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Tag: Addiction Recovery

Negative Self Talk

“I should’ve said something else in my 12-Step program. Now everyone probably thinks I’m stupid.”

“I’m not going to be able to survive this program.”

“There’s no way I’m going to reach my recovery goals. I’m not strong enough.”

We all have moments of self-doubt, but negative self-talk can greatly harm our sense of self-worth, self-esteem and success in recovery, if we let it go on for too long. The way we treat ourselves is what shapes our self-perception – but many times, we’re more critical of ourselves than we really need to be.

After we’ve taken the time to undergo detoxification and live sober for a while, it’s not uncommon to feel a little sorry for ourselves and what we’ve gone through with addiction and other challenging aspects of our lives. For many people, they begin to realize just how much they’ve hurt their loved ones – which can generate and multiply shame. Those in addiction recovery tend to view themselves as “bad people” or even “monsters” as they’ve gained clarity on the scope of their addiction and how it’s affected the people they love, but that’s simply not true.

 Much of the negative self-talk that those in recovery have is from societal stigma and negative messaging they’ve received from others, even growing up – either implicitly or explicitly. For instance, traumatic situations from the past can leave damaging wounds and hurtful messages inside a person’s mind – and so, in recovery, when a person is completely sober and unable to drown those messages out, it’s possible that negative self-talk can arise. It becomes increasingly important because negative self-talk can lead to relapse if a person isn’t careful – and that’s why a stop needs to be put to it immediately. 

Those in addiction recovery often have to learn how to identify the negative messages that are appearing, and then to take action against them. It’s hard to combat negative thoughts – they’re so tempting and strong, sometimes it feels as though they’re whispering words of reality into our ears (although they’re really not). If you can identify the messages and set them apart from what’s really happening in your life, you’ll be much better off.

Relapse tends to occur because we’re holding in certain painful emotions that truly need to be worked through and released. In cases of self-talk, we beat ourselves up – and naturally, these pent-up feelings lead us to buy into these false beliefs, which we act on through reverting back to substance abuse. Awareness is such a crucial part of recovery because it enables us to identify what’s holding us back and then gives us greater empowerment to respond differently than we normally would. 

When we’re aware of our thoughts, emotions and the sensations around us, we’re more apt to recognize negative self-talk when it arises. Not only that, but we’re also able to make healthier decisions quicker – which means that when the mind starts acting up, and we start hearing some negativity, we can combat them using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques that are learned in addiction recovery. There’s a lot you will explore in both individual and group therapy within addiction recovery that will provide you with steps to take towards working through these moments of negativity, but there are some excellent coping skills you can use for when your thoughts are bringing you down.  

One major strategy is to change the way you’re saying the negative thoughts out loud. For example, if your mind is telling you that you’re “stupid,” you could change the way you express that thought and say that you just had a silly thought – that your mind is playing tricks on you and that you’re not actually “stupid” because you’re working really hard towards your recovery and that’s probably the smartest choice you could’ve made for your health and wellbeing. Sometimes the way we express those negative thoughts out loud can make the situation worse – so be careful of how you express it. 

Emotions can be all-encompassing, and if you become too wrapped up in negative self-talk, you may find yourself starting to spiral. Instead, ground yourself by focusing on the sights, smells, and textures around you. What colors do you currently see in the room that you’re in? What do you smell? What textures do you feel? What tastes are there? If you close your eyes right now, what sounds do you hear? Sometimes this type of activity works well for people who are feeling very overwhelmed by their thoughts.  

Create a list in your head of all the lies your negative self-talk is trying to tell you. Remind yourself that this is just another one of those phrases that you’ve decided to no longer allow to run your recovery. Combat the heavy weight of these false beliefs with the truth – use logic to break apart the negative arguments that are being made, because they’re likely not true. If they are, you can work to change the situation in your daily life by focusing on recovery.

There are addiction treatment options available to fit your needs at Enlightened Solutions. Our professional staff can help you understand why negative self-talk can trigger relapse, recognize the signs of relapse, and course-correct before you start using again. And if you do relapse, that is okay too – we are here to get you back on track and healthy again. At Enlightened Solutions,  we understand the complexities of addiction and foster hope for the future. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.

Gaining Some Positivity Amidst Hardship In Recovery 

When addiction is present, it becomes harder than ever before to maintain a clear focus. We become confused about our sense of purpose in life, and addiction can cause us to focus only on the search of substances – which do us no good. Parts of our lives that perhaps used to be incredibly important to us – such as our relationships, hobbies, professional status and more – can become diluted and minute compared to the raging high that comes with addiction. Recovery is challenging for this very reason – it requires pushing through the fog of addiction and seeing something better. At the beginning of recovery, it can be hard to see this – and, in some cases, days can be extremely hard because it may feel like things will never get better. However, that’s the power of positivity – and you just need to change your mindset towards it.

Changing Your Point of View

Life is all about perception, and if you change your perception to one geared more towards positivity, you’ll find that your entire life changes.

