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Friday, March 15, 2019

It’s Time to Spring-Clean Your Recovery Routine

The first day of spring is just around the corner, and you’ve probably already started spring-cleaning your home by clearing the clutter and making a fresh start to the new season. Spring represents a time of rebirth and awakening, which makes it the perfect opportunity to reevaluate your recovery as well.

Spring is the best time of year to take inventory of your recovery routine and assess progress on your goals. It’s also your chance to address any challenges or weaknesses that have come to your attention so you can avoid relapse triggers and stay committed to your sobriety.

Identify Problems

Whether you’re dealing with a loss of motivation, increased stress or a lapse in focus, your first task is realizing where you’ve started to get off-track. Once you’ve done that, you can devote your attention and dedication to fixing it. Here are some examples of the most common areas that tend to trip us up.
  • Mental messes: Failing to set or keep up with personal recovery goals can cause you to lose sight of why you wanted to get and stay sober in the first place.
  • Lack of effort: Not paying attention to your nutrition, fitness plan or sleep schedule can affect your mood and cause you to lapse back into unhealthy habits.
  • Overlooking the essentials: People in recovery need a lot of extra help and support. You’re not alone in your challenges. Ask for help from your friends, therapist or sponsor when you feel yourself slipping.
Many of us are dealing with one or several of these small struggles at any given point. Fortunately, as with most spring-cleaning tasks, you can make incredible progress in a short period by taking them on one at a time.

Assess Your Behavior Over Time

Keeping a recovery journal is one of the most useful things you can do. Not only does journaling have a therapeutic benefit, but it also enables you to look back at past entries and see if you can spot patterns in your behavior or thought processes.

It’s normal to have a difficult day every once in a while, but if you can tell from your journal that the low points far outweigh the high ones, it’s time for a reset. For example, could you meet with your sponsor more often, or begin practicing mindfulness meditation?

As you assess your behavior, your goal shouldn’t be to focus exclusively on weaknesses. Celebrate the areas where you’re doing well, and use them as an opportunity to treat yourself to something like a relaxing massage or a visit to a local art museum or botanical garden.

Choose Healthy New Ways to Reinvigorate Your Recovery

Whether you’ve been sober for two months or two decades, spring has a wonderful way of bringing increased verve and motivation. If it’s time for a breath of fresh air, don’t be afraid to take inventory of your recovery and do a little spring-cleaning. You’ll discover the rewards that come with a renewed commitment to your sobriety.

If you are seeking help for drug or alcohol misuse or co-occurring disorders, reach out to us at Canyon Crossing Recovery. We specialize in helping women in all stages of life rediscover their passion and joy with our variety of therapeutic programs.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 14

recovery reflections Since 2018 hit - my life was a mess. Now I can say my life actually feels in balance and on track. Maybe not the track I pictured a few years ago, but still on track and heading up. Two to three years ago I pictured a loving marriage and promising career with a few positive additions on the side, such as pets, traveling, etc… but now learning to love my self and accept my past seems like the right track. Maybe there’s no traveling or loving marriage, but I do have loving friends while I go through my complicated divorce. As for traveling, I have been lucky to go to many places I never even dreamed of such as the destinations we hike and I have been able to go to places I only hoped to visit like Fear Farm for Halloween. Now pets can be tricky - I get to play with dogs who are brought by families and work with horses during equine therapy - and there always is the chance to pet a dog being walked around town. I cant wait to see how 2019 feels balanced and on track.

- Client A

Early in recovery, I was immediately drawn to the program because of the hope shared from others. The laughter and happiness was contagious. Being able to come out of such a dark place and share with other people who had gone through similar struggles was comforting. It has taken me months to realize that I don’t trust anyone, but slowly I am healing from things that I haven’t wanted to address in treatment before.

- Client B

For the last 4 years or so, I’ve either been in early recovery, or I’ve been drinking and using. I’ve learned that I haven’t lost anything that I’ve learned from each experience in recovery. If I had a business card, it would state: Collector of Experiences, Student of Earth. Every time I return to recovery, I am faced with skepticism and questioned about “what will be different?” In the past, I have been so focused on answering these questions perfectly, on convincing everyone that I have it all together, that I lost myself in this process. I became those answers. I created walls and boundaries for myself, I constructed a cage of perfection to live in. I have always kept myself safe inside these artificial bounds; the addict, the victim, the tortured artist, the rescuer, the free thinker, the rebel. What would life be like if I were to step outside the walls I’ve built for myself and drop these labels? I could be free. I would be free. Instead of living a life based on fear of all the ways the world and all of it’s people could hurt me, I could move through it as I please. I have enough experiences of drinking, using, and avoiding pain and hurt to understand that they only bring more pain. I’m a slow learner and it’s taken me a while, but it’s a pretty solid foundation of understanding. Just as I chose to avoid pain for so many years, I know now that there is another choice. I can choose to bust down the walls. It’s time for some new experiences. The only way out is through.

- Client C

I was in a very broken state of mind while knee deep in my alcoholism. I didn’t know there was any other sort of happiness to be experienced in life. I was living in a ghost of a human shell. I had family that didn’t want to be around me, I was living homeless, not eating, and the list goes on. What pains me the most is that I lost a career that I loved dearly and I was in my last year of finishing my bachelors degree. All of this thrown down the drain and I was drowning. When I was afforded the opportunity to be shown a better life, a life a sobriety and the rooms of AA. I couldn’t be more grateful. I live a life now that I smile when I wake up in the morning and the first thing on my mind is the simple pleasures like where is my coffee and and excitement for what the day brings. I get to rebuild my life with 10x the motivation to succeed then ever before because I know what its like to survive.

