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Category: Drugs and Alcohol

Recovery Reads!

Recovery Reads!

 

Russell Brand is a bit of a braggart, a talented comedian and an outspoken figure on the topic of recovery from addiction. With 14 years of sobriety and a real knack for storytelling, Russell’s new book is a spellbinding read with some legit nuggets of truth about getting and staying sober.

For more enticing description of Brand and his new book, check out this glowing review from the NYTimes.

Happy reading sober people!

 

When the days get short, it’s time to get moving

When the days get short, it’s time to get moving

Happy Fall Sober People!

Whether you welcome fall or mourn the end of summer this time of year can be tough. Shorter days, less sunshine and more time spent indoors can reduce energy levels and negatively impact mood. Which is what makes this the perfect time to recommit to a healthy activity routine. This isn’t about a beach body or losing weight: this is about committing to move your body a little every day because it’s really good for your mental health, your daily living and your recovery. Think of it as pumpkin spice for the soul.

Exercise and Sobriety

It’s scientific. One recent study on mental health and exercise found that regular, moderate-intensity exercise helped reduce cravings, improved overall mood and could serve as a useful coping strategy. There is also a strong correlation between the behavior modification recommended for people in early sobriety and the physical and mental changes that happen with regular exercises. In other words: exercise can change a person’s metabolism, fight stress and prime the mind for more learning.

Killing Time, Sleeping Soundly

Regular, moderate-to-high intensity workouts also have a documented impact on sleep. Studies have shown 15-30 minutes of exercise daily helps regulate natural processes in the body, including the production on melatonin. Exercise is also a great way to fill time — which people new in sobriety often find they have a lot of!

Where to Start

There is always the gym. Whether you have a membership collecting dust or have never joined a gym in your entire life: these can be social places where you’ll find many options for group classes or a variety of machines to try. We recommend starting with a gym that is located somewhere close to work or home and provides a comfortable atmosphere. There are some big chains to choose from and there are also smaller, more boutique gyms that provide one-on-one training and a much smaller, intimate workout space.

Online Workouts

You name it, there’s a workout for it. Want to pretend you’re a ballerina? Try Barre. Want a little of the flow of yoga+ the strength training of pilates? Piyo has got you covered. Want a little of everything? There are multiple providers such as DailyBurn that feature lots of programs for a monthly subscription.

There’s an App for That

There are a lot of great workout apps that you can have with you at all times. From virtual running coaches for those looking to tackle a marathon in the spring to those looking to get in a little yoga every day — there’s a lot to choose from. This can be ideal as sometimes you just need to shut the door and punch up a 14 minute “Yoga for Relaxation” routine.

Just remember as the days grow shorter and the couch/Netflix beckons that your body and mind need to be extra-nurtured.

 

 

 

Calling all sober job seekers!

Calling all sober job seekers!

Join us Saturday, September 16th @ Serenity Lane West 11th Intensive Outpatient Office, 4211 West 11th, Eugene for a Serenity Lane Alumni resume building and job seeker skills workshop. 9:00am-Noon

To Register call Layne Frambes 541-733-6698 or Email: lframbes@serenitylane.org 

The workshop will be led by Heather McBride whose business, Inclarity 360 helps job seekers with everything from resume writing to interview techniques.

  • Fee is $10.00 per person.
  • We have 20 spaces for this class available so sign up ahead of time to reserve your place!
  • SL will provide breakfast rolls& coffee
  • Family Members are welcome but need to pay the class fee

The class will cover the following:
1. Principles of resume writing
2. Reviewing a model template
3. Worksheets in group breakouts with Heather.
4. Dos and Don’ts.
5. Q&A regarding alumni concerns – job gaps, job hopping,
tapping into skills, etc.
6. 1:1 reviewing their current resume and feedback or group review

Mine!

Mine!

From the series: Tidbits About Addiction and Recovery by Serenity Lane’s director of outpatient services, Nate Mart MBA, NCAC II, CADC III

I was on vacation last week and had the opportunity to spend time with my kids. It was fun, exhausting, and needless to say, I’m glad to be home. Spending more time meant I was able to witness more behaviors than usual. My daughter, who is two, kept saying things were “mine.” Everytime my son, who is four, had something in his hand, she would say “mine.” I noticed it before going on vacation but noticed it even more on this trip.

I often share about addicts and alcoholics having an intense relationship with their drug of choice. A bond so strong it takes the place of actual relationships. I find it interesting the struggle addicts have in letting go of their substances. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand it, but still, it’s an interesting phenomenon. Why would a person return to something which has been so destructive? Why would they, even after having the knowledge of recovery, return to use?

When they enter treatment and continue to have struggles, in a way they’re telling everyone their addiction is “mine,” and they alone can deal with it. Similar to what my daughter does, she insists if we just give it to her, everything will be fine. Those chemicals, no matter if we understand it or not, provide them comfort and peace. It may not be the peace you and I think of, but it’s their peace and who’s to tell them their feelings are wrong?

