Negative People in Recovery

Negative People in Recovery

We all know those people who only have bad things to say. Who like to gossip about other people and seem to take delight in others’ struggles – those negative people in recovery. Or maybe you are the negative one among your group of friends and acquaintances. Just because someone has stopped abusing drugs and alcohol does not mean that they are now mentally healthy. There will always be negative people in recovery and it’s important to identify them if you want to be successful in your recovery.

Addiction and Negativity

People who abuse or have abused alcohol and other drugs often have an extremely negative mental attitude. Often times, we get caught up in the grip of addiction because of the negative experiences we have had in the past. As addiction takes root, we begin to feel a lot of shame and guilt about using drugs and alcohol thereby feeding our negative attitudes. Addicts then become trapped in a negative mindset and that way can continue to justify their drug using behaviors: by only seeing the bad things in life, they can then use these as excuses to abuse alcohol and drugs.

Dangers of Negative People to Those in Recovery

Once you get clean and sober, it is not only important to shift from being a negative person but to also identify and avoid negative people in recovery. This is because humans are social beings and therefore we have a significant impact on each other. The people you surround yourself with will definitely influence your success, or lack thereof, in sobriety.

Characteristics of Negative People in Recovery

Once you are aware of what we mean as being negative, it is important to be aware of negative people in recovery so that you can not only be successful at sobriety but also have an overall better quality of life. Now that you are clean and sober, you deserve to be happy and have a more peaceful life. Negative people in recovery can keep you from having this.

 Negative people in recovery tend to share the following characteristics:

  • They are pessimistic, in general, and especially about the future – “the glass is always half empty;” they expect bad things to happen to them
  • They don’t other people; always think others have an ulterior motive even when being extended help
  • They seem to lose friends easily; almost always have somebody in their life who they aren’t talking to
  • They blame other people for all the bad things that happen to them
  • They constantly criticize others and the world, in general
  • They tend to be passive aggressive or even openly aggressive
  • They blow things out of proportions (always have some kind of drama)
  • They enjoy hearing about other people’s misfortunes, such as when someone relapses
  • Negative people in recovery tend to be completely self-centered
  • They are easily offended yet are oblivious to the fact that they often offend or hurt other people

Resentments and Relapse

You may have heard this one quite a bit: holding on to resentments will take you back out (into active addiction). There is a lot of truth to those words of caution. It is important to let go of resentments in order to heal and be successful at sobriety. Negative people in recovery, although they may be sober for the time being, are like a ticking time bomb. They might be off the drugs and alcohol but they are emotionally unwell. They hold onto anger and resentment towards the people that they feel have wronged them. Negative people in recovery are bitter about their past experiences and are not willing to let go and forgive. They get hung up on focusing on other people’s faults and shortcomings but are unwilling to look at their own. And, even if they pass themselves off as being your friend, negative people in recovery resent the success of other people and this includes you. You need to have true and positive friends in your corner if you are serious about your success at recovery.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.mentalblox.com/

http://www.helpguide.org/

 

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Many individuals who make it into recovery will relapse at least once within the first few months. This is why in many treatment centers there is so much emphasis put on providing relapse prevention techniques to those who are new in recovery and those who have also relapsed already. Returning to addiction can mean many more years of additional suffering for the addict. And some people who relapse will never have another opportunity to quit and could even die due to their drug use. This is why focusing of relapse prevention techniques is so helpful; it literally can reduce the risk of relapse and death.

Relapse prevention techniques include any tool that an addict can use to avoid a return back into drug use and drinking. The causes of relapse are usually broken down into three categories. Relapse prevention techniques have been developed to combat all of them. The three categories of relapse usually are:

  • Emotional causes: This is when the addict usually goes back to using drugs because they can’t cope with their thoughts and emotions.
  • Developing unhealthy patterns of behavior, and this makes them more prone to relapse.
  • External situation can also increase the chance of a relapse. Perfect example of this would be an individual who has halfway house roommates that are all using drugs and drinking.

Another part of relapse prevention techniques is identifying different triggers which can be precursors for relapse. By identifying relapse triggers a person can find different coping mechanisms they can use to combat them all. Here are some examples of relapse triggers:

  • Feeling sad
  • Feeling happy
  • Looking at veins
  • Going to football games
  • Driving down certain streets
  • The car or wherever the individual used
  • Certain T.V shows and music

Recognizing also what precedes the relapse is also an important relapse prevention technique. These things are kind of behaviors, thoughts or ideas an addict would have before they relapsed and there is usually a pattern with these:

  • The individual can experience overconfidence . This can mean that they are not prepared when things get hard.
  • Life in recovery can take a bit of getting used and some people may experience periods of self-pity. This is a dangerous emotion because it can sap motivation.
  • Those people who have unrealistic expectations can become disappointed.
  • If the individual_ behaves dishonestly_, it can lead them right back to addiction.
  • Occasionally, people in recovery will experience periods of depression. This can take a lot of the satisfaction out of sobriety.
  • Those who continue other types of substance abuse will be increasing their chances of relapse.
  • Taking recovery for granted leads to complacency. This then means that the individual is no longer doing those things they need to do in order to remain sober.

