Celebrating Thanksgiving In Recovery

woman celebrating thanksgiving in recovery

Many people in recovery feel nervous when the holidays approach. This is especially true if they are estranged from their family or have triggers related to those in their life. Holidays are an emotional time for people from all walks of life! Whether you’re worried about family trauma or want to avoid triggers like your Uncle John passing the wine, your feelings are valid. Thanksgiving can be a tricky day for emotional health, so having a plan is important.

Celebrate Thanksgiving With Whoever You Choose

Celebrating Thanksgiving in recovery means whatever you want it to mean! If your family is estranged or substance users, you can begin building your “chosen family” now. Ask around to see if there is an open celebration among 12-step members. Often, there will be at least one person who has a gathering where everyone is welcome.

You may want to stop by your family gathering, then head over to a 12-step meeting. For some holidays, AA meetings and NA meetings host marathons that go for 24 hours – so you can stop by whenever you choose! Check your local meetings online to see what holiday events are listed.

Have An Exit Plan If You Celebrate With Family

Thanksgiving can be a trigger for many people. After all, we often think about the past (and get reminded of it) when we see relatives or celebrate with family. Sometimes these memories are raw and painful. As a result, you may feel unprepared to cope with your feelings.

If you plan on spending time with family, make sure you have an emergency exit plan! This can be texting your sponsor, calling your best sober friend, or letting people know you’ll be leaving to go to a meeting.

If you feel uncomfortable, acknowledge your feelings. Take some time to gather your thoughts if you feel triggered – you can always go to the restroom for some privacy. If you didn’t drive, make sure you have the Uber or Lyft app as well as the address to the closest 12-step meeting.

If you feel like using, please give yourself a minute at a time! Just stay sober until your ride comes. Then stay sober until you get to the 12-step meeting. Then stay inside with others in recovery until the feeling passes.

Consider Sober Living

If you’re looking for a supportive, safe environment to get back on your feet, sober living may be the right arrangement for you. We offer community, structure, and recovery in a fantastic location for making a new sober life! Give us a call to learn more about your options at 760-216-2077.

Staying sober long-term is the ultimate goal for most people who go to substance abuse treatment. What are the typical ways that people get sober? How do they get sober in the long term?

Detoxing From Drugs

Many people who are addicted to substances benefit from a detox program. Detox is a great way to get clean from addictive drugs safely. Some programs offer medication-assisted treatment, while others do their best to make clients comfortable.

Usually, there will be therapy groups and 12-step support available while you’re in the detox. It’s a time that can be emotional and scary. This is because your body is adjusting to living without the drug. Having a supportive environment to help you get through the worst of it can help you stay sober.

Getting Treatment for a Substance Use Disorder

Asking for and receiving help is the first step to getting sober. Most people go to detox then continue their recovery journey by going to inpatient treatment or an outpatient program. In treatment, you’ll learn more about yourself and your addiction.

Addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that is chronic and requires treatment. As you learn more about your disease, you’ll also learn new skills to help you recover.

Openmindedness, willingness, and honesty are essential traits that will help you begin your recovery path. By being willing to try new things and being honest with yourself, you can start healing.

Treatment is a time for you to learn and grow. You’ll probably have a variety of therapies, including one-on-one and group, along the way to deepen your understanding of recovery and yourself. Aftercare and sober living programs can help you gain a stronger foundation in recovery once you have left treatment.

Aftercare and Beyond

Recovery doesn’t end when you complete a treatment program. Usually, you’ll start attending 12-step meetings and get a sponsor.

Many people find that they enriched themselves by going to a sober living program after completing a treatment program. A sober living program offers community support, and structure while a person transitions to more independent living.

Interested in Sober Living?

Are you or somebody you love interested in a sober living community? Learn more about the options we offer by calling 760-216-2077.

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.

 

Recovery is a lifestyle you must adhere to year-round. Different times of year bring different experiences, and you must get through them to stay sober! The winter months may feel difficult or emotional for the first few years you're sober. Today, with the complication of the coronavirus pandemic, life can sometimes feel like a struggle.

Why Is Winter Hard For People in Recovery

Few people feel like winter is their favorite season. If you're like many people, you may find yourself in the doldrums or suffering from seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression brought on by the changing seasons. With less sunlight and colder weather, humans naturally turn into homebodies. In recovery, however, isolation can quickly turn into loneliness or depression.

There are also other reasons that people feel like winter is hard in recovery. Many people also associate the winter months with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years' holidays. Of course, holidays can be challenging times for people in recovery. Sometimes you'll feel quite emotional about the past or even feel triggered by it.

For many reasons, winter can be a challenging time for people in recovery. This winter may even seem a little more difficult due to the ongoing emotional and economic strains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking care of yourself and focusing on your recovery is an integral part of the game plan. Here are some ideas to help you lift your spirit every day.

Spirit-Lifting Activities For Winter

If you live in a warm climate, you won't have to deal with the cold. Yet there are still some effects that you have to cope with during the winter months. Holidays, shorter days in general, and less activity are all things that seasons have in common coast-to-coast.

