Monthly Archives: September 2016

how to prevent a relapse

Relapse Prevention Tips

Addiction and alcoholism can come knocking abruptly for some and takes its time deconstructing lives for others. One way or another, the day comes where we wake up and there is no denying there is some sort of a problem. It’s blatantly right in our faces and can’t be ignored anymore. Most of us have tried to deceive ourselves and live in a world of denial for the longest time. Eventually, the cat is pulled out of the bag and we have to choose between misery or recovery. Given the choice, it’s recommended to pick the sobriety side of the road.

So hypothetically, we begin traveling down this winding road of sobriety. The idea now is to stay on the road and not let the little speed bumps and interesting paths along the way deter us from our intended direction. Relapse can happen to anybody despite the amount of clean time that has accumulated underneath you. Knowing certain relapse prevention tips and constantly being on your toes can help make a world of difference.

From Out of Nowhere

For most of us, we become so involved in our addictions that we forget what it’s like to be civilized in a weird sense. Things that become the norm for addicts and alcoholics are not how the rest of the population does things usually. Us chemically dependent people forget that we live such oddly different lives that those who aren’t obsessing about getting high or drunk all day long. Picking up little general life skills that got passed by is a good way to keep yourself on the right track. When we start getting intoxicated regularly- food, sleep, and exercise are all pushed to the bottom of a list of priorities. Keeping these three things specifically in check is imperative to a rational thinking and operating mindset. When just one of these three things is lacking in a regular routine, it can cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression. These are three things to be wary about in sobriety because they are very large components to relapse.

What a lot of individuals fail to realize is that relapse isn’t just the act of picking up a drink or a drug but it is also the mindset the gets us there and also follows along with the usage. Relapse starts in the mind and is a conscious or subconscious thought process that has to be entertained. We begin to play with the idea of getting drunk or high or reminiscing about what it was like. Beware these thoughts because they are the dangerous ones that will bring emotion into the mix and completely throw you off guard. Then we continue to amuse this mindset over a course of time, sometimes unbeknownst to us because it feels so natural. Our brains begin obsessing over it. By it, I don’t just mean the act of getting high, but I’m referring to our addiction as a whole. Slowly but surely we start glamorizing and war storying or start lying and hanging out with people and places we know better than to be around. These are forms or relapse in a mental state and they are what lead most addicts and alcoholics to the point of picking up some chemical or another. Beware these thoughts and struggle with them to the best of one’s ability.

sober peers in a meeting

Learn to Combat the Urges

One of the oldest most cliché sayings out there pertaining to recovery is to do it one day at a time. It’s hard to accept this disease and recognize that it is a lifelong battle. Nobody wants to admit of an ailment that they’re stuck with for life and that’s okay though. The thing about being chemically dependent is that it is a life-long adventure, but being sober is not permanent. Most people in the rooms live by the mindset of “just for today” because it is easier to comprehend a 24 hour day than it is to analyze somebody’s entire life. Nothing in this world is permanent except for death. Knowing this and knowing that we are not shackled to recovery once we pick that route can be comforting to some. For others, it helps to alleviate anxiety and stress when they maintain the mindset of just getting through one more day. Sometimes the triggers and cravings can be intense enough to cripple somebody into such a manner. If we can just get through this next hour without getting high, then we’re hitting the intended goal- that’s the idea.

Another one of the most powerful relapse prevention tools is the power of voice. Reaching out to people, especially other addicts and alcoholics, this is how it was all started to begin with. Alcoholics Anonymous was started when two alcoholics, (Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob) sat down and started comparing and talking to each other about their drinking dilemmas. Upon relating to each other and sharing their stress and strife was when they were able to begin comprehending each other. It’s often when we begin talking about our issues and venting to another person, we start to feel some peace in our craniums. Just speaking with another addict or alcoholic can lessen the cravings or demented thoughts that may be appearing. Talking with somebody who has gone through something of similar note can be more than helpful. Bouncing ideas off of each other from the trials and tribulations can feel like a bonding fellowship of some sort. To some degree, everybody just wants to be understood, and when this is provided we feel some level of clarity. To not feel alone, that’s what we’re all striving for. It’s in our active addiction and alcoholism that we begin to feel lonelier than the number one as we lose hope for life. Recovery shows us that relapse prevention is possible and that the promises do come true if we choose so.

