Learning by Teaching: Mastering Your Recovery

One of the best ways to master a subject is to teach what you have learned to others. In addiction and trauma recovery, we often build support networks and engage in group meetings to share our experiences. Our wisdom can then be passed on to others, who may be at the beginning stages of recovery. We can also help those experiencing setbacks and regression or seek to learn more to continue self-improvement.

Teaching others forces us to thoroughly evaluate our recovery journey, accept the mistakes we have made as “teachable moments,” and re-learn what we already know. During early recovery, you may be asked to lead a group therapy session in an outpatient program or a 12-step meeting at your homegroup. The following steps can help you create a compelling experience for both you and your peers in recovery: reflect on personal experiences, select a topic, and create learning objectives and goals.

Reflecting on Personal Experiences

The first step is taking some time to be introspective and reflect upon your own experiences in recovery. One of the most important aspects of a group session is the comradery of individuals helping one another in a shared experience. In peer support groups, the group leader often has personal experiences in their recovery, which can help shape the direction of a group session.

When you enter the final stages of learning recovery skills and coping mechanisms, teaching others provides an excellent opportunity for you to reflect on the hard work that took you this far. You should feel proud of yourself for being asked to lead a group! It reflects the time and effort that you have put into self-improvement and teaching others is a great honor.

Begin to reflect on your experiences by journaling about them. If you have been journaling, take some time to review your past entries. Talk with others about the changes they have seen in you during your recovery. Start to think about your own experiences and the lessons that you have learned along the way. Keep the following in mind as you reflect:
View past mistakes and regrets as “teachable moments.” Life is about growth, and making mistakes is just a part of the growth process.

Think about what personal experiences you are comfortable discussing with a group and which ones you are not comfortable sharing. Everyone differs in how comfortable they feel sharing, and that is okay! You are sharing the lessons learned and do not have to divulge all the details if you do not feel comfortable doing so.

Selecting a Topic

Now that you have taken time to reflect on past experiences, the next step in teaching is selecting a topic. A topic can be broad (examples: “recovery,” “trauma,” or “addiction”), or specific (examples: “how to create a personal mantra,” “identifying personal triggers,” or “impacts of nutrition on mental health”).

While broad topics can be great to create an open forum of discussion, specific topics often work best for creating an effective group or teaching session. Think about the lessons you have learned during recovery and what coping mechanisms helped you get through those tough times. When selecting a topic, also consider the following:

  • What are you good at? What issues would you consider yourself to be an expert on?
  • What is the most important lesson you have learned in recovery?
  • What things are you most passionate about? These could be specific coping strategies, like journaling or mindfulness, or hobbies, such as music, art, hiking, or sports that have helped you personally in your recovery.

Creating Learning Objectives and Goals

Once you have selected your topic, decide on your learning objectives and goals. Objectives and goals will help you focus your material and your discussion points. Ultimately, what is it that you would like your peers to leave the session knowing? What skills would you like your peers to learn? What additional tools will they be able to try to aid in their recovery? Consider some of the following tips when creating learning objectives:

  • Be specific –this will help you focus when leading your session. Your peers will benefit more when knowing the
  • learning objectives beforehand. Being specific will also keep the group from straying off-topic.
  • Think in terms of action and skill-building –what will your peers be able to do with this knowledge?
  • What mistakes from your past are now “teachable moments” that your peers can learn from?
  • What are some things you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your recovery?

Some examples of learning objectives include:

  • “After this session, peers will be able to list their top five trauma triggers.”
  • “Peers will learn how to write a daily gratitude journal.”
  • “Following today’s group, peers will understand the importance of creating a routine and will be able to create their daily schedule.”

Remember to pat yourself on the back for coming this far in your recovery and be proud of what you have accomplished! You are now able to help others on their recovery journey.

Finding your place in the recovery community can be scary and confusing. The world of meetings, groups, therapy, etc. can all feel overwhelming without a good starting point. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find a sober living community ready to provide you with the tools you’ll need on the journey to sobriety. If you’re ready to get sober, it’s time to lean on the experience and strength of others who have come before you. Through a holistic recovery program, you can heal spiritually, mentally, and physically – you just need the time to do so. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find the community you’re looking for and the experienced guidance you need. Give us a call at (602) 466-9880. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it can be an exciting period of your life, filled with transformational experiences and incredible growth.

Have I Really Been Insane? – A Look At Step Two

The second step of the 12-steps says that we came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. It is difficult to get behind the idea that we were insane when new to recovery. We may have an idea that comes to mind when we think of what an insane person looks like. How could we be insane? It’s essential to take a look at what we really mean by this.

The dictionary definition of insane is “the state of mind which prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill.” It may seem like a harsh word at first, yet looking at the definition, it is clear that we had experienced this our whole lives.

