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Friday, February 23, 2018

Many Roads to Success in Recovery

Addiction is a baffling disease that steals much from its victims. If that were not bad enough, the conditions take a heavy toll on those whose loved one struggles while caught in a seemingly endless cycle of mental hardship. Few health disorders are as frustrating as alcohol and substance use disorders, mainly because friends and family find themselves powerless in helping those suffering. Even when you think you’re doing all the right things, being careful not to enable destructive behaviors and encourage changes made for the better, trouble can arise.

Things don’t always go the way you’d hope in the realm of alcohol and substance use disorder. Many parents know first-hand the feelings that come upon learning of a son or daughter's relapse. A return to drugs and alcohol is a painful occurrence for all concerned parties, especially when it happens after your child completes a treatment program. You did all the right things, and yet, the disease becomes active again. While it may seem logical to give up all hope that your adult child will find recovery, please resist the urge; relapse need not become the end of the story, countless people with long-term recovery share the common bond of a relapse in early recovery.

When all seems dark, hope is the flame that will help you guide your loved one out of the shadows and into the light of the spirit. Please don’t resign to thinking that treatment doesn’t work, and lasting recovery is a fiction; the former is an effective means of breaking the cycle and acquiring the tools for sustained progress, the latter is a reality and working a program allows people to lead a fulfilling life.


There Are Many Roads to Success in Recovery

Treatment and working a program works provided however that one is eternally vigilant in keeping the disease in remission. Problems arise when an individual becomes complacent, which is often the result of downplaying the importance of spiritual connection and fellowship. There is a salient acronym worth remembering, S.L.I.P. or Sobriety Lost Its Priority. People with a little bit of recovery time can delude themselves into thinking that life is good now, and they puzzle over why they need to “keep coming back.”

Telling yourself not to drink or drug, no matter what is helpful and all; although, it’s hardly a prophylactic for the cunning nature of one’s mental illness, alone. It’s amazing how effortlessly, and quickly a person can forget how bad it was before treatment, prior to learning that life is less complicated when you follow some simple suggestions. Individuals must never relent in recovery or lose sight of the fact that we are a work in progress; in more cliché terms, it’s the journey, not the destination that’s vital. Never will a day come when people wake up and think, ‘oh good, I’m recovered now.’ Unfortunately, the disease has a way of encouraging that line of thinking; seeds of doubt in the program’s value can quickly sprout into a relapse.

People relapse for different reasons; sometimes, chronic relapse ensues before finally grasping what is needed to stick with the program. At times, a regression is a merely a slip; it’s unfortunate, but individuals manage to get back up and address where they went off course. As long as addicts and alcoholics keep working at it, and families remain supportive even when it’s hard—such people will find the strength to carry on in recovery. There isn’t one path to lasting improvement, but there are things people can do and approaches they can take after a relapse that makes it harder to achieve one’s goals, i.e., shame, guilt, and unwarranted tough-love posturing.


Supporting Those Who Relapse

In meetings of recovery, members understand that relapse happens to even those who appear most diligent. Cunning, baffling, and powerful is the disease we’re contending with, so it’s vital for recovery fellowships to be a counterforce. Anyone who relapses is welcome back, the community’s arms are always open to those who want IT, and even for those who do not. Each person’s path is their own; we are all responsible for our inventory—nobody else's. The fellowship lends a hand whenever and wherever it can, without judgment.

At times, a relapse develops into full-blown active use; in such cases treatment might be in order. Just like a relapse, multiple stays in treatment are a part of many people’s story. It’s not uncommon to miss things the first time in a therapeutic environment. It’s critical, again, to not convince yourself that treatment didn’t work and decide that it doesn’t make sense to try again. Perhaps you might look at it a different way; it’s not that treatment didn’t work and that’s why you had a relapse; instead, the return to drugs and alcohol was the result of discontinuing practicing the things taught to you in rehab.

The next time around you or, in the case of parents, your loved one will investigate everything that precipitated your relapse. With help, people can see better that they lost sight along the way of some of the vital components of recovery. The course is then corrected, and the journey commences. Please contact Celebrate Hope to discuss treatment options.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Service Commitments for Recovery

It feels good to be there for others when called upon for help. Being of service to others is an excellent way to get out of your head, a place that is at times dangerous to linger in—especially in recovery. Few people who are actively using drugs and alcohol can perform selfless acts; addiction demands too much from the individual to expel any energy on others. Conversely, recovery affords ample opportunity to resend selfish and self-centered behavior, allowing one to dedicate themselves to assisting others in times of need.

Many of our readers are in early recovery which means that they are still figuring some things out regarding working a program and this is not by accident; Celebrate Hope is committed to introducing men and women to recovery. We serve as guides when rehabilitation is in its infancy. Our desire to help doesn’t cease when a client passes to the other side of our recovery safety threshold. We hope to provide sound advice for navigating recovery long after treatment comes to a close.

