Recovery from a substance use disorder is a process of improved physical, psychological, and social well-being after suffering from a substance-related condition.
To many, recovery might feel scary, walking into the unknown and not relying on the substance that took care of the emotional wounds you suffered from, wounds your drug of choice filled. Steps towards addiction recovery are often the first to regain yourself.
The strategies suggested below are essential when thinking about how to recover.
As you recover from addiction, you will need to arm yourself with a toolkit of healthy coping strategies that will help you manage life’s ups and downs and avoid a dangerous return to substance abuse.
At ASIC Recovery, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is dedicated to helping individuals develop healthier habits and build a life in long term recovery.
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How you talk about addiction and recovery is critical to defeating the substance. If you’re at this stage of recovery, you might already be aware of the stigma associated with substance disorders, so how do you speak about your recovery process?
Try positive thinking. Thinking and talking about your positive progression and recovery path helps heal the body from the damage caused by the addiction.
It also helps strengthen the mind and spirit to reduce and manage stress, focus on positive relationships, and lower the risk of relapse.
Say things in the affirmative out loud to yourself throughout the day when you are feeling weak and/or look into a mirror at the start and end of your day, then repeat.
What does that mean and look like? Here are a few examples.
“What I was is not who I am. I am stepping into a new chapter of success.”
“I am taking my life into my own control, relying on myself. Today is a new day. Today will be better than yesterday.”
“I can confidently overcome any obstacle trying to rise against me. I will overcome. I love myself and my body and will do my best to care for it.”
“I am healthy and will continue on a healthy path. I will recover from addiction.”
These are all ways of affirming and supporting your path. Even if you don’t fully believe what you’re saying, the first step is knowing and attracting who you want to be.
The environment you place yourself in during recovery is an essential part of succeeding. Sober living houses are alcohol and drug-free environments that help you abstain from alcohol and drugs.
These homes are often the bridge between an inpatient facility and the “real world.” They are not licensed or funded by state or local governments — you pay for yourself.
If available, these homes are highly beneficial if you’re possibly returning to an unstable home environment. They also encourage you to seek help from local 12-step groups and counselors.
It’s important to go to a sober living home after leaving an addiction treatment center — it may be the difference between sobriety and relapse. Your overall health improves immensely just from the environment.
It can take a while to adapt to the demands of recovery, even after treatment. Don’t give up hope if you feel doubt or weakness. The process is not a straight line; trial and error is part of growth.
Hope plays an instrumental role in maintaining sobriety. Just as drugs and alcohol affect the mind, beliefs and expectations release neurotransmitters that affect your brain chemistry.
The more positive stories of recovery you surround yourself with, the more you’re attracting that to your own life.
By attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Cocaine Anonymous (CA) meetings, you’ll join a network of people going through the same daily struggles as you are. Feelings of weakness will be replaced with the sense that things are progressing, no matter the pace.
Everyone’s stories are different.
Before thinking about the path ahead, take a moment to consider how far you’ve come and appreciate your positive steps. Imagine what the future holds. This exercise will reinforce goals.
Gratitude is vital throughout this process and should be practiced daily. Coming out of addiction is no easy feat, and with the consequences of relapse being fatal, take a moment to thank yourself for taking control of your life.
Gratitude lists can include simple things that you enjoy or goals that you’re successfully working toward. Everything counts.
Having your thoughts expressed on paper to reflect back on can be a rewarding part of your recovery process. Journaling is an excellent habit if you’re working toward success in addiction recovery, and the act itself can be highly therapeutic.
By periodically reflecting on patterns and thoughts/actions you’ve written down, you can begin to spot areas where you might want to shift your approach.
Remember, these strategies are only a part of overcoming a substance abuse disorder and setting the stage for a happy, healthy life. 12-step recovery and PHP or IOP programs should be the foundation of your recovery.
Are you looking for addiction treatment in Texas? At ASIC Recovery, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is dedicated to helping you develop healthier coping skills and build a supportive recovery network.
Cristal Clark, LPC-S, is the Medical Reviewer for ASIC Recovery Services. She reviews all website content for quality and medical accuracy. She is a master’s level Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and graduated from Liberty University in 2011. She has worked in the behavioral and mental health field for over 12 years and has a passion for helping others. She has been clinical director and CEO of a 200 plus bed facility, PHP, and IOP, with experience managing a team of counselors, individual/group/and family therapy, and coordinating continuum of care. Cristal is trained in EMDR and certified in non-violent intervention. She is a member of American Counseling Association and American Association of Christian Counselors.