So often in addiction we lose hope that recovery is possible, every relapse feels like a failure, and we lose faith that things will ever change.
“Why can’t you just change, just make a decision, you just need to STOP!” How many times have we heard that, said that, prayed for it, only to be crushed by disappointment, betrayal, and frustration.
How do you keep on wishing and hoping for change when all around you things are falling apart and you seem so desperate?
Here are five points to help you stay focused on hope and guide you to recovery.
• Give credit for the small steps
• Keep achievable, reasonable goals that can be managed
• Understand the enormity of what you are facing
• Be compassionate, and don’t judge so harshly
• Don’t expect change in a short time
Give credit for the small steps
Looking towards the future without being able to drink and use any substance ever again is a very daunting thought. The enormity of it can become debilitating and scary. Keep in mind that it’s important to stay sober and do the right thing – just for today! Tomorrow will be another day, so just for today get up in the morning and make your bed it’s your first achievement of the day. Eat at regular times, look after yourself and care about your appearance and surroundings. All those small things did not matter during active addiction, give yourself credit for the change you are making already.
Keep achievable, reasonable goals that can be managed
In the first few weeks of sobriety most people feel they need to “catch up” and fix all the damage that was done while in active addiction and no not waste any more time, however this could lead to disappointment and burn out.
Keep your goals simple and achievable. Rather give yourself time and prepare for the long road. This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Understand the enormity of what you are facing
Recovery is not for the faint hearted, its hard work, on a daily basis.
Imagine getting into the boxing ring with a world champion, only that your hands are tied behind your back, and you have a blind fold on. It is that difficult, dangerous and at times, it might feel hopeless. Take a deep breath. You don’t need to do this alone. There is support out there for you, trust that you can reach out and accept help.
Be compassionate, and don’t judge so harshly
Not every day is going to be a good day, and that’s ok. When you are struggling, try and avoid the harsh inner talk, remember you are your biggest judge, think how you would support your best friend if they were having a tough day, and practice that compassion towards yourself. Everyone messes up sometimes, but keep in mind its not how you fall, its how you get up, dust yourself, and stand tall in the face of adversity, you can do this!
Don’t expect change in a short time
Allow yourself the time to recover slowly, without rushing the process, you have probably been in active addiction for years, so give yourself the time to heal and recuperate, don’t expect it to happen instantly. Recovery takes time, there is no quick fix or miraculous solution. This is the long road, and like preparing for a marathon you will need to practice; train yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually, for that journey.