Recovery is not the result of completing treatment; recovery is a process that spans a lifetime. Recovery is also not about being perfect. Knowing this will help you understand that there will be bumps along the way and that your efforts should always surround your health and wellbeing. Still, when challenges become too hard, you might lose sight of your recovery and neglect your health. You might also succumb to negative thoughts and behavioral patterns and soon find yourself struggling and not knowing what to do. Suddenly everything you learned has fleeted from you. Understand that sometimes this happens in recovery, and what is important is how you move forward.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the mind’s number one priority focuses on survival, which means that people are programmed to avoid anything that places them in danger, such as pain and struggle. Acceptance is important. When you take time to sit with your thoughts and acknowledge that something is not going well, you can then begin to think of ways to overcome it. Mindfulness, meditation, or exercise can help bring clarity and understanding to your thoughts and their relationship to your emotions. Acceptance also creates traction for transformation and progress. When you face formidable challenges in recovery, try to remember to ask yourself, where am I at right now? Can I accept it, and if not, what do I need to do to accept where I am?
Getting Honest With Yourself
Supporting acceptance takes being honest with where you are. Not only can years of substance abuse turn you into a good liar, but people, in general, become good at lying to themselves. For example, after binge eating, you might justify your actions by saying, “I love food.” However, what you’re doing is creating an excuse for your actions. A considerable facet of recovery is about confronting the lies you tell yourself by using honesty.
You cannot move forward until you genuinely accept your actions and behaviors. Honesty helps promote accountability and the ability to own up and face the consequences of your actions. You can work on honesty with home practices such as mindfulness. You should also work with peers from your support group and any healthcare professional you see. Building honesty as your foundation in recovery helps bring you back to the center when challenges arise.
Sometimes in life and especially in early recovery, you can undertake a lot of responsibility, whether work, home life, school, children, or other things that need your time and attention. In recovery, you might get some momentum early on and start becoming more focused on the next milestone rather than the process of getting there. Therefore, when you hit a wall, you don’t know what step to take next because you set your expectations too high and did not plan for such a challenge to arise.
When this happens, this is the perfect opportunity to slow things down. Take a breath and reassess. Focus on your thoughts and listen to your body. Try to discern between your emotional and physical needs. Your body is an excellent compass to giving you wisdom and insight. Reform your expectations to consider your goals and pursuits from a logical and reasonable perspective. Remember, recovery is not a race to the finish; recovery should move at your pace and ability to meet goals. When you take on too much, listen to your body: is it fatigued, stressed, anxious, or craving? These are all signs that perhaps you are moving faster than you can keep up.
Connecting your mind, body, and heart is the key to moving through recovery in a balanced and harmonious state. However, sometimes these things become disconnected, and you can become conflicted between using logic and feeling. Understand that sometimes you can not think through things alone. Having a reliable support system is essential. Your friends, family, peers, and professionals are here for you when you’re struggling. They will help reassure and remind you of the practices learned in recovery to help you connect your mind, body, and heart back together. It will also be reassuring to know that you are not the only person, nor are you the first to feel how you feel when you feel stuck. Additionally, making time to consistently see friends, family, and attend meetings, even via the internet, helps you combat reaching a point where you are struggling and don’t know what to do.
When you are struggling in recovery, you might find yourself succumbing to old ways. When this occurs, this is a sure sign that it is time to reach out for help. At True Recovery, we understand that recovery is a long road that takes dedication, commitment, practice, and patience. It is why we offer a variety of treatments and therapies that range from both conventional and alternative. Since some of your most challenging efforts will come after initial treatment, we remain in your support group to help you at any point during your process. Our most tremendous success comes from growing a recovery community equipped with the support and the tools necessary for lasting recovery. With 24/7 admissions and a refined telehealth service, there is never a wrong time to reach out. Remember, your recovery should always come first. To learn more about how to progress in recovery, reach out to us at True Recovery by calling (866) 399-6528.