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Posts Tagged ‘Sober Living’

What Is Emotional Sobriety?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

What Is Emotional Sobriety?An estimated 20 million people in the United States, struggle with a substance abuse disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unfortunately, only about 10% of these people receive appropriate treatment. Whether you’re struggling to regain your life or well on the road to recovery, you’re probably focused on attaining or maintaining your sobriety. This is a noble goal, but there is more than one kind of sobriety. While your physical abstinence from substances is a vast and important piece of the puzzle, so is your emotional sobriety, which enables you to live a productive and fulfilled life.

Do You Know What Emotional Sobriety Is?

We use the term “emotional sobriety” to describe a state of mind that goes beyond physical recovery. While giving up drugs and alcohol is an important first step, emotional sobriety is essential in maintaining your positive lifestyle change. Emotional sobriety involves honing the ability to cope with your emotions, especially those associated with drug and alcohol use. Our brain defends us from painful realities by creating defense mechanisms. Unfortunately, addicts usually protect themselves from these feelings with drugs or alcohol. Achieving emotional sobriety is essential for maintaining your physical sobriety, as you will be better equipped to handle the negative feelings and events that are an inevitable part of life.

Addicts often feel that detox is the hardest part of getting clean, and this is partially true. Detox is often the most physically rigorous aspect of sobriety. Learning to cope with your feelings along with addressing and resisting temptation is a lifelong battle. Emotional sobriety is the most important part of finding peace with your past actions and finding confidence in your healthy future. An emotionally sober addict will be able to handle their feelings in all of life’s moments and also acknowledge when they need help.

How Can I Achieve Emotional Sobriety?

There’s no magic class or patented method for achieving emotional sobriety, like physical sobriety, it is a constant effort. Your rehabilitation program, however, will likely address emotional sobriety. Group therapy, family therapy, and individual sessions all help you uncover the factors that have been driving your addiction. This allows you to address them without the help of alcohol or drugs. For example, if your addiction arose in the aftermath of a traumatic event, you’ll have to address the negative feelings associated with that event that you’ve been masking with substance abuse.

How Can I Achieve Emotional Sobriety?

Emotional treatment plans are focused on helping you be comfortable in your reality, no matter what it may be. The aim is to help you find your authentic self, both in good moments and in bad. This is a vital part of living a fulfilling life in sobriety.

Each person’s journey to emotional sobriety is a little different. Since no one shares the same struggle, your treatment will also be tailored to your unique needs.  Treatment will involve helping you find and maintain your healthy emotional balance. You will have to accept reality as it is, stop dwelling on past mistakes, and look forward to all aspects of the future.

Why Emotional Sobriety Is Important

Some addicts take charge of their physical sobriety but never learn how to address and process their emotions properly. These people are more prone to relapse. The most successful addicts are the ones who realize their journey to recovery will never end. Recovery is a lifelong fight to resist temptation and address the negative and positive feelings in their life in equal measure. Life is full of challenges, and recovery is focused on being able to cope with them. Emotionally sober people can resist the urge to turn to substances, not matter what they’re feeling. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, you’re more likely to confront your emotions than avoid them with substance abuse.

Think of emotional sobriety as a healthy mindset. It will take work, but this healthy emotional mindset will put you on the road to a healthy life.

Achieving a Healthy Emotional Balance

Addicts struggle to achieve emotional balance more than most. Since intoxicants dull feelings (often purposefully so), addicts experience emotions in hyper drive after finding physical sobriety. Addressing these feelings as they come is an important part of attaining emotional balance. Learning to cope with life’s highs and lows and become present in each moment is difficult. Your sensations may hit you with more ferocity than before, which can throw you back into temptation. You must live consciously and deal with your life, no matter what its terms. This is the emotional balance.

Finding a balanced state of mind is easier said than done. It’s not so much a process as it is a commitment. To start, commit to having a positive outlook on life, no matter what the circumstances. This could include starting a gratitude journal or taking a few moments to think of what you’re thankful for before you go to bed each night. Meditate. Talk to friends. These little things add up over time to create a well-adjusted, positive sense of self.

