How Quitting Alcohol Can Revitalize Your Life

When you stop drinking, you see immediate improvements in your life - you have more time, energy, and money. Quitting alcohol improves your physical health, your mental well-being, and your appearance. It can help you heal relationships with loved ones, excel at work, and turn your life around.

How Can Quitting Alcohol Improve Your Health?

Even drinking small amounts of alcohol can be harmful to your health. However, drinking more than the recommended guidelines significantly increases the risk of developing long-term health problems, including cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and a weakened immune system. Alcohol-related health problems are serious and widespread - more than 95,000 people die each year in the United States due to excessive drinking.

Luckily, your body is an incredible creation that can repair itself. Research shows that some of the damage alcohol causes to your liver, gut, heart, and brain begins to heal as soon as you stop drinking. This is true regardless of your age or how long you have been drinking - it is never too late to enjoy the benefits of being sober.

Quitting alcohol can also help you lose weight. Alcohol contains the second-highest amount of calories of any kind of food, and excessive drinking is often a key contributor to weight gain. Alcohol contains ‘empty calories’ that have almost no nutritional value - it doesn’t benefit our bodies in any way. 

Stopping drinking is a chance to start eating well, exercising, and practicing self-care - the foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

How Can Quitting Alcohol Make You Happier?

Drinking too much is not only damaging to your physical health - alcohol abuse and alcoholism (or alcohol use disorder) is also linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Around 50% of people with alcohol use disorder also have another co-occurring condition. Quitting alcohol makes you less likely to develop anxiety or depression and is a crucial step in recovering from existing conditions so you can live a joyful and productive life.

Recovery from alcohol also helps you to improve your overall well-being and feel better in yourself. Heavy drinking often comes with feelings of guilt and shame, which can be exacerbated by difficult relationships with loved ones or problems at work and home. As you recover from alcohol, you may grow in self-confidence, appreciate your self-worth, and enjoy healthy and happy relationships with those around you.

What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Your Thinking and Memory?

Excessive alcohol consumption also affects your memory and other cognitive functions. It can make you think less clearly, decrease your attention span, and impact your problem-solving skills. Quitting alcohol can help you reverse these changes so you can increase your mental performance at work and in your daily life.

What Can You Do Instead Of Drinking Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol takes away your time. Getting drunk can take a whole evening, night, or day and the hangover the next morning may leave you confined to your bed. Stopping drinking gives you the chance to rediscover old passions, find exciting new hobbies, and leaves more time to care for yourself and your loved ones.

Alcohol is also expensive. Even moderate drinking can become costly - if you drink only one $5 glass of wine a day, you end up spending $1825.00 over the whole year. When you give up alcohol, you can use this money for other more valuable things like family holidays, home improvements, or just living a more comfortable everyday life. 

Quitting alcohol may not be easy, but you can overcome your addiction and revitalize your life with the right support. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients powerful tools to move forward in their sober lifestyle. 

We focus on healing the entire person and not just treating their addiction. Our recovery program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy and offers each client an individualized recovery plan. Our licensed treatment center near the southern shore of New Jersey is the perfect place for healing and relaxation. 

If you struggle with addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Valentine's Day

Single and Sober on Valentine’s Day: Now What?

For many people, Valentine’s Day brings to mind images of happy couples out on the town, enjoying dinner by candlelight and a bottle of champagne. Roses and a box of chocolates fit in that image somewhere too.

If you are sober, Valentine’s Day can be a little problematic because of the association of romance with wine, especially champagne, that is prevalent in our society. If you aren’t in a romantic relationship, Valentine’s Day can feel like a slap in the face. It may seem as if everyone is married or has a significant other except you. If you are committed to a sober lifestyle and single, Valentine’s Day can be especially difficult. Fortunately, with a little planning, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day in your own way.

Alcohol-Free Alternatives

If you choose not to drink alcohol for whatever reason, more and more flavorful options are cropping up all the time. A tried-and-true alternative to sparkling wine is sparkling cider, which comes in many different flavors. If you are a little more adventurous, a quick Google search will give you more mocktail recipes than you can drink. Try sipping on a mock sangria loaded with fresh fruit; a Mexican chocolate mocktail, a sophisticated hot chocolate drink livened up with cinnamon; or a rose lemon spritzer, complete with rose petals.