—A Bad Ass Woman In Recovery
- Client D

When I first got into the rooms I thought happiness was made up
because I hadn’t been in so long.
but when I looked around,
I saw that it was all around.
 in the smiles on the faces, in the laughter in the air, in the serenity
I could see and feel everywhere.
the life in their eyes
transformed the life in mine.
I saw that it was possible
to get to the other side.
since being here, I have realized
that happiness is not the destination;
it’s the attitude you choose to take along for the ride.
if I’m not going to be happy here,
I’m no more likely to be happy anywhere.
I’ve found this to be true.
it’s a mindset I’ve gained. of trust, of gratitude.
in every moment we choose between
accepting life with love or with fear
either way, come what may.
I’m trying this thing where I choose to choose love,
every time.
and with that, with my Higher Power here,
happiness is near.

Acceptance.
-Client E

I read somewhere, “To the degree that we seek to control, we feel out of control.”
-The Breslov Haggadah

“Understand that life can only be lived,”
(-The Breslov Haggadah) is another.
Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today.
All I can do is be.
All I wish to be is me.
Today - I have the power to do so.
Happily.

Getting sober this time around has given me more than I could’ve ever imagined. With each day that passes I can see all different promises coming true in my life. I’m also able to be grateful for even the little things in my life today. I just got 9 months sober which is the longest time I’ve had & it feels so much better & different this time. I have a whole change of mindset around everything including that I actually have the drive & motivation to want to be sober & stay sober too. I’m definitely looking forward to all there is to come.

- Client F

Early recovery is an exciting place to be. The dark cloud that consumed me in my active addiction is lifting. I’m able to see more clearly and experience the world differently than I have in years. It’s also scary to be so new to recovery. I’m working on building up strength in my sobriety but am vulnerable to temptations caused by my addiction. I’m using my fear of relapse to motivate myself to stay sober. 

Being newly sober, I’ve struggled to find a healthy balance of fear and acknowledging the severity of my disease while also being self-confident and empowered to move forward in my recovery. I believe that I have a lot to look forward to if I keep doing the ‘next right thing’ and putting my recovery first.

- Client G

I used to always think I was different than most people. I never thought of even calling myself an alcoholic or addict, I thought I just found a way to deal with life. I have accepted the reality of being addicted and having to push through the darkness to get to the light. I have learned that I cant control people, places, or things - I know how to surrender truly, to have forgiveness, and to see my part in all situations. I was recently told people around me can see the light on, inside of me and they can see a strong woman full of wisdom. Which is definitely one of the biggest compliments I have ever gotten. When I first came into Recovery I was dead on the inside, I was done with life. I have always believed in God and now he is fully back in my life and he never left me to begin with. I am so strong inside now I continue to fight for my life so I can be the woman and mother I always knew I was inside. I can differentiate my mental illness and addiction from the real me. It is such a blessing to have the fire back to live and to help others. I look at my addiction as a blessing and my mental illness as a way to make me stronger. When it felt like it was over for me it was only the beginning to this beautiful thing I call life.

- Client H

I used to hate calling myself an alcoholic or an addict. I didn’t want a “long term label,” and alcoholic seemed like too much of a commitment. I used that excuse as a way to not look at myself and my actions for a long time, but my actions kept repeating and the consequences of my actions weren’t going away. I couldn’t continue to hide myself from everyone and wait for things to “turn out ok.” Early recovery has been the hardest and most rewarding experience that I’ve been through. It truly is about changing and being willing to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve dealt with trauma that I didn’t think I had, I’ve bonded with people in a way I never imagined, and I’ve been truly looking at myself. It can be tedious and hard, but the freedom that I’m gaining in return is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. After all, nothing changes if nothings changes.

- Client I

Loving Yourself in Recovery

Nothing about the recovery process comes easily, but you can make it easier on yourself and those around you by learning to let go of the negative thought patterns that are a hallmark of addictive behaviors. Learning to love yourself can be one of the biggest challenges you’ve ever encountered; however, respecting yourself and not engaging in abusive thoughts is essential.

The Cycle of Guilt and Shame

For many recovering addicts, feelings of guilt and shame are common. Once an addicted person has embraced a sober lifestyle, memories of things they did and ways they hurt others while they were in active addiction can bubble back up to the surface. These ideas can be isolating and lead to feelings of low self-worth, among other things.

For those fighting addiction, guilt and shame add another layer on top of a struggle that is a big enough hurdle on its own. Instead of motivating you to change and move into the future as a healthier person, tormenting yourself by dwelling on past negativities can propel you into a pattern of negative thinking. Constantly reliving feelings of worthlessness causes depression, which is one of the most common relapse triggers.

Learning to Love Yourself in Addiction Recovery

Learning to love yourself, rebuilding confidence and eliminating negativity are vital steps toward becoming a more complete, healthy individual. Here are four positive ways to create feelings of self-love.

  1. Your Disease Does Not Define You
  2. Addiction is a brain disease, not a moral failing. Though understanding that essential truth does not fully excuse things you may have done that caused others harm, everybody deserves a chance to start over and become a good person, no matter what their past behaviors have been.

  3. You Need Realistic Goals
  4. Setting goals is an essential part of recovery as you work toward rebuilding your self-esteem. However, you need to keep your goals manageable. Don’t start off with an overly lofty goal, only to be disappointed in yourself when you realize you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. To make sure your goals are clear and attainable, use the acronym SMART:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Time-bound

  5. Practice Self-Care
  6. You can’t learn to love yourself if you don’t first take care of yourself. Make sure you stay well-rested, take time for exercise, stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet. These can all boost your mood and help prevent a relapse by encouraging you to focus on positivity. You can also treat yourself occasionally by getting massages, taking long baths or taking a day off mid-week to go on a day trip to explore a nearby city.

