Sleep: An Overlooked Part of Healthy Recovery
Addiction is a tiring disease. When you first get clean and sober, you’ll probably find that your energy levels vary. Once you’re comfortable with your newfound sobriety, you will probably start working towards new goals. You may find yourself busier than ever before – after all, there’s a lot of lost time to make up. However, if you’re spending so much time working on yourself and living life that you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s time to reprioritize. Sleep is Important Sleep is an essential biological need. Without sleep, you may find yourself having trouble remembering things or focuses. Science has proven that when you sleep, your body can help remove toxins from your brain. Long-term detox from drugs and alcohol takes time, and detoxing from these things is essential to your recovery. Your brain also needs to detox from stress and pollutants. Sleep is also a way for your brain to solve problems at night. Have you ever woken up in the morning with a great idea or solution to something that’s been bugging you? That’s an aftereffect of your brain’s complex problem-solving process. Combatting Insomnia A lot of people both in and out of recovery have insomnia. We […]
Why Do People Call Others Out in Recovery?
Everyone in life is a work in progress, especially those in recovery. Getting “called out” in recovery is part of learning to keep your ego in check and your recovery front-and-center. It may happen when your sponsor sees you lapse into old behavior or a friend sees you manipulating somebody you love. Everyone has faults and actions that they’re not necessarily proud of. When you’re called out, it’s not because people don’t like you. Why Are People Called Out in Recovery? When you’re being called out, it means that somebody sees something in your recovery program that needs some work. You may have been told in the past that your brain is “broken,” but this isn’t necessarily true. It’s a simplification of what happens when a person becomes addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behaviors. If an addicted person’s brain is “broken,” then it can be “fixed.” There’s no one “fix” for those in recovery. The truth is that everyone has defects that need to be worked on, regardless of how much time they have been clean or sober. When you are new to recovery, you’re also learning to adjust to life again, but healing takes time. You might […]
Do You Get Enough Sleep?
Do you get enough shuteye or do your feet drag when you wake up in the morning? Getting enough sleep in recovery is important. Sometimes it can be difficult to get to sleep. It takes your body a few years to fully recover from addiction. This can cause problems like anxiety or insomnia. Recovery can be an exciting time, especially in your first few years of getting clean and sober. Many people who have experienced addiction or mental health disorders feel like they have a new lease on life once they’ve begun recovery. It may feel like you need to make up for lost time. There are so many aspects of your life to work on, and so many new things you probably want to try! Easy Does It You may be very dedicated to working your recovery program. That’s a good thing! However, you didn’t become addicted in one night. There’s no way you can finish all 12 steps in one night, either. You may be enthusiastic but you’ve got to pace yourself in life in order to create a good foundation for your recovery. You may be tempted to find a way to do something all day and […]
Recovery is Easier With a Daily Routine
When you were using drugs and alcohol, what was your routine? Did you have one? For many people, a “routine” consisted of waking up, using their substance of choice, and maybe procuring more of it. Other than that, life was probably a bit chaotic. When addicted, it’s hard to stick to your plans. You wake up planning something productive but end up right back in the cycle of using again. It’s not like people don’t try to stay motivated in other areas of life, but addiction consumes a lot of time, emotions, and resources. Now that you’re in recovery, having plans for the day is a “must.” So how do you start planning your days again with so much more time on your hands? Here are some tips for creating a routine in recovery: Buy a calendar and use it. A daily planner can help you look at the whole week or break your schedule and routine down to hourly events. Make sure that your daily schedule in 12-step meetings as well as any therapy or aftercare. Take time for your health. Whether you have been neglecting mental health needs or physical health, it’s time to treat your body better. […]
Can You Work While You’re in Drug Treatment?
Can you work while you’re getting treatment for addiction? Many people who want to get clean and sober struggle with the thought of treatment because they’re worried about their job. What will their boss think about your admission that you have a problem? Will you keep your job if you try to get help? Treatment and the Workplace For many people, having a full-time job and working can be too difficult. When you’re suffering from a substance use disorder, you need professionals to help you. If you’re addicted to a drug that causes significant withdrawal symptoms, inpatient detox, and then drug treatment will give you the best chances of maintaining long-term recovery. Give yourself a chance to get centered in your recovery. It’s important that you’re able to address the effects of addiction on your mind, body, and spirit. In many cases, you will be able to take leave if you’re seeking drug treatment. The Family Medical Leave Act allows full-time employees to take leave for a significant medical event. The leave is typically unpaid. You must be seeking treatment and meet other conditions for this Act to be applicable. Alcohol and substance abuse are typically covered. Some employers also […]
3 Common Yet Overlooked Triggers in Recovery
Everyone in recovery from addiction has triggers. You may have explored them in drug treatment or therapy. Triggers can be anything from an emotion, a situation, or an event that remind you of using or make you wish you could use. Sometimes a trigger will sneak up on you even if you’re not aware it exists. Understanding these triggers can help you avoid them or cope with them when they crop up in the future. What are some of the everyday things that trigger you? Here are three things you might experience: Boredom. While many people consider negative emotions such as shame, guilt, loneliness, and anger as triggers for drug use, boredom is sometimes overlooked as a major trigger. When you were using your drug of choice, what did you do when you’re bored? You probably went through the process of getting and using that drug. While boredom isn’t painful, feeling like you are stagnant or “everything is the same all the time” are major red flags in recovery. You’ll need to find hobbies and fun things – even 12-step meetings – to fill your time when you’re feeling bored. Happiness. Everything seems to be going well in life, and […]
Giving Back in Recovery is Important at Any Stage
