Christine has been with Olalla Recovery Centers since 2000. Prior to her work in chemical dependency, Christine worked in the law enforcement and legal field for over ten years. She has a degree in psychology, business administration and human resource management. Christine oversees the organization as directed by the Board of Directors. She has a degree in Psychology, with minors in Business Administration and Human Resource Management.
One of the most difficult steps for individuals struggling with addiction is to recognize that their substance use disorder is adversely impacting their life — and that they need help fighting this disease. This is where loved ones can play a role. An intervention helps friends, family and even colleagues to rally around their loved one and help the individual recognize that it’s time to address the problem.
You’ve probably heard of interventions but if your knowledge is based on Hollywood portrayals, let’s bust some myths first. Unlike the “made for TV” version, a real-life intervention takes time, resources and commitment. Prepare to be patient.
Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” — Brian Tracy
A growing body of research has found that gratitude has a positive impact on our wellbeing. Being grateful doesn’t just make us happier, but also reduces stress, makes us more resilient and improves our health.
Learning to recognize the early signs can help prevent relapse from happening. One model that helps is called HALT, which stands for hunger, anger, loneliness and tiredness. These four feelings are also potentially high-risk situations that can lead to substance cravings.
You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.
“Out with the old, in with the new.” That’s a simplified way to look at your recovery journey. As you’re leaving your past behind, you’re creating new habits, building new relationships and finding new meaning in your life.
Alcohol and drug addiction can happen to anyone.
You may see a stereotypical “junkie” or alcoholic portrayed in the media as a homeless person or someone who does nothing all day but get high or wasted. The truth is, many people struggle in secret without showing it on the surface. Your friend, family member or co-worker may harbor an addiction without you noticing.
People of all walks of life, regardless of their background, can experience substance use problems that escalate out of control. But how do you know when alcohol or drug abuse becomes an addiction?
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. – Sir Edmund Hillary
For many individuals in recovery, low self-esteem is one of the aftereffects of treatment. While you’ll be working on different areas of emotional healing after rehabilitation, high self-esteem is one of the building blocks that you’ll want to make a priority.
If your self-esteem is low, you will find it difficult to motivate yourself to meet recovery goals. You may feel you don’t deserve to feel better and you may jeopardize your progress.
The first few months after treatment for substance use disorder may be the most challenging phase of your recovery journey. You are experiencing physiological and psychological effects of withdrawal while also adjusting to a new life. At the same time, you are no longer in the structured environment that in-patient treatment provided, and you’re still learning how to apply the new recovery strategies you have learned.
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. — Abraham Lincoln
One thing you’ll hear often as you enter recovery is that you need to let go of the past. You do need to take responsibility for your old actions, but that doesn’t mean dwelling on the past — that will only impede your progress by taking focus away from here and now.
Living in the past is not just about reminiscing. While letting go of old habits or bad influences is important, there’s also real danger from being so paralyzed by your shame and guilt that you can’t move beyond your mistakes. You may be feeling anger and pain over some of the things that happened to you. You may also feel fear about the unknown since the past, however destructive, is at least a familiar road.
Individuals who start substance-abuse recovery often go in thinking that once they complete a treatment program, all they have left to do is maintain physical health. Getting healthy, of course, is the end goal — but there are many dimensions to the recovery journey. Each has its own challenges, and each has to be managed.
In addition to physical, emotional and mental strength, you’ll need to build spiritual and financial health. The financial side of the recovery journey may be especially overlooked, yet it’s an integral part of the process.
Addiction recovery is a major feat, and you need to celebrate your achievements, whether big or small. Creating a healthy-rewards system for yourself can help keep you motivated.
As we know, the human brain is wired to respond to rewards. That, in fact, is one of the reasons behind drug and alcohol addiction. Because the brain is wired to pursue pleasurable activities, it has a sophisticated “reward circuit” — and substances create a huge surge of neurotransmitters that signal the brain to repeat the activity.