5 Signs You Are An Addict

5 Signs You Are An Addict

This may seem funny or obvious to some people but, when in the tight grip of a drug addiction, it can be hard to see what is really going on. Addiction is an insidious condition that can sneak up on you and before you know it, that recreational drug use you like to call “partying” has become a full-blown addiction. Often referred to as denial, it’s like the saying goes, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” Here are five telltale signs you are an addict.

5 Signs You Are An Addict: Tolerance

You find that you need more and more of a substance or substances in order to achieve the same effect that you used to get when you first started using. This means that you have built up a tolerance to the drug or drugs.

5 Signs You Are An Addict: Dependence

If you try to stop or go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety. You find that you need to take drugs to avoid or relieve these withdrawal symptoms. This is known as physical dependence.

5 Signs You Are An Addict: Loss of Control

You can no longer reel yourself in or limit your drug use; you’ve lost control over it. You often tell yourself you won’t use but then find yourself using or using more than you had planned. You may want to stop using, but you feel like you are unable to stop. In a word, powerless.

5 Signs You Are An Addict: Obsession

You spend a lot of time and money using and thinking about drugs, and figuring out ways to get them, and recovering from their effects. You start to realize that your life revolves around your drug use. This is the psychological dependence of being an addict.

5 Signs You Are An Addict: Lack of Interest

You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use. You don’t spend time with friends or family, instead, the only people, if any, that you hang out with are now your “using” buddies. One of the most obvious signs you are an addict to others is that you have an overall lack of interest in life.

5 Signs You Are An Addict: Consequences

You start experience a number of different consequences: health, financial, social/relationship, even legal, yet you continue to use drugs. Despite knowing it’s hurting you, you simply cannot stop your drug use. It’s causing major problems in your life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia, loss of your job, drug-related arrests—but you use anyway.

 

The good news is that drug addiction is a condition that is treatable. If you or someone you love is showing signs of being an addict, there is drug treatment available for substance abuse and addiction. You don’t have to go on suffering. Recognizing the signs you are an addict is the first step in getting help and getting your life back on track.

 

 

 

Source:

http://www.helpguide.org/

 

 

How Guilt and Shame Fuels Addiction

How Guilt and Shame Fuels Addiction

In active addiction, we often get caught up in a cycle of guilt and shame about using drugs and our using behaviors. On some level, we recognize that this isn’t our true identity yet the grip of addiction is so tight, that we cannot simply stop doing the things that we feel guilty and shameful about. And then, we use again and more in order to numb ourselves from the feelings of guilt and shame. This is essentially the cycle of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that shows how guilt and shame fuels addiction.

How Guilt and Shame Fuels Addiction

The guilt and shame from the past leaves us feeling unworthy of being loved. As a result of the lies we tell ourselves, we have learned to lie in order to cover up who we believe we really are, and then we act out in ways that this guilt and shame fuels addiction.

We view our wrong behavior or failings as a reflection of who we are, our true identity.

When we do something bad or make a mistake, we take that as evidence that we are flawed.

We are very hard on ourselves and so normal errors and mistakes are blown out of proportion and reveal our true nature, which is flawed.

We feel overwhelmed when we experience such a mistake because we think it reveals that something is terribly wrong with us.

We accept part of the blame when others hurt, wrong, or violate us.

We see ourselves as someone who deserves to be abused, punished, or treated poorly.

We believe the behavior or lifestyle is the natural to us as bad people and therefore that it is futile to avoid or stop shame-producing behavior, further fueling addiction.

Whenever we experience a normal human failing, make an honest mistake, or suffer a disappointment, it triggers a downward spiral of depression and addictive behavior.

We think that trying to change our life for the better is somehow living a lie or being hypocritical, instead as evidence that we can change.

We may appear to be shameless to others when, in fact we are being eaten up by shame and guilt.

We are eventually worn down to the point that we give in to our overwhelming shame and then act out in ways that show no sense of shame or guilt.

 The Cycle of Guilt and Shame

When someone is addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, it usually causes them to feel guilt and shame about their addiction. When we can’t stop our addictive behavior, we think it means that there is some sort of weakness or inability on our part that makes us unworthy. We become dependent on something outside of ourselves (alcohol and drugs) to give a sense of well-being. We feel weak and needy on this substance which causes us to feel ashamed of our weakness, and then in turn intensifies our neediness. Addiction creates a cycle of ever increasing addictive behavior resulting in guilt and shame which in turn motivates an increase in dependence on the addiction for comfort.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/

http://alcoholism.about.com/

How to Help a Chronic Relapser

How to Help a Chronic Relapser

What is a Relapse?

