I was recently asked for my top suggestions for recovery, off the top of my head I said….
Tips for addiction recovery
Addiction thrives in the shadows, it disconnects us from our loved ones and communities. We hide out of shame and guilt.
Addiction tells us that we can handle our problems on our own. The opposite of disconnection is of course connection, this is so so important for recovery from any addiction- alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, shopping etc. When we reach out we are vulnerable we break the isolation we step into the light, we ask for help and guidance and we realize we are not alone, we are not flawed or broken or wrong. We have the dis-ease of addiction, that many many others also have and are in recovery from. When we seek support we find HOPE.
Giving up a substance that we have devoted a good portion of our time and sometimes life to can be upsetting. We have relied on the alcohol and drugs to see us through the good times and the bad. We can feel ripped off that we can not use any more. we may question how we will have fun, cope, fit in. Life will undoubtedly be different in recovery, it will be hard work, foreign, confusing. Gratitude can change our way of thinking from “poor me ” to ” lucky me”. Okay, it’s not quite that simple but turning your mind’s eye to what you have to be grateful for rather than what you are missing can make recovery a nicer road to be traveling. Try keeping a gratitude journal naming 3 things a day you are grateful for and see the difference that this makes to your recovery.
kindness is underrated in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. We can be fearful of forgiving ourselves for how we where in active addiction, the fear of complacency keeps us self-punishing. This is destructive. To be able to truly recover we need to forgive ourselves, sometimes this means making amends to others and sometimes this is not possible. I know this for sure no one ever recovered by constantly telling themselves hurtful and vicious things. Change happens when we can look back with compassion and forward with a commitment to a sober life.
Our bodies need to be fed and watered, rested and exercised….basic right? however, this is often overlooked in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Your brain in recovery will interpret an uncomfortable mental or physical sensation as a craving, so if you have not eaten for 5 hours you are in danger of picking up your drug of choice to feel better. Eating regularly, avoiding processed and sugar filled food and beverages will greatly assist your well-being in recovery. Sleep can also be an issue in recovery as we have altered our natural circadian rhythms and basically confused our bodies this can take a while to come back online. Be patient and have compassion for yourself at this time. Having a bedtime routine ( like you would for a baby) can help.
This point is last for a reason. When you are able to share your story of addiction and recovery is extremely powerful and rewarding. It continues to break down the shame and guilt, reminds you of how hard you have worked, how far you have come. Inspiring others and your self to keep on the road of recovery. Furthermore, it can take the focus off your own problems and provide gratitude for what you have.
So there you have it off the top of my head 5 suggestions to support you in your recovery from addiction.