Tag Archives: addiction recovery

Tag Archives: addiction recovery


5 mistakes to avoid during 12-Step programs

There have been so many success stories published from those who’ve worked the 12-Steps in their addiction recovery – and while every person’s journey is different, all of these stories have an underlying similarity: hard work. The way you perceive your recovery is what will have the greatest influence in the long run, so it’s time to assess your expectations about recovery to see if they align with reality.

In the early stages of dependency, feeling connected to a 12-Step program can be challenging. A sense of belonging hasn’t fully developed and a deep understanding of the importance of the program hasn’t totally settled in. It can be easy to disregard the 12-Steps and not pay the program, or people in the program, proper respect.

Take a look at the following mistakes that many people make in recovery when it comes to the 12-Steps:

  1. Do you believe that your 12-Step program serves as a “quick fix”?
  2. Have you been missing meetings in your 12-Step program because you feel that you can “get by” without attending all of them?
  3. Are you holding back from participating in your 12-Step meetings because you believe that simply “showing up” will be enough?
  4. Have you been abusing substances and showing up to your meetings, with the belief that being high or intoxicated doesn’t have an effect on your progress because you’re still attending?
  5. Is there strong doubt in the back of your mind that everything you’re learning in your 12-Step program isn’t really going to help you?

If you can say ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s time to re-evaluate where you’re at in your recovery. Last year, Very Well Mind, a website that publishes information related to psychology and disorders, stated that,

“Many members of 12-Step recovery programs have found that these steps were not merely a way to stop drinking, but they became a guide toward a new way of life.”

Sobriety is a lifestyle, and you have to fully apply what you learn as you work through the 12-Steps to every aspect of your life. Not doing so could be holding you back in recovery.

Cumberland Heights in Nashville, Tennessee on Music Row is a 12-Step based alcohol & drug rehab program. Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program is designed for individuals 18 and above who may be in the early stages of dependency or are experiencing problems with alcohol or drug use. We offer personalized assessments and treatment plans, as well as convenient evening hours to accommodate your workday schedule. To get started on your recovery journey today, call us at 1-800-646-9998.

Since 1966, it has been Cumberland Heights’ mission to transform lives, giving hope to those affected by alcohol and drugs. Cumberland Heights recognizes addiction is a family disease and wants to provide support whenever possible. Our Family & Community Education Program is designed to provide education and support for those seeking recovery and those already taking the steps to transform their lives.

Event Details:

WHAT: Community Education Program
WHERE: Indian Lake Peninsula Church: 235 Indian Lake Road Hendersonville, TN 37075 – 235 Indian Lake Road Hendersonville, TN 37075
WHEN: Every 1st Thursday of the month from 7:00PM -8:30PM

REGISTER HERE

For more information, please contact Stacy Bridges, Events Coordinator at stacy_bridges@cumberlandheights.org or call (615) 390-8224.

Since 1966, it has been Cumberland Heights’ mission to transform lives, giving hope to those affected by alcohol and drugs. Cumberland Heights recognizes addiction is a family disease and wants to provide support whenever possible. Our Family & Community Education Program is designed to provide education and support for those seeking recovery and those already taking the steps to transform their lives.

Event Details:

WHAT: Community Education Program
WHERE: Belle Meade United Methodist Church – 121 Davidson Road, Nashville, TN 37212 (*meet in room 125)
WHEN: Every 3rd Thursday of the month from 7:00PM -8:30PM

REGISTER HERE

For more information, please contact Stacy Bridges, Events Coordinator at stacy_bridges@cumberlandheights.org or call (615) 390-8224.

Working out can greatly benefit your sobriety

Exercise isn’t always the most desired activity for many people, but previous research has highlighted the innumerable health benefits that can derive from it. Not only can exercise relieve stress, better a person’s mood, increase flexibility and strength, but it can also host many benefits that relate specifically to addiction recovery.

Those who struggle with addiction tend to experience a sense of imbalance that can affect nearly every aspect of their lives, even throughout that first year in recovery. Nicoletta Longo, founder of Namastay Sober – a non-profit organization that aims to help people in recovery get connected to local gyms and yoga classes – told Tonic, an extension of Vice Magazine,

“Your chemistry is all off when you stop using. When I was on heroin, I’d have to pound Mountain Dew and Pepsi and coffee and a bunch of cigarettes just to go to bed. Physical action helps regulate my body – I get really exhausted, and it helps me feel like I did something positive, too.”