It doesn’t matter what you drink; what matters is that you recognize that holidays like Valentine’s Day can be triggers for some people. If you know that the day can be a trigger and you have a plan, you will be fine.

Reach Out to Other People

Although it may feel like you are the only person alone on Valentine’s Day, that is not the case. Valentine’s Day can be a great time to show some kindness to others. You might want to plan a party for other sober single friends, although, in light of COVID-19, you may choose to make it a virtual gathering. You might fix dinner for your favorite couple or offer to babysit for parents with young children so they can spend some time together without their kids. You could put together a basket filled with Valentine’s Day treats and take it to someone you know who is older and alone. Create small treat bags to give to neighbors. Take flowers to someone.

Showing kindness to someone else is as good for you as it is for them and being kind to others can improve your physical and mental health. Showing kindness to others increases the level of oxytocin in your system, which lowers your blood pressure and improves your cardiovascular health. Being kind also raises your serotonin level, which improves your sleep. In addition, performing acts of kindness lowers your cortisol level, the hormone connected with stress.

Focus on Yourself

Valentine’s Day as a single person can give you a good excuse to show some kindness to yourself. Part of what can be hard about being single on Valentine’s Day is gift-giving, so buy yourself a present. The present can be as simple or as extravagant as your wishes and financial circumstances allow. It might be an item of clothing or a piece of jewelry that you’ve had your eye on. Perhaps you want to purchase supplies or tools to support a hobby--a new lens if you love photography, golf lessons if most weekends find you on a golf course, or a subscription to a finance magazine if personal investing is your passion. Buy yourself some candy and flowers; binge-watch your favorite show; immerse yourself in a book; or plan a spa day at home.

You might choose to spend Valentine’s Day alone. Sometimes with all the business of contemporary life, the best gift you can give yourself is the gift of time. You might decide to take a weekend trip by yourself. Traveling alone might seem daunting if it’s something you’ve never done, but you may find that you enjoy it. You can go where you want when you want. You can spend the entire trip doing exactly as you please.

You might decide that Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to learn something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to knit. Maybe you want to learn to roller skate. Perhaps you used to make collages; gather up the supplies you need and start creating.

You may also decide to spend some time contemplating the sober lifestyle you have chosen. It can be beneficial to think about why you wanted to embrace a sober lifestyle and all the benefits that come with it. Think about the positive changes you’ve made in your life and the changes still to come.

Valentine’s Day can be whatever you want it to be. With a little planning, you can avoid the triggers and have a great day, either alone or with friends.

If you are single, Valentine’s Day can be a trigger. Happy couples are everywhere and many of them are celebrating with alcohol. With a little planning, though, you can avoid the triggers and celebrate the day in a way that makes you happy. At Enlightened Solutions, we will help you develop the life skills you need to avoid triggers and prevent relapse. Enlightened Solutions is a drug and alcohol treatment center licensed to treat co-occurring disorders. We offer a range of treatment options tailored to the needs of each client. Our focus is on healing the whole person, not just treating the addiction. Our services include talk therapy, both one-on-one and in a group setting, rooted in the 12-Step traditions. We offer a variety of holistic treatment modalities, including art and music therapy, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic care, sound therapy, Family Constellation Therapy, and equine therapy. If you or someone close to you is ready to seek treatment for an addiction, call us at (833) 801-5483.


New Year

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution to Quit Drinking

Maybe you have been concerned about your drinking for some time. Maybe you worry that you drink too much or that you drink too often. Maybe you have had an experience that frightened you, like waking up in the morning and realizing that you don’t remember the night before. Whatever your reasons, you have decided to quit drinking for good. Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions, but very few resolutions last until February. Some people do keep their resolutions, but how?  By using some or all of the tips listed below, you will be able to keep your resolution and begin your new life alcohol-free.

