Why is Life Better Sober?

If you’re working through a recovery program in pursuit of a sober life, you may be struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel—especially if you’re early in your journey towards sobriety. But, it’s important to remember that a life of sobriety is truly worth it when you consider the many ways sober living will dramatically improve your well-being. Explore why life is better sober.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Build and Rebuild Strong Relationships

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When you’re addicted to alcohol, it can be hard to maintain strong relationships. When all of your time and energy are devoted to feeding your addiction, the connections you have with the people around you—both friends and family—inevitably suffer. Sobriety gives you the energy, clarity of mind, and the opportunity to build and rebuild strong relationships with family and friends. You will be able to be fully present with those you care about most.

Dramatically Improved Physical Health

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When you’re sober, life is better because your physical health will likely dramatically improve. Sobriety allows you to improve your diet because cravings will no longer rule your life, and you’ll have the clarity of mind to make healthy choices when it comes to food. In addition, you can also expect your sleep to dramatically improve, and you’ll notice your weight stabilize. In fact, you may even lose weight. This is because you won’t be sleep deprived and you will be cutting back on consuming high sugar and carb contents of alcohol.

Enjoy Financial Stability

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If you suffer from an alcohol use disorder, you’ve likely spent large amounts of money on alcohol. Sobriety frees you from the need to continue spending money on alcohol, which means no more draining your checking account within a few days. In sobriety, your hard-earned money will go to funding your future which can allow you to do more of the things you love.

Grow in Self-Confidence

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Addiction often results in a cycle of shame and guilt, but sobriety frees you from these feelings. Instead, it enables you to build and enjoy healthy self-confidence. It will also help you believe that you are finally in control, not beholden to the addiction that used to hold you back in life. Being able to make your own decisions with mental clarity and without giving in to impulses is one of the most empowering experiences a person can have in sobriety.

Life IS Better Sober!

Whether you’re moving through a 12 Step Program with ease or you’re struggling to have hope for the finish line, remember that life IS better sober. You have so much to look forward to in sobriety, from better physical health and improved relationships to more money in your pocket and improved self-confidence. But, if you are struggling to stay clean and sober, a sober living environment may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation offers men’s sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC.

Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.

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How to Support Your Spouse in Addiction Recovery

Millions of men and women struggle with alcohol addiction each year, and thousands lose their lives to alcohol-related diseases, illnesses, and accidents. When it comes to alcohol addiction, though, it’s not just the individual with the addiction that suffers. Alcohol abuse disorder is a disease that affects entire families, especially spouses of addicts. Read on to learn how to support your spouse in addiction recovery.

If you or a loved one needs a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

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It’s especially important to take action once you’ve determined your spouse has a drinking problem that’s threatening their health, your relationship, and your family. Many people simply do nothing in the hopes that the problem will improve or go away on its own, but this is almost always not the case. It will only stay the same or get worse.

Stage an Intervention

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Support your spouse by confronting them and intervening—call them out on their drinking problem, gently and lovingly, yet firmly. Express your concerns and tell them how their drinking is negatively impacting you and the family. Convey your willingness to help them get professional help, and be sure to mention consequences if they refuse to get help.

In some cases, you may not feel safe with a confrontation like this. Unfortunately, alcoholism is closely linked to domestic violence. If that is a concern, you should have friends, family, or an alcohol counsellor with you for this conversation.

Don’t Be an Enabler

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You can best help your spouse in their recovery by refusing to enable them in their addiction. Obviously, don’t buy them alcohol or make alcohol accessible to them in any way. This also involves not making excuses to others for their behavior to cover up the drinking problem, and not helping them feel better during a hangover.

In order to do this, you may need to consider a short-term separation. Separation can be very hard for both parties, but sometimes, something this drastic is necessary. This may be the only way for an alcoholic to realize that their actions have dire consequences that seriously affect their family members.

Find Support

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Though your spouse is the one suffering an addiction, it doesn’t mean it’s easy for you to deal with. Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups offer support for family members. Reach out to support groups for solidarity and guidance.