I talk about the powerful bond of addiction with high school students all the time. Spouses of addicts often describe this relationship similarly to having an affair. Addicts and alcoholics bond with substances for years, sometimes decades, and it’s this bond that makes it difficult to give up. Over the course of their lives, at some point, they discovered these substances worked for them. It provided them with things they couldn’t get in their natural environment. If an addict’s irrational thoughts are telling them this substance is “helping,” you can understand why it’s so difficult to give up. Again, even if we don’t get it, it’s very real for them.

My daughter doesn’t need most of the things she says are hers, just as the addict doesn’t need substances. However, at that moment, my daughter thoroughly believes it’s hers just as the user thoroughly believes drugs and alcohol are crucial for survival. And I don’t mean life or death survival, although that is the case in some instances, I mean just getting through the day, just being able to work, or function normally. The struggle comes in helping the addict realize they can survive without it, which is the same struggle I have with my daughter.

Who would’ve imagined the behavior of kids would line up so well with the behavior of addicts?

Your Kids are not Enough

Your Kids are not Enough

Tidbits About Addiction & Recovery

By 
Outpatient Director – Serenity Lane Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers

I went to treatment for the first time when I was a senior in college. It was for cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana. I didn’t want to go, nor did I have the intention of staying clean, I went because at the time it sounded like a good idea. My motivation was not getting sober and staying that way; My motivation was to make others happy. I said all the right things, made all the right moves, and then I got out. That night I smoked pot and used cocaine three days later. What a waste of everyone’s time!

The priority was not long term sobriety. I went to treatment for outside reasons. One of the most important concepts for addicts to grasp is the need for sobriety for themselves. Their motivation needs to be internal, meaning it comes from a place of “want,” not “have to.” My intention was to get through the 21 days and then move on. In theory, this would please everyone, right? And it did for awhile. I was getting “good jobs,” and “we’re proud of you,” from my family and girlfriend. Life was good.

When using came back into the picture, it was all over. My addict behaviors started to show; My habits resurfaced, and before you knew it, I was off and running. It happened that quick. It just shows that doing things for other people, even when they’re not forcing you to, doesn’t help much. Addiction especially is such a personal journey, that motivation needs to come from the inside.

Over and over I hear people saying they want sobriety for their family, for their employer, for their kids, etc.. And then I see them back in treatment a few months later. When you say those things, it sounds good to everyone, but actions trump all words. You can tell people you’re getting sober for this or that, but your actions tell a different story. If your family, kids, and job meant so much, then why weren’t you getting sober sooner? Why the continued use and destruction that followed?

When I bring this up to patients, they look at me puzzled because I’m not challenging the importance of their family, but I’m bringing to light the power of their disease. You can’t say you’re committed to recovery and then not do what is recommended by the treatment center. You can’t tell me your family is important and then spend all night at the bar. Your words and behaviors don’t match.

The cool thing about recovery, and it’s different for everyone, is you start acting upon your words. You start becoming a trustworthy person, and that feels good. I hear clients talk about the joy it gives them telling a loved one they’re going to do something or be somewhere, and they follow through. For addicts and alcoholics, who’ve spent considerable amounts of time lying, delivering on their words is enormous.

The family is important, no doubt, but If I relapse tomorrow, it’s a matter of when, not if, that they become less important. Drugs and alcohol slowly (sometimes quickly) start creeping up the list of priorities and family won’t matter as much. Think about that. How dominant is a disease when it takes the individual away from all they hold dear, from kids, from family, from living normally? It’s powerful.

There are many different reasons to get sober, and getting sober is hard. But please, don’t tell me you want to get sober for them. I cringe when I hear that. When I hear someone say they’re getting clean for themselves, it makes me smile.

Things outside the person are not enough. Long term sobriety starts with the realization that recovery is for them alone. Everyone else just benefits from it.

Read more articles from Nate.

TGIF Sober People

TGIF Sober People

 

Fridays can be tough in early sobriety. For many, some of the best weekend activities involved drinking. Here’s a little pep talk and some tips to get you psyched for your sober weekend:

  1. You know what’s awesome? Waking up sober on a Saturday or Sunday morning. You can linger in bed but not because you’re afraid you might vomit if you get up too quickly. And your wallet? Right where you left it when you came home last night which you totally remember! So treat yourself to some coffee in bed. Or maybe grab some breakfast with a friend. Whatever you do – take a moment to appreciate the gentle, easy feeling of waking up without a hangover.
  2. Replace old weekend activities with new ones. Some activities, like shooting pool, clubbing or hanging out on the patio at your favorite bar will not translate well into sober life. Try some new activities! Try a yoga class, check out your neighborhood book store or go to a plant sale and try growing some herbs or flowers this spring. There are so many wonderful things to do and chances are you will find that some of these new activities fit you better than old ones.
  3. Trust that you are still you. You don’t have to give everything up. Going out dancing, listening to live music and entertaining are all still things you can totally rock when sober. Just ease in to it and ask some sober friends for help if you’re going to be going into situations where there will be alcohol around.
  4. Be a friend, say yes, keep an open mind: One way to fight the urge to isolate over free time is to say yes to unexpected invitations that come your way. Birthday party? Sure! Help someone move a couch? OKAY! Being helpful, showing up and seeing where life takes you is one of the best adventures to be had in sobriety – so try saying yes even if it means a little less Netflix and Chill time.