Preventing Future Problems

It can be intimidating to know that addiction and alcoholism are always right around the corner. At the same time, we cannot allow it to prevent us from living the lives we desire. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

disease of addiction

Accepting You Have a Problem with Addiction

Lemony Snicket once said, “The sad truth is that the truth is usually sad”. A bit of a cynical statement but validity behind it cannot be argued. In many cases people are quick to see things they want to and not from the perspective of another. We all see and process things in our own way and sometimes struggle to understand that our opinions are not absolute. Every individual on this planet has a particular way they go about their business and a particular way they choose to see life. It can be of much difficulty to keep such an open mindset and learn in ways that we are not used to or even comfortable with.

Of all the tools we develop throughout this short lifespan or ours, acceptance is one of the most important. Learning to accept life’s trials and tribulations that come our way is one of great measurement. Everyday there are going to be things that happen to us that are entirely out of our control, but the big contingent factor of all is how we deal with it. That sums of life a large chunk of life right there. Most of our lives are a fraction of what happens to us, and the large majority of it is how we react to it. When things work out in our favor and everything tends to go our way, we aren’t thinking about acceptance but more so just taking everything as it is. It’s when something doesn’t go our way and we become frustrated or inconvenienced, this is when we have to learn to take life on life’s terms. Accepting that one has a problem with addiction is a tough pill to swallow. We are never entirely prepared for the sharp reality of it to hit when it actually does.

Learning to Deal

Step one of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable”. Mind you that alcohol can be switched out with many other substances or addictions. That first step broken down can really flip a switch in some people’s heads. Speaking from personal experience, I knew I was an addict nearly 10 years before I actually entered recovery. Deep down on the inside I was aware of my mannerisms and alcoholic tendencies but wasn’t ready to do anything about it. The life of misery and misfortune was still enough to lure me into the ever descending depths of insanity. The admitting it part wasn’t so much the issue in this case, but it was the more so “being ready”. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all to mention there was a problem. The hardest thing was to accept what I had admitted and to proclaim there was a problem and I needed to do something about it as quickly as possible. It took getting to the point of admitting aloud to others that my life was unmanageable and I needed to make some dire changes.

woman laying in bed

Often times people have speculation of themselves or a loved one struggling but are in denial about it. For one, a large percentage of our human population has a misconception of what a drug addict or alcoholic looks like and become caught off guard when one shows up right in front of their very own eyes. No it’s not always the homeless man under the bridge or the bank robber trying to support his habit. Frequently we find ourselves walking downtown and staring into the eyes of an alcoholic. It can be the well dressed business man, the soccer mom, or little Tina across the street that babysits the children every now and then. Anybody of any age, race, gender, sex, religion or creed can find themselves face to face in a problem with addiction.

When the facts are laid out in front of our very own eyes, it can be a little harder to deny there is a problem. Is the drug/alcohol use affecting my health? Am I missing school, work, or other imperative appointment matters because of it? Is it causing stress or relieving it? Does the idea of being without substances worry me? These are all thoughts to take into account when facing the reality of one’s situation. Denying crucial matters like this can be our downfall. In a sense, when we constantly deny, all we are doing is lying to ourselves in some form or another. Call it justifications, minimizing, rationalizing- it doesn’t matter. In the end, were pretending something isn’t true or fact usually because it makes us uncomfortable in a sense. It our minds trying to protect us subconsciously but in the long run were only making things worse for ourselves by living in a false reality. The truth is where we separate reality and imagination.

Acceptance is one thing but this is acceptance of a problem with addiction. This acceptance brings us back to the beginning statement of trying to look at a harsh reality we aren’t very fond of. Indeed addiction is a tale of misfortune, but the power lies solely within the perpetrator. Human beings are the products of our own decisions and can pick and choose are misfortunes and joys as time unravels. Accepting there is a problem is better done sooner than later. Deciding there is a problem and being ready to do something about it shows an open minded willingness for change. Being open to change and all of “the new” is a great way of procuring acceptance in your life. Once the mind is opened to “what is”, the possibilities of “what can be” open up tenfold as changes takes its stance in your life. Trying a new outlook on things might be what it takes to make that difference in your general well being.

