What to Expect from Nutrition-Based Recovery

What to Expect from Nutrition-Based Recovery

You’ve probably heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” This is true, to an extent. The foods we put into our bodies have a direct effect on both mental and physical health. Surprisingly, the term “comfort food” doesn’t actually refer to foods that are healthy and balanced. There are many times in life when stress, anxiety, or depression enables us to turn to unhealthy foods. They’re convenient; they’re inexpensive; they also just taste good.

When people think of addiction recovery, chances are they think of the medical side of things. That is certainly a big part of recovery; long-term substance abuse can wreak havoc on the body, which requires extensive medical care. As you move further along in recovery, you can start to focus on building up healthy habits, one of which includes food choices. At Enlightened Solutions, we use holistic methods as part of our treatment for complete mental and physical health. Proper nutrition goes a long way to restoring bodies that have been deprived of nutrients and proper care during years of drinking or drug use.

By learning how to make better nutrition choices, you have a much better chance of retaining a healthy, sober lifestyle. The healthier you are, the better you will feel, both mentally and physically: so much so that you can learn to stop craving toxic substances. Let’s learn more about how integral good nutrition is to addiction recovery, and what to expect from this treatment method at Enlightened Solutions.

What to Expect: Wellness and Nutrition-Based Recovery

No matter what treatment method is right for you, personalized therapy is available. Nutrition and wellness treatment, however, is done in a group setting. This is because the support that is found in a group environment, as everyone works toward one goal, is critical to the recovery process. After all, everyone has to eat, right? Nutrition groups at Enlightened Solutions allow people to share their experiences and build accountability to stay on track with recovery goals. Once these goals are made known to others, the better chance you have to follow through on them.

In nutrition and wellness groups, holistic and healthy living is one of those goals. No matter where our clients are in their recovery, good nutrition is important at every stage. Everyone is learning how to get rid of the toxic substances that have been habitually put into the body and replace bad habits with healthier ones. Healthy food by itself cannot cure the damage done by substance abuse, but it is true that consuming healthy food promotes clearer thinking, increased energy, and improved health in the long run.

Learning Healthy Nutrition Habits at Enlightened Solutions

Enlightened Solutions has an executive chef on-site who uses only the freshest and organic ingredients for meals. Along with our chef is a certified nutritionist who also assists in preparing menus for our residential clients that target parts of the body in need of healing. Those who have dietary restrictions will find their needs catered to as well.

As nice as it is to have a professional chef prepare your meals, eventually, you will return to your regular life, ready to put the skills you learned here into practice. That includes, among other things, learning how to cook. Nutrition and wellness groups will show you how to choose healthy ingredients, pay attention to portions, and engage in creativity when coming up with recipe ideas. You are doing far more than simply preparing meals, but learning important skills as far as impulse control, patience, responsibility, and more. Food also just tastes better when you know everything that goes into it.

As you work toward your recovery goals, you will learn about how each component of your meals interacts with your body. It is far more effective to create healthy meals for yourself outside of treatment when you understand how your body responds to specific foods. Because our treatment plans are customized to the unique needs of our clients, you can learn which specific nutrients your body is lacking and needs more. With time, you can begin to restore an upset balance by making wiser choices about what goes into your body. Every type of treatment offered at Enlightened Solutions has a built-in lesson about mind and body health, nutrition included.

Understanding the Relationship Between Wellness and Nutrition

Your body needs energy to function, and that energy is found in food. But the right kind of food can produce real energy, rather than a quick burst that wears off fast, making you feel more tired than before. That’s the effect you can expect from artificial, processed “fast” foods. The better you feel on the inside through cultivating good nutrition, the better able you will be to redirect and heal a brain affected by addiction. However, good nutrition alone does not lead to comprehensive wellness; regular exercise and good sleep habits are also important. And guess what? Enlightened Solutions can teach you about those, too.

Health and wellness practices at Enlightened Solutions provide the following benefits:

  • Mindfulness and self-awareness
  • Community and accountability
  • Physical strength
  • Self-control and reduced temptations or cravings
  • An improved ability to follow instructions, as well as take instructions and suggestions for improvement
  • A desire to try new things
  • Learn how to listen to your body
  • Healthy self-care
  • An improved immune system
  • Natural energy that is not dependent on caffeine

There's so much to re-learn when you decide to start a life of recovery: Every unhealthy habit must be replaced with a healthier one. At Enlightened Solutions, we can help get you started on a new, sober lifestyle. We can teach you not only better nutrition habits, but coping mechanisms for life's problems and much more. Our holistic treatment methods have helped many people successfully quit drinking and doing drugs and go on to live full, sober lives. With encouragement and support from our knowledgeable and compassionate staff and the accountability from group therapy, you, too, can start a new life of recovery. Call us today at (833) 801-LIVE to learn more.

What to Expect in Individual Therapy for Recovery

What to Expect in Individual Therapy for Recovery

Individual and group therapy are two of the treatment programs offered at Enlightened Recovery, a facility that helps people overcome the effects of substance addiction. Individual therapy, in particular, is one form of treatment provided to every client that walks through our doors, regardless of the additional services they seek. These sessions consist of working with a trained and licensed mental health professional – one who understands the science and nuances of addiction and the role it plays in your unique life and circumstances.

Together, you and your therapist will develop a “plan of action" to deal with triggers or cravings outside of the treatment center in a healthy way.

