The Meadows Blog

Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:00

Is There Happiness in Recovery

They say that sexual addiction is baffling and may be perhaps the toughest addiction to recover from because of all the triggers in society that may set up a person to succumb to urges and cravings. What I know for sure is sexual addiction recovery starts with total honesty and it is that rigorous honesty that keeps a person living one day at a time and being filled with gratitude. These two elements are essential in breaking the denial and maintaining the foundation for good recovery.

What is equally interesting is that these two life skills are also in the formula for happiness. Marci Shimoff in her book Happy For No Reason found that there were three traits in happy people that were a part of daily functioning.

·        Staying in the moment

·        Gratitude

·        Reframing

These three qualities were essential in a person's ability to be happy and make life better. I find these same traits are critical in an addicts recovery. The slogan "One day at a time" keeps sex addicts focused on living in the moment and not ruminating in the past and not fearing about the future. When a sex addict focuses on today  they are less likely to become overwhelmed with their sadness about their past or their anxieties about what lies before them. The process of living in the future assists an addict with looking at the present moment which is much more manageable and attainable. It keeps the fear factor down and assists them in realizing that they can only control what happens in the present day.

Having gratitude is a life skill that keeps addicts focused on what is working in one's life. Think about it. Are you more likely to feel better about what is working in your life or what might be your current struggle? Did you know that what you appreciates ....appreciates?  In other words, when you focus on what is working in your life you are less likely to get bogged down with what seems to be the  insurmountable barriers that will keep you having a negative attitude. Recovering addicts manifest the attitude of gratitude because they know that when they are working on recovery; their life is authentic and transparent. Choosing to live in honesty and gratitude brings about freedom that builds self esteem and confidence. Most addicts remember what it was like to hate their impulses, their behaviors and their addiction so recovery means liberation which increases gratitude. No matter where you are in your recovery right now...are you able to list 50 things that you are grateful for? My speculation would be that you are more likely to list gratitude moments as your recovery grows stronger because you appreciate life more because you can appreciate your own personality strengths and accomplishments.

The third factor in happiness and in recovery is being able to reframe your journey.

Reframing is the life skill that allows you to look at your life and ask yourself how did you become stronger and what did you have to learn from it. It takes you out of the victim role and allows you to feel empowered by the lessons that you have learned. This is imperative for the addict who feels much shame about their sexual behaviors and falls into the "I hate myself” and “I can find nothing redeeming from this horrid, despicable behavior.” Well the truth of the matter is that your addiction has taught you how to change your life and live it more authentically! Recovery is a lifelong process of living and when you use your reframing skill you are able to recognize what life has taught you and how far you have come in becoming a genuine person.

You are only as sick as your secrets and you are choosing to no longer live in the chronic lies, deceit and secrecy of addiction. It frees you up to be the person you were meant to be and when this occurs ... you are much more likely to live up to your potential.

So stand up for yourself and live these three life skills and thank your addiction for teaching you about true recovery. You are going to live an awesome life in recovery because the real you is going to show up!

Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW, PCC, CSAT, is currently in private practice in Indianapolis, IN. She speaks nationally on mental health issues and is featured in several local magazines. She currently has an internet radio show on www.blogtalkradio.com/sexhelpwithcarolthecoach and does regular television segments focusing  on life skills to improve one’s potential. You can read her blogs at www.carolthecoach.com. To contact Carol about sexual addiction:  www.sexhelpwithcarolthecoach.

Published in Blog

The Meadows is pleased to announce two new videos featuring Meadows’ Senior Fellow, Claudia Black. Dr. Black is a renowned author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders.  The content of the videos focuses on The Meadows’ signature Survivors Workshop and the additional workshops offered at The Meadows.

The Meadows offers a variety of unique, five day workshops available to all interested individuals. Participants work on sensitive issues in a concentrated format allowing them to practice new relational skills within a safe environment.  The Meadows’ workshops are a cost-effective alternative, when long-term treatment is not an option and cater to those who have already undergone treatment, as well as those who cannot be away from their work or families for an extended period of time.

“We are thrilled to have Claudia Black as the spokesperson for The Meadows’ workshops,” said Jean Collins, MSW, LISAC, CSAT, Director of Workshops at The Meadows.  “The new videos give an in-depth explanation of how a Meadows’ Intensive Workshop is an effective method of accelerating a client’s progress. It is a great opportunity for clients who could benefit from a strong jump-start; it provides a container, allowing a client to go deeper, and an impetus to strengthen their resolve and propel them forward.”

The videos can be accessed on The Meadows website by visiting http://www.themeadows.com/workshops/ and http://www.themeadows.com/workshops/healing-intimate-treason-workshop-for-partners-of-sex-addiction.

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows’ work with trauma and addiction contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit www.themeadows.com.

For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center.  In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in one of their three inpatient centers and 25,000 attendees in national workshops. The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior.  The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is a Level 1 Sub-Acute Agency that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Published in Blog

The Meadows is a sponsor and presenter at the Addiction and Recovery: Gender Matters Conference on October 10-12, 2013 at the Doubletree Hotel in Greenwood, Colo.  The Meadows Psychiatrist, Dr. Jon Caldwell, will present “Relational Trauma and the Search for Security: Women and the Role of Mindfulness in Healing Attachment-Related Wounds” on Thursday, Oct. 10.

