Tag Archives: recovery

How Can Families Support an Alcoholic in Recovery?

Alcoholism, like any disease, affects more than just the sufferer. Those close to alcoholics are also greatly impacted by the disease. It is natural and healthy to wonder how to best support an alcoholic in recovery because once one leaves treatment, continued reassurance from family and friends becomes vital to a favorable outcome.

Remaining sober is a lifelong process, and even when ample time has passed, the alcoholic will encounter roadblocks that threaten sobriety. Those close to an alcoholic must remember that although maintaining a sober lifestyle becomes less intimidating over time, it is never effortless. Recovering alcoholics have needs from their support network that go beyond verbal encouragement.

Expect Prolonged Hurdles

A prevalent mistake many make in their attempt to look after someone in recovery is believing that time spent in rehab is a cure-all. While entering a treatment program is a crucial first step in recovery, there is much more work to do upon departing rehab. In some respects, the months after leaving are more daunting than the time in treatment.

Once back out in the real world, navigating everyday life, alcoholics find themselves surrounded by triggers. Anything from passing a liquor store, to running into old drinking pals, can take a good day and throw it into a tailspin. Those hoping to provide support should respect that the alcoholic will battle triggers indefinitely and does not emerge from a treatment program magically cured of the urge to drink. Recognizing that battling alcohol abuse is a marathon and not a sprint is critical.

Maintain a Healthy Balance

Reassuring the alcoholic of ongoing support is essential, but there must be a balance. Loved ones cannot give so much of themselves that they feel as if they are losing their own identity. They should not go so far as to assume all of the alcoholic’s responsibilities. This includes household duties as well as financial obligations. Those in recovery do garner strength from those around them, but they should not be treated as if they are incompetent.

Recognizing possible codependency is mandatory for those who feel that their self-worth might be reliant on the relationship with the alcoholic. Nobody should lose their sense of self when providing care and compassion in any situation. Codependency is a learned behavior and can cause one to actually pave the way to a relapse. For this reason, it must be addressed if there is any sort of a codependent dynamic between an addict and a loved one.

Know Relapse Signs

It is not pessimistic to bone up on the signs of relapse because it can and does happen for some. Taking a drink is the final step of a slide back, and certain signs of an impending relapse are present before actual alcohol consumption takes place. One of the main signs involves the alcoholic failing to maintain the established treatment program and deeming it no longer necessary. Long after the drinking has ceased, physical withdrawal symptoms can rear their ugly head, and alcoholics will often drink in an effort to quell the physical afflictions.

In addition to knowing red flags, having an action plan in place, should a relapse occur, is imperative. Scrambling to formulate a plan after an unfortunate relapse is not ideal. Lack of preparation wastes valuable time. If bottom lines have been discussed, they must be followed for a higher likelihood of success for those who have suffered a slip. Developing a strategy should not be a secretive endeavor. The alcoholic can and should be part of the planning.

Those seeking information on how to support an alcoholic in recovery have already taken an admiral step by striving to educate themselves. If this is new territory, information is invaluable. Those with further questions can rely on our team of expert counselors who are on hand 24 hours per day at 800-737-0933.

What Are Your Most Important Patient Rights When Completing a Program at an Alcohol Rehab Center?

One of your primary concerns when entering treatment for drugs and alcohol is what rights you will have while in treatment. The thought of treatment is scary for most, as it is seen as a place where you are giving up certain freedoms in order to obtain freedom from addiction. As this is a struggle for many struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol, the rights of you the patient become very important.

Just what rights do you have as a participant in an addiction recovery program? While the final answer varies from program to program, some of the underlying philosophies of patient rights look the same across all types of treatment. Let's look at a few of these rights that you, the patient, will look to in order to feel empowered and confident in your recovery:

Patient right #1: Your privacy

Thanks to HIPAA, you have the right to almost complete privacy with respect to your treatment. You work with your recovery specialists to uncover a plan for disclosure that is on your own time and within your comfort zone. While you may have to alert family members and your place of employment in order to gain support for your treatment, only those who must know of these plans will be notified, and they must hold up privacy laws on your behalf as well. This leaves you freedom to enter recovery knowing that disclosure happens on your timeline.

