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Keeping Your Recovery in Check for the Holidays

Keeping Your Recovery in Check for the Holidays

Maintaining our sobriety on a daily basis is difficult enough for us when we’re new in recovery, but how can we maintain our sobriety through holiday celebrations and situations that just might trigger relapse?

Holidays are already a period of emotional highs and lows for us. We may feel the extremes of loneliness, anxiety, happiness and sadness. We may not yet be reconciled with our loved ones, or we may be newly reconciled with tensions still high. We may even be returning to a family of people who are suffering from addictions of their own—people who do not yet understand the importance of our own recovery.

Look upon these holiday celebrations as opportunities to practice the recovery tools you have been taught by your sponsor and friends from 12-step groups. It is up to you to anticipate these situations and react to them rationally, not emotionally as we did in the past. Now that you are clean and sober, you must learn to live life on life’s terms. Staying present in the moment and recognizing the next indicated step in your recovery is the most important thing you can do.

We can be consciously aware of our surroundings and recognize the triggers presented in social holiday situations. We have learned the tools to keep us clean and sober, and we now have a network of new friends to turn to for accountability. It may also help to remember and recount our lives in active addiction. Losing sight of the pain we were suffering prior to getting clean and sober is very easy to do. It is these times when the tools we have learned and the new friendships we have made in recovery become a very important resource in our lives.

Whether you were in an inpatient treatment facility or just attending 12-step meetings on your own, you were surrounded by individuals who shared a common interest...learning and sharing what it takes to get and stay clean and sober. Once you venture into mainstream society, the above emotions, situations and individuals will always be present. Remember that the most important aspect of these interactions is your recovery. All the 12-step meetings, the step work, the sharing and the discussions with your sponsor were for exactly this moment in time, so play those tapes in your mind, listen, and pay close attention to them.

Life in recovery will present us with bumps in the road and it is these times that it is imperative for you to pick-up that 500 pound phone and call your sponsor or a sober friend to help you through those trying situations. You didn’t get to this point in your recovery overnight; it is a process. We are taught that all things are possible, “one day at a time”.

If you are new to recovery this holiday season, be dilligent in protecting that newfound sobriety. If you still struggle with an addiciton, or if you need more support this holiday season, Chateau Recovery L.A. can help. Contact us today by filling out the email form on this page, or call us directly at (800) 379-4401.

And Happy Holidays from all of us at Chateau Recovery L.A.!

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Getting Involved in Red Ribbon Week

Getting Involved in Red Ribbon Week

Every year for one week of the school year, our kids participate in school events centered around the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse. If you have school-aged kids, you probably already know that this is called Red Ribbon Week. But what really is Red Ribbon Week? How did it start, and how can we get involved?

Red Ribbon Week, also known by its proper name, the National Red Ribbon Campaign is an annual event that was created by the National Family Partnership (NFP). NFP is a grassroots nonprofit organization comprised of parents who wanted to play an active leadership role in preventing drug and alcohol abuse in their communities. NFP created the National Red Ribbon Campaign after the 1985 murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena. In direct response to Camarena's death, parents and students began wearing red ribbons in his memory. in 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.

This year's Red Ribbon Celebration begins on Sunday, October 23rd and runs through Monday, October 31st. High schools, jr. highs, and even some elementary schools across the nation will be putting on events and holding assemblys for students to learn about the dangers of drugs and how to live a drug-free life. Every year, NFP has a theme for Red Ribbon Week, with this year's theme being "YOLO. BE DRUG FREE."

If you are a parent celebrating Red Ribbon Week, NFP offers some ideas of how to celebrate with your kids. First and foremost, NFP recommends using Red Ribbon Week to start a discussion with your kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and establish a clear boundary with them that drug and alcohol use will not be tolerated. According to NFP, teens are 42% less likely to use drugs when their parents talk to them about it regularly. However, only about 25% of teens report having these conversations with their parents.

Other ideas for parents during Red Ribbon Week include volunteering at school for Red Ribbon activities, entering the Red Ribbon Photo Contest, spread Red Ribbon Week awareness through your social media profiles, or you can sit down with your kids and come up with ideas for 2017 National Red Ribbon Theme.

Red Ribbon Week is about helping our youth understand the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. As people in recovery, we're practicing our 12th step when we take an active role in educating our community about the dangers of drugs and addiction. From our own perspective, we know the dangers that we faced and came through. For us, Red Ribbon Week is about helping future generations avoid the trials we went through in our own addictions.

If you are struggling with an addiction, Chateau Recovery L.A. can help. Call us today at (800) 379-4401 or fill out the contact form on this page and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Is AA/NA the Only Fellowship I Need to Attend?

Is AA/NA the Only Fellowship I Need to Attend?

