Adults

Warning, Warning!! Four Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship

Warning, Warning!! Four Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship

by Colleen Andre, LMHC

You feel devastated, empty, and ashamed. You are yet again alone and obliterated by another relationship. It is already difficult to rebuild after a relationship but what makes a situation worse is rebuilding from a destructive and unhealthy relationship. But, it is possible to protect yourself from unsafe partners. Here are a four warning signs of a potentially toxic relationship.

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, toxic, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, anger

  1. Too much checking in: If you are receiving multiple or successive text messages/phone calls then sound the alarm! The messages could end with emojis or caring remarks but the content is focused on where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. You want to ask yourself “why are they checking in so much?” If there is not a primary concern, such as a sickness or being emotional upset, there is cause for suspension. The partner could be insecure and it may show signs of controlling or stalking behaviors.
  2. Losing friends: “What type of friends am I losing?” and “Why am I losing friends?” You should feel concerned if you are losing friends quickly or losing close/long term relationships. Often times, abusive or unhealthy partners want to isolate their victims. When family or friends are out of reach then who is the available for comfort? You are trapped with only your partner for emotional support.
  3. Pressure to share things you are not ready to: Deep and personal questions sought out in early stages of a relationship is cause for suspicion, especially if there […]

When to Clean and Sober | Orlando Substance Abuse Therapy

When is the right time to get clean and sober??

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

When is the right time to get clean and sober? Now!  Often times when someone starts contemplating stopping or going into treatment they will come up with a list of various reasons why they can’t.  We frequently hear things like, “I don’t have time;” “I could loose my job;” “I won’t spend as much time with my children;”etc… The list of reasons go on and on.   These are things we hear all too often as loved ones when we are watching someone die right in front of us.  It may be frustrating from an outsider’s perspective but what we must recognize is that this individual truly does not know any other way to live.  One way to have compassion for someone struggling making that step into recovery is to understand that this life is the ONLY normal one to them.

When someone is in active addiction almost everything they do is managed around the drinking lifestyle.  They go to places where they can drink, they hang out with people who drink, or they come home to drink – the drinking/using routine becomes very ritualistic.  Eventually it gets to the point where if one tries to stop they begin obsessing about getting the next drink and then the compulsion takes over where it’s unbearable so they must drink again. Not until intervention is implemented can this cycle be stopped.

Progression of Addiction

The real problem of waiting to stop is the fact that addiction is a progressive disease.  […]

Developing Compassion after Trauma, & Heartbreak | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Developing Compassion after Trauma & Heartbreak

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Individuals who have experienced tragic or traumatic events in their life often struggle with self-hatred or intense shame.  These core feelings prevent self-love and compassion, ultimately postponing healthy, desirable relationships.  Furthermore, if someone has experienced trauma and lacks healthy coping skills, they are more likely to use alcohol or other substances to self-medicate.

Over 80% of individuals with alcohol or other drug problems have experienced trauma or abuse in their past. Part of gaining long term recovery often means working through the effects of trauma or abuse.  This is a process effectively mastered in the counseling setting.  Bringing up any trauma or abuse can be re-traumatizing (if not done correctly); therefore, it is vital to do this with a professional. This is especially true for individuals trying to stay clean and sober, as it can be a major trigger for relapse.

One major component in healing from past trauma is learning how to develop compassion.  Most importantly compassion and love for yourself.  Once we learn how to love ourselves, and accept ourselves entirely, then we are capable of truly caring for others. We can’t fill anyone else’s cup if ours is empty.

Compassion is absolutely necessary in successful relationships.  Let’s say our partner has said something hurtful but genuinely apologized, and we just cannot find it in ourselves to forgive this behavior.  The hardest time to have compassion for another is usually when they have done something unkind.  Hurt people, hurt people; but when someone has hurt us it is helpful to remember they are not […]

3 Tips to Accept your New Body after Bariatric Surgery | Orlando Bariatric Weightloss Therapy

by Cherlette McCullough

After under-going weight-loss surgery a lot of men and women and men struggle with accepting their new body.  After surgical weightloss Most patients struggle with the extra skin, baggy clothes, compliments their not use to hearing, insults from the naysayers etc.  All of which can cause added stress to the already difficult lift style changes. The stress can then cause sadness which can turn to into depression or addiction.  Bariatric patients often times end up back in the situation they were in prior to weight-loss surgery, because they didn’t make the efforts to heal emotionally to what may have been the cause of the weight gain.  Losing the weight is great however; holding the emotional grudges against yourself make it  hard to accept your new body.

