Tag Archives: clean

Recovery: I Believe

Recovery: Decision Time


Recovery: You Do…Or You Don’t

Get your head right, and keep it right!

Recovery: 10 Reasons For Failing

So you’re in recovery but you’re miserable.  You feel like you might relapse at any given moment.  Check out what I think are 10 reasons why your recovery sucks and what you need to do to put yourself on the right track.

recovery21.  Your Obsessing–You have to stop thinking about drinking and what you think you are missing!  You have to remind yourself “I’m not a drinker/drugger any longer; therefore, it makes no sense to be thinking about something you no longer do.


recovery32.  Lack Of Activities–You must structure your day so that you have activities to keep yourself busy.  Schedule regular “me” time.  Work out, listen to music, watch a favorite show, meditate.  Having lots of activities will keep you participating in the here and now.


recovery43.  No Support Groups–Consider a 12 Step Program.  Those who attend 12 Step Programs are much more likely to maintain their recovery.  Also, those who participate in a 12 Step Program, and who get a Sponsor, have reported a much more enjoyable recovery, and are far more likely to remain recovered.  Attending a local church and hooking up with one of their groups is also a great idea.  Most organizations consider an attempt at recovery without a spiritual solution to be an attempt at failure.  Finding a Higher Power, whatever that represents to you, will be critical to your success.

recovery94.  Too Many Stressors–Putting yourself in the way of stressors or triggers is going to stress you out.  To the degree that you can, minimize the amount and duration of stressors and triggers in your life.



recovery105.  No Professional Treatment–If your insurance allows it, get outpatient therapy and help!  Having a professional to talk with will definitely ease the burdens you experience while you are in your recovery.



recovery56.  Old Haunts–Stay away from the places you used to use in!  It’s pretty much a given that you will be triggered to use trying to convince yourself that you can still hang out in the same old places when you were using.



recovery67.  Old Pals–This might require that you lose some of your old pals.  Pals that you used to drink and or drug with are not going to be healthy to you in your recovery.  It’s time to get some new friends!



recovery78.  Lack of Support–Not having family, co-workers, or friends support can be disheartening.  If a loved one is still drinking, for example, it’s going to put a real crimp in your recovery ability.  Try to talk with those closest to you about needing their empathy and, more importantly, their dedicated support.


recovery89.  Lack of Resources–Not attempting to find sober people, not participating in recovery work on a daily basis, and not providing yourself with literature–whether it be books, inspirational apps, online blogs/resources, etc–is a hindrance to your progress in recovery.  Reading inspirational or educational literature is going to keep you mindful of your recovery as you read these kinds of materials.

recovery1110.  Lack of Belief–Not believing in yourself, giving in to “stinking thinking,” constantly worrying about relapsing is not helping you.  Go out and live your life as a person who no longer uses!  Having an “Attitude of Gratitude” and believing in Acceptance, are two solid ways to live with belief daily.

Sometimes the best approach is to not give too much attention or emotion to recovery.  Just try to live in the moment.  Try not to bite off more than you can chew.  Most importantly, reach out to someone–ANYONE–if you are feeling the urge to pick up.

Recovery: 8 Factors In Relapsing

We start with a very strong desire and a clear picture of being a sober person.  We continue with a strong belief that we can persist in sobriety.  Then we have a positive expectancy that this sobriety is going to turn out well.

Then we implement relapse prevention strategies.

Research by Helen Annis and Alan Marlatt over 20 years has identified 8 common factors that people report preceded their initial return to alcohol and/or drug use.

painfulemotions on justruminating men's blogPainful Emotions–frustration, anger, hostility, aggression, guilt, “hassles”, fear, anxiety, tension, depression, loneliness, sadness, boredom, worry, apprehension.

testingcontrol on justruminating men's blogTest Control–“testing” your ability to engage in controlled or moderate use; to “just try it once” to see what happens, or testing the effects of treatment or a commitment to abstinence.  Also includes tests of “willpower.”

conflict on justruminating men's blogConflict–with family, friends, or at work.  Alcohol or drug use following a current or recent conflict associated with any type of relationship such as marriage, friendship, family, significant other, and work relationships (especially scenarios in which you feel frustrated or angry with someone).

socialpressure on justruminating men's blogSocial Pressure–direct or indirect pressure from a family member, friend, significant other, or supplier to drink or use drugs.  Includes drinking or using drugs in response to seeing one or more other persons drinking or using drugs.

publicparties on justruminating men's blogPleasant Times–socializing with friends or family at parties, dinner, sporting events, etc., or attending at public social events such as concerts, exhibits, etc.

physicalpain on justruminating men's blogPhysical Pain–sometimes associated with prior substance use, such as “withdrawal agony” or “physical sensation of craving” associated with withdrawal, and sometimes they are not associated with prior substance use, such as pain, illness, injury, fatigue, migraines, etc.

pleasantfeelings on justruminating men's blogPleasant Emotions–using substances to increase feelings of pleasure, joy, freedom, sensuality, and celebration.  using the substance for positive effects of “getting high” or “partying” to feel pleasure, celebration, sexual excitement, freedom, etc.

temptation on justruminating men's blog

Urges and Temptations–Alcohol or drug use in response to urges, temptations, or other promptings, including “craving” or intense desire, either in the presence of drinking or drug cues (e.g., a beer bottle or pack of cigarettes, passing by a bar, seeing someone with whom you have partied with in the past) or urge or temptation that comes “out of the blue” and is often followed by trying to gain access to alcohol or drugs.

Just being aware of these 8 major factors can greatly reduce your chances of threatening your recovery.  But that is not enough.  The best way to manage these factors is to AVOID THEM!  This one simple step will help you big time.

sobersuccess on justruminating men's blog

But if you can’t avoid them, then many of these factors can be properly controlled with regulating your emotions relating to them.  Establishing boundaries, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and, if you are in a 12 Step Program and one of these situations arises, calling your sponsor!

One of the biggest lessons I learn here in treatment–over and over by the way–is that your reactions to situations largely dictate your subsequent behaviors.  Learning to keep my emotions in check relative to challenging situations has resulted in my having minimal conflict resolution issues, and a fairly absent desire to drink!

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