Put It in Writing

Write it down. Write down that you are not going to drink alcohol anymore. Think about your “why.” Why did you decide to stop drinking? Was it to lose weight? Do you want to improve your health? Do you want to live a longer and healthier life? Do you want to have more energy to play with your children? Do you want to save money? Whatever your “why,” write it down and visualize your alcohol-free life.

Think About Why You Drink

Spend some time thinking about why you drink. Maybe spend some time writing in a journal to identify the reason or reasons that you drink. Do you drink when you’re bored? Do you drink to have fun with your friends? Are you using alcohol to cope with stress? Are you using alcohol as a way to avoid painful emotions? Many people find it useful to spend some time in therapy when they stop drinking to think about why they are drinking and to address the reasons that are behind the behavior.

Don’t Go It Alone

You don’t have to give up drinking on your own. Tell close friends and family members, at least those who you know will be supportive. You may be surprised at how much support you receive. You may find that someone close to you wants to stop drinking as well and, if that is the case, you can encourage each other on your journeys. Also, many people find it helpful to join a support group, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery. Both organizations have meetings, free of charge, all over the world.

Learn New Coping Mechanisms

Many people drink as a way of coping with stress or painful life experiences and situations. Alcohol does make you feel better, but it’s only temporary. Many people report that the day after drinking they suffer from “hangxiety”--feeling more anxious after drinking than they did before. Finding new coping mechanisms can help. Meditation and prayer can help to reduce stress, as well as exercise. Exercising 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week can have a wonderful effect on your stress level as well as your blood pressure, your cardiovascular health, and your respiratory system. Some people report that writing in a journal helps to reduce stress and helps them identify solutions to problems that they are facing.

Find Ways to Stay Busy

When you stop drinking, you may find yourself wondering what to do during the time that you used to drink, and it’s important to stay busy. If you used to go to Happy Hour before you went home from work, you may find that that is a great time to attend a meeting of the support group you joined. You may find that going for a nice, long run relaxes you more than a drink ever did.

Decide How You Will Handle Social Situations That Include Alcohol

Although you may decide to avoid social situations that include alcohol, there may be an event that you just can’t get out of--perhaps a work function, a family wedding, or a close friend’s birthday party. Think about what you will say when someone offers you a drink if you feel that you need to say anything beyond “no, thank you.”  “I have an early meeting,” “I have an early flight tomorrow,” or “I’m training for a marathon and my coach doesn’t want me to drink” are all perfectly acceptable. Remember, however, that you don’t owe anyone any explanations.

Think About Treatment

Depending on how much you’ve been drinking and for how long, you may want to go through a treatment program. Many programs begin with a medically supervised detox, which is the safest and most comfortable way to get the alcohol out of your system. In addition, in a treatment program, you will be able to focus your attention on learning the new skills that will get you started on your alcohol-free journey.

If you are ready to say goodbye to alcohol, the staff at Enlightened Solutions are ready to walk with you as you begin your journey of recovery. We are licensed to treat co-occurring mental health disorders that frequently accompany alcohol use disorder, such as anxiety and depression. We offer a range of treatment options, which are tailored to meet the needs of each individual who comes through our doors. The services we offer include traditional talk therapy, both one-on-one and in a group setting, anchored in the 12-Step philosophy. We also offer a number of holistic therapeutic modalities including art and music therapy, yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, equine therapy, and horticultural therapy. At Enlightened Solutions, located in New Jersey, our goal is to treat the whole person, not just the addiction. If you are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse and ready to be free, please call us at (833) 801-5483.


Drinking Coffee

January: A Time for New Beginnings

It’s January, the first month of the year. The longest night of the year is behind us and the days are very gradually beginning to get longer. Many people think about making new beginnings or changes in January. It’s a great time to make changes because so many people are making resolutions that would be beneficial to them or to stop doing something harmful. If you have thoughts about not drinking anymore, January is a great time to quit. If you have been sober but have relapsed, January is the perfect time to recommit to sobriety.

