Tag: Recovery

Looking Forward to Today…

Looking Forward to Today

In our disease, it can seem almost impossible to look forward to the day ahead. Today is just another grind to appease our domineering addiction – just a struggle to survive, to get the next drink or drug. The past is a blur of pain and regret. Tomorrow is a source of worry and fear and more struggle. There is little hope in our future when we are drowning in alcoholism and addiction. In fact, the only hope there might be is that someday we will get clean and sober. That hope is real, and it’s our best bet. It is vital that we hold on to the hope of sobriety. If you’re reading this, then that day is here – or it has already come, or it will soon. Hope and perspective are just a few of the great gifts of entering recovery. We are given hope, which is…

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Letting Go of Shame

Shame is a common emotion associated with addiction because of a strong stigma attached. If you feel ashamed of your addiction or things you have done in the past because of your addiction, it is vital to learn how to let go. Recognizing Inner Shame Shame is not always an easy emotion to identify as it can feel a lot like guilt. You might find yourself feeling awful for things you have done in your past. You might wish that you could go back and change those actions. You might even view yourself entirely in a negative light. This emotion can affect your self-image and make you feel less deserving of love and empathy. Shame is an uncomfortable emotion and can cause you to internalize your feelings. To move on from shame, you must first identify where and what it stems from. Combating the Stigma When using substances and suffering…

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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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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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Choosing Your Battles: How to Appropriately React

A man in recovery contemplates his addiction triggers.

Not everything needs to be a fight. There are times when confronting issues can be critical, especially when your well-being is at risk, but not every inconvenience is a crisis and requires an extreme response. Viewing every situation as such increases stress and the chance of relapse. It’s important to be able to measure the appropriate response without over or under-reacting.  When You Assume Worst Case Scenario If you’ve led a difficult life, you might be used to dealing with crisis after crisis. Constant exposure to scary scenarios can leave you feeling on edge. A life of instability can cause you to assume that every problem that you encounter deserves an extreme and immediate response. After a while, you may form a habit of reacting or overreacting even if the situation doesn’t require it. Responding intensely to every problem can lead to deteriorating physical and mental health. The Physical Cost…

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Including Your Loved Ones in Your Recovery

Including Your Loved Ones in Your Recovery

Addiction is often referred to as the “family disease” because it affects the family dynamic in a way that seems almost irreparable. A loved one caught up in the thralls of substance use disorder (SUD) can cause trauma, resentment, and broken relationships among their immediate friends and family. After treatment, bad feelings and mistrust might still exist but know that your loved ones still care about you. Your support system is a vital part of recovery, and sometimes, the best way to fix those broken bonds is to include your loved ones in your care if they so wish to be. Thankfully, there are plenty of safe ways your loved ones can be included in your healing process. Strengthening Your Support System The people you keep in your life are valuable to your recovery. This holds especially true for your closest friends and family members who were there for you…

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Keeping Motivation After Your First Year of Recovery

Keeping Motivation After Your First Year of Recovery

Congratulations! You’ve made it through your first year of recovery! This is an important milestone you’ll never forget. You should feel proud making it this far. However, there is still work to be done. You might feel on the verge of burnout, or maybe you feel like celebrating this milestone responsibly. This is only the beginning. There’s still so much to look forward to after your first year of recovery. Don’t lose motivation now! This Is Only Just the Beginning An entire year has passed, and you’re ready to grab your chip at your next 12-Step meeting. You might feel on top of the world, and you should. The first year is an important milestone in the recovery process. The first year is truly the hardest because your body, mind, and spirit are still adjusting to sobriety. It’s advised to take it easy during your first year while you build…

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Single Dad in Recovery: How Do I Cope?

father holding his daughter on the doorstep

Being a single dad comes with its own hardships, but raising children while in recovery can be a completely different challenge. What are some ways you can maintain your recovery while still showing up for your kids? Getting Better for Them Early recovery can be challenging, especially if you have children. It can become even more difficult if you are the sole caretaker. However, the love you have for your children should work as your motivation to get better and stay better. Your children love you and care about you. Focus on the love you feel for your children to keep you on track in your recovery. Tackle Your Legal Issues Many parents dealing with substance use issues might have legal problems related to their addiction. It’s common for parents who have been arrested for using substances to lose custody of their children. After treatment, it should be a priority…

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Maintaining Your Boundaries During Recovery

man making a stop hand gesture

With the holidays around the corner, you’re bound to be bombarded with questions and expectations. Your extended family might ask inappropriate questions about your treatment. Your friends might ask you to attend parties where substances are present. Your loved ones might ask you to give up valuable time in favor of holiday shenanigans. This all might come with a whole lot of stress and discomfort. What can you do to keep your boundaries intact while dealing with family and friends who expect you to “play nice” even at your own expense? Knowing When to Say No In early recovery, it’s a good idea to have a healthy and accurate understanding of your limits and boundaries. In treatment, you might learn the basics of forming boundaries, but practicing it with people you care about might still feel new and scary. It takes time to build up the confidence and positive self-image…

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Benefits of Clean Eating During Recovery

cereal, milk and strawberry jam on white ceramic bowl

Recovering from addiction doesn’t only mean recovering from substance use. It also includes recovering from a previous lifestyle. During your client’s addiction, chances are they didn’t take care of their body. They might not have eaten foods that were good for them, and they probably weren’t overly concerned with a balanced diet. However, many substances can damage our bodies and deprive us of essential nutrients. Throughout the recovery journey, the mind needs to heal, as well as the body. One of the most critical steps to take is changing what is put into an individual’s body. What is Clean Eating In its simplest form, clean eating is all about eating high-quality, nutrient-rich, whole foods. This means avoiding foods that are highly processed and devoid of nutritional value. These include fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy carbohydrates that add something meaningful to the body. When eating these foods, it can be beneficial…

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