How Can Teaching Others About My Experiences Help Me in My Recovery?

Learning to achieve mastery of a subject occurs over the course of time. If you can teach a skill to others, you are likely nearing or have achieved mastery of the topic. In recovery, peers support one another in the recovery community. You might meet peers during treatment programs or at support meetings.

You may also meet others struggling with addiction in online support groups or internet forums. We can all offer something new to our peers in recovery. You can offer a unique perspective to your peers or might be able to teach a new coping skill. Teaching reinforces the value of our own life lessons as we can see others benefiting from the things we have learned.

Levels of Learning

Learning a new skill can be broken down into these four steps. You can gain feedback from peers and your support network throughout:

  1. Watching and Observing:
    By observing others, you can begin to see what sort of skills you would like to learn or what behaviors you would like to emulate. You might observe by listening to peers in group sessions. Once you have an idea of what you would like to learn, you can move on to the next step.
  2. Ask Questions:
    This step is simple. When you want to learn something, just ask questions. Asking others questions on coping skills they have used or methods they use in treatment can teach you a lot about recovery. Asking questions is also a great way to begin participating in group therapy sessions.
  3. Take Action:
    Once you know what you want to learn, you can take action and begin applying the skill to your life. Maybe a peer of yours encouraged you to try yoga or practice mindfulness. Take action by signing up for a class or session. When you practice your new coping skill, you can begin to share your experience with others. Once you are comfortable in your ability to demonstrate competence, you can move to the next step.
  4. Teaching Others:
    Teaching others what you have learned is a great way of cementing the skill to your memory. To teach others, you have to break your skill down into steps. This will require you to think about what aspects of the skill lead to success. Creating a curriculum to teach others will reinforce the lessons that you have learned. Teaching is another way of re-learning.

Making Personal Changes

Throughout the process of learning and teaching, you will get feedback from others. At first, you will get feedback from your peers or your recovery coach. They will give you some tips and help you learn new skills. They will also support you in making positive changes in your life by learning new recovery coping skills. When you teach others, you might also get feedback from those learning your skill.

They may have suggestions for how the skill works best for them, which you can also try or pass along to others. Remember that accepting constructive feedback on your skills and teaching will help you learn to get better. Honest communication is the key to gaining useful feedback for you to grow.

Peer Support and Mentoring

Peer support is an important aspect of recovery. Your peers are either in a similar position as you are or they have already been through similar events. They may have faced challenges you are not yet ready for. They can prepare you by teaching you from their experiences. You can also teach your peers new things that they may not know.

Mentoring others is sometimes a step in some recovery programs that can help you in your recovery. You might be asked to lead a group session or teach a class on your preferred topic. You may also teach an alternative or diversionary skill, such as painting, drawing, woodworking, or music.

Mentoring and teaching can fill you with a sense of purpose along your journey to recovery. You might find that helping others with their struggles is a rewarding experience. You and your peers can foster a sense of belonging and community within your recovery treatment program.

Teaching and cultivating a passion for learning recovery skills can build a supportive environment, where peers are willing and able to learn from their mistakes. Being in a safe and supportive environment is conducive to learning. You need to feel that you will not be judged by making mistakes and that your peers will support you through your recovery process.

Teaching can be considered one of the best ways to learn a new skill. You need to have considerable knowledge to teach others. You need time to absorb and utilize your skill in order to pass the information to those who may benefit. Mentoring in recovery can help peers feel connected to their program and give them the support that they need. You can teach others to learn from mistakes along the way, and you can also learn from their mistakes. Many recovery treatment programs promote a peer-to-peer support network, where individuals in recovery learn from one another. Camelback Recovery cultivates a safe and supportive environment for peers to learn new things from one another. We encourage honest communication among our staff and peers as we hold everyone accountable for their recovery. By creating a space for honest communication, you can best learn new coping skills to change your behaviors. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to begin your learning process!


What Does a Recovery Coach Do?

For some of us new to recovery from addictions or those of us already in 12-step programs, the term “recovery coach” may be an unfamiliar term. We may assume that a sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is similar to a recovery coach.

While a sponsor from a 12-step program may seem like a coach and encourage our recovery, the term “recovery coach” refers to a professional with a specific job description. A recovery coach may share characteristics similar to other support members on our team. However, recovery coaches have a set of responsibilities outlined by their program guidelines and expectations.

Sponsors and Recovery Coaches: What Is the Difference?

When entering a sober living home or a recovery treatment program, we may be introduced to a recovery coach on our staff. We might feel like this is redundant if we already have a sponsor. While both people play important roles in our treatment, recovery coaches differ from our sponsors in many ways.

