Dual Diagnosis

Benefits of a Dual Diagnosis Facility

A dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder can profoundly impact mental and physical health. Also, dual diagnosis with more severe symptoms can complicate the recovery process for individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “people with SUDs are more likely than those without SUDs to have co-occurring mental disorders”. For this reason, facilities like Twilight Recovery Center have programs designed to treat multiple co-occurring conditions and provide essential support.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

If someone has two or more disorders active at the same time, they have what is considered a dual diagnosis. Basically, co-occurring disorders can have multiple overlapping symptoms and side effects. This makes dual diagnoses difficult to identify in some instances.

The most common co-occurring disorders people experience alongside SUD include:

    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Mood disorders
    • Personality disorders
    • Schizophrenia

Rehabilitation programs that address all current and underlying disorders provide the best outcome. They ensure individuals have the tools, skills, and resources they need to cope with symptoms and make progress in treatment. At the same time, many people benefit from integrative treatment that involves combining various aspects of psychotherapy, prescription medication, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and other treatments.

How Dual Diagnosis Affects Recovery

Long-term recovery requires focus, dedication to change, and the ability to cope with daily stressors. After all, treatment programs capable of accommodating co-occurring conditions can give you access to a range of useful therapeutic tools, including:

    • Holistic alternative treatments
    • Trauma therapy
    • Psychotherapy
    • Essential skill development
    • Peer support
    • Experiential therapy

Some people attend multiple types of therapy sessions throughout the week to address independent disorders. Nevertheless, other people may be given treatment plans that include integrative techniques addressing all active conditions in a single session. The clinicians at Twilight Recovery Center collaborate with clients to determine how best to incorporate treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Risk Factors for Dual Diagnosis

Anyone can have a dual diagnosis. However, certain factors increase the risk of substance use or mental health disorders. You are more likely to experience mental and emotional issues if you meet some or all of the following criteria:

    • Have a family history of SUD or severe mental illness
    • Experience chronic stress
    • Socially isolate from others
    • Live with toxic family dynamics
    • Have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event
    • Live with chronic illness or pain

Risk factors do not indicate that someone will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder or SUD. However, the likelihood does increase substantially. In other words, individuals with close family members who have been diagnosed with SUD or other issues have an even higher likelihood of developing co-occurring issues.

Signs of Dual Diagnosis

Without a doubt, it is essential that people with SUD know how to recognize changes in their mood, behavior, and physical health. Certainly, any unexpected or unusual changes could indicate an undiagnosed co-occurring disorder. Some of the signs of possible dual diagnosis include:

  • Memory issues and difficulty focusing
  • Unexplained changes to sleep or eating patterns
  • Unusual isolation and withdrawal from social groups
  • Out-of-character risk-taking behaviors
  • Mood changes, including unusual aggression
  • Anger or physical violence out of proportion to the situation
  • Extreme anxiety, depression, or worry
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Difficulty keeping up with professional and personal responsibilities
  • Unexplained changes to energy levels
  • Extreme mood shifts over a short period of time
  • Changes in personal hygiene

Some people have no outward indications of mental health disorders until they reach a critical point. Knowing what to look for and how to get support in a crisis can make it easier to cope with undiagnosed co-occurring conditions.

Treatment Options for Co-Occurring Disorders

Many treatment options exist for dual diagnoses. However, most people end up using multiple therapeutic techniques and modalities. They work to find the right combination to help them avoid, eliminate, or cope with the symptoms and side effects of mental health disorders. With this in mind, treatments offered at Twilight Recovery Center include:

    • Adventure therapy
    • Activity therapy
    • Anger management
    • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
    • Art therapy
    • Equine therapy
    • Psychotherapy
    • Play therapy
    • Relapse prevention
    • Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT)
    • Motivational interviewing (MI)
    • Exposure and response prevention
    • Yoga
    • Breathwork
    • Meditation
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage therapy
    • Energy healing
    • Mindfulness
    • Music therapy
    • Crystal therapy

Personalized Treatment Plan

During dual diagnosis treatment, the Twilight Recovery Center clinical team will create a personalized treatment plan. Above all, we respect the personal, cultural, and religious preferences of our guests. We give them as individualized a treatment plan as possible. Dual diagnosis can significantly affect long-term recovery if the symptoms are left untreated. We help our clients build a toolbox of essential coping skills during rehabilitation. They can use this skills when they transition out of residential treatment.

Co-occurring conditions can complicate recovery. The symptoms become worse or prolong of detox and withdrawal. Don’t put off treatment that can be essential to your healing. After all, the specialized treatments offered at Twilight Recovery Center ensure you receive high-quality holistic care. Our service will addresses all mental and physical issues that could impact your treatment outcome.
Definitely, you will benefit from attending programs that offer trauma-informed personalized care. Certainly, the rehabilitation programs we offer will provide you with the tools you need to heal and manage dual diagnoses. After all, you don’t have to keep living with the pain and emotional distress. Do not suffer from concurrent disorders.
Reach out and get expert treatment from the compassionate team at Twilight Recovery Center. What’s more, you are not alone. To learn more about the services and treatments at our residential facility, call us today at (888) 414-8183. Without a doubt, our dedicated intake specialist can answer your questions or set up an admissions interview.
Don't Leave Before the Miracle Happens

Don’t Leave Before the Miracle Happens

When we start things, it’s crucial to finish them. Like cleaning your space or following through with a commitment to someone else. The road to recovery works the same way: living a life outside of substance use is a lifelong process. The results are well worth it if you see your way through to the end.

A Life of Recovery

Like everything in life, there is a beginning to the journey of recovery. The beginning of a life of sobriety looks different for everyone. Steps you can take to begin your journey to recovery include: asking loved ones for help, using Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) resources to sober up, or entering a treatment center. The thing that all of these have in common is asking for help and then taking action.

