Pink Cloud Syndrome

Pink Cloud Syndrome

What Is the Pink Cloud?

When you are newly sober, you go through a wide range of emotions. When I completed treatment at Pathfinders, I felt like I could take on the world. I had gone from being a hopeless alcoholic to being full of energy and ready to take on any challenge.

For newly sober people, this is referred to as the pink cloud syndrome. The signs and symptoms of pink cloud syndrome include feeling overly confident and elated. There are positive elements of a pink cloud, but it can also lead you to slip up if you are not careful.

It’s important to feel accomplished once you’ve become sober. It’s a huge achievement. A lot of addicts never get to experience what it’s like to overcome your addiction. There are many positive elements of a pink cloud, but you have to be careful.

There is a big risk of relapse in pink cloud thinking. While it feels great to be newly sober, it can be scary as well. Your emotions can flip from moment to moment. It’s very important to recognize that when you are newly sober, you are vulnerable.

You did not expect to feel the feelings that you are experiencing. I expected my recovery to be a bigger struggle. Not to make it sound like it wasn’t, but I didn’t anticipate the pink cloud.

I struggled with feelings of guilt as well. It was almost like a survivor’s guilt of some kind. Why was I able to get sober yet so many other people can’t? First of all, you should never feel guilty because you got clean and someone else didn’t.

If you manage to overcome your addiction, you deserve all the happiness that you can get. It’s difficult to achieve and you don’t understand that until you’ve experienced it. You should expect the unexpected. Not only will getting sober be a tough challenge, but it’s also a very unique one. There is going to be vulnerability no matter what.

This vulnerability can make you think a lot of things. There is a chemical understanding of the pink cloud that you must have. Because your brain is still recovering from the damage done during your addiction, you have good days and bad days.

On your good days, you think you’ll never get high or drunk again. On your bad days, it takes every last ounce of effort for you to not relapse. The pink cloud can be very deceiving.

The roller coaster of emotions can be very difficult to deal with, and it may make you want to give in and throw away your progress. This is where aftercare planning becomes very crucial. If you don’t have a plan in place, you can be in danger of relapse.

Long-term sobriety takes a lot of work. The longer you are sober, the more likely you are to remain sober. This is not always the case for everybody. I’ve met plenty of people who have been sober for decades and one slip up makes them go right back to their old ways.

Sobriety is tricky, and it really is a day-by-day process. On your bad days, it can take everything in you to not use again. There are pitfalls of pink cloud thinking. The pink cloud can go away as quickly as it begins. How long can a pink cloud last? It’s different for everyone. Everybody’s sobriety journey looks a little bit different even if there are similarities.

When I first got sober, everything seemed easy. I thought it was too good to be true, and it was. When I left Pathfinders, the last thing I wanted to do was drink. The idea of drinking made me nauseous.

I could taste the alcohol on my lips and it made me sick to my stomach. I felt energized for the first time in years. I started to allow myself to think that I had totally defeated my addiction. It was over and done with.

I was never going to drink again. Then, after one bad day, I got the urge. It was very disappointing for me to go through that and realize that I had been thrown off the pink cloud. I didn’t relapse, but I came very close.

Paint It Pink: Long Term Sobriety

Paint It Pink Long Term Sobriety

No matter how well you are doing in your recovery, achieving long-term sobriety is a full-time job. If you aren’t willing to put in the work, it will be hard to stay on the right track.

Because of aftercare services and therapy, I have learned some good tips for managing pink cloud syndrome. First and foremost, you have to live moment to moment. When you start thinking too far ahead, it can really mess you up.

Each day, your goal should be to not drink or get high on that specific day. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and you will have the opportunity to deal with it when that time comes.

It’s important to have a balance in your life. Avoid extreme emotions. When you are using drugs or alcohol, you are living on both extremes. You have high highs and low lows.

If you can find a way to manage your emotions and the way you react, you will teach yourself the power of rational thinking. Cultivating a healthy lifestyle will help you achieve this.

Developing healthy eating habits and engaging in physical activity is great not just for your body, but your overall mental health as well. If your mental health is in a good place, you have a great advantage.

Leaving behind the pink cloud and settling into your new lifestyle may be difficult, but it is a natural process. You’re not going to feel like Superman forever.

Eventually, sobriety just becomes another aspect of your life. It’s not the new thing in your life that’s bright and shiny. You have to remember that life ebbs and flows, and you are going to have challenges in the future. Taking on these challenges with a clear mind and a positive attitude is all part of living a sober lifestyle.

The 12 steps are a great outlet for you to learn about the pink cloud warnings. Anyone familiar with the 12 steps has heard about the pink cloud. If you are over-confident in your sobriety, it can give you a cocky attitude.

