Many people who are working to overcome addiction benefit from trauma-informed treatment. After all, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 75 percent of people who seek out substance abuse treatment have experienced trauma.
What Is Trauma?
Many people think of trauma as one life-altering event, such as a school shooting, a violent crime, or being involved in a bad car accident. But trauma can result from a series of painful or terrifying events as well. For example, people who survived childhood abuse experience trauma over many years. People who have been abused often experience high levels of substance use, anxiety, and depression.
It’s likely that a person who suffered abuse for an extended period of time would also be diagnosed with PTSD disorder. In war, circumstances are often volatile and changing. Being deployed overseas and experiencing life-threatening events repeatedly is also traumatic. People who have experienced combat also experience anxiety, depression, and PTSD at much higher levels than the general population.
Trauma-Informed Care Is Crucial
Trauma-informed care is a compassionate and therapeutic approach that considers a client’s trauma when developing a treatment plan. Therapists who use this approach are trained to understand and recognize the symptoms of trauma. By assessing the signs and symptoms of trauma, they can better help clients and support their mental health needs.
Many people who live with substance use disorder are self-medicating their trauma symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. Learning to recognize these symptoms and seek healthier coping skills is another part of recovery. You don’t have to get high or drunk to cope with your feelings.
Many people react in anger or fear as a defense mechanism when harboring some form of inner trauma. Addressing those feelings and helping a client feel safe and move toward healing is the goal of trauma-informed therapy.
Getting and Accepting Help
If you or somebody you love has a substance use disorder, help is available. We’ve helped people from all walks of life get sober in a stress-free, discreet environment. We’re only here to help you get comfortable and get ready to start living a higher quality of life.
Substance use can put a wall between you and your loved ones. It can chase away your dreams and goals. But recovery IS possible. Give yourself a chance! Reach out at 619-452-1200 to learn more about how we can help.
People from all walks of life experience mental health issues and addiction. These disorders do not discriminate. However, the sad fact of life is that sometimes, people in healthcare, education, or justice do. Minority communities often suffer from poorer health outcomes than others, and mental health is often overlooked for a while before a person is diagnosed. The reasons for these disparities can vary, but they all create barriers to treatment.
Black Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ people, and other minorities all can suffer from mental health issues and deserve to get treatment for them. Often, these needs are overlooked, and sometimes society has even criminalized them. For example, nearly 70% of juveniles in the justice system live with mental health disorders, and more Black Americans are incarcerated than any other race.
Hesitancy In Minority Communities
Much of the disparity for mental health comes from an overall lack of awareness or stigma of mental illness.
Historically, doctors and other medical professionals may be less likely to recognize symptoms of mental illness in minorities. Doctors can be racist or homophobic and simply not see the person's humanity in front of them due to prejudice. Black Americans are more likely to live in poverty, experience childhood trauma, become incarcerated, homeless, or struggle with substance use disorder. All of these are related to mental health outcomes.
Many people who seek help for mental illness feel flawed or ashamed, but mental health is just as important as physical health. You can't be your best self if you live with an untreated mental health disorder. Treatment and recovery are available to anyone willing to ask for help.
Challenges in Minority Communities
According to Web MD, Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to experience depression or feelings of worthlessness. Still, fewer than 9% of Black Americans get mental health counseling or treatment, compared with more than 18% of white Americans. For many Black people with mental health disorders, their symptoms have been punished in academic settings or criminalized in the justice system. Inequity leads to harsh treatment rather than healing in these circumstances.
LGBTQ individuals also face unique stigma; they may be afraid to seek out a provider for their anxiety or depression or worried that they will be judged for their sexuality or gender. In addition, people still have to worry about conversion therapy or religion-center services in some states, which can be very judgemental and punishing rather than focusing on healing.
Some immigrant families might not be familiar with mental health or treatment if it was not offered in their home country. Often, immigrants seek help in their church or communities.
Gaining Access to Help
When there are not a lot of mental health providers or treatment centers available in communities, people lose access or never seek help, to begin with. Today, there are many options available for therapy and other help. Some mental health providers offer telehealth to offer better access to all.
If you or somebody you love struggles with symptoms of anxiety, depression, or addiction, there is help available. Mental health is important! Reach out to learn more about what is available to you or your family member. No one should feel ashamed of asking for help; it's the first step to reclaiming your life and beginning a healing journey.