Relapse is resuming the use of a drug or a chemical substance after one or more periods of abstinence; a recurrence of symptoms of a disease (addiction) after a period of improvement; to slip or fall back into a former worse state (active addiction).

What is a Chronic Relapser?

Many addicts have a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse but have never actually attempted to get sober. What makes chronic relapsers distinct is that they have tried and failed at maintaining sobriety many times over.

Profile of the Chronic Relapser

  • Numerous failed attempts at sobriety, or a return to drugs/alcohol after a substantial period of sobriety
  • Unable to maintain sobriety despite having a wealth of knowledge about addiction and recovery
  • Continued substance use despite significant, severe and repeated consequences
  • Chronic relapsers often feel hopeless that they will ever find lasting sobriety
  • Multiple treatment episodes, including psychiatric treatment, detox, residential, outpatient, and halfway houses
  • Significant exposure, attendance and/or participation in 12-Step programs. Chronic relapsers have a history of repeatedly working Steps 1, 2 and 3, but have never completed all 12
  • Treatment-savvy have learned to navigate their way through the treatment industry to meet their own agenda
  • A unique talent to exhaust the financial resources and emotional support of loved ones. Chronic relapsers leave their loved ones depleted of energy and emotional resources
  • As with most addicts, a pervasive cluster of personality characteristics are frequently exaggerated in the chronic relapser; they are very charming, intelligent, manipulative, convincing, deceitful, lovable, talented and passionate; chronic relapsers have mastered the art of survival, in and out of treatment.

How to Help a Chronic Relapser

Below are ways to get involve, support, and encourage successful recovery for a chronic relapser.

Encourage a long-term length of stay. It is a well-established fact that long-term treatment increases the chances of lasting sobriety. It is important to define the term “long-term treatment” as in a length of stay in excess of nine months. It can take a chronic relapser three to six months to wake up out of the fog in which they have been living. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is very significant in chronic relapsers and frequently interferes considerably with their ability to comprehend recovery principles in early sobriety.

Remove outside distractions. Chronic relapsers are masters at distracting themselves and others from seeing the truth about them. It is essential to remove all things they use to change the way they feel and to force them to sit in their own skin.  It is well within the boundaries the treatment center to limit distractions through therapeutic contracts, clear-cut facility rules and guidelines, and limited family contact. As a loved one or family member of a chronic relapser, be aware that you may be asked not to visit early on or often throughout treatment.

Emphasize the mental and spiritual nature of the disease. It is essential that chronic relapsers understand they have a disease of the mind body and spirit, and that the solution through the 12 Steps is spiritual in nature.

Be active in getting your own treatment. In most cases, the family has participated in the progression of the illness in the chronic relapser through intense enabling behaviors. Therapy for the family cannot just be a suggestion; it must be non-negotiable. Get involved with Al-Anon or Nar-Anon and consider counseling for yourself and other family members.

Put an end to enabling. Family leverage is usually the most significant in keeping a chronic relapser in long-term treatment. Chronic relapsers must recognize in no uncertain terms that they will not receive any emotional or financial support from their family if they do not complete long-term treatment or remain sober.

Stay one step ahead. It has been established that chronic relapsers are treatment-savvy, tricky and highly manipulative. When you, as the family, do get to speak and/or visit the chronic relapser, don’t take what they say at face value. Don’t give them an inch.

Emphasize that they work all 12 Steps with a sponsor. It is important that working the 12 Steps is not just a suggestion, but a requirement. These individuals must be held accountable to obtain a sponsor and work all 12 Steps while they are still in treatment.

Be relentless with accountability. Treatment for the chronic relapser should include a constant emphasis on accountability, responsibility and consistency. It is essential that there be rules, limits, boundaries and consequences with chronic relapsers. Family and friends can support but knowing what is expected of their loved one and reinforcing these policies and practices in their encounters with the chronic relapser.

Sources:

http://www.addictionpro.com/

http://www.merriam-webster.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org

 

What is Recovery?