Patient right #2: The right to refuse or to give consent to any type of therapy

Many patients begin treatment under the assumption that they must participate in all aspects of care, and while it is expected that you are a willing participant in most activities and treatments that are suggested for you, you still have the right to refuse care or to give consent to any type of care that is presented to you as an option. Looking over your detailed care plan with qualified professionals and having them explain aspects of care that may make you uncomfortable or resistant to complete treatment might help dispel any notions that this is not the right step for you to take. Enter these meetings with an open mind, and know that the professionals in your program have your best interests and your total health in mind when creating your plan.

Patient right #3: The right to have access to your medical records

As a patient in recovery, it is essential that you know where you begin, and what types of obstacles you might be facing in recovery. You have the right to be informed of your condition, and to be able to make decisions based on what you feel is best for your healing journey. Don't be afraid to ask some difficult questions of your care team, and to courageously open yourself up to the truth of your physical and mental condition so that you can begin to finally heal.

Patient right #4: The right to participate free of discrimination

You deserve to have a care experience that is free from all acts of discrimination or withholding of care based on age, sex, religion, ethnicity, or disability. Quality programs make accommodations for all entering participants, and they provide individualized care based on client need, not program preference.

Patient right #5: The right to know about cost of services

Knowing how treatment will impact you and your family financially is a very important step in determining what kind of care you will receive. Your program should fully disclose the cost of all services, whether those services are funded through insurance, and what portion of care, if any, you will be responsible for. Being able to financially plan for care will take additional stress off of everyone involved and allow you, the patient, to relax knowing that payment will be taken care of.

You've made the courageous step to enter treatment and begin healing; don't let anxiety about your rights as a patient slow down or stop this process from happening. Don't hesitate; give us a call today at 800-737-0933 to begin the exciting process of recovery and reclaiming your life. You deserve total health!

If You Go to Rehab More Than Once Following a Relapse, Do Your Patient Rights Change?

Every year, millions of Americans suffer from addiction. Many don't reach out for the help they need. Sometimes this is because they don't have adequate resources. But sometimes it's because of the stigma and misinformation surrounding rehab. If you're thinking about going to rehab, it's natural to be concerned about your patient rights. For those who have been to rehab before, one question you may have is: If you go to rehab more than once following a relapse, do your patient rights change?

The short answer is: No. You still have the same rights as any other patient.

The one exception would be if the rehab is a court-mandated program after you've been convicted of breaking the law. If you've been ordered to complete a treatment program, and you fail to comply with those terms, you might go to jail. However, this only applies if you're dealing with a court sentence. For people without court mandates, patient rights remain unchanged no matter how many times you go to rehab.

Understanding Patient Rights

In the United States, all medical patients have a bill of rights. Rehabilitation centers may add to this list of rights with their own policy outlines. If you have questions about any specific center's policies, you can ask one of their intake counselors.

Patient rights are the things you're entitled to as a medical patient. You still have the same medical rights no matter how many times you've relapsed. These rights cover a variety of areas. One important right is the right to privacy. Your medical information cannot be disclosed to anyone without your express permission. Other patient rights include the right to adequate care, bodily autonomy, consent, and accessibility services.

Autonomy and Freedom

When you go to rehab, you're admitting that you've lost control of your life. Many people worry they're just trading one loss of control for another. This can be especially true after a relapse. But every time you go to rehab, you have ultimate control over everything that happens, even if you've relapsed before.

You will need to comply with the center's policies. This means you can't bring prohibited items or break the rules. If you do, the center reserves the right to ask you to leave. But treatment centers aren't prison. There are no locks on the doors. Treatment only works if you want to be there. If you don't consent to be there, you can leave at any time.

Similarly, you'll have to consent to any medical treatment. If your doctor prescribes any new medications, they'll need to advise you about the benefits and drawbacks so you can make an informed decision. If you don't want medication, you won't be forced to take it. Your doctor may highly encourage you to comply with medical treatment, though, as it tends to be helpful with managing addiction.

Comprehensive Care

You have the right to a high quality standard of care. This remains your right no matter whether it's your first time in rehab or your tenth. The staff cannot discriminate against you or treat you poorly just because you've relapsed before.

You have the right to receive adequate nourishment that meets your nutritional needs. If you have a physical disability, you have the right to accessible accommodations. If you speak another language or use sign language, you have the right to an interpreter. Most of all, the center's resources should focus on helping you get better. Your doctors cannot administer improper medical treatment just because you've relapsed in the past.

Friends and Family

If you've relapsed multiple times, you may have a fraught relationship with your friends and family. It's important to establish a support network. With your consent, your treatment center may try to bring your family members in for family therapy. This helps you to establish healthy boundaries and plans for what to do in a crisis.