There is an epidemic of cocaine and meth overdoses among veterans that has grown alongside the opioid crisis. Combination overdoses involving both methamphetamine and cocaine often turn deadly. Deaths involving the two stimulants have nearly tripled among the veteran population, becoming another epidemic in the shadow of a widening opioid crisis.
Research shows that cocaine and meth overdoses weren’t always singular. Fifty percent of the time, individuals would have more than one drug in their system at the time of the overdose death. In addition, the most common drug seen in overdose deaths such as these were varying forms of opioids.
Is Substance Use Overlooked and Under-Treated in Veterans?
Nearly seventy percent of the veterans who were overdose victims had never sought help for their substance use—many people who died with opioids in their blood had sought help in the past. Yet many of the fallen had multiple substances in their system, which indicates that they had been mis-using substances regularly.
Veterans often struggle with mental health disorders and other disparities that go untreated. For example, chronic homelessness is often an issue for veterans with untreated mental health or physical health issues.
There is still a perception of stigma surrounding substance use. However, times are changing, and most medical science accepts that addiction is a treatable disorder that causes changes in a person’s brain. Opioids, however, are not the only highly addictive drug that people are dying from.
“We have been so focused on opioids that we are missing the tremendous increase in people who are using multiple substances, as well as those using stimulants only when we know that many people don’t stick to just one substance,” Lara Coughlin, Ph.D., a psychologist an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Psychiatry, says of the data in the study. “The fact that so many of those who died of an overdose had not received substance use disorder treatment is especially concerning.”
Help is Available For All Substance Use Disorders
Substance use disorders can cause significant obstacles in life no matter who you are, where you are from, or what substances you use. If you or somebody you love has a problem with addiction, there’s help available. Many people who use opioids benefit from Medication-Assisted Treatment alongside therapy and support networks.
If you or somebody you love is addicted to one or multiple substances, help is available. You deserve a chance to reclaim your life! Let us help you take the first step – reach out!
Many veterans live with symptoms of PTSD like depression and anxiety. When people first get sober, they often find that their emotions feel like they’re running haywire. Recognizing feelings is important, but for many people in recovery, it feels like foreign territory. And sometimes, those feelings may be symptoms of anxiety or PTSD.
When a person has PTSD, they may also have been self-medicating for a while. Anxiety can be an intense emotion when you’re first dealing with it. In the past, you may have self-medicated to get through the anxiety or isolated to avoid taking it out on others. Not all anxiety symptoms are apparent, so it’s important to recognize some of the less-obvious signs you’re anxious, too.
Here are some symptoms of PTSD and other anxiety disorders:
- Physical symptoms like shaking, a racing heart, or fast breathing.
- Anxiety attacks where you feel like you have trouble breathing or need to sit down.
- Trouble with sleeping or nightmares. Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep.
- Stomach issues, feeling sick when thinking about what causes anxiety.
- “Blanking out” or going numb when feeling stress.
- Avoiding things and procrastinating on specific tasks, especially those that make you feel anxious, making the anxiety snowball.
- Depersonalization - you may feel like what’s happening isn’t real, or it’s not really happening to you. You may feel like you “freeze.”
- Perfectionism to the point that you’re unable to get a task done.
- Low stress tolerance – you may be quick to anger when something doesn’t go your way or overreact to relatively minor stresses.
Addiction, Anxiety, and PTSD
PTSD is an anxiety disorder experienced by many people who have experienced a traumatic event. Many people who have been to war or through other traumatic experiences misuse substances like opioids to cope with their symptoms.
Self-medication doesn’t really work in the long run with PTSD; many people seeking relief from drugs only find that substance use causes more problems. You may feel you can’t cope with the day unless you use your drug of choice, and when you’re not high, you may experience intense anxiety, withdrawal symptoms, and other negative feelings that you’re not sure how to cope with.
This vicious cycle can make you feel hopeless, withdrawn, or alone, but the truth is that there’s help available. Whether this is the first, second, or thirtieth time you’ve tried to get help, we’re available to get you started on the road to recovery.
Getting Help for Addiction
You can reclaim your life and learn to cope with your anxiety and other PTSD symptoms. Getting help and getting sober are the first steps to building a new life. You deserve to have meaningful relationships and serenity in your life. We’re here to help.
