On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: The gift of sobriety!
The holidays can be tough and full of triggers. You may be wondering how you can stay sober during this time. Below are some tips to consider.
Visiting North Carolina and received a DWI? We have over 17 years of experience working with out-of-state DWI cases. We are fully licensed by NC DWI Services. We are willing to assist you with your needs in a professional, confidential, and timely manner. Here's what you need to know:
DWI: Living Outside of North Carolina
If you live outside of North Carolina and:
Grief and the Holidays: Ways to Cope and Comfort by Caleb Anderson
The holidays are notoriously difficult for people who are still grieving the loss of a loved one. It doesn’t even have to be a recent loss-- this time of year is highly advertised as a time to spend with those you are closest to. Seeing that reminder in every print advertisement, on the television, in the displays of every storefront, and even in the songs on the radio constantly reminds a person of the one they lost. The grieving process never really stops, it only gets easier to deal with as the years go by. Feelings of isolation, guilt, anger, and depression can persist for quite some time.
Live the Hygge Life
You know that feeling when you are bundled up in comfortable clothes and wrapped in a warm blanket; you are sitting by the fireside or you have your favorite candles burning; you’re grasping a mug of warm tea and in that moment you are just… comfy? In Scandinavia, there is a word for that feeling-- hygge.
If you are having a rough moment, day, or even week, take some time to create a hygge environment in your life. Bundle up under the covers with a cup of hot cocoa and your favorite movies. Or go to a cozy cafe take in a good book you’ve been wanting to read. Finding hygge is about taking care of yourself, which is something grieving people often neglect to do.
We all need to exercise in one way or another. Exercise supports humans physically, mentally, and even emotionally. Modern humans generally live a very sedentary lifestyle which is unnatural for us. Taking time to be physically active helps regulate our body’s chemistry including cortisol and endorphins levels. It doesn’t have to be much-- just 30 minutes of light exercise a day. That can be as easy walking your dog, riding your bike around the neighborhood, or even doing a bit of gentle yoga for grief in your living room. This exercise is about taking care of yourself and your body rather than burning calories and building muscle.
Embrace the Season
If everything around you has to be so jolly-as-advertised, you might as well play into the spirit and take advantage of some holiday fun. Avoiding your feelings isn’t healthy, but the occasional distraction can make it easier to get through the season. Pick your favorite activities that are what you love about winter:
- Go see a special screening of a holiday movie at the local theater.
- Attend a bonfire or cozy up by your own hearth at home.
- Spend time playing with your dog outside in the snow. Or just cozy up with your pet indoors.
- Tour your city’s best holiday lights and decorations.
- Listen to your favorite holiday music while you do things around the house.
- Go sledding or ice skating.
- Throw an “ugly sweater party” where people get to wear their tackiest holiday attire.
- Bake your favorite holiday treats.
- Volunteer with a local charity that needs extra hands during the holidays.
The holidays are a difficult time for people that are grieving. We are constantly reminded that this time of year is to be spend with the ones we love, which can be a harsh reminder that one of your loved ones is gone. To help get through the season, embrace coziness with the Scandinavian concept of hygge. Don’t forget to take time for yourself to exercise. It only takes 30 minutes of light activity a day to help boost your mood. Finally, take advantage of all the season has to offer. You shouldn’t repress your emotions, but a fun distraction every now and then is fine.
TRICKS FOR TREATING YOURSELF TO A SOBER HALLOWEEN By Caleb Anderson
Americans have a way of taking something cute and innocent and transforming it into an excuse to party. Perhaps no example serves better than Halloween. What used to be a holiday for kids to dress up in drugstore costumes and go door-to-door receiving candy is now a debaucherous occasion for adults. In fact, Halloween now beats out New Years Eve in drinking related auto fatalities 3 to 1.
If you’re going through recovery, you may think your only option is to avoid Halloween altogether. However, the feeling of “missing out” tends to make things more difficult and there’s no reason to deny yourself a healthy, fun time for all. Despite what college frat boys may think, Halloween can be plenty enjoyable sans alcohol and drugs.
Act Like a Kid Again
People love telling each other to “grow up,” but then they get sloshed and act like irrational, mewling babies. It’s a much better look to embrace your inner child on Halloween and focus on the wholesome aspects of the holiday.
