Outside Issues: Emotional Health

emotions

For those of us who are alcoholics or addicts, there is nothing about us or our lives that is not touched by our disease. The ways that we seek recovery and healing touch every part of us and our lives as well. So there really is no such thing as an “outside issue,” although that has become the catch-all phrase for elements of human life that do not directly involve alcoholic or addictive behaviors. In time, we will see that there really is nothing that does not relate to or impact our disease in some way. As with most things, it is a two-way street. The ways we recover and the ways we stay sick directly correlate across all our lives. This distinction is particularly easy to see with the topic of emotional health. Emotional Health Is Vital to Recovery Our emotional health, especially if left untreated, can have a…

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How Can I Possibly Have Hope for the Future?

hope

Alcoholism and addiction are devastating diseases. They can wreck entire lives, including those around the sufferer. They can also cause major issues physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If we are lucky, these issues won’t be permanent. But even if some are, there is help available that can improve our lives and stop the wreckage from growing larger.  Even with help available — even with help as effective and restorative as the 12-Step program of recovery — the road to freedom and rebuilding our life can seem overwhelming and too long, if not impossible. This can go hand-in-hand with a common side effect of alcoholism and addiction: depression. Combine the emotional devastation with how hard the road ahead seems and it can seem like having hope for the future is a fool’s errand. This is just a little backward. The chance for recovery is not about suffering from or for our…

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I Don’t Want to Lose Control Over My Life. How Can I Work the 12 Steps?

12 steps

Most alcoholics and addicts have already lost control. That’s how we found ourselves lucky enough to be willing to work the program of recovery. People don’t often ask for help when they’ve got everything under control and things are going well. Right? But we did ask for help, and thankfully the 12-Steps were there. We didn’t become alcoholics and addicts overnight, and we certainly didn’t become that way because we were in control. Think about it — none of us would have chosen to become alcoholics or addicts if it were up to us. We didn’t find ourselves desperate for recovery because everything was going our way. Don’t let this strike you as harsh. It’s true for many of us. We don’t find the rooms of recovery on a winning streak. We find the 12-Steps because we are desperate, out of control, and powerless over our fatal disease. And yet,…

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How Do I Deal With My Grief?

grief recovery

Grief is a natural part of life. At some point in our lives, all of us will have cause to grieve. It is healthy to experience grief at certain times. Yet, we often do not talk about unpleasant things, even when it might be helpful to discuss them — so here we are. Grief will wash over us all eventually, and we should not run from it when it does. The act of grieving is a necessary part of the healing process. All people grieve in their own ways, though there are common stages we all pass through. For some, grieving and healing take longer than others, but it can be helpful to understand grief so we can stop the emotions that come with it from overtaking us or overstaying their welcome. I Feel Good Now, So Why Worry About Grief? You shouldn’t worry, just like you don’t worry if…

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Attitude Isn’t Everything, But It’s a Lot

positive attitude

Most alcoholics and addicts aren’t known for our winning attitudes. The disease can rob us of all momentum, positivity, and energy. It can darken how we see the world, in addition to our pain, the hurt we’ve caused, and the trauma we’ve suffered. In recovery, we are given the means, support, and guidance to address these wounds. We can begin healing from our traumas, and we can build healthy skills across the spectrum of our lives. Even with all this, it can sometimes be difficult for us to shake our old ways of thinking and seeing the world. There’s a lot of truly boring advice, and meaningless platitudes about how much having a positive attitude can do for you. Most of us alcoholics and addicts are far too jaded to fall for such trivial nonsense. The problem is that most of that stuff about a positive attitude is totally true….

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The Importance of Commitment(s)

commitment

A lot of people have issues and fears surrounding the word “commitment,” whether they are in or out of recovery. People can struggle with committing to long-term relationships, new jobs, or even lengthy cell-phone contracts. Commitment can be a challenge in our modern world, as we race our way through hectic days and change our minds at rapid speed. But for alcoholics and addicts, we can look back and see that we spent a great deal of time very committed to our disease. Feeding our alcoholism was typically the one thing we didn’t miss for anything. We rarely, if ever, skipped a day or missed an appointment with our drug of choice if we could help it. So maybe we don’t really have commitment issues — maybe we just need to look at things the right way and focus our energy on other endeavors. Committing to Recovery If we can…

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Striking a Balance in Daily Life

Balancing Recovery

For most of us who are new to recovery, balance can be a very unfamiliar thing — so much so that we may even be resistant to it. A life lived in active alcoholism or drug addiction rarely has any semblance of balance, moderation, or peace. Most of us jumped between extremes in our disease, always pushing the limits. When we get sober, we may still feel the urge to seek out extremes wherever we can. We revel in emotional highs or wallow in dramatic lows. Most of us don’t seek out balance, or even like the thought of achieving balance. We may not have experienced much balance in our lives while we were drinking or using, but it can certainly benefit our lives now. What Balance Means in Recovery Seeking balance in recovery doesn’t mean that we stop feeling joy or sorrow. It doesn’t mean that we stop having…

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How Can I Stay Safe During Summer Parties?

How Can I Stay Safe During Summer Parties?

Most alcoholics and addicts fear that when they enter recovery, the fun stops. That simply isn’t true. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says “we are not a glum lot… we absolutely insist on enjoying life.” It also says that we “can go anywhere on this earth where other free men may go without disaster, provided [we] remain willing to maintain a certain simple attitude.” That attitude is to keep in our minds the principles we learn in the 12-Steps of recovery. We insist on having fun, and we can go places freely as long as we keep our minds on the foundations of recovery. Social events increase during certain times of the year, like the holidays – and now summertime is upon us. There are pool parties, vacations, and social gatherings galore. So it might be helpful to remember a few simple things to stay safe and help maintain…

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Fully Immerse Yourself in Recovery

Fully Immerse

Recovery and meaningful sobriety are not processes that happen in isolation. A facility like Jaywalker Lodge is likely the place where an alcoholic and/or addict is introduced to recovery, but the activities, tools, processes, and healing therapies they learn should not be left there. If the recovery process is begun but then left behind, it is highly likely that the one who sought sobriety will have to come seeking it again. It is important to understand that recovery is not a punishment for addiction or a treatment like antibiotics. Recovery is the gift of a chance to live life fully, happily, and freely – and it is most effective when the addict is fully immersed in all it has to offer. A Daily Choice We shouldn’t take a daily multivitamin just every so often, or when we aren’t feeling so great. If we do, those helpful vitamins – while still…

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Experience, Strength, & Hope

Hello everyone my name is Stuart.  I am a alcoholic/addict in recovery.  A little about myself I grew up in a very small rural town in Montana. My early childhood was very stable and had a loving home to grow up with my brother in. At seven years old things took a drastic turn for the worst. I suffered a severe and nearly life ending leg injury in a Go-cart accident. I won’t go into detail because it is very graphic.  I was rushed to the hospital in Bozeman MT, where it was decided immediately that in hopes to save my leg I needed to be taken to an advanced surgical center. I was taken by life flight to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT. I was hospitalized there 1.5 months there requiring massive amounts of surgeries to be able to save my leg from being fully amputated.  I was…

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