When You Want to Give Up in Recovery, Do These Five Things Instead
Addiction recovery is something that you will work in your entire life. While it might feel frustrating and make you want to surrender, recovery can become a journey of self-discovery, one that involves growth. Because you experienced the struggle of addiction, you have the opportunity to learn more about yourself than those who haven’t faced it. Keep in mind that recovery is about working toward making better choices for yourself and that the recovery process doesn’t end. Here are four things to remember when you want to give up:
1. Think About Your Goals in Recovery
To maintain your sobriety, it’s important to have goals. Set ones that have meaning to you and will help your future self. Our counselors can help you with this step by encouraging you to set a goal to earn your college degree or get a job. Also, don’t limit yourself to one or two. Be sure to set short-term goals and long-term goals. Take steps toward them each day even if it’s just small ones. Commit to things that will help you stay focused on improving yourself. Doing so will help you continue to grow while making relapse less likely.
2. Make Healthy Changes
Healthy changes provide a foundation, making it less likely that you’ll succumb when things start to feel a little hopeless. Make changes like keeping a consistent daily schedule and exercising. Daily schedules keep you on track since you’ll always know what you’re doing and when. Exercise helps you take care of your physical body. When your body feels better, your emotions are more likely to feel better too.
3. Appreciate What You’ve Accomplished
Give yourself credit for your addiction recovery. While you’re sure to experience moments of feeling vulnerable and less than confident, remember how far you’ve come. Notice the many doors that living sober has opened, and remind yourself that this is why you don’t want to return to a life of substance abuse. Let yourself feel good about that. Recognize the challenges that you’ve already faced, and look forward to the healthy and fulfilling life that you deserve. When new challenges arise, remind yourself that they are making you a stronger and better person. If you do start to experience negative urges and thoughts, talk about it with someone you trust. Ask for help. This can help you deal with these thoughts and feelings without turning to harmful behaviors.
4. Keep Supportive People Around You
If you want to give up, supportive people can help keep you on track. Getting sober is merely the start of your journey. For long-term substance recovery, you’ll need to stay committed to remaining clean and sober. It’s important to pay attention to the people who are currently in your life. If there is a person who is interfering with your continued sobriety or is holding you back, then you may need to remove him or her from your life. We can help you determine whether someone is holding you back.
5. Believe in Yourself
When you want to give up, appreciate how far you’ve come, and acknowledge where you can go. Accept challenges as they come and know that they can help you grow. Use these steps to continue your addiction recovery and live life sober.
When You Want to Give Up… Don’t.
If you need help in your addiction recovery, give us a call.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.