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HOW TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY WITHOUT TURNING TO DRUGS?

HOW TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY WITHOUT TURNING TO DRUGS?

Image source: https://www.everydayhealth.com

Drug addiction triggers uncontrollable behaviors that person becomes unable to control their abuse of medications, cigarettes, alcohol or grubs without taking into account its legality. The main problem relies upon their addiction towards these drugs. It triggers wild practices and renders a man unfit to control their utilization of prescription, liquor, cigarettes, or medications. It doesn’t end here but it becomes a massive problem turning into anxiety and depression. It doesn’t just play with the lives of the ones who battle with it every day but it also affects their family, colleagues, and friends. According to the survey in 2016 by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, they concluded that 8.2 million people suffering from drug addiction with mental disorders and anxiety.

The vocabulary of anxiety is still limited; we need to look at the other consequences of it. It may lead towards Hypoxia that is the low blood oxygen level, in the event that extreme enough, is deadly. In order to combat this situation, the use of oxygen concentrator is a great idea. They take in the air and deliver it in a purified form to level up their blood oxygen requirement.

1-    End your relationship with caffeine:

Image source: https://lunginstitute.com

Some bars of chocolates, a cup of coffee or a soft drink may give you pleasure but it plays a vital role in triggering your anxiety levels. Caffeine gets a hold on your nervous system and gives you a boost of pleasure full energy. Even the idea of termination of your favorite caffeinated products gives you a mood of anxiety. But that’s not that idea all you have to be to modify it.

As opposed to some espresso daily, downsize to a couple of ordinary estimated containers daily, simply reduce it to half. Give it a trial and perceive how you feel. As you wean yourself, gradually bring different drinks into your eating routine, for example, decaffeinated natural tea, which can quiet your psyche and nerves.

2-    Don’t Hesitate to say NO:

If you only care about everyone else’s plate, your anxiety also will worsen. We’ve all heard the aphorism, “There’s more bliss in giving than accepting.” But no place in this sentence does it say you ought to kick back and let others encroach on your time.

Notwithstanding whether you’re driving someone around their home, getting their kids from school, or listening precisely about their issues, you’ll have little solidarity to consider your very own endeavors in case you burn through the entirety of your essentialness pondering others. This doesn’t mean you should never energize anyone, yet know your obstacles, and don’t be reluctant to express “no” when you need to.

3-    Exercise:

Image source: https://ivoiregion.net/

Make exercise your best friend as it is considered as an anti-anxiety medication. If you battle to practice consistently, overlook the training camps and marathons. Start smaller than normal exercises. Do little measures of activity in your lounge room or take a concise stroll outside. Maintainability is vital. Yoga and swimming are the best exercises to reduce anxiety but the most important thing is to find your happiness in it.

Anxiety plays a significant role in affecting personal satisfaction. Keeping up your sugar levels right, diminishing caffeine, getting enough rest, mending the gut, getting some activity and filling the body with magnesium are sheltered strategies that go far toward lessening uneasiness. In the event that your uneasiness does not react to these way of life mediations, still if you don’t feel relaxed Consult a psychologist to clear your doubts.

4-    Neuro Feedback:

Do what you love. Neurofeedback is an extremely compelling treatment for anxiety that helps you in assisting how to react to your on edge sentiments properly. It utilizes an electronic instrument to show automatic physiological procedures so you can figure out how to impact those procedures by changing your points of view willfully. It is an exceptionally visual and trial process where you are a functioning member in the treatment. It gives you the glance of your physiological reactions to stretch and figure out how to oversee and control them without the utilization of medication therapies. I cherish this technique because with this customers become enable to figure out how to control their tension and train their mind to deliver less of it.

5-    Cognitive Behavioral Techniques:

Prepared analysts and wellbeing experts frequently utilize psychological conduct treatment to distinguish, challenge and modify the perspectives to lessen nervousness indications and avoidant conduct. CBT, for the most part, includes an organized treatment plan inside a predefined time period. It is objective arranged and regularly requires the member to participate in homework exercises to rehearse outside of treatment.  CBT works a ton on reframing contrary convictions and thinking examples to enable individuals to decrease their emotional experience of tension. There is a long history of investigation into CBT and its constructive outcomes on uneasiness and despondency.

