Recovery From Addiction Takes Time

Recovery From Addiction Takes Time_Oceanside Malibu

Lives that were cluttered with destruction and chaos, when actively using, are not necessarily quick to sort out. Oceanside Malibu Treatment Center can guide you to make demonstrable changes necessary in order to both embrace and maintain recovery. Before making outside changes, we must first go inward. Memories and feelings may be overwhelming during the detox phase of treatment. Therefore, it may be helpful to visualize reasonable expectations of what sober feelings and behaviors might begin to look like.
Addicts want what they want when they want it. A need for instant gratification defines drug addiction, so the tendency to apply the same idea to one’s recovery wouldn’t be uncommon to an addict. Though the expectation may be speedier outcomes in the process of changing people, places and/or things that addicts associate with their substance abuse, it may take some time. Oceanside Malibu’s Staff can teach you to change behavior patterns in order to maintain your recovery after treatment subsides.
Trying to maintain a pattern of positive thinking, less centered on self and perhaps more focused on what we can do for others. Allowing our feelings to flow through us, without judgement or attachment to any particular emotion that we may use to define or limit ourselves. Feelings are not facts, neither are thoughts, they come and they go. Behaviors may begin to reflect a more sober style of navigating our surroundings. Being honest and truthful in all our affairs may become the new norm, as once perhaps dishonesty or even thievery may have been the way around situations we found ourselves in.
Restlessness, irritability, and discontentedness are the enemies of recovery. When lonely, an addict may fondly or even euphorically begin to reflect upon the past. Romanticizing past drinking or using with willful disregard of thought paid to consequences suffered may eventually lead to acting upon those thoughts. Without making fundamental changes to reinforce a new sober way of life, relapse could be inevitable.
Necessary and useful changes to make in early recovery from addiction include changing the people we used to spend time with including friends who are still in active addiction and/or toxic relationships that may trigger the desire to drink or use. One may also wish to change previously frequented places or establishments where alcohol or drugs are common in order to avoid convenient opportunities to relapse. Sometimes the things one used to surround themselves with including TV programs, movies, music, or other mementos which were closely identified with previously held attitudes or belief systems should be abandoned during early recovery as well, as they may be relapse triggers.
The desire to make all these changes quickly and with the least amount of pain involved may weigh heavy on someone in early recovery. It must be acknowledged however, that all these changes may bring on feelings of loss and there may be some grieving involved. This takes time and it’s important not to become too overwhelmed or begin to feel stagnant with the lack of forward momentum one may feel.
It’s important to pace oneself, letting go of old friends, even loved ones, can be quite difficult and it will take time. It may be sad and frustrating as well, but this is a commitment to change, to moving on, to life itself. Many people relapse during this early period of change, be mindful of old behaviors and thoughts. Begin building new, healthy relationships and surround yourself with others in recovery who are committed to and have make the same positive changes in their lives as well. Be patient. Remember that a person likely seeks treatment for their addictions because they sought change, so it’s important to lovingly embrace that change.

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Anonymity In The Digital Age

Anonymity In The Digital Age_Malibu Treatment Center

Our culture increasingly has become even more digitized with technology. Our mobile phones have actually now become small portable computers. These tiny devices can quickly locate great restaurants, indicate memorable places to visit, and play our latest hit songs. Not only that, this micro circuitry takes portraits with greater clarity, brilliance, and speed than any camera from years ago.
These cameras are just not in cellular phones. They have exponentially multiplied. Moreover, they are located everywhere. These small inexpensive devices are located on street lights, garages, hallways and elevators taking consistent video of how we behave, what we say, and how we appear.
Never before in history has there been such an availability of constant real-time play back
on what people are really doing. As a result of these changes, the world has become a more transparent and vulnerable place to live. Behaviors, actions, and utterances that were once thought to be more private have the possibility of becoming personalized public nuisances.
For the addict, this new world can become increasingly difficult. Those who have been connoisseurs of denial, rationalization, and minimization are no longer able to hide. In fact, they stick out like a sore thumb. Significant others are more likely to find glaring inconsistencies in alibis from loved ones when posts show up on social media about where one spent their time on Friday night. Also, the entire world can discover charges including DUI’s, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and other mischievous behaviors quickly on the internet.
Occupationally, one’s ability to hide locations of leisure can quickly be deciphered by looking at the location finder on a cellular phone. It is more difficult to deceive. It is more challenging to manipulate. In essence, the substance abuser’s ability to change the reality of stories just plain outright does not work. Although the substance abuser may not like this new reality, there are many opportunities that can be gleaned from our advancing technologized culture.
Because anonymity has markedly eroded, we are now challenged to become more genuine, authentic, and credible. We are forced to make sure that the heart, our head, and behaviors are synchronously aligned. We are pulled to become greater people, with higher values, who strive for more noble causes.