What Is Insane Thinking?

Insane thinking is a common problem we, as substance users, all have. There is a good description of what that looks like in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The book says that we are similar to having a passion for jaywalking. The jaywalker gets a rush out of running through traffic or crossing the street when there are many fast-moving vehicles.

The jaywalker is injured a few times and is then hospitalized because of his passion for danger. His loved ones explain how his behavior is dangerous and try to get the jaywalking obsession out of his head. However, the jaywalker continues his behavior immediately after getting out of the hospital, and he is met with more consequences.

He tries to get away from the idea entirely and isolate himself to avoid this obsession. Still, the day comes that he finds himself doing it again. This time, he is met with severe consequences, and his loved ones plead for him to stop, yet he cannot.

It then goes on to say anyone would see this idea as insane. We suggest you take a look at your history and replace the word “jaywalking” with “using” or “drinking”. When we do this, we see that we relate to this story exactly. We kept drinking and using, hoping for different results. Time and again, however, we found that we could never achieve the first drunk or high.

We experience escalating consequences, yet are unable to change our behaviors. That is what we call plain insane thinking. We came to terms with the fact that our bodies were sick, but our minds are, too. Every attempt we made to relieve the obsession and stay sober on our own would end in relapse. We needed something that was beyond human aid to help us.

A Higher Power

Once we are at this step, we are faced with a dilemma. We have already admitted we are powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable. We have already stated we were willing to go to any lengths for victory over substance use. When we are told that a power greater than ourselves is what will restore our sanity, some of us become combative.

Some of us have a history of faith, while others have rejected spiritual concepts entirely. Either way, we must become willing to believe that something bigger than us exists. We must agree to at least this proposition. Once we agree to this, we can realize that we have been closed-minded about spiritual matters.

We come to this belief that something bigger than us is in control. We believe at once that with the help of that power, we can be returned to sanity. Our perception can change, and, over time, our behaviors follow suit. The key to having rational thoughts and thinking soundly is experiencing enough humility to admit that we don’t know.

For the first time, maybe ever, we are unsure how to stay sober and accept that someone else knows better. From there, we are open-minded enough to become willing and trust that recovery is possible for us. Even a small amount of willingness and trust is enough to make the first approach to recovery.

Ask Questions

If you have gotten to this point, yet are still unsure about it, asking questions will result in success. Many people in 12-step fellowships can share their experiences, obstacles they have met, and how they got through them. If you don’t ask questions, nobody can help you through the challenges of early recovery. Remember that you are not the only one feeling the way you’re feeling.

At the beginning of their recovery journey, every person has been uncomfortable, afraid, and unsure of what the recovery program is or what it can do for them. There are plenty of people that come into sobriety with ideas about what a higher power is or is not. We have all felt this way and were unsure of how this could even work for us. Reach out to people with more time sober and those who have taken the 12 steps.

Your perception and behaviors will change as a result of the action you take in regards to your substance use disorder. As long as you remain willing, open-minded, and humble to the experience, you’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of other sober people.

It’s a staggering blow to the ego to admit that we have been insane. For many of us, it takes time to understand our own behavior, but the first step is always to ask for help. If you’re ready to get sober, it’s time to lean on the experience and strength of others who have come before you. Sobriety is not as uncharted as it may seem. Through a holistic recovery program, you can heal spiritually, mentally, and physically – you just need the time to do so. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find the community you’re looking for and the experienced guidance you need. Give us a call at (602) 466-9880. Step Two is just one of the steps you’ll take in recovery, but you never have to do it alone. If you’re struggling to find a recovery program that works for you, Camelback Recovery can help.

What Is Recovery Coaching?

A recovery coach helps recovering addicts make decisions and set goals that are personalized for their own journey to sobriety. They can work with those who are still in the midst of addiction or those who have already started their path to recovery.

Recovery coaches are non-clinical, meaning they cannot diagnose medical conditions or offer medical treatment for addiction. Recovery coaches are more action-oriented, helping their clients by consulting with them and motivating them through long-term goals to maintain sobriety.

How Do Recovery Coaches Help?

There are many ways that recovery coaches can help a person in recovery:

  • Providing emotional support
  • Offering companionship
  • Sharing information
  • Strengthening communication
  • Offering lifestyle support
  • Being consistently non-judgmental and flexible
  • Encouraging healthy family relationships
  • Discussing crucial life areas (i.e. family, education, employment, relationships, spirituality)
  • Using peer-based strategies and approaches

A strong support system is absolutely crucial to one’s recovery from addiction. Recovery coaches offer support that is personalized to the individual for the present moment of their recovery as well as for the long-term. Setting goals helps to hold their clients accountable for completing them, moving them forward in a life of sobriety.

