Sam Morrow, our Admissions Coordinator, and a musician in recovery shares his story in the second episode of Sobering Up Summit Malibu. Sam talks about what music means to him and how it defines a lot of his life. Sam also talks about his addiction, and how recovery has changed his life.
This episode shows how he both music and recovery are paramount aspects of the life he leads today.
We are luck to have Sam as our Admissions Coordinator here at Summit. His life experiences and personality are an integral part of our team.
Check it out:
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Stay Tuned for the next addition of our web series coming soon.
Sneak Peak: It features our Clinical Director, Dr Kim Chronister.
It is easy to get caught up in the bustle of life and to stop doing the the things needed to maintain healthy balance. Once off kilter it is so easy to fall into the traps of our negative behaviors, and for addicts and alcoholics that often means falling back into the throes of their addiction.
Relapse really starts before the actual drink or drugging. It shows its’ glaring face in other aspects of life and thought patterns. This is why it is so important to maintain a healthy balance in addiction recovery.
Here are a few warning signs to look out for. When you see these signs in your own life it may be a red flag to get back on track and into a healthy routine.
You Are Perpetually Sick
You Are Super Irritable
You Simply Can’t Concentrate
You Feel Like Everything Is A Chore
You Feel Down In The Dumps
You Experience A Breakdown
You Feel Incredibly Anxious
You Never Take Time For Yourself
You Feel The Days Blurring Together
You Feel Kinda Rundown
You Never Eat A Real Meal
Check out this article to learn more and to see what these signs are really telling you about what’s going on in your life:
Create a Substance-Free Environment – One of the greatest things you can do for yourself and your peace of mind is to create a living situation that is free from drugs and alcohol. Surrounding yourself in a positive atmosphere will encourage healthy behaviors. If you live in a house that still has drug paraphernalia in it or with people who are still using drugs and alcohol, it is going to be much more difficult to sustain long-term sobriety. It is highly recommended to create a substance-free environment for your own safety and security. Encourage your friends and family members to acknowledge and support you in your efforts to protect your recovery.
Avoid Dangerous Situations – The most important thing about maintaining recovery is remaining abstinent from all mind-altering substances, which means steering clear of triggering situations that may lead to a relapse. For instance, spending alone time with a heavy-drinker or going to a bar alone might be dangerous situations that can threaten your recovery. Visiting old using friends, drug dealers, or places where you once used can all be damaging to your psyche. Limiting exposure to these types of experiences will keep you safe, especially in those early days of newfound sobriety.
Keep Up Physical Health – Maintaining a physical regiment that includes regular exercise, attention to diet, and routine medical care are all vital practices in building a strong foundation for post-rehab recovery. Achieving a balanced lifestyle will provide the nutrients, endorphins, and preventative medicine necessary to ensure a healthy lifestyle conducive to recovery. Overuse of substances, such as caffeine and sugar, can affect moods and alter your perception in early recovery.
Build A Strong Support Network – 12-step groups have proven to be the greatest network of support anyone in recovery can participate in after rehab. In addition to 12-step groups, group therapy with like-minded individuals, who are pursuing a lifestyle of recovery, can be extremely helpful in sustaining a life of recovery. Fellowships at religious groups, community centers, and athletic facilities may offer additional support for those looking to build friendships outside of the prior routine of addiction, before rehab.
Family Support – Staying accountable and feeling supported in one’s journey through recovery are crucial components in establishing and developing one’s life after drinking. Peer groups and family structures offer support in a loving, unconditional manner that encourages the addict to continue on the path of recovery, even when the road seems incredibly difficult.
If you are transitioning out of rehab, you may be fraught with anxiety. Now that you’re clean, you’re stronger and better equipped to manage life’s challenges. But no matter how solid your commitment to sobriety might be it, it will undoubtedly be tested as you return to “real life.” For many, the world they left behind to seek treatment is filled with the very pressures that fed their addiction in the first place. And if there’s anything you’ve learned in rehab, it’s that addiction is about far more than willpower alone.