A common phrase used among recovering individuals is “recovery is not linear”. Similar to the steps of asking for help looking different for everyone, the road itself is also distinct. Recovery not being linear is the comforting notion that things will be difficult at times, and that is okay.

Not one person who has traveled this road has experienced an effortless and unfaltering journey. Recovering from addiction and living a clean and sober life is about “progress, not perfection.” This is a principle emphasized throughout the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Even in 1935, when AA was established, the two founders of this now-global program knew that living a recovered life was not an easy task.

Trust the Process

Why not quit when the going gets tough? If there are hardships and roadblocks to overcome, why go forward knowing that it won’t be as easy as walking away from the substance itself? Many people living a life of recovery will tell you that they would gladly take their most arduous day in sobriety over their most manageable day in addiction. There is proof that sobriety is well worth the effort.

After the detoxing process has ended and the efforts to move toward a recovered life have begun, the body adjusts to find its baseline. The word baseline refers to our mood stabilization. When we take away the substances often used as coping mechanisms in moments of emotional dysregulation, we are left to find new ways to deal with discomfort.

Alcohol itself is a depressant

While it sends dopamine to the brain’s receptors when consumed, it simultaneously reduces the body’s natural production of dopamine, leading to feelings of depression. As recovery ensues, the body’s chemicals restore themselves, thus leveling one’s emotions over time. Because of this, being in a safe and monitored environment like a rehab center is vital in beginning the recovery process.

Over time, euphoria won’t feel as high, and depression won’t feel as low. This is a person’s baseline without substances. As individuals move through recovery, they will begin to find themselves. The things that bring them joy, and new ways in which to handle the inevitable disappointments that happen in life.

What a Recovered Life Could Look Like

Recovery looks different for everyone–how they got there, their process through recovery, and what they’re doing now in sobriety. The success story of recovery is that there is hope and beauty in living a life without substances.

There is growth that comes with getting sober:

  •  Learning how to manage stress and anger without using
  •  Being able to establish boundaries with oneself and others
  •  Learning how to ask for unmet needs
  •  Being able to communicate in healthy ways
  •  Letting go of the ego that controlled toxic behaviors

Hope in recovery. There is hope in knowing there’s an opportunity to form a better relationship with yourself. A new life is just ahead with taking the first steps to recovery and seeing it through to the end.

Keep Going

No matter what it looks like for someone to live a sober life, it is vital to see it through to the end. In the beginning, the motivation to recover may be outside oneself. Perhaps family members are pleading for sobriety. A child’s well-being is at stake, a relationship hangs in the balance, or the “gift of desperation” leads to recovery. It may take a long time to realize that they want a clean and sober life for themselves, and that’s okay, so long as they keep going.

Some days, there will be triggers and cravings that feel unbearable. Those moments will feel almost natural to want to give in or ease or ignore the feelings of discomfort. There will be moments that the thoughts feel too loud and the temptation of “taking the edge off” will sound much more appealing than listening to intrusive thoughts. There may be days when sobriety doesn’t feel worth the effort anymore. Those are the days that it is critical to keep moving forward in the recovery process.

24 hours at a time

In the beginning, 24 hours at a time might be the only way to make it through. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous is a big fan of the phrase “just for today”. It encourages individuals struggling with addiction to persist in their sobriety. If the day feels impossible and relapse is within grasp, try putting it off for another 24 hours. The idea is that even though the desire to give in is right there, if the action is prolonged, then that will be another day sober, and another day sober gets people that much closer to a recovered life.

Recovery is a lifelong process, so don’t leave before the miracle happens. It takes hard work, unconditional dedication, and being willing to ask for help to see our way through to the other side of addiction. A life of recovery gives us a chance to change–change how we live for ourselves, for those we love, and how we choose to show up in this world. Through a 12-Step program, various forms of therapy, or holistic practices such as spending time in nature, wellness is just around the corner. Let the clinicians of Twilight Recovery Center show you that recovery is well worth the fight. You or a loved one is experiencing a substance use disorder or other mental health illnesses? Twilight Recovery Center is here to help you begin your journey to a recovered life. Call (800) 414-8183 today.
Yoga and Mental Wellness

Yoga and Mental Wellness in Recovery

Holistic approaches have become a common practice among people in recovery. Things like yoga, meditation, and art or music therapy are being incorporated more and more into treatment. It’s known that yoga offers physical wellness with its practice, but did you know it elevates mental wellness, too? Practicing yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, can be used for mindful movement and meditation, and can help your body feel more relaxed.

Holistic Approaches to Wellness and Recovery

In reference to medicine and treatment, is the incorporation of treatment for the whole person. Holistic practices incorporate therapies that enhance the wellness of the mind, body, and spirit. We are not merely our ailments; we have passions that we enjoy practicing, we need to nurture deep emotions and heal traumas.. It should be no surprise that our mental health and substance use disorders tie together the way they do.

When we focus on the entirety of a person rather than the most obvious problem at hand, we set ourselves up for a more successful route to recovery. Holistic therapies cover a broad range of activities, some of which include art and music therapy, crystal therapy, breathwork, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. Using these modalities in your recovery can help build communication and coping skills, as well as emotional or trauma processing.

Incorporating practices like meditation, breathwork, or yoga into your recovery routine could bring benefits like lowered stress levels, an increase in endorphin and dopamine levels, and a closer connection to your higher power or your spiritual side. These physical and emotional benefits can bring peace amongst the chaos, even just for a moment, and help guide you through the ups and downs of pursuing a sober life.

Mindfulness

It is the state of consciousness or awareness while acknowledging one’s thoughts, feelings, or bodily sensations. The practice of mindfulness in recovery is used to aid our intrusive thoughts. Having the ability to recognize our thoughts and emotions gives us the ability to move forward from that moment with the next right action.

