Tag Archives: sobriety

Addiction Recovery: A Fellowship of Miracles

addiction recovery

“Don’t leave before the miracle happens.” Those of you new to addiction recovery have undoubtedly heard that before. It’s likely you understand what it means: Don’t give up on working a program of recovery before you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Anyone who has been in the program for a time will agree that there are no shortages of miracles in the rooms of recovery. Each person dedicated to sobriety is a miracle; resisting one’s programming takes tremendous commitment and fortitude. While there will always be difficult times (even in abstinence), the worst day in recovery is far better than the best day in active addiction.

A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.

It stands to reason that we will all have a different opinion on what constitutes a miracle. Everyone is going to consider the unexplainable subjectively, and that’s OK. However, it’s nearly impossible to look at someone in recovery objectively without being inspired. Going from the depths of despair to the spiritual light of recovery, two realms diametrically opposed, is almost unbelievable. People who’ve been around a while have seen newcomers, once in a dismal state of being, turn their lives around via the principles of addiction recovery.

If you were to ask the same newcomers how their recovery was made possible, they might struggle to find an answer. Making sense of how recovery works is challenging in a society that turns to medicine and science for solutions. A group of men and women meeting daily to check in with each other, giving feedback and guidance when asked, can seem likely an unlikely method of promoting healing. It works!

You Are the Miracle of Recovery

When bad things are happening in one’s life it’s noticeable right away. When good things are happening, it’s often difficult to recognize. Early in recovery determining how one’s life has improved is challenging, miracles can be both subtle and elusive. Taking stock of one’s progress isn’t easy when you are new to the program but rest assured, if you are staying sober and doing the work a transformation is taking place. If you are willing to do the Work, are open and honest with yourself and others, it’s a miracle in itself.

After an extended period of going to meetings and doing step work with a sponsor you might realize that you are the miracle for which you were waiting patiently. Sure, the program might bring about getting the family back in one’s life, financial security, and anyone of a multitude of gifts; but the fact that you have gone a string of 24-hour periods without a drink is a miracle. It’s a real achievement if you woke up today and asked yourself how you can be of service to your fellows in recovery. Rather than setting a selfish course for your day, you are focused on how you can act selflessly, helping others achieve the common goal of recovery.

One of the most satisfying feats is getting through a day without thinking about using drugs or alcohol. Cravings and fixations wax and wane in recovery, but early on they can be pretty intense. As time passes, you will think about using less and less; instead of looking for an escape from daily life you’ll find a desire to be a part of your existence. Urges to isolate will be replaced by a yen for inclusion in the happenings of other people’s lives.

As Long as It Takes

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” — Paul Coelho

Nobody finds recovery by accident. When one’s life is discordant, a need for change is self-evident. Realizing that action is required to bring about such a change doesn’t always come quickly. People can toil in the misery of addiction for unconscionable lengths of time. When the choice is finally made to seek help and efforts are taken to bring it about, individuals experience their first miracle in recovery.

Much is required of any person looking to break the cycle of addiction and transform their life for the better. There will be times when you question why you are going to meetings day-in-and-day-out. You might find yourself doubting the miracles promised by your peers in the program, but for different reasons than you might think.

Perhaps you had the thought that the gifts of recovery would originate externally? If that is the case, you might consider changing your perspective. The real miracles of addiction recovery come from within, connecting with the spiritual realm is the gift, and in recovery, you are the miracle. You can see evidence of that when considering your existence before finding addiction recovery and after. The transformation may not be evident right away, in time all shall reveal itself to you—as long as you are willing to work the program for as long as it takes. Although, if you ask your peers who have been around longer, such realizations will come sooner than you think.

Taking Certain Steps for Addiction Recovery

Do you want something different for your life than living in a cycle of addictive and self-defeating behavior? Addiction recovery is possible, and we at PACE Recovery Center can help you realize the dream of serenity. Armed with tools and skills for keeping addiction at bay, you too can live a life of lasting recovery. Please contact us today to begin the transformative journey of addiction recovery.

