Recovery is a journey, not a destination. By now, you’ve probably learned about tools to help you stay focused and motivated. Some days are easier than others in the journey. Everyone has their struggles, hopes, and dreams. What are some good ways, however, to make sure you stay on the path to success?
Stay Focused: Unplug a Little
We spend a lot of time doing countless small things that we don’t even think about, especially when it comes to media consumption.
How often do you check the news, scroll through Instagram, or read other people’s tweets? It’s the culture we live in. But the same culture that we live in is the culture that stresses us out. Much of the news is “bad news,” and many things that go viral on Twitter or Facebook are negative. And studies have shown that Instagram tends to make us feel inadequate, even though the photos we see aren’t even usually an accurate representation of life.
Try to limit your screen time and focus more on real-time and the people you talk to on the phone and care about at meetings. Focus on the people that help you with your recovery and less on things you can’t control.
Build Strong New Habits
Taking care of yourself is important, and it’s one of the things you’ll have to maintain in recovery. By building healthy habits, you’ll be able to create more success in life. These habits can help you stay focused and motivated.
What do I mean by strong habits? Simple things!
- Build-in self-care: Get up a half-hour earlier than you usually do so you can have some time to yourself in the morning. Use that time for self-care, such as meditating or exercising. You can even just use that time to doodle in your journal and enjoy your team or coffee. Starting your day with this focus helps you remember you’re on a path to recovery.
- Try to keep a schedule that centers your recovery. Sure, go to work in the morning, but start your day with meditations that help you focus on yourself. Take lunchtime to communicate with others in your support network or read your Big Book.
- Stick with your 12-step meetings no matter what. Having them online makes your excuses less viable. You can even use Zoom on your phone if you’re not at home.
- Take care of your health. In a pandemic, this means to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Take a COVID test if you travel or think you have been exposed. And if you have underlying health issues, continue to stay in close contact with your doctor.
- Practice being kind to others and gentle with yourself as well. Life isn’t always a bunch of roses or a giant ball of sunshine! Practice being kind by doing things for others – like doing the dishes, giving somebody a ride, buying milk without expecting anything back. Practice being kind to yourself by getting enough rest, accepting that you have flaws, and working hard on your recovery program.
Consider Sober Living
Sober living helps a lot of men and women stay focused on their new life in recovery. Have you considered sober living? Get in touch. We can answer any questions you may have at 760-216-2077.
Self-care rituals are a great way to take time to nurture yourself this winter. Whether you love the holiday season or hate it, this year will be different than most. This is especially true for people in recovery who are navigating a different world. Today, you have the tools to help you stay sober. Self-care is an important tool, especially during a stressful time such as pandemics and the holiday season.
Self-care isn’t just a buzz word. It’s an important recovery tool that can nourish your body, mind, and/or spirit. Finding things that can help provide this type of relief is important throughout recovery. Self-care rituals can be powerful tools for confidence-building and long-term sobriety.
Many people find that self-care is best as a routine or ritual. Think about it: you get up, you shower, brush your teeth, and you get dressed all to face the day. If you don’t do this ritual every day, you might feel out of step. You’ll probably feel awkward if you stop doing part of your ritual, such as brushing your teeth.
When you were active in your addiction, you probably stopped carrying out your rituals. Addiction gets in the way of life-affirming activity.
But when you are sober, your morning routine becomes a ritual you do without thinking about it too much. That’s because it helps you prepare to face the day.
Here are a few ideas for morning self-care rituals:
- Go for a jog or jump on the exercise bike for 10-15 minutes. You’ll wake up and get your mind moving as well, helping your body regulate your blood pressure and releasing feel-good chemicals.
- Do yoga or meditate. Some people do better with quiet and calm in the morning, especially to reduce anxiety. Take the first 15 minutes of your day to nurture yourself in quiet.
- Journal your hopes or goals about the coming week or day.
- Take a walk outside first thing, sit down, and practice mindfulness meditation.
- Drink some tea or coffee. Savor it while you read the news, watch a few funny cat videos, or work on a crossword puzzle.
- Recite affirmations to yourself. What are you working on changing today? What kind of person are you working to be? Focus on positive statements about yourself, such as “I am a hard-working man who is learning to be open and honest.”
