Living The Life: Beachside Sober Living

Beachside Sober Living | Transcend Recovery Community

To an outside, luxury rehabs and beachside sober living might look like resorts that “miss the mark” on what sobriety is supposed to be. They might look more like a vacation from home than serious treatment, and some resent that. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Getting sober is incredibly hard no matter where on Earth you get sober, but there are quite a few reasons why doing it in a good quality treatment facility is a much smarter move for your long-term recovery. This is not a vacation and getting started on sobriety will never be easy – but it does not have to be a painful start, either.

Sunshine, sand, sea breeze and a system dedicated to eliminating temptation and relearning level-headedness. Beachside sober living is just one of many countless options for supplementing and continuing your treatment past rehab, and there’s merit to the argument that it is the most crucial step.

 

What Is Sober Living?

Sober living first became popular when the rise of residential treatment programs revealed that the medical community was catching onto the importance of improving a patient’s environment in the hopes of defeating the addiction. More research proved that a person’s social network – the people they interact with daily – have a massive influence on not just their lives, but their addiction, helping them sway towards getting better or spiraling out of control.

Yet many residential treatment programs do not do enough to help patients stand on their own two feet out in the world in early recovery. They help a person go through withdrawal, survive the earliest recovery symptoms, and hand them the knowledge they need to better understand the disease and themselves – but the transition is still incredibly jarring.

Sober living housing traditionally offers a transition between rehab and the real world, a buffer period to help them adjust and prepare, and teach them to be with others again. Unlike most programs, sober living housing does not usually have a limit – people are encouraged to stay as long as they need to. Life in sober living environments is controlled to a degree: drugs are completely forbidden, and tenants are removed from drug temptations. Instead, they are given a long list of amenities, chores, events, and a few simple responsibilities, as preparation to adjusting to life outside of treatment.

Most sober living environments require tenants to have a job or seek out a job or continue their education while staying at the sober living facility. This, alongside a structured schedule and community-based lifestyle emphasizes how sober living facilities are built around helping tenants find their place in the community, fit in, contribute, and become productive through sobriety, anchoring their recovery in their accountability towards others, and the responsibilities they assume as they step back into their lives and into the lives of others.

 

Why The Community You Live in Matters

We’re never emotionally invulnerable. Every stressor life throws at us gets added into the mix, no matter how much we try to ignore it. And without a healthy outlet or coping mechanism, all that pressure will make you pop and go off. For people in recovery, that is never a pretty sight.

Understanding the dangers of losing it means it’s important to prioritize your mental health and happiness when trying to stay sober. And a big part of that is living in an environment that makes you happy and keeps you healthy. Perspective has a lot to do with it. You might feel miserable and alone in your apartment building, because you’ve been fearful of getting to know other tenants. Being a bit more open to the people around you might lead to interesting surprises, such as acquaintances and relationships you would have never guessed might happen.

Look around for things to do – things you enjoy. If you live in or near the city, then there’s bound to be a class you can join, a club you can sign up for, or a hobbyist meeting you’d be interested in. Live out your passions in a way that is conducive to healthy social behavior – get out there and use the things you know and care about to meet other people that share your interests.

Beyond perspective, it’s also important to cut out unnecessary and harmful elements. Your environment goes beyond just your physical environment, but your emotional one, too. You need a support system of friends and family – but if some of your friends and family do you and your recovery more harm than good, then you need to get them out of your life. Have a frank discussion with the individuals you feel pose a challenge to your sobriety, and either try to talk it out, go your separate ways, or drastically cut off communication and lead your life without them entirely.

 

Kicking Sobriety Off Right With Beachside Sober Living

The unique factor in beachside sober living is the beach – and the ocean. Beyond a pretty scenery and plus points for postcard-worthy pictures in recovery, there is a good reason to pick a beachside sober living treatment facility in a state like California – that reason is the coast.

Living near the ocean, even if briefly, has a positive effect on the body and the mind. While the ocean is a source of many human fears (from storms to tidal waves), it’s a bringer of a great deal more than just destruction. It’s a fact that living near a coast is naturally relaxing – not just because we think of vacation, but because the breeze and the tides are calming. Ocean views are incredibly therapeutic, the blue color of the sea has a natural calming power, and sea breeze in particular can soothe the mind. In a way, it’s the perfect storm.

This isn’t inconsequential to your sobriety. Early recovery can be a very stressful time, wrought with moodiness, temperamental changes, and more. Anything to help you relax and give you the perspective you need for a better, more helpful long-term outlook can go a long way, and beachside sober living is there to help you with that.

Recovery In Venice Beach, CA: Introducing Our NEW Beachside Men’s House

Stepping into Transcend Venice’s bungalow-style apartments, you might think you were stepping into an artist’s collective. Natural light soaks the main room and a slight breeze carrying the scent of the ocean wafts slowly in and out with the tide. A set of three Basqiuat-inspired skateboards hangs on the wall and a bongo drum sits next to an acoustic guitar in the corner. One suspects that the people who live here find it peaceful, that perhaps they have escaped the chaos of city life for something different in this artist’s enclave by the Pacific that is Venice Beach.

