Welcome To The Official Fellowship Hall Blog

4 Reasons Why Acceptance is Essential to Your Recovery

October 5, 2020

 

“When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink. And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me. I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.” Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book), 4th Edition, P. 417

The dictionary defines acceptance as the act of taking or receiving something offered–favorable reception; the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory. The fact or state of being accepted or acceptable. You know what acceptance is, you can think through acceptance, but how can one really begin to practice acceptance in a way that supports their recovery?

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Living Life the “Give” Way

September 29, 2020

In celebration of National Recovery Month, Fellowship Hall is highlighting the stories of some of our incredibly inspiring alumni and staff members on social media and here on our blog. It is our hope that in sharing these stories, we break the stigma surrounding drug and alcohol addiction. With knowledge, we can advocate for the proper treatment of ourselves and loved ones that may struggle with the disease. 

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Not everyone can pinpoint the beginning of their struggle with drugs and alcohol. Robert P, however, recalls a classmate’s simple question that would change his life forever, “Have you ever gotten high?” While growing up in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, Robert says he felt as though he didn’t “fit in” with his peers. To combat those feelings of worthlessness, he lied and said that he had used before. “I couldn’t wait to use in hopes that drugs would fill the void,” Robert said. Little did he know, that simple “yes” would begin a battle with substances that would lead him to some of the lowest points of his life.

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Breaking Through: Understanding the severity of this disease

September 17, 2020

In celebration of National Recovery Month, Fellowship Hall will be highlighting the stories of some of our incredibly inspiring alumni and staff members on social media and here on our blog. It is our hope that in sharing these stories, we break the stigma surrounding drug and alcohol addiction. With knowledge, we can advocate for the proper treatment of ourselves and loved ones that may struggle with the disease. 

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What comes to your mind when you think of your High School experience? Do you think back to your early teens—walking halls lined with lockers and laughing after school with friends? Do you remember the deep desire to find your “place” among your peers — your need to fit in? Fellowship Hall Alumni, Trent C, recalls these years as the beginning of his life-long battle with substance use disorder.

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Motivation & Confidence Make All the Difference

September 8, 2020

In celebration of National Recovery Month, Fellowship Hall will be highlighting the stories of some of our incredibly inspiring alumni and staff members on social media and here on our blog. It is our hope that in sharing these stories, we break the stigma surrounding drug and alcohol addiction. With knowledge, we can advocate for the proper treatment of ourselves and loved ones that may struggle with the disease. 

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There’s an old saying that goes, “No matter where life takes you, don’t forget where you came from,” and Fellowship Hall staff member Christina T’s story is an incredible reminder of the truth behind this cliché.

The year was 2008, and Christina had been recently released from her third stint in prison. As she returned to life beyond confinement, she began to seek employment through Graham Temporary Services. Whether it was by coincidence or true fate, she was offered a job at Fellowship Hall as the head of housekeeping. At the time, she had no way of knowing that this facility would go on to have such a major impact on her life and career path. As Christina settled into her work and daily routines, things began to look up. However, life happens, and unfortunately—so do relapses. Christina would go on to relapse once more and spend a final time in prison from 2009 – 2011.

After her final release in 2011, Christina had a plan—her sights were set on getting back to the place that had once provided her with a sense of structure and purpose.  “I came back to what I knew. I came back to Fellowship Hall to ask for a job again,” Christina explained.

At the time, no positions were available, but thankfully, she was unwilling to give up on another chance to work at the Hall. “I just wanted to be here [Fellowship Hall] and I was not going to give up,” she said. For eight months, Christina kept in touch with the Hall until one day in August of 2012, she got the call she had been waiting on—one that arguably, would change her life and allow her to begin building a future that she could be proud of. A position in the kitchen as a Dietary Aid (which she described as “a fancy title for a pot washer”) was open. Nevertheless, she gratefully accepted. Her first day back at work was also her first day back to school.

Christina enrolled herself in classes at Guilford Technical Community College to study for an Associate Degree in Human Services. After a year and a half in the program, she decided to go all the way in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree. She applied twice to UNCG and once to A&T but was denied all three times. Once again, Christina had the tenacity to not give up.

She researched other opportunities to get her education and was accepted to the Western New Mexico University School of Social Work online program. She earned not only a Bachelor of Social Work in May of 2017, but continued on and earned a Master of Social Work in May 2018. Currently, she is in the process of acquiring her LCAS and LCSW-A License.

