Welcome To The Official Fellowship Hall Blog

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/.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

Setting Healthy Goals While in Recovery

January 26, 2021

Healthy Goal Setting in Recovery

January is traditionally a month of goal setting—most often the start of New Year is viewed as a clean slate, a new page, and a fresh start. Goals are important because they can motivate us, they help us prioritize, and if utilized correctly, they can contribute to important personal growth and development.

If you’re in recovery, the idea of setting long-term goals can seem like a paradox. How can I set goals for the future, while also taking my recovery one day at a time? The good news is, there is a healthy way to set and achieve goals that can complement and even further your progress in your recovery journey.

Take Inventory and Visualize

The 12 Steps introduced you to the concept of taking inventory. In Step 4, you learned how to take a moral inventory and admit your shortcomings. This is a courageous step of true honesty and humility. In the same ways, when you begin to think about setting goals for yourself, begin by taking an honest inventory of where you’re currently at in different aspects of your life.

You may focus on your personal relationships, finances, career, wellness, other areas, or all of the above! When you reflect on your current situation, think of your position currently, and then visualize what your realistic yet ideal situation would be.

Be as Specific as Possible

You’ve heard it many times before, especially in recovery, don’t get too ahead of yourself, don’t “future trip,” and more importantly One Day at a Time.

The best way to set and achieve goals while also staying present in your recovery is to be as specific as possible with what you’d like to achieve. Goals that are too broad, such as “I’d like to save more money,” can be overwhelming, and frankly, can set you up to fail.

Being specific means setting a goal that is measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (you may recognize this as a SMART goal!)

For example, a specific (and SMART) goal about saving money would be:

GOAL: I want to save $50 out of each paycheck to put in my savings until May. I’m going to cancel a subscription I have and eat out only once a week to save this money.

This goal is realistic, it gives you direction, a time-line, and sets you up for success.

Write Them Down!

It’s incredibly important to write your goals down! Bring your goals into a physical reality by writing them in a journal that you use often, on a whiteboard, or you can arrange them on a vision board with pictures of what you’d like to achieve. Studies show that you’re more likely to achieve the goals that you write down and review often. Don’t forget to track your progress either, take pictures, make notes, and record updates as you go along to keep you motivated.

Recovery First

No matter what, if you’re in recovery, keep your recovery first in your life. You know that you will lose anything you put before your personal recovery. The beautiful thing about the 12 Steps is that they are the true map and guideline for your ultimate long-term goal of sobriety. Keeping recovery at the forefront of your life affords you the solid foundation and stability to build all of your other goals upon.

If you need extra support, don’t forget to reach out to your recovery network, your sponsor, or your home group to discuss the goals that you feel comfortable sharing with others. You may turn your more personal goals over to your higher power as you understand it.

For more tools to assist you in setting healthy goals that support your recovery…JOIN US TODAY 1/25/2021!

Fellowship Hall and Triad Lifestyle Medicine are teaming up to bring you a FREE live webinar on how to set healthy goals related to overall health/wellness and self-care to keep you successful in your life, and in your recovery!

For those who register on Zoom, you’ll receive a checklist and goal assessment tool to help you succeed.

When: TODAY January 26 at noon EST

Where: Join us on Zoom (check email for registration link) or watch on Facebook LIVE!

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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.

Starting Again, Working the First Step

January 8, 2021

We’ve finally made it to 2021—a new year, a clean slate, a great time to start over. Whether this is your first time or fifth time going through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, the very first step remains just as important every single time. The first step is the beginning of an exciting journey to healing and recovery.

We admitted we were powerless over drugs and alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Substance use disorder (SUD) is cunning and baffling. It speaks to you in your own voice and can lead you to believe that you can manage the complications caused by substances on your own. The truth is, you can’t out-think the disease. It fills you with shame, guilt, and other negative feelings that cloud your judgment about yourself and the world around you.

Attending a treatment facility or beginning to attend AA or NA meetings can be the start of the first step for someone suffering from SUD. Other times, individuals may begin doing those things to appease others such as their family members and friends, instead of truly seeking a genuine path to recovery. For recovery to “stick”, you must come to a full surrender. You must be honest with yourself, open with others, and willing to do the work that it takes as your time in recovery goes on.

In the circumstance of recovery, surrender is an incredibly powerful thing. In this vulnerable moment of truth with yourself when you accept that you cannot manage your disease alone, you open yourself up to begin your new life.

Though the word may play on some of your insecurities, powerlessness over drugs and alcohol doesn’t make you weak. Recognizing powerlessness actually empowers you to make a change in your life. The courage that it takes to admit this requires immense strength. In this humble moment of asking for help, you have given yourself the opportunity that is sobriety and recovery. Acceptance that you have a problem, and that you need the guidance and wisdom of a higher power and others to heal is the true beginning of the first step.

