Five Key Things to Learn from The Recovery Process
Entering recovery can be a worrying time, and it’s very easy to be overwhelmed with the enormity of trying to live a life that is free from drugs or alcohol.
However, the good news is that every day is another day closer to your goal of living a sober and healthy life.
And, each day, it will get a little easier to resist the temptation to relapse and fall back into those bad old habits. As you go through the process of recovery, there are five key things you need to learn.
#1. People Are Willing To Help, But You Need To Accept It
You will realize at some point during the process of recovery you could have gotten help much earlier if you’d just asked for it or accepted it when it was offered.
Once you come through rehab, you often realize how much the people around you care about you and how much they want to offer you help.
When you’re abusing substances, you often know you need help but you either don’t know how to ask for it or feel too ashamed or embarrassed to ask for it.
However, once you’ve started on a sober path, you begin to recognize how many people are there to give you the help you need. Your family is often more than happy to give you the support you’re looking for. Many of your sober friends will be willing to be a listening ear.
Your therapist, your doctors, your counselors, the people you met in rehab … they all want to give you the help you need to get sober and to stay sober in the long term.
However, you can only profit from that help if you’re prepared to accept it.
Having the mentality that it’s your own problem and you need to fix it yourself will get you nowhere and may even lead to a relapse as you struggle under the heavy burden of responsibility.
If someone offers his or her help, always accept it. Believe in his or her goodness and that he or she wants to genuinely make life easier for you.
Appreciate what he or she is offering and allow him or her to be there for you. After all, you don’t know when this person may need you to be there for him or her.
#2. Don’t Define Yourself As Your Problem
While honesty is a key part of the recovery process, admitting you needed substance abuse treatment does not mean this is the only way in which you define yourself. If somebody asks you about yourself, your first thought shouldn’t be “I’m an alcoholic” or “I’m an addict.”
You are a lot more than that. You are greater than the sum of your parts, and you are what you want to be. Define yourself by your education, by your job, by your family status or by your dreams, but not solely by your problem.
The good news about this is once you realize you don’t have to only think of yourself as an addict or as someone in recovery, you are free to look forward to the future, to make plans and to be excited about possibilities.
The best thing about sober living is you can achieve things that would never have been possible before.
Thanks to your new sobriety, you can return to education and gain the qualifications you need to succeed in your chosen career.
You can go on to have positive relationships and a happy family life. You can pursue all kinds of possibilities now that you are free of drugs and alcohol, and these positive possibilities should be the way you define yourself rather than dwelling on the negative.
#3. Learn To Be Accountable
Accountability and taking responsibility for the things you have done is an essential element of recovery.
A sober life means you have made an active decision to behave in the right way and to do the right thing. And, once you are sober and living in recovery, it’s time to learn the valuable lesson of the importance of apologizing.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of in apologizing to those around you who suffered as a result of your substance abuse disorder.
In fact, your friends and family members will give you the respect you deserve for admitting you were wrong.
You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to have their guilt lifted from your shoulders, and it certainly beats the fear you feel of confrontation.
#4. Learn To Love Yourself
Yes, it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true.
You can’t really love anybody else until you’ve learned to love yourself. Loving yourself can be hard when you’re in recovery.
There’s a lot of built-up guilt about the things you have done and the ways in which you have behaved, and it can be difficult to overcome those feelings and love yourself anyway.
Nevertheless, you should give yourself full credit for coming through rehab and entering recovery and learn to appreciate all you have achieved so far. Giving yourself a little love will help you to open your heart and mind to the love of others.
#5. Learn From The Past
Don’t dwell on the past and all the mistakes you’ve made. But, at the same time, never forget them.
It’s only by remembering those errors that you can learn from them and realize why you never want to go back there.
It’s more important to think of the future and the things you hope to achieve and to focus on the here and now, taking life day by day.
Congratulate yourself for every successful day you get through and remind yourself regularly of why you never want to head down that slippery slope to addiction again.