Welcome To The Official Fellowship Hall Blog

Expect a Miracle. Recovery delivers.

June 21, 2021

Expect a Miracle. Recovery delivers.

Every August, Fellowship Hall hosts a conference to celebrate recovery with hundreds of alumni from our treatment programs and their recovery allies, family members and friends who support their dedication and work to remain in long-term recovery.

This year, Mark D serves as the conference Voice, leading a group of committed volunteers in putting together the program for Conference, setting the theme, and giving their time and talents to pull the event together. This year’s theme, Expect A Miracle, is how Mark describes his recovery experience.

Mark can recall every detail of the moment he had his first drink, down to the color of the cup he used to steal the beverage from his uncle’s fridge at just nine years old. From that moment on, substances would hold a vice grip on his life for decades, until he would reach a point where he had nothing—and no one—left to lose.

As is usually the case, Mark was unaware that he was on his way to rock bottom. After a series of injuries, opiates entered his life – which led to an out-of-control spiral. “I came home one day and the electricity had been shut off,” Mark remembers. It wasn’t long before he had lost everything – his home, his car, his children, and his reality.

Family members attempted an intervention and after a month of avoiding them after the encounter, Mark took his las drink on December 17, 2015. It was after he completed treatment that Mark moved to Greensboro into an Oxford House. He was given the number of a Fellowship Hall alum, Jerry S, who welcomed Mark and took him to meetings for the next two weeks. “I dove in feet first. I loved AA from the very first meeting,” Mark shares.

With the help of his sponsor, Mark began volunteering at Fellowship Hall, driving guests to meetings and looking forward to attending conference each year. One thing he has learned since getting sober is that he expected a miracle, and recovery delivered with a wealth of new friendships, a new lease on life, and gratitude for friends, a home, a job he loves, and the opportunity to help others find the gift of being clean and sober.

Make plans to join us for this year’s conference and come expecting a miracle. The shared experiences and fellowship will strengthen and encourage you in establishing your recovery over the long haul. Register now for this year’s conference, August 6-9, 2021.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

8 Reasons Socializing Sober is Better

June 7, 2021

8 Reasons Socializing Sober is Better

By Kelly Fitzgerald  from www.thefix.com 

When you’re used to taking shots before any social interaction, it feels weird when you show up anywhere sober. But I learned that it’s actually better this way.

Let’s face it, socializing is something that is historically associated with alcohol. If you’ve watched television, surfed the Internet, or even browsed your Facebook feed, you’ve seen advertisements from the alcohol industry—or pop culture sites in general—on what you should be doing on a Friday night, what you should be mixing your vodka with, and how you can meet good-looking people at the bar. It’s one reason it took me such a long time to try sobriety. I truly thought the only way to socialize was by going out for drinks or by eyeing up my next boyfriend from across the club while listening to “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

It took me a little while to adjust to life sober and socializing has been a big part of that. When you’re used to taking shots before any social interaction, it feels weird when you show up anywhere sober. Each event and situation that I participated in sober was a new learning opportunity, and they proved to me that socializing sober is much better than socializing drunk.

No. 1: It’s GENUINE

I was always the drinker who felt these deep spiritual connections with their drunk friends. I would meet someone at a nightclub in a bathroom at 2 a.m. and she would just get me. We’d be besties for the rest of the night. Sometimes these “friendships” lasted and we’d become party pals. I had tons of party pals, people who I could call on any day at any time and convince them to drink with me. Since getting sober, I’ve come to realize just how fake these connections were. It takes a lot more than sharing tequila shots to become close with another human. Sobriety has shown me that genuine connections are made with a clear head.

No. 2: It doesn’t entail a hangover

Socializing for me in active addiction always had a hangover attached to it. That’s because I didn’t know how to socialize without consuming alcohol. I won’t lie to you, I had a lot of fun on some days while drinking, but the price I always paid was a nasty hangover. No matter how much fun I thought I was having, the next day I paid for it. Socializing sober doesn’t require the social currency of a hangover. Today when I socialize, I get to wake up the next morning feeling refreshed.

