Navigating Relationships in Recovery
Active addiction can negatively impact your relationship within families, marriages, and friends. Likewise, a substance use disorder can also have you connecting with people that harm your mental and physical health. After years of putting your body through substance use and deteriorating your relationships, seeking recovery aims to rebuild and find healthier relationships to sustain lasting recovery. Without a strong support system, finding health, balance, and happiness in recovery will be challenging. A strong support system helps you avoid toxic relationships that put your recovery at risk.
Will My Life Ever Be Normal Again?
As you navigate sobriety, it’s normal and valid to wonder whether your life will ever get back to feeling normal. In reality, your life won’t go back to normal - it’ll be even better than it was before recovery. The further you move from substance abuse, the more clearly you’ll be able to see your life in all its potential. Living sober gives you more time for things that uplift you, whether it’s time spent with loved ones, learning new things, or better understanding yourself.
New Mental Health Habits for the New Year
It’s time to embrace the new year, and what better way than to pick up some new healthy habits? You have probably heard the saying “you are what you eat,” and the reality is that everything you consume does affect you. You are whatever you eat, read, watch, hear, and breathe in. Everything that you expose yourself to becomes a piece of who you are. Think of yourself as a sponge, soaking in all of your experiences and interactions with other people. Will you choose to soak in water, coffee, or tea? Though some people may oppose the idea of starting over in the new year, there is nothing wrong with wanting to turn over a new leaf. Here are some ideas to help get your 2021 off to a great start.
Is an Addictive Personality Hereditary?
For years, people thought that diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure were hereditary. Then people began to realize that while these diseases aren’t hereditary, the habits which lead to them can be. Many people tend to eat what the rest of their family eats, because during the first part of your life, you're not the one making those sorts of decisions. In some cases, the same progression can apply to your mental health. It’s common for people struggling with depression or anxiety to want to understand where a detrimental predilection comes from. Are you born with it? Does it develop over time? Is it hereditary?
Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?
When people refer to marijuana as a “gateway drug”, they’re saying that people who use it will go on to use other, more dangerous substances. Some have suggested that using marijuana creates neural pathways in the brain which makes a smoker begin to crave stronger drugs. While some people who use marijuana move on to harder drugs, there is currently no evidence to back up claims that marijuana is responsible for increasing one’s habits of substance abuse.
Recognizing the Signs of Relapse
Our current understanding of the psychology behind addiction suggests that relapse occurs not all at once as a single event, but in stages which gradually build up to the final step of physically using. Be careful to know your past history and behaviors so that you can identify the warning signs of a possible oncoming relapse. If you can catch yourself in time, you can get help, and keep your sobriety on track. Below are the three stages of relapse and what you can do to prevent them from taking hold of you.
How Can You Support a Loved One Struggling With Addiction?
Watching your loved one struggle with addiction is complicated and can leave you feeling helpless. While you might feel overwhelmed by all of your emotions surrounding your loved one and their addiction, it is essential to remember that not all hope is lost. Help and recovery is always an option for your loved one, and there are ways in which you can help them along the way. You might be wondering where to start and how to approach the subject. While there are no set guidelines, there are specific dos and don'ts that can help you and your loved one handle their addiction.
Identifying and Understanding Your Triggers
Understanding your triggers can be one of the most challenging things to do. It is hard to understand just what and when you might have a negative or impulsive emotional response to certain situations. There are many different ways we distract ourselves from negative feelings: television, the internet, news, social media platforms, and conversations with friends and family. However, such distractions can enact a triggering response. These negative feelings and thoughts can create shame and guilt - you might feel like you are not living up to your expectations.
How do Substances Affect the Brain?
The brain is far and away, the most complex organ in the human body. It is at the center of every activity you do, like driving, walking, eating, and creating. The brain is responsible for regulating your body's essential functions, enabling you to interpret and respond to everything you experience. The brain even shapes your behavior. Your brain is you. It is everything you think you are. It is essential to take care of your brain to function healthily.
What is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?
You’re probably familiar with the concept of withdrawal. It’s an umbrella term for the numerous, often intense physical and psychological effects that arise when a person stops using addictive substances. Once your body has grown used to the presence of drugs, alcohol, or other addictive inputs, the transition back to a life without them can result in painful symptoms like nausea, depression, aches, and trouble sleeping.