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People who have decided to face their addiction have made a courageous attempt to reclaim their lives and cease self-destructive behavior. But stopping a single behavior does not usually end the disease of addiction. Addiction is a bottomless pit that always seeks fulfillment — forever searching without an end. Any old habit will do; co-dependency, drugs, electronics, food, gambling, nicotine, pills, pot, romance, sex, shopping, work — the list goes on ad-infinitum. Switching from one addiction to the next serves only one purpose. It prevents a person from discovering the true path to freedom — a cure.

I’m not talking…


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Supporting Your Loved One Through Recovery

During the 30+ years that I’ve been a therapist, it’s a rare case that family members are equally involved in the recovery process. Typically, other family members sit back and watch the recovering person go to treatment, meetings, and therapy — after all, the addict is the one with the problem. Rather than getting involved, some people even resent the time the addict invests in getting better. The concept that the addict is the “sick one” has been fostered by the kind of treatment that delegates a fraction of the program to significant others.


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At the start of a New Year, many people feel motivated to change something. They start with a firm resolve to end a particular behavior or engage in a new one. But usually, after a few weeks, the resolution gives way to a lack of interest and ultimately is altogether forgotten. If you want to make a change, there are some things you can do to strengthen your chance of success.

Five Keys to Success

Be Certain You’re Ready. The first key to success is to be sure you’re ready to make the change. Every resolution represents a loss, and…


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About a year ago, I attended a publicity summit in New York. Hundreds of authors gathered to meet influential people in the press; morning talk shows, news, radio, and podcasts. It was an exciting but nerve-racking experience. We had to wait in long lines, fight off the jitters, and be ready to nail the perfect two-minute pitch. If interested, they’d ask us to make contact; if not, we simply moved on to the next line and started all over again. Nothing personal about rejection; it simply wasn’t a good fit.

I’d been to the summit once before, but this time…


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Part IV of IV — A Change in Perception

A Course in Miracles teaches, “To have all, give all to all.” In this message, we are encouraged to have a consciousness of abundance. There are three areas that we can either withhold or share; time, money, and forgiveness.

Jesus taught, “To those who have, more will be given. From those who have little, even that will be taken.” Jesus is not saying that the poor will suffer while the rich get richer. Instead, he is referring to different levels of consciousness. …


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Part III of IV — A Change in Perception

If you think back to when you were a child, what stands out as your greatest holiday memories? When we reminisce, most of us don’t recall stuff so much as we relive emotional experiences.

Holidays are stressful because of the time and money involved in preparation. But less time and money and more thought can produce long-lasting smiles.

Your most treasured memories are associated with the feelings you had from an experience, not just the gift. Every time you recall that event, you relive the warmth that you felt back then.


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Part II of IV — A Change in Perception

Several times in my life, I suffered through the holidays. One Christmas, after a last-minute change of plans, I found myself feeling abandoned and alone in an empty house. Other times, the sight of families and couples who seemed blissfully joyous and full love of love magnified that empty dark hole inside of me. Over time, I began to dread the holidays, and a feeling of gloom enveloped me like a dark oil slick over my entire being.

During those years, I was at the effect of my thoughts, and those…


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Part I of 4 — A Change in Perception

The 2020 holidays will go down in history as one of the most memorable. Shutdowns, limited gatherings, and online shopping replaced endless meanderings, big parties, and shop-til-you-drop. While some people are making the best of it, others are feeling suppressed and depressed.

We may not have control over the new rules and regulations, but we do have control over how we respond to all of the negativity that bombards us.

A Course in Miracles teaches us that a miracle is a change in perception. The holidays are a great time for…


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With so much chaos on our planet, it’s hard to stay centered and positive. It is possible to be calm under any circumstance, if you are willing to embrace truth while practicing being an observer rather than a reactor.

When people make agreements, there’s a reasonable expectation that all with keep their word. Sometimes people are downright dishonest and have no intention of doing so. Others justify bending rules with all kinds of excuses. When people don’t keep their agreements, it evokes anger from those they have let down.

Staying peaceful amid strife doesn’t mean we stick our head in…


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When a family suffers from addiction, it’s only natural to focus on the person who has an apparent addiction. Addiction is a family illness that causes pain to all loved ones. To watch a person needlessly suffer is excruciating.

Many people want their lives to be different, but they don’t make the needed changes to bring forth a better life. Instead, there is an expectation that when people, places, and things make the desired adjustments, then everything will be alright. This means that everyone else should do the heavy lifting while I remain the same. …

Dr. Donna Marks

Dr. Donna Marks is a licensed psychotherapist and an addictions counselor. She is certified in Gestalt Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Hypnosis, and Sex Therapy.

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