Change can make you feel as if you’re going crazy. It’s more likely you’re just very stressed out, fearful, or need better structure. If you’re working a quality program, things will get better, day-by-day. These negative feelings will go away within a few months. If not, seek additional help.
A mentor, sponsor, or coach is a guide who has experienced a similar journey to the one you need to go through or has a lot of knowledge about how to successfully approach recovery. They’ll be there for you in hard times, ready to answer any questions you have. This approach can develop into a solid friendship, but at the first hint of sexual or romantic interest, immediately get a new mentor, as your relationship with your mentor should be undiluted. This shouldn’t be an issue with a professional, due to ethics. Choose a mentor you can trust, but feel free to re-evaluate their efforts month-by-month to confirm they are well-suited for you. When re-evaluating your relationship, ensure you are basing your assessment on actual conduct, and not your own fears or biases.
Your internal map is your image of outer reality. Although it’s true you create your own reality, there are some limitations. A table is a table, no matter what you choose to believe. Develop and use your observing self.
To ensure your internal map is in-line with actual outer reality, check your internal map against the internal maps of trusted others. Ask for their feedback regarding their perceived outer realities, and compare it with your own. Get a second or a third opinion. This will give you valuable perspectives regarding reality that may be difficult to develop on your own.
Spiritual reality testing can come from praying, meditating, and talking with your Higher Power. Trust your spiritual experiences and allow yourself to follow the guidance that comes from them, but reality test all important decisions.
Note: Be careful of extreme people and extreme beliefs. This is a difficult part of life, but in general, go with moderation. Extremes tend to cause more problems than they solve, and sometimes they cause big problems. It’s difficult to have perspective in extreme situations. Instead, ask several trusted, emotionally uninvolved others for feedback.
Thriving Beyond Addiction Workbook
The companion to my book, the Thriving Beyond Addiction Workbook, gives you an opportunity to explore yourself, your addictions, and your issues in-depth. Use it to develop strategies and tools for recovery and to help clarify what Your Recovering Future will be. The worksheets cover most aspects of recovery. Using the workbook is a positive commitment. It’ll help you work through problems, clarify goals, and set up a solid foundation. The quality of your recovery will be equal to the amount of effort you make. The people that achieve and maintain quality recovery do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to achieve it.