Comprehensive Recovery Development Plans

There are various coaching methods that a recovery coach may use to help their clients. The method used will depend on the coach themselves and the needs of the client.

G.R.O.W. Model

This acronym stands for Goals, Reality of the Situation, Options Available, and Write a Recovery Plan. By taking these steps one at a time, it makes the process seem less overwhelming. It can also be tailored to a person’s exact needs.

SMART Model

This model focuses on goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Putting goals into perspective makes them more realistic and easier for the client to see themselves accomplishing them.

Strengths-Based Approach

Recovery coaches can use this model to analyze the strengths of their clients. Rather than focusing on the pathology that brought them to their addiction, the coach can take their known strengths and come up with a recovery plan that is based on those strengths.

Do I Need a Recovery Coach If I Already Have a Sponsor/Therapist/Addiction Specialist?

These three roles in recovery set boundaries to prevent them from getting too close to the recovering addict, and it is strictly a professional relationship:

  • Sponsors have ONE purpose in aiding sobriety. This purpose is to direct a newly-recovering addict or alcoholic through the 12-Step program offered by Al-Anon, Narc-Anon, or another organization. Sponsors are not meant to be advocators, motivators, or lifestyle consultants.
  • Therapists focus more on the client’s past to see how certain events and actions led to a life of addiction.
  • Addiction specialists focus more on biopsychosocial stabilization within a 30 to 90-day plan for recovery.

Recovery coaches, on the other hand, take the skills of these roles and use them to fill in the gaps by being more of an advocate, friend, and ally. They do this by working with the individual to set more personalized goals that can be achieved in the long-term.

Meeting with a Recovery Coach

Depending on your situation, you may meet with your recovery coach once or twice a week for check-ins or have them available 24/7 at a sober living house or other treatment centers. If you only have a couple of check-ins each week, this can be done in person or remotely via video chat or telephone.

These meetings start by learning the person’s history with addiction and seeing how they view their situation. Once this information has been established, the recovery coach can then work with the client to set goals. Over time, the two will figure out what is working and what is not. This way, they can monitor how the individual is progressing in their recovery. The recovery coach can eventually help the recovering individual transition to life without the need for their sessions.

Finding a Recovery Coach

More clinics across the United States are beginning to offer recovery coaching. To find a recovery coach, you can try Telehealth or see what treatment centers in your area offer this service.

Sober living homes may offer a recovery coach to aid in conjunction with the other structures in place for recovery. Homes like Camelback Recovery offer recovery coaching for free when you first begin your stay to see if it would be beneficial to you. Once the trial period has ended, you can decide to continue the recovery coaching with payments.

The cost of a recovery coach varies depending on where you are seeing them. For example, the cost of the service may be factored into your overall bill if you are staying at a sober living home or another treatment facility. The average cost of seeing a recovery coach can range anywhere from $300 per month to $1000 per day depending on your location, needs, and frequency of meetings.

Recovery coaching is a valuable asset to anyone’s journey to sobriety. Knowing your personal strengths and weaknesses and creating a plan based on that information can help you realistically achieve your goals in a timely manner.

You can find recovery coaches at clinics across the United States or at treatment facilities such as sober living homes. Here at Camelback Recovery, we offer a free trial period of recovery coaching to see if it might work for you. To learn more about how you can benefit from a recovery coach, call us today at (602) 466-9880.

When Should You Consider a Sober Living House for Yourself or a Loved One?

For those working toward a life of sobriety, having an unstable home environment that is full of alcohol, drugs, and other possible triggers can push them into a relapse quickly. Sober living homes provide a safe, clean place to transition between addiction treatment and everyday life for people in recovery.

The Purpose of a Sober Living Home

A sober living home helps provide a balance between structured and independent living for those who are just out of treatment programs for substance abuse and other addictions, mental health disorders, jail, or other circumstances.

The structure provided by the homes comes in the form of rules and regulations that the residents must follow to maintain their place in the house. The rules vary from house to house, but they generally follow the same guidelines:

  • Go through detox and/or rehab, then plan on going to therapy or 12-Step meetings once a week (for potential residents)
  • No drugs or alcohol are allowed (exceptions for specific prescriptions, such as antidepressants, can be made)
  • Be willing to consent to random drug and alcohol testing to ensure sobriety
  • Participate in house activities (weekly meetings, chores, self-care tasks, etc.)
  • Sleep at the house at least five nights a week (occasional exceptions can be made for traveling)
  • Be accountable for your whereabouts at all times, and be back by curfew if applicable

Good Candidates for Sober Living Homes

Those looking to move into a sober living house must take into account the phase of life they are stepping into. Certain qualities and determination are needed to be successful. Individuals who need time to process what they learned in rehab, learn how to use their coping skills, and learn how to be independent are great candidates.

