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Redpoint Center Blog Recovery Vulnerability Sober Mental Health

Vulnerability and Recovery: The Power of Authentic Connection

By Mental Health

We’re all human beings and we all want love and connection. So, how do we find it?

Vulnerability takes courage. And in recovery, it’s vital. In order to feel connected, we need to be vulnerable. Today, vulnerability is discussed widely. What’s more, this is largely thanks to one of our favorite researcher-storytellers, Brené Brown who famously charted the course into once uncomfortable topics in the viral TED talk she gave in 2010. If you have not watched this talk in full, we highly recommend it. It’s a game-changer. Specifically, it tackles shame and vulnerability and how important it is that we connect with others.

 Sobriety can be challenging. It can be rocky, uncomfortable, and frustrating at times as we unearth our behaviors and thought patterns. But it can also be a relief. No more hiding, cheating, lying, stealing. Sincere honesty can flow into your life like a cooling ocean wave. When we practice vulnerability and truthfulness in our communications, we deepen our interconnectedness with others. But how do we apply this in our lives?

Vulnerability in Sobriety

Many, upon hearing the word vulnerable, clench up. Fear can surround this word. But, many of us with consistent sobriety have found significant freedom in this word. Sitting in a room with others sharing vulnerable moments and struggles can be a great relief. It allows us to truly be seen, maybe for the first time in our lives, by people who know the experiences and feel what we are feeling. The best part about sobriety and vulnerability is that you are not the first person to experience it. Sharing from the heart connects us with those who have gone before.

Redpoint’s namesake is a climbing term for successfully free climbing a route that we have not been able to complete. Lucky for us, there is a worldwide community of folks in recovery that successfully navigate these routes of living sober. Tapping into this community and feeling the relief of being vulnerable can be life-saving and a testament of the human spirit. 

Mental Health and Being Vulnerable

The relief of vulnerability extends beyond the shared experience of addictive patterns and recovery. We, as humans, need each other. We need connection. Many of us have learned not to admit this for fear of seeming desperate or ‘uncool’. In addition, we may have endured trauma that causes us to distrust people, vowing never to be vulnerable again. This pattern can drive us back into addictive behavior because biologically, we NEED connection, touch, and love. The pain of isolation can run so deep, we use it as a punishment: solitary confinement. The whole world has been feeling the gravity of our need for human connection with lockdowns and quarantine. We are at the pace we are comfortable with and when we allow ourselves to physically connect with others and be in their presence, we can also motionally connect. Hence, we let this vulnerability flow forth. This is when true healing can occur. 

If you or someone you know is struggling, don’t be afraid to seek professional support, ever. You are not alone. We all experience difficult times and we all need help every once in a while. 

Redpoint Center Blog Article How to Stay Sober When Friends Party

How to Stay Sober When Your Friends Still Drink or Drug

By Mental Health

When new in recovery, it’s important to stay sober. Maintaining friendships with people who still use once sober can be difficult. It may be best friends, and even family members, who still party. In addition, it may be our closest support system who begged us to get sober at some point. While some are respectful, others don’t always get the gravity of maintaining a sober lifestyle. They may think, “He’s been sober for a year. He just doesn’t drink anymore”, believing that it is that easy to just stop drinking—thinking you are ‘cured’.

How to Stay Sober When Others Don’t Get It

It is hard to see another’s perspective unless we’ve lived it. Perhaps, even our best friends may not realize how hard it is for us to watch them have many beers with dinner. Maybe we just don’t feel comfortable at the New Year’s Eve party. Or, maybe the smell of marijuana is triggering? These are all valid concerns. In order to stay sober, we learn to find our boundaries, then hold them. And that is not always easy. Therefore, it becomes part of our recovery to set boundaries with friends and family. What’s more, this is crucial if some of these friends and family are unhealthy. It’s one thing to sip some wine with dinner. It’s another to get drunk and abusive. The only one who’s going to look out for your sobriety is you, so stand strong. Speaking up when we are uncomfortable is our responsibility. Furthermore, it’s an act of self-care. Most likely, this will be awkward and nerve-wracking at first. But speaking up and setting boundaries can be a crucial part of recovery.

