Is Fear of Change Holding Back Your Recovery?

Is Fear of Change Holding Back Your Recovery?

There are many reasons people fear getting sober. They fear the pain of withdrawal, they fear they’ll be lonely in treatment, they fear being vulnerable during therapy, and so on. Another common fear is the fear of change. It may seem like if your life is falling apart because of drugs and alcohol, you would welcome change. And you may really want to change but you can still be afraid of it. What if you fall back into old habits? What if being sober means you’ll no longer have a way to cope with painful emotions? What if people expect too much from you when you’re sober?

There are many possible reasons you might fear change. There may also be no particular reason at all. The unknown is scary. Many people prefer a bad but familiar situation to an unknown situation. The subconscious reasoning is, “My situation is bad, but at least I’m alive and I know what to expect. Who knows what will happen if I change something?” Fear of change can create a lot of friction when you need to be making substantial changes pretty quickly. If fear of change is holding you back, the following strategies might help.

Acknowledge What You’re Feeling

Often, fear of change shows up as resistance. It might be that you’re procrastinating on some important action, such as seeing a therapist or researching treatment options. Or maybe you get angry with a loved one when they raise certain topics. You might not recognize that you’re actually experiencing fear of change. When you experience these moments of procrastination, indecision, or friction, ask yourself if fear of change might be the cause. If so, accept that what you’re feeling is normal.

Identify Your Assumptions

Typically, it’s our thoughts about a situation that upset us, not the situations itself. Fear of change is no different. When you fear change, there is typically some unidentified assumption behind it. For example, you might imagine that if you get sober, you will turn into a kind of person you don’t like. You might even have a specific image in mind, like Ned Flanders, or something.

However, that is a cognitive distortion, most likely all-or-nothing thinking. Or you may have some vague belief like “It would be awful if I couldn’t drink with my friends.” Even when things we worry about actually happen, they’re almost never as bad as we expect them to be and we can typically cope. Identifying the distorted thinking behind your fear makes it easier to manage your fear.

Let Go of Perfectionism

Some people’s fear of change is rooted in their perfectionism. They want to do everything just right or not at all but whenever you try something new, you won’t do it very well at first. Fear of change is just one of the many ways perfectionism can make you miserable. If you’re afraid of doing something badly or looking foolish, you’ll never try new things and you’ll never grow. Accept that there will be a learning curve but that if you keep working on it, you will inevitably get better.

Approach Change with Curiosity

For most people, fear of change is rooted in their natural fear of the unknown. As noted above, we often prefer the certainty of a bad situation to the unknown. The unknown always causes anxiety because you don’t know what challenges you might face. One way to deal with this anxiety is to treat it like excitement, which, physiologically, is nearly identical. Instead of fearing the unknown, be curious about what will happen, and be excited to find out. Treat change like an experiment that might allow you to unlock new knowledge and skills.

Separate Behavior from Identity

To some extent, nearly all of us need a sense of identity. This is often complex, woven from our personal histories, our friends and family, our likes and dislikes, our skills, our interests, where we’re from, our political affiliation, what sports teams we support, and on and on. For many people, drugs and alcohol are woven into their identity. They affect how they relate to friends and themselves.

They are just as much a part of their identity as they are part of their daily routine. As a result, changing that behavior can threaten your sense of self. However, it’s important to realize that your behavior is not your identity. At best, it’s a small part. One way to minimize the sense of threat of change to your identity is to write about your core values. Research shows this makes you less defensive and more open to positive change.

Focus on Process

When people think about making a life change, they typically have a mental model of either transforming into someone else or arriving at a destination. You’re sort of letting go of what you are in order to become something else. That feels threatening for the reasons discussed above. A more accurate way to think about it is acquiring a skill. For example, when did you change from a non-reader to a reader?

The question doesn’t really make sense because you gradually learned to read better through years of daily practice. You can think of other changes in the same way. You’re not changing from a person with a substance use disorder into a sober person; you’re practicing the skills involved in staying sober for as long as you want to.

Remember that No Change is Permanent

Part of the fear of change has to do with your implicit assumption that you can’t go back or that you’re stuck with whatever change you make. In reality, change is inevitable. Sometimes changes are reversible and sometimes they change into something else. Either way, you’re almost never stuck with any change you make. In fact, sustaining a new behavior takes quite a bit of work at first and for most people seeking help for a substance use disorder, the real challenge is making positive changes last. The good news is that whatever you fear about change will be transient at best.

Change is always hard because we like the familiar and predictable. Even when it’s bad, we know what to expect and how to deal with it. However, when we fear and resist change, we also cut ourselves off from many great possibilities. You can overcome your fear of change by acknowledging it, examining your assumptions about change, and replacing your faulty assumptions with more objective thinking. This isn’t easy and may require help from a therapist, as well as a lot of practice, but it will be worth it in the end.