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Genetic Determinism In Addiction

Genetic Determinism_Malibu Treatment Center

Some scientists suggest that genetic determinism is essentially the predictor of our future. They tend to lock us rather securely into our physical heritage through heredity.  So when it comes to addiction, these scientists tell us that if we have one parent who is an alcoholic or drug addict, we have a fifty percent chance of inheriting the same disease. If both our parents are addicts, we have a ninety percent chance of becoming similarly addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.
Many who accept the premise of genetic determination often try to change or delay its impact when it comes to such obvious life threatening maladies such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and COPD. They exercise, lose weight, eat healthier and pay close attention to the advice and warnings they receive from their doctors and other health specialists. Few, however, who live in the danger zone of addiction, follow the same protocol.
In fact, too many people biologically targeted by addiction even know or understand the warning signs of alcoholism or drug abuse. Instead they live blithely in denial until they begin to teeter on the edge of disaster or are already in its clutches. Even then, through some illogical mental quirks like pride, shame, ignorance and fear,many still believe they can handle things on their own and refuse to reach out for help.
Alcoholism is a threefold disease. It affects one physically, mentally and spiritually. An alcoholic is constantly walking around with a drink on his mind. It’s called a mental obsession. Then once he or she picks up a drink, a physical compulsion takes over and they can’t stop. They become powerless over booze.
One drink is too many and a thousand aren’t enough. And as they slide deeper and deeper into addiction and become willing to do almost anything for another drink, they become spiritually bankrupt. While addiction can be a disastrous family inheritance, the miracle of recovery can overcome the power of our genes and give us the greatest gift anyone could possibly receive – sobriety – and it’s offered to anyone who truly wants it.

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Finding Fulfilling Work In Recovery

Fulfilling Work In Recovery_Oceanside Malibu Treatment

Finding fulfilling work is an important part of one’s recovery. A successful career choice allows one to express passions and earn income. Working for one company for decades and then retiring with a pension, as past generations did, is history. Corporate loyalty is gone, replaced by a freelance marketplace in which everyone is always hustling for the next project or the next client. Today, when creating a career in any field, you want to find as many ways as you can to generate income.
It could be considered ‘taking care of yourself‘ by connecting with your passion in life and finding a way to monetize it, in order to be of service to yourself and others. You will want to shift your orientation to using your gifts as a contribution, so your self-marketing efforts are always about what others need. It’s likely that you will have many careers during your lifetime. members of the millennial generation can expect to have six or seven, so focus on getting to work, expressing your gifts, learning, and making friends. And be open to having a different vocation in a few years. Reinvention is the new normal. Always remember that everything you’ve done in the past will help make you better at what you’ll do next.
Set forth your goals and plan of action out of your head and into digital or written form. Start at the end — what’s your goal? Be as specific as possible, and use as few words as you can. Then note all the steps you need to take to get you where you want to go. Include a list of deliverables and a timeline. As you log your daily progress, pay attention to what resources you utilized, including networking and collaboration, and what obstacles you had to overcome.
You’ll begin to notice your behavior patterns, the things you do, or don’t do, that keep getting in the way of turning your dreams into tangible results. This might include things like overcommitting, procrastinating, feeling overwhelmed and then giving up. You probably can’t get rid of your bad habits, so learn to manage them. If you begin to recognize them when they appear, you can start to reduce their impact. If you tend to procrastinate when you have a project, instead of worrying about it and not doing anything for two weeks, maybe you can train yourself to only spend a couple of hours being worried and then get to work.
You were given unique talents. They are not to be wasted, they are to be nurtured and used to help others. Using critical thinking and journaling your progress will encourage you to avoid the frustration by replacing it with tangible results. These results include an ongoing sense of accomplishment, increased self-esteem and lifelong healthy habits. Finding work that is fulfilling and satisfying supports a positive identity in your recovery and confidence in the person you’ve become.

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Oceanside Malibu Treatment_Change

The past may have influenced where you are today, but where you want to be tomorrow is up to you. No matter when, how, or why you started using or abusing drugs, at one point it became a learned behavior. You may have learned about drugs in your own family. For some, a family member may have turned you on or used with you.

