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Why Your Social Network Matters

Do you feel well connected to your community? Do you feel isolated sometimes? Both of these questions play into the overarching idea of a social network. A social network is the fabric of support surrounding you during a crisis. Who you interact with matters.

Overlapping Network

This is the type of network built upon crisscrossing relationships. Sayings like “everyone knows everyone and everything” apply here as well as “it takes a village to raise a child.” When you tell one person a secret, the whole town will likely find out the next day.In the overlapping network, you get your support from a relatively cohesive group of people. Most people are in the loop and have some idea of how to help. Often, people in this network know every other person in the network. On the one hand, you get a large and informed support group, but on the other hand, you may feel enmeshed or co-dependent in the situation. This type of network has its pros and cons.

Siphoned Network

A lot of people express the belief that they have different people for different things. This is a valuable way to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Also, it helps temper expectations about what you can gain from a single relationship.In the siphoned network, you go to different points of contact for different tasks you have to complete. Often, the people in this network do not know one another. On the one hand, you avoid pitfalls like gossip, but on the other hand, you run the risk of feeling isolated at times. This type of network has its pros and cons.So which network do you identify with? Or do you identify with both? Either way, your support network matters. Considering which type of network you have can help you decide how to navigate complex relationships. When you are navigating complex relationships to the best of your ability, you will feel more at ease.

Your social network matters. Whether it is an overlapping network, a siphoned network, or another type of network, having an idea of the type of network you are dealing with can help you manage complex situations. Your social network directly ties into your mental health and can help you overcome addiction. At Valiant Living, we understand the importance of social networks. We hope you form new social networks during your time with us. Our expert staff can help you navigate through the struggles of substance use and co-occurring mental illness. At our men’s-only facility in Denver, Colorado, we emphasize the importance of community. When you leave, we want to make sure you have the best support network possible. If you are interested in learning more, you can reach out to us today at 720-669-1285.

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Will Your Social Anxiety Take You Out?

Someone who suffers from addiction may also find themselves experiencing some social anxiety now that they are sober. Most people use drugs and alcohol to take away the edge of feeling anxious when they are around others. Once that ease and comfort are gone, the stress of being around others could return in full force. If this sounds like something you are confronted with, you should heed the warning signs. Dealing with the overwhelming pressure to be around others in group therapy or in a 12-Step program is important to identify since you no longer have drugs and alcohol to cope with. There are many things that can take you out of your sobriety, especially if you are not actively trying to replace the addictive behaviors with new ones that are centered around recovery.

Use your recovery tools

If you are feeling panicky, try some of your meditation techniques and stop to breathe. When you start feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, pick up the phone and call your sponsor so you do not feel alone. Have an exit plan ready to go if you are not mentally well enough to continue to hang out any longer, and do not feel bad about taking care of yourself. Hopefully, by using a meditative method, you can find that your social anxiety will continually dissipate as time goes on.

Use a different perspective

Yes, you may be terrified to be around others, especially those that you may not know very well. Take a new approach when you are surrounded by new friends and push through your fears. Not only will this aid in the strength of your overall sobriety, but you can take being around others with baby steps to get used to the fact that you need them just as much as they need you. Instead of running away in trepidation, start putting your hand out to others, one finger at a time, and you will see how this will help you to know that you are never alone.

Use principled actions

Suit up and show up they say and once you do just that, you have to admit that sticking to your word and honoring your commitments just feels good. Taking the suggestions in recovery that have been tested out by countless others that have had success in using principles to live by, builds more confidence than ever to combat social anxiety that is bringing you down. Taking contrary actions will most likely be the very thing that makes you feel comfortable within yourself and in a crowd.

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers "Expanded Recovery" to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463

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Will My Religious Convictions Help My Loved One to Get Sober?

Families that have strong ties to religion may wonder why their loved one cannot get sober by simply using the religious guidelines they are meant to adhere to. Religion can create a difference of opinion in conversations, provoke undue judgments, and deter someone who wants to get sober away from their family and friends if they feel pressured to put their faith in divinity. Trying to get someone sober by posing your beliefs on them will most likely cause them to cringe at the thought of using religion as their means to recover - even if they have been religiously affiliated their entire life.

Their belief is that they are not worthy.

Many people who live a life that includes drug and alcohol addiction have a hard time connecting to a Higher Power, or whatever their religion dictates because they have a low opinion of themselves. Rather than use the religious guidelines, they just make them feel bad about the addictive behaviors they are displaying and tend to make them recoil from the whole experience knowing they are not living up their potential.

Their belief is that they will not fit into the church.

Instead of using the resources offered in church, a person chronically under the influence will steer clear of going to church or being around people in the church considering they feel like they do belong around such righteous people. Although there are plenty of other “sinners” within their religious affiliation, they believe they are the worst ones of the bunch.

