Tag Archives: meetings

Staying Connected With Your Recovery

recoveryIf you are an active member of an addiction recovery program, then you are probably acutely aware of the fact that your addiction is just waiting for you to slip up and welcome drugs and alcohol back into your life. Addiction is a treatable condition. Through continued spiritual maintenance and active participation in one of many recovery support programs—we can, and do recover. But we can never delude ourselves in thinking that addiction can be cured, or that one day you will wake up and declare, “I’m an ex-alcoholic or ex-addict.”

Just like the diabetic who takes insulin every day, their condition is not cured but rather contained. Every day people working a program of addiction recovery need to take certain steps to ensure, or rather, mitigate the chance of a relapse. Without active participation in your own recovery, long-sobriety is unlikely.

Addiction does not take a day off from trying to find its way back into the forefront of one’s life, so then, it stands to reason that your recovery does not accumulate vacation time. To think otherwise, as many have, is nothing short of dangerous. As we approach the holiday season, it is vital that you keep this in mind, otherwise you may slip back into old behaviors and potentially relapse.

Staying Sober This Thanksgiving

Addiction recovery is difficult under normal day-to-day circumstances. Having a bad day, or letting yourself become stressed, angry or tired can hamper one’s program; if such feelings are not quickly addressed, bad decisions can follow. While holidays are supposed to be about joining friends and family in celebration, for people in recovery, such days can quickly become too much to handle.

With Thanksgiving just over 24 hours away, it is important that you recognize how strong you are in your recovery—particularly regarding your ability to be around family. Let’s face it, holidays can be tumultuous even for people who do not have a substance use disorder. But unlike the average person, uncomfortable and stressful environments can take a toll on one’s recovery—leading to rash decisions that can result in picking up a drink or a drug.

If you know that you will be attending a family gathering this Thursday, be sure to discuss it with your sponsor and the other members of your support network. There is a good chance that this can aid in guiding you through the holiday by helping you spot situations that may be risky, such as associating with relatives who you used to get drunk or high with during holidays past. What’s more, there is a good chance that they will tell you to always have your phone handy so that you can reach out before a particular matter gets out of hand. If you follow the suggestions of the people in the program who have more sober holidays under their belt, then there is no reason for you to have to open your eyes Friday morning with regret on your mind.

Staying Connected With Recovery

Many people working a program of recovery have yet to fully clean up the wreckage of their past. Meaning, presently their family may not be a part of their life. It is a reality that can be hard to deal with during the holidays. At PACE Recovery Center, we implore you to not be discouraged about the people that you do not have in your life, and take stock in those who are an active part of your life.

If you have no familial obligations this Thursday, use it as an opportunity to be there for your fellow recovering alcoholics or addicts. During the course of Thanksgiving, there will be meetings occurring around the clock and you would do yourself a service by attending some of them. You may have something to share at a meeting that can help another who is new to recovery: A person who might be contemplating giving up on recovery before they have a chance to experience some of the miracles. Recovery is only possible if we help each other stay the course.

We would like to wish everyone in recovery a drug and alcohol free Thanksgiving. Every obstacle you overcome, only serves to strengthen your program. Please remember:

  • Avoid getting hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT).
  • Stay connected to your support network as much as possible.
  • Stay clear of risky people, places and things.
  • Keep your phone charged, turned on and easily accessible.
  • Don’t drink or drug, no matter what.

Young People In Addiction Recovery

addiction recoveryThere is no question about it, the picture of addiction recovery in America is rapidly changing. Historically, when the general public thought about those who are seeking or found recovery, pictures of people who had hit rock bottom would come to mind. They would conjure up images of bottom of the barrel drunks living on skid row, or addicts doing anything in their power to acquire their next fix. However, the true picture of an addict or alcoholic can be hard to define as science shows us that addiction can touch people from every corner of life and social-economic status has little bearing. What’s more, one’s age, race or gender isn’t indicative of who meets the criteria of addiction.

In the past, the rooms of 12-Step recovery meetings were epitomized by older adults, sharing their stories while the aroma of stale coffee and cigarettes permeated the air. While the majority of people working a program of recovery are indeed beyond the years of young adulthood, addiction recovery is a young person’s program as well. It is not uncommon for one’s abuse of drugs or alcohol to morph into a serious problem in adolescence. Many teenagers and young adults seek help at treatment facilities every day. If you are in recovery yourself, it is somewhat likely that you have met someone who began the journey when they were around the age of 15—managing to acquire over a decade and counting of long term recovery time.

Young Adults In Recovery

All across the United States and in other countries as well, recovery meetings for young people are held every day. A collective effort is afoot, where young people (like their elder peers) practice the principles of recovery in all their affairs—helping each other stay clean and sober—one day at a time. It’s strongly encouraged that younger people create relationships with one another, as it is likely that you will have much more in common with people in the same age group. While there is a lot that young people in recovery can learn from “old timers,” and you would be wise to listen to what they have to share, in the timeless goal of searching for the similarities rather than the differences, connecting with young adults working a program is paramount.