Self Magazine emphasizes many benefits that come with exercise for those practicing sobriety, such as:

  1. The ability to connect with others in a like-minded community
  2. Rebuilding one’s self-esteem while feeling accomplished
  3. Discovering one’s sense of purpose and re-creating one’s sense of identity
  4. Finding a healthy outlet to cope with challenges and difficult emotions
  5. Accountability towards an exercise community can ensure that a person reaches their recovery goals

The reality is that when you feel better, you’re likely to take greater strides towards your overall health and wellness. Exercise supports that notion by keeping you actively involved in your own recovery – and the persistence, patience and determination required to stay active can translate into other areas of your life, which is always a benefit, too.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Staying sober in college is about as foreign of an idea to some as going to a restaurant and not eating. You can watch just about any movie or tv show that takes place on a college campus and you’ll see keg stands, Jell-O shots and beer bongs galore. They even have a way of glamorizing the hangovers and next morning walks of shame. So, it really is no wonder some young adults in recovery wonder how they can possibly stay clean while still having a meaningful college experience.

College students: a culture of drinking and drug useGreg Snodgrass remembers that feeling. He is a Regional Outreach Coordinator at Cumberland Heights and spearheaded the design for Collegiate Recovery at the University of Alabama. But before all his success, he was lost.

“I lived my life in addiction for many years. I never thought that addiction would happen to me. I thought I could control it and that apparently was not the case. In my opinion drugs and alcohol were fun and that’s why I enjoyed them. However, at some point the drugs and alcohol stopped working and my life became miserable. I destroyed my college transcript and never thought I would return to college,” said Greg.

Greg Snodgrass, Regional Outreach Coordinator
Greg Snodgrass, Regional Outreach Coordinator

While in treatment in 2004, Greg was encouraged to apply to two Collegiate Recovery Schools. A Collegiate Recovery School is one with a supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces engagement in activities free from drugs and alcohol. It is designed to provide an educational opportunity alongside recovery support to ensure students do not have to sacrifice one for the other. Despite Greg’s fears that he wasn’t smart enough to get into a program like this, he was accepted, went back to school and thrived in a way he never thought possible.

“I sat in the front row when I used to sit in the back of the class. I raised my hand, turned in my homework, went to office hours with the professor, asked for help, and never missed class unless it was a legitimate excuse,” said Greg.

Greg graduated magna cum laude. He has since make it his mission to help other college students who are struggling.

“I pictured college through the eyes of John Belushi in ‘Animal House.’ In many aspects, the party scene has not changed since the movie was first released 40 years ago. Collegiate Recovery is like a sober fraternity/sorority. It is a fellowship that enables recovering students to create an environment on campus safe and fun. Collegiate Recovery is designed to empower those in recovery to strive for success. Collegiate Recovery helps to squash the fear of ‘I am less than’ or ‘I am not smart enough.’ The program turns our fear into confidence by building a fellowship of students that help one another achieve the unimaginable in academics and life,” said Greg.

Cumberland Heights and Still Waters was recognized for their support of Collegiate Recovery

The three longest standing Collegiate Recovery Programs are Rutgers University, Texas Tech and Augsburg University. One of the first replication model Collegiate Recoveries is here in Nashville, Tennessee at Vanderbilt University. Once accepted in the program, students have access to academic advisors, tutors, study rooms, printers, computer labs, meditation rooms, seminar courses, peer mentors, housing, scholarships, waived out of state tuition opportunities, recovering students and all other resources your higher education tuition has to offer. Essentially, it’s a fellowship. This is important because Academic Institutions can be a hostile environment for those in early recovery according to Greg.

Our CEO and Chief Science Officer holding our Collegiate Recovery award

“Collegiate Recovery helps you to change that lens and experience college as a recovering student. Students soon realize they can have more fun in their recovery than they did in their addiction. You can be successful in academics, friendships, relationships, life decisions, future careers and living life on life’s terms by being a part of a recovery fellowship on campus. I am living proof that it is possible to stay sober and enjoy life in college,” said Greg.

