Why Is Therapy Important When You Get Sober?
If you are planning on getting sober, there are probably many things you have questions about. You may wonder why you can’t simply get the drugs out of your system and get on with your life. Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t work like that. To stay sober once you’ve rid your body of substances, you’re going to need some help. There are going to be changes you need to make in life to maintain your recovery. That’s where therapy can help you make choices about your recovery.
Detox and Therapy
Most people who are addicted to a substance need help to get sober. Your body and brain have been used to getting a certain amount of a substance every day. Because of this, you probably will experience some withdrawal effects. Detox is a safe and comfortable place that can help you through the challenges of your first few days or week clean and sober.
While you’re in detox, you’ll have the chance to go to group sessions and speak with counselors. You’ll be able to plan your next moves in recovery. For example, you may want to go to an inpatient program or try sober housing. You must get help from addiction professionals to help you find the right treatment plan to fit your needs.
Much of your first days sober will be an emotional roller coaster as your body and brain adjust to life without drugs. This is normal, and will pass after a week or so.
Therapy for Recovery and Healing
Once you’ve been sober for a few more weeks, you’ll probably be in another group setting. Group therapy is important because it allows you to learn more about yourself in a room of peers. You’re able to offer both your support and insight as somebody with similar experiences. You can also benefit from the insight from your peers and trained professionals.
One-on-one therapy in recovery can help you work through more personal issues. A therapist can help you learn how to cope with challenges in your life. They can also help you learn to cope with painful situations and problems as they come up in life.
Most treatment centers will help you by engaging in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which enables you to change your actions and reactions. You’ll learn more about yourself and how to live life on its terms as you develop a relationship with a therapist.
AA, NA, and Other 12 Step Meetings
Twelve-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous aren’t technically therapy, but they are a support group full of people who want to stay sober. Some of them have experience from years of sobriety, while others are new, just like you.
Twelve-step meetings are a place to meet others and learn what has helped them achieve long-term sobriety. They also offer fellowship and friendship if you go to them regularly. Most people in recovery make 12-step meetings a part of their daily life. The community can help you through thick and thin.
If you need help with a mental health disorder or substance use disorder, support is available! Seeking out a professional therapist, treatment program, or doctor to help you get sober is an important first step!
You deserve to reclaim your life!
Getting Help for Addiction
Are you looking for a sober living program? Our programs will help you get sober and plot your next step in your recovery journey. We offer a safe space for you to begin to heal and start your journey. Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn more about your opeions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all a lot about patience, loneliness, and resilience. No matter where you are in your recovery, you have managed to stay alive through this pandemic. Unfortunately, many people have had problems with being isolated or feeling despair. These feelings are natural, especially for the times we live in. Sometimes, though, it is hard to be patient. That’s why this article is about practicing patience. No one is perfect, and many people work on their character defects a day at a time.
Patience in the COVID-19 Era
Life man seems like it’s going in slow-motion, especially if you’re following the lockdown rules. The hardest part of the COVID-19 era for most people is the unknown.
Modern society hasn’t faced a pandemic like COVID-19, but your grandparents and great-grandparents may have lived through several epidemics. You’re living through history! While that may not be comforting, it shows how resilient you’ve become. You get up and face a day full of unknowns. You don’t drink or drug. You do your best. For many people – maybe even you – this doesn’t feel like enough. People feel like they have had to push the “hold button” in life, and time is slipping away.
Patience is an important quality to practice when you have to wait in lines or social distance. Everything that was once easy to do now takes more time!
It makes sense that learning how to be patient can help bring serenity to anxiety-provoking situations. But patience is always something you’ll need to use in your life. You’re powerless, after all, over other people, places, and things. And when you’re dealing with other people, especially employers or the government, impatience can worsen your life.
How to Practice Patience
Are you an impatient person? Are you quick to “freak out” or anger when you find out you have to wait for something you consider essential? Often people are impatient because they are anxious or upset about other things.
Here are some ways you can begin to practice patience in recovery:
- Do breathing exercises. Don’t focus on the situation but instead focus on how your body feels as you inhale and exhale deeply. Feel your belly extend and retract. Do this for at least ten full breaths (in and out) before you open your eyes again, if possible. Learn more about breathing exercises here.
