How to Work Your Way Toward Sobriety

mountain peak blog title

From time to time, The Sobriety Collective will post sponsored content if relevant to our community. While TSC and yours truly (Laura, the founder) do not endorse any treatment center over another, Mountain Peak Recovery did sponsor this blog post and I believe the content will be useful to readers looking for their own treatment or help for loved ones. - L


How to Work Your Way Toward Sobriety

Addiction has taken over the lives of thousands of people as well as their family members who suffer in silence while watching the ones they love struggle with something that has spiraled out of control. Much like it has affected the lives of thousands of people, it may be negatively impacting your life, making you feel like much less of a person. If you are tired and believe you have hit rock bottom once and for all, you are likely looking for ways to work on becoming sober so that you can put a stop to the addiction for good and become a sober person.


Find a Recovery Center

Instead of trying to do this on your own by quitting drugs cold turkey, you should start your search for a recovery center where you can get all the help you need. Mountain Peak Recovery this post’s sponsor, is just one of may rehabilitation centers offered to people with substance use disorder who are looking to change their lives, even if it means following certain steps to make things happen. If you are looking for a light to shine through and eliminate much of the darkness you have been experiencing, this is a great recovery center to visit and stay in while focusing primarily on yourself and what you need to do to get sober.

 

Start Working on Yourself

If you decide to visit the recovery center, you will become a member of the inpatient residential treatment program where you will stay at the recovery center for a set period. The length of your stay will depend on various factors, including the severity of the addiction, the length of the waitlist for the center, and the amount of time you can afford to be away from home. In most cases, programs are available for 28-30 days, but patients may be able to stay longer if they feel like they are not ready to go back home and are still in need of some extra help.

During your time at a recovery center, you go through the detox, you start to receive counseling, and you even get to join group therapy sessions where everyone is being open about what they are going through and the challenges they have faced over the years. You will get to start working on yourself each day while learning coping mechanisms and figuring out ways to avoid drugs when you know they are not doing you any good. There are things you are going to learn how to do, such as learning to identify where certain feelings come from and determining how to take better care of yourself.

If you look forward to the day where you can say that you are sober and do not need drugs to feel good or to enjoy the life you are living, you should start looking for a recovery center to stay at for as long as you need to. While you are at the center seeking help for your addiction, you will get to learn a lot about yourself and discover new ways to grow and improve, which may include finding new hobbies to get involved in and learning to trust yourself when making decisions. Choosing to work on your sobriety is the best decision you could possibly make.

Happy Brain, Happy You: A Celebration of Recovery

In honor of Suicide Awareness and National Recovery Month, Dr. Julie Lopez will moderate an evening of storytelling about human struggles, resiliency, and survival.

Hear from a panel of leaders and survivors within the mental health and recovery movements, including Laura Silverman of the Sobriety Collective and Christie Dondero-Bettwy of Rock Recovery. Anyone who has experienced addiction, suicidality, eating disorders, and other mental health concerns will be able to hear, share (if desired), and honor their experiences in a safe and empathetic group. Additionally, Dr. Julie will provide insight into how trauma can influence these subjects.

Light food and beverages will be served.

Volunteer positions are currently open for this event! All volunteers will receive free admission to one of our Holistic Professional Group's monthly workshops, where professionals in the wellness sphere are able to network while learning more about diverse approaches to mental health.

Register here.

11 Lessons Learned in 11 Years of Recovery

 Originally published on  Workit Health ; republished with permission on  Shatterproof .

Originally published on Workit Health; republished with permission on Shatterproof.

The year was 2007. Phones were clunky and the opposite of “smart.” iPods were relatively new, MapQuest directions were printed, Amazon.com was a bookseller, Senator Barack Obama prepared to hit the campaign trail, the new ABC show Grey’s Anatomy was taking the country by storm, and Laura Silverman (aka yours truly) checked herself into an intensive outpatient program for alcohol abuse after six years of heavy binge drinking.