6-    Commitment with yourself for Recovery:

Most of the given techniques are to relax, self-assess, being able to cope with your anxiety using different ways. When you know how your brain works and what it wants, you can easily handle it with controlling your mind.

By learning these techniques to actually learn to manage your drug addiction.

So why Wait for tomorrow to give colors to your depressed life. Give any technique a try and enjoys your peace of mind.

Compliance VS Surrender

There are a few ways we can talk about the battle of compliance versus surrender. The first part relates to clients in treatment.

Some people believe that because they say the right things and do “what’s required” of them in treatment that they are working in the program. We find that these people never actually change their behaviour; nearing the end of their treatment they begin to act the same as or similar to when they first came in. The recovery mask drops and we see the person for who they really are. Compliance is a dangerous dynamic, as most of the time, the person doesn’t really know that they are being compliant. We have often heard people saying “but I don’t understand what the problem is, I’m doing all the right things, getting all my assignments done, participating in group and really dealing with all my issues. So what’s the problem?”

It’s a good question.

The problem is that without surrender you won’t change. So where does the surrender come from and how can we make it happen?

The birth of surrender comes from the acceptance we experience in step one. Surrender to most people implies that they have lost, they are giving up, the fight is over. Addicts are not the easiest people to deal with when it comes to losing or letting go so the concept is foreign. But it is a must; we need to surrender to the fact that within us we don’t have the power or ability to stop using substances. That left to our own devices we will use or abuse substances till it kills us. The second part of that surrender is accepting that we need help from external sources in order to get into recovery.

Counterproductive belief systems in recovery sound like this.

  • I’ve got this.
  • Now I can handle this on my own.
  • I hear what you’re saying but…
  • Yes I know, I know…

There are many signs to people who are compliant; as mentioned before we won’t see any real personal change with their behavior, and when pushed they will revert back to old behavior as a default coping mechanism.

The second part of the battle between compliance VS Surrender is once the client has left treatment.

This type of challenge really does separate the complaint from the surrendered.

Some people say the right things, do all the work and planning for when they leave, and when they do actually leave they take the reins back. They tell the people around them all the new lingo they have learned. They actually start using recovery info as a weapon against their own recovery. They throw around this new info to convince people that they are in recovery, but the moment it is time to act on this new information, they don’t or can’t because it isn’t a subjective reality to them, its objective. Its something outside of themselves. Everything is a farce because the majority of their recovery is not real. The honesty and integrity of the program is only used in front of people and not behind closed doors. This alone is enough to completely undermine everything recovery stands for, relapse will follow shortly after, followed by statements like; “but I don’t understand why this happened. I was doing everything required of me.”

So why does relapse happen? Where does the Compliant falter?

I think part of the problem is people don’t know how to make the real changes, they are not completely willing to make the needed sacrifices or dedicate the needed time to their new way of life. The first year of recovery is very taxing as it takes a monstrous amount of your time to focus on your recovery at that level and I believe that people don’t see recovery for what it actually is.

Recovery isn’t easy, especially in the first few months. Feelings are hard to deal with, we are reminded on a daily basis of the destruction we have caused, no one around us really trusts our change, people are broken because of our past behaviour and it takes time for the relationship to heal. There are a lot of exterior influences that push us to react the way we used to, throwing up a middle finger and destructing.

Another trap that people who are compliant fall into is trying to separate their lives from their recovery. Like doing recovery on the side while still trying to reap the benefits of this new life. Anyone, including myself, that I’ve seen really embrace recovery has made their recovery their life. It’s hard to tell the two apart. People who are compliant often have severely different lives. One side going to meetings and sharing about recovery, then the same night going to a club and pretending to be normal. Like trying to mix oil and water. The addiction culture and recovery culture won’t and don’t mix, one of them will win. Unfortunately, it’s usually the addiction culture that pulls people in because it’s familiar and comfortable.

The majority of people who have long term recovery will tell you that recovery comes, came and will always come first in their lives.

This is the recipe for the surrender I’m talking about.

  • I can’t do this on my own.
  • I need as much help as I can get.
  • I don’t really know much about recovery but I’m willing and open to learning.
  • Recovery is difficult but I’m prepared to embrace the struggle.
  • Please tell me what to do next.
  • I’m accountable for my decisions.
  • I’m responsible for my actions.
  • I can’t, He can. So let him.