Sober Boundaries and Staying the Course

Using our newly found sober voice can be difficult. Many of us fall into the trap of ‘wanting to be cool’. This may mean wanting everyone to continue to live their life as normal. But, your life is not how it used to be. Most likely, you have made a 180 degree turn to a different, sober lifestyle, and it’s okay to speak up about that. It’s actually what you must do. Those who truly care about you, once aware of your perspective, would happily not have that cocktail with dinner or drag you into a bar. The idea is to support the effort to stay sober. In fact, to honor it.

Feel free to say no to attending the reception at a good friend’s wedding because it is too much right now. Really, it is perfectly okay. And yes, some people may not get it. Setting new boundaries in relationships is often jarring to friends or family members. This is especially true when there is dysfunction. Unfortunately, some are just not used to you respecting yourself enough to ask for such boundaries. Many people don’t know how to set boundaries for themselves let alone respect yours (cue Al-Anon meetings ftw). Once in place, however, these new boundaries are life-saving in your recovery. Our social lives change in recovery. That’s a good thing. The idea is to stay sober and live a healthy life. The people that truly love us would happily meet us for a coffee, a hike, or any other sober hang out in place of the bar. When you respect yourself first, other’s respect will follow.  

Redpoint Center Mental Health Addiction Treatment Blog Feel Connected

How to Feel Connected During Tough Times

By Community, Mental Health

by Wendy Stine, Addiction Counselor & Program Manager at The Redpoint Center

There’s no doubt that many of us are feeling frazzled, ungrounded, and anxious. These feelings can make us feel isolated even more than we already are. Also, tumultuous times like this can be stressful. Our familiar routines may have become almost obsolete without a clear path to normalcy. In addition, it can be really hard to sustain isolation, for anyone. But, it’s even harder when struggling with mental health or substance issues.

Tips on How to Feel Connected

While we may be spending more time at home with family, we are also feeling more disconnected from the world. Our usual interactions with coworkers, fellow gym rats, and neighbors are on hold. In addition, social distance guidelines tell us to keep a 6-8 foot distance, but we are wired for human contact. Research tells us that this lack of connection during COVID-19 breeds mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. So, what’s a human to do?
  • Tap into the network. To start, we can feel connected when we interact mindfully, such as using social media for one to one interactions, or for live classes instead of commenting on old posts or general scrolling
  • Do something for someone else. Service work is a beautiful way to feel part of. We can also feel connected when we make cookies for a neighbor, a senior center, or cut someone else’s lawn.
  • Meditation is a powerful practice. Also, certain types of meditation are about feeling connected. Metta is a longstanding loving-kindness meditation style. This loving-kindness meditation is a way to get quiet and embody compassionate awareness. It helps to ensure we feel connected.
  • Reach out. Is there a friend or loved one you’re missing? Write a heartfelt letter.
While there is no substitute for a hug from a friend, a smile from your favorite coworker, or a simple touch on the shoulder, it can help us feel like we are connected to the human race. At least for the time being. May we all feel connected during this challenging time.

It’s OK to Seek Support

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addictiondrug addiction, or mental health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol abuse. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab in Boulder County Colorado, call 888-509-3153.
Even if Redpoint is not the appropriate facility, we will help you find what will work best for you and your family.
There is nothing wrong with struggling. It is OK to go through hard times. Many of us know the pain and the way back. We are here to help.
Image courtesy of unsplash.
Redpoint Center Mental Health COVID-19 Coping Tips

Mental Health and COVID-19

By Mental Health, Therapy

Mental Health and COVID-19: It’s OK to Not Be Ok

We’re just about a month in this whole shelter-in-place situation. The timeline for returning to regularly scheduled programming has been pushed out. And it is a moving target right now. In addition, we’re figuring out that there are challenges on top of challenges. Sure, staying at home in our sweats with our family of choice sounded good in the beginning. The “I’ll clean out all my closets,” and the “I’m going to work out every day,” rally cries are starting to lose steam. But guess what? That’s ok.
This is not the time to beat ourselves up with that old familiar voice that tells us we need to do it perfectly. No, we don’t. Pandemics can be stressful but there are tools we can use to recognize the COVID-19 stress and anxiety and support ourselves and our mental health with skill and ease. We just have to show up every day and do the best we can. It might be getting up and putting clothes on. Feed the cat. Do a work call even if you don’t have a zippy attitude. Just do what you can and get through it. It’s OK.

