Recovery From Drug and Alcohol Addiction

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I've got three awesome articles I got from Maureen Staiano. Wanna post it last night for your reading pleasure but I lost my editing tools. "Better late than never" as the saying goes. To me recovery is not about 'not using' only but it's also about self-improvement. We've reached a point in our lives where we felt like a lost cause. Our worth to our jobs, families and friends was little or none. Any form of success was frightening and un familiar. Failure had become our way of life. Personality change was what we really needed. Change from self-destruction patterns of life became necessary. We had had enough of self-destruction!

Our first article is about recovery. When in early recovery from drugs and alcohol it is important to have a realistic perspective of time. Unfortunately an addict's and alcoholic's concept time tends to be warped. This article covers some helpful advice regarding time and early recovery.

Our second article, the important of listening. An art and craft needed in our journey to recovery. Many people think that the key to be a good communiacator is to be a well developed speaker. In this article we look at the other side of the communication coin. The importance of being a powerful listener.

Last but not least, our last article today is about our gift after all the receiving we have gotten! If you have reached a point in your life where you know you have knowledge and experience to share, why not become a mentor? Spread the word of hope to all mankind, that there is a beautiful life out there. Share your experience, strength and hope. We cared and willing to help. We found that no matter what our past thoughts and actions were, others had felt and done the same. Surrounded by fellow addicts, we realized that we were not alone!

So, without further ado, let's get on with it. Here it is;


Recovery From Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Recovery from drug addiction and alcohol addiction is stressful in the best of circumstances. The addict/alcoholic wishes that they could fast forward time and have all the past negative history behind them, overnight in fact would be preferable. The watchful eyes of family, friends and employers take their toll and the minutes seem to tick by in slow motion as the discomfort for all involved still remains. One important thing for the recovering addict to remember is that their concept of time is a bit warped.

Take for instance their using. If you ask an addict or alcoholic if they are currently using because their behavior indicates that may be the case, they will often state “Oh I haven’t used in a long time!” If pushed to elaborate what constitutes a long time it may often be a day or two at most. To the addict that IS a long time. To those around him or her it is an extremely short amount of time and they are still holding their breath waiting for the other shoe to drop.

In early recovery each day may deem to drag on uncomfortably. Preoccupation with wanting to use drugs or alcohol fights against determination to be drug and alcohol free. On top of that, a whole new way of living is being learned a minute, an hour and a day at a time. As they look around them they might feel resentful for how easy others are just sailing through the day when for them it feels as though it will never end. They think to themselves “I have to try to do this the rest of my life?

When recovery is the goal it is important to gain acceptance of the truth that time takes time. There are only twenty four hours in any given day, 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds. Just because the recovering alcoholic and addict would like it to be less and for their journey on the road to recovery to be further along does not change the physical aspect of time. It simply is what it is. That is why “One Day at a Time” is such an important slogan in twelve step recovery.

Almost every recovering addict and alcoholic is coming from a place of instant gratification. They are used to going with their impulses and the consequence be damned. Now a whole new way of living is attempted. The recovering person is learning to delay gratification and substitute worthwhile pursuits for the drink or drug of choice that has been the focus for so long. That takes practice and it takes TIME.

Having a plan for each day can keep someone new to recovery occupied throughout the crucial first weeks and months of recovery. That is why there are so many support meetings for alcohol and drug addiction. Other recovering addicts and alcoholics well remember the early days and how slowly they seemed to move at times. The hour or so they spend together may well be one less hour spent staring at the clock wondering if they are going to make it.

If it is tough to get out to many meetings and you have access to the computer there are even meetings on line. The phone is invaluable as no one understands this somewhat warped perspective of time better than another recovering person. Sharing the frustrations with how slow time may “seem” to be passing can be helpful. Gaining insight as to how others have survived it may be life-saving.

It is as important to remember that many people want the addict or alcoholic to succeed. They often have a truer sense of how much time has really passed. As the days and then weeks and then months pass by without the ensuing chaos brought about by the addict, these folks will begin to relax. The addict and alcoholic will begin to relax as well as they have put a significant amount of time between themselves and their last episode of using. Recovery from drug addiction and alcohol is not easy but it will help to keep a true perspective of the value of time.


The Important Of Listening in Communication

The importance of listening in communication is enormous. People often focus on their speaking ability believing that good speaking equals good communication. The ability to speak well is a necessary component to successful communication. The ability to listen is equally as important.
The importance of listening in communication is often well illustrated when we analyze our listening skills with those closest to us. In particular I am referring to our spouse, partner, children or friends. Pay attention to the everyday conversations we have with these people with whom we think we communicate well.

Do you ever find yourself mindlessly saying “uh huh” when one of these folks is trying to tell you something only to have say just after “I’m sorry what did you say?" Have you been in a conversation with one of them and you are not really listening completely to what they have to say because you are too busy formulating your response?

This is actually quite common and yet we think we are good communicators. In order to communicate effectively we have to be able to hear what the other person is saying. Not just hear because the acoustics are good or because the other person is speaking in a loud enough tone. It is important that we hear what the person is saying because we have taken the time to actively listen.

Listening takes work and when it comes to improving our communication there is no getting around that. When we are listening to music or watching T.V. we can certainly let our minds wander. If we want our communication skills to get stronger it is important that we not day dream in a conversation but instead concentrate fully on what the other person is saying.
No doubt this can be difficult. Not every conversation we are in is particularly interesting. If however, we want to improve these skills focus is important even when dealing with younger children and teenagers.

