How To Build A Support System in Early Sobriety

Struggling with addiction takes a toll not just on ourselves, but also on the people we care about. But overcoming any form of drug abuse is easier said than done, and this is especially true for women. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that women, on average, often face greater difficulties due to both biological differences and harsher societal expectations. And despite nearly 20 million women using illicit substances in the past year alone, many addiction treatment programs remain designed and geared towards, men. This is why our team at Anchored Tides Recovery focuses on women and what it takes to achieve long-term recovery.

Now, many people assume that once you get through withdrawal, addiction recovery is a piece of cake. But the truth is that it is only the beginning. True addiction recovery means making active decisions each day to stay sober and find happiness in everyday life. While there are a lot of different things that will help with these decisions (pursuing hobbies, working out, etc.), the real key is building a strong support system early on. 

Why a Support System is Important

Very few of us can make big life achievements all on our own. And yes, getting sober is a major achievement. With the right people surrounding you and supporting you throughout your recovery, you’ll be better able to make the right decisions. Everyone’s situation is different, and support systems can consist of a variety of people: family members, friends, counselors, mentors, etc. For many people in early sobriety, it is a good idea to surround yourself with a blend of people from these areas to get different perspectives and support from all areas of life. Specifically, a strong support system helps you in the following ways: 

  • They give you an outlet to voice your frustrations and feelings.
  • They provide a real-world perspective and can help remind you why sobriety is good (healthy peer pressure). 
  • They show that a sober, healthy life is within reach.
  • They can help expand your social circle with other healthy-minded individuals. 
  • They can introduce you to healthy, enjoyable hobbies.
  • They help remind you that you are an important, well-liked person with value to others.

Above all, building a strong support system keeps you accountable to others rather than just yourself. You’re not deciding to stay sober just because of yourself now; you’re also doing it for the important people in your life. 

Choosing the Right People

Now that you know how important having a good support system is, how do you go about surrounding yourself with the right people? To start, you should only be around people who are sober and/or who have already made great strides in fighting their own addiction problems and are acutely focused on sobriety. Especially in early sobriety, it is not a good idea to continue associating with people who are not supportive of you discontinuing drug abuse or who even enabled it. It is all too easy sometimes to slip and relapse, but the right people will do what they can to help you make the right decisions. In the event that you do relapse, the right people are the ones who will help you get back up and into treatment. 

As mentioned earlier, support systems often consist of different kinds of people who are meaningful in your life. For many, it starts with the people in their addiction treatment program. Your rehabilitation staff will serve as some of your earliest supporters, helping see you through the early stages and on to long-term recovery. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of all the resources your treatment program has to offer! There will be many opportunities for you to meet other like-minded individuals and strong people you can relate to. 

That said, while it is important to continue therapy and have the support of a counselor, it is also important to be able to develop a healthy social life with family and friends. Working individuals may even confide in a trusted employer or coworker about their efforts and their intent to stay sober, thus expanding their support system even further. 

Consider Group Therapy

One of the best ways you can build up your support system early on in addiction recovery is by participating in group therapy. This is also another case where you can utilize the resources available to you through your addiction program and find a group that you feel comfortable with. Giving you an outlet with people who know exactly what you’re going through, group therapy has been shown to be highly effective for all kinds of people. It’s also worth noting that groups can help keep you even more accountable than others in your life can, as they can relate to your temptations and will recognize any excuses you may make. In fact, many people continue group therapy long into sobriety because of the support they feel and the meaningful connections that are made.

We Can Help You Find the Support You Need!

Looking for the help you need to overcome drug addiction once and for all? We’re here for you. Anchored Tides Recovery is a comprehensive addiction treatment program designed specifically for women, by women. Our various levels of outpatient and partial-hospitalization services are designed to help you beat drug abuse without having to give up everyday life and the things that make you “you”. In addition to the initial stages of treatment that will help you overcome physical dependency, we focus on long-term recovery monitoring.

Our team of caring professionals will also help form part of your support system, and we will help you strengthen your relationships elsewhere. With the right team behind you, long-term sobriety is within reach!  Contact us today!

Why You Should Meditate in Addiction Recovery

Overcoming addiction comes with its own challenges and can be particularly stressful if you are just beginning your journey to recovery. Dealing with the urge to use, cleaning up the messes you made while using, and rebuilding broken relationships is no walk in the park. Anchored Tides puts a big emphasis on developing skills to help you deal with real-life struggles at the beginning of recovery. One of the best coping mechanisms we’ve found so far is meditation and we make sure to include it in our treatment programs. 

What is Meditation?

This is a complementary and alternative approach to mainstream addiction recovery services like group counseling and psychotherapy. It is a general body and mind connection practice that focuses on inducing serenity and relaxation to improve both mental and physical health. Anyone can take part in meditation irrespective of your religious or spiritual life. There is no set of time for meditators but beginners can start with a few minutes and then advance to longer sessions.

 The practice focuses on the physical sensations, mindfulness, awareness of present feelings and surroundings. It also involves the mindfulness of accepting thoughts and feelings as they are. This is particularly effective in helping individuals fighting addiction to thinking about sobriety, prevent relapse, and ultimately lead to addiction recovery.

Benefits of Meditation

Aside from promoting inner peace, calmness, increase self-awareness and proper mental functioning, meditation also improves mindfulness which helps decrease cravings and aid recovery. Practicing mindfulness means that you are in control of your attention. You are taking the role and attitude of an observer of what you are doing and feeling.