Plan on wearing a costume! Whether you’re a Liz Lemon who wears the same Princess Leia outfit year after year or you’re a Heidi Klum type who loves to go all-out year after year, the joy of dressing up is pure. If costumes aren’t really your thing, consider decorating your place to make it more inviting for neighborhood kids. Just steer your mind in the direction towards making the holiday as it was when the only buzz you needed came from sugar.
Make Some Money
If you are lucky enough to have your own automobile, sign up for a ride share program and take advantage of the insane surge charges that happen on one of the most lucrative nights of the year. You can make big bucks while also helping people get safely home and reducing the amount of alcohol related auto fatalities. An added bonus: seeing all those drunk, obnoxious, messy people while you are clear headed will remind you why you became sober in the first place.
If you have the itch to stay social this Halloween, there’s no reason why you can’t party in a sober environment. Some places of worship throw Halloween get togethers where families can celebrate in a safe environment. People from your recovery group may be interested in a get together where you can dress up and avoid temptation together. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone when going through recovery, so reach to those in your community and see where the (sober) party is at!
Time for a Movie Marathon
For many people, the best part of the Halloween season is staying in and binging scary movies. It gives you all the thrills of the season from the comfort of your own home. Order your favorite pizza or takeout and bundle up for a veg-a-thon. A lot of people have their go-to horror favorites (The Shining, anyone?), but if you’re strapped for ideas, check out this Paste list of The 100 Best Horror Movies of All Time. Even better, Netflix has a plethora of scary movies in queue. If streaming isn’t your thing and you’re a little strapped for cash, your local library should have of the classics for free… just be sure to get there early before everyone else snatches them up!
If you just love the experience of going to the cinema, many branches show double headers and special screenings for Halloween. October is also one of the best months for new release horror movies, so your options are plenty. While you’re there, treat yourself to popcorn AND a candy… it is a holiday, afterall.
Halloween doesn’t have to be a buzz kill-- there are plenty of ways to have fun while sober. Embrace your inner child and embrace the candy and costumes. Make a little money and help keep people safe by driving for a rideshare. Celebrate with like minded people who avoid drugs and alcohol, or keep it chill with a monster movie marathon. Whatever you choose to do, feel proud for bettering yourself and your life with sobriety.
Often, counselors talk to their clients about being aware of "HALT". This is about being aware of when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. What can be equally important is being aware of breathing. Are you holding your breath, is it shallow? Here are some simple breathing techniques for you to build awareness of your breath.
1. Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”
Start in a comfortable seat on the floor or in a chair. Begin to become aware of your breath. Breathing in and out of the nose. If your inhale is the count of 3 match the inhale to the exhale. Begin with an inhale for a count of three, then exhale for a count of three (all through the nose). Got the basic breath down? Interested in more of a challenge? You can try six to eight counts per breath. The goal is to create balance and calm the nervous system.
2. Abdominal Breathing Technique
Place one hand over your heart and the other over your belly. Breathing in and out of the nose. Take a deep inhale and imagine all that air traveling up towards your heart. Then exhale that breath back down to the belly. Take up to ten deep breaths.
3. Progressive Relaxation
Start at the crown of the head. Release any tension in your forehead, muscles around your eyes and cheeks while focusing on a nice deep breath. Focus on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Following that relaxing sensation all the way down each muscle of your body until you get down to your toes.
I got a DWI. What do I need to do in to get my license back?
You must obtain a certificate of completion. A certificate of completion can be obtained by: Completing a substance abuse assessment at an authorized NC DWI Services provider, and completing the recommended level of treatment or education (ADETS) at an authorized NC DWI Services provider.
I need an assessment for my DWI charge, where do I go to do this?
You must complete your assessment at an authorized DWI Services Provider.
What do I need to bring to the DWI assessment?
1. Documentation of Blood Alcohol Content
3. Picture ID
How much will my DWI assessment cost?
What requirements would I have to meet to be eligible to be referred to Alcohol and Drug Education Traffic School (ADETS) instead of treatment?
• You have no previous DWI offense conviction in your lifetime, and, you did not refuse to submit a chemical test, and your BAC was 0.14% or less at the time of your arrest, and
• Your assessment does not identify a substance abuse handicap (i.e. a substance use disorder, mild, moderate or severe).
How much does ADETS (education program) cost?
If I don’t qualify for ADETS (education), what are the other levels of treatment that I could be recommended to complete?
