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How Creativity Helps With Recovery

Have you ever heard the myth that substances stimulate creativity? Well, scientists have finally debunked that one once and for all. Addiction dulls your emotional, physical, and spiritual spark. It messes with our ability to experience joy and makes it harder for us to produce artistically. 

That doesn’t mean that once you’ve struggled with addiction your creativity is done for. In fact, the opposite is true: recovery is a brilliant time to explore or reconnect with your inner creative spark. Through recovery you’re learning and unlearning a plethora of different skills and abilities; you’re crafting a whole new life and mindset for yourself. It can be an enormously creative time, and creative practices can help with recovery in turn.

How Can Creativity Help With My Recovery?

Being creative has many benefits throughout recovery. This can be a challenging time, and having an outlet for your emotions and frustrations is an excellent way to cope and process your feelings in a healthy way.

Helping You to Process Trauma and Loss

Many people who struggle with addiction have gone through a traumatic experience or experienced some kind of loss in their lives. Substance abuse can then begin as a way to cope with those difficult feelings. Working through that trauma and loss is often an important part of early recovery for many of us.

Creative practices are an excellent way to support this process. While talking therapies are useful, sometimes it’s not possible to express such difficult matters in words. Making art can help you to express long-suppressed emotions and get them out into the world. 

Emotion Regulation

Engaging in substance abuse or gambling is also a maladaptive method of emotion control. Recovery is also about learning healthier ways of regulating your emotions. This is something you can work on through therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), but it’s also something that creative endeavors can support.

Creating art, such as painting, drawing, dancing, or writing doesn’t just help you get your emotions out there – it also helps you to regulate them. By being creative you are sitting with and engaging with your emotions, rather than trying to shut them down or run away from them. This can in turn help you to make peace with them and gain some control over your feelings. It doesn’t have to be advanced or complicated – even the act of listening to music can reduce stress and help you to process your emotions.

Finding Joy

Addiction blunts our ability to experience intense joy outside of substances or problematic behaviors. During recovery, you build on your ability to experience that joy again. 

Creative practices are a joyful act as old as the human species. Creating simply to create is a deeply human trait and can release all kinds of happy chemicals in the brain. Finding an artistic practice that brings you joy, however slight, can be a helpful step on the road towards finding joy again after addiction.

How Can I Explore My Creativity in Recovery?

There are many ways to explore your creativity in recovery. For example, you can:

  • Try journaling. Journaling is a great way to explore creativity if you like to write but you aren’t sure what form to put it into. You can slip between genres, such as prose, poetry, or simply lists of what you’ve done. Try adding a few cartoon drawings or sketches of the world around you to stretch yourself. 
  • Take a class. If you’re ready to get creative with other people, look around for art classes in your local community. There are usually plenty that are targeted towards non-professionals, and looking might get you excited. You never know, pottery might be your next great passion!
  • Get into cooking. We all need to eat to survive, so why don’t you try turning feeding yourself into a creative practice? Pick out a recipe book at your local library and get started!

Conclusion

You don’t have to be the next Mozart to reap the benefits of creative practice – and in recovery, a little creativity can go a long way. Whether you write, draw, sing, dance, or anything in between, engaging with your creativity can bring some joy back into your life and help you to process your emotions.

3 Tips To Make Your Detox As Easy as Possible

When embarking on the recovery journey, one of the first and most important steps is detox. If you’re ready to banish your substance use disorder (SUD) for good, you might think that quitting cold turkey is the fastest solution. 

While it might seem like a good idea, detoxing alone comes with several risks. As well as facing withdrawal systems alone, you’ll also have to deal with emotions and cravings head-on. Without appropriate support, doing so leads to relapse, which can be fatal.

The best course of action is checking yourself into a detox center. This way, you’ll be able to undergo medical detox in a safe and supportive environment.

What Is Medical Detox?

Simply put, medical detox is a process that aims to remove all traces of drugs or alcohol from your system under clinical supervision. While withdrawal is inevitable, medical professionals will do everything they can to minimize your discomfort. They will also prescribe medication to alleviate side effects. 

What Happens to Your Body During a Detox?

Due to the withdrawal symptoms commonly encountered, detoxing is often somewhat uncomfortable. Once you’ve developed a dependency on drugs or alcohol, your body will start to crave the highs that they provide. 

In the absence of substances, your body will go into fight-or-flight mode, producing a range of withdrawal symptoms. This is made worse if you quit cold turkey, which is why medical detox is a gradual process that slowly weans you off substances.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

In serious cases, some individuals experience delirium tremens (DTS). Here, hallucinations, shivering, and anxiety are all common. 

As you can see, detoxing isn’t a straightforward process. There’ll be a few challenges you’ll have to face, including mental roadblocks and cravings, but with the right help, detoxing and recovering from a SUD is achievable. 

Below are three tips you can use to make detox as easy as possible.

1. Healthy Diet and Exercise

A healthy and nutritious diet can go a long way in improving your mood, mental health, and physical shape. During the height of your SUD, you’ll likely have lost a lot of essential nutrients and minerals, so now is the best time to replenish them. 