If you are a young adult whose life has become unmanageable due to drugs and alcohol, you may want to consider a treatment center that is designed for your demographic. On top of learning and acquiring the tools necessary for achieving continuous long term sobriety, you will create bonds with other young people who have walked a similar path as you. Such bonds can last decades. You will also be introduced to young people’s meetings, events and conventions that are geared towards creating networks with other young people in recovery.

Young People In Recovery

If you find yourself reading this article and you happen to be a young person working a program, we encourage you to keep reading. It is no secret that the gift of recovery can only be held onto if it is given away freely. Paying it forward. If you have worked the 12-Steps and are sponsoring others, then you know that to be a reality. Only by helping others can we continue to help ourselves. Or perhaps you are reading this and are thinking that you need to step up your service to others. If so, you may want to look into “Young People In Recovery” (YPR), as it may help you stay on the path of abstinence and spiritual betterment.

The mission of YPR is as follows:

Our national leadership team creates and cultivates local community-led chapters through grassroots organizing and training. Chapters support young people in or seeking recovery by empowering them to obtain stable employment, secure suitable housing, and continue and complete their educations. Chapters also advocate on the local and state levels for better accessibility of these services and other effective recovery resources.”

If you would like to locate a chapter or start one in your local area, please click here.

Please take a moment to watch a short video below:

If you are having trouble watch the video, please click here.

Relapse: Rejoining the Circle of Recovery

relapseThe holiday weekend is now several days past and hopefully those of you who are working a program of addiction recovery were able to get through Independence Day without incident. We at PACE Recovery understand all too well just how difficult it can be to navigate the waters of recovery during any major holiday. Abstaining from drugs or alcohol during any given day of the week can be a real challenge, during the holidays the obstacles are exponentially greater.

Those who have managed to acquire significant recovery time know that there are certain measures to be taken to aid one in making it through the holidays without a drink or drug. Staying close to your support network, going to 12-Step meetings and keeping your cell phone charged are a few of the ingredients for a safe and sober day of celebration. Naturally, avoiding risky people, places and things that could jeopardize your sobriety and clean time is always advised—especially for those who are in early recovery.

While we fully grasp the difficulty of maintaining your recovery over the holidays, we also regretfully know that many people did in fact relapse over the Fourth of July weekend.

Honest Relapse

Experiencing a relapse is an upsetting event, one that brings about a number of painful feelings. Shame and guilt typically go hand-in-hand with a relapse. One cannot help but feel as though they have not only let themselves down—but also their friends, family and recovery peers. While as natural as those feelings may be, shame and guilt can be a slippery slope manifesting into trying to maintain a lie.

Every person who found recovery in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is aware of what it felt like to identify as a newcomer in front of a number of people who have more time in recovery than you. You meet people who have several years of clean and/or sober time, and wonder if you will ever be able to accomplish such a feat. After 29 days of identifying as a newcomer, it is likely that you said to yourself—never again.

It is quite common for people who relapse to not tell their recovery peers about a relapse, but still continue to go to meetings as if nothing had happened. Failing to humble yourself and be honest about what happened will eventually begin to weigh on you, a burden that usually leads to more drinking and/or drugging. The sooner you are honest with yourself and those within your recovery circle, the better off you will be. Please do not let a relapse lead to full on active use on account of your pride. Remember the stakes of addiction are ever so high—the difference between life or death.

Rejoining the Circle of Recovery

If you did in fact relapse and have not yet called your sponsor, please do so immediately. If you don’t have a sponsor, get yourself to a meeting and raise your hand when asked if there are any newcomers in the room. Walk up to get a newcomer chip and a hug, so you can reboot your recovery. Such a humbling experience can be the catalyst for a new journey, one where you learn from your past so that you can have a future free from drugs and alcohol; all while in the company of meaningful friends and peers who share the same goal.

Relapse may be a part of your story, but not as mark of shame but rather a reminder of how fleeting your recovery will be if you let down your guard. Eternal vigilance is required to protect against your addiction that is waiting for you to become vulnerable. You are not alone, recovery is an individual goal, that can only be accomplished collectively. Your relapse, while unfortunate, can serve to strengthen your volition.

Spring: A Time to Recover from Addiction

addictionLast Sunday marked the beginning of Spring and with it comes the long thaw up to Summer. The transition from Winter into Spring is not just about the changing of seasons, it is also about changes with one’s self – or can be. People often associate Spring with a time to set new goals which they endeavor to achieve. Spring cleaning doesn’t apply only to dusting around the house; it’s about cleaning out the bad from your internal dwelling. Perhaps there are some things in your life that you would like to do away with, such as drinking and drugging?

