Why Mental Health Is a Top Priority in Recovery

Years of substance use affect your body in more ways than you can imagine. But the side effects are not just limited to your physical health – they extend to your mental health as well. Physically, addiction to alcohol or drugs can have a negative impact on your heart, liver, kidneys, mouth, liver, throat, and more. Sometimes it’s easier to recognize the physical symptoms of addiction. What often goes unnoticed for years is the negative impact that addiction has on our mind, including our emotional and psychological well-being. These changes in our mental health are gradually revealed in our behavior, tone, how we communicate, social anxieties, and more. The short-term euphoria or relaxation that one derives from alcohol or drug intake is eventually overpowered by the long-term mental health issues suffered later in life. Isolation, disconnection from family and friends, and performance issues at work are just some of the…

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Don’t Fight It, Face It!

We often find people trying hard to end the bad habits of addiction with great frustration, anger, and a sense of hopelessness. This is especially true after many years of habitual substance use and the negative mental health effects that come with it. A person can easily find themselves trapped in a mentally traumatic situation if they continuously try to fight their addiction with frustration, anger, and other harmful emotions. If you continue to fight your addiction daily like you’re in a war, chances are that you will lose. But if you start admitting your mistakes and face your addiction head-on, you’re much more likely to be victorious. Being strong-willed and determined to face your addiction by engaging in the right kind of recovery processes can lead to lasting recovery. Wondering how you can effectively face your addiction like a pro and beat it? Although there is no one-size-fits-all procedure…

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It All Begins With “Forgiving Yourself” First

History of addiction to alcohol or any other substance can have a long-lasting impact on a person’s recovery as well as their post-recovery life. Incidences of family/social conflict, rude/unacceptable behavior while under the influence, domestic violence, etc. can easily convert into a lifetime of shame and guilt. However, it is up to you as an individual how you manage the aftermath of your mistakes. Fortunately, mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before. The journey to successful recovery begins at home and within yourself. The Solution Wondering how this is possible? Start simply by forgiving yourself. Yes, that’s right! Self-forgiveness is the first and foremost step that will help you fight against anger, resentment, and guilt. Blaming or hurting yourself for mistakes you have committed in the past – whether they were intentional or unintentional – can make your recovery process hard to achieve….

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When Anxiety and Addiction Collide

Anxiety and depression are often the unwanted takeaways of a long history of alcoholism and addiction. Mood swings, behavioral changes, anxiety attacks, and depressive episodes are common side effects of the disease that can become an everyday norm for addicted individuals. Not only is the addicted person’s mental health severely affected but their family life can be hampered beyond imagination, making their situation even more dire. Their personal relationships, social life, professional performance, life goals, etc. can all be negatively affected. The same is true for their family members as well. Anxiety Appears in Many Forms So, how many forms can this one term – “anxiety” – actually take in your everyday life? Probably a lot more than you think. Anxiety rears its ugly head in many ways, especially for those who are struggling with alcoholism and addiction. These include: Fear of any unknown situation, such as what will happen…

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How to Overcome Chaos and Be Present

Life can be chaotic and messy. Life in recovery is no tidier. You’ll have a daily schedule to keep up with. You have groups to attend and therapists to talk to. Things can get quite busy. Sometimes a day or a week flies by without you even realizing it. Learning how to rise above this busyness and stay fully present is a challenge, but it’s very important to holistic and lasting recovery. Being present in the moment is also known as “mindfulness.” It refers to a mental state of being aware of the present moment while calmly accepting one’s emotions and physical sensations. This is the moment to stop and smell the roses. Practicing mindfulness can help you immensely during the recovery process. The Benefits of Mindfulness in Recovery Starting a new phase of life at a treatment facility is certainly a stressful thing. You often don’t know what to…

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Outside Issues: Healthy Relationships

Companionship, deep bonds, and the trust offered by family and friends can help us pull through life’s various challenges. This is especially true for those who seek recovery from addiction. Many of us would not have made progress if it wasn’t for the support of our loved ones. Even when you are in the middle of a treatment plan, possibly at a recovery facility, you need to rethink how your relationships with loved ones can be repaired or improved. The journey of recovery should also supply you with enough resources and insight to discern what kind of relationships are healthy and what kind is not. In your early sobriety, it’s wise to avoid relationships that are full of heartbreak or disappointment. Train yourself to gravitate towards life-giving relationships that make you feel treasured and joyful. We Need Healthy Relationships to Flourish Even as a child, the whole person needs healthy…

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I Have Anxiety, Can Recovery Help Me?

Many, if not most people who struggle with alcoholism and addiction in recovery experience at least one co-occurring mental or emotional issue. It’s incredibly common amongst those of us in recovery. Depression and anxiety have both long been known to be exacerbated by alcoholism and addiction, as well as themselves amping up the symptoms of alcoholism and addiction. This phenomenon is known as comorbidity, wherein two conditions intertwine in their causes and effects. It is incredibly common amongst those who suffer from alcoholism or addiction both in and out of recovery. If you are affected by alcoholism or addiction, no matter what other mental or emotional health issues you face, recovery can be of help. We must be careful and clear here, though — recovery alone is not always the sole solution to mental and emotional health issues. There are other methods of care and treatment which must and should…

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What Can I Do About Persistent Character Defects?

All people have character traits they don’t like about themselves. Those who do their best to avoid these traits from coming through will find themselves feeling this way most often. There’s a lot to be said for those who are self-aware enough to feel these traits may be affecting them negatively, but what can you do to change persistent character defects?  Don’t Give Up! A common character defect that many don’t like is their willingness to give up when life gets hard. Everyone has their reason for giving up, but when it comes to creating positive change, don’t give up.  For many who have found success in a challenge through perseverance, they’ll say that they found those little successes to be profound in their ability to not give up. One success would turn to two, snowballing into three, four, or more, and ultimately helping the person to crave more successes…

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Taking Our Wellness Seriously

wellness

In early recovery, we are introduced to many new modes of living that we never knew before. It’s easy to see how things involving our general health and wellness went by the wayside when we were living in active alcoholism and addiction. Now, in recovery, we have the time, energy, and opportunity to pay attention to any areas of our life that went neglected in our disease. Now, in recovery, we can finally take our wellness seriously. This is not only a new opportunity for us, but it is also a responsibility. A glass can only spill what it contains. If we do not take care of ourselves, we will be unable to properly help anyone else — and helping others is not only one of the main purposes of recovery, it’s also the most surefire way to protect and maintain our recovery. Being of service to others is not…

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Have Patience With Yourself

patience

It’s a safe bet that you have a lot going on right now. We all have busy lives that are always changing, especially in recovery. There is always some 12 Step work to do, a meeting to attend, or somebody we can help! Particularly for those who are new to recovery, it may seem like things are changing all the time or there’s almost too much going on. But just as often, even with all the changes in our lives, we can’t stop ourselves from thinking about all the stuff that we wish we could change. As if there wasn’t enough happening already! Those of us in early recovery fall into this trap a lot, but anyone in recovery at any point can get caught up in rushing after a whole bunch of changes that we want to make. We see the things that we wish were different and we…

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