At the beginning, recovery can seem daunting. Basically, you’re saying that you will never again do this thing that you can’t seem to stop doing for even one day. Once you start detox, and feel the pain of withdrawal, you know it won’t be easy and there’s still a long way to go. It’s natural to feel discouraged at times. Everyone has doubts about recovery. If you think you will never make it, here are some ways to feel more optimistic about recovery.
Acknowledge your fear and frustration. If you feel frustrated and afraid you won’t be able to keep going, it’s pointless to pretend you feel otherwise. Acknowledge your feelings. It’s normal to feel that way. You always knew it would be hard. Try to reframe the frustration as an inevitable part of growth.
Many people have already done it. You know that recovery is possible because many people have done it. You may think ‘Sure, other people have done it, but I don’t know if I can do it’. In other words, you might believe you’re uniquely incapable of staying sober. Everyone who has ever quit drugs or drinking was not sure she could do it, but she kept trying anyway. Assume there is no reason you won’t succeed.
If you can make it through one day, you can make it through any day. As they say in AA, take one day at a time. If you have made it through one day sober, that is proof you can do it again. You can’t stay sober indefinitely all at once. You can only stay sober right now, in this moment, but if you string enough moments together it eventually becomes a long recovery.
Remember that it’s impossible not to change. No matter what, your life will be different in five years. That difference is mostly an accumulation of small changes. You can choose positive changes if you want to. You may not always make the right decision, but if you keep trying, you will eventually accumulate more positive changes than negative ones. Most importantly, you are not stuck being the person you are now. You will inevitably get stronger in recovery if stay committed to getting better.
It gets easier. The more time someone has in recovery, the less likely she is to relapse. You may not notice it getting easier from day to day, but gradually you get better at saying no, at handling cravings, and managing triggers. The way things look to you now is not how they’ll look a year from now. Your mind will get clearer, you will have more energy, you will have better friends, and you will have more confidence.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programmes, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.