You don’t think you have a problem anymore. What meetings will help you realize is that you are not above your addiction, even if you have those fleeting moments where you feel that you are.

Meetings and therapy are a great way to keep you in check and bring down your ego a notch or two. I constantly have to remind myself that I am powerless against my addiction. The triggers for the pink cloud syndrome can affect anyone in recovery.

Leaving Behind The Pink Cloud

Leaving Behind The Pink Cloud

For all of us in recovery, there are plenty of occasions when we need to pick each other up. The pink cloud may make you feel all-powerful, but your peers in recovery will help you understand that these feelings will not last forever.

The ups and downs of sobriety vary from person to person, and there is no real handbook to follow. When you are newly sober, it’s a rollercoaster. Once my pink cloud went away, I was hanging on by a thread. It took everything in me not to get high.

When I think back on those days, I have a better understanding of how to help those who have just begun their journey. I know how I feel when I’m having an off day. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in.

Knowing that there are people in your corner who will help you through it can give you just enough of a boost to come out on the other end. However long you last on your pink cloud, you will still require the tools needed to maintain your sobriety once you jump off of it.

We all need affirmation from time to time. We need to be reminded by the people we respect that we are on the right track. The addiction peer support that I’ve received has given me an opportunity to maintain a righteous path.

The addiction support my family has received has only made things easier for all of us. They know when I am in need of help. They can see the signs. When I’m in a dark headspace, they know how to help lift me out of it.

Rehab romance and pink cloud thinking are very real. You have to understand and respect the process in order to keep moving forward. I take every experience I’ve had and every story I hear very seriously.

The moments of weakness are just as important to the process as the moments of strength. It’s been a wild ride for me, but I wouldn’t change a thing. We all need to keep our heroes close. You never know when you might need them.

Addiction Recovery Success Stories from Celebrities

Addiction Recovery Success Stories from Celebrities

Often, we hear about people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. These may be people in our families or neighborhoods, social media influencers, or TV celebrities. It’s not often that we hear about those who are successfully working through their recovery or those who are celebrating decades of sobriety.

Instead, it’s more likely to hear that someone suffered a fatal overdose. 

Dramatic stories grab headlines and attract lots of attention. However, the lack of addiction recovery success stories can make it seem like no one ever recovers from drug or alcohol addiction.

As addiction treatment professionals, we see several success stories. We also take note of celebrity accounts of addiction. They show that anyone can develop an addiction and anyone can recover if they get the right help.

Let’s take a look at some of the celebrities who have been open about both their addiction and their recovery.

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore’s acting career started at the tender age of six and she started drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes by the age of nine. She quickly moved onto cocaine and marijuana and by the age of 13, she entered rehab.

She spent the next year in and out of addiction treatment centers and psychiatric facilities. At age 15, she emancipated herself and started working in a coffee shop.

Eventually, she started attending auditions again. From all accounts, Barrymore was able to remain sober throughout adulthood and became a successful actress and producer.

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen has been in recovery from alcoholism since 1981. His alcoholism was so severe during the 1970s that he suffered a heart attack while filming Apocalypse Now. it is said that the opening scene in that film is very much real.

Sheen was so intoxicated that he punched the mirror and cut his hand. He refused to accept treatment or stop filming.

However, he later said he found sobriety through Catholicism and his faith and then became involved in Alcoholics Anonymous to help his son Charlie Sheen

Robert Downey, Jr

Robert Downey, Jr

Robert Downey, Jr’s addiction story has been told several times over. He appeared in his first film at the age of five and he said his father allowed him to smoke cannabis when he was just six years old. He recalled growing up surrounded by drugs and said his father would often do drugs with him as a way to bond with him

Downey eventually became addicted to heroin and he was arrested multiple times. He was also jailed for six months after failing to take a court-ordered drug test.

Downey managed to get clean in 2001. He credited holistic therapies, yoga, kung fu, and spousal support for his ability to achieve sobriety. Downey also recommends 12-step recovery programs.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis has a family history of addiction. Her father struggled with alcohol, cocaine, and heroin while her half-brother died from a heroin overdose at age 23.

Curtis has one of those drug addiction recovery success stories that need to be told having celebrated 22 years of sobriety in February 2021. Her history of addiction started in 1989 when she was prescribed Vicodin after minor plastic surgery.

For ten years, she used opiates and alcohol unbeknownst to many people. Curtis said she was careful not to use any substances while she worked or take Vicodin early in the day. After getting caught taking Vicodin pills with wine and admitting to stealing Vicodin from her sister, she sought help.

Curtis attended a recovery meeting in 1999 and confided in her husband. Since then, she has attended recovery meetings around the world and she asks hotels to remove minibars from her room to help her maintain her sobriety.