Allowing the person to completely finish their thought before you begin to form a response is also crucial to good listening. To take it even one step further wait a moment before you begin to reply. This gives the other person a chance to add anything else they may have thought of. By waiting an additional moment before you reply you also let the other person know they have been heard completely. If you practice this for a time people will relax when conversing with you because they will know that they don’t have to rush to get their two cents in. They will appreciate the fact that they can communicate with you and be heard.

When having those important conversations with the people closest to you, try taking it one step further and repeating back what they said “what I heard you say is you are uncomfortable...” By doing this you give the other person the opportunity to correct any misconceptions that may have occurred or to clarify any points they were trying to make. This heightens the level of communication you are enjoying. And the person you are communicating with will certainly feel respected and important given the care you are taking with the conversation.

The technique of repeating back for clarity had been extremely useful when I have had conversations with my teenagers. It also comes in handy when speaking with a spouse or partner. Often times in those situations we begin to assume we know what the other person means. Allowing them to express themselves completely actually allows for greater intimacy, something we often desire in our relationships but wonder why we are not achieving.
The importance of listening in communication is something worthwhile to consider. Good listeners are often some of the best speakers because they have taken the time to find out what people are truly interested in. If you understand what is important to people than you understand how to reach them.

The strategies I spoke about are just as effective in the workplace especially in sales. If you are really listening to what your customer wants it will be that much easier to fulfill their needs. The customer will be impressed that you listened to what they were communicating instead of just going into sales mode. I have personally found in sales that the more I listened and the less I talked the better my sales ratio was and the more satisfied my clients were. That is a win-win situation for all involved.


The Gift Of Being A Mentor

As we move through our lives we gather an abundance of knowledge and experience covering a myriad of areas. As we stop and reflect upon all this knowledge we may be struck with the desire to share with others our experiences and the knowledge we have gained. We know in our hearts that what we have gained in experience in our life could be of benefit. So in possession of this knowledge and experience and with the desire to share it, where do we start?

How about becoming a mentor? Mentoring has been around for a long time and has grown and evolved over the years. A mentoring relationship is one in which one person, often older, but always with more experience guides another person’s development. Mentoring can be utilized in almost any area of life.

Most everyone has heard of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, an incredible program matching adults with under privileged children. The positive results experienced by the children participating in the program are truly impressive. This is only one area where mentoring has had proven results.

Teachers also have the opportunity to be mentors encouraging students to reach for goals they may never have dreamed possible. Teachers in particular work so closely with children for so many hours of the day they are given a wonderful chance to impact a child’s life in a favorable way. Many of us can look back fondly in remembrance of at least one teacher who had a lasting positive effect on our life.

Some school systems have implemented mentoring programs for children enlisting the help of adult volunteers. The results have been well documented including increased school attendance, educational performance, confidence and self-esteem. The adults have been given a priceless opportunity to influence a child’s life.

Business and the corporate environment have recognized the value of mentors and mentoring programs. In larger corporations a mentor will be assigned to incoming junior employees to give these newest members of the corporation the best possible start. Similar programs have been started in many schools to support the new teachers coming into the education system. Any career path you are contemplating would be benefited by enlisting the guidance of a mentor and many people already established in a certain career still work with a mentor to further themselves in their chosen field. As a coach I work with a mentor coach and find it an invaluable business and life resource.

With the increase of entrepreneurs forging ahead to start their own businesses, mentors will be in higher demand as their prior business experience and knowledge will be invaluable. The same holds true for any business owner targeting a niche market, where specific prior experience in the similar niche could influence success or failure.

As for the person contemplating what to do with their wealth of experience and knowledge; what should they expect?

Mentoring is truly the gift of yourself that you share with another human being. It is a relationship you establish with the mentor in the place of more experience and the mentee the benefactor of your experience and guidance.

Both people truly benefit from this special relationship. The mentor will gain the pleasure of sharing their knowledge. They will also discover a new excitement surrounding the area in which they are serving as a mentor. When you observe someone else benefiting from your knowledge and experience it is difficult not to feel a sense of pleasure and fulfillment. We all want to know we matter in this world, that we indeed have made a difference. Becoming a mentor is one of the great ways to have a positive impact on another human being.

If you want to get started on being a mentor, get clear on who you would like to work with and whether it would be in a business context or helping someone develop in their personal life. Do you want to work one on one or would you like to share your experience with a greater number of people?

Once you have a direction, do the research. Big Brothers Big Sisters is always looking for volunteers. Many school systems offer programs of their own. A phone call will likely give you the information you may need. The internet contains many websites regarding mentoring opportunities and how to get started. If you currently work in a large corporation, check with the Human Resource department for opportunities that may exist in your company.

If you feel that you would like to put your writing talents to good use, mentoring is a wonderful opportunity. I have many of my most influential mentors between the pages of a book.

Most importantly get started. The world is in need of your experience and the gift of yourself, don’t keep it waiting. The benefits you will enjoy will be priceless.

Maureen Staiano is a Life Coach specializing in working with women and the unique and challenging transitions we face in our lives. Please visit Maureen at: http://www.achieveyourdreamcoaching.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Maureen_Staiano


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3 Comments thus far...

Shadow said...

hey! i really like that: have a plan for every day. i read that on the net somewhere, when i was still trying to stop on my own, and amazingly enough, if i planned by day in advance, i did end up having sober days. i actually forgot about that now, thanks for reminding me!

Scott W said...

Hi, added you to my links.

southcoast said...

Hi. nice blog.I've actually never tried drugs and don't plan on it. I've had an uncle that was addicted to marijuana and he lost part of his one leg in a car accident due to drugs. It's scary and I don't understand why someone would want to waste their life doing drugs.please advice them to take a drug treament program.

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