Self Worth

Author Unknown

I used to believe I was not worthy of happiness. I believed the first person that told me that. It became a subconscious mantra to myself. It defined the young woman I was I hid behind a mask pretending I was in control and I was “OK”. I ran from even looking at myself in the mirror because I had defined myself as less than. It was one of the most exhausting, debilitating, saddest times in my life. Using and drinking made me feel numb and gave me liquid courage, which was actually more, fear and pain. I didn’t know it at the time I just thought it was a fast and easy remedy. It was until it almost became my demise. It was then I decided I could no longer feel this way again. I didn’t know if I could recover but I had never gave it a true shot. I was truly scared to find out who I was. The REAL ME!. I must wholeheartedly say I’m grateful not only that I have given myself a chance at a beautiful life but I too was beautiful with every imperfection. I forgave my pain and what wreckage that came with. We all deserve to recover! I’m recovering and I’m the Best person I can be in a daily basis. Not perfect but better than yesterday

All Humans Unalienable Rights

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

I have the right to be treated with respect.
I have the right to say no and not feel guilty.
I have the right to feel and express my feelings.
I have the right to change my mind.
I have the right to ask for what I want.
I have the right to express myself openly without concern for my well-being.
I have the right to move freely within my country not causing harm to others.
I have the right toattitudeiseverything make decisions concerning my health and my body.
I have the right to feel good about myself.
I have the right to behave in ways that promote my dignity, self-respect and self esteem as long as others are not violated or impacted negatively.

Thank You

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
Meister Eckhardt

Some of us are more delusional than others, but delusion and grandiosity are commonly present in most alcoholics. My life was centered on perfection and the projection that I was always right. Saying or expressing thank you never crossed my mind. This wasn’t a compulsive disorder as much as it was arrogance and self-centeredness.

“Selfishness — self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. 
Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, 
we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes
they hurt us seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that
at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self
which later placed us in a position to be hurt.” Big Book

Several years ago a company recruited me to be its COO. It was an industry I was well acquainted with and the job came with a major increase in pay and responsibility. In my mind it was about time I was to be rewarded for my talents. This was while I was still a sober drunk without a program, steps or recovery.

It didn’t take long for me to alienate most of the employees and cause serious regrets by the owner of the company. My deluded self-absorption convinced me that I was doing a phenomenal job. I exposed company theft, poor decisions by ownership and a total lack of controls. I also did not waste any time letting everyone know how incompetent they had been and what actions we had to take to correct these poor decisions. Of course without any regard for the people I offended or feelings for them.

It took about six months for them tell me my services were no longer needed and I was dismissed. I left with resentments, anger, dishonesty and self-centered righteousness. I had been wronged and told everyone who would listen. Within six more months I was drinking again; much worse than before.

Within another six months I had crashed and burned. I crawled back into AA searching for an answer to the fear that if I drank again I would surely die.

Willingness to be teachable led me to a new path of recovery and a beginning to build a new life and a new mind. The 12 Steps, a sponsor and the unconditional love of people in the fellowship opened me to all the promises of AA.

I heard from one of my co-workers several months after I was dismissed that the owner of the company had remarked after I was gone that he had a God in his life and didn’t need another one.

Now it is time for me to do another 9th Step and make amends for the wreckage I caused with the people who gave me an opportunity that I destroyed. Thank God I learned how in the 12 Steps.

Finding The Right Sober Living House

Author Unknown

Sober living facilities are needed to provide a supporting and pro-active healthy transition, allowing you to leave the safety of rehab and enter a less-restrictive living environment while maintaining a focus on recovery. Residents enjoy a less structured atmosphere while developing the tools and skills to sustain sobriety in the “real world.”

While there are many sober living facilities in Florida, you need to make sure the home you choose offers the highest level of care, qualities, and features that support recovery. You should never commit to living at a sober living home without visiting and talking with the owners and residents.

Here are the top five qualities you’ll want to look for in a sober living house:

#1 FARR Certified Residence

Picking a FARR certified residence guarantees that you are in the best possible environment that is regulated with the highest standards. This is a critical decision that affects your recovery. You are faced with an overwhelming amount of decisions each day; many affect your sobriety. You need to know the sober living has a proven structure to assist and support recovery. That’s why it’s so important to find a sober living home that implements a higher level of care…it should also implement rules and regulations, such as mandated curfews and a zero-tolerance drug-free environment.

