Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Safe Sober Halloween in Recovery

The holiday season is fast approaching; Halloween is just around the corner and Thanksgiving in November. During this time, it is helpful for people in recovery to begin planning how they will navigate each holiday. While Halloween may not be as synonymous with drinking as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve, the upcoming holiday is known for an abundance of parties.

Many people in recovery may remember attending Halloween bashes. Memories of dressing up and partying with friends might bring fond thoughts for some, despite the damage that alcohol has caused in their lives. Now in sobriety, men and women must avoid the desire to attend gatherings that involve copious amounts of drinking. Individuals in early recovery should not even consider attending such events.

Relapse is always a risk factor for men and women in recovery. People must batten down the hatches of their program to ensure they can avoid risky situations. This could mean doubling down on daily meetings during the holiday season or calling one's sponsor or recovery mentor more often than usual.

Fortunately, even though attending parties that involve alcohol are mostly out of the question, you don't have to lock yourself indoors during Halloween. There are plenty of ways you can have fun and stay sober during All Hallows' Eve.

Leaning On Your Support Network During Halloween

If you attend recovery meetings regularly, then you have probably heard people in your homegroup talking about the upcoming holiday. It's highly likely that one of your peers is hosting a sober Halloween party on Thursday, October 31, 2019. Now is an excellent time to talk with your friends in recovery about attending such an event.

If nobody is planning a sober costume party, then it is not too late for you and your peers to organize one. You can have a lot of fun and get to know your friends in recovery better during the experience.

One of the keys to staying clean and sober during any holiday is staying busy and sticking to your routine, as best as possible. Attend the meetings you usually go to, tend to your commitments, and then have a fun time with your friends in recovery.

Many people in early recovery think that their days of having a good time are behind them. It's natural to feel that way, but it's not accurate. In fact, without drugs and alcohol in your system, it's possible to have authentic experiences that you will remember the next day and cherish in the years to follow.

Recovery has a lot to do with establishing new traditions, seasonal activities and events that do not revolve around one's addiction. Those who make the most of the holidays while they are sober will be thankful for it in multiple ways. Learning that a life without drugs and alcohol, is not a life that is tantamount to being a stick in the mud is a beautiful realization.

So, this coming Halloween, please make the most of enjoying the company of your recovery peers and have a good time. Holidays are not easy; they are a test of the strength of your program. Waking up in the morning, knowing that you got through a major holiday without drugs and alcohol, is a remarkable accomplishment and should be a source of pride.

Orange County Addiction Treatment

Please reach out to Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat if you are struggling with drugs and alcohol. Our team of highly trained addiction professionals can help you begin the life-changing process of recovery. The miracle of recovery can be yours too, with our help.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Depression Education and Awareness Month: Seeking Treatment

depression awareness
October is National Depression Education and Awareness Month. The observance is about teaching the public to recognize the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for depression. Depressive disorders are the most common form of mental illness; the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide.

A combination of factors can lead to the development of depression. Experts believe that both genetics and environmental influences can trigger depressive disorders. People who have a history of substance use also have higher rates of depression compared to the general public. Individuals who’ve experienced a significant trauma in their lives are also at an increased risk.

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we specialize in the treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental illness. Many of our clients also contend with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or both. Our facility is unique, being that we operate at an acute care hospital.

Our patients have access to a medical staff of over 185 physicians representing most medical specialties. We are licensed as a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH); this allows us to provide programs and specialty services all under one roof. Men and women who are struggling with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental illness benefit significantly from the HVRC difference.

People who meet the criteria for dual diagnosis must receive simultaneous treatment to achieve lasting recovery. Our staff addresses with equal care each condition a client presents with in order to ensure they are able to acquire the tools for long-term recovery and to manage their mental health disorder.

Depression Education and Awareness Month

On the heels of Mental Illness Awareness Week, we observe National Depression Education and Awareness Month. It’s vital to get the word out that treatment works, and recovery is possible. We need to spread the message that people living with depression no longer need to struggle in silence.

At HVRC, we understand that seeking treatment for behavioral and mental health disorders requires tremendous courage. Societal stigmas and misunderstandings about mental illness cause people to think that they are at fault for their disease.

Ignorance is harmful to us all, so educating the public about conditions like depression saves lives. When society has a better understanding of the mechanisms of mental illness, they are more likely to show compassion. When communities care about the well-being of others, it has a ripple effect.

During Depression Education and Awareness Month, we ask that you take an active role in spreading the message about treatment and recovery. Those who are already working a program and managing their mental health can do an excellent service by sharing stories of hope on social media. Your experience can be a catalyst for change in the life of another.

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are perfect forums for disseminating valuable facts about depression and the benefits of treatment. Let people who may be suffering know that they are not alone. Kindly use #DepressionAwareness.

California Addiction Treatment Hospital

Please reach out to Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat if you are struggling with addiction and co-occurring depression. We can help you take the first steps toward lasting recovery. We are available at any time to field questions you may have about our programs. You will be pleased to know that we accept most insurance providers to help lessen the financial burden of treatment.

If you are battling depression and feel suicidal or are contemplating self-harm, call 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Recovery Requires Listening Up

In early recovery, learning how to listen is key to absorbing the information you need. Those who are new to the program have a lot to get off their chest; the weight of addiction is massive, and everyone desires to feel unburdened. There are ample opportunities to share your experience with the group in the countless meetings to follow. However, it's beneficial to prioritize hearing what others have to say early on.