As the doors to education were opening for Christina, new job opportunities presented themselves at the Hall as well. She moved from the kitchen to work as a part-time therapy assistant and a part-time receptionist. Finally, in 2015, she was offered a full-time position with Admissions. When potential guests call admissions, they establish the first point of contact with Fellowship Hall. Often, they are reluctant, nervous, and scared—sometimes they’re only calling because they have been forced to seek treatment. Through her own experience and education, Christina was able to provide the guidance and compassion that the individuals deserved. She found her work with admissions to be genuinely rewarding and said that her then supervisor, Randy Carter, supported her tremendously for three years as an admission counselor while she was both working and in school full time.

In 2018, Christina transitioned from Admissions to Therapy as a Social Assessment Counselor, in which she performed in-depth social assessments for guests and helped to build their treatment plans. Christina now serves as a Primary Counselor for those in treatment. As Fellowship Hall admires her persistence, strength, and dedication to treatment, Christina acknowledges the support that afforded her the opportunities she is able to exercise today.

“Everyone at Fellowship Hall has been so supportive, including the board who approved my education reimbursement, HR has supported my changes in positions, and Kelly [Scaggs, Clinical Director] gave me the opportunity to join the clinical team and has been very supportive of my professional growth. It’s a privilege I have been given to use my experience and education to help others suffering from addiction find their own journey. I love Fellowship Hall. I believe in what we do and I believe we do it well.” Christina is now officially a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate.

Something that makes Fellowship Hall so unique in the realm of treatment facilities is the staff. Like Christina, many of our well-trained, highly qualified staff are in recovery themselves and have seen the trials and tribulations of rebuilding a life after active addiction. It is not uncommon to hear from Alumni that building relationships with staff such as Christina, gives them the motivation and confidence to actively pursue a life in recovery.

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 Lend a Hand to Someone in Need of Recovery

September 1, 2020

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate those in recovery (www.recoverymonth.gov).

At Fellowship Hall, we work to dispel the stigma surrounding substance use disorder: no one is immune to this disease. It impacts those using, as well as friends and loved ones and can be incredibly daunting and confusing to navigate.

Do you have a loved one or friend struggling with Substance Use Disorder? Here are 4 things you can do to help:

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Learning How to Play Again: 5 Tips for Safe & Sober Fun

August 14, 2020

“Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun.” – Nina Dobrev

What does the word fun mean to you? In the past, you may have convinced yourself that “fun” was a term exclusively associated with substances and/or alcohol. One of the many challenges of recovery is the complete overhaul that is necessary in regard to the way that you have previously perceived socializing, leisure, and “fun” time.

Believe it or not, you can have a great time, you can be social, out-going, likeable, and most importantly–you can enjoy yourself without the lubrication of drugs or alcohol.

Here are 5 Tips for having Clean, Safe, Sober Fun (even while Social Distancing!):

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Sober in Love: 5 Tips for Healthy Dating/Relationships in Recovery 

August 3, 2020

As you progress through your recovery, you ideally will continue to improve and build a healthier, better life centered around your sobriety. While you spend the first part of your recovery focusing on yourself, it is natural to desire partnership in this life–especially after spending so much time feeling isolated when you were drinking or using substances. Dating and forming new relationships is extremely challenging for everyone. In recovery, however, you must be particularly mindful of your actions, thoughts, patterns, and feelings while entering a new relationship so that you may continue to stay well. 

Perhaps throughout all of your recent accomplishments and growth, you have met or are interested in meeting someone new. You may be hesitant or anxious to navigate the dating world without the presence of substances in your life. It can be tricky!

Here are 5 tips to help you form healthy dating and relationship habits while in recovery:

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Recovery Tip from a Counselor: Utilizing Tools in Long-Term Recovery

July 27, 2020

Fellowship Hall Counselor, Katherine Barron 

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.

Katherine Barron’s best tips and advice for long-term recovery. 

Often you don’t realize it, but long-term recovery looks a lot like early recovery. Successful early recovery utilizes the same tools that should be used in the long-term. Part of the challenge here is that these tools or methods of supporting our sobriety can seem too simple to us as time goes on. Yes, the tools are incredibly simple, but they are effective. No matter how long you have been sober, using those tools you learned during treatment while working through the steps will always be helpful and reliable. 

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Dear Diary…How Journaling as an Adult can Benefit Long-Term Recovery

July 17, 2020

Dear DiaryHow Journaling as an Adult can Benefit Long-Term Recovery

When you hear the word journaling what comes to mind? For most, the idea of journaling invokes images of our younger selves writing about things that seem trivial now–the birthday party you weren’t invited to, or a carnation at school from your Valentine. You may even remember an occasional entry you wrote while you were away at a summer camp. How do you think journaling could fit into your adult life? Your life during your recovery?

Journaling is an incredibly powerful tool for reflection, introspection, and growth as you progress in your sobriety. It’s not just an asset or a helpful tool–it is an essential component of your recovery for long-term success.

