Thresholds of Recovery
1.) Focus on One Thing, Your Sobriety
During rehab, or once you become sober, all of the feelings suppressed while you were high may come rushing to the surface.
You will experience a lot of feelings, like: I should have done this or I should not have done this; you may feel like you need to immediately need to do something, or everything to fix whatever damage may have been done.
It may seem like you have no control over these feelings, and they are completely overwhelming you.
During your recovery, the program will help you realize that coming to terms with your emotions is an important part being sober.
Feelings are ok. You don’t have to address and “fix” every single feeling every single moment you experience it.
You don’t need to figure out how to fix a feeling.
Feelings are feelings and they come and go.
Rehab is a positive place and recovery is a process where you can address your feelings.
You will feel several things in a matter of minutes, or even seconds.
All you need to worry about is your sobriety.
Relish in the program and how it supports you to succeed.
Rehab is there to support you during this time.
Take full advantage of what that means.
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2.) Stop Labeling Things “Good” or “Bad”
It is easy to fall in the trap of dichotomies.
You burn your hand, it’s bad.
You receive a raise at work it’s good.
Drugs help to mask extreme dichotomies because they suppress feelings that would be there otherwise.
For this reason, an addict becomes accustomed to not having to deal with feelings as they arise.
Being numb is a baseline.
Time in rehab and becoming sober could unleash the floodgates.
An addict is especially at risk for falling prey to what seem to be “good” feelings.
A recovering addict will be susceptible to avoiding anything unpleasant.
That is why they chose drugs in the first place, right?
To avoid being uncomfortable in their authentic self.
One way to avoid falling into a trap of being victim to dichotomies is to stop labeling feelings or events that happen to you as “good” or “bad”.
This is not easy, even for people who are perpetually sober.
The key is to train yourself to realize that no situation is good or bad.
It is an opportunity to learn.
Learning is a lifelong process.
The program you will attend will assist you in understanding how to just “be”.
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3.) Take One Moment at a Time
You will hear this over and over again. There’s a reason for it. Most, if not all of the anxiety we feel is from the unknown. Anxiety also comes from things we cannot control. Like things that happened in the past. We cannot go back in time and fix all of the mistakes we made. We cannot heal all the people we hurt. All we have is right now. To live in the moment is liberating. It teaches you to let go. It’s also a reminder that we don’t have to relive our mistakes.
We can move forward.
As an addict, living in the moment rarely happens. Getting high is living in a blur. It’s a storyline of one fix to the next and everything in between is how you are going to get that fix. If you are in rehab, or focusing on your sobriety, learning how to live in the moment can help you overcome any challenge that comes your way. It is the key to finding peace.
4.) Cultivate an Inner Voice that Continually says “I can do this”
In rehab you will most likely have champions of your sobriety. Whether it be family, trained professionals, friends, or your partner, people will most likely be part of your recovery. Do yourself a favor, take their advice with a grain of salt. Especially if that advise is negative or doesn’t serve you. Take their praise, but recognize the only praise you need is from yourself. That is the praise that you need to start to cultivate and grow.
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It starts with a seed. You learn to forgive yourself. This might be the hardest part of recovery. In rehab it is one of the most important things you can do. Then, you can learn how to move forward in a positive way. To avoid a negative recovery, realize that learning how to live sober is a practice. It’s not just a practice for someone in recovery, it’s a practice for all of us.
We all have good and bad days; we all make mistakes; we all feel shame. Some days we don’t feel like getting out of bed. When you feel like giving up, channel your inner voice and make it work to your advantage with a simple mantra like: “I can do this.” You want to know why, because you can do this. You are entirely capable of life and all it has to offer. You wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t handle it. There are a ton of resources to help you continue supporting yourself that can be found on this NIH website.
5.) Cancel out all the noise
There is nonstop noise in American culture. From the moment you wake until the moment you fall asleep you are ingesting information.
Some of the news you read could be bad or could create fear where it wasn’t before. Make sure to take the time every day to cancel out all of the noise. Maybe your rehab program will not allow your phone. Consider this a blessing. You are learning that you don’t need to be tapped in 100% of the time. Whatever information you need you have right now at your fingertips. Focus on the now and cancel out the rest.
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6.) Train your Creative Response
Whatever rehab program you are in, whatever recovery looks like you for you, you’re going to have to figure out where to put all the energy you used to put into your addiction.
You trained your brain to use whatever your drug of choice was.
Now you need to train your brain to be redirected to a different place.
You will create a new place.
Whether it be drawing, music, or writing, there are a million ways you can express whatever emotions you are experiencing.
There are storytelling tutorials for you to share your own story.
The more overwhelming the story, the better, the stronger your creative response can be.
Find a way to channel your energy in a creative way.
This will help to overcome any negative experience you might have in rehab, or in your recovery.