We want to respond to a situation rather than react. The act of mindfulness is a useful coping tool when we’re feeling emotionally dysregulated. For example, a common exercise used when experiencing anxiety is the five, four, three, two, one grounding exercise. For each number, we associate a sense with it: five things we feel, four things we see, three things we hear, two things we smell, and one thing we taste.

By using this exercise as a grounding technique, we’re able to be in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness by bringing awareness to our surroundings and current state of being allows us to find a sense of calm.

Mindfulness and Yoga

Similarly, yoga uses mindfulness to keep us in a state of relaxation by staying in the present moment. Relaxing background noise, the soothing guidance of the instructor’s voice, practicing breathing techniques, and deep stretching that relaxes the muscles of the body and the mind allow for a sense of calmness and control.

Engaging in yoga connects our minds and our bodies, helping us feel more centered. Some people take the time to engage in meditation while practicing yoga. Whether it’s emptying their heads of all thoughts to stay present or connecting with a higher power or spiritual side, they are in a state where they are opening themselves up to what’s around them.

Other Practices Used in Yoga

Engaging in yoga brings forth some skills we might not use on a daily basis. Practicing breathwork also brings us to a more centered state of being, along with the mindful movement of stretching.

The practice of breathwork in yoga or meditation aids in centering our conscious mind to feel more present in the moment. The conscious control of breathing influences one’s mental, emotional, and physical state of being. The benefits can be therapeutic by slowing down one’s breathing. This cause a sense of calm and a sense of control over our emotions.

Mindful movement is the same as mindfulness, except it’s specific to “exercise”. People get advantage of mindful movement to bring awareness to the body while moving. Checking in and asking yourself what sensations come up for you is a good way to stay in touch and stay present while performing physical activity. Mindful movement is less goal-oriented like exercise and more about doing something that makes you feel good mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Practicing Yoga in Recovery

Recovery isn’t just about putting down the substance we’ve been abusing as a way to escape. In Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or any 12-Step recovery program, the focus is on changing ourselves and turning away from our old behaviors. AA is holistic because it encourages a deeper connection with ourselves, a spiritual side, and our overall wellness.

Yoga as AA, encourages a relationship with something greater than ourselves by connecting our inner thoughts with our surroundings. Deep stretching or meditation allows us to be present and focus on what’s right in front of us. By slowing our thoughts and our breathing, we open ourselves up to the possibility of a more positive state of being. A calm, positive, centered state of mind makes for a significant advantage in recovery.

Practicing yoga in recovery can bring many benefits. Yoga connects our minds and our bodies, helping us feel more centered. Some people take the time to engage in meditation while practicing yoga. Whether it’s emptying their heads of all thoughts to stay present or connecting with a spiritual side, they are in a state where they are opening themselves up to what’s around them. Yoga is a good tool to get in touch with your physical body. Get also in touch with your thoughts and emotions. When recovering from a substance use disorder, we must discover ourselves all over again. Mindful movement and mindful meditation are great practices to help us achieve our goal. Living substance-free and being connected with ourselves once more. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, let Twilight Recovery Center help lead the way. Call (888) 414-8183 for information.
Finding Yourself in Recovery

ACT: Finding Yourself in Recovery

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a therapeutic practice that encourages individuals to accept unpleasant thoughts or feelings rather than attempting to control them. ACT uses both acceptance and mindfulness strategies to enhance being in contact with the present moment. A life of sobriety isn’t merely about finding life without substances, but also about finding ourselves along the way.

Acceptance

It is a process through which we receive our present experience without judgment. Acceptance is finding yourself in recovery. The purpose of acceptance is to practice full awareness of ourselves in our thoughts and sensations to help better regulate our behaviors in relation to our emotions.

We cannot control things outside of ourselves. We can, however, control how we react to things that occur. In that regard, acceptance can be many things:

  • Accepting what we cannot change
  • Accepting the emotions we experience
  • Accepting what is out of our control
  • Accepting the changes that we must make to live a recovered life

Having the ability to accept situations for the way that they happen is one of the more challenging things in life. Often we want to control the outcome of situations to be more favorable to us. Unfortunately, that is not the way that life works. The sooner we learn to regulate ourselves in unfavorable moments, the better off we will be in the long run.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is similar to acceptance because it requires awareness of yourself and the feelings you experience. Emotions are to be approached objectively, looking at them as thoughts and then not getting caught up in them.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) uses practices like mindfulness and acceptance to help one acknowledge their thoughts and feelings. The therapeutic practice of CBT works to help a person change the thoughts that they’re experiencing, while ACT uses mindfulness and acceptance to encourage people to simply notice what they’re thinking and then move on.

Feelings are not facts and should not be treated as such. While CBT focuses on changing the thought pattern, which then changes the behavior, ACT emphasizes the importance of all feelings we experience without reacting directly to them.

ACT in Recovery

ACT in recovery is accepting the thoughts, emotions, and hardships we experience in life and then committing to taking the necessary actions to address and change the behavior to resolve the stress or problem, rather than avoiding it.

Life does not stop moving once we enter recovery. Everyday stressors continue to persist, as do feelings like anxiety or depression. Treatment for mental disorders is not always a matter of changing your thought pattern. As we know, sometimes we just are depressed or anxious without reason because of chemicals and biology. However, having the ability to re-frame certain intrusive thoughts can be all it takes to turn your day around.

Recognizing when an intrusive thought pops up and being able to analyze it further can be very useful. Where did this thought come from; why am I experiencing this feeling; is this thought really true, or is that my anxiety? This list of critical thinking questions could make all the difference in being able to move forward with your day or being stuck in an anxious or depressed mindset.

