Enjoy Your Favorite Social Activities in Sobriety

Social Activities in Sobriety friends having fun

In early recovery, social occasions produce anxious moments: first, while you are anticipating them, and then while you are there experiencing them. Your anxiety is legitimate; after all, you are now living life without the effects of alcohol. Like any new experience, you wonder how you will fit in, and as a recovering addict, you worry that the social environment will draw you back into your addiction.

Many experts recommend that during early recovery, you should avoid occasions where alcohol is going to be present, just as you avoid old friends or family members who shared or enabled your addictive behavior. But here’s a more difficult dilemma: Should you also avoid social activities that you once enjoyed while drinking, even if no alcohol is present? Does the activity alone make you vulnerable?

The Answer Depends on You
Getting to know your “sober” self is a big part of recovery. As you learn more coping skills and gain more insight into your own triggers, you will also gain confidence. If you once enjoyed country dancing, you’ll be able to join the line dances at the local recreation center and have a good time. If you liked to watch football with friends, you’ll still be able to enjoy a non-alcoholic game-day party without worrying that it will take you back to your drinking days.

Tips to Shake Off the Anxiety
Here are some ways to reassure yourself when you first venture out into old activities as a sober person:

1. Talk to your support group—find out how others have handled the situation.
2. Review your triggers and coping strategies.
3. Have an exit plan in case you feel you need to leave.
4. Take along a sober friend to act as support.
5. Relax and have fun. Remember that you are choosing to participate in these activities because you enjoy them. Sobriety allows you to get the most out of your experience.

A Social Model for Sobriety
Men 18 and older find new, sober lives at 10 Acre Ranch, southern CA’s residential rehab center. We provide activities and treatment that allow men to connect and support each other as they achieve sobriety. Call 877-228-4679 today to learn about our social treatment model and to start the insurance verification process.

New Traditions for Sustained Sobriety

a photo of two people celebrating new year watching firewalks beside a body of water

After you’ve been in alcohol rehab awhile, you may begin to realize that your old traditions – holiday and otherwise – don’t fit into your sober lifestyle. Popping the champagne cork on New Year’s Eve, ringing in the New Year with drinks, and attending Christmas parties where alcohol is served may have been part of your past, but they can’t be part of your present if you wish to pursue a successful recovery.

Unfortunately, sustained sobriety doesn’t just require avoiding parties and people who drink. It requires work to change the mentality that drinking is foundational to fun. It requires challenging the part of you that romanticizes alcohol, and the part of you that believes drinking is the best way to “loosen up” at parties or family gatherings. And, it requires believing that you bring value to your relationships without the “help” of a drink.

New Traditions for a New You

Sobriety is a total change in your thought processes, lifestyle, and social connections, and it begins with remembering the bad times as well as the good times. After all, the fact that you ended up in rehab for substance abuse must mean drinking wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Remembering why you chose to get sober can fuel your desire to develop new traditions.

To establish new traditions, identify old habits, first. According to New York Times’ best seller Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, habits consist of three things: a cue or trigger for the behavior; the routine or behavior, itself; and a reward (something that tells your brain this behavior is worth repeating). As you dissect this three-part loop and begin to identify your old cues and rewards, mix up the routine. When your stress cue creeps in, you used to reach for a bottle. Now, try going for a run, playing a board game with friends, or catching a movie after Christmas dinner instead of having a nightcap. Over time, your brain will begin to associate productive outcomes (rewards) with these new routines. When repeated over and over and over, this process can overpower those old, destructive patterns.

Holiday Help at 10 Acre Ranch Men’s Rehab

This year, the holidays are your chance to begin anew. One of the best ways to cement your recovery is to develop new habits that yield healthy rewards. At our CA men’s rehab facility, residents walk alongside other recovering alcoholics who are also struggling to develop new lifestyles and traditions. When you’ve reached the end of your rope, our credentialed addiction specialists and clinical team provide the counseling, life skills, and relapse prevention planning you need to make a successful “go” of sobriety. Begin your New Year’s resolution today. Call 877.228.4679 to begin the admissions process.