Early Recovery Demands

There are a few “suggestions” for people in early recovery. I say suggestions in the same way that it’s a suggestion to pull the cord on a parachute when you jump out of a plane.
The first thing to realise is that recovery has to come first. Recovery, recovery, and more recovery.
So, the question is how we keep recovery at the forefront of our lives when there is so much going on.

  1. Have a morning routine/structure in place. Keep in mind we are not saints and are on a path of progress not perfection. Forgetting to follow your morning routine doesn’t mean that it’s the end of then world. As long as we are doing better than we were doing before and are making small but definite gains in our recovery then we are on the right path.
  2. Having connections with other recovering people. Don’t underestimate the power of these relationships or connections. ‘ONE ADDICT HELPING ANOTHER IS WITHOUT PARALLEL’. There is a good reason they mention this in the Narcotics Anonymous Blue Book, and that’s because it’s true and it works. Having literally an army of recovering people who have done this before you is a major benefit and would be a waste of their and you’re time not to use them.
    Plus you need someone who has been through the steps to take you through the steps, so if you want to continue working this program of change you are going to have to make the connections.
  3. Support Groups
    Have you heard of the suggestion, 90 meetings in 90 days? That’s right a meeting everyday for 3 months. So many people don’t think this is “necessary”.  By the end of the 3 months you will most likely have a decent support structure in place.
  4. Being accountable.
    Accountability protects us from ourselves. In the early phases of our recovery, we can’t really trust ourselves to make the right decisions all the time. We can’t solve the problem with the thinking that created the problem. Therefore, a sponsor, therapist or counsellor is a major benefactor for us. Setting goals and making commitments to someone makes our jobs a bit easier. Almost forcing us to act on our new-found life. Safeguarding us from the insanity that is spoken about in step two.

There are loads more demands that we must face in early recovery. Please comment below this post on what you might be facing or struggling with.

Surviving the Silly Season

As we fast approach the holiday season and Christmas time, many people in recovery start to feel the anxiety. They have a lot of spare time, they have to attend family reunions where alcohol is usually involved, and financial pressure rears its head. These are a few of the stresses that come with this time of year.

So the question is:

HOW DO WE SURVIVE SILLY SEASON?

There are a few key points we can look at.

  • Being accountable / responsible

Having someone to reach out to is very important during this time. Calling a sponsor or a recovery friend before and after can be great protection if you are going to be in a high-risk situation. We have to take responsibility for our recovery and part of that is having an “escape” plan. It is suggested that if possible you have your own vehicle so that you are able to leave on your own terms should the situation warrant that. People might view this as selfish but remember that your recovery comes before anything else.

  • Having realistic expectations of yourself

Don’t fall to the pressure of others and what you might perceive their expectations of you will be. Chances are your family will already know that your recovery comes first and with that, they will also more than likely try to limit your interaction with triggers and possible problematic situations.

It’s important from your side to remember the key factors that make you an addict/alcoholic.

Once you use/drink, you lose control.

Once you lose control, you hurt everyone around you.

When you hurt everyone around you, you disconnect from the vital support system you have in place.

After disconnecting you feel isolated, alone and misunderstood.

The feeling of uselessness and self-pity returns and the cycle starts again.

You have to be gentle on yourself during this time; rather not take the risk and stay clean/sober, than take the risk and land up drunk or high. Your family will understand and appreciate it when you all wake up on Christmas morning and you are present and clean/sober.

  • Engage with your support system

Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, any of the anonymous programs out there are good places to frequent during this time. Staying connected with like-minded people could be the difference between a New Year filled with dread, shame and guilt and a New Year filled with renewed hope, love and possibilities. We as addicts have the ability to think that we are normal people and can engage in festive activities like normal people forgetting that just under the surface we are minutes from our next relapse. The reminders and discussions with other addicts can be used to reinforce our goals and desires for our lives, priority number one always being our recovery.

  • Take time out of your day to reflect on your life and recovery.