Common Topics Addressed in Individual Therapy

There are no official “rules” about what is addressed in therapy, especially when using techniques that are client-driven. However, it is common to see the following issues raised during individual therapy sessions:

  • Knowledge about the science and psychology of addiction
  • Recognizing and changing codependent habits
  • Improving interpersonal relationships
  • Addressing mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD, and discussing past traumas that may have influenced addiction
  • Introduction to the 12-Step program

Therapeutic Methods and Models

Individual therapy encompasses a wide range of different techniques and models, depending on whether substance addiction is accompanied by a co-occurring condition, such as depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD, etc.

The following methods and models are used at Enlightened Recovery:

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a therapeutic method that helps people who are perhaps ambivalent or apathetic find the motivation they need to change their lives. Notably, motivational interviewing does recognize that it is incredibly difficult for some people to find the motivation to change long-term negative behaviors, especially if the reason for that lack of motivation is rooted in depression. However, with motivational interviewing, it is possible to overcome this barrier with the right support.

Motivational interviewing is a client-centered approach that helps an individual find the solutions on their own as much as possible, rather than giving unsolicited advice or other “encouragements” that could feel patronizing. The therapist’s role is essentially to come alongside the client to help them see how they can make necessary changes.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is highly successful and used by many therapists for a variety of issues, including addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, marital problems, and much more. CBT involves redirecting or reframing negative thoughts or behaviors to see changed behaviors and different results. As such, it is highly adaptable to many different issues or ailments.

CBT is guided by core principles, which include:

  • The belief that many psychological issues are based, in part, on negative thinking patterns
  • The belief that many negative circumstances can be changed or avoided by unlearning negative behavior patterns
  • Negative core beliefs about how the self and the world influence negative behaviors (to change behaviors, these negative beliefs must be reframed)
  • People who are struggling mentally can learn healthier coping mechanisms to improve their mental and emotional health

Gestalt Therapy

The word “gestalt” is German and doesn’t have a clear English equivalent. However, it is generally used to mean “whole.” The idea behind this therapeutic technique is to consider the whole person: the body, mind, and emotions, not just the addiction itself. This form of therapy helps clients focus on what is happening in their lives at present, emphasizing the here and now, rather than the past. Gestalt therapy strongly emphasizes the belief that people are influenced and shaped by their present environments.

Rogerian Therapy

Rogerian therapy is an approach that allows the client to direct the course of each session. The therapist may have expert knowledge of psychology and addiction, but the client is the expert on their own life and experiences. By verbally processing the problems, it is common for the client to eventually arrive at their own solution with minimal intervention from the therapist at all.

Solution-Focused Techniques

Change is a natural and expected part of getting sober. In many cases, it requires a complete overhaul of one’s lifestyle habits. Solution-focused techniques are necessary to help clients move closer to achieving their recovery goals. These could be learning healthier coping mechanisms in place of drinking or doing drugs in response to stress. It can also include learning how to eat well and exercise regularly, which plays a vital role in overall wellness.

Individual Therapy with Enlightened Recovery

Every client is matched with a therapist who is both qualified and compatible. We understand that the client/therapist relationship depends on building up a rapport, so it’s paramount that clients feel comfortable disclosing their true feelings and experiences in that space. Whatever additional issues a person struggles with that perhaps fueled or enabled substance abuse, we can find someone who is equipped to understand and guide them.

Therapy appointments are recommended at least once a week, depending on the goals outlined in a client's treatment plan. It’s important for clients to develop a list of goals they want to achieve, both in and out of treatment. A therapist can help each client get started if they struggle to come up with ideas at first.

We believe that having a safe, judgment-free environment is critical for developing the confidence and encouragement needed in order to help clients develop confidence in both themselves and in the future, outside of treatment. No matter how challenging it may seem at first, a healthier life is possible.

Recovering from substance addiction is a hard thing to do on your own. That's why Enlightened Recovery exists: to help people struggling with the abuse of drugs or alcohol get started on the overwhelming process of recovery. Our staff is uniquely equipped to understand the nuances of both addiction and mental health. We understand how both types of conditions often go together, feeding each other in a destructive cycle. If you're struggling with addiction and turn to substances as a form of self-medicating for such things as depression or PTSD, we are here to help. Please reach out to us today at (833) 801-LIVE to learn more about how individual therapy and our other treatment programs can help you. 

Can I Be Too Confident in Recovery?

Can I Be Too Confident in Recovery?

Building confidence in recovery is key to your long-term success. Recovery is a process of change. Not only are you abstaining from drugs or alcohol, but you are making adjustments to many parts of your life. As you build new habits, confidence gives you the courage to continue forward and try new things. Feeling confident can be wonderful; however, too much confidence can be problematic.

What Does It Look Like to Be Confident in Recovery?

Being confident in recovery will look different for each individual, but it is often a feeling of self-assuredness in your ability to remain sober. In recovery, this often looks like taking each step forward with conviction and belief. Commonly this means trying new things, making adjustments, or reaching out for help when needed.

So, if a person appears to be confident, they must feel confident, right? Not exactly. While a person may look self-assured on the outside, it does not always feel like that on the inside. In recovery, you will need to make many changes that often feel uncomfortable. This can range from long-needed conversations with family to addressing very painful traumas. Confidence in recovery can feel different for each person, and it is normal to have times when you aren't sure. There are steps you can take when and if you feel like you lack confidence during your recovery journey. Reaching out to a trusted facility, mental health care professionals, or a peer group can help you rediscover your self-confidence.