#2 Safety

Being in a safe environment is an absolute necessity. Look for things like; 24/7 staff, if the entire staff is trained in CPR, do they have an emergency kit in case of an overdose, and a protocol for emergencies. What steps and measures do they have to absolutely make sure there are no drugs or alcohol on the premises? Is there a zero tolerance for possession and use of alcohol and drugs? Check out and speak to the people currently living in a sober living facility. Ask them about the technology and safety measures used by the facility.

#3 Connecting Atmosphere

The camaraderie, atmosphere, mood, energy, and vibe at the sober living house with its current residents are very important. During your tour ask to speak with the current residents, they will be valuable in your decision to pick the right place for you. What types of activities are there to help you develop new skills; assistance with job search, better eating habits, health and fitness. Make sure you feel a positive vibe; your gut will tell you if it is the right place for you.

#4 Supports and Assists Recovery

A solid support system is crucial for anyone in recovery. 12 step recovery is not for everyone, however the sober living should have other actions on and off the property in place like; relapse prevention, AA, NA, and counseling to assist you in recovery. When evaluating a sober living support team, it’s important to find a staff that truly cares about you and your success…but you also want a staff that’s unafraid to enforce necessary rules and regulations.

Everyone’s recovery path is different and proceeds at different paces, however individualized recovery plans are essential for staying sober. The employees should be professional, and be there to keep you on the road to recovery. They should be encouraging 12 step, AA, NA meetings or a support system that fosters sobriety. There should also be some sort of drug testing policy in effect.

#5 Take Responsibility; Own It

Remember, you must own your sobriety. That means that you may not always like following rules and regulations like a curfew, structured events, meetings, etc. You must be willing to do the difficult things to maintain sobriety. The sober living home should challenge you to be able to make that step to be fully functional on your own.


Unholy Trinity – Fear, Anger & Guilt

By Marc Dunn
Fear, anger and guilt, the unholy trinity of emotions, are feelings that every addict seeks to alter. They dominated my life from the time of my earliest memories. It was those feelings that lead me on a path of reckless, selfish and dishonest seeking of substances to mask myself. It was the thoughts that I wasn’t good enough and needed to be better that blocked me from being.

Young boys grow up with a father or role model they seek approval from or they seek to emulate in order to become a “man” with all the characteristics that are deemed admirable and manly by society. The lack of this approval, the feeling of being less than, set me on a course that lead to addiction before I picked up my first drink.

Christianity and Judaism introduced the concept of God to me at an early age. It was natural for me to identify the first father figure in my life as being God like because of the teachings in our places of worship; all powerful, all knowing, supreme judge and benevolent or punishing. My first hand experience was that of an abusive stepfather. Consequently I felt early on in my life that there must be something wrong with me. How could the God-like figure in my life be wrong? It had to be that something was wrong with me.

The lack of self-esteem for me was enhanced by changing school districts every year and constantly being the new kid having to prove himself on the schoolyard and not equipped with the tools to succeed. I wanted to escape but didn’t find a route until my early teens when I was introduced to alcohol. In the interim my stepfather and boys my age constantly picked on me, beat me up and tortured me.

Years later when my stepfather was on his deathbed I confronted him about why he treated me this way. His answer was, “you were a willful child and somebody had to beat it out of you.” My answer was, “Really? That’s the way to correct a child? Fuck you!” That was the last interaction I had with him. It also gave me a good reason to get drunk.

The fear lead to anger with God because I would constantly pray for relief from the treatment I received and my prayers did not lessen the pain, Naturally the last of the emotions, guilt, grew because of my low self esteem and conviction that something was wrong with me.

My alcoholism progressed, as I grew older and resulted in suspension from the university, failed relationships with women, marriage and divorce, arrest, theft, near death escapes, many automobile accidents and escapades from reckless behavior.

My constant companion was fear of not having your approval or being found out, mainly that I wasn’t who I was pretending to be. As a young man it was important to me to appear to be fearless and full of bravado. I accumulated things that made me look good; attractive women, nice cars, expensive home and cash. It was all a grand delusion fueled by alcohol and drugs.

Drugs and alcohol were now my master and I found nothing wrong with the person I had become, totally unaware of the destruction I was causing along the way.

In the 70’s I had my own business in a small college town. Although I stayed way from the selling of substances, it was common for me to be close to those who did and insure my accessibility by brokering deals for others. It wasn’t only substances, my addictions crossed over to gambling and sex.