- Write and think about your intentions for the day. What do you want to accomplish? What general goals do you have for the day, too? Do you want to speak up more in class or work on being more humble?
These are just some ideas for getting started with your day. Planning and living with purpose is an important approach to living in recovery. You’re in charge of a lot of things, including your own actions and reactions. Work your program, and stay sober. Most likely, the best is still yet to come.
Consider Sober Housing
Are you or somebody you love interested in sober housing? Living among others who are also in recovery can provide a way to create new friendships and find community among others who are sober. Get in touch to learn more about our programs at 760-216-2077.
Every year, thousands of people who live in California get a DUI. It’s one of the most costly consequences of alcohol abuse, yet incredibly common. Many people in recovery initially get sober due to a DUI and stay sober because it improves their lives immensely.
Monetary Costs of a DUI in California
For fines and court costs, California DUI fines can cost you anywhere from around $400 all the way up to $5000, depending on your conviction. Costs of a DUI can range depending on the circumstance when you were arrested. Here are a few scenarios that can impact your fines:
- Is there a minor or person under the age of 14 in your car? If there is a minor, especially a person under the age of 14 in your vehicle, there can be additional penalties.
- Aggravated DUI, where you have a blood alcohol of more than .20%, which is two and a half times the legal limit, has much harsher penalties.
- If you’re speeding or driving recklessly, there are harsher penalties as well.
- If you're convicted of a felony DUI a $3,000 fine and a four-year license suspension.
- If you are charged and convicted of a 4th DUI, you face up to 18 months in jail and $15,000 fine.
- Any injuries to other parties or property damage will cost more money in fines as well as jail or prison time in addition to your DUI.
- If you’re under the influence of another substance, whether it’s marijuana (which is legal, but not to drive under) or cocaine, which is totally illegal, you will face charges for those and fines, too.
- Missing work due to jail time can cost your family a loss of income, and you will have trouble finding work once you have a criminal record. Bail money comes out-of-pocket too.
- Classes and/or drug rehabilitation also can cost additional money as well as time off from work.
Aside from fines from a DUI conviction, you will probably incur other costs if you’re charged with a DUI. If you have a job, you’ll have to pay for your own attorney, which can cost upwards of $1000. You’ll probably have to pay for your own transportation on public transportation, Uber, or taxi to get to work. If you can’t pay for these things, your family may have to help you pay them, or you will stay in jail until trial.
Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is a serious disease that can cause a lot of wreckage in your life. You don’t have to be alone! You CAN recover and learn to thrive in a community of people focused on recovery.
Sober living is a great experience where you can make new friends with others who share your goals and understand your experiences. Our residences are located in a walkable area with plenty of transportation and access to meetings.
Learn more about our communities by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Many people who get sober did so in the beginning because of legal troubles. The courts often sentence people with a DUI to 12-step meetings, drug education, fine and/or rehab. Not everyone who gets a DUI will change their ways. If you are sick and tired of the consequences of your alcohol use, you are more likely to seek recovery.
Once you have been sober for a while, you'll start to look forward to the future again. Drug treatment, therapy, and 12-step meetings provide you with a new strategy for life. However, even once you have completed rehab, you will still have to live with the consequences of your addiction. And if you have a DUI, you will also need to do what the government asks to comply with your probation.
Living With Humility After DUI
One thing that living with a DUI conviction can teach you is humility. Yes, you are sober now, but the consequences of your alcohol and/or drug use are apparent every day. Staying sober is the only way to avoid getting a DUI or drunk-in-public charge. And that makes the future up to you!
Being humble, asking for help, and doing what the court requires are critical aspects of your life in recovery. You're responsible for the damages you've caused and the laws you've broken. As a responsible member of society, it's up to you to accept this and do what is required to regain others' trust.
Dealing With The DUI Aftermath
Recovery is full of ups and downs. After you've completed the bulk of your treatment program, you may feel different and healthier. However, you can't expect family, friends, and society to believe you have changed without proof. It will take time to grow your relationships and regain trust. Taking responsibility is an essential aspect of this.