  7. You’re Worth It
  8. Addiction recovery is a hard-fought battle. If you ever have trouble loving yourself, think about how far you’ve come. By seeking recovery at a qualified treatment facility, you’ve already made significant progress toward positive change. Regardless of what you may have done in the past, you can create a brighter future.

 

Discover a New Purpose


Going through the rehab and recovery process will help you rediscover your priorities in life. Along the journey, you will gain important insights into what drives you and what you have to offer as a person. At Canyon Crossing, our women’s-only programs help our clients at all stages of life gain control of their addiction and achieve long-lasting sobriety. Contact us to learn more and verify your insurance coverage.

Monday, March 4, 2019

How Trauma Affects Your Brain

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause a host of problems, including anxiety, phobias, insomnia, emotional issues and the inability to maintain healthy relationships. Core symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, distressing thoughts and feelings of being constantly on edge. To be considered PTSD, these symptoms need to continue for at least two weeks and interfere with day-to-day life. PTSD also commonly co-occurs alongside other issues such as substance abuse, depression and memory problems.

While you may associate PTSD with combat veterans, the reality is that this disorder can affect people from all backgrounds, whether they personally experienced a traumatic event or learned about it secondhand. According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults, and women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.

What Does Trauma Do to Your Brain?

PTSD primarily affects the function of two areas in your brain: the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Together, these two parts of the brain regulate your body’s natural “fight-or-flight” instinct that activates when you are in danger.

Studies of the threat response in people with PTSD show a hyper-reactive amygdala and a less active prefrontal cortex. That means the amygdala overreacts to threats, while the prefrontal cortex responds more slowly than normal. An overactive amygdala keeps people with PTSD on constant alert. They may respond more angrily or impulsively to perceived danger, or feel fearful and unable to take pleasure in life.

Effective Therapy for PTSD Sufferers

If trauma has taken hold of your life, there is hope. A revolutionary treatment called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, or EMDR, has proven highly effective at treating trauma.

Neuropsychologists believe EMDR works by introducing changes in the brain’s circuitry, similar to what happens during the REM phase of the sleep cycle. During EMDR therapy, people can rapidly access traumatic memories and process them emotionally and cognitively, which helps them resolve their trauma by reframing it in a different light.

By allowing trauma victims to relive unpleasant memories within a safe environment, EMDR enhances the way the brain processes information and encourages them to form new associations around their traumatic memories. Essentially, the goal of EMDR is to retrain your brain to have positive thoughts instead of replaying negative ones.

What Is an EMDR Session Like?

EMDR takes a nontraditional approach to resolving PTSD. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR therapists will ask you to move your eyes rapidly from side to side while recalling a negative event.

EMDR specialists use light, sound and hand movements to reinforce the outcomes of this unique form of therapy. Researchers studying EMDR have found this approach helps resolve trauma-related symptoms faster than traditional psychotherapy methods. It is also an effective treatment for other psychological problems, such as anxiety, panic attacks and eating disorders.

Women’s-Only EMDR Therapy in Prescott, AZ

Don’t let past traumas hold you back from realizing your full potential in life. If you are suffering from PTSD and related substance misuse disorders, contact Canyon Crossing to discover the benefits of EMDR and other treatment methods that are appropriate for your needs. Our credentialed addiction specialists are here to help.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A House Manager's Experience With Canyon Crossing

house manager
I came to Canyon Crossing Recovery on February 7, 2017. I was as low as I could possibly be.

I have been an addict for ¾ of my life, and after 14 years of being sober – I relapsed for 2 years.

I was close to death and still… I couldn't stop using. 

After a 3 day stint in the hospital, I finally succumbed to treatment. 

It was a hard road. 

Canyon is not an easy program, however REAL LIFE is not easy either.

Staying sober takes work and a team of support. 

Canyon gave me that opportunity. They not only gave me the tools to save my life, but gave me a new perspective on myself. 

I can honestly say that I’m super passionate about this program. We are a family.

When I began working at Canyon, I was elated. 

I can't think of anything else that I would rather do than to help other women save their lives and stay sober. 

I believe because I was a client, I have a different outlook and connection with the women of Canyon. 
I have made life-long friends. I can see through all of their eyes. 

We are a unique program and there's a bond between us. 

We know what they go through because we have walked the same road.

We have all walked the same path and know what it's like to come out of the darkness to the other side. 

Canyon Crossing truly is a special program, and I am very lucky to be a part of the change and the light that comes from completing this program.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Rebuilding Financial Wellness in Addiction Recovery

In recovery, you invested a great deal of time into learning about emotional, physical and spiritual wellness through tools like behavioral and experiential therapy. One thing you may not have spent as much time on, however, is financial wellness. Learning how to set and maintain a budget and sensible spending habits may be one of the most essential keys to a successful recovery.

Money as a Trigger

Addiction and irresponsible spending habits go hand in hand. Many addicts reach a point where they are tapping into their life savings or frequently taking out “quick cash” loans to get money to fuel their addiction. They aren’t thinking of the long-term financial consequences of going into debt – their only goal is to chase the next high. Even those who do not end up on the brink of financial ruin may begin to associate spending with the rush of using drugs, which can turn money into a powerful trigger.

Even once recovering addicts have stopped spending all their money on their addiction, they often continue making irresponsible purchases, leading to debt and stress that can chip away at their newfound sobriety and put them at greater risk for a relapse.