I owned a small business that catered to college students and the resident hippie population. One afternoon three guys came into the store who I had never seen before. It was strange that they were all very tall and after a few minutes of conversation the explanation was easy. They played basketball and were in town for a game that night. Basketball was big in the town, although our team was pretty average. A big turnout was expected for the game because the opponent was a rival and was favored to beat our home.

We were joking about the game, and then it happened. They asked if I could get them high. “Of course! No problem, “ I said. “Come back in an hour and we’ll go outside behind the store and smoke a joint”.

Friends of mine had connections with a bookmaker and we placed bets regularly on all sporting events. My addiction to gambling enhanced my “macho man” image.

As soon as the players left, I rolled a joint and went to one of my betting buddies to share the good news. We had a sure thing. One of the players was a starter. Once I got high with them, there was no way they could play a decent game that night. We bet 5 times our normal wager.

The guys returned about an hour later and I let them smoke most of the joint. They went back to join the team, completely stoned. They were carrying on about how good the shit was and they’d never been so high. I was on the phone as soon as the Bookmaker’s Office opened, made my bet and went to the game. It was insane; they couldn’t make a shot, missed passes and looked awful. We won.

Several factors were at play in my behavior: drug and gambling addiction as well the thrill of living on the edge and attention seeking. Self-centered attention seeking only rivaled my dishonesty. This was more than the youthful arrogance of immortality, there was an attitude of, “I don’t care about anyone but me and I’ll do whatever to get what I want.” It wasn’t really evil, but it was reckless and harmful to others and it made me feel like a real man. More delusional grandiosity.

Incidences such as this continued during my young adult life: arrests by the FBI (later dismissed by the courts), a divorce because of my infidelity and gambling, running a night club frequented by drug dealers and bookmakers, drunken misdeeds such as out running the police in a car chase and being thrown out of numerous bars for being too drunk. These were not accomplishments; they were the result of a total lack of self-awareness, and disregard for the safety or feelings of others.

Finally in my mid 30’s I felt the need to make a change, a combination of events: custody of my son, meeting a woman I wanted to spend my life with but probably more than anything I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. It wasn’t an epiphany or revelation as much as was my fear driving me. I married, bought a home and started a family. Only I hadn’t changed my behavior, I only masked it behind what looked like the ideal family. I began a horrendous chapter of stealing from those who loved me the most, my family. I stole their peace of mind.

The selfish, careless & dishonest behavior continued, sometimes sneakily in alleys or outside bars, other times under the guise of legitimacy in the driveway of my home. It wasn’t like I was always absent or didn’t properly interact with family and friends, but it was always on my terms with an eye toward the exit.

For the next twenty years alcohol became more important and lead to many misdeeds that jeopardized the family’s financial security and our physical safety as well. My need to be in charge and the man of the house was far more important than the needs of anyone else.

There was the verbal abuse I used to prove my superior manliness, and dangerous actions as displays of bravado. One episode involved me taking the family on a boating trip into the gulf that required us traversing a channel I had never done before with a lack of the required skills. The result was having to be rescued in the middle of a lightning storm after I luckily spotted a marina I managed to steer the boat to. My wife and kids were frightened, while I maintained everything was under control. More delusional grandiosity.

Finally I stopped drinking about 15 years ago, not because I wanted to, but the pressure from my wife and others was getting more intense. I had a couple of car accidents that were not exactly the direct result of being under the influence, but my decision making was based on appearances more than sound judgment. Looking good still dominated my thoughts.

I went to AA meetings for about 30 months. Most of the time I would burglarize the conversations of old-timers, repeating what I had hears them say as if it was what I had learned in recovery. Chairing and speaking at meetings like I was a big shot, never getting a sponsor, never reading the Big Book or doing the steps. I drank again, and went on a 6 months bender that finally brought me to my knees.

It was crashing my car in a blackout on the interstate in the middle of the afternoon that did it. The car was totaled, no one was hurt, no other cars were involved and somehow I walked away without being arrested for DUI. It was the last time I had a drink and it was the last time I stole peace of mind from my wife and children.

The next day I started my recovery from alcoholism searching for a healing of the mind, body and spirit; although I didn’t know it I was about to begin an internal search of my heart and spirit.

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. Some handle it by resolving their issues and allowing their feelings to pass. I had trouble moving past those feelings and seemed to linger there, where the danger of addiction came into play. The temporary and seemingly soothing nature of drugs and alcohol provided me some with the quick relief but they we never the answer to stress, depression, or anxiety.