Step 1 doesn’t require you to immediately fix everything in your life that you’ve broken, it doesn’t ask you to do a massive overhaul and change everything right away or “get better” overnight. It simply asks you to accept that you have a problem, admit that you can’t fix it on your own and that you need help. It also is important that you seek these truths for yourself and no one else. The beautiful thing about the 12 Steps is that they are designed to lead you to a slow and steady understanding of recovery and rebuilding your life at your own pace.

You should talk to your sponsor or a close contact in your recovery network about working the steps. It is important to seek the wisdom of someone who can provide you with guidance and a full understanding of the situation–another person in the program (AA or NA) with afflictions similar to yours who is compassionate and can help you understand the meaning and importance of each step.

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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.

How to Stay Strong in Your Recovery During the Holiday Season

December 16, 2020

Twinkling lights, delightful aromas, and joyous celebrations–it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yet for some, it can be the most stressful time—especially if you’re in recovery. Not to mention, navigating the holiday season mid-pandemic has introduced new uncertainty and stressors to the season of cheer. Though challenging, this season can be made more bearable with a little planning, some support, and a lot of self-care. Here are some tips to stay on track with your recovery and get through the holidays this year with grace:

Make the time for meetings

The world has changed a lot in the past year, specifically the world of recovery. Meetings are available online 24/7 around the world and are only a call or zoom meeting away. If this time of year is typically stressful for you, block out time to attend extra meetings to get the support you need to continue to nurture your recovery. A helpful tip is to attend a meeting prior to your festivities/gathering (even if your family gatherings are virtual!)—many in recovery find this to be a great way to center yourself and calm your anxieties before speaking to family members and friends.

Keep in touch

It’s crucial that you stay as connected as possible with your recovery network during the holiday season. It may be easy to postpone a phone call because you’re busy or you may assume someone else is too busy to hear from you but that’s what they are there for—to support you in times of need. Pick up the phone and call your sponsor or a friend from your fellowship. Remember to reach out before things get hectic, and don’t try to do things alone.

Try to keep your routine

Routines are very important if you’re in recovery. Though gatherings may look different this year, the pressure of shopping, cooking, and giving gifts can still pull you away from your sense of normalcy. You should view the routines that you have as your sacred time, and treat them as such. Perhaps your morning routine involves your daily readings, meditating, or journaling. To the best of your ability, maintain consistency in these areas daily, regardless of travelling or events. Maintaining your “normal” motions can help avoid triggering feelings or stressors.

Remember, it is OK to say no

We say this in recovery often, but boundaries are important—and it is completely okay to say “no” to something that is going to jeopardize your sobriety. Whether the holiday gathering is in-person, or virtual, do an evaluation of who is attending and what type of activities are planned.  Then, determine if going will threaten your recovery in any way. If so, don’t feel bad. Just politely thank the host and decline the invitation. People who are in your corner for recovery will understand.

Additional Resources

Investing time to prepare for self–care allows you to think of the holiday season in a different way and marks the start of a new tradition in your life of recovery. This year for many has been tough, and the holidays are no exception. Don’t succumb to feelings of stress, or even isolation. Here are some additional resources for those in recovery this holiday season:

For AA meetings near you, by state https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources

For NA meetings near you, by state https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/

Sober podcasts for long drives or to combat feelings of boredom

https://sobercast.com/

Home

NA Speakers on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=na+speakers

AA Speakers on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=aa+speaker

 

Healthy Boundaries: Supporting Your Loved Ones in Recovery

November 17, 2020

Substance use disorder is something that impacts everyone in the wake of the disease…especially family members, close friends, and loved ones. When someone you love is suffering from the disease, they act in ways they would not typically act under normal circumstances. This can consume your life, and can often make family life feel unmanageable.

Establishing boundaries is an incredibly powerful way to manage the way that substance use disorder impacts your family life. Healthy boundaries help establish guidelines for living and relating to others. If they are reasonable and clearly communicated, they provide security for everyone involved. Boundaries prepare you for what to expect in your relationships, and likewise, what might occur if that expectation is not met.

What are boundaries and why are they important?

When a loved one is active in their disease, everything in life can begin to blend together. Their problems become your own, and the line between where their suffering ends and yours begins can become undetectable. A boundary must be something that is measurable and specific, reasonable, and enforceable.

Boundaries allow you to detach with love–not from the individual, but from the disease itself. When you detach with love, you stop protecting the disease. Boundaries provide you with a sense of individuality and allow you to focus on your feelings, problems, and needs, which ultimately allows you to better support your loved one in need.

Recovery is multi-faceted, one component being the recovery and healing of the family. Communication, vulnerability, and strong boundaries are some of the most important components of family recovery.

What should you set boundaries around?

