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Friday, November 30, 2018

The Role of Denial in Addiction

It can be heartbreaking to witness a loved one locked in a struggle with substance abuse and addiction, especially when you know they are in deep denial about the extent of their problem. In this situation, being an observer feels especially difficult when you know how significantly someone you care about can improve her life if she would take the first step and admit to having developed a substance dependency.

Understanding Denial

For many people with the disease of addiction, denial is inextricably linked with their condition. As a bystander, it may be hard for you to understand how your loved one can continue to behave as if she doesn’t have a problem, especially when you can clearly see the toll her substance abuse is taking on her life.

You want the best for your close friend or family member, and that includes wanting to help them break free of addiction and live a healthy, happy life. But it’s challenging getting through to someone who’s using heavily, especially when they deny their addiction at every turn. To understand what’s going on in your loved one’s mind, it helps to think of denial as a symptom of the disease that is addiction. No matter how rudely or irrationally she may behave as a result, her refusal to admit to having a problem doesn’t make her a bad person.

How to Approach Someone in Denial

It’s never easy to bring up the topic of excessive drinking or drug use, especially with someone who is unwilling to admit to her addiction. However, there are ways you can help. First, wait for a time when your loved one is sober to start the conversation. Start by expressing your concern in a clear and honest way, without being critical. Point out specific negative consequences her drug use or drinking has had on significant aspects of her life, like her work or her ability to take care of her kids.

If your loved one isn’t ready to commit to recovery, one conversation may not be enough to break through the denial and convince her to take the right steps. However, don’t get discouraged if your initial attempt doesn’t work out the way you envisioned. It may take repeated attempts to reach your loved one. Every time a new issue arises – whether it is a missed work or school day, a broken promise or a forgotten appointment – use it as an opportunity to mention that your loved one has a problem and needs to seek professional help.

The Road to Recovery Begins Here

Canyon Crossing is a premier residential treatment facility in Prescott, AZ, for women who struggle with substance dependency issues. To learn more about our services and what makes us unique, contact us anytime.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How to Encourage a Loved One to Seek Help

If you have a loved one who has allowed substance misuse to take over her life, it’s likely you’ve noticed the warning signs, but may have felt reluctant to start a conversation about it. You have probably witnessed several ways in which dependence on her drug of choice has begun to negatively affect every aspect of her life, including her relationship with you. However, maybe you are having trouble coming up with a constructive way to bring up the issue. That’s understandable; for many, it can be one of the most challenging conversations you ever have.

You may be concerned that you’re “meddling” in your loved one’s life, or that mentioning the problem could make it worse or even damage your relationship. However, if someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse, starting a conversation could be the catalyst that convinces your loved one to get the professional help she needs to get her life back on track.

How to Bring up the Topic of Substance Abuse

When you mention your concerns to your loved one, you should accept that she may not be prepared to hear what you have to say. Many addicts are in deep denial that they have an issue; in this case, she may entirely reject your efforts to help.

Though it can be frustrating to receive that kind of response, the most constructive thing you can do in that situation is to ask questions to keep the discussion going, then genuinely listen to her responses. Maintaining an open, two-way dialogue may help your loved one reach a place where she is willing to admit she has a problem.

Here are a couple of prompts for starting a conversation with someone you’ve begun to worry about.
  • I’ve noticed you haven’t seemed like yourself lately. Did you want to talk about why?
  • It seems like you’ve been drinking/using drugs more often recently. What’s going on?
  • Do you feel as if your drug use/drinking is becoming a problem?
The best thing you can do after you ask questions like these is to be a good listener — allowing your loved one to open up as much as possible about what’s going on in her life. Remember, you are there to provide as much love, support and encouragement as possible.

