Relax, Gain Balance and Feel Stronger
After initiating recovery by addressing urgent issues, like detoxification and beginning abstinence, focus on the next level of tasks. As you move into each task, you’ll gradually relax, gain balance and feel stronger. Remember to breathe!
When you refrain from the behaviors you practiced in your addiction, a natural void will be created. To fill this void, load your life with positive experiences, like new people, places, situations, and activities. Don’t leave your voids empty, or it’ll fill up with whatever comes along, good or bad. Positive experiences will override the negative ones. Happy people need 3 positive experiences to every one negative one. Stay away from the negative, embrace the positive!
First, breathe and pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and what’s going on around you.
Second, keeping breathing and ask “Are my thoughts and behaviors supporting my recovery? What are my most important needs and how can I meet them?”
The effectiveness of your approach to recovery will be greatly affected by three factors:
- Your beliefs about yourself, life, and recovery.
- The level of your motivation and commitment.
- The structure and strength of your approach.
Your awareness will help you build and strengthen your approach. Are your beliefs and thoughts about recovery accurate, healthy, and helpful? Are you connected with your motivation and commitment for recovery?
A contract is your commitment to do what is needed to be successful in your recovery and to rebuild your life. Signing a contract with yourself can finalize your motivation and commitment to starting and pursuing your recovery. Make your contract (tasks, goals, or milestones) clear, specific, measurable, and dated (start and end). Sign it in front of a support person. Keep it visible!
Consistent Recovery Focus
Throughout the day you need to remain focused on your personal reasons for recovery and on the positive aspects of life in recovery. This is vital to get you through triggers and cravings. A reminder strategy, such as the Red DOT Reminder Check-In System, can be quite useful in overriding negative triggers with positive cues to refocus on your recovery.
Daily Recovery Activity
From the moment you wake up each day, you want to visualize and act on your desire to build the quality life that you want, which is Your Recovering Future. A daily recovery activity keeps you occupied and on track with your goals. Daily recovery activities include spending quality time with healthy family and friends, church, classes, sober dances, conferences focused on health and growth, and any other positive experience that offers you support in your recovery. Your daily recovery activity gives you a clear reason to stay clean. Plan a week in advance and don’t go to bed without having your next daily recovery activity confirmed.