Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from recoveryBox

Wish you all a wonderful and sober Christmas and holiday Season!

~ the developer of recoveryBox, the iPhone app for Addiction Recovery

Friday, December 20, 2013

Surviving the Holidays During Addiction Recovery

 Surviving the Holidays During Addiction Recovery

We all know that this time of year gets to be, well super CRAZY!  Holiday parties, shopping, lights, festive music, people being merry and so much more.  For some the holidays are the hardest time of the year to get through. I'm not here to offer the perfect way to achieve this, but I do have a few tips that I can pass along.

First, remember the "Reason for the Season".  I know it's an over used phrase but it really does remind us why we are celebrating.  God gave us an amazing gift so very long ago and it would do us well to ponder what that means to us.  If we think about how God sent Jesus to "give us a second chance" we realize that we did nothing to deserve this.  God didn't just sent Jesus without giving the necessary tools to achieve this gift of freedom.  And just like our recovery, we have a second chance complete with a set of tools to not just help us cope, but to succeed.

Second, remember what your tools are.  Always go back to what gets you through each and every day. Just because it's a "special" time of year does not mean it's time to let go all that we worked for.  Make a list of what helps you, and refer to it often during these next few weeks.  Is it a picture of your kids to motivate you? It is knowing that you have a lifeline through an accountability partner or sponsor?  Is it your spiritual life? What about your friends and family?  Ponder on how these tools help you remain grounded and use them to stay sober.

Third, don't put yourself in a situation where you might be tempted to relapse.  In recoveryBox, these would be your yellow lights.  Being with a person, or at a place, or possessing an item that is a temptation are warning signs to take caution (hence the yellow light as in a stop light - take caution).  Be on guard.  

  • If going to a staff party is going to be filled with alcohol, then have a plan.  Perhaps have a tumbler of water or coffee in your hands at all time.  You already have your drink so no need to get another.  Or if the temptation is just too much then either go with someone you trust to help you or don't go at all!  
  • Shopping addicts find this to be an incredibly tempting time of year.  And it's so easy to "justify" the buying because it's what's expected right?  OK, first again, focus on the "Reason for the Season" and you will be reminded that NO this time of year is not all about buying.  Some practical tips include go shopping with someone you can trust to help you say "no". Make a list and keep to it!  Shop with cash only - yes, leave the credit cards at home.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Or even consider giving a different type of gift in honor or a person - perhaps find an organization that you feel the person cares deeply about and give a donation in their name.
  • Another easy trap is for those who have addictions to pornography.  Sometimes it's easy to say well I'm going to shop online and not head out to the stores.  Well, perhaps that will lead to just "surfing" for the best deals or that perfect present.  "Surfing" is not healthy with any type of sexual addiction. Know exactly where you want to go on the internet to shop.  Stick to the major players like  Have a trusted person sit beside you while you shop online..yup, do it together.  And of course I'm a huge believer of having your house all set up using (it's free for home use and it's awesome!)
  • For those with an eating addictions, this is such a tricky time of year.  All the goodies and wonderful smells that linger in the air.  Yup, I myself have a hard time here even though it's not my addiction.  But, again when going to a party make smart choices.  If you eat too much then use a small plate or brush your teeth before you go (or even during - sounds funny but who likes to eat with minty fresh breath), or drink a lot of water before you go to fill your tummy.  If you don't like to eat then make a plan of what you need to eat or even eat ahead of time.  Sometimes nibbling along can help us get what we need.  
  • Isolation around this time of year is easy to do for so many reasons.  But it's the worst thing to do.  Being alone is a trigger for many so make sure to mingle in the celebrations to be with others.  Or attend spiritual events to keep you focused.  When we isolate ourselves we tend to revert to bad habits.
These are just a few tips for specific addictions.  I can't pretend to know everything that is helpful nor do I know your specific triggers.  But, your accountability partner or sponsor should, so have a conversation with them.  They should be able to offer more specific ideas to you.  

Fourth, and this can be a doozy for some...let go of past resentments.  Many times these are between family members and since we often get together with our families at some point during the holiday season it can be awkward to say the least.  Part of your recovery is letting those resentments go to make yourself healthy again.  Who knows, maybe this is the year to even make amends during this season. This could be a great time to open up and be honest.  Being vulnerable is very tough to do, but it is where healing happens.

And lastly (OK, I could make this go on forever, but let's face it we are busy people), I would say minimize your stressors.  Stress can be one of our biggest triggers.  So if you stress about not having all your shopping done, tackle a bit each night. Set realistic expectations too of yourself and others. We all know what our stressors are.  Goodness, for me sometimes you can just say a certain name and the hair on the back of my neck starts to rise.  But thinking it through and making a plan to deal with the stress can be helpful. And remember nobody is perfect.

I wish you a blessed holiday season.

~ from the developer of recoveryBox

PS.  Don't forget to record it in recoveryBox the app.  It will be wild to see how this year's holiday will stack up again next years.  If you don't own recoveryBox or want to gift it to someone, visit the iTunes store or follow this link to recoveryBox in the iTunes store..

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Version 3.2 of recoveryBox Addiction Recovery App is HERE!

Version 3.2 of recoveryBox, Addiction Recovery Sobriety Toolbox is now available with new features (and a few bug fixes).

~ Be Engaged In Your Recovery
~ Be Accountable To Yourself & Others
~ Be Rewarded For Your Hard Work
~ Be Supported By Many Others

Download it today!

What's New in Version 3.2

Customize Your Yellow Lights! 

~ Besides the provided yellow lights for people, places or things that can act as a trigger, we added the ability to add customized yellow lights for any newly created addiction.

Bug fixes
~for iOS6 users, retain preferences for number of lights is fixed.
~badge frame is aligned
~ability to cancel deletion of custom lights or addictions
~for some iOS6 users, addiction color bug
~fixed data integrity (users must save data before moving between tools)

Better reporting and multiple addiction dates is coming very soon! Be supported!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Testimony Requests

I'd love to start a series on Tuesday's called "Testimony Tuesday"

This is where I need your help!

Are you willing to share your testimony? I'd like to feature your story on the blog. 

Email me at

Help inspire and encourage others on their journey to addiction freedom.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Random Resource ThuRsday ~ Dr. Brene Brown and Connection

Dr. Brene Brown from the University of Houston talks about connection and vulnerability.  I must say that I do love this video.  If you have 20 minutes it's really worth the watch.  When I was in counseling myself I think I watched it at least 3 times not only because it was a great topic but because she is funny too (an goodness knows we need laughs during such intense times).

I love how she talks about how connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives.  It's why I built recoveryBox addiction recovery app to focus on's a way to connect with a support person in a vulnerable yet safe way.

Have a great Thursday and don't forget to enter your lights today!