Holiday Gift Guide 2016

The biggest gift giving season of the year has arrived…the holidays are here! And we want to share the best recovery gift ideas and be a big help, by giving you a big holiday KISS — “Keep It Simple Santa.”

Here are some of the best and most requested gifts for giving, and we made it fun and simple for you.

You shop and checkout www.my12stepstore.com and we fill your orders, wrap gifts, and ship to you or anyone anywhere!

1. Beverage Mugs and Blankets to keep anyone warm and comfortable. Made with the best motivation and recovery slogans and prayers.

mugs

2. Daily Meditation Books provides the best way to start your day. We offer the famous “twenty-four hours a day” or choose from many others, sex addiction, food or drug addiction just to name a few.

meditation

3. Book Covers to protect your books. Great for step studies and to show gratitude for the work you put into the program. We have fancy genuine leather to fun colorful faux leather.

books

4. Medallion holders of all types and styles. Wood, brass and stone styles for the wall, a desk or table. Leather, silver and metals to use as key chains or something to wear.

medallion

5. Beautifully made wall plaques in various styles and woods etched and painted for the wall at home or that special place. Fun styles and colors with slogans and prayers. Great for you or anyone.

plaque

6. Jewelry to signify the importance of the recovery process for you or a loved one can show great care and kindness. From fancy 14k Gold and Sterling silver rings and pendants to fashion jewelry and dog tags for both men and women.

jewelry

7. Nothing says comfort like a hoodie or hat. We have the essential styled hoodie or hat for you, or  anyone’s recovery wardrobe.

hats

8. Prayer God boxes make the perfect gift for anyone in recovery bring positive intentions. We have an amazing collection from teakwood to stone.

prayer-box

9. Sail in the wind with a unique sailboat. Made from wood or metal with positive messages. Great gifts for collectors or Men.

sailboat

10. The best 2017 AA sobriety calendar with all the interesting history, facts and dates of its founders and program. These make great stocking stuffers.

calendar

11. Recovery journals can be a great tool during the recovery process. Write down your daily thoughts, struggles, goals, accomplishments, and keep track of your growth in your recovery journal. Great gifts for you or anyone in recovery.

journal

12. Recovery Medallions are top on the list. While the journey to recovery can begin in an instance, we know that it lasts for a lifetime. With medallions by year or a specialty style we have hundreds of styles and options to choose from.

medallion-2

We hope we helped your shopping needs and wish you a clean and sober holiday season! If you need more assistance you can call us at 310 623 1702.

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Skip the Lines and Do Your Holiday Shopping on Cyber Monday

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday are often thought of as the greatest shopping days of the year, the day when you can find deals on almost every item on your list. Unfortunately, this also means waking up before dawn during the holidays, standing in long lines and fighting crowds, none of which is very fun or festive.

The good news is there is always Cyber Monday, where you can simply use your computer or tablet to score those great deals from all your favorite stores in the comfort of your home or office. Here are a few ideas and tips to help you enjoy holiday shopping on Cyber Monday.

Shop from a Secure Computer and Connection

One of the most important things you can do when doing your holiday shopping online is to use a secure computer and a secure connection. If your computer isn’t protected with trustworthy security software, there is a high risk of being compromised by malware. This means all the data you enter, including your personal information, bank accounts and credit-card numbers, will be at risk. If an attacker gets control of the network or uses hacking software, they can easily steal your information for their own personal gain. To ensure websites are safe, make sure all browser addresses you’re using begin with “HTTPS.”

Only Use Trusted Vendors

It’s possible for any website to be attacked by hackers, but shopping only with trusted and established vendors will limit your exposure and reduce the risk of being redirected to fake sites. There are massive amounts of deals available on Cyber Monday, but keep in mind that if a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look for low prices, but if possible, compare the prices from two or three different stores to make sure the “bargain” you find is a legitimate one. When paying for your purchases, it is best to use a credit card instead of a bank account because the credit card company is usually more apt to investigate should you file a fraud report for purchases you did not make.

Prepare a List and Budget

Before Cyber Monday arrives, take the time to create a holiday shopping list that includes the name of the gift recipient and how much you want to spend. Having a prepared list will help save you time and money while allowing you to search only for the items you have listed. It’s also helpful to search online stores a few days before Cyber Monday to verify which store has the items you’re looking for.