Value of Being Confident in Recovery

Feeling confident requires self-esteem. Self-esteem is the understanding of oneself, their ability to succeed, and their value. At Enlightened Solutions, we believe in treating the entire person. This includes helping clients to overcome low self-esteem. As clients improve their self-esteem, they start believing in their ability to change and live sober lives.

Research published in 2011 shows us the value of self-esteem in addiction recovery. Researchers have found that those involved with addiction have lower self-esteem and that improving confidence helped individuals to decrease their tendency toward addiction. Being confident is essential in recovery. It allows you to be assertive and take the steps you need to take as you make changes in your life.

Overconfidence: The Pink Cloud Effect

While it is essential to build confidence, there is such a thing as too much confidence in recovery. This is known as the "pink cloud effect" or the "pink cloud phase" in recovery. It is the feeling like you have conquered addiction. Associated with the pink cloud effect is the belief that you are "cured" of addiction – without any more work to do. Signs of the pink cloud include the following:

  • Overly energetic
  • Euphoric
  • Assuming there will be no addiction-related issues in the future
  • Wildly optimistic look on your recovery
  • Unconcerned about relapse

Dangers of Overconfidence

The pink cloud effect in recovery may feel great, but it has many downsides. Research has shown that overconfident people underestimate their addiction and their self-control. This distorted view of self and ability can lead you to believe that you no longer need to maintain the changes which you have made to stay sober.

However, the lifestyle changes and support networks you built are important to maintaining sobriety. Due to these changes, being overconfident can lead to complementary behaviors, which, in turn, often lead to relapse. It is essential to recognize the pink cloud in recovery and reach out for help as needed.

Owning Your Recovery

While it is a delicate balance, you can find ways to feel confident without becoming overconfident. Recovery is a long journey, and there will be many ups and downs. Enjoying feeling confident is okay. However, remember that your feelings of confidence may change over time. The pink cloud can pass quickly and leave you feeling discouraged.

Having a plan for support, regardless of your confidence, is one way to strike a balance. This means setting up a schedule and routine that provides a structure for you and helps you succeed in recovery. Remember that it's your recovery; finding what works for you is the most important thing.

Another way to own your recovery and avoid overconfidence is to practice honesty. While it is easy to say, being honest and aware of yourself is challenging and a skill that takes practice. In treatment and beyond, you can practice this skill by taking time to reflect. Sharing your feelings and getting feedback can also help get an outside perspective of your actions.

You can gain knowledge of yourself through peer support groups or working with a mental health professional. They can help you to feel confident in your ability to succeed and help to keep you level-headed. Understand that recovery is a journey that you will continue to grow through. However, you are capable of making the changes you want to make.

Being confident when coming out of treatment is vital to recovery success. It helps you to know that you can make the changes that you need to make as you adjust to a sober life. However, there is such a thing as overconfidence in recovery. The pink cloud of recovery is named for its feelings of elation, as if addiction can not ever touch you again. At Enlightened Solutions, we help our clients learn skills in order to be successful in recovery after they leave treatment. Clients learn awareness, self-care skills, and improved communication methods. We believe that every client deserves care that meets their individual needs. To learn more, call us at (833) 801-LIVE today. 

How an Alumni Program Helps You Cope With the Challenges of Recovery

How an Alumni Program Helps You Cope With the Challenges of Recovery

Substance abuse addiction is a condition that thrives in secrecy. The first crucial step toward recovery is letting other people know about your struggle, which involves reaching out for help. For many people, this is the hardest step. It’s not always easy, but when the right people know and can help, the recovery process becomes less daunting. The temporary embarrassment that may come with asking for help pales in comparison to the support of mentors and other alumni in the recovery journey.

Communal support in recovery is so vital that alumni programs for sobriety have sprung up around the country. If you’ve ever wondered how other people achieved sobriety and wanted to get their advice, this is the place to learn from them. They not only offer the encouragement to keep going when it’s hard but can also help you find healthier coping mechanisms for life’s challenges.

What Addiction Alumni Programs Do

Alumni programs are made up of people who have overcome their addiction struggles and wish to give back by helping others do the same thing. While people who are struggling may have friends and family who want to help, there’s something unique about people who know firsthand what addiction is really like. They know just what you’re going through and are well-equipped to offer advice during this time of healing. They can answer some of your most challenging questions and serve as a source of inspiration when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

Alumni members aren’t superhuman or extraordinary; they got well with the help of others, too. And if they can do it, so can you.

The Benefits of Participating in Alumni Programs

Here are a few of the specific ways that alumni programs can help your recovery process:

Provides Access to Valuable Resources

When life falls apart because of addiction, it’s hard to know where to start rebuilding. You may need new housing, a job, and treatment but don’t know where or how to get it. Alumni programs have knowledge and access to these resources for people who are ready to get their lives back on track. These resources can include safe housing, job training programs, 12-Step programs, and more.

Fosters a Supportive Environment

The support and encouragement found in an alumni program aren’t just to make you feel good (although that is a benefit). That support can help carry you through the hard times when your own strength doesn’t feel like enough. Anyone who has experienced addiction knows how hard recovery is. The desire to get better is often at odds with the brain’s desire to use substances; that’s exactly what prolonged drug use has trained it to do.