It is quite common for people to add sobriety to their list of New Year’s resolutions. Every year, a number of people who have made an addiction recovery resolution, manage to learn how to live a life free from drugs and alcohol – maintaining a program of recovery. This is usually accomplished by entering a substance use disorder treatment center and/or attending 12-step recovery meetings. Unfortunately, some people do not succeed at bringing recovery resolutions to fruition, falling back into the cycle of addiction.

With the Spring Equinox still in the rear-view mirror, this may be a perfect time to give recovery an honest go – doing away with what doesn’t work in your life and adopt healthy practices for a successful future. If you have never been to a 12-step meeting, you may find it to be intimidating. Do not be discouraged, everyone sitting in a meeting house probably had similar feelings when they attended their first meeting.

It is often said in recovery circles that reaching out to newcomers is of the utmost importance. Those who found recovery before you were guided by those who came before them, and in turn they will not only make you feel welcome – they will help you learn how to live a life in recovery, the way they learned how. If you choose to move forward with the 12-step route of recovery, we implore you to keep an open mind – look and listen for the similarities you share with others, not the differences.

It’s possible that you may need more, initially, than just meetings. Depending on the type of substance you struggle with, and the severity of your addiction, checking into a treatment facility may be the best avenue. A number of treatment centers have detoxification units, which help clients to ease into recovery in safe way, mitigating withdrawal symptoms in closed environments – free from the distractions and triggers of the outside world. Treatment stays vary in length, but 90-day stays are generally considered to be the duration associated with the greatest chance of success. The longer the stay, the stronger you will be when you transition back into everyday life.

If you feel that treatment at an all male inpatient treatment facility would benefit you, please contact PACE Recovery Center. Our extended residential care program incorporates the principles of 12-Step recovery programs including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). We can offer you a safe and comfortable environment to begin your journey of addiction recovery.

Staying Sober This Christmas

christmasOn the eve of Christmas those in recovery need to prepare themselves for what may be a tumultuous day. It is fair to say that holidays are extremely difficult for people working a program. While everyone wants to be around their family and take part in the celebration, spending time with family can be stressful – especially if alcohol is part of the equation. A significant amount of alcohol is typically consumed during the major holidays and for people in recovery, especially those who are new; it can be difficult to be around. However, if you implement the tools that working a program has given you, it is possible to get through the day with a smile on your face and not pick up a drink.

Avoiding high risk situations that could put your recovery at risk is ever important, even if your family falls into that category. Naturally, just because you have stopped drinking and are creating a new life for yourself, does not mean that others will understand or be conscientious of what you are doing and they may convince you that you can have a drink without consequences. If you are in recovery, you know that if you drink you could lose everything wonderful that the program has given you – which is why you don’t drink no matter what.

Even if you are new to recovery, you are probably aware of what you can and cannot be around. Dangerous people, places and things could jeopardize your recovery. It is likely that you have been invited to some parties being held between now and the New Year, if you must attend it is always wise to bring a recovery peer with you. If that option is not available, it is wise to limit the amount of time that you are at a holiday party. The longer you are around alcohol, the greater the likelihood of experiencing cravings. It always sound to leave parties early.

12-step meetings will be held all day long tomorrow; attending at least one is advised. Being around your family may bring up some emotions that are painful. If you go to a meeting, you can discuss how your feeling with your recovery peers; there is a good chance that others are experiencing the same thing. Talking about how your feeling is the best way to work through the problem and move forward; letting emotions fester is a sure path to a bottle. Always remember that you are not alone, there is entire network of people all working towards the same end. If you are struggling, reach out.

We at Pace Recovery Center would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We hope that you have a safe and sober holiday.

Spirituality: The Search for A Higher Power

higher-powerDrugs and alcohol are powerful substances that can strip people of their identity, taking one to places that they swore they would never go. Paradoxically, a person in the grips of addiction often feels that they are in control of their life, when in fact the reality is quite different. The illusion of control that addicts and alcoholics maintain is often a top reason for not seeking help sooner, a misconception that can prove fatal.

Coming to terms with the fact that you have become a slave to drink or drugs, and that there is a power greater than oneself, is a pivotal component in finding recovery. Reconnecting, or establishing for the first time a relationship, with a higher power can be a hard pill to swallow for many people new to recovery. Wrapping your head around having a “god” in your life can be difficult, after struggling with addiction for years it is easy to convince yourself that god has turned his/her back on you. Failure to create a relationship with a higher power will hinder a successful recovery.

