Many people who want to change their lives must take time to learn more about themselves. For people with addiction, cognitive behavior therapy helps them make better choices. A lot of recovery is about making better, healthy choices. These choices enable you to live a more fulfilling life and can also help you achieve long-term sobriety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, can help you learn to live without the use of substances successfully.
Understanding Yourself and Your Behaviors
CBT is a tool that can help you understand your thoughts and your feelings. These often are things that you react to with specific behavior. For example, many people will have specific situations that are a trigger for using substances or drinking. For example, if you used to stop by a particular bar on your way home from work every day, it may be a big challenge to walk by without stopping. Passing by that spot now that you are sober is a dangerous trigger that you need to eliminate from your routine.
By recognizing triggers that cause a desire to use, you can start learning to respond with different behavior. In the example above, that would mean learning a new route to and from work.
CBT: Changing Your Thoughts, Actions, And Life
CBT is used in a variety of therapy settings. Therapists can use it to help people with mental health disorders and substance use disorders begin to change their behaviors.
Many people who struggle with addiction also have trouble with negative thinking and low self-esteem. These thoughts and feelings can lead to depression and self-destructive behaviors. Many people with a substance use disorder can feel stuck in a spiral of painful thoughts and self-destructive action. But you may feel like there’s nothing you can do about it.
Changing your thinking is essential to achieving mental health and your overall well-being. CBT can help you abstain from alcohol and drugs and help you discover a better way to live. You’ll learn about how you can challenge your negative thoughts and feelings.
Here are some other things CBT can help with:
- Recognizing self-destructive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
- Challenging and changing negative and painful thought patterns.
- Discover triggers and provide alternatives.
- Create ways to cope with upsetting life situations without using substances.
- Create new strategies for coping in challenging situations.
- Learn to achieve goals through new behavior patterns.
Getting Help for Addiction
Getting clean and sober is the first step to a new life! If you or somebody you know needs help getting sober, we’re here to help. We provide a safe, therapeutic environment to detox from substances and start to reclaim your life. We’re here to help! Call us with questions at 619-363-4767.
This holiday season was challenging for everyone in one way or another. Whether you stayed home or took risks to see family, you might be holding onto feelings from the past few months. Managing stress is an essential part of learning to live, adapt, and survive without alcohol or drugs.
New Year’s is the time of year we spend reflecting. For humans, the passage of time is significant. We love to mark birthdays on a calendar. You probably have a “sober birthday” date you’re keeping track of as well. 2020 and now 2021 are years that will probably be etched into our brains for years to come. Recent current events and unrest, as well as living in a pandemic, are remarkable stressors. And, as with many things, most of us are pretty powerless over what people outside ourselves. But we must learn to manage as life goes on.
The new year is also a time of reflection. It’s also a time we set goals and think about our hopes and dreams. Letting go of stress and learning to cope with it using healthy methods is an integral part of maintaining your recovery and sanity these days.
Managing Stress in a Healthy Way
There are no promises that anyone can make in 2021 other than it’s a new year. However, you can take time to manage and take care of your feelings and emotions. Managing stress is an important skill. For many people, managing life a day at a time is an important skill to master again and again. Nobody is perfect, and these skills take practice. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel overwhelmed. Take a deep breath, and make sure you’re doing the following:
- Maintaining your healthy habits. Sometimes it’s hard to take care of yourself, especially if you are prone to depression or loneliness. However, taking care of yourself will help you stay sober. Ensure you are eating well-rounded meals three times a day, getting exercise at least three times a week, taking any medications you have correctly, and getting enough sleep.
- Recharging regularly. That means do something that lifts your spirits and practicing self-care. Spen some time in the morning sipping coffee and listening to your favorite music. Go for a run in the park. Practice yoga or meditation. Do things that you feel help nurture your spirit.
