sober

Recovery Fun With Your Friends

recoveryFinding ways to have a good time with people in recovery is difficult for many individuals. It is a particular challenge for some persons who are new to the program. Anyone in recovery will tell you that maintaining an addiction is a full-time job, acquiring one’s drug of choice used to take up a significant portion of their day. Once such people began living life in a new way, it became critical to find methods of filling their time that didn’t revolve around substance use.

To be sure, working a program takes up a good part of a person’s day. Attending meetings, working with a sponsor or mentor, reading approved literature, and practicing prayer and meditation consume a good number of the available hours in each day. However, there is another facet of recovery that is oft left unmentioned. That of fun! What’s more, the need for enjoying one’s self is an aspect of healing that the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous emphasize in the “Big Book.” A sentiment that even people working a different recovery program than A.A. can see the importance of; on page 132 of the Big Book it states:

“We absolutely insist on enjoying life …. So we think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”

Enjoying Recovery to the Fullest

For most people in recovery, having fun often involves socializing with each other before and after meetings. Coffee houses across the country have long catered to individuals who no longer drink or drug. A good number of people plan recovery retreats, go for group hikes, lay around on the beach in an attempt to enjoy their sobriety. Some even go bowling, an activity that most addicts never could’ve imagined being a part of their lives just a short time ago.

In early recovery, it’s a wise practice to stay away from wet environments, places where alcohol is likely to be on tap. However, for people whose recovery is robust and the risk of relapse less likely, there exists a desire to have some kind of nightlife. That’s not to say that they want to be in a bar; instead they would like to confab with adults not sitting at a table across from students typing their thesis.

For Elissa Emery, the daughter of an addict, the desire to create just such a space was real. Along with Sarah Wehnau, Emery opened ‘Unbreakable Nutrition’ on August 1st, CBS6Albany reports. Instead of cocktails, they serve healthy beverages reminiscent of what you might find at a bar, sans alcohol of course. The idea for a sober bar came about when Emery’s friend started working a program of recovery and two could not find anywhere to hang out that was alcohol-free.

“Trying to find a space we could both go where we both felt like this is a great place where we can go and hang out, that wasn’t like a Dunkin’ Donuts or a Starbucks, there really wasn’t anywhere,” says Emery. “We hope we’re setting the new standard to include everybody, including those in recovery.”

Addiction Treatment

Please keep in mind that while the above idea is novel and could be beneficial for some people in recovery, visiting such an establishment may present problems for people in early recovery. Even a “mocktail” can cause feelings to arise that could trigger a person. It is hard to know how you will respond to feeling like you are back in the bars again after being sober for a stint. Before attending alcohol-free bars and nightclubs, please talk it over with your support group.

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, Synergy Group Services can assist you to begin the journey of recovery. Please reach out to us today, to learn more about our holistic approach to addiction treatment.

Addiction Recovery and Paying It Forward

addictionThose who find addiction recovery have a fantastic opportunity to transform their lives literally. While active drug and alcohol dependence closes doors, seeking treatment and working a daily program gives people the ability to do just about anything with their existence. Naturally, to make one’s dreams come true, one has to maintain a program of recovery, day-in-and-day-out; one must strive for selflessness and always be on the lookout for ways they can give back and affect change in the lives of others.

In the rooms of recovery, people often say, “if you want to keep what you have you have to give it away.” The idea is relatively straightforward and is a concept that people set on long-term progress come to understand early on. After all, when someone enters treatment or begins working a program they find help from perfect strangers; men and women go out of their way to guide newcomers down a path toward healing. Why do such people offer their assistance? They are of service to others because they know it will help them stay clean and sober.

The above formula is primarily a means of paying forward that which one is freely given. Emerging from the spiritually void cave of addiction is one thing; however, if people want to remain in the sunlight of the spirit they must carry the message of recovery to those who still don’t know that there is a different way. For ultramarathon runner Charlie Engle, the need for encouraging others to seek help and embrace recovery is a significant priority. He runs himself ragged for addiction recovery.

Running Man for Recovery

Last Sunday, Charlie Engle ran continuously for 26 hours to raise awareness about addiction recovery, ABC 11 reports. Why 26 hours? Because running, Engle says was a lifesaver, the number 26 is how many years it’s been since he had a drink or drug. He hopes that his long journey will encourage others and, “show those people that are still out there struggling that there is another way.”