For the human race, it’s completely normal for the mind to wander towards the negative. If you’ve ever focused on something negative that someone has said to you over something positive that happened during your day, or if you’ve struggled with letting go of a negative situation that happened to you in the past, you’re not alone. However, it becomes frustrating for people who feel like these negative thoughts take over with no escape – and that’s when you really have to start looking within.

As human beings, we’re hardwired to view the negatives as a form of protection. Despite this happening, the neuroplasticity in our brain still provides so much hope that the brain can become geared towards greater hope and positivity. It truly takes a lot of practice in positivity in order for positive changes to be made, but with that practice, one will find that it’s much easier to see things in a positive light once those small changes are occurring on a daily basis.

Put It into Practice

If you’re ready to embrace more positivity into your daily life, it’s time to begin trying out the following exercises:

  • Realize what’s going on around you – when we start becoming investigators of our own thoughts, it becomes a lot easier to recognize patterns of thinking and how they’re influencing our daily life.
  • Get excited over the small things – even the small recovery goals that you meet should be recognized. There’s a lot of inner work that must take place in order for most positive changes to happen, and that’s something that you can relish as you continue on your journey.
  • Recognize the wonderful qualities of people around you – by recognizing the good in others, it becomes easier to see great qualities in yourself. In life, it also becomes easier to see the positive because you’re recognizing it within yourself as well.
  • Practice greater self-compassion – instead of criticizing yourself, focus on saying kind and loving things to yourself. Practice self-compassion by understanding that as a human being, you’re going to make mistakes – but you are still capable of so much love.
  • Express gratefulness – at the beginning and end of each day, take a few moments to identify some of the things you’re incredibly happy to have in your life – including the progress you’ve made in recovery thus far.

 Fostering Mental, Physical and Spiritual Wellbeing in Recovery

There are many aspects of recovery that can truly aid in healing and rejuvenation, but it all takes practice. For example, frequent reading, prayer and walks in nature can help reel in the mind back to the present moment; this can be incredibly wonderful for people who experience a lot of negative thoughts throughout the day that prevent them from making the most of their daily lives. Through activities like this, it becomes easier to reel in those thoughts – rather than perpetuating that horrible cycle of negativity that can cause relapse.

12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), also encourage positive thinking by helping people work through some of the hardest situations that’ve happened in their previous lives and acknowledging the power that they have in the present moment. We can’t find restoration until we do some deep soul work, and 12-Step programs offer a conducive space for people to work through some of their past issues and grow. 

By practicing positivity, the notion of life purpose and recovery can become much easier to grasp. Rather than feeling lost and abandoned, those in recovery can talk to others and learn from their experiences while knowing that there’s hope for the future. Sponsors further support individuals by guiding them through some incredibly tough life situations, and positivity can fuel motivation to continue on trying through it all.

If you are battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you are not alone, and there is hope for your recovery. At Enlightened Solutions,  we understand the complexities of addiction and foster hope for the future. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.

How to Apply the 12-Step Program to Your Life 

While we’re still in the start of the new year with spring right around the corner, you may be considering ways that you can boost your recovery journey and enhance your daily life. New Year’s resolutions made with good intention have been left by the wayside, especially if goals are lofty and steps aren’t being made. However, you may still wish to strengthen your coping mechanisms, participate more in our support groups and engage in more material that uplifts the soul. If you’re currently seeking treatment at Enlightened Solutions, you’ve achieved an incredible feat – recovery is the first step towards greater living. No matter how challenging life can seem at times, it’s good to know that you’re not alone; as you’ll likely discover, there are so many people who are working hard to enrich their lives as well – and while it all takes hard work and dedication, the 12-Step program can help people achieve their recovery goals. 

The 12-Step Program: What it Is

Originally developed in 1938, 12-Step programs have changed the lives of thousands of people by providing them with tools and resources to heal. 12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are meant for anyone and everyone – and the fellowship provided can greatly help people feel supported as they navigate recovery. In 12-Step programs, anonymity is a crucial component so that members feel safe – and that helps people to express themselves more freely in meetings as well.

 In Akron, Ohio, Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson, two men who had battled with substance abuse, designed 12-Step programs based on what had worked for them personally in achieving sobriety: 

  •   Abstinence
  •   Fellowship with others
  •   Surrendering to a higher spiritual power

They ultimately wanted to create something that brought people together to gain a connection with a higher power, with honest, peer support and spirituality being several crucial components to recovery. Now, there are 12-Step programs that have become expanded all over the world – and their aim is now to not only help those who struggle with substance use disorders, but also those who battle with other addiction issues, such as gambling, sex, technology addiction, and others. Certain spiritual components associated with inner growth include humility – and 12-Step groups talk about these types of concepts while also allowing people to engage in discussion about these ideas. Humility is an incredibly important tool for healing because it allows us to gain perspective by doing the following:

  1. Realizing that a higher power has more control than our sense of ego
  2. Being honest with other people about our faults
  3. Attempting to make amends with others when possible
  4. Viewing recovery as a way towards greater spiritual connection

There are a number of topics that can be covered throughout the 12-Steps, such as honesty, faith, surrender, willingness, forgiveness, recovery maintenance and more. If you’re looking to really get involved in a 12-Step program this upcoming year, it’s time to get started.