The need for specific boundaries can vary, but here are some helpful things to think about when assessing your personal situation:

  1. How will you allow others to treat you?
    This protects you from being harmed by others.
  1. How will you treat others?
    This protects others from being harmed by you.
  1. How will you treat yourself?
    This allows you to regulate your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Some examples of specific boundaries are:

  • No substances, nor persons under the influence are allowed in the house
  • No disrespect is tolerated
  • I will not purchase alcohol or substances for you (your loved one)
  • I will not give you money for said substances

Base boundaries off of how you feel…

You will know a boundary has been violated based on your emotions. What specific things make you feel anxious, upset, or stressed? These are the things that you should be working to set boundaries around.

Have an open and honest talk as a family with your loved one

It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Establish open communication with your loved one in recovery, or in active use, and make your boundaries clear to them. State your parameters, and the consequences that will occur should those boundaries be violated. For example, if you tell your loved one that no drugs or alcohol are allowed in your home, they must honor that. You might convey to them that if they violate this boundary, they must find somewhere else to stay.

Because the disease feeds on gray areas, loopholes, and blurred lines, make your expectations as clear as possible.

Seek additional support

One of the ways to heal yourself is to take the time to do so. When a loved one is suffering, it can become so ingrained in you to help them that you forget to help yourself. Though often forgotten, self-care makes you more sensitive to the needs of others and ourselves. Do things that support your personal well-being—pray, meditate, paint, exercise, etc.

As you work to take care of yourself and support your loved one in recovery or in need of recovery, seek the collective wisdom and support of a 12 Step group such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. To find a meeting in your area, visit https://al-anon.org/ or https://www.nar-anon.org/find-a-meeting

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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.

Strengthen Your Recovery Through Wellness Management

November 9, 2020

 

You probably had very different ideas about what it meant to be in recovery before coming to treatment. From the outside looking in, it might seem like recovery is merely abstaining from drugs and alcohol, and working a 12 Step Program. While that’s partly true, those are two very important components of your recovery, the wellness of the various areas of your life are just as important. Wellness is what makes your recovery sustainable, and helps you build a lasting foundation for your life in sobriety.

Defining Wellness…

Wellness doesn’t just mean counting calories or doing cardio once a week. Wellness is the state of being in good health overall. In fact, there are seven total areas of wellness:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Spiritual
  • Environmental
  • Occupational

As you work to rebuild your life during your recovery, you will notice that “feeding” these seven parts of your life will only strengthen your decision-making abilities, boost your confidence and self-image, and most importantly, help you avoid a return to use.

So, what habits can you work into your daily routine to support your overall wellness?

Eating well and Staying Active

Previously on the blog, we’ve covered the multiple benefits of incorporating physical activity into your routine, specifically relating to your recovery. Essentially, eating well and staying active improves your sleep, can help improve your confidence, structures your days, and helps to reduce stress. You can read that full post here.

You also must realize that your gut and your brain are connected. What you put into your body as your “fuel” does matter, and certain foods can contribute to heightened levels of anxiety and depression. Avoiding or limiting sugary foods such as candy, soda, and juices can help regulate your blood sugar and energy levels. Switching to whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can help you feel your best as you provide your body with the nutrients necessary to get through the day.

For a more in-depth look at how your nutrition can impact your anxiety, join Fellowship Hall and Triad Lifestyle Medicine on November 12th from 12:30 to 1:30 for a Wellness Webinar. Hosts Leah Hazelwood and Tiffany Allen will be leading us in a conversation about the ways we can prepare to have a healthier holiday season, managing our anxiety with proper nutrition and wellness habits.

 Maintaining a Strong Spiritual Life

A rich spiritual life focuses on concepts that are foundational to long-term recovery such as (but not limited to) surrender, reflection, acceptance, honesty, and hope for the future. Habits such as prayer, meditation, and journaling are all healthy ways to stay spiritually fit. These things allow you to center yourself, to take a step back from tough situations and stressors, and to make the best decisions as you move forward in building your new big life.

Balancing Social, Environmental, and Occupational Life  

Finally, your interpersonal relationships are equally as important as the relationship you have with yourself. Be mindful of the environment you live in, and work in. Identify triggers of stress or anxiety—maybe you find that you can’t work well or relax if things are messy. Work to avoid creating stressful environments for yourself.

In both your occupational and social life, be sure to reflect and “check-in” with yourself. Are you doing the best you can to get the most out of the work that you are doing? Are you connecting with your co-workers and friends in ways that are healthy for you? What boundaries are you exercising to keep yourself and others well in your relationships? Remember, if you’re unsure about work-life balance, socializing in sobriety, or even how to create the best environments for yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out. Identify the weaknesses in any of your areas of wellness and ask a sponsor or trusted member in your support network for guidance on how to improve these areas of your life so that you may further strengthen your recovery.

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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.

 

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