The Sign of Times

Having to accept something you don’t like can put anybody’s feathers in a ruffle. Addiction and alcoholism don’t give you a choice. They force you to take the facts as they come and there isn’t a pause button to this movie. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

massage therapy in detox

Benefits of Massage Therapy in Detox

Chances are if you’re reading this, things for you or your loved one finally blew up. Not the T.N.T., dynamite, or firecrackers, but the disease of addiction and alcoholism. It starts off with a few mindless giggles and before we know it, all the horrors of life are catching up to us as we go up in flames with it all. One thing usually leads to another and we either wind up six feet underground, incarcerated or in some sort of asylum or institution. Those of us who were dealt a fortunate deck of cards make it to detoxification and treatment facilities. It is here that we are provided help to ensure our safety and health, all the while trying to be kept as comfortable as possible as all the garbage evacuates our minds and bodies. Seeing a doctor and going that route is always recommended, however, there are all sorts of alternative medications and holistic care that are practiced out there as well. Some people by chance come across the chance to receive massage therapy in detox.

First of all, let’s be completely real here- there are benefits to a massage at any time. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want somebody working out all the kinks and tension built up on the inside. Those things are stressors and toxins that are literally poisoning our bodies. Throughout our whole lives, we build up emotion and inner workings in our head and suppress them. We put ourselves continuously in strenuous situations that wear and tear our bodies away over a period of time. Weather takes its grasp as sun, rain, snow, and everything in between bashes against us day after day. So this all happens, and rejuvenation is required. It’s simply human nature for the need of relaxation. Every battery has to recharge and so do human beings. Often times we do not give ourselves the rest our body is internally begging for. Or as addicts and alcoholics, we reward too much rest to ourselves and become lethargic and lazy. We usually tend to go to one extreme or the other- such is life.

Go On

To understand how the body works is an important key factor when discussing massage therapy in detox. Everything in the body is connected to each other, not just anatomically, but as far as everything helping everything. The human anatomy is a complex algorithm but can be broken down to understand how the bones affect the muscles, the muscles affect the organs, the organs affect the systems, and so on and so forth. Receiving the prodding stimulation that is a massage will help change almost every main system in the human body. Aside from the obvious ones like the Integumentary (skin) and the Muscular systems, other vital pieces that reset include the Circulatory and Lymphatic System. Circulatory and Lymphatic are the two that are mostly responsible for the transportation of blood and lymph nodes. These two systems will work in unison to essentially swill out the intolerants while using cells to strengthen our immune systems to fight infection and continue to survive. Helping loosen the body and mind up will allow blood to pump more smoothly throughout the many veins and arteries that channel our very life.

man receiving a massage

Massage therapy is a vital instrument to those entering into some form of detoxification. The concept behind detox is to be in a facilitated state where the chemicals can be safely pushed out from your body. The soft or deep tissue pressures applied when manipulating one’s skin can literally help work out the toxins and force them out quicker. Believe it or not, it’s almost like a tube of toothpaste. When we have just that tiny fraction of teeth cleaner left, we then apply pressure and squeeze on the tube to get the rest to spurt out. Kneading out the toxins like such will help to strain the “bad stuff” out of our systems as we begin to embark on this fresh physical and mental state.

To top all that off, let’s take a much more effortless look into the matter as we take emotion and mental state into factor. There’s no denying that addiction and alcoholism are stressful and take their toll on an emotional, physical, and spiritual level. When somebody decides to get clean, entering a detox setting, everything usually seems pretty surreal. We are caught off guard as reality hits and all the numbing agents begin to wear off. For some of us, this hasn’t been experienced in years. Some of us panic, others develop an increasing sense of anxiety or depression. All the hormones and emotions start functioning properly and life can feel just as confusing as when we were only two years of age. No thank you!

Having a proper setting where one can be comfortable and at ease is always an imperative safety net to have handy. Getting clean was so we could leave the discomfort behind and live in a more calming and relaxed condition. Allowing our bodies to enjoy this peaceful state will be rewarded. Our mind and bodies end up thanking us as we continue down the road to destiny. Maintaining a tranquil and comfortable form will, in turn, put our bodies at ease. Once the body is calmed, this will allow it to sleep more restfully. By allowing the body to sleep more restfully, the individual will have more energy throughout their day. It comes around full circle and you wind up with somebody who feels brand spanking new.