Money Management Tips for Recovering Addicts

Like other life skills, financial wellness is something you have to learn. However, not all recovery centers teach and emphasize the importance of lifelong money management techniques like saving, budgeting, managing a bank account and tracking spending habits. If taking responsibility for your financial situation feels overwhelming, and you don’t know where to start, a good first step is to ask a trusted relative or friend to help you develop a plan for managing your finances.

Then, consider the following tips:
  • Develop a sensible budget that covers your monthly expenses and allows you to build a savings account as you repay any debts you have accumulated.
  • Consider setting up your savings account in a way that makes it more difficult for you to access – such as in a different bank from your checking account, with no ATM or debit card.
  • Take advantage of every resource available to you. Most banks and credit unions offer free financial planning advice or workshops.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paychecks, instead of getting a paper check that might tempt you to cash it on the spot.
  • Pay with cash whenever possible, or set up a prepaid debit card that is designed to help people in addiction recovery manage their finances.
  • Use a free online money-management tool like Mint to help you keep track of your savings and expenses.
  • Keep in close contact with your therapist or recovery sponsor and ask them to check in with you on paydays.

Start Your Recovery With Us

Rebuilding financial wellness in addiction recovery takes time, but it’s something you can achieve if you stick to a plan, learn to avoid bad spending habits and ask for help when you need it.

Canyon Crossing is a women’s-only addiction treatment facility in Prescott, AZ. Life skills, including financial wellness, are a cornerstone of our transitional living and treatment program. Contact us today to get the help you need and begin your recovery process with us.

Monday, February 18, 2019

How a Balanced Diet Can Help You Stay Sober

We all know the phrase “you are what you eat” – the concept that good nutrition helps support your body and mind. But you may not have realized a balanced diet can be your most powerful tool in your recovery process.

There is a common misconception that people who are battling to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction should be able to “reward” themselves by indulging in any sweets or fatty foods they may crave. After all, junk food is nowhere near as dangerous to consume as drugs and alcohol…right? A growing body of evidence suggests exactly the opposite: that these unhealthy, careless eating habits could be doing more harm than good along your journey to recovery.

Addicts Face a Nutritional Dilemma

Of course, it’s important for everyone to develop healthy eating habits. But we now know that’s especially true for people who are working on maintaining their sobriety. Recovering addicts face a one-two punch when it comes to nutrition. First, habitually ingesting drugs or alcohol wreaks havoc on the body. Prolonged alcohol use impedes your body to break down and assimilate the nutrients in your diet, resulting in nutritional deficiencies. Meanwhile, severe vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to nutrient depletion, are common withdrawal symptoms with drugs such as opiates.

The second factor that results in poor nutritional habits for addicts is their lifestyle. People with substance abuse disorders are less likely to eat a healthy diet. Some drugs stimulate the appetite, while others suppress it. For many people, their craving for the addictive substance takes a higher priority in their life than eating foods that are rich in high-quality nutrients.

Nutrition’s Role in Sobriety

Eating a healthy diet helps recovering addicts feel better because proper nutrition gives people more energy and strength. Drug and alcohol abuse usually leads to some degree of organ damage, but a balanced diet provides the nutritional building blocks people in recovery need for their bodies to begin restoring damaged tissues.

Eating right can also help boost your mood. Research has shown dietary changes can influence your behavior by altering brain structure both chemically and physiologically, leading to mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.

Food is a tool for recovering addicts that can help them feel both physically and mentally stronger. Often, following a healthy and nutrient-dense diet plan will reduce the risk of relapse.

Learn More About Nutrition and Addiction Recovery

Nutrition is a cornerstone of addiction recovery. Regaining and maintaining overall health requires a commitment not only to abstaining from drugs and alcohol, but by practicing healthy eating habits. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction and the negative health effects related to it, Canyon Crossing is here to help. Our admissions coordinators are standing by to answer your questions about seeking women’s-only addiction care in Prescott, AZ. Contact us today to get the help you need for yourself or a loved one.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Alternative Therapies That Can Help You Heal

Seeking help for a substance misuse disorder can be a little intimidating when you realize how many treatment centers and options there are. To achieve your goal of lasting sobriety, you’ll want to find a treatment program that takes your individual needs into account.

Treatment centers and therapists that take a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery are often less effective because they fail to address the unique traits that make up your personality, as well as the underlying issues that caused you to develop your substance dependency. It’s essential to find a treatment center that respects your needs and that offers holistic care that addresses you as an individual. Fortunately, alternative therapies that complement traditional behavioral approaches have been gaining widespread acceptance in the field of addiction care and recovery.

