Think of your recovery like surfing a giant wave. As long as you’re concentrating on surfing that wave, (aka working on your recovery – going to meetings, talking to your sponsor, working your steps, staying in touch with your higher power), you’re balanced on your board, experiencing joy, and surfing the ultimate wave. But then your concentration breaks. You stop focusing on the wave and start paying attention to distractions around you. Maybe you start thinking about your romantic relationship, or how it’s going at work, or how you’re going to pay that next bill that’s due, or how that person you met last night perceived you, or some dumb joke you made that no one laughed at. It doesn’t matter what the distraction is, because as long as that distraction becomes more important than that wave you’re […]
Those of us in recovery from addiction know that, sometimes, relapses happen. Relapse can strike anyone in recovery. Anyone. From the newcomer with 30 days sober, to people who haven’t had a drink or drug in years, no one is exempt from the dangers of relapse. Of course when it comes to avoiding relapse, vigilance helps. Going to meetings on a regular basis, participating in a recovery program of any kind, having a sponsor or recovery coach, and keeping in good emotional, physical, and spiritual health are all great ways of keeping relapse at bay. But the truth is, even those of us who maintain our spiritual and emotional health to the best of our abilities sometimes relapse. In the words of my first sponsor, “hey, shit happens.”
Relapsing after a long (or short) […]
When I first started going to recovery meetings, I didn’t trust anyone. Not even myself. And even though I didn’t understand why, I was especially intimidated by women. As a woman in recovery, I kept hearing that I should trust women, stick with the women, ask other women for help, but it just didn’t feel right to me. Women scared me, I thought they would manipulate me, judge me, compete with me because I felt like that was what they had always done. Of course I know now that a lot of my insecurity about trusting women was my own unhealthy defense mechanism.
During active addiction, I surrounded myself with the opposite sex, hoping to avoid judgement and seek validation. Seeking external validation from the opposite sex isn’t healthy, and my own unhealthy mind […]
There’s no denying it, New York City is a party town. Packed with thousands of bars, nightclubs, speakeasies, cocktail lounges, irish pubs, sake bars, underground clubs, and more, there’s no shortage of places to get a drink in the City. Manhattan has a well-earned reputation as a place where it’s easy to have fun. For many, this reputation makes NYC a destination to live the ultimate work hard/play hard lifestyle. But for those seeking sobriety in the City That Never Sleeps, NYC’s reputation as a party town can leave people in recovery feeling like the only way to get sober and stay sober is to leave the city altogether.
Luckily, you don’t have to leave New York to leave alcohol and drugs in the past. Sure, it’s easy to find a drink in NYC, […]
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and in early recovery, that child is us. A newly recovering alcoholic or addict is often compared to a newborn baby. Helpless, needy, and emotionally uncontrollable, and in need of help. People in early recovery need support and guidance from people with recovery experience – either trained addiction and recovery professionals, or people with personal experience with addiction and recovery, or preferably both. Without support, the chances of a full recovery are dramatically decreased.
Working with other addicts and alcoholics is a core tenet of several recovery programs. Even without any “program” in place, in order for a recovery attempt to be successful family and friend circles need to be dynamite – not naysayers, dependents, or enablers. We can find this support in many […]
Many people assume that addiction ends the moment we stop using alcohol and drugs, but addiction isn’t just a physical ailment. Addiction is a compulsive behavioral pattern that often continues into sobriety, beyond the use of alcohol and drugs. Normal behaviors that seem harmless at first can spiral out of control, rapidly becoming compulsions that are as harmful as addiction to alcohol and drugs.
As addicts in recovery, our addiction can manifest in a variety of ways, compelling us to act out on addictive behaviors, sometimes without realizing it. There are many recovery fellowships that deal specifically with non-substance-based compulsive behaviors, such as Gamblers Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Co-dependents Anonymous, and more. Just because an addiction or compulsion doesn’t involve alcohol or drugs doesn’t mean it’s harmless.