Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Rehab Would of Made Recovery Easier

Have you noticed that addiction is almost always accompanied by mental illness or some kind of trauma? I believe this is because addiction isn't the cause of our problems but a symptom of an underlying issue. We try to self-medicate with drugs, alcohol or some behavior to alleviate the distress caused by this trauma or mental illness. Being that addiction is a symptom of a much bigger issue I wish I would have gone to rehab and gotten the counselling I needed instead of doing it on my own. Receiving the proper treatment for the root cause of my addiction would of made my life so much easier. Getting clean and sober is just the beginning of our long journey back to sanity.

Rehabs can provide excellent support and counselling when you find a program suited to your needs. Not everyone's needs are the same and finding a rehab with counselors willing to adapt to your individual needs is essential for a successful recovery. Sadly, my small town didn't have a drug rehab facility and the counselling was very limited. When I couldn't find a program in my area that was flexible and adaptable to my needs I ended up having to do it on my own. If I only I would have known about a rehab that could meet my needs I might of mustered up the courage to go to an out of town rehab facility and saved myself so much time and grief.

There are some great rehab facilities like Advanced Health and Education in New Jersey that if would of been available to me at the time would of saved me a lot of relapses and given me the tools I needed to deal with life's struggles instead of seeking relief with my old habits. I was impressed with how Advanced Health takes the time to find the best course of addiction treatment for each patients individual needs taking into consideration factors such as the type and duration of addiction, mental illness, physical health, and personal and professional commitments which are all important factors to consider when deciding the most appropriate course of action.

I can only begin to imagine how helpful a program like that would have been for me. I'm over 6 years clean and I'm still struggling with some mental issues that lead to some not so good habits, even though they might not drug related they still effect my life on a daily basis. Some of these not so good habits are keeping my emotions in, blaming others and over sleeping to get away from it all. Figuring it all out on my own isn't easy but not having and not knowing about programs that would have taken into consideration my health and commitments like Advanced Health kept me from getting the best possible care. We definitely need more rehab facilities like Advanced Health and Education  and more importantly we need to know about them. 

I'm hoping by writing about this I can share the importance of getting the proper treatment and let people know about great rehab facilities that take into consideration individual needs. I'm going to be doing more research on different rehabs and counselling programs to share with all of you the ones I find to be some of the best. Please let me know in the comments below your experiences with treatment facilities. Thanks

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Power of Choice in Overcoming Addiction

The Power of Choice in Overcoming Addiction
By: Emma Wilson

We make a lot of choices.

Eat broccoli or cake with your sandwich? Major in exercise science or accounting? 
Call your sister or sleep in? 

These are just a small sampling of the things we decide throughout the
day. Choices are a huge part of life. Some decisions are neither good nor bad, while others
can influence us greatly both in the immediate future and long term.

Those who struggle with addiction may feel they have lost the ability to make choices because of past mistakes. But this is not true! When it comes to addiction, one of the most important choices we can make is to heal and move forward, choosing sobriety and discipline over drugs. It may be difficult—but choices we CAN make while recovering ultimately help us to overcome addiction.

Drugs Limit Power
Dependence on drugs often limits the choices addicts have; they may be dependant on their
daily dose—or doses—to function normally. This dependence often leads to a cycle of poor
decision-making, leaving the addicted person unable to choose another route, even when he
or she so desires. Sometimes, drugs become so paramount that the individual no longer has
a choice in many of life’s important decisions.

By seeking treatment and help from friends, however, those who have lost some of their
power of choice to drugs can regain some of those decision-making powers. Sometimes
this seems like options are limited, but only in the short-run.

In fact, their decisions are making a big difference: because when seeking help they are
choosing the greater good: the often-difficult road to recovery. In essence, they are
choosing to once again lead a happy life with their family and friends, free from substance

Take Control
Here are some choices you CAN make when struggling with addiction:

Choose to include others. Make the choice to enlist the help of others. This can include a
spouse, parents, children, and close friends who are not currently struggling with addiction;
a qualified health professional; and a support group. As explained here, in getting professional help you can choose health over insanity. After getting help, seek out others who are committed to living clean and sober and establish a network to help you continue making good choices.

Choose optimism. “Attitude determines altitude,” they say. Choosing a positive attitude can
be one of the greatest factors in determining happiness during recovery—not to mention
that choosing to stay positive will help you develop self-mastery over your feelings.

Choose healthy eating. Addiction takes a great physical and mental toll on the human body, but changing other habits—especially nutrition—can make a huge difference. Try to find fresh or home-prepared meals; choose fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and grains rather than bags of potato chips and candy bars. It only makes sense that our bodies crave nutrients. The positive result: developing a habit of better eating may help ease cravings and withdrawals, and offer the added benefits of more energy and overall better health.

Choose to exercise. Exercise brings a myriad of health benefits, including a natural “high,”
that will almost assuredly improve your personal road to freedom from addiction. Bonus:
the endorphins released through physical activity can help mitigate depression! The key is
to find activities you actually like to add into your life. It doesn’t matter whether you choose
softball, kickboxing, mountain biking, or yoga—the health benefits from these choices will
help you achieve your dreams.

