Monthly Archives: March 2017

how to have a sober support group

How to Make Solid Sober Supports

Human beings- we’re all wanderers of this earth. We all sightlessly feel our way around as we make mistake after mistake and learn a little bit each time as we go. Err hopefully- that’s the idea at least. The point being is that none of us really know which direction we’re heading in this game of life as all sorts of curve balls are thrown at us. So then we wing it as we go and hope for the best right? That works for some, yes, but hope doesn’t always transform into action, though. So what happens when you take drugs and booze and throw it into a mix of addicts and alcoholics? Talk about having no sense of direction or any clue to where your “X” on the map is. When you add various substances into the pot, you have a slew of barely functioning human beings blindly feeling their way around in the dark with no ambition to get out. Entering recovery is like being lost but knowing there’s still a path to follow at least.

On the road again, going places that you’ve never been. Becoming sober and starting over can be a very anxiety ridden thing to do. Realizing that aspects of our lives need to change entirely including people/sober supports, places, and things can be overwhelming in some ways. Yet at the same time, we as addicts and alcoholics tend to blow things out of proportion and make this “new life” thing some sort of scary monster when it really isn’t. Starting over and entering recovery teaches us that we have to love ourselves and that we need to find sober supports in our lives that love us for who we are- not just pretending to love us for the bag of dope in our pockets.    

Team Efforts

It wasn’t until I entered recovery and kicked the chemicals that I ever realized what real friendship was. Through our using travels and ever growing cynical mind frame building along the way, a large percentage of us become blinded to the idea of friendship. There are no such things as sober supports when we’re getting loaded because we push them all away for not sharing the same ambitions or aspirations we do. It’s all using friends with everybody sharing the “every man for himself” kind of mentality. So when we enter recovery finally and have had enough of life dumping on us, we want to look for ideal people to be around that maybe share some of the same values we do. This all pairs up with the saying, “you are who you hang out with.” If you want to remain sober, hanging with solid sober supports is specifically the way to go.

We psych ourselves with anxiety and/or claiming to be introverts most of the time and make things much more difficult than necessary, but making sober supports and new friends is easy as cake. How do you attract sober supports and new friends you ask? Well, this kind of goes hand and hand with an old Gandhi quote saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Without a doubt, we will make sober supportive friendships if we provide sober supportive friendship outwardly.  

sober supports drinking tea

Going regularly to Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings is a great way to meet new sober supports. Of course, given the name, these are support meetings filled with all sorts of people that are there to overcome different addictions and alcoholic thinking of the sort. What better place to meet sober supports than at a large gathering of people all in the same shoes. Finding somebody unsupportive would be like a “Where’s Waldo” page at some of these meetings.

At these support groups- and most anonymous meetings for that matter, they have “phone lists.” These are just a compilation of names of the people who usually attend said meeting and have written their phone number down to be of recovery related aid. Taking one of these phone lists can be a life saver- literally. These scraps of paper consist of all sorts of names who are willing to be there for you, a stranger, at the drop of a hat. That’s what recovery and finding solid sober supports does for us. This is a fantastic start but of course was the introverted manner of doing things. Going to one of these N.A. or A.A. meetings and walking up and shaking hands with some of the welcoming faces is another way to step right into it. Once we get a little more comfortable with ourselves and slowly crawl out of our shells, we find it much easier than anticipated to spark conversation with somebody who has so many similarities to our own selves.

The absolute best method for making sober supports is just being social- plain and simple. Once we fully recognize that we are not alone in this world and that there are other like-minded people, we begin to understand that vulnerability isn’t such a bad thing after all. Opening up to others and not self-sabotaging the potential relationships that walk into our lives is one of the best ways to build a support network. It can be hard to not pre-evaluate the dude across the room with awful tattoos and a pookah shell necklace, but being open and willing for new relationships to waltz into your life is the ones of the keys to making strong friendships. All it takes is just greeting one or two unfamiliar faces and having him/her introduce you to somebody new. This, in turn, will continue to snowball as long as we put into it what we’re expecting back. Sober supports walk amongst us everywhere if you actually look in the right places. Connect to the right people and it will benefit you more than you could’ve ever imagined.