What is Recovery?

Recovery from addiction is a journey not a destination. Addiction does not happen overnight, it takes time, therefore recovery also takes time. Addiction and alcoholism are defined as diseases. Addiction is the physical dependence on any mind or mood altering substance and the continued use regardless of consequences. Addiction is not a moral deficiency but rather a disease of the mind, body and spirit. Most people who become addicted cannot using drugs or drinking simply because they want to or “will” themselves to. Most people who suffer from addiction or alcoholism must seek outside help or an outside solution rather to help them get sober and then remain sober as they journey into recovery.

Sobriety is the cessation of drug use or drinking after an addiction has been formed. In order to remain sober addicts and alcoholics must find help from an outside source because they cannot find sobriety or gain sobriety on their own. Most of the time addicts and alcoholics who want to be in sobriety have tried many times to be sober on their own and have not been capable of it. This is why drug and alcohol treatment centers are available to anyone suffering with disease of alcoholism or addiction. Sobriety and the help to get sober is offered in the form of detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and support groups at these drug and alcohol treatment centers. Sobriety is not recovery though and in order to truly recover from the disease of alcoholism and addiction something more than just drug and alcohol treatment must be completed. This is where some kind of solution based therapy comes into play in order for the journey to recovery to begin.

Most people who want recovery begin by looking into 12 step programs because the term recovered is used in such self-help groups. Recovery is not only just the cessation of drug use and drinking but also the ability to live life effectively and usefully without the use of drugs and alcohol. This is why recovery is a lifestyle and not so much a destination that people reach once they get sober. Recovery is a way of living. More people than not find recovery in their 12 step fellowship such as AA or NA because it treats all three aspects of the disease of addiction. 12 step fellowships offer recovery because they give the addict or alcoholic not only the chance to stay sober but also steps to live a more effective and useful life. The 12 step programs of recovery offer a spiritual solution to a disease which includes a spiritual malady or maladjustment to life.

Recovery begins as soon as an addict or alcoholic’s behavior, ideals, ideas, thoughts, and actions change for the better. Recovery is not merely living life and battling against wanting to use drugs but finding the solution so they may never thinking of drugs or drinking again. Recovery allows this because it teaches a new way of life.

 

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery

5 Ways You're Losing Touch With Your Recovery

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery

Unfortunately, many recovering addicts and alcoholics need to learn lessons the hard way. We want to recover our way. We want an easier, softer way.  We get comfortable in recovery and stop doing the things that got us clean and sober in the first place. Sometimes when this happens, we relapse. Other times, we simply get miserable until we are ready to make a change. Here are some ways you could be losing touch with your recovery:

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: You stop going to meetings

Once you have a little time sober, it gets easy to find excuses not to go to meetings. Life gets busy. You start to make excuses. You’re feeling better and you don’t really think you need them anymore. Maybe you tell yourself you don’t like a particular meeting or the people who frequent it. Maybe you convince yourself that meetings actually make you feel worse, because people are talking about drugs and alcohol all the time. Whatever the excuse, it comes down to the same thing: fewer meetings. This is one of the first ways you’re losing touch with your recovery.

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: You stop praying and meditating

Conscious contact with a higher power is one of the first things to go when you’re losing touch with your recovery. It’s easy to get lazy about prayer and meditation. The only one to keep you accountable in this aspect is you. You may start feeling unhappy and not even realize that your lack of conscious contact is the cause. Maybe you start to feel resentful towards your higher power.

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: Your ego comes back

It has been said that a spiritual experience is the death of ego. Maybe you’ve already had a spiritual experience but slowly but surely your ego starts to creep back in. You start to compare yourself to others, and feel above them. You are not open to suggestions, and you are not checking your actions with anyone else.

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: You slip into old behaviors

One of the ways you’re losing touch with your recovery could be that you are slipping back into old patterns of behavior. You may start to be dishonest. It starts off small, little white lies, and you don’t think it’s such a big deal. Pretty soon you are hiding things from everyone. Maybe you are acting out sexually, causing harm with your actions. Maybe you have started to slip back into a selfish and self-seeking mindset, and you begin to look at every situation in terms of what it can do to you.

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: You start to feel miserable

If you are feeling miserable, for any reason, in your recovery, it is a sign that you are losing touch with your recovery. There is something that you are not doing. If you are feeling miserable, it’s time to take a good hard look at your program and to reach out to sober supports. Feeling miserable is often the last stop on the road to relapse.

