How Can I Build Healthy Relationships In Recovery?

How Can I Build Healthy Relationships in Recovery?

Relationships are an essential part of life. We all need human interaction. Friends and family members are great to have around during happy times, and especially during tough times.

Knowing the value of positive relationships, it is important to learn how to identify them. How do you build healthy relationships, and what makes some healthy and others unhealthy? This can be determined by how you feel and behave and whether they support and encourage positive aspects of your life.

If you are or have struggled with substance abuse, likely some, if not most, of your relationships during that time were not healthy. Typically, those battling addiction surround themselves with others living similar lifestyles. As a result, your social circle will likely change as you enter treatment and progress through recovery.

Impact of Others

The company you keep can have a huge impact on you. Those around you can be more influential than you might think. For instance, spending time with people who prioritize healthy eating makes you more likely to follow a healthy diet. You tend to conform to similar interests and activities. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

When it comes to addiction, your behavior can often be reinforced by those you spend time with. Individuals that use substances tend to hang around others that also use substances. This can be for a variety of reasons. This could be out of convenience. Accessing substances may be easier in specific environments. Individuals that use substances may also spend time together because there is a lack of judgment felt when others around them are engaging in the same behaviors.

As you enter treatment and begin your journey to recovery, you will find that many, if not all, of the individuals you used to spend time with will fall off. Without drugs or alcohol, you may find that you don’t have much in common with these people. You will now be interacting with others who may be going through treatment or are already in recovery.

Connecting During Treatment

Building relationships in treatment can create a sense of community and reassure you that you are not alone. You are surrounded by others who are going through the same process and can likely share your perspective. Health and wellness groups are often held in a group setting, helping to facilitate new friendships and connections during treatment. Many programs will include skill development specifically to assist you in building and repairing relationships.

Equally important as connecting with others during treatment is connecting with yourself. This bond could even be considered to be the most important. It can be common to lose touch with yourself as a result of addiction. You may forget who you are and become very disconnected from the things and people who really matter. Treatment is an excellent time to re-establish your internal connection and build new habits of checking in with yourself regularly.

Connecting in Recovery

Some relationships may carry over from treatment to recovery as a result of the bonds created with peers during the experience. You will also begin to form new relationships following treatment. These relationships are very important. As mentioned previously, those you spend your time with can have a huge impact on your life.

Choosing your friends and connections wisely is more important than ever. Aim to identify like-minded people. This can be done by attending recovery meetings and continuing to remain involved in programs as an alumnus.

This is often a time for rebuilding broken relationships that may have been damaged due to your addiction. Many times, bonds with close friends and family members become strained due to your behavior while using drugs or alcohol. It is important to take steps to reconnect with those who care about you and support your recovery, as they can help you remain on track and encouraged.

Facilities, such as Enlightened Solutions, often elect to involve friends and family members in the treatment and recovery process. Studies show major advantages to having a strong support system following treatment. As mentioned by Henning Pettersen, Anne Landheim, Ivar Skeie, Stian Biong, Morten Brodahl, Jeppe Oute, and Larry Davidson in their article, “How Social Relationships Influence Substance Use Disorder Recovery: A Collaborative Narrative Study,” “[Substance use disorder] treatment providers should involve clients’ networks to a greater extent when designing new treatment approaches. They should invite significant others, family, and friends of the client to treatment programs in the interest of promoting and prolonging positive relationships relevant to establishing sobriety.”

This supports the value of positive relationships in recovery. By attending regular meetings and staying involved, you can continue to build your support network following treatment and throughout recovery.

Building relationships is not always easy. In fact, the older you get the more difficult it seems to become. Addiction can cause you to damage positive relationships and develop negative ones. When you make the decision to enter treatment, your social circle is bound to change. Enlightened Solutions offers group therapy and classes to encourage connectedness and facilitate group learning and healing. Many activities involve learning communication skills, conflict resolution, and other abilities that will help you build new healthy relationships after treatment and throughout recovery. Our health and wellness groups are always held in a group setting, as we find great value in creating a sense of community and learning new things as a team. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, make the decision to seek help today. Call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.


Signs of Teen Drug Use

It can be frightening to think that your teen has been misusing drugs or alcohol. Teenagers are at a crucial stage of development, and drug or alcohol misuse at this stage of their brain development can have dire consequences on their overall health and well-being. 