Elton John

Elton John

Elton John has been sober since 1990. He started experimenting with cocaine in 1974 as a way to gain social acceptance. John described himself as a loner who wasn’t good looking and he used drugs to make him feel like part of the “gang”. He recalled that his first line of cocaine made him sick but he still went back for more.

John took drugs from the mid-1970s and also drank alcohol. During what he calls the lost years, he attempted suicide many times, overdosed on cocaine on multiple occasions, and suffered epileptic seizures. 

The turning point came when he asked for help in 1990 after witnessing the death of teenager Ryan White. White contracted HIV through a blood transfusion and John became close to him and his family.

The two worked together on HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and fundraisers and John was at White’s bedside when died of AIDS on April 8, 1990. John said White’s death changed him.

Daniel Radcliffe

Few people would believe that Daniel Radcliffe struggled with alcohol abuse as he came to the end of filming the Harry Potter films. However, Radcliffe said he drank heavily during the production of the last three films before he realized he was not in control of his alcohol use. He quit drinking after completing the last film.

Radcliffe says he doesn’t consider himself an alcoholic but he has an addictive personality and he drank nightly

Radcliffe said he struggled to come to terms with his fame as an 18-year-old and he adopted a party lifestyle. However, almost every time he drank, he would black out, so he stopped going out.

Instead, he drank at home alone, fearing the tabloids would capture him doing something inappropriate if he went out. Radcliffe quit drinking in 2010 but in 2012, he got into a fight with a DJ while intoxicated. After this relapse, he was able to regain his sobriety.

Radcliffe doesn’t attend AA meetings but he said he goes for long walks when he gets the urge to drink and goes to the gym regularly.

Sir Anthony Hopkin

Sir Anthony Hopkins is an award-winning actor, producer, and director who has starred in more than 80 films in a career that spans 60 years. He’s known for his roles in Silence of the Lambs and Hitchcock.

What many people didn’t know until recently is that he struggled with alcoholism in the 1960s and 70s. Sir Anthony said he was plagued by feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt after he tried to build a theatre career. He abruptly walked out of the filming of Macbeth in 1973 and abandoned his first wife and daughter, all because of his alcoholism

In 1975, his second wife left him and he went on a bender that went on for multiple days. He ended up in a Pheonix, Arizona hotel room with no memory of how he got there. He subsequently experienced several blackouts as a result of his drinking and this is what prompted him to get help.

His agent suggested that he attend an AA meeting and that’s when he started his sobriety journey. Sir Anthony said his fear of losing his health, family, and career made him stay in recovery.

Treatment: The Foundation of Your Success Story

Treatment The Foundation of Your Success Story

Addiction recovery success stories aren’t reserved for celebrities. In recovery, you’ll meet regular people who have meth recovery success stories, benzo recovery success stories, and other drug addiction recovery success stories.

What’s clear about the celebrities we’ve discussed is that addiction is different for each individual. Some people started using drugs or alcohol in childhood while others developed an addiction later in life.

Each person had a different motivation for seeking treatment and they all tried different routes to sobriety.

That’s because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution where addiction is concerned. If you or a loved one is struggling to control your drug use, you need to find an addiction treatment center that’s right for you.

After you undergo detox, you will need personalized counseling and therapy to help you identify and manage your triggers and stay sober in the long term.

Many people follow a continuum of care that includes inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient treatment, 12-step support, and continued therapy. 

This is because addiction is a chronic disease and a few days of detox isn’t enough to ensure long-term sobriety. Drug and alcohol treatment may include:

  • Medication
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders including anxiety and depression
  • Skills training
  • Family or community-based support
  • Peer support

Contact Pathfinders Recovery Center Today!

If you’re ready to take control of your life again and say goodbye to addictive substances, the professionals at Pathfinders Recovery Center are here to help.

We have luxury rehab centers in Arizona and Colorado and we offer highly personalized treatment for each person who comes through our doors.

We accept most forms of private insurance and we’ll gladly verify your coverage. Contact us today to learn more about the drug and alcohol treatment options we offer.

What is the Meaning of Rock Bottom?

What is the Meaning of Rock Bottom

What is Rock Bottom?

We hear the phrase rock bottom a lot when the topic of drug abuse or addiction arises. But what is it? What is the actual  Meaning of Rock Bottom? And why do so many people use it to carry such a negative connotation? Although it is often riddled with warning signs, the journey to rock bottom can happen quietly and subtly. 

It is not always easy to recognize in yourself or a loved one that you are losing control. Drug addiction occurs when you cross the line between casual drinking or drug use and alcohol or drug dependence. Rock bottom can sneak up on you before you realize it. 