Also knowing the different stages of a relapse because a relapse is not merely the use of drugs and alcohol again it is also everything leading up to, is another great relapse prevention technique. Here are the stages of a relapse:

  • During the emotional stage the individual will be struggling with recovery, but not actually thinking about a return to substance abuse. The most appropriate relapse prevention tools here would be those that can restore emotional equilibrium.
  • During the mental stage of relapse, the person is thinking about drinking or using drugs again. The urge to return to addiction can be strong. Various techniques are needed to combat this before it is too late.
  • All is not lost at the relapse stage. If the individual has the right resources, they may be able to return to the recovery path right away.

What is a Sober Companion?

What is a Sober Companion?

What is a Sober Companion, Sober Coach, or Recovery Coach?

A sober companion, sober coach, or recovery coach provides one-on-one assistance to newly recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The goal is to help the client maintain total abstinence from alcohol and drugs, and to establish healthy routines outside of a residential treatment facility. Sober coaches assist with the transition from treatment back to everyday living. The sober coach will meet the client at discharge, accompany them on their trip home, and within 24 hours, attend with them their first AA or NA meeting.

What are the Duties of a Sober Companion?

The sober companion’s duties encompass a wide variety, from ensuring that the client remains abstinent to serving as a resource broker and advocate in the client’s home community.

The primary duty of a sober companion is to ensure the recovering addict does not relapse. They may be hired to provide round the clock care, be on-call, or to accompany the recovering addict during particular activities, such as taking them to fellowship meetings at which the recovery coach encourages them to meet people and get phone numbers. They work together with the client in making their home a clean and sober environment, as well support the client in following through with their recommended discharge plan.

A sober companion also acts as an advocate for the newly recovering person and provides new ways for the client to act in their own living environment. Many companions use techniques such as chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, meditation, distraction, massage, diet and proper nutrition, exercise and even prayer and affirmation of sober choices. A sober coach either completely removes the addict from his own environment of hidden stashes, or may search for hidden drugs in their own environment, in an effort to make the living environment safe for the client and to prevent them from relapsing

How Long Does Sober Companion Services Last?

Companions are available to assist clients for as long as support is deemed necessary. Sober companion treatment usually lasts for 30 days however, oftentimes, much longer. The time required to effect a meaningful change varies greatly depending upon the client, their co-occurring disorders, and the family life at home. Ideally, a companion’s presence in the client’s life will decrease as the client’s ability to confront family, work, and legal issues without relapse is proven. Some providers stay with their clients for many months, and some offer only transportation services.

The Benefits of Having a Sober Companion

The first few days outside of the structured treatment setting are typically the most critical – and most trying for the newly recovering alcoholic/addict. This transitional period is often awkward and uncomfortable for the recovering person therefore, sober companionship and coaching offers support, encouragement, and camaraderie during this crucial time.

Other circumstances for which having a sober coach is beneficial are cases where an actor or musician will not attend treatment, but must remain abstinent to complete a film or recording project. Another circumstance might be that the newly recovering alcoholic/addict is in school and thus needs to be back in their own living environment.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org

http://www.soberescorts.com/

 

 

12 Steps to a Relapse

12 steps to a relapse

12 Steps to a Relapse   

The 12 step model for addiction recovery have long been accepted by the addiction treatment community as a way to stay clean and sober in the long term. Another commonly held idea in addiction treatment is that relapse starts long before you ever pick up a drink or a drug. These two ideas come together in the 12 steps to a relapse.

The Alcoholics Anonymous: Big Book says, “What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” (pg.85) This means that even if we have worked all 12 steps, we can still relapse if we do not maintain our spiritual condition. If we become comfortable in our recovery and “rest on our laurels” we run the risk of relapse.

Sometimes old patterns of behavior begin to come back. This is where we may start to see a relapse begin. We may start working the 12 steps in reverse. This is what is known as the 12 steps to a relapse.

It begins when we get too busy to carry the message. Maybe we have replaced recovery with work, gym or a relationship. We get overconfident. We have less contact with other recovering alcoholics and meeting attendance starts to decline. This is the first step in the 12 steps to a relapse.

Next we may stop praying or meditating. We no longer seek conscious contact with a higher power. It may be subtle at first. But over time, we no longer pray or meditate at all.

The next step in the 12 steps to a relapse is the unworking of steps 10-4.  We stop taking inventory and we stop making amends. Our character defects come back, and we are unwilling to have a higher power remove them. We lose sight of the moral inventory we once made and begin to repeat the same behavior we exhibited during addiction.

The 12 steps to a relapse continue when we take our will back. Not just a little, as we may have done in the past, but the whole thing. We start to try to run the show.  The power we once believed  could restore us to sanity is now out the window. We begin believe we can do it ourselves. We believe we now have the power, and we can manage our own lives. These are unworking steps three, two, and one in the 12 steps to a relapse. At this point, we are likely to pick up a drug or drink. We likely feel irritable, restless, and discontent. The “hole in the soul” has come back, and we seek other things to fill it.