ACT can help treat many mental health conditions, some of which include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorder (SUD)

Why Practice ACT

Admitting and accepting that we have a problem with drinking–or abusing substances–is the very first step to receiving help. “We admitted we are powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable,” states the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on page 59. Once we accept our powerlessness over our substance use, then we are able to dig in and start our recovery journey.

Not being able to accept the hard truths can be the thing that holds us back from changing. If our perception of our peers is that they’re constantly thinking negative thoughts about us, and we live our lives based solely on those perceptions, what kind of life are we really living? Recognizing the negative thoughts as just that and not allowing them to have any power over us can be the mindset that helps keep our mind and body regulated.

Every thought and emotion that we experience is valid

There is no categorizing them between negative or positive; they simply are. CBT and ACT both validate us in our experiences and challenge us to challenge the thoughts or emotions that occur. Feelings are not facts, and our perception of the world around us is not always correct. We start by acknowledging and embracing the totality of our emotions rather than avoiding or denying them, and then we take the necessary steps to incorporate changes representative of our values, all in hopes of creating a positive change within.

ACT, acceptance and commitment therapy, is a therapeutic practice that encourages individuals to accept unpleasant thoughts or feelings rather than attempting to control them. ACT uses both acceptance and mindfulness strategies to enhance contact with the present moment. A life of sobriety isn’t merely about finding life without substances but finding ourselves along the way. Every thought and emotion that we experience is valid; there is no categorizing them between negative or positive. It is counterintuitive to attempt to control any negative thoughts or emotions that we may experience. Rather, we want to hold space for those things as they are, but not allow them to control us. If we can change the thought then we can change the behavior. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, let Twilight Recovery Center help guide you through sobriety. Call (888) 414-8183 today for more information.
Going to a Destination Rehab

Benefits of Going to a Destination Rehab

Maybe you are at the point of extreme stress or you feel so overwhelmed that makes you think of giving up everything in life and running away. Put your responsibilities, social life, family life, and work on hold and get away from it all to be able to breathe and find a moment of relief amongst all the chaos? If you’re considering entering treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), you can find that opportunity to put everything on hold and take care of yourself first going to a destination rehab.

A Treatment Setting

When going to a destination rehab, a treatment facility can be stationed anywhere, and the surrounding scenery can look like anything. Most facilities, however, will feel a little removed from the hustle and bustle of city life or something similarly hectic. An ideal facility will be spacious and calming, allowing ample room to exist with your peers and focus on yourself while being removed from daily distractions.

Why not make it luxurious, too? Treatment and sobriety don’t have to be dull or depressing. If there’s an option to seek treatment in a place where it’s beautiful, spacious, and feels like a vacation resort, why not choose that option? Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your care.

Why Space Is Key

For rehabilitation, a remote environment is vital. because when we walk away from what ailed us for so long, we have a better opportunity to tune in to ourselves and pay attention to what we’re feeling and what we need.

If you choose to seek recovery close to home, there can be significant drawbacks in your healing process. Attempting to get sober in the same place where you spent a significant amount of time drinking or abusing substances can feel like you’re pushing against the current. You move away from that immediate environment in a residential treatment setting, but you could find your thoughts caught up in what’s happening outside of the safety of rehab.

Allowing yourself the proper amount of space so that you may focus on yourself and your wellness is important when first getting sober. Removing yourself from old, unhealthy environments gives you a better opportunity to connect with yourself. Connecting with your thoughts and feelings in early recovery helps you realize why you turned to substances initially and why you want to start living a life without them.

We’ve lived for so long without putting ourselves first. We don’t know much about ourselves. That security of being far away can help us really discover ourselves for the first time. Our recovery from alcoholism or SUD is not about what others are going to think or feel about it. We must do what is best for us to live the life we want. It’s not impossible to recover in the same place you once used, but it can make it more challenging.

Benefits of a New Environment

Try new things for the first time. That is another benefit to recovering away from the environment that fueled your substance abuse. When we’re around strangers and in a place we’ve never been before, we feel less judged and more open. We are open with the idea of letting others get to know us and who we really are. We become more comfortable with being vulnerable and getting to know our peers who are going through recovery with us.

You can go anywhere you want. If you choose to get away from the immediate toxicity of your hometown and your peers to seek treatment. If you’re going to take advantage of starting over by seeking treatment, you may as well go for it. Choose a facility with beautiful scenery and opportunities for new experiences. Choosing a treatment facility that’s near the beach, like Twilight Recovery Center, can offer new opportunities for outdoor activities.

Explore new outdoor activities like surfing or yoga. That offers you a new variety of sober-leisure activities and even some new coping skills. We could start to feel emotionally dysregulated or tempted to use again. We can combat the thoughts and feelings by getting outside and exploring the new environment.

Cost

Depending on where you go, sometimes traveling outside of the country for addiction treatment can be more affordable than in some states. And the best part is you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of care you receive. Twilight Recovery Center is luxurious rehabilitation at an affordable cost, with the added benefits of beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities to explore the area.  You can take part in activities you never imagined. With holistic treatment options like yoga and surfing, all while recovering and learning how to live a sober life.

If you’re considering entering treatment for SUD, you can find that opportunity to put everything on hold. Take care of yourself first. Treatment and sobriety don’t have to be dull or depressing. There’s an option to seek treatment in a place where it’s beautiful, spacious, and feels like a vacation resort.  Why not choose that option? Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your care. Traveling outside of your home state or country can bring many new opportunities to living a recovered life. You can travel, see different parts of the world, and meet and grow with people you might not befriend if you were back home and still using. You or a loved one is struggling with an addiction? Let Twilight Recovery Center help guide you in the direction of recovery. Call (888) 414-8183 for more information.
Appreciation in Recovery

Individualized Treatment: The Importance of Appreciation in Recovery

A common practice among treatment facilities is the encouragement of daily affirmations and gratitude. Placing sticky notes with affirming phrases on your bathroom mirror or anywhere to be seen when you first wake up, compiling a list of the things you’re grateful for, or saying them out loud to your peers are exercises executed in early recovery. Practicing appreciation or gratitude in recovery allows us to focus on the present and what is happening around us.

