6 Awesome Tips about Recovery from Addiction that came from Unlikely Sources
A quality treatment facility will be best equipped to deal with the transition from treatment to recovery. But, that doesn’t mean that recovery tips only come from rehab centers, counselors, and addicts. They can actually be found in a number of unlikely places.
Animal Kingdom: Accept That Addiction Is Part of Your Make-Up
The New York Times published an excerpt from the novel Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us about Health and the Science of Healing. In it, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers explore addiction in the animal kingdom. There is reassurance in the idea that saying “no” is hard for animals as well.
“Ultimately, however, the powerful urge to use and reuse is provided by brain biology that evolved because it maximized survival. Seen this way, we’re all born addicts. Substance addiction and behavioral addiction are linked. Their common language is in the shared neurocircuitry that rewards fitness-promoting behaviors.”
This doesn’t mean that recovery is unnecessary because we are all inescapably addicted. This means that you can begin to accept that addiction is part of your life, albeit a dangerous part that you need to keep a close eye on. But, it isn’t a failing of yours. If addiction stems from the desire to feel good, then you can start seeking out alternative ways to feel good. Call us at 800-481-6320 and we can recommend some alternatives.
The Playground: Stop Bullying
In recovery, people tend to bully themselves and the actions that decrease bullying among school children can actually help you to stop beating yourself up. Bullying prevention advocates urge you to:
- Help kids understand bullying.
- Keep the lines of communication open.
- Encourage kids to do what they love.
- Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
As a person in recovery, you too can benefit from these steps. Adjust them to:
Understand why you are angry at yourself. Think about how you can stop the behavior. Tell yourself it is unacceptable. Make sure you are willing to get help.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with your support system often. Listen to them.
- Encourage yourself to do what you love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help you make friends, and protect you from self-harm or relapse.
- Treat yourself with the same kindness and respect you give to others.
Children’s Sports: Have Compassion
Adult sports are often about winning and losing, but children’s sports tend to be gentler. The average parent just wants to see their child outside, getting some exercise, and learning to love the game. Human beings tend to be nice to our offspring and to give them gentler treatment than we do adults. But, adults need gentle treatment to.
When you are recovering, stop keeping score. Cultivate compassion for yourself, for your support system, and for your triggers. Acknowledge that every person on Earth is struggling with something and the kindness that you would extend to an old woman struggling onto a crowded bus with a full shopping cart should be the same compassion that you give to yourself.
Pistachio Nuts: Be Mindful
In a study, titled “In-shell Pistachio Nuts Reduce Caloric Intake Compared to Shelled Nuts,” Dr. Jim Painter and colleagues coined the “Pistachio Effect,” which references how simple changes to diets can make a big difference. The same is true in recovery. Small changes can have a big impact.
In the study, it was discovered that participants offered shelled nuts ate more than study counterparts who ate in-shell nuts. Both groups reported being equally full and satisfied. The difference in intake? Mindfulness. The shells slow down the eater and every nut is consumed thoughtfully.
In recovery, make small changes that increase your mindfulness. Keep a mood journal to track triggers, go to regular support meetings, or practice meditation. Any change that allows you to be more present in your life will give you greater control over your recovery.
Parenting: Be Prepared
Anyone who has been stuck in line or in a waiting room with a hungry, tired, angry, and/or ignored toddler also knows the associated shrill screaming and crying. As the parent of a toddler, you have to plan ahead.
Your baby won’t understand “We’re almost done.” Or “Just one more hour.” Babies have needs and they are immediate and unrelenting. Treat your addiction like a toddler. The only way to manage it smoothly is to be prepared. For a toddler, you pack juice, snacks, a toy or two, some clean diapers, etc.
For your recovery, you need to know what events, places, people, and situations set you off. We can help you develop a plan; just give us a call at 800-481-6320.Avoid them if you can. If not, have a support system in place. We can help you develop a plan; just give us a call at 800-481-6320.
If you have to go to a work party with an open bar and alcohol is your drug of choice, bring a date that can stay sober with you and back your sobriety. If you have to go to a difficult meeting and know you will leave in a funk, have someone meet you afterwards and do something that makes you feel better without falling back into a pattern of using.
Relationships: Don’t Test Fidelity
In any intimate relationship, trust is a linchpin. You have to extend it to your partner and earn it in return. A wise partner doesn’t display behavior that would damage that trust. Your partner won’t be charmed that you went to dinner with an ex and spent the whole time fending off advances. More likely, the partner will question why you went in the first place. And an even less trusting partner will question whether you are telling the truth.
As you go through recovery, you face a previously damaged trust in yourself and the way to build it back up isn’t to challenge your commitment to sobriety in order to show you aren’t tempted. Instead, accept that you are tempted and you will continue to be tempted. You don’t need to seek temptation out to prove you are over it. When you are in recovery, you aren’t over it.
Of course, listen to the wise words of your treatment program and seek out advice from those that you believe in, but don’t overlook the small recovery lessons in everyday life. Keep an eye out for them and you will continue to learn more about recovery every day. If you would like help keeping yourself open to support and recovery tips, give us a call at 800-481-6320 and we can begin helping you.