In some cases, when an addict has relapsed multiple times, their family members refuse to be a part of treatment going forward. They may feel they've been betrayed too many times. The center can encourage them to participate in treatment, but it can't force them. Just like you have the right to leave treatment, they have the right not to participate. They can't legally be forced to be a part of your treatment. Many family members can be convinced to participate if you show that you truly intend to get better, though.

If you're ready to take the first step toward treatment, our counselors are available to talk at 800-737-0933.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Help Families Too

If you or your loved one are dealing with both mental health issues and substance abuse, it can be a recipe for disaster. You know help is necessary, but before you choose a rehabilitation center, you must understand the differences in treatment facilities. A traditional rehabilitation center has counselors and doctors, but they usually don’t focus on mental health as much as one that is considered a dual-diagnosis facility.

What Is A Dual-Diagnosis Facility?

A dual-diagnosis center is focused on the treatment of mental health issues and the addiction. How do you know which one is best for your situation? Well, a complete, comprehensive assessment is done to see if this is the right program for someone with substance abuse who also has psychiatric disturbances.

Why the changes to rehab? Well, many people with mental illness fell through the cracks because they didn’t receive what they needed in a typical center. However, things are changing to encourage people to address both issues and enhance their recovery.

Recovering from an addiction is hard enough for the average person, but when you throw a mental health issue into the mix, and it can be impossible to gain the sobriety many seek. The psychiatric condition must be addressed to help erase the need to self-medicate. Do you or your loved ones take substances to try to combat panic attacks or to mask the pain of depression?

It’s not uncommon. However, many go not diagnosed and don’t know that the underlying condition is contributing to destructive behaviors. A dual-diagnosis center helps put the pieces of the puzzle in place so that a complete picture can be seen. Once a physician knows what’s really going on, they can treat both issues collectively.

The Importance of Family Understanding and Supporting The Process

As the family member of someone who is suffering from a dual-diagnosis, it can be quite overwhelming and frustrating. Thankfully, a center that is equipped to handle these issues works both with the individual and their loved ones. Aftercare is just as important as what happens in the facility. Many times, there are broken relationships and things that have gone array because of drug-seeking behaviors. Dealing with a mood disorder or other mental health issue just compounds everything.

Counseling is not only good for the patient but also for the family. Learning how to identify triggers, how to help combat stressful situations, and help your loved one deal with this overwhelming feat is most helpful. Any addict will tell you that their support system means everything in terms of their success. The road to recovery is long and hard, and when more people are walking that path, it will be much easier to find success. Dealing with addiction or mental illness alone is difficult, but when you put the two together, it can be completely overwhelming. Support is the key to getting through this challenging time, and a dual-diagnosis center gives you the keys to overcome.

Making The First Step

They say that the journey of a million miles begins with a single step, and the same can be said for getting help with your addiction. The hardest thing is to make that phone call and say that you or your family member needs help. However, when you call 800-737-0933, our counselors are ready to help you with finding a center that meets your needs. Whether you want to go to a rehab in sunny Florida or stay close to home, we can help. We are ready when you are, so make that phone call today!

If You Go to Rehab for the 2nd Time, Will the Program Be Different From the 1st Time?

Addiction treatment professionals know all too well that relapses are going to occur. It's a testament to just how difficult is it for someone to beat an addiction. Even with hard work and the best intentions, the insidious nature of drug and alcohol abuse is often too much for some folks to get beyond after a single stint in rehab.

No matter what you are going through after relapsing, you have to know it's not the end of the world. The truth is you are in the majority if you relapse a first time. The best advice we can give you is pick yourself up and get back into rehab. You can rest assured none of your counselors nor the other patients are going to start judging you. The addiction treatment community doesn't work that way.

Of course, your counselors would prefer to never see you struggling with addiction again. If they see you at all, they would prefer it be at a fun and exciting social event where you are eating a steak and enjoying a glass of milk. Still, they are going to welcome you back into rehab with open arms and a new directive to address the issue or issues that instigated your relapse.

With all that said, it's still your responsibility to actually get back into rehab. It's still the only viable option you have if you want recovery. The only thing that's different from the first time you sought help is you will know a bit more about what to expect the second time around. Before you ask the question, there is a good chance your treatment program from your first stint will be modified to address possible weaknesses that clearly slipped through the cracks. For your part, you can come back in with a fighting spirit and newfound determination to beat your addiction once and for all.

