Why Personalized Care Makes A Difference In Addiction Recovery

Personalized Care | Transcend Recovery Community

Addiction is not something solved with a prescription and a week’s rest. It is a complex physical and mental health problem, a condition that lasts for months or years and one that can only be combated through personalized care, and a specialized treatment plan that takes all valid factors into consideration.

In other words, there is no cookie-cutter treatment for addiction. Some people swear by the twelve steps, while others have no kind words to spare for them. Some people feel that medication helps, while others say that any form of medication hurts your sobriety.

The only way to approach addiction is with a mindset of finding what works, and working it, a day at a time.

Here in the United States, the addiction epidemic is a very real problem. Opioid overdoses have never been this high, and an influx of drugs from abroad and at home continues to fuel the deaths on the street. Yet even though we know that roughly 6 percent of the adult population in the US has a substance abuse problem, only a small fraction of them seek out treatment at all.

Many have preconceived notions of what works and what does not, or they feel like addiction treatment is a waste of time. Others perhaps do not want to get better yet, thinking that their addiction is a choice they make on their own terms, not realizing that it greatly affects others as well. There are dozens of reasons why, from shame to poor insurance and more. The first step to changing that is opening people’s eyes to how addiction can be treated today: through personalized care.

 

What Is Personalized Care?

Personalized care is the concept of evaluating each case not only based on the diagnosis, but every contributing factor and relevant detail, to create a treatment plan that best suits the person’s needs and circumstances, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all solution. While simple fixes are applicable for many diseases, such as the common cold or bronchitis, something more serious requires a more comprehensive approach. In medicine, personalized care is about as comprehensive as it gets.

Some doctors fail to understand how important this is when dealing with certain conditions. Addiction is one that is often overlooked – the potential to improve patient recovery with a personalized approach over a generic one is massive, although it does take more time to come to a good conclusion on how to approach the treatment.

 

Personalized Care In Addiction Treatment

Several factors can affect how your care is determined. For one, it depends on where you live, what you can afford, and what you can afford to do. Treatment comes in various degrees of commitment – inpatient treatment involves living at a treatment facility for a time, while intensive outpatient care allows you to continue getting treated while living at home, coming over on a regular basis for therapy and other treatment methods.

Then, there is the matter of what you best respond to. Individual therapy, group therapy, art therapy, CBT, DBT and more – there are several effective psychotherapy methods and group therapy models that can help patients feel stronger in their sobriety.

 

How Sober Living Allows For Individually-Tailored Treatment

Sober living is a form of addiction recovery perfect for people who have undergone rehab and need a better introduction into the responsibilities of living among the responsible, or for people who want to jump straight into a sober living community.

Unlike rehab, a sober living community is more of a large dorm, where established rules give each tenant their own tasks, schedules, and responsibilities. Rent is paid every month, and school or work is mandatory.

The idea is to get people accustomed to feeling accountable again, while creating an environment where sober addicts from across all walks of life can come together to share stories, talk about their experiences, and find new perspectives on addiction. It is important to broaden your horizon, and there is no better way to do that than by meeting new people.

Sober living communities vary from community to community in how they handle certain things, including visits, guests, and curfew, but universal rules include mandatory drug testing, contribution, and attendance at certain group events or meetings.

Through a sober living community, you can receive personalized care and learn how to get strong and independent to grow past rehab and addiction into a new life. However, the exact road to getting there is unclear, and depends on you and how you react to the tasks and challenges presented to you in a sober living environment.

 

Addiction Recovery Is A Team Effort

Support is integral to recovery, both on a professional level and through family and friends. Therapy can only go so far, and the time will come when a person must resume living life in a normal environment. With this shift from treatment to “reality” comes the realization that recovery does not really stop. It continues, yet this time, you can look towards those you care about for personalized care and support.

Most treatment programs such as Transcend take a personalized care approach and work with the family to teach them the do’s and do nots of helping someone get through addiction. The people a patient surrounds themselves with after treatment effectively continue to be their own form of therapy, and it is important to be able to return to a supportive environment after treatment.

