Making the choice to overcome addiction is a brave one, but the process need not be as difficult as many people fear. In fact, for recovery to be lasting, it is vital to build life-affirming experiences into the process. The totality of each recovering addict’s life experience, personality, and goals for individual evolution must be understood and honored. Taking a holistic treatment approach makes this possible.
The media loves to paint a picture of addiction that is plagued by sensationalism and stereotypes. The truth is that addiction affects good people from every kind of social and professional background, every income level, and every culture. For many people, addiction begins as a simple coping mechanism: a quick cocktail after work to take the edge off, a tiny “bump” to get through a long day with some extra confidence, or perhaps a couple of prescription pills to take the edge off of chronic pain. Whatever the origin, the transition from casual use to dependency can be insidious, creeping into one’s life unnoticed until it’s too late.
The moment of realization comes at different times for everyone. Denial is a part of the process of addiction recovery through holistic treatment that may interrupt the quest for change several times before clarity is reached, and help is sought. Every addict engages in the self-deceit of trying to convince himself that he can stop anytime. Nonetheless, once the use of any substance or behavior begins to seem more important than work, love, health, and self-sufficiency- addiction is a likely culprit. Signs to watch for include isolating oneself from non-user friends and avoiding loved ones, such as spouses and family. Are you suddenly prone to unpredictable mood swings, or uncharacteristic irritability?
Personality changes like those are hallmark indicators of addiction. If job or academic performance is beginning to suffer, but using or engaging in a behavior like gambling or shopping still takes precedence, it’s time to look into rehab. If withdrawal symptoms like tremors, anxiety, nausea, or headaches occur, it is essential to seek treatment. If using a substance or behavior has become a way to avoid reality, yet seems to bring negative, life-altering consequences – the time to get help is right now.
Self-accountability is essential to starting – and sustaining – the process of recovery. However, having compassion for yourself is equally helpful. Discovering the delicate balance of complete honesty and responsibility along with self-love is life changing. It eliminates the need for secrecy, thereby also freeing one from a great deal of anxiety. Seeing yourself as a whole being, with complex experiences and emotions, is the first step to becoming whole. This pursuit of “wholeness” is at the heart of holistic treatment for addiction, and often provides the greatest fuel for change.
Change is a gradual process that follows several steps. These are:
For many people, reading articles on holistic treatment, such as this, serve as important components of the contemplation stage. Usually, there has been a period of self-examination, or perhaps a strong catalyst, such as a work or personal crisis, that has highlighted the need to change. In searching out information and conducting a sort of self-assessment, the contemplation stage is completed, and may propel one to begin the preparation stage.
During preparation, an addict will often begin seeking resources for help, weighing options, and tying up any loose ends. Often, the most powerful preparation is internal, with the addicted person calling upon a reserve of inner resolve that overcomes both denial and inertia. Once that occurs, he or she is ready to take real action. While some may begin by seeking an outpatient program, the most successful recoveries are usually achieved by those who seek in-patient rehabilitation during this phase. An in-patient program provides a clean slate with the comprehensive physical and spiritual support that are the foundations for lifelong recovery.
Inpatient programs offer the privacy and stability that are mandatory for lifelong recovery. There, you will have support available around the clock from people who understand the physical and emotional experience of breaking away from addiction. More importantly, there will be no distractions from what matters most at this time which is your needs.
While in an inpatient rehabilitation center, you’ll have the wisdom of experts, many of whom are recovered addicts themselves, to help you. For most people, it is a tremendous relief to be with others who can empathize in such a direct manner. Additionally, these programs provide access to experts in the field. Using the brain science behind addiction recovery and well-honed knowledge of trans-formative behavior, they can give you the life skills and tools that will lead to long-term success.
To have a renewed concept of oneself is central to achieving a life of sobriety. Often, people have reached low points during addiction that were filled with feelings of self-recrimination. Such dark moments bring on triggers of self-hate, blame, and escape back into harmful behaviors or substances. Thus begins a negative cycle which must be broken. As such, it is a rebuilding of the self that sits at the heart of the recovery process. Great joy and healing is found in rediscovering old dreams, and the authentic essence of oneself that was there all along. Additionally, new visions for the future, and a sense of self-acceptance make it possible to forgive and move on.
People with a renewed outlook on life deserve a fresh canvas. Creating a sober life requires that negative influences be eliminated. For most of those in recovery, it’s impossible to go back to people who are still using. During a holistic addiction rehabilitation, the concept of enabling and co-dependence are also explored. Inpatients learn about the ways their addiction may have been influenced by family dynamics, and can then work to change influential relationships accordingly. Often, couples and families discover that this information is deeply enlightening for all parties. Most walk away with much greater clarity, and healthier tools for interacting and supporting one another.
Additional lifestyle improvements supply positive physical energy and healthy coping mechanisms that make old behaviors obsolete.
Holism embraces multiple treatment methods and support entities as a way of building a sustainable sober environment. A multifaceted approach to rehabilitation is much more effective than outdated treatment programs that viewed addiction as a purely mechanistic issue that merely required the so-called “willpower” of the patient. A more modern approach is to offer a well-rounded menu of therapies that provide recovering parties with a sense of empowerment and healthy choices. Below are a few popular Adjunctive therapies offered by inpatient addiction rehab centers and aftercare programs:
Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing that helps quell anxiety, diminish withdrawal symptoms, and support the healing of vital organ systems.
Bodywork and massage are exceptionally helpful for several reasons. Often, substance abuse and negative behaviors provided an outlet for feelings of anxiety, or for the byproducts of trauma. Hands-on healing allows recovering parties to relax and release tension or negative emotions that were stored in the body. It also helps those whose addictions provided a way to “check out” to reconnect with their physical sense of self.
Yoga and meditation offer highly effective forms of self-care. Both are excellent tools for diffusing stress, and have proven benefits to the brain. As recovering addicts seek healthier brain chemistry and feelings of peace, yoga and meditation provide internal and external nourishment. Best of all, these healing tools empower the user to affect his or her own healing, and can serve as extraordinarily helpful tools for maintaining sobriety.
When seeking a holistic treatment addiction rehab program, look for offerings like these. Having holistic care available means that you’ve got every tool you need to win the mental and physical battle to maintain sobriety.
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