A sponsor will primarily focus on guiding us through the 12-step program of AA or NA. Our sponsor will be with us along every step of a specific recovery program. Recovery, however, can include more treatment options than a 12-step program. We may be attending group therapy or seeing a psychotherapist.

We might have a case manager helping us with attaining resources outside of treatment, like housing and medical care. We might have an addiction specialist helping to connect us with recovery programs. Each of these components can be beneficial to our recovery in their own way.

While a sponsor guides us through one specific program, a recovery coach mentors us through our entire recovery process. Recovery coaches help to coordinate and glue the different treatment aspects together. They encourage us to engage in lifelong recovery.

While sponsors help us through the 12-step process, once we complete AA or NA, we may want to seek alternative methods of recovery. Even if we continue to attend AA or NA meetings, we may benefit from other programs and treatments to enhance our recovery journey over a lifetime.

Recovery coaches help to facilitate this process. They also counsel and support us in pursuing our goals beyond changing our addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches can help us find purpose in life to enable us to cultivate a healthy lifestyle.

Recovery Development Plans

Recovery coaches will primarily help us develop a recovery development plan. Our recovery development plan will include our goals inside and outside of treatment. The tools that recovery coaches use may be things like:

  • Strengths-Based Approaches: Recovery coaches are interested in focusing on our strengths. Sponsors and addiction specialists tend to be more adept at helping us with our addictive behaviors. However, recovery coaches want to build up our strengths to help us see the value in ourselves. Our strengths can help us build the resiliency and focus needed to engage in recovery for a lifetime.
  • SMART Goals: Recovery coaches consult us in thinking beyond fixing our addictions. They want to understand our life’s purpose and guide us in achieving our goals. Recovery coaches can help us develop effective recovery plans by creating Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based goals.
  • The GROW model: Our recovery coach may also use the GROW model to develop successful and meaningful recovery plans. GROW stands for: having Goals, understanding the Reality of our circumstances, being empowered with Options for treatment and recovery, having a coach guide us in Writing out our plans.

Generating Options for Treatment: Empowering Us in Recovery

Our recovery coach can empower us in our treatment by generating options for our recovery journey. Some programs or approaches may work well for others but may not work for us at all. A recovery coach can guide us through the process of finding the approaches that work best for us. While some of us may only be familiar with 12-step recovery programs, we might benefit from exploring some other approaches to enhance our treatment. Some of these approaches include:

  • Individual or Group Therapy
  • Mindfulness Practices
  • Yoga
  • Physical Fitness and Exercise
  • Peer Support
  • Nutritional Wellness
  • Art and Music Therapy
  • Outdoor or Recreational Therapy

Our recovery coach can introduce us to many new and exciting forms of treatment that can enhance our recovery. Recovery coaches also hold us accountable to sticking with our recovery. Some of these approaches can foster lifelong habits that we can continue to pursue beyond our recovery program. Sometimes we need a guiding hand to understand all of our options to develop a recovery plan that works for us. You can let a recovery coach be that guiding hand for you.

Are you new to recovery or already in a traditional 12-step program? Are you looking for more treatment options and guidance in other areas of life? Do you feel that you are ready to take the next step toward leading a fulfilling life beyond treatment? Recovery coaches can navigate us through the process of finding effective treatment options. Recovery coaches empower us to find the best options that will speak to our individual desires and preferences. They help us to discover our purpose in life beyond treating our addictive behaviors and habits. Camelback Recovery provides recovery coaching free of charge for the first two weeks of stay in our sober living home. We like to provide two weeks of this service for free to help our participants start off on the right track. Call us at (602) 466-9880 to start your recovery today!


Accountability: Owning and Being Responsible for Your Wellness

Accountability—along with Support, Structure, Community, and Purpose—is one of the five pillars of many recovery programs. Accountability is often one of the first pillars you may exemplify as you begin your path to recovery. If you are seeking information about recovery, you have likely begun to recognize that you need help with your addictive behaviors.

You are taking the first step toward holding yourself accountable for your wellness. Accountability is also fundamentally tied to all the other pillars of recovery. After all, if you do not first take accountability—or ownership and responsibility—for your wellness, who else will?