While it is a team effort in the sense that one person alone is not enough to beat an addiction, that does not mean you are letting others fight your battles for you. That is not possible. Ultimately, the patient must do the heavy lifting. They must stick to their schedules. Adhere to their responsibilities. Be accountable to others. They must stay strong and never cave in to the temptations and the cravings, even when things go sour and life gets hard.

The strength to do that is immense, and it is all on them. But being able to talk about it with others can help offset some of the burden and make the weight a little lighter to bear on the days it gets too heavy. And with time, that weight – the fear of relapse and addiction – will be almost entirely gone.

 

Building Brotherhood In Men’s Sober Living

Brotherhood In Recovery | Transcend Recovery Community

By: Alex Ziperovich

A men’s sober living is a home where men have the opportunity to live in a healthy, safe, and alcohol/drug free environment, usually after completing a process of detoxification and stabilization at an inpatient facility. It is essentially a step-down from residential treatment for addicts and alcoholics transitioning back into the real world. There are a plethora of different options that compete for your attention after treatment, and it is important to carefully consider every route. This vital series of steps you take to treat your addiction after undergoing inpatient treatment is known as “aftercare”. Creating an effective aftercare plan is critical for continued success, and choosing a sober living is one fundamental element of the vast majority of these plans. Remember that every single sober living is unique in its level of care, the amount of structure, and the inclusive and optional amenities provided. The unifying theme is the cultivation of a community of people committed to living clean and sober, together. Transcend’s sober living community is second to none in providing a vibrant, exciting life with a brotherhood of sober men.

A sober living provides men with a nurturing place to live and build brotherhood among other men with whom they begin to rebuild their lives in a residence where they are secure against the temptation of drugs and alcohol. Men form strong bonds with other men and journey toward their own improvement and empowerment together, supporting and learning from one another. This community support has been shown to be effective in longitudinal studies conducted that consistently show improved outcomes for addicts and alcoholics that enter into sober living situations.

 

Structure – Level of Care

Sober living residences provide varying levels of structure for their clients. This set of rules and the intensity of involvement in the planning of its residents’ daily lives is known as the “level of care”. At one end of this continuum is a residential treatment facility, which provides a higher level of supervision and structure for its clients, many of whom require continuous, uninterrupted oversight because they are at higher risk for relapse. Sober living exists on the low end of this spectrum of care, and is thought of as being one part of an effective post-treatment portfolio of treatment, in the same vein as IOP (Intensive Outpatient) and counseling services.

While no two sober livings are the same, most offer a gradual and deliberate increase in personal responsibility through a process of acquiring trust that is then proportional to a client’s level of freedom. Acquiring your independence through accountability and honesty is integral to success in sobriety. Transcend Recovery Community’s commitment to its client’s success through the application of continuous, unwavering support and healthy structure is a quality that sets Transcend apart. Ultimately, this process can serve to be profoundly liberating for those seeking to learn how to live and thrive without drugs and alcohol.

Transcend Recovery Community offers round-the-clock direction and engagement with clients, offering a high staff-to-client ratio in the hope that residents feel comfortable, safe, and cared for during their individual processes of recovery. Indeed, the ability of the client to utilize the wisdom and encouragement of Transcend’s highly experienced staff is one of the qualities that truly makes a unique, healing experience for the residents that live there.

 

Support – A Community Service

Many battling dependence on drugs and alcohol find themselves isolated and alone, often without many meaningful friendships, while relationships with family and significant others are strained from the trauma of addiction. Living in a sober community creates a chance to cultivate new, positive relationships and brotherhood with people that are going through some of the same things.

There is a real power to knowing that you are part of a brotherhood of like-minded individuals, all striving to better themselves. Your personal growth is in many ways contingent upon how you interact with, and become part of, the larger communities in your life. Sober living is one important way to build brotherhood in recovery and a network of people you can rely on when times are tough, and to support you when times are good.

You will share both your triumphs and your setbacks with the group of people that live in your sober living, and many of these people will become important to you, as friends and confidantes and allies in your sobriety. As you grow and mature in your recovery, you will find that these people are some of your greatest assets. Indeed, if addiction and alcoholism have driven you into alienation and seclusion, sober living is a way back into a supportive community, where you can find brotherhood and will be included and cared about.