- Eating healthy foods. You may feel pressured to have extreme weight loss goals around the New Year or stick to an unsustainable fitness plan. Many people in recovery from addiction also have disordered eating habits. Don't stress about your weight or obsess about your diet. Instead of setting weight loss goals, focus on all-around wellness. Eat healthy, balanced meals, and try to reach for a banana instead of a candy bar. If you want to lose weight, consult a doctor or nutritionist to help you balance your meals. If you
- Getting exercise without being unrealistic. Exercise can be good for your pheremones, but it can also be an addiction. It’s hard to walk an hour a day, every day, or lift weights every day. Some days, you might have trouble doing it or may be busy. Just make time to get some exercise when you can, a few times a week.
- Be social. Even with COVID-19, social interaction is one of the most significant parts of our existence as humans. We need interaction. Many people are experiencing loneliness, but that doesn’t make you alone! Try going to meetings online and reaching out to your network. Ask them to set up chats online using Zoom or another software system.
So much of life today is putting one foot in front of the other. Remember, you are here to stay sober just for today. You are not alone, and you have a choice today that you didn’t when you were sober.
Take the time to practice the basics in recovery, and remember you are powerless over other people, places, and things.
If you need help, it is available, but you need to make sure you ask for it.
Do you or somebody you love have a problem with alcohol or drugs? Get sober in a safe, therapeutic environment. We can help you get sober and stay sober a day at a time in a peaceful and inspiring atmosphere.
We are open and accepting new patients! We take pains to keep everyone safe. Give us a call to learn more about our options. Call us at 619-363-4767.
Our Medical Director Dr. Milgram has this message we wanted to share here. He is in recovery himself for decades and is known as an inspirational figure in the San Diego recovery community:
Worry, fear, boredom, anxiety, loneliness, escapism, insomnia; these are the emotions that plague our society. The plague that is COVID is making these human imperfections more frequent and more pronounced.
There are healthy effective ways we can not only deal with these feelings and situations. But it is human tendency to take an immediate and effective way to escape: The Devil’s Drugs. They are too readily available. There is easy access to someone who can promise you the gates of heaven. You are invincible. And you want it now. From a friend or family member who has some. Or from a prescriber who will prescribe, sometimes inadvertently but often as a legitimate dealer. Hey, maybe it‘s even covered by your insurance. Maybe you know somebody who knows someone who can get it for you in a park or a parking lot. Trust me. You are not invincible. These are not your grandparent’s drugs. These synthetic drugs have a high addiction potential. I don’t think they should have ever been released to the public, like Quaaludes. You give these drugs to a thousand white mice…and a thousand whit mice will be pushing that button for more. Physiologically, we are not dissimilar from a white mouse. They use these same white mice to test the drugs and extrapolate to human consumption. WE WANT MORE OF THAT!!
These drugs cause what is known as hyperalgesia. Let’s say you stroke the hairs on your arm with a feather. These drugs make a stimulus that would be a tickle or an unpleasurable event and convert it to pain. What do you do? I WANT MORE OF THAT!!
Then you develop tolerance to the drug. Until you rapidly, sometimes within days, need more to get you to that place where you want to be. And you then know. I NEED MORE OF THAT!!
NAD+ Helps with Detox and Recovery
We have been very successful treating alcoholism and drug addiction to heroin, opiates with our innovative and experienced team and the magical molecule of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), which detoxifies and fixes your brain, relieving withdrawal symptoms and cravings with much greater regularity than your neighborhood rehab center. But these are The Devil’s Drugs. And they require an all out and effective therapeutic approach to avoid the gates of hell; loss of you job, your family, your money, your home. And finally you lose yourself and then you lose hope. Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonipen, Ativan, Ambien and the sort) are not a good solution. You solve a problem by creating another problem. But prescribers too readily whip out their prescription pads to give you a stopgap that may be as bad or worse than the original problem. Please don’t take Kratom either. Often the addiction to Kratom is worse than heroin. Unfortunately, it is readily available and touted as “natural”. When you are addicted to Kratom, you may be suffering such terrible withdrawals that you have to use through the night every two hours.