No. 3: You develop connections that have substance

Along with drunk connections not being genuine, they also don’t have substance. When I got sober, I left a lot of friends behind because I realized we had nothing in common. What we had in common previously was drinking and drama. Once you leave that stuff behind, you realize you need to socialize with other people who have similar world views and goals. It’s easier to find people who share your views and goals when you are sober, understand what you’re looking for in this life, and go out to the right places and get it.

No. 4: You don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself

My drinking years were a long history of embarrassing situations. I know people who drink and aren’t alcoholics who have embarrassed themselves, at least a time or two, while indulging in alcohol. The beauty of socializing sober is that you don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself! Of course, it’s possible to make a mistake or do something silly while sober, but not to the extent that I used to do it when I was drinking. I can make the conscious decision to behave in a certain way while socializing instead of leaving it up to who I become during a blackout.

No. 5: You can remember all your conversations

Do you know how many times people confided in me and told me serious stuff while I was intoxicated? More times than I can count. Not only that, serious things in my life happened—surgeries, deaths, and other important events that I can hardly recall. It pains me to know that I can’t remember crucial details of my life due to my addiction. Now that I move through the world sober, I can remember all of my conversations, big and small.

No. 6: You might find new hobbies you love

Socializing sober has been advantageous because I’ve found new hobbies I never knew I liked. It’s a common misconception that you won’t have fun in sobriety and that socializing is hard. But the truth is, you find new ways to socialize. I’ve started CrossFit and have met new people through that community. Sobriety offers time to find new hobbies and new friendships with people who enjoy those hobbies.

No. 7: Friendship will be based on values, not booze

I never realized how my entire life was based around alcohol until I got sober. I thought I was drinking like any other 20-something party girl. It wasn’t until I looked deep within and examined my relationships, that I realized I sought out “friends” who could drink a lot, who liked to go to the same nightclubs as me, and had connections to get drugs. It might seem like common sense, but these are not the qualities that make up a good friend! Today, my sober friendships are based on real values like loyalty, honesty, and reliability.

No. 8: I have the choice to socialize or not

I never realized it until I got sober, but socializing became forced for me, meaning drinking was equated to socializing and socializing was equated to drinking. I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I felt like I had to put on a face, be the life of the party, and act like I was enjoying and interacting with people no matter what. Now that I’m sober, I get to choose if I want to socialize or not—what a crazy concept. I also don’t equate socializing with drinking anymore.

Once I made the separation of drinking and socializing, it made sense to me why socializing is so much more enjoyable sober. You can be who you are and thrive in any situation. Of course, it took time to adjust to being a part of a crowd sober, making friends without exchanging shots of tequila, and knowing when I just want to stay home on a Friday night. But socializing has become one of my favorite things about being sober. All I have to worry about when socializing now, is being myself.

Kelly Fitzgerald is a sober writer based in Southwest Florida whose work has been published on the Huffington Post among other sites. She writes about her life as a former party girl living in recovery on The Adventures of The Sober Señorita.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

The Power of Passion: Discovering Your Hobbies & Interests After Substances

May 31, 2021

The Power of Passion: Discovering Your Hobbies & Interests After Substances

In recovery, eventually, the obsession with substances subsides. What fills up those spaces in your mind, aside from your recovery? This mental space, free from the obsession with drugs and alcohol, is the perfect place to fill with new hobbies and passions, which can help support your recovery in numerous ways.

Your passions are things that excite you, motivate you, and drive you to a purpose. Whatever it is that brings you joy and feeds your soul, seek those things out and do them often. Sobriety doesn’t mean that life cannot be fun or exciting – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Whether you lost your passions along the way during active use, or you never had the chance to discover them, they are living within you always.

The first step to finding what you enjoy doing is to try new things.

Attend a class; art, cooking, sculpting, writing, singing, dancing, you name it — even virtually they are available and just a simple internet search away. Youtube is also an incredible source of free information and instructional videos! Check out some different creators on the platform and note what does and does not spark your interest.

