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How to Stay on the Road to Recovery When You Have an Addiction

Have an Addiction Photo via Pixabay by Gisela Merkuur

Choosing to recover from an alcohol or drug addiction is a big step for an addict, and it can also be a tremendous undertaking for the addict’s family.  Major lifestyle changes are occurring for both the addict and their family.  There will be many ups and downs on the road to recovery, and proper care and support must be given to all involved in this arduous process. Read on for some tips courtesy of Birdies4Bipolar.

Making the Commitment

Recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction is not a decision that can be pushed on you. You have to make that choice for yourself and really want to be sober.  You must realize that it will not be easy and will take time for friends and family to trust you, but do not quit.

While seeking help for your addiction, do not neglect your mental health.  There are reasons you started to abuse drugs or alcohol, and you need to address them.  Combined psychological and addiction treatment is the most successful way to stay sober for life.  If you do not find healthier ways to deal with the stressors that ignited your addiction, you are more likely to relapse. 

Focusing on your mental and physical health can build healthy habits to enable your body to handle future stress.  Exercise, healthy eating, a good sleep schedule, and a positive attitude can greatly improve your recovery success rate.  Keeping your mind and body strong can help you ward off relapses and cravings for your old lifestyle. 

Locate recovery support groups in your area and use them to keep yourself grounded in recovery.  Support from people who were in your shoes can be an amazing coping device.  You can learn tips from people like you to stay sober and pitfalls to avoid. If the person in recovery is a senior, know that counseling and therapy will be covered by Medicare Part B.

Remember to clear out remnants of addiction from your life and your home, whether they be people, mementos, or places you used to frequent.  If it is too difficult in the beginning, try a sober living home.  This can be a safe and supportive place to reside while recovering, especially in the beginning stages when you might not have a stable place to call home. 

Finding  ways to be happy with your decision to stay sober can increase your chances of recovery.  When you are enjoying life without alcohol or drugs, it can be a great motivator to keep it that way.  Start new or old hobbies that you enjoy, give back to society through community service or volunteering, or build spirituality within yourself to nurture optimism and strength.  All of these things will build confidence and the need to keep living better than you were before. 

The Family Support System Needs Love, Too

When an addict is spiralling out of control, it is highly likely that their family is as well.  It is extremely important for families of addicts to support their loved one on the road to recovery while also making sure to get help for themselves during the process. 

Educating yourself about your loved one’s addiction is a good way to get a healthy grasp on what you can do for them and what you can’t.  It may help divert blame or guilt among family members and focus solely on the recovery of the addict. 

Connect with peer groups for families of addicts for support.  It is often a great relief to know that your family is not the only one out there dealing with addiction and its repercussions.  You will learn information and coping strategies to deal with your loved one’s recovery process and setbacks. 

Make appointments for family therapy sessions to keep everyone moving forward in the right mindset.  Therapy can keep things in perspective, help the family cope with changes, and remind you of the positives even when they are the smallest victories. 

Birdies4Bipolar is dedicated to empowering and improving the quality of life for those with mental illness through golf. Make a difference today!

The Dos and Don’ts of a Happy Life

While life is not always black-and-white, and no two people have the same experiences, there are a few things that no one should do. Things like maintaining a negative attitude and trudging away in a job you hate can take a toll on anyone. Keep reading for a few quick tips from Birdies 4 Bipolar on things you should and shouldn’t do to bolster your happiness.

Don’t rely on the drive-through.

We’ve all slid into the McDonald’s drive-through at half-past dinner time to pick up chicken nuggets for hungry kids. Although you should give yourself some grace, try to avoid eating fast food and junk food regularly. Not only is it high in carbs and sugar, but it’s also full of bad fats.

Do learn how to meal prep.

If time is your problem, spend Sunday afternoons preparing healthy lunches and dinners for the days ahead. You can find meal prep containers at your local department store or online.

Don’t allow your home to overwhelm you.

From disorganization to clutter, a messy home can weigh heavily on us, and over time can even affect our mental health.

Do take the time to clear the cobwebs

Rally the family together and spend the weekend cleaning up and cleaning out to give your home the refresh it needs. When everything that has a place is in its place, your living environment will exude more positive energy.

Don’t treat everyone the same.

It’s human nature to want to treat everyone the same. But, no two people are alike, and events of the last two years have made it clear that people react differently to different stimuli. By trying to treat everyone the exact same, you may miss out on experiences that you may enjoy with one person and not the other.

Do treat everyone equally.

Treating people equally is not the same as treating everyone the same. Think about your children. They likely have different love languages. One might snuggle on the couch while the other will fix you a snack to show they care. Respond to people’s love languages in kind, and you will have a better chance of developing healthy relationships with people around you.

Don’t stay in a job you hate because it’s comfortable.

We all have to earn a living, but if you begrudge the money you make because it makes you miserable, then you are only hurting yourself in the long term.

Do look ahead to your future.

Consider going back to school, asking for a transfer to a new department, or changing jobs altogether. ZenBusiness asserts that it is fear and anxiety that keep us from moving forward, but you can use this discomfort to push you toward positive changes to your career that help you enjoy the 40+ hours per week you spend on the time clock. This is especially true if the job you are in is not challenging enough; set your sights high and reach for the position you want, not necessarily the one that makes the most sense.

Don’t use social media as a measure of your worth.

Social media is integrated into everything we do, from the reviews we leave on businesses to how we date. But, as The Chicago School of Professional Psychology explains, social media does not reflect reality. Don’t compare yourself to the pictures you see behind your screen. The people posting are likely fighting struggles just as difficult as any that you have going on in your life.

Do use social media to keep up with friends and family.

One thing you can use social media for is to keep up with your friends and family. This is especially beneficial if you have older relatives that live many states away. You can help combat loneliness in you and your friends and family by simply making a video call every now and then.

The above is not meant as the dictation of your life. But, it is good advice that can help you perpetuate positivity throughout each day. No matter what challenges you have facing you, there are ways that you should and should not approach them. Remember, Mindset is everything, and when you look for ways to be positive in every situation, that will shine through in all you do.

Image via Pexels

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