When you first get clean and sober, a lot of people are helping you on a daily basis. Treatment centers, people at 12-step meetings, family and others all probably want to see you succeed and start a new way of life. Sure, there are some bumps in the road along the way. But after all you’ve been through, the journey of recovery is worth it. You may wonder when you can start giving back. After all, you were given the gift of recovery. How can you, too, give back to others? Early in recovery, you need to focus on yourself and learning to live life without the use of substances. While you may want to help others who are new, just like you, the truth is that you’re probably not ready to do that yet. You’re still healing your own life, building relationships and working to earn the trust of others. At this time, it’s best you do small things as you learn to give back. When giving back, make sure you don’t limit yourself to 12-step meetings. Putting gratitude into motion means becoming a productive member of your community. Starting Small If you want to give back, try something […]
Having a Routine or Schedule Will Help You in Recovery
When you were using alcohol or drugs, you probably didn’t adhere to one single schedule, even if you managed to maintain a job. Addiction causes chaos. If you were paid on Friday, you probably ended up spending much of your paycheck to feed your addiction. You may not have made any plans on a daily basis and just “went with the flow”. A lot of your schedule probably involved simply getting high or seeking drugs and you didn’t even realize it. When you get clean, you have a lot of free time on your hands. It may not surprise you that a routine or schedule is considered very important to recovery. Why Schedule Your Time? If you went to drug and alcohol treatment, you probably followed a rigid schedule of therapy, meetings, and meals. In the outside world, there are a lot more things that will be on your plate when you’re not using drugs. Creating a routine will help you feel more stable, become more responsible, and help you feel a sense of purpose every day. No schedule must be adhered to 100% — things come up that can’t be planned. A basic routine, however, will help you start […]
3 Big Issues That Can Hold You Back in Recovery
If you’ve finished a treatment program, you probably know that you can’t make it on your own. Getting and staying grounded in recovery is essential to your well-being. Maintaining your recovery usually means getting a 12-step sponsor, working steps, attending meetings and doing your best to be responsible in everyday life. However, many people struggle to keep their focus once they have graduated from treatment and returned home. What are some of the issues that hold people back? Untreated Mental Health Disorders: Untreated mental health disorders will always hold you back from living your best life because you aren’t able to be yourself when your diseases take over. If you’re depressed, anxious or suffering other symptoms such as an eating disorder or PTSD, life is complicated. Treatment can help you discover coping methods when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Mental health is an important part of your recovery. Please get help if you’re experiencing mood swings, depression/constant sadness, or have the urge to hurt yourself. Your treatment center, insurance company or local Public Health or Mental Health department can give you more information on finding a provider that can make a mental health assessment for you. Too Much Free Time: Do you […]
Have a Recovery Plan During the Holidays
During the holidays, there is usually a lot of commotion and some stress, even for the most laid-back people. When you’re newly sober, however, some of the pressure can feel amplifies amplified. What could be a trigger for you? What’s the most stressful? Should you go to the work party? What about Aunt Edna’s? Making decisions about holiday gatherings should be done with the help of your sponsor or your therapist. Together, you can draw up a recovery plan for any triggering scenarios. Planning for Sobriety During the Holidays Here are a few ideas you can use when you’re planning your holidays: Speak to the host or hostess, if you’re close to them, and ask them to provide a nonalcoholic table away from the alcoholic beverages. Practice saying “no” when offered a drink. Ideally, you’ll stay away from the alcohol so it won’t happen often. You can say, “No thanks” or “No thanks, I quit drinking” or anything you feel comfortable telling people. Have a buddy who can be available to text you throughout the party. Let them know how it is going and if you are struggling with anything. Have a plan to avoid anyone in your family who […]
Staying Sober When You Travel
Being in recovery changes many things, and can take some adjustment. After all, you’re working on yourself and sticking to your recovery program. But life is life, and there are obligations to tend. Even when you travel, (for holidays, business, or pleasure) recovery changes everything. Moving around the country or state through sober eyes may seem like a different task than it used to, especially if you often traveled while you were in active addiction. Here are five tips to help keep you happy, healthy, and sober, no matter where you are traveling. Communicate with your fellow travelers or hosts. Let people you’re traveling with (or visiting) know the importance of recovery and sobriety and let them know how they can support you. When you explain them, let them know that you won’t be drinking alcohol and communicate your other triggers. Set your boundaries clearly and let them know if you need to take a break, you’ll be going to a 12-step meeting every night. Practice self-care. Eat healthy food, exercise, and get enough sleep. Holidays and travel are supposed to be pleasant. Take the time you need to assess your energy and mood. Meditation and mindfulness can help you […]
Finding Recovery Support for College Students
If you go to school or have lived on a college campus, the partying culture can be hard to ignore. College campuses are often full of drinking and drug experimentation. It’s considered to be normal among college students who enjoy the night life. Binge drinking at college can be a real problem, and for many, becomes a lifelong habit that slowly destroys their health and happiness. For some people, drinking gets out of control and affects health, sleep, and even academic performance. Many people who are college-aged manage to get help and find recovery. Sometimes this means spending time away from school in a treatment center. Sometimes it means returning to college years later. Whatever the case may be, people who are in recovery often end up attending college. Because of this, many schools offer resources on-campus for people who need support in their recovery. This is also an excellent way to make new friends in recovery who have the same interests as you. On-Campus Recovery Support Support on-campus seems to depend on your location and the size of the school. More and more often, colleges are offering on-campus support groups for college students. Sometimes the school will have a […]