Making Adjustments in Treatment

If anything, counselors are usually concerned they missed something in the treatment process. What we know about addiction is substance abuse usually occurs because of personal triggers. Common triggers include:

  • Problems with personal relationships
  • Financial issues
  • Personal trauma, childhood trauma
  • Problems in the workplace
  • Psychological problems

The main objective of therapy and counseling is figuring out exactly what your triggers may be. Triggers plus temptation equal relapse. Since the first stint in rehab failed to clean the attic, it's likely the rehab's counselors and clinicians will want to look at other treatment options that might fill the gaps. The following options would certainly be worth considering.

Ramp Up the Intensity of Therapy

Regardless of how much therapy you endured first time around, there's always room to pick up the pace. In many of today's top rehab center, ours included, counselors have access to a wide range of tools they can use in therapy. Two popular approaches to address relapses would be cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational therapy. Anything that will prevent relapses in on the table.

Cognitive behavioral therapy encourages patients to take a hard look at the thought processes that surround their instinct to abuse a substance. The theory go there's something specific in the thought process that's instigating the behavior. If they can find the flawed thinking pattern, there's a good chance some other treatment tool can fix the flaw.

Motivational therapy takes a different approach. Instead of trying to force the patient to confront their issues, the counselor will try to help the patient discover good reasons not to use. With the right motivations, there's a good chance the patient will find a reason to fight harder against their addiction.

Build Support Groups

One reason why people relapse is because they don't have proper support mechanisms. The lonely addict is always a candidate for relapsing. After a relapse, the counselor's job is to help the patient identify possible support mechanisms, which usually means people. 12-Step meetings and outpatient group therapy sessions might be enough to fill the gap.

Build a Relapse Prevention Plan

Another possible weakness could be the recovering addict doesn't know what to do when a relapse seems imminent. During the second stint in rehab, it should be easier to understand what safeguards need to be put in place to prevent a second or third relapse. Experience is a great teacher.

It takes a great deal of courage to admit to a relapse and reenter rehab. We can assure you we will welcome you with open arms. If you need us, you can call us at 800-737-0933.

Ways to Prep Your Pet Before You Attend Rehab in FL

When someone battles an addiction, they affect every life in which they contact. This means human lives and animal lives. People who are making the decision to seek help from a rehabilitation facility will naturally face difficulties in caring for pets while they seek treatment. It is one thing to prepare family and friends for an absence. It is another thing entirely to prepare pets for an extended absence.

Beloved pets can sense, with extraordinary precision, when their owners are facing troubles. They tend to notice when changes are on the horizon. Choosing to take part in an inpatient rehab program is a big lifestyle change. It will affect how a pet is cared for. There are several things that can be done to minimize the strain on a pet while you recover in a professional rehab facility.

The Days Ahead of Rehab Enrollment

Pets are accustomed to daily interaction with their owners. Spending weeks and months without companionship can be tough for a pet. Though dealing with the obligations of personal rehab preparation is difficult, helping a pet to somehow prepare for change can be accomplished. It is best to start adjustments well ahead of a rehab schedule check-in date.

For some pets, reinforcing love and attention is important. Massive efforts of spending time with a dog or cat will sustain their sensibilities. Spend extra time with pets to make sure that your presence is vital in their lives before going away. Try to create memories that are extra special, so a return from rehab will be expected and joyful.

Other pets might benefit from gradual separation. Depending on the personality, a pet might benefit from less time with an owner. This type of conditioning can help some pets slowly become comfortable with being away from their owners. If you understand your pet’s personality, you will be able to determine which approach is best for an upcoming change.

Providing Human Companionship

Everyone who chooses to go to an inpatient rehab center wants to return home to their favorite companions. Pets can experience separation anxiety, but it can be easier with a surrogate owner figure. Whomever you choose to look after your pets should start interaction a few weeks before you go away.

Schedule visits by the person who is to be the prime caretaker of a pet well ahead of schedule. This person should be provided time to interact with the pet in normal daily activities. Allow the caretaker to feed, caress, walk, and cuddle the pet as if they are the sole provider. Minimize your interaction whenever the designated “new person” is present. This is not meant to detach a pet from your love. It is meant to make a pet comfortable being under the temporary provision of someone new.