Seeking Help for Your Loved One

After opening the door to a constructive conversation about substance abuse, the next step is to help your loved one find a qualified treatment facility. At Canyon Crossing, we offer women’s-only drug rehab in Arizona, and our admissions team is ready to connect someone you care about with the help she needs to start fresh in life. Contact us today.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Practicing Gratitude in Recovery

practice gratitude recovery
Growing up I thought you could only have gratitude for the big things in life and nothing small. Ever since I started this path towards recovery I have started to realize that you can be grateful for anything in life even the everyday gifts such as walking and seeing. Now closer to my eight months I have found gratitude in the ability to feel anger and grief. I can’t wait to see what the gratitude I will have once I am at a year in recovery.

Client A

Gratitude is a crucial component of my recovery. I’ve been blessed with a life full of wonderful people and opportunities, but unfortunately took much for this for granted when I was drinking. My addiction controlled my life and warped my thinking to focus on the negative rather than be thankful for the positive. When I am sober and working toward recovery, everything in life seems to get better. I’m able to think more clearly and recognize how incredibly lucky I am to be in a safe environment surrounded by supportive women in recovery. I’m thankful to getting the help I need to survive and build a happy, healthy life for myself.

Writing out a gratitude list daily and being mindful of my blessings, even the smallest ones, enriches my spiritual connection and makes life more enjoyable. I am grateful for my sobriety and for my past, even the pain and time spent in active addiction; without the unhappy times I wouldn’t be where I am today working on healing and bettering myself. Being sober makes it possible for me to appreciate my blessings and feel hopeful for a healthy, happy future.

Client A

Today I am grateful to have woken up tired. It’s a blessing to have slept in a bed, not to have been awake all night just to continue in a sick cycle of madness. I’m grateful to not have been digging through a dumpster, picking out a needle from a pile of cat liter. Having the opportunity to focus on my health and a new way of living is all I could’ve hoped for.

Client B

Gratitude.. Sometimes I get so lost in the day that I forget to take a moment and appreciate the things around me or the things in my life to be grateful for. Simply being able to walk among the beautiful the sky and fall weather with the beautiful trees and the wind on my face. My family who would do anything in the world to make sure I am safe. The amazing friends I have in my life who I can call at anytime in the day and they would show up for me no matter what they have going on. Most Importantly my Higher Power, without it I would not be able to walk through hardships in recovery sober. When I remind myself of life’s simple pleasures I can turn my day around when I am feeling down. This Is why when I get lost in the day I try to take a moment to appreciate gratitude. 

Client C

Gratitude is the foundation of my recovery; without gratitude I would not be alive and sober today. Through my journey I have learned to be grateful for all the things I experience in life and on a daily basis. I start my day with a gratitude prayer, thanking my high power for the blessing of waking up sober and for all the gifts the day will bring me. When I retire at night, I list all the things I am grateful for that happened within the past 24 hours. Being sober has opened my eyes to the millions of things that I have to be grateful for: the feeling of the wind on my face, orange and blue sunsets, the smell of flowers, random moments of laughter, etc. Most of all I am grateful for the moments and things that challenge me the most. It is out of the hard moments that I am most able to grow. By practicing gratitude I have developed a new outlook on the world: nothing happens to me, but instead happens for me. With gratitude, I am able to learn from every experience. Today, I am grateful for being grateful.

Client J

I have so much to be grateful for in my life today. I just got 6 months sober, I’m on step 10 with my sponsor & all of my court stuff is officially over for the first time in a little over a year. My family & I are mending our relationship & overall I’ve been pretty happy with where I’m at. At this time a year ago I was far from sober, would be just getting out of jail about a week ago from this time last year & if you would’ve told me that I’d be where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed you one bit. But my life has changed since then immensely & I’m beyond grateful for it.