Accepting Responsibility and Stages of Recovery

You may have heard people talk about being “ready” for recovery or being “ready” for change. Are you ready for a change? Accepting responsibility and taking accountability for your own behaviors is the first crucial step toward change. Recovery generally occurs in the following five stages:

  1. Pre-Contemplation: You may not be aware of how your actions are affecting your wellness. During pre-contemplation, you may be in the throes of your addictive behaviors. While you experience the consequences of your behaviors in the pre-contemplation stage, you may yet be unable or unwilling to accept the connection between your actions and the negative consequences of your actions. You may describe this stage as being in denial that you need to change your behaviors. This stage occurs before taking accountability.
  2. Contemplation: During contemplation, you begin to realize that the consequences of your addictive behaviors are increasingly more difficult to deny. While in this stage, you may begin to notice the consequences of your actions. However, you may still be unwilling to take steps toward recovery. You may begin to justify your addictive behaviors, yet you have not taken accountability for finding solutions or seeking out recovery.
  3. Preparation: This is the stage where accountability truly begins to appear. While in preparation, you accept that you need to change your behavior and actions. You accept responsibility for what you have done and recognize that if you do not take ownership of your addiction, you will continue to be affected by the negative consequences of your behavior. During this stage, you may begin to research recovery programs. You may also begin seeking support from those around you, in order to be successful once you engage in the recovery process.
  4. Action: Now that you have taken accountability for your recovery, you can take action. During this stage, you are seeking treatment and beginning the recovery process. You are learning new coping skills and ways to manage your addictive behaviors. You are also learning to replace unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones while building a sense of community with your peers in recovery.
  5. Maintenance: Once you have engaged in the process of recovery and learned new coping skills and healthy habits, you have to work daily to maintain your newfound healthy lifestyle. Accountability comes into play as you must accept the responsibility for sustaining your recovery. You also have to recognize if you are slipping and need to gain more recovery skills to maintain your new way of life.

Interconnections Between Accountability and the Other Pillars of Recovery

A whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts, and this holds true for the five pillars of recovery. While in recovery, you will build a sense of community within a supportive environment, which is set up to hold you accountable for your recovery.

You may have to check-in with your sponsor or your recovery staff, who will help hold you accountable. Your support team has your best interests in mind and are here to remind you of your goals. Your team will help you become the best that you can be by holding you accountable for the new life you wish to lead.

Having a daily structure will help to keep you accountable to be in a certain place at a certain time. Your structure will keep you focused on your recovery activities and sessions. Finding a purpose will also hold you accountable to something greater than yourself, as you realize that your actions have consequences that affect things beyond yourself.

You are most likely in the preparation stage of recovery if you are researching this information. Continue on your path toward a better life by accepting ownership and taking accountability for your actions. Connect with those who care about you and begin finding a pathway to a better life today.

Accountability is fundamental to recovery. The journey to wellness begins with you accepting that you need help, and the journey continues with you holding yourself accountable to being better today than you were yesterday!

Are you new to the recovery process and looking for a change? Now that you are beginning to research recovery programs and recovery information, you have likely taken accountability for your own wellness! The pathway to recovery starts with accepting that your addictive behaviors have had negative consequences in your life. Once you accept that you need to make changes, you have taken accountability for your actions and for your recovery. To continue on this pathway, call the staff at Camelback Recovery today. We offer long-term recovery in an extensive program of sober living. We have a supportive environment and our staff will help to hold you accountable to your recovery goals. Our program emphasizes the five pillars of recovery, and we are here to help you live your best life. Connect with us at (602) 466-9880.


Do the Performance Arts Have a Place in Recovery?

Nobody can deny the positive effects of the theater on a person’s mind and body. Partaking in something creative can have many positive benefits for a person to enjoy and help them feel better. This goes for all creative endeavors, but especially for live theater. Going to see a live performance is good but even better when you become a part of the production.

Pushing yourself to be a part of something bigger than yourself is a huge step in growth. Doing something that requires you to be in front of people and have them judge your performance is another big moment. We will always encourage people to push themselves out of their comfort zone. Doing so can be an excellent way for us to learn new things about ourselves.

Drama, acting, and participation in theater may, honestly, offer the most therapeutic value out of any of the art forms for many reasons. In early recovery, it could be a fantastic avenue for you to explore so that you can have a place where you can feel and behave in all the best ways.

Self-Expression Through Theater

First off, it gives you a platform to express yourself. There is absolutely something cathartic to taking your trauma, your struggles, and your emotional turmoil and expressing it on stage. Of course, talking about your wounds can help in a lot of cases, but some issues are too difficult to talk about with another person.

This is where putting your wounds into a performance can be so beautiful. You can build a character who uses the same kind of trauma as reasons for their actions, which can, in turn, help you come to terms with what you have experienced.

It can help construct a person from the ground up, see how this trauma shapes them, and use that process to reflect on what you have done and how you have grown with it. You can create a distance from your emotional struggles and allow a new perspective to take shape.

