Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How Emotional Sobriety Can Help You in Addiction Recovery

When it comes to addressing addiction in drug addiction recovery, sometimes there is more to be addressed than just physical dependency on a drug. Many people think of addiction as simply the act or pattern of using substances, but there can be more to addiction than that. While it's necessary to address the drug aspect of addiction, there is often a host of other emotional and mental issues that can play into and even be the main drive for the habit.

In fact, the emotional aspect to addiction plays a huge role in the development and existence of an addiction. This is why physical detox and getting sober is often not enough to help people stay clean and they relapse back into addiction. To truly beat addiction, individuals must obtain emotional sobriety as well. If they do, they stand a much greater chance of staying clean and creating a more stable and fulfilling life.

Read on to find out how emotional sobriety actually can help you when it comes to recovery.

First we should address what emotional sobriety means. At the end of the day, it's a state where you can feel your emotions without being overwhelmed by them or feeling you want or need to turn to substances to numb, get away, or 'fix' your emotional pain. This may seem like a terrifying and even near-impossible thing to many people who continue to use drugs, alcohol, cutting, eating disorders and more to control their mental and emotional states.

While this may seem scary, achieving emotional sobriety is key if we want to truly recover from addiction. If you can learn how to react differently to extreme feelings you are having and manage your emotions without turning to drugs or alcohol, you greatly improve the chances that you will be able to stay sober and rebuild your life. At this point, you may have lost jobs, people close to you, damaged relationships, drained your finances, and left your life in a wreck. The only way to ensure that you're not going to do that again is to buckle down, do the work, and really go through some things and address the reasons why you use or your addiction is necessary in your life.

Some negative ways of dealing with feelings can include trying to push them down-- people try to block out the emotions that they are feeling. While this can provide a temporary sense of relief, the feelings are still there and they can often manifest in other ways. Even though your conscious mind is trying to avoid thinking about them, unfortunately the effects they have on you still exist to an extent and you may find yourself using your addiction to deal with them.
Other people in the throes of addiction may not know how to handle their emotions. In certain detox programs and recovery programs, you will likely find that they put a great deal of focus onto counseling, therapy, and emotional detox as well. In this way, many programs are key in helping people with addiction address their recovery.

When you can learn to process your emotional world and heal from it, you may find that you are able to heal your addiction instead of being dominated by it. When you have a better relationship with your mind, feelings, and thoughts, you have a better platform to operate from and a better chance of succeeding at sobriety. Thank you for reading, and good luck.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer Sobriety: How to Stay Strong Amid Warm Weather Temptations

If you've worked hard to overcome addiction and stay focused on your sobriety, congratulations! Your effort to stay clean and sober cannot be lauded enough. It's a huge accomplishment, although one that requires constant effort to maintain. When it comes to the newly sober, temptation can be everywhere.

Unfortunately, coming into your first sober summer can mean that you must gear up to fight temptation. There are a lot of things about the warmer season that can invite a relapse or falling off the wagon. With more socializing happening, more outings, more outdoor activities, celebrations, parties, barbecues, and gatherings, it can feel like you're staring temptation in the face at every turn. Sure, you didn't plan for that margarita blender to be there and the punch laced with rum to be sitting on the table, but there it is.

Summer can be a hugely testing time for those in recovery. Here are our tips to stay strong in the warmer months and maintain your sobriety. Read on to find out more.

Skip the Event
As much as you may want to attend an event, you are not obligated to go. If you don't feel that you are strong enough to resist the temptation of a beer or three at a backyard barbecue, perhaps it's better that you eliminate the temptation all together by not physically being there. Avoid events or gatherings where there will be substances that you should stay away from. Especially if you don't feel strong, this is a good way to make sure you don't slip up.

Have Planned Reactions
If you call your sponsor when you feel tempted, that is a backup plan that can serve you well. Any time in the summer that you feel that you are tempted to have that drink or go buy that substance, you need a plan of action of what you're going to do. Step one can be call your sponsor, step two calling a family member, and step three could be finding the closest AA meeting near you. Step four could even be going to church, temple, or synagogue. Have a plan for what you're going to do when you feel tempted.

Do Sober Events and Activities
Picking up hobbies and doing things that are sober is a great way to not even have to deal with temptation. Plan a badminton party with friends who are sober, or take up going to film festivals or foreign film screenings. If you love working out, hit up the gym or do something challenging outside. Take up kayaking, yoga, or kickboxing. Hang out with sober friends, take a yoga class-- whatever is interesting to you that is not your addiction and expands your health is a good thing.

Figure Out Your Triggers

When you know your triggers, you can deal with them. Knowing your triggers can help you acknowledge their presence and take action to avoid relapsing after. Talk with a counsellor or meet with a therapist to delve into why your addiction exists and how you can take steps to stay sober, especially during the warmer months where there's so much to do and you can feel especially tempted to relapse.

Monday, April 17, 2017

How Addiction Shows in Appearance and Hygiene

No matter what the substance, addiction can take a drastic toll on your way of life. Not only can addiction ruin your relationships, it can also drastically damage your health and appearance. Addiction sometimes becomes all too visible. It shows in many ways. Many addictions do reach that point where feeding the habit takes priority over caring for oneself by the addict.

Here are a few ways that addiction can change how you appear and take care of yourself.