 

Comfort – A Lifestyle Choice

Different sober living’s offers certain comforts and niceties, and these will be an important part of choosing one that is right for you upon your departure from inpatient treatment. The amenities offered at a particular sober living, along with the living quarters themselves, are what determine the price.

Transcend’s recovery community, based in Los Angeles, California, New York, New York, and Houston, Texas offers an amazing lifestyle for recovery. Healthy, nutritious meals are prepared by a professional chef 5 days a week. All our spacious houses are in safe, desirable neighborhoods. All-inclusive membership to an exclusive boutique boxing gym is complimentary. Transportation to and from therapy and off-site activities around greater Los Angeles is provided. We have 24/7 on-call staff with personal experience in recovery. Yoga and acupuncture on a weekly basis, and a variety of experiential sessions such as yoga, art, surfing lessons, boxing, camping and hiking, and introduction to recovery oriented programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Refuge Recovery, Buddhist Mindfulness, and SMART Recovery.

 

Success – Men’s Sober Living

Choosing to live in a sober living is a tangible way to show yourself and the world the seriousness of your intention to stay sober. Transcend’s men’s sober living is committed to helping men (and women) create fantastic lives, as a part of a community of people dedicated to transforming their lives and the lives of those around them. We’re striving to help men learn to help themselves through a journey of self-rediscovery and brotherhood. There is no better way to begin your life anew away from narcotics and booze, and to do it comfortably and happily, surrounded by people that get it. Call the recovery specialists at Transcend today at 800-208-1211 and see how joining the Transcend family can change your life.

Recovery, Transformation, and the Search for Meaning

Recovery, Transformation, and the Search for Meaning | Transcend Recovery Community

There’s a phrase in the mental health field that says Addicts are very spiritual people; they’re just knocking on the wrong door. Instead of finding meaning in life through relationships, a fulfilling career, or through their spirituality, you might say that addicts tend to satisfy their search for meaning through drugs and alcohol. They look for some kind of answer through the highs and altered states that the use of substances bring them.

Yet, there are clearly dangers with this way of finding meaning. Addiction, self-harm, poor health, unhealthy relationships, and legal problems are examples of what can result with finding meaning, whether consciously or unconsciously, through the use of drugs and alcohol. So, what might be a better way to find meaning and satisfaction in life?

This is precisely the question that Transcend Recovery Community asks of their residents.  We invite our residents to explore their aspirations, dreams, and desires. In order to help participants of our programs find new meaning in their lives, we encourage the following:

  1. Create meaningful life goals. Transcend encourages residents to set meaningful goals. Having goals to work toward and something to look forward to can be powerful antidotes to drug addiction. It doesn’t matter what the goals are—whether they involve your career, your personal life, or your health—just that they are important to you.
  2. Stay closely connected to others in recovery. Transcend clearly recognizes that everyone in recovery has a wealth of potential. Our residents are wonderful people with incredible gifts and abilities. By creating a community of sober people, we also create the right environment for channeling the beauty within our clients. It is important to stay in the company of those who share the same life goals, who want to stay sober and who have a positive vision for their lives. Having friendships and peers around you is a reminder that you’re not going through this alone and that you have support.
  3. Stay accountable for your recovery. Transcend believes that the goals and aspirations each resident is after won’t come true unless there is someone there to hold them accountable. By assisting clients in creating a daily schedule, we provide accountability and support their dreams. Transcend also has a tier system based upon client’s accomplishment of goals and consistency towards seeking a sober and meaningful life.
  4. Find a hobby. Transcend gives you time to find an activity that challenges you. Perhaps you want to expand your creativity, explore your imagination, or try something you’ve never done but have always wanted to do – such as learning to play the guitar.
  5. Volunteer. You might not have time to volunteer while residing at one of Transcend‘s sober living homes. But any of our after-care programs will give you time to volunteer. Another way to experience meaning in life is to volunteer at organizations that create social change. You might become active in your church or faith community, or join a local book club or neighborhood running group.

These are ideas for creating new meaning in your life as you progress in your recovery. It’s important to find meaning or soon life can lack happiness and satisfaction. As the psychologist Carl Jung once said, “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.”