Give Your Life a Massage

Life likes to sneak up on people but addiction and alcoholism grab you up by the ankles and flip your whole world upside down. It gets old quick- but there are alternatives to being chemically dependent. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life in a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

disease of addiction

The Disease of Addiction

The sands of time stop for no mortal living creature. We are given such short lives and thrown limitless options on how to pass the hours on the clock. The hours turn to days, the days to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. At the end of the day, everybody is only striving for their little piece of happiness. We all want to be able to sleep comfortably and have a reason to get out of bed every day. Sometimes, though, life just isn’t as simple as that makes it seem. Everybody on this planet has their inner demons that they are constantly battling. We, as in human beings, live in a world where there is so much temptation. So much that is forbidden, yet somehow we have to find a balance with what is acceptable and what is not.

As we progress through the trials and tribulations we know as the game of life, we learn and forget all sorts of new methods and concepts. Human beings are generally adaptive and we learn to survive through adversity, but we are not invulnerable. Life is an unfed beast that will eat you in a heartbeat if one does not stay on their toes. Many of us take the route of partying and trying to accentuate that state of feeling good, only for it to blow up in our faces down the road. Often times when taking this road, many people run into the disease of addiction that was lying dormant inside of them.

Addiction is a warlord of a demon that when awoken will take a hold of the addict or alcoholic’s soul. It squeezes the life out of you and destroys all ambition or anything else one might have going for themselves. It’s a disease in the sense that it never goes away for the addict/alcoholic. There isn’t any known cure for it except working some sort of a 12 step program and attending self-help meetings such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. Even that right there isn’t a cure but only a solution that treats the disease as needed.

The disease of addiction ropes the individual into chemical dependency and/or forming other habits that can be harmful to a person’s health. It tells the affected person to seek harmful patterns and behaviors despite the detrimental results that follow because of poor choice making. As the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “Remember that we deal with alcohol- cunning, baffling, powerful”. It takes a strong mental hold and can sway whichever way we go with every step. You see, as human beings, we have the power of choice. We have the option to pick left instead of right, and we can usually pick up what is right and wrong in most situations. Coupled along with our addiction, we have the power to make our world come crashing down on us in a matter of a few split seconds. That’s what this disease does and that’s what it wants. Our power of choice becomes severely clouded while processing all the intoxicants we stuff into our bodies. Addiction and alcoholism will tell us to go with the more thrilling option, regardless of the penalties that might follow suit. It’s up to the addict/alcoholic to recognize when the trouble begins to start brewing up in our attics. Whenever there is a problem, there is a solution- and that solution usually begins with us. The old saying in the rooms of A.A. goes, “life is about 10% of what happens to you and the other 90% is about how you deal with it”. This statement couldn’t be more accurate for those of us with addictive personalities.

addiction

Making a Contribution to the Solution

The resolution begins right where the problems usually do, and that’s with our doing. Once an individual can identify the disease of addiction taking over, it is here that the changes can be made to embark on a life of being happy, joyous, and free. First things first, dropping the substances is recommended for all who are serious about overcoming the grasp addiction has on them. After all, it’s these same substances that we cherish that are destroying all the better parts of our lives. Allowing our minds to clear from the haze will really change our perspective on things and allow healthy rational emotion back into the picture frame. Numbing away emotion and our thought processes can really change the outcome of life. Once we start to clear up, it becomes apparent how much of a wreck our lives were turning into. All aspects of life were becoming unmanageable as we sat by powerlessly with not a clue on how to keep moving forward.

So we kick all the intoxicating garbage to the curb and we start diligently changing certain aspects of our life. The disease of addiction never stops and so to keep it at bay we mustn’t either. Fighting off the disease is a life-long battle that really only takes a little bit of work to keep up with. Taking an introspective look at ourselves and diagnosing how the course of events went in a single day shouldn’t be too much to ask for when in concern with life or death situations. What it really boils down to is how much you want that peace of clarity that you can enjoy life with. We addicts/alcoholics try to convince ourselves that we are still enjoying the using lifestyle, but deep down we know how empty and exhausting it feels. We know in our hearts that there is a happier way of life without the burden of needing to ingest chemicals 24/7. Sometimes it really just takes that leap of faith peppered with hope and the results can be extravagant beyond one’s wildest dreams.