Reflect after each activity that you try.

Get out of your head and into your body for a moment. What are you feeling when you try these activities? Do you feel positive, warm, excited feelings? Do you feel much of anything at all? This is important to note in two ways: 1. This can lead you towards more activities and hobbies that you truly enjoy. 2. This is a great practice to increase your own emotional intelligence and understanding.

Use your search for passion as an opportunity to connect with others.

You might find that it is not the activity alone, but the shared human experience that you enjoy most. For many extroverted individuals, this is often the case! Reach out to your sponsor, those in your meetings, or close friends or family that support your recovery to go on this adventure of trying new things with you.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

In your pursuit of passion, like with anything else, do not be afraid to fail. Even if you are afraid, remember that often the most beautiful things live beyond the realm of our deepest fears. You have made it this far, so why not continue to try to find things that make you feel more like you.

Remember, passions and hobbies are a great place to begin as you get to know yourself and your personality again in sobriety. This is a great inner-place to turn to instead of feelings such as obsession, isolation, boredom, anger, depression, anxiety, etc. They can become a good outlet of expression for these emotions as well. Your passions can constantly change and develop, so be patient and don’t give up! Like the steps, you can go through the motions of trying new things over and over again, and you will only get better with time and repetition.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

Helping Others, Why Sponsoring is Important to Recovery

May 3, 2021

Helping Others, Why Sponsoring is Important to Recovery

Step 12 of Alcoholics Anonymous says:

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

At its core, this step reminds you to live your life by the principles of AA, and to also encourage others like you in need to discover the promises of the program. As you go through your recovery journey and work the steps, you will build the foundation for your life in sobriety.

However, you probably didn’t get to Step 12 by yourself. No, many individuals in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous probably helped you along your way. From sponsors, to home groups, to just plain peers and friends, the fellowship found in 12-Step Programs is focused on learning for oneself and going on to give back. As you have improved your life greatly, it is important that you help others who are suffering.

It can also be beneficial to your long-term sobriety and recovery. Here are some ways giving back and helping others can support your recovery:

Builds Self-Esteem

To put it simply, giving back never feels bad. To have the opportunity to listen to others and to genuinely relate to their strife like no one else can is a beautiful thing. Throughout your time in recovery, you have made mistakes, and you probably had to seek the counsel and wisdom of others to overcome obstacles or to bounce back when you’ve taken a wrong turn. As you learned, you built on your experience and knowledge along the way. Passing this on to someone else can instill a sense of leadership and mentorship within you, and can build your confidence in your own ability while helping someone else simultaneously.

Fills Idle Time

An enemy to those in recovery can often be boredom or idle time. No matter how far you are along in your recovery, boredom can lead to those familiar feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression from days of active use. Helping others by way of volunteering with or sponsoring other individuals in recovery fills up your time and gives you new connections to grab coffee with, go to meetings with, or plan other events with to keep your schedule full.

Can Prevent Return to Use

When cravings or thoughts about returning to use present themselves, it can be difficult to think clearly. You might find yourself glamourizing your past at times, struggling to remember why active use was so detrimental to your life.

Serving and helping others who are suffering may serve as a reminder to yourself when you were in the throes of the earliest parts of your sobriety and recovery, further reinforcing the importance of your dedication to a 12-Step Program and to your own sobriety.

Gives You a Sense of Purpose

Finally, helping others can give you a sense of purpose. Knowing that someone else might lean on you for support in their journey to stay well can make you feel a sense of accountability, a reason to get out of bed in the morning when that reason can be difficult to find or feel.

Helping someone else can make you feel needed, it can make you feel important…because you are.

Remember, helping others doesn’t have a requirement. Just showing up, living your life by the 12 Steps, being honest and open, and meeting all of those around you with love are the greatest acts of helping others that you could possibly participate in.

