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When writing, Exit the Maze — One Addiction, One Cause, One Cure, I discovered something so stunning, I could hardly believe my eyes. Statistics from the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, National Institute for Health, and others, revealed the facts I’d always suspected but never knew for sure. For years, we’ve been hearing that the three major causes of death are heart disease, cancer, and accidents, followed by lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide. But, unfortunately, we’ve been hoodwinked into a big illusion, and I’d like to explain why.

While it’s true that heart disease is the number one cause of death, what isn’t emphasized is the actual causes of heart disease. Ingesting excessive amounts of sugar, trans fats, and toxic substances found in alcohol and drugs cause the symptoms; clogged arteries, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. In other words, people are eating, drinking, smoking, and ingesting chemicals and foods to the extent that they are fueling their own heart disease without any conscious awareness!!!

But let’s not stop there. Let’s keep going down the list. For cancer, lung and respiratory failure, Diabetes II, stroke, kidney failure — the research is the same: food, smoking, and substances, and lack of activity are the major causes. Accidents — many due to impairment or addictive texting. Suicide: substance abusers are at the highest risk.

Are you getting the picture? An addiction is anything that a person keeps doing in spite of negative consequences. Almost all illnesses are caused by behavior that continues despite negative consequences (an addiction). And, ALMOST EVERYONE who is ill or dies from these top major illnesses doesn’t even realize that addiction is what caused their deadly disease.

The time has come for us to Exit the Maze of denial and embrace the freedom of truth. Blame serves no purpose, but we can join together and save lives. Now is the time for freedom and the happiness and good health that we were born to have. Take hold of the truth that is available to you and choose love instead of all the many things we’ve substituted for IT.

3 Steps to Substitute Addiction with Love

Once you decide to love yourself, stopping is easy. The hardest part is overcoming the resistance. You have to decide you are worth it.

First, catch your addictive thought before it catches you. If you remember that the same voice telling you to go ahead and do it is that same voice that will condemn you for doing the very thing it talked you into doing. It’s never worth it. You can’t win when your opponent plays on both teams.

Second, remember that your body is a sacred vessel. Treat it like you want it to run well for as long as possible. If your body is treated as a toxic waste dump, it won’t last very long. If your body is treated with love, it will serve you well.

Third, every time you want to give yourself the so-called treat, instead, decide to do something good for you. For example, if you binge on certain foods, take the time to learn how to fix satisfying and healthy alternatives. If you are in recovery from substances, retrain your mind to get high from going for a walk, help a friend, engage in your favorite hobby, or learn a new one. Once you learn how to substitute your addiction with an act of self-love, you will get to the point that nothing or no one could ever talk you into harming yourself again. (If you run out of ideas, email me, and I send you a list of 100+ acts of self-love).

You are here for a reason and a purpose, and it’s not to self-destruct. If you’ve developed the habit of doing something that isn’t good for you, rather than staying in the maze or beating yourself up, simply start doing something that is genuinely loving. You will soon find that you will lose interest in your addiction as it is replaced with a sense of dignity and self-respect.

Join Our Movement

To find out more about Dr. Marks’ unique approach to draining the value out of any addiction, visit and receive a FREE copy of her award-winning book “Exit the Maze: One Addiction, One Cause, One Cure.” (You just cover shipping and handling).

Donna Marks is an educator and licensed psychotherapist and addictions counselor in Palm Beach, Florida. She has worked with over 6,000 clients. Donna’s struggle with addiction brought her to a worldwide search for healing. She became licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in 1987. In 1989, she earned a Doctorate Degree in Adult Education, then became Certified in Addictions, Gestalt Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Hypnosis, and Sex Therapy. Donna developed an award-winning addiction training program at Palm Beach Community College. She co-owned an outpatient treatment program and is a consultant to treatment centers. Donna is the author of the multi-award-winning, Exit the Maze-One Addiction, One Cause, One Cure, and created an online course for people who want to be cured of addiction. For 30 years, she’s taught A Course in Miracles.

Donna is the author of two books: Learn, Grow, Forgive: A Path to Spiritual Success, and the multi-award-winning title: Exit the Maze: One Addiction, One Cause, One Cure.

Donna is a public speaker and has shared her methods with hundreds of thousands of listeners on podcasts and radio shows.

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