I knew that I had never felt at home. I had never felt at home in my home. I had never felt at home in my religion. And for many months, I did not feel at home even in Alcoholics Anonymous. I had to learn that home is where the heart finds rest and renewal. That’s where coming home is.

I am far enough along in the journey now to be able to see that there is only one ultimate coming home, and that is the final, total, complete, surrender of self to a Power greater than myself. I’m also brave enough today to believe that there will come a day, there will be a place sometime, somewhere, someday, that I will probably in all likelihood completely be able to open my heart and express my feelings without fear. It comes now at times when I share at meetings, even when I engage with people outside the rooms, because I am comfortable and I don’t feel the fear of being found out. I have nothing to hide.
I am reminded of this exchange between two friends on a cattle drive from the book Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty;
“You’re so sure you’re right it doesn’t matter to you whether people talk to you at all. I’m glad I’ve been wrong enough to keep in practice.”
“Why would you want to keep in practice being wrong?”
Call asked. “I’d think it would be something you’d try to avoid.”
“You can’t avoid it, you’ve got to learn to handle it,” Augustus said. “If you come face to face with your own mis¬takes once or twice in your life it’s bound to be extra painful. I face mine every day-that way they ain’t usually much worse than a dry shave.”

The shortcomings and defects of character I confronted in my 4th and 5th Step allowed me an awareness of what is in my heart and in doing so helped me to understand that I am a human being, with feelings the same as all human beings and its okay. I had to let myself feel fear, anger and guilt, but not act out in such a way that would hurt others or myself. I learned to trust and love the Sunlight of the Spirit and make better choices and most importantly I didn’t have to be perfect. That perfection was not the measure of a man; honest admiration, love and respect of others and self are what make us men. We are all loved by our families and friends we just have to let them love us and love them in return.

My recovery is a narrow bridge, I am not afraid because I am not alone.

Healing Our Family/Community

This commentary from a passage of Prophets is offered as a spiritual guide to the principles of recovery from substance abuse and not as a religious teaching. Thank you 

And God will turn the heart of the parent to the children and the heart of the children to the parents. Malachi 3:27

This Shabbat is glorified as a great day in Jewish history because it signifies thee beginning of the exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery. The words from this week’s Haftorah (weekly reading from Prophets), Malachi is most profound because it tells of the importance of families and communities.

In seeking our spiritual renewal one of the most important actions is doing whatever is necessary to heal family/community transgressions or harms. This requires a letting go of the past and trusting our Higher Power to free us of resentments, anger and guilt.

We are seeking a new way, and we began our departure from Egypt in ancient times by following the path prescribed by God.

We are told to prepare the Paschal Lamb for sacrifice, to hurry and not wait for the bread to rise and lastly to include all those in our community who were willing to begin a new life. Our destination wasn’t important, only that we were willing to begin a journey of freedom wherever it took us because we trusted our Spirit and wanted a new beginning.

Shabbat was created in the beginning as a day of rest and peace, and Passover takes place in the month of Nissan, which is considered the first month of Jewish freedom from slavery. Since Shabbat was created by God and is now being made part of Judaism by following God’s direction out of Egypt, it marks a blending of God’s will with all people.

Just as we seek knowledge of our Higher Power’s will for us, we are reminded that by healing our family/community do we experience the joy of a happy life in the Sunlight of the Spirit.

Restore Us To Sanity

“And you shall make boards for the Tabernacle of acacia wood…”—Exodus 26:15.

This week’s portion gives the guidelines for the construction of the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary that the Children of Israel carried with them throughout their forty-year sojourn in the desert.

The walls of the Tabernacle were to be made from gold encased planks of wood taken from the acacia tree. In Biblical Hebrew, the term for this type of wood is “wood of shitim.” The word “shitim” is related to the word “shtut” which means stupidity or madness. This double meaning infers that the builders of the Tabernacle were to take- warped thinking – and make an abode for God from it. The antithesis of, and rectification for irrational thinking is not rational thinking, but faith.

Faith is a type of thinking which serves as a sanctuary for the Presence of the Power of The Universe. Reason is the middle path; Irrationality is a deviation from it.

As every navigator knows, once a captain has drifted off course, he will never reach his final destination merely by traveling in the proper direction from now on. The person who has strayed can get back on track only by veering in the opposite direction of past deviations. In other words, a person whose pattern of thinking has definitely diverged from common sense, cannot correct the error by merely trying to think “normally” from now on. Though even someone who has always been “normal” can strongly benefit from a leap of faith, those whose rational minds have become twisted must make a radical shift toward the other extreme—toward the irrationality of faith.

