Thursday, November 21, 2019

by A Guest Blogger: For Addicts, Recovery Means Creating a New Life

If you’re struggling to maintain your sobriety, you aren’t alone. There are millions of fighters just like you working toward reclaiming their lives from drugs and alcohol. There are a few common traits that many successful recovering addicts share. Keep reading to find out what they are and how you can follow in their footsteps.

They establish new patterns

You can’t continue to live your life the same was you did when you were using. You must change and adapt to your newfound sobriety. Consider a career change; many recovering addicts find they have more success by starting their own business. One career that is easy to enter is dog walking. As a dog walker, you’ll reap many rewards including getting to spend time with dogs, which can actually boost your recovery efforts and stave off depression.

Dogs have been used as part of a treatment plan for users as young as 11 and come with the added benefit of helping you stay physically active. Plus, being with canines for any amount of time can lower your stress and anxiety levels.

Other positive patterns to adopt include eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and keeping your home tidy. Sometimes, establishing new patterns involve re-establishing old ones. For example, if you allowed your auto insurance to lapse during this time, you would need to take the appropriate steps to get things back on the right track, which might include approaching your old company or finding a new one altogether. Of course, this applies to other things besides auto insurance — the important part is identifying them and making changes.

They have a supportive network and aren’t afraid to use it

Here is a tough truth to handle: Your user friends aren’t really your friends — at least not while they continue to drag you down a path toward substance abuse. It takes time, but you can create a new network of healthy friendships, counselors and other support persons that you can lean on without judgment. But making new friends as an adult, and especially as a recovering addict/alcoholic, is difficult. Inc. asserts there five types of people you need in your life: a leader, a storyteller, a listener, someone who forces you to think, and someone who never lets life get them down. Here are tips on making new friends from someone who’s been in your shoes.

They are confident, but not cocky

The difference between cocky and confident when you’re in recovery is that confidence helps you win the battle and cockiness makes you weak. Learn how to believe in yourself but never forget that you are human and you have weaknesses. Unfortunately, years of abuse have likely shattered your self-confidence and taken a toll on your self-esteem. You can reclaim this aspect of yourself by remembering past successes and making — and meeting — small goals. Make lists every morning of what you’ll do that day. Always include one bullet point that specifically reminds you to stay clean. Check off each accomplishment no matter how small and keep a visible file of your victories to remind you that sobriety is possible.

They recognize their triggers

Triggers are the people, places, and actions that make you want to use. It might be anything from stress to an unkind family member — or driving by the local bar. When you’re in recovery, you must learn to avoid these triggers or find ways to cope with them that don’t involve relapse. Take a new route home, try yoga, or call a trusted confidant in your support group. Huffington Post asserts that unhealthy relationships, even those bonded in blood, should be severed when they impact important areas of life and there is no area more important than your sobriety.

Recovery is a long, hard road but you can smooth some of the bumps by changing your daily patterns, keeping close friends and family (and leaving behind toxic relationships), and finding the confidence to do it all again tomorrow. Take things one moment at a time if you must and celebrate each of them.

Image via Pixabay

Adam’s mission is aligned with Addiction Hub’s to help people find support with issues relating to addiction.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Waking Up Tired

What do you do when you wake up tired? Lately, I have been struggling with depression. My depression is not the result of the changes in season, mood swings, PMS, nor breakdown in relationships, or loss. My invisible brain disorder is going through another one of its phases.

Sometimes I wake up tired. In spite of medication adherence, I am challenged by my depressive state of being. I practice self-care daily, but lose energy by the late afternoon and am forced to shut myself down early at night. It is not fair; living with limited energy, taking restless naps, and repeating my health plan that is not completely pulling me out of this depressive state.

My days are short but my fight is still strong. Yes, I may wake up tired, and do not carry out plans, but I get back on track and try my best to not give up.

Still, I press forward. I surf social media for encouragement. I drink more water and give myself time to embrace self-care demands. Moreover, I pray that this low energy leaves me.

Finally, I am not at my best but I am still trying. I choose to challenge my invisible storm. I may not win every time, but I am still in the fight. I understand waking up tired is just for a moment, therefore, I continuously try to overcome this internal battle. Recovery is not always about winning, but simply going through the process and trying again and again until a better day arrives and better you shows up.

How to Cope with Dark Seasons

I aim to empower those affected by mental illness. However, the truth about recovery is there will be many dark seasons. Still, I hope peopl...