Friday, July 29, 2016

Are You Addicted to Toxic Relationships?

Sure, this sounds like something you’d read in a women’s magazine (and you may very well have) instead of on a rehab site, but the truth is that a toxic relationship can be detrimental to your lasting sobriety.

Now more than ever it’s important to reflect about past partnerships and to be honest about your dating history. This way, when you are ready to put yourself out there, you can make better judgment calls about who to date and who not to date. And, ultimately, you can learn to recognize a healthy relationship and a person who will make you proud of you and your journey toward a sober life.

Here are some of the many warning signs of a toxic relationship.

Your partner…
  • Brings you down or makes your feel inferior
  • Is unable to give you emotional support 
  • Makes you question your self-worth
  • Gets you involved in unethical or illegal behavior
  • Pressures you to get high or drunk
  • Uses you for sex
  • Disappears for periods of time without any explanation
  • Lies to you over and over again (small and big lies)
  • Makes you feel more sad than happy
  • Never makes compromises; you’re always the one giving in
  • Is emotionally or physical abusive
  • Is very controlling and you feel frightened to share your opinions
  • Is always calling the shots and making the plans
  • Never shows gratitude or appreciation for you
  • Tries to make you feel jealous
  • Constantly criticizes or makes fun of you
Healing Relationships and Attachment Wounds
Our goal at Rising Roads Recovery is for you to be able to identify a healthy relationship and actively participate in it by the end of your addiction treatment. We assist you in being able to speak up for yourself and to respect yourself and your partner in all areas. To learn more, call: 866-746-1558.

Monday, July 25, 2016

7 Things to Do Today to Raise Your Self-Esteem

You have a right to feel good about yourself, especially now that you’ve taken that huge leap into recovery. In fact, boosting your self-esteem is essential for your sobriety. Low self-esteem can prevent you from enjoying life, doing the things you want to do, and working toward your personal recovery goals. It can even lead to relapse if you start to feel so badly about yourself that you give up and start drinking or using again.

The better you feel about yourself, the better you’ll take care of yourself – so what are you waiting for? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends doing one of these simple things every day to boost your self-esteem.

Listen to your body, mind, and heart. For instance, if your body is telling you that you have been sitting down too long, get up and go for a walk. If your heart is lonely, make a date to meet up with a good friend. If your mind is thinking about using again, take those thoughts seriously and seek support right away.

Take very good care of yourself and start to practice daily self-care. A few ideas:
• Opt for healthy fare over junk foods high in sugar, salt, and fat
• Add exercise (walking, riding a bike, dancing to music) to your routine
• Practice good hygiene: take regular baths and showers, style your hair, trim your nails, floss and brush your teeth
• Schedule an annual physical to make sure you’re in good health

Take time to do things you enjoy. When you feel badly about yourself, it’s easy to spend little or no time doing things you enjoy. Make an ongoing list of activities/hobbies that make you happy –whether writing a poem, playing a musical instrument, or going for a hike – and choose something to do from that list daily.

Do something you’ve been putting off. Completing a nagging task – no matter how small – can boost your confidence and lead to a sense of accomplishment. So go ahead and pay that bill, clean out the pantry, write that letter, organize that closet, etc.

Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. Now more than ever is the time that you want to avoid people who mistreat you and surround yourself with friends and family members who respect your sobriety and value you.

Learn something new or improve your skills. Sign up for a class or attend a seminar; many education programs for adults are free or fairly inexpensive.

Do something nice for another person. Smiling at your neighbor or saying a few kind words to the cashier at your local grocery store is a simple way to make yourself and another person feel good. Some other ideas:
• Help your spouse with an unpleasant chore
• Take a meal to a sick friend
• Send a card to a long-lost pal
• Volunteer for a worthy organization 

Boosting Your Self-Esteem After a Relapse

The shame and self-loathing that occurs after a relapse can be hard to work though. The Boost Up Program at Rising Recovery aims to help by offering new healthy coping skills so you can keep your positive trajectory. To learn more, call: 866-746-1558.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cooking 101: How to Follow a Recipe

It may sound silly, but something as simple as following a recipe can feel like a monumental challenge. After all, your mind is bursting with new tools for long-term sobriety; not to mention you’re likely experiencing sleep troubles and “brain fog.” 

To feed your recovering body and mind, it’s important that you learn to cook (and learn to like to cook). And being able to read and follow a recipe is the first step.

