Tag Archives: Sober Living

Tag Archives: Sober Living


Experiencing withdrawal while getting sober in recoveryOne of the most commonly discussed components of withdrawal are the physical side effects – a commonly feared aspect of recovery that must be done in order to fully detox. Detoxification, if done safely and in a treatment center, can be much easier to navigate because there are a team of healthcare professionals that can help minimize some of the pain and discomfort that comes with withdrawal. What isn’t talked about as often are the moments when a person transitions from withdrawal to recovery – what is the reality like for them?

The reality is that a person withdrawing from substances will feel not only physical effects – such as shaking, headaches, fatigue and more – but also mental effects – such as irritability, depression, anxiety and others. Even once a person completely detoxes, they may still feel some stress because the mind, body and spirit are going through some major changes. Chad Sabora, a 31-year-old attorney in Chicago, told Ozy about his experience with opioid addiction. After spiraling out of control on pain pills and heroin, he detoxed:

“Between the combination of destroying myself and going back to rehab, I got a little more to the core of who I was – and that’s what it took for me to finally look in the mirror and be done with the stuff.”

While the transition from detox to recovery is a stressful one – and while there will still be cravings and other symptoms of withdrawal that linger on for a bit longer than others – there will eventually become a greater sense of clarity. These moments can become true eye-opening experiences for people because they bring them back to who they are at the heart of it all.

Christopher Kennedy Lawford, a man who once struggled with addiction, told Today a few years ago that underneath the darkness of addiction comes many beautiful gifts – gifts that shed light onto who we are as human beings, what our purpose is in this world and so much more.

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.

“Minds are like flowers. They only open when the time is right.” This quote by Stephen Richards resonates not only with people in recovery, but anyone who has been through a journey of growth. Just like the earth and atmosphere go through seasons of change, so do our minds and our spirits.

Whether you found sobriety in winter, fall, summer or spring you felt a new season within yourself. Maybe it was November on the calendar when you got clean, but spring in your soul.There are many parallels between springtime and recovery. Think about the transformation you made when you got sober. You, like spring, experienced blossoming, renewal and probably began to physically look a little brighter too.

Recovery Blogger “Magz” wrote this about springtime being an inspiration for recovery: “I love the significance of spring combined with Easter as the time of rebirth and renewal. When I see the little flower buds opening up on the trees and I think about the significance of Easter, I think about the huge transformation that sobriety has made in my life. In a sense when I quit drinking I died, and then I was reborn again in recovery. My life is nothing like what it was when I was drinking, and I am often overwhelmed by this truly unbelievable transformation.”

But the outside didn’t always look this way did it? Before there were birds chirping, flowers blooming and streams flowing there was lot of dormant grass, frozen creeks and not a flower in sight. In the dead of winter, it’s hard to picture life and vibrancy again, just like when we are in the throes of addiction. But as Mother Nature proves over and over again, no matter how cold, dark and lifeless it may seem, rebirth is on the horizon.

Practicing therapeutic activities for sobriety.Author Heather King explained the complexity of her struggle with addiction in her published book titled, Parched. She stated:

“I lived always in the future, never in the present. Next time, next time! Next time I drank it would be different, next time it would make me feel good again. And all my efforts were doomed, because already drinking hadn’t made me feel good in years.” ‘

Addiction makes us think that our lives will feel better – that suddenly our entire world will change and our problems will go away; what many find, however, is that the “promise” of alcohol and other drugs only lasts as long as the high. Once the high is gone, reality sets in again. Sobriety can be a difficult to grasp, and it takes time; there are many therapeutic activities that can help ease the process, though.

