In active addiction, shortcuts become a way of life. If you used drugs and alcohol for a long time, you probably began to rely on these substances as an easy way out if you had a hard day at work or if you were going through a conflict at home. The unhealthy coping mechanisms you developed evolved into a buffer between you and normal behavior, insulating yourself against criticism, stress, shame, guilt and other complex emotions.
Now that you are working on your day-to-day sobriety, you know the experience can vary. Some moments feel exhilarating, while others feel demoralizing. In challenging times, you might look for short-term fixes to avoid relapse. However, successful recovery only comes from a concerted effort to do many things correctly.
Live in the Moment
Living in “quick-fix” mode by using drugs or alcohol to modify your feelings, rather than processing events as they come, is doing yourself a disservice. You’ll find addiction recovery is more successful when you take a mindful approach to it. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine, from noticing small details to keeping a mindfulness scrapbook or journal. Your recovery will be more holistic when you learn to be patient and take things one step at a time, instead of trying to accomplish everything all at once.
Recovering in Stages
In picturing what a “typical” drug and alcohol rehab program looks like, you may have assumed it begins and ends with a standard 30-day process, as depicted in countless books, movies and TV shows. However, that first month of treatment is only the first step in a lifelong process of reclaiming your sobriety. Indeed, the more medical research uncovers about how addiction affects people’s bodies and minds, the more we have learned that various treatment models work best for different individuals.
It’s also an accepted truth that there’s a direct correlation between achieving successful long-term sobriety and the length of time you spend in treatment. In other words, we now know longer treatment programs have better outcomes. If you try to fast-track your recovery instead of taking it in phases, you will put yourself at a higher risk of relapsing.
There’s No Cure for Addiction
Though it may sound harsh to say addiction is not a curable condition, the positive side is that you can learn to manage your illness over the long term. Again, this process requires patience and acceptance. You may have a friend or family member with a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure who has learned strategies for taking care of their symptoms so they can lead a healthy life. As a recovering addict, you’re in that same boat now.
Be Grateful for What You Have
Addiction recovery is a commitment, and it will probably be one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do. However, every milestone you achieve will feel better and better as you realize how far you have come from the frightened, sad, lonely person you were when addiction had you in its clutches. Looking back, you can be glad you’ve undertaken this rewarding journey. It will make you a better, stronger and more resilient person.
If you’re looking for a supportive partner to help you start your recovery, Canyon Crossing is an accredited women’s-only treatment center in Arizona. Explore our range of healing features and reach out to us today to learn more.