Fitting In

We all want to find people that we connect with. Supportive relationships sometimes are the love we need to really keep going when the tough times have reduced us down to rubble. It’s nice to have others there for us, but when we can be of healthy mind and body and flip the switch being the support for others- that is where the reward is at. It takes getting clean and sober first before we can do anything for anybody- including ourselves. If you or a loved one are struggling with chemical dependency and looking for a change and new beginnings, please call  1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com where one of our specialists will be waiting and happy to discuss the possible options for building a promising tomorrow we can all give a thumbs up to.

kratom in recovery from addiction

Why Kava and Kratom Aren’t Okay in Sobriety

With global warming on the rise, it seems that every passing year brings a little more heat our way. I mean for those of us living in South Florida- we’re all melting our butts off as summer continually descends us into deeper layers of Dante’s Inferno. Having your clothing always damp in sweat becomes the norm, but I digress. The point being is that with climbing temperatures, it’s important to stay hydrated all the time. H20 right? Or maybe you’re Henry Winkler and “Water sucks, it really really sucks” because “Gatoraaaddde’s better.” I’ll bet you cracked a smile at how cheesy that was. Whatever tasty beverage you do decide to sip from, make sure Kava and Kratom stay off of that list if you want to maintain your sobriety. Kava and Kratom are two natural herbs, more or less, and they are sweeping the nation as healthier alternatives to get high off of.

Kava and Kratom are indeed different herbs and have some different effects, but at the end of the day, they both can be used for many of the same purposes such as numbing away and feeling a bit euphoric. They are both indigenous to different locations of the world with Kava generally being found in the Western Pacific- such as Micronesia, Fiji, or Hawaii even. Kratom, on the other hand, originates from Southeast Asia from countries like Thailand, Indonesia, or Malaysia. Kava and Kratom are used and abused in their natural state as the leaves and roots that came from the ground. They are also transformed into powders, pill forms, and most commonly into a drink as mentioned previously.

Floating Down the Mainstream

Kava and Kratom are both under criticism and skepticism from the sober communities around the world. They both have become widely abused by stressed out people trying to take the load off, especially addicts and alcoholics of that caliber. The effects of the two euphoria delivering aromatic plants include reducing stress, anxiety, and/or pain. They also tend to promote physical and emotional relaxation. With that list of wonderful promises, why wouldn’t you want to take some Kava or Kratom? Plenty of reasons.

For starters, although the two are very similar, they do have some key differences to note. Kratom, specifically, is physically and psychologically addictive and Kava is reported to not be. Taking enough Kratom on a consistent basis will do what most other drugs do and have the body become tolerant to it. As tolerance begins to rise- well, I hope anybody who’s reading this knows how that plays out. It starts taking more and more for that old effect that this simple herb used to produce and then BOOM, we find ourselves right back in the limbo of addiction and alcoholic thinking. It might sound silly and far-fetched, but these fake excuses for drugs will still take even the strongest of addicts and alcoholics down if we allow it. Not to mention, because of the scrutiny Kratom has fallen under in recent years, it is under review because of its pharmaceutical mirroring. With enough people becoming dependent and showing similar signs to that of opiate withdrawals, the United States government and Food and Drug Administration are looking at doing away with it all together. Making it an illegal substance could help eliminate some of the problems being created from this over glorified and rationalized plant.

ground kava root

 

As addicts and alcoholics, we’ll let even a washcloth and a bottle of lemon pledge help us get high if we stub our toe on the right piece of furniture and decide to give up. Maybe that’s just me… Regardless, we like to latch onto anything that makes us feel good. It’s what we do and it’s just in our blood. Anything that takes away from all our “painful realities” and whatever else we’ve exaggerated and conjured up for making an excuse to take something like Kava and Kratom. Cross addiction is absolutely a real thing and has taken many well respected people out of the rooms of Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous and put them into a box 6 feet deep in the ground. That’s heavy, I know- but it’s real. It’s the same as having a beer. It doesn’t matter whether it’s legal or not, drinking these herbal remedies will open up a can of monsters upstairs between your ears.

