Staying Sober Is Hard | Lake Arrowhead Recovery Center

Finding Motivation To Stay Sober
Addiction has changed you, but recovery will change you. Find out who you truly are. You are capable of reaching your full potential in recovery.

Staying Sober Is Hard | Finding Your Sober Motivation

Recovery is a lifelong process and living a life staying sober is the ultimate commitment. There is more to recovery than simply being abstinent from drugs. You must have the resources, tools, support, coping skills, professional treatment, and the proper mindset. After all, initially getting sober is the easy part, staying sober is hard. Much harder than you may think. The most important factor in achieving complete sobriety is the motivation behind it all. Why do you want to be sober? The answer might seem obvious but, you really need to want it. Every part of your being has to be committed to changing your lifestyle. You need to have the motivation to get sober and to stay sober. If someone is to ask what motivated you to make this change, what would you say? Do you know what your answer would be? What is your sober motivation?

Find Your Sober Motivation

What is sober motivation? Motivation is the driving force that turns your thoughts into action. Think about what inspires you to live a sober life. What factors in your life have driven you to make this decision?

Think about that moment of clarity when you know that you are ready to stop using. Now is the time for you to make the change from addiction to recovery. Whether your life is just beginning to fall apart or you have hit rock bottom, it has become clear that you are now ready.

You have made the official decision to say goodbye to the drugs, to your addiction, and you want help. No more chaos, no more pain, and no more unhappiness. Furthermore, you want to live a sober lifestyle, to be clean and to start over. You are now ready to start fresh in a new life of sobriety.

But why? What is the motivation behind this life altering decision?

Staying sober is hard - finding your sober motivation
You can not get clean for somebody else. Staying sober is hard – do it because you want it.

 

Sobriety is Selfish

While in treatment, you will hear time and time again that you have to want it. You have to get clean because you want to. You can not get clean for somebody else. Do it because you want it. Let me tell you, staying sober is hard for anyone and if you are not all in, then it’s not going to work. Plain and simple. Every part of you has to want it and be ready and willing to change – mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Although, you are not your motivation. Your motivation for wanting to get sober and stay sober can come from a number of things. You need something that motivates you to change your entire life. After all, being a recovering addict instead of in active addiction is a complete lifestyle change.

Sobriety is selfish in the sense that it’s all about you, but the motivation behind wanting to be in sobriety doesn’t have to be all about you. There are many different circumstances that motivate people to begin their recovery journey. One of those reasons may also be your sober motivation.

Motivating Factors To Be Sober

  • Marriage. 
It is no secret that addiction can put a strain on your marriage. Trust is broken, infidelity may have taken place, lies, heartache, and so on. Addiction can affect a person’s marriage greatly. If addiction is the underlying problem in your marriage. Try getting clean instead of getting a divorce. It very well could be the solution to your marital strife.
  • Children. 
Not only can your addiction put a strain on your marriage but, it can hurt your children as well. Depending on your child’s age, the potential harm a child faces can traumatize a child for life. If old enough, they could become addicts themselves. In many cases, addict parents even lose custody of their children, sometimes permanently.
  • Work/Career. 
Addiction greatly affects your behavior and appearance in the workplace. It could jeopardize your job or chances for an amazing career. Once addiction deepens, many addicts can not even hold a steady job. If you are lucky enough to still be employed, try to fix the situation while it is still possible.
  • Legal. 
Unfortunately, legal issues go hand in hand with drug addiction. Addicts will commit crimes to get money for the drugs that they need. Addicts may face probation, parole, house arrest, loss of license, and even prison time. Legal issues can follow you and affect other areas of your life as well.
  • Health. 
Clearly, addiction affects your health, so needing to improve your health could easily be your motivation for getting clean. Drinking alcohol or using any illegal drugs not only diminishes your well being, but can cause you to contract diseases and destroy your body’s ability to properly function.
  • Better Life. 
All of these reasons are motivation to living a better life, but maybe the thought of a better life is the original motivation for your sobriety. While it may seem selfish to some, it’s a fabulous and justified reason. Being in recovery can and will improve every aspect of your life

The number of reasons that motivate one to be in active recovery instead of active addiction are endless. Your motivation can be one reason or all of these reasons combined. Overall, every inspirational factor leads to the ultimate motivation. The yearning to live a more desirable and fulfilling life.

