Finding Recovery Means Making a Change
Addiction is difficult for many reasons. The way it rewires the brain can make it hard for someone who is addicted to even realize it at first.
“Growing up I thought this was normal,” Patti said during her True Stories of Addiction.
Then, once they realize there is a problem most people have no clue how to fix it. Either they are completely overwhelmed by it, or don’t think it is bad enough for them to need to seek out professional help.
10 Essential Tips to Changing Your Life To Support Recovery
- Identify Your Personal Triggers: A big part of preventing relapse is understanding your external triggers (people, places, things, and situations that elicit thoughts or cravings associated with substance use) as well as your internal triggers (feelings, thoughts, or emotions associated with substance abuse). Once you identify your biggest risks, you can create a plan to prepare for or avoid them.
- If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. You need to change in order to grow. You can’t grow if you just stay where you are. You can’t grow if you don’t change the way you think and act. In fact, changing your life is a continuous process. It never ends. The moment you stop changing, you stop growing.
- Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
- Accept responsibility. We immediately become more effective when we decide to change ourselves rather than asking things to change for us.
- Have an open mindset. Not being open to recovery and making lifestyle changes can be extremely harmful to your recovery. It leaves you vulnerable to relapsing and falling back into substance abuse.
- Don’t be afraid to make a change. Not being open to recovery and making lifestyle changes can be extremely harmful to your recovery. It leaves you vulnerable to relapsing and falling back into substance abuse.
- Change Your Environment – Hanging out in the same old places can be environmental triggers and even cause relapse. If there are triggers in your home in may be time to help you move to safety.
- Change Your Activities –Any recreational or even work activities that put you at risk need to be removed from your life. Nothing is more important than your recovery.
- Change Your People – Friends, family or groups who drink, abuse drugs, or engage in activities that are triggers for you, need to be avoided especially for those in early recovery. Find new and sober people in support groups and meetings.
- Get amped up about something new: It can be an upcoming trip, a new pet, a life-changing book or even a cooking class.
“I knew that I had a problem but I didn’t know how to go about it,” Michael B said.
Another common thread a lot of our True Stories of Addictions touched base on is the feeling that they had that they weren’t deserving of help. Due to their addiction, that didn’t care much for their own well-beings.
“I didn’t have any emotions,” Aline said.
Michael B shared that same sentiment, saying that in his addiction he didn’t care about himself or anyone else, he just wasn’t capable at the time.
Out of Control
Everyone hits that point when that realize that their addiction is out of control, that’s normally right around the same time that they decide to make a change.
“It became unmanageable,” Brett said.
One it gets to that point it is usually accompanied by a lot of negative consequences such as Connor stealing and going to jail, or Michael B’s car accident.
When you hit that moment, it might not feel like a good thing. It might feel like your whole world is burning down. But out of the ashes will come something beautiful.
Aline said it perfectly, “When life becomes uncomfortable, it’s time to grow and change.”
Finding recovery is a beautiful thing, and it often comes after a period of utter chaos and ugliness. But when you put in the effort you can see your life starting to change, mend, and become something that you want it to be.
“It’s a life that comes about because of positive action,” Connor said.