Some might suggest meditation and prayer, but taking some time out for you is very important. Processing and reflecting on our lives gives us the guidance we need to maintain recovery. Find a space and a place where you can spend some time and evaluate what you need for yourself and your recovery. This time will pay off for those around you when you partake in your own life.

  • Keep to your systems and structures as much as possible.

Experience says that addicts of any kind are not fond of change. Attempting to stay in your recovery routines as much as possible can make this time easier. Regardless if you are away on holiday or just extra busy. Most recovering addicts have a morning routine that sets their day on the right path, don’t suddenly change that routine and forget to do the thing that works for your life and recovery. Try to maintain step work if you were busy with it before the season. As stated before, continue meetings and speaking to your sponsor. Working a daily program is a key factor to long term sobriety/recovery.

These are but a few points to look at during this time. Please feel free to comment below on what you might need to do during this time, or contact us directly for advice.

Recovery isn’t just about stopping the using

Many people come into treatment  and think this is recovery, if I could just stop using/drinking/acting out my life would be fine, it would go back to “normal”. Here’s the thing, what’s normal?
Is normal that life you had before you started using/drinking? Is normal the way your life was as a child?

Here are the facts, if you walk into our treatment centre it tells us several things.

  1. Your life is no longer working.
  2. You are slowly or quickly dying.
  3. Your family and or loved ones around you are sick and tired of your behaviour.
  4. You, at some stage needed drugs/alcohol to cope with life.
  5. If you could have stopped on your own, you would have by now.
  6. Lastly you are not here by mistake.

Take note of point number 4, your normal didn’t work for you in the past why would it work now?
We understand that using and or drinking had become the major coping mechanism in your life. The question is not why the drugs/ alcohol, the question is why the need for mood and behaviour altering substance? What has happened in your life that made it okay to cope with such a self-destructive behaviour pattern?
Right here things start to get real for our clients. We go into the past and the present and work with them on as many of the “what’s” and “whys” as we can find in our limited amount of time with them.

We address the denial. Without fully conceding that there is a problem, the clients cannot fully concede that they need help. The need for support and help in early recovery is paramount to the ongoing process.

Recovery starts to take on another form. The old ideas and false expectations fall away. We instil the drive that recovery is not a side-line job and it isn’t an event but rather a program of continual action. We delve into the spirit and hope that clients come out the other side refreshed and with a new lease for life. We are in the life changing business and we might not always reach someone, but there is that one, two or three that get it and make the necessary changes and adjustments to live a full and happy life. This by no means is easy, but we suggest struggle, through the hardships come the growth, through the growth comes the freedom.

The freedom is there, waiting for you to grasp it and make it your reality !

Outgrowing Early Recovery

How to outgrow early recovery

 I’m taken back into those first few months of early recovery, some fond memories, some hard battles. Some lost and some won, one thing was certain from the start, recovery needed to be more than just not using. I wanted a new life, I’ve so often heard people say, ‘I want my life to go back to normal’ the way it was before I started using. The truth of that matter is the life you used to have, you needed drugs to cope, so I knew straight away I wasn’t interested in what life used to be like. It was time to outgrow that old life but also, I had to keep growing.
You see one thing I didn’t realise before was the change had to be continual. I wanted more than what the steps had to offer, I wanted more than what the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous had to offer. I was so comfortable in those rooms, surrounded by dysfunction. Yet when I was around “normal” people I felt uncomfortable and out of place. That dynamic had to change for me, I wanted nothing more than to be a productive person. It’s not that I wanted to be normal, I just wanted to feel like a human being. I was so sick of feeling like I was evil, I was sick of lying and hurting everyone I cared about.

So, the process started, I wanted to know why I was an addict or what made me behave in this strange way. I started writing and reading a lot about different theories because the disease theory on its own didn’t make sense to me, I remember a lecture at the treatment centre where I cleaned up, where they said if addiction is a disease then I don’t have it. That statement made a lot more sense to me than some victim angle, blaming disease as the culprit for my disastrous behaviour. So, what then was left to answer the question, why am I an addict?