Ways To Have Fun in Recovery

Ways to have fun in recovery

Most people before they get sober think that recovery is going to be boring. They have no idea how to live life or really do anything without getting drunk or high; in fact getting drunk or high was half, if not all of the fun they would experience. So it really is an incomprehensible thought to be having fun in recovery without drugs and alcohol. Luckily, this is just a thought and there are many ways to have fun in recovery. When it really comes down to it having fun in recovery is less about what an individual doing and more about the way they feel inside and their attitude. The perception of an alcoholic or addict can really alter an experience so if you are having fun in recovery it is probably because of your perception and less about what you are doing, although, it is still good to have great ideas of what to do for fun in recovery.

Here are some ways to have fun in recovery:

Ways to have fun in recovery: Play!

Whether it is laser tag, paint ball, or a pickup game of basketball; playing is a great way to stay youthful, have fun and be sober all at the same time. Not to mention playing is a really great way to get exercise. You will be amazed at how much you laugh and how competitive you get when you play games sober and you will probably wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before.

Ways to have fun in recovery: Go downtown.

There are lots of things to do in your hometown besides drink or use drugs believe it or not. If you think there isn’t go and try to find all the spots there are that don’t involve alcohol at all. Another thing you could do is go get frozen yogurt or coffee with a friend and then find a bench and people watch. This is especially entertaining at night and can really give you some good laughs. Another great way to have fun in recovery people watching is to try and guess everyone’s story as they walk by based on who they are with, what they are wearing and the way they talk etc. You will be surprised at how it’s the little things that become the most fun in recovery.

Ways to have fun in recovery: Movie nights

This one is an obvious one. Whenever you are looking for a night of fun, invite all your friends over pick some movies. For instance you could do a scary movie theme, pop tons of popcorn, go buy some candy and scare each other silly. This could even turn into a sleep over or game night too if movies aren’t your thing. Once again you will be surprised at how much fun you have and how much you laugh.

When it comes to having fun in recovery it really is all about your attitude. A small and simple appreciation for the little things in life can make all the difference. Plus you don’t have to worry about waking up in the morning with a hangover or in withdrawal if you are having fun in sober. And that’s way more fun.

The Process of Forgiveness

The Process of ForgivenessThe Process of Forgiveness

The process of forgiveness works on its own time schedule. There is no right or wrong amount of time it takes to find forgiveness for someone else or yourself. Forgiveness is always possible. The literal definition of forgiveness is: to cease to feel resentment against. This makes sense because most of the time we have to forgive someone it is because we are angry at them for something they did usually to hurt us.

So why should we practice forgiveness?

  • Forgiveness seems unnatural sometimes. We want to stay mad at the person who wronged us and hang onto that anger. This isn’t healthy though. In order for us to be the healthiest versions of ourselves we have to go through the process of forgiveness.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened was ok and it doesn’t mean that the person should be welcome in your life either. Forgiveness merely means that you have made peace with the pain and are ready to let it go-this is one of the biggest reasons to forgive.
  • Forgiving someone is not something we do for others we do it for ourselves. Not forgiving someone keeps you trapped in the anger you have for them. When you forgive them you can finally set yourself free from that negative emotion
  • Forgiveness takes strength and courage.
  • Forgiveness is also about forgiving yourself. When you can forgive others you can also forgive yourself for your own mistakes.
  • Forgiveness is one of the highest forms of love. This doesn’t mean that you love the person you are forgiving it just means that you love yourself enough to give yourself that sense of peace that comes from forgiving someone as well as allowing them to move on peace too.

So now that we know why we should go through the process of forgiveness how do we do it? Forgiving someone can sometimes seem easier said than done. Well, we know forgiveness is a practice of letting go of resentment or anger. So in order to begin the process of forgiveness we must start to let go of anger towards them.