Friends, family and career can be motivations to stay sober
Being in recovery can and will improve every aspect of your life

Staying Sober Is Hard, Especially In The Beginning

You take on sobriety with a driving force, an unstoppable willpower, and personal incentive. While the very beginning of your sobriety, detox, and treatment will seem difficult, you must remember that the fight of your life has just begun. Your sobriety is a never ending battle.

Staying sober is hard, very hard. Especially, during the first year. There are millions of obstacles and issues that you must face.

  • Wreckage of The Past – Your problems won’t simply disappear, you must face them accordingly.
  • Sober Lifestyle – Creating a new life. A life without the use of drugs, you need coping skills and structured support. Your dreams are now achievable in recovery. Although, to accomplish your goals, you must become productive in life and in sobriety. It requires hard work and dedication.
  • People, Places, and Things – Changing people, places, and things are crucial to your recovery. If you do the same things with the same people, in the same places. What did you change? Nothing. You can’t do the same thing and expect different results.
  • Self Discovery – Addiction has changed you for the worse, but recovery will change you for the better. Finally, you can work on finding out who you truly are. You are capable of reaching your full potential as an amazing person in recovery.

It is true, staying sober is hard. Yet, the longer you stay clean and work on your recovery. Then, the more benefits you will reap. With each step and each day, your life will improve and your motivation to stay clean will grow stronger and stronger.

Eventually, sobriety will come naturally. Fighting for your recovery with strength and courage will come from deep within you. You will not think that staying sober is hard anymore. You will be living a sober lifestyle. Living as a productive individual who is inspired, empowered, and motivated in your recovery. Even though you may think that staying sober is hard, remember, you are worth it.

We want to know what motivates you. Why did you choose recovery?. What is your sober motivation?

The Drug Addicted Mother I Never Understood | Lake Arrowhead Recovery Center

drug addicted mother devastated by loss
I bought into the stigma of the drug-addicted mother, until I became one.

I never understood how drug addicted mothers were able to walk away from their family, especially from their children.  As a mother, we are meant to protect our children, not harm them.  Doesn’t she understand that her children need her?

I never understood those women who were in jail for not paying child support.  Even in a co-parenting relationship, aren’t the mothers typically the parent who has primary custody of their children?

I never understood how a woman could continue to use while being pregnant.  Was she intentionally trying to harm her unborn baby?

I never understood how a mother could give CPS (Child Protective Services) a reason to get involved in her family’s life.  Did she not want her children?  Did she not love them as a mother should?

Both of my kids are fast to sleep in my bed.  They look adorable and I know just how lucky I am.  My sobriety is indeed a blessing.  Yet, it’s these quiet moments that I dread.  My mind begins racing. The thought of drug addicted mothers and the effect it has on her children ravage my thoughts. I think about how my kids mean the world to me.  I would do anything and everything for them.  They will grow up in a loving home without lies, deception, criminal activities, and drugs.  As their mother, I vow to protect them for the rest of my life.  I mean, that is what a mother is supposed to do.  Right?

Recovery strengthens the protective bond of motherhood
All a mother wants to do is protect her children. Even a mother in her addiction and especially in her recovery.

The Stigma For Drug Addicted Mothers

Our society will never understand the effects that drug addicted mothers and fathers have on their children. They will never understand babies born addicted to drugs because the mother felt she could not stop using while pregnant.  Some people do not understand why a drug addict can’t simply stop.  They will never understand. Nor will they try to understand.   That is the stigma of addiction.

The stigma of addiction is bad enough.  Now add in the fact that the drug addict is a mother or pregnant with her first child. Too scared to ask for help due to the stigma of it all.  Even other drug addicts stigmatize drug addicted mothers.