But that does not mean that hope is lost or help is unavailable. Rock bottom is not the end. It is not a finish line or a reason to stop trying. It is simply a turning point and an opportunity to take a different approach. 

What People Think Rock Bottom Is 

What People Think Rock Bottom Is 

The media portrays rock bottom as something disastrous. In movies or TV series, we see recovering addicts drowning in guilt over irreparably damaged relationships, accidents, and other life-altering experiences. 

While this is certainly a possibility for someone who is abusing or addicted to alcohol or drugs, rock bottom is not a one-size-fits-all situation. It is not always defined by an accident, death, or divorce. Sometimes, rock bottom is less obvious than that. 

The Real Meaning of Rock Bottom

For many people who abuse alcohol or drugs, rock bottom may be marked by an eye-opening event. But how do you identify the reality of rock bottom when everyone’s rock bottom is different? Just like addiction, rock bottom is unique to the person facing it. 

Rock bottom in addiction is the point where you feel like you are at your lowest. It can mean mild life changes, or it can mean life-altering consequences. For some, rock bottom can be a dramatic drop in your daily quality of life. For others, it can be milder negative consequences. 

We have mentioned a few of the more concerning events that might be considered rock bottom, like a divorce, a fatal or non-fatal accident, or a job loss. But what about some of the less permanent life changes associated with rock bottom? 

Signs That You’ve Hit Rock Bottom from Addiction

Rock bottom looks different for everyone. But there are certain life events that people frequently cite when they talk about the day that they realized that they had a drug or alcohol problem. Some of these more common and less permanent rock bottom events include: 

  • A job loss or work suspension. 
  • Mild to severe financial strain. 
  • Losing your home. 
  • Getting arrested for driving under the influence, stealing, or participating in another illegal activity. 
  • Suffering from a non-fatal overdose, injury, or accident under the influence. 
  • Leaving or being asked to leave school. 
  • A breakup directly due to your alcohol or drug abuse. 
  • An uncharacteristically angry or violent outburst. 
  • An impairment to your ability to function in day-to-day life

The Levels of Rock Bottom

Some “rock bottom” life events are less severe, like a suspension at work or falling a bit short in your finances. Others are more severe, like becoming homeless, getting arrested, getting hurt, or hurting someone else. The most severe, as we mentioned earlier, would be fatal accidents, health conditions, or overdoses. 

As some of the milder life changes suggest, rock bottom does not always mean that your life has spiraled out of control. Your rock bottom may simply be when you notice that your alcohol or drug use has begun to negatively affect your life. 

No matter what rock bottom looks like to you, one thing is common across the board. People who feel that they have hit rock bottom from addiction know that they want it to stop. They know that unchecked addiction only gets worse over time. Thankfully, help is available. 

How to Help Someone Who Has Hit Rock Bottom

If someone you know or love has hit rock bottom from addiction, they need your support more than ever before. Blaming, shaming, or getting angry at someone who is experiencing rock bottom will only make matters worse. 

Addiction is a chronic illness, similar to others like type 2 diabetes, that can be managed but not yet cured. Overcoming it requires a delicate approach. Whether you approach them alone, with other family members or friends, or with the guidance of a professional during an established intervention, addicts are vulnerable. 

A calm, compassionate, and understanding conversation will always be more effective than one that features shouting, bickering, or finger-pointing. It can be hard to stay calm in such emotional situations.

But doing so can ensure that your loved one feels supported rather than attacked. And when they are at their worst, that is precisely what they need. Additionally, someone who feels supported is more likely to listen, while someone who feels attacked is more likely to shut down or tune out of the conversation. 

Getting Out of Rock Bottom

Getting out of rock bottom starts with accepting the help that is available to you. While it may feel like you are at your lowest point now, rock bottom is not an entirely negative event. Some good does come out of it. 

Often, reaching rock bottom is the point when the denial stops. Until now, you may have convinced yourself that your drinking or drug use was under control. But when you hit rock bottom, the truth of your substance abuse becomes clearer. 

In this sense, rock bottom may be a turning point for you. Many people avoid getting help until they feel like there is nothing else left. When you recognize that getting help is the best option in front of you, you are on your way to a happier, healthier life. 

You can live a life that is free from the grip of alcohol and drugs. You are capable and worthy of a better way to live. And our expert teams are here to help you build it. 

Seeking Treatment Before Hitting Rock Bottom

Seeking Treatment Before Hitting Rock Bottom

Sometimes, you may see rock bottom coming before it finds you. If you recognize the signs, do not wait for it to get any worse. Over time, untreated drug or alcohol abuse does not get better. And eventually, you may find yourself in a hole that feels too deep to pull yourself out of. 

