Recovery

R is for Recovery?

Recovery is about living a satisfying and fulfilling life. It’s about placing “Journey before destination.” It’s personal and a unique experience which means that different people will need different types of support along the way.

logo

Think SMART Oklahoma is not the first to compile resources for Recovery Support. Numerous State and National organizations dedicate their lives to advancing the work of stigma reduction, wellness IQ and legitmizing the value people in recovery can add to society.

At Faces and Voices of Recovery, you can learn more about why recovery is possible and why it deserves YOUR support.


Local Recovery Support

“I was afraid of talking to counselors, afraid they would never know me; those who learned how to swim by reading a book versus someone who has swam this ocean with me.”

– Audrey D

“I was afraid of talking to counselors, afraid they would never know me; those who learned how to swim by reading a book versus someone who has swam this ocean with me.”

– Audrey D

That is where Peer Recovery Coaching makes a difference. Lived experience 100% of the time. Coaches have walked the same path as people seeking help from alcohol or drug addiction and can empathize with the struggle while providing helpful advice and resource awareness.

Our Recovery Coaches serve people in communities across the Cherokee Nation Reservation. We can support individuals to identify and achieve their sobriety goals. The individual, their care coordinator and someone who knows them well become a part of the protective network to help them walk the Peaceful Warrior’s Way.

Contact the Peaceful Warrior’s Way to Start Your Journey Today!

Our Peer Recovery Support Team is standing by waiting for you to join them on the Peaceful Warrior’s Way to Recovery.


Peaceful Warrior’s Way

How can this service help you?

The team will encourage you to take control of your own recovery and how to weather the ups and downs during the recovery process.

coaching

Coaching

  • The coaching process is based on trust and openness; working together to see opportunities and potential.
  • Coaching can empower a person to move towards their desired goals.
  • Coaches can support a person to move at the pace that feels right for them.
  • Coaching can help people to develop skills that can be used to manage how to respond to stressors in life.

What to expect

The aim of Peer Coaching is to start working with someone at a time when they are seeking additional support in their recovery journey.

Our Coaches try to ensure their methods are the right approach for each person, and will have a conversation with them about coaching, what they can expect from us and what we would expect from them. Together, we would decide if this service is right for the person.

The person would then be offered 1:1 coaching and peer support sessions. The amount of time and the number of sessions they need will depend upon the goals they identify. We will work with the person while they access other organizations that can support them in the community, and we can help them identify activities which can increase their confidence and self-esteem such as volunteering, paid work, educational and creative activities.

Outside the Cherokee Nation Reservation?

Check with these State and Tribal Programs providing peer support near you!

  • logo

    Mental Health Association Oklahoma

    Promoting mental health through affordable housing, advocacy, suicide prevention and service.

    Visit Website
  • logo

    Grand Lake Mental Health Center

    We offer an array of recovery-focused services for persons with mental illness and persons with co-occurring substance related disorders.

    Visit Website
  • logo

    Family & Children’s Services

    We offer an intensive outpatient alternative for eligible women facing long prison sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses.

    Visit Website
  • logo

    Counseling & Recovery
    Services of Oklahoma

    Helping build better lives through behavioral health and substance abuse services.

    Visit Website

Become a Peer Recovery Support Specialist

Are you interested in becoming a Peer Recovery Support Specialist (PRSS)? Peer Recovery Support Specialists work in collaboration with the person seeking recovery and clinical staff to aid in the recovery process. Peer Recovery Support Specialists know the journey to recovery is real and attainable because they've lived the experience.

Become a PRSS National Certification Programs

Online Peer Support Meetings While Social Distancing

The truth is social distancing can place people at higher risk of relapse and make people feel isolated.

If you need some extra help staying social and sober at a distance, visit AA or NA. Using the icons below and you will find information on local Oklahoma meetings being held on Zoom.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution. AA and NA does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. The primary purpose is to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.

New to the Online Recovery community?

If it has been awhile, or if you haven’t used online meeting platforms before and are unsure about how to join a virtual meeting, please play the video to learn how easy it really is to use Zoom.


Self-Help Strategies

While not meant to take the place of seeking professional help from a treatment center, self-help strategies are incredibly helpful in overall mental and physical well being.

To point you in the right direction, our team of Peer Recovery Coaches at The Peaceful Warrior’s Way put together these self-help strategies that focus on body, mind and spirit. All of these strategies can be used before, during and after treatment and recovery support services, and may even be recommended by your treatment team.

The Benefits

Deep breathing, or “Diaphragmatic” breathing has many positive benefits for your mental and physical health.

  • It can help manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness.
  • It helps you relax, lowering the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body.
  • It lowers your heart rate.
  • It helps lower your blood pressure
  • It helps you cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
More Videos

Grounding exercises are things you can do to bring yourself into contact with the present moment – the here and now.

Different strategies work for different people, and there is no “wrong” way to ground yourself. The main aim is to keep your mind and body connected and working together.

Learn more

The “Tree of Life” exercise

A simple grounding exercise is the “Tree of Life”.

  • Place your feet on the floor (or the ground if you can sit/stand outside) and imagine roots extending from the bottoms of your feet down into the earth.
  • Imagine the roots burrowing deep into the earth and drawing nutrients from the rich soil.
  • Feel the connection to the earth come up through your feet and legs and into your entire body.
  • Stay with this feeling a few moments, breathing steadily. When you are ready, imagine your roots retracting and take a moment to feel gratitude for the Earth and for how it supports us.
Learn More

Centering

To “center yourself” means to set aside all thoughts of the past and future and to focus on the present moment. It means to take your scattered energy and focus it on your heart. “Heart” in this sense is the center of our feeling nature, the place from which we feel and give love.