weightloss, bariatric surgery, self-love

Here are 3 Tips to Start Accepting Your New Body:

  1. Remember Your Why. Keep in mind why you decided to have weight loss surgery. Write yourself reminders to see throughout the day.
  2. Think of yourself in a positive way. When you start having the negative thoughts; challenge yourself to recognize the pattern, stop it and replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts/affirmations. For example, I am beautiful; I love myself and my new body. I accept the new me.
  3. Do not avoid mirrors or clothes shopping for clothing that fit. Don’t hide in the oversized clothes. Go shopping with a trusted friend or family member. Often times we aren’t able to truly see the weight loss and still try to buy the pre-surgery sizes.  Bring someone with you to help shop and make it fun again!

Overall, remind yourself daily the reasons […]

New Beginnings in Sobriety | Orlando Addictions Therapy

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

The first step of getting sober is to admit that one has a problem.  Once someone develops the self-awareness of a drinking problem then they are on their way to a new way of life.  Many times, people struggle with the difference between what is alcoholism, addiction, substance abuse disorder, or chemical dependency.  They might wonder to themselves, am I really an alcoholic?  Misconceptions are portrayed frequently in the media and pre-conceived notions from others.   Often times someone might compare their drinking to someone who drinks every day or experiences withdrawals and say, “At least I’m not that bad.”  The curious drinker may wonder– am I really an alcoholic?

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, anger

Here are some the red flags of a drinking problem:

  • Having consequences directly because of the drinking. (i.e. Repeatedly miss work, family engagements, or school, but continuing to drink).
  • Spending most of the week preparing for partying, drinking, or recovering from the affects.
  • Putting one’s life in dangerous or risky situations when drinking. (i.e. drinking and driving, getting injured)
  • Continuing to drink despite loss of memory aka blackouts

Not everyone who has a problem experiences everything listed above.  The primary concern to notice is drinking despite continued consequences.

Here are some steps to help achieve sobriety:

  • Hang out with other people that don’t drink
  • Call someone when you really want to drink
  • Attend 12 step meetings and do the work
  • Stay busy.. especially on the weekends

If you are ready, you do not have to drink again. You can choose to join the 23 million Americans are in recovery and stay sober, […]

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Over 10 million people have a mental health disorder and substance use disorder combined (2005).  Recognizing the link between addiction and co-occurring disorders is important for many reasons but when we acknowledge this link as a professional – whether it be a counselor, nurse, doctor, attorney etc. – it allows us to develop a cohesive system of care for this person.  It is not uncommon to have a mental health disorder in conjunction with addiction.  Symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD and more are seen often with substance abuse.  However, when we are talking about co-occurring disorders we are not just referring to mental health symptoms – we are also finding solutions for people who might be homeless, HIV positive, or those with a history of criminal charges.  When we think of the term co-occurring disorders we can think about treating the whole person and connecting them with multiple resources in the community.  This all enables the person to further achieve sobriety.

Why can’t we just help the person get sober?  Doesn’t that solve the issue in itself?  That is the FIRST major step.   Treatment programs that solely focus on the addiction aspect are missing a vital contributor to the person’s addiction.  For instance, let’s say a person struggles with depression from a very young age.  Then as an older adult they discover alcohol; it fills the void but gets out of control and eventually becomes a problem overtime.  Once, they stop drinking the deep empty feelings of depression return and intensify without something to numb it.  They are not sure how to cope with these uncomfortable feelings and they […]

Post-Vacation Hangover | Orlando Counseling & Coaching

Post-Vacation Hangover | Orlando Counseling & Coaching

Work is starting back up, kids are returning to school, and the bills are coming in. Post vacation hangover is real! Once the high from pine needles, Christmas cookies, and decorations are gone, reality hits like a ton of bricks. It is relatively easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and dread as January sets in.

