It’s a known fact that recovery is not an easy process. There are ups and downs that you will go through and the real test is being able to get through any kind of experience recovery throws your way. Completing treatment and getting started on the recovery process will feel great and anyone who’s been there knows what a big accomplishment it is.
But more hard work lies ahead, and there will be many difficult and confusing moments where tough decisions must be made. So how does someone in recovery make healthy life decisions? The following is a short guide to approaching challenges and choices along the way.
Take it easy on yourself.
Remember that you’ve been through and accomplished a lot so far, so it’s important to not be too hard on yourself. This means not holding yourself up to impossible standards or putting yourself down for not knowing everything. Remember that recovery is a long process that involves learning a lot of lessons along the way. This can’t happen without making mistakes or running into obstacles. So instead of becoming paralyzed with fear whenever a decision needs to be made, allow yourself to weigh the pros and cons and make a choice based on what feels right. Remember that you’re only human.
Organize your thoughts.
It’s very likely that you have a million thoughts swirling in your head about what you’d like to accomplish next, how you’d like to do that, and all the other complicated emotions that go along with making a major life transition. Make some time to sit down, breathe, and sort out your thoughts by writing them down on your own or with a therapist. Decide what goals are most important to you, organize them by their level of difficulty, and formulate a plan to accomplish them. It’s a good idea to focus on small goals first and work your way up in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Reach out to others.
If you’re agonizing over an especially difficult decision, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for their input and support. This could mean sharing at a 12 step meeting, seeing a therapist, or simply calling up a sponsor or good friend. Don’t feel guilty about asking someone you trust for help. That’s what they’re there for and hopefully you can be a person they call when things get tough for them one day.
Sometimes it’s OK to do nothing at all.
Over thinking can become a real problem sometimes and can cause us to lose perspective. If you find that’s the case and the decision you’re brooding over isn’t too urgent, take a break from it and do something else. Take your mind off things by exercising, spending time on a hobby, going to a meeting, or hanging out with friends. By relaxing for a bit, you’ll recharge your mind and find that you’ll have a fresh outlook. This can help you make the best choice for yourself when it comes time to do it.
Revisit and revise old goals.
As your recovery progresses you’ll find that your priorities and goals will change. Take time to go over what goals are no longer important to you and create new ones that are. Remember that recovery and making decisions is a process that is constantly shifting as you grow and your needs change. Be open to whatever these changes may bring your way.