24/7 Confidential Hotline

Friday, December 27, 2019

Patience: A Key to Progress in Recovery

New Year’s Eve is just four short days away, which means that now is an excellent time to start thinking about resolutions. For men and women in recovery, it is essential to always keep your focus on ways to strengthen one’s program. While spending too much time fixating on the future can be harmful, setting realistic, achievable milestones for the coming year is beneficial.

Long-term sobriety is a continual process that requires daily commitment to practice the principles of recovery. At times, you might find it challenging to keep going to meetings day after day; sometimes, you may not feel like sharing your experience, strength, and hope with others. Still, you know that if you fall back into old ways of thinking and stop putting recovery first, then you will likely find yourself again in the disease cycle of addiction.

At The Haven, we understand how difficult it is to hold on to the progress you have made. We know that the disease is ever on the lookout for chinks in your armor. One wrong decision could lead you toward relapse, which is why it’s so vital that you stay on the path.

If you are in your first year of recovery, then it means that you are still finding your way. Learning how to adopt and adhere to the principles of recovery day after day takes practice and repetition. Those who stay the course of long-term recovery are individuals who put their needs before their wants; they are people who appreciate that the miracles of recovery will not happen overnight. Patience is one of the essential virtues for men and women in sobriety.

Perhaps you feel that good things are not coming your way fast enough even though you are doing the Work? It’s normal to feel impatient about progress, and if that is the case, maybe you will consider being more patient as a resolution for the new year.

Patience is Key to Progress in Recovery

Addicts and alcoholics want what they want when they want it, as the saying goes. Impulsivity is something that people with alcohol and substance use disorders share in common. Getting clean and sober does not mean that impatience will magically disappear; it’s a trait that men and women have to work hard to break.

It’s vital to remember that years of chemical dependency leave a trail of wreckage in its wake. When you got to treatment or started attending meetings, it’s safe to say that you had many areas of your life that were in disarray. In rehab, you learned that one of the steps to achieving long-term recovery would be repairing the damage brought about by addiction. You probably also learned that this was going to take time.

Some things can be rectified quickly, while other issues might take years. The latter can be hard for some people to stomach. However, if you trust in the process and be patient with the progress made, then there isn’t anything that you can’t achieve.

Achieving progress in recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Each day, remind yourself that you are in no rush; if you are clean and sober and following direction, then you are right where you are supposed to be.

“I can’t fast forward time and I can’t make people move faster,” says Nedra Glover Tawwab, a licensed clinical social worker. “I can’t manipulate those things; the only thing I can manipulate is me.” 

Whether you have a week sober or a year, regularly take stock the small achievements you make from one week to the next. Reminding yourself of the little milestones will help you stay positive about being able to achieve the larger goals.

Take a deep breath whenever you are feeling impatient, and keep calm. 

A Productive New Year

The Haven at Pismo is hopeful that you will put your recovery first on New Year’s Eve. Moreover, please be sure that whatever resolutions you make, that they are reasonable and realistic. Setting overly ambitious goals can result in an upset when your expectations are not met; talk to your sponsor about where you’d like to be in the next 365 days. They can help you chart a course so that 2020 is a productive year in recovery.

Please contact The Haven if sobriety is a resolution you would like to see realized next year. We provide medically supervised care to help men and women break the cycle of addiction and get on the path to long-term recovery. The Haven is the perfect place to renew to your best today.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Paging Friends of Bill W. in Recovery

The holiday season is still in full force with two of the most important days of the year on the horizon: Christmas and New Year's Eve. Last month, our readers will remember that we provided some helpful tips for navigating Thanksgiving without incident (i.e., relapse).

Naturally, we hope that you put your recovery first during the national day of giving thanks. If you did, then it is likely that you are still on the same path that you were when you went into the previous holiday.

Still, this year is not yet over, and there are two significant hurdles ahead of people in recovery. In less than a week, billions of people around the globe will celebrate Christmas. Both devout Christians and the less religiously adherent will observe December 25th in one way or another. For men and women in recovery, it essential that you spend the next several days developing a plan for maintaining your recovery through the coming holiday and beyond.