- Say the serenity prayer. (Not everyone feels comfortable with prayer at this time, but if you believe in a higher power, the serenity prayer can help you let things go.) God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
- If you have to wait, plan to use the time wisely. There’s nothing wrong with taking a book to the DMV or doctor’s office and reading while you wait. Work on your step work, study for a class, or spend time doing something leisurely and relaxing like listening to meditation music. Distraction can help make waiting easier.
- If you lose your cool, apologize for it, and move on. Everyone gets upset once in a while, and nobody is perfect. Go ahead and apologize if you snap or blow up at somebody. We’re all human, and it’s okay to make mistakes.
Sober Living Options
Living with others in a structured, safe, empathetic environment can help newcomers build skills and learn life on its terms. Learn more about what sober living options are available to you by giving us a call.
For many people with opioid use disorder, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) such as Suboxone or Vivitrol is a lifeline to long-term sobriety. While MAT is not the best option for everyone, thousands of people across America have used it in one form or another to help put distance between themselves and their last use of illicit drugs.
Becoming Familiar With MAT
MAT is considered an important tool for people with opioid use disorder. The recovery community has not necessarily embraced it as the go-to tool for addiction recovery, mainly due to worries about its safety. Many people who got sober without the aid of MAT may have reservations about its use. However, the FDA has recently recommended the use of agonist or partial agonist medications (methadone, buprenorphine) to support abstinence. Through this endorsement, more treatment centers have decided to add MAT as a tool for people new to recovery.
Like all treatment tools, MAT is an option, but it’s not the only way people can get and stay sober. We’re fighting a deepening opioid crisis, and treatment providers, as well as their clients, deserve to have as many tools at their disposal as possible. MAT definitely can provide a life-saving function for people who suffer from opioid dependence and addiction.
It is the role of the treatment providers and medical professionals to learn the facts about how medications work and find ways to support long-term recovery for individuals using these medications. This education on MAT includes those who run sober homes and housing programs for people in recovery.
According to data from 2018 gathered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 128 people in the United States die from opioid overdoses every day. Medication-Assisted Treatment has helped thousands of people beat those odds by reducing cravings and assisting individuals to put more time between themselves and their drug of choice.
Guidance For Treatment Providers, Sober Housing, And Others
New guidance has been released by NIDA to help addiction treatment providers understand the ins and outs of prescribing and helping people use MAT as a part of their overall treatment plan.
While all treatment providers and sober housing professionals have their own programs that help them build a safe community, this information is vital to assisting professionals to make the right choice for their clients to begin their journey in recovery.
The guidelines brief attached can help sober living homes and other providers understand where MAT fits into an overall treatment plan. While MAT is still new to the sober housing community, it has been safely used in treatment facilities for a number of years. Understanding what role it can play will help housing communities draft their own policies based on science and information on treatment outcomes.
About the National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR):
NARR's mission, according to their website, is "to support persons in recovery from addiction by improving their access to quality recovery residences through standards, support services, placement, education, research, and advocacy."
About By the Sea Sober Living
Now, more than ever, it’s important to have people in your life who support your recovery. Sober living situations are a great way to rebuild your life and adjust to working on your new goals. Learn more about how our sober home can help you in your recovery. Call us at 760-216-2077 to learn about housing options.
Do you have a lot of expectations in life? Many people who struggle with addiction come up with a great list of goals they expect to reach in recovery. Some of these goals may be tangible and easy to work on and achieve. For example, learning to wake up at six in the morning is an immediate goal that you might make so you can keep on schedule. But another goal you have, such as re-establishing a relationship with a family member, may take time to achieve. For some people, these bridges are burned and won't happen any time soon. It may be hard to accept that your action doesn’t have an immediate payout. But it’s merely a fact of life – many things take time to achieve.
You didn’t become addicted in one day. Do you really believe that you can change your whole life in one day? That’s a huge expectation that you’ve placed on yourself. It’s time to learn how to give yourself a break.
Accepting Your Life As It Is
In recovery, you’re probably learning a lot about acceptance. Accepting that your life is what it is right now. You can help you learn to slow down and take one day at a time.
When you were a kid, you probably wanted Santa and all of your relatives to give you something you thought was really cool. But for whatever reason, not one person got you that toy. Maybe you got some socks and smaller, less fancy toys. You probably accepted those gifts, anyway, if you were a polite kid. After all, a gift is a gift.
Acceptance doesn’t mean that you’re settling for something less than you want. It means you’re accepting what the world has to give. This is something you can do just for the present. Acceptance can give you a lot of peace.
