Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

energyRecovery from any type of addiction is both physically as well as mentally exhausting and draining. For many people, it is literally peeling away layers upon layers of unhealthy behaviors and coping mechanisms to understand the root of the issue and then build new, effective and healthy coping mechanisms and behaviors.

With all this energy drain, it can be had to sustain the mental and physical levels needed to be successful in recovery. Anyone working to change a behavior knows that being tired, anxious, stressed or simply overwhelmed is a key trigger to regressing to past negative coping mechanisms.

The Universe Holds the Answers

The Law of Sobriety is a book I published in 2010 which focuses in on the concept of the Law of Attraction and how it can be used to assist with recovery. The Law of Attraction is a universal law that states that the way we think and the way we see ourselves is a magnet for the types of energy and opportunities we see in our lives.

For example, if we focus on how mentally exhausted we are during recovery, we are promoting a negative thought about ourselves and our path. Negative thoughts create negative energy, which means we attract negative energy. In the case of feeling exhaustion, this would be sending out low energy and receiving back low energy.

Instead, we need to turn our thinking around to feeling positive energy. By seeing ourselves as accomplishing tasks, of keeping on track and of meeting our goals, we create a high level of positive thoughts. Positive thoughts radiate positive energy out from our beings towards the Universe, which is returned in kind.

Mindful Thoughts

It is important to understand that the Law of Attraction is not a passive principle. It requires focus and attention, with an effort to be mindful and cultivate positive, affirming thoughts about ourselves, our recovery and our journey through life.

Along with these positive thoughts and the manifestation of positive energy out from the self, we also have to be ready to take action on the opportunities that we will receive. This can be challenging for someone in recovery as self-esteem, and a sense of self-confidence is often eroded with addiction.

To help to get yourself on the path to positive thoughts and positive energy, there are some strategies and daily activities anyone can do to create a positive mindset:

  • Become your own cheerleader – recognize yourself for accomplishments. Do not allow yourself to minimize the achievement of a goal or the completion of a task. Make it a mental celebration and reinforce the success through thinking about the personal steps you took to actualize that goal.
  • Become a thankful person – there is something very powerful about setting your mind to look for things in your life to be thankful or grateful for. Keep a daily record, in writing, of at least two to three things that occurred in the day that you are thankful to have experienced. It can be something simple like saying hello to a stranger or for even recognizing a friend for giving you a call just to say hi.
  • Start a talent list – start by making a list of all the things you feel great about. These can be talents, skills or abilities, or perhaps something new you learned or an opportunity you saw and choose to accept.

The more you recognize the positive around you, the less mentally exhausted you will feel throughout the journey of recovery. By sending out positive energy in the world, you will find you receive positive energy in return.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is the author of “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery on Amazon.  Join Sherry’s group coaching  tribe www.wakeuprecovery.com for only $19/month where she combines the law of attraction with addiction recovery and codependency.

imagesI’ll admit, that title sounds kind of like an ad for perfume or positivity or plastic surgery. But you don’t need to go shopping for the one thing you absolutely need to find a great partner.

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Love hurts. Sometimes it hurts a lot. However you got here—whether your partner broke up with you, or you decided to break it off—grief is a process you have to work through. Take the time to work all the way through it and you’ll come out the other side stronger and smarter.
In the beginning, you might feel numb or dazed or angry, guilty, shocked, crushed—or all of these things. You will probably careen from one emotion to the next. Sometimes you’ll need to relive and rethink the end of a relationship. Other times you’ll need a break from thinking about it.
Allow yourself to feel.
Just allow everything to be exactly as it is. Healthy grief lets you experience your feelings in your body, your mind, and your heart. Don’t try to repress or ignore your pain, because it will only come up again later. Don’t make the mistake of trying to distract yourself from painful feelings. It’s hard to hurt, but acknowledging and experiencing your pain is an essential part of grief. Feel what you feel—as much of it as there is.
Care for yourself.
This is the time to care for and nurture yourself. You need to create a safe and sacred space to process your grief. This might include massage or meditation, mani-pedis or spin classes—however you cherish and nurture yourself. Use self-care to give yourself the strength to experience your pain. Your resilience will surprise you.
Learn from it.
You will feel empowered as you gain some distance from your loss and find meaning from it. Now is the time to integrate the experience into your life by embracing all the lessons you’ve learned from the breakup. Create new interests, new perspectives, and new insights into what worked and what didn’t. Think about something you always wanted to do, just for yourself. Maybe it’s joining a gym, taking up yoga, hiking, knitting, or a book group. Now that you’re single, you finally have the time to do it.
Reconnect.
It’s also the time to reconnect with the activities and people you neglected while you were in your relationship. Reconnecting will remind you that you are cherished and valued by others. You may not have a love interest at the moment, but you have plenty of people who love you.
Here’s a great way to remind yourself of that: Throw a dinner party. Think about who you miss and who you’d like to see again, and invite them to dinner. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If the idea of a dinner party seems intimidating, serve take-out on paper plates. But go shopping for the nice paper plates, and get the best take-out food you can. Buy a good bottle of wine, and treat yourself and your guests to something special. You all deserve it!
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Write it down.
Now, sit down and write your ex a letter. This is a great way to sort through your thoughts and feelings, and putting them on paper is very cathartic. Finally, you have an opportunity to say everything you have always wanted to say. You can tell your ex how much you long for him/her, miss him/her, and how much he/she hurt you, betrayed you, how bad in bed he/she was, how ungrateful he/she is.
This letter is for you only, an opportunity to lay everything out there emotionally so you no longer hold it in your body, your mind, your heart. Because you’re not going to send it, you don’t have to watch what you say or how you say it.
After you write it, you can burn the letter in a goodbye ceremony, tear it up, or flush it down the toilet. Or put it away and reread it whenever you’re tempted to try to get back together—to remind yourself of why that relationship will never work.
Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Certified Transformation and Recovery Coach and the leading Psychotherapist on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and Sex Addiction. She helps singles navigate the dating process to find the love of their lives. Take her quiz to find out if you’re a love addict, sign up for a 30-minute strategy session, or learn more about how to get over a break upShe is also the author of “The Marriage and Relationship Junkie:Kicking your Obsession”. Sherry maintains a private practice in Westlake Village, and is a sought after online dating and relationship coach. For more information visit www.sherrygaba.com.