The best way to avoid this whole situation is to not allow these drugs into your body. Avoid them all-knowingly because I have here told you of their power, their danger, and the high percentage for your physiologic tendency as a normal human being to succumb to the power of these drugs. But it is human tendency to think you are different, stronger, better, even invincible. I WANT TO FEEL IT, NOW!!
We have an alternative therapy here in Carlsbad, with the magic molecule (NAD+) that is already present in every living animal and plant cell. And that the body naturally uses to detoxify, heal, pump up immunity, and create new neural pathways that results in less cravings, less withdrawal symptoms and a high degree of long-lasting sobriety, health, longevity and wellness. We help restore restful sleep, use additional therapies, and get you on the road to a new life free from the influence of these drugs.
NAD+ is the magic. There is an art to the administration of it—starting with the best NAD+. Then there are therapies that enhance and propagate the NAD+ effect. Then, once off the drugs, you need to deal with the emotional, physical, depression, anxiety, any underlying mental disease, situation, and establish an ongoing program of healthy nurturing lifestyle.
There is such a thing as recovery, let us show you.
I am The NAD MD,
If you or somebody you love is facing a second DUI charge in California, there are probably many things going through your head right now. Of course, getting a reasonable attorney and being cooperative is essential. But how much are the fines for a second DUI? And what other issues might a person convicted of a second DUI face?
California Second DUI Law
California DUI laws are some of the most stringent in America. They are serious about preventing accidents due to impaired driving, and they’re willing to throw the book at a person who hasn’t learned their lesson yet.
If you decide to drive drunk after your first DUI, you can face the following with your second DUI charge:
- Fines and penalties will cost between around $400 and usually up to $2000.
- Three to five years of summary probation and no less than 96 hours in jail.
- If you haven’t finished the terms of your first DUI charge, you will face penalties for the rest of that sentence as well.
- You may have to go to up to 15-30 months of DUI school, which you will also pay fees out of your own pocket to complete. The costs for second offenders cost $1500-3000 dollars, according
- If you are allowed to drive again, you’ll have to pay money to have your driver’s license reinstated and install and rent an ignition interlock device.
If you’re thinking of drinking and driving, it’s just not worth it to get a second DUI. If you can’t control your drinking and poor decisions you make when you drink, you may need to get help for an alcohol use disorder. A second DUi will often just lead to a third or fourth.
Alcohol is Addictive
A second DUI is often the symptom of a greater problem. Alcohol addiction can lead to more than just a DUI. It can cost relationships, families, and careers. Alcohol use disorder is a term to describe people who are addicted to alcohol or can’t control their alcohol use. People with alcohol use may binge drinking, day drink, or drink intermittently. They may black out or make a poor choice when they drink.
There are a lot of people who make poor choices due to their relationship with alcohol. If you’ve made a few mistakes, that doesn’t mean you have to continue down that path!
You don’t have to hit bottom to start recovery. You can avoid a lot of pain and misery, heal from your past, and start living your life through recovery. You don’t have to lose relationships, jobs, or even your freedom due to your use of alcohol or other substances.
An inpatient treatment program can help you reclaim your life and start to live alcohol-free. You’ll improve your relationships and learn how to live an authentic, serene life in recovery.
We can help you begin to transform your life and achieve long-lasting sobriety. Learn more about how we can help you get started by calling 619-363-4767.
2020 has not been the best year for anyone. Let’s face it; it’s been strange and difficult. Many people started this pandemic, believing that it would last a few weeks or months. Today, we are just beginning to turn another corner that makes it look like we’re going back into a shutdown just in time for a holiday season. COVID-19, mental health, and staying sober are things a person in recovery must consider when planning for this holiday season.
Staying Safe At Holiday Season Get-Togethers
It can be hard to be alone this holiday season, but many people will be. Risking your health or the health of others isn’t going to help you stay sober. You may have family members asking you to attend gatherings. Or you may be talking about doing a socially-distanced event with a few of your immediate family. There are challenges to celebrating for everyone.