Become Informed- Take Action

This ferocious monster of a disease will take anybody it can get. Some are able to live the party lifestyle and at the end of the day walk away from it all and still maintain their sanity. For many of us, this isn’t even close to the case. Our lives revolve around the idea of consuming substances and we struggle to find the good in situations we continuously delve into. There is hope though and struggling doesn’t have to be the guarantee. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life in a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

suggestions for newcomers in recovery

Most Popular Suggestions for Newcomers

Everything we do usually has a beginning, middle, and an end. This is how we experience life- it’s not just for story hour. We all come into this world more or less the same way and start out from infancy as we travel through the years developing more and more as time goes by. This being said, at some point in time, everything was fresh to us. Even the things we know best and are most accustomed to today- they had a beginning. We make mistakes and hopefully learn from them or we don’t, and the world keeps spinning. Going into these mistakes, some of us find a taste for narcotics and alcohol. Maybe not a mistake at first, but once we fully immerse ourselves into our addiction and alcoholism- this is when the problems “begin”. See what I did there?  Moving forward. So we get caught up in our addictive tendencies and decide to get clean, maybe try this Alcoholics Anonymous thing out for a little bit and see what happens. This is where the transformations start taking place. This is where we start going over suggestions for newcomers specifically.

Listen Up

It can be intimidating walking into a room full or recovering drug addicts and alcoholics when you’re the new kid on the block. We’ve all been there before in some manner, being the new one that is. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a new career, academic education, or a meeting- you treat them all the same and dive right in. Start introducing yourself to new people and connecting. This is one of the first major pieces to the puzzle of addiction. We all need help and require friendship of some sort. It’s simply human nature to want to connect and relate to something or somebody. To feel understood is something most individuals crave at the end of their day. The good news for newcomers is to not be discouraged. We addicts and alcoholics are all unique in our own ways, but we are not special. We have all experienced much of the same fears and struggles as the next. Sure you could compare the tales of different people in recovery, but the driving point is that we are not alone and we are all struggling with the disease of addiction in the rooms. We all have a common enemy, and for us, it’s all about synergy you know?

First and foremost, one of the most important things recommended to anyone is to find a sponsor, in your program of choice, and start working the twelve steps. These steps were created specifically for people in sobriety to take a step back and catalog all their doings- the good, the bad, and the ugly. They help individuals take a well thought out look at themselves and jump right into a little introspection. This is crucial for anybody in recovery so that we can commence in changing our ways. After all, it was our sick thinking and destructive ways that landed us a chair in the rooms of alcoholics anonymous anyway. Clearly, our best ideas weren’t taking us much anywhere, but that’s okay because there is a solution.

listen and learn

This leads us right to my next point. Another large suggestion for newcomers is to perk your ears up and take any advice that’s thrown your way. The old cliché saying goes, “take the cotton out your ears and stick it in your mouth”. No, no, there isn’t any cotton actually. The idea being pushed forward right here is to start practicing humility and working on arrogance essentially. Many of us walk into the rooms and don’t realize how much we are creatures of habit. After living so many odd years, we become familiarized to our routines. We know what we like and when we like it. Well, in the world of recovery, sometimes it’s about realizing and then separating our wants from our needs. If somebody is delivering suggestions for newcomers, it’s wise to hear what they may have to say. It’s amazing how much more a person can learn when their mouth is shut.

Continuing to move forward, now it’s time to discuss routine and spontaneity. Who doesn’t love impulsivity? It’s my belief that randomness can be exciting for some and maybe make others timid. Yet, at the same time, I believe that we do crave change often. Being the adaptive animals that we are, we look for change alterations and things that are out of the ordinary. It’s thrilling to see something you don’t get to see every day, there’s no denying that. So as addicts and alcoholics, we go overboard with this concept and rashly make decisions without thinking them completely through. This is something that tends to get most of us into a tad bit of trouble. Eh, it happens right? Wrong. We can prevent it from happening by following the recommendations provided above, as well as sticking to healthy habits and behaviorisms. Getting a routine down that can be more or less expected every day is a winning choice move. Now, I’m not saying at all to be a robot and monotonously do the same exact thing day in and day out. Throw a little pizzazz in there, but have a general blueprint mapped out of your proceeding day. Having too much time to ourselves can be detrimental to our recovery. How’s the saying go again, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”? This can be the case for anybody and not just us in recovery. It’s in our nature to be inquisitive, we just need to keep ourselves in check the best we can and follow the suggested game plan.

Struggling Taking the Suggestions?

