Drug and alcohol addiction recovery is a process filled with numerous ups and downs. Throughout the process, many people will struggle with what’s happened and what’s to come. It’s important to reflect on this, especially heading into the New Year. Where have you been? Where are you going?
Taking Stock Is a Valuable Tool During Recovery
One of the many steps in your recovery is to take a look back. It may seem hard to do, but taking the time to reflect on where you came from can make a big difference in where you are going in the year to come. At FHE Health, a component of your treatment will involve understanding why something happened. That is, we want to help you learn why you’re on this path so we can offer support for avoiding the same mistakes in the future.
Ask yourself a few key questions to reflect on the previous year. No matter what your future is, it helps to recognize where you came from in this journey.
What Have I Accomplished in the Last Year?
There’s likely good and bad here. Most people in addiction treatment and recovery focus on the negative. Perhaps they suffered an overdose, lost a few relationships or spent time away from their family in treatment. This feels like a painful way to look back. Yet chances are there was good in the mix.
- Did you enter rehab to change your life?
- Did you spend some time discovering who you really are on a personal level?
- Did you make new friendships?
- Did you learn something about just how strong you are?
- Did you make a decision to improve your life for the future?
Many people in recovery spend months working on improving their physical and mental health during both inpatient and outpatient care. This is a lot of hard work. You should be proud of it, no matter how difficult it was.
What Are You Grateful for Right Now?
It is also important to consider gratitude. Again, it’s easy to focus on the bad, but even the worst days probably taught you something about yourself and the people around you. Consider what you are grateful for today in the place you are right now.
- Are you grateful for being sober at this moment?
- Are you grateful for the men and women who saved your life during an overdose?
- Are you grateful for the family members that keep checking on you?
- Are you grateful for the opportunity to get clean and sober? Just having the opportunity is something to cherish.
- Are you grateful for being able to have the potential of a future?
Take time to consider this on a personal level. It can help to write these thoughts down, too. By reflecting on what you are grateful for (especially beyond this list and on a very personal note), you can begin to see the value that life has to offer to you. That’s empowering for your future.
Contemplate Your Setbacks
Whether or not a person is battling addiction or mental health disorders, setbacks are an everyday part of life. The National Institute on Drug Abuse makes two things clear when it comes to relapses. First, relapse does not mean treatment has failed you, but rather it is a part of the process. Second, the rates of relapse are much like those attributed to other chronic medical illnesses. Considering this, what instances of failure occurred during the last year?
- You may have struggled with a relapse.
- Perhaps you feel you struggled through pain and detox.
- You may feel a sense of failure just by being in the current situation.
- Some people in recovery struggle with failure because they expect life to be ideal as soon as they stop using.
- Others fail to rebuild relationships damaged as a result of addiction.
It hurts to look at these instances, but it’s important to think about them and then put them to the side. While setbacks provide us with some insight into what we are not happy about, they also give us ample information about what we really want. You want the opposite of this to occur in the next year.
Focusing on Accomplishments for 2019
Now that you’ve thought about the past, plan for the future. During recovery, it can be very valuable to take a closer look at what the future has to offer to you in a realistic way. Reflecting on the last year, consider these steps to building a stronger, healthier 2019 for yourself.
Focus on Positive Changes in Your Life
During drug and alcohol addiction recovery, a key component of your success will come from your ability to make numerous positive changes in your life. It’s not just about staying sober. It’s up to you to focus on every aspect of your life. How can you make a positive change within it?
- Improve your physical health through improved diet, exercise and medical care.
- Cultivate only positive relationships while putting any negative relationships to the side.
- Work to better your future career options either with training, education or an idea of what your future career is.
- Take a daily walk to clear your mind. Appreciate nature.
- Work on your mental health.
Maintain Your Group Counseling
Over time, drug and alcohol treatment with your counselor may not seem as valuable, but it’s in these moments that the very best level of care is obtained. Imagine, for example, being able to talk to your counselor about all the good things you’re doing right now. Reassurance can help you build a future. There are numerous ways to stay active in your recovery process:
- See your counselor on a routine basis.
- Connect with alumni of FHE Health. This allows you to build strong relationships with people who do understand.
- Be a part of a 12-step meeting.
- As your health improves, work to mentor others who may have been in the same place.
- Attend a support group within your community that offers help with areas you may be struggling with, such as employment, relationships or physical health.
Make You the Biggest Priority
In 2019, focus on you. You will have to manage some instances of difficulties with family and friends. You may have to face reality when it comes to living arrangements or your job. Yet, in every decision you make, make the priority you. That’s not always simple.
Many men and women feel a significant amount of guilt in recovery. They want to make amends. The key here is to not step back into your old life just yet. Instead, focus on creating goals for a future. You may find yourself unable to let go of some emotions. Recognize this and revisit these topics with your counselor.
Make 2019 about recovery and preparation for your future. To do this, you need to focus on being grateful, positive and healthy. By using this process to look back at 2018, you can begin to plan for a successful 2019. Take time to relax. Spend some time learning who you are. FHE Health is always the safe place you need when things don’t go well or when you’re ready to talk about all of your accomplishments so far.