On the Mend and Making Amends: The Step Nine Struggle

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Making amends can be incredibly difficult and uncomfortable. How do we navigate potentially opening old wounds with old friends and family members? For many, this step can seem counterintuitive to growth in recovery. However, it is a necessary part of the process of working the steps. Step Nine allows us to let go of our past transgressions while also working to mend old relationships and provide closure for ourselves and the people we harmed while in active addiction.  Breaking Down Step Nine According to the Big Book, Step Nine is defined as the following “Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” So, we’ve made our list, checked it twice, and now we need to make amends with those that we can. This step is particularly distressing for many people. Reliving our past harms might give rise to harsh situations…

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Newfound Sobriety and Loneliness: How We Can Build Better and Healthier Friendships

depressed man sitting in dark room

Shortly after we enter recovery, it can seem like we’ve lost a lot of friends in the process. Our “party” groups, the people we associated with, and the environments that we spent time in suddenly become triggers to avoid. However, it is important to remember that these friendships were built on the house of cards that is addiction. A friendship that is contingent on the presence of a substance is not a friendship at all. This temporary “loneliness” can be triggering for many people during the early stages of recovery. Our day-to-day lives may seem a little slower, more stable, and more predictable. These are all good things! However, our intuitive, kneejerk reaction to removing ourselves from certain environments and limiting contact with specific friend groups for our own health can be difficult to manage. Reentering the World in Recovery  One of the more difficult aspects of leaving a treatment…

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Forget the FOMO: Adjusting to Sober Life After the Program

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Whether you just completed an inpatient stay or an outpatient program, adjusting to life outside of treatment can be difficult. It is important that we try our best not to romanticize or obsess over the “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO) if we see people out partying or posting on social media about it. We know that life and we left it behind for a healthier one! That being said, learning how to have fun without drugs or alcohol is one of the many lessons that we learn on the road to recovery. As people in recovery, we are constantly learning good habits and unlearning bad ones. For us, fun and substance use are mutually exclusive, despite the messages we may be exposed to after we leave a program and reenter daily life. Let’s Be Honest: We Aren’t Missing Out on Much After completing an inpatient or outpatient program, we reenter…

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How To Handle Making Mistakes

We’re all only human, and all human beings make mistakes. Everybody. Sometimes mistakes happen because we’re unprepared or because we didn’t think. Sometimes it’s not even really our fault. In those cases, we still have to take responsibility for our mistakes. But we must also remember that everyone from every walk of life makes mistakes.  Whatever kind of mistakes we have made, or are making, there are plenty of things we can do to capitalize on the lessons our mistakes can provide us. We may even be able to do some things to set right our little wrongs.  Be Gentle The first thing to remember when it comes to handling the mistakes we’ve made is to be gentle — not only gentle to ourselves, but especially to those who have been affected by our mistakes. We must treat everyone involved with kindness.  Making mistakes is never fun, but each time…

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Men’s Issues: Sex Inventory

At Jaywalker Lodge, we deal exclusively with men in recovery. By holding strong to our focus, we have uncovered a host of common problems and situations that affect the men in our community. Suffice to say, many things come up and keep coming up. We refer to these common scenarios as “men’s issues” and continue to address as many of these concerns as we can. It’s our goal to not only provide men with a safe space to learn and grow in recovery, but to provide them with helpful resources and support when they face struggles. This month, we are delving into the sex inventory and all that encompasses. The sex inventory is not merely a list of sexual history or encounters. In reality, the sex inventory is a vital component of the personal inventory we all do in the 4th-Step. The entire inventory consists of resentments, fears, and yes,…

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The Twelve Steps: A Solution for Everything

For those of us in recovery, it might seem pretty obvious to say that the Twelve Steps are a solution. Of course they are! Even when we are very new to recovery, the Steps are presented to us as a solution to the deadly disease of alcoholism and addiction. We are told right away that these steps are our solution. Of course, many of us have a hard time swallowing that until we get some firsthand experience with the Twelve Steps ourselves. Once we have begun the process, we begin to see the truth and we come to know the Steps as the solution to our alcoholism and addiction. But is this the extent of problems that the Twelve Steps can help us solve? Hardly. In fact, for most of those who have been active in recovery for some time, the Steps come to be known as the solution for…

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How to Cope With Summertime Sadness and Depression

Summer is here. Summer means hot weather, pool parties, and time for relaxation. What happens when summer isn’t fun and relaxing, though? Summer depression is real, and you may be struggling with it. This can be especially hard if you feel like you’re supposed to be having a great time. Everyone else seems happy about summertime — but why aren’t you?  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) often only gets talked about when the winter months approach. SAD affects many people worldwide and typically causes depression as the days get shorter and colder. However, it is also possible to struggle with summer SAD. This means the onset of summer triggers your depression symptoms, with the longer days and increasing heat and humidity possibly playing a role.  Summer is here, and you feel the creep of depression symptoms. What do you do? Here are tips on how to cope with summertime sadness and…

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Social Anxiety and the End of Lockdown

More and more people are continuing to get vaccinated for COVID-19. As a result, the country is opening up once again. You can now eat inside at a restaurant, visit a mall, or spend time at your favorite amusement park. However, with society opening up once again comes social anxiety for some. Social anxiety is a fear of social situations and includes worrying about meeting strangers, how to act around friends and a general feeling of self-consciousness. It can make everyday life extremely challenging and can even manifest physically through sweating, palpitations, or panic attacks.  The thought of being around people when we are not entirely COVID-free or changing a routine we have become accustomed to can come with crippling anxiety. Because you have been social distancing for over a year, the thought of interacting with people again can be scary. Being in isolation can cause you to forget how…

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Creating the Community We Crave

Community is crucial in addiction recovery. The community you create can help you in the most challenging of times and be there to enjoy the good times alongside you. Sometimes, the community isn’t the easiest to find, though. After finding a group of people to bond within residential treatment, you may be scrounging to find friends in the outside world. We all crave a community we can belong to, but how do we create that fellowship if we can’t find it? Alumni Programs If the treatment center you attended offers an alumni program, this is a great way to create a community. Not only can you continue relationships with people you met in treatment, but you can develop bonds with those who have been through treatment before. These people may know and understand your struggles better than anybody else you meet and can provide you with a strong sense of…

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Staying the Course

We all know recovery has ups and downs that we must navigate through. Sometimes, recovery makes us feel on top of the world. Other times, recovery can feel exhausting as we try to push our way through triggers and the most challenging days. Sometimes, however, recovery is all about keeping life steady. You don’t feel overly joyous, but you don’t feel the strain of recovery. You may be wondering, “How do I accomplish this?” Through actively working a 12-Step program and staying engaged in your recovery, keeping life steady is always attainable.  Regularly Attending Meetings Regular meeting attendance in a 12-Step program can always help you keep life steady. Of course, life can sometimes get in the way of the number of meetings you attend, but making a point to attend as many meetings as you can in a week can immensely help maintain your recovery. Meeting attendance allows you…

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