The disease of addiction presents many paradoxes, not the least of which is that recovery becomes easier when you begin to accept how challenging it can be. Managing your illness involves tremendous emotional fortitude as you recommit to the process every day. Because this new path presents so many challenges, you can expect to encounter speed bumps or periods where things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped. Here are four of the most common obstacles to avoid in the early stages of recovery, along with how you can avoid them.
Pitfall 1: You expect too much too soon.
Substance misuse disorders revolve around the idea of immediate gratification. People turn to drugs and alcohol because they believe it will help them solve problems and feel better about themselves right away. However, achieving long-lasting success takes time with any endeavor, and that is especially true of addiction recovery. Sobriety is a process that takes re-committing yourself with the dawning of each new day. You will need to make peace with the fact that it doesn’t happen automatically.
Pitfall 2: You constantly compare yourself to others.
According to social comparison theory, it’s human nature to use other people as a yardstick for your life. You may look at others, assume they’ve figured it all out and get frustrated when you can’t say the same about yourself. However, all you can see about those other people is the superficial details of what they are presenting to the world. You have no way to know what they are going through or what issues they may struggle with in their private lives. The most reliable way to judge your progress is by looking inward.
Pitfall 3: You aren’t living in the moment.
Focusing on the here and now – without dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about what might happen down the road – is an essential part of mental health. Think about what you can accomplish today to hold yourself accountable and make it easier for you to stay on track. It’s OK if the only thing you can do right now is something small. Those baby steps add up.
Pitfall 4: You take on too much, too soon.
You’ve finally started working on your health and happiness, and are starting to see the benefits, both mentally and physically. But just because you feel markedly better, that doesn’t mean you should bite off more than you can chew. Early recovery is a time to look after yourself and put your best interests first. De-prioritize anything that isn’t essential to your recovery. By doing so, you’ll take some of the pressure off your shoulders and have fewer burdens weighing on your mind.
You’re Worth the Effort
Every journey in life requires time and work to succeed. Giving it your best every day, especially in the earliest phases of recovery, will help you achieve significant results. Avoiding these four mistakes and continually committing to the process of recovery and self-improvement will help you reap the rewards.
If you are looking for a qualified, caring treatment facility where you can get your life back on track, contact us at Canyon Crossing. As Prescott, AZ’s leading women’s-only drug and alcohol rehab center, we help our clients rediscover their hope and sense of purpose.