The Role of Mental Health in Sobriety
In early recovery, many of us discovered we were suffering from an underlying mental health issue – or a co-existing disorder – that was masked by drugs and alcohol. In the process of my own recovery, I learned my mental health was just as important as my physical and spiritual health. I uncovered how mental illness manifests in my everyday life, how to deal with symptoms in a healthy way, and how to get professional help.Read More
Hazardous love: Is this relationship toxic?
Love can seem addictive. That feeling can hook us fast, for some, maybe even faster than a drink or drug. And when we’re no longer drinking or using, a relationship can be an alternative to that high or an unhealthy distraction from our pain.
In early recovery—or even later in recovery—we may enter relationships too quickly because the other person makes us feel good. Sometimes it works out. But it’s easy for loneliness to lead us to bad choices of partners.Read More
Self-control is what you build up, develop, create and learn by controlling your behavior repeatedly. We should regard self-control as a skill. It is not a character trait or a thing you have to have that lets you control your behavior (or a thing that not having it prevents you from doing so!)
If someone says, “I have no self-control over my drinking or drugging, or eating sweets or whatever,” it might be asked, “Are you well practiced at resisting your urges or opportunities to use or to overeat the wrong things?” The answer would likely be, “No.” This person is well practiced at giving in to those urges and opportunities to use. (No criticism from me! I did this for years and years.)…Read More
Like any big change in life, emerging from the pandemic may be difficult for people who are newly sober.
A year ago, we were all reeling from the adjustments to pandemic life. Wearing masks felt confining and absurd; our tongues were still wrapping around new words like “social-distancing” and “quarantine.” And yet, over the past 12 months, pandemic life, with its social isolation, remote work and six-foot distances, has become our new normal. Now, as vaccines become more widespread and the world opens up, some people are finding that transition to be challenging and uncomfortable as well.Read More
Family is forever, or at least, that’s what the chintzy wall stencils say. During times of hardship, sickness, death, misfortune, mistakes, and malaise it is helpful to rest assured that our families will stand by us and help us. My esteemed mentor, Dr. Horvath, often says that 90% of social support is who shows up. Who shows up in the hospital during chemo? Who shows up to console after a break-up or job loss? Often times, family shows up when no one else will. But who shows up when a so-called ‘addict’ hits the proverbial ‘rock bottom?’ Often times family members desert loved ones when addictive problems are at their most severe. Why is an exception to the golden rule of family standing by one another made when it comes to addiction?Read More
To many people, with or without substance-abuse struggles, “healthy living” is the lesser of two evils. No one wants the inconvenience and danger of heart trouble; no one aspires to obesity that makes crossing the room exhausting; but when it comes to preventative wellness, we often visualize a life sentence of bland meals and monotonous exercise. Hence the quip, “Will this really help you live longer—or will it just feel longer?”Read More