It’s the Ordinary that Inspires me the Most – By Nicola O’Hanlon

    I love what Oprah Winfrey said about telling our stories being the most powerful tool we have. Of course, she hasn’t been the first person to say this, but she is most definitely right. I’ve been hearing it for ten years from different camps during my long and sometimes treacherous crusade to recover my mental and emotional health. It is through that crusade that I had the glorious opportunity to write and share, some, not all, of my story with the world. For many years now, I’ve been a writer and editor in the field of Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. I’ve also had the great fortune to connect with magical people from all over the world, who have overcome their own adversity and taught me how to overcome my own. It’s been the greatest privilege of my life to now be able to offer support to other people on… Continue reading

    My Weight Loss Journey – By Charlie Baulm

    When I was 16, I was 5’8 and 115 pounds. I was able to run a five minute mile and had complete control over my eating habits. Fast forward 12 years later, I am 28-years-old and over 200 pounds and cannot even jog a block before getting winded, I don’t know where things exactly went wrong but here I am, living in my new body and feeling shame for letting myself go. Marriage, the stress of a career, juggling school and the generalities of life had taken its toll since high school and I felt miserable. I felt like no matter how many times I moved forward I would always take a step back with my poor eating habits. The first time my excessive weight gain had become apparent was during a trip to my Grandparents’ house. The trip was excellent, but upon returning home I was confronted with a… Continue reading

    Five Things I Realized on my Journey to Recovery – By Kel B.

    Most of my recovery path started behind a keyboard. Clear minded for the first time in longer than I wish to remember, my brain eagerly absorbed all there was to learn about addiction and recovery. Countless hours navigating the latest trends, epidemics and tragedies of the thousands of lives lost from this forbidden curse we call addiction. And just as much time was spent wandering through the myriad of pathways to recovery I never before knew existed. But in no way would I recommend doing recovery alone. Isolation leads to what they call in treatment, stinkin’ thinkin. That deceitful little voice in your head that says everything will be alright so long as you just have one. I listened once, which was reminder enough that my brain no longer understands moderation. 1. Recovery thrives in community. Perhaps with a sober mind, I discovered we actually enjoy creating meaningful relationships with others. Especially with people whose story looks like ours. Relating to someone with the same sorrow and heartbreak. To cheer them on with every milestone and… Continue reading

    Addiction Neurobiology & Personal Destiny – By William L White

    In 2005, Nature Neurosciencepublished a special issue on the neuroscience of addiction that summarized the advancements in unraveling the biological mechanisms that contribute to the etiology and progression of addiction to a wide spectrum of psychoactive drugs.  The technical papers included in the 2005 special issue stood as a progress report on the biological model of addiction that has been aggressively promulgated by National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, MD, and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Director George Koob, PhD.   The state of addiction science was updated in 2011 in Nature, and Nature has just published a special supplement of articles on addiction that provides a further update. In reviewing this series of collected papers, it is difficult not to be swept up in the advancements in our understanding of the neurobiology of addiction.  These papers mark an evolution from a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of addiction, to new… Continue reading

    Fat Is Not a Feeling By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

    My earliest memory of “feeling fat” was when I was about 12 years old. Up until that time, I was not all that aware of having a body; I was pretty much just in my body, doing the things that kids do. I had not yet learned that I was supposed to look differently than I did. I had not yet downloaded the program that some foods were “good” and others were “bad.” I did not yet have exercise and movement linked up with calorie burning or self-worth. Then I got teased about my size. I started to compare myself to my skinnier friends and I began what was to become a full-time job of feeling fat. I had no clue at the time that fat was not a feeling. I didn’t know that body obsession was a cover up for low self-worth, and neither did I know, at the… Continue reading