A Great Time to Quit

If you decide to quit drinking for good during January, you will have lots of company. January is traditionally a time for new beginnings, for people to evaluate what’s working in their lives and what isn’t working. For many people, what isn’t working is drinking alcohol, so they decide to quit permanently. Other people take a month-long break from alcohol, participating in what’s known as “Dry January.” Dry January began in 2013 in the United Kingdom as part of a campaign to raise money for alcohol abuse and treatment and has since blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon. While participating in Dry January is not in and of itself a treatment for alcohol use disorder, it can be easier to give up drinking because lots of other people won’t be drinking either. Alcohol consumption is very prevalent in our society and Dry January has helped normalize sobriety and remove some of the stigma associated with not drinking.

A Great Time to Quit Again

For some people who have previously given up alcohol and then begun to drink again, January can serve as an impetus for them to recommit to sobriety and either seek treatment again or start attending a support group. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60 percent of people who have stopped drinking alcohol or using drugs end up relapsing. Relapsing after an attempt to stop drinking or using drugs is not a failure, but because of the “chronic nature of addiction…[that] can be part of the process...Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors, and relapse doesn’t mean treatment has failed.” What relapse does mean is that it is time to consider treatment again and going back to a support group if you have stopped.

Tips to Make Your Decision to Quit Drinking Stick

Deciding to quit drinking is a huge first step on your path. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your decision. 

  • You don’t have to go it alone. Let friends and family members who will be supportive know what you have decided. You may be surprised by how much encouragement you receive. You may want to seek more structured support like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery. Both have meetings around the world that are free and you will find yourself surrounded by other people who have made or are making the same decision you are.
  • Spend some time thinking about why you drink. Are you bored? Lonely? Did you recently suffer a loss and you are drinking to dull the pain? Many people use alcohol as a coping mechanism, but there are healthier coping alternatives available to you. You may want to start therapy.
  • Think about what you will say in social situations when someone offers you a drink. You could say that you have an early flight to catch, an important meeting that you need to be ready for, or a heavy-duty workout scheduled for the next morning. Or you could just smile and say, “No, thank you.” You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
  • Find something else that you like to drink. You may find that you love sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice and a lime twist or that fixing a cup of tea when you get home from work can replace your former evening cocktail.
  • Find something else to do during the time that you used to drink. Maybe you have decided to attend AA meetings and you find that there is a great meeting that happens at happy hour. Or you may find that you love to go for a nice long run right after work.
  • You may want to make giving up alcohol part of a larger commitment to your health. Make it a priority to eat healthy, nutritious food. Cook more of your meals at home. You can control the nutrition and calories and you will save a lot of money. Make sure that you are getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Also, this is a perfect time to start an exercise program.

You have decided to quit drinking--congratulations! The benefits of not drinking are numerous, lots of people will join you on your journey, and January is a wonderful time to start something new that will benefit you. January is a great time to quit drinking, but the best time to stop drinking is whenever you realize that there is a problem.

If you have decided that it is time to give up alcohol--whether it’s January or July-- we at Enlightened Solutions would be honored to help you on your journey of recovery. Treatment begins with a thorough assessment of your unique situation, enabling us to design an individualized plan for you. The program we offer is for the whole person, not just his or her addiction. We are licensed to treat co-occurring disorders that often accompany addiction, including major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder. Our program is rooted in the 12-Step philosophy and combines traditional talk therapy with a variety of holistic treatment modalities. Alternative therapies that we offer include family constellation therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, yoga, meditation, sound healing, art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, and horticultural therapy. We are located in New Jersey, near the southern shore. For help in overcoming your addiction, please call us at (833) 801-5483.


guitar

The Positive Aspects of Stopping Drinking

Whether you give up drinking for a week, a month, or forever, you will notice tremendous benefits in many areas of your life.

Many people “dry out” in January, and some people decide to make it a permanent choice based on how much better they feel sober. If you have been drinking heavily for an extended period of time, going “cold turkey” can be dangerous and potentially fatal. Consult with your doctor, who may recommend that you quit drinking with medical supervision.

While giving up alcohol can be challenging, many people who do stop drinking find that what they gain in time, money, and health make it very worthwhile. 