The Foundation of Appreciation

Recognizing the good things that surround us daily is the foundation of a spiritually fit life. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) encourages a spiritual connection with a power greater than ourselves. Basically, letting go of our ego opens our hearts and our minds to the endless possibilities of living a renewed life.

As per the Big Book of AA, finding a spiritual side to our lives is the foundation to living a recovered life. A life of substance use disorder (SUD) brings spiritual malady, making it difficult to be our truest selves. For the agnostic, the thought of spirituality or the word God can deter them from wanting to move forward in sobriety. Understandably so.

If we think of spirituality as a shift in perspective, rather than offering our lives and our care to something we cannot conceptualize, then we can consider the spiritual side of recovery a little easier. A perspective shift can be the beginning of finding things to be grateful for.

Practicing Appreciation

Practicing appreciation can look like anything you want it to. A common exercise is to create a list of the things in your life that you’re grateful for. It can also look like meditation: pausing and taking a deep breath and feeling at peace in that moment. Practicing appreciation can just as easily be speaking to or thanking your higher power. Intentionally taking the time to reflect on the present and feeling grateful for at least one thing can be the action that turns your mood around.

Being appreciative of where you are in terms of recovery can feel challenging. Going to a treatment facility, beginning the process of recovering from SUD, feeling like you’re at rock bottom. At this time in your life, it can feel invalidating to your struggles to be asked to find anything to be appreciative of. You might feel resentful toward the task, and that’s understandable.

Appreciation and Your Recovery

Finding moments or specific things to be appreciative of does bring proven benefits to our overall wellness. Practicing gratitude regularly can improve mental health, reducing anxiety and depression over time. It can also help reduce stress; if we’re able to recognize a few good things in our day instead of constantly seeing the negatives, then over time, we’re able to control how we react to stressful situations. Change the thought, change the behavior.

Again, if it’s your first time in treatment, then it might feel nearly impossible to find anything to appreciate. When we’re in a dark place, it’s hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. It’s okay if it takes some time to get to a place where you’re thankful for anything. The good news is, in the beginning, if it’s difficult, appreciation doesn’t have to be anything profound. It can be as simple as being grateful for that first cup of coffee in the morning.

If your gratitude for the day starts with that first cup of coffee, then, over time, there’s potential for it to grow. It starts with coffee, then maybe a meal, or the sun shining or the rain falling or the people you are surrounded by. They sound minuscule, but the practice of appreciating the little things can grow in time and teach us to find gratitude in any moment of our day.

Benefits of Practicing Appreciation

Research has shown there can be physical and mental benefits to practicing gratitude in your daily life. Some of those things include:

  • Lowered stress levels
  • Reduced body aches
  • Increased desire to take care of oneself
  • Increased sense of joy
  • Increased feelings of optimism 
  • Increased levels of dopamine

It might feel like a bit of a stretch to say that practicing gratitude would increase any of the aforementioned attributes. However, if you think about it, there is weight to these claims. If we spend time and energy thinking about the good things around us, we spend less time in angry or stressful emotions. Reduce our anger or resentment, increase the recognition of what is going right in our lives, and find delight in those things.

Finding and practicing an attitude of gratitude at any point in life can be a challenging task. If we’ve entered recovery and are trying to live a substance-free life, it can feel even harder to see the bright side of life. It can even feel silly to try and convince ourselves that there’s anything delightful about our current situation. Those feelings are valid. When we’re conditioned to approach life with caution, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, it’s easy to remain pessimistic. It’s vital to practice appreciation because it can help set the tone for our pathway in recovery. If we can start by appreciating the little things, then, over time, we will be able to find gratitude in all things. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, let Twilight Recovery Center help lead the way. Call (888) 414-8183 for more information.
Role of Trauma in Addiction

The Role of Trauma in Addiction

Trauma: what is it, how does it affect us in the long run, and what types of events do we consider traumatic? Trauma is a word you may be familiar with. Perhaps, you have heard the term “trauma-informed care.” Maybe last week, your friend shared with you how traumatic their breakup was. We hear the word trauma more often now than ever before, as individuals who have experienced trauma and the clinicians that treat trauma are providing more education and research daily that talks about it. What exactly is trauma?

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is an emotional response to a threatening event and is often associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Often, people think of veterans when they think of PTSD, but everyone, in any environment, is susceptible to PTSD. Trauma and its successors can occur in scary situations, including car accidents, abuse, assault (verbal, physical, sexual), or natural disasters. PTSD and trauma occur when an individual’s body and mind feel trapped in a life-threatening situation.

What Are the Effects of Trauma?

Trauma affects all aspects of a person: physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Trauma changes the brain. Research shows that there is a notable link between trauma and addiction.

When an individual is placed in an environment that is physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening, high levels of stress are created. This stress leads to the body releasing cortisol and adrenaline—the hormones that control your fight-or-flight response. When in an emergency, such as being chased by an attacker, your fight-or-flight response is doing its job.

The traumatic event can result in high doses of cortisol and adrenaline releasing in non-threatening environments, where the body and mind are unable to determine if the environment–both physical and emotional–is safe. Some trauma survivors may become locked in a cycle of experiencing trauma symptoms in everyday life, which can result in PTSD.

What Does Trauma Look Like?

Some symptoms of trauma are poor distress tolerance, fear, anxiety, agitation, anger, isolation, emotional dysphoria, hypersensitivity to loud noises or quick movements, depression, insomnia, disordered eating, avoiding things that bring up painful memories, and reliving the traumatic event.