Client K

November is the month of gratitude; it’s time to reflect on all the great things life has blessed me with. Sobriety, I am so grateful to be able to practice every day. I am so grateful to be sober and to have found myself again, I can be the mom I always knew I could be and I have so many sober relationships today. I am grateful to be able to face my fears head on. I push through the darkness into the light. With my addiction, heights, being vulnerable or having to be away from my child at this time for a beautiful future with him. I am so blessed for my ability to walk, talk, see, I have food and water as well. I am so blessed to have these abilities and privileges. I am grateful for my new found happiness alongside my Higher Power facing the world head on.

Client K

Everyday I’m grateful that I don’t have to use when I wake up or go to bed. I’m grateful for the people that love and support me. I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for the sun and the moon. I’m grateful for the ridiculous weather changes that are happening right now in Prescott, AZ. I’m grateful for my sweet sweet dogs. I’m grateful for candy. I’m grateful for food. I’m grateful for my body and everything it does for me. I’m grateful for a bed to sleep in, a warm one, and a roof over my head. I’m grateful for vehicles. I’m grateful for engineering. I’m grateful for technology.

The point is I’m grateful for a lot of things, even the basics. The list goes on and on.

Client K

Today I live a life I can be grateful for! I have overcome my depression and my anxiety is manageable today. I have 14 months clean and sober today! I live a life I am proud of finally. I have a connection with my family again, I am learning how to be a successful woman in society, and I am comfortable in my own skin. Every day, I learn more and more about myself and I am continuously growing. I am so grateful for my life and what I have worked so hard for to achieve.

Client M

Gratitude is one of the most important principles to live by. No matter what I’m struggling with, I think about things that I am grateful for, and I always feel a little bit better. I’m grateful for so much in my life; family, food, friends, recovery, the list can go on and on. One thing that I feel the most grateful for is my sobriety. Without it, I would have nothing good in my life, I would be in pain, and misery. My life has become full of greatness; things that I would never imagine have happened to me. I am truly grateful for every opportunity I’ve been given in recovery, even the challenges presented to me. I’ve learned to cope with the most difficult emotions and trials of life, and I’m forever grateful for that.

Client M

I feel so incredibly blessed! I prayed for the most perfect treatment center for me and I ended up here at Canyon. I’m sooooooo grateful! I’m grateful to be here in Prescott. The whole town is super supportive of AA which is awesome. I’m also grateful for the amazing staff here at CCR. I’m grateful to be able to go out in nature here so often. I’m grateful to my family for allowing me to have this wonderful opportunity right now.

Client M

They say a grateful addict will never use. I’ve found this to be true in my own experience. When I have gratitude, I have hope and purpose. I have something to believe in that is greater than myself. I find that the more grateful I am, the more content I am with life. I enjoy my days. I also find that there’s so many things to be grateful for in each day. I practice making a gratitude list each night that is specific to that day. I find my higher power gives me so many wonderful things about each day where I can grow, enjoy life and stay sober. I’m grateful for each day, one day at a time, just for today.

Client M

I have heard many times that a grateful alcoholic will never use. Whenever I’m feeling like the world is out to get me I will sit down and write a gratitude list. I wrote out 200 gratitude’s about a month ago and it reminded me how much beauty I actually see in my world. I have so many little things in my life that I take for granted and when I really acknowledge everything I love and appreciate about my life my life becomes beautiful and it always gives me reasons to live again.

Client P

What do I have to be grateful for this holiday season? There are so many things. I am grateful to be here at CCR they have giving me a life I never knew I could have. I am grateful for my family for giving me a second chance and for never giving up on me. I am grateful for the love and support of all the amazing women around me, but most of all I am ever so grateful for my sobriety, without being sober I would not have any of these things to be grateful for. Being sober has brought so many wonderful things into my life. I laugh again I see the wonderful colors of the world. I have real friendships and know how to be a friend. This holiday season is one I have everything to be grateful for. Thank you to CCR and the love and support of the people in my life.