 12-Step Program Application

The great part about 12-Step programs is that they’re incredibly straightforward and allow for easy application of what’s been learned in meetings. Even though each person may be experiencing something different, the reality is that the underlying pain is quite universal; this way, peers and advocates in recovery can be sure to speak the same type of “language” with one another because it’s through emotion and pain – and that is something everyone can relate to. If you’re looking for something that can be used to help you in daily life, 12-Step programs are incredibly helpful to get you there – and they’re not meant to serve as a cure.

It’s easy to apply the 12-Steps if you think about it:

  1. Make a visual representation of the 12-Steps. Consider each step specifically and what it means to you, and this will make it much easier to apply to your daily life.
  2. Acknowledge some of the major questions that you may be having about the 12-Steps. For example, you may be wondering if you have any fears about believing in something greater than yourself – or you may like to contemplate on what the idea of sobriety means to you. Thinking and even writing out your answers in a journal can help you solidify the 12-Steps in your daily life.
  3. Read books that promote what you’re doing. Go to a library and take a look around – get recommendations from those who are in your 12-Step program. Reading can often open the gateway towards other perspectives and life circumstances, which can enhance your recovery.
  4. Make an active decision to add more love and connection into your life. Focus on looking at the good qualities that you have, as well as the good qualities in others. Connect with a Higher Power through meditation, prayer, nature walks and more. 

At Enlightened Solutions, we want to help you heal from addiction and are committed to putting you and your recovery first. We offer a comprehensive range of services including outpatient treatment, post-rehab services, continuing care, and long-term treatment including 12-Step programs. Enlightened Solutions offers a safe and nurturing space for recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.

Families and Detox

If you’re a friend, family member, or coworker of a loved one entering treatment, it’s quite possible that you may be nervous about what’s to come next. Many people who are trying to support their loved one in addiction recovery fear detoxification, because the exact process through this journey isn’t talked about as often. In fact, there may be many questions that you have, such as what they’ll experience, how this will impact their recovery, what success or failure looks like in sobriety and more. These questions are important, and while we can’t always control our loved one’s process in recovery, we do have control over our words and actions, to provide the best support possible. The first step of addiction recovery is detox, which occurs either naturally or is assisted with medication; with detox, a person’s body rids the toxins that it’s acquired throughout the addiction. It’s important to note that detoxification isn’t meant to be used by itself, but as only a beginning part of the long-term treatment recovery process. 

First and foremost, you’ll need to assess whether your loved one is in a good place to begin detoxification. When discovering what types of treatment centers are out there, you’ll want to take particular note of the amazing support and services that are offered at Enlightened Solutions. Not all treatment centers are the same, so it’s important that your loved one seek out help at a reputable treatment center where a person’s complete health and wellness are taken into consideration and treatment is looked at holistically. At Enlightened Solutions, you and your loved one can expect to receive the following:

  • A respectful, nonjudgmental, and supportive atmosphere where individuals can feel “normal” and can receive education to reduce stigma of addiction
  • Services that are accessible and focused on what client’s need individually
  • Opportunities for family members to become involved, such as through family therapy, so that the family unit as a whole can become more cohesive together

Once you’ve decided to enroll your loved one at the proper facility, treatment will begin.

One of the most challenging steps for individuals in moving forward with recovery is the step of entering detox. If your loved one has reached this step, that’s a good sign. Of course, detoxification is a rough process for many people because their body is still getting used to the state of sobriety – when substance abuse has been present for so long, the mind and body must then learn to readjust and get used to living without it in order for sobriety to take place. There are a number of uncomfortable symptoms that can appear, such as: 

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, etc.
  • Muscle tension, twitches, muscle aches
  • Sweating, tingling
  • Anxiety, restlessness, panic attacks, irritability
  • Social isolation, depression, fatigue, etc.
  • Poor concentration, difficulty remembering things

It may feel easy to get angry or retaliate when your loved one exhibits these symptoms, but you must remember that this process isn’t easy for them either – in fact, they may very well be hating the fact that they’re experiencing some of these symptoms, and they need all the support they can get. Medication may be able to assist your loved one in managing these symptoms, but the symptoms may pursue in varying degrees until the detox period is over. The type of medication that your loved one may receive in treatment does depend on the symptoms they’re experiencing, the severity of their addiction, their mental and physical health history and so much more.

Many family members can find this part of detox challenging, as this means they must continue to be patient and supportive, aware of the “bigger picture” – even if their loved one can’t necessarily see the “light at the end of the tunnel.” To be a family member or friend during this challenging time can be exhausting, but it’s nonetheless important for them to stick with it.