Improves Resilience

Individuals dealing with addiction are among the most resilient people you will ever come across. Bouncing back to a healthy, quiet, drama free, sober life, and adapting to the new changes is not easy – even for the most dynamic individuals. It takes patience, persistence and strong will to recover fully. Meditation helps you cultivate massive levels of resilience. It helps you become more mindful of your fears, anxiety, and pain. Frequent practice helps reduce and manage stress levels.

Acceptance 

Too often we get down on ourselves and doubt our abilities to live a happy, sober life. The addiction recovery journey can be more difficult if you remain too hard on yourself. Since meditation focuses on attentiveness and observation to your own feelings and thoughts, it is much easier to learn, watch, and be patient with your emotions and self. The more you practice, the more you get to know yourself. You’ll also learn to treat yourself better and exercise some patience and acceptance as you would on other people who are in the same situation.

Improves your overall health

Meditation focuses on body and mind connection. That means it also focuses on your physical and mental health. When you discover self-awareness, you embrace sobriety and realize that you can actually cope with life challenges without alcohol or drugs. 

Your anxiety and stress levels lower through the practice of meditation which can prevent lifestyle-related illnesses such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart conditions. Aside from reducing anxiety and stress some health benefits gained from meditation include reducing your chance of depression, which is common in individuals battling addiction.

Improves your attention span

Meditation and being mindful means thinking about what and how it is right now and not worrying about the past or the future. You are concentrating on your present and the positive things in it. Practicing mindful meditation means taking time to enjoy the current moment as it is. We can’t fix the past and we can’t control the future, all we have is the present moment. Focusing on the present improves your attention span and allows you to enjoy the little things in life. Becoming more attentive will also help you strengthen or repair broken relationships.  

Start meditating

While meditation and addiction would never be used in the same sentences a few decades ago, research has now proved that it is the new recovery agent to addiction. If you have cravings, feel depressed, or are stressed, practice meditation. It’s free and you can do it anywhere!

Anchored Tides Recovery Wants to Help

We want to help you get sober and stay sober. Reach out to us today with any questions you may have regarding our program. We’re happy to talk about all of the resources we provide women seeking sobriety. You can do it! 

The Top Five Most Influential Women in Recovery

For those who struggle with addiction, substance abuse, and other mental health disorders, it is easy to feel isolated. After all, many people who see others going through addiction believe that this can never happen to them. For young women who battle these issues, the situation can be that much more difficult. Often, substance abuse in women develops as a side effect of prior traumas or bad relationships that drove someone into the arms of addiction in the first place.

It is critical for women to know that they are not alone. There are countless others who have been there and many of them end up recovering. There are even powerful, successful, and influential women who have gone through recovery and succeeded on the other side. There are several stories that women can turn to for inspiration.

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith is an incredibly successful actress from Baltimore; however, she did not always star in movies. She lived in a terrible part of the city with a single mother who was addicted to drugs in the midst of an epidemic. At 11 years old, she was very much on her own, as her mother was under the influence and unable to help her.

Jada Pinkett Smith ended up as a drug dealer in the 1980s; however, she also suffered from alcoholism. She never learned to say no to alcohol and drugs and began to drink on a nightly basis. She says that she did this to try to numb the pains of her childhood.

Eventually, Jada Pinkett Smith sought help for substance abuse. It was a long road to recovery, but she has now been sober for more than 20 years. She reminds us all that sobriety is not a destination but a journey.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is one of the most recognizable stars from the Disney Channel. She starred in Camp Rock, which came out in 2008. She became immersed in a successful music career and has served as an inspiration to many; however, it is not her entertainment skills that are the focus. It is her journey back to sobriety.

Demi Lovato started using drugs during her Disney days. She was partying, drinking, and doing drugs in an effort to self-medicate and deal with the emotional stresses of her job. She was using cocaine hourly. Eventually, Demi Lovato went on to seek help. She navigated her way through recovery and was able to return to her career. She has now been sober for five years and performed the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the most recognizable actresses in history. She underwent a surgical procedure decades ago. Sadly, after this procedure, she became addicted to painkillers. When she went a while without opioids, she started to develop cravings and knew she was going to end up in withdrawal. Therefore, she knew she needed to get help. Addiction ran in her family and she lost a brother to heroin abuse.

Eventually, Jamie Lee Curtis got the help she needed. She was able to achieve sobriety once again and returned to her acting career and now works with anti-drug organizations in an effort to raise awareness of the epidemic.

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige is one of the top R&B artists of all time. Many have even called her the queen of hip hop and soul. Mary J. Blige had her own issues with both mental health and substance abuse. She says that her addiction problems came from a traumatic childhood. She was sexually abused and had numerous dark moments. This led to the development of drug addiction. She was high on cocaine and drinking heavily during the early days of her career. She was able to seek help from trained professionals and learned from Whitney Houston’s journey. Today, she is sober. She carries on in the memory of Whitney Houston, one of her great idols.

Kristin Davis

The star of Sex and the City has also had a long battle with substance abuse. In 2008, she revealed that she is a recovering alcoholic. She started drinking as a teenager in an effort to medicate her social insecurities and get through her parents’ divorce. She drank to fit in, but it grew into an addiction. Now, she shares her journey with everyone. She encourages people to recognize the signs of addiction early on. The sooner people get help from the professionals, the faster they can recover.

Call Anchored Tides Recovery Today

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a drug abuse and addiction treatment program designed specifically for women. We work hard to provide the latest treatment resources to every woman who comes to see us for help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.