Now, before I come off as a saint preaching to the choir, hold on just a moment.  I was one of those addicts who stigmatized drug addict mothers.  I didn’t understand.  That is until it was my turn.  Until that was me.  Until I did everything that I despised and criticized.

The Irony

I became that mother.  A drug addicted mother.  A pregnant woman who used every day of her pregnancy.  Despite what my doctors told me, I didn’t change.  The day I went into labor, I was trembling, in fear of what I knew was going to happen.  When I left the hospital after giving birth, my baby was not with me.  In fact, he would never be with me. Instead of getting help and following CPS’s stipulations to get my child back, I did nothing.  All I did was slip further into my addiction.  I became worse than I ever thought possible.

That is the scenario for many drug addicted mothers.  You, me, her, all of us that go through it.  We hide deep within our addiction to try and cover up the pain. We imagine that it is some sort of sick nightmare that we will wake up from.  Unfortunately, it’s not a bad dream that will end.

Hope for mothers addicted to drugs
Don’t give up because you are an addict and a mother. There is help and hope.

Don’t Give Up

As addicts with a baby on the way or children already, there are many reasons we choose not to get help.  As irrational as it may seem.  Here’s why.

  • Scared of CPS involvement
  • People’s criticism and negativity
  • Fear of losing custody of child(ren)
  • Admitting the severity of the situation
  • Being a failure in the eyes of our children

Take it from me, do not give up on being the mom your child needs. Sobriety is the key to success for drug addicted mothers.  You will not have to do it alone.  There is help.  I regret that I didn’t take the help that was offered.  If you get help now, you can stop this situation from getting even worse.  No mother wants to neglect, harm, or lose custody of their child.  

How Can We Protect Our Children?

From a drug addicted mother to a mother in recovery, I will tell you, it gets better.  I live every day thinking about how I can change my past but the truth is I can’t.  The world keeps spinning, life continues on. My life didn’t stop and neither did my little boys’.  I love my children, all of them.  We will never be able to correct the mistakes of our addiction. The questions will remain.

Why could I get clean for my other children but not my first?

Is he really happy?

Could I have given him a better life?

Would I have raised him better?

Would he rather be living with me?

Does he cry over me it as I cry over losing him?

Does he wonder why I was a drug addict?

Over the years, these questions will haunt you.  They still haunt me. Even as drug addicted mothers, we never mean to intentionally harm our kids.  So, why do we do it?  Truth be told, there is no simple answer. I am just glad that I got sober so I can be a part of his life.  My only wish is that I would have gone into treatment and began sobriety much sooner.  I still have to live with the choices that I made back then.  That’s why you need to make the right choice from the start.

Second Chance

My first born is now ten years old. I missed out on so much.  It was not ever meant to happen this way.  Never did I think that I would lose my child.  Most mothers in similar situations, don’t comprehend what will actually happen.

Thankfully, I now have a relationship with him.  He doesn’t love me unconditionally like my little ones do but, he knows that I’m his mom. He knows that I was a mess and doesn’t hate me for it.  I am grateful that he has given me a chance to love him.  A chance to be in his life.   

Sober Solution For Drug Addicted Mothers

Let me tell you from experience.  Those questions I think about.  They will never go away.  I could ask him for answers but, am I really ready to hear what he has to say?  Will he even tell me?  For now, I am grateful for a second chance with him.

If you are a drug addicted mom, please get help before it’s too late. Before you lose the chance to have and hold your baby.  Mothers are supposed to love their children, protect them, raise them, care for them, and nurture them.  Don’t let drugs destroy that.  Don’t let the stigma of being a drug-addicted mother stand in the way of the mother you can be.   Sobriety is the only solution.  It may be hard but it will be worth it. It’s time for you to be the mother that your child has always needed you to be.

When Recovery Hits Rock Bottom | Lake Arrowhead Recovery Center

 

Hitting Rock Bottom In Addiction Recovery
When I hit rock-bottom in recovery, it’s worth the climb to get back up.