Peer pressure, self-exploration, and mistakes are natural parts of growing up and, as much as we would like them not to, many teens experiment with drugs and alcohol. However, there is a difference between one-time drug use and chronic use. 

If your teen has been misusing substances, it is essential to seek professional help. An adolescent mental health specialist can guide you on the steps you can take to prevent the onset of dependence and drug addiction. If your teen is already addicted, evidence-based teen-friendly treatment programs are highly effective.

How Do I Know If My Teen Has Been Using Drugs? 

You may notice some worrying behaviors in your teen and jump to the conclusion that they have misused drugs or alcohol. It is likely that your teen's mood swings, withdrawal, rebelliousness, and unusual behavior stems from their racing hormones and developing sense of the world around them, however, there is a chance it could be from substance misuse. 
It is essential to recognize the early warning signs of teen drug misuse so that you can take effective action to help them. 
According to Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, early warning signs of teen drug use include(1):

  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies and activities
  • Secrecy about whereabouts
  • Health problems 
  • Sudden change to social group
  • Unusual sleeping patterns
  • Increased irritability, aggression
  • Drastic weight loss or gain
  • Missing prescription drugs
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia (rolling papers, needles, bongs, empty spirit bottles, burned spoons)

What Are the Behavioral Signs of Teen Drug Use?

Behavioral signs are usually the first signs of teen drug use that parents and loved ones notice. Common behavioral signs of drug or alcohol misuse to look out for include:

  • Coming home late
  • Frequently asking for money
  • Withdrawing from the family
  • Absence from school or work

What Are the Physical Signs of Teen Drug Use?

Physical indicators of drug or alcohol misuse in teens include:

  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Sores on mouth
  • Large dilated pupils
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Shakes and tremors
  • Sudden weight loss or gain

What Are the Risk Factors for Teen Drug Use?

FACTS is an acronym you can use to understand the risk factors for teen drug use. 

F - Family History

Suppose there is a history of substance misuse in the family. In this case, a child or teen is more likely to use drugs and develop an addiction(2). SAMHSA reports that children with first-degree relatives who have Substance Use Disorder are eight times more likely to misuse substances than those without(3).

A - Age of First Use

The younger a person is when they first use drugs or alcohol, the more likely they are to develop an addiction(4). Teen brains are at a crucial stage of development, and drug or alcohol misuse at this time can shape how the brain continues to grow and develop. 

C - Craving

Drug or alcohol misuse can lead to dependence. When dependence occurs, the teen experiences intense cravings for the substance when it is not available. Teens may not yet have developed the ability to tolerate the distress associated with these cravings, making them more vulnerable than adults to addiction.

T - Tolerance

Tolerance to a substance's effects builds up the more it is used. If your teen needs to use more of a drug in greater frequency to achieve the desired effects, they are at high risk of dependence and addiction. 

S - Surroundings

Exposure to drug or alcohol misuse in the home or in one's peer groups increases the likelihood of drug or alcohol use, and prolonged exposure normalizes the behavior. A teen may notice that family members or friends use drugs or alcohol in stressful times and learn to do the same. 

Should I Talk to My Teen About Drugs?

It’s essential to talk to your teen and listen to their opinions and perceptions about drugs and alcohol. By speaking with them about the reality of substance misuse, you create a trusting, supportive relationship in which they feel comfortable talking about their experiences. 

Talking goes a long way in reducing the risk of substance misuse. Make sure that when you talk to your teen, you do so with compassion and understanding. Hostility and confrontation will not help. 

If you have discovered that your teen has been misusing drugs or alcohol, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Effective interventions and treatments are available and can help your teen curb their drug use before addiction takes over. 

You’re never too young for recovery. There are treatment centers and support groups across the United States dedicated to helping teens find recovery.

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients numerous tools to move forward in their sober lifestyle.  We focus on healing the whole person and not merely treating the addiction. Enlightened Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment center; we can treat both substance use disorders and the mental health issues that frequently accompany addiction.  Our treatment program rooted in the 12-Step philosophy provides each client an individualized recovery plan. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a range of treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care, and equine-assisted therapy.  Our location near the picturesque southern shore of New Jersey allows us to provide optimal healing and relaxation. If you want to be free from addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information about our treatment options.

