These are the crucial steps for staying sober, regardless of the recovery plan that you're working on or NOT working on. If you're not doing this, you're working on a relapse.
The point of getting sober is that you have the freedom to choose who you want to be in a relationship with, and who you don't. Being sober is about having freedom. And to be honest, being sober is much, much easier than being an active addiction.
Think about all the time, energy, effort, planning, scheming, hiding, worrying, and feeling guilty. Think of all the time and energy you put into doing all those things in active addiction. Guess what? In sobriety, you don't have to do any of those things.
Make a plan.
You have to plan on how to stay and keep your sobriety. Just like you had to plan out how you would use, get it, get away with it.
The first category in planning for sobriety needs to be the big sort of overall general, how you're going...
We're constantly saying to people trying to overcome an addiction you can't do it yourself. What do you need, what is helpful, what is not, and how can other people support you?
Let's look at what kind of recovery supports are available and what you need to look for. We're also going to identify who will be part of your recovery support network.
On an individual basis, what do you need from the people around you?
There are five categories that you need in a support network. You most likely won't have one person that can do all of these. This is why you need a few different people in your life that serve a few functions.
One of the things you need is someone that can serve as a sounding board.
You need someone you can bounce your thoughts off of and help you sort through stressors and think through problems. Someone that you can talk to freely without feeling judged. The person who does this for you will need to have a few unique characteristics. First and foremost, you have to see...
If you or a loved one are thinking about getting sober and you want to make sure you stay sober, this video is for you! The number one most important first step for relapse prevention is putting these things in place.
These actionable steps will help provide the foundation for maintaining a good long-term recovery.
I recently had a conversation with a lady on a phone consult. She told me how her husband was having a lot of "change talk." He would say he was ready to take all of these first steps to recovery but always fell short. This happens with so many of the clients I see. It's not that the person doesn't mean it necessarily. You can usually tell when someone is genuine about it. They do want this problem to go away. They want to be better and change their ways, but just wanting it isn't enough. You have to take action steps.
The first and most important action step that you need to take is to do all of the things you can think of that would make it hard, If not impossible...
If your addicted loved one has said any of the following 11 statements, you're being gaslit, a form of manipulation. This is part two in my series on gaslighting statements. Here's the link to part one.
If you're not familiar with the term, gaslighting is when someone purposely makes you think you're crazy. It's a common manipulation tactic used when dealing with someone struggling with an addiction. It's their way of deflecting the conversation, the energy, and putting it back on you.
If you are struggling with an addiction, or you're with someone who's struggling, and you feel trapped in the situation, click HERE. There are tons of free addiction recovery resources. There are things on the site for you if you have a loved one that you're trying to help and resources if you're trying to conquer an addiction.
Back to the most common gaslighting statements...
"I have to have that for my anxiety. If you don't let me have that, I'll probably go out and do something worse....
If you have an addicted loved one and hear any of these statements, you are being manipulated.
We're going to look at gaslighting from the loved one's perspective. If you have an addicted loved one and say things like this to you, this is gaslighting.
If you've never heard that term before, it's where someone purposefully makes you feel like you're crazy.
There are a lot of ways this happens. Let's start with like the classic of all classics.
Let's say that you find drugs, alcohol, paraphernalia, whatever it is. You confront your loved one with it. They're going to say, "I forgot about that. That's been there forever!" or "That's my friends, it's not even mine!"
That is super classic.
You probably already know that's not true because you probably looked in that spot recently and knew it wasn't there, but they're going to make you doubt your sanity by telling you that. Then you're going to think, well, maybe it is old, and you're going to question. Before you know it,...
Abusing drugs and alcohol keep you stuck in a victim mentality. I'm going to give you the four reasons why that happens.
This is one of those uncomfortable truth kinds of moments. When you're overusing drugs and alcohol, it most certainly keeps you stuck in a victim mentality. You get stuck on past hurts, you get stuck on things going wrong in your relationship, and you don't get over lost dreams and hopes and disappointments. You stay stuck in financial worries, and there are several reasons for this.
#1 reason why addiction keeps us stuck in victim thinking
The first and one of the biggest reasons this keeps you stuck is because when we use substances, it causes us to ruminate over all the bad things that have ever happened to us.
We replay it over in our heads, and as we do that, those hurts get bigger. It's kind of like when a piece of gossip starts. The first time you tell it, it's dramatic enough, but by the 10th time you tell it, the whole story is even more outrageous....
The simplest, easiest, and most effective thing that you can do to help yourself or a loved one conquer addiction is to change your expectations. You might be thinking, Amber, that's some woo-woo stuff. I'm going to explain to you exactly why and how that works. How can you use these scientific evidence-based findings to help yourself or a loved one overcome addiction?
I am a big believer in what you expect to happen, will probably happen. I don't believe that because it's some kind of magic wish for and get what you want kind of thinking. There's actual science behind this.
Research about expectations
To understand this concept, we need to go back to 1968. When two researchers, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, ran some studies about expectations.
They wanted to find out if the expectations a teacher has about her students will impact or affect the student's learning ability. They set up this study, and they pulled these kids randomly out of a hat and assigned them to...
How do you rebuild your self-esteem in the early recovery process? Many of you have been asking for me to address the issue of self-esteem.
I'm going to give you three actionable steps that you can take to build your self-esteem and your self-confidence in a way that will last.
Where does bad self-esteem come from?
Some people think that drug or alcohol addiction is a direct result of bad self-esteem, and I guess, in some situations, it could be. But when you have a drug or alcohol problem, it will result in bad self-esteem.
The reason that happens is you behave in ways that you usually wouldn't because of the addiction. You violate your boundaries in ways that you usually wouldn't. You let go of things that are important to you. You hurt people you care about, and the result is feeling horrible about yourself.
It's hard to dig out of the hole of addiction when you feel terrible and crappy about yourself.
Think about it as being in a relationship with somebody that's abusive....
I'm answering a viewer letter about a situation where more than one person struggles with addiction in one household.
We're going to take a look at the letter, and then I'll give my response and feedback.
"My husband is currently in rehab for alcoholism for the second time. He was in law enforcement for 15 years and had a very public DUI several years ago. He went to rehab for the first time and stayed sober for over two years.
He's been a binge closet drinker. In the last two years, he falls into a depression and drinks and leaves for days at a time to the woods with no communication. On December 30th, he left for five days. When he came back, he asked me for help and decided he should go to rehab.
He's now been there for a week. He sounds good, and I'm hoping he is gaining what he needs to help himself get through this for our relationship. We don't have any trust. He's s a good man, a hard worker, loving when he doesn't drink. The person we all want him to be...
If you have a loved one struggling with addiction and involved in family recovery, you've probably heard of the three C's. The three C's come from Al-Anon.
The three C's are:
You didn't CAUSE it.
You can't CONTROL it.
You can't CURE it.
To make it clear, you didn't cause the addiction. You can't control the addiction. You can't cure the addiction.
I want to add a fourth C to this saying, that you can CONTRIBUTE to the problem.
There are five ways that you might be contributing to your loved one's addiction.
I want you to understand that I'm not telling you that the addiction is your fault. The five behaviors that I'm about to explain are triggered because of addiction.
I know that you are behaving this way and doing these things because the addiction triggers you to react this way. However, just like with an addiction, it is your responsibility to get better. It's easy for us to think about and see how addiction is the puppet master controlling all of our loved one's behaviors.