  1. Think of them as a child or someone very close to you
  2. Remember its easier to forgive than it is to hang onto the anger
  3. Do not keep thinking of the past or the bad thing that happened. Stay in the present.
  4. Remember that everyone is doing the best they can all the time-including who you are upset with.
  5. Remind yourself how much forgiveness would mean to you if you were the one had done the wrong.
  6. Pray for them or every time you think of them send them love.
  7. Realize that the hurt they caused you was not about you but was about them
  8. Recognize your part in the situation and forgive yourself
  9. Write a letter then burn it
  10. Think of others who may be feeling the way you are feeling and pray for them

All of these things are how you can begin the process of forgiving. Chances are if you do these things you will find yourself ready to forgive. Forgiveness is not merely an apology but an actual of action of you letting go of your anger so you can have peace and happiness in your own life. Accept forgiveness and accept your happiness. This is the process of forgiveness.

What is addiction?

What is addiciton?

 

 

 

 

What is addiction?

Addiction is a disease or condition that happens when a person takes a substance (alcohol, cocaine, heroin, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling, sex) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with the responsibilities of life. The use or engagement in these things usually interferes with things such as work, relationships or even health. Those with addiction may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others connected to them.

Addiction is a word that can be used in many different ways. One definition of addiction describes physical addiction. Physical addiction is when a person’s body adapts to the presence of a substance so that the substance no longer has the same effect. In addiction terms this is known as a tolerance. Another part of physical addiction is the over reaction by the brain to drugs. In addiction terms this is known as triggers. An example of this would be an alcoholic walks into a bar and will feel a strong pull to have a drink.

Most addictions though have very little to do with the physical tolerance or triggers. Most people who have addictions use drugs, gambling, or shopping for example, in reaction to being emotionally stressed regardless of whether or not they have a physical addiction. In other words they have no coping skills to deal with life. This explains why those with addiction are so easily and readily capable of switching their drug or non-drug behavior.

Addiction according to a 12-step program and most recovered addicts is known as something different. Addiction is defined as having three parts for those addicts in a 12-step program. The three parts of addiction are a physical allergy, a mental obsession, and a spiritual malady. 12-step programs define addiction as more of spiritual emptiness and the use of substances or activities fills that emptiness.

Addiction regardless of what it means is a disease though and has nothing to do with will-power, strength or morality. Addiction, when it affects a person sticks with them for life and someone who has it can never be cured of it but they can recover from it.

Treatment for addiction

That is why there is treatment for addiction. Treatment for addiction usually begins with a physical withdrawal from the substances or activity. When someone with an addiction stops their drug use they usually experiences physical signs of sickness such as nausea, sweating, vomiting, chills and sweats, sleeplessness, fever and even seizures. This physical withdrawal during treatment for addiction is known as a detox. After detox is completed usually the next phase of treatment for addiction includes inpatient or outpatient therapy in order to help the addicts identify, avoid, and cope with situations in which they are most likely to go back to substances or the activities they were addicted to.

What are the symptoms of addiction?

  • The biggest sign of addiction is the inability to limit use of a substance which leads to being severely impaired.
  • There is a craving or compulsion to use the substance or activity.
  • There is recurrent use of the drug or activity and it progresses to achieve the desired effect. This is also tolerance.
  • Attempts to stop usually produce to withdrawal symptoms either physical or mental. These withdrawal symptoms range from irritability, to anxiety, to sweating and vomiting.
  • Continued use of the drug or activity causes problems at work, in the social life, and within family responsibilities. Continued use also creates psychological impairments such as interpersonal problems. It also has negative effects on health, mood, self-respect, and self-esteem. This is made worse by continued use.

What are the causes of addiction?

There is no one specific cause for any addiction. There is no way to predict who will become addicted and who won’t. Any substance or activity that has the potential to be pleasurable can provide the conditions for an addiction to be formed. Some say genetics have something to do with causing addiction, some say they are just born with, and some say it is developed over continued use. Regardless addiction impacts various different parts of the brain including those related to reward, motivation and memory.  Addiction can affect anyone, anywhere at any time.

Source:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/

Will Power in Addiction

Will Power in AddictionWill Power in Addiction

When I was using drugs and drinking, my friends and family would often say “Why can’t you just stop?” or “If you put your mind to it, you could probably quit.” Many of them saw my addiction as a matter of will power. They didn’t understand why I didn’t have the self-discipline to put down the drugs and alcohol.

Not that I hadn’t tried. There were periods in my life where I tried to give up drugs and alcohol with will power alone. I did pretty well for a while. I was able to stop using drugs and drinking for months at a time. But I was so miserable. I didn’t get off the couch; I rarely bothered to eat or shower. My day to day life was in shambles. Will power in addiction allowed me to put down the drugs and the drink, but it didn’t help me live.