Sobriety requires change, and certain activities facilitate that change in a number of ways:

  • 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) help add structure to recovery while also connecting a person with sobriety leaders and peers who are working towards similar goals
  • Holistic practices such as massage therapy, meditation, yoga and more can help align the mind, body and spirit – which can greatly reduce some of the anxiety or depression that a person may be feeling as they navigate their journey to sobriety
  • Creative processes such as art therapy, music therapy and drama therapy allow for movement and expression alongside the building of connections with others – which is exactly what those in recovery need to begin adapting to recovery

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy emphasized the beneficial effects of nutritional therapy for those in recovery. The study noted that coming in from active addiction, it’s normal for people to experience depression, anxiety, memory loss, mood swings and more; nutrition in combination with other treatment activities can make a world of difference for someone anxious to adjust to sobriety.

Cumberland Heights in Murfreesboro Tennessee is a 12-step based outpatient alcohol & drug rehab program. Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program is designed for individuals age 18 and above who may be in the early stages of dependency or are experiencing problems with alcohol or drug use. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

How social media influences sobrietySocial media is a normal part of daily life for many in the United States; platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have direct connections to millions of users each year, and for a variety of reasons. For some, social media is merely a tool to keep in contact with distant relatives and traveling friends; for others, these platforms are information hubs filled with inspiration, storytelling, new-related events and more. One of the drivers of motivation for those in addiction recovery is to lead a seemingly “normal” life – to go about their day, to pay bills and, oftentimes, to do everything that their addiction prevented them from doing. How does social media fit into this?

Ways It’s Helping

Social media is just that – it’s social. Previous studies have shown that we need sociability in our lives, because as humans, we’re social beings. The support that we garner from others is what can propel us to follow through with our goals and long-term aspirations; for some, it’s even inspiration to start their own recovery support networks.

1. It’s Sparking New Ways to Connect

In 2017, Business News Daily covered the story of a young man – Beau Mann – who struggled with addiction at the age of 24. After taking part in a 12-Step program, he felt inspired. He wanted to create an online platform where those in recovery could connect with others living the sober lifestyle. In 2015, he launched an app called “Sober Grid” and, since then, the app has helped over 80,000 people connect to a sober community. What’s even better – the app now features a “Burning Desire” feature where app users who are cravings substances or being triggered can receive immediate support online, no matter where they are.

2. It’s Raising Awareness

With social media, access to information about our closest friends – all the way to their distant family – is nearly right at the edge of our fingertips. With easy access to stories and information, social media platforms are changing the way we talk about key issues in society today – such as addiction and recovery. In 2017, Adweek mentioned the fact that some photos uploaded onto social media have created major waves in communities, as they’ve shown people the reality of addiction.

3. It’s Allowing People to Support Those in Their Community</9>

A few years ago, The Atlantic highlighted the significance that social media has been playing in showing people support for sobriety. One person stated in an interview,

“You’ve seen that person down at their worst, and then [when] you see them looking happy, it’s like, ‘I can do this too’. It’s like support groups, kind of, to see that everyone is touched by it.”

Along with the benefits of social media, however, there are some ways that it’s hindering sobriety, too.

Ways It’s Hindering

There’s always an upside and downside to entities like social media, and there’s always factors that those in recovery should watch out for while scrolling through Twitter or Facebook. Let’s take a look at some of the negatives:

1. It’s Perpetuating Social Media Addiction

In 2014, Forbes Magazine highlighted the fact that not only are we social beings, but we tend to have this inherent need for validation from others. For those who are in recovery and trying to maintain a sober lifestyle, time spent on social media could seem harmless – but it could be sparking a new addiction: an addiction to technology. In addition to sociability and validation, we tend to fear that we’re missing out on something much larger than ourselves – and that could keep us coming back for more. According to The Fix, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, once stated that Facebook should be regulated “exactly the same way you regulated the cigarette industry.”

2. Partying May Be Glamorized

There’s a high possibility that at some point on social media, we’ll run into images of our high school friends or current family members drinking. Our society likes to embrace drinking as a way of celebration – but for those in recovery, celebrating in that way would be a recipe for disaster. Those who are in the early stages of their recovery may become easily triggered by these posts, which is why it’s important to approach social media very cautiously (and preferably avoid it altogether at the beginning of recovery).