I hate this feeling. I hate hating myself. I hate the hopeless, helpless, nothingness that consumes me. I want to scream and cry and give up all at once. This is my rock bottom in recovery. This is the part of me that I don’t let anyone see. The part that I hide with eye-drop filled bright eyes and forced laughter I can only feel in my cheeks. It’s the part of me that sits in front of the mirror, sometimes for hours, wondering why my nose is so perky; my arms so short; my thoughts so fast that my body can’t possibly keep up. I keep doing it – keep picking out every little flaw and realize that somehow, I became this person that is disgusted with my own image. I look away with utter disdain and use all my energy to forget it – ignore all of it for as long as possible; bury it and bury it and put that squinty smile out there until eventually I feel the pressure coming from inside. It’s like I can’t ignore it anymore. I begin to ignore any progress I’ve made in the days and weeks of therapy, sweating away at the gym, slaving over my work, and can’t help but think of the miles and miles of work to do – how far I still have to go to get even close to where I want to be. Where do I even want to be? Just when I think I can’t stand feeling like this anymore, it seems like I come right back to it. My sweet boyfriend tries to make me feel better. He hugs me and brings me my favorite flavor of ice cream, but this isn’t same-day surgery and ice-cream isn’t a quick suture. I don’t get to put a bandage over it and pretend that the wound isn’t there.

What Does Rock-Bottom Look Like?

It’s different for everyone and for some it doesn’t even happen. What does yours look like? Some people hide it like I do – I don’t even see the crash coming. Maybe it looks different from yours. Maybe your rock-bottom can be seen from a great distance away, more like a meteor! I’ve been there, too.  Hitting rock-bottom once doesn’t mean that you will be there again. There may be moments in life where we find ourselves slowly sinking. Maybe we don’t sink as low as last time, maybe we sink lower – it’s a term we are used to hearing and the meaning is ours alone – not what anyone else gives to it.

climbing Back From Rock Bottom In Recovery
In addiction recovery, I am climbing for my life, but there is always light above. I need only look up.

Climbing For My Life

So, what pulls me out? What makes me want to wake up the next day, drag myself out of bed, and continue with life? I am blessed because I have so many reasons to keep climbing. It’s difficult to pull up out of the darkness because of just one thing, so I rely on many things that I control and they don’t depend on anyone else. It requires a list of things and this is mine.

  • Hope. The sun will always come out. I can always hope for a brighter day, it might not come tomorrow or the next day but it will come eventually. It has to, that’s just the way life works. There’s always darkness before there’s light. Hope for better days, hope for better circumstances, hope for better feelings. I fully believe that we influence our destiny. You become what you think so if you’re thinking of brighter things they will eventually come to be.
  • Passion. Find something that you care about and submerge yourself in it for a bit. Spend time doing something that makes you feel good, something that can make you feel better. Get lost in the process of finding a passion. Try different things and figure out something that you can embrace.
  • Take care of yourself. I know you’ve heard it before, eat healthy and exercise. Really it helps though. Spend an hour per day focusing on your health and letting go of some stress. Maybe exercising isn’t your thing. Do yoga, go for a walk, take a bath. Spend time rejuvenating yourself. Make yourself a cup of coffee then sit and enjoy it. Paint your nails. Get yourself a massage. Do something that makes you feel like you matter.Learn to love yourself. This is one of the most important parts. Learn to practice self love and your world will change. You’re not always going to do things perfectly, especially when it comes to recovery, but if you love yourself it makes things a little bit easier. So how do you do this? Start by finding one thing per day that you love about yourself.
  • Learn to forgive yourself. This is another important thing. You’re going to make mistakes. It’s so much easier to love myself when I can forgive myself for the mistakes I make. We all do it though. They may be big mistakes and they may be small but dwelling on them doesn’t fix them. Apologize if needed, forgive yourself, and move on! It’s easier said than done, but the more you practice owning your mistakes and forgiving yourself the simpler it becomes.

Find things that can bring you out of those dark places. Find things that make your recovery worth the pain. There is light above – all you need to do is look up.