Support During Treatment

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Knowing how to support your spouse in addiction recovery is imperative. While your spouse is in treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, you can best support them by first taking care of yourself and your family. If you are balanced and feeling healthy both mentally and physically, you’ll be better able to assist them in recovery. This may require counseling for yourself and your children.

In addition, you should set clear boundaries at home for your spouse in terms of former addictive behaviors, and make sure the consequences for relapses are clear.

Consider A Sober Living Environment

If you or a loved one are struggling to stay clean and sober, a sober living environment may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation offers men’s sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC.

Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.

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Signs You May Be A High-Functioning Alcoholic

Everyone likely has an idea of alcoholism in mind from movies or popular culture. However, alcoholism comes in many different forms, and can even be difficult to identify. High-functioning alcoholics fall into this category, yet the alcohol abuse is just as dangerous and costly. These are signs you may be a high-functioning alcoholic and how you can seek help.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

What is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

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High-functioning alcoholics are those who abuse alcohol, anywhere from mildly to severely, yet are able to maintain relationships and keep up with work and other responsibilities. They give off the appearance of not having a problem with alcohol, when in reality, there is a deep and serious issue.

Signs of High-Functioning Alcoholism

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There are a few obvious, tell-tale signs of high-functioning alcoholism—relationships may suffer, responsibilities may be neglected, and a person may run into legal trouble regarding alcohol. However, some signs are much less obvious. Consider whether you or a friend meet any of these criteria, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help to take control of your life. These are signs you may be a high-functioning alcoholic:

Excessive Drinking

Excessive drinking is a major sign of high-functioning alcoholism. For women, this is considered to be more than three drinks per day OR seven drinks per week. For men, this is considered to be more than four drinks per day OR fourteen drinks per week. Drinking a lot, and doing so consistently for an extended period of time, is just as much a sign of alcohol abuse as is drinking large amounts at once.

Drinking Alone

Another tell-tale sign of high-functioning alcoholism is if you drink alone or in secret. This includes if you go to great lengths to try to keep your day drinking or excessive drinking a secret. When you drink alone, you have a higher probability of drinking too much.

It also isn’t normal to drink at all hours of the day. Getting drunk unintentionally and making jokes about how you may have a drinking problem are also indicators that there is an issue.

Drinking for Every Reason

High-functioning alcoholics drink for every reason under the sun. If you find yourself drinking to relax, to fall asleep, to cope with stress and anxiety, and/or to be more comfortable with social situations, then you are at high risk for an alcohol abuse disorder. Alcohol should not be a coping mechanism nor should it be a need. It’s a clear sign that something is wrong when it becomes either one.

Defensiveness About Drinking

If a family member or friend confronts someone with a drinking problem about their habit, the alcoholic will likely get defensive. Pay attention to how you or a loved one responds when being questioned about drinking habits.

Get the Help You Need Now

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High-functioning alcoholics often look like they have everything together—that’s why they’re called “high-functioning.” But the truth is, alcohol abuse and excessive drinking will eventually catch up with you. It has the potential to interfere with relationships and work responsibilities, and could even result in legal trouble like DUI’s. If you, a friend, or family member exhibits any of the above characteristics, now is the time to reach out and get help for alcohol abuse.

Consider A Sober Living Environment

If you are struggling to stay clean and sober, a sober living environment may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation offers men’s sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC.

Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.

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Tips For Dealing With Stress In Sobriety

Working on sobriety is a challenge on its own. Even once you reach sobriety and begin to gain traction in kicking your addiction, you’ll still encounter other day-to-day challenges. Stress is a natural part of life, so you’ll inevitably have to face it. If you’re worried about how stress will affect your sobriety, contact The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation for support and consider a few of these tips for dealing with stress in sobriety.

Stress And Sobriety

Part of working towards sobriety is learning how to deal with stress so as not to fall back into your addiction as a coping mechanism. Stress can come from relationships, work responsibilities, uncertain situations, or past experiences. In general, though, some stress is normal and can help you respond to situations with more focus and intention.