Most people in addiction recovery come to rely on their friends and family members to help them get through the ups and downs associated with detoxification. It’s nice for those in recovery to include their loved ones as part of treatment, and oftentimes this helps them to keep moving forward in their journey to sobriety. 

Enlightened Solutions is a treatment center that uses evidence-based methods of recovery to focus on your loved one’s individuality through holistic treatment to help them get sober from drugs and alcohol. We offer a comprehensive range of services including outpatient treatment, post-rehab services, continuing care, and long-term treatment.  If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 833-801-LIVE to learn how we can help your loved one find the care and support they need to live a healthier and happier life in recovery. 

Barriers In Treatment

From the outside, everything seems pretty clear: why don’t our loved ones seek the help they need? Cause and effect really over-simplifies this process, and it appears to be a linear path towards a solution for our friend or family member. What we often don’t realize, however, is that there is always so much more going on beneath the surface – and with so many factors at play, it’s possible that you’re loved one may be struggling to seek help for a multitude of reasons. 

One of the most devastating, frustrating experiences we may have with our loved ones is hearing that they’re going to seek help, only to find out that they never really were taking steps towards sobriety despite telling us they were. The person we love may make all sorts of promises to never hurt us again, but the reality is that they can’t quite make this promise because addiction is a disease that takes control over a person’s thoughts and behaviors. The word itself – addiction – is rooted in being overtaken by, or bound to, something. No matter how much a person wants to change, the addiction can overtake their desires and pull them right back into the horrible cycle of substance abuse. 

Addiction truly causes changes to the brain, especially the anatomy and chemical makeup of the brain, over time. Research shows that the mechanisms used for learning become altered over time by addiction, which is what perpetuates the continued use of substances despite negative consequences occurring in daily life.

When this occurs, our loved one’s interests are no longer focused on building stronger relationships with us, or pursuing a career path, or excelling in school, or navigating personal responsibilities – rather, their mind is set to continue following the pattern of the behavior that the addiction controls. Of course, when this happens, we’re often let down as we held hope for so long that they’d seek help – so if you’re currently in this circumstance, there are several things you can do to navigate the pain. 

There’s a barrier that’s separating our loved ones from seeking help in many cases, and the first step to providing stronger support is to understand what exactly our loved ones are going through. Previous research has shown that there are several reasons for why a person may not be able to seek treatment for addiction, even if they’ve mentioned several times that they’d like to:

  1. The right insurance for them may not be available.
  2. Treatment may appear to be so far away from the person – like they can’t grasp how they could succeed in a treatment program.
  3. Help for addiction may be available, but a person may have other underlying factors – such as mental illness – that are holding them back from seeking help, too.
  4. Individuals may leave too early from their treatment program to really aid in their recovery. 

Of course, these are only some of the more economic and societal reasons for why a person may have trouble seeking help. There are other factors at play too, such as:

  • Stigma: Stigma for drug involvement can lead to social rejection, labeling, stereotyping and discrimination, and this can severely impact a person’s desire to seek help – especially if they feel they’ll be judged by their family, community and the treatment center itself.
  • Self-Doubt: A person battling addiction may not feel confident in their ability to recover, or may doubt that they even want to recover. Those who battle with addiction often experience a “back and forth” of trying to decide between seeking help and not. This is a completely normal process.
  • Mental Illness: Illnesses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and more can already influence the way a person perceives and processes information – and when addiction is added to the mix, it can become all-the-more difficult for a person to seek help.

If any of these (and many other) instances occur, a person can find it incredibly difficult to seek help, even if they’ve meant well when speaking with you about seeking treatment.

If you’d like to be more supportive of helping your loved one seek treatment at Enlightened Solutions, it’s important to know not to shame them into doing anything. A more effective approach would be to host an intervention – possibly with friends and loved ones – where they can be lovingly confronted with the facts as well as appropriate solutions and consequences if they don’t follow through with the plan that you have set forth for them. The process for helping a person seek treatment is a long one, and, of course, each person responds differently, but it takes time and patience as well as the understanding that you’re doing the best you can.

At Enlightened Solutions, we want to help your loved one heal from addiction and are committed to putting their recovery first. We offer a comprehensive range of services including outpatient treatment, post-rehab services, continuing care, and long-term treatment. Enlightened Solutions is a treatment center that uses evidence-based methods of recovery to focus on your loved one’s individuality and inner strength to help them get sober from drugs and alcohol.If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.

The Healing Power of Music: The Multiple Ways That Music Can Aid in Recovery

Music therapy is a growing field in psychology. Music helps patients recover speech after suffering a stroke or reduces stress in situations dealing with chronic illness and disease. There are various styles of music, and specific types do particular things, such as help someone get through painful chemotherapy or physical rehab sessions or help guide meditation. Music therapy involves playing music yourself, having music played with you, or having music played for you. Luckily, technology makes it easy to access any music to adapt to any situation. When you are feeling stressed, listening to your favorite music and songs makes you feel better, and multiple studies support this positive association. 