Client R

So, the topic of gratitude. That’s a big and beautiful one. What do I have to be grateful for right here in this moment? Let’s see… I have to be grateful that I can see- with my intuition and with my eyes. I must be thankful that I know right from wrong and left from right. I have to be grateful for my path, my journey. Every which way I go down, it is the always the right one- in accordance with His plan. I am grateful for God- for His existence, His power, and for His relationship with me. I am grateful for my toes and that I get to wiggle them. I am grateful that I can breathe through my mouth and nose, and that I have the option of breathing through my mouth when my nose is stuffy. I am grateful that I can laugh again, that when I do it is true, and that I frequently do. I am grateful that I can lick my lips and I am grateful for chapstick. I am grateful for bouncy houses, and that I’ve gotten to go on em’. I am grateful for my spit- I detest a dry mouth. I am grateful that I have a fully functioning digestive system. I am grateful for water bottles and Tupper-ware. I am grateful for my lashes, that they flutter. I am grateful for true love’s kiss. I am grateful for the all-important Hershey kiss. I am grateful for scrunchies. I am grateful for the word “stam,” stam (it means “just because” in Hebrew. How useful that they have a word for that!). I am grateful that I can read and write in Hebrew. I am grateful that I can read and write, period. I am grateful for the eight basic emotions, and I am grateful for the complex ones too. I am grateful that I have hair to twirl and food to eat. I am grateful for fairies. I am grateful that I have so much to be grateful for, and I am grateful that I am me.

Client R

I’ve been given a wonderful life today. I can actually look at my life with gratitude and emotion, instead of just existing and waiting for the day to be over. I got to reconnect with my family and we were able to speak honestly about my disease and about things we’ve not been able to talk about before. I left that weekend feeling so much love and gratitude for my family and for the love that I’ve been shown and am able to show today. I can value little things today because I’m not constantly miserable or numb anymore. I can feel my feelings and I can appreciate life.

Client S

Six months ago if you would’ve asked me what I was grateful for I would have said things like food, my car, and my house. Those are all things that we should be grateful for and I’m sure we take for granted but very vague. Two weeks ago my parents came to visit me and my dad said something that really stood out to me. He told me he was grateful for what our family had been through. I was astonished at this. I tried to look at it from his perspective and then mine. I couldn’t understand why someone in their right mind would be grateful for a life like this. I sat with these words for a couple of days. I looked back on all the hardships, the hell our family had put each other through. And then it finally hit me. If it hadn’t been for everything that happened, my family wouldn’t be as close as we are now.

Client S

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Healthy Foods to Boost Your Mood

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet has benefits that go far beyond your waistline. Did you know some superfoods are even good ways to help you regulate your mood, naturally? Next time you feel a little bit down and need a healthy coping strategy, you may want to put one or more of these pick-me-ups on your plate.

Salmon: Research shows foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help lower depression. Your brain also needs omega-3s to function at its best. As a bonus, salmon is a good source of vitamin B-12, which helps produce brain chemicals that improve mood.

Blueberries: High in a category of antioxidants known as flavonoids, blueberries help trigger brain pathways associated with better reasoning and less cellular deterioration. Blueberries and blueberry juice are linked with having a more positive outlook, and they also have cancer-fighting properties.

Chocolate: If you’ve ever bitten into a piece of chocolate and smiled automatically, there’s a scientific reason why. Chocolate triggers the brain to release the “happy chemical” serotonin. Dark chocolate – with 70 percent or higher cocoa concentration – also has a host of other health benefits.

Leafy greens: Studies show up to 75 percent of Americans are not getting their recommended daily dosage of magnesium, and this deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Spinach, chard and other dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium, which can positively impact serotonin levels and boost your mood. Beans and nuts are also rich in magnesium.

Tea: Nothing relieves stress and makes you feel cozy quite like a steaming mug of tea. Many teas, such as those made from chamomile, have calming properties. Black, green, white and rooibos teas are also excellent sources of antioxidants.

