Individuals who struggle with drug usage face many personal dilemmas that often keep them from seeking help. Addiction has many social implications that create confusion and conflicting beliefs that impede the ability to enter recovery successfully. The idea a person is broken or bad often creates a negative label that makes the individual feel conflicted and contributes to the hesitation in seeking help.
Historically the label addict carried a negative stigma, portraying an individual who was a misfit and outcast. The terms addict and addiction were modified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (due to their negative connotations. For starters, individuals are not viewed as addicts but as individuals with substance use disorders. The changes in labels help individuals see themselves as people having a problem, rather than seeing themselves as broken or problematic people.
A New Life Process
How individuals see themselves in entering recovery will enable them to understand the value of treatment. No longer being seen as misfits or outcasts helps individuals see how their state is not only worthy of repair but indeed a situation that can change and improve. To end the cycle of usage means learning to see the hope and value of a new process of life.
Here are things to consider when entering recovery:
- Your substance usage is not your identity
- Your usage is a habit, and all habits can be changed and eliminated
- You can get used to everything, including sobriety
- You are not losing your identity; you are creating a new chapter
- One is never too old to change
- You will not be missing anything if you enter recovery
- Having a craving does not mean you are weak
- Cravings are part of recovery
- Cravings can be modified through consistent training
- Negative thoughts do not need to be accommodated
- Cravings do not require action
- The benefits outweigh the consequences
- Cravings are chemically based and can be managed with balanced diets
- Recovery is a process of constant change
- Recovery offers self-awareness
- Just because you know yourself well does not mean you know how to stop your cravings alone
There are many ways to enter recovery, and it all depends on what substances you are using. Some will require inpatient care, especially if there are dangerous withdrawal symptoms involved. However, most substance use can be dealt with in outpatient care or just 12 step meetings. Trying to get sober alone is not easy nor a smooth transition. It is not about control or willpower but about practicing consistency and committing to change.
Most folks assume that recovery is obtained by solely stopping and using willpower, but that is not entirely correct. Recovery is about changing behaviors and committing to a different way of conducting one’s life. Recovery involves mindful actions and consistent involvement in improving ourselves. It is not enough to stop using substances; you need to address the issues that got you into self-medicating your emotions and stress levels and change your views.
To obtain the recovery, you need the following:
- Commitment to change
- Learning healthy coping skills
- Becoming mindful
- Engaging in self-compassion
- Avoid making excuses to use
- Keeping your promises to yourself
- Learn to make your well-being top priority
- Stop blaming others for your choices
- Avoid distracting yourself with the dramas of others
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Make your recovery priority
- Keep a journal to document cravings and triggers
- Let other sober folks help you
- Stop being stubborn and prideful
- Aim for healthy and not critical perfection
- Learn to laugh
- Be patient; cravings and change do not occur overnight
- Learn to be humble; you do not know everything; be teachable
Recovery is a process that requires daily awareness, but it does become easier with time. Once more, the key is everyday activities. Remember how your usage took over; the more attention you gave, recovery requires the same energy.
If you are ever looking for a TV show to binge, I highly recommend watching Mom, which recently ended after 8 seasons on the air. The 30-minute sitcom features a mother, her adult daughter and their friends experiencing the highs and lows of addiction recovery in a very realistic way, mixed with humor and powerful emotions.
Addiction Recovery Meditation
To help you review your roadblocks, I’ve included a brief original meditation:
Let go of all expectations or concerns regarding results.
Enjoy the process of meditating by focusing on your breathing. Allow your mind and body to relax. Take your time as you breathe slowly and easily.
Let the breathe travel through your nose and down slowly through your lungs; as you breathe, imagine your lungs sharing the oxygen with the rest of your body.
As the air travels throughout your body, feel all the muscles relax. As you notice your entire body become calm and at ease, focus your attention on the center of your stomach.
Breathe into your belly, allowing it to fill up and then release; with each breath, your stomach muscles become more relaxed. Now, as you focus on your stomach area, think about recovery.
What are the first thoughts that come into your head as you think of what recovery means?
Do not judge yourself, just accept your first thoughts. Allow yourself to understand where these thoughts come from and retain the information.
Now imagine yourself living a sober life and thoroughly enjoying it.
Use your imagination to see yourself living a peaceful and stable life. Do not worry about how it will happen; just focus on picturing the new reality.
Image taking a picture of the new reality.
Allow the picture to shrink and save it in your heart area for safekeeping. Once more, focus on your body and allow yourself to take the memory with you of your experience.
Slowly begin to focus again on your breathing. Relax your body and breathe nice and easy.
Allow yourself to become alert and aware of your surroundings.
As you complete the meditation, allow yourself to think about recovery and what it means to you. Remember, recovery is a steady process, and you will learn with time how to live your life as a sober person. Besides practicing meditation, it helps maintain your sobriety by living a holistic lifestyle, which includes a self-care plan and sober enhancement activities and support.
Chart Your Holistic Path Towards Recovery
Here is a sample list of a holistic path:
- Meditation – helps maintain focus and mindfulness
- Rest – learning to take breaks
- Balanced eating – maintaining a healthy eating plan
- Prayer – reinforces hope and calmness
- Like-minded support groups – encouraging and a safe place to vent
- Spiritual guidance – aid in times of struggles
- Intuitive guidance – offers clarification and insight during doubtful periods
Keep in mind that recovery is a lifestyle and ongoing process of both self-discovery and awareness. Treatment offers tools to get sober, but maintaining sobriety requires a regimen of mindfulness. Our psychic advisors are always here 24/7 to help support and guide you in your journey.