Tag Archive: relationships

  1. How to Know if the Stress is Too Much

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    Stress occurs when the individual perceives that demands placed on them — such as work, school or relationships — exceed their ability to cope. Not all stress is a bad thing. A little bit of stress can keep the individual alert, motivated and ready to respond to threat. Whether it’s preparing for a job interview or getting out of the way of a speeding car, it’s stress that gets the job done. However, unregulated stress can take its toll on the body and brain. A lot of repeated stress has been linked to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, anxiety, chronic pain and depression, among others. So how can stress be identified?

    Identifying Stress

    It is important to deal with stress, but it can be tricky to identify whether what the individual is feeling is stress or something else. This can be difficult because stress is subjective and reveals itself differently in different people. Some common signs of stress may be:

    • Shallow breathing.
    • Tensed body, like hunched shoulders and stiff neck. Clenching of the fists and jaw.
    • Skin break outs. Stress raises the levels of cortisol in the body which boosts oil production in the skin and can result in acne and blemishes.
    • Fatigue.
    • Difficulty sleeping.
    • Constantly worrying.
    • Physically shaky.
    • Thinning hair. Stress can cause the body to put a halt on hair growth.
    • More than usual use of substances like alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
    • Feeling feverish. Psychological stress can raise body temperature.
    • Grinding teeth while sleeping.
    • Brittle nails.
    • Troubled digestive tract, suffering from constipation, indigestion or diarrhea.
    • Feeling restless and fidgety.
    • Difficulty in decision making.
    • Trouble concentrating and thinking clearly.
    • Very emotional.
    • Feeling unhappy without any real cause.
    • Changes in eating patterns.  

    Tips to Manage Stress

    What is the individual to do when they are stressed? Dealing with stress is an individual pursuit, just like stress itself is subjective. Some techniques to reduce stress are:

    • Take a break – The individual should give themselves permission to step away from whatever it is that’s stressing them out. Doing something else, even for a short amount of time, will allow the individual to feel less overwhelmed.
    • Exercise – There are multiple benefits to exercise for the mind as well as the body. A short walk or run, pool time, yoga class, any form of exercise in the midst of a stressful time can immediately calm the individual down and keep them calm for several hours.
    • Social support – It can often help to call a friend, or send an email to a loved one. Sharing one’s concerns or feelings with another person can help relieve stress.
    • Meditate – One of the most popular ways to relieve stress, mindful meditation can help the mind and body to relax. Meditation can help release emotions that the individual has been holding on to which is causing them stress. Similar to exercising, even brief meditation sessions can reap immediate benefits.

    Stress can’t be eliminated, but it can be identified, and by finding positive and healthy ways to deal with it, can be managed.

     

    Sustain Recovery offers extended stay treatment programs for adolescents. Learn to deal with stress and other issues in a safe, structured environment. Call us to find out more.

  2. Healthy Dating In Recovery

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    Healthy Dating In RecoveryDating is a topic that comes up often in 12 step meetings, and the response is usually this:

    Don’t date — at least not for a while.

    Could it really be that cut and dry, though? Recovery never truly “ends,” yet most people can’t just stay single forever. Exactly how long should you wait to start dating again? 

    Generally, it’s recommended that you wait at least three to four months after treatment to attempt a romantic relationship, but it really comes down to the individual and their progress. Some people need longer to become emotionally stable again; only then might they be ready. Knowing when that time has come is trickier than it sounds, because a big part of recovery, along with all the difficulties, is experiencing dramatic boosts in confidence – sometimes too dramatic — toward the end. That cockiness is what leads so many people back to the bars, the casino, or the dating scene–and then back into the addiction cycle.

     

    Relationships and Relapse

    Relationships cause emotional turmoil even for regular people; even the good emotions can be too much for someone trying to stay calm and collected, though the biggest threat is, of course, the fighting. For recovering addicts trying to avoid relapse, relationships are like minefields. No matter how safe they seem–explosions happen. Before an addict jumps into a relationship, they should run the idea by their sponsor, their therapist, or someone else involved in their treatment aftercare. Hear them out, no matter how much it hurts. An outside voice is important to have.  A failed relationship or broken heart could be a major relapse trigger.

     

    Relationships and Compromise

    The addict may not be an active user anymore, but they’ll always be in recovery, which means the condition isn’t just some dark event from the past that needn’t be mentioned; it’s ongoing. If a recovering addict decides to go ahead and date–whether they’re ready or not–it’s essential that the partner understands the territory, and that both partners share the same top priority: sobriety.

    That could be a big sacrifice for the non-addict, and it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes painful decisions must be made. If the partner won’t stop drinking or smoking, or there’s too much bickering going on–the relationship must end.

     

    Relationships and Healing

    If an addict relapses while in a relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean he should break up with his partner or that it was the relationship’s fault. A relapse doesn’t necessarily mean someone wasn’t ready for normal life (jobs, children, relationships, etc). Recovery is a bumpy road; slips happen. Many addicts swerve into full-blown relapse and land themselves back at square one; others, however, manage to regain control. If someone vows to stay sober despite these setbacks, and the partner wants to stick around and continue to help, there’s no need to object. In fact, the emotional support can serve as a useful tool. Remember, though, that just because you’re clean and sober and happy doesn’t mean your partner has a responsibility to date you forever. Never hold your condition against someone. At the end of the day, you want someone whom you make happy, not a co-dependent partner whose perception of happiness revolves around yours.

     

    Ready to get your life back by seeking recovery from addiction?

    Contact Sustain Recovery today to learn about your treatment and aftercare options.

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

Megan
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