“The speed of your success is limited only by your dedication and what you’re willing to sacrifice.” – Nathan W. Morris
No one will tell you that recovering from a substance use addiction is an overnight job. And while deciding to walk the path of recovery is a lifelong commitment, it ultimately is one of complete freedom. Living substance-free offers the utmost in self-confidence, independence and productivity.
While there is plenty of advice and motivational quotes to be found on remaining dedicated to recovery, the true motivation to live free of substances can only come from within, meaning a person changes only when and if they want. It follows that your journey to recovery is completely defined by your personal dedication to it.
While this might sound exhausting, it should be rather empowering! It puts the reigns of recovery in your hands, and gives you the power to choose recovery for yourself. It allows you to give 100% of yourself to this thing you want, rather than 50% towards something someone else wants for you. When this motivation is coming wholly from something you desire for yourself, it’s likely you’ll be more determined than ever to see if through.
Recovery from within
No matter what kind of treatment you complete, it set the tone for the rest of the recovery process, possibly helping you through the steps of detox and/or withdrawal, offering both psychological counseling and physical healing. You were likely guided through important methods of integrating yourself back into the routines of daily life, from grocery shopping to job hunting to discovering hobbies.
While all these skills are vital to recovery, an underlying virtue, so to speak, breathes life into these tasks. Confidence, no matter what you hope to undertake, plays a major role in an outcome’s success or failure.
This concept applies expertly to recovery – if you aren’t confident in your ability to successfully persevere through recovery, the task itself will be infinitely more difficult.
While it’s entirely possible to wake up one day and decide to be more confident, it’s easier to accomplish this goal with concrete decision-making methods, of how you’re going to become more confident.
These strategies can include:
- Stop comparing yourself – Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and he definitely was on to something. If you constantly compare your recovery journey to someone else’s, you’ve stopped celebrating your victories and instead have diminished them. Different people are at different stages of life, with different struggles and different goals.
- Listen to your body – It sounds funny, but your body is a really good indicator of what you need, and the more in tune you are with your body, the less guilty you feel about taking care of yourself. This allows you to say no to things which aren’t good for you and to instead focus on things like good sleep, exercise, intentional eating and personal time. The more you care for your body, the easier it will be to reject that which harms it.
- Shut down negativity – We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to negative self-talk. Turning those voices off as quickly as they begin is important to the overall success of recovery. Learning to stop telling yourself, “I can’t” and flipping it to say, “I can, it might just take me a minute longer than I thought,” is crucial.
- Focus on gratitude – Focusing on what you do have instead of what you don’t fosters a mentality of gratitude. Perhaps consider starting a gratitude journal where you note three moments, things, people or places that positively impacted your day. It could be as simple as eating your favorite meal, or something as significant as a recovery milestone.
- Be gentle with yourself – Remember when we said recovery is hard? It’s honestly the Olympics of self-care, and it’s amazing that you’re here battling it out. Sticking to recovery is inspirational, but nonetheless exhausting. Because you’re climbing a mountain (metaphorically speaking, of course), you have to give yourself grace. There are days when you don’t make it very far, when situations out of your control keep you in one stage for longer than you want or when you have to take an alternative route. But an obstacle is something you can overcome, not an indicator of doom.
Keep the big picture in mind
When doubt strikes, remind yourself of why you chose recovery in the first place. What about a life free of substances pushed you to choose the narrow road and fight for recovery?
Remember, too, that while the desire to live free of substances does come from within you, you don’t need to walk this road alone. Whether it be family, close friends or other people encountered during treatment, support is always available during both times of trial and times of joy.
For additional resources, care and support during recovery, reach out to The Light Program at 610-644-6464.