We have to really step back and look at our truest of intentions. If maintaining sobriety and working programs of recovery are things that are on the front burners of your stove, then that’s fantastic. Heed to the advice and stay away from Kava and Kratom. If living clean and sober is not the priority, by all means go chug away. Just because an addict like myself can’t drink the stuff and walk away at the end of the day, doesn’t mean other normal people out there can’t. As addicts and alcoholics, it is important to always realize that going back to our old manner of thinking can be detrimental to our health. Justifying that we need something to take the “edge off” because life is catching up to us is not a great idea particularly. It goes back to Step 1 and realizing that we as addicts and alcoholics are powerless to drugs and alcohol. This includes mood altering substances of all shapes and sizes, or forms and colors. For people like myself that came back from the literal sidelines of death, the big question of “why even risk it” skips on a broken record player in my head when the idea of these two herbs comes into conversation.

Sneaky Sneaky

Unforeseen demons like Kava and Kratom appear in our lives and really put us to the test. These sneaky little temptations can grab us by the ankles, flip us upside down, and ask for our lunch money before we even know what happened to us. Addiction and alcoholism never go away and forge a battle that takes time and help from others.  If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need a detox facility, 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.

how to get sober in florida

The Benefits of Getting Sober in Florida

If somebody looked me square in the eye 5 years ago and explained that Florida would soon be my new home to be- they would’ve been greeted with a slew of insults and been told they were down-right bonkers. Yet that was in 2012 and here I am typing this article on the sunny shores of the pan handle state. Being from the mountains, the idea of Florida always left a bitter taste in my mouth. Left to my own devices, I would’ve never boarded a plane and arrived in this paradise that feels like Dante’s Inferno. Also left to my own devices, I more than likely would not be seeing the light of day. Attempting to and getting sober in Florida saved my life and thousands of others that find themselves en route to the bottom of the United States where the rest of us seem to be baking away in the sun. If it is not apparent, my contempt for this very state is still very high. Yet the benefits of getting sober in Florida and how grateful I am hold a magnitude far greater than the sweat dripping off my brow.

Chasing Warmth

South Florida is quite an incredible place to live and what a time to be alive it is. There is so much to do with so many places to go and so many people to see- the possibilities are endless. However, there is a large demographic of people that wind up down here every single day for the same reasons: to enter recovery and start over. The thing with alcoholism and addiction is that we are never entirely alone. We often convince ourselves that nobody understands what we are going through or that we were the only ones to got a bad hand of cards in this deck we call life. If we could open our eyes long enough to see the truth, we would realize that there are others who have been in our shoes and made it to the other side. Getting sober in Florida is an amazing idea because of the amount of chemically dependent individuals that all fellowship and band together as they triumph over this epidemic we call addiction.

Take for instance the city of Delray Beach- where I currently reside. This city is literally the recovery capital of the world. Not just the United States, but the world. In 2008, the New York Times declared it to be “the largest and most vibrant recovery community.” If that’s not advocating for the benefits of getting clean and sober in Florida, then I’m not sure what is.