If you are your child is interested in learning more about Collegiate Recovery, contact Greg at greg_snodgrass@cumberlandheights.org or 615-879-7125.

Inpatient treatment can positively transform your life

Everyone wants a “quick fix”. Something that will easily dispel of the addiction and return a person back to normal functioning – but the reality is that addiction is far more powerful and destructive than that. It’s incredibly hard to simply “quit” – otherwise many people would’ve succeeded by now. At-home detoxes are incredibly dangerous because the mind and body are accustomed to high and frequent doses of a particular substance; of all the options, inpatient treatment offers the most intensive care.

What Does Inpatient Treatment Mean?

It may seem confusing after reading up on all the various types of treatment – but inpatient treatment is typically the longest and provides those in recovery with optimum recovery services. Many people who struggle with addiction fear the process of recovery – which is quite normal because recovery can involve many aspects that are difficult to predict. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that these programs,

“…focus on the ‘resocialization’ of the individual and use the program’s entire community – including other residents, staff and the social context – as active components of treatment.”

Inpatient treatment programs provide structure every day, which can greatly help a person in recovery establish routines that benefit their total wellness. The structure of inpatient treatment may go something like this:

Morning Wake Up: Residents may be expected to rise early and to enjoy a healthy breakfast, along with morning rituals such as meditation or prayer, yoga and relaxation.

Afternoon: During this phase of the day, residents will attend a number of different recovery-related activities, such as 12-Step meetings, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, specialized sessions and more.

Evenings: By the evening, residents may have some free time to relax and focus on their own recovery-related pursuits. With inpatient treatment, it’s important for residents to establish a nightly bedtime and routine so they can carry this with them once they return home.

Inpatient Treatment at Cumberland Heights

Traditional inpatient treatment programs may offer a rigid structure of therapy, but Cumberland Heights aims to provide more than that for residents. In fact, programs are individualized based on our healthcare team’s assessments, psychiatric evaluation and other information collected. In turn, residents may partake in a number of creative, adventurous pursuits to uplift their spirits, such as:

  • Adventure Based Therapy – physically active and mentally engaging, our adventure therapy courses extract, through metaphor, the 12-Steps such as powerlessness and teamwork.
  • Art Therapy – the exploration of thoughts and feelings can be opened through creative processes such as art therapy; those in recovery can even use art to articulate how they’re feeling if no words seem to surface.
  • Labyrinth Experience – the labyrinth is meant to be used as a form of walking meditation and individuals can find deep, meaningful experiences that they can associate with healing.
  • Music Assisted Therapy – with a trained music therapist, addiction recovery clients can improve their state of mind, reduce stress and anxiety through musical practices – both individually and as a group.
  • Sand Tray Therapy – the sand tray is meant to serve as a symbolic “playground” where individuals can explore those struggling with intense thoughts and feelings. Some topics that may be addressed in sand tray therapy include but are not limited to trauma, grief, relational problems, identity issues and more.
  • Spiritual Care Services – the idea of these services is to remind those in recovery that all hope is not lost; individuals of all faiths – or those with no faith – are welcome to attend these services. We offer a non-denominational church along with communion services to bring people together as they find healing and restoration.
  • Yoga – the healing powers of yoga are undeniable; this practice has been used for centuries and can even help people in recovery develop the discipline needed to participate in 12-Step programs.

A Transformational Experience

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) publishes recovery success stories on those who’ve worked hard in addiction recovery programs. Emory Young, a man who once struggled not only with addiction but the aftermath of combat and trauma, stated,

“I have come full circle from being addicted, whose life was unmanageable to one fully involved in the helping professions of mental health services. I believe my path was chosen not by me but by a power greater than myself. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve. Thanks to the God of my understanding for creating a path for me to contribute to the betterment of society.”

Inpatient treatment programs are transformational because they show those in recovery what a sober lifestyle – with extensive work on mental, physical and spiritual wellness – truly looks like. It then becomes much easier to apply what one has learned in recovery to their daily lives – and that’s why so many people have been so positively impacted by it.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Learning to control anger management during addiction recovery

Anger is a natural human emotion – and we all experience it from time to time. It becomes concerning when we find ourselves becoming easily angered and when we react on that anger in unhealthy ways; many people in addiction recovery find that substances like alcohol or drugs either numb the anger or perpetuate it, and sometimes anger itself can feel like a double-edged sword. The Better Health Channel explains that anger triggers a person’s “fight-or-flight” response – stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline – are released, body temperature rises and the mind becomes focused.