You may have tried to escape feelings or memories that brought you to a place you didn’t want to be and self-medicating became easier. Even with the innocence of having fun with friends, it still can become a bad habit that leads to addiction that could destroy your life. Most importantly, anyone can change bad habits; because anything learned can be unlearned.

While bad habits  may be hard to break, good choices are not as difficult as we sometimes make them. Imagine a dog accidently trapped in the trunk of a car. No matter how short the trip was, the dog, if given a choice, would never want to go in a car again. There would be no denial it was a bad experience; one he would not want to relive again. Yet, even if you had a bad experience or a major consequence at any time during your use, why would you ever use again?

Regardless of the consequences, staying builds tolerance. The more you tolerate, the more you use, and the longer you stay. Denial keeps you trapped. You ignore the warning signs and problems that come with continuing to engage in drug use. Ultimately, it’s too late. Many describe this as their “rock bottom.” In order to change a behavior, you must first change your attitude toward it. You must acknowledge that you have the problem and how it has impacted your life

If your perception is you are not addicted, you will continue to use in spite of the problems your using causes. Your faulty thoughts, feelings and interpretations will keep you stuck in denial. Conversely, if you hit rock bottom and are not in denial, you’ll seek help. Changing your attitude will help you change your behavior and the quality of your life. Your attitude can ultimately lead you to addiction or recovery. When you are in denial, your thoughts, feelings, perceptions and interpretations are distorted.

The longer you engage in self-defeating behaviors, the more you train your brain that your chemical use is a viable option in your life. In reality, if you are addicted, you are not choosing any options. The drug has control. You may be powerless over your chemical addiction, but you are not powerless over the choice to use or not to use. Your brain works like a computer. It stores memory and connects links together. When you continue to use, everything you do while using becomes connected and natural. Not using creates anxiety and overwhelming feelings. The brain looks for normalcy.

Chemical addiction is a disease. You may not have caused it, but you are responsible to find a way to treat it. Abstinence is the first step. You may be powerless over chemicals, but remember you are not powerless over making the choice to use or not to use. If you struggle with problems from your past, you do not have to let them have power over you in the present. Do not let anyone dictate the direction your life will move in the future. Stay sober and live a happier and healthier life.

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Loneliness & Isolation In Recovery

Loneliness In Recovery_Oceanside Malibu

People need people. That belief is universally accepted and shared by others.
It has become the gold standard. Don’t get too lonely. Nonalcoholic members
of the psychiatric profession tend to equate loneliness with boredom. If there
is any one thing that must be included in the alcoholic’s life before he can once
again become a whole man it is worthwhile activity. This may be Twelfth Step
work, vocation, avocation, or anything else. Such activity must be present in
order to fulfill his or her existence and eliminate loneliness.
We must also consider the loneliness brought about because the newcomer
lives alone. But this is easily rectified. It takes only a phone call or a visit to
an AA-oriented social club. Or, for the AA Loner, or other members, the Big
Book or a letter to an AA pen pal may suffice. Under any conditions, Loneliness
is the mother of self-pity and the ultimate end is resentment and drinking. The
rule of Thumb? Do something. Loneliness is a curse. There are few who can
live in solitude, alone and detached from fellow man. Human beings do better
when they interact with one another.
Those who are isolated and devoid of human interaction may stagnate and suffer
from emotional insecurity and self-doubt; their existence a bleak and unfulfilled
life. A lack of close friends and a dearth of broader social contact generally bring
the emotional discomfort or distress known as loneliness. It begins with an awareness
of a deficiency of relationships. This cognitive awareness plays through our brain with
an emotional soundtrack. It makes us sad. We might feel emptiness. We may be filled
with a longing for contact. We feel isolated, distanced from others and deprived. These
feelings effect our emotional well-being
Happiness thrives in groups. Churchgoers are an illustration of a gathering that may
be happier because they belong to an extended family with social interaction,
community, and shared values. Individuals who have no family may reach out and
embrace an extended community of like-minded persons, developing a strong,
fraternal unit and infrastructure. Numerous studies have shown that the healthiest,
happiest people tend to be more involved in their communities.
While there is debate on whether one causes the other is unclear, there is some
sense that having wider social connections and relationships are an important part
of being happy. Lack of emotional connection to others can produce detriments in
the ability of the individual to connect with others. Lack of interactions, human
relationships and the sense of belonging may result in depression or loneliness while
an abundance of love, friendship and community involvement allows an individual
to thrive in recovery.

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