Avocado: Avocados are high in a B vitamin called folate, which helps regulate mood, improve energy and provide you with a good night’s rest. They also contain healthy fats that create a greater sense of well-being. And avocados are good for way more than just toast and guacamole – check out these 10 easy avocado recipes.

Eat Well to Feel Well

Achieving holistic mind-body wellness starts by knowing what to eat and how to stay balanced in your nutrition. If you are winning your battle with substance abuse, you’ll want to add these superfoods to your arsenal of healthy ways to balance your mood. And, if you are ready to start your recovery process, reach out to our Prescott, AZ women’s-only treatment facility today. We can help you determine which of our programs is best for you.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Why People With a Substance Abuse Disorder Struggle to ‘Just Say No’

We all remember the “Just Say No” ad campaign from a few decades ago. The slogan seems to indicate that it should be easy for anyone to turn down drugs or alcohol simply by using their willpower. However, in real life, the answer isn’t as black and white.

If you have a loved one with a substance dependency, you may have heard them pledge to quit using their drug of choice, only to see them relapse into unhealthy habits a few weeks or months later. You’re probably wondering what makes it so challenging for them to stop misusing drugs, particularly since you have witnessed firsthand how negatively their drug habit is affecting their quality of life.

To help you understand why people can’t just walk away from a dangerous drug habit, let’s consider the effects of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is powerful enough to change brain chemistry and trigger a long-term dependency on drug and alcohol use.

What Is Dopamine?

Dopamine is responsible for controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. When highly addictive drugs like opioids enter someone’s body, the brain releases a flood of dopamine, creating intense feelings of fulfillment that make drugs progressively difficult to resist.

As someone becomes addicted to drugs, they also develop vivid memories linking drug use with that satisfying feeling. Even people who have vowed to quit using drugs and have remained sober for a long time still remember the sense of gratification that came with using their drug of choice, which can trigger cravings and an eventual relapse. Essentially, drug use changes the brain.

Now that you know more about the connection between dopamine and addictive behavior, you can see why it can be such an uphill battle for people suffering from substance use disorder to “just say no.” If you have a loved one with a substance dependency, you should view addiction as a disease, rather than a lifestyle choice.

Achieving Freedom From Substance Use Disorder at Canyon Crossing

Though successfully recovering from substance misuse is difficult, it is never out of reach. At Canyon Crossing, we believe no woman with addiction should have to fight her battles alone. With our effective, women-only addiction treatment programs, our caring professionals provide the support our clients need to get back on their feet and reestablish healthy, happy lives free of the burden of substance misuse. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sober Ways to Have Fun in the Fall and Winter

Staying sober during any season can be difficult, but fall and winter bring several additional challenges for people in recovery. Both seasons can profoundly affect mood and energy levels, which in turn play a role in your mental health.

What Makes Sobriety More Difficult in Cooler Weather?

During fall and winter, there are fewer hours of daylight, and you can’t participate in as many fun outdoor activities. In addition, memories surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas can make the holiday season a struggle for many people who are working to maintain long-term sobriety.

People in recovery can also be more susceptible to a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD for short. SAD is most common during the winter months; however, it can also affect people during the summer.

When you’re working to break free of addictive behaviors, it’s essential to have a plan to fight back when the fall and winter blues threaten to drag you down. Staying connected with your peers in recovery and finding fun, sober activities to fill your schedule can go a long way toward helping you succeed in your goals.

Sober Activities in Fall and Winter

Fortunately, here in sunny Arizona, it’s easy to maintain an active lifestyle year-round, even in cooler weather, and there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy that don’t have to involve alcohol. To help you fill your free time with sober activities you can enjoy on your own or with a group, we’ve compiled this list for you. Now, all you need to do is get out and have a good time!

Stay Sober Year-Round in Prescott, AZ

Discover a lifetime of sobriety at Canyon Crossing. Our women’s-only recovery programs are here to help you get a new sense of purpose and rediscover the joys of life. Reach out to us today to get started on your journey.