 

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Why Your Sober Living Home Is a Community for Recovery

Sober Living Home Is a Community for Recovery | Transcend Recovery Community

The journey of recovery is not going to be understood by everyone. Sure, you might have friends and even family members who have said they understand how hard it has been for you or that they can empathize with the challenges you’ve had. However, anyone who is not on the road to recovery themselves is not going to fully grasp what it means to be in recovery from addiction.

If you’re living at a sober living home, then there’s a good chance that you’re surrounded by men and women who are on the same trek to get sober and stay sober. There’s a good chance that they’re facing similar challenges, feeling the same emotions, and hoping for the same things. There’s a very good chance that you and others at your sober living home have a lot in common.

Thousands of years ago, human beings lived in their own sort of communities – tribes. They traveled, worked, ate, and slept in communities. They stayed together as a unit because it was necessary to do that to survive. Today, we don’t have tribes; we have families. But even those are breaking down. Children move away, parents get divorced, and families separate. Many men and women aren’t a part of a community at all. They have to seek them out in their churches, sport teams, and social clubs. And others simply isolate, pulling away from other people, perhaps believing that it’s emotionally safer to be alone. But even still, communities can be hard to find, and worse, hard to feel like you’re a part of even if you do find one. In fact, feeling lonely and feeling like you don’t belong is one of the primary reasons why people turn to drinking and drug use in the first place.

And now, here you are: in recovery and in a sober living home, a place that is inherently a community. A place where others are walking the same journey you are. And not only that, you are likely seeing each other in the kitchen or living home of your sober living home, at 12-step meetings, and support groups.

Here’s what a sober living community can do for you:

  • Restores hope.
  • Creates confidence.
  • Combats loneliness.
  • Helps improve self acceptance.
  • Strengthens commitment.
  • Boosts empowerment.
  • Creates a feeling of belonging.
  • Encourages open and honest communication.
  • Provides opportunities to help others.
  • Provides opportunities to witness success and effects of relapse in others.

People crave connection. Desiring connection with others is a natural response. Human being s are social creatures. We cannot live in isolation. Even when we are born we need the assistance of our parents to feed, nurture, and tend to all our needs in order to survive. And that doesn’t change as we get older.

If you’re craving connection with others, but not sure how to start, begin with a simple hello. When you see your roommate, ask her how her day is going. When you see someone at a 12-step meeting, compliment them on how they share at each meeting.

Your sober living home is a natural community. It is in the context of community that people heal, grow, and succeed.

 

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Recovery Can Include All Members of Your Family

Recovery Can Include All Members of Your Family | Transcend Recovery Community

Addiction is an experience that immediately separates you from everyone else. In fact, addiction even creates an inner separation – from who you really are, from what you want in life, and from your hopes and dreams. Because addiction impairs the relationship with yourself and puts a wedge between you and others, part of the healing process of recovery is involving those you love. As you heal from addiction, there’s a greater chance your relationships with others will also heal.

And it’s important to have your family around you! Just as you would want your family around you when healing from a physical illness, such as cancer or pneumonia, it’s important to involve your family when recovering from addiction. Family members can boost hope, courage, strength, and resilience. Having your family along with you as you recover can also help you feel supported and keep feelings of loneliness at bay.

In fact, Transcend feels so strongly about surrounding you with family that we’ve woven the presence of family into the recovery experience. For instance, every two months, we facilitate a family weekend, which is an opportunity to reestablish healthy communication, repair relationships, and feel supported by those you love. Transcend also recognizes that even family members will need to recover from the effects of addiction. By providing an opportunity for everyone to get together, healing can take place.

Truth is, making amends is one of the first steps to healing from a family wound, trauma, or significant life event that might have initially contributed to an addiction. And sometimes, it’s not one particular event, it’s simply a dysfunctional family environment. There might have been codependency, alcoholism, or emotional abuse in your family history. Making amends and accepting your life as it was in the past is a necessary part of recovery. And it can facilitate healing.