The benefits of Journaling in Recovery

It’s free, and you can do it anytime, anywhere.

You can bring your journal and pen with you to work, to school, to the park, etc. You can journal during your commute (if you’re not driving) or on your breaks at work–you can journal anywhere that is comfortable for you. Best of all? It is a completely free (aside from your pen and paper costs) therapeutic act.

Putting pen to paper can help make sense of what you’re thinking and feeling.

Oftentimes when you experience intense waves of thoughts, they can be messy, sporadic, scattered, overwhelming, and hard to make sense of. By journaling, you are able to take control of your feelings and thoughts, instead of allowing them to control you.

You can tap into things you may not have been able to clearly access just through thinking.

In the same way that you may converse with a counselor or a sponsor, journaling allows you to “talk” or rather, write, through situations, thoughts, and emotions. Further, journaling provides an avenue to dig deep and intimately interact with the self. Knowing that there is no judgement, no revealing nature to it, and that you are only writing for yourself can provide you with a sense of true security that allows you to be even more honest and open than you may have been with another party involved.

Writing your thoughts down makes them real.

Emotions experienced during your recovery are unique in that without substances, you are essentially re-learning how to process and fully feel again. The act of writing these feelings down benefits you in several ways; you’re able to actualize and validate what you are or have been feeling and experiencing. From this, you’re able to separate yourself from any fleeting or less permanent feelings and put space between your thoughts and actions. This is a huge benefit that can be used as a tool to prevent you from making permanent decisions based on more temporary feelings. For example, when you have a craving or notice a trigger, digging deep into those feelings, making them real, and making peace with them can be invaluable in preventing relapse or slip-ups. In doing this, you’re also able to return to these entries or times when you have succeeded in overcoming temptation and use them as inspiration on harder days.

Reflection is necessary

In steps 4 and 10 we are asked to take inventory of ourselves, our experiences, our past, how this has all affected us, and in turn, how this has caused us to affect others.

Step 4 (AA/NA) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 10 (AA/NA) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

The thoughtfulness and consideration required for these steps translates beautifully into journaling. Journaling allows us to clear the wreckage of our past and gain true understanding in regard to how we can move forward in our life and recovery.

Get into a routine.

Step 10 asks that we continue to take inventory of our days. This is why it is important to get into a routine of journaling consistently. In your recovery, your tools can only help you if you make a true commitment to them and consistently utilize them. Set a reminder in your phone and dedicate yourself to some sort of journaling, if only for a few minutes a day.

Some journaling styles to consider for beginners:

Bullet Journaling- Kept in the style of a list. This is a great way to begin journaling, as you can take inventory or make simple lists of your day to day actions, thoughts, and feelings.

Gratitude Journal– In contrast to other styles of journaling, a gratitude journal focuses on the areas of your life for which you are thankful. The school of thought that inspires this style of journaling believes that we should call attention to the positive things in our days rather than giving any energy to the negative aspects. Through gratitude journaling, you can review passages and remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for.

Free write journaling– This is also a great style of journaling for you if you’re just getting into the habit of writing.  Put on some of your favorite relaxing music, and set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes. For the full 10 minutes write whatever comes to your head. Don’t think twice about it—write exactly what you think and feel. After the 10 minutes are up, review what you’ve written and reflect on how this passage makes you feel. This is a great way to separate yourself from temporary emotions.

The act of daily journaling can be beneficial for everyone, but especially for you during your recovery. Find a routine and a style of journaling that works for you, and dedicate yourself to consistently utilizing this new tool. For more helpful tools and resources be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn 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.

 

 

Let’s Get Physical! How Exercise Promotes Success in Long-Term Recovery

June 28, 2020

While you were actively using substances, you probably didn’t think much about your health. Substance use disorder shifts your motivation and attention to acquiring or actively drinking or using drugs. Let’s face it — no one wakes up after a day of using drugs or drinking feeling “great” or ready to run a marathon. These substances negatively impact your mental and physical well-being both during and long after usage has stopped. This is why during recovery, self-care is key to long-term success. Exercise is an excellent form of self-care that has infinite benefits.

Here are 5 ways exercise can help you be successful in your recovery:

Exercise can…..

  • Improve your sleep.

Getting the appropriate amount of sleep is a necessity for everyone, regardless of whether you are in recovery or not. It is not uncommon to experience difficulty sleeping if you once used substances to help you sleep. Sleep is restorative and a lack thereof can have profound consequences on the psyche. Lack of sleep not only makes us tired and sluggish during the day, less productive, and generally “moody”, but it also means we cannot fully appreciate the good that is around us, often obsessing over the negatives in our lives. Having enough sleep helps with our cognitive processes and allows us to make the best decisions as we continue the lifelong journey of recovery.

