Comfort Eating in Recovery

Comfort Eating in Recovery

Beating an addiction and moving into recovery is no easy feat. In order to build a successful life a recovered addict has to change almost everything in their life. It is a really emotional time for the individual. And to add to the challenge, the individual will no longer be able to use d rugs and alcohol to comfort themselves. Even when the individual is years into their recovery they sometimes will have a hard time contending with their emotions. Life is and always will be filled with ups and downs and emotional highs and lows.  Unfortunately sometimes when people in recovery have difficult emotions, while it is good they won’t use drugs or drink, they eat instead. This is called comfort eating in recovery.

What is comfort eating in recovery?

Comfort eating is sometimes referred to as emotional eating or feeding your feelings. Comfort eating usually is a result of emotions not because of hunger. It is believe the main reason people overeat is due to comfort eating and it is also believed to be one of the main causes of obesity. Comfort eating is believed to originate in childhood when treats such as candy are used to deal with unpleasant or difficult events. People during childhood then learn the association between food and comfort so they continue this behavior long into their adulthood.

Comfort eating in recovery

Individuals who have dealt with addiction are at a particularly high risk of turning to comfort eating in order to deal with their emotions. The first few months and even years of sobriety can be like an emotional rollercoaster so the temptation or want to turn to food for comfort is really high. This individual can justify their comfort eating with the rationalization that they are better turning towards food for comfort rather than food. The problem with comfort eating in recovery is that it is not a harmless activity. Comfort eating in recovery can lead to many problems with their health as well as interfere with their ability to fully enjoy recovery. Comfort eating in recovery also can be a means to deny problems in their life and this is especially dangerous. Denying problems was a big part of why they used drugs and alcohol so this behavior can be especially foreshadowing and dangerous. Occasionally turning towards food for comfort is ok but doing it all the time in recovery can end up in disaster.

What are some other dangers of comfort eating in recovery?

  • Comfort eating in recovery can easily lead people to become overweight. Comfort eating often causes people to eat a lot more than their body needs.
  • Comfort eating in recovery can cause nutritional deficiencies. If a person isn’t eating a balanced diet they can end up with health problems
  • Comfort eating can damage the self-esteem by causing the individual to gain a lot of weight. A person who feels less good about themselves is in danger of comfort eating even more.

How to avoid comfort eating in recovery

  • Staying mindful while eating is important to not comfort eating in recovery. People who pay closer attention to what and why they eat are less likely to comfort eat.
  • Talking to other people instead of comfort eating in recovery can be especially helpful to deal with difficult emotions and pent up feelings.
  • Facing the root or why they eat for comfort. If it is something that is bothering them they will need to get past it to get past comfort eating in recovery.

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Relapse Excuses

Relapse Excuses

There is no good excuse for a relapse. However, there are several emotional triggers that are commonly used excuses people will use in order to justify a relapse.

Relapse Excuse #1. Resentment

Many of us have probably heard this: Resentments will take you back out. Holding a resentment is probably the most common relapse excuse. Resentments are usually in the form of:

Perceiving that others are trying to control their life

Expectations not being met

Perceiving that others are acting as if they are superior

Perceiving others to be hypocrites, taking others’ inventory

Superiors who abuse their power

Being hurt but others saying or doing something that negatively impacts the their self-esteem

When other people lie

Feeling slighted

Perceiving others to act unfair towards them and/or others

Relapse Excuse #2. Anger

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” When feeling angry towards someone else, the recovering addict/alcoholic often thinks that they will punish these other people by relapsing; of course the only person they are going to hurt is themselves.

Relapse Excuse #3. Boredom

After getting clean and sober, you might find that you have a lot of free time on your hands. Without hobbies or pursuing other healthy interests, you may become bored. This is another common relapse excuse: boredom. When we become bored, we may begin romanticizing our previous lifestyle, remembering the “good ol’ times” and conveniently forget about all the horrible stuff. This is a dangerous trend because, in the newly sober person’s mind, addiction wasn’t so bad after all. That mindset combined with agony of boredom is enough to convince most that relapse is the way to remedy their situation.