And that healing can happen on many levels. When relationships within a family get stronger, so do the people within that family. Here are a few healing benefits that come with a healthy and happy family unit:

  • Better communication
  • Feeling supported
  • Feelings of connection and inclusion
  • Decrease in blaming others
  • Greater appreciation among family members
  • Forgiveness
  • Increased experiences of honesty
  • Ability to heal and let go of the past
  • Ability to move on and focus on the future

To help you rebuild your family relationships, Transcend communicates with your family on a weekly basis. We even have a Family Director who can provide you with a new set of language skills to help facilitate better, more effective communication between you and your family members. Our Family Director can also provide you with support in the challenging journey of making amends and reestablishing family relationships. Later in your recovery, you may want to continue to strengthen your family relationships by inviting family members, friends, or other loved ones on regular outings together. You may want to commit to having dinner together regularly. Spending more time together can help build family relationships. If you need to, you may want to mourn together, celebrate together, or even experience forgiveness together.

Family members, friends, and other loved ones are essential for healing from addiction. Involve them in your recovery whenever you can.

 

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Recovery Returns To You All That Addiction Took Away

Transcend Recovery Community likes to ask its community members, “What do you want to do with your life?” We believe that anyone who is on the path of recovery has the potential to reach their dreams. Although addiction can steal happiness, honesty, and wholeness, recovery can bring it all back.

Here is a list of what recovery can do for you:

Community – When you’re struggling with addiction, you tend to become more and more isolated. Dishonesty, lying, and hiding tends to put a distance between you and your friends and family. Addiction will also create distance within yourself by consistently denying the fact that there is a problem. While you’re lying to your friends and family, you’re also likely lying to yourself. Yet, in recovery, those separations from yourself and others begin to disappear. You’re given the opportunity to heal your relationships, experience the benefits of community, and feel good about yourself.

Honesty – When you’re in recovery, you might be participating in support groups, therapy, and 12-step meetings. These are all opportunities to be honest with yourself and others. You finally have the chance to say what you’ve already wanted to say but perhaps couldn’t. The supportive experiences that you tend to have in recovery are meant to encourage honesty because it can lead to healing and growth.

Connection – One of the reasons people tend to use alcohol and drugs is because they desperately want connection. Perhaps they want a deeper connection with friends or family but never experienced it. And depression, which can be experienced as a lack of connection with yourself, can also drive someone to use substances. Yet, in recovery there are many opportunities to connect. And it is through connection that people feel seen, heard, and understood. It’s through interpersonal connection that healing takes place.

Support – Another reason behind substance use is feeling alone, lonely, or isolated. And feeling like you need to make it through life alone can be so scary that men and women turn to substances to feel stronger. Or they may want to escape the burden of loneliness through substances. Either way, recovery means support. Even if you have lost the relationships with your family, recovery brings the support of a sober community, professional help, and the assistance of new friends.

Joy – As you continue on your path of sobriety and as you’re having more and more connections with friends and professional staff – as well as with yourself – you might actually experience a moment of joy. You might start out with a small feeling of happiness, contentment, or the experience that life feels a bit easier. Perhaps these moments of the beginning of bringing joy back into your life.

When you’re on the path of recovery, you can start reaching for your dreams. As one Transcend graduate put it:

“After Transcend, I took a job in Boston and did very well there for almost three years. I bought a house, bought a car, and had a very solid, stable job. I design lasers and wrote a textbook for grad students in nonlinear optics. I moved to Denver to join a laser startup company in October 2015 as the CTO. I’m living downtown and enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle, and my workaholism tendencies remain successfully at bay.”

You can read more Transcend testimonials here. To make your dreams a reality, let recovery give back to you what addiction took away.

 

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The Power of a Recovery Community, Because the Opposite of Addiction Is Connection

If you’re new to a sober living home or new to a 12-step meeting, you might feel like you don’t fit in. You might feel odd or like you don’t belong. If you’re used to spending time with friends and people you’re familiar with and suddenly you’re spending large amounts of time with strangers, you might even feel intimidated and nervous. You might feel self-conscious about the things you say and what you do, wondering if your new community of people are going to accept you for who you are.

It’s common for addicts to have a low sense of self-esteem. And those patterns of low self-worth can persist into recovery. However, there are ways to feel better, feel a connection with your new community, and even feel supported by them. It’s so easy to feel uncomfortable going into a new environment, especially if the others have already formed a group of their own. Yet, although it feels odd, there are important tips to remember so that you don’t feel like the odd man out but rather the one everyone welcomes with open arms.