Your Wallet and Calendar Will Thank You

It’s no secret that alcohol is expensive, especially if you drink in bars and restaurants. Alcohol has a high mark-up; when you order a $9 glass of wine at a bar or restaurant, you could probably buy the entire bottle at a store for $12. If you are in the habit of stopping in for a drink on your way home from work for two glasses of wine, at $9 per glass, you would spend $90 a week on your wine, not including tax and tip. Add to that you may want to have an appetizer with that wine, which adds to your bill. If you are drinking, you may wisely decide to leave your car in the parking lot and take a Lyft or Uber home, which is an additional cost. And if you were to shop after your two glasses of wine, you may find that your judgment is slightly impaired and that you make purchases that you shouldn’t.

If you stop drinking for a month, for example, you may find that you have more time. If you cut out your Happy Hour habit, you will gain back an hour or two every day that you can use to do something else, quite possibly something that you enjoy more or that is better for you. You will also gain back the time that you spend feeling a little bit under the influence and perhaps tired. If you used to overindulge occasionally, you will now not spend that time recovering from drinking too much the night before.

Your Body Will Thank You

The physical benefits of giving up alcohol are numerous. If you stop drinking, you may find that you lose weight for several reasons. Alcohol is often referred to as “empty” calories, meaning that alcoholic beverages have calories but provide very little nutrition. A twelve-ounce serving of beer has approximately 150 calories and a glass of wine has 120 calories on average. Drinks made with fruit juice or soda typically have more calories. Some people enjoy eating when they are drinking, which adds additional calories, and the food choices that people make when drinking aren’t always the best. Additionally, your body can’t store the calories from alcohol for later. This means that the alcohol calories get used first, so your body might not get around to using the calories from the nachos you ate, never mind the excess that your body has stored as fat.

If you stop drinking you may find that you sleep better. When you are drinking, you may fall asleep easily but find that you wake up during the night. This can interrupt your REM sleep, which leaves your brain sleep deprived. REM cycles of sleep restore your brain. Alcohol can also increase your risk of having sleep apnea, which is more frequent-than-normal pauses in breathing while asleep, or shallow breathing. Sleep apnea can leave you feeling tired during the day and can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease.

Other physical benefits of not drinking include being less accident-prone, improving your digestion, strengthening your immune system, feeling more energetic, staying more hydrated, and having better-looking skin.

Your Brain Will Thank You

The mental benefits of not drinking are numerous. After you stop drinking you may find that you are thinking more clearly, that it’s easier to concentrate and focus, and that your memory improves. If you have issues with anxiety or depression you may find that those conditions improve when you give up drinking. You may also find that your relationships are better and that you feel much more “present” in your life. It may become easier for you to make genuine connections with people. 

If you are ready to embrace a life free of drugs or alcohol and the many benefits associated with a sober lifestyle, the staff at Enlightened Solutions is ready to help you. Enlightened Solutions is located on the south New Jersey shore and is a licensed co-occurring treatment center, meaning that in addition to addiction they can treat the mental health issues that often occur with substance abuse. The staff at Enlightened Solutions develops an individual treatment plan for each patient based on their needs and their goals for recovery. The programs are rooted in the 12-Step philosophy and include traditional talk therapy as well as a range of holistic treatment modalities, including family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic treatment, massage, art and music therapy, and equine therapy. If you are looking for treatment for drug or alcohol abuse call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-5483 today.


Coping with Holiday Stressors

Managing Sobriety This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving conjures up images of happy families traveling to spend the holiday together. Grandma or mom is presiding over the kitchen, fixing a glorious meal that rivals any meal seen on a magazine cover. Grandpa or dad is watching the game on television. Happy children are playing and adorable dogs are romping. Even the family cat is happy.

But what if your Thanksgiving doesn’t look like that? What if your family doesn’t get along? What if your Thanksgiving is populated by actual real humans instead of entertainers direct from filming a Thanksgiving special? 

For some, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time with family. For others, it is filled with stress, anxiety, or loneliness. If you have recently embraced a sober lifestyle, Thanksgiving can be particularly stressful.

Several aspects of Thanksgiving can be stressful and potentially triggering, especially for people newly in recovery. These stressors include traveling, staying in someone else’s house, and Thanksgiving dinner itself. With a little planning, however, Thanksgiving can be a pleasant, substance-free time.