• Short Term Outpatient Treatment - (Minimum of 20 contact hours over a minimum of 30 days)
• Longer Term Outpatient Treatment - (Minimum 40 contact hours over a minimum of 60 days)
• Day Treatment/Intensive Outpatient Treatment - (Minimum 90 hours over a minimum of 90 days)
• Inpatient/Residential Treatment - (Minimum 90 days)
I’m still confused, what can I do? Breathe. Call us today and we will answer any questions you have, 704-782-3050.
Waking up and hitting snooze? As soon as you get up are you checking emails, and turning on the television? That's a good way to start the day feeling stressed out. Yes, the new year has already started, but it's not too late to start a new routine. You can start now! Here's 5 tips to start your day differently...
A mother who just lost her son to a heroin overdose posted this from writer, Alicia Cook on her Facebook wall. It is her grief. Prayers that no other mother will have to bear this grief. Alicia Cook documents the pain many feel from addiction.
"Sometimes you don't realize you are holding yourself together until you aren't anymore. Suddenly, you're not the same person you thought you were just moments before. No. You are not okay, You are not fine. But you will be. When I say "you will be okay" I do not mean you will wake up one day and be the same person you were before the pain. Pain changes a person. But you will discover a new version of "you". One who has experienced the great sadness that only follows a great loss. One who knows the value of a good cry. One who knows that even after the coldest of winters, spring will still survive. "
I know his parents. His name was Justin. College educated, a kind soul who enjoyed working with dogs. You know the disposable ones, the dogs that seemed like a good idea at the time or who got old and needed more care just when the owner lost interest. Justin was that gentle soul who gave these disposable pets love and care.
Sadly, heroin addicts are becoming our disposable people. Stigma keeps us from caring. People think addiction is something the addict brought on themselves.
Get your loved one help. Don't give up. Push someone that you think is giving up on their loved one. Don't let addiction take another soul.
I love the song by The Fray. Very pointed.
Robert E Martin was featured in Sam Quiones book, Dreamland: A True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.
R E Martin and Associates provide interventions for families and businesses with an employee or loved ones suffering from an addiction, training and education for professionals on a variety of substance abuse and recovery topics, program evaluations, drug diversion prevention surveys for medical practices and hospitals and of course sober coaching.
See "Recovery Resources" on our website for treatment facilities we recommend.
Summer is here. How do you stay sober? The summer weather, outdoor bars, seeing people drinking wine on their decks, vacations, and baseball games can all be triggers. Some family members will not understand and will share, “You’ve been clean for a while now…you can have just one!” In addition to outdoor activities social media can be a big trigger. Beware of how much time you spend on the internet. Often, the brain is only able to recall the euphoria that alcohol or drugs caused, but you need to play the whole tape through.
Tips for a sober summer…
1. Come early and leave early. Typically, heavy drinking occurs a few hours into the party.
2. Check your motivation for attending the party. Why do you really want to go?
3. Drive your own car. Then you can leave when you want to leave and you’re not dependent on someone else.
4. Go with a sober or supportive friend. Bring a friend or family member that is sober or supportive. Then develop a code word or a look that means it’s time to go!
5. Always have a drink in your hand. Then you can avoid the question, “Can I get you something to drink?” or someone handing you a beer.
6. Avoid, “people pleasing”, don’t risk your sobriety and happiness to make someone else happy!
7. Vacationing? Pick a destination that will have limited triggers present, look for meetings in advance, and take a supportive friend or family member along.
Give us a call today for additional information and sober activities, 704-782-3050.
So, you went to court and were told to get a DWI assessment, and now you don’t know what to do next? You’ve come to the right place! If you’ve been convicted of a DWI(Driving While Impaired), you have to get a substance abuse assessment. This assessment will determine what level of care you need. Wondering what else you need to know? Here's a list of 5 important things you need to know.
Interested in booking your appointment ASAP? Give us a call today, 704-782-3050. We know this is a scary and overwhelming process. We are here to help you get the best care you need. Breathe., LLC is authorized by the state of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to provide DWI assessments and treatment.
Alanna is the Owner and Clinical Director of Breathe., LLC. Alanna is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, Registered Yoga Instructor, and Certified Heartmath Trainer. Alanna has over 14 years of experience working in the addictions field. Alanna takes a holistic approach when working with clients, combining the mind, body, and spirit in counseling.