Values are an important element of addiction recovery. Values drive our ability to make decisions and cause us to act a certain way. They help us to identify what is important in our lives. When our behaviors start to clash with our values, we begin to feel lost. You have experienced the clash between your addictive behaviors and personal values, which is likely to be what led you to the path of recovery.
What Are Values?
Values are best understood as moral principles that drive our decision-making and ultimately drive our behaviors. While some people value characteristics like honesty, others may value cleanliness. Values can be broad or specific, as they are subjective to you. Meeting milestones in life tends to motivate us to develop new values, especially as we evolve and grow in our recovery journeys. Values shift based on our own priorities and what we consider to be the most important at any given time.
It is common for people to discover their deepest values when they explore their spiritual beliefs. Reflection and introspection also lead to the discovery of values. Regardless of how values are formed, they play a crucial role in how we judge our own actions.
Important Values in Addiction Recovery
While values are personal, there are quite a few values that remain important when it comes to sustaining recovery. These values help to keep your recovery stable while the goals of your recovery remain clear.
Integrity is a value that combines honesty with the ability to act upright. Integrity and honesty complement each other. Recovery teaches us to hold ourselves accountable for our past mistakes and work to be better every day moving forward. Valuing integrity means being transparent with yourself and others during moments of weakness that surface often in recovery.
- Social Support
Social support is another value that is essential to acknowledge and understand in recovery. Recovery treatment experiences give us the ability for social connection with other peers struggling as well as mental health professionals to guide us through treatment. Outside of treatment, social support becomes a little bit more difficult to locate and sustain. Valuing social support means seeking relationships and accepting advice and support as a means of achieving long-lasting sobriety. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can contribute to relapse, and social support is a way to combat those feelings. You need to be able to turn to others for guidance, as recovery does not have to be experienced alone.
Treatment may have taught you the beginning steps of how to take ownership of your life. Throughout recovery, you will experience many situations that motivate you to take responsibility for your behaviors. Valuing responsibility means that you know not to blame others for your mistakes. You know that you are in control of how you respond to triggers and cravings.
Acceptance can be a difficult value to incorporate into your mind. As acceptance is more of a mental element, it teaches us to move past the things that we cannot control instead of trying to change the circumstances. Valuing acceptance means that you acknowledge the power within you to solve your own problems. Many of us have experienced the consequences of addiction and feel continuous shame and guilt from our past. You cannot move beyond your past mistakes unless you learn how to accept them. Acceptance can be valued at any point in the recovery experience, because making mistakes is not just a part of the addiction experience – it is a part of what makes us human.
- Your Recovery
No matter where you are on your recovery journey, it is crucial that you value and prioritize your focus on your recovery. When you leave treatment, you are likely to experience juggling different priorities such as maintaining a stable career, devoting intimate time with family, and balancing extracurricular activities. When you value your own recovery, you keep your recovery first in your life. There will be times that you feel low and perhaps even struggle to get up in the morning. When you recognize the value in prioritizing your recovery, you are allowing yourself the necessary time to grow and persevere beyond your experience with addiction.
Recognize that although these values may seem generic, many of us were not taught the importance of sustaining values in our everyday life. Values steer us in the right direction when we don’t know where to turn next. When we live by our values, we feel greater meaning and purpose in our lives. Values keep us on the right track for recovery and give us the necessary guidelines to follow during the moments we struggle. Be transparent about your personal values in recovery and encourage your peers to reflect on their own values.
Values are important in recovery because they drive our decision-making. When we are looking to change unhealthy behaviors, we can reflect on what values we need to rely on for personal growth to occur. There are many important values in addiction recovery that help to sustain long-lasting recovery, such as integrity, responsibility, social support, and acceptance. The most important thing you can do for your recovery is to value and prioritize it. Renaissance Ranch believes that personal values serve as critical guidelines to keep you on track during your recovery. During the moments you feel weak, you can rely on your values to help you make the best decisions you can for yourself and your recovery. If you are looking for extended support, our staff can connect you with our Band of Brothers alumni program to help you stay on track with your recovery. Call us today at (801) 308-8898.