Music’s Influence During Infancy

When a baby is born, they go to the hospital nursery, which can be a noisy and busy area, full of nurses and doctors. For a baby born prematurely, the noises in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) include ventilator beeps, IV infusion pumps, the moving of carts, murmurs of voices, and the hiss of the oxygen. Studies indicate that musical sounds such as lullabies may soothe these pre-term babies, which improves their sleeping and eating habits, and therefore improves their quality of life and positively impacts their medical outcome. Furthermore, research finds that infants remain calmer and for longer periods when they listen to music, rather than when they simply hear speaking. 

Music Has the Ability to Relax and Heal

Music can induce emotional responses that may relax, stimulate, and heal. It can even improve one’s quality of life and the results of medical interventions. Music is an effective form of therapy that provides an outlet for emotions. Studies endorse the exponential benefits of music on physical and mental health. For example, an analysis of 400 separate studies found that music reduces stress and improves the body’s immune system. The researchers also found that listening to music, as well as playing music, increases the body’s production of antibodies that attack viruses and boost the effectiveness of the immune system.

Furthermore, music reduces the levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol. Many researchers believe that music eases pain because listening to it releases the brain’s natural pain relievers, known as dopamine. Studies indicate that listening to music increases the brain’s levels of dopamine, which enhances mood, and therefore positively impacts the symptoms of mental illnesses such as depression.

Studies find that listening to music can reduce anxiety before procedures or surgeries which may be stress-inducing, such as knee or hip surgeries and routine colonoscopies. Those listening to music in operating rooms before procedures and during recovery following procedures report experiencing less discomfort and therefore require fewer painkillers. The positive results of music were stronger for patients who were able to choose their music. Furthermore, listening to music decreases the perception of pain, therefore reducing the amount of pain medication required. Music can also reduce nausea and vomiting among patients receiving chemotherapy and improve coordination, communication, and reduce agitation among dementia patients. Also, epileptic patients may reduce seizure activity through listening to relaxing music, since stress causes seizures to occur and music battles stress. Music also positively affects fibromyalgia patients, which is a chronic disorder that causes joint and muscle pain and fatigue. Studies find that listening to relaxing music that the patient chose themselves reduces pain and significantly increases functional mobility.

Music Can Help Restore Speech Abilities and Memory

A study found that stroke patients with communication problems after the stroke exhibited improved language ability after one month of neurologic music therapy. The ability to sing comes from the right side of the brain. Therefore, when someone suffers a traumatic brain injury or stroke to the left side of the brain, which is responsible for speech, they can work around the injury to the left side by singing their thoughts using the right side of the brain. Then, they work to drop the melody to regain their ability to speak gradually. Therefore, active engagement in listening to or playing music allows people to reconnect with the healthy parts of themselves, even while dealing with a debilitating or disease. 

Music is closely connected to memory recall. Next to smell, sound is one of the most connected senses to memory. We can all appreciate that certain songs trigger emotional responses, whether they be the first dance at our wedding or reminders of a loved one we have lost. Music is ingrained into our brains and our bodies and creates a deep connection within ourselves. A study published in the Journal of Memory and Cognition found that adults learning a foreign language can recall phrases more accurately when they sing them, suggesting that music may aid memory recall for adults in the early stages of dementia.

Dealing with a Substance Use Disorder and Looking to Enhance Your Quality of Life?

When dealing with a substance use disorder, it is imperative to engage in improving one’s life. Music promotes recovery by enhancing one’s quality of life. Researchers the world over continue to investigate the therapeutic potential of music and the results are promising. The benefits of music are omnipresent in the research and throughout the human population which confirms these benefits daily. Music may also help with recovery from substance use disorders, positively impacting stress, anxiety, and depression levels. If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call Enlightened Solutions today at 833-801-LIVE.

Living with A Person Suffering from a Substance Use Disorder: Tips to Cope and Help Heal Before and After Recovery

Living with others is always a challenge. Developing balance, understanding, and respect is a vital component for a harmonious living situation with another person, whether it be family, friend, or significant other. Living with someone who has an active addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), may create more challenges than the typical housemate. 

Don’t Take It Personally

When someone you care about is struggling with a SUD, it is imperative not to take any of their behaviors personally. They are fighting a battle within themselves that you cannot understand. However, you can express that you are a supportive person in their life without enabling negative behaviors. Addiction to alcohol or drugs requires a team of participants, such as doctors, treatment programs, family members, and friends, to support the individual suffering from the SUD. 