For the Support Group
Supportive family and friends are a key resource every addict needs as he or she

• Show your love through frequent visits and/or contacts, as appropriate. There
is a different between “enabling” a behavior and showing forth love. If you have
questions on how to do this, consult a qualified health professional.

• Respect the autonomy of your loved one as well as their former independence.
Try to let them make as many choices as they have at their disposal, including diet,
activities—even when you may personally disagree. Show particular support as
they make good choices.

• Encourage your loved one to stay in therapy. Help from trained professionals can be
one of their greatest tools to a full recovery from whatever they are battling, and it
gives them an added support team.

• Express optimism in their chance for full recovery—even if they relapse on
occasion. Your optimism can help fuel theirs and lead to positive changes.

• Help your loved one distance himself or herself from anyone who pressures them to
return to their habit. Help them replace those people with people who have successfully fought addiction or others they connect with who are a positive influence.

• Be a strong example of living a clean, sober, healthy, and happy life.

Whether in rehabilitation or living independently, the choices we make determine our
success and happiness in life.

What decisions are you making toward a healthier life today?

I hope you enjoyed this guest post.
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thanksgiving is What You Make It, The Power of Positive Thinking

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada I want to take this time to remind everyone to think about all the things there thankful for in their life. I know its not easy when everything seems to be a struggle and frustrating things keep happening but focusing on the good will bring more good into your life. I know this because I use to be a very angry and unhappy person. I was constantly disappointed by the people in my life, expecting too much of them and placing my happiness in their hands. I would focus on the things that weren't going right and the things I wasn't getting instead of focusing on the good I had. I was essentially giving away my power to be happy and I needed to take it back if I was every going to be happy. This is something I really had to do not just for me but for my baby. I didn't want my child to grow up around someone who was always miserable and in turn become unhappy themselves.

In the past few months I've been trying really hard to spend more time practicing gratitude and positive thinking instead of focusing on the negative. At first, I spent a lot of time reprimanding myself and redirecting my thoughts when I noticed myself getting negative, but noticing negative thoughts wasn't always easy since it had become such a part of my life. It took sometime for it to become a daily thing but I really have noticed a difference in the amount of time I spend being happy instead of angry and frustrated. I still have to work at redirecting my thoughts when I get angry, and some times are harder than others, especially when life gets difficult and problems pile up, but it has become easier and I find I don't have to reprimand myself as much as I use to. This transformation of perspective really wasn't an easy journey for me and I still have a ways to go but it's all extremely worth  it.

I might have no energy, a to do list that keeps piling up, small apartment that really needs a good cleaning, a car that needs quite a bit of work and no money, but at least I have an apartment, a car and a family that loves me. I have some food, I'm working towards my education, and I have a wonderful baby boy on the way with a sweet, loving, although stubborn, man that I love very much. Im also lucky to have great people around me willing to help me get everything I need for the baby, and a lot of great hobbies that make me happy. Its a lot to be thankful for and although I often get wrapped up in the stress of not having any money or not getting as much help around the house as I would like, I still find a way to remember what I do have. Its all about perspective, the more I work at seeing the positive the happier I am.This thanksgiving I'm going over to my grandmas with my mom and hubby. We don't need a big supper or lots of people around to be happy and grateful, just spending sometime with the ones that mean the most to us with some food in our tummies is more then enough to stay be thankful for.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Lets stay in touch :)
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Sunday, October 05, 2014

How to Hang On to Recovery

Someone asked me recently how they could hold on to their recovery and stay clean when they feel like giving up and I honestly didn't know how to fully answer them because the answer really depends on each person. What worked for me might not work for them. We are all unique and amazingly complex individuals with different needs, hopes and dreams.

After thinking about it for a couple minutes I finally replied well what do you want more then drugs ? What are your goals and dreams. They couldn't think of an answer right away so I asked him to think back to what made him happy, what pass times he used to love before drugs were part of his life. Keep looking until you find something that motivates you. Something your truly passionate about.

That's what was key for me. My love for reading, writing and drawing are what got me through. Going back to school gave me a goal to work towards and made me feel productive, but I use to love school and learning so that's why it worked for me. I also started taking notice and joy in the little things like spending time with my younger brother, building a snowman, watching the stars, decorating my room, oh and nature, camping, campfire etc.

I believe in recovery we all need to take the time and figure out what makes us tick. We need to rediscover our passions, our dreams and most of all ourselves. Their is so much wonderful things to discover out there, we just need a clear and sober mind to start witnessing it all. So many fun hobbies and pass times that can get us through another day sober. Trust me, before giving up on recovery take the time to discover what motivates you, it will make all the difference when it comes to hanging on to recovery.

Best of luck on your search to new and wonderful things. Recovery Rocks.

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If you have any advice on how to not give up on recovery please share in the comments. You never know how many people it might help. Thank you