Other candidates who fit these criteria are also typically a good fit for sober living homes:

  • Those who have already been treated, such as in rehab or detox
  • Those who have had time in sobriety before moving in (to ensure they will comply with house rules)
  • Those who need a place to transition from treatment back to their normal life
  • Those with the desire for long-term sobriety
  • Those with high motivation to maintain their abstinence from substance abuse
  • Those who are aware of the challenges to come
  • Those with a proven ability to find a job
  • Those with the ability to budget and manage their own money
  • Those who are familiar with the local recovery community
  • Those with a strong desire to be independent and learn to support themselves
  • Those with the ability to cultivate relationships with others who are also sober, sharing a common goal of sobriety

Candidates Who May Not Benefit From Sober Living Homes

Just as there are those who may benefit from sober living houses, there are individuals who may not find the treatment they are looking for in these environments. This is not to say that something is wrong with them, but rather a sober living home is wrong for their recovery journey. Finding the right programs and resources can make a difference in your recovery progressing.

Those who may not benefit from a sober living home include:

  • Those with no prior job experience
  • Those who are bad at managing money
  • Those with social anxiety (although this can be addressed in therapy)
  • Those who tend to isolate
  • Those who are moving from far away and are not familiar with the local recovery community
  • Those who are looking to a sober living house as an alternative to a professional recommendation for a higher level of care

Sober Living Homes & Recovery

Sober living homes are good options for those in recovery because they provide a safe and secure environment without triggers like drugs and alcohol. These residences help hold you accountable on your road to sobriety by providing community support to stay abstinent.

The recommended stay at a sober living house is ninety days, but many patients stay longer. Studies show that the longer one stays in a sober living house, the more likely they are to fully recover. It is best to stay longer than you think than to leave before you are ready.

Many treatment centers have patients leave after ninety days, meaning they have to deal with everyday life on their own without acclimating to life outside of treatment. This often results in relapse. Sober living houses combat this issue by providing a safe place to continue progressing one’s recovery.

How to Find the Best Sober Living House for You or a Loved One

There are steps you can take to find the best option for the person in need. The best sober living home will depend on the addict’s needs and preferences in their sobriety. Here are some things you can do to find the perfect home for you or your loved one:

  • Do your research
  • Contact the homes
  • Visit the homes if possible
  • Understand the independence involved
  • Seek out support and community

One of the most important tasks is to make sure the residence is legitimate. Pay attention to red flags such as:

  • “Free“ programs
  • No admissions requirements
  • Building not up to code
  • No records on the premises
  • Doesn’t require abstinence
  • No safety or privacy rules
  • No clear house rules
  • Lack of obvious ethical and moral standards
  • Untrained/uncertified employees
  • No regulatory inspections

Sober living homes are a great option for those who are looking to become independent after going through treatment for substance abuse and other personal concerns. There are multiple sober living options for men and women to choose from. Remember to take the responsibilities of a sober living home into account when deciding if it is the best option for you or your loved one.

Camelback Recovery is a transitional living home in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson, Arizona. We provide a structured and supportive environment that promotes long-term transformational changes. Find out if a sober living home is right for you. Call us today at (602) 466-9880.

Explaining 12-Step Programs

Addiction support groups and treatment centers utilize 12-Step programs to help those struggling with addiction as they go through recovery. These programs lay out a definitive list of actions to gradually move the person forward towards a life of sobriety.

Step One

“Admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Step One is all about admitting that addiction is beyond your control and the way you have been living your life just isn’t working. After accepting this, the person is more likely to accept help and enter recovery.

There are two words that are crucial for this step: powerless and unmanageable. Understand that you are powerless to addiction, as it is a chronic disease. You can work to treat and manage it, but it will never be cured. Addiction causes your life to be unmanageable. Better decisions must be made to live a healthy and fulfilling life of sobriety.

Step Two

“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

This step is about hope and being able to gain guidance and strength outside of yourself. You must put aside your ego to accept help from a higher power. This doesn’t necessarily mean religion — it could also be fate, karma, your sponsor, or even the recovery process itself. Finding inspiration to help you stay sober outside of yourself is crucial to your recovery.

Step Three

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Again, this is not about religion, but “God as we understood Him.” This refers to whatever your higher power is. This step is more about action by getting out of your own way and placing your faith in the higher power. You are less likely to give in to urges when you are putting faith in something other than yourself.

Step Four

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

This step helps you to eliminate denials and justifications. You cannot change without knowing what needs to be changed. Take an in-depth inventory of yourself that is open and honest. Being vulnerable can be difficult, but you must be ready to acknowledge your faults and properly analyze them to recover.

