Sobriety is a lifelong journey full of ups and downs. To succeed, you must be committed to your treatment and recovery. Keep in mind that drug abuse isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness. Overcoming it will require more than willpower. Drug abuse causes a change in your brain, powerful cravings, and a dependency on the drug that makes outright sobriety almost impossible.
Luckily, recovery isn’t out of reach regardless of how hopeless you are or how many times you’ve failed before at trying to revert back to a normal lifestyle. For a successful recovery, you need drastic changes in many aspects of your life, like how you deal with tough times, who you interact with, the hobbies you take part in, and how you perceive yourself.
The following are tips on how you can stay committed to your drug abuse treatment and recovery:
1- Be With People Committed To Your Recovery
Part of being sober is that you begin to realize that some of your relationships were unhealthy and toxic. It doesn’t mean drug dealers and your drinking buddies; it could include close friends, family, or an employer contributing to your addiction.
Maintaining these types of relationships during your recovery increases your chances of relapse. If you’re doing well, you attract healthy people. Even when struggling with your sobriety journey, having people committed to your recovery, such as your peers, helps you resolve and gain self-confidence.
You can meet people going through the same journey as you and have a support system in recovery centers. So, look for recovery centers or support groups in your area that can help you. If you’re in Southern California, click here to connect with community support that believes in individualized care.
Furthermore, a sponsor who’s been in recovery for years can significantly help you. You can rely on them for encouragement and support in your recovery.
2- Understand Your Triggers
A significant part of staying committed to your sobriety is understanding the external situation, factors, places, and things or internal triggers like emotions, thoughts, and feelings that arouse your drug cravings. Some of the common triggers include:
– Financial troubles;
– Relationship problems;
– Emotional straining;
– Peer pressure; and
– Environment cues.
All these factors can cause you to crave a drug that suppresses your pain and feelings. Identifying them helps you in creating a plan to evade them. Also, it enables you to find solutions with your therapist. For example, you can try workouts, relaxing games, or spend time with your family instead of drugs to fight off anxiety and stress.
Remember, you can’t treat what you don’t know. So, to heal your drug problems, you must know your addiction triggers to keep them in check.
3- Create Healthy Practices And Patterns
Sobriety isn’t about staying away from drugs but coming up with healthy practices in your everyday life and sticking to them. As a drug addict going through recovery, routine is your friend. Regularly attending your Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, yoga classes, or any other activity is a great way to practice commitment.
Once your body knows a specific routine, it becomes easier for you to stay away from drugs. A healthy structure brings stability to your life, and you can be committed to your recovery more.
For tremendous success, you need to change your old routines. It’d help if you changed your circumstances. Otherwise, you’ll relapse very fast.
4- Develop Smaller Goals
When starting your recovery journey, your ambitions and energy are high and you tend to set ambitious goals. Staying committed to recovery is hard; with big plans you can’t achieve, you quickly can get upset and risk relapsing.
The trick to success in recovery is coming up with specific, small, and achievable goals. Smaller goals are attainable and less intimidating. These goals focus on who you are now and how you can be better through more minor, realistic ways.
Fulfilling a smaller goal makes it easier and motivates you to pick another, and you feel some progress. Big and vague goals leave you frustrated when you don’t complete them. However, joining smaller goals shows you a consistent progress chain you can be proud of and excited about.
5- Have A Long-Term Plan
Big goals are hard to fulfill, and it might be challenging to stay motivated. But it’d help if you had an overarching plan that covers an extended period. Even with smaller goals, you should identify a definite purpose you have in mind. Choose a long-term goal of 1 to 2 years, and then you can create smaller month-to-month objectives that are exciting and will get you to the destination.
Having a plan helps you remain committed to your recovery. With each passing day, the future seems more exciting, and you won’t give up on your journey. If you don’t know how to devise a plan, get help from your sponsor or therapist. They have experience and can quickly help you.
6- Have Reminders Of Why Your Sobriety Is Important
One of the many ways you can practice your commitment to sobriety is by reminding yourself why it’s essential. You can create a pros and cons list that you can refer to every time you want to pick up a drug. Write every reason you can think of and as more ideas come up, add them to your list. No matter how absurd it is, please put it on your list as long as it makes sense.
– Some of the reasons you can have on your list include:
– You feel healthier and better about yourself;
– Better physical and emotional health;
– You save tons of money;
– Build good character;
– You can build lasting relationships with your family and friends;
– You can create a social life outside of drugs;
– Stay focused and achieve your goals;
– You can live a life with beautiful memories;
– Your weight becomes stable;
– Better self-image; and the like.
Reminders on why being sober are essential to help you stay committed to your treatment and recovery process.
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7- Be Accountable For Delays And Mistakes In Your Recovery
Like any other commitment, recovery can fail to go according to plan. Life will throw curve balls at you during your recovery journey, shaking dreams and aspirations. Yet while your goals are essential, you need to prepare for circumstances out of your control and be ready to account for them.