Relapse Excuse #4. Loneliness

This is kind of like the boredom excuse. When we stop drinking and drugging, we have to change people, places, and things. We may begin to miss our drinking and using buddies and, if we are not proactive in making new sober friends and getting sober supports in our life, then being lonely is the perfect relapse excuse.

Relapse Excuse #5. Disappointment in sobriety

As recovering addicts and alcoholics, we are used to instant gratification. That said, a life beyond our wildest in dreams in recovery takes time. Often times, we have to rebuild our lives from scratch. For some in recovery, this is frustrating and upsetting. They expect results and immediately! When this doesn’t happen, they will use that as an excuse to relapse

Relapse Excuse #6. Feeling depressed

Many addicts and alcoholics also have a co-occurring, or dual diagnosis mental disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder. In fact, that is why many of us sought out drugs: to numb those bad feelings. So, in sobriety, when those feelings come back, we retreat to the way we always dealt with them – by using drugs.

For those who do not have an actual mental health diagnosis, depression is still a factor, as it is for non addicts and alcoholics. Depression is a fact of life. But again, for recovering addicts and alcoholics, the temptation to escape these negative feelings may become too great to deal with and lead them to relapse. It is important to learn coping mechanisms that don’t involve drug use in order to achieve emotional stability in recovery.

Relapse Excuse #7. Feeling happy

Conversely, many people who have experienced a relapse say that it is when things are going really well that they slip up. Perhaps it is a way of rewarding themselves for doing so well. For others, it is a way to increase the already good feeling they have naturally. As addicts and alcoholics, we seek to increase the pleasure-causing chemicals in our brains while in active addiction. Once we are sober, it might be that this “taste” of euphoria from normal everyday good things, that is enough of a high for others, is just what it takes to leave us craving something more intense therefore causing some to seek it in drugs and resulting in a relapse.

Relapse Excuse #8. “Forgetting”

So many times, I have heard people who relapse say that they weren’t sure anymore whether they were an alcoholic or addict. So, they decide to go back out and “test the waters.” People will use the relapse excuse that they decided they weren’t really an addict and/or alcoholic in order to start drinking and drugging again.

 

 

Sources:

http://alcoholism.about.com/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

How to fight emotional triggers in recovery

How to fight emotional triggers in recovery

Triggers are specific memories, behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and situations that jeopardize recovery. Triggers are signals you are entering a stage that brings you closer to a relapse. Triggers are the stimuli, the people, places, situations, emotional states, thoughts, etc. that can “trigger” an ingrained ritualistic response which in most cases is to get high. Learning to identify relapse triggers and especially the emotional intensity that they invoke can be an effective tool in how to fight emotional triggers in recovery.

If you really want to know how to fight emotional triggers in recovery then the best place you can start is by learning what they are. For instance, deep sadness or extreme excitement might be emotional states that trigger you. If you know those are your emotional triggers in recovery then you can begin to fight against them.

Once you know what your emotional triggers in recovery are you can then begin to set in a place a plan of action for yourself. A plan of action for fighting emotional triggers in recovery can consist of multiple different things. For instance say an emotional trigger in recovery for you is excitement. If you begin to feel that excitement and it makes you think about using you can have a plan that first consist of calling a sober support, second doing something to get your mind off of it. No matter what it is that you use to fight emotional triggers in recovery make sure that you are taking action. Change your state.

A good way to fight emotional triggers in recovery is to go for a run when you begin thinking about using. You could also choose to turn on some music and dance your heart out. You can go workout at the gym. You can go for a bike ride. You can meditate. You can read a book. You can really do whatever it is that works for you to fight emotional triggers in recovery as long as it’s something different than what you would normally do. A lot of the times when addicts and alcoholics feel emotionally triggered in recovery they don’t know why they are thinking about using and they have no idea what to do instead of go and get high. This can lead to relapse without the proper identification of what is going on and what to do when it happens.