Faith is not rational. If it were, it could not rightly be called faith, but reason. Reason is the tool for grasping that, which is knowable, while faith connects us to that which is unknowable—the wonder and mystery of existence.

Spiritual renewal restores us to sanity, Terumah; so there are two types of irrational thinking – one that falls short of rational thought, and one that transcends it. Irrational faith – not reason – is the opposite of and, more pointedly, the antidote for absurd and illogical thinking. The seeker’s obsession with self-destruction is less than rational, to put it mildly. Treating it with conventional psychological means is often futile and the prospects for success are grim.

A quality design for living is only accomplished by a psychic change, which is irrational, and requires faith.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you my Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer

Living With Recovering Substance Abuser

Healing process of trauma and addiction

Edited from Post on:

4 Tips For Living With A Recovering Addict

Substance abuse, addiction, affects more than the abuser, addict. After your
loved one has gotten sober and returned home from treatment, continuous sobriety and recovery become important parts of his or her life. Learn some helpful tips to help you support your loved one and yourself.

Recognize that while addiction is not your fault, you too have been directly affected by addiction.

The first thing you’ll usually hear a recovering person’s family member or friend say is “I’m not the one with the problem” or “They’re the one who needs help.” If you’re living with a recovering substance abuser, you’re living with substance abuse, addiction, affects more than the abuser, addict. After your loved one has gotten sober and returned home from treatment, continuous sobriety and recovery become important parts of his or her life. Learn some helpful tips to help you support your loved one and yourself. Certain feelings are unavoidable, like anger and resentment. You may feel the need to punish, control, or try to “fix” an addict. It seems counter intuitive, but the best thing you can do for a recovering substance abuser is let them work their program. Provide support, but don’t interfere.

You are not in control, and you don’t need to be.

Many family members try to control a substance abuser, it’s impossible not to. If you haven’t encountered substance abuse before, you’ll soon learn that forcing the loved one to follow rules won’t get you very far. If you’re lucky enough to be living with a recovering substance abuser, and not an active one, you’re already ahead of the curve. That means that even if the going is slow, you’re taking steps forward. One day at a time doesn’t seem like very much, but days become weeks, weeks become months, you know the rest.

Other people know what you’re going through, there is help for you too, so go get it.

No matter what kind of program your loved one is working, there’s one for you too. If you’re here, you’re looking for answers and the simplest answer is to admit when you need help. Therapy helps, support groups help, talking to someone familiar with your situation helps. Family support groups, such as Al-anon, exist for the same reasons substance abuse support groups do, they work. The most important thing about these programs is the “time” in the rooms. People with years of experience in the program are there to help guide newcomers. It’s hard to walk through that door for the first time, but everyone in that room has done it. The most amazing thing is when you hear someone get up and share your story. When you see the happiness and love in the room, realize that you too can find this no matter how difficult your situation is. Always remember that you are there for you, not for your loved one. Find a group, and stick around.

Give your loved one space to work.

It can be difficult to step back, but living with someone in recovery can be stressful enough, without having to monitor their every move. That’s what their program is for and through your own support group and recovery program, you can learn the concept of “detaching with love”. It can be difficult to step back, but the key to success is cooperation. You can’t get dialysis to fix someone’s kidneys, you can’t get chemo to cure someone’s cancer, and you can’t go to rehab to cure someone’s substance abuse. Give your loved one the space they need to find their way.

Not Just One Way To Stay Sober

By Sarah A Benton MS, LMHC, LPC

There are many views and opinions about what is needed for alcoholics to maintain long-term sobriety/recovery. There are therapeutic coping skills, the medical model, evidence-based research, 12-Step model, SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, alternative treatments, wilderness therapies, spiritual/religious practices and more… The good news is that there are many resources and ways for individuals to receive support and to get sober. The downside is that individuals may become overwhelmed by options. Each of these recovery models can be applied on a continuum—ranging from moderate to strict to fundamentalist.

In my personal and professional experience, I have observed clients and loved ones acquire sustained recovery in differing ways. It has also been interesting to see how they have found ways to apply different recovery principles and coping skills to suit their beliefs, personality and lifestyle. For some, an extreme and strict framework has been needed and for others, a moderate approach has been more appropriate.

