It’s no secret that recovery from addiction isn’t easy. It requires a complete reset of your life, and takes a great deal of personal strength. In the struggle to get and maintain sobriety, hope is one of your strongest weapons.
A strong belief that a better life is possible and that you have the strength to make is going to help you keep going through hard times. Here are some ways you can build up a sense of hopefulness, and find the strength within to survive.
Celebrate small victories
It is often easier for people to dwell on the negative rather than the positive. You may still be beating yourself up over mistakes in your past, while feeling like giving up because you aren’t seeing any instant miracles. The way to get out of these bad mental habits is to intentionally spend time focusing on things that are going well.
Some days you may feel capable of doing nothing other than going to a support group meeting and staying in bed the rest of the day, but even that is a step in the right direction of intentional self-care and working towards recovery.
However small the success may seem, it can be used to give strength and encouragement. There is still work to be done, but these small steps add up over time. Recognizing successes, rewarding yourself, and expressing gratitude will help you see that growth is possible, and you have no reason to give up.
Take control of how you think
Thoughts of hopelessness come from inside yourself, and may seem like they will overtake your entire day if left unchecked. The good news is that you don’t have to let your thoughts remain unchecked. You can practice taking charge of your own thoughts, replacing negative ones with positive affirmations.For example, let’s say that you wake up in the morning with a sense of dread, fearful that you won’t be able to accomplish your goals. Rather than letting this foreboding fester unchecked, “talk back” to your fear with thoughts of your own inner strength.
You can be the architect of what goes on in your own mind. Thinking positively may not solve all of your problems, but it can help you thinking more clearly about possible solutions, and get you out of a position of feeling stuck.
Only compare you with you
Every single human being is different, and so no two people will have the same story in their addiction or recovery. Past experiences, genetics, health, current circumstances, and any number of other factors can affect how and why different people arrived at the point they did. It may be very easy to compare yourself to other people, and feel lonely or left out if things feel like a greater struggle for you then it seems to be for others.
If you feel these thoughts coming, quickly remind yourself that different people need to heal at different paces, or in different ways. What works for someone may be harder for you, and vise versa. Don’t feel like you have to be at the same level as someone else in your support group. If you must compare yourself at all, compare yourself with how things used to be. Take a step back and reflect on how far you have come and the growth you’ve already made.
You don’t have to go through recovery on your own. Sometimes you need the perspective of someone else to let you know that things aren’t as hopeless as they seem. Sharing your struggles with someone else broadens your perspective and encourages you by knowing someone else cares.
When it feels like you can’t go on by your own strength, don’t be afraid to ask for help. In this way, you can develop more and more ways of seeing the good in the world, and the power in yourself to grow and change.