At the same time, be careful not to create a veneer of happiness that hides sadness underneath. It’s just as important to address painful experiences, as it is to acknowledge positive ones. When you’re feeling low, talk to a friend or your sponsor. Discuss temptation and your continued road to recovery. By putting these feelings out in the open, you’re allowing yourself the opportunity to process and put them into perspective.

Emotional sobriety is not an easy task, but its well worth the effort. Make your commitment to recovery a holistic one, healing your mind, body, and spirit. This enhances your ability to live a long and fulfilling life.

The Treatment Center’s Addiction Treatment Programs Focus on Building Multiple Levels of Sobriety

Alcohol Addiction Resources

What are the Benefits of Recovery Residences?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

After a patient leaves an addiction treatment center, it is imperative that they live in a safe and sober environment. For many patients, returning to their previous home is not in their best interest. A recovery residence, also referred to as a sober living home, is sometimes the best option for a person in early recovery.

Listed below are some of the benefits of recovery residences:

  • Recovery residences test residents on a regular basis for drugs and alcohol. Those that test positive will be asked to leave.
  • It allows individuals to transition to everyday life in a clean environment.
  • Residents can focus on their sobriety with limited distractions.
  • Recovery residences allow individuals to develop a regular schedule which creates structure in their lives.
  • Individuals can develop a network of sober friends.
  • Residents benefit from the support of people with similar goals and interests.
  • Recovery residences create a sense of community.
  • For individuals in an outpatient treatment program, it can help them stay on track with their therapy.
  • Recovery residences are based off of the principles of 12 step programs.

Individuals can choose from different types of recovery residences. Typically, recovery residences are designed for a specific population (e.g., gender, age, co-occurring problems). For people of faith, they can also choose to live in a Christian-based recovery residence.

If you live in an environment that is detrimental to your sobriety, we urge you to consider a recovery residence. It may be the solution that you are looking for.


Life After Treatment: Recovery Residences

Monday, November 19th, 2012

By Mark Burwell

When we enter treatment, a big part of our plan is what we are going to do after discharge. A good discharge plan is just as important as treatment itself, and it usually plays a big role in the addict’s success. If you have been in treatment before or you know someone who has, one of the most common recommendations is to go to a recovery residence.

A recovery residence, or halfway house is a sober living home or apartment complex which allows people to transition into society after treatment. A recovery residence provides support, structure and accountability to people in early recovery.

Most recovery residences have rules and guidelines that need to be followed. These guidelines have been set in place to make people accountable. Things like having a curfew may seem insignificant at first, but after months of following these rules a person learns discipline. This discipline enables individuals to apply these principles in other areas of their lives.

Here at The Treatment Center and in my own personal life, I recommend a recovery residence to anyone who is being discharged from rehab. When completing treatment, the discharge plan must be effective and executed immediately. This is the best way to slowly integrate into the real world and an important step in securing long term recovery.

The Value of Choosing Sober Living

Monday, July 9th, 2012

I have been to treatment several times, and I have found dozens of justifiable reasons not to follow through with the sober living plan that I had laid at my feet. I thought I didn’t need it, I thought the therapists who recommended it were crazy, and I did not think I had time in life for dealing with “sober living”. I went back to treatment again and again, always blaming everyone around me for my last encounter with active addiction, but it was my fault. It was always my fault when I relapsed. It was not that ex-girlfriend who didn’t want to get back together, it was not my parents, it was not the stress of life- it was me.

I share this example of defiance because my entire life has been filled with excuses and justifiable reasons not to listen to the people who were trying to help me. My life has been filled with lies I told myself and believed, and I know I am not alone. I know that I am not alone because today I manage the Fern House, a residential recovery program, and I see how easily we can persuade ourselves to believe the lies our disease tells us. I often look around at the things my guys do and say and think to myself, I understand that because I used to think like that. Countless white chips later, I am blessed because I finally think differently.

When I think back on the time when I got clean, and honestly ask myself if I thought that I would still be clean if it were not for being committed to living in a sober environment, I know what the answer is. Had I not woke up one day and begged for a chance to live somewhere that had structure and discipline, I sincerely doubt that I would have made it. I believe I would be dead today had I not made the decision to choose sober living.