The choices you make in the tender, pivotal weeks after rehab are crucial, often determining the success—or failure—of your recovery. Preparation is vital; awareness and steadfastness are key. Here’s what to expect—and the five resources you’ll need:
Your first inclination may be to isolate yourself—a common feeling that’s borne out of shame in disclosing your addiction, fear of facing those you’ve harmed, or distress in navigating social situations sober. However, it’s critical that you aim for the opposite. Surrounding yourself with people who will support your sobriety and offer encouragement is crucial to lasting recovery. For many, such social support is found in 12-step and Refuge Recovery meetings, which provide compassion and connection in a nonjudgmental setting.
Treatment centers offer immediate and constant support, protection from temptation, and the comfort of structure. On the other hand, idle time often leads to an idle mind, which generates depression, anxiety, and boredom—all triggers to pick up where you left off. Creating a home routine that keeps you occupied and fulfilled will reduce the urge to use while also deepening your sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
Substance abuse doesn’t just wreak havoc on your relationships and self-esteem: it takes a serious toll on your physical well-being, leaving many malnourished. Nutrition plays an enormous role in recovery, repairing damaged organs and tissues while stabilizing brain chemistry. Commit to a diet that’s protein-rich and packed with antioxidants, monitor your sugar intake, and be judicious with caffeine—it can create mood swings that may serve as a catalyst for relapse.
Self-care is often neglected—if not abandoned entirely—when you’re in the throes of addiction. Sufficient sleep, proper nutrition, regular exercise, even personal grooming are often less important than the next fix. Enduring recovery and restored self-confidence rely on self-care. Consider these basics the primary components of your daily routine.
One of the biggest obstacles people encounter in recovery is coping with stress without turning to alcohol or drugs for relief. Nurturing the coping skills you were taught in rehab will dramatically impact your recovery. Whether it’s taking a brisk walk when angry, reaching out to a loved one when lonely, or delegating when overburdened, discover what works for you and nourish it. It may seem difficult to believe, but something as simple as taking a hot bath when anxious may be the small grace that saves you from a relapse—and perhaps your life.
It is no secret that substance abuse takes a toll on an individual, but the damage might not always be obvious. Usually, the problems that stick out are physical symptoms. Even medical issues that are not visible from the outside, such as liver disease and hepatitis, can be observed and are easily measured by medical professionals.
What might not be as evident are three other detrimental effects that active addiction can have on a person. Using also harms a person mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Therefore, recovery must address all four of these areas, in order to be comprehensive and successful in the long term. The good news is that there is hope. Keep reading to learn the many techniques and resources that are readily available.
In active addiction, it is common for people to neglect their medical needs. Start by seeking medical attention for any issues that have not been addressed, and continue with regular check-ups and preventative care.
Maintaining physical wellness over time also requires a healthy routine:
Prolonged substance abuse can affect the brain and have a negative impact on mental functioning. While some conditions are irreversible or require medication, there are steps you can take to improve clarity and reasoning:
Regular substance use interferes with a person’s ability to experience and process emotions. Mood swings and anxiety are common in early recovery.
Especially in the beginning, the focus should be on stabilizing moods and learning how to cope with the natural ups and downs of life:
The spiritual aspect of addiction and recovery is not necessarily tied to religion. Some people say that they experience an empty feeling, a hole that they were trying to fill by using drugs and alcohol. People sometimes refer to this as a ““spiritual void.”
In order to avoid relapsing or replacing substances with other addictive behaviors, it is important to fill that void with spiritual practices and principles:
Recovery takes effort, and some areas might be harder than others. It is often recommended that people get involved in a 12-step program or Refuge Recovery, as they provide support and tools for lasting recovery. Regardless of your method, the key to maintaining over time is to regularly address the four domains outlined above.