Types of Alternative Therapies

A wide range of alternative therapies are beneficial for people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. As you search for a treatment program that is a good fit for you, consider these options that take your mental, physical, spiritual and social needs into account.
  • Equine therapy is a unique approach that fosters feelings of competence and trust, and helps you learn how to set healthy boundaries by caring for a horse. Learning how to recognize and take care of the needs of another living being provides a safe way for you to explore your emotions in the calming presence of a horse. Through this process, the relationship you develop with the horse will help strengthen your interpersonal skills by teaching you how to relate to others in a healthy way.
  • Adventure therapy is an ideal approach for anyone who enjoys being outdoors or who likes participating in physical activities. This form of treatment encourages people to challenge themselves with activities such as a ropes course or a backpacking excursion. Like equine therapy, adventure therapy puts you in deeper touch with your emotions. It also teaches you several important life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and how to cope with stressful situations. Being in nature has many health benefits, in addition to getting you outside your comfort zone and away from dangerous addiction triggers that can increase your risk of succumbing to a relapse.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, or EMDR, is an approach that has proven to be especially effective in helping people work through conditions like trauma, grief, phobias, anxiety and body dysmorphia. With this interactive technique, your therapist will ask you to relive traumatic or triggering experiences while directing your eye movements. Recalling distressing events is often less emotionally upsetting when your attention is diverted, which allows you to retrain your brain to work through those memories without having a strong psychological response.
  • Yoga and Meditation: People who have been locked in a struggle with addiction are often unable to live in the moment, engaging in self-destructive habits that disrupt their mind-body connection. Activities that involve mindfulness, such as meditation and yoga, can help you become more self-aware and bring you a greater sense of clarity and inner peace. For many, practicing yoga and meditation can also put your spirituality into sharper focus, helping you process the feelings of loneliness and guilt that often accompany addiction.

Discover the Benefits of Alternative Therapies

These alternative therapies address the whole person at the mental, emotional, physical and social levels. They may also be more accessible and approachable to many people who find traditional addiction treatment intimidating, increasing your chances of success.

You will be more motivated to seek recovery when you find a treatment center that is the right fit for you. At Canyon Crossing, we offer a variety of programs in our integrated approach to addiction therapy. To learn more about our women’s-only rehab facility, contact our Prescott, AZ recovery center today.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 13

recovery reflectionMy story. The short version. 

So basically I was born in a small town right outside of Chicago to my mother and father. My parents got divorced when I was 4, my dad was, or maybe still is in active addiction. We moved to Arizona and that is where I was raised. I lived in a small town for awhile then moved to a city. Things were great. I moved to a new school, my mom was in school, and she met a guy. They were together for a while. He had me drink every now and then to “prepare me for parties so guys wouldn’t take advantage of me.” When in all reality he was taking advantage of me. I was 12. That’s when it started and lasted till I was 15. During that time I was living a double life. Playing sports at school, acting like everything was ok at home. At home I was being abused by my moms ex boyfriend and no one knew about it. My freshman year I took a trip to the psychiatric hospital and got diagnosed with some mental illnesses and got on meds. I was still drinking at this time. Fast forward a bit, he left my sophomore year. I was relieved. But it was still weighing me down. Still, I didn’t tell anyone. That next summer I tried to commit suicide and went to the psych hospital again. Junior year came and I went again. Then told my mom what her ex had done to me. Called the cops to get that sorted out. After that I “ran away”. I OD’d and was found on a bathroom floor in a little tiny apartment. Not long after I went again, another attempt. Finally court started to happen, he got arrested. Fast forward. Senior year I started do drugs more often, every day. Fast forward. My freshman year of college. One night, which was Halloween, I drank and used a lot. Went home completely drunk, showed up to a therapy appointment hung over and my therapist said I needed help - so that’s why I did. To this day I am still sober. My sobriety date is 11-1-2017. Recovery is hard and I went through struggles but I am doing pretty good now! Sobriety has brought me a lot. I will have 15 months sober this Friday, 2-1-2019. Amazing. Never thought that would happen and I am actually happy now and love myself. 

Client K

Recovery is a blessing that I once thought was impossible. I wish I could say that it is easy, but it’s just not. It’s hard facing the root causes of where my addiction started. I can say that the further and further I get into recovery the easier it is to look at myself in the mirror. I can honestly say I love myself and that my opinions and needs matter. To me - that’s a huge change. I’m so grateful for everything that I have learned and discovered on this amazing road of recovery that I am traveling. 

Client M

I am not responsible for my disease but I am responsible for my recovery. As a little kid, I never knew how to appropriately express myself. My emotions were out of control. I always felt inadequate to my peers and I always felt like I never fit in with my family. When the teachers at school use to ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up – being a drug addict wasn’t on my vision board. I knew I felt different and I hated the way I felt on the inside, but I never planned for this to happen to me. Yes, drugs worked for a little while, but ONLY for a little while. Once it stopped being fun and “cool” I had no choice other than to continue to live a life centered around getting loaded. I stole from the people I loved. I lied to everyone. I abused people. Just so I could get loaded. I was very lost before I used drugs and when I picked up, I never did find myself. I neglected myself and I never thought that I could possibly live a better life. I was going to die using drugs and I was okay with it.. Then, one day I just didn’t want to live like that anymore. It took a lot of drug overdoses and arrests. Being humiliated time and time again. It took a lot of events to get willing to try to get sober.

Client A

So far early sobriety for me has been a big change from the life I lived before I went to treatment. I used to not have many responsibilities and little structure, manipulating people and doing what I wanted or not doing things. Now, in sobriety, I have many more responsibilities and structure. I can’t get away with the bs I used to manipulate people into letting me do. Also, I am finally really actually healing. Before, I thought I was processing as things went on and was healing, but in reality I was just reacting and not actually working through my hardships and problems. I feel better now than I have in a long time. There are still struggles I deal with daily and being away from home and my loved ones is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I know when I finally get to return home I will be stronger and healthier for the better.