COVID-19 Tips to Cope

This won’t last forever. Not much does. So, press on; eat chocolate, call an old friend that makes you laugh. Do what you can. Reach out for support, if you need deeper listening. Telehealth therapy also provides a safe space. Tomorrow it just might be ok. In the meantime, here are some tips to sustain.
  • Structure your time. Build structure into your days and map your time. It’s always good to plan the weeks, the days, and what are the best ways to fill your time. If you’re working from home, it’s always good to schedule your time, both for work requirements and for you and your self-care. It may sound silly, but using your calendar to carve out time for you is a good thing. Perhaps you schedule a daily walk or meditation time?
  • Create space for activities. If you are in WFH (work from home) mode, try to set up your zoom/workspace somewhere particular, ideally away from your sanctuary space (bedroom/guest room/office). It’s ideal to separate where you work from where you unwind.
  • Create connection. It’s important to stay connected when we feel isolated. Reach out to others. Call loved ones or face time/video call to feel more connected. If you can, maintain whatever extracurricular activities keep you feeling grounded and healthy. Maybe it’s an online yoga class or a group workshop online.
  • Let go of expectations and enjoy your time. It’s OK to just let go sometimes. Go easy on yourself. You don’t need to use every minute of the day productively right now. There are other ways to use your time and be gentle with yourself. A little music therapy does wonders. Prepare a healthy meal. Cooking can be very meditative and is a great way to get lost in the moment.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to breathe and be compassionate with yourself right now. You are not alone. If feelings of lasting depression or thoughts of self-harm are present, there are people that can help immediately. Please contact us. We are here to help.
Redpoint Center COVID-19 Quarantine Music as Medicine

Quarantine Music to Soothe the Soul

By Community, Mental Health, Therapy

During COVID-19 quarantine, music is vital. While we experience these uncertain times, many are grappling with anxiety. In addition, we feel stress about the future. On top of this, we have an unprecedented amount of free time on our hands. It is in times like these when people with mental health disorders and addictions struggle. Furthermore, with the isolation, it becomes easier for the brain to drift into a negative headspace. A great way to feel connected throughout the chaos is music. Studies show that music has a positive impact on our mental health. Also, now, more than ever, musical artists are releasing music to entertain and provide hope to all of us stuck inside wondering what to do next. It’s a perfect time to crank the tunes.

Quarantine Music Soothes the Soul


During quarantine, music can be a soothing force for good. Go back through an old playlist you made years ago and reminisce. Create a new playlist comprised of songs about how you feel right now. Make a dance playlist and let loose. No one is around to judge you and who cares even if they were?! If ever there was a time to let loose and fly that freak flag, it’s now. Dance like no one is watching!
You could also make a playlist of music to express how you’re feeling. Write a song, create some instrumentals on GarageBand, or take a song you already know, and change the words if you want. Pull out that old Casiotone and get crafty. Ask your friends to send you what they’re listening to right now, and maybe you’ll find some new favorites.
Quarantine music can be a great distraction from the overwhelming sense of despair that can come and go in waves. Use music to navigate the feelings and sit in them for a little while. Then, find something upbeat, and turn the volume up until you can’t help but dance a little!

