Remaining sober while going through rehab is the beginning of a healing process that all addicts must face.
Once this initial treatment has been successfully completed a person should be ready for onward progress.
Maintaining this progress will require determination, desire and a positive approach to daily challenges, but it is most certainly achievable.
When times are tough a few self-reminders need to be recalled. Here are some important pointers.
Recovery is not an overnight event:
Let’s face it, your substance of choice took a good while to get the better of you. In all likelihood, it will have been the unwanted duo of increasing use and self-denial that finally led to rehab.
Similarly, recovery will not happen overnight. The need for patience, perseverance and that ever-strengthening desire to regain control of your life will take time.
While an addict will understand this, many friends and family will not. A fair percentage will think that because you have successfully completed initial rehab that all is well; if only!
There will be frustrating periods to face during recovery. Goals and targets are taking longer to achieve than expected and you appear to be marking time in terms of positive progress.
Don’t let these dips during recovery get you down. They will test your resolve and try your patience, but by resisting negative thoughts and pressing on in a positive manner you will become a stronger person.
Positivity is key to continuing the momentum of your personal recovery journey.
Beware of recovery burnout:
At times, challenges to maintaining sobriety will push you to the limit. This is natural because of the immeasurable effects addiction brings, but don’t let recovery burnout get the better of you.
It is imperative that any negative feelings and thoughts are expressed. Speak with your counsellor, a sponsor if you have one, and anyone who is close enough to open your heart too. These frank and open discussions will help tremendously and help you see things from a different perspective.
Focus is important if a recovering addict is to avoid recovery burnout. Here are ways in which that focus can be maintained:
Prioritise your goals:
It is natural to want everything to fall in place quickly, but it is important not to rush things. Address issues in order of priority, overcome one and move on to the next. If this takes longer than expected do not be disheartened.
Listen to your counsellor:
The agreed recovery plan has been specifically tailored for your needs. Many of the basic building blocks of this plan are being utilized because they have proved successful over time.
Never be afraid to question the steps that are being taken, but don’t place extra pressure on yourself by ignoring them and trying to establish your own rehab program.
Don’t underestimate prior progress:
As you progress through healing some stages will appear to be far more challenging than others. Rather than being disheartened spend time thinking about previous successful stages and how you achieved them.
This thought-process will bring positivity and allow you to face and overcome the next healing hurdle.
Recovery takes as long as it takes!
Bear this fact in mind, but don’t become complacent. Keep active, change routines, look at new activities and above all remain positive.
Whenever self-encouragement is needed just consider the progress made to date. Such progress is something you should rightly be proud of.