At Enlightened Solutions, we know that overcoming a substance use disorder will probably be the hardest change you ever have to make. We use many evidence-based methods to address the challenges of recovery on many fronts, including the latest therapeutic methods, family involvement, spiritual development, and transitional support. To learn more, call us at 833-801-5483.


The Relief Of Getting Sober

Intending Sobriety

The power of setting an intention is immeasurable. Sobriety must always remain the first priority for those with addiction and all else that truly matters will be there when the time is right. Many things are replaceable in life, but family and life itself is not. When a person is ready to get help, the first intention will be set into action. There must be a look into the devastating effects the disease had over life’s unmanageable circumstances. Over time the disease of addiction takes and takes and there might seem like there is no hope for a bright future. Entering treatment and genuinely wanting to change gives patients the opportunity to work on this intention through many forms of therapy.

Each day patients spend sober, the more empowering it is to live life without unhealthy behaviors. The sober mind is allowed to set goals and find passions that had been covered up by the dark energy. This shows to be a natural high and through a connection with a higher power, it is possible to attain. It is suggested to say affirmations, mantras, prayers and to sit in meditation to find the guidance of which step to take next. Letting go of the traumas of the past will pave the way for the bodies chakras to generate true love with the universe.

Treatment is a safe place for the cleansing process of substance addiction and beginning the healing process of recovery. The bodies holistic space had always been there and it’s possible to clear it’s vessel once again. Once a person with addiction and/or alcoholism begins down a path to recovery, sobriety is only the first intention out of many to come. Some people have visions for themselves such as families, jobs, and happiness. Anything is possible if there is the willingness to work the solution of sobriety. Letting the intuition open the doors to a new freedom will give back lost hope. By redirecting the minds negative talk to positive, people will find themselves feeling better inside and out.

 

Enlightened Solutions partial program offers guidance of the body, mind, and soul. If you are looking to move forward from the past and find peace, the time is now. Letting go of addictive substances and traumas will give you the strength you need to live a life of beauty and serenity. Call for more information today: 833-801-5483.


Manifesting the Future

Manifesting the Future

Starting life as a recovering addict requires a shift in the mind. Up until the point of recovery, there may have been a dark, pessimistic mindset. When the mind is plagued with the negativity of the past, there will always be a struggle to stay in the present. If the mind relays the message that life’s experiences define the future, and this is believed, behaviors will likely stay the same. If there has been a problem with chronic relapsing in the past, it could be due to the way the brain had been wired to handle anxiety and depression. It’s critical to sincerely find true happiness and the confidence to succeed. It is no wonder those with tedious jobs, feel unhappy. This fact combined with addiction is a recipe for a never-ending cycle of misery.

Through the different kinds of therapy in treatment, clients will learn new coping mechanisms to defeat the omnipresent fear experienced in stressful situations. Art therapy is formulated to get patients out of the mind and into a safe space. There must be open-mindedness for life-changing results. Manifesting the future is what a person desires in life, and this can shift the into mind to the light. Positivity can change the course of life.

Painting, drawing, and sculpture are forms of art that let the patients delve into their subconscious feelings. Art therapists guide patients to portray their true selves. Those who are perfectionists are encouraged to let go and express the outpour of emotions freely through the this art expression. This will be a time when emotions will rise to the surface and this kind of outlet, can potentially lead to progression and breakthroughs. People with addiction are known to be talented and sometimes all it takes is a nudge in the right direction to open up the mind to a hopeful future. This hopeful mindset is the guide to success. This is the transformation.

 

If you are looking to enlighten your body, mind, and spirit, Enlightened Solutions is the right fit for you. Help is here waiting for you. Take back your life and call today: 833-801-5483.


Embracing Mood Acceptance

Embracing Mood Acceptance

In recovery, the measurement of happy, joyous and free is provided to gauge the quality of sobriety.  This can be especially true after physical sobriety is established and the addict has had sufficient opportunity to grow from the steps.  It is important to temper this perspective with the perspective of living life on life’s terms.  

Many of those who discover themselves in the life-or-death crossroads of choosing a life on spiritual terms or choosing a path of institutions, jail or death, are prone to avoiding emotional presence.  Addicts are known for using substances as a vehicle for altering their emotional state, especially when concerning “negative” emotions like anger and sadness.  A holistic perspective invites consideration that life on life’s terms means living with a full emotional range.  