No matter where you are in your journey, an alumni program contains someone who has been exactly where you are. They can tell you what worked for them and what didn’t. They can remind you that the hard times don’t last forever and the struggle for sobriety is always worth it.

Builds a Bridge From Rehab Back to Daily Life

Completing a treatment program and being released back into the “real world” can be disorienting. The tools for staying sober acquired in a rehab facility may be hard to use when no longer in that safe, secure environment. Alumni programs serve as a bridge from rehab back into daily life, so you don’t have to feel like you’re being tossed into the deep end of the pool and expected to remember how to swim. Alumni programs can connect you with transitional living options, such as sober living homes, which can provide a provisional step between treatment and the daily grind.

Offers Help for Coping With Recovery Challenges

The temptation to relapse is expected in recovery; it doesn’t make you a failure. While treatment programs address the physical repercussions of substance abuse, alumni programs can help provide tools for coping with the emotional side effects. In the past, you may have gotten drunk or high to escape depression or trauma.

While not necessarily composed of therapists, alumni programs can help you develop healthier strategies for dealing with difficult emotions or circumstances. Some tools may include calling a sponsor when you’re struggling or having someone you check in with weekly to establish accountability.

Alumni Support Has a Proven Success Rate

There are physical and emotional components to addiction recovery. The physical treatment may be more immediate, but treating the body doesn’t necessarily treat the addicted mind. Many people who drop out of treatment programs report that they would have been more inclined to complete it if only they had more assistance and support. Alumni programs should not be overlooked as merely “social clubs” but as vital tools for recovery.

Alumni Support Pairs Well With 12-Step Programs

Many people achieve sobriety with the help of 12-Step programs in their communities. Alumni programs have similarly structured meetings with built-in support and encouragement from other participants. They can be led by clinical professionals or therapists and may include workshops or organized talks from other alumni. They can also be more laid back and casual, allowing members to share their struggles and triumphs. However they are structured, one thing remains true: Alumni programs work to help people get and stay sober.

Recovery is challenging, but you don’t have to go it alone. At Enlightened Solutions, we implement only the highest standards of both medical and emotional care, utilizing holistic and evidence-based methods that include balanced nutrition, music and art therapy, and individualized care. We recognize that every person who walks through our doors has unique needs. While we prioritize social and psychological needs, we recognize that not every client needs all those things in exactly the same way. No matter what treatment methods are used, we recognize that a supportive community is vital to recovery. That is why we connect our clients with ongoing alumni support. To learn more about our recovery programs, call us at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Do I Avoid Feeling Isolated in Recovery?

How Do I Avoid Feeling Isolated in Recovery?

Addiction can be isolating. You often lose friends, create distance between yourself and family members, and tend to lose interest in the things that used to bring you joy and fulfillment. You become so focused on seeking and using substances that everything and everyone else often becomes secondary.

Recovery can also be isolating. You might think that once you give up using drugs and alcohol, things will fall back into place. Unfortunately, it is not usually that easy. If you have lost friends and burned a few bridges with family members or loved ones, it might take some time to rebuild these relationships.

While addiction and recovery can lead to loneliness, there are a few ways you can reconnect and get engaged with others and in a community of peers.

Meetings and Groups

Typically, attending 12-Step meetings or therapy groups is a requirement as part of your treatment program. This allows you to build bonds and receive support from others who can relate and are going through the same thing.

It is important to continue attending meetings and groups even after completing your treatment program. You will continue to build stronger relationships with others who are also working to stay sober.

Attending therapy groups and meetings also helps you establish accountability. Having accountability in treatment and recovery is crucial. You will have good days and bad days. Having support on the days when you aren't feeling your best can make all the difference. Group members can give you that support.

Community Involvement

Getting involved and serving your community is a great way to combat isolation during recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we work to stay very connected with the community. We show clients how they can give back and the value in doing so. Through our various programs and events, we help facilitate positive connections between those in treatment and community members.

Staying busy and filling your days with healthy and positive activities is critical in treatment and recovery. Scheduling some time to volunteer or serve your community can be very beneficial to you and others. Sometimes, the people you meet while completing acts of service can lead to future opportunities for employment or spark new friendships.

Social Gatherings

With the holidays approaching, feelings of isolation can really escalate. If you are struggling with addiction or are new to recovery, you might be hesitant to participate in some of the festivities. While this is understandable, and it is wise to be considerate of the environment, there are some strategies for socializing safely while in recovery.

It is important to set appropriate boundaries when it comes to attending parties or gatherings that you suspect could involve things or people who might be triggering. A few good examples are planning to leave early or bringing an accountability partner with you.

Building Bonds in Treatment

At Enlightened Solutions, we recognize the importance of feeling like you belong and have a community of support. Many of our activities take place in a group setting. This is intentional as it offers opportunities for clients to socialize, bond, and support one another.

Wellness Groups

Our wellness and nutrition groups allow individuals to learn new skills and share experiences in a group setting. We find that people learn better in groups when they work together to accomplish a common goal. We teach cooking skills and offer classes on nutrition and the benefit of organic eating, exercise classes and activities, and more.

Allowing clients the opportunity to explore and learn new things among others who are going through similar struggles creates a sense of camaraderie and establishes a natural support system. This support system often extends beyond treatment and into recovery.