A simple centering exercise, which can immediately follow the grounding exercise above, is…

  • Find a comfortable position, breathe slowly and evenly, and bring your attention to your heart center.
  • Focus on feeling love and compassion for yourself.
  • Remind yourself that you are perfectly safe and that anything that happens to you here on Earth, no matter how bad it may seem, is for your highest good.
  • When you’re ready, extend this feeling of love outward to the world.
  • Feel your connection with others.

You may want to end your grounding and centering exercises by giving thanks for any people, things, and events that have contributed to your growth or brought light to your life.

Learn More
mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.

There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment.

Benefits of Mindfulness Getting Started

Basic mindfulness meditation

Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.

Body sensations

Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.

Sensory

Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.

Emotions

Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.

Urge Surfing

Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.

*If you have a medical condition, you may prefer a medically oriented program that incorporates meditation. Ask your physician or hospital about local groups. Insurance companies increasingly cover the cost of meditation instruction.*

Gently redirect

If your mind wanders into planning, daydreaming or criticism, notice where it has gone and gently redirect it to sensations in the present.

Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.

All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation. Meditation is exploring; not a fixed destination. Your head doesn’t become vacuumed free of thought, utterly undistracted. It’s a special place where each and every moment is momentous.

When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds:

  • Our Sensations: Air blowing on our skin or a harsh smell wafting into the room.
  • Our Emotions: Love this, hate that, crave this, loathe that
  • Thoughts: Wouldn’t it be weird to see an elephant playing a trumpet.
Getting Started

Things to Remember…

Go with the flow.

In mindfulness meditation, once you establish concentration, you observe the flow of inner thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations without judging them as good or bad.

Pay attention.

You also notice external sensations such as sounds, sights, and touch that make up your moment-to-moment experience. The challenge is not to latch onto a particular idea, emotion, or sensation, or to get caught in thinking about the past or the future. Instead, you watch what comes and goes in your mind and discover which mental habits produce a feeling of well-being or suffering.

Stay with it.

At times, this process may not seem relaxing at all, but over time it provides a key to greater happiness and self-awareness as you become comfortable with a wider and wider range of your experiences.

Practice acceptance

Above all, meditation practice involves accepting whatever arises in your awareness at each moment. It involves being kind and forgiving toward yourself. By practicing accepting your experience during meditation, it becomes easier to accept whatever comes your way during the rest of your day.

Spirituality and recovery go hand-in-hand. Spirituality connects us to a power greater than ourselves.

While the two are often closely linked, spirituality does not need to be defined through the lens of religion.

Religion is a set of beliefs, rituals or practices regarding a belief in God or multiple gods. On the other hand, spirituality is more of a personal search for meaning in life and a connection with the universe or something greater than ourselves.

Although some people share their spirituality through religion, this form of expression doesn’t work for everyone. Others practice their spirituality through meditation, yoga, tai chi, spending time in nature or any number of more holistic methods. Regardless of how you choose to express your spirituality, your practice should always be grounded in love and compassion while guiding you closer to your purpose in life.

The Role of Spirituality

Anyone can benefit from spiritual practices, but the search for meaning is particularly important for those struggling with addiction.

When incorporated into the recovery process, spirituality can help people understand themselves, connect to a greater sense of purpose and stay dedicated to sobriety.

Regular spiritual practice can:

  • Increase compassion, empathy and attention: Contemplative practices — like meditation, gratitude, devotionals and yoga — encourage inner reflection, which can allow you to understand yourself and others more fully and generously. These practices can also help you pay more attention to and appreciate life’s little pleasures.
  • Improve your sense of connectedness: Spiritual communities such as churches, meditation groups or even yoga classes can be sources of social support, providing people with a sense of belonging, security and community. Because your spiritual community is comprised of people who share similar values, it also offers an opportunity to form strong, deeply fulfilling friendships. This doesn’t just improve your mental state — it can actually boost your physical health.
  • Help you live a healthier life: Many spiritual traditions have rules about treating the body with kindness and respect. This can include avoiding potentially harmful behaviors, such as eating specific foods, drinking in excess or smoking. By connecting these practices to a larger spiritual purpose, you’re more likely to stick to them and make healthier choices.
  • Encourage you to work through negative emotions: Letting go of negative emotions like blame, anger, jealousy and frustration is an important part of many spiritual traditions. These emotions are inevitable, but keeping them in check doesn’t just improve your mood and overall well-being; it also benefits you physically. Lower amounts of negative emotions have been linked to longer lifespans, improved immune function, lowered blood pressure and better cardiovascular health.
  • Make it easier to overcome hardships: A spiritual framework can help you make sense of life’s more difficult events, and even enables you to find meaning and growth in them. Recognizing the universality of suffering and pain can allow you to see hardships as part of the shared human experience.
Recovery & Spirituality

Have you ever asked yourself, “I can’t believe I just did that?!?” Why are you using “I” twice in the same sentence about the one “you?” It is because there are two intellects going on at the same time inside of you. If you have addiction or another mental health concern, trusting the intellect can often cause pain and suffering.

Going to the heart or the Soul can bring freedom and peace. The Soul is fed by prayer.

Prayer

Prayer is simple the act of connecting with a Higher Power than yourself, which is a central part of most 12-step Recovery Programs and the Peaceful Warrior’s Way.

To get started you may choose to recite the Serenity Prayer to yourself or out loud. Those in Recovery cite the Serenity Prayer as a powerful tool that helped to deal with cravings, compulsive urges and situations outside their control.

It goes like this:

Serenity Prayer