Here are a few simple tips to remedy your post-vacation hangover.

post-vacation hangover, anxiety, stress, depression, janie lacy

  1. Routine, routine, routine. Setting yourself back on a routine can be a tremendous help. Implement bedtime routines, meal planning, and even leisure activities for yourself and your family. Nightly and morning routines are especially important. Feeling more awake in the morning and not being rushed out the door can make the difference between having a great day or crappy day.
  2. Taking it one day at a time. It’s important to plan and look towards the future. However, when the idea of tomorrow’s workload or next week’s bills sets your anxieties at an all-time high, then it will be best to focus on the here and now. Focus on being able to make it through today, the workday, the next few hours, or maybe the next few minutes. You need to build up your stamina and sometimes future thinking can be anxiety provoking and discouraging.
  3. Gratitude. Post-vacation blues can be most difficult because you are stuck living in your mental vacation wishing you were still there. Counting down to the next vacation can add onto the day to day dread. Identify the things you appreciate about the holidays, accept that they are gone, and move forward. […]

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

by Cherlette McCullough

You’re single now. Has it been really difficult to move on after the break up? Have you found yourself consumed with your Exe’s life? Break ups are hard emotionally. No matter what kind of relationship whether it was short term or long term. Here are three tips to use quickly after the break up.

single, break up, relationship, anger management

  1. Exes can’t be your Friend after the Break Up

Being friends with your ex can be extremely confusing for one of you or both. This type of friendship is different because it started as a physical relationship. These relationships often make you stay in the past resulting in you not moving on to the right relationship that you deserve. When it’s over; let it go.

  1. Delusions after the Break Up

Stalking your ex by going to their social media pages, calling their family asking about them and their new love interest, showing up to places at times you know they are there, making excuses to call them, making situations with the children bigger than they are for attention. All of these will keep you stuck. It’s important to know if your ex has moved on its time for you to shift your focus to you and your children…not the ex and their new love interest. Also because you have custody or more time with children it may seem like your ex has more free time, but that doesn’t mean that your life is less full filling. You too can have friends to go out to […]

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Is it really? For many, the holiday season is a somber time where we remember loved ones lost or the scarcity and pain in our lives. Here are some ways to combat the holiday blues.

holiday blues, depression, christmas, alone, stress,

  1. Reach out! As human beings we need to be with people. Making new memories is a great way to combat the holiday blues. Don’t have plans for the holidays? You still have time so start making some! Ask around to see what others are doing or create your own event by inviting friends. You’ll never know the fun you could have.
  2. Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion: Lend your time. Do some volunteer work! Go serve food to the homeless. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day. When you do these things you will see the joy in others’ eyes and in turn that joy will return to you. This will also enable you to spend time with others.
  3. Watch some funny movies. There is nothing like a good comedy to lighten your mood. Go for a classic or perhaps a movie you’ve seen recently that really had you laughing. The more funny movies you watch the better you’ll feel. They may or may not be holiday related, that’s entirely up to you and whatever will make you feel good.
  4. Read. Pick up a good book (or two). There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Go to your local library, bookstore, or look online for suggestions on books […]

Real talk on Sexual Assault versus Trump’s “locker room talk” | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

Real talk on Sexual Assault versus Trump’s “locker room talk” | Orlando Sexual Assault Counseling

The head-line this week was all about Trump’s leaked conversation with Billy Bush in 2005. A large group of people consider Trump’s words to be deemed as sexual assault while others consider it just “locker room talk”. A recent article by CNN titled “Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ stirs real talk about sexual violence” highlighted the domino effects Trump’s conversation had on several women. In the article, women tweeted story after story of their first sexual assault experiences.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every 109 seconds, another person experiences sexual assault and one out of every six women has been a victim of attempted/completed rape in her lifetime. Trump’s conversation may have been just “locker room talk” but sexual assault is very real for many people, particularly women.

Sexual assault is a devastating and tragic occurrence that happens more frequently than what most people realize. People who have been sexually assaulted often times want to forget and move past the incident without letting it affect their lives. However, there is a series of long-term effects that can occur to individuals that have been sexually assaulted.

Here are just a few long-term effects:

  • Have more likelihood to use drugs than the general public
    • One way people choose to cope after a sexual assault incident is to numb themselves from the pain or […]