3. Certain Movements Don’t Make It Any Easier

As our society tends to normalize drinking culture, those in recovery may see a slew of memes pertaining to drinking wine and using other substances. In 2018, a woman who previously struggled with alcoholism talked about the dangerousness of “Wine Mom” culture and how it can lead moms to think that in order to get through the day of being a parent, they need to drink. She explained that she was 100% on board with this movement:

“That is, until I got sober, and I saw it for what it is: hugely problematic, potentially offensive and dangerous for those moms who are genuinely struggling to keep it together and might not know how or where to get help.”

Overall, it sounds like there are some major benefits – as well as some major drawbacks – to the use of social media while in recovery. Only you know where you’re at in your journey – be sure to make choices that will benefit your wellbeing, not hinder 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 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.

Man finding success in sobrietyLiving a life of sobriety takes a lot of time and consideration, especially as a person must figure out over time what boosts their motivation for recovery versus what hinders it. No matter how long you’ve been working towards your recovery thus far, it’s important to think about the various factors that have made up your sobriety and how well it’s worked for you. Assessment is a critical tool for recovery because it allows you to think about what’s working and what’s not – which ultimately allows you to make changes to your daily structure. If you’re ready to boost your success in recovery, consider making sure that the following factors are in place:

  • Abstinence from substances
  • Attending lectures on addiction
  • Engaging in small group discussions
  • Assessing your recovery through written tasks (such as through journaling, diary keeping, self-analysis, etc.)
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Sports
  • Building your spirituality through prayer, meditation, yoga and more

As a 2015 study published in the journal Russian Psychological Society noted, many people fail in recovery because they do not have the correct structure set in place. Sobriety is truly a lifestyle, which means that it incorporates your mind, body and spirit. Those who are most successful in recovery go on to develop nearly every aspect of their lives and, in turn, reap so many benefits from it.

12-Step participation is a key form of support for those in recovery, as they’re able to establish meaningful connections with peers and receive guidance from a sponsor. Education on addiction is provided as well, and the weekly structure of 12-Step meetings only further emphasizes recovery goals. As American writer Ramona L. Anderson once stated,

“People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.”

Start building your life of recovery today. It’s never too late.

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.

“Every Brilliant Thing” – Alumni Relations March Event

Event:

“Every Brilliant Thing” by Duncan Macmillian, with Jonny Donahoe
This one-woman play depicts a daughter who learns as a child that her mother has been hospitalized for doing, as her father puts it, “something stupid.” She resolves to show her mother that life is worth living, by writing a list of 1,000 brilliant things and leaving them on scraps of paper for her mother to find.

Details:

Description:

“Every Brilliant Thing” offers an unflinching view of chronic depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love. Far from being sad or tragic, the play approaches the topic with love and sincerity, with hope and even humor. This unique theater experience involves the audience in the story, evoking empathy, tears, laughter, insight and deep compassion.
After the show, a panel featuring Cumberland Heights staff & alumni will discuss the impact of mental illness on the family.

Tickets:

Alumni Event Registration & Ticket Purchase

  • STEP 1 - Personal Information

    The cost is $8.00 per person. Please also provide your name, email, cell & credit card information to hold your reservation. Please note tickets are non-refundable and will go to the Cumberland Heights Foundation General Donations Fund.

  • Ticket price total: .00

  • STEP 2 - Credit Card and Billing Information

    We accept MasterCard VISA American Express & Discover

    There is a required of $8.00 reservation per person that is non-refundable and will go to the Cumberland Heights Foundation General Donations Fund. Please fill out your credit card number, expiration month and year, CVN number and billing address to where your credit card statement is sent below.

Sober livingIn 2015, yoga teacher and addiction recovery writer Tommy Rosen wrote an article for the Huffington Post on what a life of sobriety means to him. This is an excerpt from his article:

“My recovery mantra is: ‘Don’t just survive in addiction. Thrive in recovery.’ I believe people in recovery must work toward the great shift from staying sober out of fear and necessity to staying sober out of love for the life they get to live as the result of staying sober.”