We’ve helped many individuals who live with PTSD and addiction start the path to recovery. Learn more about how we can help by calling us at 619-452-1200.
Nurses have been facing a silent epidemic of colleagues addicted to drugs they should be dispensing. Substance use disorders occur in all walks of life, but people in the healthcare profession tend to have access to addictive drugs. Around 14 to 20% of nurses may use substances during their careers. Between 2 and 10% of nurses develop a substance use disorder.
Substance use disorder is a danger to both patient welfare and the substance user. Many nursing unions require employers to have a policy addressing substance use disorder. Nurses are usually allowed to get voluntary treatment if their addiction hasn't caused harm at work.
Why Do Nurses Use Substances?
Nurses use substances for the same reason many people use them; to relax, to lose their inhibitions. The job of nursing has many rigors, and nurses must deal with both physical and psychological demands. For example, a person may take drugs to help with aches and pains, get better sleep, or simply "feel numb" just "feel better."
Some people misuse drugs. Usually, this includes taking them without a prescription or taking more than prescribed to get a particular effect.
Nurses' Increased Stress During COVID
When we think of nurses, we often think of the people who care for others in the emergency room or doctors' offices. The role they play in hospitals is that of a caregiver. Since the pandemic began, our healthcare workers have worked hard to keep people comfortable and alive. Many have returned home after work, just to care for people at home, too.
Some have faced enormous stresses, such as adult children moving back in or working with an onslaught of very sick COVID patients. At the same time, they may have felt compelled to work longer hours and get less rest. There is no doubt that healthcare workers have been facing many challenges, and many decisions they make are life or death.
For a nurse or anyone in healthcare, addiction can be one of the most significant challenges. It adds a whole new list of problems for somebody who is already having struggles in life.
Many nurses who misuse substances are struggling with work-related anxiety or even PTSD. Getting treatment for their mental health and substance use can help them reclaim their lives.
Signs of Addiction in Healthcare
If a person in healthcare has an addiction, it will eventually spill over to affect their professional life. There may be telltale signs that something is going on with them. Nurses may have other warning signs as well.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Incorrect medication counts, especially with narcotics such as opioids or other addictive drugs like Adderall.
- Problems with coordination or slurred speech; dilated pupils or appearing high while on the job.
- Coming into work late, frequent absences, leaving work and coming back without explanation, frequent trips to the bathroom or car.
- Unkempt appearance, carelessness on the job, problems with doing paperwork on time, etc.
- A dramatic change in attitude or job performance.
- At home: bottles of pills containing split pills or other drug paraphernalia. Hidden bottles of alcohol. Multiple bottles of pills or an extensive collection of liquor/beer/marijuana. Vaping supplies for marijuana.
- You may be able to smell alcohol or marijuana on their breath.
Reaching out to them has to be the first step whenever you suspect somebody has a drug or alcohol problem. What may look like a mental health crisis or stress on the job could signify a serious substance use disorder. Addiction can happen to anyone from any walk of life. Just like many mental health issues, it is a disorder of the brain.
The good news is that it's treatable! Asking for help and getting clean and sober is the first step.
Getting Help for A Substance Use Disorder
If you or somebody you love has a substance use disorder, you're not alone. In the healthcare profession, it's essential to take responsibility and seek treatment as soon as possible to minimize harm.
Learn more about how we can help you get your life on track to recovery. We offer discreet and compassionate addiction treatment services. Give us a call at 615-452-1200 to learn more about your options.
Family members often support their loved ones’ recovery journey, but sometimes there are complicated emotions that arise from it. Sometimes, it’s sometimes difficult to get them on board (or to stay on board) when their loved one gets sober and begins their journey. Usually, this is due to “compassion burnout” – a feeling of exhaustion after years of caring for others more than themselves.
Sometimes this comes from hidden resentments or other complicated emotions. But when a person first gets sober – and beyond – they need and deserve compassion. Loved ones are the ones with the power to surround them and help them feel loved when they need it most. People new to recovery also sometimes experience dramatic “up and down” phases when they first get sober. This may be hard for loved ones to deal with or understand.
Supporting Addicted Persons With Compassion
It can be difficult caring for people who have the disease of addiction. After all, one of the primary characteristics of this disorder is self-sabotage. An addicted person with months in recovery may seem to be doing fine, great, even! And then end up using their drug of choice, seemingly without provocation. The disease of addiction is often called “cunning and powerful.”
