The Fall Equinox is behind us marking for the end of summer. This is important for a number of people around the globe, with many cultures celebrating or having feasts. A significant number of people in recovery follow the astrological calendar, drawing spiritual guidance and strength from the Zodiac. For many, this is a time of balance. As there is relatively equal day and equal night around the planet. Even if astrology is not your calling, anyone in recovery can use this time to prepare for winter—often a hard time for people in recovery. Yes, seasonal affect disorder is a real thing and can impact one’s addiction recovery.
Even you do not struggle with the cold months, it is vital that “balance” in your life be striven for. A balanced body, mind, and spirit being crucial to long-term recovery. If you have been in addiction recovery for even a short time, you’ve likely already gleaned the importance of balance. See the value of managing your daily activities, work hard to not lean one way or another with regard to any particular aspect of life.
Balance In Addiction Recovery
Addiction is many things, none of which good. Typified by chaos and disorder, both in mind and spirit. Those who seek recovery are in disharmony, in almost every sense of the word. Spiritually bankrupt. Practically unable of trusting their own mind. Conversely, addiction recovery is the exact opposite. Sure, there will be times when life throws you a curve-ball; but, problems in recovery are typically of one’s own making. And, when they arise, it is up to ourselves to put in the program work to right the ship—as they say.
The maxim, ‘progress, not perfection,’ is ever important. There isn’t a point we reach and we get to say, “I’m cured.” Recovery is a continuing process of spiritual maintenance. A process that requires everyone in recovery to take inventory (of themselves). Questions that must be asked regularly. Where can one make adjustments to ensure continued progress? Can I do more for my fellows in recovery? Am I practicing the principles of recovery, in all my affairs?
You can usually tell pretty quickly the areas of your life and program that require alterations. They can almost be felt inside, immediately after posing such questions to ourselves. If you are unsure, that’s OK. Talk to someone in your support network about it. Maybe your sponsor can share some of the things he or she does to strengthen their connection with the spirit of recovery.
Looking Up In Recovery
Tonight, might be a perfect opportunity to take an inventory of what you can do to strengthen your program. Even for those who don’t lend much credence to what the universe can tell you. The Harvest Moon will move above the horizon at 7:21 p.m. ET. The full moon landing closest to the Fall Equinox. You could use this evening to pray or meditate for guidance in recovery. Doing so may bring you some balance, which is vital to anyone’s program.
If you are still struggling with a use disorder of any kind, achieving balance through recovery is possible for you, too. At Synergy Group Services, we can show you how finding harmony is possible through working a program of recovery. Please contact us today.
Cost is among the biggest barriers to addiction treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). And while the idea of paying for addiction treatment can seem daunting, it’s a crucial part of the recovery process. Take your time, do some research and don’t be afraid to ask for help. After all, getting help for your substance use disorder is the most important investment you can make for yourself.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to paying for addiction treatment:
Inquire about a free assessment. Many rehabs offer free, confidential assessments to help you determine the kind of care that will be best for your recovery. Once you know the level of treatment you need – residential vs. outpatient vs. dual diagnosis treatment, for instance – you can figure out your budget and the necessary resources to help you cover the expenses.
Check your health insurance coverage first. If you have health insurance, you’ll need to figure out what your insurance will (and won’t) pay for when it comes to your treatment. A few questions to ask:
- Will your cover inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab or both?
- How many days of rehab are covered under your insurance plan?
- Which services are covered (detox, medication, group therapy, aftercare, etc.)?
- Do you have any deductibles that need to be met?
- What are your copays?
- Does your plan use provider networks or do you need referrals?
Another option: Reach out to the admissions department of the treatment program you’re considering and ask for their assistance in figuring out your insurance. Often, treatment providers have ways of advocating for patients and easing the stress for their clients.
Ask about financing. Many rehab centers will offer payment plans so you can give the full sum of the cost immediately and pay it off at your pace once you’re doing better and have a steady income. Sliding scale fees may also be offered for those without health insurance. This means that the cost of treatment will be calculated based on your income.
Research private resources. If you choose to turn to private sources to fund the cost of rehab, you might consider the following:
- Loans from family members, partners or close friends
- Employee assistance programs
- Personal assets, such as automobiles, boats or RVs
- Retirement accounts, IRAs or personal savings accounts
Synergy Group Services Free Assessments
Synergy Group Services offers free assessments both in person and over the phone. We perform all of our assessments with the utmost concern for client confidentiality. To schedule your free assessment, call today: 800-267-8070
Hurricanes Irma and Jose are behind us and Maria appears to be bypassing the state of Florida. With the exception of the Keys, the state was not nearly as devastated as many feared. Perhaps we can all take a moment to be thankful for that, it could have been so much worse. And we should pray for all those affected on the islands to the south. For those of you working a program of recovery, hopefully you were able to weather the storm — recovery intact?
Even though the damage was far less the expected, millions of Floridians were required to evacuate. The stress of which was palpable. As you well know, stress in recovery is to be avoided whenever possible. Hurricanes don’t usually afford such a luxury. A number of people on the journey of recovery had to ensure that everything was in order, a plan. Those of you who had one likely made it through to the other side without a drink or drug.
Unfortunately, reality dictates that not everyone did. Especially those who were in the early stages of recovery. Who were maybe short on ways to cope with the stress of a natural disaster, or the potential of it. If you relapsed recently, it is vital that you recommit yourself to the program. Please do not guilt and shame yourself further away.