***

For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

 

 April Showers Bring May Flowers, How to Get Through your “Lows”

April 19, 2021

 April Showers Bring May Flowers, How to Get Through your “Lows” (Depression/Anxiety)

When you were in active use, you probably used substances to numb your emotions. In recovery, you must learn how to master coping with these emotions instead of letting them be the master of you. Feelings are a difficult thing for all individuals to manage, but it is known that they are especially difficult for those in recovery.

Substances alter the chemicals in your brain, long after the periods of active use. Establishing an emotional baseline and managing the highs and the lows will be challenging, but not impossible.

Here are FIVE ways to manage your “low” moments while in recovery:

Pick up the Phone and Call…Before You Want To

Most of the time, you probably don’t want to “bother” others with your seemingly small problems. You might be annoyed with your family, angry with a situation at work, or suffering from lower-than-usual self-esteem. It’s easy to convince yourself that situations like these are minor inconveniences that aren’t worth calling your sponsor or friends in recovery about.

What you might not realize is, these situations, if left unaddressed, can build in your mind. As you work to suppress them, the negative emotions surrounding them can compound and become something much bigger than they ever needed to be—bringing you to a low point. Avoid this by being open with others. Call those in your support network when things are good, when things are bad, and when things are boring. You may find that as you begin talking, subconscious feelings come to the surface. Something you say might even help someone else without you realizing it. Call a friend today, before you’re in the low point.

Practice Self-Care

When you’re feeling low, basic tasks can become mountains to move in your mind. Getting out of bed and eating can be difficult in those depressing moments. Even if it is the very last thing you want to do, most of the time spending a small bit of time on personal hygiene (showering, a hot bath, brushing your teeth, a face mask, etc.), preparing a hot meal, and getting your body moving can be the very thing you needed to reset and to get to feeling a bit better.

Small actions of care for the self lead to big emotional changes. Practice repeated routines and actions each day to care for yourself. This might be a 30-minute walk, trying a new recipe, or sitting down with a cup of hot herbal tea in the evening. Do something for you, daily, to increase your feelings of confidence and self-worth.

Stay Spiritually Fit

Your mind can become clouded, especially when you’re feeling down. It can be difficult to think logically or to even think at all in those moments. Don’t forget to turn your problems, no matter how “small” over to your higher power as you understand it.

Meditation, prayer, mindfulness, yoga, and spending time in the sunlight can all be great ways to ground yourself and to combat the feelings of anxiety and depression that take over during “lows.”

Go to a Meeting

This may seem obvious, but don’t talk yourself out of a meeting. Usually, when you want to go the least is when you need to attend one the most. Feeling “low” isn’t just an emotional feeling, it can be physical and all-encompassing lethargy and lack of energy or motivation to do anything. You will always feel better after a meeting, so reach out to a friend in your network and let them know what you’re going through. If you need extra support, ask them to attend with you.

Seek Professional Help

Some “lows” cannot be managed alone. Be sure to be open with your small group, psychiatrist, doctor, and counselors about what you are experiencing. Professionals are trained to handle the emotional distress that you are facing far better than yourself or anyone else. There’s no way to know exactly what is causing your distress without talking with a professional, it may be related to your diet, sleeping habits, or other medical issues. Remember, being honest with those around you is always the best way to begin feeling better.

***

For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

Time to BLOOM — Grow your Recovery Support Network!

March 29, 2021

Time to BLOOM — Grow your Recovery Support Network!

If it’s something weird and it don’t look good
Who ya gonna call?
Ghost Busters!

Well…not exactly. Who are you going to call in moments of need throughout your recovery? Who will you call when things are going well? A strong support network is essential to successful long-term recovery. It is important to surround yourself with individuals that understand your situation and support your recovery.

At the beginning of your recovery, you might find that your approach to friendships and relationships has changed for you. You also probably had to leave some of the relationships from your days of active addiction behind you. This doesn’t mean that you’re destined to a life of less connection — no one recovers alone. Learning how to build your network takes time, but here are some helpful hints to get you started:

Actively Attend 12-Step Program Meetings

Many Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are currently virtual, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still actively participate in the 12-Step Communities. So long as you have a desire to pursue sobriety, you are welcome in the rooms of AA and NA.