Yes, we are all powerless over the actions of others. However, what we do and say can and does influence others. People are inspired by the words and actions of others every day. They also can similarly let the negative comments and actions of others affect the decisions they make and how they feel about themselves. Supporting your loved one can just be a kind word or gesture. You don’t have to lend them money or bake them a cake.
Compassion Burnout and Getting Sober
It’s easy to experience compassion burnout when you’re trying to help somebody get sober. From the outside, it’s easy to judge others. However, substance use disorders are complicated and encompass more than just psychology or self-help books. There are scientific reasons a person changes when they’re becoming addicted to a substance.
Addiction is a disorder of the brain and can change how a person reacts, thinks, and feels. First, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disorder. It has clear symptoms, including a compulsion to use drugs or alcohol.
If you have watched a loved one try to get sober again and again, you may be frustrated. But they keep trying. Hopefully, you can keep trying, too. Give yourself time to nurture yourself.
Finding Compassion for Yourself, Too
Compassion burnout can happen when you’ve enabled an addicted person and put their needs first for a while. Are you an enabler? If you work with or care for somebody with a substance use disorder, you may find yourself doing things to help them continue to function.
You may have bailed them out of jail, paid their phone bill, or otherwise helped them in a way that put their needs first. Doing things like this may have been “ok” or stressful to you, but you did them either way. Now, you’re wondering why they can’t simply get sober, if not for themselves, for you! It hurt every time they failed. You may feel confused and sad if they get sober on their own, for themselves, and succeed.
Sadly, a person might want to get sober but fail each time they try. But it’s heartening to know they keep trying. Having compassion for them is crucial because they often become broken and bruised from their own low self-esteem.
Taking Care of Yourself
You’re not responsible for another person’s addiction. You’ve done the best you can. People who work in the addiction field also sometimes harbor feelings of guilt or responsibility when somebody they’ve worked with relapses. But no one is responsible for the actions of another. You’re only responsible for how you react to another person’s suffering or addiction. If you're feeling burned out on compassion, it's time to step away and begin to take care of yourself.
Learning self-care can help you reclaim time for yourself. Take time for a daily walk or meditation. Block out time for the things you love and enjoy. Don’t give more than you have. Make your needs the priority, every day.
If you find you resent a loved one or need help coping with your compassion burnout, help is available. You’re not alone. Try a family therapist or a support group like Al-Anon. Loving a person through their addiction and into recovery is a big feat. Being in an addicted person’s support network can be a gift, but sometimes you need help for yourself, too.
Getting Help for Addiction
Whether you have a substance use disorder or somebody you love needs help, you don't have to go it alone. We offer discreet, compassionate support for people who want to reclaim their lives. Please call us at 619-452-1200 to learn more about how we can help.
Among the many public-facing jobs, police officers often get the most scrutiny for how they do their jobs. Law enforcement officers are usually the first people on the scene of a crisis and see firsthand the effects of addiction. So it may be surprising to some people that addiction has run rampant in law enforcement too. Yet, people who work in this occupation are human like everyone else; addiction is a disease that does not discriminate.
Trauma And PTSD In Law Enforcement
Men and women who work in law enforcement often deal with situations the average member of the public can’t imagine. For some, this leads to PTSD or depression. These are genuine diseases that need treatment, but there isn’t a lot of awareness of it yet in these professions.
Law enforcement is also a career that can attract people who have been in the military, who may also be more vulnerable to PTSD due to their past experiences while serving.
Many people don’t know what is happening when they have symptoms of PTSD and self-medicate as best they can. Sometimes this means taking more opioids than they need after surgery or binge drinking on the weekends to quell anxiety.
There is no shame in having a mental health or substance use disorder. But once you realize you’re afflicted, it’s up to you to get proper treatment, diagnosis and help.
Signs of Substance Abuse Disorder
There are many signs and symptoms that you may look for if you suspect somebody you care about has a substance use disorder, but some may be specific to law enforcement careers.
They might include:
- Tampering with evidence or making excuses to be alone with evidence.
- Trouble keeping up with necessary paperwork and due dates.
- Family disturbances.
- Signs of burned fingers or lips. Breath smells of alcohol or marijuana.
- Looking unkempt or unwell.
- Slurred speech, acting sleeping, or seeming incoherent.