Their belief is their belief.

Sadly, not everyone wants to religiously believe what their family believes. The religious aspects that they grew up obligated to be a part of will probably not be the aspect that will get them to become sober. Recovery is based on a spiritual program that is meant to be suggestive only which may be more appealing than having to follow the rules of their religion. Having the ability to live in their own spiritual beliefs can better direct them into their recovery than feeling like they are being told what to do.Your religious convictions may be extremely important to you, but they can be overwhelming to someone who is trying to get sober because they feel they have failed their family one more time with their lack of religious belief. Not to mention, someone who feels like they are failing also feels judged by their loved ones which become counterproductive to what religion is trying to demonstrate. If you are trying to convince your loved one to get sober based on your religious belief, most likely, you may only alienate them back into their addiction which they have deemed their current religion.

How can you support them with your beliefs?

First and foremost, by using the concept of love and tolerance that many religions promote while also setting healthy boundaries, you are demonstrating a better example for them. Ask to speak to the religious leader of your church to be advised on how to handle the situation. Your mission is to be able to draw your loved one out without confrontation to allow them, and yourself, to see the truth in the situation. Sometimes, people who want to help their loved ones to get sober are too emotionally tied in and are not apt to see how their behavior may unintentionally be adding fuel to fire. Enabling, codependency and religious know-it-all conduct could push someone away more than it will actually help them. The best thing you can do for your own sanity is to seek help for yourself within the church, with a therapist, or an interventionist. When you get help for yourself, you will be able to help them in a better manner than if you were trying to aid them without the proper education regarding addiction.

Should I put them in a rehabilitation facility that centers around my religious beliefs?

As you are trying to find treatment for your loved one’s addiction, you should have them in mind overall. Although you are definitely affected by their addiction, they can only get sober for themselves. The basis of their recovery should focus on how well they respond to the treatment. If they have withdrawn from your religious beliefs already, most likely, they will do the same in a rehab that centers around religion. You should take into account what their addiction entails along with any abuse or trauma that has pushed them towards drugs or alcohol as the solution to their problems. You really want a place where they can get real about their addiction without worrying about whether they will disappoint you in any way. Chances are once they get through the rehabilitation process and back into real-life recovery, they will be more focused on spiritual principles which is a move in the right direction.

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers "Expanded Recovery" to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463

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Will My Marriage Survive in Sobriety?

Vows are taken to solidify a marriage, but what that really entails is full of unknowns. There is no way to foresee how "in sickness and in health" will relate specifically to each married couple. While there may have been signs of addiction all along, there may be a time when everything that was going strong in your marriage hits the fan because your significant other was unable to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol on their own.You came to a point where you had enough and told your spouse to seek treatment, or else the marriage could not continue. Now, your main worry is how your marriage will survive after treatment. You are afraid the dynamics will change due to their recovery and inevitably change your partner.

Trust the Process

Your fear about change is a typical concern because you are correct in understanding that everything will change, including your relationship. Cessation from drugs and alcohol is a process, and your job is to encourage and support, not criticize or push them. Once they are sober, there will be ups and downs that your relationship will encounter, but you can manage them if you trust the process of recovery.

Get Your Own Support

Your spouse's drug and alcohol addiction is not your fault. However, their addiction will affect you and the other members of your family because addiction is duplicitous in every way imaginable. Seeking help through therapy or Al-Anon meetings can help you understand what you can do to stop enabling or displaying co-dependent behaviors while holding onto the bottom lines of what you expect to change with their behavior.Gaining support from others who have been through the same highs and lows with their partner's addiction can be encouraging and help you know that you are not alone.

Know the Truth

No one wants you to have to get a divorce to cope with addiction unless you are unsafe or being abused. The hope is that being in treatment will allow your significant other the opportunity to get and stay sober. With any marriage, there is a commitment to be upheld every single day to keep the relationship joyful and healthy.You can persevere through anything together if you are on the same page and know that relapse is possible without a solid recovery. Your marriage will undoubtedly be different, but just know that all marriages evolve as the years continue to progress.Choosing to support your loved one in their addiction recovery will strengthen your bond and show your unconditional love. Looking back and seeing that you did everything you could to help them will give you the ability to see your courage and tolerance.

More than just another rehabilitation facility, Valiant Living has created a safe landing place on your way to long-term recovery. We are focused on creating a home-like environment where you or your loved one will feel cared for, loved, and safe. That means surrounding our clients with the right people and helping them assess the best next steps. Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, we offer "Expanded Recovery" to enrich our clients' lives in mind, body, and spirit. Clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing with the power of recovery. Call us today for more information at (303) 536-5463.

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Will I Outgrow My Friends Now that I am Sober?