Quarantine Tune Tips

Here are some recommendations from our team. Streaming services, like Spotify, offer COVID-19 playlists. In addition, Vox published a quarantine survival playlist, and if you just need a few moments of hilariousness, this viral video from a family replicating a classic Journey music video is pretty epic. To top it off, Will Smith offers chill beats playlist on his YouTube channel for some smooth vibes.
If you or someone you love is ready to reach out for support, give Redpoint a call. We’re in this with you.
Image courtesy of OC Gonzalez via unsplash


Redpoint Center Healthy Eating During Covid-19 Quarantine explains how eating well improves mental health.

Healthy Eating During Quarantine

By Mental Health
Healthy eating isn’t always easy. Even during the best of times, we may crave comfort food or some snacking. But now, as we pass the one month mark of COVID-19 quarantine, the snacking can reach epic proportions. How do we keep our eating habits healthful and nourishing?

Self-Care During Quarantine

Being stuck at home under stressful conditions can bring on some serious snack issues. Many of us need some social distancing from those bad-for-you processed snacks that are high in sugar, fat, and food additives. Now is the time to focus on getting as much nutritional value as possible, while supporting our immune systems and mental health. And now we know, studies show that what we eat has a significant impact on our mental health. Take this time to establish positive routines that will serve you going forward.

Healthy Eating Tips

There are lots of ways to practice a healthy lifestyle during this time. Self-care, including exercise, plenty of sleep, and nutritious meals are a great foundation for wellness.
Here are a few more tips:
  • Drink water! We often head to the kitchen for something to do in downtime moments, just for something to do. Don’t be hard on yourself for that. It’s an unprecedented time. But instead of heading straight for the food, be sure to drink at least one full, tall glass of water.
  • Vegetables are your friends! Chopped vegetables with dips can be a perfect afternoon snack. Hummus, nut butter, and guacamole are three easy dips. Salads provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants and there are thousands of amazing recipes online. Make it fun and try new recipes you’ve never made. Experiment with what’s in the fridge.
  • Nuts, Peanut Butter, Trail Mix are all good options. You can even try mixing your own with what’s on hand.
  • Yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, whole-grain cereal, or granola.
  • Guacamole or Hummus with whole-grain crackers and veggies. Chopping celery, carrots, and cucumbers to dip provide a healthy option.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are a good source of protein and nutrients.
  • Kitchen Sink Smoothie: Spinach, kale, bananas, berries, juice, or milk (non-dairy too), and any vitamins you have in a blender with ice
  • Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants

Be Mindful: Food & Mood

Food plays a big role in how we feel, mentally and physically. What’s more, the energy we put into what we eat pays off directly by building our self-esteem. Mindfulness plays a part here. Be conscious of how you’re approaching things. Why are you in the kitchen? Are you truly hungry? Have that glass of water (we all need to drink more water!) and think about what comes next. The less prepared foods we eat, the more we’re inspired to cook. Get creative in the kitchen and use this time to truly nourish yourself and those you love. In addition, it’s best to vary the kinds of snacks you eat. Give the body a mixture of food groups and focus on high nutritional value. Be mindful, noting when you’re truly full. Eating well is empowering and our bodies will respond with better health.
Image courtesy of unsplash.

Social Distancing and Mental Health: Telehealth Saves Lives

By Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment
There’s a saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It’s never been more true in the instance of telehealth. While telehealth has been around for a while, it’s only been widely used as of late. The COVID-19 epidemic has brought a tool that rural and underserved communities use to the fore. In addition, studies show that telehealth services can be highly effective. Furthermore, when we maintain communication with our support team, we practice self-care. It’s vital, during challenging times, to get the help you need.

What is Telehealth?

