moved by the life of Betty Ford or other inspirational women, famous or not, who have overcome addictions or other forms of abuse, please share your stories and reflections below! I look forward to reading them.

Live Faithfully,

Mal Duane
Alpha Chick


Mal Duane is a certified Personal Life Coach with more than 23 years in recovery from alcoholism, who has overcome devastating life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships and attract that which they most desire, as she has, through a connection to the divine power within. Her book Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power is coming in February 2012.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular Alpha Chick updates and invitation to the Alpha Chick telesummit coming soon.