Working Towards Goals
Acceptance is a way to a more peaceful way of life. After a time, it will be easier to realize that you’ve done what you can, and that’s all you can do. The only thing you have control over is your actions and reactions. However, you can become more mindful of how your personal actions can affect others and treat people with kindness.
Working on goals that you’re not sure that you will achieve requires a leap of faith. But everyone in life has failures and successes. That’s how we learn and grow. In recovery, you’ll learn to accept that life isn’t perfect, and things won’t always go in your favor. But putting in the work to change yourself is still worth it because it’s bettering you. Facing challenges, living your life, and taking action help you grow.
You can’t force your mother to forgive you or your children to want to spend time with you if your relationship is damaged. Getting clean or sober for a certain amount of time doesn’t make you a perfect person. Healing takes time. Now it’s time to work on yourself and take action to become a better person. If you’re not sure what will help you achieve your goals, ask your sponsor or others who have been in similar situations.
A Day at a Time
Goals can be daunting if you try to fix them all at once. Taking life a day at a time – with daily action towards your goals – will help you keep your focus. Recovery is a journey, not a destination.
Working the steps and taking suggestions will help you make changes in your life. You’ll begin to heal your own issues, and become a better person.
Everyone in recovery has dreams and goals, but accepting your life as it is, and letting go of expectations can help you grow and live a more peaceful life. You deserve peace! So give yourself a chance and take it a day at a time.
Consider Sober Living
After treatment, transitioning to the “real world” can be stressful. Many people find that sober housing offers them the support and structure they need to stay focused on their recovery. Learn more about our inspiring living program and joining our community by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Many people go to detox, then to long-term treatment, and return to their home once they have completed their treatment program. This may work for some people. For other people new to recovery, living in an environment full of new challenges, stressors, and old triggers sounds overwhelming. This is why so many people in recovery decide to transition from treatment to sober living.
Adapting to Life in Recovery
If you’ve been away at an inpatient treatment center, the “outside world” can feel foreign to you. For months, you lived in a supportive network where everyone was working towards the same goals. You probably felt safer, saner, and more supported in treatment. It becomes an extended family for many people!
The truth of the matter is that people in recovery are your extended family. When you go to 12-step meetings, you find a sponsor, make friends, and share intimate details of your life.
Adapting to everyday life will be much different than living in a treatment center, of course. You’ll have to deal with people at work that aren’t in recovery. You’ll also have to learn to cope with triggers, new feelings, and other challenges.
It’s not surprising that many people choose to “take it slow” and transition back into their communities through a sober housing.
Why Sober Homes?
People in sober housing are in recovery, just like you. They all have their own lives and goals they are working towards.
Living with others in a sober environment keeps you away from temptation. You’ll also have the security of knowing that everyone in the environment is clean and sober and working a recovery program. You’ll still be able to focus on yourself and your own goals while you’re getting back on your feet.
Sober housing is a place to help you explore your new life in recovery. While living in the sober home, you’ll be able to work, go to meetings, therapy, family time, etc. but you’ll also have rules to abide by, such as curfews.
If you’re interested in learning more about sober housing, give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn more about your options.
Long-term treatment takes an addicted person out of their normal environment to allow them to concentrate on themselves. When a person in recovery returns home, there is a lot of responsibility waiting for them. Bills, expenses, and debt that may have piled up during active addiction are a few things that might wait for you if you’re coming home from treatment. All of these things require you to get a job and/or resume a work life when you’re ready and able. How can you make sure that your job or career don’t overwhelm you?
One of the most common themes among people in recovery who return to work is learning to cope with stress. Many workplaces, especially on the West Coast, are high-paced and come with a good amount of stress. You can manage this! Jobs are always going to have stress, so it’s up to you to learn how to cope.
Learning self-care is important in early recovery, and using to combat stress is important. This means you may need to go for a long walk during your lunch break, or head out to surf while the sun is still up and you’re done with your day. Other forms of self-care include taking a long bath, learning to meditate or practicing breathing exercises. Breathing exercises and meditation are both things you can use throughout your day. Youtube has a lot of great videos when it comes to learning these coping techniques, but you might ask a counselor or peer what works for them.
Keeping a Good Attitude
Having a good attitude is a key to success in the work world and beyond. If you’re in your feelings at work, make sure to take time out to say the serenity prayer or write a gratitude list. Think of five things you’re grateful for each day, whether you’re happy about quick commute, a good lunch, or the empathy of coworkers.