It is a safe course to deploy some of the same tactics that you used for Thanksgiving. Expressing your gratitude, whether through gifts or verbal pronouncements of appreciation, will help you stay centered. Making an effort to stick to your typical recovery schedule helps, too; if you are traveling, then you will need to make other arrangements for prioritizing your recovery.

If you fall into the latter camp, then please spend some time now looking into meetings that you will attend while you are away. Traveling in early recovery can be extremely challenging; being far from your deep bench of support and sponsor can make you feel vulnerable. The good news is that the helping hand of recovery is everywhere; no matter where you are, assistance is available, even at the airport.

Paging Friends of Bill W.

There is a strange phenomenon that occurs at airports across the country and beyond. Occasionally, those sitting around waiting to board will hear an announcement come from the airport's intercom. It may sound something like, 'will a friend of Bill W. please come to…'

Most people will not even pay attention to such announcements; even those who do will rarely know what it's about. However, men and women in recovery know who Bill W. is, and they know that a member of the fellowship is probably in distress. Airports, after all, are littered with restaurants serving alcoholic beverages. Alone and stressed about going home for the holidays can trigger an individual to want to use.

If you find yourself at an airport in the coming days, then it's possible you might find yourself needing to reach out for support. Your first move should be to call your sponsor, always. If they do not answer, then the next action should be calling others from your list of contacts. Hopefully, somebody will answer: they usually do. On the off chance that you are unable to reach someone in your support network, find your way to an airport help desk.

Ask the person working the station if they would please page a friend of Bill W. A stranger will appear before you in short order; they will ask you how you are doing and how they can be of assistance. Simply tell them that you are struggling and have a strong desire to order a drink from one of the bars in the terminal.

It's salient to remember that a meeting of recovery can occur whenever two people are working toward the goal of maintaining their sobriety. Sit down with the person who answers the call – it may be more than one person – and share with them who you are, where you are going, and why you feel like using. They will listen and then provide some valuable feedback; in a short time, you may forget that you were thinking of jeopardizing your recovery.

Always remember: no matter where you go in recovery, you are not alone. Millions of people around the globe are in the program and are there for you provided you call before you fall.

Wishing You a Safe and Sober Christmas

The Haven at Pismo would like to wish everyone in recovery a peaceful, recovery-focused holiday. Please utilize your recovery tools and never hesitate to reach out for support. It's always more comfortable to ask for help before a relapse then it is afterward. We invite our alumni to call us if they need to talk with their counselor or another member of our team. Your continued sobriety is of utmost importance to us; we are here for you if you need us.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Addiction Recovery: Connecting with Newcomers

Do you attend meetings of recovery on a regular basis? If so, The Haven at Pismo encourages you to make a point of extending your hand to people with less sobriety than you. Reaching out to newcomers helps strengthen your recovery, and it also shows men and women they are not alone.

The British journalist and author Johann Hari says that the opposite of addiction is connection. Anyone who is working a program can agree that without the help of others, their recovery would be impossible.

Nobody finds lasting, long-term addiction recovery on their own. The goal of healing from the disease of addiction requires people to work together with others. Those who attempt to abstain from drugs and alcohol without assistance face significant obstacles that often become the impetus for relapse.

Attending meetings on a daily basis allows men and women the opportunity to connect with people who care about their well-being. Together, you help your peers, and, in turn, they help you when challenges arise. This process begins the instant you check into treatment or start going to meetings.

Newcomers are quickly approached by men or women with more recovery time than them; such people let the fragile newly sober know that everything will be alright. However, there is a caveat: they must commit themselves to give recovery their all for healing to occur. Half measures avail you nothing in sobriety.

Talking to Newcomers in Recovery

Whether you have a month sober or ten years, there is no good excuse for failing to show kindness to the newly sober. You can probably remember how scared and fragile you felt when you first embarked upon a journey of recovery. Then you heard someone share something that resonated with your own story. Maybe they came up to you after the meeting and or vice versa; perhaps that person is now your sponsor.