Whether you are in the process of recovery or are searching for gifts for friends and family who are in recovery, visit My 12 Step Store for a large variety of unique gifts and we offer a gift-wrapping option with a greeting card.

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Developing an Attitude of Gratitude During Recovery

Gratitude is the best attitude

Life can be tough. It can wear you down. It can even tear you down. But one thing is certain — when life is at its roughest, you can pull yourself up and out of the muck. You already know that. You have survived addiction and have enjoyed the power of recovery.  So what’s next? Adopting an attitude of gratitude.

So Small, Yet So Vital

After all you have been through on your road to recovery, finding ways to be grateful should be easy, and yet still you struggle. That’s OK. You’ll get there. Gratitude is such a small thing, yet its power can never be underestimated. Undervalued far more than it should be, gratitude is simply taking the absolute smallest positive in your life and turning it into a something big enough to savor.

Think of it like this — a road is not built all at once, rather it is built with small insignificant sections that when put together connect towns, cities and even states. Standing alone they do might not mean much, but together, the road offers a way to travel across vast sections of land.

The same is true for gratitude. By finding one small seemingly insignificant thing today and another tomorrow, you begin to build a road of real value. Before long you will begin to see all of the good things your life has to offer. Even when things go wrong and you are faced with your most difficult challenges, you will be able to see the reward of the experience. This is gratitude at work!

Developing a Gratitude Filled Mindset

Learning how to be grateful is not always easy, especially for those who are going through a difficult time. Trust us, once you begin to see the little positives in your life, you will pave the way for seeing the bigger ones that are there. Developing a sense of gratitude does not just make you more content with the fact that you don’t have something, it helps you direct your thought patterns toward what you do have. Isn’t that what addiction recovery is all about? This allows your thinking patterns to shift to noticing and appreciating the good things about your family, your job, your home, your friends and so much more.

So how can you begin today, right now, to develop a more grateful attitude? The first thing you can do is sit down and write down everything good about your life. The things you write do not have to be big or important things. The mundane will do. Something as simple as “that hot cup of coffee this morning” is fine! The point here is to begin to see and appreciate the small positives in your life so that you can free your mind (and your attitude) to see the bigger ones.

If someone in your life has been super supportive during your recovery, show some gratitude and write them a thank you note. Let them know what a difference they have made in your journey and how grateful you are to have them on your side. Maybe it was a stranger showing you kindness that turned your day around. If so, send them a mental “thank you.” This act alone could help you better appreciate the moment.

Once you have started to implement these practices in your life, you will begin to see that not everything in your life is bad. It is this acknowledgment that can help you break free from the negative thoughts and emotions that are holding you back. You are a survivor. Now take what you have learned and enjoy life again!

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How Can I Make Today Better for Someone Else?

Keeping yourself uplifted and in a positive frame of mind is vital to your success in your addiction recovery. To do that, you need to surround yourself with positive energy and learn to radiate that energy outward. One of the easiest ways to do that is to do something nice for someone else to make their day a little better. Not only will you be doing your part to improve the world around you, you will reap the reward of feeling better about yourself too. Consider these ideas for making today a little better for those around you.

Show Your Appreciation

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, including your friends and loved ones. How you do it depends on the person and the circumstances but here are few ideas.

  • Tell them. It may seem difficult at first, but just telling someone how much you appreciate them can make a big difference in their day. Saying thank you when it is not expected can be uplifting for both of you.
  • Give them a token of appreciation, like a special mug or a meaningful book. It doesn’t need to be a big item. Little things can make a big impact on someone’s day.
  • Send a thank you card. If telling them how much you appreciate them is difficult for you, try saying it with a card.

Spend Time With Others

In today’s busy world, time is often in short supply. Spending time with someone you care about shows them how important they really are to you. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Go for a walk. If someone you love or care about enjoys the great outdoors, offer to go for a walk along a nature trail.
  • Arrange a visit over coffee. This works especially well for shut-ins or those who have difficulty getting out. Call ahead and stop by for a quick visit as a pick-me-up for their day.
  • Watch a movie together. Nearly everyone enjoys a good movie. Take the time to watch a movie that the other person chooses. This is especially important if you typically choose entertainment that appeals to you. It sends the message you care about what the other person likes and you may learn something new about them, too.