If work begins stressing you out, talk to your sponsor or share at a meeting. Plan your meetings before or after work to help you deal with the stressful times.
Getting More Support
Sober living and aftercare programs can help you transition back to everyday life, giving you the extra support you need while making decisions about your future and strengthening your recovery. Get in touch to learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2011.
When you think of the word “health,” what comes to mind? When you were using, you probably weren’t doing healthy things. The World Health Organization defines health as a complete state of mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. These are needs that remain the same across cultures. When you were using, did you make it a point to take care of your health? Did you make sure that you went to an annual check-up and saw the doctor when you were sick? Probably not.
It’s hard to be a health or fitness lover while you’re stuck in active addiction. Depending on your drug of choice, there is possible damage that you may need to address at some point in life.
Taking Care of Your Physical Health
Just like all well-built machines, our bodies need more maintenance, too. It’s essential you get a full checkup when you first get clean and follow up on doctor recommendations.
It may seem difficult at first, but caring about yourself and your physical health is an important part of recovery. You’ve already taken a significant step towards better health by quitting drugs and alcohol. Now it’s time to focus on your long-term health. How is your diet? Do you eat vegetables and fruit daily? You can nourish your body with better nutrition. Try to get the right amount of fruits and vegetables daily, and try to exercise every day, even if it’s just going on a 15-minute walk.
Taking care of yourself also means regular doctor appointments. If you have health worries, don’t keep them to yourself. You may feel guilty for abusing your body by using for so long – but judging isn’t your doctors’ job. A doctor wants to help you heal, and if you are having problems, it’s best if you make her aware of them. Taking care of hidden or chronic diseases can help you stay healthy for life.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Stress is a difficult thing to live with, but it’s also a fact of life. Learning how to live with stress without using substances is an integral part of living in recovery. Taking care of your mental health includes learning self-care techniques, learning to de-stress, and reaching out to others when you’re feeling negative. It also means taking care of any co-occurring disorders.
Depression, anxiety, and trauma are common issues that people deal with in recovery. If you suffer from these disorders, or you think you might have a mental health issue, take care of yourself. Seek out a referral to a mental health professional to get help and learn to live with your disorders.
Reaching for Spiritual Health
In recovery, you are asked to believe in a power greater than yourself. Some people in recovery already know what higher power they believe in, and decide to attend church services or begin meditating. Getting closer to a higher power will make the 12 steps easier to take, and having faith in a higher power can help you find solace during troubling times.
But what about people who don’t have a religion? How can you develop a spiritual life if you’re not sure what you believe?
You don’t have to decide on a higher power overnight. Your spiritual health doesn’t have to rely on a diety to feel spiritual. Do you love spending time in nature? Or do you find a particular musician uplifting? Look for the things in life that make you feel spiritual. Seek out activities that make you appreciate life and the world around you. Ask around to find what other people do when they struggle with spirituality.
Live in a Healthy Environment
Many people find that a sober home is a healthy environment to live in while they are transitioning from treatment to the "real world." Are you looking for an option like this? Get in touch to learn about our sober living homes and find out if they are appropriate for you. Call us at 760-216-2077.
In recovery, you quickly learn that stress is still a part of your everyday life. Whether you’re in groups all day, working part or full-time, or returning to school, there can be little things that set you off or frustrate you. Recovery doesn’t make anyone immune to stress. In fact, you might discover you’re more sensitive to it at first. It’s normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed when you’re re-entering the world. What is important is that you learn that there are things you can do to lessen the effect of stress.
Here are five great ways to tackle daily stress:
- Take a break. In fact, it’s healthiest if you take 5 or 10-minute breaks throughout the day if you can. If you can take breaks at your workplace, take a short walk around the building when you can. College classes with intermissions are a chance to sit on a bench and practice deep breathing. If you’re at home and you’re stressed while paying the bills, take a breather. Water the plants outdoors or spend a few minutes sitting and soaking up the sun. Everyone needs a break now and then. Give yourself that precious time to recuperate.
- You don’t have to be a gym rat to benefit from exercise in many ways. Use exercise as a de-stressing tool. It's been proven to keep blood pressure low and help prevent obesity and heart disease. People who exercise often get better sleep. It’s also an excellent way to release “feel good” chemicals in the brain called endorphins. These chemicals can prevent anxiety and help you better regulate your moods. Listen to uplifting music while you’re moving.