Throughout the treatment, therapeutic and recovery process individuals learn many coping and relapse prevention strategies as well as life skills and spiritual principles intended to improve their prognosis and quality of “sober” life. I have often compared this process to a buffet, where an individual views all of the options, samples some things they may or may not like and then settles on what they prefer. In other words, “take what you like and leave the rest.”
In fact, the most effective way to maintain sobriety is to engage in strategies that are realistic and that an individual is likely to engage in long-term. As therapists, we can make suggestions, but it is important to view each individual as unique and to know that they will have their own journey that will allow them to experience what they may or may not need to change along the way. When treatment centers, addiction professionals, recovery coaches or spiritual leaders are only open to one way to view or to engage in the recovery process, it is important for individuals to be honest themselves about if that view is the right “fit” and if it is resulting in sustained recovery. If not, then there is always the option of integrating various pieces of that approach with additional strategies.

For example, George begins individual therapy with an addiction specialist and has been sober for 1 month. He expressed that he wants to learn different coping and relapse prevention skills and has decided to attend both Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A) and SMART Recovery meetings in addition to therapy and other self-care strategies (exercise, meditation, etc.). The therapist recommends that the client should only attend A.A. and not SMART Recovery and that he should just follow the suggestions of the 12-Step program and then he would not need these other parts to his recovery plan.

The problem: This addiction specialist seems to have experience with the 12-Step/A.A. model, but does not appear to be open-minded to other recovery strategies and models. It is possible to integrate differing recovery models and to find a plan that will work for individuals that suits their unique needs. There also may be parts of some self-help programs such as A.A. and SMART Recovery that may work in combination for some individuals. The strict version of either model may not be the best for all, and “fundamentalist” views on sobriety may turn some individuals away from ceratin approaches. Either way, if the therapist observes that an individual is having relapse issues, then the recovery plan and level of care should be revisited.

It can also be the tendency of those in early recovery to engage in “extreme” behaviors and struggle to find balance in their lives.

Therefore, it is even more important that these individuals strive towards an approach that will allow for consistency—recovery is a marathon and not a sprint! Not just one way to stay sober.

A Recovery Coach Answers Critical Questions

We see so much about addiction in the media and on TV, but many people have a lot of questions about sobriety, what it means and how it will change their lives. Here some answers anyone ready for a change needs to know.

What Is The Point of Sobriety?

Survival. It is a medical fact that long-term alcoholism will result in a shorter more painful life, not just for the abuser but also for those closest to him/her. The point of sobriety is ‘life over death’. Addiction is a chronic progressive disease that, if untreated, will end in death.

What Is Sobriety?

Sobriety is described as the absence of mood altering substances: alcohol, narcotic drugs, pot, non-prescribed pain killers, etc.

What Is The Difference Between Sobriety And Recovery?

We can achieve sobriety by self-willed abstinence. In abstinence we may be successful for short periods of time or indefinitely. The easier and undisciplined way, which is abstinence only, affords a less stressful lack of commitment. It does not involve much self-awareness or inner change.

Recovery is a planned change of lifestyle designed not only to prolong life, but also make it more joyous and free. If the point of sobriety is recovery; then we can have a quality of life with more enjoyment, better relationships, less expectations, more acceptance and tolerance

Questions To Answer When Making A Recovery Plan

We need to know some basic facts before working with a client as a Recovery Coach, the same facts suggested by The Bridge, a publication of the Addiction Treatment Technology Centers. These facts should be used to learn a plan, which the client will write him/herself based on what they have revealed about themselves and other facts of their lifestyle the RC must learn from them:

  1. Full substance abuse history as well as current use
  2. Age, gender, marital status, partner status (sexual activity) and educational status
  3. Occupation & Financial Status
  4. Culture & Ethnicity
  5. Medical, Psychiatric, Psychology and treatment history
  6. Self knowledge of substance abuse
  7. Readiness and Motivation
  8. Spiritual or Religious beliefs and activity
  9. Personal-finances, job, housing, family, support

Are There Alternatives to 12-Step Programs?

Yes. Some people are not comfortable in the beginning of their recovery journey with the 12-step approach, but may come to it later in recovery. Those who dislike the AA approach are especially vulnerable to relapse, as there may be no other place to go for ongoing support. But alternatives do exist and include the following:

• Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART)
• A women’s group called WFS
• SOS a self-help program that does not include spirituality
• Life Ring
• Moderation Management

There are many ways to change your life, but certain basic skills and patterns of behavior need be learned for any of them to be successful. Most addicts don’t have those skills, or have not used them in so long that they need someone like a Recovery Coach, especially if they don’t go to AA meetings, to get them back on track.
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