Building a Community

The community aspect can help build a person up, helping them feel accepted, and a part of something when their loneliness is a leading factor in their mental illness. The beautiful thing about theater is that so many different kinds of people can take part in it. It’s not like sports, which usually requires a certain amount of athleticism. It is something that a person can play an essential role in, either onstage or behind the scenes.

It doesn’t matter which part you do, as both of them will allow you to add something to the whole production, bringing what you have to the table. Without a sense of community, a production can’t go on, meaning that it can make you feel vital to success and truly shine in your talents and role.

A Professional Perspective

Furthermore, live theater can help mental health professionals understand more about a patient’s condition. If their patient takes part in a production, the professional can use their experience and performance to better understand how they can help them.

Much like how we talked about using the performance for the person to get another perspective on their issues, that distance can help lessen the sense of vulnerability. A recovering person can give a more honest representation of how they feel if there is a “character” expressing their emotions. Weirdly, distancing themselves from their issues allows them to share those vulnerabilities in their performance.

That can help a mental health professional better understand them, where they are coming from, and how they operate. From there, they can develop a proper treatment plan since they now have a better glimpse into the nature of these injuries.

Take a Leap of Faith and Try Something New

There are just so many reasons why taking part in theater can help a person. It can be the best way for a person coming into recovery to continue to grow and feel better. It provides a new outlook on themselves and their struggles. It helps them feel like they have a community and a place to belong, and it can give other people a better look into how they operate.

It is important to always push yourself to try something new and not just allow ourselves to be passive. We can engage with the activity itself and become a part of it, allowing ourselves to grow and flourish in new ways. We can find out more about who we are, what we want to do and be, and how we can be the best version of ourselves. It can be wonderful to find something that makes you feel like you belong, and you excel. That is something we all deserve to feel.

Theater may not be for everyone, but it may be the key to unlocking your potential in early recovery for a specific type of person. Performance can teach you valuable lessons about yourself while illustrating the importance of teamwork and becoming a part of something bigger than yourself. 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.

Starting the Morning Off Wrong

A lot of us experience anxiety at specific points in the day. We have different kinds of triggers that can cause stress to appear in front of us, forcing us to deal with it. For many of us, we feel anxiety at night, as we are trying to sleep. This is the time when our brains decide to go into hyperdrive and send every thought it can through our minds.

This is how anxiety keeps so many of us up at night, and why we find going to sleep very difficult. But on the other side, some can experience anxiety in the morning. In a lot of ways, this can be a much more difficult situation to have to deal with, as you wake up to start your day already feeling stressed and worried.

You literally wake up, and the first thing you think is some sort of concern for something that is going to happen in your day. Before you even have a chance to hit Snooze one more time on your alarm, you are feeling anxious about something. It can be a crippling thing to wake up to, and can cause you to feel paralyzed, stuck in your bed.

If you are experiencing morning anxiety, especially if it is excessive and causing too many negative things in your life, you may have to consider the possibility that you may have a generalized anxiety disorder. It is essential to know what to do in case this is happening to you.

The symptoms of morning anxiety can often mirror the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. So, as you may know already, this could include:

  • feeling restless, on edge, or wound up
  • finding it difficult to concentrate
  • fatigue
  • frequent panic attacks
  • irritability
  • difficulty controlling nervousness or worry

Any of these can be signs that you are developing or struggling with some kind of generalized anxiety disorder. If you are feeling any of these things, you may want to consider seeking the proper help for it.

Where is this Anxiety Coming From?

Now, we get to the things that can cause morning anxiety to manifest in a person. There are plenty of things that can cause a person to experience these things. One of the biggest reasons for someone to experience morning anxiety is due to high amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol.

There has been a lot of research done into the cortisol awakening response (CAR). This research has shown that the production of cortisol is highest during the first four hours of the day for people who experience higher levels of worry and stress.

That, alone, can explain a lot of reasons why morning anxiety can be prevalent in someone’s life. It also may be dependent on what you eat or drink to start your day. Eating a high amount of sugar or caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety.

On the flip side, having low blood sugar can cause feelings of anxiety to be even worse. If you went to bed the night before with feelings of anxiety and thinking about whatever is worrying you, you can wake up feeling that way still. Sleep is often viewed as the best medicine, and that is correct to a certain extent, but that doesn’t mean that it will always work. Those feelings can last through the night and into the morning.

Getting Rid of The Morning Stress

There are plenty of ways to cope with morning anxiety, and they are all similar to how you can deal with anxiety in general. You can seek psychotherapy, which will give you the tools you need to understand your anxiety and make the most out of it. You may have to make some significant lifestyle changes to help ease the symptoms of anxiety as well.