 

(1) Ali, Shahid et al. “Early detection of illicit drug use in teenagers.” Innovations in clinical neuroscience vol. 8,12 (2011): 24-8.

(2) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2004. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 39.) Chapter 2 Impact of Substance Abuse on Families. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64258/

(3) Lipari, R.N. and Van Horn, S.L. Children living with parents who have a substance use disorder. The CBHSQ Report: August 24, 2017. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD.

(4) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov. CHAPTER 2, THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF SUBSTANCE USE, MISUSE, AND ADDICTION. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424849


Break Up

Surviving and Moving On After a Breakup

Maybe you saw it coming. You two hadn’t been getting along and the fights had become more frequent. You hadn’t seen each other as much. The calls and texts were becoming fewer and farther between.

Maybe it was sudden. Your partner said it wasn’t working out or you two weren’t right for each other. It doesn’t make sense. All you know is that you are alone and that you are hurting.

Although recovering from a heartache takes time, making sure that you are taking care of yourself will help the process along.

Food to Help Mend a Broken Heart

Grief may cause you to lose your appetite and it may be very hard to make yourself eat. Now is the time for comfort food, food that reminds you of happier times. For many people, that means food from childhood. Your favorite might be macaroni and cheese. If you wanted to boost the nutrition a bit, you could add pureed butternut squash or make it with whole-grain pasta. Cheese, despite being rich in calories, is rich in calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Eating cheese causes your brain to produce more dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate sleep and impulse control, and dopamine boosts mood, motivation, and attention and helps to regulate emotional responses. Other foods that boost serotonin levels include eggs, salmon, and nuts.

If you are a chocolate lover, feel free to indulge a bit. Cacao, the main ingredient of chocolate, enhances mood because it contains tryptophan which is used by the brain to produce serotonin. Also, most people associate chocolate with happy times, which helps. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains antioxidants, which protect your body from the effects of free radicals.

Cooking for Comfort and Community

The act of cooking can make you feel better too. When you cook, you need to be aware and present. You need to focus on what you are doing in the moment. Cooking requires mindfulness, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, the act of cooking will take your mind off your heartache and provide you with a creative outlet.

Also, when you have a broken heart, you need the support of your friends. Cooking is a great way to bring people together and can remind you that you are not alone.

Make Time to Work Out

Although you may not feel like it, exercise will help you feel better. Working out is very important for your mental health. An article published in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry discussed the benefits of exercise and stated that aerobic exercise (like running, walking, swimming, cycling, and dancing) reduces anxiety, depression, and negative mood. Exercise also improves self-esteem and cognitive function. The article recommended that you get thirty minutes of moderate exercise 3 to 5 days a week. The benefit to you is improved sleep, stress relief, increased mental alertness, and an improved mood.

Make Time for Sleep

Grief can make it difficult to sleep, but getting good sleep is important to your mental health. Depression and anxiety can be made worse by lack of sleep. If you don’t already, make sure that you go to bed and get up at roughly the same time every day. Doing so will improve the quality of your sleep and keep some structure and routine in your daily life. 

If you are having trouble sleeping, try following the suggestions offered by the Sleep Foundation:

  • Make your bedroom comfortable and distraction-free
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Keep naps short and don’t nap in the late afternoon
  • Spend about 30 minutes winding down (read, stretch, meditate, listen to soft music)
  • Dim the lights
  • Put electronic devices away 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime
  • Cut down or eliminate caffeine in the afternoon and evening

What Not to Do

As normal as it is to want to understand why the relationship ended and have closure, you may never know what happened. Resist the impulse to replay the entire relationship in your head. Don’t analyze old text messages looking for clues as to what went wrong and don’t spend all your time discussing the relationship with friends and family members. Don’t neglect your well-being and don’t isolate yourself. Don’t turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to escape from the pain. While it may bring you some relief in the near term, in the long run substance abuse will not help and can damage your physical and mental health.

The best cure for grief after a relationship is time. Although you can’t put time in a bottle, if you take care of yourself by eating well, spending time with family and friends, exercising, and getting restorative sleep, you will begin to feel better.