The 12 steps to a relapse can be avoided if we are constantly moving forward and growing in our program. This is why it is especially important to have a home group and get to know the people in it. Others can sometimes recognize when we have become lacking in our program or when we have begun to work the 12 steps to a relapse. They may be able to catch it before it is too late.

Recovery Options for a Chronic Relapser

Recovery Options for a Chronic Relapser

The recovery options for a chronic relapser have to be a little different than for those who have no history of relapses what so ever. A chronic relapser struggles to stay sober. Each time they manage to get any time in recovery they end up using or drinking again. And unfortunately most addicts and alcoholics are chronic relapsers. This does not mean that chronic relapsers cannot stay sober because they can, if they are willing to pick themselves up and try again.

What is a chronic relapser?

Chronic relapsers often get caught in a kind of negative cycle or revolving door syndrome. This means they get caught in a negative pattern of going to rehab, getting sober, leaving rehab and then relapsing again. Chronic relapsers will do this for years and may even just decided that the recovery options out there for them such as rehab just don’t work. There are so many reasons that chronic relapsers get caught in a revolving door syndrome but the realities are they haven’t adequately received recovery options to prepare them for the transition into life again.

So what are the recovery options for chronic relapsers?

A recovery option for chronic relapsers that is effective is a rehab program that combines medication with therapy and counseling. Rehab programs for chronic relapsers should be inpatient and long term programs that begin with detox. A proper recovery option for chronic relapsers is a rehab program that designs the program for each individual case to suit each person’s specific needs and addresses all of their specific emotional, mental and physical issues. A recovery option for chronic relapsers is also a rehab program that offers follow-up options which is imperative for chronic relapsers staying sober in the long run.

Another recovery option for chronic relapsers is a part of drug rehab; it is known as relapse prevention. A great recovery option for chronic relapsers is for them to attend relapse prevention classes. Relapse prevention classes teach a chronic relapser all about the reasons they relapse so they can avoid it happening again. Relapse prevention classes teach how relapse is a process not a single event and is individualized to each person so they recognize their own unique triggers and relapse warning signs. This is paramount to a chronic relapser being able to avoid slipping up again. Once a chronic relapser is aware they can begin to take action to avoid using drugs or drinking again.

Aftercare is an absolute paramount recovery option for chronic relapsers. Aftercare is also a part of follow-ups with drug treatment. Aftercare offers groups, alumni meetings, coaching, and so much more depending on what the chronic relapser needs. Aftercare is way for the chronic relapser to check in with people who will keep them accountable and motivated in their recovery. One of the biggest ways to avoid relapse is to keep accountability and motivation in recovery. Aftercare offers this through the community that is also sober meeting up once a week or so.

The recovery options for chronic relapsers are specifically designed to take the addict and alcoholic out their revolving door syndrome so they never have to use or drink again. While some people say relapse is a part of recovery it does not have to be a part of recovery if the addict or alcoholic takes the right action.

Guide for when your roommate relapses (5 things you must do)

Guide for when your roommate relapses (5 things you must do)

My roommate relapsed shortly after I had moved out of a sober house and it brought up a lot of emotions for me. I was angry, sad, scared, and frustrated. I was newly sober myself, and since I was renting a room in her house, I knew I’d have to find a new place to live. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Luckily, I had a sponsor with experience in the program, and she helped me figure it out. So here is my guide for when your roommate relapses:

1. CALL YOUR SPONSOR: This is the first and most important step when your roommate relapses. Your sponsor usually has experience with situations like this or can direct you to someone else with experience. They are the best resource when making decisions and arrangements when your roommate relapses. For example, whether or not you or your roommate are on the lease, whether or not you have a signed agreement for such situations dictating what you will do if one of you relapses, or whether or not you are living in a sober living environment will dictate the next step you should take.

2. Go to a meeting: When things go wrong in my life, my go-to place is always a meeting.  It gets me out of my head, and it’s a great place to meet newcomers. My sponsor’s advice is always the same when I’m feeling angry or helpless: Go help someone else. Get out of yourself. Pray and meditate. Do what you need to do for your own sobriety so that you are able to be helpful to everyone in your life, including a roommate who has relapsed.

3. Assess the risk: If your roommate relapses, and does not want help or is too intoxicated to really listen, you may want to think about staying somewhere else until you can decide what to do. If you are newly sober, it’s usually best to put some distance between yourself and your roommate.

4. Take the next step: Often when two people in recovery live together, they will have some sort of agreement about what should be done if either one relapses. Usually, one will have to go to detox for a few days, or the one who relapses will have to find a new place to live. If you live in a sober house, you should let your house manager know.

5. Take precautions for the future: If your roommate does want help and does go to detox or halfway, make sure that you set clear ground rules if she moves back in and relapses again. Have a plan in place to protect yourself. If you end up moving out, take some precautions with your next roommate. While you can never say for sure who will stay sober and who will not, it’s best to live with someone who has worked the 12-steps and is sponsoring others.