7 Tips for Evaluating and Following a Recipe
  1. Read through the entire recipe – and then read it again. If you found the recipe online, then you may even want to print it out. 
  2. Ask yourself if it’s a well-written recipe. In other words, does it have three components: ingredients, amount of ingredients, and preparation instructions? Does it spell out pan size, cooking temperature, and how much of each ingredient to use? 
  3. Before you begin cooking, check out the nutritional information. Is the recipe high in fat, salt, or sugar? (If so, you’ll want to skip it.) Does it use mostly whole foods? 
  4. During the second read, highlight or circle any of the important steps. This is also the time to research any cooking methods or cutting styles that are unfamiliar or confusing to you.
  5. Take special note of the time allotted for the recipe – and make sure you have ample time to complete the task at hand. 
  6. Jot down all of the recipe ingredients and add them to your grocery list. 
  7. Set up your Mise en Place (MEEZ-ahn-plahs). This is a French culinary phrase that means “everything it its place” and refers to purchasing, prepping, and pre-measuring all of the ingredients prior to making the dish. This process of cooking is said to be more efficient and helps prevent you from making mistakes or missing ingredients.

Nutritional Guidance at Rising Roads
Rising Roads offers weekly nutrition classes, in addition to shopping preparation and cooking classes. The camaraderie of cooking together, gaining new skills, learning new recipes, and enjoying the process is a positive move forward. To learn more, call 866-746-1558.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Laugh It Off

humor in addiction recoveryRecovery is a hard road, but keeping your sense of humor just might help you along the way. That’s according to a new article in The Open Nursing Journal that looked at laughter theory in the medical literature. Keeping your wit about you can be an advantage if you’re working toward your recovery from substance abuse.

Here’s are ways the article says you might be able to benefit from a little humor right about now during the recovery process:

• Responding to stressful situations through humor often helps people feel less threatened and less stressed out as well.

• Humor can release pent up emotions and even improve mood.

• Having a good laugh can lower anxiety and release tension.

• Finding humor can help replace negative emotions with positive ones and may even help resolve interpersonal conflicts.

• People in recovery (as well as those who treat them and coach them) can use humor to lighten up the seriousness of many situations, which is a healthy way to cope with problems.

• It’s only natural to laugh at our own behavior when is outside the norm. Doing so can help you think of alternative behaviors through creative problem solving.

• Bantering and poking fun of our own past, intoxicated behavior is a way people in recovery groups can help relieve tension. Inside a safe community of people who have also been there—and done that—these moments of laughing at our former selves can be healing rather than embarrassing.

You can’t always lighten the mood with humor. Sure there are going to be many hard moments ahead on your way to recovery, but don’t forget that it’s okay to chuckle when the moment’s right. In fact, a good giggle might be just what you need to help make your recovery a success.

Experiential Therapy
One great place to let your laughter flow is during recreational experiential therapy sessions at Rising Roads. During these sessions, you’ll have a chance to try confidence-building activities like going rock climbing or kayaking. We also have music, role playing and drama experiences to offer. Begin your individual journey to recovery in our serene and supportive environment by calling 866.746.1558. Together, we’ll help bring laughter back into your daily life.

Belonging to Something Bigger

belonging to something bigger
When you make the important decision to seek treatment for your addiction, you may feel completely isolated and alone, but when you join a 12-step program, you are becoming part of a group of people who are facing similar struggles. And being part of a community may be a more essential part of the healing process then we realize.

A History of Effectiveness
12 steps have been successful for recovering addicts for many years. Originally based on a process that was formulated in the 1930s for treating alcoholism, today a large portion of addiction treatment programs are based on an evolved version this methodology.

By admitting there is a substance abuse problem, acknowledging and taking responsibility for the fact that we have hurt people in our lives due to our addiction, attempting to make amends with our loved ones, meditating and trying to help heal other addicts, the therapy can be very effective.

Social Interaction Helps With Sobriety
A study sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism looked at how helping other alcoholics going through step 12-treatment created increased interest in others and decreased alcohol use over a 10-year period of engagement. In addition, the study showed that alcoholics who helped others also did more personal step-work and attended more meetings than those who didn’t help others.

For young people with social anxiety disorder, performing simple 12-step service tasks, like making coffee at meetings, is often associated with abstaining from substance abuse. Being actively part of a group can help those who are in recovery feel like they belong somewhere.

In younger adults with addiction, active involvement in community Twelve Step groups also tends to have a positive impact. Attendance and participation in AA/NA meetings following discharge from a residential treatment center seems to be associated with a higher number of days of sobriety.

In all these situations, people recovering from addiction tended to stay sober longer by having some form of communication with others, no matter how subtle.

Sticking To It
Perhaps the most essential way to remain sober after treatment is to continue attending meetings, working with the steps of the program and helping others.

But finding the right treatment center can help you get on the path to healing. At Rising Roads Recovery, you will have a sponsor to guide you through this 12-step process. For more information, call 1-866-746-1558.