Friends are an important part of life. You need them to laugh with, to enjoy whatever area of your life you know them from, and to lean on when times get tough. Without that support, you may start to feel alone and isolated from others. With all the recovery measures you are implementing in your daily life, you may start to feel a slight difference in how your relationships with friends evolve over time. You may notice that what once bonded you together is actually the very thing that is tearing you apart. As your moral compass continues to straighten up into the principled way your Higher Power wants you to be, this process could impair your relationship with a friend who does not care about how important it is for you to live a more virtuous life than you once did.Does this mean ending the friendship altogether to save face? Not necessarily because they may follow your lead with either getting sober themselves or by using your example into a more wholesome lifestyle. You do need to consider that sometimes you may outgrow a friendship because that does happen from time to time and here is why.

You are sober and they are not.

Sometimes friendships become weakened because you make them feel bad about their own relationship with alcohol. If your friend is still abusing drugs and alcohol, they probably do not want a reminder that they are not living their best life, even if they think they are. Seeing your strength in recovery that includes total abstinence allows you to have compassion for them because you understand what they are going through. If they do seem to hold resentment for your sobriety, just know that this is not your problem although you should still be empathetic to their situation.

You feel comfortable and they do not.

When you are at social functions that serve alcohol, and your friends, or loved ones, begin to act strange as they feel as they can no longer drink around you, inform them that you appreciate their respect for your recovery. Let them know that you are the one with the problem and that if you feel uncomfortable you will excuse yourself instead of making them change. People have walked around on eggshells with you for long enough and now is your time to make them feel comfortable. Strength in your sobriety comes from knowing your limitations and knowing that you have recovery tools to fall back on in a sticky situation.

You think you are being judged.

There may come a time when you realize that the chemistry in your friendship has changed. Instead of being two peas in a pod who relate to one another on most issues, you may experience a shift in having different outlooks. As you work the steps and attend therapy sessions, you are inevitably going to alter yourself into another direction. If you are working a recovery program, your morals and principles are going to improve while theirs may remain the same. Your friend may seem to judge your new lifestyle although there should be no room for their disapproval. Stay on track and keep growing in the direction you are and do not let their aversion sway the path you are on. You should be around people who will encourage your recovery measures and support them, especially since your addiction was a life and death situation.

You find that they are extremely negative.

Now that you are seeing out of a new pair of glasses, you may not have realized how negative and toxic certain people in your life can be. You know that their approach to life is wise in many ways although you had not yet discovered that they could bring you down with their negative attitude because you were right there with them. Now that you have learned how to be positive in your own recovery, you can use their pessimistic ways to comprehend what you no longer want to be like. You are who you surround yourself with. If you are spending time with positive recovery friends, most likely you will overcome the negative approach to life you once had, and be able to move on from the unfavorable attitude you once exhibited.Keep in mind that what used to bring you together, drugs and alcohol could cause the separation of friendship you were fond of. Trying to mourn the loss of a relationship that you thought was solid could be extremely difficult to fathom and you may find yourself in a very sad state of mind. Feel your feelings and try to move on because there is a whole host of recovery friends waiting to greet you with open arms.

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers "Expanded Recovery" to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463

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Will I Have Fun in my Recovery Without Drugs and Alcohol?

When people think of drugs and alcohol, a common visual people think of is partying or going to happy hour with friends. Although those who are in the throes of addiction are probably not having fun any longer, they still try to convince themselves they are as an excuse to not pursue sobriety. One misconception of recovery is that you could not possibly have fun without the buzz of alcohol of the high of drugs. Well, you should throw that fallacy right out the door because being sober can be a blast if you let it.

There will be good days and there will be bad days.

Life is a series of days that are not always going to favorable for anyone, even sober ones. Once you can welcome the bad days along with the good ones, you will find that acceptance is the key to having fun. Letting go of expectations and knowing some days will be harder to endure will allow more gratitude for the good days which by the way, will become more prevalent the longer you stay sober.

There will be quality memories.

You can do more when you are sober than when you are under the influence. The delusion of having more fun with drugs and alcohol is only because your inhibitions become lowered from being drunk or high making you do things you would not normally do sober. You do things that are not socially accepted, illegal, or morally corrupt because your restraint is completely diminished, or you are blacked out. Fun is sometimes described as being daring or mischievous, but under the influence, this is dangerous and risqué which is not really fun at all. Now that you are sober, you can actually remember what you are doing without feeling shameful or guilty. You can make better choices and do quality activities that are indeed fun.

There will be good times.

Since you no longer drink or use, your world just opened to more activities other than bar hopping and house parties. You can go anywhere and do anything your heart desires when you have the means to do so. The sky is the limit in recovery, and you can do anything you want without having to be a slave to drugs and alcohol. No more making a fool of yourself under the influence. No more overdoing it around others. You get to make the decision to be free and let the good times roll in recovery because life is more fun sober.

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers "Expanded Recovery" to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463

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