You may have heard the adage that recovery from addiction is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s true. Recovery isn’t over after detox or after treatment. It’s something you have to keep working on. After nine or 10 months of sobriety, it’s not uncommon for people to get complacent. The early months of recovery are challenging, but you also see a lot of progress. After nine or 10 months, you no longer have to work so hard to stay sober and many people start feeling like they’ve beaten addiction. They may start neglecting important aspects of their recovery plan, such as going to meetings or journaling. They may take unnecessary risks like spending time with friends who drink or use drugs. Before long, what was formerly a strong recovery starts to get shaky. If you feel like your recovery has gotten a bit stale or is even heading in the wrong direction, here are some ways to get it back on track and moving again.
Get back to basics.
If you feel like you’ve gotten a bit negative or cynical about recovery, start by dusting off your recovery plan and sticking to it closely. Much of what works in recovery is the cumulative result of daily effort. You don’t notice positive results right away and you can slack off a bit before noticing any consequences. Eventually, those consequences will appear, though. Resolve to spend the next month doing everything in your original recovery plan. Go to meetings, journal, exercise, meditate, and do everything else you were doing when recovery was going well. Most importantly, don’t let up when things start going well again.
Spend time with the right people.
A big part of recovery is spending time with the right people. Many of these people will also be in recovery, but others will be supportive friends and family. Avoid people who make you tired or anxious. If you haven’t been going to meetings, start going again regularly and be sure to engage while you’re there. Skipping meetings or going but not sharing are early signs you may be heading for relapse. Spending time with positive people is an important form of self-care. It reduces your stress and reinforces your expectations of sobriety.
Take on a new challenge.
If you feel bored in recovery, maybe you just need a new challenge. That could be pretty much anything. You could set some more ambitious recovery goals for yourself, you could take on more responsibility at work, or you could decide to pick up a new hobby. Being engaged with something positive gives you extra reason to stay sober and keep working on your recovery.
One challenge you might consider taking on is volunteering. The vast majority of people who volunteer regularly report feeling happier and more fulfilled. Volunteering connects you to other people who share your values, increases your feelings of gratitude, and keeps you from getting bored. Volunteering to help with your 12-Step group or other addiction-related program can be a way of engaging with recovery on another level and helping others who are just starting out.
At Fort, we offer a safe, nurturing, and healing space for men and women to find recovery from the multifaceted disease of addiction. Our team believes in inspiring each client to face their challenges, discover the root of their problems, and reclaim their lives. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call us today at 817-381-9741 or contact us through our admissions page.