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The year is now 2018. Phones are pocket-sized computers. Amazon runs the world (and you can access it from your phone, natch). Former Senator Obama is now former two-term U.S. President (miss you, Barry!). Grey’s Anatomy is still around. And Laura, our protagonist, celebrated 11 years of continuous sobriety on July 14th.

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Switching over to first person now that I’ve set the stage for you. Without further ado, here are some nuggets of wisdom, lessons, and tools I use in over a decade of recovery - in meme and GIF form. It is 2018, after all ;)

1. I’m sober, not boring.

I go to concerts and sing loudly on karaoke nights. I date. I bowl. I play with my nephews. I go out on girls' nights to fancy dinners. I ice skate and rock climb and dance (like Elaine from Seinfeld).

And I wake up the next morning blissfully hangover-free. It feels fan-freakin-tastic.

2. Personal growth is necessary - and (sometimes) painful.

 

One of the things I have to work on daily is my need to people-please. Being bullied for years as a kid tore down any self-confidence I had; all I wanted was to be liked by you. To be your friend. To not be at the bottom of the social barrel.

But now? I still fall prey to wanting to be liked (even at 35 years old! I see it happen the most via social media). And I have to actively take a part in my daily recovery by knowing I’m whole and enough and beautifully radiant, inside and out, just as I am. With or without your approval. That’s personal growth. It sure ain’t easy.

3. Move that body!

Walking in nature, practicing yoga, hiking, weight lifting, busting a sweat. Releasing those endorphinsand feeling accomplished.

Honestly, the best way to get out of my head is to turn on some tunes and go for a walk outside. I always feel on top of the world and more peaceful in and post-workout...

I go to concerts and sing loudly on karaoke nights. I date. I bowl. I play with my nephews. I go out on girls' nights to fancy dinners. I ice skate and rock climb and dance (like Elaine from Seinfeld).

And I wake up the next morning blissfully hangover-free. It feels fan-freakin-tastic.

4. Exercise that brain!

Mental health is just as important as physical health. They are very much intertwined.

Exercise makes me feel more positive and happy and empowered. Feeling those feelings boosts my mental health, and makes me more inclined to want to continue taking care of my physical body.

This is why I love yoga so much. I get to amplify my physical, mental, and spiritual health. #NamasteSober

5. #MocktailLife

Gone are the days of just water or soda. (Those are still viable options.) Just the other night I had a delicious ginger/coconut/passion fruit NoJito . And it was glorious. I like to feel glamorous and holding a drink (especially in early recovery but even well into now) can give me more confidence on a date or at a work event. Booze-free, full of flavor, no consequences.

6. Take things one moment at a time.

To get anywhere with my sobriety, mental health, spiritual health, and just, well, life, I have to take things, as they say, one day at a time. Thinking in terms of “forever” will inevitably stress me out.

That doesn’t mean I can’t have goals or ambitions. But there’s no sense in agonizing over the future or regretting the past. Staying present is what it’s all about.

7. Stay grateful.

A daily gratitude practice—whether it’s just a mental acknowledgment of what I’m thankful for or writing a list—is crucial.

They say the sign of true gratitude is not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have.

8. Smile.

I love smiling. Have you seen my smile? It’s radiant if I do say so myself.

That doesn’t mean I’m always happy. If you’re always happy, how can you be grateful for true happiness? (see #7.) But I find that even a fake smile can turn into a real one; and a real smile is infectious.

If you can use your smile and aim it at a stranger, and they do that to another, and another, and another... imagine the impact a small, simple act of kindness can have on the world.

9. Surround yourself with love and support.

 

No matter if you choose a program (12 step, SMART, Refuge, LifeRing) or trail blaze your own path, find a support system of friends, loved ones, and professionals that works for you.

If you want or need it, don't be afraid to ask for help. Reaching out is a sign of strength, not weakness.

10. Be proud of how far you’ve come, no matter where you are in the process of recovery.

In the wake of Demi Lovato’s relapse, I thought it was only right to pay homage to someone who fights on the front lines of mental health and addiction recovery daily. We have lessons to learn from her - and that’s that this is a process and we must always support each other.