Holiday time is often a time of turbulence for people who are newly-sober. Try only to attend events where alcohol is not being served. If you are in a COVID-19 hotspot, it may make sense to not attend any events in person at all. If there is alcohol present, ask the host or hostess to provide an alternative, preferably at a different table.
Make a plan to stay sober and work your recovery program this holiday season. Your plan may include forming a small “pod” of recovery peers you meet in-person regularly but no one else. If so, you’ll also want to get regular tests for COVID. If you are visiting family or traveling, COVID-19 tests may be required in some jurisdictions.
Socializing Online in Recovery
You can go to 12-step meetings online whenever you need to. Your local AA meetings are probably also set up online – search for them online to get specifics. They may have special events for the holidays.
If you’re lonely during the holidays, you’re probably not alone! Get in touch with others in recovery and make plans to do something “virtually” like stream a holiday movie. You can use chat to make comments or even stream it on Twitch for your friends to watch with you.
Safety At In-Person Holiday Gatherings
Be as safe as you can be, especially when it comes to caring about others. If you have an elderly relative, you may want to call them on the phone rather than visit them in person. The same is true for any other relatives you worry about.
Remember that wearing a mask in public is an essential part of being accountable for your actions. While it’s rarely followed, Dr. Fauci has recommended that people wear face masks at small family gatherings indoors.
Respect public health guidelines and avoiding risky behavior. For one thing, you don’t want to get sick or transmit a virus.
This Holiday, Too, Shall Pass
It may seem more stressful or less cheerful this year because it’s dangerous to do holiday activities in-person. It’s fair to acknowledge those feelings, but it’s still essential to follow guidelines. This year may be a year you make sacrifices to get through.
Next year might be completely different. We don’t know what is coming, but you have the tools to cope with what is here at this moment. If you’re worried or need reassurance, reach out to a sober friend or your sponsor.
Practice self-care and be gentle with yourself. This year, the holidays may seem sad, but this is just the year 2020. There are many more holidays to come! Try to find ways to celebrate with people you love.
Getting Help For Addiction
Even with the holidays, there are opportunities to get sober. COVID-19 may have changed a few things, but we can still offer you the help you need to start our journey. Contact us at 619-316-4767 to learn more about how we can help.
Nothing can stifle your spirit as much as feeling as if you don’t have control. In recovery, you learn you only control your actions. You’re powerless over other people, places, and things. Powerlessness is both a good and bad thing. You can’t be responsible for other peoples’ actions. You have to be patient like everyone else. But it can feel spirit-busting in many cases. So how can you continue to feed your spirit during the era of COVID-19?
As a person in recovery, you’ve probably gone through a lot in life. It may seem unfair to think that you’ve gone through all much just to sit around and wait for the future to re-start. COVID-19 threw everyone’s plans into a loop.
You’re right – it’s not fair. But we’ve all got to make the best of it, and it’s essential to nurture yourself in the process. You deserve to take care of yourself – and that’s what recovery is all about!
Nurturing and Lifting Your Spirit During COVID-19
No one has control over COVID-19 and all of the small inconveniences and tragedies it has caused and continues to cause. However, if you’re staying sober, you’re part of the solution, especially if you’re following health guidelines.
By nurturing your spirit and exercising self-care, you can get through this period (and, yes, this too shall pass) and come out stronger on the other side. Take time to take care of yourself. You must be gentle with yourself sometimes.
Here are 15 great ways to nurture your spirit:
- Make a playlist of songs that inspire you or remind you of good times. Listen to them to lift your mood. (No songs that remind you of using or drinking!)
- Help others. Go through clothing or household items you have and contact Goodwill or another organization. If you live with others, organize to get this done together.
- Go for a bike ride away from traffic so you can enjoy the scenery.
- Take a half-hour at the beach to just sit in the sun and listen to the waves.