Coming into recovery, we put our whole effort into our 12-step program. We finished treatment, did 90 meetings in 90 days, got a sponsor, worked the steps, and sponsored others. Our recovery was guaranteed, right? You can't go wrong if you work the whole program! Or so we thought....

The reality is that, while getting clean/sober and working the steps did some amazing things for our lives, we still had other "outside" issues that we needed to work on. These were issues that weren't necessarily addressed within the AA/NA fellowship. Rather, they were issues that perhaps needed a little more focus to improve our recovery.

Many of us come from families that also struggle with addiction issues. Perhaps a parent or sibling is in recovery, or perhaps they are still in active addiction. For people who are in relationships, your partner may as well have an addiction, but you're the only one in recovery at this time. Sometimes walking away from the relationship is a possibility, but sometimes it isn't. In either case, Al-Anon helps people cope with the difficulty of having an alcoholic/addict family member and stop enabling the addictive behaviors.

If you grew up in a home with one or both parents as alcoholics or addicts, Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) might help you find healing as well. Within this 12-step fellowship, members seek to recover not only from dysfunctional families with addictions, but from any type of abusive, neglectful, or otherwise unhealthy family dynamic.

Perhaps in recovery you've come to realize that you're a people pleaser. Maybe you can't say no, and you feel like you let people walk all over you. It might even be difficult to identify what your feelings are, or perhaps you always feel angry at others - particularly your loved ones. If you find that the majority of your relationships with others tend to be unhealthy or unbalanced, you may find answers and healing within the Codependents Anonymous (CoDA) fellowship.

There are many other 12-step fellowships and support groups that help us overcome our own emotional issues and improve our recovery. A quick internet search will bring up recovery groups for almost any addictive or compulsive behavior. What is important though is that we seek to continue our recovery and growth for as long as we continue to live. There is always something new to learn, experience, or improve in our lives. And truly successful recovery is a lifelong journey to be passionately pursued.

Chateau Recovery can help you identify and get involved with the appropriate 12-step fellowships that will improve your recovery. To learn more about Chateau Recovery, contact us at (800) 379-4401 or fill out the contact form on this page. For reference, below are the official websites for the fellowships listed above:

Alcholics Anonymous (AA)
www.aa.org

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
www.na.org

Al-Anon
www.al-anon.org

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)
www.adultchildren.org

Codependents Anonymous (CoDA)
www.coda.org

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Is Life Actually Better Without Alcohol or Drugs?

Is Life Actually Better Without Alcohol or Drugs?

One of the major fears we had when first coming into recovery is that we'd never again have fun like we had when we were drinking or using. Alcohol or drugs were not only what we used to overcome the feelings you we, it was also the social lubricant we used to enjoy ourselves when we were celebrating. Could it possibly be that life could be just as fun, or even more fun without the mind-altering substances? Would life ever even be worth it without the drugs or alcohol?

As it turns out, we had no idea what happiness was until we took that one huge step and decided that it might be time to recover. Yes, it was a brutal process. From the beginning stages of detox and withdrawal, to the return of the emotions that we were running from, to the amends we had to make to others for our behavior in addiction - every last bit of it was difficult, but worth it. We know happiness now better than we knew misery before.

We still get to enjoy the same things in recovery that we enjoyed in our addictions, but the experiences are now clearer and more meaningful than ever. A beach sunset, a day out on the sailboat, a camping trip, or a trip to a theme park...the things we did under the influence before have become things that we enjoy even more now. Every sunrise brings the hope of a new day. Each new experience brings learning and growing. And every new adventure with friends strengthens relationships and deepens our gratitude.

Yes, there are still difficult days. We don't want to paint the picture that recovery is all butterflies and roses. But without a doubt, life in recovery has been far better than we could even imagine when we were stuck in our addiction. Difficult situations still happen. People are still ruthless sometimes. And we may not always have rent money, or money to pay that bill, but we have gathered a respectable set of tools to handle life's situations that do not require us to run back to drinking or drugs when things don't go quite as expected. And we've become masters at managing a certain level of joy no matter what daily trials we face.

So to answer the question, yes! Life is vastly better without alcohol or drugs. In fact, life is unimaginably better than we thought it would be. So if you're worried about whether its worth it to give up the addiction, we can absolutely recommend it. Just remember that its going to be difficult at times, and sometimes it might even seem downright impossible. But trust us, we've been through it and we've seen the worst of the worst. Recovery is possible for anyone, and you can do it too. You've got to quit thinking about it and just do it.

Chateau Recovery LA offers a safe place to live and heal for people who are committed to their recovery. If you are serious about overcoming your addiction, please contact us today to find out if Chateau Recovery LA is right for you.

What do you think? Has life been better since you came into recovery? Has life been more or less fun? Tell us in the comments below!

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