Sometimes it’s difficult to step away and get to a point where we can listen advertently to others. Much of the time when in active addiction and alcoholism, we feel so clouded and can have a hard time taking advice from those trying to help. Sometimes there is a beginning before the beginning and professional help is required. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.firststepsrecovery.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.

journaling in sobriety

The Power of Journaling in Sobriety

Getting loaded for years was the easy thing to do, it was the way out. Ingesting something that kept me comfortably numb and changed reality was the ideal trance state. It had the power to block out all my emotions and even really any consciousness that could be summoned within the depths of addiction. The mind and body were rotting and all of this energy and life force was just purely going to waste. The thoughts I did have were seemingly useless and I didn’t feel my voice mattered as an addict anyway. Alcoholism and addiction took a firm grasp on the soul and squeezed until the only option left was death or sobriety. Naturally, the latter of the two was picked.

Getting clean sure catches you off guard when all of the sudden, like a light switch, your wheels start turning at 100mph. All these thoughts that you’d anesthetized for years begin to rise from their slumber. Then without warning, emotions are thrown back into the mix and you’re left with this whirlwind of intense thoughts and ideas. Some of them could be normal and some of them are questionably demented. One thing is for certain though- you must get them out in one form or another. Now, not all of us can afford a therapist. Therapy can be expensive and it can be very inconvenient fitting it into our already demanding daily bustle. Of course, therapy is recommended but just realistically it’s not an option for everybody who could probably benefit from it. Friends and family aren’t always available either. Everybody has a life to attend to and it’s silly to think that others should come to our aid at the simplest drop of a hat. Asking for help is crucial in sobriety, do not misunderstand my wordings. However, it is vital to keep in mind that there needs to be a fine line between help and codependency. We are all human beings more than capable of helping ourselves when the need is strong enough.

There are other ways to vent and deal with the inner dialogue proceeding upstairs. I, of course, am speaking about writing and journaling in sobriety. These are unique tools that are as old as time that have helped people for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Really though it’s not that unique, but we live in a world today full of technology and complications. Sometimes the basics get left in the dust and we have to pull them off and spit-shine some of the simplicity.

Experience the Magic

Pulling out a piece of paper and a pen can seem mundane and monotonous sometimes. We live in a world where necessity is important and everything else is an effort. It’s easy to forget that some of the things we don’t want to do are the ones that are going to better us. Kind of goes back to the cliché, “whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger”. Journaling in sobriety is an important tool that can allow the author to get thoughts out on paper and literally vent to themselves. It’s truly fascinating how much of a difference it can make to replay thoughts and scenarios over and over in your head and never have any result or conclusion to come to. Then, as soon as you jot down said thoughts to paper and read them in front of your very own eyes, much of the time it can bring a whole new light to things. I often have most of my revelations and epiphanies as I’m reading. Something about seeing your day’s thoughts facing back at you brings a fresh context to whatever the situation may be.

woman journaling in a gardenn

I’ve been journaling in sobriety for years, as well as in active addiction. It always amazes my eyes to look back at old entries and replay some of the scenes that I’d written about. Our minds are constantly developing and some life lessons are just simply pushed on the back burner or forgotten. Often I’ve scribed and learned some valuable message just from my own rantings. Keeping a diary or a log of some sort can almost be like written home movies. For instance, I’ve been scribbling in the same journal now for 9 years. It’s always interesting to catalog the different perspectives I’ve developed over this time period and see what parts of me have grown. This is can be imperative in the aspect of introspection, self-awareness, and practicing the twelve steps in recovery (specifically steps 4 and 10).  

Journaling can be something that relaxes and releases endorphins. It doesn’t necessarily have to be writing in a diary either. So many writing activities can stem from this exercise and can give anybody a positive healthy outlet to express themselves. Human beings love to express themselves in some form or fashion. Even when we don’t particularly have an audience for our creativity, just letting it out from our cooped up craniums is what can keep some of us on the saner side of the road. Sometimes my paper carvings are all over the place from telling a story, to literal dialogue between me, myself, and I.

Journaling in sobriety is a big go-to for many. In turn, doing this allows people to rediscover themselves and their interests. The act can give multiple points of view on a problem weighing down the shoulders of the pen holder. Lastly, the big one being that you can healthily express your emotions onto paper and keep from bottling everything up. This is crucial to any newcomer in recovery who might be suffering from cravings and all sorts of emotions.

Not Ready for the Journal Yet?

Journaling and writing are all fine and dandy, but unfortunately, in some cases, we are just not ready to put effort into something like that if we can’t push away the drugs and alcohol. These chemical products run the lives of many into the ground. If you or a loved one are struggling and are looking for help on a new path of joyful well-being, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.firststepsrecovery.com. Our team of trained specialists will be more than happy to get you on a path of health and happy journalings.

what is a reservation in recovery from addiction

What are Reservations in Sobriety?