This question bothered me for months, I read books, researched and watched YouTube till I was blue in the face. I really liked the direction Dr Marc Lewis was going. The neurological side of addiction was very fascinating to me, I wanted to understand what happened in the brain that caused me to go back and back for more “pleasure” at the expense of everything around me.
I found the harder I looked, the less I understood. The less I understood the more questions I asked. Eventually leading to a place where all those questions became irrelevant.
I wasn’t going to solve the mystery of addiction, I was an addict, full stop. It started there and it ended there. Something new surfaced, how did I stay clean this time and what was different to all the other times I had tried to clean up in rehab?
There are a few important points to make here.

  1. Knowledge within itself is useless. For many years I knew all there was to know about what I believed was recovery. I still couldn’t get through a day without using. If knowledge equalled recovery most of us would have got clean a long time ago. Knowledge becomes useful when it is backed by action, dreams, ideas and goals are nothing without applying yourself and making the necessary changes. This is a program of action after all.
  2. Understanding the fundamental basis for recovery became everything. Here is what it means to me. Within myself I did not have nor would I ever possess the power to control my addiction. Once I start the ball rolling, I use over and over again until it kills me, it was that simple. Powerlessness.
  3. I needed to able to stay clean and sober and most importantly sane without NA and AA before I could walk into those rooms and carry any sort of message of hope. I was sick of always having to depend on something. I had always heard throughout every rehab that it was NA or die, I didn’t want to live that life. What if I find myself in a situation where the rooms are not accessible? I would eventually relapse because my recovery depended on being able to get to meetings. There must be a way to apply the same principals in a different environment.
  4. I was not the man of my ideas and intentions. If I was I would never have been an addict or broken all those promises to the people I loved. I would have stayed clean the first attempt and lived a successful life. It was and still is too some extent easy to live in that fantasy, it’s easier to see myself as what I project I want to be rather than the recovering addict in early recovery. Staying present and accountable helped me see myself for what I was, the ideas were important but I was not that person, yet.
  5. I gained an understanding of myself more than anything else, I learnt where I fall short, where my weaknesses are, I also learnt where my strength lies and how to ask for help. Understanding those few points is what keeps me in recovery. I don’t over-estimate my importance any more than I under-estimate it. I believe I have a realistic view of myself and my abilities. I’m not scared to try new things or admit that I’m struggling.

On concluding I feel that it’s important to say that we are not and never will be perfect, we as humans are fallible, we as addicts are hyper-sensitive and critical. Finding the balance between easy and firm on yourself is the key.

Recovery Actions have Expiry Dates

Expiry Dates during recovery:

Many people come through our treatment centre and believe that the work they put in here is enough and that the work they put in here is going to carry them for the rest of their lives. This is a dangerous myth and one that could lead many to relapse.
Like the title states, Actions in recovery have expiry dates and what we mean by this is that the last counselling session you had, has a “half-life” of about a day. That Just for Today reading you did this morning can set you on the right path for the day but still, it’s not enough to keep you clean and sober for the rest of your life.

If you understand the fundamentals of early recovery you’d understand that to convince yourself that using or drinking is a clever idea and won’t hurt anyone is a simple task. “no-one will know”, “just this one time” and then my personal favourite, “this time will be different” are all slogans addicts in early recovery on the road to relapse use. There is no neighbourhood more dangerous than an addict in early recovery left to his/her own devices for extended periods of time.
Another fundamental principle of early recovery is powerlessness, just because I’ve written out the theory of step one does not necessarily mean I grasp the principle of what that step should offer.
If you find yourself alone with the means to use your drug of choice and you are bargaining ‘should I use or should I not use’ you are in a seriously dangerous situation that in my opinion will end in your power of choice diminishing and eventually lead to relapse. The solution here is to remember the principle we are talking about, powerlessness. Asking for help is imperative in this situation, remembering that reaching out means that you care enough about yourself and your recovery to make the right decisions.

I believe what most people get wrong in these early days sounds like this, they don’t view recovery as a lifestyle, a new culture to take part in. They keep life and recovery separate, eventually allowing the “life” side to take priority, smothering out any hope of recovery surviving, this might take a year or 3 weeks but eventually, people lose sight of what’s truly important.
The actions we put in daily last for that day, maybe more. But one thing I feel sure about is that without recovery becoming a lifestyle, the chances of living in long term recovery get smaller. Time and life become the enemy, we can only deal with what we are willing to face and being able to see these simple but powerful facts could be the deciding factor in your process.