Let Go, and Let…

Spirituality is the glue that holds one’s recovery together. Without a connection to a power greater than oneself, everything will fall apart. There is a reason why twelve-step programs put so much emphasis on creating and maintaining a relationship with a higher power of some kind. In order to work the steps, one has to let go of their illusions of control and put their faith and trust in something outside themselves. Surrendering to a higher power can prove difficult, people struggle to let go and accept that no one is in control of life’s outcome, especially after many years of living on self will alone. However, when someone comes to terms with the fact that their mindset of being in control was a major component of their addiction – letting go becomes a little bit easier, and one finds that their mind and spirit has been freed.

Being relieved of the burden of control allows one to channel their energies in other directions, a necessity when working a program of recovery. Living a spiritual life will help you develop a relationship with recovery, the recovery community, and your higher power. Having the feeling that you are connected to something greater than yourself, helps you live one day at time free from drugs and alcohol.

Finding A Connection

Many who have begun a journey of recovery using the twelve step modality, have some kind of history with religion (for good or bad); this can be a shortcut to reestablishing belief, as there is a foundation in place to build on. On the other hand, there are number of people who have no history with spirituality or belief in a god. If you fall into that realm, do not be discouraged, for you are not alone.

Hopefully you have begun working with or seeking a sponsor, a person who will prove pivotal to your recovery. A sponsor can help guide you in your search for a power greater than yourself, and they will inform you that a higher power does not have be a religious deity. A higher power can, in effect, be anything from the universe right down to the recovery group that you attend. One’s higher power is purely subjective, and there is an infinite multitude of things one can put their faith into and receive guidance from. Establishing a connection will not necessarily happen overnight, everyone’s experience is different; what’s important is that one stays active in fostering a relationship with something greater than themselves

There are a few things that you can do that may help you with your search:

Meditation/Prayer: Taking sometime throughout the day to sit quietly, free from the distractions of day to day life, allows you to open your mind to the spiritual world: An act that can put you in a position to practice having a dialogue with something greater. Even if you feel like no one is listening, do not be discouraged, it is important to practice communicating and seeking guidance from outside of yourself. More times, than not, you will feel better after having taking the time to do such a simple task.

Being of Service: If you are attending meetings, volunteering your help is great way to get outside of yourself. Selfless acts have a reciprocal effect. Helping others, helps you live in the sunshine of the spirit. When you help others it makes you feel good, you forget about the multitude of things that have been weighing you down. Being connected to others is a great way to practice connecting to a higher power.

Don’t Give Up: You often hear the saying “progress, not perfection.” Recovery is a process that can take time to fully grasp. It is important that you listen to your peers with an open mind; they can prove instrumental in your having made a connection with an outside power. Establishing a spiritual relationship will happen in its own time, trust in the program and your desire to live differently than you have in the past.

At PACE Recovery Center our motto is a Positive Attitude Changes Everything and our program offers our clients the ability to reintegrate back into a life that emphasizes the true transformation out of one’s addicted identity and into a life of recovery through integrative education, insight and relapse prevention.

Gratitude and Recovery On Thanksgiving

gratitudeThanksgiving Day is upon us once again, a time to join together with friends and family and rejoice. Thursday marks the beginning of the holiday season as well, followed by Christmas, Chanukah and New Years. While the holidays are a special time all around, for those of us in recovery it can also be a trying time, with a high likelihood of one’s recovery being put to the test.

Staying on top of your program…

During this time of the year it is paramount that one stay on top of their recovery program, lest we walk astray. For many in recovery, the holidays bring back old memories (some good, some bad), and feelings can arise that can be difficult to handle. There are many in recovery who are still estranged from their family, it may take years to heal the wounds inflicted by one’s addiction. Do not be discouraged, take comfort in your recovery family and continue making living amends.

Sharing your gratitude…

Be grateful for the gifts you have today because of your recovery. Gratitude can go along way during the holidays, having the power to ground you when times get tough. It can help to make a gratitude list, such as your sponsor and recovery peers. Everyone working a program of recovery has much to be thankful for. Sometimes putting that which you are grateful for on paper makes it more concrete and tangible. You might be surprised how much a gratitude inventory can help.

As with all commandments, gratitude is a description of a successful mode of living. The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us. -Faust-

Celebrating the holiday…

If you are planning on attending a family gathering or holiday work party, you are probably aware that alcohol could be present. For those that are new to recovery, it is important that you tread carefully. If possible, try to find someone who has a significant amount of time in the program to accompany you to such events. It is a good rule of thumb to leave holiday gatherings early, before people become inebriated. It is not only safer for your recovery, it is no fun being around people who are intoxicated.

It is always a good practice to attend your home group during a holiday. It gives you a chance to share how you are feeling with your peers. If you are struggling, you may get some feedback from your peers that helps you get through the day. In many areas around the country, meetings will be held on every hour of the day. It’s not uncommon for people to attend several meetings during a holiday.

At Pace Recovery Center, we wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving – free from drugs and alcohol.

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If you are or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

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