With a little bit of clean and sober time, you find yourself in a position to pay acts of kindness forward. Keep your eye out for men and women who identify as newcomers when you attend meetings. Do not hesitate to approach those individuals when the meeting concludes. For all you know, that person is on the fence about the business of recovery; they may be thinking of leaving the meeting and not returning.

Extending your hand out to newcomers is a way of showing that life gets better and that you care. Go one step further by inviting them to grab a cup of coffee and let them share what brought them to the rooms in the first place. Sometimes, newcomers need to get things off their chest and may be intimidated about sharing in front of a large group of strangers.

When you listen to what newcomers have to say, they are likely to feel a connection—that a bond is being formed. Who knows, they may ask you to be their sponsor, and you will have an opportunity to take them through the steps. Together, you keep each other clean and sober on the quest toward lasting recovery.

Fellowship is a pillar of addiction recovery. By working together, you keep the disease of addiction at bay. Active addiction is isolation; active recovery is connection!

SLO County Addiction Treatment Center

The Haven at Pismo invites adult men and women who are struggling with alcohol or substance use disorders to reach out. Our premier central coast addiction treatment center is the perfect place to renew to your best today. Our highly-trained staff offers a full continuum of care, utilizing evidence-based therapies to bring about long-term recovery. Please call our confidential hotline today: 1-805-202-3440

Friday, December 6, 2019

Mindfulness: The Precious Present in Recovery

All of us at The Haven hope that you had a serene Thanksgiving and a peaceful weekend. If you read last week’s post, we provided some helpful tips for staying clean and sober over the holiday. If you followed some of our suggestions, then it’s likely that your sobriety is intact.

Please take a moment this week to acknowledge your achievement; relapse is a common occurrence during major holidays. Those who remain grateful and humble and stick to a plan almost always avoid unfortunate incidents during select days of the year.

It’s vital to remember that the recovery work never ends. One must always be on the lookout for ways that they can enhance their program. By now, you may be aware that staying grounded and centered is essential to maintaining one’s recovery. Those who pray or practice mindful meditation are better equipped to deal with life on life’s terms.

Do you pray or meditate on a regular basis? If not, we implore you to talk with your sponsor or trusted peer to learn how you can channel your internal energy for external benefits. One of the best ways to accomplish the said goal is by focusing on the present.

Addicts and alcoholics tend to reminisce about the past or spend too much time thinking about the future. While it’s vital to remember where you came from and have goals for the future, what’s most salient is today. What you do right now for your program will change how your past affects you and will put you in a position to achieve your goals.

The Precious Present in Recovery

Mindfulness or mindful meditation can prove invaluable to men and women in recovery. The practice involves centering your attention to experiences happening in the present moment, without judgment. Even if your life is far from where you want it to be, focusing on your current circumstances will help you stay grounded and reduce the amount of stress that you have.

Each day set aside some time to slow your breathing and focus on the positive things happening in your life today. Even someone with 30 days sober has much to be grateful for, and mindfulness can help them put gratitude into action.

Being present can also help your peers, too; it puts you in a position to engage in selfless acts. The people in your support network rely on you just as you depend on them. If you are more balanced and centered, then you are better equipped to be of service to your peers.

Beginning a meditation routine may sound difficult if you have no experience. Fortunately, there are many resources available online that can teach you techniques for focusing on the precious present. Mindful.org suggests:
  • Sit down in a comfortable position.
  • Have the bottoms of your feet touching the floor.
  • Close or lower your eyelids.
  • Direct your attention to your breath.
  • If your mind begins to wander, return your attention to your breathing.
  • When you are ready to stop, consider how you feel and how you would like to continue with your day.
In time, you will be able to practice mindfulness in almost any situation. Several times a day, emphasize the need for focusing on the present, and it will strengthen your recovery.

SLO County Addiction Treatment

Please contact The Haven at Pismo to learn more about our innovative addiction treatment programs. Our team relies on evidence-based therapies to help men and women begin journeys of lasting recovery. We are available at any time to answer any questions you have about our center. 805-202-3440