Tag Archive: healing after addiction

  1. Gaining Emotional Stability in Early Recovery

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    Gaining Emotional Stability in Early RecoveryDrug addiction and alcoholism create an intense physical connection to the abused substances. That physical connection can be broken through a difficult detox process and ongoing treatment. Breaking a physical connection to drugs and alcohol will not break the deeper psychological connections. Cravings stem from the chemically dependent brain that has been rewired to need drugs or alcohol for normal functioning. Those cravings lead to intense mood swings and emotional instability. Gaining a renewed sense of emotional stability is a remarkable accomplishment and landmark in the long term recovery process.

    Emotional stability is often equated with maturity. We see young children who throw tantrums as being emotionally immature because they are unable to control their emotional responses to disappointing situations. Emotionally stable and mature adults are better able to regulate their responses and their moods. Drugs and alcohol erode an emotionally mature adult’s ability to have a regulated response. In young adults and adolescents, harmful substances halt critical developmental processes in the brain. Often it is said that the age where substance abuse began is the age where emotional development stopped.

    Meditation and other relaxation techniques can instill an even-handed response to a difficult situation by calming a recovering addict’s nerves and allowing him to handle stress with something other than drugs or alcohol. Research has shown that meditation helps to shrink an individual’s amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for “fight or flight”. A person with a more active amygdala will be prone to more rash responses, including drug and alcohol use, when confronted with a stressful situation. A smaller amygdala also allows growth in an individual’s frontal cortex, which helps a person to concentrate and have a more measured response to stress.

    Emotional stability will rarely be recovered quickly or instantaneously. Small steps can be taken at first to keep his emotions in check. Over time, a mature and measured emotional response will become second nature. Because emotions can be fragile, a recovering addict should continue to practice meditation and other techniques that are designed to maintain and expand his emotional stability as his recovery takes him into genuine sobriety.


    Emotional sobriety is part of sustaining long term sobriety from drugs and alcohol. The extended care services program at  Sustain Recovery Services in southern California teaches adolescents and young people the life skills they need for achieving long term sobriety. Please call 949-407-9052 for more information on how our unique aftercare program can help you build a life of recovery.

  2. Love is the Central Ingredient of Recovery

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    Love is the Central Ingredient of RecoveryDrug addiction and alcoholism are diseases of selfishness and self-centeredness. Overcome by the mental and physical craving for drugs and alcohol, and addict or alcoholic lives to serve the needs of only themselves. Addiction rarely leaves room for the presence of true, unconditional love. It better serves the cycle of addiction to feel alone, unwanted, unlovable, and angry towards others. Addiction and alcoholism are riddled with shame and guilt. Experiencing the resurgence of love in recovery is part of rebuilding a normal lifestyle which places love above misery.

    Love starts in a recovering young adult addict’s home, yet the people who are closest to him in his home may have the most difficult time in sustaining their love for him. Drug addiction interferes with normal loving interactions that are found in healthy homes. Loved ones who are living with recovering drug addicts will need high levels of patience and perseverance. As well, the recovering young person will need to have patience for themselves. Recovery counselors will strongly encourage participation in support groups which can aid in gaining and sustaining these traits. These characteristics are best appreciated by people who can speak from personal experience in dealing with the same issues. Support group participants fill an important gap outside of the recovering addict’s home by giving them a welcoming and accepting community without judgment or condemnation.

    Emotional instability and mood swings will at times reflect everything but love. Early recovery is a roller coaster of emotions and experiences as the brain recalibrates. In therapy, young adults and adolescents are coping with their lives in ways they never have before, without the help of drugs and alcohol.

    Young adults who have had the most success in their recoveries often report that they made a firm commitment to get sober, and then found a new purpose in their lives that shifted their focus away from themselves. They find that activities such as volunteering in their communities or offering to help other addicts who are struggling in their recoveries give them a sense of purpose that also brings greater love into their lives.


    Love can feel like it goes missing when a home is taken over by an adolescent loved one’s  addiction. Sustain Recovery provides comprehensive family programming every weekend as part of our unqiue approach to extended care services. Offering a continuum of treatment for young adults in recovery, Sustain brings love back into life. For more information please call 949-407-9052.

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.

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