Step Five

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

This step is crucial after taking a personal inventory, as it discusses the things you have learned about yourself during the process with someone else. This step can relieve you of guilt and shame by putting these things out in the open. As the saying goes, confession is good for the soul.

Step Six

“We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

This step involves releasing all of the past behaviors and attitudes you analyzed in the previous steps, which changes your perspective and moves you more forward towards recovery.

Step Seven

“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

This step is reminiscent of the third step but is more specific. Here, you learn the virtue of humility by admitting that your way of living wasn’t healthy or right. You recognize your flaws and limits in order to understand the power that your higher power holds. Your higher power can change your life in ways you cannot.

Step Eight

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

This step helps you understand how your actions hurt others. By taking the perspective away from yourself and focusing on how addiction affects those around you, you are reminded of the ways you hurt your loved ones. Here, you will confront the guilt associated with your addiction to prepare to make amends.

Step Nine

“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

This step requires you to show your willingness to make amends with those you have hurt by asking for forgiveness. Have courage when facing those you hurt when you were in the midst of addiction. However, do not put yourself or others in harm’s way when doing this, such as experiencing further trauma or implicating others in a criminal act.

Step Ten

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Step Ten is about continual growth by reinforcing the lessons of the preceding steps. Here, you focus on consistently improving yourself instead of making excuses and giving up. This step works to prevent you from ever going back to using or drinking again.

Step Eleven

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

A spiritual step, this is about talking and listening to your higher power. Prayer and meditation show an active effort in trying to understand the path that your higher power has made for you. Set aside your ego and listen.

Step Twelve

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

This step is all about being selfless and helping your own sobriety by helping others who are struggling. It reminds you of where you came from. By helping others, you will have a sense of purpose and help those in need through empathizing.

Camelback Recovery offers a 12-Step program to help its residents recognize and overcome their addictions. These sober living homes are changing lives through the use of fellowship, recovery coaching, therapy, sober companions, and more by providing an independent living home with structure. Those in recovery can learn to manage their life on their own, and the 12-Steps help with this in many ways. To learn more, call Camelback Recovery today at (602) 466-9880.

After Sober Living: What Is an Alumni Network & How Can It Help?

Recovery is an ongoing process that is never truly finished. People in recovery must always work towards their healing and sober living. There are multiple ways to do this even years after recovery, such as making use of coping skills and being part of an alumni network.

What Is an Alumni Network?

An alumni network is a group of individuals who either graduated together or have gone through different treatment programs for substance abuse, such as sober living homes. Connecting with an alumni network or program can keep recovering individuals involved in the community even after treatment ends. This, in turn, continues promoting a life of clean and sober living.

Alumni networks keep recovering addicts involved with a large community that is entrenched in recovery. According to the Journal of Addictive Disorders, programs that offer peer support can have a great effect on already-increasing abstinence rates. You can receive continued support to help with possible triggers and other life challenges.

How Alumni Networks Help Prevent Relapse

A relapse can be caused by many different factors. Stress is one of the main causes, as tension at work or in personal relationships can bring about negative thoughts. Environmental and social factors such as being around those you used to drink or use with can pull you back into old habits quickly. Underlying psychiatric disorders can also play a part in relapsing.

Handling these negative emotions and situations on your own can be extremely overwhelming. Alumni networks offer workshops, support groups, and other recovery-based events to help keep you from feeling isolated. Utilizing the various tools and methods offered by these communities can not only help prevent relapse, but improve a person’s life.

There are specific tools given to members of alumni networks to help with negative thoughts that could lead to a relapse. Relapse is common in recovery and is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), relapse rates are between 40-60 percent for addiction. Alumni networks are familiar with this statistic and work to provide proper resources to help during times of crisis.

Reaching out for help can be hard when you feel no one understands you. However, multiple resources offered by these programs can be crucially helpful if you are seeking advice or general help:

  • National meetings
  • Local meetings
  • 24-hour hotlines
  • Online social groups
  • Addiction education workshops
  • Sober activities (sports, picnics, etc.)
  • Annual reunions

Connections Through Alumni Networks

Alumni networks typically have connections to multiple treatment providers for substance abuse. Being involved in one of these programs gives you access to their services in your recovery. Having a lifeline to treatment can be the difference between maintaining abstinence or slipping back into old habits. You can jump back into daily life with the support you need.

The providers you are connected with through alumni networks can help since they will have either worked with you before or have professional experience in general addiction treatment. They will be able to spot a potential relapse and help you in the ways they see fit.

You also have access to multiple sober activities through your alumni networks. Most programs have a monthly newsletter to inform you about their upcoming activities. There is no pressure to constantly take part in activities, and you can choose the amount of involvement you partake in. Most events are free.