Treatment centers and halfway houses are only a part of what makes getting sober in Florida the place to go for chemical dependency treatment.  A gargantuan recovery community has sprung up as a result of the large numbers of people recovering from addiction and maintaining Florida and various places like Delray Beach as their new place of residency. Getting sober in Florida almost feels like being in a protected bubble. Don’t misunderstand me, there’s plenty of rope to hang yourself with. Let’s be real here- drugs and alcohol are everywhere you go if you look for them. At the same time, though, living in this orange juice producing state provides more opportunity to connect with others in the fellowship and assorted anonymous programs being held all over.

sober friends at the beach

Then there’s the aspect of what recovery actually takes for us. For wonderful things to come, a great deal of work is consistently needed for the rest of life. This may seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s better than the alternatives most of us face: incarceration and/or death. To maintain sobriety and avoid the act of reversion, we as addicts and alcoholics have to stay introspective and often do things and go places we really don’t want to. It starts becoming about what you need more than what you want. Aside from the facts already delivered, this, of course, brings up the idea of old playground and play friends. Changing our surroundings and living situations can make the world of difference. As human beings, we are just naturally adaptive and influential people. We will remain the same as the people we find ourselves hanging around unless we separate ourselves from the pack and find a new path with the other outcasts. Addiction and alcoholism are quick to alienate us as people and create tendencies in us that others don’t necessarily understand. Only those who have been through it truly understand the monster that is addiction. Why not surround ourselves with those that can really lead this horse to water?

Look- at the end of the day, getting sober in Florida is one of the best chances an alcoholic or an addict can give themselves. Giving the state a chance and high tailing it here can provide opportunity beyond your wildest dreams. There’s a plethora of Alcoholics and Narcotics Meetings, IOP’s, treatment centers, detoxification facilities, and halfway houses that all serve to help fellow addicts and alcoholics. There’s an amalgamation of people who have been to the depths of hell and back in addiction as they walk around sober with gigantic smiles on their faces. There are options and tons of prospective ways to essentially restart one’s life in a new location- away from all sorts of negativity and drama. There’s amazing sunny weather and it’s beach season literally all year round. There’s too many “there’s” to keep going. At the end of the day, sometimes life is about taking a leap of faith and listening to the advice of others despite what our inner demons are telling us. Be open to change and change will come. Getting sober in Florida will be the change your addiction doesn’t expect. This is your battle. You decide who wins.

We’re More Than Just Orange Juice

There are many states in the U.S. to pick from, but if it’s recovery and help that’s being sought- look no further. Addiction and alcoholism often catch us off guard and send us spiraling before we even know what happened. Fortunately, Florida has options and there are things that can be done for help. If you or a loved one has been struggling to make the next step, call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. We have trained specialists on standby ready to help you start detoxing as comfortably as possible and send your life in a direction you can proudly stand behind.

signs that someone relapsed

Prelapse: 10 Signs of an Impending Relapse

The plans we create for our future selves and the tragic comedy that usually ensues never seem to coincide. More times than not, we get our crystal ball confused with our magic “8” ball and expectations get mixed up with disappointments. Of course, it’s not as bleak as it may sound; sometimes it’s just a matter of being able to accept reality as it comes our way. Whether it’s cheap plastic or crystal sorcery, both give you a chance to react to the information provided. The same goes for recovery and avoiding any form or prelapse.  

Prelapse is always lurking around the corner because the allergy we carry is stealthy. In the blink of an eye, we can throw ourselves overboard and into the largest downward spiral if recovery is not kept on the front burner as a priority. If sobriety is the vision that we seek, there are certain components that must be maintained to hold onto that happy, joyous, and free lifestyle.

The Straw that Breaks the Camel’s Back

For those who are not aware, prelapse starts in the brain long before the alcohol or chemicals have tapped into your bloodstream. Relapse mode only starts with a few seemingly simple thoughts before you’re on track to destruction. When an individual has fully immersed themselves in recovery, it is blatantly obvious what their intentions are and what they are striving for. The opposite is just as clear when prelapse thoughts and triggers are having their way with our alcoholic at hand. Our alcoholic thinker might do well for extended periods, but even with cautious optimism- nothing is permanent.

