Tag Archives: AA

The Top Three Harsh Realities of Getting Sober in Recovery

Life in recovery is beautiful and exhilarating once you learn the tools to successfully live it. However, the road to recovery can be difficult and emotionally exhausting as you learn to face your demons and live life without the best friend that was killing you.

Rehab is the place where you put the burning iodine on your wounds. After the burning dissipates, the healing will become more appealing. There will be days in recovery where you will be grateful, humble, and feel on top of the world. There will also be days where you will feel despondent, bewildered, and question whether you should continue recovery. You must feel the highs and lows of your emotions to understand them and resolve them. Though you may be despondent in the short-term during recovery, you will feel better in the long-term.

The Hard Parts of Recovery

Discovering the True Cause of Your Addiction

You may think that other people (e.g. parents, friends, teachers, bullies, etc.) and life events (e.g. abuse, death of loved ones, natural disasters, etc.) were the cause of your addiction. While they may have been responsible for the factors that have contributed to your addiction, they were not the cause. The cause of your addiction and the inevitable of your addiction was due how you internalized people’s actions towards you and life events due to your biology and psyche. That is why siblings can be raised the exact same way and turn out different. In recovery, you will learn to correct your errors in thinking and defects of character that ignited your addiction.

Learning that Recovering is More about Just Abstinence

Recovery is not just about quitting drugs and alcohol; it is about adopting a whole new perspective and life for yourself, which takes intense work. You need to take the therapy that you receive in rehab seriously. You need to be honest about your psychological issues and be amenable to the suggestions that your counselors give you.

Realizing Recovery is a Lifelong Process

There is no cure for addiction. Addiction can only be put into remission by not actively using mind-altering and mood-altering substances, applying the tools that you have learned in psychotherapy, connecting with others in recovery, and living an overall healthy lifestyle. You cannot master or complete the recovery process because you are always growing and improving as a person.

Genesis House is located in Lake Worth, Florida that treats drug and alcohol addiction in adults who are 18 years old and over. They provide a safe, nurturing healing environment to start the genesis of your recovery. Call them today to start your journey of recovery or ask general questions about addiction recovery at 800-737-0933

Faith in Action!

Once we are clean and sober, we must face these awful things called feelings! They are new and we have no idea how to deal with them. This is why it is important to get a sponsor and work the steps together.

We must learn about the spiritual principle of having faith in a power greater than ourselves. We used because of our feelings and continued to use just to avoid dealing with them. The emptiness we felt would not go away, no matter how much we used. We put the substances down and now the feelings are here- staring us right in the face! Now what?! We have to learn to have faith, BUT also how to apply it to our lives. For me, I find situations on a DAILY basis where I need to apply faith. Some days I do well- other days- not so well. There are times we are faced with days of heavy feelings that are so strong that faith is the last thing we think about. So, on those days we just do not pick up no matter what. We are not perfect; but over time, we will learn and get better at applying it.

What is faith? By definition it is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. For us users, Faith is the principle we learn to help replace our feelings of FEAR! We learn a new feeling that “it will all work out” and your higher power has got this. We begin to see the evidence of faith in our life and also the lack of it.

Faith is invisible, it is something inside of us but the power of our faith is very visible to others! Faith helps us deal with situations and can be very appealing to others when they see us getting through situations.

Therapist Rob Hooper once told me he heard in the rooms, “you are holding on to a thread, when you could have a comforter.” Control gave me a false feeling of faith, but I was being controlled by the situation- what kind of faith is that? The hardest part was letting go of the idea I could control everything and believe something else could. My struggle with accepting faith and giving up my control was a long battle (I eventually lost that battle). I did not gain or develop faith overnight, but it came when I was ready to accept it.

Today, I choose to call my higher power God. I learned in this process that faith without work cannot be called faith, it needs to be the way we live.

“Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this journey if you learn all the right words but never do anything about the issue at hand? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?” (James 2:14-17). This means we cannot just say we have faith, it is more than verbalizing it. We must affirm our faith in our life; faith is shown in our “works” and behavior – in our daily life. The surrender is not easy to get to, but worth the journey to embrace freedom.