Emotional sobriety can be different things for different people, so the way that one addict in recovery relates to negative emotions will ultimately look different in a recovered state than another.  For example, if in addiction, one person had a tendency to fully embrace a victim perspective about themselves and life in general, then in recovery, their actions in sobriety may be to put less attention on negative emotions than they are experiencing.  Alternatively, another person may have tended to be more of the holding-it-all-together-everything's-fine variety, the actions in recovery may be taking sometime to be with the difficult emotions.  

Being mindful that these descriptions tell the story of two extremes on a continuum, be aware that is normal for the pendulum to swing as your life begins to transform.  As the journey of emotional sobriety begins, the way that you experience negative emotions may be opposite of how you once were.  Over time, emotional expression will include the range between these states. Emotions become a living response to the present moment and are no longer experienced as a habituated response to life.

When you are newly embracing negative emotions as an aspect of living a full and vital life, be reminded that these experiences  become the gifts of wisdom that will expand your service capacity to others.  

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


The Gift of Sobriety

The Gift of Sobriety

When an alcoholic admits there is a problem, there may be an initial grieving period. Alcohol and drugs and had become a friends, confidants, and now must be taken away. As time goes on that same now recovering alcoholic might have a completely different outlook on the day they quit drinking. If an addict had reached a point of unbearable destruction in all areas in life, sobriety might be the only option. Becoming sober for the sake of a job or parents, children, boyfriends/girlfriends, and so on, doesn’t work the same as it does when the addict quits for themselves. If the alcoholic truly wants sobriety, they will be willing to do whatever it takes. Although this might seem like a daunting task, the rewards are immeasurable to anything else.

The slogan “we will love you until you love yourself” is meant for those who come into recovery with sadness and despair. Many addicts have found themselves with a variety of disorders that must now be addressed. Those with depression and anxiety will find themselves possibly growing out these as their sobriety strengthens. Those with disorders on the higher end of the spectrum will have to accept that sobriety means complying with a psychiatric diagnosis. Taking medication is just as important to staying sober, as it is to quit drinking and/or using. Often times the alcoholic will drink if they stop taking prescribed medication or if the addict decides to drink, they will likewise stop the medication. Dual-diagnosis is common and should always be taken seriously.

Once the treatment team, the alcoholics support, and the alcoholic are on the same page, the alcoholic’s journey can begin. The addict who shows complete cooperation and stays open-minded will benefit the most out of treatment. The addict that wants to live bad enough will put sobriety first. It must be well aware that the disease of addiction will kill anyone in its path. Choosing sobriety is choosing to live, choosing to be a mother or father, choosing to serve others in ways that would never happen if the addiction continued. Life is a gift, and life is beautiful. While in the disease, it’s easy to become pessimistic about all aspects of life and that is a miserable existence. The gift of sobriety is special, and those who see this, become grateful to be an addict in recovery. If there were no darkness there would no light.

Our clinical, holistic and 12 step approach at Enlightened Solutions gives addicts the opportunity to see their life in a new positive light. If you feel like you need to take your life back please don’t hesitate to call now: 833-801-5483.


Waiting for the Transformation

Waiting for the Transformation

Recovery means different things to different people. For the addicts, there had only been one way to cope. This was to reach for the bottle or drug which has the power to mask the pain inside. There could have been other circumstances that come into play, but in the end, alcohol is there to make life appear easier. This might work at first, but those with addiction problems will find themselves worse off almost every time they decide to drink or use. The way the mind functions in an addict is to rationalize why what is so clearly the wrong decision, is a perfectly fine idea. It’s complete insanity and until there is a spiritual experience there will be a difficult road to go down.

Living in contrary action is how all addicts should operate. For example, there might be an instance when the mind is telling the addict that it’s okay to stop at a bar for food. The addict can also eat at a somewhere that doesn’t sell alcohol. Why would the addict choose the bar setting? The reason is that the mind wants what it wants, and that’s an excuse to drink or use. The mind is loud and can justify almost anything. If the addicts the mind win, there might be a relapse at risk.

This is why we suggest using certain tools in situations like these. A spiritual experience will give the addict hope. Having a connection with a God of their understanding, will guide them out of harm’s way. God’s will would will never include any substances. It’s as if a dog owner watched its beloved animal run into a pack of coyotes. This would be the same concept as him watch over the addicts destruction with sadness. That is why having a connection with a higher power is such a powerful tool for growth and serenity.  For those who have a hard time accepting there is a God, remember that it’s not a religious concept as much as it’s spiritual.

One of the main suggestions alcoholics highly recommend is the act of reaching out to others in need. Prayer or meditation is a way of coping when the addict feels they might take a drink or drug. Anytime an addict decides against the idea of the drink or participate in harmful behavior,, the transformation takes place. In recovery, the addict learns new behavior and that every day sober is a true miracle. Having spirituality will have a new meaning each day and the addict will find true love and happiness within.