- Do some household chores. Believe it or not, getting things done and making our homes more liveable is a way to de-stress that is often overlooked. For one thing, clutter and dirt in an environment can easily cause stress and depression; looking at things that need to get done is never fun! Instead of staring at a mess, choose to get it done. You’ll be happy you took the initiative, and you’ll also have worked up a sweat.
- Take a long, hot shower. A long, hot shower at the end of a day is a great way to relax. Imagine all of the weight of the stress is with you in that shower, and as you clean yourself, the stress goes down the drain with the dirt. Breathe deeply and take your time.
- Hang out with your support network. Sometimes the best way to get away from our stress is to share it. Go to a 12 step meeting, call your sponsor, or meet up with sober friends at a coffee shop. A burden shared is a burden lessened. You’ll get through this stressful period one day at a time.
Stress is a regular part of life, but the more you cope with it, the less it will get to you. Learning new coping skills and applying them in the "real world" is an essential aspect of recovery. Take care of yourself, and reach out when you need to.
Are you looking for more information on living in a safe, supportive, sober environment? We can help you find out more about your options. Just get in touch at 760-216-2077, and we'll be happy to discuss living choices with you.
Accepting responsibility is an integral part of self-esteem self-respect and character building, both in and out of recovery. When you were using, you probably found excuses for bad behavior. This behavior was normal in active addiction. Denial can be powerful for people who have a substance abuse disorder. A lot of behavior is rationalized when it’s hard to deal with the guilt you have while you’re using. When you get clean, however, you are starting a new lifestyle and transforming your identity. Being an honest with yourself is one of the first barriers to cross. Which means that you have to become responsible for your own actions.
Being responsible for your life is an essential aspect of recovery. When you were using and refused to take responsibility for your actions, you were giving your power away to your addiction. Today, not only have you stopped using, but you have also started living again. You are making responsible choices to help yourself grow and change. And you are accountable for your own decisions, both to others and to yourself.
Why Responsibility Matters
An important part of adult life is taking responsibility for your actions and reactions. This means making amends, apologizing when you’re wrong, paying your bills on time and showing up when you say you will show up. When you decide to be irresponsible, you’re not going to feel great about yourself, and you’re in danger of backsliding into other patterns that feed addictive behavior.
You always have some form of responsibility for the things going on in your life. This is a powerful concept. Where once you were under the spell of your addiction, you’re now free! You’re free to build a life full of love, honesty, and self-examination. You’re free to improve your life and work toward your goals.
There are, of course, some things in life that are completely out of your control. You can’t prevent accidents or health problems, or the way that other people react to you. You can’t change the past, cure yourself of diseases or stop somebody you love from doing something destructive.
You can, however, acknowledge the part that you play. You’re responsible for your actions and your reactions. If you feel “out of control” or tempted to do something that jeopardizes your recovery, you have a responsibility to take care of yourself. This means going to a meeting, making a phone call to your sponsor, or otherwise reaching out to your support network. You don’t have to be alone if you don’t want to.
Before, when you were in active addiction, you were powerless. In recovery, you have the power to make positive choices in your life.
Being Responsible Takes Acceptance
Acceptance is part of the path to a more responsible way of life. Sure, it is hard to accept everything that is life throws your way, but when you do, you’ll find hope and serenity await. Attitude is a big part of acceptance – you can only do what you can do. Accepting that you don’t have control of everyone and everything can help you keep a positive attitude about life. You’re not alone in your worries, fears, and emotions.
Acceptance isn’t just about letting go – it’s also about letting other people help you when you need it. Accept that the world is bigger than you, and you don’t have all the answers. You can be responsible for your life by taking care of yourself and asking for help when you need it. Try to adopt an attitude of acceptance – life happens! You can’t control everything. But you can find ways to cope and take responsibility for the things you can do. For example, maybe you lost your job and fell behind on your bills. It happens. But perhaps you can still make a payment plan so that you don’t have to declare bankruptcy or lose your possessions. With an attitude of acceptance, you can focus on what you can do.
For some people, responsibility means easing back to the "real world" after treatment so they can stay in a safe environment. A sober home is a great way to transition back into life while still focusing on your recovery. Want to know more about your options? Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn about our sober home options for men.
Aaah, so perhaps there is some science behind the caffeine overload of many in early recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders? Definitely worth throwing in more research. Starbucks wanting to sponsor a double blind study in early addiction?