Before or after you reach those depths, we can help. With a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and supplemental treatment programs, we offer options for all different types and levels of addiction. And we customize each of these treatment programs based on your unique needs. 

Get Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Today is a good day to leave rock bottom behind you. Let us help you move from rock bottom to a new beginning. There are no one-size-fits-all treatment methods that work. When you choose Pathfinders Recovery Center, you choose customized and holistic addiction treatments

From behavioral therapies to family sessions, support groups to individual meetings, and creative therapies to exercise classes, our well-rounded approach helps improve your body, mind, and soul. That is what makes Pathfinders different.  

To learn more about our unique approach to addiction, various programs, treatment options, or payment methods, including insurance verification, call our addiction counselors at 866-263-1808. They are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to ensure that our clients get the help that they need when they need it.

Jobs for Recovering Addicts: How to Get Your Career on Track After Rehab

after-rehab-job

Jobs for Recovering Addicts: How to Get Your Career on Track

One of the most important ways to stay sober is to occupy your time and energy with a career. Here’s how to find the best jobs for recovering addicts.

Living with purpose is a cornerstone of the recovery process. That’s why pursuing a career is one of the most beneficial steps a person can make.

Careers not only develop purpose, but they also cultivate accountability, responsibility, management, communication, and more. In fact, the skills you learn in recovery overlap with the skills you gain from a rewarding career.

Most importantly, you need a stable career that aligns with the goals of your long-term recovery plan. This means some jobs are more suited for people leaving recovery than others.

Let’s take a look at the best jobs for recovering addicts to help you find the right career path.

Jobs to Avoid

It’s crucial to avoid careers that thrust you back toward addiction. Avoid any and all work environments where alcohol (or recreational drugs) are present. No job is worth compromising all your hard work.

Steer clear of these career paths after leaving recovery:

  • Bartender
  • Pharmacy associate
  • Liquor store clerk
  • Beverage host
  • Club doorman
  • Bar promoter

It’s so important to avoid careers that present potential triggers for relapse. These also include emotional triggers like stress. That’s why it’s best to avoid high-stress jobs immediately after recovery.

Corporate executive positions, jobs in law enforcement, and public relations are all high-stress jobs to think twice about.

Remember, talk to your recovery counselor and sponsor about which jobs to avoid before setting your sights on a career path.

Use Your Strengths

Recovery is a journey. Along the way, you pick up invaluable skills. Ask yourself, how can you lend these skills to your new career?

Many people discover a passion for helping others while in recovery and find themselves working as professional addiction counselors. This career path lets you apply your experience and best skills learned in recovery.

Did you grow your skills in building, cooperation, problem-solving, and writing at your program? These are all highly applicable (and preferred) skills for the job market.

Did you grow as a communicator in recovery? Strong communication is a tremendous career asset. Not only can it lead to an addiction counseling career, but a career in teaching or physical therapy.

Here are several more careers to consider!

Art Therapist

For art therapists, art is more than just aesthetics. It’s a means to communicate. This is a wonderful career path that blends the creative and communication skills learned in recovery.

Art therapy is also recommended for people suffering from severe anxiety, self-esteem issues, trauma, and addiction. Since it’s offered at many recovery programs, art therapy, like addiction counseling, is a natural career fit for recovering addicts.

This career typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. However, a master’s is highly preferred. Art therapy masters programs are offered at several schools across the country, including the University of Chicago, Pratt Institute, University of Louisville, and Drexel University.

There are many more art therapy masters programs to pursue. But if you’re looking for something more flexible, you can earn an art therapy degree online through Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Colorado State University Online, and the International University of Professional Studies.

More Therapy Careers to Consider

Art therapy is one of many therapy jobs for recovering addicts. If you don’t want to become a therapist, but enjoy the field, you can always work as a therapy office manager or assistant. This is a good way to get your feet wet before pursuing a therapy career or degree.

You could also pursue a career in physical therapy, eating disorder therapy, trauma therapy, or social work therapy.

Wellness Careers

Another skill acquired through recovery is a passion for wellness. This passion could lead to these rewarding careers:

  • Yoga teacher and trainer
  • Personal trainer
  • Nutritionist or dietitian
  • Health store associate
  • Mindfulness coach
  • Aerobics instructor
  • Gym employee
  • Health food chef
  • Aromatherapy specialist

Let’s take a closer look at some of these exciting jobs for recovering addicts!

Yoga Teacher and Trainer

Remember, how important it is to choose a career that fits with your recovery goals? Nothing fits the bill more than yoga.

Yoga keeps you both physically and spiritually fit. These are essential tools for addiction recovery and this career path. If you already picked up yoga at your recovery program, build on your progress and channel these skills into a rewarding career.