Client E

I am not responsible for my disease but I am responsible for my recovery. As a little kid I never knew how to appropriately express myself. My emotions were out of control. I always felt inadequate to my peers and I always felt like I never fit in with my family. When the teachers at school use to ask us what we wanted to be when we grew being a drug addict wasn’t on my vision board. I knew I felt different and I hated the way I felt on the inside, but I never planned for this to happen to me. . Yes drugs worked for a little while and they do, but ONLY for a little while. Once it stopped being fun and “cool” I had no choice other than to continue to live a life centered around getting loaded. I stole from the people I loved. I lied to everyone. I abused people. Just so I could get loaded. I was very lost before I used drugs and when I picked up I never did find myself. I neglected myself and I never thought that I could possibly live a better life. I was going to die using drugs and I was okay with it.. and then one day I just didn’t want to live like that anymore. It took a lot of drug over doses and arrests. Being humiliated time and time again. It took a lot of events to get willing to try to get sober

Client B

I moved from San Diego, CA to Prescott, AZ one month ago and it is very different here, but I have already grown to love it. I have been in recovery in treatment centers since last year and at one point had 5 months clean, but after relapsing 4 months ago I couldn’t seem to get more than a week clean again until I came here. I was beyond hopeless. Tomorrow I will have 30 days clean again and I cannot describe how good it feels to be back on my path of happiness and purpose that I thought I would never be able to attain again. I have found the thorough care and structure that I need to conquer my disease of addiction and I am very grateful to have found myself here. The process of recovery is a very rigorous lifelong journey and it will not be easy, but nothing worthwhile should be and I am willing to do anything to reach an existence of freedom.

Client K

My time in sobriety has taught me many things over the last 11 months. The greatest thing sobriety has taught me is how to love myself. How to do what makes me feel good about myself in the long term has been the most difficult and the most rewarding lesson and journey. Today I feel like a whole and complete person on my own. I don’t need drugs or people or any other addictions to feel complete. I am complete on my own. As my favorite quote from the Big Book sums it up: “The rewards of sobriety are bountiful and as progressive as the disease they counteract.”

Client M

The Role of Meditation in Recovery

The disease of addiction affects every aspect of a sufferer’s life – not only physically and mentally, but also spiritually. Because addiction is a chronic illness, its symptoms require ongoing management. Even after you have successfully transitioned out of a qualified rehabilitation program, you must commit to your ongoing recovery journey every day to reap the long-term rewards of your sober lifestyle.

Alongside traditional therapies and support meetings, meditation can be a powerful tool as you work to restore a healthy mind-body connection, regain your equilibrium and embrace a tranquil mindset. What are the benefits of pursuing a meditative practice, and how can it benefit you in recovery?

Common Meditation Myths

Many misconceptions have arisen around the practice of meditation, including that only people who are willing to retreat from the world can succeed at establishing this habit. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Meditation can benefit anyone from any walk of life.

You may have tried to meditate before, only to give up in frustration when you couldn’t successfully rid yourself of all thoughts. The idea that meditation involves the absence of thoughts is another myth surrounding the practice. Successful meditation involves recognizing and learning to accept thoughts and ideas when they arise, and becoming a better observer of your thought patterns. In other words, it’s a way of retraining your mind.

Benefits of Meditation

Scientists now know there are many advantages to practicing meditation regularly, including lowered levels of stress and anxiety and improved sleep and self-awareness. Meditation can also help you establish the habit of mindfulness, or the ability to “live in the moment.” While mindfulness has multiple practical applications for any meditation practitioner, it can play a highly specific role for people who are working on recovering from substance misuse disorders.

Meditation and mindfulness can teach you healthy methods for handling stressful situations and triggers that may have previously led you down the path to relapse. Discovering mindfulness can teach you to recognize the various factors begin a chain reaction of negative thought and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Fine-tuning your thought processes through meditation gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your behavior with a calm, nonjudgmental attitude. As you advance in your meditation practice, your triggers will become less daunting and more manageable.

How to Meditate

Meditating is deceptively simple on its surface, but takes some dedication to master. The good news is, you can meditate anywhere, anytime, without any special equipment.

Begin by sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Make sure you are not holding tension anywhere in your body. If you want, you can close your eyes. Then, focus on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths and pay attention to each inhale and exhale. Try to maintain this for at least two minutes. After this exercise, come back and note how long it was before you allowed your mind to wander away from your breath.

The benefit of this exercise is that it trains you to recognize when intrusive thoughts arise. As with other exercises, consistency is key to establishing a habit. Once you have repeated this daily for a few days or weeks, you’ll begin to notice when you’re not being mindful, so you can remind yourself to come back to the present moment.

Women-Only Recovery in Prescott, AZ

If you have been exploring meditation and are seeking a recovery center that takes a holistic approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, contact Canyon Crossing today. Our programs include spiritual retreats that help women reconnect with their spirituality and discover an inner peace.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Link Between Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety is a short word fraught with heavy connotations, both for people who struggle with its symptoms and the people who care about them. While most people can easily grasp what anxiety entails, its ramifications can be surprising, particularly the connection between anxiety and substance misuse. For people who suffer from anxiety and addiction as co-occurring disorders, a vital part of recovery includes grasping the full scope of anxiety and what it means for people who have developed an addiction.

What Is Anxiety?

The dictionary definition of anxiety is a feeling of dread or worry about the future. Short-term anxiety is a normal and healthy response to stressful situations such as a job interview or an important exam. In medical terms, however, anxiety refers to excessive and prolonged episodes of fear and nervousness. Physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, nausea and elevated blood pressure may manifest on top of the emotional response.

Someone who often has recurring or intrusive periods of anxiety may have progressed into a fully fledged anxiety disorder, which can disrupt their daily life. Anxiety disorders become mental health conditions when the person experiences symptoms that are beyond their ability to prevent or control. In other words, people with anxiety disorders can never let go of their stress, and are powerless to stop the effects of their anxiety.

Anxiety disorders cause insomnia, as well as the inability to focus or relax. Even a minor problem can feel like an insurmountable hurdle to someone suffering from an anxiety disorder because their reactions to obstacles are disproportionate to the scope of the situation.