Traveling During the Thanksgiving Holiday

If you have to fly to reach your destination, bear in mind that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days in the entire year. If you hate crowds or are afraid of flying, and you are committed to sobriety, you will face some challenges.

Since you no longer will have a drink or two to help you deal with a jam-packed airport, canceled flights, and lots of time spent waiting, you will have to resort to other, albeit healthier, coping mechanisms. Allow more time than you think you need. If the airline says to be there two hours in advance of your flight, do it. Maybe even come a little before that. The last thing you want during Thanksgiving is to be anxious about missing your flight. Bear in mind that the other travelers will possibly be anxious and short-tempered. Call upon the resources you learned in recovery, like deep breathing, to stay as relaxed as possible.

If you are afraid of flying and this is your first time flying sober, you are facing another challenge. Use deep breathing or another technique that you can do seated. This can get you through takeoff and landing, and any turbulence that you may encounter in the air. Bring a book or game to distract yourself. In addition, travel with as little luggage as possible.

Staying in Someone Else’s Home

Staying in your parents’ or a sibling’s home can be a source of stress. Even if your relationships with your family are positive, visiting your childhood home as an adult can bring back childhood memories and possibly unresolved issues. When you are a guest in someone’s home, you need to abide by their rules and be mindful of their schedule. Although it can be fun for everyone to be together under one roof, it can throw off your routine. Ask your host (your mom? dad? sister?) if they mind if you do yoga in the living room at 5 a.m., go for a run every night two hours after dinner, or find an AA meeting to attend while you are in the area.

If your family enjoys wine with dinner, a beer while watching the game, or cocktails before dinner, give some thought to how you will handle the situation. If your family already knows that you aren’t drinking, your situation is easier. If your family or some family members don’t know and they are accustomed to seeing you with a drink in your hand, you may want to have a conversation with them before you arrive. This proactive approach can minimize awkwardness and may give you and them a chance to have a real discussion about the changes you have made in your life--if that’s a discussion you want to have. In any case, bring along whatever it is you like to drink and enough to share.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day festivities may include other relatives and family friends. Not all of these guests may know that you are sober by choice. As you would before going into any social situation where alcohol may be served, spend a little time thinking of what you will say if and when someone offers you a drink. Remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation; a simple “no, thank you” should suffice. Nevertheless, there are a few strategies and techniques that can help ease any awkwardness that could arise.

  • Help in the kitchen. It’ll be difficult for anyone to offer you a drink if you are busy.
  • Keep a glass in your hand. If you already have a drink, no one will offer you one.
  • Bring a festive nonalcoholic beverage to dinner. Other people may enjoy it as well.
  • Have a few responses ready if someone asks you why you aren’t drinking: you are taking medication that doesn’t interact well with alcohol; you are training for an event and you have an early workout scheduled the next day; you’ve lost your taste for it. Or you could simply tell people that you don’t drink anymore and change the subject.

Thanksgiving and other holidays can be stressful for anyone, especially if you have recently chosen a sober lifestyle. With a little forethought and planning, however, you can go and enjoy spending time with people you love while maintaining your sobriety.

Holidays and social events can be stressful, but in the recovery treatment program at Enlightened Solutions, you will learn the life skills you need to navigate social situations confidently as you move forward in your new life, sober by choice. Enlightened Solutions, located in New Jersey’s south shore area, tailors a recovery program to meet the needs of each individual client. The focus is on healing the whole person, not just stopping the addictive behaviors. The treatment options include talk therapy, both one-on-one and in groups, and a wide range of holistic treatment modalities including acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, yoga, sound therapy, family constellation therapy, horticultural therapy, art and music therapy, and more. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction or other mental health challenge and is seeking compassionate therapy in a comfortable and soothing environment, call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-5483.


Fears of a Sober Life

Fears of a Sober Life

Not everyone enters the sober life confidently. If you have been an alcoholic or addicted to drugs for years, it may be hard for you to picture your life without it. By knowing what your fears are towards entering a sober lifestyle, you will realize those fears are only in your head and that sobriety can turn your life around for the better.