Next Steps

We hope that you found this article helpful. If you are struggling with an Addiction or know someone who is. Please feel free to contact us and we can help you with your next steps.

Cherrywood House is a rehabilitation centre for people suffering from substance and other addictive disorders. It is situated in the tranquil, semi-rural environments of Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. We offer  Residential Programmes, Aftercare Support Services, Outpatient Programme, Family Support Groups. For more information. Visit our Website Here.

Managing Pain in Recovery

Article written by Anne Foy

If you’re a recovering addict, dealing with chronically painful conditions can be even harder than it is for most people. For a start, chronic pain is strongly linked to mental health problems like depression – which is in turn strongly linked with addiction relapse. People in pain need to take extra care of themselves, in order to avoid succumbing to relapse. However, this is further complicated by the fact that modern medicine’s best line of defence against chronic pain is, currently, opioid-based painkillers. Needless to say, people with a history of addiction (particularly opioid addiction) would be best off avoiding these.

So what’s a recovering addict in pain to do? It seems a question of either living with perpetual pain – which risks relapse through pure misery – or taking opioid analgesics, which risks relapse through exposure to an addictive substance. Depending on your doctor or insurance, the opioid option may not be available even if you want it, given the inherent risks in allowing narcotics to someone in recovery. So is there any way out of the dilemma?

Don’t despair. There are a few options available which may help.

How to manage pain during recovery:

Non-Addictive Painkillers

There are non-addictive pain relief options out there. Unfortunately, none of them are as comprehensive or as effective as opioids. Some people believe that medicinal marijuana could be beneficial in circumstances like these, but other addiction counselors warn caution with this. Currently, researchers are looking into the potential of non-addictive pain-relieving drugs, and it’s likely that we will see a less dangerous alternative in the near future. However, at present, it’s best to opt for one of the less-effective non-addictive options we have available at the moment. While these can’t kill severe pain completely, they can ‘take the edge off’. If combined with some other methods (read on…), their impact on quality of life could be significant.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

A lot of pain is caused by inflammation of the body. Working to reduce inflammation can, therefore, go a long way towards reducing pain. There are a number of ways to do this, including anti-inflammatory drugs. However, one excellent way of keeping inflammation down is through your diet. A diet rich in vegetables and low in saturated fats is thought to reduce the body’s inflammatory response, resulting in a reduction in pain. It will also provide a payload of nutrients and fiber to keep you healthy – which will in itself enable the body to deal more effectively with pain on its own terms. Many swear by anti-inflammatory diets, and some claim that the change in their quality of life since adopting anti-inflammatory diets has been nothing short of miraculous. You can find out more about anti-inflammatory diets here.

Yoga And Meditation

It may sound hokey, but a lot of rational medical doctors swear by the pain-relieving properties of yoga and/or meditation.

For a start, yoga can help to correct the posture and align the skeleton, as well as strengthening important structural muscles. This alone can help to alleviate a lot of Musco-skeletal pain.

However, it goes deeper than this. Yoga and meditation are great for stress. Stress is associated in many ways with pain – researchers think that cortisol can enhance the experience of pain, and even provoke new pain in certain cases. The more relaxed you are, the less pain you’ll feel.

Practising meditation can also give you a degree of control over your pain. We now know that a lot of pain is located in the brain. It’s experienced emotionally, rather than physically. It’s a confusing situation, which neurologists don’t entirely understand – but a lot of physical pain is, quite literally, ‘all in your head’. This doesn’t mean that your experience of pain is your own fault – far from it! But it does mean that focusing techniques like meditation can help you to lessen your experience of pain. Studies have found that people with chronically painful conditions who meditate regularly experience a greater quality of life and report lower levels of pain than those who do not. However it is that this occurs (and scientists still don’t really know how it works), it’s definitely something which has helped a lot of people, without the need for opioid medications. Plus, it could really improve your mental health into the bargain – win-win!

Triggers | Associations

What are Triggers?

Triggers and associations are strong reminders of the past. For people in early recovery, a trigger or association can be the influencing factor which leads to a relapse. A few triggers are easier to see than others, for example, the bar you used to drink at is a blatant reminder of your drinking. Most triggers are a lot smaller but just as powerful. For example, that playlist that always played in your car while you were using or drinking might have a strong enough association to make you crave. Something as simple as getting home after a treatment and your house smells a certain way could bring back memories, causing a substantial craving.