The Role of Masculinity in Addiction Recovery, Part 2

photo of two men drinking alcohol

Traditionally, male gender roles color men as strong, independent risk takers. While there is nothing wrong with being confidently self-assured, these gender roles can also lead men to feel pressured to drink excessively or act recklessly. Then, when it’s time to get help for addiction, they may feel the need to problem-solve on their own rather than seeking help from a professional.

While there is no single recovery program that is best for everyone, men facing severe addiction should seek help from an accredited addiction treatment specialist to improve their chances of long-term sobriety success.

Authentic Masculinity & Addiction Recovery

At 10 Acre Ranch, our men’s drug and alcohol treatment program embraces a social model where participants learn to live life together: preparing meals, attending group counseling, enjoying healthy recreation, and building lasting camaraderie. During your stay, our therapists and recovery professionals teach you what authentic manhood looks like during the recovery process:

  • Being accountable for your mistakes. You, and only you, are responsible for your choices. When you take ownership of your mistakes, you are more likely to take responsibility for your rehabilitation. This includes things like being aware of your relapse triggers, working to reconcile broken relationships, and addressing employment problems caused by substance abuse.
  • Developing healthy, sober relationships. While some men find it emotionally challenging to share their experiences with others, 10 Acre Ranch encourages clients to develop a circle of friends and sober colleagues during rehab. Through group therapy sessions, leisure, and mealtimes, you will have the opportunity to break out of isolation and enjoy the fellowship of our supportive community.
  • Being authentically you. No matter what society says you should be, addiction recovery teaches you to embrace your individual gifts and traits. Addiction is a mask for many men, but the 10 Acre team gives you the opportunity to remove your mask and be courageously honest. This honesty will benefit you in future relationships and endeavors, as well.

Begin the 10 Acre Ranch Admissions Process

Authentic masculinity is about developing a set of guiding principles that will see you through the toughest moments of addiction recovery. At 10 Acre Ranch, we specialize in gender-specific drug and alcohol rehab for men 18 and over. To learn more about our men’s only CA drug rehab, or to speak with a member of our team about leaving addiction behind, call 877.228.4679.

Reconnecting with Family after Rehab: A Guide for People Recovering from Addiction

photo of a happy family finally reunited after the father was treated from addiction

Reconnecting with family members and loved ones after rehab can be challenging for those recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Close interpersonal relationships are often highly charged with contentious histories that may have contributed to the development of substance abuse. In other cases, the recovering individual may feel ashamed of the things he did to loved ones while in the throes of addiction, which can lead to a cycle of guilt and shame.

While it can be very rewarding to repair and rebuild damaged relationships with family members, addiction counselors and experts stress the importance of timing and setting. Otherwise, relapsing into addictive behaviors can become a real threat.

Effective Strategies for Reconnecting with Loved Ones after Rehab

There is no set timeframe for reconnecting with family members and loved ones following a successful stint in rehab. This is an issue that should be discussed with an experienced addiction counselor on a case-by-case basis. However, addiction experts do offer some general tips and pieces of advice that can help make the process less difficult.

First, the recovering individual should remain sober and relapse-free for an extended period of time and get his or her personal and professional life in order before trying to repair damaged interpersonal relationships. This can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more, and it’s essential not to rush through this vital part of the recovery process.

Next, the setting should be carefully considered. By and large, addiction counselors recommend that first contact be made in a neutral group setting where charged emotions are unlikely to surface. In some cases, it can help for a therapist to be present; this is particularly important if strained family dynamics were a causal factor in the recovering person’s addiction cycle.

Open and honest communication between family members is vital. Asking for and granting forgiveness is a vital part of the recovery process, and family therapy can be a big help. Most importantly, don’t expect big changes overnight, since healing takes time.

The caring addiction counselors at 10 Acre Ranch can help individuals and families struggling to heal from substance abuse. If you or someone you care about needs help, please don’t hesitate to contact our facility’s sympathetic and experienced staff members for guidance in your family recovery journey.