Coming Back from Relapse
Almost two weeks have passed since Irma struck the Sunshine State. If you relapsed around that time, it is possible that you are still using. Ideally, you will dust yourself off and get to a meeting ASAP. Some of you probably have already. For those of you who haven’t, it is vital that you do so immediately, the longer this goes on the worse it will get. Not to mention the risk of physical dependence setting in, again. Thus, dictating the need for detox.
The aforementioned eventuality can happen quickly, especially with drugs like opioids. If you have detoxed at any point, you know it is not a delightful experience. If you feel like you are not in too deep, the fellowship is waiting for you to return. You may be thinking that your recovery peers will not welcome you back without judgment. They will. You might think that the program doesn’t work. After all you relapsed. It does work, though.
At the end of the day relapse is a part of many people’s story of recovery. Remember, recovery is about progress, not perfection. You learn from where you veered from the path and do what you can to avoid a repeat of history. Your sponsor and recovery peers will help you with this. Please do not let false pride stand in the way of returning to recovery.
Treatment Might Be Needed
Those of you who have been hitting the bottle or drugs hard for a couple weeks might need more than just returning to meetings. Treatment may be the best course of action, helping you avoid relapse again early on. At Synergy Group Services, we can help get you back on the path of recovery. Helping you determine what needs to change this time around to increase your chances of achieving long-term recovery. It’s possible.
Everyone working a program of addiction recovery knows that most things in life are out of one’s control. Try as you might to encourage things to go one way, or people to do a certain thing, the opposite often happens. The famed Serenity Prayer covers this reality quite nicely:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Life, like the weather, is hard to predict and even harder to do anything about. If it is going to rain, it’s going to rain. Those touched by addiction, especially those in recovery, know that their mental health disorder is not their fault. You tried to control it, or deny its presence, at great cost. Recovery forced you to accept that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol and that your life had become unmanageable. With that in mind, you decided to approach life in different way and asked for help. Not just of other people, of a power that was greater than yourself.
Every day, people working a program of recovery are diligent about keeping constant contact with their higher power. Make a commitment to live life, on life’s terms. Accepting that no individual runs the entire show, we are only responsible for being good to ourselves and to others. If we live life honestly, there is no need for lies and manipulation. Nor a need to blanket our emotions with something as caustic as drugs and alcohol. But, to be free from the bondage of self, recovery requires daily maintenance.
Managing Recovery During Traumatic Times
Those of us in South Florida are no strangers to conditions which are out of our hands. After all, our state falls in “Hurricane Alley.” Certain conditions make this part of the country a target of some of history’s most destructive weather phenomena. The damage caused by hurricanes is stressful enough to cause anyone to want to find some form of stress relief. A slippery slope for anyone working a program.
Right now, it is uncertain what direction Hurricane Irma will take. Although, meteorologists seem to think that the now Category 5 hurricane is barreling toward Southern Florida. In certain areas evacuation orders are highly likely. If you live in one of the areas predicted to be affected it is vital that you have plan in place. One’s recovery, being absolutely paramount, must weather the storm.
There is high likelihood of power and cellular outages. If you find yourself in need to relocate until the storm passes, please locate a place where you can attend recovery meetings. You may not be able to get hold of your sponsor or recovery peers. Now, more than ever, you will be required to rely on the fellowship itself for support. If you have a plan in place before things become overwhelming, you will have a much greater chance to avoiding problems. Remember what you have learned and utilize the recovery tools at your disposal.
Constant Contact With Your Higher Power
There may be times when you’re not around others in the program. When that occurs remember that your higher power is with you. Prayer and meditation is great way to stay grounded, and keep one’s stress at bay. At Synergy Group Services, we hope that everyone gets to a safe location and has taken steps to protect their addiction recovery. Please do not discount the importance of spiritual shelter during traumatic events.
“Drunkorexia” — a combination of “drunk” and “anorexia” — continues to be a big trend among nearly a third of college kids, both male and females. The practice refers to the behaviors of drinkers who skip meals or exercise intensely to offset calories from a heavy night of drinking, or to enhance the high from drinking. In extreme cases, the behaviors may be related to bulimia or anorexia, and the alcohol is used to make purging easier or to cope with eating anxieties.
The combination of disordered eating and binge drinking can have some serious short- and long-term physical and psychological health consequences. Drinking on an empty stomach raises a person’s blood alcohol level quickly, often at dangerous speeds. The result: higher rates of blackouts, alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related injury and violence.
Drunkorexia also has an adverse effect on hydration and the body’s ability to retain minerals and nutrients. Vitamin deficiency (especially thiamine) is one major concern because it can lead to nerve and brain damage. Because of the way women’s bodies process alcohol, young females are more susceptible to these harmful consequences than male adolescents.
Other negative effects of drunkorexia include a higher risk of:
- Short- and long-term cognitive problems, including difficulty concentrating, studying and making decisions
- Serious eating disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Unprotected sex
- Damage to the liver, stomach and heart
Alcohol Abuse and Eating Disorders
Studies reveal that individuals with eating disorders are up to five times as likely as those without eating disorders to develop substance use disorders – and it works the other way, too. Abusing alcohol or drugs also increases your chance of developing an eating disorder. At Synergy, we treat both conditions, providing clients with a personalized treatment regimen that addresses the psychological disorder and the chemical dependency simultaneously. To learn more, call today: 888-267-8070.