Jon Caldwell, DO, PhD, is a board certified psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of adults with relational trauma histories and addictive behaviors. In November 2012, Dr. Caldwell was the recipient of a research grant from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) for his research proposal entitled “A Wait-List Controlled Study of a Mindfulness-Based Workshop for Promoting Attachment Security.”  

A keynote speaker for the conference is Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW, a noted speaker and author of “Daring Greatly” and “Gifts of Imperfection.” She is a research professor at the Houston Graduate School of Social Work and a “Top 10 TED Talks Presenter” and featured regularly on PBS, NPR, and CNN.

For more information regarding the conference, visithttp://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e7alfdwgf8f108c9&llr=fekkzvdab.

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows’ work with trauma and addiction contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit www.themeadows.com.

Published in Blog

According to the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, women are the fastest growing segment of substance abusers in the US, with about 2.7 million women – about one quarter of the identified population of substance abusers in the US. Women’s concerns about recovery are extremely complex and many identify their use as a coping strategy for growing up on a toxic or abusive environment. Many of the women from a study by Judith Grant, Sociologist from Ohio University, identify their core issue related to their recovery concerns as being low self-esteem and the lack of ability to identify their true selves. These issues exacerbate their relapse potential.

For mothers in recovery from a serious, or long-term illness including addictions, mental health, physical/medical concerns causing extended absences from their children, the guilt of these issues are compounded by the shame felt by mothers in recovery as they become aware of the effects on their children. Increased shame and stress create potential relapse triggers and warning signs for these moms attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Society projects their own criticism onto Moms in recovery with the ever-so-doubtful glance and mistrustful tone of how these Moms cope with the stress and stay “healthy.” Even when Moms decide to continue their path to recovery and perhaps work through their own issues, the ongoing realization that their behavior has affected their children and “Oh my, what have I done” sets in reinforcing the shame. 12-Step programs encourage Moms to look into character defects and make direct amends. Private therapists encourage Moms to take care of their codependency issues first so they can become more emotionally available to take care of their children. All of these are positive steps toward recovery, and also steps to the road to self-realization and acceptance.

Going through the stages of guilt and shame to self-realization offers these mothers a tremendous growth opportunity and also unleashes opportunity for shame attacks potentially leading to relapses. These relapses do not necessarily need to be back to the “drug of choice” or the “suicide attempt”, although that can and does occur in some cases. The relapses can lead to other forms of self-medication such as disordered eating, distorted body image issues, unhealthy relationship issues, work addiction, to mention a few. The recovering mother’s ego is fragile and contains tricky misinformation telling her that who she is as an individual and as a mother as she navigates through the murky recovery waters. The process of moving through these waters with intention is important to a sustained and progressive recovery for Moms. This process would include:

1. Breaking through the denial and the self-medicating patterns

2. Core work of shame reduction

3. Re-parenting the self

4. Self-amends and self-forgiveness

5. Body-centered release work

6. Mindfulness

Published in Blog

The Meadows trauma and addiction treatment center in Wickenburg, Ariz., announced the addition of a new young adult program, DAWN at The Meadows.  DAWN will open at The Meadows’ campus fall 2013 exclusively for young men and women ages 18 to 26.

DAWN at The Meadows is a 45-day, three-phase program specifically created to respect and honor the patient’s maturation in a way not possible in a program model designed for teens. Phase I, the Rise Phase, introduces The Meadows Developmental Model of Immaturity and orients the patient to the program and community as they begin to understand the concept of self-regulation. Phase II, the Grow Phase, incorporates The Meadows Model and self-awareness to gain an understanding of the patient’s trauma and addiction and begin regulation within the brain chemistry and limbic system.  In addition, patients attend The Meadows’ signature workshop, Survivors, which explores early childhood trauma and uncovers the origins of adult dysfunctional behaviors. Phase III is the Develop Phase in which the family joins their loved one for Family Week where family systems and relapse prevention are explored. 

Patient families are invited to participate in Family Class, a weekly educational electronic webinar session that occurs prior to Family Week attendance. This class prepares family members with the foundational information needed before they arrive for Family Week.  The goal of Family Week is for the family to leave with a family contract prepared by each family member for their own ongoing care, along with recommendations and commitments for ongoing aftercare.  In addition, families will receive a follow-up session with the primary care counselor.  

DAWN at The Meadows will be community-based and experientially focused, according to Nancy Bailey, PhD., Clinical Director for The Meadows. “Patients will be welcomed to a very community focused environment by their peers and staff.  Many team-oriented rituals are built into the programming which include the patient and family systems” said Bailey. “While The Meadows Model and the 12-Steps are part of each phase of the DAWN program, experiential modalities such as equine therapy, challenge course, art, trauma informed psychodrama, trauma informed yoga, tai chi, mindfulness meditation, life skills, and music are critical to the program.”

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about DAWN at The Meadows and The Meadows’ work with trauma and addiction contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit www.themeadows.com.

For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center.  In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in one of their three inpatient centers and 25,000 attendees in national workshops. The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior.  The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is a Level 1 Sub-Acute Agency that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Published in Blog

Contact The Meadows

Intensive Family Program • Innovative Experiential Therapy • Neurobehavioral Therapy

(*)
Invalid Input

Invalid Input

(*)
Invalid Input

(*)
Invalid Input

(*)
Invalid Input

Invalid Input