Alumni Program

Our Alumni Program offers an opportunity for those who have completed treatment to remain involved and give back to others who are following in their footsteps. This provides a sense of purpose and extends that sense of belonging first discovered in treatment.

We host regular events and activities that focus on fun and encourage friendship. Feeling isolated and alone at times can be common in recovery. Our programs help eliminate these feelings by offering a welcoming and warm environment for clients to heal and connect with other like-minded individuals.

Staying on track during treatment and recovery isn't always easy. It is important to create a healthy balance between social time and alone time. Being alone sometimes is okay as long as you have plenty of interaction with others who can support you and have your best interest in mind.

By following the tips listed above, you can avoid feeling isolated and alone during recovery. Staying involved in your treatment program and connecting with others through social engagement and community involvement can give you the sense of belonging we all crave.

Feeling isolated can come with substance abuse as well as addiction recovery. In the throes of addiction, it can become a habit to avoid and push people away. In recovery, it can be hard for others to relate, and setting healthy boundaries can sometimes lead to more time spent alone. By staying engaged and active in your program even after completing treatment, you can continue to build bonds with others who can empathize with you. Enlightened Solutions provides many opportunities for clients to make friends, connect with their community, and develop a strong support system. To learn more about our programs and services and how we can help, call us today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Can Forgiveness Help Me Heal?

How Can Forgiveness Help Me Heal?

Forgiveness can be difficult. We often put off forgiving others by holding a grudge or clinging to feelings of resentment. However, forgiveness can offer a genuine sense of peace. Sometimes, holding on to feelings of anger, bitterness, shame, or guilt can prevent a person from healing.

If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, chances are good that you may be feeling some or all of these feelings. Substance abuse creates tension in relationships and can cause you to behave and respond in ways that may be hurtful to others. You might say things you don't mean. Your priorities might shift, leaving loved ones questioning your loyalty and care for them and yourself.

Behaving in ways that are out of character can leave you feeling regretful and ashamed. Substances can lead you to do and say things that you usually would not. Addiction strips you of your control, resulting in loss, hurt, and more.

Forgiveness is something that you may need to offer to yourself. It's also something you may need to receive from others. For everyone involved to heal and take steps to move forward, mutual forgiveness must occur.

Forgiving Yourself

As mentioned, addiction almost always comes with feelings of shame and guilt. Often, these feelings can be so strong that they cause a delay in seeking treatment. You may feel disappointed in yourself for allowing things to get this far.

Forgiving yourself and offering a little grace can help you overcome your feelings of guilt and move forward with seeking help. The first step is often accepting responsibility. Acknowledging your mistakes and the decisions that may have led to your addiction is essential.

Assigning blame is something that can be very common among those struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). However, when it comes to forgiving yourself and others, blaming is not helpful. Making excuses can also be very common. You might have been making excuses for yourself or a loved one may have been making them for you.

By assuming responsibility and owning up to your missteps, you can learn from them and work to develop strategies for avoiding making the same mistakes again. This is critical when it comes to staying on track and avoiding relapse.

Receiving Forgiveness

While you may not be in control of this piece, you can help support your loved ones and encourage their forgiveness. Addiction really is a family disease, meaning it has a significant impact on those who love you.

One of the best ways to promote healing and receive forgiveness from loved ones is by getting them involved in the treatment and recovery process along with you. Sometimes, this can take a little convincing. Other times, family members may be open and willing to participate. Often, a lack of understanding can lead to a lack of empathy. This serves as a barrier to healing and moving forward.

Family Program

Enlightened Solutions offers a family program that provides support for those who have loved ones going through treatment. Getting loved ones involved in the treatment process allows them to feel included and offers the opportunity to establish understanding and find some common ground.

We begin by providing information about addiction, as many family members may be unfamiliar with the experience and how powerful it can be. Our family program offers opportunities for loved ones to receive support, advice, and encouragement from other family members who are going through something similar. Creating this sense of community among families can be very comforting and even empowering.

Forgiveness and Healing

Forgiveness is essential when it comes to healing yourself and creating an opportunity for your loved ones to heal. Holding a grudge regarding behavior, choices, or actions that took place as a result of addiction can be common. Substance abuse often leads to lying, risk-taking, avoidance, and other things that can be tough to forgive and overcome.

While some of these things may be hard to forgive, it can be more burdensome to hold onto them and allow resentment to build. Forgiveness can be freeing, both for the forgiver and the one being forgiven. Many times, tough conversations have to be had in order for forgiveness to occur.

Therapists can help you and your loved ones navigate tough conversations. They can also help you learn to process your feelings of shame or regret and work toward forgiving and loving yourself again. Moving forward requires work. Learning to forgive others, forgiving yourself, and being open to forgiveness from others are important pieces of the puzzle.

Recovering from SUD takes time and cannot be done overnight. Taking small steps each day toward forgiveness will instill hope and motivation for moving forward in recovery.