Check in with your own feelings and thoughts. When you’re about to go into a new support group or 12-step meeting, and especially if you’re feeling nervous, notice that some of what you’re feeling is a pattern. You probably always feel this way around new people. You might have patterns of feeling uncomfortable until you get to know someone. It’s important to know that these are simply patterns in your mind so that they don’t bring you down or interfere with making new friendships.

Get to know people before making up your mind about them. When you are feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, it’s easy to be judgmental of others as a form of self-protection. For instance, if you have an interaction with someone and the other person feels cold to you, you might think to yourself, “Well, he’s a jerk.” It’s easy to blow someone off and make up your mind about them without really knowing them. You don’t know if he was having a bad day, upset by something that was said in the meeting or just doesn’t know how to socialize very well. When you’re new to a group, give people a few chances before blowing them off.

Treat those you meet with kindness. It might sound obvious but kindness can go a long way. If you’re used to bantering, making fun of, or even arguing with friends, then kindness might feel odd to you. But as you can imagine, most people respond well to kindness, especially at the beginning of a friendship.

Volunteer your time. Whether you’re living at a sober living home or attending regular 12-step meetings, when you volunteer you show that you care. You send the message that sobriety is important to you. But not only that, you also send the message that you want to help others out too. You want to be there for your peers. Others in the group often appreciate and even admire the volunteers for putting in the extra time and effort.

These are tips for feeling more comfortable in your new sober community.

 

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Your Sober Tribe Affects Your Vibe

If you’re in recovery then you’re probably meeting new people every day. Every time you go to a 12-step meeting or attend a support group, you might run into someone you’ve never seen before but someone who shares the goals of sobriety and recovery from addiction. And if you reside at a sober living home, then you might have opportunities to interact with and form relationships all your housemates.

But not everyone you meet in sobriety will be your kind of person. Just because they are in recovery, like you, doesn’t mean that you’ll love everything about them. For that reason, it’s important to find your tribe, your network of people that you resonate with. It’s necessary to find the type of crowd that speaks your language and with whom you have more than just sobriety in common.

For instance, you might be an artist. Perhaps you want to connect with other artists and uncover how being creative can support and perhaps jeopardize your sobriety. For so many artists, getting into a creative spirit meant having a drink or getting high. On the other hand, creativity might be healing and spiritually nourishing in recovery. Having a circle of artists around you who are also focused on recovery can be supportive.

Or perhaps you’re lesbian or gay. Over the years, many resources have been created for the sober LGBTQ community. But it wasn’t always that way. In 1969, The AT Center began after 6 gay men met for an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting and decided to call themselves “Alcoholics Together”. Membership quickly grew through the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, throughout Southern California and even in cities far away such as Boston and New York, the acronym “AT” became synonymous with gay AA. Today, the gay Los Angeles sober living community now knows The AT Center as a significant place for refuge.

Another growing community within sober living groups is one that is focused on wellness. Many recovering addicts place emphasis on yoga, meditation, acupuncture and other holistic practices in their recovery. In fact, some would say that their recovery wouldn’t be what it is without these practices.

And along the same lines, many men and women in recovery rely heavily on their spirituality. They may find their support for sobriety through their church by attending church-related 12-step meetings or bible studies for recovering addicts. They may resonate highly with the emphasis on spirituality in each of the 12-steps.

Community is an essential component to recovery for many men and women. It’s the primary reason behind the recommendation to attend 90 AA meetings in 90 days for new recovering addicts. Men and women find support in the personal stories that reflect obstacles and challenges faced by many in the group. And those stories are strengthened and may have more meaning when there’s a shared worldview or common interests.

If you’re new to recovery, don’t just look to spend time with those who are sober, but find your own unique tribe within the sober living community.

 

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How to Get the Support You Need in Recovery from Addiction

Having a solid support system in addiction recovery is extremely important. And there is a wide range of support in recovery, many of which are free of charge. Despite this, there are many recovering addicts who simply do not get the help they need. There may be many reasons for this, including financial obstacles, stigma from friends or family, self-judgment, or fear. But the support is out there. And it’s available when anyone is ready and willing.