Sometimes people say things in the rooms that aren’t very helpful.  One of these sayings is “Don’t pick up, no matter what.” Sounds great in theory- no matter what happens don’t use drugs. But telling me not to pick up was like telling me not to breathe. I don’t know how.  I had no will power in addiction.

The first time I sat down with my sponsor, she told me that alcoholism is a matter of power and choice. What this means is that when I start drinking or using, I cannot control how much I drink or use. I can’t tell you how many times I bought enough drugs and alcohol to last me three or four days, and I was out after an hour. The other part of my disease is choice. It means I can’t stop when I want to stop and when I stop, I can’t stay stopped. Will power in addiction was a delusion. I had no power at all. I had no choice.

It was a relief to me to finally understand my addiction. It meant that I wasn’t just weak willed or lazy, I had a disease. I had a physical allergy to alcohol and drugs. When I take any mind-altering substance, I no longer had will power in addiction. I couldn’t stop even though I was hurting my family. I couldn’t stop even though I was homeless. I couldn’t stop even though I really, really wanted to stop.

Step one in Alcoholics Anonymous is “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” Will power in addiction isn’t part of the equation. We admit that we have no power to decide when we drink, how much we drink, and when to stop. Even the most self-disciplined man, if he is a true alcoholic, will never be able to control his drinking.

I had tried everything in my power to quit drinking and using drugs. I had made countless promises to myself and everyone else around me, and I still couldn’t stop. I had changed jobs, cities, boyfriends. I had avoided people I used with and places that served alcohol. I traveled. I saw doctors. I exercised. Nothing worked until I realized that there was no will power in addiction for me.

5 Hard Choices Everyone Has to Make in Their Recovery

5 Hard Choices Everyone Has to Make in Their Recovery

There are a lot of hard choices I’ve had to make in my recovery. I was given a lot of suggestions in the beginning, and some of the things I was asked to do weren’t necessarily things I wanted to do. I did realize, however, that my own choices had landed me in rehab. Doing what I wanted to do wasn’t working out very well for me.

5 Hard Choices Everyone Has to Make in Their Recovery: Should I get help?

The first hard choice everyone has to make in their recovery is to decide to recover; to get help. I was miserable when I was using drugs and drinking, but it was familiar and comfortable. I didn’t know what to expect from sobriety. What’s that old saying?  Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. It’s scary to make a change, even if you are very unhappy. I had kind of accepted the way my life was. In my mind, it was normal to be miserable or at least normal for me. It was scary to make a change.

5 Hard Choices Everyone Has to Make in Their Recovery: Should I go to a sober house?

One of the first hard choices I had to make after treatment was whether to go to a sober house or move back home. I knew I would have a better chance at recovery at a sober house, but I wasn’t looking forward to rules and a curfew. I did end up going to a sober house, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I made a lot of friends, had a lot of fun, and it kept me accountable during those early days of sobriety.

5 Hard Choices Everyone Has to Make in Their Recovery: Who should I ask to be my sponsor?

This is one of those hard choices everyone has to make in their recovery that isn’t actually that hard. I’ve seen people stress over who to ask, then they end up not having a sponsor for weeks on end. That can be dangerous. I think it’s important to ask someone who is working a good program, but beyond that it doesn’t really matter. Remember that your choice isn’t permanent. If you decide later on that you connect with someone else, you can always switch sponsors.

5 Hard Choices Everyone Has to Make in Their Recovery: Who do I hang out with?

When I first got into the rooms, people would always say “stick with the winners.” Not everyone I went to treatment with or lived with in the sober house stayed sober. In fact, most didn’t. It’s the sad reality of this disease: many relapse, few recover. The thing was, I really liked some of the people that relapsed. They were fun, and funny. But they weren’t doing the right things, and I knew it. I chose to surround myself with people who were doing the deal and working a program, because in the end, you are who you hang out with.

5 Hard Choices Everyone Has to Make in Their Recovery: When do I move out of the sober house?

If you make the choice to live in a sober house, eventually one of the hard choices everyone has to make in their recovery is when to move out. My advice? Don’t make this choice on your own. Ask your sponsor, ask your therapist, and ask the sober house manager.