Addiction Affects the Entire Household

Addiction can create a toxic environment that affects all the members of the household. Any member of the house, including the person suffering from the SUD, may experience negative effects due to addiction. Some of these effects include:

  • Stress may be due to the ongoing nature of the addiction and the stagnation of the situation.
  • Anxiety may be due to the feeling that you have no control over your loved one and their active addiction.
  • Depression may occur within the person with the SUD, which may have initially fueled the addiction. Furthermore, friends and family members may develop depressive-like symptoms due to the buildup of stress and anxiety. 
  • Guilt can come from the person with the SUD, furthering their active addiction. Friends and family members may feel guilty for supplying money, food, and shelter, which is enabling the addiction to continue.
  • Anger is common among the household. The person with the SUD may be angry that they cannot stop using drugs or alcohol on their own. Family or friends may be angry at them for continuing to use without seeking the help they need. 
  • Embarrassment occurs when the person with the SUD engages in behaviors while under the influence. They may be embarrassed by their actions after they have sobered up. Friends and family members may also be embarrassed by their loved one’s actions.
  • Financial struggles occur due to the active addiction taking up time from all members of the house, and in turn, costing money.
  • Inconsistent routines may disrupt the household, in which the active addiction is dictating the loved one’s schedule. The addiction is in control. 
  • Physical dangers and security risks are possible, mainly if the individual suffering from the SUD is intoxicated or drug-seeking.

Coping with Living with a Loved One and Their Active Addiction

It is important not to assign blame for the addiction, to yourself or your housemate. It is also imperative to understand you cannot fix it, or cure it. What you must do is ensure a safe household, and protect your well-being. Consider the following coping tips:

  • Keep yourself safe, as well as your family. Vulnerable family members include pets, children, and elderly relatives. Set house rules and boundaries. It may be necessary to ask your loved one to leave the residence if safety becomes an issue.
  • Create a plan if situations escalate. Those struggling with a SUD may become dangerous. They are not inherently threatening, but substance use may induce a harmful situation. It may be necessary to call friends, family, doctors, therapists, or even the police.
  • Restrict monetary access. Although your loved one may do or say anything to buy substances, it may be better limit access to bank accounts and credit cards. Otherwise, you may be enabling and promoting addiction. 
  • Encourage your loved one to enter treatment. 
  • Prioritize your self-care. The stress of living with a loved one with an active addiction can make it easy to neglect oneself. Meditate, exercise, eat right, sleep well, and make time for the things you enjoy. 
  • You may need to join a support group, which focuses on the needs of those who have loved ones with active addictions. 

Coping with Living with a Loved One During Their Recovery

After a loved one has entered rehab or abstained from using drugs or alcohol for a substantial amount of time, they are considered to be in recovery. Just because they have quit using substances does not mean they cured the addiction. Addiction is an incurable disease, but management and recovery are sustainable under the right conditions. Anyone in recovery is susceptible to relapsing or going back to using drugs or alcohol. Offer your support and build up trust with them to prevent a relapse from happening. Although it may be hard to trust a loved one who has stolen from you, physically or verbally harmed you, seeking help from a therapist may be the best thing to help you rebuild the trust your relationship needs to flourish. Encourage your loved one to talk about their feelings and their urges to use, as this can help ward off a relapse.  

Looking for Help?

Living with someone with an active addiction is hard for everyone, including the person suffering from the addiction. Wanting to help your loved one treat their addiction is a natural response, but you must also take care of yourself and your family so that you are equipped to help them in their recovery. Setting boundaries is possible, and making plans for a path to recovery is attainable. Maintaining positive communication and rebuilding the lost trust is imperative for helping your loved one sustain life-long recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a safe and nurturing space for recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today a t833-801-LIVE.

Living with Depression: A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Mental Illness 

When two disorders occur at the same time, it is often called a dual diagnosis. Depending on what the two disorders are – and various factors related to the individual – recovery can include different ups and downs. Dual diagnoses can be incredibly difficult to manage if both aren’t taken into consideration – depression is quite a common occurrence amongst those who also battle with addiction, so it’s important to ensure that both get proper treatment. If you’ve been struggling with depression while working towards sobriety, please know that you’re not alone – and there is help at Enlightened Solutions for healing and restoration. 

Hiding the Pain with Medication 

Millions upon millions of people across the world experience depression and many don’t understand that it’s a mental illness – not their actual reality – that’s making day-to-day life so hard. It’s hard to seek out a diagnosis for depression, however, especially because it’s so hard to talk about and understand. For example, a person with depression may find it incredibly difficult to open up to their friends and family about this issue, because depression causes us to feel as though it’s our problem alone to deal with – and that only closes us off to more people who could help us.

Previous studies have explored issues like depression as it’s related to self-medication, and they’ve found that drugs like marijuana and alcohol tend to be the most common to use because they’re not viewed by society as “severe” as other drugs. Self-medication occurs when a person uses substances in order to try and mask the symptoms they’re experiencing – although this may seem to work in the meantime, the unfortunate reality is that it becomes easier than ever before to become addicted to these substances. We have a chemical in our brain called dopamine, and whenever something releases this chemical (such as food, sex, drugs, shopping, gambling, etc.), our memory stores it in place as a good one. From there, it becomes easier and easier for the brain to recollect those “feel good” memories – which can entice a person to continue using substances. 