After a DUI, you will probably be on probation and have conditions to meet before you are allowed to get your driver's license back. If it were your first DUI, you'd be without your license for six months. Subsequent DUI's and offenses combined with it (such as a controlled substance or aggravated DUI), will cause you to lose your license for longer.
Go to the meetings your probation officer requires. Call when you are supposed to. Check-in with your sponsor and work on your recovery program.
Living Life On Its Terms
While it may be a challenge to deal with these consequences, they are YOUR consequences. If you owe fines, it's up to you to find a way to pay them. (And if your family pays them for you, it's your job to pay them back, no matter what!)
While you may feel like your DUI has held you back from some things in life, this too shall pass. In some cases, you may even be able to get a DUI expunged from your record.
Getting where you need to go is one logistic you'll need to overcome in recovery. It will be humbling to ask for rides or take Uber rides for long distances. However, you can also get along fine in the California weather without a car at all. Skateboard, jog, or bike wherever you choose once you're out of rehab. AA meetings and NA meetings are currently online due to COVID-19.
Ask for help when you need it, and keep doing the right thing for your recovery! Time will make all the difference. One thing for sure: You'll never get another DUI as long as you stay alcohol and drug-free.
Consider Sober Living
Are you looking for a safe and friendly sober living home? By the Sea is a great community to support your sobriety, with lots of public transportation nearby and centrally located to lots of jobs and schools. Read about how our sober living home supports DUI offenders here.
The support of others in your household can help you learn to live life on its own terms. Learn more about the benefits of sober living by getting in touch at 760-216-2077.
When you're new to recovery, you're told to get a sponsor and check in with them. Usually, you're given simple suggestions by your sponsor, such as attending a meeting every day or learning more about the first step. Choosing a new sponsor is easy when you're brand new to recovery – after all, anyone who's been sober a year or so has a lot of sobriety experience to share.
However, as time goes on, for whatever reason, you may end up switching sponsors. This can happen for various reasons, but hopefully, you're doing it for a cause that will help you change and grow.
When to NOT Switch Sponsors
If you're new to recovery, you may be skeptical of your first sponsor. After all, who are they to tell you what to think about or do?
A sponsor is a person who has knowledge of the 12 steps and staying sober in general. Typically, they will have a year or more of consistent sobriety. They will have also gone through some struggles and stayed sober. They usually have worked at least four or five of the 12 steps. (It's best if they've done all 12 – they'll have a lot of experience!)
For a newly sober person, your sponsor's sober experiences are a testament to the importance of the 12 steps. Your sponsor knows how to stay sober, but you don't quite know how to do it yourself. Listening to them will help you learn the basics.
Switching sponsors because you don't like their suggestions won't help you stay sober. In sobriety, you'll have to do some things that you don't like. Most people will give you step work and other tasks that you might find unpleasant and help you grow. So stick it out. You're worth it! Don't sabotage yourself because you're afraid of the challenges they give you. You're resilient.
There are many legitimate reasons you may want to switch sponsors.
You may feel like he or she is just a wrong fit, or maybe they are moving away from the area and won't be able to see you regularly. Sometimes you'll find that you don't feel that your sponsor has enough time for you.
You may even want to switch sponsors because you've found somebody you relate to. If you are gay, you'll feel more comfortable with another person who is LGBTQ. Or, you might simply relate to another person's story and feel like you want to learn to live like them! There are no requirements for choosing a sponsor, only suggestions! Sticking with your gender and somebody who has at least a year sober will help you avoid drama and focus on your recovery.
You don't have to tell your sponsor that you're looking for a new one right away. You may be worried that you'll hurt their feelings. Even if that were to happen, in recovery, you have to put your own needs first.
You can also always ask somebody to be your "temporary sponsor" until you find a permanent one. This way, you'll have a new friend that you can also check in with until you decide.
Getting Help for Addiction
In sober housing, you can be among your peers and learn to live life on its own terms. You’ll also develop meaningful friendships, learn to take responsibility, and learn to have fun in sobriety. Give us a call to learn if our programs are right for you. Reach out at 760-216-2077.
Patience and tolerance are two spiritual principles that are encouraged throughout recovery Patience is a trait that is very useful not only in recovery but for life in general.