Some wonder, what exactly is telehealth? It’s healthcare services, including mental health, that utilize telecommunications and virtual technology. Both the patient and the therapist are on HIPAA-compliant video, so clients, groups, and therapists can all see each other.  It allows practitioners to reach patients that are off-site for whatever reason. It’s got a list of benefits including:
•Convenience: You can receive services from your own home or office. No need for travel!
•Privacy: This communication is between you and your therapist, only.
•Efficacy: Research shows telehealth to be equally effective in the treatment of most mental health disorders
•Affordability: Services are often covered by insurance
•Comfort: You can wear pajama pants and no one will know!
While talking online isn’t always the best substitute for face-to-face human interaction, it does allow critical
care to continue amid these tenuous circumstances; a way to stay connected. And that is a beautiful thing.
If you or someone you know is in need of support right now, the Redpoint team is here to help. Contact us, any time. We are here 24/7 for you and yours.
Redpoint Center Mental Health Addiction Outpatient Telehealth Services
Redpoint Center COVID-19 Recovery Support Coronavirus Sober

COVID-19, Quarantine, and Life in Recovery

By Community, Mental Health
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the Coronavirus. Life as we know it has been brought to a halt by COVID-19. For many, uncertainty and change generates a high level of anxiety. There may be anxiety coming from the slow pace and the lack of “things to do.” Many of us are accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle. An average day may consist of driving the kids to school, going to an appointment, going to work, running out for lunch, going back to work, picking up the kids, driving them to their after-school activities, making dinner, attending nightly commitments, and so on. For the time being, most of that is canceled or postponed. While it feels different from our normal lives, we can appreciate and take advantage of this pause. The fear of the unknown, the threat of illness, or concern around financial hardship are all valid. But, there is an opportunity to find positivity that lies beneath the turmoil.

Slowing Down for COVID-19

Most of us talk about how nice it would be to slow down. Our lives move fast. COVID-19 is forcing us all to do this. Many of us have extra time with family now. In addition, we can read books out loud with the kids. Perhaps there’s time to cook dinner together with a significant other or reconnect with family members who live far away. We have extra time with pets, who appreciate more cuddles and playtime. Now could be the perfect time to finally start digging into that stack of books you have been wanting to read. It’s also a good time for finishing or starting a home improvement project. This pause came at a perfect time to allow us more space in our schedules to do some spring cleaning,  a puzzle, or start learning how to knit, dance, or finally hop on that Peloton bike that hasn’t been touched since Christmas. In fact, maybe now that you’ve had to stop moving so fast, you notice that you haven’t been taking the best care of yourself. Maybe now is a great time to finally look at getting a therapist, going through an online treatment program to address a detrimental relationship with substances, or beginning a new meditation routine.

Taking Care of Ourselves

Many have hoped for some relief, a break, a few “extra hours in the day”. Well, like it or not, that time has come. COVID-19 is happening. But we can control our attitudes and our actions.
“I, for one, am going to enjoy this rare pause and as my body has begun to slow down, I will allow my mind to slow down as well,” says Rachael Messaros, individual in long-term recovery and Director of Admissions & Marketing at Redpoint.
As always, a reminder that if you or someone you love is in need of therapeutic support, we are here. Redpoint Center is fully operating, using telehealth tools to stay connected to our clients. Now, more than ever, we need each other.
Redpoint Center Rehab Exercise for Recovery

Exercise for Recovery

By Addiction, Mental Health, Treatment
Exercise for recovery can be a powerful practice. Recovery looks a little different for everyone. An important part of one person’s journey may not play as significant of a part in someone else’s. That being said, scientific evidence shows that exercise is an important tool for a healthy mind and body—a key component of recovery. Medical professionals are recommending the benefits of physical activity and its many mental health applications. However, establishing a routine exercise regimen is something that forces many to struggle. Here are a couple of reasons to get off the couch and move your body.