Engle ran one three-mile loop after another around Dix Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, not by accident; he chose the ultramarathon location due to its proximity to an addiction treatment center that Charlie supports, according to the article. Engle has two words of wisdom for people in the grips of addiction, “Get Moving!” What’s more, when it comes to raising awareness last weekend’s run may be a drop in the bucket; especially when you consider what he plans for his next event.

“I’m gonna go from the lowest place on the planet, which is the Dead Sea in Jordan, all the way to the top of Mount Everest! As a metaphor for addiction recovery, it literally is going from the lowest place to the highest! That’s my next big project.”

Addiction Treatment Works

At Synergy Group Services, we offer clients a holistic approach to addiction treatment. Unlike many rehabs around the country, our family and physician-owned residential addiction treatment center treats only five clients at a time. As a result, we can give each client the attention they require in our effort to make long-term sobriety a reality. Please contact us to learn more about Synergy’s therapeutic process.

A Recovery Minded Thanksgiving

sober-holidaysWith Thanksgiving only a week away, it is time for people in recovery to begin thinking about what their day will look like. Holidays can be quite difficult for people in recovery, especially those who are new to the program. A lot of feelings and memories can arise, which can be hard to work through. It is ever important to stay connected with one’s support network and keep to the normal routine as much as possible.

For whatever reason, people in recovery tend to look at the holidays as being somehow different than the other days of the year. Fortunately, that is not the case! The tools of recovery work 365 days a year – vacations and holidays are no exception.

It is important to remember that you are not alone, many people in recovery struggle during the holidays; but, it is possible, together, to get through the day without picking up a drink or drug. Having a list of phone numbers you can call, no matter the reason, can save one’s recovery. If you find yourself in a recovery threatening situation, pick up the phone and call your sponsor; a simple phone call can break the kind of thinking that may be leading to relapse. If for some reason your sponsor doesn’t answer, leave a message, and immediately call the next person on your recovery support list – someone will answer.

It is important to attend your “home group” during a holiday, making yourself present will help reaffirm your place in the community. People in recovery draw strength from each other, even if you are not struggling you may be able to help someone who is having hard time.

Here are several tips you can use to help you over the holiday:

  • Plan Out Your Day Ahead of Time: Having a plan laid out will minimize the chances of finding yourself in a risky situation.
  • Get To A Meeting: Over the course of the day, there are meetings happening at the top of every hour.
  • Volunteer: Recovery events are always held during the major holidays, offering to help out is a sure way to get out of your head.
  • Remember H.A.L.T (Hungry.Angry.Lonely.Tired): Be conscious of how you are feeling, if any of the aforementioned feelings arise – take action!
  • Support: Make sure to leave the house with your cell phone. If you don’t have one, carry a list of phone numbers you can call for support.

Synergy Group Services would like to wish everyone a safe and sober holiday!
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At Synergy Group Services we offer individualized treatment plans for addiction recovery.

Social Media and Addiction Recovery

soberlifeSocial media is an integral part of people’s lives, especially young people who are apt to share with the world what they are about to do, or have already done. It is quite common for young adults to share what took place over the weekend, including parties where excessive drinking took place. On the other end of the spectrum, many young people in addiction recovery use social media to connect with other active members of the community. A new study has examined when social media and recovery line up, TODAY reports.

Recovery.org conducted a study which involved Instagram and getting sober. The novel study tracked various recovery related hashtags (#s), examining over 79,000 posts from all 50 states. The researchers found some interesting results.

The top recovery hashtags in order:

  • #SoberLife
  • #Sobriety
  • #Sober
  • #SoberLiving
  • #AlcoholicsAnonymous
  • #NarcoticsAnonymous
  • #12Steps
  • #WeDoRecover
  • #RecoveringAddict

The top three states that mentioned recovery the most per capita (1:100,000) on social media:

  • Utah 144.4
  • California 70.8
  • Florida 34.3

While Utah mentioned recovery the most on Instagram, it only has the fifth most meetings of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous per capita in the U.S., according to the article. On the other hand, California had nine times as many people in rehab as Utah. The study cannot account for why people in Utah are more active online about recovery.

“In terms of science, we’re at the very beginning of it,” explained Dr. Warren Bickel, director of the Addiction Recovery Research Center at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and founder of the International Quit and Recover Registry. “One of the amazing things about the field of addiction is that we don’t rigorously study people in recovery…and we can learn a lot from them.”

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At Synergy Group Services we offer individualized treatment plans for addiction recovery.

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