Under the Influence of Alcohol this December

DUIMany of our readers who are actively working a program of addiction recovery, know all too well what is like to be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. In some cases, multiple DUI’s are part of one’s story. It can be that part of a narrative which embodies the unmanageability that led to you seeking help in the first place. While many of our stories are similar in several ways, the catalysts that precipitated treatment are often quite similar—arrest. It is often said that you cannot force someone to take the initiative regarding seeking recovery. Until someone is ready to help them self, how can they be expected to accept help from others? If demanding that someone seek help was all that was required for beginning to work an honest program, there would likely be many more people with continued long term sobriety. There is a significant number of people in the rooms of recovery who believe that hitting rock bottom is a prerequisite for being able to truly admit that one has a problem, accept that their way is not working and surrender. If there is any doubt in one’s mind, that uncertainty can quickly go from a spark of an idea to the wildfire of relapse. Naturally, for large percentage of people working a program of recovery, the penalties of driving under the influence were their bottom—leading to giving recovery a chance.

Alcohol and Driving by the Numbers

Of course, not everyone who drives under the influence has a problem with alcohol—”normal” people make poor decisions, too. People from every legal driving age group make the choice to get behind the wheel under the influence every day of the week in the United States. A choice that puts not just the driver's life at risk, but the lives of those they share the road with. Encouraging people to make sounder decisions when it comes to driving while inebriated is not an easy task, and every year the country must rededicate itself to education and prevention efforts. The major news regarding the dangers of using mind altering substances revolves mostly around opioids these days, and for good reason. The number of opioid overdose deaths every year has surpassed traffic fatalities in the preventable death department. However, it is important that we do not lose sight of DUI prevention, considering that 10,265 people died in the U.S. due to alcohol-impaired crashes in 2015, up 3.2 percent from 9,943 in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, there was an alcohol-impaired traffic fatality every 51 minutes.

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

As we move through the 12th month of 2016 in anticipation of the New Year, we can all do our part to fight drunk driving. It is no secret that December is a month typified by heavy alcohol consumption, with holiday parties and all. More people will be in a position to make bad decisions then most months of the year. And even if you are not imbibing, you may be at risk if you are on the road. You may find yourself at a get together with friends and family who are drinking, some of whom will think they can drive. You may be able to talk them out of it, offering to drive them yourself or calling a taxi for them. Believe it, or not, little interventions like this could have huge benefits—potentially saving a life. The increased dangers on the road in December is why this is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, as proclaimed by the President of the United States. The proclamation calls on the entire nation to do their part to help prevent deadly car accidents that can result from drinking alcohol or using drugs. The President writes:
“Whether encouraging parents to set a good example for their teen drivers or educating every driver on the dangers of unsafe driving, we must recommit to doing everything we can to prevent driving-related injuries and fatalities. This month, let us continue empowering drivers to make responsible decisions and educating the American people on ways they can help keep our roads safe and our futures bright.”
For more information on drunk driving prevention efforts, please click here.

12-Step Recovery Roots—Eighty-One Years

12-StepsIt is a common saying that alcoholics drink alone—but they get sober together. If you have ever attended a 12-Step meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), there is a good chance you have heard someone say something to that effect. Whether attending 12-Step meetings to help abstain from alcohol, other mind altering substances or for any one of a hundred unhealthy behaviors, it is by and large agreed upon that the 12-Step modality of recovery has proven to be the most effective method of recovery for the greatest number of people. Millions of people across the planet have been able to break the cycle of addiction, live a healthy productive life and help others do the same by using the principles laid out in 12-Step programs. It is fair to say, that many of those same people owe their lives to such programs of recovery. The acknowledgement of which is the catalyst which compels addicts and alcoholics in recovery to help the newcomer find the miracles of recovery through sponsorship and a deep rooted community.