Forgiveness is an important component of addiction recovery. It is critical to forgive yourself for your past mistakes and the things you may have done or said while under the stronghold of addiction. Receiving forgiveness from your loved ones is also essential. By giving and receiving forgiveness, you can mend relationships with yourself and those you care about. This allows you to move forward and find hope in starting fresh in recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we work to help clients rebuild relationships with their inner selves and loved ones. Our family program creates an opportunity for loved ones to get in involved in the treatment process and begin healing too. To learn more, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How to Create Understanding with Family in Recovery

How to Create Understanding With Family in Recovery

The complexities of substance abuse can be tough to understand. For family members and friends of those struggling with addiction, it may be difficult to relate. This is especially the case if they have never struggled with substance abuse.

A lack of understanding can sometimes create tension or false assumptions. Relationships can be strained due to addiction, even once the journey to recovery has begun. Below are a few examples of how conflict can arise when family members or loved ones are uninformed.

Blame and Guilt

When a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend sees their loved one struggling with substance abuse, it can be easy to assign blame. For example, they may feel as if their loved one is simply making poor choices or lacking self-control. While addiction certainly involves unhealthy choices and a loss of control, it is often impossible for the person to regain control without professional help.

Family members may even assign blame to one another in this situation. One parent may blame the other parent for their child's addiction. This is especially common when one parent has a history of substance use. It can be expected for blame to be assigned to friends or coworkers with whom the loved one spends a lot of time. Bitterness and resentment can begin to pile up.

The truth is, assigning blame when it comes to substance abuse is not only unjustified but is not helpful. When family members or close friends lack understanding regarding addiction, it can be natural to accuse others of influencing the individual in a way that led to their substance abuse.

Conflict and Distance

Substance abuse can also create conflict and distance among family members. Along with assigning blame and experiencing resentment often comes more conflict and eventual distance. The worry and concern can be very consuming, which leads to trouble with other relationships and affects functioning on many levels.

The burden of supporting a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse is not a light load to carry. Codependency can often form as a result of addiction. This leads to damaged relationships and neglect of the caregiver's personal needs.

Damaged Trust

Trust is critical when it comes to maintaining and building relationships. Often, when someone is struggling with substance abuse, they lose the trust of those who care for them. Once trust is lost, it can be tough to get it back.

Even once someone has decided to seek treatment and enters recovery, many family members or close friends remain skeptical. It can be tough to mend relationships following addiction if all parties are not informed and involved in the healing process.

Involving Family in Treatment

One of the best ways to create understanding among family members regarding addiction recovery is by involving them in the process. This can be extremely helpful when it comes to repairing damaged relationships and starting fresh after treatment.

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a family program that allows family members to get involved and engaged in the healing and recovery process along with their loved one. We also provide opportunities for family therapy, which helps develop strong communication and set appropriate boundaries. Some sessions are designed for the family members alone, and others may cater to the individual receiving treatment services along with their family members.

These sessions help family members and loved ones better understand the disease of addiction. This can help resolve feelings of shame or guilt and create an overall understanding of what their loved one is going through. Supporting someone who battles addiction is tough, so getting some insight into the power of substance abuse can help create some empathy.

Enlightened Solutions also invites family members and loved ones to join in on some of the activities provided to clients. This can include yoga and meditation classes, which can be beneficial in healing and reducing tension for everyone involved. We also encourage families to attend support group meetings and stay involved through alumni meetings once their loved one has completed the treatment process.

Benefits of Family Programs

For many, family is everything. So many individuals struggling with substance abuse have family members or loved ones who are involved in their lives and are desperate for help. They likely feel out of control and hopeless. Allowing them to learn more about addiction and develop strategies for healing and supporting the recovery process can be very empowering. Family involvement during treatment also leads to better support and accountability throughout recovery.

Creating understanding for family members and loved ones regarding substance abuse is not always straightforward. It may take effort to find common ground. Inviting them to learn more by getting involved in family programs is a great place to start.

When you are struggling with substance abuse, it can feel very isolating. This is often because many of your family members and loved ones do not understand what you are going through and have no idea how to help. Creating understanding with family in recovery is essential to rebuilding trust, repairing relationships, and moving forward. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer family programs that aim to inform loved ones about the disease of addiction. Our therapists teach healthy communication techniques and boundaries to help family members best support you in recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, make the choice to seek help and call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Can I Give Back During Treatment and Recovery?

How Can I Give Back During Treatment and Recovery?

What does giving back mean to you? For some, giving back might mean donating to charity. Others may consider giving back as helping someone with their groceries or paying for the coffee for the person ahead of them in the drive-thru.

Whatever giving back looks like for you, it probably gives you a sense of warmth and fulfillment to do it. During treatment and recovery, giving back is essential. Addiction has a way of making you lose your sense of purpose. You may lose sight of your goals and feel disconnected from loved ones and the community.

One of the best ways to reconnect and find your place in society in recovery is by giving back. There are many ways to contribute to your community while healing and recovering from substance use disorder (SUD).

Volunteering/Community Service

Community service tends to have a negative connotation. The truth is, however, that people may participate in community service for many different reasons. One of them, of course, can be to fulfill a court order. Some, however, choose to serve the community voluntarily.

For many, giving their time and efforts to better their neighborhoods is very rewarding. Working together to accomplish a common goal that will be seen or experienced by other community members can be very healing. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a volunteer program through the Enlightened Farm that welcomes treatment recipients and community members to work together.

Giving back through our volunteer program allows clients to connect with supportive members of the community who share common goals and believe in the mission. An added advantage is an opportunity to learn farm functions and develop new skills.