- Practice mindfulness wherever you are at least once a day. Set a phone alarm to remind yourself, then find a spot where you can be relatively alone.
- Talk to somebody who cares about you every day. This call can be to a relative, your sponsor, your best friend, or anyone in recovery. If you think nobody cares about you, then go to a meeting. Introduce yourself as a newcomer.
- Practice your talents daily. Sing in the shower, write in a journal, or draw in a textbook if those are things you’re good at doing or just enjoy.
- Keep a gratitude list of at least five things you’re grateful for each day.
- Practice affirmations. If you have low self-esteem, choose a few compliments to give yourself this week. Think of at least three things you’re good at, and turn them into affirmations. For example, “I am kind to others and always try to help.”
- Do something kind for somebody every week. For example, give a gift card to a homeless person or do the grocery shopping for a family member. Don’t ask for or expect anything in return.
- Learn to cook your favorite food so you can save money and enjoy it any day of the week.
- Take your dog to a park to play fetch. (If you don’t have a dog, play in your living room with the cat.
- Get at least one intense, sweaty workout each week. Intense cardio can help your body lower your blood pressure, boost your metabolism, and regulate stress.
- Go for a short walk every day at the same time to wind down the day. Pay attention to the world around you, and allow your breathing to slow down. Try to stay in the moment as you walk.
- Escape with your favorite type of book, whether it’s suspense, Steven King, or a manual teaching you how to code MSQL.
Nurturing your spirit means taking care of yourself and feeding the parts of your soul that are creative and hopeful. Take some time every week, really getting to know yourself and learning to enjoy your life without using substances. There is a lot to explore about yourself and the world, so take the opportunity to slow down during this period of time. COVID -19 has slowed the world down, but there are still many opportunities to learn to enjoy life without substances. You just have to start reclaiming the time you have to make it yours. Learn how to enjoy yourself.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or somebody you love needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here for you. We can offer a safe, clinically supervised detox with minimal withdrawals. We’re still doing intake with policies that have adapted to the era of COVID-19. Please call us to learn more about our programs and how we can help you get started on the road to recovery. We’re available at 619-363-4767.
Hope is one of the most important things to hold onto when you’re new to recovery. Everyone arrives in treatment or at 12-step meetings with a little hope. (If you didn’t have hope to stay sober, you wouldn’t try staying sober.) However, there are a lot of ups and downs in the first few weeks of recovery. How can you add to your reserve of hope?
Listening to Others Stories
When you are first getting sober, you will encounter many people who have been sober for years in recovery. Some of them may be staff at a treatment center. Some will be at 12-step meetings.
Hearing stories from others will help you hear that you get better! Recovery is a journey of healing and growth. Some 12-step meetings are geared toward the “newcomer” and focus on the first, second, and third steps.
Listening to the stories other people in recovery tell helps you relate to them. You’ll probably hear familiar feelings being expressed. Addiction is painful, no matter what the drug is.
Recovery is a journey of hope. You can hope life will get better as long as you stay sober. You’ll also meet people who are proof that it is possible.
Getting Inspired Through Hope
Writing a journal or doing “homework” about hope may help you understand it. Through understanding, you can cultivate even more hope. Spend some quiet time thinking about hope and what it means in your life. Now think about and answer some questions:
- What hopes do you have for the future? In the very best situation in the future, where are you five years from now?
- What are your hopes for your relationships?
- What have you heard at a meeting lately that you found inspiring?
- Does anybody’s story of getting sober resonate with you and give you hope? Why?
- Start listening to other people about their hopes. How many people who got sober only hoped for sobriety? Did they get more than just sobriety?
- If you live in a place it’s allowed, light a candle every night. Sit and think of all your hopes and dreams. Once you’ve finished listing them in your head, blow your candle out.
- What other hopes have you had in life? Did they come true? If not, think about why this may make you afraid to be hopeful. Can you try, just this once, to hope again?