This is why identifying what triggers you emotionally and then making a plan of action for yourself when emotional triggers pop up is the best way to fight emotional triggers in recovery. It is not easy to fight emotional triggers in recovery in fact addicts and alcoholics are hardwired to use in certain instances that’s why its good to have a plan in place before you are ever get triggered. Once you are able to implement your plan to fight emotional triggers in recovery multiple times it will get easier to ward off. If you make a habit of fighting your emotional triggers in recovery eventually it won’t be so difficult and then you may even find you aren’t triggered by the emotional states at all now.

 

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

How to have confidence in yourself

How to have confidence in yourself

How to have confidence in yourself

Self-confidence can be the make it or break it, difference in your entire lifestyle. Self-confidence is the difference between being an unstoppable force and feeling afraid. The way you see yourself has a huge impact on the way others see you. Your perception of yourself is your reality so the more confidence you have in yourself, the more likely you are to succeed in all areas of your life. Many different things add to feeling confident in yourself and some of those things are out of your control but there are certain steps you can take to have confidence in yourself and they start with:

Dressing Up

The clothes definitely don’t make you who you are but they definitely can affect the way you feel about yourself. No one is more aware of how you look than you are. So in order to have confidence in yourself you need to dress well! When you don’t look good it changes the way you carry yourself and even the way you communicate with other people. Dress well and take care of your personal appearance. In most cases you will find that button down shirt or that nice blouse really helps you to have confidence in yourself.

Sit Up Straight

Just like dressing nicely can change the way you carry yourself, the way you carry yourself in general can give or take away confidence in yourself. Having good posture will automatically make anyone feel more confident. Standing up straight, keep your head up and making eye contact are all great ways to feel more confident. Plus good posture makes a good impression on other and is empowering.

Be Grateful

When you are focused on what you want and never what you have the mind begins to tell you reasons as to why you can’t or don’t have what you want. This can cause you to focus on what is wrong with you or your weakness. The best way to have confidence in yourself is to be grateful for how much you already have because you are so amazing. When you focus on what you already have you realize how great you already are. Remember all those successful moments, unique skills, relationships and positivity you have experienced. This is a great way to gain confidence in yourself.

Compliment Someone Else or Give to Someone Else

We get what we give and the same goes for confidence in ourselves. If you want confidence in yourself try to help someone out with theirs. Praise other people and refuse to engage in negative talk about anyone. By doing this you will bring out the best in someone else and then bring out the confidence in yourself.  The same goes for giving to others. When you focus too much on yourself and not on other people’s needs, you worry about your own flaws. When you focus on other people and what you can contribute you forget about what is wrong with you and build your confidence in yourself due to your good deeds.

 

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Build-Self-Confidence

 

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

10 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Mood

10 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Mood

10 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Mood

It is impossible to be in a great mood all the time. We get it. Everyone has those days when they wake up on the wrong side of the bed. While it would be great to be happy all the time sometimes that just isn’t reality. So what do you do on those days when you wake up feeling a little less than upbeat? There are things you can do to boost your mood on those days.

Here are 10 things you can do to boost your mood when everything seems to be going wrong.