  1. Get enough Vitamin D. Most people aren't getting enough in the winter months because it mostly comes from the sun. Try to do something outdoors for at least fifteen minutes a day.
  2. Get exercise, even if it's incremental. For example, take the stairs more often. Do a lap around the block later on. Walk to the bodega.
  3. Explore vegetables and fruits. Smoothies have a plethora of ingredients to help boost your body and mind. Try a recipe or two to add more nutrition to your day.
  4. Spend five minutes being mindful each morning before anything else.
  5. Do something kind for somebody else. Whether this means checking up on a loved one or cleaning up the kitchen in your group house, just try it. Helping other people feels good.
  6. Find ways to be more creative in life. Create your own winter-themed masks or make up your own dinner recipes.
  7. Find ways to reach out to others online. Create an online group focused on a hobby you enjoy.
  8. Write cards to older people or children who are hospitalized. Focus on spreading happiness to the person you're writing to.
  9. Help out a housemate with something they're stressed about. Getting outside of yourself is crucial, and you might have a skill you can share, such as helping with a resume or building a website.
  10. Take 30 minutes doing something you genuinely enjoy. Take a long bath, read Stephen King, or watch tutorials for surfing. As long as it's something you like, and it hurts no one, enjoy yourself.

Consider Sober Living

Have you thought about living in a sober home? Living among other people in recovery can help you have a sense of stability. Learn more about what options are available and how we can help by calling us at 760-216-2077.

 

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.

Download the guide here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

The holidays can be stressful for people in and out of recovery. Getting together with family can sometimes cause anxiety for newly sober people. There are a lot of potential triggers to deal with if it’s your first holiday in recovery. You may be seeing family or missing family. There will always be feelings to cope with.

Here are some ways to cope this holiday season:

  1. Reclaim your time. You don’t have to go to a family get-together all night. Stay for a few hours, and then give yourself time to do something for yourself. You’re not obligated to stay at any event until the end. Being in control of your own time is an excellent skill to practice.
  2. Plan to go to a 12-step meeting. There are often events for Christmas and New Year planned strategically to help people out who are struggling. Many cities with 12-step meetings will host “marathons” that have meetings back-to-back for 24 hours.
  3. Make a deal with your sober friends to check in with each other. If you’re feeling worried about triggers or emotions, let other people know ahead of time. Let sober friends you want them to check in on you, too. Texting at certain times and venting can help do wonders. You can also get advice if you’re feeling anxiety or anger. Make your network into a tight-knit group over the holidays.
  4. Speak with event hosts ahead of time to let them know you’re sober. If you expect there will be drinking or drug use at the party, ask them directly to keep alcohol away from the other drinks. Bring a two-liter of your favorite non-alcoholic beverage.
  5. Plan daily self-care. This may mean getting up earlier to meditate or go for a jog. Do what helps you feel safe and calm.
  6. Journal when you’re feeling angry or hurt. Holiday seasons, especially for people relatively new to sobriety, can bring up intense feelings. It’s not wise to get into heated discussions when attending family events. If something comes up, find a quiet spot to journal it out.
  7. Agree to disagree or speak later if sensitive discussions come up. You’re not the only one who may feel emotions this holiday season. If things get uncomfortable or intense during a discussion, ask the other party if the conversation can wait.

Staying sober during the holidays is essential. You’re not alone this holiday season. Reach out and go to meetings if you’re feeling lonely, angry, or scared. Many people have a tough time during the holiday months. You can get through it with the help of your support network and peers in recovery.

Sober Living is a Safe Place

Many people discover that they're not ready to confront the world alone after just thirty to sixty days of treatment. Are you interested in learning more about a safe, fun sober living environment? We offer a haven for the transition to a new life full of hope, progress, and camaraderie. Learn more about how a sober home can help you continue your journey in recovery by calling us at 760-216-2077.

 

As a person of the modern age, you probably have a social networking account. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all used by hundreds of millions of people a day. No one is going to ask you to withdraw from the online world just because you’re sober. However, using social media wisely is something that you need to be mindful of while you’re in recovery.

Consider Your Privacy on Social Media

Many people want to announce their lives to the world as soon as they’re in recovery. How do you approach social networking as a newly sober person?

Not all social networks are “anonymous.” Consider ditching old accounts and creating new ones. Unfortunately, using an account with your first and last name may be something to consider.

You may want to create a new account if your old partying friends are a part of your online network. You may have to de-friend some people who are triggers for you to go back to your old lifestyle.

Do you want future employers to see you talk about your life in recovery from addiction? Maybe you want to start a “recovery only” account for yourself. It’s okay to keep work and recovery separate and disclose your addiction to only the people you choose.

Don’t “Stalk” Old Using Friends

One of the most troublesome behaviors in the online world is “stalking” old friends or relationships. This is a slippery slope for a person in recovery.

While you’re at it, keeping up or following people who glorify drug and alcohol use is a big warning that you’re heading into relapse mode.

Choose your online friends wisely, and stick to people who post in ways that touch and uplift you. There is plenty of inspiration online, including from your favorite celebrities in recovery from addiction. There are plenty of Twitter accounts and Facebook pages dedicated to recovery, as well. Also, ask people from your support groups to connect on social media.

Strengthening Your Support Network

There’s nothing better than having people you know in real life to turn to, as well. Shoring up your support network is a great way to make new friends. Sober living homes offer discipline, aftercare, and plenty of ways to participate in living life to its fullest in recovery. Learn more about your housing options 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?

Combating Stress

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.

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