- Tremors, shaking, quick to anger or anxiety.
- Struggling to recall details of specific events.
- Wearing long sleeves during the summer to cover needle marks.
- Financial trouble with no known cause.
- Getting into trouble with the law themselves, such as getting caught driving drunk.
- Keeping multiple prescriptions to drugs like narcotics (opioids such as Oxycontin), sedatives (Xanax), or stimulants (Adderall). Going to different doctors for the same prescription. Keeping vape materials or rolling papers around.
There are many indicators of substance use among law enforcement and first responder. First, it’s important to know that addiction is a disease. People from all walks of life struggle with substance use disorder. Once you recognize that you’ve got a problem, it’s time to seek help.
Getting Help for Addiction
We can help you reclaim your life in a safe, compassionate environment using the right treatment tools for you. Give us a call to learn more about your options at 619-452-1200.
Demi Lovato turned heads recently by talking publicly about her struggles with substance use and her "lifestyle choice" of being "California sober." Her definition of "California sober" is a person who drinks alcohol or smokes marijuana every once in a while.
It was shocking to hear from a woman who has described how her drug use caused multiple overdoses. She nearly died, and she had a stroke that caused significant damage to her body.
Many people have derided her and said that she's setting a bad example or deluding herself into believing she's not addicted.
Is "California Recovery" Dangerous? It Could Be
Statistics show that most people who get sober and then return to drinking or use "softer" drugs like marijuana eventually return to their drug of choice. As far as Demi Lovato goes, we are not her doctors, sponsor, or family that lives alongside her addiction. She does have access to the best of the best of them, something that many people do not.
Hopefully, she also has people in her life who genuinely love her, professionals to guide her, and everyone involved wants the best for her.
The question remains, can somebody else with a substance use disorder do the same thing and live an authentic, happy, non-addicted life?
What is Recovery? It's For More Than Addiction
Demi Lovato has revealed that she has spent her time recovering from opioid addiction and battling both an eating disorder and PTSD. (Eating disorders are also life-threatening when untreated.) At times, she believes, her drug use prevented her from killing herself. PTSD can be debilitating without treatment, and self-medicating is almost pervasive as a coping mechanism.
Many people who have gone to war overseas or experienced traumatic events use substances to cope. When they're using substances, it's because they're in pain. Getting sober can be scary for somebody with PTSD or other symptoms. They may even feel similar to Levato – that their choice to cope by using a substance is keeping them alive. Therapy and help from trained professionals can help you learn new coping skills if this sounds like you.
Reserving Judgement on Others' Sobriety
Judging somebody else's substance use disorder and the way they choose to get help doesn't help you or the person you are evaluating. Some people need help with their other mental health issues before they can tackle their substance use. Substance use disorders can vary in the way they display themselves in a person's life. They are almost always a coping behavior. Not everyone is coping with the same issues, and not everyone uses substances the same way.
Some people who consider themselves alcoholics binge drink a few times a week, while others begin to drink in the morning. They both have an alcohol use disorder. However, one person may need medication and detox, while another can go cold-turkey.
Anyone benefit from sobriety and a life in recovery. 12-step programs, however, are not the only component of recovery. Healing can also come through therapy, medication, groups, exercise, wellness, meditation, and psychiatry.
Many people who get sober and stay sober go to 12-step meetings and follow the suggestions.
Some people will insist that it won't work for them. They may need the space to make their own choices about their recovery path. They may need to try multiple avenues. (Once called "constitutionally incapable" of being honest by the Big Book of AA, the truth is that some people have different needs and underlying issues.) Having an aversion to 12-step meetings shouldn't make a doctor consider somebody a hopeless case. It's possible that medication and therapy can fill the gap for some people.
Is California Sober Dangerous?
If you want to use "California sober" as a way to abuse substances, or a reason to relapse, then it's, of course, dangerous! Addiction can play tricks on you, and other substances than your substance of choice may be a trigger to relapse.
Levato's ideas about her struggles with opioid use disorder are uniquely her own, as are her struggles. Some people may say the ideas she shares about herself are dangerous. Indeed, her recovery model isn't the one that is best known for helping people achieve and maintain sobriety or abstinence. We are not her doctors, sponsor, or family that lives alongside her addiction. (Talking about her struggles with self-harm and eating disorders can certainly help other people, and she has warned that her personal decisions to use marijuana and alcohol won't work for everyone.)