  1. Money can buy happiness. Well money can’t buy lasting happiness but if you spend a little bit of money wisely it can boost your mood. What do we mean by spending your money wisely? Spend your money on an experience not lavish jewelry or shoes. Go out to dinner or a concert. Spend a little bit of money to experience something fun, exciting or interesting and you may find yourself feeling better. Also, experiences allow you to spend time with people you like which also helps when you are feeling down.
  2. Random acts of kindness. Doing a good deed can easily boost your mood. People who volunteer are likelier to be happier than those who don’t. Research believes that volunteering boosts happiness because it increases empathy and gratitude by making you appreciate what you have. Doing something nice for someone else can be as big as running a marathon to as small as helping a friend out with moving or donating blood.
  3. Get nostalgic. When you are feeling blue, break out the old photos from your favorite vacation etc. To keep your mood boost up  hang happy photos at an eye level in the kitchen or living room so when you are doing something like washing dishes you will get a boost in your mood.
  4. Let the light in! In a study about depression it was found that more than 50% of the people who participated experienced a better mood with bright-light therapy. So open your curtains and open the windows!
  5. Keep a record. At night write down a few things that went well for you during the day no matter how big or small. Make it descriptive and make a note of your involvement in it. You will be more aware of the bright spots in your life.
  6. Take it easy. Becoming part of the present moment can really boost your mood. Doing something like listening to your favorite music in a dark room, reading a novel that you love, or relaxing by the pool can help you to go with the flow and then boost your mood.
  7. Get active! Exercise is scientifically proven to boost your mood. Exercise releases the feel good endorphins and also satisfies the human need to perform and excel according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD. Try taking your exercise outside to significantly boost your mood. The more you exercise the clearer your mind will be.
  8. Find your spirituality. Faith and prayer regardless of whether it is connected to a religion can satisfy a need to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. This means if you don’t like prayer you can try meditation or even a yoga class. Newer research has shown recently that spiritual practices such as mindfulness practices can actually change the brain structure.
  9. Kiss! Kissing is romantic and it also causes the bloodstream to become overflown with dopamine which stimulates the same part of the brain as cocaine. Research also shows that kissing reduces cholesterol in men and women. Sweet!
  10. SING! Who doesn’t love to sing? Especially in the shower. Even if you don’t have the best voice, sing in the shower when no one is around. Singing boosts your mood as well as strengthens your immune system by increasing antibodies that fight sickness (according to a German study). So pull out your favorite CD and get your shampoo bottle and start singing.

Sources: http://www.health.com/health/calendar/0,,20351621,00.html?viewdate=4

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity

I once heard that an addict or alcoholic is stuck at the age that he or she began drinking and using drugs. So if you started drinking at 15, when you stop drinking you will have the emotional maturity of a 15-year old. I don’t know if this is an exact science, everyone is different, but there does seem to be some truth behind it. When an addict or alcoholic drinks and uses drugs, they are usually doing it to avoid dealing with life. It becomes the answer to all life’s problems: a way to numb themselves and ignore what is going on in their life. As a result, they don’t grow emotionally, and therefore don’t mature.

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity: Symptoms of Emotional Immaturity

– Find it hard to deal with the normal challenges of life and may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

– Tend to suffer from more stress and develop stress-related health problems like high blood pressure.

– Struggle to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with other people. They can appear needy, overbearing, or distant and disconnected.

– May have low-self-esteem.

– Find it almost impossible to live in the present moment. Are either reliving the past or worrying about the future.

– Easily lose their temper at the slightest provocation

– Have unrealistically high expectations. Because of this, they are frequently disappointed.

– Can suffer from severe mood swings.

– Find it hard to control their own behavior.

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity: The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Emotion

Drugs make you feel good. That’s why most people take them. They induce a feeling of happiness, or euphoria. An addict or alcoholic uses drugs and alcohol to make them feel happy in a negative situation. It alters the negative cognitive state. Because of this, addicts and alcoholics never learn to deal with negative situations in any other way. They don’t learn healthy coping methods.

Also, drugs and alcohol numb a person to negative feelings. They may have difficult even recognizing their emotions, especially in early sobriety.

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity: The Dangers

Emotional immaturity can be a barrier to successful recovery. When people are emotionally immature, they are far more likely to relapse. This is because they do not have the tools they need to deal with problems. This type of person can be easily knocked off course by any challenge.

Also, an addict who is emotionally immature will not be able to form healthy relationships with other people. Without a strong support system, they will be much more likely to go back to using and drinking.

Addiction and emotional maturity are closely related, as is recovery and emotional maturity. To be truly successful in sobriety, a person must also develop “emotional sobriety.” This develops with experience and practicing new ways to react to situations and experiences. A person with emotional sobriety must let go of all addictions-including addictive behavior like unhealthy sexual compulsions and gambling, and face life on life’s terms. Developing emotional sobriety also means taking responsibility for one’s life and practicing spiritual principles in every aspect of their life.

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.