When we encounter traumatic events, our mind and body re-calibrate, which can lead to abnormalities in the brain. This reaction can lead to different psychosocial, cognitive, and even physical issues, or any behavior that is a “trauma response”–an abnormal response to a situation caused by the effects of trauma or PTSD.

Individuals who have experienced trauma often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to mask the symptoms. While the mind often tries to cope with trauma by burying it, the signs and symptoms will still surface. Individuals who experienced trauma as a child are at an extraordinarily high risk of developing a drug or alcohol addiction.

How Can Trauma Lead to Addiction?

The trauma and addiction relationship could be huge. After trauma, changes occur in the structure of the brain. Stress hormones are activated at a rapid rate, which can obstruct proper brain growth. Trauma can lead to a number of mental health diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, PTSD, and substance use disorder (SUD). There is a plethora of evidence that trauma can be a gateway to addiction. In a lot of instances, trauma is the gateway drug.

With new data on trauma and addiction coming out, there is consistency in the research exemplifying how well over half of all individuals who have SUD report a history of trauma. Studies on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) show that an individual is most likely to develop SUD after a traumatic experience in childhood and adolescence.

When individuals self-medicate their symptoms of trauma with substances, they are laying the groundwork for a budding relationship between trauma and addiction. Once a person begins to use a substance to cope, they then build a tolerance.  This tolerance snowballs into dependency and addiction. Keeping its victims stuck in a vicious cycle, substance abuse can come with high-risk behaviors, which puts the traumatized individual abusing substances at risk for re-traumatization.

Why Do People Cope With Trauma by Using Drugs or Alcohol?

There is no benefit to sobriety for people who are unable to cope with their horror, shame, fear, and loneliness. Drug or alcohol use is often not an attempt to obtain enjoyable experiences. It is an effort to obtain relief from their internal nightmare. When removing unhealthy coping skills, including substance abuse, it is imperative that a new, healthy coping skill is put in as a replacement.

For some, substance use may be the only thing they have left. Without another outlet for coping and processing, the trauma symptoms and addiction will only grow stronger. Recovery is less about “taking away” the substance of choice and more about building healthy connections, practicing healthy and enjoyable coping and activities, and acceptance.

How Does One Receive Trauma and Addiction Treatment?

The term dual diagnosis refers to an individual with both a mental health diagnosis and an addiction. Individuals with both trauma and addiction must be diligent in seeking treatment from a program that works in both areas. To break the addictive cycle, one must address the underlying issue: trauma.

Dual-diagnosis facilities help individuals address underlying trauma and triggers while also facilitating the addiction recovery process. These facilities will also assist individuals in learning. They’ll learn new, healthier coping skills they can use to address triggers and trauma responses.

The role of addiction in one’s life, and its relationship to trauma, may be greater than we think. Traumatic events can lead to mental, emotional, and social hardships. For some, substance use may be the only thing they have left. Without another outlet for coping and processing, the trauma symptoms and addiction will only grow stronger. Recovery is less about “taking away” the substance of choice. Recovery is more about building healthy connections, practicing healthy and enjoyable coping and activities, and acceptance. Knowing where the trauma is coming from and the accompanying triggers is important in recovery when you are being treated for a substance or alcohol. We must understand our trauma and how it relates to our addiction if we want to fully heal. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, let Twilight Recovery Center help guide you through sobriety. Call us at (888) 414-8183 .

How to Set SMART Goals

How to Set SMART Goals for Your Recovery Journey

Goals are essential to our lives. Goals are what we wish to achieve for ourselves over a period of time. Life goals, relationship goals, short-term goals, long-term goals, and more are all things we want to accomplish, and it takes dedication and planning to get there. Recovery works the very same way. What is our goal? To live a substance-free life. How do we get there? Measured steps, support, and rigorous honesty.

SMART Goals for SMART recovery

It is an acronym for:

Specific: A goal should be specific. What is the goal we want to achieve?

Measurable: A goal should be measurable. What are the steps we’re going to take to get there?

Achievable: A goal should be within your reach. If we set an astronomical standard to achieve something we know we can’t do, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. That is the quickest way to not meet a goal set.

Relevant: A goal should be relevant to you and how you want to better yourself in life.

Timely: A goal should have a reasonable timeline set on it to reach it.

The Importance of Setting Goals

Saying we want to do something and then never thinking about it again is pretty typical for people. Then, some people say, “I want to do this thing, so I’m going to do this thing,” and then people are surprised when they’ve actually done it. Did it seem impossible when they said they’d do it, or are we just surprised as a society to see people achieving what they want out of life for themselves?

Goals get us places. It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary; it can be as simple as taking on an art project, and little by little, over a few weeks, it’s done, and then there’s this amazing piece of art that you’ve created.

Setting a goal is like a side-quest in a game. Some goals can contribute to our lives in a significant way, bettering us as people, and some goals are like a cool brag we’ve earned. It adds a variety to our lives, having these goals we’ve set and followed through with. It’s like leveling up in life.

Being SMART in Recovery Goals

What is the specific goal we want to meet in recovery? We want to live a life without substances and to start that journey we’ll do 90 meetings in 90 days. If we have reached the point where we are considering entering a treatment facility to address our mental health and substance abuse, chances are we’ve reached a rather unmanageable point in our lives. We’ve decided to take action and push back against the circumstances that brought us here. Our overall goal is recovery, and we’re going to set an immediate goal of 90-in-90 to help us get there.

What is the measurable amount of time we want to take to meet our goal? In this case, it’s 90 days. It takes roughly 90 days to create a habit. If we attend 90 12-Step meetings in 90 days, we are building the habit of getting to meetings, which helps our sobriety, and we’re building the habit of staying sober. Early recovery brings physical and chemical adjustment to the body, so it’s important to create that habit and support system when first starting out.