Life is such a short and mysterious thing we get the privilege to experience. The days can drag on but the weeks fly by in the blink of an eye. Then time is brought into the mix. Time is this tricky thing that takes a hold while it catches us off guard and before we know it- a substantial amount of our lives have passed by. We turn around and take a look back scratching our head at where it all went. This is especially true for addicts and alcoholics. Most of us spent so much time in drunken stoopers or nodding off that we lost track of time tenfold. Then at some point, most of us realized enough was enough and we entered the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and became sober. Now we are able to remember what we had for breakfast the day before and whether mom’s birthday is next week or not. We begin to develop patterns in our lives and we gain back our sense of time.

So the position we’re slowly shuffling along to is that in this life of ours, we all have some sort of a bucket list. Maybe it’s written down somewhere on a piece of paper, or maybe it’s all mental. The point is that in this vast life full of new experiences, we always crave the next better thing. Living in a world occupied by human beings with a would’ve, could’ve, should’ve mentality. We live in our minds by the idea of “what if”. For us addicts and alcoholics, we turn these into reservations in sobriety. Webster’s dictionary defines a reservation as “an arrangement to have something held for your use at a later time”. Or even if you look at the alternate definition it states “a feeling of doubt or uncertainty”. Both of these apply to having some sort of a stipulation once in recovery.

What it boils Down To

Only speaking generally here, but most addicts and alcoholics have a problem with acceptance at the end of the day. We want what we want and when we want it. We want to know what’s going on and to have our crystal ball tell us all the answers to our problems in life. A lot of these problems are irrational issues that we create in our heads. Oh! that’s another one we’re great at, making mountains out of molehills that is. Coming to reality and accepting life on life’s terms is a difficult habit to get into, especially if you are indeed somebody living by the “what if” code. Acceptance is connected like a string of lights to our emotional sobriety and well-being. Yes, we all know how much emotions like to get in the way of things sometimes. Good thing or bad thing- I don’t know. Once we can live with the reality of a situation and not feel the need to fight it, that’s when we can begin to coincide with life.

So accepting our lives the way they are and knowing when we can or cannot change something, this is a big key component to recovery. However, this does tie back into the idea of living in the now- right here in the present. Many people live in the past or the future and not just those in recovery. When we begin to future trip and live too far ahead of ourselves, this is when reservations in sobriety start to become imminent. Realistically, it makes sense to always have some sort of a game plan laid out. We don’t want there to be too much impulsivity, but at the same time, life very seldom follows the blueprints we create for it. Then this of course goes back full circle to the accepting and the trying to change the outcome of life.

negative thinking will never make your life positive

Give Me an Example

Much of the time when we addicts and alcoholics get clean, we are uncertain about it for some minor period. This isn’t the case for all, of course. Having this feeling is very natural because obviously, we wouldn’t be sitting here reading this if we could continue getting drunk or high in some form or fashion. Getting into an altered state of mind is something we do best. Clearly, we loved it enough to stop loving ourselves until the point where an ultimatum of some sorts had to be decided upon. For some, we hold onto these ideas of how different things are going to be. “Maybe people won’t like me when I’m sober”. Or even, “how am I going to have fun or enjoy life when there aren’t any drugs or alcohol”?

Eventually, these little seedlings of ideas begin to sprout into the basic reservations in sobriety which turn into ideas like getting a year clean and then maybe using once that goal is succeeded.  These are the little things we plant in our heads that will cause the best of us to relapse and start back on that miserable path of active addiction. Remember, it’s important to stay out of that “what if” mind zone. That state of mind plays a large role with justifying ghastly ideas and other actions we know better than to do.

To put it simply, having a handful of reservations will heavily hinder your spiritual and emotional growth. If somebody has a list of these reservations, it will, unfortunately, keep the individual in a closed minded state. That closed minded state is the way we ran our lives whiles using. Do you see the connection by chance? To limit our built up reservations means to be willing and to accept life as life see’s it. Keeping this frame of mind is how we clear a path for success in sobriety.

More than Just Reservations?

For some of us, the only reservation we had was to get high or drunk. If this is the case, you are not alone in the slightest. Addiction and alcoholism are an ugly disease that will stop at nothing to ruin anybody’s life it can. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.