Changing the Game of Shame

Oftentimes, an addiction is not well-hidden. You might be able to keep it a secret for a short time, but eventually, people will start to notice. And, especially if things get really bad, everyone will know about it.

So, once you begin to enter your recovery period, you might find yourself feeling guilty and ashamed.

This is completely normal.

It is no secret that people (drug-free) look down on those who take part in drugs. In fact, some people even report not enrolling in a mental health facility out of fear of all the social stigma that surrounds addiction.

Isn’t that sad?

There is so much social stigma surrounding addiction that rather than focusing on their own mental health, some adults would rather deal with their emotions in silence because they are so afraid of what others will think.

Types of Addiction Stigma

There are two types of stigma that surround addiction:

  1. Labels

    Remember in high school when people would be labeled a “jock” or a “prep” or even a “nerd”? Someone always has a label they place on others that they feel describes them…

    And, when it comes to labeling an addict, it is often done with something that is hurtful and something that isolates them as a drug user – making them feel like less of a person.

    Some of the common labels include “addict” or “junkie”.

  2. Assumptions

    People have a tendency to just assume that what they perceive to be the case is true, rather than having proper reasoning to believe that. They might assume:

    The addiction was the person’s choice, that the person is weak or lacks willpower, or that they had bad parenting.

    While it might not seem obvious, most people who participate in the abuse of drugs and alcohol don’t enjoy it – but it is their life and they have yet to be able to overcome it.

How does this affect those suffering?

This can leave those who are in the midst of an addiction feeling embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, and can even cause depression or anxiety.

Unfortunately, while some people might not think twice about how their actions affect others, if someone is in the midst of an addiction or even recovery, this could worsen their addiction and/or cause a relapse.

How do we change it?

Rather than labeling or assuming things about those who are in the midst of an addiction, we should be offering a helping hand.

We should encourage the enrollment and participation in positive programs that help those who are hurting.

Put yourself in their shoes just for one day and consider what you would want someone to do for you.

 

Dealing With Depression After Recovery

Have you ever just felt sad for no reason?

Or, maybe even you have a reason.

But, your body just aches, you might even cry, you feel mentally and physically exhausted. You are just sad – in every sense of the word.

Well, that might be because you are experiencing some depression.

Unfortunately, depression is often part of life. Most people experience it at one time or another…

What is depression?

By definition, depression is the feeling of severe dejection and despondency.

It negatively affects how you think, how you feel, and how you act. It is a common and serious medical illness.

And, while it is a common illness in general, it is even more common when it comes to the process of addiction recovery and even the post-recovery life.

Even if you were motivated to get sober and are enjoying it, depression can still lurk in the background. It is something you experience as you feel tempted, as your body craves what you once had, and various other emotions and experiences that go along with addiction recovery.

How do I beat depression?

Well, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just snap your fingers and suddenly not feel depressed anymore? I think we have all wished that at one point or another.

But, unfortunately, depression has to be conquered with actions and effort. It doesn’t just go away on its own. However, there are several things you can do on your own to empower yourself and help yourself heal when you are feeling down:

  1. Eat healthy.

    This is just a general rule of thumb – try to stick with a healthy diet as often as possible. Your body will appreciate the nutrients and plenty of healthy foods can naturally fight off depression.

    In addition, it will help you stay healthier – and a healthy body can combat depression much better than a damaged one.

    Try to cut out sweets as much as possible, eat plenty of vegetables, and drink enough water.

  2. Try music therapy. 

    Music can really affect our mood – it can worsen it or improve it. It improves it by getting our dopamine flowing, which is the “happy chemical.”

    Try listening to upbeat songs that speak about positive things or simply listen to just an instrumental song that incorporates a guitar and other uplifting sounds. You will likely find yourself smiling to yourself without even realizing it.

  3. Try regular therapy.

    Sometimes, people are shied away by the idea of therapy…

    They don’t want to feel like they need help. But, asking for help is empowering and a sign of strength rather than weakness.  It helps to talk to someone who can understand what you are going through.

How to Stay Sober with Hobbies

Staying sober is not an easy job – it takes hard work and determination. And, most importantly, you have to keep yourself busy…

It is much easier to find yourself tempted and weak when you are alone or when you are bored. So, when it comes to addiction recovery, one great way to help yourself stay on track is by finding a hobby.

Finding a hobby is a great way to pick back up where you left off with something you love or a great way to find something new to enjoy in life.

Benefits of Having a Hobby

They say there is only thing you have to change when you become sober. That one thing: everything.

The main benefit to having a hobby is the avoiding boredom. People who are recovering from addiction often find themselves bored because they do not know what it is to live a “normal life” anymore. They might find several time gaps where they would normally be participating in drugs or alcohol, and during this time, they might find themselves easily tempted.

