Wasted Potential and Addiction

Wasted Potential and Addiction

One of the greatest contributors to our addiction and depression is how much we waste our potential in life. We have such amazing capacity for self-expression, learning and growth, but when we waste our potential, we aren’t using our energy for good. Our addictions and mental health issues often result from letting our unprocessed emotions overtake us, making us direct our energy in detrimental ways. When we aren’t working with ourselves and our emotions in healthy ways, we’re stifling our incredible potential for healing and transformation.

Wasting our potential can happen in various different ways. Some of us give up on our creative pursuits because we don’t believe in ourselves. Many of us stop making time for our interests and talents because we think we’re not good enough. We quit our passion projects. We give up on our education. We don’t push ourselves to reach for the career we truly want. We settle for the easier option, the less rigorous path. Our lack of self-belief becomes a heavy weight that we carry with us for years of our lives, that holds us down and keeps us from reaching for bigger and better things for ourselves. We give up on our dreams. We stop trying. We stop fighting for ourselves. We give up hope of being happy or feeling fulfilled.

Our potential is limitless when we apply our energy to our desires and work to manifest them. When we stop applying our energy in positive ways, we can contribute to our own decline. Wasting our potential makes us feel depressed, unfulfilled and unsatisfied. We feel disappointed in ourselves for giving up on the things that made us truly happy. We turn to external things to try to feel better about ourselves and our circumstances. We crave the high from addictive substances and behaviors because it distracts us from the pain of our defeat. Wasted potential can be the driving force behind our deep unhappiness and lack of fulfillment, which can contribute to our mental health issues and addictions.

Taking advantage of our tremendous potential means instilling belief in ourselves and our dreams. We have to convince ourselves to have faith in our journey. Without this faith, we’re contributing to our downfall, often without realizing it. We have to see our potential and not take it for granted. We can start by examining what areas of our lives are full of our talent, full of possibility, potential and hope, areas that we’ve likely been neglecting. Our potential lies in our creativity, our quest for knowledge, our natural talents and gifts, all the things that bring us joy and peace.

The community at Enlightened Solutions has years of personal experience with addiction, so we understand firsthand the emotional struggles you’re experiencing. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


The Effects of Addiction on our Friendships

The Effects of Addiction on our Friendships

Those of us struggling with addiction and mental illness are no strangers to isolation. We isolate ourselves from the outside world and from the people who care about us. Often our isolation comes from a place of fear. We fear being judged and rejected. We fear being confronted on our issues. We fear leaving our comfort zone and pushing ourselves to do the difficult work of recovery. When we isolate ourselves, we miss out on all the wonderful benefits of friendship. We lose the opportunity to love and be loved, to help others and be helped by them.

Throughout the course of our struggles with addiction, we tend to accrue all kinds of relationship issues. We experience intense interpersonal conflict, painful endings to our important relationships, and burned bridges full of anxiety and frustration. When we haven’t learned how to have healthy relationships with other people and when we haven’t found a sense of inner peace within ourselves, it’s impossible to have peace with others. We come to associate friendship with difficulty, stress, effort and overwhelm. Many of us start to believe that the difficulty isn’t worth it in the end, so we stop trying. We resign ourselves to being alone, and we think we don’t need other people in our lives.

Our friendships are like reflections of us. Just like our other relationships, they can mirror back to us our wounds, our fears and our unresolved pain. When we have issues within us that have yet to be healed, we often direct them towards other people and they become issues in our relationships. We create conflict out of our own unresolved personal problems. We transfer our pain onto the people closest to us. We often are in denial about the severity of our pain and choose to turn a blind eye to it, focusing instead on the drama of our relationships because it can provide a form of temporary escape. Our issues with our friends can be easier to handle than the deep pain we’re trying to avoid within us. As our issues intensify, many of us decide we don’t want to deal with them anymore, and we separate ourselves entirely, breaking off friendships that took years to build. We convince ourselves we’re better off without them, and even though we miss them, we keep our distance. Our relationships often become another casualty of our addiction.

At Enlightened Solutions, our treatment programs include therapy, spiritual care, mentoring, holistic healing and trauma support, to help you heal yourself and your relationships. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Physical Fitness is really Mental Fitness

Withdrawals. Detoxing. Craving. Feeling extremely uncomfortable. Early recovery (the first 30-90 days) is not the most inspirational to be physically active. In fact, early recovery feels more like the opportune time to do nothing but eat, group therapy, and sleep. Unfortunately, in most treatment programs, some form of physical activity is included. Gym time, personal trainers, yoga, walking, hiking- it seems like “those people” are determined to make you move. As with everything in early recovery, there is a purpose.