Sharing Skills and Talents

During treatment and recovery, you may likely tap into some skills and hobbies you may have forgotten about. It can be common to neglect your interests and passions amid addiction. One way of giving back during treatment and recovery is by using your skills and abilities to benefit those around you.

For example, suppose you are a skilled singer or musician. In that case, you may volunteer to play for special recovery events or utilize your talents to support others during a music therapy session. Perhaps you have a green thumb and want to contribute by offering to teach a skill during therapeutic horticulture.

Through Enlightened Solutions' employment program at the farm, we urge clients to learn new skills and build confidence in their ability to use them. Giving back to the program by putting newly acquired skills to work really becomes a full-circle moment that clients tend to feel great about.

Alumni Program

Remaining involved after completing your treatment program has many benefits. New clients can see that success through the program is possible, which gives them hope.

Alumni events at Enlightened Solutions occur regularly and focus on interaction and having fun. Allowing incoming clients or individuals who may be new to recovery to hear firsthand stories of success can be incredibly motivating.

Additionally, our alumni program encourages graduates of the program to remain connected. A robust support system is critical in recovery. Our programs promote relationship-building and encourage clients to form bonds with each other as they work toward a common goal of sobriety. By staying active as alumni, clients can continue to grow these relationships and support each other throughout recovery.

Benefits of Giving Back

Doing good for others benefits both parties. It helps the recipient, which could be a person, a group, or the community as a whole. Giving back also benefits the person doing the giving in many ways.

Finding Purpose

As mentioned, addiction can leave you feeling unsure of what is next and uncertain of your purpose in the world. Giving back reminds you that you can make a difference in the lives of others and your community despite everything you have been through. It can help ease the feelings of shame and guilt that so often accompany substance abuse.

Staying Busy

It is important to stay busy and productive during treatment and recovery. By participating in any of the activities mentioned above or by finding other ways to give back, you can occupy your time with positive activities. You will learn to replace old, bad habits with new, healthier ones. These can include eating well, staying active, remaining mindful, attending 12-Step meetings, and more. Along with these lifestyle changes, scheduling time to do something good for others is a great addition.

Enlightened Solutions offers a variety of ways for clients and alumni to give back on a regular basis. We understand the importance of connecting with the community and contributing in a positive way. Consider giving back to others during treatment and recovery; the benefits are endless and can remind you how much you matter.

Giving back while you are going through treatment and as you enter recovery has many advantages. Getting connected with others in the community is crucial when recovering from addiction. This can help establish a network of supporters who can encourage and motivate you when you need it most. Giving back can also restore your sense of purpose and keep your mind and body busy. Enlightened Solutions offers many opportunities for clients and alumni to give back to others and the community. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to help. To learn more about our treatment programs, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How to Self-Advocate in Recovery

How to Self-Advocate in Recovery

The ability to self-advocate is essential. Recognizing and communicating your needs, preferences, and even strengths can be very valuable. As an adult, you are likely to face many situations where you may need to advocate for yourself or others. For those in recovery, self-advocacy becomes even more important.

What Is Self-Advocacy and Why Is It Important?

Before we dive in too deep, let's define what self-advocacy means. Self-advocacy refers to the ability to speak up for yourself by asking for what you need and want. It involves expressing your thoughts and feelings, even when difficult.

If you are someone who has struggled with substance abuse, being able to identify and advocate for your needs in recovery is critical. There are many reasons for this. The more comfortable and effective you are when it comes to expressing your needs and asking for support, the more likely you are to avoid relapse. Typically, those who make an effort to advocate and ask for help can either avoid triggering situations or receive the support they need to stay on track.

In order to successfully convey this information, you must be able to recognize and identify your needs, wants, and feelings. The first step toward advocating for yourself is engaging in some self-reflection. This can include thinking about what is important to you, what you need to be successful, and who needs to know this information to best support you.

In addiction recovery, it is very important to have a strong support system. These are the people who can encourage you when you are feeling down. They can motivate you and help you stay focused on your goals. Your support system may include friends and family, coworkers, clinical professionals, or other community members.

At one point or another, you may need to advocate for yourself in a situation involving any of the above-mentioned parties. This is what often helps build and maintain your support network.

You want the people around you and close to you to be aware of your needs, wants, goals, etc. Without this knowledge, they cannot support you fully. Below are a few tips for self-advocating in recovery.

Identify Your Needs

As mentioned, step one when it comes to advocating for yourself is to first identify what your needs are. While this sounds simple, it can actually take some digging. You may need to spend some time alone diving deep. At Enlightened Solutions, clients are encouraged to practice mindfulness, which helps promote a connection with their inner selves. This relationship with oneself will allow individuals to recognize what they need to communicate and when.

Our program also includes individual therapy sessions which encourage self-discovery. There may be underlying challenges or co-occurring disorders contributing to your addiction. These contributing factors may require some accommodations or support as you exit treatment and enter recovery.

Therapists at Enlightened Solutions will also help you determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie. This is a very important component of self-advocacy. It is critical to be aware of your weaknesses, especially when it comes to those relating to triggers for substance use. Awareness of your strengths is beneficial, too, as this knowledge can help you build new relationships, secure employment, and find overall success in recovery.

Communicate Effectively

The next step in self-advocacy is verbally expressing your wants and needs to others. This can be a selective process, as not everyone needs to know everything. For example, you might need to disclose your history of substance abuse to a new partner, but it may not be something an acquaintance or coworker needs to be aware of. That is unless you feel compelled to share.