Keeping in mind there isn’t a cure for addiction will help us to recognize that this really is a disease that is a constant battle for some as their using thoughts flourish and recede. Unfortunately, relapse is a very real thing for any chemically dependent person- regardless of the time accumulated. On the bright side, prelapse can be easily spotted in loved ones or self when looking out for mannerisms like:

  • Impulsive/Radical Behavior
  • Overly Defensive
  • Easily Angered or Irritated
  • Poor Daily Routine and/or Structure
  • Unmotivated or Lack of Desire for Anything

Or even:

  • Periods of Elongated Depression
  • Irregular Attendance of anything Fellowship related
  • Dissatisfied with Life as a Whole
  • Dishonest Actions and Behaviors
  • Constant Physical and Emotional Exhaustion  

It’s unfortunate of course and we can try to help, but it’s up to that person to fight back against the disease as its high tide starts crashing down waves of prelapse and negative thinking onto the shores of their brain.

depressed man

James Bond Cravings

Prelapse warning signs will sneak up like a double agent would in the Hollywood blockbusters. Before you know it, the person in question will begin thinking that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are pointless and that they have obtained everything they need already. This is a person who is on the pathway to relapse usually because they are already at a point where they are becoming close minded. That’s what our addiction and alcoholism want is for us to lose. It’s definitely a game, but there’s no silver and gold- it’s life or death.

Addiction numbs us to reality and causes us to always look at things from the perspective of the glass always being half empty. Everything in life starts to have this hollow feeling to it and the mindset of “nothing we ever do is good enough” roots itself into every forced step we take. All that negative thinking, of course, attracts more negative experiences. Irritability and loads of stress start tacking on with the rest of cynical frame of mind that is now dulling their personality. It’s important to look for unnecessary mood swings and anger conjuring itself from out of nowhere. Don’t fall victim to stressed induced emotion.

Fight for Your Right to NOT Party

As some signs of prelapse start appearing, more of them follow suit as the person slips downward into the inevitable. Prelapse thoughts just add weight that drags you down ever so slowly. With the negative outlook and more off-putting situations occurring, it’s common to see the addict or alcoholic begin losing hope with life. Ambitions will begin to diminish and getting the person to do anything productive will seem like a chore. Addiction and alcoholism will convince them to give up on themselves.

Even sadder, the person will begin losing interest in hobbies or people that typically kept their attention in the past. Things will just seem off to them and they often will push friends and family away in attempts to hide the depression/anxiety they’re going through. It will literally suck the life out of them to the point where they feel like getting high or drinking is the only way to cope with such a bottom. As all this starts to come to a head, maybe they will begin making questionable decisions or even putting themselves in sketchy or risky positions. They will constantly convince themselves that they got a bad hand in this deck of cards.

The victim role comes in strongly as they start looking for any reason they can to throw it all away and pick up the bottle or pipe. Having a good friend or family member that can call the person out in when prelapse seems prevalent can be a holy grail amongst darkness. Call them out and support their endeavors with love. Knowing the premonitions before they occur may just save somebody’s life close to you.

Stop Prelapse before Relapse

When it comes to cravings and the warning signs at hand, sometimes they will come from out of nowhere and coax even the strongest of addicts into second guessing their recovery. It’s important to know the signals and to stand up to yourself and the identity crisis addiction creates. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 888-481-1993 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.  

drug use in moderation

Why Moderation Never Works with Drugs and Alcohol

It’s safe to say that everybody just wants to be happy, whatever their version of that means, but we all crave a little slice of pleasure. For some of us alcoholics and addicts, we wanted a few too many slices. Let’s face the reality of the situation, though- the end goal is for everybody to want to feel good and be in a state of relief. Nobody enjoys being placed in uncomfortable situations or being in a form of discomfort- whether that be physically, mentally, or spiritually. So many of us turned to the use of narcotics and alcoholic beverages to provide that ease and high that we so deeply longed for. We got sucked into the grips of insanity and started realizing the hard way that moderation never works and there was no such thing as just a taste. Then the record player skips- leaving us as the only ones left at the party while living in fear becomes oh so normal. The worst part is that while this is going on, we addicts and alcoholics are slowly but surely building a tolerance to the chemical of choice that is causing us such torment. Uh oh. Our bodies and minds are chasing a feeling that is becoming unreachable and requires more and more to achieve. But we never meant any harm right? We just wanted to feel as excellent as possible, but the demons of addiction send wake up calls making sure to remind us that moderation never works and that we can’t cheat the disease even if we try our hardest. Eventually, it all blows up in our faces and getting clean and introducing sobriety into the mixture is the best remedy for the nightmarish situations we as addicts and alcoholics so often put ourselves in.