Eighty-One Years of Recovery

No matter which “anonymous” program[s] you find yourself affiliated with, the modality of recovery can be traced back 81 years this month. In 1935, two hopeless alcoholics converged in Akron, Ohio. At which time Bill Wilson explained to Dr. Bob Smith how he had found a way to refrain from drinking, which led the two men to develop a program of sobriety through the support of other alcoholics. The meeting between Bill W. and Dr. Bob would be the spark setting off a chain reaction that was perhaps the first miracle of recovery. It was determined that only by giving the gift of sobriety away, could one keep their own recovery—becoming the “golden rule” of addiction recovery. Over the years, what started as a meeting of two alcoholics driven to abstain from alcohol, morphed into three—exponentially increasing its size with relative speed. Chapters were formed across the country and today AA meetings can be found in all fifty states. What’s more, you can find one alcoholic helping another through the principles of AA in approximately 170 countries worldwide, according to AA’s General Service Office.

12-Step Gateway

At PACE Recovery Center, we would like to acknowledge everyone who has come before and is working a program of recovery through the 12-Steps. Our mission is to provide our clients with a safe and supportive environment to help them overcome the challenges of addiction. We'll introduce you to the principles of 12-Step programs, by way of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), et. al. It is an introduction which will help you maintain your sobriety, upon completion of your stay with us.

Continuing Your Education In Recovery

recovery, collegeFor many young adults who require, or have required treatment for a substance use disorder, it usually means taking a hiatus from higher learning. Recovery, especially early recovery, demands one’s complete dedication to clearing the mind and body of drugs and alcohol, and learning the skills necessary for being able to not have to pick up a drink or drug ever again. Naturally, college is not going anywhere, but many young adults upon completing treatment want to rush back to school. Hurrying back to college may not be conducive to recovery, even if your parents or other family members are pushing for it. While college is a place of learning and working towards the future, it also where a lot of drinking and drug use occurs - which are extremely dangerous to be around in early recovery.

Thinking It Through

Before you commit to going back to school you should discuss it thoroughly with your sponsor and/or therapist. Even if you feel like you are at a place in recovery to take on the added pressure of a class load, they may not feel like you are ready for it and that such pressure may compromise your program. It is often said that people who are new to recovery should avoid making major life decisions during the first year. The more time you have, the stronger you are likely to be when the time comes to continue your education. Remember that failing to put the needs of your recovery first can become a slippery slope that leads back to a drink or drug.

Recovery Support Network

If you are at a place to where education will not strain your recovery, it is important to establish a support network where you will be attending classes. A number of colleges have dorms that house people who are in recovery, if you will be living in the dorms it may be in your interest to find out if that option is available. It is a guarantee that there are other young adults, like yourself, that you can connect with; staying close to such people will be of great benefit should a problem arise. Always remember you can find AA and NA meetings in every neighborhood.

Taking It Slow

When going back to school, it is suggested that people working a program start with a smaller class load. Doing so will help you get your footing, easing you back into the swing of things and keep you from becoming overwhelmed. A number of people have dove head first back into college, taking over 12 units; this is often the result of feeling like you are behind your peers because you took time off to recover. Many of the aforementioned will relapse because they have taken on too heavy of a burden and their recovery was put on the back burner. Education is not a race, and as long as recovery comes first, you will have a better chance of staying clean and sober and come out the other side with a degree.

New Year’s Resolution: Recovery?