Beat Boredom to Maintain Addiction Recovery

a thoughtful man thinking how to beat boredom to maintain addiction recovery

Picture this common scenario: You accompany your girlfriend to her company party. She introduces you around but soon becomes engaged in conversation with her colleagues. You soon find yourself at the bar, snacking on nuts and having a drink. You are feeling out of place, isolated, and literally “bored to distraction,” and that distraction is drinking.

Most of us experience boredom at some time. It is a negative emotion that is closely linked to depression. Psychologists believe that substance abuse may begin as an innocuous response to boredom. Overeating, alcoholism, and drug use seem like easy remedies for boredom and the fear and uncertainty that may underlie it.

A pattern develops and takes over your life:

You feel bored. You take a drink, smoke a joint, or try something new. You start to feel better; at least, you don’t have to think about the things that make you feel disengaged and uncomfortable. Soon, everything in your bored existence revolves around that better feeling. Who you spend time with, where you hang out, what you do are all dependent on your alcohol or drug habit.

Banish Boredom after Rehab

As self-destructive as alcohol and drug abuse are, their elimination may leave you feeling empty, alone, and bored once again. You will need new strategies like these to deal with those feelings of boredom.

  • Take up new activities. Go to the gym, join a sports league, or take up cycling or yoga. Physical activity not only fills your time, but it also benefits your health.
  • Confide in someone. Share your feelings with a support group, friend, or counselor. You will learn how others deal with the same kind of challenge.
  • Practice mindfulness meditation. Become aware of your feelings and anxiety triggers. Use this objective knowledge to plan ahead with activities for those times when you feel most uncertain or bored.
  • Take up a new hobby or change careers. You may discover that you have talents that remained undeveloped as long as your substance abuse controlled your life.
  • Set a goal and then work toward it. Bored individuals are often detached from life. Working toward a goal gives you purpose and an opportunity for fulfillment.
  • Express gratitude. Gratefulness acknowledges that you value your life and, thus, it acts as an antidote to boredom.

Rehab without Boredom at 10 Acre Ranch

Rehab for men at 10 Acre Ranch is designed to stave off loneliness and keep boredom at bay. Our social model fosters a sense of community, and the structured schedule, support groups, and shared recreational activities will keep you involved in life. Call 1-877-228-4679 to check insurance coverage and begin the admissions process today.

Addiction and Anger Management – 10 Acre Ranch

10acreranch 7 Tips If You’re New to Rehab photo of a group during therapy session in a rehab

Chances are that if you are a recovering alcoholic, you’ve had “anger issues.” Maybe you directed your anger at yourself; maybe, at your loved ones and friends; maybe at society in general for making you a victim.

You might have thought that your anger was the product of your addiction, but it’s just as likely that an inability to handle anger lies at the root of your substance abuse. In either case, you will need to learn practical strategies for controlling your anger:

Acknowledge anger for what it is: a natural emotion. The causes of the emotion may be entirely rational, or they may be the result of unrealistic expectations and perceptions. You may need the help of a friend, sponsor, or mental health professional if your anger is irrational or indicative of a dual diagnosis.

Learn to anticipate the triggers that bring your anger to the fore. Then, use these strategies to keep small irritations from becoming bigger confrontations.

Practice deep breathing and relaxation imagery exercises.

Pause for a few minutes to reflect and gain control of your feelings.

Take a walk. You will remove yourself from a testy situation, and the exercise will help to dissipate your anger.

Engage in mindfulness and practice gratitude. Understanding your place in the universe and acknowledging gratitude will shift the focus of your thoughts away from loneliness and resentment, and toward community and connection.

Learn to be assertive, not aggressive. You may need to let others know your expectations and boundaries. If you can do this by asserting what you want while still respecting the feelings and needs of others, you will find new self-confidence and empowerment.

Rehab for Men in a Social Setting

10 Acre Ranch is an affordable California residential treatment center. Based on a social model for men, the program includes daily group and individual therapy, meditation, meal prep, recovery assignments, and recreational activities.

Is your alcohol abuse hurting those you love? Are you ready to shake off self-destructive anger and addiction? Contact our recovery staff to learn more about addiction and anger, or to begin the admissions process for our men’s rehab. Call 1-877-228-4679 or fill out an application online now.