We live in a culture of now.
In our sound byte, bite-size, micro-chipped here today gone later today world, we want results–and we wanted them yesterday.
We want flatter stomachs and washboard abs, and we want our debt forgiven and our hairlines to return to normal. We want to wash the gray away and diminish the fine wrinkles associated with aging. We buy specially formulated elixirs and hardened pieces of plastic and give our hard earned scratch to gurus in three-piece suits that have the answer to everything.
If only it were 1-2-3.
While we desire the ideal, reality will smack us square in the kisser and we will have to face the facts. If we truly want and desire better things for our lives, we have to work for it.
This is especially true if you are recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The ultimate goal is long-term recovery, but we find out it is a long way to the top.
The Cold Hard Truth About Recovery
What do we want? RECOVERY!
When do we want it? RIGHT NOW! RIGHT… FREAKIN’… NOW!!
If you were like me, the first steps taken on the recovery journey was more like a dead sprint. You desperately want to leave the pain and drama of addiction behind and get on with life and hit the karmic redo button. We chomp and the bit to get sober and bask in its’ afterglow. As you get deeper in your journey, however, it becomes crystal clear that being sober is more than stopping the use of the substance of choice.
Long-term recovery takes sweat equity. Long-term recovery takes blood, sweat and tears (well… maybe not the blood part). Long-term recovery takes fortitude to dig in the dirt and uncover the roots of your addiction and face what you fear head on. You will have moments of doubt and get knocked down and out–but you must get up, shake the dust off and jump back on the horse again.
As they say around the tables of many 12-Step group: It works if you work it, so work it cause you’re worth it. Recovery is a journey which is marked by small victories. That journey will be fraught with obstacles and moments of uncertainty, but in a game of inches baby steps can put you miles ahead.
You Want Long Term Recovery? You Need A Plan
If you want your recovery to be meaningful over the long haul, you need a solid blueprint in order to succeed. Going at it halfhearted will do you no good and in the long run you will set yourself up to fail. While the prospect of relapse it always present no matter how solid your recovery may be, keeping the following tips in mind will minimize those chances and give you some breathing room when trouble comes knocking.
The first key to long term recovery is undergoing and completing drug treatment. The drug treatment program that you choose should contain essential services such as medical detoxification, individualized treatment plans drawn from a wide variety of therapeutic techniques, life and coping skills coaching and aftercare options such as outpatient counseling and sober housing among other considerations.
A second key to long term sobriety is building a solid support network of people who are 100 percent behind your new life in recovery. These people can include trusted family and friends, those who are part of your 12-step or sober support group, your counselor and other support people. As you build your support system, you need to jettison those toxic people in your life who still use or are not supportive of your decision to stay clean and sober.
Speaking of 12-Step and other sober support groups, you need to stay proactive in attending regular meetings and working with your sponsor or mentor. Having the encouragement and support of those who are walking a similar path to your own will provide you the inspiration and motivation to keep your head up in recovery–especially those times when you are feeling vulnerable.
Lastly, a key to longevity in sobriety is to keep yourself physically healthy. It may sound like a broken record, but eating right, exercising, getting plenty of rest and practicing good self-care goes a long way in creating harmony within yourself. When you create physical balance, mental and psychological balance becomes much easier.
Make Sober Nation a Part of Your Recovery Game Plan
Keeping on top of your recovery game requires being proactive, and a large part of being proactive is arming yourself with the knowledge you need to be confident no matter what life throws at you. With informative articles, blogs and a comprehensive list of treatment centers and other resources, Sober Nation has got you covered. With new information being added daily, Sober Nation will continue to be your go-to addiction, treatment and recovery resource.