The air itself seems calmer and the sun a little warmer than further inland, back in Los Angeles proper. Mike Malone, the young, silver-haired Program Director here at the Venice Beach house, believes the location enriches sobriety, and that the pacific vibes in Venice aid in the process of creating a new and lasting harmony for people working to get and stay sober. This house, separated from the iconic beach by a decorative bamboo fence and only a few steps from the sand, is embracing the surrounding area by connecting with the Venice community in its mission.

“We’re working toward creating healthy engagement with the community around us,” Mike tells me. “The difference here is the location. It’s a healing place.” It feels as though things move at a different tempo here, and not necessarily slower. As I tour the house, I find a client sitting down at a table in the kitchen, textbooks spread out in front of him. A staff member sits on the couch writing. It’s about two o’clock in the afternoon and the large television is off.

The client explains to me that the Venice Beach house’s clients benefit from its unique location, and the access they have to the vast, eclectic assemblage of art, food, and culture that Venice offers. The experience of living right in the thumping heart of it all fosters an attitude of connection. He tells me that people here are actively engaged, they move around and in their forward motion, they find their grooves in sobriety. This makes perfect sense.

Being in recovery myself, I know how crucial it is to stay active in early sobriety, how all that empty space in the day needs to be filled with constructive, affirming undertakings. These guys are motivated to do just that. These young men are working toward creating a rhythm for themselves, in Venice Beach and in their sobriety. Mike takes me upstairs to see the rooftop deck.

The panoramic view is spectacular, the ocean appearing to come right up to my chin. A few benches and some cushioned chairs are spread out beneath a space heater, and a well-used barbecue sits on the side of the deck. Mike leans out over the horizon and points, “Some of the best surf breaks in the world are down there.”

Beyond the beach itself, there is the constant humming energy of the famous boardwalk. Muscle beach is down there, among the other landmarks.

If an actual California dream existed in some particular location, it would probably be this, right here. The sun, the beach, the skate- and surfboards, the art, and the healthy, enlightened progress that Venice Beach embodies is as close to that California ideal as anything. Transcend’s Venice Beach house seeks to be a part of that essential radical ambition toward the improvement of community through the betterment of self.

Transcend Venice offers those in recovery what Mike refers to several times throughout our conversation as, “Holistic healing.” The whole person is guided toward a new way of seeing, and subsequently, living life. The positive atmosphere in Venice Beach is one element of that grand reimagining of self that is recovery, and it looks like that approach is working.

Venice Beach View | Transcend Recovery Community

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.

I’m Sober Not Boring

 

Some men and women new to recovery from addiction believe their life loses excitement the moment they begin their journey of recovery. No booze, no fun, they might think to themselves. But the truth is that there are all sorts of exciting moments in sobriety. It’s just not the kind of excitement that rides the edge of danger. It’s no longer the kind of excitement that is one step behind getting arrested or getting a DUI. Instead, the thrill of life in recovery comes from the little things in life. The exhilaration of sobriety comes from being who are, being healthy and happy, and finally feeling good about life.

For instance, here are some of the delightful moments you might not have experienced while using drugs or drinking:

  • the joy of hearing your nieces and nephews call out your name
  • the pleasure of connecting more deeply with family and friends
  • the power of actually feeling your feelings
  • the satisfaction of finally not having to hide who you are
  • the delight in having the opportunity to start over
  • the satisfaction of enjoying your work
  • the bliss of discovering new talents and abilities you didn’t know you had
  • the gratification of living in integrity
  • the enjoyment of being proud of who you are
  • the exhilaration of being physically, emotionally, and psychologically healthy
  • the pleasure of having fun without fearing legal or social consequences
  • the happiness of having a life that is full of joyful and pleasurable moments
  • the joy of uncovering your unique contribution to the world
  • the pleasure of having meaningful and healthy relationships
  • the thrill of liking yourself

Interestingly, at Transcend Recovery Community, the average age of our residents is around 24. Many of them fall between 18 and 35 years of age. Typically, early to mid adulthood is a time of life when a person is given many opportunities to use drugs and drink. Yet, while in recovery at Transcend, our residents learn how to have fun and enjoy life without the need to turn to substances. They discover that life is fulfilling, satisfying, and enjoyable without the use of substances.

Also, Transcend encourages residents to have social interactions that are meaningful, safe, and satisfying.  We do that by providing many opportunities to have fun, such as day-long outings, longer trips, and family weekends. And for those who find fun in physical activity, we provide a gym membership to a luxury boutique gym that gives our residents access to a full boxing academy, yoga, circuit training, and traditional gym equipment. Do you want to surf? We’ve got that too. Transcend also works with certified surf instructors who provide surf lessons weekly, surfboards, and wetsuits – at no cost.

We believe strongly that having fun is an essential part of recovery and that having fun without the dangers of drinking and drug use is the only true way to enjoy life to the fullest. Sobriety doesn’t equal boredom. Just the opposite – sobriety equals excitement and the joy of finally being alive.

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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.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com,
it is stolen content without credit.
You can find us on Twitter via @TranscendSL and Facebook via Transcend Recovery Community.
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog