You have made some pretty big changes in the past few weeks. You’ve cut down or stopped drinking and using substances, you’ve tried to reach out to friends and family to build up a support network, and you’ve worked to align your daily life with your values and goals for yourself. Overall, it’s been a huge success, and you’re feeling great about yourself. That’s when a little voice in your head starts to speak, a little voice that says, “You know what, I have done a great job! Things are so different right now, I could totally go out and drink and not over-do it! I’ve got this all under control!” That little voice is yours; it’s your brain doing a little something called relapse justification, and it’s a normal part of any behavior change process.
Veterans Enjoy the Comradery of VA-facilitated SMART Recovery Meetings
By Melinda Gaddy, Ph.D.
A SMART Recovery group member at VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System (Dwight D. Eisenhower Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center) stated during their first meeting back after a period of absence from SMART, “The ABCs are so annoying, but they really do work.” We had just finished setting our agenda for the meeting. I believe the individual was speaking not only to a group member newer to SMART, but also to themselves as they settled into a chair, ready to begin again in applying SMART’s well-researched tools to their life circumstances: recently released from the hospital and solemnly resolved to do what was needed to rebuild. I appreciated the statement for a number of reasons. It helped other group members to get focused and ready to dive into the ABC tool, it conveyed hope, and it was a great example of just how good Veterans are at telling it like it is. Opinions and experiences can be offered without need for a “polite filter” since meaningful bonds are formed quickly among Veterans in recovery. This makes facilitating SMART Recovery groups within the VA an incredibly dynamic and rewarding experience.
In recent decades, VA has become increasingly focused on providing military Veterans in the United States with evidence-based treatment programs and recovery tools. Continue reading
By Tracey Helton Mitchell, author of “The Big Fix; Hope After Heroin“
Recovery is not a sprint, it is a marathon. What this implies is that we use the tools at our disposal to plan for the long journey away from substances and into a new life. Putting down the drugs and alcohol is only the start. We have to find the motivation to press on. We have to cope with our urges to give in or give up. We have to push out negativity as we deal with the flood of emotions as we push forward. Finally, we have to find a way to accept ourselves and our limitations as human beings. SMART Recovery is a four point program that logically allows a person to plot their course along this journey. It allows for participants to move at their own pace, evaluating their own goals and their own reasons for change. Continue reading
It’s not so much what you see, but how you see it.
That’s called your perspective.
Things are not always as they seem.
My mom told me as a child “Believe nothing you hear and half what you see”
Your brain will try to make sense of everything that is going on around you, and collectively organize it, compare it to your past experiences, then catalog it.
Sometimes you brain makes the wrong perspective, and your left in the aha moment, scratching your head. This is relevant to a magician’s trick.
Other things, that are in comparison to each other are put into the same category in your brain. Your brain becomes wired… negative thinking, equals negative outcomes, positive thinking equals positive outcome. Continue reading
SMART Recovery Webinar: You are Powerful: A Message to Young People from Dr. Robert Schwebel, Saturday, 4/23/2016 5:00 pm EDT
SMART Recovery® is pleased to present a talk with author and developer of The Seven Challenges® Program, Dr. Robert Schwebel. We are interested in learning how to engage youth who have problems with drugs in meaningful conversations and to support them in taking power over their lives. Dr. Schwebel’s work is designed for counseling settings, and we think you’ll find his approach highly complementary with SMART in the continuum of care. In implementing The Seven Challenges Program, many practical lessons have been learned that are helpful in thinking about how to best to serve and collaborate with youth. The conversation will focus on attitudes, strategies, and messages that engage and empower youth, and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers. Continue reading