If you’re new to the sphere of 12-Step meetings, stay after and talk to some of the others in attendance, whether that’s in person or in the chat of the Zoom meeting. Those in recovery are almost always eager to help others, and remember—they were once new, just like you. Much like your recovery, sometimes the first step of reaching out when building connections is the hardest part, but it does get easier with practice!

Find a Sponsor

You must find someone with experience and empathy to assist you as you work through the 12-Steps. A sponsor is someone that you feel comfortable being completely honest and open with. As another individual who has worked through the same disease as you, they should understand you and be close to you in your recovery in a way that few others could be.

This is the person who can encourage you when times are tough, and guide you when you feel lost. Those moments will present themselves throughout your recovery journey, and it is important to seek the mentorship and connection of a sponsor in your fellowship. Continue on with attending meetings and connect with as many individuals as possible. As you build relationships, you will know when you’ve found the person who is the right fit.

Reconnect and Rebuild Healthy Relationships

Finally, encourage your family and friends to educate themselves in regard to the disease of Substance Use Disorder. If you are fortunate enough to have maintained a relationship with your loved ones after your time in active use, turn your attention toward improving those relationships through your program of recovery. If you are not in contact with loved ones due to mistakes made during active use, work with your sponsor and in your program on making amends to those individuals you might have wronged.

It may take some education, time, and consistency, but surrounding yourself with your loved ones who want the best for you in your recovery can be an incredibly valuable source of support in your network. Your loved ones can find resources to learn more about your recovery at https://al-anon.org/ or https://www.nar-anon.org/.

***

For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

Avoid Becoming Stagnant: Staying Active in Your Recovery

March 15, 2021

Recovery is defined as a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. To most, that means that once you’re well again, the process of recovering is completed. When recovering from Substance Use Disorder, you must understand that there is no definitive end to your recovery. It is a road that presses on, a journey down a path that only betters your life with the passing of distance and time if you choose to continue walking on it.

Going forward with the path metaphor, you must understand that from time-to-time there will be potholes, speedbumps, and forks. There will be times when you feel fatigued, stuck, or downright stagnant. So how can you stay as active as possible in your recovery?

Stick to Your Routine

If you think you don’t need to go to a meeting, go to two. Much like with a fitness routine, you may not always want to go to the gym, but rarely ever will you regret having gone. Meetings are your way to re-center yourself and your mindset. Set days during the week that you commit to going to a meeting and go. If you’re feeling fatigued, switch it up! Talk to some of your friends in recovery and try new meetings. The world of zoom has opened up endless possibilities, around the clock and around the world meetings are available virtually.

Visit our link here (https://www.fellowshiphall.com/alumni-online-resources.php) for more online resources.

Read or Listen to Recovery Material

Motivation will fluctuate over time, and it is natural that you may need some inspiration every once in a while. You also must continue your education in regard to recovery, as it will help you stay mindful and aware of how to best live your life in a way that helps you maintain sobriety. Find what you like! Many of those in recovery read the daily reflection each morning, or utilize a recovery bible. Incorporate this into your daily routine. If you have a long commute or some downtime, try recovery podcasts such as https://sobercast.com/ or listen to AA and NA speaker tapes for free on Youtube.

Tend to Your Spiritual Life

Remember that self-reliance is what leads you back to active use, reliance on a higher power as you understand it is what propels you forward in your journey on the path of long-term recovery. Meditate in the morning to calm and center yourself before the rush of the day begins, pray and turn your trials over to your higher power as you understand it. Reflect on what you can do to feed your spiritual life more each day, and then incorporate that into your routine.

Talk with Others

Make connections and pick up the phone to call others before you need to. Don’t wait until you feel your worst to share experiences, feelings, or thoughts. Call your sponsor or friends in recovery to begin cultivating your circle of positive connections in your recovery. Being connected and forming relationships with others in recovery can also help you feel accountable, it’s also important to have sources of insight from others who understand the types of things you might be going through.