To give yourself a leg up in the job market, make sure you have a certificate of completion by your side. Trained yoga teachers are expected to complete a set amount of hours before becoming instructors. Programs approved by the Yoga Alliance mandate at least 200 hours of training.

Personal Trainer

Like yoga, a career as a personal trainer aligns right with your recovery goals. You can maintain your physical fitness, help others, and apply communication skills learned in recovery.

While not mandatory, a professional certification in personal training is a great resume booster.

But not just any personal trainer certificate will do! Make sure it’s from one of these five certifying institutions:

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • American Council on Exercise
  • International Sports Sciences Association
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine

As a certified personal trainer, you can land a job at a major gym or even start your own business with clients.

Nutritionist

As you know, nutrition plays an important role in both detox and recovery. If your recovery program inspired a passion for healthy eating, imagine what you could do for others.

Most entry-level positions in this field require at least a bachelor’s degree. To take your career higher, consider pursuing a nutrition master’s program at Boston University, New York Chiropractic College, University of Connecticut, or John Hopkins Center for Human Nutrition.

There are also flexible online degrees through Arizona State University Online, Purdue University Global, and American University.

A degree, or experience, in nutrition can also lead to opportunities in health-related retail, health food service, food labeling, food safety, and education.

Health Food Chef

Don’t let those culinary skills go to waste!

If you have an exceptional palate and the cooking skills to match, parlay it into a fulfilling career as a chef! Careers that require you to focus on patterned tasks, like cooking, are ideal jobs for recovering addicts.

This doesn’t mean you have to work in a high-stress restaurant. Pursue low-stress food service jobs or chef positions you’re familiar with at recovery centers. You could even build a rewarding career as a personal chef and cook for others right in their own home!

Consider open chef positions at vegan cafes, smoothie shops, raw food restaurants, and other health food establishments.

Outdoor Jobs for Recovering Addicts

Fresh air is essential for a strong immune system, healthy brain function, energy, and stress reduction. These are just a few of the reasons why outdoor careers are some of the best jobs for recovering addicts.

Luckily, there are several job categories to choose from. Here are some popular careers that take you outdoors:

  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Geologist
  • Botanical garden employee
  • Garden groundskeeper
  • Farming
  • Plant nursery employee
  • Nature guide
  • Dog walker

Let’s hop outside and take a deep dive into some of these awesome careers.

Gardener

Like being a chef, a career as a professional gardener lets you focus on patterned tasks. This is an important trait to look for when deciding on jobs for recovering addicts.

Not everyone is a people-person or has the communication skills required for counseling, therapy, or management careers. Jobs with patterned routines are great for individuals who prefer to work independently.

Gardening is also creative and physical, two more traits to look for in a post-recovery career. A day in the life of a gardener may include raking, mowing, seed planting, pruning, watering, and more.

Related careers to consider include plant nursery associate, florist, and landscape designer.

Nature Guide

Coming out of recovery, it’s important to immerse yourself in nature and fresh air. There’s no better way to do this than to get involved with your city’s state parks!

You can also turn your love of nature into a fulfilling career as a nature guide. Look for open positions at public parks, local zoos, botanical gardens, and other outdoor attractions. Private companies may also have positions available for outdoor tour guides.

Dog Walker

Did a four-legged best friend help you through recovery? If you’re a dog person skilled in training, dog walking may be the perfect career for you!

Not only do you get to work with what you love, but you can also maintain a schedule that works with your recovery plan. A daytime schedule that works around your recovery is an important quality to look for in a career.

Not a dog person? No problem! Become a cat sitter or apply for a job at your local pet supply store or shelter.

Start Your New Chapter

A new career is your next stop on the recovery journey! Set yourself up for success with a career that aligns with your long-term goals for recovery.

Remember, your counselors and sponsors are here to help you make the right career decision for your new sober life. Use this article as a guide to help you find the right career and path that fits your needs.

You’re never alone in recovery. Check back often for more tools on navigating your recovery or talk to an expert who can help right away.

Withdrawal Help: How to Fight Through Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms and Come Out on Top

Many of us know someone who has struggled with opioid addiction. If not yourself, perhaps it was a family member or close friend. Opioids affect a lot of families throughout the United States, so know that you’re not alone in dealing with them.

In fact, statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate the numbers of affected patients is significant. Studies show that 21 to 29 percent of patients who were medically prescribed opioids for chronic pain end up misusing them. On top of that, over 72,000 cases of death due to drug overdose have been recorded in a single year.

It’s clear that opioids affect many people throughout the country. If you or someone you know is undergoing a transition to sobriety from opioids, he or she will likely experience opioid withdrawal. Even though the transition can be challenging, consider these tips providing withdrawal help for you and your family.