Exercise for Recovery and Mental Health

For many, exercise has powerful mental health benefits. The research validates this fact. To start, exercise for many can be a form of meditation. It creates the space and time to simply be present. Much of recovery is about learning to live in the present moment. Fears, doubts, insecurities, and anxieties typically live in the past and the future. When you’re engaged in cardio, practicing yoga, or lifting weights, you are aware of your heartbeat and your breath. Furthermore, you are quieting the mind and initiating the release of endorphins, which generate a greater sense of ease and calm. Tapping into the body and remaining present is a meditative experience.
In addition, exercise is a powerful, and completely natural, anti-depressant. It is also free, depending on what activities you enjoy. The chemical release that occurs during physical exercise is proven to be as effective as leading anti-depressant medications (without the negative side effects) when treating mild to moderate depression. “Even if it’s a temporary fix, I can count on 30 hard minutes on the Stairmaster to rescue me from my own mind,” says Rachael Messaros, outreach coordinator at the Redpoint Center.
Exercise provides structure and leads to healthy choices. Sometimes we just need a reason to get out of bed in the morning and starting the day with movement sets us up for a far better day. “When I can work exercise into my weekly routine, it provides me with a healthy structure and promotes self-care. It provides evidence that I am taking time out of the day to make a healthy decision for myself, which in turn leads to more of the same, like eating well and getting enough rest,” adds Rachael.

Exercise as a Spiritual Practice

Exercise for recovery can be a spiritual practice for many of us. While exercising in nature we are more attuned to the greater world around us. In addition, even riding the cardio bike in the class at the gym can help you feel connected to something bigger than yourself. We become more aware of a sense of connectivity.
“Nature nourishes my soul, and so do other humans working towards a similar goal,”—Rachael Massaros, Outreach Coordinator at Redpoint Center
As mentioned before, what works for one person doesn’t always resonate with another. There is however a growing body of evidence that suggests getting outside (or inside) and moving your body has significant benefits for not only physical but also mental health. Perhaps the two aren’t so different from one another in the first place.
What to Expect in Longmont and Boulder Sober Living

Longmont and Boulder Sober Living – What to Expect

By Addiction, Community, Mental Health

You or a loved one has completed residential treatment, now what? First of all, congratulations. Taking and completing that step is a huge one in and of itself. Typically the next step on the road of recovery after rehab is a sober living environment. A sober living home is a supervised, structured space in which folks new to recovery live. Accountability and monitoring are key components to what makes a sober living environment work effectively. In addition, these elements are key to help people stay sober throughout the transition between residential treatment and independent living.

How Does Sober Living Work

Sober living homes provide a safe, structured environment for individuals to learn how to thrive in recovery. These homes are a vital part of the recovery process. Often, those new to recovery start to get back to daily living while in a sober house. In addition, sober homes provide camaraderie and peer support. Studies show that sober homes can increase the likelihood of long-term recovery.

How long do people stay in sober living? There is no set answer to this question. Some people are in sober living for as many as two years, some as short as a few months. Different people need varying levels of accountability and monitoring. Furthermore, a supportive living environment offers different lengths of time because some need more or less structured than others. Hence, the main idea of sober living is a group environment to learn how to practice the tools learned in treatment before living independently.

How to Find a Quality Longmont or Boulder Sober Living House

Professionals, especially clinicians and staff at inpatient or intensive outpatient programs are great resources to rely on. In fact, professional services are ideal when navigating your needs or the needs of your loved one. Those in the recovery field have experience with the varied types of programs and can make the best recommendation based on the individual.

Sober living homes are often helpful to live in when a person is in an intensive outpatient program or partial hospitalization program. In addition, IOP or PHP helps to provide safety and understanding while that person is continuing therapeutic work at the treatment level. Peer support and safe housing is often recommended by a treatment team at this stage because of the risks associated with immediately going back to life as we once knew it. Consequently, when we return the same environment in which we were living prior to treatment, it can be stressful. Also, we may feel loneliness, misunderstanding, or simply have too much responsibility too soon.

Sober Houses = Healthy Living

Colorado-based recovery speaker Don C. often likens this process to the replanting of a dying tree into new soil. If a tree is dying, the soil in which it exists is often unhealthy. To rehabilitate that tree, one must relocate that same tree into new, healthy soil. Often, when that tree is relocated, it tends to thrive and pick up the nutrients from the new soil. Sober homes can be thought of in a similar way. It is the new soil and environment in which someone can begin to build their new life in recovery, rich in the nutrients of daily peer support, and monitoring. Hence, one builds the life skills needed to operate successfully in the world. Community and accountability are two keys to early recovery. A sober house is often the right choice for a person in early recovery to transition back to independence.

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