Internal Triggers

Furthermore, there are also internal triggers which are harder to prepare for. Certain emotions can trigger a desire to use. If you had a certain dynamic with a family member that caused you to feel resentful which lead to you fighting and eventually using, that dynamic will possibly happen again once you are home. Being aware of your dynamics in relationships might be the difference between you acting out or making the decision to do something differently. You only need to do something different once to see that there is another way.

Preparing for Triggers

Many people underestimate the force that these triggers and associations have on someone in early recovery and just how quickly they can lead to physical relapse. Here at Cherrywood House we make a point to go through triggers in our relapse prevention workshops and in our Transitional Workshops.

The question remains, how do we deal with triggers and associations so that we can be safe when we leave treatment?

TRIGGERS & ASSOCIATIONS: HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

For most people, the transition will be difficult as not everyone can move houses or towns. You will be confronted with the same situations, with the same people most likely causing the same feelings.

The first step to combating these dynamics is awareness, we need to be prepared for this. Surprises will pop up but the more prepared we are, the less chance of emotionally acting out there is.

Trust your internal messages. Treatment makes us aware of ourselves and of our thought processing. If you think you are at risk, you probably are. Walk away; rather apologise one day for being rude, than apologise to your family because you sold the car again during a relapse. Being true to yourself is going to be far more rewarding than conforming to what others expect of you.

Next Steps

We hope that you found these tips on Triggers and Associations helpful and encouraging.  If you are struggling with an Addiction or know someone who is. Please feel free to contact us and we can help you with your next steps.

Cherrywood House is a rehabilitation centre for people suffering from substance and other addictive disorders. It is situated in the tranquil, semi-rural environments of Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. We offer  Residential Programmes, Aftercare Support Services, Outpatient Programme, Family Support Groups. For more information. Visit our Website Here.

Transition from Treatment to Early Recovery

Part 1: Transition from treatmean to early recovery 

The majority of relapses happen within the first few months after leaving rehab; having a solid foundation is one thing, the other is having an understanding of transition. The aftercare process is vital and is being overlooked by many treatment centres.

Below we will address some of the important dynamics that people in early recovery will face once they leave rehab.

(Please note that everyone has different circumstances and these points might not apply to all)

EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY

If it’s your first time in rehab, you might be expecting everyone to welcome you back with open arms. You might expect that everyone will be different and the world will have changed. 

This is not a realistic expectation to have, addiction comes with distrust, broken promises and destruction. The majority of the people in your life will have been affected negatively by your addiction and the consequences of this will take time to heal. Expecting people to trust you straight away because you’ve been in rehab is going to set up disappointments for yourself and for the other people involved. Just because you want it to be different doesn’t mean it’s going to be different.

Don’t be Discouraged

The transition period from distrust to trust is a long process filled with progress and setbacks, but stay clean/sober and everything will work out the way it should. People will come and go in recovery, but one thing MUST remain constant; your sobriety.

Recovery is Not the Same as Treatment

Some people do very well in treatment and leave the centre feeling like they are 2 meters tall, able to fly and bullet proof, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that doing well in treatment is not recovery. Recovery is proving yourself over and over that no matter happens in your life, you weather the storm and stay sober. Treatment is “discovery” not recovery.

An attitude of “I’ve got this waxed” is a fatal flaw in early recovery. You don’t know enough to have this waxed, there are still many lessons to learn and leaving treatment with that attitude will render you unteachable, arrogant and most probably high or drunk. Stay open to the fact that you are going to need as much help as possible to get through this transition process and that your best thinking got you into rehab in the first place.

Next Steps

We hope that you found this article about the transition from treatment to recovery helpful and encouraging. If you are struggling with an Addiction or know someone who is. Please feel free to contact us and we can help you with your next steps.

Cherrywood House is a rehabilitation centre for people suffering from substance and other addictive disorders. It is situated in the tranquil, semi-rural environments of Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. We offer  Residential Programmes, Aftercare Support Services, Outpatient Programme, Family Support Groups. For more information. Visit our Website Here.