Hope may not come to you naturally, but as time goes on and you stay sober, you’ll be awarded much more than you imagined. Yes, the 12 steps will help you get clean and sober. But once you get clean and sober, you’ll find there are a lot of things in life to look forward to.
On a bad day, hold on to your hope! It gets better. Just try to stay sober one day at a time.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol, help is available! We can help you navigate your options and start charting your course to recovery and healing. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help.
Forgiving yourself for things you did during your addiction may seem hard or even impossible. You may carry incredible guilt that you’re going to have to learn to let go of. Nobody, in or out of recovery is perfect. We are all human, and we have all made mistakes. Learning to forgive yourself is a process as you live life in recovery from your addiction.
In recovery, you’ll learn to take life as it comes. You’ll start doing things that make you feel more whole.
In Recovery, You Can Forgive Yourself
Accepting the fact that you are addicted is one of the first steps to getting help. Throughout your recovery, you will learn to be more honest, open, and trustworthy in general.
Yes, there is wreckage from addiction. But recovery allows you to change your path and rebuild. You may have harmed relationships with your family or friends, but you can begin to build trust. You may have manipulated, committed crimes, or done things that made you feel ashamed. Those things will be what you make amends for down the road. For now, it’s essential to live for one day at a time.
You can’t fix everything overnight. So it’s important to take your recovery a day at a time. By establishing new, healthy habits and working to stay sober, you’ll start to make changes that positively impact the world. You can be a better person today, no matter what you’ve been through or done. You'll be able to work on this throughout your recovery.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You may be very hard on yourself about the mistakes you’ve made in the past. However, the past is the past and you can't change it. Today, you focus on becoming a better person than you were yesterday. This will help you begin to heal and forgive yourself.
It’s easy to “beat yourself up” when you mess up. Your mind may play tricks on you, allowing yourself to be overcome by negativity. You may believe that the mistakes you’ve made are proof you can’t change. That’s an untruth! You CAN change, and many people DO find recovery daily. Part of getting sober and changing your life will be forgiving yourself.
As you learn to stay sober longer, you’ll have many opportunities to forgive yourself and know when you make a mistake. In the meantime, when you hurt somebody’s feelings or realize you’ve done something wrong, apologize for it. Ask your sponsor or a therapist about the best ways to approach conflict where you need to apologize. You might have some anxiety to walk through, first.
Forgive Yourself a Day at a Time
Recovery truly is a day at a time, and as you start to reclaim your life, you will have many opportunities to heal. Start by doing the right thing every day and being a better person whenever you have the chance. You can do the right thing even when nobody’s watching.
And if you make a mistake, it’s okay to own it and learn from it. Being responsible for your mistakes is an important part of learning and growing. Don’t let your self-esteem suffer if you think you messed up. Try to do the right thing whenever you can. And you can always try again tomorrow.
Also, remember - you’re no longer alone! When you want to make a difficult decision, you can always ask your support network for help.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or somebody you love has a problem with addiction, help is available. While COVID-19 has made many things uncertain, we’re still ready and able to help during the pandemic. Recovery is possible. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.
Are you scared of facing certain situations in recovery? Are you worried that you won’t be brave enough to stay the path? Many people think that to have courage, you must be fearless. But you can have fears and be bold at the same time. Fears - and working through them -- are an important aspect of addiction recovery.
There are a lot of aspects of life that can be scary to newly sober individuals.
Everyone has to walk through and face their fear every once in a while. Without doing this, we’re left to face the same fears over and over, without resolution. Whether you’re afraid to speak in front of the class or to have an awkward talk with a loved one, walking through that fear is a show of strength and growth.
5 Typical Fears in Recovery
Starting something new, especially lifechanging or drastic, can bring a lot of fears up for people. Treatment itself may seem scary or foreign to you. However, getting clean and sober itself can be a frightening prospect if you don’t have a plan.
- What will treatment be like? Having a plan can help you resist fearfulness when you first get sober. When you go to a treatment center, they will help you plan a schedule, so you get the therapy and support you need. So while it may seem scary at first, you’ll be able to get through that fear and trust the process.