***

For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

Recovery Tip from a Counselor: Michael Bryant on Trusting the Process

March 1, 2021

Recovery Tip from a Counselor: Michael Bryant on Trusting the Process

This blog is a part of our ongoing series on recovery tips. Each month, a Fellowship Hall counselor will give our readers their very best tips for getting treatment, being successful in therapy, and maintaining sobriety.  Be sure to read them all.

If you’ve ever baked something before, you know it can be hard to look at the ingredients, or event batter or dough and imagine it as the final product, hopefully, a delicious baked good. That’s because baking is a process that requires patience, much like the process of recovery. Recovery works on you, “bakes” you, shapes you. It takes work, time, and consistency.

Fellowship Hall Primary Counselor, Michael Bryant, shared his best recovery tips for the blog and emphasized the importance of the beautiful process.

Michael’s Best Tips…

Recovery First: When I think about “tips” for recovery, I invite everyone to keep their recovery their top priority. You’ll know what your priorities are by what you practice. Remember that you must build your life around your recovery, not your recovery around your life.

The Four P’s: I also always emphasize something called The four P’s.

Get a PROGRAM.
Live by the PRINCIPLES of the Program.
Stay in the PROCESS
And you will receive the Promises

The Process: Most people fall short in the process. We get a program (AA or NA), we live by the principles (12-Steps), but we don’t stay in the process because we’re looking for a quick fix or instant gratification—we grow weary in the well-doing of recovery. Be willing to stay in the process, it is essential to receive the promises.

Reach Out: You must always remember this is a “WE” program and not an “I” program. No one recovers alone. Lean on your support network.

Rely on your Higher Power as You Understand it: Reliance on a higher power is what provides the power to move through the various phases of your recovery. Reliance on a higher power empowers and equips us to move forward in our recovery. Self-reliance takes us back to our addiction.

***

For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

Contributed by: Michael Bryant Primary Counselor, BS/CSAC/CPSS

How to Be a Good Partner to Someone in Recovery (When You are Not in Recovery)

February 24, 2021

How to Be a Good Partner to Someone in Recovery (When You are Not in Recovery)

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but it always serves as a reminder of the importance of love and partnerships in our lives. Choosing a partner in recovery adds a new layer to relationships and requires a healthy understanding of your role in the recovering individual’s life.

Here are some things to consider when dating someone in recovery:

Recovery Comes First, No Exceptions

This may be hard to understand initially if you’re not familiar with the realm of recovery, but it is a commonly stated idea that those in recovery will ultimately lose anything that they put before recovery in their lives.

Understand that for your partner to show up for you as their best self, they need to keep recovery at the forefront of their life. This means attending meetings, stepping away to call their sponsor, sharing things with their recovery network that they may not feel comfortable sharing with you yet—it requires trust and patience on your behalf.

Educate Yourself ASAP

The first step to understanding your partner in recovery is understanding the disease of Substance Use Disorder. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon literature are a great place to start, as they are both groups geared specifically towards loved ones of those in recovery.

You might find it helpful to attend an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting in your area to develop a support network of other individuals with loved ones in recovery.

https://al-anon.org/

https://www.nar-anon.org/

Offer Support and Leave it Up to Them  

Instead of assuming, ask your partner what you can do to best support their recovery. If they want you to attend meetings with them for support, and that’s something you feel comfortable doing, share that moment with them.

Don’t be offended if they opt to go alone. This is a very intimate and private time for the individual in recovery, so don’t take it personally if they ask you to stay behind.

Keep Communication Open

Early on in the relationship with your partner in recovery, a few very important things should be established. Open and honest communication is a must. You need to sit down with them and talk about your expectations for the relationship. This might be the amount of time you want to spend together, how much you’d like to communicate during the day or even simple things like the kinds of activities you feel comfortable doing together. This is a great opportunity to talk about your needs and listen to your partner when they tell you where they are able to meet you in regard to these.