I am not sharing this with the thought that someone who does not think they need sober living will come to some magical realization that my story applies to them. I stopped believing the lies I can tell myself. This is for the person who is thinking about sober living, but isn’t sure if the people guiding them have their best interest at heart. Today, I am certain they do!

I believe we are all on a journey and those of us afflicted with addiction have to live through horror, sometimes over and over again, before we become willing to accept suggestions. My only hope is that this might reach that one person who has seen their share of pain, and is ready for real change. This is my story. I can only speak from my own experience, and for this recovering addict and alcoholic, sober living was a must.

By Chuck Cordle

Meet Chuck Cordle of Fern House

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Meet Chuck Cordle of Fern House, our new blog contributor.

My name is Charles Cordle II, although my friends call me Chuck. I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to South Florida when I was eleven years old. I am a recovering addict and in no way ashamed of that fact of my life. I got clean on Feb. 6 2009 after many failed attempts at recovery. On this date, I stopped trying and started doing.

I got into the field of recovery at fifteen months clean working as a tech in a detox facility and found my calling, helping people like me. After fifteen months working there, I got a call from the place where I got clean, the Fern House, asking me if I would consider making a move. Two weeks later I started the greatest job I could ever want, managing a 57 bed facility.

Can you tell us more about Fern House?

Fern House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit faith based residential recovery program for men suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Our six-month program is structured and disciplined. Fern House is not a treatment center, nor is it a traditional halfway house. Fern House is a recovery program that teaches men the principles found in the twelve steps of AA. Our men wake up and clean the facility. We provide their breakfast and a lunch to take to work with them. When they get home, we eat dinner as a family. They also participate in three meetings per night.

We are currently working on a new project that will create another 50 beds, which will be used for men who have complete the six month residential program and are looking for a more long term option to sober living. This project, Fern House II will be a true transitional living facility where residents will become more independent and responsible for fulfilling their own needs.

Tell us more about your work at Fern House.

As the manager of Fern House, I am responsible for ensuring the creation of a safe, healthy, sober atmosphere for the men who come into our program. My day often starts in a court room acting as the liaison between the courts and the facility. From there I work helping to plan the recovery program that we offer, which includes two recovery groups and a wrap up meeting each night. I also facilitate groups and meet with residents one on one. My days usually involve late nights and early mornings, but my job allows me to live in the trenches helping people fight addictive thought processes.

What made you decide to start writing about your experiences as a residential manager?

I have learned to allow writing to be an outlet for not only my creative side, but a stress reliever. Writing allows me to block out the world for just a little while and center my thoughts. When I was asked to contribute to the Treatment Center’s blog, I thought it was an honor, and I knew it would help me personally. I started writing my own personal blog last year but lost the time to write every day, so this will be an outlet that I can participate in with a schedule that I can handle. As far as writing about my experience as a residential manager, that is what I do, and I can only write about real life experiences and emotions.

Tells us something about yourself most people don’t know.

People who know me know all of me. My life is an open book for the world to read. If there is one thing to share with the readers of this blog to introduce myself it would have to be my unquenchable thirst for recovery. I believe that addiction and recovery encompasses every aspect of life in someone who is an addict. If you doubt that, ask someone early in recovery how important that chocolate bar is to them. It took two and a half years into recovery for me to realize that addiction is not about the drugs, it is about the unhealthy behaviors. In May of 2010, I weighed 330 pounds and had gained well over 100 of those since getting off drugs. I realized I had struggled for years to get free from drugs only to make food my drug of choice. The journey I am on today has me trying to make well- rounded health my number one priority. To me, this decision is true recovery. I have lost over 90 pounds, go to the gym six days a week, and have never felt better about the person I look at in the mirror every morning.

If you read my posts, I promise they will be real and me. I will never sugarcoat something to make it sound good. My motto in life would be: “It is what it is and cannot be anything else”

Thanks Chuck, we look forward to sharing your message of recovery and sober living with our readers. Fern House is an amazing program.  As a way of sharing our hope, we are supporting Fern House in a capital campaign to raise $900,000 to expand its services to the community. The money will fund an expansion of the basic Fern House program. Learn more about The Bridging The Gap Campaign here.

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