Lucas Belliard, March 5th 2020
The link between the mental and physical in recovery, and how Inner Peace will take you from the detox room to a physically active recovery.
Abstinence – The building block of a new beginning
In recovering from substance abuse, allaspects of one’s life need to be re-examined. Everything from physicalwellbeing to emotional wellbeing.
Let’s talk about the role of sports andexercise, but first let’s look at why it’s an important topic, and an importantpart of many patients’ recovery here.
Recovery is a process that needs to bewholesome and abstinence can only do so much. It’s only the beginning.
Saying that abstinence can only do so muchmight sound strange to someone who is new to recovery, entering a rehab for thefirst time, or to someone with limited knowledge of SUDs.
“Abstinence isn’t everything? I thought that’swhat the whole point of going to rehab was, to abstain from drugs and alcohol.”
The reality of the situation is thatabstinence is only a pre-requisite to recovery. Abstinence is the first hurdlein fighting the mental battle against addiction.
Many can abstain for a time without goingthrough any treatment whatsoever. It’s known as “white knuckling”, and it’s anuncomfortable exercise that achieves little. Many people still in denial abouthaving a problem use these short periods of abstinence as a way to “prove” tothemselves or others that they can quit any time they want. For those who havea Substance Use Disorder, it’s just not true.
Abstaining can be the most difficult aspectwithout the right help, but here at Inner Peace, same as other rehabs, it’sprovided free of any extra charges through the absence of drugs and alcohol, sodon’t worry about it.
This is where it becomes clear that staying sober in the long run, and treating SUDs is not that simple. SUD sufferers have an illness.
Detox – Getting some much-needed rest
You’re going to first have to go throughdetox. Although this has nothing to do with sports it’s necessary to mentionthat Inner Peace will make sure you’re ready to get active. A few days of restand monitoring is all that’s needed to determine when you can join the program.
Once you’re out of detox here at InnerPeace, you’re already eating 3 meals a day, at consistent and normal hours.You’re getting to bed at a normal time, and sleeping a normal amount.
This is when you can start to think a littleabout how to spend your free time here, and many patients find that gettingsome physical exercise is just what they need to release some of the feel-goodendorphins their bodies are craving. Different strokes for different folks asthey say, so if you’re keen to stay active there’s a bunch of options to choosefrom here.
Hitting the Gym
Inner Peace’s gym is equipped with enoughweights to stack 160 kgs on a barbell, and it doesn’t end there. In the room isalso a whole host of equipment for those who like to burn some energy or buildsome muscle that way.
Some patients find that a training routine,goal or schedule helps them kill time in a way that leaves them relaxed,releases energy and provides a sense of achievement and personal development.
But don’t shy away or feel intimidated ifyou come through the doors never having lifted a dumbbell in your life, asthere’s no shortage of encouragement to join in and camaraderie coming your way,and no one will be judging a newcomer who has an interest in starting from thebottom.
The opposite is true, and those who arealready following a gym routine will ask you if you’d like to join them. Nopressure at all, but if you take up the offer, you’ll find that many are keento offer advice, give tips and suggest new things.
Going for a run
If going for a run is for you, there’s a sports field just across, so feel free to enjoy a morning or evening run. Some enjoy solitude and some thrive on doing it as a group, finding that not being on your own can help you push yourself to run just one more lap. And with the beautiful sunsets, sunrises and the clean fresh air of a small town like Fraserburg, you won’t miss a treadmill.
Kicking a ball around
It’s also the perfect place to kick around a rugby/soccer ball or set up for a game of cricket with the house. With weekends and evenings being mostly free to relax, work on yourself or blow off some steam it’s no surprise that old and young find themselves bonding over sport.
Play a game of tennis or twenty
Many also pick up tennis, with a courtbeing right next to the field. Bring your own racket or use one of the manyInner Peace has as spares if you’d like to join in.
Tennis is a little more competitive aroundhere than kicking a ball around, but as with all activities here you’ll only beencouraged to join in and your peers will only build you up, never tear youdown. Although it’s rare, Clinical Director Johann will join on occasion.
Find your groove, no one’s going to force you
While some hit the tennis court, the gym,or the field, others kill an hour or so with a skateboard on the empty courtaside. There’s something for everyone.
If none of this sounds like your cup oftea, you’re more than welcome to spectate, or just take a dip in the pool orwatch the pros do it on TV in the lounge.
But at the very least, you’ll find it hardto resist joining in for a walk around the block and bond with the group overthe day’s banter, special moments and endless stream of jokes being cracked.
Recovery is about building a new healthyand life, and whether you’re an active sportsman or a couch potato, gettingyour pulse rate up and having some fun while doing it is just one of the waysInner Peace suggests building that foundation. After all, getting physicallyactive is a great start to the next chapter of the sober life that awaits youbeyond this facility.