The Natural Difference…

When addicts and alcoholics seek help for their disease, they likely expect the Hollywood movie depiction of sterile hospitals and cold, clinical settings. In a lot of cases that is what help looks like. Such settings can be tremendously helpful, especially for those who are suffering acute physical symptoms. Then there are those who have tried staying in such places but slipped after a bit. A less stereotypical setting may prove effective in helping many of those who slip through the cracks in other types of treatment settings – and that is where Jaywalker Lodge comes into the picture. The Role of Mother Nature in Recovery Fresh air, beautiful scenery, and open spaces make a natural difference in the recovery process. In fact, embracing and incorporating the peace and power of nature can have reverberating positive effects on an individual seeking to recover. The disease of alcoholism and addiction plagues…

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We Can’t Go It Alone…

Going at it alone

There’s an old proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In recovery, this proverb holds true – although if you travel alone, the only place you go fast is into a relapse. In our lives prior to getting sober, we likely spent a lot of time alone, whether by choice or because we’d driven people away. When we come to recovery at Jaywalker Lodge, we find a thriving community ready to welcome us in. We quickly learn that brotherhood and fellowship are a vital piece of the recovery tapestry. We can’t go through the 12-Steps alone. We can’t have a meeting alone – we’d just be talking to ourselves! We can’t fellowship alone. If it had just been Frodo by himself, they wouldn’t have called it the Fellowship of The Ring – it would’ve just been the lonely…

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Why Do I Need a Sponsor?

Why do I need a sponsor

Starting the journey to recovery can be a confusing time for anybody. As we make the transition from our previous life enslaved to the disease into a bright new life clean and sober, there is a lot to learn. Every day in recovery brings new lessons, new adjustments, new opportunities to grow and serve, and even new challenges to navigate. Going it alone makes the road harder than it ever needs to be. Nestled in the heart of the Roaring Fork Valley, Jaywalker Lodge is a community of recovering people – staff, volunteers, and clients – who are firmly rooted in the 12-Steps. We all have mountains to climb. Sponsors are the sherpas that make sure we are equipped to climb the mountain and reach the summit. Just like every man who scaled Mount Everest had a sherpa with them, we will need a guide of our own on the…

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Will Trauma Always Result in PTSD?

Will Trauma Always Result in PTSD?

PTSD is relatively common if you had a traumatic experience, but not every trauma will result in PTSD symptoms. You may not experience any symptoms after a traumatic experience, while others might not experience symptoms of PTSD until later. This article will cover how common PTSD is and who is the most at risk. What is PTSD? Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a condition that develops after exposure to a traumatic event or experience. You can develop PTSD from directly experiencing trauma, witnessing someone experience trauma, and even hearing that a loved one has experienced a traumatic event.  You may also develop PTSD from repeated exposure to negative details of a traumatic event. This experience can be common for therapists learning about abuse that happened to a child or first responders investigating a traumatic situation. What Do PTSD Symptoms Look Like? It is possible to develop PTSD from an…

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How Do I Identify My Trauma Triggers?

How Do I Identify My Trauma Triggers?

If you have experienced trauma in your life, you know that certain events can prove highly challenging. A trigger might be right around the corner, reminding you of an event, causing an adverse reaction. If you are troubled with why you react the way you do to certain things, then now might be the time to learn about your trauma triggers. It is common to shame yourself for overreacting to a situation that seems common for others, but your reaction might have a legitimate, underlying reason. The Reality of PTSD Symptoms Anyone can experience trauma. Many recognize PTSD as something only veterans experience after being exposed to the horrors of war, but that is only a small percentage of trauma experienced by people. A traumatic experience can also include surviving a natural disaster, abuse, refugee displacement, police violence, medical malpractice, neglect, and debilitating physical injuries. Any event that caused you…

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How to Start a Recovery Journal

How to Start a Recovery Journal

Have you ever thought about starting a journal? Writing is a fantastic way to get out your thoughts and track progress. You do not need to be an award-winning writer to record your thoughts. You can write however you desire.  Starting a recovery journal could be a great way to stay on task or get those pesky repetitive thoughts out of your head. Due to the many benefits that journaling offers, you may consider adding this activity to your daily routine. Why Start a Recovery Journal? Early recovery is a time of endless possibilities. After treatment, you get the opportunity to begin new habits. You are also at the starting point of a long journey ahead. The person you are right now might not be the same a year from now. You are in a unique position where you have experienced a meaningful process of change, yet there is still…

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Finding the Love of Your Life While Staying Sober

A man in recovery from addiction goes out on a sober date.

It’s that time of the year when we think the most about romance. Navigating modern dating might already feel stressful, but it might feel like a nightmare when sober. From alcohol avoidance to dealing with rejection to experiencing a level of comfortability when talking about your recovery journey, here are tips for enjoying dating while sober. Dealing With Stigma While the view of addiction is becoming less and less negative as people become more educated, plenty of people still don’t understand what you went through and why. Thus, there can be a fear of rejection with dating sober. What if they have questions? What if they are uncomfortable dating someone with an addiction? What if they judge me? It can be scary to dip your toes into the dating pool, especially if relationships have been a central sour point in your life. Perhaps your past relationships influenced drug or alcohol…

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Waiting a Year to Date

A man in recovery brings his girlfriend to an open AA meeting.

Early recovery leads to many feeling fantastic as if they can take on the whole world. This newfound passion for life can lead to many looking for new experiences and fulfillment but can cause them to forget they are still in a fragile state. Many professionals recommend waiting at least a year before entering into a romantic relationship. The Importance of Year One Your client’s first year after treatment is the most critical part of their recovery journey. During their first year, they are focused on rebuilding their life. They take all of the tools and lessons gathered from treatment and apply them to everyday life. They are still raw. They are still finding themselves. They are still rebuilding broken connections and establishing their new identity as a sober individual. In the first year of sobriety, people are still susceptible to relapse, primarily due to Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or…

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Addiction When It Isn’t Drugs or Alcohol

Addiction When It Isn’t Drugs or Alcohol

Many associate addictions with drugs or alcohol but forget how easy it is to trade a substance addiction for an unhealthy coping mechanism like social media or gambling. Since your client’s brain has been rewired due to addiction affecting their reward system, it has become easy for them to shift from one obsession to the next without realizing what is happening. While not everything can be an obvious detriment right away, monitoring these behaviors before they get out of hand is essential. What Counts as Addiction? In the most basic sense of the definition, an addiction is a compulsive need to use habit-forming substances that cause withdrawal and social or psychological harm. This definition primarily focuses on addiction to substances such as drugs or alcohol. However, there is another form of addiction that is called “behavioral addiction.” Behavioral addiction and substance addiction are very similar. The most significant difference is…

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Helping Your Client Manage Their Dual-Diagnosis

Helping Your Client Manage Their Dual-Diagnosis

Many people don’t know that addiction tends to be the symptom of something more significant regarding mental health. Treating addiction also includes a necessary awareness of other comorbid mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. When clients enter a treatment facility, it’s crucial that they are screened for other conditions beyond just addiction because underlying mental health disorders can completely change how health care providers treat their clients.  Screen Your Clients Before Treating Treatment centers often ask clients questions that allow counselors and other health care practitioners to know the ins and outs of their mental health situation. Many counselors already screen clients for common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Others also ask questions related to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). This helps them understand the basics of what might be underlying psychologically. As your client opens up to you, there might be more uncovered.  Screening…

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