Willpower

One fear you may have is that you do not have the willpower to stop substance abuse. You are afraid that if you try recovery, you will fail. Failure is a big fear for everyone whether you abuse substances or you do not. Instead of thinking hard about what will happen if you fail, think more about what will happen if you do not try. If you do not try, your money will continue to run out, your health will decline, your relationships will continue to be torn, and you will continue to be a person that no one will recognize anymore. The worst that can happen during sobriety is that you relapse. But if you relapse, just remind yourself how normal it is and continue on with your treatment. Lean on to your sponsor, friends, and family.

Dislike For Sobriety

A second fear can be that you are afraid you will not like sobriety. You were always used to having drugs or alcohol in your hands and spending all of your free time doing drugs. Without it, you have no idea how to fill up that time and will feel like you are suffering. We tend to fear the unknown. We cannot see what our future will be like and are used to a routine. The truth is that you should instead walk into a sobriety lifestyle with a positive attitude. Do not assume that you will hate it before you have even tried it.

Being Boring

A third fear is being afraid that you will see yourself as boring as well as your friends. Drinking and drugs tend to make us think we are more fun as we have lost our inhibitions. We just do and say what instantly comes to our minds without thinking. It is called “liquid courage” as the substance gives you the courage to be outgoing. Loss of inhibition, though, is not considered a good thing as many bad things can happen to you. You can end up saying something that hurts someone’s feelings, sleeping with strangers, using up your entire savings, or end up intoxicated behind the wheel. It is never boring to be safe and healthy. You will actually be more fun to be around knowing that intoxication from substances cannot limit you. You can fully enjoy everything and people can have fun around someone who is thinking straight.

A Boring Life

A fourth fear is that no drugs or alcohol will make your life boring. Life with drugs and alcohol have made you feel sick and made your life more complicated. Without it, you have unlimited energy to do all of the things you want to do. You can do anything you want and still have fun without drugs or alcohol. You can go to a movie, a carnival, go traveling, play sports, and more that will make you smile. Think about all of the money you will have now that used to always be spent on drugs and alcohol. Now, it can be used to fund a vacation or buy presents for the people who have been there for you through this journey.

Coping Mechanisms

You started drinking or doing drugs most likely as a way of coping with trauma or problems that you did not want to face. A fifth fear is not knowing how to cope anymore without drugs or alcohol. Pain is scary to experience. But, one benefit of pain is that it is a reminder that you need to get help. Drugs and alcohol may seem to make you feel better about your inner trauma, but can actually make you feel worse. This is what causes you to abuse substances more so that the effects would be greater. Instead of relying on drugs or alcohol to help, rely on your therapist and other helpful methods that you learned in treatment. Learning healthy coping skills will teach you how to turn your sadness into happiness so you can be in good spirits around your social circle.

Losing Friends

A sixth fear is that your friends will no longer be around you when you are sober. You are scared that they used to think of you as fun when you were intoxicated and that you will have no friends left after. Your true friends will support your recovery. They will not force you to go back to old habits. If they do, these are people that you need to cut out of your life. Being sober will allow you to make lasting friendships that are real. 

Everything Will Be Different

A seventh fear is that your life will be so much different without drugs or alcohol and you are not prepared for it. Yes, your life will be different, but it will be so much better. Be excited about entering into treatment. Your life of hangovers and guilt will be over. By choosing to have a sober life, you have a better chance of having a positive and beneficial life with your loved ones.

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


The Relief Of Getting Sober

Intending Sobriety

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

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

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

 

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


10 Tips For Moving Into Sober Living After Treatment

  1. Create a routine of meetings:

    Treatment has a daily schedule to keep you occupied and moving through the day. Sober living can present a suddenly open schedule. Sitting around bored is usually a recipe for disaster in early recovery. Learning how to structure your day and create a healthy schedule can be a challenge after spending so much time in a place where that was being done for you. An easy way to create a backbone for your schedule is with recovery meetings. Until you have a job, go back to school, you have a lot of time. Spending that time in meetings will help you stay busy and help your recovery.

