“Come on you can have just one drink”
I hear this over and again.
Ever since I stopped drinking people don’t invite me out anymore, call me weird and just can’t understand why I don’t drink.
I want to be sober because I want to live the best possible life I can. And alcohol messes that up.
I’m like Tom Cruise. Because not drinking in today’s society is basically Mission Impossible.
The problem is that now I don’t fit in with most people, workplaces or even my own family.
Every time I’m out with other people they have questions about my sobriety or make comments about their own habits.
“You never come to happy hours.”
“I don’t drink that much.”
“I just drink on the weekends.”
Looking back that’s probably why I started Live Rehab with my partner.
We were talking the other day about this exact thing, “People aren’t going to understand are they?”
I replied, “Nope. But we have to keep on trying anyway.”
She paused, then laughed, “There has got to be other people like us right?”
When we’re looking to help people through Live Rehab we look for people who want to live the same kind of life.
Fathers who don’t want to wake up hungover anymore.
Mom’s who are sick of drinking around their kids.
Athletes who can’t risk they professional careers by drinking too much.
Hollywood celebrities that aren’t interested in traditional rehab.
Because there is nothing better than finally getting sober and living the best life possible.
The key is to know you’re in the right.
Then live it consciously.
I am a terrible runner and exerciser. For a while I did Crossfit only to injure myself halfway through the year. My feet are in terrible shape and I pay for it with every run. Pushups are the devil for me and pullups are a close second. Just this morning I was panting, wheezing and hating every single moment of my workout.
I’m telling you this because you need to hear it. Being physically active in your recovery is incredibly, incredibly important. Did I mention it was incredibly important? You need to find anyway that you can to be moving, grooving, shaking or lifting. Personally, I love the feeling of throwing heavy weights around in a gym but my partner prefers the feeling of running.
Exercise has been shown to improve the lives of people who are in recovery, battling addiction or mental health issues. Many studies report that exercise helps in rewiring the parts of the brain that reward us for those bad habits we have previously enjoyed so much. If we can rewire those parts of the brain then perhaps we have a chance at beating this.
Going back to yesterdays post on Intenional Living and Visioning, I’d include putting some time in to your visions that are specifically focused on health and exercise.
On a more personal note, I’ve decided to start including the number of days we’ve accumulated in sobriety. It’s not meant to be a badge of honour but a reminder that the journey is continuous and that confidence can be a silent threat (more on this in tomorrow’s post!). As of now, here at Live Rehab we’re 2327 days sober.
How many days has it been for you? Even if it is just 1,2 or 3 – that’s still a massive win.
To your recovery,
Be an Expert but Have an Open Approach too
When majoring in counseling, psychology, or social work, colleges and universities teach a wide variety of approaches. During the time, it can seem quite overwhelming and oftentimes students are encouraged to be an expert in one thing. This is something I do agree with however, it is also important for professionals to be well versed in multiple approaches.
Re-Evaluate Rather than Force an Approach
When treating someone who struggles with an addiction, a professional should always try an approach they are good at because if it works, there is no need to explore another approach. But, if that approach isn’t working or it becomes exhausting because the professional and client are not jiving, it’s critical to re-evaluate rather than force a set of ideologies onto to someone who is resistant.
Professionals Need to Check Their Own Feelings
In order to do this, the professional must be able to check their own feelings at the door. Far too often, professionals get offended or stressed about the fact that a certain client isn’t responding to their method of treatment. Instead, professionals need to communicate with their clients constantly and collaborate with other professionals. There must be a respect for this type of practice across the board.
Finding the Perfect Professional is Crucial to Your Success
If you have a professional who is not willing to adjust their style to fit your needs, first, try to communicate what you are feeling. If that doesn’t work then finding another professional is essential to your recovery.
Thinking back to the early days of recovery I remember a certain sense of bewilderment and shock. Now some of that was certainly due to the fact I was no longer a chronic drinker but some of it was due to how the world would treat me now. Over time I’ve come to realise that nobody really talks about these things out loud. In fact, I’ve talked to many addicts who have been through professional rehab facilities that agree with these 7 things. So, without further adieu, here are the 7 things about recovery nobody tells you.
Your body is coming back to you like a foreign object
When you first stop drinking or smoking or snorting whatever it is you are addicted to, some changes occur in your body. Now you might be thinking – duh! Obviously. But what most people don’t realise is that the body you get back has been wrecked in ways you have no way of knowing. Your body won’t fully recover for years to come and, when it does, it’s going to be a different beast altogether.
People hate/admire what they don’t have
I’ve talked about WTF moments of sobriety before but you’ve got to prepare yourself, in advance, for the avalanche of fucked up shit you’re going to have to deal with. People are going to say the weirdest things to you. I won’t go into all of them but BE PREPARED!
Yep. You’re going to have lots more free time that you used to. It’s not all going to come back to you at one time though. For every 3 minutes you spend smoking a cigarette each day multiplied by number by day! That’s the trick though – you have to think about the time as adding up in general.
New things to fill that free time
Find some new things to fill that time. If you were a smoker for instance and took smoke breaks at work, try filling it with something else. Take a quick walk around the block. Fidget with some legos at your desk. You need to be an active participant in this stage. Find a hobby. Quick.
Extra brain power
This one is a bit weird and may not apply to everyone BUT lots of people we talk to find a surge in brain power. Now, some of this comes from not being in a fog or daze from the drugs or alcohol. But to get this affect it’s going to take a while. Some people report 6-12 months before this onset occurs. Be patient.
Your balance is going to get a bit wibbly wobbly for a while. Alcohol affects the equilibrium and it’s not until 3-9 months before it comes back properly. You’re going to see weird things happen over time including potentially being way off balance.
You find yourself
Ok this one was cheesy. But nobody prepares you for the emotional changes you end up experiencing until it settles in for real. Then you get to see, experience and feel the best possible version of yourself.
So, now we ask you, our Live Rehab community, what things have you noticed that nobody warned you about in recovery?