The Cycle of Drugs, Anxiety and Addiction

In stressful situations, people with anxiety disorders often turn to drug and alcohol use in a misguided attempt to self-medicate. The euphoric high drugs and alcohol can create can seem like a temporary respite from the high levels of stress, worry and fear that have become their constant companion. But these effects eventually wear off, leading the user to seek more of these dangerous substances to try to recapture the feeling.

Ironically, the same drugs that provide short-term relief can also deepen anxiety symptoms, since chemical substances can disrupt emotions that are already imbalanced. Anxiety also inhibits people’s judgment, making them less able to recognize when they are endangering themselves with their behavior, or that they have genuine mental health problem that requires professional treatment and therapy, not more drugs and alcohol to dampen their feelings.

Helping a Loved One Who Has Anxiety and Addiction

Helping someone with the co-occurring disorders of anxiety and drug addiction begins by leading them to accept the extent of their problem, and encouraging them to enter treatment and begin the recovery process. At Canyon Crossing, we are a qualified women-only recovery center in Prescott, AZ. If someone you care about is locked in the cycle of anxiety and addiction, contact us to learn more about seeking help. Achieving recovery and freedom from these burdens is possible with our caring, compassionate approach.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Learning to Let Go: Why Forgiveness Matters

People who enter addiction recovery programs often learn to make specific goals as part of their healing process. Setting goals can help you manage your progress as you work toward achieving each milestone. Learning to forgive is one of the most common goals for recovering addicts, but why is forgiving others so important?

Moving On

If you find yourself unable to reconcile unresolved feelings of anger and hurt in your life, you may be eroding your physical and emotional health. One study from experts at Johns Hopkins University suggests the act of forgiveness can calm stress levels and lower heart rate and blood pressure, among other benefits.

Some people are naturally more inclined toward forgiveness than others. However, the good news is that you can learn to become more forgiving. Just as with other life skills, you can make a conscious effort to hone your ability to forgive others and let go of past grudges.

Forgiveness in Recovery

Forgiveness is integral to the recovery process, especially when you consider how emotional burdens can weigh you down, causing self-destructive behaviors that may eventually contribute to a relapse. While it may take a significant amount of time, effort and even counseling on your part, letting go of past hurts and making amends are critical for long-term sobriety.

Abuse, trauma and harmful behavior from others can all make people more vulnerable to developing an addiction. Once you have identified the root causes of your addictive behaviors, you may understandably feel unwilling to forgive people who have caused you such significant pain and suffering. It’s critical to move on from these feelings in favor of greater well-being and acceptance in your life.

Many addicts also bear the burden of bad decisions that make them unwilling to forgive themselves. However, holding on to anger or frustration about your past actions can be even more toxic than begrudging others. The recovery journey will inevitably remind you of some of the lowest points of your addiction, which may raise emotions of guilt, anxiety or shame. Maintain a positive attitude and remind yourself of all the good reasons you decided to seek recovery in the first place.

Start Your Recovery With Us Today

Remember, recovery is an opportunity to make a fresh start in your life, starting with your commitment to a sober lifestyle. If you truly want to start anew, forgiveness is key to reclaiming inner peace. Gaining back your self-confidence and rebuilding bridges with loved ones will take time, and fully forgiving others, as well as them forgiving you, will be an ongoing process. Be patient, take things one step at a time and accept that setbacks are a normal and natural part of life.

At Canyon Crossing, our Arizona treatment program is structured to teach accountability and responsibility to women in recovery. If you are seeking lifelong sobriety, contact us today to verify your insurance and take the first step toward a fulfilling drug-free life.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Physical vs. Psychological Addiction: What’s the Difference?

Though the damaging emotional and social consequences of addiction disorders are well-documented, no two addictions are alike. Some addictions affect a person physically, while some cause psychological symptoms. Others can become both physical and psychological. Identifying the best course of treatment requires understanding the difference.

What Is Physical Addiction?

Physical addiction to drugs or alcohol occurs when your body becomes dependent on continued use of the substance to feel normal. For example, if you regularly drink caffeinated coffee or soft drinks throughout the day, you’ll likely experience mild to severe headaches if you skip a day or decide to wean yourself off these beverages. These headaches are a symptom of caffeine withdrawal – a sign your body is craving the addictive substance.

The same effect occurs when a person who is physically addicted to drugs or alcohol cuts down on their use or tries to quit completely, though the symptoms are usually much more pronounced and unpleasant than merely having a headache – and, in some cases, they can even be life-threatening. Depending on the substance, withdrawal symptoms can emerge within only a few hours of not having it in your system. The most common symptoms include:
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Chills or tremors
  • Delirium
  • Mood changes, such as anger or irritability

What Is Psychological Addiction?

A psychological dependence occurs when you have repeated intrusive thoughts about using your drug of choice. Psychological addictions are typical with drugs such as marijuana, which do not create a chemical dependency. The same is also true of a behavioral disorder like a food or gambling addiction. The compulsion to keep pursuing the activity goes long past the point where it is fun or pleasurable; instead, your mind develops a strong craving for the euphoria you get from doing it.

Though psychological addictions are usually not as dangerous as physical addictions, they can still adversely affect your life. Going without a substance your brain associates with pleasurable sensations can cause you to experience symptoms such as:
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Insomnia
  • Flu-like illness
  • Increases or decreases in appetite
  • Extreme cravings
  • Mood swings

Treating Physical and Psychological Addiction

Treatment for physical addiction usually begins with medically supervised detox to help free the body and mind from harmful substances in a safe and comfortable setting that decreases dangerous withdrawal symptoms. The time frame of the detox treatment depends on the type and length of substance use.