Sobriety is an all-too-often feared subject of those starting out in recovery, as the concept itself seems so different from what they’re used to. The truth is, a lifestyle of sobriety is different from one of active addiction – but it’s for a good reason. The benefits of sobriety are insurmountable compared to anything else; they not only give you your life back, but they give you the tools, support and resources you need to enrich your life more than you ever thought possible.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that even one year of sobriety can make a world of difference; participants who remained sober for one year already showed improvements in life satisfaction, executive functioning and improvements in psychological distress compared to those not living a lifestyle of sobriety. Of course, there are many other powerful transformations that result from sober living, such as:

  • The reversal of some of those aging effects that addiction can cause (not only will you feel better, you’ll look better, too!)
  • The ability to connect with people and form meaningful relationships that are deeper than you ever had before
  • Feelings of empowerment as you’re able to control your mindset rather than letting your thoughts and emotions get the best of you
  • A life that is centered on what really matters – family, friends, passion, hobbies, career, adventure, love, values, spirituality and so much more

Sober living is an entire mind, body and spirit transformation. We shift from living a self-indulgent, unhealthy lifestyle, to one filled with balance, strength and hope.

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.

Teen boy home from rehabParenting in and of itself can become really challenging during your child’s teenage years, but when our teens come back from rehabilitation, it can feel as though we’re stepping into an entirely new world. We may begin to question whether we’re saying or doing the right things that are beneficial for their recovery; we may become paranoid, worried that we’re going to miss signs of substance abuse and we may not know whether to trust our teens again or to watch their every move. It’s certainly a major change when teens come home from rehabilitation, because they’ve just spent between 1 and 6 months surrounded by structure, sobriety leaders and more. If your teen is about to come home, don’t be worried – there are steps you can take to make this as smooth of a transition as possible.

It’s All About Perception

First and foremost, you need to take a quick inventory of how you’re feeling about everything right now. Have you come to terms with the fact that your teen is recovering from addiction? How do you view relapse? Relapse is a normal part of recovery and, while we should try to reduce the risks of it as much as possible, you don’t want to view your teen’s success in recovery based on whether or not they relapse. In fact, you’ll want to view their recovery as an ongoing process with ups and downs. The sooner you can adopt this perspective, the better.

Secondly, how important do you make your child’s recovery? If you don’t place it as a high priority, your teen will be able to sense that – and it will make it more difficult for them to remain sober without your full support. Greg Williams, 26 years old, shared his story of struggling with marijuana and prescription drug addiction when he was 17 years old. Several years ago, he told Family Circle, a website that covers topics such as teens, health, family, holidays and more, about his experience with addiction recovery and support. He stated,

“…My parents – they did not cause nor could they cure my addiction. However, my success in overcoming it is very much because of them and the support they provided me. They continue to help me make healthy choices, and I owe everything in my life to them.”

Place Your Expectations to the Side

Many parents become ready to emphasize house rules when their teen comes home, but you may want to recognize that recovery maintenance is what’s most important right now. Respect your teen’s return home by encouraging them to practice gratitude, kindness and more – just like you would with a guest staying at your house. This type of encouragement will help ease your teen back at home without overwhelming them. Residential treatment requires a lot of work from teens, and it’s likely that your child may be feeling stressed and/or exhausted. As DrugFree.org notes, encourage your teen to return to work/school at a slower pace if it’s needed; promote healthy activities, such as adequate exercise, healthy food, water and good sleep.

Be Prepared, and Be Resilient

A 2015 study published in the journal Behavioral Science highlighted the many phases that families go through when their teen struggles with addiction: 1) confirming suspicions, 2) struggling to set limits, 3) dealing with consequences of drug use, 4) living with blame and shame, 5) keeping their child safe, 6) giving loss to the child they knew before, 7) living with guilt and 8) choosing self-preservation. Addiction causes a lot of heartache, but you have to remember who and what you’re here for.

