May 18, 2018

What is the 13th Step?

The 13th step is when a member of a 12-step group who is well established in recovery makes sexual advances on a new member. This is strongly discouraged but does happen occasionally. 12-step groups are informal and any regulation must come from the members themselves. Some group cultures are more permissive than others, and unless someone does something illegal, there’s really no one to appeal to. As a result, 13th stepping is sometimes a problem.

May 17, 2018

How to Tell Your Family You’re Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

It’s not easy to face the possibility you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. When you do finally accept that you need help, you may face a new challenge: telling your friends and family. How do you tell the people who care about you that you have a problem with addiction? What will they think?

May 16, 2018

In Addiction Recovery, Focus on Small Wins

When you’re recovering from addiction, there’s no shortage of advice about how to stay sober. People will tell you to exercise every day, eat healthy, get plenty of regular sleep, go to 90 meetings in 90 days, start meditating, make sober friends, and so on. Most of the advice you get from therapists, doctors, and fellow recovering addicts will be useful in some way, but it’s also a lot to take in. It’s even harder to incorporate all of it into your life.

May 15, 2018

Can I Work the Steps if I’m not Religious?

People who are considering attending 12-step meetings are sometimes put off by the idea of a higher power. 12-step proponents often point to the loophole in step three that they ‘Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him’. As we understood Him--see? Nothing religious there. That could mean Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and possibly even Hinduism. And Buddha is a god, right?

May 14, 2018

3 Ways to Build Empathy in Recovery

Empathy is a useful trait to have in recovery. It helps you support others and get out of your own head. It makes you more willing and eager to be of service. Empathy for the people you’ve hurt helps you make amends by showing people you understand what you put them through. Empathy also helps you let go of resentments and anger, as you can better appreciate other people’s perspectives. Most people have some degree of innate empathy.

May 11, 2018

How to Identify a Resentment

According to the Big Book resentment is the main driver of addiction, especially to alcohol. Carrying resentments makes you angry and self-destructive. You attribute your problems to others, who you believe are out to get you. As the Big Book puts it: ‘Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.

May 10, 2018

How Keystone Habits Can Simplify Recovery

When you first get sober, you are faced with a conundrum: You have to make several major changes at once to maintain sobriety, but trying to make too many changes at once often results in failing to make any changes. How do you make the changes you need to make and still have a reasonable chance of success? The answer may lie in what author Charles Duhigg calls ‘keystone habits’. When you establish a keystone habit, other parts of your life improve without any special effort.

May 9, 2018

Will You Be a Different Person Sober?

Getting sober is a big life change. It means quitting a substance you are physically dependent on, changing your habits that formed around using, making new friends, and adopting a healthier lifestyle. As with any change, it will feel weird at first but you will eventually feel normal again. Whether you experience sobriety as a change in identity largely depends on how you think about yourself.

May 8, 2018

4 Ways to Repair Your Immune System in Recovery

Addiction to drugs and alcohol damages your immune system, making you more prone to illness and even cancer. Alcohol and other drugs suppress your white blood cells, dehydrate you, and cause you to be malnourished. The good news is that you can heal and get sick less often. If you are sober, but still not feeling great, here are some ways to get your immune system back up and running.

May 7, 2018

How Alcohol Damages Your Immune System and Makes You Sicker

Most people know the feeling of waking up feeling sick after drinking a bit too much. While that feeling will go away within a day or two, regular drinking can impair your immune system, leading to more frequent infections and illnesses. In addition to being hungover, you are more likely to get the flu as well. There are several reasons this happens.

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