There are a few dangers of trying to drink or use drugs casually:
- Relapsing back to your drug of choice. (Many people only relapse ONCE; you may not be able to handle the same amount of a drug, or it could be laced with fentanyl.)
- Becoming addicted to a new drug. Marijuana is more than 90% as potent as it was in the 1960's – sometimes vapes can be as high as 70% THC, making it more addictive.
- Becoming addicted to dangerous behavior, such as sex or gambling. (Addiction is an addiction!)
- Going back to old behavior, such as lying, cheating, or stealing.
- Taking dangerous risks such as driving drunk or buying illegal drugs.
- Being exposed to your drug of choice and feeling like you can't say "no."
- Not having support to help you stay away from your drug of choice.
- Not having new coping mechanisms to help with triggers and stress.
If you want to get sober from an addictive substance, you'll still need to accept help to get started. Going it alone has probably not worked for you! A professional therapist or substance use counselor can help you learn new coping mechanisms, recognize addictive patterns, and help you avoid a destructive relapse.
Staying Open-minded to Changes in Recovery
Things have changed a lot since 1935 when Bill W created his 12-step program. During his lifetime, Bill W. found that medical doctors and their treatments were no help for his alcohol use disorder. He tried what he described as "everything" before he created his 12-step program.
Today, "trying everything" leaves a person with a lot more options. Medication-Assisted treatment is an option for people who don't want to be California sober, but need help reducing physical cravings. There are also many other treatments available for people, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, experiential therapy, and other therapy modes.
If Bill W. were in our lifetime, he might have marveled at all the tools and science that we've discovered to help people with addiction, especially Medication-Assisted treatment (MAT). (MAT, alongside therapy, is considered a science-based treatment that can help people achieve long-term abstinence from opioids and other highly addictive drugs.)
Bill W. wrote at length about the importance of seeking psychiatric help outside of the fellowship for his depression. He knew that mental health and addiction were tightly associated and believed doctors and science were essential to future understanding. He knew that he didn't know everything.
Progress, Not Perfection
Demi Lovato's California sober, as she calls it, may not be what anyone traditionally thinks of as recovery. For her, however, she's feeling safer and healthier than she has in years. She no longer wants to self-harm or starves herself, and for her, that's progress. She wants others to know that they can overcome and cope with their struggles. She is in therapy, and she is actively trying to be at ease in her skin.
She may decide that she needs AA weeks from now. Or, it may never be a part of her journey.
Having professionals in her life to talk to and actively working on her issues keeps her here, on this earth, striving for another day. Her previous relapses and the damage they did to her body can serve as a reminder that there may not be another chance to recover if she returns to opioids. Let's hope that can be enough to help her.
Either way, she will be welcome if she decides her "California sobriety" isn't working out for her. The 12-step room doors are always open. And the same is true for you or your loved one; there is always help available.
Getting Help for Addiction
Are you worried that you have a substance use disorder? We offer a safe, discreet, professional place to help your begin or restart your recovery journey?. Confidential Recovery is here for you or your loved ones when you need help. We help veterans and others get the support and help they need to begin their journey. Give us a call at 619-452-1200 to learn more about how we can help. We’re in this together – you’re not alone! Give yourself a chance!
It’s that time of year again – spring is coming, and the warm weather tempts us. But things are still pretty different this year. Typically, spring is a time to get rid of the old and bring in the new! Of course, 2021 is not quite like other years. We don’t meet each other in public often. But don’t worry - there’s a lot of “virtual” spring cleaning that you can do this year in the spirit of change! Why not take the time to assess which “old” things are causing you harm, and think about “new” ways to change them this spring?
Spring Cleaning: What Needs to Change?
So, if we’re virtually cleaning, what do you feel needs renewal or change in your life? Nobody’s life is perfect – we’re all human. But many of our character defects keep us from growing and changing. When we talk about spring cleaning, we’re looking at “what’s old” or what needs some polishing and attention. So what are some of your biggest problems that you’re having? What’s “dirty” or "old" or makes you feel bad? Here are some things you may want to start to think about when considering spring cleaning:
- How is your attitude? Are you grateful? Do you find yourself angry or frustrated a lot? Start to keep a feeling journal to spot your triggers for these feelings. Can you try keeping a gratitude list every day?