Certainly, recovery is not an easy journey, but those who have done it are thrilled and grateful they did. Recovery might be compared to climbing a mountain. Along the way there may be challenges, dangers, and setbacks, but once you reach the top, you feel fulfilled and joyful and experience a sense of accomplishment. For most people, the journey of sobriety is well worth the challenges.

But you will have to overcome the inner obstacles that stand in your way. For instance, here are steps for overcoming fear, stigma, and self-judgment:

Acknowledge what you’re feeling. Sometimes, you might not even know what it is exactly that’s keeping you from getting the help you need. Whether you’re in recovery or not, you might simply be resisting change but not sure why. If you take a few minutes out of your day and tune into your feelings, you might be able to identify what’s going on inside. You may be able to pinpoint whether it’s fear or judgment or stigma.

Take action despite your feelings. Nelson Mandela once said: The brave man is not he who feels afraid, but he who conquers that fear. However, you probably won’t be able to take action before identifying what you’re feeling first. If you can identify what’s holding you back then you can make a conscious decision to call for help, attend the 12-step meeting, or talk to your sponsor.

Join a sober community. Even if the only thing you did was become part of a community of others who were working toward health and sobriety, that alone will be a significant step. You might meet others who are also afraid or also concerned about losing their old life. Your feelings and fears will be validated, but your hopes and dreams will also be validated. In other words, you’ll see that there are others who are afraid but who are working toward their sobriety goals nonetheless. A sober community will inspire hope, courage, and emotional well-being.

Talk to someone. Another step to take, especially if you’re feeling afraid about doing anything else, is to talk to someone you trust. And this doesn’t even have to be a therapist or drug counselor. Simply talking to a friend, relative, or your spouse can help get your feelings out. And as a result you might feel more clear-minded.

As mentioned above, the help is out there. There are all sorts of online communities, 12-step meetings, and support groups that anyone can attend, and most of them are free. Yet, sometimes when it comes to changing your life, you may need to overcome those inner obstacles to get the help you need. The above suggestions are tips to help you do that.

 

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When the Whole Community Shares a Vision, Everyone Wins

One of the greatest qualities of communities is that they have something in common. They share a goal, a vision, or an endeavor. A group of people who come together are not necessarily a community. What makes them a community is when they have something in common, something they commune with, which unites them. An online dictionary defines community as “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common”.  For instance, in New York City, there are many ethnic  communities, such as Little Italy or Little Brazil. What makes these parts of the city unique is that they inhabit a group of people who share the same culture. The people in these communities immediately have a bond because of their ethnic background.

The same is true in recovery. There can be an immediate bond because of the shared goal of sobriety. There is an immediate understanding of one another. Everyone is struggling with or has struggled with the endeavor of getting sober and staying sober. Everyone is making an effort toward changing their lives. Because of the shared vision of living a healthy and sober life, simply being in the community helps to strengthen one’s own personal vision.

Another benefit of having a shared vision is that everyone has someone to rely on. Individuals in the group eventually find their unique roles, working toward supporting the benefit of the whole. For instance, within a sober community there might be:

Leaders: These are those who might say hello to newcomers, volunteer to set up 12-step meetings, become sponsors, and take responsibility for the health of the group.

Sponsors: These are those individuals who know the difficulty of the process and who might volunteer to support others through the 12-step process, or another type of recovery model.

Spokespeople: These are the individuals who know the importance of sharing their own story both to heal themselves and to help the healing of others. They might visit recovery centers, speak at 12-step meetings, or facilitate support groups.

Gatherers: These are people who may not necessarily play a role in a recovery community but gain so much out of it that they often invite others. They see the benefits of community that they feel inspired to share those benefits with others.

Attendees: Newcomers may not play any role at all. But they may simply be a part of a community and that alone is significant. It is significant for their own recovery but also for the recovery of others. Simply being a part of a recovery community supports the health and wellbeing of everyone involved.

Regardless of the role you play in your recovery community, you matter. The community exists because of the people involved and the vision you share. And simply by being a part of the community, you gain from it. You gain the support, courage, and hope that sober communities offer to each of its members.

 

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