Load up on healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits and steer clear of processed foods that contain sugar. You may also want to consider taking supplements to aid in your recovery. Withdrawal will put your body slightly off balance, so eating well will not only keep you sane, but it will help fight off cravings.

Complement your healthy diet with regular exercise to supercharge your recovery. It’s a natural endorphin booster that will help keep your mind off any cravings or urges. Exercise is also proven to reduce stress, so dedicate at least twenty minutes a day to it. 

It doesn’t have to be particularly strenuous – a long walk is just as good as a cardio workout. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that regular exercise can help you in your recovery journey. A 2020 study indicated that physical exercise has a positive effect on improving mental health, cravings, and overall quality of life.

2. Join Support Groups

Withdrawal can be a pretty grueling time. You might feel like you’re in it alone, but you’re not. Hear from others on a similar journey to your own by joining a substance abuse support group. Use it as a safe space to open up, learn from others, and build a strong support network to which you can go back when you need it. 

Joining support groups can also help you take charge of your life and become more accepting of yourself. You might be introduced to concepts like the twelve-step program – a method that will push you to own up to mistakes and effect life-long positive change.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great way to slow down your racing mind and alleviate stress. It’s essentially a relaxation technique but can also be used to keep you focused on the present. You might be battling many different emotions and different feelings during detox – focusing on your breathing is a good way of keeping yourself in check.

To Conclude 

Checking yourself into drug and alcohol rehab is the first step to recovery. It’s not always easy to do, so give yourself credit for taking this crucial step. Detoxing might seem scary, but armed with the right strategy, you’ll be able to take it on with confidence. And remember – 75% of people who suffer from a SUD go on to recover, so sobriety is definitely within your reach.

 

The Impact Addiction Can Have on Families

When an individual finds themself struggling with addiction, it often affects their family and life at home. Our homes are supposed to be our safe-havens. However, the impact addiction has can significantly alter the dynamics. Eventually, the addiction becomes an unwanted house guest that holds everyone hostage.

Though addiction has a significant impact on the whole family, it affects each member differently. Here are a few examples.

The Impact on Spouses

When your partner becomes addicted to substances, it can throw a loop in your relationship. Though addictions have a notable impact on the person suffering, the physical, psychological, and behavioral side effects such as mood swings, erratic behavior, poor hygiene, and lying will likely impact both of you. In addition, negative consequences to the user’s work and social life, financial difficulties, and even trouble with the law may be experienced.

Discovering that your partner has an alcohol or drug addiction will take an emotional toll. It could leave you feeling worried, upset, betrayed, or even angry. Your mental health might suffer, and you may find yourself wondering how you can both heal from the effects of addiction together.

Essentially, your partner will need professional medical help to recover from their addiction. This will include medical detox and therapy. However, it is vital to remember that you also need support on this journey. Across the country, there are support groups for partners of those with addiction. You may also find couples therapy beneficial.

The Impact on Parents

Finding out your child has an addiction is devastating, especially as all you want is the best for them. It may also come as a shock, particularly as you may not have noticed the signs of addiction. However, don’t blame yourself – people with substance abuse disorders can be very good at hiding their struggles.

As you come to terms with your child’s addiction, you might worry about what the right thing to say to your child is. You may even fear making things worse as your child’s addiction may have caused them to become irritable. It is also normal for you to feel angry and question why they can just snap out of it. 

Caring for someone suffering from addiction can be overwhelming. It can cause cracks in personal relationships to appear. Though you might want to point the finger, you must realize that neither you nor your partner is to blame.

Helping your child can seem challenging, and you may feel helpless. As addictions require medical treatment, you cannot cure your child of their addiction. However, you can aid their recovery. 

Remember that although help and support are available for those suffering from addiction, there are many support groups for parents of people with addiction. Attending a support group aimed at parents and family members will enable you to seek advice and guidance from others who know what you are going through.

The Impact on Children

Children of one or two parents with addiction can find life unpredictable and confusing. They might feel guilt, shame, or blame. In addition, the addiction will affect their home life, no matter how well it is hidden from them. Unfortunately, this may disrupt routines, roles, communication, and finances. 

Studies have found that children of parents who abuse often suffer adverse outcomes in their development. These include emotional and behavioral problems, social problems, and reduced academic functioning.  

It should also be noted that children of addicted parents are at risk of role reversal. This is where they take on the role of caregiver for their parents and any younger siblings. This can include paying bills, buying groceries, and offering emotional support.

The effects of having an addicted parent can be long-lasting. Children of substance abusing parents have an increased risk of developing a substance abuse disorder.

You Are Not Alone

It can be hard to accept that this is happening to your family. But know that addiction affects all types of families. Addiction is a disease and no one’s fault. What’s important is how you move forward.

With appropriate support, you can get through this together. The first step is securing appropriate treatment for your addicted family member. From here, families affected by drug abuse can turn to support groups, family therapy, and counseling.

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    Marietta, GA 30066

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