Be Ready for the Journey
The pathway to recovery from addiction is a difficult journey. The key to Women’s Recovery is preparing for that journey ahead of time and being ready for the obstacles along the way. This encompasses everything from the small things like being away of how recovery will change your diet to the larger impacts it will have on your life. Consider the small steps like knowing that the lack of alcohol also means a sudden lack of blood sugar your body may not be ready for. Have some snacks on hand, like fresh fruit, to manage the sugar crash during detox. Larger changes are also things that support your commitment to sobriety. Have some books, movies, or podcasts ready that affirm your decisions and make the step to finding a group that will let you experience sobriety in a positive light. Hiking, surfing, or skateboarding with other people on the pathway to recovery will build a positive support network for the journey ahead.
Know the Facts
The CDC reports that although men are statistically more likely to drink and in larger quantities, the biological and chemical differences in women’s bodies cause the alcohol to be absorbed in greater levels and remain longer in the bloodstream. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that this means women are susceptible to alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men. This includes the threat of liver damage, heart disease, and breast cancer. While the facts are serious, if you’re reading this you’ve already started on the pathway to Women’s Recovery.
Getting Through Withdrawal and Detox
Depending on the severity of the degree of addiction, withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Understanding what to expect during detox can help you conquer this challenge and achieve sobriety for the first time. The process of detox is the process of your brain and body, which have become used to and dependent on substances to function, returning to normal functionality. As the brain returns to normal and the substances are removed from the body, the symptoms of withdrawal get lighter and lighter. Detox is the most likely point for relapse and the National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends both finding a Medical Detoxification program to help manage withdrawal, especially in more severe cases, and reminds us that this isn’t the end of the recovery journey, but the beginning.
Choosing The Right Therapy for Recovery
There are many different types of recovery therapies. Some of these, like Family Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy, has a focus on how the individual engages with larger groups. Family Therapy is great for individuals who need to repair the damage done to their family as a result of their addiction while Interpersonal Therapy is better for someone with low, or a barrier to, sober social skills. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT as it’s often known, can help a person identify the stressors that cause their cravings and take measured, evidence bases steps to gaining control. Another option is Motivational Therapy which is designed to keep an individual on the path to recovery by setting up a system of rewards for staying sober. Regardless of which therapeutic method a woman chooses, she should also consider an Aftercare program.
Aftercare and Staying Sober
Aftercare post-recovery is vital to preventing relapse and maintaining sobriety. There are a variety of approaches to aftercare. Motivational aftercare programs involve support groups and therapies that keep the patient motivated to stay sober. Remaining a part of a 12 Step community is also a common approach to stabilizing after recovery. Another approach is an Intensive Outpatient Program that allows the person to return to normal life while still receiving a lot of support from medical professionals and their recovery community. This can be a good choice combined with a step-down approach that slowly integrates a newly sober person back into the routine of day-to-day life.
The pathway to Women’s Recovery is less like getting over the flu and more like finding the way to a brighter future—one where you are in control. Contact us here at Sea Change Recovery to get more information and to speak to an addiction professional.