Maybe you’ve slipped, maybe you’ve stayed sober or drug-free without one lapse; maybe you keep trying. This is a process and you should be proud of where you are, forging your own path.

11. My sobriety goes to 11 (years).

*Raises mocktail* Cheers!

 

From Blackout to Brilliance - Dispatch 11 Years Later

Scroll down to see photos and a writeup from my SOBER experience at Saturday's Dispatch concert at Merriweather Post Pavillion. As the title of this post says - I've come full circle. From blackout to brilliance. This might just be my future memoir title. <3

I have all the feels. @dispatch at @merriweatherpp was rainy, cold, and unforgettably AWEsome in the truest meaning of the word. 💫 💫 💫 💫 I was the band's lead volunteer via @propeller.la. Dispatch is a very socially conscious band and they support many nonprofits doing wonderful work. We learned how to be active bystanders and safely intervene in situations of sexual harassment or abuse concerts for @callingallcrows. We sold gorgeous @nalgene water bottles benefitting @reverb_org - in an effort to reduce sing le use plastics at music venues. We educated our fellow concert goers on @nativegiving. 💫 💫 💫 💫 And as you can see, we met @bradcorrigan and @chadwickstokes!!! If all that wasn't enough, I had to take the opportunity to tell Brad my 30 second story. Of how 11 years ago on July 13th, 2007 their @thegarden show was the last night I ever drank - and how I just celebrated 11 years on July 14th. Brad hugged me, gave me a high five - and a natural high because I was freaking out (on the inside). 💫 💫 💫 💫 My crew was truly phenomenal. We powered through monsoon level rains and wind and did our work happily and proudly. We got to experience @rayezaragoza and @nahko_and_mftp. Omg their violinist 🎻 is out of this world. And his hair! But I digress. 💫 💫 💫 💫 Dispatch's set was unreal - and to top it off, I won top volunteer status and the chance to see the encore from the photo pit (hey @michaelraymondsmith!). My face hurt from perpetual smiling. 💫 💫 💫 💫 So did my Dispatch experience come full circle? 💫 💫 💫 💫 Fuck yeah, it did. / 🎤 #dispatch #dispatchband #merriweatherpostpavilion #mindfulness #selflove #boozefree #selfcare #meditation #buddhism #sobriety #mentalhealth #witchy #sherecovers #theuniverse #theyogalife #thesoberlife #gratitude #recoveryrocks #recovery #soberAF #recoveroutloud #thesobrietycollective #soberissexy #alcoholfree #holistichealth #sobertribe #sober #Tt

Dispatch - not just a band, but a symbol of my recovery.

Dispatch - recovery

If you know my story, you'll know Dispatch plays a big part. [If you don't know, read more here.]

Suffice it to say, the last night I ever drank (and of course, I drank to the point of blacking out) was in New York City at Madison Square Garden, the night of July 13, 2007. Dispatch hit the stage and the crowd went wild. At least, I think they did. I know I did.

**Hours of crying, screaming, drunk babbling, running and wandering aimlessly about the lobby of Madison Square Garden, breaking down, being scooped up by paramedics who whisked away to a hospital**

Seven hours later I came to in a hospital bed wearing hospital socks and feeling what I can only describe as a witch's brew of fear, terror, shame, guilt, bewilderment, and shock. This was the last time, I promised myself, and somehow I meant it.

**Fast forward 10 years, 11 months, and 13 days**

I never thought I'd have the opportunity to see Dispatch live again, mostly because I heard rumors they split up, did their own thing. That was that. Or so I thought.

This year not only have they reunited, but they've partnered with Propeller LA to have fans volunteer at shows across the country. Through a volunteer application, I shared my story of why it was so important for my experience to come full circle. To go from seeing them last in a drunken stupor to this year's show date 11 years later really does feel like a crazy miracle. I'll get to show up and help the community, in cause and action.

And I'll get to experience a band I love so much completely sober, paying homage to who I once was and I've since become.