Seeking pleasurable activities helps your brain retrain itself to find joy in something other than drugs and alcohol. It provides a sense of contentment and something you can put the majority of your time and effort into.

In addition, a hobby can also help introduce you to a new and healthier group of friends. These friends can help encourage and support you and also introduce you to other new, healthy activities.

Hobbies to Try

Of course, you want to pick something you think you will enjoy because this is meant to be a positive experience. It shouldn’t be something you dread.

A few healthy hobbies to try during addiction recovery include:

  1. Exercise

    Yes, exercise can be a hobby. Hundreds of people enjoy running – just for fun. And, it benefits you in more ways than one: physically and mentally.

    However, exercise can be a lot more complex than just running. If that doesn’t interest you try playing tennis, joining a yoga class, cycling, or kayaking. Oftentimes, these exercises can be done or are done in groups.

  2. Volunteering

    Volunteering is a great way to improve yourself overall. It keeps you busy, allows you to give back to your community and help others, and it looks good on a job resume. Find a local nonprofit that is centered around something you feel passionate about.


  3. Crafting

    Crafting can encompass everything from drawing to sewing. It is a great way to learn a new skill and even make gifts for people or practical items for yourself.

Find what it is that you enjoy and go for it!

Motivational Quotes for Addicts

Sometimes, we could just all use a little pick me up…

There are days that are just bad – you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and just cannot seem to find the motivation to conquer the day.

And, as an addict, these days can seem ever prevalent in your life. You find yourself struggling with overcoming your addiction as you battle withdraws and triggers.

But, one way to keep pushing forward is to constantly look for motivation. Constantly look for the positive side of things. By finding positive and encouraging things, you set yourself up to have a good day. You give yourself something to fall back on when times are tough.

One of the best ways to continuously encourage yourself is to surround yourself with positive quotes. They can give you the little bit of inspiration you might be looking for today.

Here are a few great ones that might just help you make it through another day in your journey to recovery:

  1. “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” (unknown)
  2. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” (unknown)
  3. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” (Walt Disney)
  4. “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” (Will Rogers)
  5. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” (OG Mandino)
  6. “We may encounter defeats, but we must not be defeated.” (Maya Angelou)
  7. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” (Henry Ford)
  8. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (C.S. Lewis)

These are just a few, but they hold a lot of truth.

So, what are some benefits of motivational quotes?

Well, they can:

  • Help you in a situation of weakness, such as when you encounter one of your triggers.
  • Give you strength to keep pushing forward, even when you are having a rough day.
  • Help you formulate goals by giving you the inspiration to dream a new dream.
  • Help inspire your creative potential, leading you to healthier habits that help you beat addiction.

When it comes to addiction recovery, you have to go all in. It is about finding every little way that can help you get better. Even if it is just flipping through and reading one of these quotes each day when you wake up.

Every little bit counts on your road to recovery.

 

The Faces of Addiction

Oftentimes, people think of addicts as outcasts. Especially when they don’t know someone who has an addiction, they have a hard time understanding just what it is that someone with an addiction looks like.

But, that is the thing – there is not one specific face of an addict. Many different addicts walk among us each and every day and we might not have any idea that underneath their smile they are struggling.

But, each person behind the mask of addiction has their own story – somewhere they came from…

There are addicts who are:

Parents

There are several moms and dads – young and old – who struggle with addiction day in and day out. They might be financially strapped and that is feeding their inability to give us their addiction. Or, it might just be a bad habit they never dropped.

Children

Many, many teens struggle with addiction. Their minds are young and impressionable and being a teenager is hard. There is peer pressure all around teens and drugs are very prevalent in schools and at parties. During a time where one wrong decision could lead them down the wrong path, many teens find themselves developing a problem at a young age.

Professionals

Rather it is a teacher, an athlete, a doctor, or someone in another profession – nobody is above addiction. And, sadly, there have been several of these professionals have struggled with this for years. For some, it has already cost them their job. For others, they are on their way to it costing them their job.

Conclusion

In the end, each addict is a person with a story. And, each person deserves a fair shot at recovering from their addiction. Rather they are young or old, they had a life before their addiction started. Each one has lost something, or several things, along the way. It is important for us to see the faces of the addict; the one who is behind that mask.

So, if you think you might be struggling or you know someone who might be struggling, it is time to get help.

Someone who suffers from an addiction, with the proper help, can once again become that parent, spouse, young professional, or athlete that they once were.

It is possible – if they get the help they need, the support they need, and put in the work. Addiction does not have to be forever.

Behind each addiction is someone who is hurting. Someone who needs help.