Change and Recovery
Change is an important part of any addiction recovery process. Without change, we would only continue our addictive habits, unable to break our poor habitual cycles for something greater. Changing our lives, ourselves, and the way we see the world is not an easy task. It takes time, energy, and the willingness to seek consistency in our new lives. Change can lead to our embetterment, and not all changes have to be monumental to have life altering effects.
Look For a Brighter Future
1. Build your lifestyle around your recovery and not the other way around.
Possibly the most difficult, and vastly important aspect of recovery is the willingness to build up your life around your recovery. For those recovering from addiction, your current way of living could be keeping you from happiness away from your vices. You could be keeping negative influences around, or not changing your routine to emphasize your continued recovery.
When beginning the process of recovery, or continuing the process to seek a stable life, prioritize your wellbeing above all else. This may seem selfish and impossible, but prioritizing your recovery means you’re choosing a happy, healthy life instead of addiction. It means you’re choosing a future where you can be a better friend, parent, sibling, son, or daughter. Being “selfish” now only means you can be truly selfless for others in the future.
2. Confront your inner demons.
When you’re feeling strong enough, it’s important to reflect on the past. This doesn’t mean you should dwell on the moments you cannot change, but you should give yourself the chance to come to terms with who you once were. When you decided change needed to take place, you also decided the life you were living could no longer exist. Whether it’s by journaling, or through therapy—safely revisit the past, reflect on it, and how you’ve changed for the better. Acknowledge the fact that you as a person may not have changed completely, but your habits have.
3. Remove toxic influences.
So much change will revolve around what and who you realize no longer fits into your life. Recovery cannot take place without the removance of negative and toxic relationships. There’s no way to actively seek out a healthy lifestyle if you’re not willing to make space for the positive and keep out the negative. As difficult as it is, remember that you’re placing your health and safety first before former relationships. Can you continue to progress with the current circle of people around you?
Change Your Mindset
1. Spend alone time wisely.
Alone time is essential for processing the heavy emotions you’ll feel during all stages of your recovery. Make sure that you’re using that time wisely. Spending too much time alone when you’re unable to keep yourself, or you thoughts accountable may lead to relapse. Make the time to dive into learning about your needs and your afflictions. After all, time on your own is time you could be using to shift your old thought patterns and counter your destructive behaviors. Find a few solitary actions that can help with self-reflection when you’re on your own:
- Reading books for self-discovery
2. Find fulfillment in work and life.
Feeling unfulfilled in any aspect of your life may be causing a standstill in your progress. Take into account what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re feeling particularly underwhelmed in your workplace for instance, it may be time to re-evaluate the amount of happiness it brings you. If it’s giving you little to no fulfillment, you may want to think about working towards some form of change in that area of your life.
Change will look different for every individual. Maybe for you the “change” is setting attainable workplace goals that will help you raise your morale, and give you the feeling of accomplishment more often than you might have felt otherwise. Maybe this means working toward furthering your training in your desired field. Or maybe it’s finding a job that better suits the new you and where your future goals are.
This evaluation is helpful for all parts of your life. Are you fulfilled by how you’re living currently, or do you feel stuck? It’s so often that our workplaces, homes, and personal lives are unbalanced. We don’t give enough time to find the things that could bring us self-fulfillment. Or worse, we put our continued recovery lower down on our priority lists.