Month: February 2022

Waiting It Out Until Spring: Holding Onto Hope When Things Are Hard

A plant grows in the springtime, proving that hope is possible.

For many, winter tends to be the most challenging time of year. The days are shorter, and it’s unbearably cold. The wind feels like it rips straight through to the bone. It can feel downright miserable. This tends to be more noticeable after the holidays when there isn’t anything to distract from those winter winds. It can feel absolutely bleak. The Day He Saw His Shadow A tradition many celebrate to get through the winter is Groundhog Day. It might seem like a goofy holiday as it centers around Old Phil the groundhog, leaving his burrow on the second of February. Phil either remains out of his lair or returns if he sees his shadow. If the latter takes place, legend says there will be six more weeks of winter. If it doesn’t, then an early spring is on its way. While Phil’s predictions’ accuracy is only around 35 to…

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Inner Work Should Continue After Treatment

Inner Work Should Continue After Treatment

During treatment, you took an inventory of your inner thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. You might have found things you didn’t like and worked on them. However, working on yourself shouldn’t stop after treatment. Here’s why inner work is something you should take part in at least once a year after recovery. Taking a Deep Look Inside If you are not familiar with the term “inner work,” it simply means taking an honest look at your actions, reactions, feelings, habits, and biases that might keep you from growing and becoming a healthier person. Inner work allows you to take a step back and look at how you might be inhibiting yourself from thriving in your life. Inner work can help you address issues that affect your relationships, your ability to love yourself, and how you handle obstacles that get in your way to success. A major component of addiction recovery involves…

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Gendered Programing and How It Helps Our Clients

Men in recovery from addiction talk before an AA meeting.

Treatment programs across the country are often separated by gender. Co-ed programs exist but tend to be rare for a reason. Jaywalker Lodge is specifically a men’s program, allowing our programming to focus solely on male mental health. Here are the reasons why gendered programming exists and why addressing the needs of a specific gender helps with treatment and recovery. Addiction Affects Genders Differently Men and women have very different experiences regarding substance use disorder and mental health. These experiences differ biologically and culturally. While fewer women might get help for addiction, fewer men are likely to get help for underlying mental health disorders, making recovery harder. Men traditionally take on different gender roles than women, which can impact how they access treatment and recover. Men and women also tend to have different addictions, which can change the structure of how a treatment center approaches these addictions and how they…

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Why Is Comedy So Effective in Improving Mental Health in Recovery?

Whether you’re a comedian or you love watching stand-up specials, laughing about life difficulties can raise the mood. Many recommend watching something funny when you are feeling down. Here’s why laughing out loud lifts your mood and how it can help with long-term recovery. What Laughing Does to the Brain The brain releases pleasure chemicals like serotonin and endorphins when a person laughs. As a result, laughter can improve your mood. If you feel down, laughter can uplift mood by cooling down anger and reducing low moods like depression. Physical Benefits of Laughter You might be surprised to find that comedy can offer physical health benefits too. Laughing can improve the health of your heart by reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. When you laugh, your whole body relaxes. This allows for better blood flow and releases tension in your entire body. Joking About the Hard Times Many people use…

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Self Love Is the Most Powerful Form of Love

A man in recovery expresses love and appreciation for himself.

If you are recovering from or are in treatment for addiction, you might not have had the most positive sense of self. Focusing on yourself, your happiness, and your well-being over others might feel foreign or even wrong. There might be parts of you that feel like you don’t deserve to prioritize your needs or indulge in fun activities. In the past, you might have been overwhelmed with responsibilities, not allowing for your own time. There are many reasons you might find it challenging to take the time to love and care for yourself; however, it is vital to learn how to love yourself to feel at peace during recovery. Many Forms of Love Valentine’s Day forgets to tell us that we shouldn’t just celebrate romantic love, but rather all kinds of love. There are plenty of forms that love takes. The love you feel for your partner isn’t the…

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You Might Be Practicing Self Harm and Not Know It

A man in recovery from addiction thinks about his past self-destructive behaviors.

Self-harm comes in many forms, but others might not know they are hurting themselves as a way to cope with difficult mental disorder symptoms. Since self-harm tends to be a taboo topic, many might not know that their behaviors are hurting more than helping. Substance use is sometimes a form of self-harm on its own, but after treatment, it’s possible to switch to other kinds if a person isn’t fully aware of their coping mechanism and all that it encompasses. If you struggle with self-harm or find yourself triggered by the topic matter, this article discusses complex topics that might be challenging to read. If mentions of self-harm or suicidal thoughts trigger you, then it might be best to skip this article. If you are currently struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, contact the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255 or text a crisis counselor. What Is Self Harm? According to the…

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The Pressure to Be Stronger, Better, and Faster: Athletes and Substance Use Disorder

An athlete addicted to performance-enhancing drugs is lifting weights.

With the Winter Olympics on the way, the headlines can often be filled with athletes suspended for substance use. Performance-enhancing drugs aren’t uncommon in sports programs, but not every program tests for substances. Let’s take a look at the phenomenon of athletes and substance use disorder and how you can help your clients in the future. The Pressure to Perform Competing in a sport can become the highlight of a person’s life, especially if they are passionate about the game. Winning at your favorite game can be a high like no other. What can get in the way is the pressure to be the best on your team, in your league, in the state, country, and even in the world. Since there are so many different people competing with so many different backgrounds and resources, the stakes feel higher. Some have access to better training, more time to train, and…

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What Is Relationship Addiction?

A couple in recovery from addiction struggle to connect.

If you have a history of addiction, you might want to look at how you relate to others. Relationship addiction is common in many interpersonal relationships with those who aren’t great at setting boundaries or respecting their personal needs over others. Codependent relationships can lead to dangerous behaviors like enabling and taking on more than you can handle. Let’s take a look at relationship addiction and how it can harm someone’s recovery. The Many Forms of Addiction Substance use addiction tends to be the type many know the most about, but addiction can take many forms. It is possible to form a psychological dependence on something, especially if it contributes to a need for a specific positive feeling. Addiction can come in many forms, from sex addiction to gambling addiction. These are different than physiological dependencies that your body might form from using an illicit substance like heroin, cocaine, or…

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Finding the Love of Your Life While Staying Sober

A man in recovery from addiction goes out on a sober date.

It’s that time of the year when we think the most about romance. Navigating modern dating might already feel stressful, but it might feel like a nightmare when sober. From alcohol avoidance to dealing with rejection to experiencing a level of comfortability when talking about your recovery journey, here are tips for enjoying dating while sober. Dealing With Stigma While the view of addiction is becoming less and less negative as people become more educated, plenty of people still don’t understand what you went through and why. Thus, there can be a fear of rejection with dating sober. What if they have questions? What if they are uncomfortable dating someone with an addiction? What if they judge me? It can be scary to dip your toes into the dating pool, especially if relationships have been a central sour point in your life. Perhaps your past relationships influenced drug or alcohol…

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Waiting a Year to Date

A man in recovery brings his girlfriend to an open AA meeting.

Early recovery leads to many feeling fantastic as if they can take on the whole world. This newfound passion for life can lead to many looking for new experiences and fulfillment but can cause them to forget they are still in a fragile state. Many professionals recommend waiting at least a year before entering into a romantic relationship. The Importance of Year One Your client’s first year after treatment is the most critical part of their recovery journey. During their first year, they are focused on rebuilding their life. They take all of the tools and lessons gathered from treatment and apply them to everyday life. They are still raw. They are still finding themselves. They are still rebuilding broken connections and establishing their new identity as a sober individual. In the first year of sobriety, people are still susceptible to relapse, primarily due to Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or…

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