Know What To Expect By Doing Your Research

Every opioid abuser has a different physical composition. That means that each patient has a different relationship with the substance, including how their body will react to opioid withdrawals.

Still, there are certain things you can expect that most patients experience during opioid withdrawals. If you’re a serious opioid abuser, you might already be familiar with the first symptoms of opioid withdrawals.

Within 6 to 12 hours, minor symptoms start to appear. These include muscle aches, excessive yawning, trouble sleeping, headaches, or even a fever. It’s around this time that most common opioid abusers give in and go back to their substance.

If the patient holds out, though, the worst part of withdrawals typically happens around 72 hours after last using the substance. These patients experience serious nausea, stomach cramps, depression, and serious cravings for the drugs.

After these intense symptoms, patients will still exhibit irritability and trouble adapting to life without drugs for up to weeks after last using. It’s up to them and the community around them to maintain sobriety through every avenue possible.

Maintain a Positive Attitude, Even When It’s Tough

The first step to remember is to remember your perspective throughout the entire process of transitioning to sobriety. Though withdrawal symptoms may be physical, the battle you’ll be finding is a mental one. You will be challenged to work through your pain instead of reaching for the drug again.

Don’t be too hopeful about maintaining such a positive outlook, though. It’s going to be pretty tough at times to remember that sobriety is worth the effort.

Many people go back to misusing their drug of choice simply because they choose to ignore their pain rather than fight through it. Break the cycle be sticking through even the toughest parts of the process.

There are benefits to staying grateful for being able to challenge yourself with sobriety. Consider this guidance to remain grateful even during your darkest times of overcoming opioid addiction.

Stay Connected To Surrounding Friends and Family Members

Not only will transitioning to sobriety challenge you in physical and mental ways. You’ll also be tested in an emotional capacity.

Many people don’t realize that drug abuse affects their emotional stability. The effects of consistent drug abuse can numb the natural coping mechanisms we’re supposed to use. When patients quit taking those numbing opioids, they tend to struggle with coping with emotions again.

Some patients overcoming addiction are fortunate enough to already be surrounded by family members and friends. Not everyone is so lucky, though. That’s why it might be necessary for some people to enter into a treatment facility to be surrounded by caring hands.

A stable community of support is crucial for adjusting a patient’s emotions back to normal. Consider this guidance for dealing with emotions during early sobriety.

Cultivating genuine relationships during withdrawals can be the difference between success and failure. Make sure you don’t try to handle the transition to sobriety all on your own.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help

As mentioned above, you’ll need other people around you to be successful in your sobriety. At the very least, you need to be able to talk to someone about your struggles throughout the process.

Misusing opioid substances ends turning our brain chemistry to have a dependency on those substances. It’s no wonder that many who attempt to quit the drug abuse turn back to it. The brain literally becomes hardwired to need the substance for peace.

Take care, though, to allow your brain to readjust after dependency on opioids. You’ll find that your cognition and emotional stability seem much healthier when you’re sober.

For a while after transitioning to sobriety, many patients tend to deal with symptoms of anxiety or depression. It’s unfortunate that the mood is so affected, but it’s important to prepare for.

Sometimes it can seem as though the transition to sobriety is too much for someone to handle. As difficult as it can be to deal with these strong withdrawal symptoms, don’t be afraid to ask for help during your dark times. There are plenty of resources available to assist you, such as the National Helpline for substance abuse.

Exercise At Least a Little Bit Every Day

It’s no secret that your body is going to go through some serious changes during this transition. You know from your research that you’ll experience trouble with energy levels and sleeping habits. The good news is that there are efforts you can take to help regulate your body’s needs.

That regulation starts with a thorough exercise routine. Don’t worry – you don’t need to become a bodybuilder just to transition away from drug abuse. It is a good idea though, even if just to maintain some level of routine.

It’s common that opioid abusers don’t make a habit of exercising while abusing substances. Since transitioning to sobriety is such a dramatic lifestyle shift, exercising can help normalize a sober life. For many, exercise is even a chance to substitute unhealthy habits for healthy ones.

Don’t push yourself, though. Only work out to the extent of whatever is recommended by your doctor. Don’t expect to be very active right off the bat.

Even if you only take a brisk walk every day, you’ll be off to a good start in your new sober lifestyle. You deserve to make the most of your new, healthy life of sobriety.

Get Plenty of Rest

Along the lines of physical health, don’t forget about your sleep cycle. It’s an unfortunate truth that going through opioid withdrawals could negatively affect your sleep. Don’t worry, though – there are steps you can take.