Boundaries are also very important to establish in all relationships, specifically for those in recovery. You should understand your partner’s triggers, and discuss with them how you can help them avoid these, and what you should do in the event that they have a moment of struggle. Take some time to think about what you will and will not accept in the relationship, because your partner should also understand your boundaries.

Find the Silver Lining

Though it may take some extra work at times, if your partner is dedicated to their recovery, the opportunities are endless. It’s important to focus on the chances for gratitude in this situation—gratitude that you’ve met your partner at this time in their life, as opposed to when they were in active use.

Recovery and 12-Step Programs can provide a sense of openness, vulnerability, honesty, and growth for your partner—things that those in recovery may not be able to access as easily. As your partner focuses on their recovery, look inward and assess the areas of yourself that you too could work to improve. This is a beautiful chance to grow alongside another person. Most importantly, just take it a day at a time.

For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

Seeking Self-Love in Recovery

February 2, 2021

February is the month of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and notes of admiration for loved ones. What if you spent the same amount of time and energy focusing on giving that kind of fondness and love to yourself?

The disease of Substance Use Disorder relies on feelings of guilt, shame, isolation, and general self-dissatisfaction to maintain control of your brain. While in active use, you more than likely tried to soothe said emotions by using substances. In contrast, recovery demands compassion for both others, and yourself.  The journey to self-love is a road of building genuine self-esteem in an effort to maintain a strong long-term recovery.

It’s on old cliché, you must love yourself first. Unfortunately, there’s no guidebook or formulaic way to go about finding self-love, but the desire to seek it is a great first step.

What is self-love?

Webster defines it as an appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue.

How can you achieve it?

Acceptance

You may know acceptance as a recovery principle. Acceptance of your powerlessness over drugs and alcohol, acceptance of your inability to control all of the things around you, and acceptance of others. To work toward a place of self-love, you must begin at self-acceptance.

Self-acceptance is not to be confused with complacency—of course, you must continue to work on the things that you can change. For example, Step 7 on humility reminds you to ask your higher power to remove your shortcomings. When you practice self-acceptance, you willingly acknowledge the parts of you that are imperfect and work to better what you can and accept what you cannot. This may require the help of a higher power, a counselor/therapist, and/or the collective wisdom of a home group or sponsor.

Focus on Treating Others Well

You know that in terms of recovery, you get back what you put in. Most often it is the same in regard to the way that you treat others. When you practice giving compassion, empathy, patience, and understanding to others, it can be easier to treat yourself in the same way.

TIP: When you make a mistake, slip up, or do something wrong—try to take a moment of pause and think about how you would treat a close friend or loved one if they did the same thing. Treat yourself how you would treat a close friend in the program.

Don’t Get in Your Own Way

Unfortunately, you can be your own worst enemy in recovery. In fact, most humans can get in their own way at times. You may think that you’ve “mastered” your recovery concepts and get “too comfortable” in your recovery. You may hear this from time-to-time, but more than anything it is a warning against arrogance. Arrogance can be completely subconscious and unintentional, but it can be very dangerous to your recovery. Though everyone’s recovery is different, you must remember that you cannot face the disease alone, and you are never invincible or not susceptible to the disease or a return to use. That humility and humbleness are what ultimately will allow you to build genuine self-love, understanding, and to stay sober.

Small Acts of Self Kindness

  • Keep your spiritual life active and healthy—pray, meditate, journal, repeat.
  • Take care of your health, eat well, and move around—get those natural endorphins going!
  • Begin to seek your purpose in sobriety. What brings you joy? What are your passions? Pursue them!
  • Surround yourself with people who love you for YOU, specifically, those in your recovery network.
  • Take an inventory of the things you enjoy about yourself in your journal. What are your most positive attributes? What do you add to a group setting? Ask a close friend or sponsor for help with this reflection.
  • Be of service when you can. Helping others is a proven way to build self-esteem.
  • Remember that you are a human being. You will never be perfect, but you are perfectly flawed and that is okay.

 

***

For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

 

Map