Relationship-Problems-–-How-Does-Meditation-Help-Solve-ThemMost of us tend to pick partners who reflect the vision we have of ourselves and our world. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Compatibility and a sense of ease in a relationship come from having similar preferences, ideas, and values about things like money, religion, monogamy, parenting, and even what makes for good sex. The Legacy Project at Cornell University even did a study on this. They interviewed hundreds of people who had been married 40 or 50 years, and even longer. Most agreed that shared values are at the core of a healthy, long-lasting marriage.

But we don’t pick the people we’re with based on values alone.

We also choose people who have similar ideas about what relationships look like and how they should play out. This sounds good but it can also backfire.

If your caregivers never really modeled what healthy relationships look like, that could mean you end up being attracted to partners who remind you of your dysfunctional family relationships—relationships where you never got what you needed. In other words, if you have a world view that never really worked for you, you’re more likely to be in a relationship with someone who ultimately can’t give you what you need.

These kinds of choices fulfill that need to stick with what we’re familiar with. So we pick partners who remind us of the dysfunctional parental-child bonds we know so well. There’s a subconscious need to repeat that dysfunction, only this time with a different outcome—a kind of do-over. In other words, we’ll marry someone who is just like mom and dad (demanding, unnurturing, unresponsive to us), but this time they will give us just what we need. We’ll get to live our childhood over, only this time with a happy ending.

But that’s a fantasy. And people who seek out these types of relationships often end up trying to change their partner and control the relationship. The problem is, that never works. If your parents disappointed you, and you pair up with someone who is just like your parents, that person will also disappoint you.

Because we tend to pick partners who reflect our world view, people who are willing to give endlessly, often with little in return, tend to attract people who are happy to take endlessly and give back very little. When we’re disappointed, though, rather than move on, we start making excuses for our partner. And when we deny what is real in a partner—the bad as well as the good—we lose the ability to assess who we are picking and become more vulnerable to being exploited and even abused.

At the very least, we end up preventing out partner from growing and making the changes they really need to make. After all, if you keep making it easy for your partner to exploit you, they’ve got no reason to change.

The truth is that you’re powerless to change anyone but yourself, and you’re kidding yourself if you think you can. Only your partner can change themselves, and only if they really want to change.

We might long for a partner to parent the child deep within us—the one who is still angry and unfulfilled—the way we were never parented. But healthy relationships between adults are not about parenting. They are partnerships between equals. As long as we yearn for parents rather than true partners, we will never be able pick partners who can truly (and realistically) give us what we need as adults.

What this all means is that whenever you focus on fixing someone else, an alarm should go off. It’s a warning that there is something inside of you that needs to be addressed. Focusing on fixing another person is just a way to avoid focusing on yourself and on fixing your own issues.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Certified Transformation and Recovery Coach and the leading Psychotherapist on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and Sex Addiction. She helps singles navigate the dating process to find the love of their lives. Take her quiz to find out if you’re a love addict or sign up for a 30-minute strategy session. She is also the author of “The Marriage and Relationship Junkie:Kicking your Obsession”. Sherry maintains a private practice in Westlake Village, and is a sought after online dating and relationship coach. For more information visit www.sherrygaba.com.