Different groups allow you to tailor your alumni experience to your wants and needs. The networks are there to give you support and make sure you know you are not alone in your healing journey. You will be surrounded by others who have been in your situation and can empathize.

Creating lifelong bonds with others who are working to maintain their sobriety is crucial for recovery. You can lean on each other to gain encouragement and hope together. Relating to others on the premise of staying sober gives you all a common goal. Together you can give moral support in times of hardship and celebrate in times of victory.

How to Find an Alumni Network

You can be connected to an alumni network by asking your treatment center or sober living home if they are affiliated with one. If they are not, you can search online for trustworthy, reputable networks that fit your needs and goals pertaining to your recovery.

Do not feel pressured to constantly be involved unless you want to be. Your journey to sobriety is yours entirely and should be how you see fit.

Camelback Recovery and other sober living homes are great places to contact if you are seeking an alumni network. Caring individuals who have been in your shoes are waiting to help you heal and include you in their community of fellowship and abstinence from substance abuse. Multiple tools and resources are available to help you cope with the challenges of everyday life in recovery. Call Camelback Recovery today at (602) 466-9880 to take the first step.

Al-Anon & the Three C’s

Al-Anon is a support program comprised of different communities of friends and family members of alcoholics. These individuals are able to find fellowship and healing by sharing their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and more with other like-minded individuals. The program also provides tools to aid these friends and family in understanding addiction and how to help their loved ones.

Working as a support network, Al-Anon utilizes sharing stories of the past and present to help healing and understanding properly occur. This helps the members understand and heal from the consequences of their loved one’s alcoholism. Al-Anon ultimately helps the families of addicts by educating them about addiction’s causes and control by providing them with the best tools to help their loved ones.

Many times, the people who are closest to a person suffering from substance abuse do not understand the proper way to help them. They may harbor feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and more as their loved one is going through a terrible ordeal. The Three C’s are a method used to educate these individuals on addiction by helping them understand its different aspects.

The Three C’s

  • I didn’t CAUSE it.
  • I can’t CURE it.
  • I can’t CONTROL it.

These simple statements help addicts and their loved ones understand addiction and how to recover from it in a new light. Specifically, they work to help loved ones overcome their feelings of guilt and grief. Through this education, families will be better suited to help their loved ones in their journey to sobriety.

People who are close to addicts usually fall into one of three categories:

  • Feeling guilty because they are the cause of the addiction
  • Thinking if only they could do X, Y, and Z, they could help their loved one stop using
  • Thinking if only they could completely separate their loved one from drugs and alcohol, they could get them to stop using

All of these beliefs are misconceptions and can hinder a person’s ability to recover. There are proper actions to take to support someone going through addiction, but healing them or stopping their usage is not anyone else’s responsibility but the addict themselves.

I Didn’t Cause It

For many people, especially parents and other close family members, understanding that they did not cause the addiction can be a hard concept to understand. Addiction is a chronic disease and must be treated as such. It is no one’s “fault.”

It’s a common occurrence for those going through an addiction to project blame on the people close to them rather than take responsibility for their actions. Knowing that you as a loved one did not cause the addiction can save you from feelings of guilt and help you be better suited to helping them. In recovery, the addict will learn to take responsibility for their actions and how they hurt those close to them.

I Can’t Cure It

As stated before, addiction is a chronic brain disease. It cannot ever be completely cured, but it can be managed through treatment. As a loved one, you should never feel the responsibility of curing an addict. Proper rehabilitation and treatment must take place for one to recover from an addiction.

After rehab, treatment can continue in the form of sober living homes, support groups, therapy, and other options to teach past addicts how to live independently, support themselves, and manage their triggers in a healthy way.

The best “cure” for addiction is continual support. This helps reduce the risks of relapse when the person knows they have loved ones to lean on.

I Can’t Control It

After using drugs and alcohol for an extended period of time, a person’s brain chemistry changes. The substance begins to take control of rational thinking. This means their actions are then influenced by the substance itself.

This is why the decision to detox or go to rehab must be made by the addict themselves. Forced detox or rehab can work — but at the end of the day, the addict must realize the severity of their situation and then commit to making a change.

You as a loved one cannot control if an addict keeps using. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel guilty for their actions. It can be heartbreaking to watch someone you love slip into the tragedy of addiction, but you cannot control their actions.

How to Help an Addict

There are a number of things you can do to help a person suffering from addiction. First and foremost, learn and understand the three C’s. Go to an Al-Anon meeting and learn about alcoholism in depth. Get your own sponsor, preferably someone who has gone through living with an alcoholic. You should not go through this process alone, just as the addict should not go through recovery alone.