The end of a romantic relationship can be devastating. Although healing takes time, you can help the process by eating well, exercising, and getting restorative sleep. What you should not do is neglect your self-care, obsess over the relationship, isolate yourself from family and friends,  or turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. If your grief seems excessive to you or you find yourself abusing drugs or alcohol, you may need professional help. Grief is one of the mental health issues that Enlightened Solutions can help with. We are a drug and alcohol treatment center and we are licensed to treat co-occurring disorders. Our focus is on healing the whole person and we individualize a treatment plan for each client. In addition, to talk therapy and group support rooted in the 12-Step philosophy, we offer a number of holistic treatment modalities including yoga, meditation, art and music therapy, acupuncture, family constellation therapy, and equine therapy. If you are tired of struggling with addiction and ready to begin healing, call us at (833) 801-5483.


Woman Uses Instagram to Teach Others of Her Boyfriend’s Addiction Recovery Journey

Woman Uses Instagram to Teach Others of Her Boyfriend’s Addiction Recovery Journey

Instagram is a social networking tool where you can post pictures and videos of yourself and your friends as well as including filters to them to give them a sense of style. Instagram can also be a good way to document a person’s journey such as trying to lose weight or even trying to recover from addiction. A woman from Nottingham decided to use Instagram as a tool to document her boyfriend’s heroin addiction to teach followers how bad it can get and to encourage others to go into treatment.

Using Instagram to Stay Sober

Recovery.org did a study to show how Instagram can help those struggling with addiction to help recover. Hashtags like #sober, #soberlife, and #12steps have been used in over 79,000 posts. #Soberlife was the most common addiction recovery hashtag with 32,707 mentions followed by #sobriety which has 19,033 mentions. Recovery programs like #narcoticsanonymous had 1,638 mentions and #alcoholicsanonymous had 1,272 mentions. The study also showed that Utah had the most addiction recovery posts 144.4 posts per capita and California had 70.8. Ironically, Utah has one of the lowest national rates of illicit substance abuse with California having high levels. This shows that substance abuse must be fairly new in Utah and more people are interested in learning about it. 

Instagram has the power to let users stay anonymous compared to Facebook where you are told to put in your personal information in your profile. Instagram helps give people space where they can share their experiences of addiction without having to worry about coworkers or family members knowing about it. While unfortunately there are websites that can trigger a person’s addiction, there are also others that encourage others to seek treatment.

Instagram Addiction Recovery Accounts

One Instagram account is called “Sober Quotes” that posts life lessons and motivational advice to get through the hard days of keeping sober. “Let’s Help Broken Ones” focuses on promoting self-love and passing it on to others. Users can also ask questions or messages in 300 characters for account creators to answer. “12 Steps to Recovery” provides messages of hope and messages of healing through the 12 steps. “Recovery Daily” provides encouragement through faith in a Higher Power. This is good for those who incorporate their religious beliefs into their recovery.

A Relationship Starting with Addiction

Lisa Selby met her boyfriend, Elliot Murawski, in 2015 at Alcoholics Anonymous. While they quickly fell in love with each other, Murawski relapsed and was sent to jail for two years and eight months after he was caught drug dealing to support his habit. Elliot first tried drugs when he was 12 and moved onto illegal substances when he was 15. After keeping his relapse a secret from Selby for three months, he finally confessed to her about it. This inspired Selby to create the Instagram account, @bluebaglife, to better understand her boyfriend’s addiction. The account was named after the little blue bag that Murawski would keep his drugs in. This account now has 11.5 thousand followers. 

Creating An Honest Addiction Recovery Instagram Account 

Selby started to take photos and videos of Murawski to better understand her boyfriend’s addiction in the hope it would help him detox. She would also show Murawski the pictures that she took of him when he was high to help each other understand what it was doing to both of them. She would take pictures of him looking high, pictures of the needles and other supplies used for drug supply, and even a picture of himself staring at a needle filled with heroin. Murawski would help Selby out with her Instagram account by sending letters and captions for her to use despite having no access to social media. 

There would be honest posts of Murawski suggesting to Selby that they should do drugs together and her refusing. She also posted a caption where she explains how she would see syringe packets surrounding her as she ate breakfast. He would hide his drug habits in his car and then in the bathroom. He then began using drugs in front of her. Selby was then able to learn from him where he acquired drugs and how it was done. Because she lost her mother to heroin use, Selby wanted to learn through her boyfriend about what made her lose her mom.