The people in your support group have been where you are, and they know how you are feeling exactly. Your newfound peers understand the anxiety and fear that accompanies early recovery. They also grasp the desire to run when something isn't going the way you'd hope.

The temptation to use is paralyzing at times, urges to return to drugs and alcohol can crop up without a moment's notice. Persistent cravings are one of the reasons one must attend as many meetings as possible in the first 90 days of recovery. The more meetings you attend, the more tips and tools you will absorb.

Your support group is nothing short of a life raft floating in a turbulent sea; if you do not follow the direction of those with more experience, then you risk falling overboard.

At this point, you may have heard an oldtimer make a statement like, 'take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.' Curmudgeonly, to be sure, but not without some merit; the point they are trying to make is that if you are going to make it in the program, then there is a lot you have to learn.

If you are talking too much, then you can put yourself at risk of not hearing something you need to understand.

Listening in Recovery

People with more time in the program stay sober by helping others achieve similar feats. Once a person's program is strong enough, he or she is in a position to impart wisdom to men and women with less time. Each time an oldtimer shares, it is an opportunity to glean valuable suggestions that can help you stay clean and sober.

Surround yourself with people who are carrying the message and listen up. Whether you are in a meeting or having coffee with your sponsor, remember that what is shared with you can help you stay on the path down the road. You will not always be around your recovery peers, so it's prudent to have a firm set of coping mechanisms to manage cravings.

There will also be times when you find yourself in risky situations that can derail your recovery. If you have been listening to your sponsor and support peers, then it's probable that you know how to comport yourself and extricate yourself from danger.

The stakes in recovery are high, and long-term sobriety is never a foregone conclusion; there will always be dangers and pitfalls to skirt. Do everything you can early on to position yourself for success so that one day, you can help others find what you've found.

This post is not about admonishing newcomers against sharing. It's meant to explain the importance of listening more than talking in recovery's infancy. If you have a burning desire to share, then by all means share. You may be struggling, and people can't help you if they do not know you are having challenges. Just try to be cognizant and be sure that you are soaking up as much or more than you are putting out.

Those who invest all their energy into learning the way of recovery early on will set themselves up for realizing long-term recovery. They will develop the skills for leading a fulfilling and productive life.

California Addiction Treatment and Medical Detox

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we help men and women caught in the cycle of addiction to be free. Our addiction hospital assists patients in all aspects of their care, from detoxification to aftercare. Please contact us today to learn more about the HVRC difference.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Friends In Recovery: Stick With The Winners

In early recovery, you will meet many new people in a short time. You will likely attend several meetings at different locations after treatment in search of a homegroup. That is a particular meeting that you frequent most often. Some of those who attend your homegroup will become part of your "deep bench"—the individuals you turn to for support and guidance.

In time, you will develop friendships with men and women; these relationships are about more than just talking recovery. The acquaintances people make in early recovery often become lifelong friends provided one stays the course. The time you spend with them outside of meetings will prove to be just as valuable as when you are inside.

Recovery is about so much more than weekly meetings and working the steps. It's about more than total abstinence, as well. Recovery is a complete life redesign that involves changing a myriad of aspects of one's existence. Those who achieve lasting sobriety adopt new traditions and behaviors; they walk a different path than before. In the process, they must surround themselves with people who share common goals and mindsets.

The first meetings you attend post-treatment will include vetting individuals to determine who shares a similar drive for progress. Unfortunately, many newly sober people fall into crowds who are not committed to doing the work. The truth is that not everyone at meetings is in it for the long haul; some people are attending due to exigent or compulsatory circumstance. Once their obligation is fulfilled, a good number will return to active use.

It's critical that you foster relationships with individuals who are in recovery for themselves, with men and women who are willing to do whatever it takes to excel. There is a common saying in the rooms, stick with the winners. That's not to say that people who aren't committed to long-term recovery are losers, but they certainly have different priorities. Stick with people who share your vision for a healthy and productive life.

Bonding in Recovery

Finding a sponsor or recovery mentor is one of the first things people do following treatment. After a few meetings, you will have heard several people share; at least one likely said something that resonated. Hopefully, you approach said person after the meeting and ask if they will guide you through the steps.

If they accept, they will probably ask you to meet up regularly, call every day, and commit to reading recovery related material. In most cases, the time spent with one's guide leads to friendship. The sponsor-sponsee relationship should not be viewed as hierarchical. Instead, take the perspective of it being two people working together to help each other stay sober.

Sure, your sponsor will have more time sober than you, but that does not mean they are above you. Since you're both on equal footing, you can form a lasting bond. The sponsor-sponsee connection is beneficial in several ways; you have someone to turn to in good times and bad. What's more, your sponsor's friends will likely become yours as well. If your recovery guide has confidence in other people's commitment to progress, then it's safe to say you can too.

You will, over the course of recovery, make friends with individuals outside of your sponsor's inner-circle. Early on, the practice of sticking close to your sponsor is beneficial. However, in time, you will start to sponsor people with less time and making new friends along the way. Fortunately, you will have gleaned from your sponsor by then some protocols for deciding whom to invest your time and energy.

As an aside, please remember that the people from your substance-using past should remain in the past. Trying to hold onto old acquaintances will compromise your mission. Moreover, most of the people you used with were friends of convenience. Recovery, on the other hand, is an opportunity to forge healthy and spiritually uplifting connections with people who care about your well-being and continued progress.

California Addiction Treatment Center

We invite you to reach out to Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat for a complimentary assessment if you feel that your drug and alcohol use is problematic. We offer several programs to help people take the first step toward lasting addiction recovery. HVRC works with most insurance providers.