You can also follow the 12-Step program provided by Al-Anon. Working to support your loved one properly is the best thing you can do for them. Perhaps most importantly, be realistic about their recovery. Becoming sober will not fix all of their problems, and they may not become sober as quickly as you would like them to. Be realistic and supportive, as any feelings of disappointment you have can cause them more stress, possibly leading to relapse.

Watching someone you love fall victim to addiction can be devastating. Feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse may overcome you as you wonder what you could have done differently — but their addiction is not your fault in any way. Support yourself by educating yourself, practicing self-care, and more. Remember the three C’s of Al-Anon and remind yourself of them daily. You cannot help your loved one if you are not okay too.

By properly educating yourself, you can make the ultimate difference in your loved one’s recovery. At Camelback Recovery, our transitional housing helps past addicts learn how to live independently. We are ready to help you and your loved one heal. To learn more, call us today at (602) 466-9880.

Why Do Sex Addicts Need a Supportive Community at the Start of Treatment?

Like any other addiction, starting treatment for sex addiction can be a challenging yet hopeful experience. Having a supportive community around you can mean the difference between relapse and long-term recovery.

The Definition of Sex Addiction

Sex addiction can be characterized by a multitude of different damaging actions with oneself or with others that are caused by a compulsive sexual desire. Common actions of those with sex addictions include:

  • Not being able to set limits on their sexual urges
  • Having guilt and shame because of their sexual behavior, but they cannot stop
  • Having negative consequences because of their sexual behavior (i.e. losing a job, breaking off a relationship, financial troubles, legal problems, etc.)
  • Ignoring personal obligations and responsibilities so they can take part in more sex or sexual fantasies
  • Using resources such as porn, prostitution, and cybersex to fulfill their desires
  • Needing to escalate their sexual behavior to get the same high
  • Spending an unprecedented amount of time chasing after or engaging in sex
  • Trying to stop their sexual behavior but relapsing when they are confronted with stress

Sex addiction is often accompanied by other mental health concerns. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Trauma or PTSD
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders (especially binge eating)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder or OCD)
  • Other behavioral addictions (i.e. gambling, shopping)

Treatment for Sex Addiction

There are various types of treatment for sex addiction. Medication, therapy, 12-Step programs, support groups, treatment centers, and other research-based models are used to treat those in need. Treatment is mainly focused on having a community of support to lean on as you learn to cope with your addiction.

Support Groups

 

Individuals going through recovery for sex addiction need a strong support network. This is important because everyone in the support group holds themselves and each other accountable in their journey to recovery.

Therapy

Various therapies can be used to treat different aspects of sex addiction. Sex addiction can be extremely damaging not just to the individual, but to their loved ones, their family, and many other aspects of their life.

Therapies commonly used for sex addiction include:

  • Individual/group therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (and other evidence-based therapies)
  • Experiential and alternative therapies
  • 12-Step programs (i.e. Sex Addicts Anonymous)

Treatment Centers

Treatment centers combine a number of tools to help someone heal from sex addiction. The different programs and services offered are primarily focused on building a community of support for the individual to lean on as they go through the different steps to recovery.

Community Support

Community support is crucial in healing. Treatment centers focus on this to make you more comfortable with sharing your struggles and concerns openly and honestly. With a supportive network of other past sex addicts, you can support each other through your shared desire for healing.

Therapies

Treatment centers offer a number of therapies, including the ones listed above. These help the addict learn to open up, trust again, and explore their feelings towards their addiction. Learning the causes of their addiction and how to cope in healthy ways can be transformative in the healing process.

Relationship Rebuilding

Support from your loved ones is everything and can often help prevent a relapse. At a treatment center, you can work on skills to rebuild your relationships with loved ones to help regain their trust and understanding.

It Takes A Village

Since the dawn of mankind, humans have been drawn to living and working amongst other humans. The core of this is the feeling of belonging. Humans want to feel as though they are a part of something bigger. This is why community support is vital in recovery for sex addiction.

Leaning on others in a time of need can help with feelings of isolation and depression. Being around other people with the same goals as you can also help your mindset. You help drive each other to the common goal. This way, you aren’t surrounded by those who could tempt you into bad habits. Socializing with others in recovery can help them empathize with you and help you learn how to have healthy, lasting relationships with like-minded people. Remember, “sober relationships support sober lifestyles.”

Your best bet in recovery is to seek out others who are also getting sober to create a support network. This way, people can empathize and give advice when you have bad days because they have lived through the experience. By cultivating these relationships with other sober individuals, you are encouraging open and honest communication. A sense of fellowship will create a deep bond between you, creating a stable foundation for your recovery.