When anger is used in healthy ways, it can be used to spark movements, inspire people and create major change – but when used unhealthily and when it’s felt too often, there are many physical harms that can take place:

  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk for heart attack
  • And more

Some individuals are more prone to anger than others, and that can certainly place a person at greater risk for aggression. Dr. Howard Kassinove, an anger-expert, and psychologist, told the American Psychological Association (APA),

Physical expressions of anger, such as sulking, banging the desk or hitting the wall are learned by the forces of reinforcement and copying others.”

As we grow up, we may see adults around us acting on impulse – and this can also take effect into why it’s much easier for someone to display anger than others. Addiction recovery focuses on these types of concerns and provides individuals with healthier coping mechanisms – not to suppress anger, but to express it in healthy ways.

If you’re ready to take a stand for your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

We’re all guilty of it. Whether it’s jumping to conclusions, making generalizations or responding with emotion rather that sound evidence, unhealthy ways of thinking can creep up on us especially during stressful times. We’re not perfect so it’s okay as long as we can be mindful of when we’re doing this and take steps to change our thought process next time.

Below are the ten most common unhelpful thinking styles according to Adam Sicinski. Sicinski is an Australian life coach that uses mind maps and visual thinking principles. What are mind maps you ask? It’s an easy way to brainstorm thoughts organically without worrying about order and structure. It allows you to visually structure your ideas to help with analysis and recall. To the right you’ll see an example of a mind map.

Sicinski calls his unique mind maps IQMatrix. You can learn more by clicking here, but for the purpose of this article, we are just going to dive right into those 10 unhelpful thinking styles that when used too often can harm relationships and keep you from success.

Mental Filter

Here you tend to filter things in and out of your conscious awareness. This is a form of “tunnel vision” where you only tend to focus on a part of something and you ignore the rest. You might for instance only filter out all the negatives of a particular situation. You therefore only see the negatives and fail to recognize and acknowledge the positives. Your vision of reality is therefore based on your flawed perspective of the negativity you see in each particular situation.

Jumping to Conclusions

Here you tend to jump to unjustified conclusions. You make quick assumptions about how things are and what they’re going to be like in the future (predictive thinking), or you will assume that you know what someone else is thinking (mind reading). These conclusions and assumptions are not based on fact or evidence but rather based on your feelings and personal opinions. As such, they can often lead you astray down the wrong path.

Personalization

Here you tend to blame yourself for your problems and for everything that goes wrong in your life. You might for instance continuously blame yourself for your misfortunes and bad luck. This will be true whether or not you are responsible or partly responsible for the problem or misfortune. Taking responsibility for things is admirable, however, it can end up being a very burdensome habit-of-mind that leads to very strong feelings of guilt and regret.

                                                                             Black and White Thinking

Woman working through trauma in addiction recovery

Here you tend to only see the extremes of a situation. You either see one extreme or another and this is why it’s called black and white thinking. You will for instance either see the good or bad, the right or wrong, the sad or happy, the left or right, etc. And because of your extreme way of viewing things, there is never a middle-ground. As such you are unlikely to view things in an unbiased and neutral way.

Catastrophising

Here you tend to completely blow things out of proportion and make them out to be a lot worse than they should be. The reality of the situation might be quite insignificant and small. However, because you’re in the habit of catastrophizing, you always tend to make your problems larger than life — thereby making your problems even more difficult to overcome.

Overgeneralization

Here you tend to reference your past in order to make assumptions about the present. You might, for example, take one instance from the past and use that as a “predictor” or barometer for a current or future situation. Whenever you use the words “He always… She always… Everyone… You never… People never… I never…” you are at that moment overgeneralizing.

Shoulding and Musting

Here you tend to put unreasonable demands and pressure on yourself and on other people to do certain things. You tend to say, “I must… I should… You must… You should…”. These statements provide insight into the standards you tend to uphold and the things you expect of yourself and others. These standards can of course at times be helpful, however at other times “shoulding” and “musting” can create unrealistic expectations that you or others will struggle to live up to.