You can indulge in a greater amount of exercise and physical activity, practice mindfulness, and meditation to help keep your body calm, and finally, when you have negative thoughts, tackle them head-on. You don’t have to shy away from what bothers you. In fact, tackling them head-on is paramount to overcoming them. We don’t have to be afraid of them but can use them to make ourselves stronger.

Anxiety, in any form, is hard to deal with. But in the morning, it can be even worse. Starting your day off with heightened feelings of stress is terrible. So, know what kind of things are giving you anxiety, how your body is responding to those things, and take the proper actions to help ease the feelings. There is no reason for you to have to suffer through it alone, and you are strong enough to get through it. All you have to do is know what’s going on.

Getting sober is one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences anybody can go through. Fortunately, there is a solution to both your history of substance abuse and the anxiety of early recovery. 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. 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. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it can be an exciting period of your life, filled with transformational experiences and incredible growth.

How Can Sleep Issues Affect My Recovery?

Sleep is everything. Scientifically, we may not know why our bodies need rest, but we do need it, and we depend on it. Getting enough sleep is one of the core ways to practice good physical, mental, and emotional health. It is one of the most important physical processes, and it happens every single day.

It is something that no matter what, will happen at some point, and our bodies shut down once they reach a certain point of sleep deprivation. Sleep is essential to our lives. It is deeply, strongly connected to our mental health. Without sleep, our mental health will suffer, which is why it is so unfortunate that many of our mental illnesses and struggles can cause us to lose sleep.

When we could be sleeping and helping our brains recover, we are forced to stay awake and feel ourselves getting worse. Rest is an essential component of recovery as well. When we are trying to change behaviors, we need restful nights so our minds can internalize lessons we are learning. Sleep troubles are common worldwide, with many people experiencing some kind of difficulty with the act of sleeping. Sleep trouble has been linked to many disorders and difficulties, worsening pre-existing mental health conditions.

The Peculiar Torture of Insomnia

Insomnia is the most common one of these disorders. About 1 in 3 Americans have reported difficulty sleeping at least one night a week. This can include trouble falling asleep, waking up a lot, not being able to stay asleep, or waking up too early in the morning.

All of these can cause a person to not get enough hours of sleep every night. It is not an isolated issue for many people, but rather a symptom of another condition or issue that they are dealing with. It can be a short-term problem that only lasts for a specific duration.

Going on a trip or vacation can cause insomnia to pop up for the small amount of time, especially if you’re traveling across time zones. For the shorter, more minor cases of insomnia, there can be some easy methods to remedy the situation. People in this situation often find a natural supplement like melatonin to be sufficient, for example.

Sleeplessness & Other Disorders

The causes of insomnia can vary, but about 50% of cases are related to depression, anxiety, or psychological stress. You can often use a person’s insomnia to understand a person’s mental illness. For instance, early-morning wakefulness can be a sign of depression, along with low energy, inability to focus, sadness, and a change in appetite or weight. Alternatively, a person who is sleeping more, with increased energy, or lacking a need for sleep can all be signs of mania. Anxiety is also directly linked to issues with sleeping, as is obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It can be tough to deal with insomnia because there is only so much you can do to beat it. It will likely be a long process with many sleepless nights or just nights of little sleep. Maintaining good sleep habits can be a huge step for getting yourself on track. Sticking to a schedule, avoiding stimulating activities before sleep, and ensuring your environment is safe and comfortable are good practices to get into.

Practicing things like deep breathing, meditation, and other calming techniques help get your mind at ease. Exercising during the day can help set you up for good sleep at night as well. Remember, the more activities you engage in and the harder you push yourself (in healthy ways!) throughout the day, the easier it will be to fall asleep at night.

Finally, consider only getting in bed when you are trying to go to sleep. Avoid hanging out in your bed throughout the day or spending time there for any other reason. This helps your body to know when it is time to sleep, training it to feel comfortable when you lie down.

Sleep is a vital part of survival and an essential part of recovery. It can help keep you going during the stressful times, and help keep your feelings of anxiety and depression at a minimum. While it can’t cure everything, it is still a useful tool to remember when you are feeling low.

If you are experiencing problems with it, you can use plenty of techniques to improve your sleep. While we know how hard it can be, remember you are not alone in struggling with it and are strong enough to make the changes that you need.

Recovering from substance abuse is rarely as simple as getting a good night’s sleep, but practicing good sleep hygiene is a great tool in any recovering person’s tool belt. If you’re looking for a new way to live your life without drugs or alcohol, we’ve got the solutions you need. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find a sober living community ready to provide you with the tools necessary for long-term 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. 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. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it can be an exciting period of your life, filled with transformational experiences and incredible growth.