Receiving Patience and Tolerance
When you first get sober, you will be a person who receives the benefits of patience and tolerance. You may not know how to act or need guidance at meetings.
Maybe you speak out of turn or on a topic that you have no experience with. It happens to new people a lot! You don’t know a lot about staying sober when you’ve got 30 days clean. So others might gently shush you and tell you to keep coming back! This is an exercise of patience and tolerance.
Instead of lecturing you, people with more time sober will help guide you. This can be painful for you, and you may slip up or make a poor decision. Yet the 12-step room will still love you and welcome you back.
Patience and tolerance go hand-in-hand; you really can’t have one without the other. With these principles, you can act with love and kindness.
For many people, especially in the era of COVID-19, life has slowed down a lot. Things that once took an hour may take a lot more time due to fewer resources. You may have to wait in a long, socially-distanced line to get your medications or even get into the market to buy groceries.
Getting sober and doing detox also require a patient mindset. You’ll also have to tolerate the detox period – and other people in there with you – before you can go to a treatment center to get your help. You have to accept every delay and appointment. You stay patient because you hope things will get better, and you’ll get sober.
You may not even realize that you’re patient when you’re doing these things.
Being More Tolerant of Others
Once you get sober, you’ll become more tolerant of others as well as yourself.
In treatment, you may have other people in a group that get on your nerves or share an experience that you can’t relate to. Being patient and tolerance means you listen anyway. If it’s the person who is speaking that makes you feel less tolerant, try closing your eyes and listening as if you don’t know them at all. Pay attention to the message instead of the messenger.
When you are exercising patience and tolerance, you can become more open-minded. You’ll also start to give yourself a break and be less judging of your own mistakes. All of this leads to more peace and serenity. Recovery is a beautiful thing!
Sober Living Solutions
Living with others in recovery can help you continue your journey while in a stable, spiritual, recovery-focused environment. You can live close to the beach while reclaiming your life! Get in touch at 760-216-2077 to learn more about how we can help.
COVID-19 has changed the way people live, work, and socialize across the globe. It hasn’t been easy for anyone. As time passes, it’s become clear that our lives have all changed for the time being. Everyone has had to take this new “normal” one day at a time.
People still need to socially distance. As human beings, this is contrary to our nature. Online AA meetings and group therapy have become one way people can reach out to one another. However, it’s hard to imagine that this is genuinely a new lifestyle.
No one knows how long this crisis will last or when the unrest in some parts of the country will end. It’s a scary time, and that’s okay to talk about and feel. If you’re in recovery from addiction, you have probably experienced some not-so-normal lifestyle. It’s important to remember; this, too, shall pass.
It’s Normal, Just for Today
Today, you can still take care of yourself even when things aren’t perfect. You’re a resilient human being, and you can get through this. Self-care is important. So is reaching out to others in recovery, and finding ways to be social and safe at the same time.
You can practice acceptance by praying, meditating, crying it out, or writing about it. Accepting the fact that we have no idea how long this crisis will last is essential. Accepting it doesn’t mean you’re happy about it. It simply means you know you can’t personally change it.
You’re not in control of this pandemic, but you can choose to stay sober through it. As a person in recovery, you can stay sober if you use the tools you have. A sponsor, a strong support network, and online support meetings will help you stay connected to the world. You’re not alone.
Grab Some Peace
As mentioned earlier, self-care is an integral part of daily living in this new pandemic culture. Self-care will help you have something to enjoy and hold onto. It’s an excellent time to learn to nurture your spirit and really let yourself experience new things.
Here are some ideas:
- Try a mindfulness podcast. Learning how to meditate can help you soothe negative feelings like fear. You can learn to live in the moment with mindfulness, and it can be a great tool for anxiety.
- Take an online art class. There are now a lot of art classes popping up on Instagram, Facebook, and other venues. Have a friend join you in trying it out. You can do a webcam together to show you drawings off.
- Start planning for the future. Right now, you have time to really examine and plan out your goals. Do you want to go back to school? Are you interested in moving into a sober home? You can do the footwork and research right now.