Labeling

Here you tend to label yourself or other people in certain ways based on behavior in very specific situations. These labels you make form your belief systems. Therefore the more times you use these labels the stronger your beliefs become. This can be a good thing, however, it’s unhelpful when you tend to label things a certain way despite the facts and evidence that are inconsistent with the labels you are making.

Magnification and MinimizationHow you should respond to alcohol cues in addiction recovery

Here you tend to magnify the positives attributes of another person, while at the same time minimizing your own positive attributes. You are essentially devaluing yourself — bringing yourself down — while raising the stature of other people. In this scenario, you tend to explain-away everything you have going for yourself including your positive traits, characteristics, and achievements as though they don’t matter.

Emotional Reasoning

Here you tend to base your view of a particular situation in accordance with how you’re feeling. Therefore your feelings dictate how you perceive a situation despite evidence to the contrary. As such you might choose to feel bad about something that is going to happen just because you are feeling miserable in the moment. You are therefore using your current emotional state as a barometer that directs how you will view your life and circumstances.

Again, if you find yourself using these unhelpful thinking styles, it’s okay. The harm comes when we repeat this way of thinking and do nothing to try and change it. If we take note of, and work to change our thinking styles, we will find our work relationships, personal relationships and oveall happiness will improve greatly.

Woman making the most out of her 12-Step Program

12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have skyrocketed over the years as more people are finding the true realm of support and guidance that can be offered here. If you’re just starting our recovery journey– or have recently made the decision to begin attending 12-Step programs – it’s important to consider what type of commitment you need to make in order to reap the most benefits for your mental, physical and spiritual health.

Anyone can attend 12-Step meetings, but what are the differences that separate those who go on to build incredibly fulfilling lives, versus those who remain stuck in old, negative behavioral patterns? By learning more about what you can expect – and what it takes to succeed – you’ll be that much more confident in putting your best foot forward in recovery.

12-Step Expectations

12-Step programs began as the foundation for guiding those in addiction recovery to lead more fulfilled, spiritual lives. These programs haven’t been altered from an alternative societal concern – they’re based specifically for these conditions. The 12-Steps as a whole   meant to address the spiritual implications of addiction – the part of recovery that’s often hard for science and medicine to address in clear, distinctive ways.

The 12-Steps themselves are straight-forward, yet difficult to implement at times. The following is a quick breakdown of each step, put simply:

  1. Honesty – admitting that we have a problem
  2. Faith that a Higher Power can help us
  3. Choosing to surrender to something bigger than ourselves
  4. Beginning to discover oneself
  5. Building integrity
  6. Accepting character defects
  7. Humility by accepting the need for a Higher Power
  8. Willingness to make amends
  9. Forgiveness
  10. Maintenance
  11. Understanding a Higher Power
  12. Serving others

The first step, for instance, requires that those in recovery admit they’re powerlessness over their addiction – and in doing that, individuals admit that the basis of humanity: that nobody’s perfect and that we simply can’t control everything, even if we’d like to. Writer Mike Sturm wrote for Medium last year that it’s about dedicating yourself something greater – a greater purpose through God or another Higher Power that helps those in recovery find the strength to push through in recovery. He stated,

“If you are self-centered, self-serving and self-involved, the odds of actually becoming a better person are pretty low. Rather, devoting yourself to service – serving someone or something bigger than just your own desires – not only will the rewards be greater, but the motivation will be more persistent.”

A problem that many people face in 12-Step programs, however, is the continuation of participation. It’s a common myth that attending only one meeting every now and then will still lead a person to reach many benefits in recovery; the reality, however, is that the amount of effort and persistence a person places on their 12-Step program dictates how much they gain from it altogether.