-SN

 

“You can’t think your way into right action, 

but you can act your way into right thinking.” 
-Bill Wilson
Uniformed Services

Why Do Police Officers and Firefighters Face Addiction Issues So Often?

Addiction does not discriminate. Anyone can become afflicted with the disease of addiction regardless of his or her income, education level, race, religion, etc. People’s professions dot not make them immune from addiction, even if their profession is a police officer or a firefighter.

You may consider it ironic for a police officer or a firefighter to face addiction issues. However, as the addiction rates of the general population have surged in recent years, the addiction rates among police officers and firefighters have surged in proportion. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 806,400 law enforcement workers suffer from addiction. A study done in 2012 showed that 56 percent of firefighters were binge-drinkers. There are a variety of factors behind the prevalence of addiction in police officers and firefighters.

  • Stress

Police officers and firefighters have very high-stress jobs. The shifts are long, and the work is physically taxing and mentally taxing. The hours are not limited to nine to five on weekdays. Police officers and firefighters have to work late night shifts, overnight shifts, weekend shifts, and holiday shifts, so they are given little time for family, recreation, and decompression.

  • Traumatic Experiences on the Job

Police officers and firefighters are bombarded with violence on a constant basis. Their genuine feelings regarding these traumatic experiences often go unexpressed. Family and friends often do not want to listen to a police officer and firefighter talk about the details of his or her job. Police officers and firefighters do not get the opportunity to support their fellow workers due to confidentiality policies prohibiting them from discussing cases. Often, police officers and firefighters detach from all emotions as a survival mechanism, and using substances are a method to make that possible.

  • Mental Health Disorders

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression tend to be prevalent among police officers and firefighters. These mental health disorders tend to go untreated among police officers and firefighters due to the stigma surrounding mental health disorders in the United States and the profession. Using alcohol or drugs is a way for them to self-medicate these undiagnosed and untreated disorders.

There is Hope for Police Officers and Firefighters

Police officers and firefighters are often hesitant to seek help for their addictions for several reasons.

  • Stigma surrounding substance abuse in their profession
  • Denial, thinking “I am not like those people I arrest” “I’m a police officer or a firefighter, so this cannot happen to me”
  • Stigma from their community because of their substance abuse and profession
  • Losing their Job

While they have legitimate reasons to be concerned, they should not make their concerns a barrier to getting into recovery. If their addiction goes untreated, it will only worsen and may lead to incarcerations, institutionalizations, or death. The benefit of recovery outweighs the stigma and potential losses. There are many resources police officers and firefighters can turn to for help.

  • Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) and Narcotic’s Anonymous (NA)
  • Intensive-Outpatient (IOP)
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Psychologist or a Psychiatrist
  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Inpatient Detox
  • Family and/or Friend Support

If you or someone you know is a police officer or firefighter who is suffering from addiction, seek help or encourage him or her to seek the help he or she needs. It will be beneficial in the long-term. Call Genesis House today 800-737-0933

We Must Walk Before We Run!

A common thing I hear from fellow addicts in the 12 step meetings is “when will I get my family’s trust back?” or “when can I make my amends for my addiction?” Now this is great to feel remorse and want to make the situation right with their loved ones but it takes time. Let’s face it, when we get sober many of us are not the same people as when we were while using substances, now we become more aware of the past.

When we get to step 9 and make our amends, it does not stop there. Changing the way we live is a lifetime process and perhaps the most significant amends we can make. Therefore, we show our amends through actions, not just words.

We may not be at step 9 yet, but we want to show our loved ones we are working to get better. Each day we make amends by doing the next right thing we are and the way, we are “making it right” is shown through our actions, no words are needed. The ones we love will see it rather than us having to tell them and trust me, that will mean more! Later, when we get to step 9 our words will line up with our behaviors. We are right where we are supposed to be, even if it does not feel that way.

Today we can work on an actively “living our amends” by building our integrity and doing the right thing, even when others are not looking. During step 9 we make amends, but the process is everyday in our lives. There is no finish line, we must race to achieve a prize, “no” we walk before we run. Keep walking the path of recovery and you will be running before you know it!
 
-SN