Month: January 2021

Maintaining Priorities in Recovery

priorities in recovery

Life is complicated right now for just about everyone, but especially for people with health challenges. All the craziness in the world today can be extra difficult for those with mental and emotional health issues. Many alcoholics and addicts in recovery today also experience mental and emotional health issues. Whether we have additional issues or not, being in recovery and keeping in healthy spiritual condition comes with a list of certain things that we must do. Despite the pandemic and all that has come with it, life still has its regular ups and downs as well. For those of us in recovery, we must turn some of our thoughts and energy to keeping our priorities in line. This is a straightforward way to ensure that we keep our recovery stable and safe. What Are the Right Priorities? The specifics are going to look a little bit different for each of…

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Living in the Gray Areas

running

Whether you are an alcoholic or addict or not, life has a rhythm all its own. It’s not always extreme ups and downs, nor is it always monotonous. Sometimes life is fast-paced and hectic, and sometimes things seem to drag on. We’ve all heard the phrase “This too shall pass.” Yet we don’t often catch that this golden saying applies to everything. Every sunny day and every dark storm both will pass. Life goes onward, and it’s never the same. Even if it feels like we are stuck in a rut, we know that everything eventually changes. Most alcoholics and addicts can almost get used to the frantic pace of life that often accompanies the disease, yet when we get lucky enough to find recovery we may find ourselves craving the chaos without really realizing it. Sometimes normal life seems downright boring compared to our old lifestyle, but that’s a big misperception….

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Healing as Treatment

healing as treatment

When it comes to recovery treatment, healing is not always the first thing that comes to mind. We think first of sobriety, then perhaps healthy coping mechanisms, diversionary tactics, and the like, and then “self-help” meetings. This thought model is outdated and less functional than necessary. Indeed, the recovery treatment hierarchy needs serious rethinking. Our first thought when it comes to recovery treatment must be the 12-Step program model. The 12-Steps are far and away the most widely applicable and proven effective tool in the recovery arsenal. The 12-Steps are the primary treatment method for both alcoholism and addiction. After that, it is highly effective to employ both individualized and group therapies. Many therapeutic schools and methods are effectively coupled with the 12-Steps. The success of each is highly dependent upon the needs of each individual and each group. We must remain adaptable in this regard. After this, we will…

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What If I Still Have Willpower?

willpower

This is a controversial and often-debated question in the recovery community. The dynamics of power and willpower are an issue with many differing opinions among alcoholics and addicts. For some of us, we don’t bother with the idea of willpower at all. Because we know we don’t have any, whether it’s refusing a drink or an extra helping of dessert. We must rely on our higher power for access to the strength to employ anything resembling willpower. Others of us hold firm that we maintain our willpower in all areas of life, except when it comes to our disease. We can exercise our personal willpower in regards to anything other than our disease. Here is where the contention ends, and we find one point upon which we all can agree — as alcoholics and addicts, lack of power is our dilemma. When it comes to remaining sober, and in recovery,…

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Making Treatment Meaningful

making treatment meaningful

From the Jaywalker point of view, recovery treatment is about more than sobriety. Jaywalker Lodge gets its name from the parable of the Jaywalker in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. This story is a seemingly dramatic portrayal of a man who repeatedly jaywalks, despite his increasingly grievous physical injuries as a direct consequence of his jaywalking. Upon closer reflection, this is no different than someone who is an alcoholic or addict yet continues to drink and use despite their desire to stop. Understanding this vicious cycle of chronic relapse and how to break free of it is one of our primary missions at Jaywalker Lodge. We want to help men end chronic relapse and find lasting recovery. We succeed at this goal through a unique combination of services, treatments, methodologies, and approaches. All of these are placed upon the foundation of the 12-Step program of recovery. Beyond that, we employ the…

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Waiting to Be “Ready” for Recovery

ready for recovery

Most of us who are alcoholics or addicts may be wary of change, even if it means freedom from our deadly disease. We sadly get used to our lifestyle, no matter how destructive it may be. It’s a common malfunction among us that we cling to what we know, fearing anything different. Even though our disease is likely killing us, we still hold out hope that we can get it together ourselves somewhere down the road. It is very normal to fear what we do not understand, though it is also one of the more fruitless mindsets we human beings can hold. We don’t know what recovery will entail. We fear having to give up our lifestyle, our friends, our old familiar habits, and our ways of coping with life in exchange for a different life. Even if that life might be better, even if it means freedom, recovery, and…

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Can My Life Ever Really Get Back On Track?

getting back on track

Alcoholism and addiction affect our lives in so many ways. Some of those effects are similar. All of us who are alcoholics or addicts know the struggle with the mental obsession, the physical allergy, and the disease’s spiritual malady. It is these characteristic symptoms that bind all of us together in our common solution. This is part of what makes the 12-Steps work for all of us. Of course, there are also differences in the details of how alcoholism and addiction affect our lives. While we all have the same disease, our lives are certainly not the same. For some of us, our disease ruined relationships. For others, it prevented us from even starting relationships. For some, we lost our jobs or careers. Others of us never really got started. Broken homes, broken families, homelessness, couch-surfing — the variations of the fallout from our active disease are infinite because life…

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Men’s Issues: I Don’t Want To Look Weak

vulnerability

Nobody likes to look weak, and even worse is feeling weak. Culturally, men are trained to avoid any signs of weakness as best they can. Think about that for a second. The word fear isn’t used, but men are conditioned to fear weakness. Even more than that, we’re biologically wired to fear things we think are weak. Nobody can see us cry. No one must ever hear us ask for help. We can never let anyone challenge us, or “punk” us, or make us feel small. Because if any of that happened, we’d be weak. And weak men lose. Right? Not really. Mostly all of this is wrong. And I’m not talking about some reverse-psychology reframing of things to make them sound tough; I’m talking about actual strength. We don’t have a clear picture of that in society today. Male role models are typically superhero muscular, handsome, and wealthy. But…

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I Love an Alcoholic/Addict. What Can I Do About Their Problem?

my loved one is an addict

Alcoholism and addiction are a disease that affects much more than just the sufferer. This disease can cause pain and wreak havoc in the lives of all who are close to them. It can be excruciating to watch someone we love suffer from this devastating disease. Once they are controlled by their disease, the person we love can transform in heartbreaking ways. They may not resemble their normal self at all. It can be an incredible strain on any relationship, but this is especially true when it’s our significant other or spouse. We may love them with all our heart. Maybe we have been together for some time. But as alcoholism and addiction progress, they can drive us further and further apart, causing more and more pain. If you find yourself romantically involved with someone who is an alcoholic or addict, do not despair. Whatever type of relationship you have…

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Complacency in Recovery (and How to Avoid It)

avoiding complacency

Everybody loves to feel enthusiastic and excited about things. However, as alcoholics and addicts, we are warned to avoid overexposure to enthusiasm and excitement. We are told not to chase after these feelings because we can get hooked on intense feelings like those we got used to in our active disease. It can lead us to jeopardy when we overvalue the extreme up-and-down feelings. Extreme feelings are a topic all their own. But what about their opposite? Sometimes we can grow numb to feelings or get trapped in monotony. Or even worse, we can become complacent about our lives and lose any feelings for the beautiful life we have. Being complacent and feeling numb can be just as dangerous and detrimental as extreme feelings. Complacency often signals more than a few alarming things. It can mean we’ve lost our gratitude or lost sight of how far we’ve come from the…

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