Psychological treatment addresses the underlying reasons that caused the person to develop their drug dependency in the first place. However, it cannot begin until the detox process is complete and the substance has fully left the user’s body.

Since addictions are not created equal, every psychological treatment plan must be tailored to each person’s individual needs. Psychological treatment often includes therapies such as family addiction counseling and 12-step recovery, alongside education that helps people develop healthy life skills and learn how to prevent a relapse.

Life-Changing Addiction Treatment in Arizona

Choosing to enter treatment for physical and psychological addiction is the first step in rebuilding your life and rediscovering your full potential. At Canyon Crossing, we offer a range of women’s-only addiction programs to help our clients achieve freedom from substance abuse. Get the help you need today.

Monday, January 7, 2019

How to Recognize Toxic Relationships

There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Everyone has flaws, and accepting that fact is part of what makes us human. However, some relationships cross the line between merely problematic into full-fledged unhealthy status. For someone in recovery, toxic relationships can be especially challenging. What is a toxic relationship, and how can you learn to spot warning signs so you can steer clear of them?

Any Relationship Can Become Toxic

Though most of the horror stories we hear about unhealthy relationships are those that have formed between romantic partners, it’s important to realize any relationship can become harmful – those between co-workers, friends and even family members can spiral into toxicity and become both mentally and physically draining to maintain.

Toxicity comes in all forms: demeaning language, physical abuse, deception and gossip, just to name a few. Toxic relationships can result in severe inner conflict that might eventually lead to mental health issues such as anger, depression or anxiety, which is why they can have such devastating effects on your life – especially if you are already struggling with the burdens of addiction.

Top Three Signs of Toxic Behavior

Anytime someone who claims to care about you routinely behaves in a way that doesn’t take your best interests into account, it can chip away at the foundation of your relationship. Here are three red flags of toxicity, though there are many more.

  1. Narcissism: Though a narcissist may not always act out of malicious intent, their self-centeredness can still take a severe toll on you. For narcissistic people, maintaining the worldview that they are superior requires them to see everyone else as being beneath them. Narcissism is characterized by a sense of entitlement and a tendency to exploit others, in addition to heightened sensitivity to criticism.
  2. Abuse: Physical abuse leaves an obvious mark, but verbal and psychological abuse – such as when someone constantly puts you down or makes you feel diminished – can be dangerous, too.
  3. Manipulative behavior: Manipulative individuals take advantage of you by convincing you to do things that only benefit them. They do not respect your boundaries or your opinions. Instead, they find and exploit your weaknesses.

When to Leave a Toxic Relationship

Some people remain in toxic relationships because they think they must. They worry about what the other person will say or do, or they tell themselves they can make the relationship work if they try harder. The truth is that cutting ties with toxic people – even if they are relatives – is often the most constructive thing you can do. Never feel guilty about loving yourself and taking the necessary steps to preserve your well-being and sobriety.

Sober Living at Canyon Crossing

Canyon Crossing provides a structured, women’s-only rehabilitation facility in Prescott, AZ, where our clients learn to live a fulfilling life without substance dependency. Contact our admissions specialists to learn more about the benefits of our unique programming.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Perfectionism in Early Recovery

Though a perfectionist attitude is often a hallmark of high achievers who push themselves to make great strides in their careers and other aspects of their lives, there is also a dark side of striving too hard. For a true perfectionist, anything even slightly less than what they see as “the best” will never be good enough. Because perfectionists beat themselves up over the slightest failure, perfectionist tendencies can make you your own worst enemy.

Addiction and Perfectionism Go Hand in Hand

There is a well-documented link between perfectionism and addiction. Perfectionists and addicts both have developed distorted worldviews that make them see themselves as “less than.” The struggle to attain perfection can also create mental burdens like alienation, anxiety and depression, which many addicts try to “self-medicate” by turning to drugs and alcohol.

Because perfectionists often believe asking for help indicates weakness, they may be the last to admit they have a problem and seek treatment for their addiction. Denial plays a role in many addicts’ lives, but for perfectionists, it can be even more significant. If you are a perfectionist, you may be unwilling to accept the degree to which you have lost control to an addiction. The fear of not achieving 100 percent success is enough to hold perfectionists with an active addiction back from entering recovery.

Overcoming Perfectionist Tendencies

Recovery can be an especially challenging time for someone with perfectionist qualities, because they are accustomed to holding themselves to an unrealistically high standard of success.

Here are some of the ways in which perfectionists might self-sabotage in recovery:
  • Believing they can never slip up. A perfectionist in the early stages of abstinence-based recovery might believe they should not face any roadblocks in their process. However, anyone who has committed to long-term recovery will tell you setbacks are a normal and acceptable part of life.
  • Setting too many goals. Perfectionists set an extremely high bar for themselves. They are used to making too many resolutions – especially around this time of year. However, having too many goals is a recipe for failure. Instead, set specific, attainable and measurable landmarks for yourself to make success more likely. Remember, recovery involves taking things one day at a time.
  • Believing they can go it alone. Instead of asking for help when they need it, most perfectionists will tell themselves they can get over an addiction on their own through sheer willpower. This attitude is not a healthy approach to managing an addiction. Attaining long-term recovery is much more likely with professional help from qualified specialists.

Start Your Recovery and Healing Today

At Canyon Crossing, we help women learn to live fulfilling and healthy lives without the burdens of drug and alcohol abuse. Contact us today to begin your recovery process and reclaim your potential.