The first step in healing from a drug or alcohol addiction is admitting that you have a problem. Many people with addiction live in denial about their problem because it’s easier than admitting the truth. Even when they hear pleas from their loved ones, many people are still unwilling to seek help until they hit rock bottom.
Acknowledging that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol is a huge step in creating a life free from addiction. But there is more to a successful recovery than simply accepting help. You must commit to a life of sobriety and be willing to work hard at recovery. Otherwise, you could get complacent and end up putting yourself in difficult situations, increasing the risk for relapse.
Below are some of the best ways that you can succeed at recovery. Remember, all you need to start your recovery is a commitment to sobriety and the willingness to work hard.
1. Avoid Triggers
Triggers for substance use include the people, places and things that remind you of the past. Seeing old friends or visiting old hangouts can cause you to reminisce about drugs or alcohol, putting you at risk for relapse. Identify your triggers so that you can avoid them when possible or manage them in healthier ways. By changing old habits, you move in the direction of a substance-free lifestyle.
2. Write in a Journal or Notebook
Writing about your journey is helpful for two reasons. First, it allows you to write about your struggles so that you can identify patterns and reinforce healthy behaviors. Second, writing in a journal helps you track your progress and see the bigger picture. All the small steps you’re taking make a difference, even though some days it may feel like one step forward, two steps back.
3. Build a Strong Support Network
Make it a priority to surround yourself with positive influences. Having people to lean on is empowering, and these individuals can hold you accountable for your choices. Participating in support groups is another way to expand your support network, as it’s helpful to hear from others who are facing similar struggles.
4. Think Positive
When you’re recovering from a substance use disorder, it’s easy to think negative thoughts. Your whole life is changing and you may not be entirely ready to face life without substances. Plus, the withdrawal symptoms you experience can cause you to feel even more depressed.
The good news is that by practicing gratitude and participating in therapy, you can think more positively. Start with the small things - what are you grateful for today? A roof over your head? Someone who cares about you? Filling your mind with positive thoughts will help you approach your journey with a better mindset.
5. Practice Healthy Coping Skills
In therapy, you will learn new healthy coping skills to help you deal with life’s challenges such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation. It’s also important to find activities and hobbies to fill the time you used to spend using drugs or alcohol. This will prevent boredom and encourage you to learn new skills. Ideas include cooking classes, dance lessons, sports teams, art/music classes and volunteering.
Are you ready to start your recovery? Admitting your problem and being open to treatment is the first step. Contact Recovery Cove at 484-549-COVE to learn more about our therapeutic services and how we can help you succeed at your recovery.