Instagram Account Reactions

This couple was amazed to see how many followers they were getting and how much they were supporting Murawski to overcome his drug use. In order to prevent people from being triggered by the photos and videos that were posted, the account was created as private. Selby said that she is proud of the network that she created through this account and hopes to help others suffering from addiction. Making accounts like these will encourage others to be honest about their addiction. By seeing the worst of drug addiction through these photos and videos, this will make others feel incredible joy when that person reaches recovery. 

Elliot Murawski’s Recovery

Murawski has been clean for two years and believes that Instagram is the reason why he reached recovery. Now, Selby is using Instagram to help others tell their stories of addiction. Breaking the stigma on popular social media platforms can make a difference. These Instagram accounts will show the honest brutality that addiction can inflict on someone and can encourage others that there is always time to better your life.

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


Sex Addiction and Relationships

Sex Addiction and Relationships

Sex addiction can take over our entire lives in devastating ways, one of the most painful being our relationships. When we are addicted to love and sex, it can affect our personal relationships in various ways. Having a healthy relationship can feel next to impossible when we are coming from a place of dependence, neediness and attachment. When our relationships are filled with addiction of any kind, they don’t have the solid foundation they need to survive. Relationships with sex addiction as a factor can be destructive and explosive, in drastically unhealthy ways.

Very often we are attracting relationships into our lives based on the energy of our addiction. We enter relationships simply to satisfy physical urges. We don’t choose our partners based on compatibility, mutual interests or love. Sometimes we’re not even physically attracted to our partners. We are so driven by the compulsive need to get our sexual fix, to feel our high again, that sometimes we don’t care who it is we’re sleeping with. We might be so desperate for connection, intimacy and company that we choose partners we might never have chosen if we were in a healthier place. Many of us are painfully afraid of being alone or lonely, and this fear drives us to make unhealthy choices that we later regret.

Sometimes we attract other addicts who are themselves struggling with sex addiction or another kind of addiction. When we’re in relationships with other addicts, we can feed off of each other’s destructive habits and exacerbate them. We can pull each other into relentless cycles of breaking up, making up, ending and restarting the relationship countless times. The toxicity of these kinds of patterns can worsen our addictive urges and make us more likely to use addictive substances or engage in other addictive behaviors to cope. We can also feel heightened compulsiveness with our sexual urges as well, making us even more likely to stay in the toxic situation or find other unhealthy outlets for our energy. Any time we’re in destructive patterns such as these, we can experience worsened depression and anxiety.

With addiction in general, but sex addiction in particular, we can find ourselves engaging in dangerous behaviors, having casual sex with multiple partners we don’t know well, staying in abusive relationships, risking our health and wellness to get our fix. Sex addiction can put us at higher risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections and/or having unwanted pregnancies. We may put ourselves in grave danger staying with partners who are abusive, because we feel we love them, when sometimes we’ve simply become addicted to them and to what they represent for us – someone who can fill our needs, make us feel less lonely or give us the attention we crave. Coming to an understanding about sex addiction involves looking at the ways in which it functions in our relationships.

The treatment programs at Enlightened Solutions work with co-occurring conditions, including sex addiction. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Understanding Sex Addiction

Understanding Sex Addiction

One of the many conditions that can both accompany other addictions and function as an addiction on its own is sex addiction. Whereas we usually associate addiction with substances such as drugs and alcohol, there are many behaviors that can become similarly addictive and destructive in a person’s life. Gambling, gaming, spending, shoplifting and overeating are all examples. Sex addiction, often referred to as love and sex addiction, is when a person’s relationship with sex and romance has become unhealthy, obsessive, impulsive and compulsive. When we struggle with sex addiction, our natural impulses for love and sex are overtaken by a neediness, a desperation, a compulsive need to return to a feeling of being high. Our thoughts are dominated by our sexual relationships, and we find it hard to focus on anything else. Our lives can become totally consumed by our reckless and dangerous behaviors. Our health can be derailed by our sexual patterns.

Very often our addictions stem from the trauma we haven’t resolved within ourselves. Sex addiction is no different. Sometimes our traumatic experiences were sexual in nature, causing us to have a dysfunctional relationship with sex based on fear, mistrust, shame and sadness. Sometimes our trauma can be totally unrelated, but our unresolved pain manifests in a sexual way. For example, the abandonment we felt at the loss of a loved one can cause us to compulsively try to relieve that pain through having sex.