- Are you working on your 12-step work? Do you call your sponsor every day? Get back to basics if you’re not doing this. You’ll find you feel more connected to others and more inspired in your recovery. You can even go online to a 12-step meeting like AA across the country if you like!
- Do you put yourself down a lot? Beat yourself up? Then it’s time to examine your negative self-talk. Many people with addiction issues struggle with negative self-talk and self-esteem. Try using affirmations in the morning to change the way you speak to yourself.
- Are there secrets you’re keeping-like a slip or relapse? You’ve probably heard that your secrets can harm you. Keeping these types of secrets can be isolating. Getting help is essential, and you’re worth it. You don’t have to be ashamed that your disease got the best of you. Getting back up and back into recovery is the most important thing!
- Get moving! When you exercise, you release endorphins and other natural feel-good chemicals in your brain. Exercise can help you stay mentally and physically healthy. So, go out, socially distance, and enjoy this spring weather!
- Do you feel co-dependent on somebody else? Often people in recovery and their families have dysfunction in relationships. Kids and spouses often blame themselves for a loved ones’ addiction. Addiction is a family disease. If you or your loved ones have a substance use disorder, therapy and treatment can help you recover and begin healing. Reach out and ask for help if you’re not sure how to start.
- Out with the old, in with the new! Once you've decided which changes you want to work on, reward yourself with your favorite smoothie, a journal, or something else that helps motivate you.
Spring cleaning can help you recharge your recovery, but you’ve still got to put in the work. However, your work in recovery will probably be much more fulfilling than cleaning the yard or scrubbing the floor. Recovery, in a way, is all about cleaning and renewing your life. Get rid of what doesn’t work, and start using the tools that help you feel renewed again.
Getting Help for Addiction
Do you or a loved one struggle with addiction? Are you looking for a safe, discreet, professional place to help your begin or restart your recovery journey? Confidential Recovery is here for you or your loved ones when you need help. We help veterans and other professionals get the support and help they need to begin their journey. Give us a call at 619-452-1200 to learn more about how we can help.
COVID-19 has stressed out a lot of relationships. Many people have had a lot to deal with. For many of us, our relationships look different this year. Recent economic hardships strain some families. Financial woes, medical worries, care taking responsibilities, and other social problems ushered in by the pandemic have left many people beyond stressed. It's no surprise that more people seem to be using drugs or alcohol to cope with stress. But is your substance use harming your relationship?
Substance Use as a Coping Skill
For many people, substance use has become a coping skill to deal with the pandemic's worries and stresses. Sadly, this isn't a sustainable coping method. People who use drugs and alcohol to cope eventually develop a tolerance for the substance. This means they need more of the drug to get the same effects. Usually, there will be a withdrawal effect if a person addicted to a drug can't get a certain amount of it every day.
If you're using drugs or alcohol as a coping skill, you probably know it's not healthy. You may have tried to limit how much you use or quit altogether. If this sounds like you, you may have a substance use disorder (SUD). It's a treatable condition that is associated with addiction and sometimes other mental health disorders. The good news is that recovery is possible, and you don't have to do it alone.
When You're Using Substances, You're Not Fully Present
Even if you feel that you're playing the right roles in your relationships, substance use and addiction harm relationships. While you're not responsible for your substance use disorder (SUD), you are responsible for your recovery.
Being fully both physically present and emotionally present in both your romantic and family relationships is essential. This is especially true during times of struggle. Your family and loved ones want to be able to rely on you. People need to connect with other people. Using substances tunes others out especially loved ones and can make them feel more isolated and afraid for your welfare.
You may have family members who make sacrifices to enable you or children affected by your substance use. Your family members may worry about you. Or you may leave responsibilities to others while you're getting high. People who use substances are also more at-risk for COVID-19 complications in addition to the risk of overdose and health problems. Addiction isn't a fun disease; it's progressive and can be fatal.
We are Here to Help if SUD is an Issue in Your Relationship
If you or a loved one struggles with substance use, we're here to help you get the help you need. Addiction is a family disease that affects everyone. We're here to help you get back on your feet and make a recovery plan.
We want to help you reclaim your life and have more fulfilling personal relationships.
Not sure where to start or what help is available? We're here to guide you. Get in touch at 619-452-1200 to learn more about how we can help.