recoveryFor all who are working a program of recovery, Pace Recovery Center would like to commend you for making it through the holiday season without having to use a drink or drug. We know that New Year’s Eve consists of people around the globe consuming copious amounts of alcohol, which cause people in recovery to crave alcohol or other mind altering substances. The temptation to drink can be strong. Every New Years, sadly, a number of people do end up relapsing, often the result of not staying focused on one’s program and forgetting that recovery comes first - always. However, those who may have relapsed need to pick themselves back up with haste, lest they make a bad situation even worse. Relapse is not a rare phenomenon, especially during the major holidays, and what’s required is that you re-commit yourself to the program. Call your sponsor, and get to a meeting as soon as possible. Don’t let a relapse cause you to lose faith in the program, the program works, you probably need to make some adjustments in how you work the program. On another note, there are a number of people who have made giving up alcohol and/or drugs their New Year’s resolution. Hopefully that goal is not fleeting, and you are willing to take certain steps to make sobriety a reality. There is probably a 12-step meeting close to where you live that you can attend. It’s likely that you know somebody in recovery, give them a call; there is a great chance that they would be willing to accompany you to a meeting. The hand of recovery will always be there if you reach for help. While attending 12-Step meetings is one way to begin, there are some people who need more help at the beginning. Withdrawing is extremely difficult, and the pain and/or cravings that some experience will drive people to use before they get to the other side of a detox. In some cases detoxification can be medically dangerous, many people are at risk of seizures, especially if you have been using benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin or Xanax. If you believe that you require medical assistance, followed by residential treatment, please contact Pace Recovery Center. We can assist you in finding recovery, and help you learn how to maintain continued sobriety.

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.

Memorial Day ~ Remembering Our Fallen Warriors

English: Picture of graves decorated with flag...
English: Picture of graves decorated with flags at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Understanding Memorial Day... On the fourth Monday of every May our country celebrates Memorial Day. However, if you casually ask a friend, co-worker, or even a family member about the meaning of Memorial Day, there is a pretty good chance that they will quickly say "Well, it's a Federal Holiday to honor our military." If you pursue the conversation they may not be able to tell you the history of the day or the true purpose of the day. They may remember attending parades, or picnics, or beach parties...perhaps even fireworks. They might mention there are always Memorial Day Sales. Memorial Day had its beginnings in 1868, known as Decoration Day. While prior to this date it was not uncommon for family members to visit the graves of the war fallen and decorate these graves, it was on May 5, 1868, when Major John A. Logan declared May 30th to be Decoration Day. Here are some interesting facts surrounding Memorial Day:
  • In 1867 our Congress first established national cemeteries. We now have 147.
  • Historians offer that Major Logan chose May 30th for Decoration Day as by that time of the year every part of the country would have flowers in bloom to lay on the graves of our war dead.
  • By 1882 the name of this holiday was starting to change gradually from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.
  • In 1967, during President Johnson's administration, the name was officially changed by Federal law.
  • It was not until June 28, 1968, that the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Nixon. This act officially moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May from May 30th, always insuring a three day weekend. This act took effect in 1971.
  • On Memorial Day certain rules apply to how the US Flag is flown. In the morning the flag is raised quickly to the top of the flag pole and then slowly and respectfully lowered to half-staff.  At noon the flag is raised to full staff for the rest of the day.
So how will you commemorate our fallen warriors this Memorial Day? Now that you understand a bit more about Memorial Day, we thought we would share some ideas of how to make this day about those who served and died, as a result of their duty.  We invite you to take a few minutes to visit a website called Vet Friends. There is a lot to learn by visiting this site. If you are trying to locate a Memorial Day Parade in your neighborhood you can check out this directory. For example, not too far from Battleship IOWA in San Pedro, Ca. Of course, if a National Cemetery is not located in your area you can visit any nearby cemetery and be able to determine where the veterans are laid to rest. Most graves will bear a US Flag. Stop for a bit and remember.  Here is a touching video created by Vet Friends. If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here. Saying thank you to our fallen warriors Here at PACE Recovery Center we believe in empowering our clients to fulfill their own particular dreams. We believe that a Positive Attitudes Change Everything. Our trained addiction treatment staff helps our clients identify their specific recovery goals, and helps them achieve them. Long-term sobriety is more than simply not using alcohol or drugs, it is about living life. Helping our clients develop life skills, educational or vocational goals, not only teaches them about responsibility and accountability, but also helps improve their self-esteem. Part of living life is learning and reaching out to others in meaningful ways. This includes taking the opportunity of a federal holiday and learning its history and celebrating it with meaning. This year we are posting about Memorial Day a little early, so that you have time to check out your area for inspiring events. We wish you a meaningful Memorial Day.  
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