With sex addiction, we often confuse sex for love and vice versa. In a healthy relationship, sex can be a mutual expression of our love and a reflection of it. In unhealthy relationships based on addiction, we have a hard time processing or clarifying our thoughts and feelings, including our definitions of love, respect and trust. We don’t know how to define, let alone embody, a healthy partnership. Often what results is a lot of confusion and turmoil. We’re filled with neediness and longing. Our relationships are based on codependence. We form attachments rather than unions. We feel as though there is a void within us that we try to fill through being loved, needed and wanted by another person. We can become just as addicted to the euphoric feelings of love as we are to the physical act of sex, and both can become the driving forces behind our behavior.

Sex addiction is one of the many co-occurring conditions we treat at Enlightened Solutions. You’re not alone. There is help available to you. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.


Toxic Relationships and Inner Peace

Toxic Relationships and Inner Peace

On our journey to inner peace, we often find ourselves in relationships that reflect the exact opposite. Because we manifest from the inside out, our inner turmoil from mental health issues and addictions can cause us to attract and choose relationships that hurt us rather than help us heal.

Many of us find ourselves in tumultuous and volatile relationships, full of ups and downs, back and forths- relationships that are on again – off again, where you’re constantly finding yourself fighting and/or breaking up. They are often relationships full of drama, tension and conflict; lies, abuse, and even violence.

One such relationship is the soulmate “twin flames” partnership. Twin flames mirror back to us our fears and pain, and they often cause us a lot of suffering which forces us to learn painful lessons and to grow exponentially. These relationships are often short-lived but profoundly life-changing. With life’s growing pains come expansion and growth. This painful process often ends in disaster and heartbreak, leaving us to unpack the lessons in the years to come and often adding to the mental and emotional problems we already had.

For some of us, we form attachments and co-dependent relationships with people we aren’t truly happy or compatible with. We might become complacent or comfortable even when we know we aren’t truly happy, sometimes because we are in denial, sometimes because we are afraid to be alone. And for some of us, unhealthy relationships function just like any other addiction, and we struggle to remove ourselves from them but can’t.

Whatever the story, we often have one thing in common causing us to attract and manifest unhealthy relationships, and that is a lack of inner peace. The feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy that we carry within us from trauma, especially traumas we experienced as children, can develop into all kinds of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, neurosis, self-esteem issues, anger problems, and addictions. All of these are factors contributing to our inner turmoil and therefore to the kinds of relationships we attract and choose.

When we are at peace within ourselves, we are much less likely to choose relationships that cause us confusion, pain or trauma. When we are at peace, we don’t want to settle for turmoil, or for anything that would take us further away from our inner peace. We no longer create the time or space for the worrying, deliberation and anxiety that can come with toxic relationships. We no longer settle for the manipulation and dishonesty. As we heal and prioritize our sanity, we often find that our relationships become healthier, and we move away from any that were causing toxicity in our lives.

We listen, and we understand. Many of us have personal experience with recovery. Enlightened Solutions offers therapy, mentoring, and friendship. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Avoidance

Avoidance

While in the disease of addiction, it is an extremely easy to slip into isolation and avoidance. Life becomes bleak and pessimistic. There may be no hope. Although everyone has their own story, the commonality is that there is a bottom. High bottoms and low bottoms, each person has their own threshold of what they can take. Unfortunately, it’s not up to anyone who had already lost the choice to drink or use. This is because all of these ways have ceased to work and it is becoming more clear that things have gotten out of control. When the mind continues to tell someone with addiction that everything is fine, what is really important will begin to take a back seat. Avoiding the signs that there may be a problem, will almost always result in self-sabotage.

Some people will begin to avoid painful feelings that stem from the past. It’s true that you don’t have to feel feelings if you don’t want to, and a good way to do that is to numb with alcohol and/or drugs. Individuals with addictions experience an inevitable progression into a downward spiral. Over time a high tolerance builds up for the substance and chaos. Soon the person who’s sick will be spending more time focusing on the behavior and less on reality. Once things really take a turn for the worse, it’s easy to slip into isolation mode. This is simply avoiding people, places, and things that could possibly interfere with whatever troubling behavior.