Prioritize Your Health Every Single Day

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One of the best ways you can combat stress is to prioritize your health every single day. This means making sure you’re getting at least 30 minutes of exercise several times per week and eating a healthy diet. It’s also important to get enough sleep, setting a reasonable time to go to bed and wake up in the morning.

Dealing with stress becomes even more difficult when you’re achy, tired, and miserable from a lack of exercise, sleep, and a poor diet. When you feel better, are well-rested, and are generally healthy, you can tackle stress that comes your way with more ease and balance.

Find A Hobby That You Love

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In sobriety, finding a stress-relieving hobby will help you to take your mind off of the struggles and stressors of daily life. This could be in the form of exercise, like running or biking, or art-related activities like painting, drawing, or music.

Ideally, these hobbies will also help you to surround yourself with a community of people with similar interests. They’ll share a love of your hobby and encourage you to grow and pursue it.

Turn To Faith Or Meditation

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Turn to faith or meditation to find clarity of the mind and inner peace amidst the stressors of life. Many people find comfort and security in prayer or contemplation. Pairing this with prioritizing your physical health and maintaining a hobby will allow you to take on any stress that comes your way.

Surround Yourself With Support

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Surround yourself with family and friends who will offer a listening ear and support when you need it. Sometimes stress can get the best of us, so it helps to have a support system that will listen to you and offer guidance on how to move forward. It’s important that these individuals want what is best for you and want to see you succeed in your sobriety.

Consider A Sober Living Environmentjames-island-8

If you are struggling to stay clean and sober, a sober living environment may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation offers men’s sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC.

Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.

Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms & Signs

It’s no secret that by drinking alcohol, a person takes on significant risk. But alcohol poisoning is a hazard of excessive drinking that should be taken seriously, as it is potentially life-threatening. The Center for Disease Control estimates that there are an average of 2,200 deaths from alcohol poisoning every year. Know the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning—it just may help you save a life in the future. Read more

Health Risks of Chronic Alcohol Use

Genetic factors often determine how your body responds to chronic alcohol use, but many scientists, doctors, and health professionals agree that heavy drinking for long periods of time is incredibly damaging for your health no matter who you are or what your genetics say. Consider these health risks of chronic alcohol use.

Mental Health

Excessive and prolonged alcohol use can contribute to poor mental health. Drinking has been linked to depression and dementia. Alcohol is detrimental to your ability to think clearly, and excessive use damages one of the most important organs in your body—your brain. It is harder to function when your brain is constantly under the influence of alcohol, and chronic exposure to this toxin can cause a breakdown of tissues and severe mental health problems.

Liver Disease

Your liver is what metabolizes alcohol in your body. Too much can overload the liver and cause problems like fatty liver or long-term inflammation that can cause hepatitis. Such extensive and prolonged damage can cause, ultimately, scarring of the liver and eventual failure.

Osteoporosis

When excessive drinking begins at a young age, it can negatively impact bone development causing severe problems and risks later in life. Even if heavy drinking begins later in life, excessive alcohol use impedes a balance of Vitamin D and calcium in the body, putting individuals at high risk for low bone mass. This can result in easier fractures and slower healing in adulthood and old age.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of the most common repercussions of chronic drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption causes blood vessels to be constricted, which contributes to high blood pressure. This automatically puts a body at higher risk for heart attack and stroke, and therefore heart failure. Chronic alcohol use puts a very heavy strain on the heart and binge drinking can often prove fatal.

Cancer

It is perhaps a lesser known but equally disturbing fact that excessive drinking can result in a higher risk for various cancers. Alcohol can cause damage to cells in the mouth, throat, and esophagus—and it makes it easier for cancers of the liver and intestines to form.

Alcohol Abuse Isn’t Worth It

Mental health, liver disease, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancers are just a few of the health risks a person takes on when drinking. In addition to hurting your body, your drinking can also damage your social relationships and other aspects of your life as well. Stopping drinking can help to prevent further damage.

Consider A Sober Living Environment

If you are struggling to stay clean and sober, a sober living environment may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation offers men’s sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC.

Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.