  • Improve your mood and confidence. (Acquiring endorphins, the healthy way!)

You know that flood of happiness you get from a piece of chocolate?As you exercise, your brain naturally releases Endorphins, Serotonin, and Dopamine, creating a feeling of improved life satisfaction and happiness.

  • Help to reduce stress.

Recovery is stressful. It requires daily dedication to staying well and staying sober. Life, in general, is stressful at times. Stress impacts our blood pressure, our hearts, our blood sugar, and more. In contrast to substances, exercise is an incredibly positive and healthy coping mechanism to combat the stressors you may face. Exercise is a stress buster and stress is a sobriety buster. Stress is a natural and normal part of everyday life, yet studies show it can be greatly reduced with consistent exercise. As you reduce your stress, you increase your mental capacity to face the challenges of day-to-day living.

  • Help you structure your days and set goals.

Set times throughout the week that you will be physical and stick to them as if they were a job! Build your schedule around these blocks and create a structure for your weeks. Finding structure, setting goals, and achieving them is one of the cornerstones of a successful recovery and long-term sobriety. We may measure our sobriety in days, months, or even years, but it is something that we cannot take for granted. The temptations of relapse are always present. In recovery, it is important to create interim, attainable goals with the ultimate goal of staying clean for the rest of our lives. Exercise promotes this healthy thinking as we see progress in our dedication, consistency, and physical abilities – how far we can run, how much weight we can lift, etc. Aligning our exercise goals with our recovery goals can make for a positive and self-fulfilling situation.

  • Help you connect and bond with others.

Exercise is a great way to bond with others and connect. Whether you find classes at your local gym or fitness groups online, physical activity provides yet another way to connect. Connecting with like-minded individuals, focused on self-care and health will only further strengthen your support network as you progress in your recovery.

Join us on July 9th at 7:00 PM EST for our recovery-based Mindfulness and Yoga Zoom session for Fellowship Hall Alumni. Check your email for the Zoom link and be sure to add it to your calendar!  OR, email us to get the link.

AND

Join us on July 19th at 5:00 PM EST for our recovery-based Running Club in Greensboro for Fellowship Hall Alumni. Check your email for the meet-up location and more information and be sure to also add this to your calendar!  

Ultimately the benefits of exercise are endless, and they speak for themselves. While it is only one part of the lifelong recovery process, it represents very real protection from drug use and relapse. And while many think that exercise needs to be difficult and take lots of time, exercise can be classified as anything that gets you moving, increases your heart rate, and makes you feel good. You should find ways to get active that you enjoy…make it FUN!

Here are some of our favorite workout videos, resources, and links:

Core Power Yoga
https://www.corepoweryogaondemand.com/
•  Free access to yoga and meditation classes through Core Power on Demand.

Cross Fit at Home
https://www.crossfit.com/at-home/movements
•  Provides free access to various workout and nutrition videos to preserve your health at home.

Daily Burn
https://dailyburn.com/landing#!home
•  Sign up for a free 30-day trial and receive access to full body workouts daily, including cardio, yoga, dance, Pilates and more. •  Credit card information required for the free trial.

Ekhart Yoga
https://relief.ekhartyoga.com/
•  Offering 12 free yoga and meditation classes, specifically designed to help relieve stress and anxiety. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER!

Fitness Blender
https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos
•  Offers free workout videos based on difficulty, focus, and equipment available.

Gold’s AMP

FREE TRIAL | Start Your Workout In-App for Free


•  Providing free access to over 600 audio and video workouts to keep you moving through May 2020. Use promo code FIT60

Nike Run Club
https://www.nike.com/nrc-app
• Need to get outside for a bit or have a treadmill at home? This free app helps you track your run and allows access to guided runs hosted by coaches or Headspace.

ObéFitness
https://www.obefitness.com/
•  Live fitness classes with a 30-day free trial (use code ATHOME). •  Will require credit card information for the free trial.

Peloton
https://www.onepeloton.com/app
•  Their digital app is free for 90 days; you don’t need a Peloton to use it. Not only do they offer bike and treadmill classes, but they offer outdoor walking/running classes, strength, yoga and meditation.

Pop Sugar Fitness
https://www.youtube.com/user/popsugartvfit/about
•   A free YouTube exercise channel that offers fitness tutorials and workouts.

10 Free Workout Apps to Use!
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/free-workout-apps-social-distancing-coronavirus-184514493.html

Now get to moving! Share with us YOUR favorite ways to be active by tagging @FellowshipHallNC or using the hashtag #FellowshipNCFitness on Facebook or Instagram J

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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