To My Loved Ones Trying to Cure My Addiction | Lake Arrowhead Recovery Center

My Loved One Is Addicted To Drugs
A Letter To My Loved Ones Trying To Cure My Addiction To Drugs

To My Loved Ones Trying To Cure My Addiction,

I know you’re trying to help with your ideas and answers to cure my addiction. I know that you mean well by your actions. I’m grateful for you standing by me, despite everything I may have put you through. I so appreciate the support you have given through my addiction and recovery.
I also know that this disease can be hard to understand. It’s the disease that I am ashamed of; a disease that comes with misconceptions and stigma. It’s not as simple as just quitting. Recovery is something I will be working on my whole life. I wish that there were a quick fix, some sort of magic wand that could make the cravings and pain go away. I wish that I could go back and change the things that led me to this place, but I can’t. There’s no way of knowing where I would be right now had I not taken that first hit. And there’s no way of knowing where I’ll go because of the path I’ve chosen.

Support for Addiction To Opiates, Alcohol, Prescriptions
My treatment is working and your support is critical. I’ll do my part and you do yours. There is no cure for my addiction, but there is full recovery.

Recovery Is My Cure for Addiction

There is no cure for this disease. There is hard work and dedication. There is recovery, but there is not a simple cure.
I’m going to have bad days and I’m going to have good days. I’ll have days where I feel like I am on top of the world, but there will be days where the pain is unbearable. There will be days filled with quiet numbness. Days where I don’t feel anything inside and I may even feel like recovery isn’t worth the work. Maybe I will freak out at times and maybe there will be times where I don’t speak to anyone all day. I’m trying to change and change always seems to be really hard for me. But I’m no longer trying to live without the ups and downs, I’m trying to learn how to live with them. I’m learning how to manage my emotions in a better way. I want to control my life without getting high. I want to spend time with my family and see my little sister grow up. I want to go to family dinners and watch Monday night football together. I want to be able to do all of these things without feeling like the odd one out or like I’m being stared at. I don’t want to have special treatment or have anyone act like I can’t handle the same things as everyone else. I am a capable adult and I can handle myself.
I don’t want you to be afraid of me or constantly worry that I might relapse. Yes, relapse is a possibility but constant reminders of what I did in the past or potentials for relapse don’t help me to not relapse. I don’t talk about the things that I have gone through to get attention. I want to help you to understand me and what I’m going through. It’s okay to ask me questions. Asking about my addiction doesn’t make me want to go out and use.

Support My Recovery
You can support my recovery best by listening, asking questions and just letting me know you are there for me regularly.

What Can You Do To Help My Recovery?

Love me unconditionally. There should never be conditions put on love. I’m going to love you even if you make a mistake, can you do the same?
Support me even on my bad days. The bad days are the days when I really need you the most. They’re the days when recovery doesn’t feel like reality. When all I want to do is stick a needle in my arm to avoid feeling. I need you to support me on these days the most. And I don’t mean support me like give me money or buy me things, I mean really support me. Ask me how I’m doing. Ask me what I need. Even if it doesn’t seem like you’re doing much, I recognize that you see me struggling and it means more than you know.
Realize that just because I talk about my addiction doesn’t mean I’m not going to maintain my recovery. I have an addiction. It’s a part of who I am now, but that doesn’t mean that it defines me. I spent a lot of my life doing things that you probably don’t understand. When I talk to you about them it’s not to scare you. I’m talking to you because I trust you and I want to help you to understand where I’ve been.

Let Yourself Trust Me Again

I know that I’ve done so many things that have hurt you. I’ve done things that I will regret for the rest of my life, but I’m trying. I want to do better but I can only do that if you let me. It’s hard to become better when I am constantly being reminded of my mistakes and that you don’t trust me. Once trust is broken it’s hard to earn back, I get that, but I want you in my life and I’m willing to put in work to make it happen.
It would be so amazing if there was a cure for my addiction, but maybe instead of trying to find one or telling me that I “just need to get over it”,  you could listen instead. Just listen to me. Maybe sit with me and listen to where I’m coming from. Put yourself in my shoes.
I want to feel safe with you. I want to be able to help you to see the darkness that has been in me and not be scared of it.
Thank you for your love and support,
Me