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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.

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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.

 

 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.

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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.

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

 

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