Is the goal of 90-in-90 achievable? Yes. One meeting a day for 90 days sounds like a lofty goal, and there will be some days you won’t feel like attending a meeting, and those are the days that it is vital that you attend one. Also, if you set an end date for your goal, it’s more likely you’ll see it through. Having that definite end to a goal makes it feel more attainable. After those 90 days are up, hopefully, you’ll have created a solid habit that you’ll continue to attend meetings regularly.

The relevance of this specific goal is aiding your sobriety. Goals are a good practice to instill into your everyday life, but what good does it serve you if it doesn’t pertain to you or your wellness? The relevance of the 90-in-90 example is to help keep you on your path to recovery by creating a good habit of fellowship and education in sobriety.

Lastly, timing is a key factor in setting goals. Our time limit is 90 days, or three months, to make 90 meetings. The goal of 90-in-90 is a common one amongst the recovery community because they know how effective that practice can be. It takes three months to form a good habit, so 90 days is a perfect timeline to work with for this specific goal.

The SMART goal recovery model is ideal for creating and achieving goals because it creates accountability and a clear-cut plan of action to meet our desired goal. Most people in a profession that involves helping others use this model of goal setting to help create a sense of independence and accountability.

Twilight Recovery Center

The SMART goal model of goal setting can work for just about anything. Specific to recovery, it is the ideal model to work with. What is a specific goal in your recovery, or what is the goal of your recovery? How are you going to meet it? Is it a realistic goal that you’ll be able to achieve? Is the goal relevant to you and your sobriety? How long are you going to give yourself to reach this goal? The SMART goal recovery model is the ideal setup for creating and achieving goals. It creates accountability and a clear-cut plan of action to meet our desired goal. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use and are seeking help, let Twilight Recovery Center guide you through the journey of recovery. Call us at (888) 414-8183  for more information on how to live a recovered life.

When It's Okay Not to Be Okay

When It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

Life is full of ups and downs. While there can be streaks of incredible moments in daily life, there are also the inevitable days of feeling low. Recovery works the same way; the ebb and flow of life will most certainly wear on us as we push forward in living sober. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to admit when we’re having a hard time during this process.

Feeling Our Way Through the Hard Things

Getting and staying sober is a tall order to ask of someone who’s been using substances as a way to cope. Having to learn things about ourselves that we’ve buried for so long and sitting in the emotions and the discomfort of a past we’re no longer living is difficult. Perhaps this is why we prioritized substance use, to avoid looking at what we’ve done or what we’re afraid to feel. Owning our mistakes is a difficult practice in sobriety.

Finding Solutions

The deep emotions of hurt, shame, and guilt are scary enough because of their weight, but sitting in those feelings and processing them without an escape is a challenging step of recovery. If you choose to work a 12-step program, this will be the brunt of the work. Steps four through nine consist of looking back into the past, seeing who’s harmed us, and recognizing where we contributed to the pain and hardships. How terrifying.

Here is an excellent example of when it’s okay not to be okay: if we choose to follow a 12-step recovery program or participate in any addiction treatment, we work with a trusted individual we feel safe confiding in. They will tell you it’s okay to feel down on ourselves, and that the desire to return to using substances to escape is a normal experience. Staying honest, recognizing your feelings, and asking for help while pushing forward through the work are crucial in these moments of pain. Feel the feels.

Life on Life’s Terms

Guilt and shame aren’t the only hard feelings we experience that can offset our whole day. Anger, irritation, or stress can pop up at any given moment throughout the day and make it nearly impossible to stay on track. These intense feelings can also cause us to want to turn back to substance use. “Numbing out” is a way to control what we do or don’t want to feel.

If you are entering recovery for the first time, you’ll begin to pick up on key phrases that are the foundation to living clean and sober. “Life on life’s terms” and “radical acceptance” are two of the most common phrases you’ll hear from a therapist or a sponsor. You may also hear the term “control is an illusion.” This can be challenging to hear when you’re used to feeling in control of your surroundings and life’s situations.

Simply put, it’s out of our hands. We cannot control every moment of our lives, nor can we control those around us and how they will behave. However, we do have control over how we respond to situations. Through therapeutic intervention, we’re able to learn new coping skills that teach us how to sit in the discomfort we feel.

The importance of recognizing when we’re not okay is to normalize those feelings and have the tools to work through them. Feelings of irritation, anger, and stress ought not to be demonized. With the support of therapeutic practices, there is a constructive way to work through those moments of emotional dysregulation.

How to Recognize Emotional Dysregulation

Emotional dysregulation is an umbrella term for when we’re experiencing feelings that affect our nervous system. Every person has a “window of tolerance” in which they can function most effectively. It is the optimum baseline where we can receive and process information before responding to situations. When we’re outside of our window of tolerance, we experience emotional dysregulation.

Feelings occur naturally and shouldn’t be categorized by “good” or “bad.” It’s vital to recognize the emotions happening and know how to work our way through them. We are whole in every phase, and we must know how to regulate ourselves through all of them. Our emotions can be present, but they cannot be in charge.

Emotional dysregulation can occur visually through a display of emotions, or it can come through physical symptoms. Some examples include:

  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Increased levels of fatigue
  • Becoming withdrawn or isolating oneself

The Importance of Emotional Recognition

Recognizing when we feel ourselves leaving our window of tolerance. Starting to feel emotionally dysregulated, is an advantage to our overall wellness. Having the ability to pause in situations of stress or anger and naming the feelings allows us to move forward in a situation with more control over how we will react to the distress.

Allowing ourselves to become aware of the emotions we’re experiencing, naming them, and sitting with them is a powerful tool in our recovery. Not only can we pinpoint what caused us to feel the emotions we experience and feel them in a safe and healthy way, but we can also remind ourselves that the emotions will pass after we sit with them.