Addiction Recovery and Depression: Managing Both Disorders


Recovery is a courageous endeavor and one that could change your life for the better. There’s no particular “right way” for a person to heal, as each person has different needs that must be addressed. For those with depression, it often helps to talk and open up to people – even if one doesn’t feel like it. From there, it’s nice to create a strict schedule for navigating each day, including times to wake up, eat, and go to sleep. This helps rewire the brain to get back on track so that it’s no longer “stuck in a rut”.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)  helps us to identify old, negative thought patterns, while giving us insight into how much importance we’re placing on those thoughts, and if we really need to be giving them much importance considering the effect it’s having on our happiness and health. CBT provides many people with depression the tools and resources they need to really start thinking critically about their thought patterns and what they can do to improve their current circumstances.


When depression hits, it’s common to feel incredibly tired, agitated, and with too many – or too little – feelings to deal with. On top of that, substance abuse can make the situation worse, depriving us of vital nutrients through an unhealthy diet and leaving us with little – or too much – sleep. Depression festers in its own way, and some people even have difficulty maintaining proper hygiene for health and wellness. If you add all of the effects of depression plus the negative effects associated with substance abuse, it becomes a nasty cycle – and exercise can help break the cycle by relieving stress, promoting teamwork and building a sense of community.


Despite the way depression or detox may be causing you to feel, it’s crucial to begin working on who you are as a person. Spirituality, such as praying, meditating, and creating a strong social support network, can help us to feel as though our lives matter – because they do – and because it’s truly the mental illness causing us to feel as though we don’t. 

The emotional walls we’ve put up, the way we’ve closed ourselves in, the opportunities we’ve passed, the loved ones we’ve hurt, and the substances we’ve relied on can only be healed by choosing to move forward, and spirituality can help us identify what our purpose is in life. 12-Step programs can greatly help aid in this process of discovery, especially as they help connect us more closely to God or another Higher Power.

If you’re ready to recover from addiction and depression, contact our admissions experts today.

Using Spirituality to Combat Negative Emotions

Recovery causes us to look inward – and many times, we’re faced with troubling thoughts, truths, and understandings of the world that make it hard to breathe. Detoxification is one of the first and hardest hurdles to get through in addiction recovery, and it’s because it’s a major change; the physical and emotional ups and downs associated with addiction recovery can cause anyone to want to curse the world at times, and self-pity can even begin to seep in if you feel like your entire world has shifted. When this happens, it’s easy to blame others, God, and situations for happening to you. Depression can even appear every now and then, especially as we wish that we could simply “snap” our fingers and life would settle into place. Of course, it’s never that easy – and through these challenging situations, it’s time to turn towards spirituality for ultimate healing.

Taking Responsibility For the Past

In the past, researchers have explored the way that addiction recovery impacts a person both physically and mentally – major changes, such as with sobriety, can cause a person to experience symptoms of withdrawal. Regret, anger, and deep sadness can occur, and we may even find self-loathing to will itself into existence; we ask ourselves, “how could we have ever let things get this bad?” While these concerns seem very real, it’s important to remember that while we can’t change the past, we can change the present in an effort to change the future. 

Addiction is a disease that takes over the mind, body, and spirit. There are a million fingers that could be pointed for how and why addiction has occurred in your life, but that wouldn’t help you move forward; now is the time to step up and embrace recovery. One of the most powerful ways you can do this is by building up not only your emotional and physical health but by working on building your spiritual side as well. 

How Spirituality Fits into Recovery 

12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, have long covered the topic of spirituality and have helped many people build stronger connections with God. Spirituality opens up our horizons and gives us the space to change our perspectives on ourselves and our lives – and that is when we tend to see some truly transformational experiences occur. Spirituality is felt within the heart and throughout the body, and it’s a major factor for sobriety; the connection that we build with a Higher Power constantly reminds us that as human beings, we’re bound to make mistakes – but by taking responsibility for our actions and understanding that we can’t control every aspect of life, those seemingly challenging situations suddenly become easier to navigate. 

Spirituality truly helps us to focus on the bigger picture that is life, rather than ourselves. 12-Step programs (such as AA or NA) embrace spirituality by guiding people through a series of steps that ultimately help them learn more about themselves and their connection with God, or a Higher Power. While addiction pulls us away from the things that matter most – such as family, friends, happiness, mental health and physical wellness, career aspirations, hobbies and interests, education and so much more, spirituality reels us back in and reminds us of these things. For those who’ve battled with addiction recovery for several years, this feeling of being spiritual can uplift their spirits and cause them to gain an entirely new, wondrous perspective on life – and issues that used to appear so big and concerning now are considered so small in the grand scheme of things.