- Many people are also afraid they will have no friends or “be alone” once they’ve stopped using alcohol or drugs. This fear is rational but short-lived. In treatment, you’ll learn that you have a vast support network available to you, especially at 12-step meetings.
- You may worry that your relationships or family are irreparable.
- The future. You may be worried about going back to work, where you will live after drug rehab and other aspects of your life. (The best advice for this: take life one day at a time.)
- How will you stay sober? Once treatment is over, you’ll want to have a plan for where you will live, what support groups you will attend, and other technicalities. You will learn new coping skills when you are in treatment, so pay attention!
The more effort you put into treatment, the more you will get out of it. Talking about your fears can help you put them in perspective. Every part of life in recovery goes step-by-step. So allow yourself some breathing room before worrying about everything all at once.
Working Through Fears
Learning what your fears are, and taking steps to conquer them, will help you continue to live a life free from fear. Nobody goes through life without worries – it’s normal and natural. Learning to cope with anxiety gets easier throughout life.
The best way to get over your fears is to make a decision even if you’re afraid. So take each day at a time and try to speak up when you feel scared. Other people can help you talk through your fears and find great ways to challenge them.
Getting Help for Addiction
We’re here to help you or your loved one recover! Even during COVID-19, we have found ways to make treatment accessible to our clients. Click here to learn more. We want to help! You’re never alone, and we want to help you reclaim your life.
Contact us at 619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help.
When a person gets sober, there are a lot of things that may go through a loved one’s mind. Families are not immune to the effects of addiction by any stretch, and it takes a lot of strength to remain by a loved one’s ups and downs as they begin their journey.
Experts usually describe addiction as a family disease. This description doesn’t mean that you cause a loved one’s substance use disorder. It does, however, mean that you can help them recover but you can't carry the burden or do their work for them. While the journey is there for them to walk on their own, healing can take place within the family as well.
Helping Your Loved One
As a family member, you probably have a lot of hopes as well as fears about the journey your loved one is taking. If they have been to rehab before, you might think that they need “extra” help to stay sober. The truth is that relapse is usually a part of a person’s recovery. If your loved one relapsed in the past, it doesn’t mean they weren’t trying hard enough. It said that their addiction is powerful and hard to overcome. Try to trust the process.
Here are a few more suggestions to help your loved one in sobriety:
- Get out of the way and let them work on themselves. You may think that helping your loved one means checking up on them and pushing them to try new things to cope with their life. You may have enabled them in the past and thought you were “helping” – such as when you gave them money or bailed them out of jail. It’s time for them to build a strong support network and learn to stand on their own two feet. If they need your help, they will ask you. (But don’t bow to unreasonable requests.)
- Trust the process. Getting sober can be messy; your loved one will be working on processing new information, feeling old and new feelings, and trying to be comfortable in their skin. Sometimes they will make mistakes. Sometimes you might argue with them. Don’t let these small setbacks cause you to lose your faith in their recovery program.
- Get help if you need it. It’s okay to have conflicting emotions and attitudes about your loved one’s new path in life. But they are not ready to hear or process your baggage yet; it takes time for them to become sane and stable again. A therapy group or self-help group like Al-Anon can help you deal with your issues.
- Read literature on addiction. There are many books, newsletters, blogs, and forums that discuss life in recovery. Ask your loved one’s treatment center for suggestions, especially if you feel a little lost with all of their new activities.
- Practice self-care. If you need to cry and beat up a pillow to deal with your feelings, permit yourself to do that. You may also find yoga, exercise, or meditation help you deal with stress. Your family is in a period of transition, and you’re not in charge of the process. You can, however, take responsibility for your personal mental health.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or a loved one needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here to guide you. Recovery is a process that is open to everyone, but asking for help is always the first hurdle. We can help you plan your journey in an empathetic, safe, and healthy environment. You CAN reclaim your life. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 for more information.