Take Time to Listen

It’s easy to get into the habit of talking about your own dreams and goals in life and overlook that those around you need to share their dreams too. Sometimes, taking the time to listen can make all the difference in person’s day. Give someone you love the gift of your undivided attention as you listen to what they have to say today. Both of you will reap the rewards of improved communication and they will get a boost to their morale today.

Building up others and making them feel good about themselves isn’t difficult and doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time. Make a habit of doing something nice for someone every day to improve the world around you. You will be surprised at how much better you feel, too! Check out our selection of inspirational books and gifts for more ideas on how you can make the world a better place as you work through your addiction recovery.

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Show Support for Veterans in Recovery

Show Support for Veterans in Recovery

All of the freedoms and rights we have as U.S. citizens were defended by veterans, which is why these individuals deserve our support when they undergo treatment for addiction. Their recovery should be a priority for the entire community, not just health care practitioners. There are certain things that you can do to help, even if veterans have not yet entered treatment.

Show Empathy

If you know or suspect that a veteran is coping with pain by using illegal substances, then it’s important to show empathy. Instead of ignoring the problem or being angry at the vet, it is better to talk to him or her about the problem. Opening a dialogue is the start of the healing process, especially when you suggest treatment programs. It doesn’t hurt anyone if you’re proactive in your approach because it will benefit the veteran over the long run.

Be Supportive of Treatment

If you know a veteran contemplating treatment or who is actively in treatment, then supporting that effort should be a priority. That support can mean the difference between a lasting recovery and a relapse. There is no shame in getting help for addiction, and it’s important to let the veteran know that. He or she can regain a normal standard of living if they can make it to a treatment program. Your support can help make that happen by providing the right resources.

Be Forgiving

While it may seem easy to be angry with veterans over their substance use, it’s important not to hold a grudge or resentment. Forgiveness is often the right action to take, especially if the veteran is suffering from mental issues such as PTSD. It’s hard to serve in the military and even harder to be in combat, which is why forgiveness is important for dealing with veterans’ substance abuse.

This Veterans Day, be sure to show your support for all of the veterans in your community, especially those struggling with addiction and recovery. Their well-being should be a point of concern for all U.S. citizens, given the sacrifices that veterans make for the country.

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Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween the Clean and Sober Way

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Halloween officially kicks off the holiday season, but celebrating may invoke a little anxiety in those who are struggling with sobriety, especially those are new to celebrating without alcohol and/or drugs. The good news is, celebrating sober can actually enhance the Halloween season. There are plenty of ways to enjoy Halloween without being inebriated! While it is important to choose your activities carefully, it is equally important to participate in some holiday fun. To help you enjoy the festivities while maintaining your sobriety, here are four fun ways to celebrate Halloween clean and sober.

Halloween Contest

MY 12 STEP STORE is hosting a Halloween costume contest on Oct. 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. at its store location 8730 Santa Monica Blvd. Recovery 101 radio will broadcast live with crazy and wild interviews  with sober treats and prizes for the five costume categories of Most Beautiful Woman, Sexiest Man, Best Drag, Most Original and Best Political. Anyone is welcome to enter contest and winners can be announced by email or text.

It will take place during West Hollywood’s annual street carnival, which is the largest Halloween carnival in the world with over 500,000 people attending.  A mile long with  a show of the most outrageous and unique costumes along with five music stages and a variety of food  trucks. The carnival is alcohol-free but recommended for 18 years of age on up.

Host a Party

Hosting your own Halloween party will allow you to have more control over your recovery by choosing who attends as well as what is being served. If you aren’t comfortable going to a party where there will be temptations, hosting your own party is the way to go. Choose a unique theme for your Halloween party and encourage all of your guests to attend dressed according to the theme. For example, an era, such as the 30’s, 50’s or 70’s or a murder-mystery type theme. Offer only alcohol-free beverages and serve foods and snacks that relate to the Halloween season.