At some point, the person who is sick has the ability to find themselves with other like-minded people. The people surrounding the abusive behavior are in actuality only attracted to the unhealthy habit because they are doing the same thing. If someone isn’t ready to get help, using pressure it not going to help. It’s up to every person to decide when they are finished with avoiding life. The disease of addiction is really a way to escape from reality. When people learn how to handle life’s stressors in a healthy way there can be hope. Accepting help and beginning to use coping mechanisms learned in treatment, there can be progress.

If you are trying to learn healthy ways to cope without alcohol and/or drugs, do not give up! Our partial program at Enlightened Solutions is clinical, holistic, and 12 step based. Begin to heal your body, mind, and soul. For more information call: 844-234-LOVE.


5 Ways to Rebuild a Relationship During Recovery

5 Ways to Rebuild a Relationship During Recovery

Rebuilding a relationship after treatment for drug or alcohol addiction will take time. While you are in recovery, your family will also need time to heal from your addictive behavior. When trust is broken, it can be hard to mend your relationship. Respect your loved one's boundaries. Showing that you respect their expectations and boundaries is a great start to mending a broken relationship with family and friends.

Drug and alcohol abuse affects family relationships and friendships. Loved ones struggle to understand and cope with your addictive behavior. Some people are affected differently by their loved one's addiction.

Some behaviors of a person with an addiction:

  • Lie, steal, and cheat
  • Become aggressive or violent and break the law
  • Say hurtful things and become reckless and selfish

These behaviors damage a relationship and make it difficult to trust again. Family members and friends can mistakenly enable their loved one. Family and friends go through an exhausting emotional odyssey with their loved one's addiction. They need therapy for issues related to their loved one's drug and alcohol abuse. Going to family or group therapy can help the healing process for everyone affected.

Here are 5 helpful ways to rebuild a relationship during your recovery:

  1. Journaling. Start journaling on a regular basis to keep a record of your progress. Writing allows you to express your feelings, keep your mind active, and reflect on your journey through tough times and accomplishments.
  2. Communicate. Listen to your loved one's conversation and remain calm, respectful, and responsive. Engage in positive and effective communication.
  3. Avoid relapse. Identify the people, places, or things that could lead to relapse. Develop a plan to avoid situations that put you at high risk to abuse drugs and alcohol again. Find sober people to be around and meet new friends at group meetings. Stay away from establishments that remind you of your drug or alcohol use.
  4. Nurture interest in your loved one's lives. Go on walks with your spouse, go to a baseball game with your child, attend your sister's scrapbooking get together, or spend some quality time with your parents. Find interest in their lives and show them you care.
  5. Take care of yourself. Continue to make improvements and reinforce your commitment to sobriety. Family and friends will see your progress, which will help to regain trust.

Recovery is a lifelong process and takes a lot of effort and dedication to stay sober. Rebuilding relationships with loved ones will help with your recovery as you establish support and encouragement from your family and friends.

Relationships are strained in active addiction but healed in active recovery. The best move to make for recovery is the quickest move by calling and asking for help immediately. Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs.


When it is Time to Leave a Relationship Behind

When it is Time to Leave a Relationship Behind

Patient. Acceptance that addiction has power is vital in understanding the next step in how to execute change. If the enabling remains part of the person’s life with addiction and/or alcoholism, there will be no real reason to get help.

Using friends are the first to go on the path to recovery. Cutting off contact with all bad influences will guide the person away from those who do not and will not support their recovery.

Romantic relationships can be complicated. While it is recommended that there shouldn’t be any big changes in the first year of sobriety, it should be pretty clear when this does not apply. When a relationship is based on the substance, it’s time to go. Unless both parties enter treatment and begin work on themselves, the person attempting to recover could be drawn back into old habits by the person still in the disease. Often times, after sobering up, people in recovery have different perspectives in regards to romantic feelings. It can be painful but for a better future, one must walk away from the past.

Under certain circumstances, the identified patient may only have the option to go back into old neighborhoods and environments. Being sober will be difficult around all of the unavoidable triggers. Becoming involved in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous is beneficial because of the new healthy friendships formed. When times are tough, it’s important to have a sober support network, other than a therapist. As time passes, life will have a brighter outlook and things tend to fall into place.

Enlightened Solution's holistic, clinical, and 12-step approach is the treatment for anyone whose life is out of control. Begin to heal the body, mind, and soul with our amazing staff here in New Jersey. Don't wait any longer and call today for more information: 833-801-5483.