1. The skin.

Using substances can take a huge toll on how the skin appears. Factor in as well that with addicts, many people who are actively using may not be getting the full spectrum of nutrition that a wholesome diet would usually include (or they do not have much of an appetite and are not taking in as many nutrients and calories that they should a day). This can cause people to lose a great deal of weight, for their skin to appear sallow or thin, for protruding cheekbones, or just simply looking unhealthy due to malnutrition. Many addicts look older than their biological age, have wrinkles or deep folds in their skin, and display scars and marks more prominently.

2. Bad oral health.

Drug use can often show up very visibly in the mouth. A variety of dental and gum results can happen as a result of addiction, including teeth that are yellow or even decaying. A lack of dental care combined with an absence from the dentist means that addicts also often suffer from bad breath. Whether their self care has lapsed or they frequently smoke or just don't brush their teeth, people who abuse substances often display a less than pearly white smile and fresh minty breath.

3. Dirty or grungy clothing.

Sometimes a person who is an avid substance abuser can be wearing clothing that is shoddy or filthy. They may wear dirty layers of clothing and you can bet that doing their laundry is not high up enough on the priority list, as they have either not the time or motivation to do it or a lack of money because it's all going elsewhere. They also will frequently have a dirty or cluttered place of residence or smell bad because guess what, they haven't been showering because their hot water is off or they're drifting between different paces.

4. Their eyes.

The eyes can become overly dry, or yellowed, or even look strange, surrounded by under eye circle and bags or looking puffy. In fact, many people who abuse drugs really feel like the entire shape and look of their face is strange and unfamiliar to them. If your eyes become discolored or feel dry, consulting a medical professional may provide you with relief.

5. Greasy hair.
Hair can get pretty oily quickly, even after 24 hours. So when someone is more interested in doing drugs than showering, or has a resulting depression or energy affectation that is getting in the way of regular showers, or they're homeless, someone who's in the depths of addiction may have oily hair that seems like it could use a wash.

A disorganized and possibly unhygienic lifestyle quickly becomes normal to someone who is under the influence. If you want to overcome addiction and recognize these signs in yourself, help is a phone call away.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

How to Stay Positive While in Recovery

When it comes to getting clean, it's an accomplishment. It takes making that first step and following through, your time, your effort, and your struggle. While every day in recovery can be unique, your reaction to getting clean may not be as intense in the following days. Your daily routine and your life may even rediscover some semblance of normalcy. When you finish 90 days of meetings and recovery, you could say that you are out of the red zone.

Unfortunately, for people who struggle with addiction there is never a truly safe day in recovery. Recovering addicts are always at risk of relapsing. Statistically, many people will relapse and it can be really tough. All of your efforts at getting sober have been wasted. But that doesn't have to be you. You can stay sober and positive while in recovery, giving yourself a better shot at staying clean and having a stable life.

How to Stay Positive While in Recovery

We're going through the top tips we have to stay positive in recovery. It's not enough to just quit the substance-- you must truly work to discover and pursue what makes you happy. Being sober alone will not provide a sense of purpose or happiness. Read on to find out how you can cultivate a positive attitude while you are in recovery.

Try new things that you think you might like.

During recovery, it's important to keep your mind occupied. This will give you something you enjoy to do so you're not wandering around in a void, obsessing or focusing on your substance of choice. This is a good time to discover new hobbies and things you might like to do. Think about activities you might like to try, such as ship building, Ultimate Frisbee, bowling, or reading. You may find that you really look forward to participating in these types of activities.

Prioritize your relationships and apologize to those you have hurt.

Chances are that when you weren't in recovery, your relationships may have suffered. That's to be expected. Don't rush into getting them the way that they used to be-- put some effort into reaching out, extending apologies where you have hurt others. Try to mend relationships and make the people in your life a priority. Perhaps you will realize that you enjoy making friends and spending time with people socializing.

Maintain your diet, sleep, and physical health.

Avoid negative moods and substitute your former lifestyle with a new and healthier one. Taking care of yourself will help reinforce all the positive efforts that you are making to be a healthier, happier person. Exercise regularly and find new ways to do so. Make sure you are getting good rest and eating properly. Nutrition and exercise can play a big role in how good your brain feels.

Give back.

Now is the time to give back to others. You may find a new sense of purpose in volunteering or providing services such as working at the local animal shelter if you love caring for animals. It'll help keep you busy but also boost your spirits significantly. Helping others really does feel good.

Continue going to meetings and communicating with your sponsor.

It is so important while recovering to continue to go to meetings and keep communicating with your sponsor. Anything that keeps you focused on recovery and your spirits up, keeping you talking and sharing and progressing, is good. You want to be accountable to others as well as yourself--maintain that positive mind frame and reinforce it as much as you can.

Do a spiritual activity that feels good to you.

It could be connecting with a loved one who has passed, praying, meditating, or going to your temple or church. Connecting to something that is meaningful to you, pursuing practices that you find soothing or strengthening, may be able to help you while you are in recovery.

Try to cultivate appreciation.

Appreciating what you have instead of focusing on what you lack is a valuable skill to learn! Having gratitude for being alive and all the beautiful things in your life will help you stay in a positive place, which will aid you in recovery and be a vital part of staying sober.