- Read a self-help book. Do you have a problem with getting angry? Or do you need to be more assertive? There are plenty of good books out there. Spend time reading the reviews on Amazon before you buy it.
Consider Sober Living
Are you interested in learning more about sober housing? Many people need the structure and safety of sober living once they’ve left treatment. We offer friendly, safe, and therapeutic housing to people new to recovery. Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Everyone gets angry from time-to-time. There is nothing wrong with feeling and expressing anger. However, many people in recovery have trouble recognizing anger and expressing it appropriately.
Anger in Early Recovery
Newcomers to recovery often describe their emotions as raw and intense. If this sounds like you, it gets better. This too shall pass. Much of the intensity of your emotions in early recovery has to do with getting sober. Your body is re-balancing chemicals after a time you were using substances constantly. You’re also not used to feelings. Addiction helped you drown a lot of your negative feelings out.
After a few months sober, you’ll start to see the world differently. The effects of the substances you were ingesting will basically be wearing off. You may find you’re no longer so angry or moody in general.
After you’ve gotten a little sober time under your belt, your emotions will start to stabilize. But some people have trouble managing their anger. Do you blow up easily? Are you constantly feeling frustrated? Have you hit or punched things or threatened people when you were angry?
Are You an “Angry Person? How to Change
If this sounds like you, then you probably need some help with anger management. Lots of people have trouble expressing their anger in a healthy way. Luckily, there are tools available to help you vent successfully:
- Recognize what anger feels like for you. Does your pulse race? Do you feel yourself getting hot? Practice recognizing these symptoms so that you can have a plan to interrupt the anger cycle.
- Practice “defusing” when you’re angry. When you feel yourself snowballing into anger, give yourself five minutes to cool off. That may mean going for a quick box or shadowboxing in another room. It could also mean spending ten minutes or so meditating in a quiet place. Learn what tools help you feel less angry.
- Learn to use nonviolent communication. When you’re upset, don’t blame the other person. Focus on your feelings and use “I” when you’re speaking. For example, “I get scared when you don’t text me back. I sometimes think you’re dead!” is something you may say to your kid. Don’t blame. Instead, search for solutions that will keep you from getting upset in the future.
- Anger is healthy. But don’t let it take over your life or ruin your day. Let yourself be angry for a few minutes. Figure out a healthy way to express that anger. Then let yourself put it aside for later.
If you’re having trouble expressing your anger, ask for tips from your support network, sponsor, or therapist. There are a lot of different ways people cope with their anger. Just make sure you do no harm with your new coping method. (Smashing up somebody’s car is not a way to manage your feelings, for example!)
Consider Sober Living
Sober living is an opportunity to live in a small, peaceful community of others who share the same goals and values. Start your journey in recovery in a structured environment that helps you stay grounded. Call us for more information at 760-216-2077.
Recovering from addiction is a process that takes some time to adjust to. For many people, it means giving up friendships with people they used to drink or use drugs with and finding a new community that is supportive and caring. This community-building takes time, like many things in life. You may find that loneliness creeps up from time to time to rear its ugly head while you’re new to recovery. How can you cope with this feeling, and is it normal?
Yes, Loneliness Can Be Normal
Especially today, when we’re all facing the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness is a powerful yet common/normal emotion. Leaving behind your old life will be hard at first, but you’ll soon have more friends. As a person in recovery, however, you have more options than you used to. Addiction treatment will help you build new friends who also can function as a supportive community.
A supportive community is a significant part of being sober. Once you’ve connected with others in recovery, you’re not alone anymore. You also have the benefit of other people caring about you and offering experience, strength, and hope when you need help and advice.
In recovery, you’ll need to surround yourself with people who understand where you’re coming from. You may feel lonely, even when other people surround you. Again, this is normal, but coping with it can be difficult.
Coping with Loneliness
Coping with loneliness means putting yourself out there and connecting with others. In early recovery, this can be hard, but you can do it. Here are some ways to start to change lonely feelings:
- Learn to be alone. Everyone has to spend some time alone in life, so it’s crucial to begin to enjoy your own company. Spend time nurturing yourself; take walks or ride your bike, read books, or watch a movie on Netflix. Be alone doesn’t have to be lonely.