Enlightened Solution’s holistic program is a spiritually based and will help guide addicts to see the light through our many methods of treatment. Finding self-love is important to move on from the past with grace and dignity. For more questions call: 833-801-5483.


Stress Around the Holidays

Stress Around the Holidays

With the holidays approaching, it’s important to have tools set in place for all the unforeseen events that take place during this special time of year.There are many triggers that come into play, and it’s suggested that alcoholics in early recovery take all precautions seriously. There are many tips that make the holiday season much more tolerable and even enjoyable!. When the alcoholic is able to stay in gratitude, it becomes more of a pleasant experience. After living through certain tragic holiday scenarios with families, it’s a new opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones. This is wonderful and will be cherished by all who can appreciate the miracle taking place. For those alcoholics that have lost everyone due to the consequences of the disease, there are ways to get through these times without falling into self-pity. It all comes down to gratitude. Staying grateful for each miracle, each day of sobriety, will always be helpful in staying connected to a higher power. When there is this connection, the alcoholic will be guided towards the light.

Alcoholics working a 12-step program must also stay connected to its members. There is an immense amount of support in these support groups and all alcoholics should “stay in the pack” when navigating life at this time of year. Being aware of triggers and hearing how others stay sober will keep the alcoholic in action. Being in a state of fear during these times can derail any alcoholic and hearing faith in others will hopefully give the alcoholic hope. In regards to the inevitable holiday parties,alcoholics must put their sobriety first. If that means skipping a year of festivities, then that’s what needs to happen. Nothing should come before sobriety. In many AA communities they offer meeting marathons on Thanksgiving and Christmas. These give alcoholics a safe place for 24 hours if needed. AA members are there to help each other through thick and thin, and these are especially dire times.

When the alcoholic begins to feel lonely and depressed, it’s time to remember what had gotten them to this point. Continuing down a path of self-love is imperative. Often times, people like to indulge in the holidays. The idea of giving a gift out of love and appreciation is wonderful. However, people can get too caught up in all of the stuff. While on a sober spiritual path, the alcoholic can begin to see that it’s not the stuff that makes people happy. It’s the love and laughter that brings joy. Abusing alcohol and drugs can skew anyone’s view on the meaning of the holidays. It’s when the alcoholic clearly sees the true beauty in why holidays are so special, that a transformation takes place. Grace flows freely and soon what felt like a chore to see family, will become a privilege. Those who are without families will find new ones in the rooms of AA and that is beautiful.

Our holistic, clinical and 12-step approach at Enlightened Solutions will teach patients the awareness of triggers and tools to stay on a solid road to recovery. Just like koi fish in our logo, patients will learn to rise prosper as they integrate back into the chaotic world. To learn more call: 833-801-5483.


Why You Should Consider Eating Organic if You're in Recovery

Why You Should Consider Eating Organic if You're in Recovery

Recovery is a challenging yet beautiful quest to returning to one’s wholeness.  It is a journey of physical, emotional and spiritual healing.  All of these layers of healing are critical to arrive to a state of true recovery.  Yet, in early recovery, it is valuable to bring some extra attention to physical healing as it is the foundation necessary to have the resources for the intense process that is engaged in emotional healing and spiritual discovery.

The recovery process can be intense for many people on the physical plane.  In many cases, the body has been subjected to long-term and often daily ingestion of toxins through the addict’s drug and alcohol use.  When this ingestion stops, the body will undergo a multi-phased process of healing itself.  It has an extraordinary capacity to heal itself, given time and adequate resources, to complete the healing process.  It is critical to understand that the body has a finite amount of resources to both, continue sustaining itself and to heal itself.  It can be helpful to think of this as an energy currency.  

When we make the decision to heal, we can empower the body with more resources for the healing process by choosing what we ingest for our food resources.  Our bodies require a certain amount of currency to run the daily systems to sustain life from one day to the next.  The food choices we make more resources available for the actual healing process.  This is especially true with organic foods.  Organics do not have pesticides and other toxins that non-organics contain.  The absence of chemicals in the food means that there is less work for your liver, kidneys and digestive system to do in making nutrients available for the rest of your bodies functions.  It creates more resources for your body to heal itself.   

Organics are sometimes more expensive than non-organic foods due to the absence of toxicity and what this means to the cost to farmers in the agriculture process.  If cost prohibits one in purchasing organics, consider purchasing organics on foods that do not have a thick outer peel or shell.  For example, lettuce, berries, etc are more exposed to toxins than an avocado or banana.  Organics will support someone in early recovery in feeling better sooner and lay a solid foundation for the life-changing emotional work that lies ahead.  

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.