Arrange Creature Comforts

Some animals are extremely aware of scents and the presence of personal items. Though some inpatient rehab programs require extended lengths of time to complete, a pet can still recognize owners when they come back. Caring owners literally imprint themselves upon pets, and anticipation of a return can constantly occupy a pet’s mind for long periods.

Some inpatient facilities allow pets, but they are not in the majority. When pets remain at home, some effort is needed to ensure them that you are planning to return. Leave several items with your scent at home that pets can interact with. A great idea is to make a large pillow that has a covering made of old shirts. This pillow can become part of a pet’s bed, and will constantly remind them of you. Each day that you are away recovering from an addiction, a pet can rest in an atmosphere that encourages them to consider you a friend. When you get back, the pillow is replaced with a homecoming scratch and meal.

Arranging for a Caretaker

It is common for people entering rehab to shift pet responsibilities to immediate family and friends. Before this happens, it is imperative that all care details are addressed. Beyond new people introductions, pet owners should address practical concerns. Make sure there is money provided for,

  • Food, water, and any prescriptions.
  • Emergency veterinary services to treat injuries and infections.
  • Grooming needs.
  • Licensing and registration in case the pet gets lost.

A pet sitter is a wonderful resource, but they need to be able to provide consistent care. If no pet sitter is available, research registered boarding options. If you know exactly how long you will be in rehab, it is easier to calculate a daily boarding cost obligation. Some veterinary centers offer pet care for people entering recovery programs. This is a way to ensure that a pet is boarded in a place with expert attention.

There is no reason to assume that you have to lose a pet when you enter a lengthy inpatient rehab program. Pets that are trained and cared for have the capacity to recognize and appreciate an owner’s return after being absent for a long period. When a person returns home in a state where they can enjoy recovery, reunions with a pet are wonderful and exciting.

When you decide to enter a rehab program, don’t let the care of your pet stand in the way of pursuing a full recovery. There are plenty of ways to make being away from your best friend safe and easy. When you are ready, contact our staff at 800-737-0933 to review your rehabilitation options. We can inform you about our inpatient options, and how to prepare your pets to handle your absence. Returning clean, sober, and ready for a new life is the best gift you can give a beloved pet.

This Mother’s day, I have some truth I want to share

I love my mother very much and words could never express my gratitude for the countless times she tried to help me get clean and sober. And, sadly the countless nights I kept her up worrying. I can say this now, with over nine years in recovery, but it was not always that easy for me to recognize how much I love her and how grateful I am to have her. Having genuine appreciation for the woman she is, took this recovering addict time to see.
 
I spent a great deal of time doing step work and going to therapy, trying to place blame on her or resent her for my addiction. Many problems I had in my life always came back to being my mom’s fault and I was the victim. The work I did with my sponsor for clarity on my part, letting go of resentment and forgiveness did help. The therapy sessions helped as well. However, nothing gave me the transparency I needed until I became a mother myself. 
 
I became a mother in 2011, and what an experience it has been! Being a mother is the greatest blessing I have ever received but it is NOT easy! I will be the first to admit, I do not know what I am doing half the time and I keep learning as I go! I am blessed to have a mother and friend’s that are mother’s to ask, “how did you handle this?!” It is a great experience of learning about my child and also myself but, I am doing it clean and sober! How FABULOUS is that?! 
 
I know each day I do my best and always what is best for my son. With that being said, I still make mistakes and my son sees me fall short at times. I have to understand that I am not perfect, and learn from my mistakes in order to do it differently next time. I have to reach out to my mother, my friend’s with children, my network and my sponsor to ask questions or admit I am struggling. Through these trial and tribulations, I realized my mother traveled the same road and made mistakes when I was a child. So, this got me thinking that despite the many issues and resentments I had toward my mother, she was always doing her best. Becoming a mom helped me to understand my mother’s parenting decisions, enough to let go of anger I had and empathize with her regarding the hard decisions we are faced with as a parent sometimes. I was put in her shoes and was given clarity I never understood in the past. Experience is the greatest way to learn or understand things- at least in my case.
 
My son may get upset with me and may even resent me one day for the things I do. However, the hope is that he will one day see and realize I did the best I could, and that I stayed active in my recovery while raising him. The fact that he may resent me is not scary because that may be his process and I would never want to rob him of that learning experience. 
 
My mother stepped back and allowed me to learn on my own. There is no way I could ever repay her for all the amazing things she did as a mother- but I can show her that I understand what it takes to be a mother, as well as forgive her for anything I held on to. I can continue to make my mom proud by staying active in my 12-step fellowship and be a great mother like she is!
 
