Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change A lot of us come into recovery from addiction to drug and alcohol with a pile, or rather heaps of resentments. People who have caused us so much harm we don’t believe we could ever let it go or move past the situation. Resentments trap us in a cycle of self-harm, and we need to learn to let them go. The word forgive comes from the Aramaic word
Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change Recognizing and believing in our strengths is what can help set us apart from those who relapse and those who recover. Now that we have identified our strengths in the first part (last week’s Blog) we will now look for ways to maximize our strengths. Below is a reminder of those strengths we discussed:   Strengths: Creativity, Curiosity, Open-mindedness, Love of Learning, Perspective, Bravery, Persistence, Integrity, Vitality, Love,
Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change Why is it important to identify our strengths? Most addicts and alcoholics get used to just identifying their character defects, their moral failings and remembering all the damage they’ve caused. Morbid reflection on the negative can lead to self-pity, shame and ultimately relapse. While it is important to take responsibility, it is also important to recognize that we are neither as bad nor as good as we think
Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change Denial is the refusal to accept something that is presented as true, this is a stumbling block to recovery. Denial often stems from shame, low self-esteem, self-loathing, and low self-worth. For those addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can be extremely painful to acknowledge the damage they created and hurt they caused others through their use. Rather than deal with the reality of the situation, some use denial
Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change Self-care is critical recovery from drugs and alcohol and when self-care slips it could mean disaster. One way that you can be on guard is to be mindful of HALT. HALT means to stop and reevaluate because you may be in danger of relapse. HALT stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. When you’re experiencing any of these, irritability, anxiety, depression or stress can ensue. The main ingredients for
Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change Addiction strips you of joy and can make you lose your passions. When you stop using drugs or alcohol, you may find you have all this free time on your hands. The free time can leave you lonely or lead to cravings. Learning a hobby, starting new activities, and igniting old passions can help avoid triggers. There is hope and there is fun in recovery! GET ACTIVE! One
Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is one of the two stages of withdrawal which occurs when someone stops using substances. There are two main stages: the acute stage (detox) and the post-acute stage (PAWS). The acute stage lasts at most a couple of weeks and symptoms are primarily physical in nature. The severity and types of symptoms differ by individual and type of substance whereas post-acute withdrawal symptoms are
Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change Relapse occurs when an addict or alcoholic who has lost the desire to use or drink picks up that drug or drink again.  Relapse does not have to be a part of your recovery. There are many signs & symptoms that you can look for and things you can do on a daily basis to help avoid a relapse. It’s important to look out for changes in your
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