10 Signs You May Have a Drinking Problem

One of the biggest indicators that you may have a drinking problem is that you’ve already taken the step to search for articles with titles like this one on the internet. It can be a scary idea to face, but that’s the first step toward getting the help you need. The following ten signs are common indicators of a drinking problem. Individuals with a drinking problem don’t always experience all of these signs, but they often experience a few that become noticeable when drinking starts to play an unhealthy role in everyday life. Read more

Top Tips for Traveling Sober

If you’ve got a trip coming up for business or recreation, plan ahead now so you can stay sober and enjoy your trip with friends, family, or coworkers. Traveling poses many temptations to drink, seemingly at every turn. Hotel mini bars, restaurants, airplane drinks, airport bars, and simply being tired and in a different environment can change the dynamic and pose serious temptations to your sobriety.

Not to fear, though, because none of these temptations are impossible to overcome. Consider the following tips for traveling sober before your next adventure.

Getting To & From Your Destination

Hotel mini bars: Ask your hotel to empty the mini bar of any alcoholic products before your arrival. You don’t even have to give them a reason. Asking will certainly be enough. Check when you first arrive to make sure they’ve removed all the alcohol, and if not, make calling the front desk to have the staff remove any alcohol the first thing you do upon entering your room.

On the airplane: Before your flight takes off, ask your flight attendant(s) to refrain from offering you alcohol when they come by your seat with the drink cart. If you feel comfortable, explain why you are requesting this. Most will be more than happy to accommodate you and help you remain accountable even in the air.

Avoid airport bars: Travel with someone rather than alone, if possible, and make sure it’s someone who will keep you accountable. This person should help you choose a Starbucks over an airport bar if you have free time on a layover. If you can’t travel with someone, have an accountability partner just a phone call away.

Traveling Companions

Don’t travel with partiers: This should be obvious, but don’t travel with people who are going to hit every party, bar, casino, or happy hour while you’re on your trip. This is a recipe for disaster and relapse. If you’re traveling with others, travel with people who are concerned for your sobriety and well-being and will do what they can to ensure you aren’t placed in a potentially difficult position.

Avoid traveling alone: If possible, have a travel companion (or several) that will help you with accountability, as stated above. Traveling alone puts a lot of pressure on you to keep yourself accountable. If you have to travel alone for work or to meet others, have someone that you can call or text at a moment’s notice to help you out. Plan to check in with them regularly.

Your Destination

Don’t travel somewhere known for alcohol and parties: If you’re trying to avoid alcohol and stay sober, traveling to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the bar scene of Las Vegas or the beach party zone of Cancun or any Mexican resort town may not be the best idea. There are plenty of places to choose from that are beautiful, relaxing, and interesting that aren’t saturated with alcohol and alcohol culture.

Plan your days and stay busy: Don’t let yourself get bored, and don’t leave room in your schedule to fill with drinking or wandering to a bar. It’s a great idea to incorporate activities that involve physical exercise like hiking, snorkeling, or kayaking. These will not only wear you out but will also elevate your mood!

You Can Travel Sober

Don’t be afraid to travel if you’re working on staying sober. It’s definitely possible to travel sober. You just have to plan ahead, be wise, have accountability, and implement these tips for traveling sober!

Alcohol & The Myth Of Moderation

If you’re struggling with what you think may be an addiction to alcohol, well-meaning websites, friends, or family members may suggest that you simply try to drink alcohol in “moderation.” “Just have one drink,” they might say. Or, “don’t drink until after 6pm!” They’re probably just trying to be helpful without being too blunt. They may not know how to help you or may want to avoid being too blunt by calling on you to quit drinking altogether. But by proposing moderation, they may be proposing a solution that is contradictory for your situation. Learn more about the myth of moderation, and get help today. Read more

Understanding The Relationship Between Genetics & Addiction

When a loved one experiences an addiction, it’s natural for family members to be concerned or just curious as to whether or not they’re susceptible to a similar addiction. Genetics do play a role when it comes to addiction, but it’s not as black and white as one might think. There’s no single gene that determines if an individual will experience and suffer from addictions. But there are certain genetic aspects that can tell a great deal about the risks for addiction. Here’s what you need to know. Read more