Have a Movie Marathon

A movie marathon is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween and there are a variety of different themes to choose from. For example, if you want a ghost theme, you can rent all of the “Paranormal Activity” movies or if you want more of a cliché classic theme, consider titles, such as “Halloween” or “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Be sure to turn the lights down or off, have plenty of popcorn, candy and alcohol-free beverages available.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great way to get out and have some fun while throwing in a little competition. Encourage guests to be on time and wear a costume. When the guests arrive, divide them up into teams and give each team a disposable camera and a scavenger hunt list. The teams must get photos of everything on the list before returning back to the party location. Download the photos to a computer and let the slideshow run throughout the evening. After the scavenger hunt, the party can continue with activities such as a pumpkin carving contest and/or a best costume contest.

Sober living doesn’t mean you have to give up participating in fun events, it simply means there will be a little bit more effort required to celebrate in a different way than you may be accustomed to. Being involved in Halloween activities will not only offer you and your friends fun things to do, but it will also provide you healthy ways to distract yourself from any temptations to drink. Whatever you do to celebrate, remember to congratulate yourself on a job well-done.

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Heroin: A Dangerous, Deadly and Addictive Drug

heroin-a-dangerous-deadly-and-addictive-drug

No matter what type you’re using and how you’re using it, heroin is a dangerous and deadly drug due to its effect on the brain and the opiate receptors that are located on your brain’s neurons. Withdrawal symptoms can be frightening and painful, but do fade away after a period of weeks. Cravings, unfortunately, can last for years after your recovery efforts and treatment begin.

Methods of Ingestion

Regardless of how heroin enters your body, there are certain risks associated with heroin addiction.

Many feel that smoking heroin through a pipe is one of the “safest” methods because it can allow the most control over how the product is ingested. When mixed with water or other liquids, heroin can be smoked with opiate pipes or through other methods. Interestingly enough, this may be the way most beginners get started with heroin as it doesn’t carry the same stigma that injection drug use carries.

What appeals to many people about injecting heroin is that when it goes straight into your veins, you experience a very quick and intense rush.

Inhaling, or snorting, powdered heroin is rising in popularity again due to the concerns of younger people around sharing needles. However, powdered heroin can be cut with other products such as a powdered milk or even rat poison, causing significant decay to nasal passages as well as the negative effects of the drug itself.

Types of Heroin

There are many varieties of heroin, all of which can be dangerous and cut with deadly products, making it nearly impossible for anyone to know what is truly being taken into their body. Some of the main types that you’ll find are:

  • Black heroin
  • White heroin
  • Brown heroin
  • Tar heroin

No matter how long you have been suffering from heroin addiction, there is a treatment available that can help your recovery efforts. Understanding the dangers of heroin use is the first step in a decision to get clean, and My12StepStore.com supports your efforts by offering a variety of options such as 12 Step chips and medallions.

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Make a Difference this October and Celebrate Your Recovery

Make a Difference this October and Celebrate Your Recovery

Across the country, there is one special day in October where people of all shapes, sizes, races, and nationalities come together: National Make a Difference Day, which is always celebrated the fourth Sunday in October. Recovering from an addiction can be a tough road, but the three legacies of addiction recovery are recovery, unity, and service, which makes Make a Difference Day the ideal time to come together with others dealing with addiction to share service in the world. Regardless of where you are in your recovery journey, helping others can help you come together around a common goal that is larger than you.

Recovery

The day you start recovery could well be the first step toward the rest of your life one day at a time. The internal work that is required during recovery can be deep and spiritual, and happens within a structured framework that has withstood the test of time.

Unity

When individuals struggling with addiction come together, the rules that govern their communication and time together are the unity pillar of the three legacies. Together we can do what you couldn’t do alone. Understanding why individuals must work together to provide a solid and united front to the world can be explained with the unity theme.

Service

While anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all the traditions, service is one of the most important final steps that brings everyone into the light of the larger world and look for ways to contribute to the greater good. Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery.  Make a Difference Day is only one of the many days that those recovering from addiction can feel personal pride in putting the needs of others before their own. Active maintenance of world services is one of the tenets that helps complete the circle of recovery and support others throughout the world.

Understanding what the three legacies of addiction stand for is an important first step on a road to recovery. Sharing this information and the love and friendship you have discovered as part of your journey is one of the key reasons to maintain the service aspect of your recovery. The needs in the world are great, and the ability of many to make a difference in the lives of individuals across the United States is a potent reminder of why recovery is so important not only to yourself but to friends and family members as well. Learn more about addiction on My12StepStore.com, where recovery resources such as these uplifting stories will help support your efforts.