- Rebuild relationships. You may have hurt family or friends during your addiction, but as you stay sober longer, you’ll be able to reconnect. Begin by only getting and staying in touch. (Don’t ask for things! Just have genuine conversations.) Ask your sponsor for help making amends to loved ones.
- Participate in group therapy. When you’re in treatment, you get out of it what you put into it. Really listen and try to connect with others in your groups. Offer to help others in need (as long as it is safe for your recovery.)
- Acknowledge your feelings. It’s okay to feel bad, sad, or lonely every once in a while. These feelings will pass. Work on bettering yourself today. If lonely feelings linger, or you start to feel depressed, reach out to your therapist or sponsor.
- Be a friend to others. If people aren’t calling, texting, or sending messages to YOU, then you can reach out to them. Send positive messages to others in your support group. Ask them how they are doing. Send pick-me-up gifs or videos. Giving support and friendship will help you also get support and friendship for yourself.
- Learn some new hobbies or interests. This is also something you can learn to do by yourself. Take an online class, buy an adult coloring book, or join a socially-distanced running group.
Living With Others in Sobriety
Recovery is precious and a gift you must continue to work on keeping. Living with others in sobriety can help you keep the focus on your needs, living life sober, and working toward your individual goals. At Sober Living San Diego, you’ll find a community of others who can offer not only a home but lasting relationships in recovery. Call us at 760-216-2077 to learn more about what we offer.
In recovery, you will spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the past. After all, that’s what brought you into recovery in the first place. Poor choices and addictive behavior are things you can dissect and learn from, so you can change your life patterns. However, there always comes a time in recovery when you want to start looking forward to the future. Planning for your future can be an essential way to begin to change your life. Even when you’re forced to cope with uncertain times, such as COVID-19, there are ways for you to continue to change your life.
Creating Goals for the Future
When you were a kid, you probably had a dozen answers to what you wanted to do when you grew up. Addiction probably wasn’t something you could foresee. While COVID-19 may have seemed to stall some recovery plans, sometimes when there’s a will, there’s a way.
If you’re new to recovery, your goals are often simple. You probably want to repair relationships, stay sober, and establish a new job or career. For many people, this means therapy (which is available on the phone or online.) A therapist can also help you create other goals for the future as time moves on, and you get more time in sobriety.
Visualizing Your Future
Choosing a new path can be tricky, so it may help to visualize it. What does the perfect future feel like? Close your eyes. Who are you spending time with? Where do you live? What are you doing for work?
If you’re not sure what goals you have for the distant future, talking to a sponsor or your peers can help you. Often you’ll find that somebody who has several years sober is living your dream life. So it also helps to pay attention at 12-step meetings. Ask around if you are looking for some inspiration for a specific goal you have in mind. Others will be happy to explain how they went about it.
Working Toward Goals
One day at a time, you can start to work toward your goals. For example, if you realize that you have always wanted to be a chef, you now have time to figure out how to make that happen. While COVID-19 has affected our lives, it’s not impossible to search out new goals.
Research is the first thing you’ll want to do to learn more about the steps to make your goals happen. If you’re looking for a job, you’ll need to be able to use the internet to learn more about the requirements and credentials for a job. For a person who hopes to be a chef, this may mean getting a basic food handling certificate. (For example, the city of San Diego allows you to earn this certificate online for a small fee.) Or maybe you want to buy a new car. Searching for a safe, part-time job may require scouring help wanted ads. You can even learn to meditate or program computers online, usually for free or a small fee.
If you are looking for opportunities to change your life, they haven’t gone anywhere. You just have to be willing to accept the circumstances you’re living under today. COVID-19 won’t dictate our every move forever. Things will change, and so will you! So why not take the time to help yourself gain knowledge or skills as you work toward new goals.
Ask for help, advice, and guidance from your peers and people who have been in recovery for a while. You'll be surprised at the things you can accomplish!
Finding Fellowship in Sober Living
Are you looking for a way to branch out and be independent in recovery without taking too many chances? A community of others who are sober can help you continue to work on yourself and your goals, with a mixture of structure and independence. Get in touch with us to learn about which options are available to you right now by calling 760-216-2077.