The majority of our former clients now subscribe to the tenets of the 12 Steps and strive to practice the principles of recovery in all their affairs. Such people endeavor to make progress, but are not always perfect, which is more than OK provided however that they adjust their program when necessary. Once you get into the swing of recovery—going to meetings, working with a sponsor, and such— it becomes easy to see that the enterprise of restoration rests on helping others. In early recovery, one is inclined to think that help is a one-sided affair. However, it is difficult to see how you might be aiding others in their recovery. Rest assured, you are doing more for your fellows than you realize.


A Fellow of Recovery

We all have a natural desire to form an understanding of our role in any system or organization, a fellowship is no different. In time, you form strong bonds with other people in your support network, people you can turn to when times are hard, or your recovery is in jeopardy. Some of you haven’t had the privilege, yet, of walking somebody with less Time than you through the steps. A fact that might lead you to believe that you are taking more from the program than you’re giving back. The truth is altogether different.

Each time you share your story or current difficulty at a meeting you are helping your fellows in recovery. Even those who are new that share rarely, if at all, are doing the group a service; the mere act of being a presence in a meeting on a regular basis is empowering for your peers. Merely showing up to daily meetings inspires people with less time than you to keep coming back. Rarely sharing is not prohibited in recovery, but keep in mind that the more you share, the more likely you are to receive constructive feedback applicable to your recovery.

It is also worth noting that sponsorship is not the only way to give back to the program. At every meeting across the country and beyond, exists service commitments. Chores in a sense, but ones with a priceless reward; as with any exercise in selflessness, you get back far more than you put in. Showing up early to a meeting for set-up or breaking down after meetings; making coffee or supplying snacks for the group, are all commitments you can volunteer for in early recovery. When you act in service to the group, a power Greater than yourself in effect, you’re helping yourself and others as well. Service commitments are perfect opportunities to practice the principles of recovery.


Together, We Stay Sober

The next time the option to help a fellow in recovery or your “homegroup” arises, please accept the honor. In doing so, you learn a valuable lesson, when others trust you it's a sign of progress and feels terrific being trusted by your peers; a feeling that doesn’t exist in active addiction. When you fulfill your commitments, you learn the value of accountability, which is vital.

If you are struggling with drugs and alcohol and would like to begin a life-changing journey of recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can answer any questions you might have, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Overcoming Fear, Seeking Addiction Treatment

addiction recovery
Talking about what’s going on inside you isn’t an easy job, especially if you are struggling with mental illness. Fear is one of the most significant barriers to addiction recovery—even when you need help the most feeling paralyzed is a common occurrence. Regardless of how your disease manifests itself, i.e., one is predisposed to have reservations about discussing it with peers. Sadly, we all worry too much about what others think about mental health problems; it’s the byproduct of hundreds of years of stigma. Overcoming the worries we have about what people think of us is vital to seeking help; failing to do so can be deadly.

Please take a moment to consider how many people around the globe struggle with untreated mental health conditions, you might find it paradoxical that such people continue to eschew treatment. After all, over 300 million people battle depression each year, worldwide. Millions and millions of others struggle with anxiety, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and substance use disorder. In the United States, more than 2 million American meet the criteria for opioid use disorder, over a half million have a heroin use disorder. An even higher number of people are addicted to alcohol, and untreated alcoholism is one of the leading causes of illness worldwide.

With so many people who have a mental illness, you may find it troubling that mustering the courage to seek help is such a monumental task. Both people in recovery and in need of treatment make up a vast demographic; by joining together, we can end the stigma that prevents addiction recovery.


Addiction Recovery Works

Far more people are in active addiction than active recovery; a fact that may lead many individuals to think that recovery is a fluke. The reality is that anyone who openly and honestly works a program of healing can achieve lasting recovery. The likelihood of your recovery cannot rest on statistics or the mindset of those that addiction has passed over. Your recovery begins with a decision to try a different way of life, a polar opposite way of thinking. The first manifestation of that is surrender; admitting to yourself and another person that your way of living is no longer tenable.

Overcoming active addiction and taking steps for recovery usually involves talking to a friend or family member about seeking help. It’s likely that there is at least one person in your life who will not pass judgment about your struggles; a person who will encourage you to seek assistance and support you along the way. We realize that many people in late stage addiction have burned most of their bridges with family and friends. Perhaps you are one of those people, do not be discouraged; there exists a fellowship of people who want to see you get better, even if they have never met you. And their support is usually just a phone call away.

Those working in the field of addiction medicine and treatment are acutely familiar with what keeps people from asking for support. Many of those same people are in addiction recovery them self; meaning, they too struggled to reach out for help before they finally surrendered. Reaching out to an alcohol and substance use disorder treatment center can be your first step to ending the cycle of self-defeating behavior and a sign that fear will no longer drive you.

Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure. —Paulo Coelho—


Addiction Recovery

Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea can help you discover the journey of lasting recovery. We are here for you 24hrs a day to discuss your options for embarking on a new way of life. Please contact us at your earliest convenience; we would love to be a part of your addiction recovery.
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