Tips for Success in 12-Step Programs

If you’re ready to make the most of the program, consider the following steps:

  • Never miss a meeting (if you can help it)
  • Always participate in discussions, even if you don’t feel like it
  • Get to know other people in your program
  • Learn more about your potential sponsor before officially asking them – and once you do, create expectations and guidelines for how the relationship will work
  • Attend 12-Step retreats, social gatherings and service projects when possible
  • “Work” the 12-Steps outside of the program
  • Rely on your peers and recovery leader if you have doubts, concerns or questions regarding whatever step you’re working on
  • Understand that there’s no “quick fix” in recovery – it takes a lifetime of dedication for a person to fully embrace abstinence and mental, physical and spiritual health in life; however, there does come a point in time when stability and maintenance can be reached

Integrating the 12-Steps into Your Program

Previous studies have shown that 12-Step programs work incredibly well alongside official treatment programs; the social support, group discussions and added resources tend to lend well to the more formal component of treatment. As Henry Ford once stated,

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

If you’d like to become involved in 12-Step programs alongside receiving high-quality care from a healthcare team at Cumberland Heights, speak with a professional today.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program located in Kingston Springs that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Nashville, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998

Learning to overcome obstacles in sobriety with 12-Step programs

There is so much ambiguity about what the future holds, and recovery requires that we take a giant leap into the unknown. Whether you’ve been sober for 1 month or 1 year, you’ll find that obstacles will always come and go; while it can be an incredibly nerve wracking experience, the reality is that everyone is trying to navigate a journey that isn’t always predictable. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions explains that even communities as a whole face obstacles such as access to treatment, access to other professionals, access to peer support groups and barrier to confidentiality – but what about individuals specifically in recovery?

There’s no doubt that you’ll run into obstacles throughout your recovery, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t face them. With so many ways to manage and work through these obstacles – and with so many people ready to support you, you’re only one step away from getting closer towards your goals.

Obstacles Faced in Recovery

Just as each person is different, there are unique obstacles every person faces as they explore the journey to sobriety. In 2017, writer Emma Miah wrote for Your Story – a website that publishes various stories of triumph and news from around the world. She identified several obstacles, such as:

Fear of change

The ongoing pattern of addiction can become comforting over time, as a person has relied on substances to ease them at various times or situations in their lives. Recovery entails finding newer, healthier outlets – and this change can be intimidating at first.

Fear of relapse

Relapse is one of the most commonly talked about fears for addiction recovery, because nobody wants to feel as though they’ve “failed” or that they’re “weak”. Relapse is actually quite common – but that doesn’t make it scary nonetheless.

Becoming too bored

A number of people in addiction recovery have feared that they won’t be able to have fun anymore – and for the first few months (or even the first year), it may feel like there’s nothing to do. In treatment, however, daily schedules are meant to combat this fear of boredom.

Fear of rejection and/or abandonment

The realization of the harm that’s been done to others as a result of addiction can bear too much stress, anxiety and shame for a person – and in learning of what happened when a person was “high” or intoxicated, it’s commonplace for a person to worry that they’re friends, family and other loved ones may not want to be around anymore.

Difficulties in discovering one’s identity

Recovery requires that a person to reshape their life – and during this time of healing and rejuvenation, a person learns more about who they really are. It’s a scary process, especially if an individual feels lost in figuring it out – but it’s a journey worth taking.

12-Step Programs and the Benefits

Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous tend to serve as beautiful additions to treatment – and through these programs, a person can build their social support network to include not only the peers around them, but also a sponsor whom they can rely on in times of need. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) explains that addiction isn’t a destination, but rather a journey; and 12-Step programs embrace this journey through a number of avenues such as:

  • Working with a therapist
  • Attending and engaging in 12-Step meetings
  • Collaborating with a sponsor and building a strong bond
  • Exploring problems or psychological resistance to the program
  • “Working” the 12-Steps not just in meetings but also throughout a person’s life
  • Becoming involved in 12-Step activities, such as in social events, retreats and conventions
  • And more

Many of the fears experienced in recovery can be ameliorated through 12-Step programs because they remind those in recovery that they’re not the only one going through problems. Spirituality – such as developing a stronger connection with God or another Higher Power – can help save a person’s life by helping them find purpose and fulfillment in daily life. ASAM noted,

“Twelve-Step Recovery addresses the psychology of the person with the addiction as well as the individual’s spirituality – his/her values, his/her connectedness to others, and his/her willingness to engage with others and humbly ask for help.”

By applying oneself fully to the program while also attending regular treatment, the fears expressed earlier seem much less intimidating – because there’s an entire group of people whom a person can relate to.

Seek Treatment Now

If you’ve been struggling with addiction and are ready to turn your life around, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. There are always going to be obstacles in recovery, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move forward with treatment because of them – in fact, treatment will provide you with the tools you need to work through these obstacles and become a much stronger person.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.


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