Feelings of distress aren’t negative attributes. Your feelings are valid, all of them. Having the ability to experience them for what they are in the ways that we do is a part of growing and healing. It’s okay not to be okay.

 

Recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) is challenging. After our bodies have gone through detox and found baseline, we often experience emotions that may not be familiar. We may experience feelings so strongly that we’re not sure how to handle them alone. Sometimes, the harder feelings may get so intense. It will trigger the desire to use again to stop feeling those emotions. These feelings and the thoughts they bring up are normal to experience in recovery. Name the emotions, honor them by sitting with them, and think through the scenario before reacting. It’s okay not to be okay. Asking for help in these moments is vital to continue the journey of sobriety. Is you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or addiction? Let Twilight Recovery Center help you begin the life you want to live. Call us at (888) 414-8183 to get started.

Addiction as a Disease of the Soul

Addiction as a Disease of the Soul

Some Things You Cannot Control

Some things happen in your life that you have no control over. For example, generational grief and addiction are two life situations that you have no control over. Addiction as a disease of the soul. You may not be aware of your inheritance from your grandmother’s despair or your great-grandfather’s alcoholism. How would you?

If you have dealt with addiction issues, you may feel that no one understands what brought you to addiction. No one understands the sadness and pain that led you down the road to substance abuse. Addiction as a disease of the soul. The people who do not understand will be quick to tell you that you made your choice. These people will also tell you that no one put that drink, joint, or pill in your hand. They will tell you that you knew what you were doing was dangerous, and you choose to use anyway.

Let them have their opinion. You do not need others’ understanding or approval to gain the life of sobriety you are seeking. Your sobriety is your journey and your business. Not everyone in your life needs to understand that addiction as a disease of the soul.

Those closest to you cannot see the vast spiritual spiral that addiction has led you down; instead, they see the destructive behaviors, poor decisions, and how you withdrew from everything and everyone that brought you joy.

Addiction as a Disease of the Soul

Webster’s Dictionary defines disease as “a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms” or as “a harmful development (as in a social institution).”

Like a disease, drugs and alcohol weaken your ability to fight cravings. Cravings are created when your substance of choice activates the dopamine transmitters in the brain. You crave the massive rush of dopamine that enters your body each time you consume the drug, which, in turn, creates addictive behavior.

When the euphoria ends, the cravings begin again. When the cravings start, so does your need to “feed the disease.” You can become so preoccupied with finding your next fix that you can’t focus on anything or anyone else. If you cannot find that next fix, your entire existence may ache. You may feel uncomfortable, and your mind can switch to panic mode. There is no ignoring the discomfort. There is only the feeling that you will not make it through the day. As a result, you might do whatever it takes to get your drug of choice. We end the pain, the discomfort, and the shame by self-medicating.

Generational Addiction

Your addiction may have started generations before you. Perhaps your grandparents were Native American, Alaska Native, or from another country. These grandparents may have experienced a loss of culture, country, language, and other family members. All those experiences cause traumas that linger and get passed down. Perhaps generational poverty or prejudice has been a factor, and help was not sought after or available.

As a result of the loss and trauma, perhaps your ancestors began to self-medicate. Studies show that trauma has the potential to rewire people’s brains, and this rewiring could be in future generations, therefore addiction as a disease of the soul. When people with generational traumas begin to use, they do not understand how much their genetics can play in their addiction. Again, you cannot control what you do not know.

End the Stigma

You no longer have to feel ashamed of something you had no power to control. No one aspires to have an addiction. Some people are pre-programmed for addiction without their knowledge. They are unaware that the first time they use has the potential to lead to years of addictive behaviors because of something that happened generations before them.

Many people do not realize how powerful drugs and alcohol can be until they are so securely caught in their grasp that they feel they have no other choice but to continue to use them. Maybe you have tried to get clean and sober before. If a prior attempt at sobriety ended in relapse because of a bad day, a bad situation, or the pain of remembered traumas you may feel hopeless, helpless, or lost.

Remember your value

You are more than your addiction. Above all, you can be the person you have always wanted to be. Like most diseases, you may need to engage with a medical professional for assistance in understanding the disease and stopping the cycle of addiction. Admitting that you have a problem and asking for help takes tremendous courage, and it’s okay to acknowledge that you cannot find recovery independently. You don’t need to climb the mountains alone.

Addiction and mental health issues may reach far back in generational history. Past generational traumas and a predisposition for addictive behaviors may have been handed down to you through your DNA. Some things cannot be avoided no matter how hard you may try. You are part of the cure. No longer does the trauma of your family need to be passed down to the next generation.

After all, when you decided to end your addiction, you declared that this addiction would not poison anyone else in your family. Be proud of yourself for taking that stand. The staff at Twilight Recovery Center understands that your journey will be challenging. Our team provides person-centered, holistic therapies that help you release cravings, guilt, shame, and regret associated with alcohol and drug addiction. Twilight’s all-inclusive centers strive to provide an environment where you can relax in luxury and heal. Call us at (888) 414-8183.

ARE YOU READY TO

DISCOVER

Recovery?

Twilight Recovery Center

Receive the highest level of care at our upscale recovery center. We offer world class treatments to ensure the finest road to recovery.

Contact

Address

Farallon #9751, San Antonio del Mar, Baja California Mexico CP 22560

Phone:

(1)888-414 81 83
+52 664 819 7290

Email

info@twilightrecoverycenter.com

Receive the highest level of care at our upscale recovery center. We offer world class treatments to ensure the finest road to recovery.

Contact

Address

Farallon #9751, San Antonio del Mar, Baja California Mexico CP 22560

Phone:

(1) 888-414 81 83

Email

info@twilightrecoverycenter.com

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