It might be difficult to get to sleep, especially at first during withdrawals. Do your best to stick to a regular sleep schedule anyway. Even if you’re only laying down without sleep for eight hours, your body will technically still get the rest it needs.

Over time, your brain will get used to calming down around the same time. The goal is to normalize a healthier sleep cycle than the one you had to rely on opioids for.

You’ll eventually notice that your sleep cycle becomes more regular. This is a sign that most of your withdrawal symptoms are wearing down. Work through those difficult withdrawal times knowing that a regular sleep cycle will surely be worth the investment.

Monitor Your Diet and Nutrition

Along with plenty of exercise and rest, don’t forget to watch your diet during addiction recovery. Your body is going to need all the natural help it can get to readjust without opioids.

The first thing to think about is making sure you drink plenty of water. Dehydration can be a huge problem for many patients overcoming opioid dependency. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water every day while you’re going through withdrawals.

When it comes to what you eat, do your best to stick to healthy greens and grains. That means you need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. It also means you need to minimize the number of carbohydrates and fats you consume.

Examples of healthy foods to eat include leafy greens like spinach or salads. You should also look at nuts and non-meat proteins.

Your body is doing a lot of internal work when it is readjusting to a life without opioids. Give it the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay strong during this time.

Check Out Recovery Facilities

It’s clear that recovering addicts need to be surrounded by a supportive and helpful community. The withdrawal process can be long and arduous.

For those patients who aren’t fortunate enough to have family members and friends ready and available, recovery facilities are normally available. Do plenty of research to find the best treatment center in your area.

Stay Informed About Withdrawal Help

As you recovery from opioid abuse, you deserve to be around as much withdrawal help as is available. We know how important it is to take the matter of your recovery seriously.

We encourage you to stay as informed as possible about the recovery process. Check out the rest of our blog today to learn about withdrawals and other parts related to the recovery process.

 

Gratitude: How to Remain Grateful

Gratitude:

The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.


Someone recently messaged us at Pathfinders Recovery Center and asked for a blog on the topic of gratitude. We thought to ourselves, “that is a great idea,” especially considering gratitude is so essential in everyday life and our in level of happiness. It is so easy after some time sober to ‘let the shine wear off’, but here are some tips and tricks we use to better our attitudes daily at Pathfinders Recovery Center that really work!

For starters to establish a little credibility let us take a quick look at the research. The results of an 8-year study from The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley indicated that a regular and continuous gratitude practice results in the following benefits:

  • Progress towards important personal goals
  • Higher alertness and longer attention span
  • Increased determination and Energy levels
  • Greater Sense of feeling connected to others
  • Better all-around health
  • Quality and duration of sleep were increased
  • Higher levels of self-discipline

Here are some methods we use as daily gratitude exercises that have really worked for us.

Get A Journal And Dedicate It To Gratitude

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Jot down 3 things that you truly feel grateful for. This will not work if you don’t take a minute or two in between each entry to really internalize and feel the gratitude for these things on an emotional level. This will also only work and last if you do the exercise daily (we challenge you to do this for 2 weeks).

Remember Where You Came From

Typically, alcoholics and drug addicts have been to some of the darkest and loneliest places that anyone could imagine. Therefore, when some time in recovery passes and we start getting things back in the monetary and spiritual sense (i.e. car, home, good job, relationship, happiness, confidence which are all good). It is extremely easy to forget where we came from by becoming complacent and comfortable and no longer prioritizing our recovery or connections with other people. This does not serve us well for the long term.

Remaining humble is key, and realizing that you are always 100 percent capable of going back to the dark lonely place that we come from.  Not to live in fear, but to remain humble and level headed is the goal here.

Set Goals And Act On Them

One thing we’ve often noticed in this field is that people are happy typically have a goal, a hobby they LOVE, or something positive to direct their energy towards that no one can take away from them. The opposite appears true in our experience as well.  We must be honest with ourselves and set some small goals, and some big goals as well, and start taking baby steps on a daily basis to chase our dreams. Do not let yourself get too comfortable; this is a natural state that we gravitate towards, and our growth stops when we are too comfortable and complacent. The magic happens outside of our comfort zone and that goes for people of all walks of life and every stage of spiritual and emotional development.

Serve Others And Socialize With Like Minded People

addiction-treatment-helpThe most rewarding times in our lives are when we can truly step out of ourselves. To show up for another person in a capacity that makes their life better in some way is incredible. Drug addicts like us have taken enough from this world during active addiction, and it is a phenomenal feeling to give something back. Also, surround yourself with people that bring positivity and love into your life. Negative influences can deeply affect your level of happiness, so we highly recommend surrounding yourself with people who share your goals and are willing to take actions with you toward generating real happiness; we do not do this thing called recovery alone!