  2. Fill your schedule with friends and fellowship:

    Many people continue to take time off of work and school after moving into sober living. Some might get a part time job as a way to fill their time and create a bit of income. In between, fill your schedule with friends and fellowshipping. The first year of recovery is doing everything “sober”. Going to the movies, going shopping, taking road trips, having an adventure- they’re all things people do all the time. For you and your friends in recovery they are brand new experiences. Find out what living sober in recovery is all about together.

  3. Maintain healthy boundaries:

    The growing doesn’t stop with treatment. You’ll meet many more new people, start dating, and forming new relationships. As you make amends and reconnect with people from your past you rebirth old relationships. Relationships require healthy boundaries. Remember to make time to take care of you and clearly define when that time is.

  4. Stay honest with your house manager:

    Outpatient, intensive outpatient, or aftercare are all partial care programs you might continue to do when you’re in sober living. Sober living is also where people choose to live once they've completed all levels of treatment they need and start to live life again. Staying honest with your treatment team and your house manager is important. Throughout the first year to first eighteen months you will continue to experience cravings, obsessive thinking, and struggles. Just because you’re in sober living doesn’t mean you’re expected to do recovery perfectly.

  5. Continue seeing your therapist:

    If you aren’t in continuing levels of care, it is important to continue seeing your therapist or find a new therapist to see if you can’t see your treatment therapist. Ongoing therapy will help you stay connected to your recovery and work on underlying issues.

  6. Practice Self-Care:

    Your life is going to become full more quickly than you realize once you’re in sober living. Between the meetings, work, after care, therapy, and adventure, it's important to slow down and take time for yourself. Create your routine of self-care and take time to nourish your soul in the way i needs to be nourished.

Enlightened Solutions provides partial care programs for those who have completed residential inpatient and are looking to continue their treatment. Our integrative and holistic programs are designed to create transformative healing in mind, body, and spirit. For more information on sober living, treatment, and how you can recover from addiction, call 833-801-5483.


11 Changes You Experience When You Stay Sober

In the beginning it can feel as though nothing is going to change. With time, you’ll notice everything about you has changed and it's all changed for the better.

You Manage Your Thoughts And Feelings

You’re no longer ruled by your every whim and whimsy. Depression, anxiety, cravings, and more are manageable to you now because you’ve put in the work to understand your own mind. Through meditation and practicing cognitive behavioral therapy you’ve learned to detach from your thoughts and free yourself from the bondages of your mind.

You Can Give Yourself Credit

Recovery has boosted your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Today, you are aware of the good things you do and the good things about you. You can look on your life with healthy pride. More importantly, you have a lot of humility in understanding how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are today.

You Make Emotional Choices

Therapy and treatment has taught you that it isn’t about what happens to you but how you react to it. Your reactions are completely within your control. Not every day is going to be perfect and thankfully neither are you. When you set your mind to experiencing the day a certain way, you do. You decide what effects you, how much it affects you, and the way in which it does. Emotionally empowered!

You Live In The Present Moment

Anxiety over the future is fleeting and ruminating on the past doesn’t happen as often. Prayer, meditation, and mindfulness are all tools you use to help stay in the present moment- awake, alive, aware, and grateful.

You Have Quality Friends

The people around you are dedicated to something positive in their lives and constantly work to better themselves. Every now and then you find yourself in astonishment as to just how cool your friends are today and how lucky you are to have them. They’re lucky to have you, too!

You Stop To Smell The Roses

Life is full of wonder and awe for you today. You’re able to notice the little things without sweating them and take life for all that it is. After years of darkness, you live fully in the light and you wouldn’t trade it for another drink or drug.

You Have Goals

Staying sober, one day at a time is still your daily goal. Now that you've been in recovery for some time, you’re setting your sights a little higher. Going back to school, traveling, getting a job, advancing your career- you’re setting goals and crushing them.

We know there’s a better life for you waiting on the other side of addiction. Let Enlightened Solutions show you the way. Through holistic healing, clinical treatment, and creative arts, supported by 12 step philosophy, our treatment program will help you heal and change into the amazing person you are. For more information call 833-801-5483 today.