When a delay or mistake happens in your recovery, own them and find ways to get back and continue healing. Relapses are expected at least once in your recovery journey. Nonetheless, it’d help if you remembered that relapse is part of the chronic nature of addiction, and you should recognize it as part of the healing process. This way, you can turn your relapse into a learning experience, not a failure.
8- Make A Written Commitment
Making a written commitment is one way to ensure you stay committed to recovery, and you can practice responsibility by keeping your word. A written commitment has your signature showing you’re turning a new leaf. You can get your therapist, friend, or sponsor to hold the statement for you; they can always remind you when you forget.
9- Track Your Progress-Celebrate Milestones
You need to keep track of your recovery process to stay committed. Tracking gives you new ways to motivate yourself to stay sober. Over time, your sobriety becomes your usual way of life. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t take it for granted lest you relapse.
Tracking your progress means you keep a record of the progress, how far you’ve come and what has changed during that time. With time, tracking becomes your source of motivation to keep on improving and leading a better life despite your past.
If you’re already enrolled in a recovery program, you know the importance of milestones and checkpoints. In such programs, you get plastic chips as you progress, and after a year, you get the bronze coin. Acknowledging and celebrating your recovery helps you stay committed and motivated to recover.
10- Develop A Healthy Lifestyle
Continuous abuse of drugs affects both your emotional and physical health. A great way to stay committed to your recovery is by prioritizing self-care. A healthy lifestyle gives you reason and fortitude to remain sober. The following are tips you can follow for a healthy lifestyle:
– Eating a regular balanced diet;
– Doing relaxation exercises like yoga and meditation;
– Everyday physical activities like brisk walks and gym;
– Getting quality sleep;
– Reduce your salt and sugar intake;
– Drink water regularly; and others.
These steps improve your health and enhance your recovery by ensuring your mind and body function well.
11- Identify Signs Of Relapse
A drug abuse relapse isn’t a one-time lapse in judgment but a long-term set of signs you missed. Not knowing the symptoms of a fallback can make a relapse sneak up on you. To stay committed to your treatment and recovery, you should know the following signs:
– Being in a lot of situations where you feel your drug of choice is a logical solution to your pain;
– Going back to addictive thinking patterns;
– Isolating yourself;
– Depression, anxiety, and mood changes;
– Being less rational with your thinking;
– Going back to relationships with people who use drugs;
– Engaging in self-defeating behaviors like mental neglect, self-pity, social withdrawal, and self-criticism;
– Missing your meetings;
– Fantasizing about using drugs; and the like.
Having these signs on your fingertips ensures you’re careful not to fall into former patterns, and you can find help immediately if you’re at risk of relapse.
12- Be Ready To Handle Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)
After your detox, you experience mood changes resulting in depression, sleep issues, fatigue, and anxiety. These are called PAWS. Depending on your dependency, PAWS can last six months to two years after you stop using drugs.
The PAWS symptoms can hinder your recovery if you aren’t alert to notice and deal with them. To avoid falling off the recovery train, you must educate yourself on these symptoms and how to work through them.
13- Get Support
Staying sober is hard when you’re still hanging out with your friends who aren’t straight. Therefore, to ensure you remain committed to recovery, you should join a support group, spend time with loved ones who support your journey, or find a therapist you can talk to.
Staying committed to your sobriety takes a lot of energy and comes with challenges. Support mechanisms cushion you to some extent. A therapist can cope with these challenges and help you build new thinking patterns and learn new coping skills.
14- Keep A Journal
Journaling is a great way to stay committed to your recovery journey. A gratitude journal helps you in cherishing your milestones and moments of joy. With a journal, you can always write how you feel instead of acting on it by taking drugs. Lastly, a journal record becomes your outlet for any emotions you feel throughout your recovery journey.
The following are the benefits of journaling during recovery:
- It gives you a safe space to indulge your innermost struggles, thoughts, and feelings;
- It helps with anxiety and stress by filtering out your real feelings and making sense of it;
- It helps you in doing self-reflection, which keeps your recovery in check;
- Journaling enables you to shed light on self-defeating thoughts;
- It’s an easy way to identify and cope with your triggers during recovery; and the like.
In the end, journaling helps you stay true to your recovery by giving you a simple avenue for self-discovery, reflection, and intervention. You learn how to move past obstacles and cope with tough times without using drugs.
Giving up on drug use can be very difficult, making your recovery journey almost impossible. However, you must remember that recovery takes motivation, time, and massive support from someone you trust.
Commitment to sobriety is a big commitment to self-betterment and pushing forward regardless of adversity. To stay committed to your recovery, don’t try doing it alone; use any recovery support network to keep you encouraged and accountable. Also, use the tips above to stay committed to your treatment and recovery to ensure you beat addiction.
Remember, the effect of drug abuse on your body systems might already be massive. Thus, recovery may not be a walk in the park. It may feel unachievable because of the withdrawal symptoms and peer pressure. Nevertheless, a firm resolve should keep you focused on the healing goal and ensure you achieve it.