Can’t Outsmart Alcoholic Thinking

Plain and simple: moderation never works because we are less intelligent than our addiction- in a sense. No, our addictions are not some separate entity from ourselves, but in a manner of speaking, we are not smart enough to beat addiction. Neurology and psychology doctorates and professionals from all over the world have proclaimed their takes on the phenomenon. It is a disorder or disease if you will, that can’t be beaten through logic necessarily. Smarts will not save you or your best friend from sticking a needle in your arm or taking a swig from the glass bottle. True addicts and alcoholics suffer from alcoholic thinking. There’s a reason why only 1 of the 12 steps in recovery has to do with drugs and alcohol and the rest of them have to do with bettering ourselves as human beings.

As human beings in active addiction, we are sick more or less. An addict or alcoholic who has been out binging for periods of time will be clouded by the chemicals and think irrationally at times. Moderation never works for this person and they find themselves in a drunken stupor or speeding off to the races just like that. The minds of us chemically inflicted tell us that we want more and more of the stuff that is making us feel good. This stuff that makes us feel good conjures joy and happy thoughts as if the world will be alright. Something upstairs in the mind of an addict tells them that this feeling is the only way they want to feel from now on. All of the troubles in the world can’t get a hold of you with feelings of such pure ecstasy numbing you from the troubles and stresses of reality. This, of course, is while we’re still climbing the mountain- before we’ve fallen off the peak if you will. Eventually recognizing that moderation never works with this chemically laden satisfaction is a tough certainty to come to. Usually, by the time this is realized, the addict or alcoholic in question is already over their head with substance abuse problems and is just trying to tread water and stay afloat at this point. The time has come to detox our mind and bodies as we take on and recognize this phenomenon of craving that has developed seemingly out of nowhere.

just say no

We see our family members drink half a beer and forget about it. Or a close friend smoke a little bit of marijuana or what have you and is fine. They have their lives together in all the areas that are necessary and we addicts and alcoholics don’t understand what separates us. Why is it that some people can imbibe and have a little fun, walk away from it, and not be obsessed with wanting more of it? Why is it that moderation never works for us but for them? What makes us different and how come we can’t beat it? With this disease comes great mental burden and agony. Torturing ourselves with such questions can be futile because man has not discovered a cure for alcoholism or any roots addiction may have planted. Acceptance comes big into play with the admittance of our demons and learning to move around them than through them. The disease of addiction steals your soul and morphs you into a hollow shell of the person you once were. It’s a harsh reality but once this idea of moderation becomes your goal, it’s all pretty much downhill from there. Once the obsession has been awakened, it’s like a hyperactive gorilla sitting on your back whipping you to do its bidding. The weight of the gorilla is just crushing your hopes, dreams, and daily ambitions without any remorse. This reoccurring thought just constantly appears in your cranium and bounces around even making mere sentences hard to complete. It rules every aspect of your life and the only way to release this heavy load is acting on your addiction. Every inch of your mind has now caved into this fixation and the only choice left is to get high to relieve the mental pressure. That is why moderation never works, the demons are best to be left sleeping once the recovery process has begun.

Don’t Moderate Your Sanity

Life likes to sneak up on people but addiction and alcoholism grab you up by the ankles and flip your whole world upside down. Sure maybe moderation never works, but that doesn’t mean we are destined for unhappiness. Addiction and alcoholism owning you can get 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 is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.