Giving Back

Giving back to the community can give you a sense of purpose. It can also keep you bonded to these individuals who constantly encourage your healing. You can give back by mentoring others, educating those in need, and sharing your story. This can be incredibly validating for those just starting recovery, so they can see there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Finding a support community can be difficult if you are unsure where to look. Sober living homes are a great option to learn how to cope with your addiction so you can lead a happier, more fulfilling life. You can also learn new techniques that have worked for others to help maintain your abstinence from harmful sexual behaviors. Your supportive community is waiting for you! Call Camelback Recovery today at (602) 466-9880.

Sobriety Doesn’t End When Treatment Does: Moving Out of a Sober Living House

Moving out of a sober living house can be terrifying for those who have undergone multiple programs for addiction recovery. Making the decision to stay in the area of the sober living home, moving back home, or moving to a different city entirely can be difficult as well. There are many factors to weigh in that depend on each person’s situation.

Are You Ready to Leave?

First and foremost, before deciding to leave your sober living home, make absolutely sure that you are 100% ready to leave and live on your own. Leaving too early from treatment can be disastrous to your overall recovery. It’s better to stay longer than you need than to leave before you are ready.

Have a Strategy for Moving

Do not move out of a sober living home without having some sort of plan in place. You can talk with your therapists or addiction specialists at the home to come up with a post-treatment plan. In this plan, ensure that you will be addressing the same issues that were discussed in treatment. You should also have coping skills for new situations that may arise after you move out.

You should also consider employment opportunities for when you move, as not having enough money to live can lead to stress — and stress can lead to relapse. Moving to an area with plenty of available jobs can help with your recovery. To see what areas are good for finding employment, try using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as a resource.

Once you do move out, be sure to find an aftercare program. This can help you adjust to your new life as you become even more independent. Also, look for support groups to find fellowship and community with other like-minded individuals who can keep you motivated to stay sober.

Moving Back Home

Moving home can be a positive option, as it means going back to a supportive group of family and friends. For some, moving away from this support network of family and friends could hold them back in their recovery. Support from people you love is crucial to a successful recovery.

However, this is not the case for all recovered addicts. Moving back home is not always recommended for various reasons:

  • Triggers are everywhere in your hometown
  • Old friends who use or drink could still live nearby
  • Places where you used to buy the substances that fed your addiction will be there

Triggers can lead to cravings and relapse. This is why it’s commonly recommended to stay in the area of your sober living home or treatment facility or find a new city entirely to call home. Moving back to the place where you were using is risky. A fresh start can leave you with a new mindset since you won’t be constantly reminded of the past or surrounded by triggers.

Remember That Moving Doesn’t Erase Your Problems

Recovery is a commitment that must be made every single day. Just because you move away from the place where you were using doesn’t mean that your triggers or anxiety about recovery will go away. Do not blame your old neighborhood for your addiction — this is not accepting responsibility for the past. Make a commitment to recovery in your new location.

To help in life after recovery, sober living homes teach you how to be independent with the use of coping skills, recovery coaching, therapy, health and fitness, and more. Challenges will occur after treatment is over, so you must learn to use these skills to survive on your own.

Remember that people from your past may try to guilt you into coming back. Do not let them guilt you into thinking that you abandoned them. You did not abandon them — you abandoned your past bad habits and now are focusing on your own recovery. True friends will support you in this decision.

You can fall back into bad habits anywhere. Saying no to past temptations and staying committed to your recovery will keep you on the right track to sobriety.

Relapsing After Treatment

Relapse is most common in the months following treatment. This is especially true in the first few weeks after treatment when the person is moving and transitioning into their new living environment. The important thing to remember is that relapse is always a possibility for past addicts. The risk of relapsing does decrease over time, but it never goes away completely.

Do not lose hope if you end up relapsing after leaving a sober living home. Pick yourself back up. This can be difficult but it is not impossible. Try to understand the causes of your relapse and work to fight against those triggers and stressors.

Move Somewhere You Feel Happy

Most importantly, move somewhere that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Your environment can impact your overall mood and mental state in a variety of ways. The place where you choose to start your sober life after treatment should be calm and bring you joy.

Sobriety is all about taking care of your needs and desires in a healthy manner. Live in the setting you love, whether it be the country, near a body of water, in the mountains, or in the city. Remember that adjusting to a new place will take some time. You will eventually make new friends. Get involved with the local sober community to aid in your recovery, and always remember to be a good friend to yourself.

Camelback Recovery offers sober living homes for men and women across the state of Arizona. The specialists at these homes will prepare you for life after treatment, giving you the necessary tools for a successful life of sobriety. Camelback Recovery can change your life, teaching you how to be independent and healthy after a life of addiction. To speak with an experienced specialist and start the road to recovery, call us today at (602) 466-9880.