How to Cope With Summertime Sadness and Depression

Summer is here. Summer means hot weather, pool parties, and time for relaxation. What happens when summer isn’t fun and relaxing, though? Summer depression is real, and you may be struggling with it. This can be especially hard if you feel like you’re supposed to be having a great time. Everyone else seems happy about summertime — but why aren’t you?  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) often only gets talked about when the winter months approach. SAD affects many people worldwide and typically causes depression as the days get shorter and colder. However, it is also possible to struggle with summer SAD. This means the onset of summer triggers your depression symptoms, with the longer days and increasing heat and humidity possibly playing a role.  Summer is here, and you feel the creep of depression symptoms. What do you do? Here are tips on how to cope with summertime sadness and…

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Social Anxiety and the End of Lockdown

More and more people are continuing to get vaccinated for COVID-19. As a result, the country is opening up once again. You can now eat inside at a restaurant, visit a mall, or spend time at your favorite amusement park. However, with society opening up once again comes social anxiety for some. Social anxiety is a fear of social situations and includes worrying about meeting strangers, how to act around friends and a general feeling of self-consciousness. It can make everyday life extremely challenging and can even manifest physically through sweating, palpitations, or panic attacks.  The thought of being around people when we are not entirely COVID-free or changing a routine we have become accustomed to can come with crippling anxiety. Because you have been social distancing for over a year, the thought of interacting with people again can be scary. Being in isolation can cause you to forget how…

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Creating the Community We Crave

Community is crucial in addiction recovery. The community you create can help you in the most challenging of times and be there to enjoy the good times alongside you. Sometimes, the community isn’t the easiest to find, though. After finding a group of people to bond within residential treatment, you may be scrounging to find friends in the outside world. We all crave a community we can belong to, but how do we create that fellowship if we can’t find it? Alumni Programs If the treatment center you attended offers an alumni program, this is a great way to create a community. Not only can you continue relationships with people you met in treatment, but you can develop bonds with those who have been through treatment before. These people may know and understand your struggles better than anybody else you meet and can provide you with a strong sense of…

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Staying the Course

We all know recovery has ups and downs that we must navigate through. Sometimes, recovery makes us feel on top of the world. Other times, recovery can feel exhausting as we try to push our way through triggers and the most challenging days. Sometimes, however, recovery is all about keeping life steady. You don’t feel overly joyous, but you don’t feel the strain of recovery. You may be wondering, “How do I accomplish this?” Through actively working a 12-Step program and staying engaged in your recovery, keeping life steady is always attainable.  Regularly Attending Meetings Regular meeting attendance in a 12-Step program can always help you keep life steady. Of course, life can sometimes get in the way of the number of meetings you attend, but making a point to attend as many meetings as you can in a week can immensely help maintain your recovery. Meeting attendance allows you…

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Being of Service


What does “being of service” actually mean? Why do we talk about it so much in recovery? Is it really as important as it sounds? Being of service is more than being helpful on occasion — it’s a lifestyle that is vital to successful recovery. We talk about service so often because it’s one of the major keystones of a life in recovery.There is a lot that we can learn about being of service, and there is a lot that can be said about it, too. Simply put, service is one of the single most important ingredients to a healthy, happy, and successful recovery lifestyle. Let’s take some time to explore this incredible element of recovery.What Is Service?Service is more than just lending a hand whenever we can. Service is a way of life. Some people say that it’s only considered being of service if it’s inconvenient, but that’s untrue…

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When It’s Time to Sponsor

honesty and trust in recovery

When we are new to recovery, some of the first advice we’re ever given is to get a sponsor. It may seem like a strange concept at first. I mean, what’s a sponsor? Well, we find out what a sponsor is pretty quickly. A sponsor is an alcoholic or addict in recovery who has worked all Twelve Steps and is willing to help others do the same. What do we need a sponsor for? Spoiler alert: we need a sponsor to help us work the Steps ourselves. Literally, we need someone who has worked all Twelve Steps to show us how to do it. More than that, much of the Twelve Steps require us to speak with another person about certain things. Our sponsor is usually the person we talk to whenever the Steps require it.Our sponsor gets to know about us and our life. We get to know and trust…

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Men’s Issues: Asking for Help

the value of treatment

Men don’t ask for directions. Men don’t read the instructions. Men don’t ask for help. Have you ever heard these garbage stereotypes before? To put it mildly, wrong-headed ideas about what makes a “real” man are killing real men. These and many other harmful socio-cultural lies are poisoning the minds of men every day, preventing them from living their best lives and giving their best to others. What real men do is ask for help and direction, and then help and support others. Real men know it takes courage, strength, and faith to ask for help. So, what kind of thinking propagates these twisted ideas of manhood? Where does it come from? And what can we do about it? Let’s take a hard look at asking for help from men’s perspective, and how we can help ourselves overcome the incorrect programming that’s keeping us from getting the help we need. Don’t Believe…

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Being a Leader in Recovery

we can accomplish anything

Every man among us likes to view himself as a leader, but are we really ready to pony up when it comes to doing what leaders do? What about those of us who don’t view ourselves as leaders or simply don’t want the moniker? Doesn’t seeing yourself as a leader oppose the humility that the Twelve Steps constantly ask us to seek? These are some good questions, so let’s delve into the answers. We’ll start with what it means to be a leader in recovery and who among us is tasked with this position.A Group of LeadersThe truth is that there are no official leaders in recovery. We often look to those with the longest time sober to lead the rest of us in recovery. But this system only works if those with the longest time sober are still actively working the Twelve Steps and maintaining their spiritual fitness. Reality tells…

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I shall take the heart…

“I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodsman; “for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” ― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of OzGrowing up in a theatrical and artistic household once a year that we would all sit down and watch the classic 1939 film, THE WIZARD OF OZ. Little did I realize during all of those endless viewings just how closely my own story would mirror that of the classic tale I was forced to watch.  My life as I knew it then was in sepia, just like the beginning of the movie. A colorless brown hued story. Also, as in the movie, a storm was brewing, I couldn’t help but watch, as it inched closer and closer. I remember running back into my house desperately looking for comfort, everything around me in dull hues, especially my senses….

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Dealing With Frustration


Recovery is obviously a true blessing in our lives. For alcoholics and addicts, recovery is among the greatest gifts we could ever receive. Working the Twelve Steps changes nearly every part of our lives, and it often changes us in ways that make us much happier and more peaceful. However, life is still life, even in recovery. Not every day is sunshine and rainbows, though admittedly the sun shines a lot brighter and more often in recovery. But we will still face troubling times on occasion, and we will still have to deal with negative emotions. Luckily, recovery offers us many helpful ways to weather such storms of life. Life does not stop being life in recovery. It is still subject to ups and downs, hard times and good times, tragedy and euphoria. What recovery does is help us navigate the inevitabilities of life with peace, calm, and clear direction….

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