Communicating your needs clearly and directly can send a powerful message. For those who need to hear this information, it can allow them to better support and understand you. Self-advocacy is not always an easy process. You may have to advocate for yourself in situations with family or friends. Fear of rejection, causing conflict, or creating tension is normal. The truth is that expressing yourself and communicating what you need in order to stay on track in recovery is most important.

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer many group therapy and learning experiences that allow clients to develop and improve communication skills. Often, skills learned in individual therapy sessions are put into practice with peers during group activities. This provides an opportunity to fine-tune communication techniques and build confidence when it comes to communicating with others in recovery.

As you navigate your recovery journey, you will likely need to self-advocate more than once. In fact, you may need to advocate for yourself in some way each day. Finding comfort and feeling confident in your ability to express what you need to be successful in recovery is critical.

Self-advocating is an important part of life. We all find ourselves in situations that require us to express what we need or want. For those recovering from a substance use disorder, self-advocacy is critical. When it comes to avoiding relapse and staying on track, being able to identify your triggers, weaknesses, and even strengths can make all the difference. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients learn to maintain self-awareness, which helps with identifying and understanding personal needs, wants, thoughts, and feelings. Our staff and therapists also work with clients to improve and strengthen communication skills so they are able to effectively convey this information. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.

How to Listen to Your Body To Promote Wellness

How to Listen to Your Body to Promote Wellness

What does it mean to listen to your body? When you do so, what are you actually listening for? Listening to your body refers to honoring the connection between your mental and physical self. This connection allows you to maintain awareness of how your body feels. Awareness enlightens you about what your body needs.

Why is this important? Listening to your body is one of the best methods to maintain overall wellness. Your body sends messages and provides little clues that can indicate what it needs. For instance, when you notice a rumble in your stomach, you can assume that you are probably hungry. While this is a simple, more obvious example, it is one most people can relate to.

Your body also indicates when it is tired, tense, thirsty, and anxious. To help maintain balance, it is up to you to understand your body's signals and act upon them. Below are a few examples of how your body communicates different needs.

Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety is something that many of us face. For some, it may be brief and circumstantial. It may linger for weeks, months, or even years for others. Anxiety affects people differently, and some are more impacted than others. It is important to note that anxiety can commonly co-occur with addiction. Sometimes it causes substance abuse, and other times it is a side effect of it.

While anxiety occurs in the mind, the body also displays some symptoms. One common indicator of anxiety is tight muscles in the neck and back. When you are anxious, you tend to hold tension in these areas. Increased heart rate can also accompany anxiety. This is a natural reaction to feeling nervous, worried, or unsettled.

Anxiety can also affect your breathing. Have you ever paid attention to your breathing? When you really make an effort to relax, you might notice that your breathing slows down and becomes very steady. The opposite is true when you are experiencing anxiety. You tend to breathe heavier and at a faster or more irregular pace.

Signs of Hunger

We have all felt that stomach rumble previously referenced. Aside from that, though, our bodies have other ways of letting us know that it isn't getting the nutrients it needs. If this is the case, you might experience a dull headache that seems to worsen with time. This could indicate your body needs nutrition.

Another way your body may communicate being undernourished is dizziness or feeling lightheaded. When your body lacks nutrients, your blood sugar levels can be affected. If your blood sugar drops too much, it can leave you feeling a bit faint.

Lastly, when your body needs nourishment, you will likely experience low energy levels. Have you heard the phrase "food is fuel"? It's true! Your body needs food in order to function. Without proper nutrition and water intake, your body cannot work as it should.

Signs of Exhaustion

Sleep deprivation is something we can all relate to. Regardless of the reason, you have likely been a little low on hours of sleep at one time or another. Sleep is essential for our bodies to function properly. It allows our bodies to heal, recharge, and store energy for the day ahead. Addiction can take a significant toll on sleep, making it very important for those in recovery to listen when the body needs rest.

Learn more about how substance use affects sleep here

When you are overtired, your muscles may feel weak. In extreme situations, they may even ache or feel sore. This is because sleep allows our muscles time to recover and heal. Without it, they have no opportunity to do so.

A lack of sleep can also lead to impaired decision-making as well as a lack of focus. Your brain, just like your muscles, relies on sleep to recharge and recover. You may find yourself struggling to think clearly or devote attention to a specific task if you haven't slept well.

Checking In With Yourself

In addiction recovery, your body has a lot of healing to do. Drugs and alcohol affect your body, mind, and spirit. As a result, each of these areas needs healing. To address the wellness of each of these areas, it is essential to establish a strong connection with them. This allows you to check in with yourself regularly and work to improve in any way necessary.

At Enlightened Solutions, many of our activities encourage the connection of the mind, body, and spirit. We understand the importance of this connection as it relates to healing. By learning to listen to your body through this connection, you can give your body what it needs to experience long-lasting recovery from addiction.

Having the ability to listen to your body is a skill. Like any other skill, you can practice tuning in and paying attention to what your body is telling you in order to get better at it. Through activities like meditation, you can improve your ability to connect the mind and body. It is important to take good care of your health as you recover from addiction. Listening to what your body needs to heal is key. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients establish a strong connection within themselves through activities that encourage mindfulness. If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse, we would love to help. To get started, call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.