Physical Fitness is really Mental Fitness

Physical activity in early recovery isn’t really about the physical fitness. Of course, there is physiological benefit to exercise. Getting in a good sweat gets your heart rate going, opens up your sweat glands, and helps you detoxify residual junk from your drug of choice. Exercise is also proven to improve your mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. Substance abuse affects the brain on a very intimate level, right down to the neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters are communication messengers in the brain. One such transmitter called dopamine communicates pleasure. Alcohol, cocaine, and just about every abused substance creates a surplus of dopamine production, acclimating the brain to a very excited way of life. In early recovery when we’re stripped away from those substances, our brains have a very difficult time producing dopamine on its own. In fact, it is the act of substance abuse itself which creates this situation. Chemical dependency on drugs and alcohol is the result of the brain relying upon the presence of substances to produce that overload of dopamine. Consequently, in early recovery, there are many feelings of depression, irritability, low mood, and lethargy. Physical activity helps with that.

Physical activity also helps boost short-term brain function and heighten awareness, according to this Medium author. It also helps in defeating the most defeating part of the early recovery experience: being uncomfortable. There is little feeling as victorious as completing an exercise activity you absolutely did not think you could. At the onset of recovery, there is a lot of doubt. We are sometimes convinced for certain that we won’t make it. We can’t stand another detox and get through another 6 months of uncomfortable feelings. On another level, there are days we don’t think we can make it through anything at all. Exercise is a living metaphor that we can - and we will - get through it, and we grow in the process.

 

Enlightened Solutions incorporates yoga, exercise and other kinds of physical exercise as part of a holistic program of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. We offer a unique approach to recovery, fusing 12 step philosophy with holistic methods of treatment. For more information on our programs call 833-801-5483.


intensive outpatient program

Finding your Fulfillment

Defining fulfillment takes on two forms. First, fulfillment means satisfaction. When we are fulfilled, we are satisfied. Specifically, we are satisfied because we have fully developed our abilities or character through something we have done. Second, fulfillment means achievement. When we are fulfilled we feel we have achieved something “desired, promised, or predicted.” The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has a special section of text that people fondly refer to as the promises. “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development,” the book states, “we will be amazed before we are halfway through.” Fulfilling these promises takes work, the book explains; for, we may have faith these promises will come true, however, “faith without works is dead.” Some of the promises include new happiness, comprehending the word serenity, and a whole new outlook on life. Extravagant? Hardly. Achievable? Fulfillingly.

Finding your Fulfillment

Taking the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous will be a fulfilling event. Having experienced both a spiritual awakening as well as achieved their completion, it will be time to discover more. Recovery isn’t about getting and taking more and more fulfillment. On the contrary, a truly disciplined spiritual approach will encourage detachment from the idea of “more”. However, even Siddartha, the Buddha himself, discovered enlightenment by way of a journey searching for “more”. Along his path, the Buddha tried a variety of means to find the spiritual fulfillment he was seeking. For Siddartha, his faith that there was more than the impermanence of life required work.

As you travel your path in recovery, be encouraged to seek your fulfillment in different ways. Doing this “work” will result in discovering what fulfills you, which will bring incredible joy and meaning to your life. Here are some suggestions for finding your fulfillment.

 

Volunteer

Volunteering opportunities range across a wide variety of interests. Pick one or two causes, activities, or interests you are willing to dedicate free and unpaid time to. Devote a few hours a week to being in that place, giving yourself to whatever it is you have volunteered to do.

 

Be of Service in your 12 Step Community

Being of service is a way for getting out of one’s own way. Helping others can include reaching out to a newcomer, sponsoring someone through the steps, or taking a commitment at a meeting. You might be of service to people in need of rides around town, or help with their life. Working with a newcomer is one of the most rewarding experiences in recovery.

 

Try new things

There may be fulfillment out there you haven’t discovered yet. Explore your vulnerabilities and try new things. You might unearth an unknown satisfaction!

 

Enlightened Solutions sees the promise of a fulfilling future in each one of our clients. Through holistic healing and a mind, body, spirit, approach we offer a solution to the problem of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on our programs of treatment call us today at 833-801-5483.