Today we’ll be learning about gratitude. Because it is an incredible, incredible tool. Some of you may already practice gratitude in your day to day life and some of you may need a bit of a refresher. I think this is always a topic even though I’ve studied it myself and the research on it is pretty good. It’s always something to come back to. I do a lot of journalling and I find that it’s quite useful to be able to put into words pen to paper, what you’re grateful for because it really does change your brain chemistry.
Summer can be a difficult time in sobriety, but it can also be a great time to be alive. Whether it’s boating, camping, or BBQs, it’s great to spend time outdoors with people whom we love. The challenge, however, is that in the past, these were often situations where we would drink or use substances. So, here are some tips and tricks for avoiding relapse and staying in recovery while enjoying the summer BBQ season.
It was my dad’s 60th Birthday and we had decided to throw him a big party. At the time things weren’t going well in my house, my parents were two months away from a bitter divorce, and I was on the verge of spiralling into my addiction for the next decade. However, I got up in front of a room full of our family and friends to give a speech. I don’t remember much about what I said, but I do remember looking my father in the eye and sincerely saying that he was my best friend.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had several phone calls from recently graduated patients, or their family members, telling me that they are struggling to stay in recovery, and asking for guidance regarding relapse prevention. I think this is largely because of the COVID pandemic’s resulting self-isolation. The consequences of the pandemic—isolation, loss of social connection, being left to our own devices (literally and figuratively), and lack of exercise—all make life in recovery more difficult, and in combination sound like a recipe for relapse. What do I tell these patients and their families?