May 2, 2018

How to Socialise Without Alcohol

Alcohol is often described as a social lubricant, when it’s really more of a social anaesthetic. It gives you temporary relief from the anxiety associated with social interaction but it doesn’t do anything to improve those interactions. In fact, it does the opposite. It’s hard to listen and participate in a meaningful conversation if you or your friends aren’t very coherent. Socialising without alcohol is far more rewarding, but does take a bit of practice.

May 1, 2018

Is Alcohol Really a Social Lubricant?

We often call alcohol a social lubricant. It makes us less self-conscious and more willing to open up to others, and we believe this leads to deeper relationships. People trying to get sober often worry that by giving up alcohol, they will also be giving up social connection. This is especially true for people who have struggled with social anxiety and see alcohol as the only way they can function socially. This belief is simply not true. The notion that alcohol deepens social connection is an illusion.

April 30, 2018

Dry People, Dry Places

‘Dry people, dry places’ is an important concept early in recovery. The idea is simple: if you want to stay sober, stay away from people who drink and stay away from places that serve alcohol. This isn’t always convenient. You will probably have friends who still drink and you are probably used to spending time in bars and pubs. You may not feel like you can connect with people anywhere else. If you want to stay sober, you will have to develop new habits, and dry people, dry places is a good place to start.

April 27, 2018

Why You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets

There’s a saying in AA that ‘We’re only as sick as our secrets’. It’s not obvious that something like keeping secrets can be closely connected to addiction, but it’s true. Keeping secrets is a major impediment to recovery. That’s why steps four and five are so important. These steps are making a ‘searching and fearless moral inventory’ and admitting ‘to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs’. Confronting these secrets is important for several reasons.

April 26, 2018

How to Keep Weight Off in Recovery

Addiction and food have a strange sort of relationship. It’s common for people who struggle with addiction to eat too much or too little. Often, the factors that lead to addiction also lead to a perverse relationship with food. People will often get sober only to discover several months later that they have gained a lot of weight. If you were once close to your ideal weight but now find your clothes are a bit tight, here are some strategies for keeping the problem under control.

April 25, 2018

5 Smartphone Apps for Addiction Recovery

If you carry your smartphone everywhere already, why not use it as a tool in your recovery? There are many apps you can download right now that can help you in various ways. Best of all, most of them are free. You might as well try several, see which help you, and delete the rest. Here are a few suggestions.

April 24, 2018

How to be More Optimistic About Recovery

At the beginning, recovery can seem daunting. Basically, you’re saying that you will never again do this thing that you can’t seem to stop doing for even one day. Once you start detox, and feel the pain of withdrawal, you know it won’t be easy and there’s still a long way to go. It’s natural to feel discouraged at times. Everyone has doubts about recovery. If you think you will never make it, here are some ways to feel more optimistic about recovery.

April 23, 2018

Dealing with Negativity in Recovery

Negativity is a major warning sign in recovery. People in 12-step programmes know that if someone starts becoming negative, cynical, or pessimistic, relapse is right around the corner. If you find the pink cloud is turning grey and you are chronically dissatisfied, here are some ways to change your perspective.

April 20, 2018

How to Find Your Triggers

A trigger is anything that provokes a craving. Cravings don’t usually come out of nowhere. Even if you aren’t always aware of a trigger, something stirred your memories of using. Staying sober requires you are aware of your triggers to you can avoid them as much as possible. If you can’t avoid them, being aware of a trigger makes it easier to brace yourself against cravings. Here are the main kinds of triggers to watch out for.

April 19, 2018

How to Keep Cravings from Ruining Your Recovery

Fighting cravings is perhaps the biggest challenge in recovery. A craving is no mere desire. It’s the feeling that you must have something. At first, cravings are triggered by the pain of withdrawal. During detox, you know you only need to use again and the pain will stop. Later on, cravings are triggered by anything you associate with drugs or alcohol.

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