Remind yourself of what addiction is capable of and note that your teen may still experience triggers and cravings to use substances. Teens can experience relapse just as quickly as they may recover, but it’s important to remember that they’re all steps taken in their journey to recovery. Discuss consequences with your teen, and make sure they are specific and clear. If your teen nears 18 years of age, be sure to seek additional help beforehand if possible; it can be harder to convince your teen to go back into treatment once they’ve considered themselves an “adult” by legal standards. Mutual boundaries are often a great way to ensure that both you and your teen know what’s expected of them – and if rules are broken, everyone is in agreeance on what will occur.

Don’t Give Up

Whether your teen likes to vocalize it or not, they need your support. They need your unconditional love and patience. They need you to stand up for them, to fight for them, to be a voice of reason. No matter how you’re feeling about what’s going on with your teen, there is rarely a logical reason to give up on them.

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 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 Kingston Springs, 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.

Woman recovering from addictionNo matter who is embarking on the journey through addiction recovery, the same principle applies: each person’s story – and journey – is different. On the surface, there are so many differences we could describe that would make sense for why these differences exist. Our genetic makeup, personality, medical history, health, upbringing, social environment and so much more affect our lived experiences, which ultimately impacts our recovery. As you continue learning more about how addiction affects the mind, body and spirit, you’ll learn that drugs can affect people differently – which means their recovery time is unique to them, too.

There is truly no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to treatment. The core basics of mind, body and spirit are there (because they make up our experience as humans), but there are variations within and between these aspects and they matter. A 2018 study published in The Canadian Journal of Addiction emphasized the notion of “risk” factors for addiction, which can certainly influence a person’s recovery (and relapse vulnerability, too). Being aware of these factors can help you ensure that you’re taking appropriate steps towards meeting your recovery goals, along with what to avoid:

Risk Factors

  • Long delays in seeking treatment
  • Not having stable housing
  • Having a lack of supportive networks
  • Insufficient amount of resources
  • And more

How can we combat some of these risk factors? A lot of this effort comes into play when we build ourselves up and become advocates for our own recovery. When we do this, we utilize “protective factors”, we are:

Protective Factors

  • Having faith-based resources
  • Parental involvement
  • Supportive friends and family members
  • Stable home environment
  • And more

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that both “protective” and “risk” factors can exist in multiple contexts. Certain situations can bring about both risk factors and protective factors, but that’s what recovery is all about: learning how to navigate them day by day, one step at a time.

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.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Living sober after recoveryFormal treatment is an excellent place to start learning the ins and outs of recovery, but it shouldn’t stop there. Even after you’ve completed your treatment program, you want to make sure you’re continuing to use the tools you’ve learned. Sobriety can truly open your eyes to the beauty that is life, but it takes time to feel grounded once you’ve left treatment. You have the ability to create the ultimate sober living environment, you just need to remember the following:

  • Stock Up on Support. Continue to surround yourself with people who truly support your recovery. Distance yourself from those who trigger you or who don’t respect your decision to remain sober.
  • Go to Bed. A 2014 study published in the journal Family & Community Health assessed 164 people in addiction recovery and found a high prevalence of sleep disturbance. Sleep significantly affects quality of life, making adequate sleep a necessary part of sobriety.
  • Eat Healthy Foods. Addiction depletes us of vital nutrients and minerals, which can only dehydrate us and make it more difficult for us to think clearly. U.S News suggests eating leafy green vegetables, poultry, vitamin D, protein from fish and more.
  • Establish Structure. Just as with formal treatment, structure is incredibly important for those in recovery. Having a set plan for the day leaves little room for rumination or spending time with people who are not conducive to your recovery.
  • Continue to Build Spirituality. 12-Step programs are an excellent way to continue to build your relationship with God or another Higher Power. Previous studies have shown that those with strengthened spirituality often experience higher quality of life and lower relapse rates compared to those who don’t.

Sobriety gives you the option to better connect with loved ones, create new memories and grow as a person. If you’re ready to start your journey to recovery today, speak with someone from Cumberland Heights.

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.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.


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