Sometimes, moving through your recovery might get difficult. You might notice that you’re experiencing more and more cravings, bad moods, or negative thinking. Maybe you’re stressed at work. Perhaps you’re going through a major life change. Whatever it is, if you’re feeling like your sobriety is at risk, try gathering support around you. Try growing your network of support.
To do this, you can call friends, your sponsor, therapist, and/or other recovering addicts that might also need a boost. You can also attend 12-step meetings on a regular basis. If you’re familiar with 12-step meetings, then you might already know that newly recovering addicts are often encouraged to attend 90 meetings in 90 days as a way of having extensive support during their initial period of recovery. Even though you might have a length of time of sobriety behind you, there’s no reason why you can’t boost your recovery with another 90 meetings in 90 days.
In addition to the typical suggestions offered for strengthening your commitment to sobriety, you might also consider the following tips:
Focus on Hope – There are many definitions of hope. However, one that is simple and useful is: having a sense of looking forward to something with desire and have a reasonable expectation that that desire will be fulfilled. If you don’t have any hope, it’s hard to create it. However, you can begin to focus on an imagined future. What do you hope to do, wish to have, or hope to become? What is even the smallest possibility you wish to have in your life?
Positive Relationships – Although there are some people who prefer to spend their time alone, when you’re in recovery, having a community of people around you to support you can be incredibly effective. This is especially true if those people believe in you and if they can see in you the possibility for change. Having meaningful friendships where you can be yourself is important during recovery.
Successful Role Models – When we spend time with others who have achieved long term sobriety, we can learn from them. But more than that, they tend to have a particular mindset that we haven’t yet developed. By spending time with others who have a mindset of health and enjoyment versus negativity and stagnation, we start to pick up on the thoughts and feelings they’re having. We start to develop the mindset that they’re in rather than a mindset that has been holding you back for so many years. Having successful and healthy people around you can support your growth. Frequently, role models in sobriety can be found at treatment centers and 12-step meetings.
Time for Self-Care – When the compulsion to drink or use drugs becomes so great such that a person is using substances despite the harm it’s causing, there is plenty of harm that happens as a result. Relationships, careers, finances, and home life can begin to break down with the presence of addiction. For this reason, one way to counter the destructive elements of addiction is to find time to care for yourself. During your sobriety, if you’re feeling the need for a boost to your recovery, making time for extra self care can prove to be a significant boost. This might mean taking a long walk in the evenings or spending time with someone you care about. It might also mean time for yoga or meditation. Or it could simply mean playing ball with friends. Whatever activity is nourishing for you, making time for it throughout your day can be an essential tool to use during your recovery.
Sometimes recovery can be very challenging. But rather than focus on the difficulties of it, focus instead on what you can do to make it easier for yourself, such as following one the suggestions above.
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