In early recovery, you understand that there are a lot of risks when choosing to become sober. It is a leap of faith into the unknown. You have also learned that by taking calculated risks, the quality of your life and recovery can improve. Without sometimes taking a leap of faith, you might stunt your recovery.
The effects of this pandemic will leave lasting impressions on society, damaging the economy, health, and innocence of millions — even billions. Everybody has been affected in some way by this pandemic. While it is hard to find hope to hang on to, you could view this as an opportunity to take the risks that will benefit your long-term recovery. You likely understand by now that despite the unique circumstances today, life waits for nobody.
The Risks of Recovery
Risk is often seen as a negative — the loss, damage, or possible danger that might come from making a wrong decision. Risk can also be a positive endeavor, presenting unforeseen opportunities, instilling a sense of pride, and providing the chances needed to pursue success. In early recovery, the primary risk is taking the chance to get sober.
But there are other risks as well, such as being able to trust people, being able to cut the people from your life who enable your addiction, and being able to sit with your feelings. You endure because you believe that this will be the best way to go about managing your addiction. Certainly, another risk is knowing that there is never a guarantee you will get the result you want — however, you take the risk anyway.
Just because you take these risks early on does not mean that you never need to take a risk again. It is when you think you have endured everything recovery has to offer that you become complacent. The problem with this is that you are choosing to believe that you have overcome all the obstacles. You might coast for a while, however, when life throws a curve, you are caught off-guard to handle the situation.
Therefore, all of the familiar triggers and impulses return to the surface. That said, you should always be planning and preparing for the next venture, or at least thinking about how to deal with x,y, or z if they should arise. The other aspect of this is to simply understand that life does not adhere to your plans, so accept that things are going to change. This frame of mind will better prepare you when life becomes hard.
Nobody could have expected that the world would change virtually overnight, affecting how you live, work, and socialize — therefore, there is little you could have done to prepare for this. It’s important to never think of what has happened as being your fault or blame yourself for being ill-prepared. This has shaken everybody around the world.
Any number of things may be affected in your life — loss of a job, disconnection from friends, and concerns over healthcare and health insurance. These are real and valid concerns that may leave you feeling overwhelmed. Instead of living in the negative, try to see the opportunities that can meet the needs of your recovery.
Positive Preparation for Recovery Risks
Try not to view this situation as being premature because there is no set pace. This frame of thinking will have you creating excuses to not get motivated to do something. Begin your process by writing down everything affected in your life and how that makes you feel. This assessment will help you understand your fears and stresses.
Later stages of recovery often ask you to take on new responsibilities — change your career, move, start new friendships, and pursue other hobbies or goals. The current times may have presented you with these same challenges. Although you cannot achieve them overnight, now is the time to get motivated to use these unique circumstances to start achieving these goals.
Take advantage of support groups online and build new friendships — you might even meet somebody who can link you to a future career. Learn how to master a stay-at-home schedule, so you will always have the tools to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Negative Preparation for Recovery Risks
Do not sit with your feelings other than trying to understand where they are coming from. Sitting in the negative will only validate these feelings and bring you further away from recovery. You may begin to think irrationally and take poor risks. Buying a six-pack or connecting with old friends to buy drugs and hang out is a poor way to plan for the future. When your choices stem from unethical thoughts, you will take unethical risks.
These kinds of risks do not plan for success — instead, they support your addiction. It might seem like the easier route to take at first, but you will be kicking yourself down the road for being so irresponsible. The further you remove yourself from recovery, the harder it will be to get back on that road.
There’s No Such Thing As Failure
Many do not take risks because they are afraid to fail. Likewise, you should not interpret these current circumstances as a result of poor decision-making or poor execution of goals on your part. Nothing could have prepared you for what is happening.
When taking risks now or in the future, if you do not achieve your goals overnight or even a week from now, it’s okay. This is not a failure — it’s a lesson for learning. Mistakes help you grow and strengthen your ways to achieve a goal. Much like working a muscle, it might buckle under the weight. However, with persistence, it will eventually be strong enough to lift more weight. Trust yourself, take the risks needed to endure, and you will likely learn things about yourself and your capabilities that you never thought existed. Remember, each day you remain sober is cause for celebration.
Change happens when you least expect it, but how you deal with this change is up to you. While taking a risk is always intimidating, think about the alternative. If you continue to hold onto what you lost, you will never have the chance to gain something new.
At this time, you may feel overwhelmed by all the changes in your life. If you are in a situation where your recovery is at risk, then it’s time to get help. True Recovery offers 24/7 care and can provide the support you need to maintain your recovery. To learn more, call us today at (866)-399-6528.