Welcome To The Official Fellowship Hall Blog
There are many benefits to consistently attending meetings throughout your recovery. Here are a few reasons to encourage you to stay the course:
Oftentimes, when we talk about addiction, we discuss the addict themselves. Certainly, much of treatment program centers around substance abuse, mental health, and emotional and physical recovery of the addict, but there is another important element to observe and consider. The role of the family in the addict’s life is crucial. The family, good or bad, is part of the individual’s very core foundation. Family experiences and observations throughout life can condition and impact the mental and physical health of the addict, and ultimately influence recovery, relapse, and self-ideals.
The words treatment, rehab, addiction, and addict pack a powerful punch. Sometimes so powerful we are crippled into never saying them.
Whether we are the ones seeking, or in, treatment, or are family of someone needing treatment, the notion of sharing and discussing the topic of addiction is often silenced. Whether due to social repercussions, shame or guilt of not being able to help an addict, or the fear of failure and relapse, there are a multitude of reasons one may stay silent either as an addict or as their support system.
Enabling and caregiving both involve a strong desire to love, help and nurture another person. These desires are amplified, often with a sense urgency and desperation, for those with loved ones in active addiction. The reality, however, is that many of the behaviors that seem “helpful” are actually quite the opposite. We can literally love others to death. Here we will differentiate between caregiving and enabling (which we can also refer to as “caretaking” or codependency), offering a more helpful approach to supporting your loved one in active addiction.
Addiction to alcohol and drugs affects one’s body, mind and soul. But the damage doesn’t end there. Families and friends also suffer as their loved one’s dependency progresses, stress builds, and communication starts to break down. Families need to recovery from addiction, too.
Family members and loved ones find ways to cope and adapt to the evolving lifestyle that addiction is shaping. It’s not uncommon for family members to feel imprisoned by this disease. As destructive, self-defeating behaviors increase, family members and addicts alike shift into survival mode, just trying to make it through another day of ever-worsening problems.
Alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease, not a lack of willpower, not a moral weakness, not a sign of a weak character, not a result of life’s pressures, and not a symptom of another disease or disorder. Alcoholics and addicts drink/use because they have a disease. The bio-chemical changes in their brains create a physical craving for the chemical. This makes it very difficult for them to abstain from (to choose not to use) alcohol or drugs, especially if they don’t realize that they are addicted. You may have noticed the alcoholic or addict in your life trying to “control” their alcohol/drug use in a number of ways, not realizing that the disease is deciding for them, and indirectly, you. You cannot control the alcoholic/addict, their alcohol/drug use, or their disease.
People in recovery must be especially careful when taking any kind of over-the-counter (otc) or prescription medications. Many otc meds contain alcohol or other ingredients that could endanger their sobriety by triggering a relapse. Even physicians not familiar with addiction may prescribe meds that are not safe for the addict/alcoholic. People in recovery must be vigilant in protecting their sobriety. They must read ingredients, ask questions, and use much caution in using any kind of medication. If in doubt about a specific medication, contact your psychiatrist/addictionologist or another knowledgeable person for guidance.
Communicating with someone you love is not always easy. Too often, conversations end with disagreements, misunderstandings and even broken relationships. If you are struggling to communicate with a loved one suffering from addiction, here are some helpful guidelines that may get your relationship back on track.
Always start with “I love you”
It’s true that “I love you” is one of the most powerful phrases one can say to another. Although it is not enough to cure a loved one of addiction, letting your loved one know that you are coming from a place of love is the best way to start any tough conversation. It assures them that what you are saying is not meant to cause hurt feelings but must be said because you care deeply about them and their well-being. Make your communication direct, honest and most importantly loving.
Gary Keller, Founder of Keller-Williams Realty, wrote the best-selling book The One Thing: The Surprising Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. In it, he shares with readers his secret to success: Think big but focus on one specific thing at a time. He suggests that you ask yourself, “What is the one thing I can do that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?” By answering that question you will discover the most important thing on which to focus your time and undivided attention.
Starting a new life in recovery takes hard work and a long-term commitment. Developing good everyday habits can help you stay on track. Here are a few habits for success:
Each and every day, take a mental inventory of the things in your life that bring you joy or makes your life easier. No matter how big or small, finding something each and every day to be grateful for will help you find the good in even the worst of days and help you keep a positive outlook on life.
Mindfulness meditation has been proven to improve the chances of long-term sobriety for those in addiction recovery by giving you the tools to take life one moment at a time. Living life in the moment, allows you to experience less stress and anxiety, ridding yourself of worry and negative thought processes. Just 10-15 minutes of mindfulness meditation can make a marked difference.