Two Humble Requests
As the page finally turns on a year unlike any other in history, Ocean Recovery would like to make two humble requests. The first is to please attend to the mental health of both yourself and those close to you. As we’ve said numerous times in blogs over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be deadly to those struggling with substance use disorders, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. If you know someone struggling with these disorders, please keep an eye out. Know the warning signs. Reach out to them often. And if you yourself are suffering from one of these conditions, please consider seeking professional assistance. We don’t see ourselves as others do and can often miss worsening signs. Our second request, after a year of such loss and isolation, is that we all make a special effort in 2021 to practice gratitude and kindness.
Feelings of Lack Versus Contentment
As we mentioned in a previous blog, if we do not make a point to practice gratitude and kindness, we will not recover. It is gratitude that shifts an addictive mindset to a recovering mindset. Addiction is marked by feelings of lack. Of feeling like things are never enough. When we’re out using drugs and alcohol, the only response we seem to have is “more”. And the antidote to these feelings of “never enough” is gratitude. When we start to practice gratitude and kindness, we start to feel a sublime contentment. We are thankful for things as they are and quit looking to external solutions to solve problems that don’t exist. These may sound like new age clichés but science is on their side. Studies show that practicing gratitude and kindness can increase quality of sleep, alleviate symptoms of depression, and increase activity in the hypothalamus.
We’ve also talked in these blogs about how these mental health disorders thrive in isolation. One of the major benefits of attending twelve-step meetings is the sense of fellowship that we so often hear about. It is a group of people with a common goal coming together to support each other and build connections. When we practice gratitude and kindness in our everyday lives, we are reaching out to build similar connections. We start looking at people less in terms of “us vs. them” and more often as fellow travelers. In doing so, we realize that are own problems aren’t so unique and insurmountable as we thought they were. Feelings of isolation start to melt away.
Real Courage Means Asking for Help
Ocean Recovery would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year. If you’re reading this, that means you survived 2020 and that’s something to be grateful for. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were not so lucky. And when you look at your neighbor, please remember that they went through the same trying year that you did with their own unique burdens, just like yours. Please consider our request to practice gratitude and kindness this year. And if you or someone you love is struggling with substance use or eating disorders, please consider giving Ocean Recovery a call today. Real courage means asking for help. Ocean Recovery is here to answer.