Happy Mother’s Day!

No More Excuses!

Excuses, Excuses!
 
There are so many beneficial reasons we go to meetings in recovery, and the journey can start there! For many, we meet sober friends, we identify with others, we do not feel so alone, we feel relief after and we want to keep coming back. However, there are others that do not agree. I have heard so many excuses through the years of why addicts can’t go to meetings or why the fellowship will NOT work for them.  Excuses like; I do not have a car, people make me feel uncomfortable, I do not need meetings anymore, I will get addicted to meetings, meetings are depressing, I’m too busy, I do not believe in God, I’m too embarrassed, I do not have child care, and so on. 
 
Now, some of these excuses may be relevant or make sense to us but, when it comes to substance abuse- we must take it serious; it is life or death. Also, addicts are creative and can typically find a way to overcome obstacles the same way we found drugs and alcohol. We went to extreme measures in active addiction, so let’s go to extreme measures to save our lives! Doesn’t that make more sense? We can get to a meeting if we want to. It all starts there. You don’t build your new foundation in isolation. Meeting makers- make meetings and it is the beginning of the road to recovery, and finding a sponsor to do the work suggested to stay clean and sober will save your life.
 
We are some of the most resilient souls on earth and capable of anything! Many find when they stop using what amazing people they have the potential to be!
 
If you think nobody believes in you and you feel hopeless, know that I, Skyler Noon, believe in you! I am only one phone call away and would love to remind you of the opportunities recovery can offer, we can’t do this alone.
 
Don't Forget- You are worth it.
Call, text or email me anytime!
 
Skyler Noon
Alumni Coordinator
(856)397-7647

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

Act As If

If you are anything like this recovering addict (me), you would know that when I first started treatment, the last thing I wanted to do was identify with others. Doing so was one of the biggest suggestion our counselors gave us, but my mind was not open to the idea. I was more of the addict that liked to compare myself. In reality, I wanted to convince myself I was better than the disease of addiction.   I told myself, "I wasn't that bad,"in order to continue my use. I thought that this rationalization may convince my family and friends, who were hoping I would "get it," this time in rehab.  If only I was not an addict after all, I won't have them on my back.
 
I did not want to hear anything about "my will"  versus "God's will" at this point, so I was running my own program while in treatment.  Since I knew best, I was very positive this time and believed things would be different. I changed the type of pill I used and decided it was not going to bring me to my knees like before. I made a decision - if I only use these pills, and keep my use under control, I will be ok. Sadly, we know how this story ended; once I got out of treatment  the relapse came right after the plane  landed in New Jersey. This "different substance I could control," brought me to my knees. Once again, I felt like a failure! Why couldn't I just control it? How did it get so bad again?
 
I was in a dark place wanting to die because my addiction was worse than ever. I was far from having the power to stop even if I wanted to. I was terrified to ask for help so I just wanted to give up; I had lost all hope. I figured death would be the only way to solve the problem and stop hurting my family. If I was gone, they no longer had a daughter that was a failure and would not have to worry anymore. By some miracle, my higher power did not let me die, there was a bigger plan for me. My family had an intervention when I was discharged from the crisis unit, and I agreed to go to treatment. I was broken, I finally surrendered.
 
When I went back to treatment this time, I started to "Act as if" or "Fake it until you make it"; meaning even if I didn't want to, I pretended until I actuality want to. Not being able to look at myself in the mirror, I was willing and open to trying anything!. When I started to compare myself or judge others I pretended I wasn't until I truly wasn't. When I was listening to someone struggling at a meeting I didn't care what the person was saying- I just listened and "acted as if" until I did have empathy. The days I did not want to be sober out of jealousy of the people drinking and it looked like they were having fun, I "acted as if" I too was having fun until I was. I had way more fun than I ever had drunk! This all probably makes me sound silly, but when you start to "act as if," it will happen before you know it.
 
At the end of my addiction, being so defeated by drugs, "acting as if" turned out to be the way I saved my life. It all comes down to action and faking my mind into action when I was unwilling .  This minor action became the turning point of my sobriety. I still practice this today, and I challenge you to "act as if" today and discover what actions you are capable of that you never thought you had!
 
-S.N.
 
We are here to help!
 
Always feel free to reach out to me. I would love to be there to help in your recovery journey.
Skyler Noon, Alumni Coordinator