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Top 5 Ways to Quit Smoking

Top 5 Ways to Quit Smoking

Smoking is an addiction that is shared by 1.1 billion people across the planet, making it arguably the most pervasive addiction in the world. More than 6 million deaths are caused by tobacco every year, which is only one of the many incentives for adults to quit smoking. It can be difficult to be successful breaking a habit that has been a part of your life for a long period of time, especially if the nicotine is part of the reason that you continue to smoke. While not all of these options will work for each person, we hope that by sharing these ideas you can select some that you think could help you take the first steps toward quitting smoking for good.

1. Avoid Triggers

Everyone has certain triggers in life — sounds, smells, thoughts or situations that can set off a landslide of emotions that leads to negative behaviors. When you are able to avoid smoking triggers, you have a much better shot at getting rid of those cigarettes for good. Common triggers include going outside with friends to smoke at a certain time of the day or spotting a pack of cigarettes left over in a drawer.

2. Stay Positive

It’s important to remember that you’re taking a positive step for your life when you quit smoking. Nicotine and tobacco can have serious negative effects on your life, and smoking causes everything from premature aging to painful cancers and death. Stay positive and think about all the wonderful things you can do with your life instead of smoking.

3. Stay Busy

If there are specific times that you would normally smoke such as when you’re with friends and you don’t have anything to do with your hands, try finding something to occupy your hands such as playing with a pen, pencil, or straw. Don’t let your hands be idle even if it means working puzzles.

4. Nicotine Replacement

Many cigarette smokers find a replacement such as chewing gum, but other behaviors can replace smoking as well, such as adding a nicotine patch, lozenges, or other forms of nicotine therapy. The goal is to make it easier to step down your addiction gradually instead of quitting all at once.

5. Go Cold Turkey

Depending on your personality type, you may find that your best chance of success to quit smoking is to go cold turkey and quit completely all at once. This can require a fair amount of self-talk, but experts have shown that going cold turkey is the single most effective way to quit smoking for good.

No matter how you choose to kick your addiction, My 12 Step Store has options that will help keep you motivated and focused. This collection of smoking cessation tools will help you get started on the path to wellness.

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Years of Addiction Can Take a Toll on Your Teeth

Very often, one of the first things that people see about you is your smile, and there’s plenty to smile about when you’re starting over after battling addiction. However, many people are embarrassed when they realize that years of neglect have had a powerful negative effect on the state of their teeth and gums. Recovering your smile is a simple step that can make a huge difference in boosting your outlook on life, but be sure that your dentist is prepared to handle some of the challenging oral health situations that occur because of addiction.

Protecting Your Health

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can have a powerful effect on not only your overall outlook but on your personal health as well. Having a dentist thoroughly clean and care for your teeth and gums after a period of neglect can help stop the ravages of addiction and even reverse some of the problems with preventative maintenance.

Boosting Your Confidence

While a full smile rework can cost thousands of dollars, even a small change can make a big difference in your confidence levels if you’re suffering from damage to your teeth after addition. An ongoing lack of hygiene and poor dental care can leave you with significant devastation in your mouth, something that is not likely to help you feel good about yourself once you’ve made the decision to stay clean. However, many individuals who are struggling with addiction find that having a better oral health outlook can help them keep going when they otherwise might backslide into addiction.

Removing the Stigma

It’s hard to deny that there are certain stigmas about addiction, and one of the most prevalent is that addicts are not able to care for their teeth and thus have many challenges, such as missing teeth. Being able to go out into society without the negative perception of oral health problems can help remove the stigma associated with addiction in society today. The stigma isn’t always external, though, as many addicts tend to be hard on themselves and seeing their teeth in disarray on a daily basis can be disheartening at best.

If you’re battling your way back from addiction, don’t simply accept that you’re going to have to deal with pain from missing or damaged teeth the rest of your life. Instead, work with a dentist who can provide you the oral health care that you need and deserve. That will help you feel more positive and loved every time you peek in the mirror at your beautiful smile. Want to learn more about the road to recovery? Check out My 12 Step Store online for uplifting stories as well as medallions and chips to help celebrate the significant milestones in your life.

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