Pushing Past Negativity

Anger and numbness are common feelings for those in recovery, especially at the beginning as they’re trying to find their way. Hope and faith in a brighter future, however, are two aspects of spirituality that involve relying on a Higher Power to ensure that everything gets taken care of – because we can’t control everything, even if we’d like to. Hope is so powerful, as it’s what helps us continue trying and moving forward despite what may be bringing us down. Faith is what helps us rely on a Higher Power – it brings us humility and moves us away from the egotistical self. Anger and depression weigh us down – hope and faith lift us up.

Previous studies have explored the notion of faith, and they’ve found that those who have more faith in their sobriety goals tend to be less depressed and frustrated. Rather than dwelling on the idea that they could fail, fall short of their goals or experience hurdles along the way, these individuals have faith that everything will be okay – and in doing so, they inherently make their lives more positive in nature.

If you’re ready to pursue a path of sobriety, spirituality, and healing, speak with one of our admissions experts today at 833-801-LIVE.

Tennis Champion Creates a Healthcare App

In 1993, it seemed that Murphy Jenson was on top of the world when he won the French Open Doubles Championship. The truth is that even drug addiction can occur to championship athletes who acquire trophies and fans. Murphy Jensen used his experience with drug abuse to create an app to help others who share the same struggle.

The Risk Factors Leading to Addiction

Jenson attended the University of Southern California on a tennis scholarship. He was feeling out of place at that school where he felt he did not measure up. He felt that by taking drugs, he would be more confident. Jensen also told the Tennis Channel that he was also not prepared for the attention that he received after winning the French Open Doubles Championship such as the parties and nightclubs. He was given a $150,000 check and had no idea what to do with it since he was all alone. Once he spent money on drinking, Jensen felt like he could not stop. His heavy drug use would lead to Jensen missing tennis matches. 

Murphy Jensen’s Treatment Strategy

Jensen first went to treatment in the mid-1990s recommended by a therapist. Because he was scared of being discovered that he was in therapy and felt he would hurt others by telling them he had a problem, Jensen did not complete the program. After the 1999 US Open in Los Angeles, Jensen underwent detox and was admitted to outpatient sober living for a year while traveling on tour. Jensen then participated in 12 step programs and life got better.

Murphy Jensen’s Relapse

Unfortunately, in 2004, Jensen relapsed. During the 2006 French Open, Jensen was feeling like he was physically and mentally dying from and without drugs and alcohol. It was through that relapse that Jensen realized that treatment needed to be his top priority. He did not know the severity of his situation and understood that he needed to be all in. Ever since June 6th, 2006, Jensen’s obsession with drugs and alcohol has never returned. His recovery program includes support group meetings 3-4 times a week and therapist checkups. Jensen has decided to dedicate his life to abstinence from drugs and alcohol as well as helping others with the same struggle.

Murphy Jensen’s Regrets

Jensen wished that if he could go back when he was still struggling with addiction, he would change his way of thinking about substance abuse and recovery. He would, at first, hate himself for his addiction and felt like it was the worst thing that could have happened to him. Instead, Jensen takes all of the hardships and struggles from his addiction and uses that to be the best person he could be. By helping others with addiction, he feels like he is showing the world how far he has come.

Murphy Jensen’s Advice for Those with Substance Abuse

Jensen believes that he got well because of his willingness, surrender, and service to helping others. He feels no shame telling his story and would prefer to do that compared to just simply giving advice. Jensen feels that he is willing to take direction and let others help him as he knows he will always need it. He also feels that the more he surrenders to his temptations, the more he wins. By living service to others, Jensen is living a life beyond his dreams.

WeConnect Health

Five years ago, Jensen and Daniella Tudor co-founded WeConnect Health which is a technology company designed to prevent relapse from substance abuse. With the app, you can schedule routines to stay on track for recovery. You will get gentle reminders, rewards for completing recovery activities, and a GPS verification for routine locations. You can also receive support from your recovery team and will better stay connected through the app. You can also earn gift cards as rewards for the tasks you complete as studies show that sticking to a routine will increase your chances of having a successful recovery.

What We Can Learn From Jensen’s Story

Jensen’s story teaches us that addiction is not new or uncommon. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that 130 people die every day from drug overdose. That addiction is a brain disease with relapse being one of the side effects. It does not make you weak or immoral if you need to seek treatment for it. Jensen also felt fear, guilt, and isolation if anyone were to discover his drug addiction. These are very familiar feelings that those with substance abuse tackle all the time and make recovery much harder to seek. 

It is also important to know that drug treatment is available and effective. Just because one method of treatment does not work does not mean another will not. Some feel they can get by on medications and others benefit from behavioral therapies and support groups. You can also do a combination of practices. The important thing is to do what is best for you and your physical and mental health. Jensen also developed a connection to peers in recovery, his therapists, his family and members of the tennis community. Hiding your drug addiction will not make it go away, but it will stay inside you and continue to grow. By following Jensen’s example, this will give you the courage to break the stigma and be able to help others accomplish everything that you have done during your recovery. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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