Hi friends,

Hope you’re all doing well and getting a fresh start on the new year. We’ve had some really great stories published in the Mental Health and Addictions Community (MHAC). Below you will find the top stories published since the last newsletter.

Also, one important announcement — it looks as though we can’t add any more editors to this publication. Medium has changed the rules again for publications and any new pubs can no longer have more than 3 editors.

I’m getting this news from fellow pub owners and not Medium, which is disappointing. I noticed that I couldn’t add any more editors and other pubs were having the same issue. A few pub owners wrote to Medium and were told about the new rules. So it looks like any people asking to be part of the pub from now on will have to be added as a writers. …


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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

How to Manage the People in Your Circle, When Life Feels Toxic

Last year, I had an epiphany about toxic personalities. It was difficult to decipher the actual words that matched my thought process, but I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen, and sketched my thinking process, making it come to life.

Oddly enough, what I had drawn, resembled the solar system, and brought to mind, a scientific analogy.( I felt like a costar on The Big Bang Theory, although not nearly as nerdy or scientifically gifted). …


How 2020 Exposed America’s Inner Alcoholic

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

I reject 2020 as the Year of the Rat. In my mind, there can be no question that it was really the Year of the Drunk.

To be clear, I’m not talking about liquor stores being deemed “essential businesses” during the pandemic. I’m not talking about whether or not alcohol consumption spiked in the U.S. either. It did, according to research, and previously “normal drinkers” will likely need to be treated for alcohol use disorder, but that’s not my focus.

I’m talking about emotional intoxication. It should be fairly obvious that last year’s events enabled us to very publicly manifest the worst, ugliest, most cringe-worthy and flat out deplorable human traits that stew within us all. …


You’d never think these conditions stem from a liver stressed by excessive alcohol.

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Image by brgfx from freepik.com

As a former nurse and recovering alcoholic, I’m amazed to learn how many health issues are connected to a struggling liver. Before I quit drinking, I had a few health conditions that were problematic and mysterious. I had a lot of nerve pain, problems with my balance, digestive issues, a puffy face, and anemia. I had no idea they were linked to a liver trying to do its job while filtering out all the alcohol I drank.

You’d think (being a nurse) that I would have known what was happening to me. …


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Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

When emotions become a relief from fear of poor mental health

As the clock turned from 11:59 to 12:00, on New Years Eve, my eyes filled with tears. At first I was concerned that my mental health was taking another dive into a dark depression, but it felt amazing to finally shed tears.

I wasn’t sure what the tears meant, but they kept spilling down my cheeks. I could feel my body begin to wrack with emotions that I couldn’t define, until it was over. (If I am being honest I don’t think it’s over, but I am on a break from it). I sobbed quite a few different times between New Years Eve and even today, but it’s not a bad thing. It is most definitely a good thing. …


Co-Dependency is not a life sentence.

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Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

They say that it is impossible to overcome Co-Dependency.

That postulate mirrors the equivalent regarding alcoholism: If you suffer from alcoholism once, you will stay an alcoholic forever. No matter that you started sober life years or even decades ago — you still count as an alcoholic.

But — in my opinion, for Co-Dependency, this is not accurate, and I am here to prove that.

What do I know?

I loved and married a functioning alcoholic.
With him, I became co-dependent and with that, unfortunately, his enabler.
He nearly killed us both. I left him and started a new life.

Now, my life feels light years away from alcoholism and Co-Dependency — but the topic has not left me at all: I still research and learn more and more about it.
I believe that once you understand how alcoholism and co-dependency work, you see such and similar patterns everywhere in human interaction. …


Context Matters More Than You Might Think

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Photo by Aneta Pawlik on Unsplash

If you’ve ever struggled with addiction, then you’ve thought about what that A-word means.

I’m not just talking about Google searches and one-night, web rabbit holes into addiction. I’m talking about deep philosophical thought. You might not think you’ve engaged in armchair philosophy, but you have.

See that’s the thing about diagnoses. They convey meaning; they shape our interpretation of ourselves, our actions and our condition. Mental health or substance use diagnoses work two ways. They can feel like a cramped jail cell that constricts individual self-regard. …


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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What this Past Year Has Given us in Life Lessons

I would be lying if I told you this year was easy for me. I would also be dishonest if I said that it has been a wasted year. I know many people have suffered. Much of our world has been challenged with a variety of struggles, losses and sadness, and it is beyond difficult to comprehend the grief that some have endured though this shit show of a year.

I have not suffered like many, and for those who have, I am extending my deepest empathy, condolences and heartfelt compassion. Not to say that I haven’t felt the stresses and adversity that 2020 has thrown at us, but comparatively speaking, my life could have been much worse over the past 12 months. I still have a job, a home and the love of my life. At the end of the day, my gratitude cup is overflowing for those reasons. …


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Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Kohlberg’s model of moral development tells us something about the political divide

Imagine yourself in this position. Your beloved spouse or partner is dying of a rare form of cancer but can be saved by a recently discovered drug. Unfortunately, the drug’s price has been raised 10-fold by its producer and it costs more than you can pay. You try to borrow the money and collect about half of the medication’s price. You call the pharmaceutical company and try to cut a deal. They justify their refusal with a song-and-dance about the cost of research and development. There’s no way you’ll be able to buy the drug, but you may be able to steal it. Would you? …


Would you still dare sobriety?

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Photo by LexScope on Unsplash

Since I have survived a co-dependent relationship with a then active alcoholic, the issue of addictive relationships has been an object of my personal journey and research. Some time ago, I wrote the article Why do People stay in co-dependent Relationships. Shame is a significant part of the answer.
Another factor for maintaining the relationship is fear:

Fear in co-dependent relationships

The addict fears losing the only person who is still standing by them after everybody else is gone.

All the lying and cheating that accompanies alcoholism lead to the loss of friendships, credit cards, driver’s licences, cars, jobs, homes, child custody from former relationships, families, you name it. …

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