One of the most important parts of achieving long-term sobriety is your commitment to it. In fact, likely as part of your drug addiction therapy, you and your drug counselor will discuss the strength of your commitment to recovery.
Certainly, the newer you are to leaving drugs and drinking behind, the stronger your ambivalence might be.
Drug addiction therapy often includes an exploration of ambivalence, hoping to elicit the intrinsic desire to change your life. It explores whether an addiction began, for instance, as a way to self-medicate, and whether alcohol or another drug brought relief from emotional pain, a dramatic increase in energy, and a euphoric feeling for life, among other perceived benefits.
For example, if underlying emotional issues, medical concerns, or any mental illnesses exist, then the desire to use drugs might continue. You might say that you want to change, but depression, anxiety, and other fundamental reasons might lead you to continue.
And so, the problem of ambivalence could be greater than you might imagine at first.
As you proceed in your drug addiction therapy process, you might uncover the strong forces that might keep you from your sobriety. You might experience cravings, a desire to keep your relationships with drug-using friends, a need to continue to drink because that’s the way you were self-medicating.
Whatever those reasons, your commitment to recover must continue to strengthen to counter those forces that might keep you using.
The Benefits Of Motivation
For instance, there is something called intrinsic motivation, which is the internal drive to change. Compare that to extrinsic motivation, which is the desire to change because of something outside of you, like legal obligations or marital demands. In order to overcome an addiction, that intrinsic motivation needs to be strong to counter the dependency that will drive you to drink.
As long as there is ambivalence, the desire to change will be countered by a desire to drink. Yet, when the intrinsic motivation is strong enough that’s when lasting change will happen.
You can see that the questioning you might do about whether or not to stay sober isn’t any sort of small-scale ambivalence, like whether to buy the red or black shirt; this is your life. That might sound dramatic, but essentially that’s what it comes down to.
So the pivotal question is – are you ready to change? And that desire needs to come from deep within, from an authentic, overriding, motivational force to finally quit. Because it’s going to take that kind of force for long-term recovery to happen.
So, reach in to the place inside of you that wants desperately to make this change and create a commitment to your recovery. Cherie Bledsoe, determined to recover from her mental illness and addiction, wrote the following recovery pledge:
A Recovery Pledge
I acknowledge that I am in recovery.
I believe that all people are made up of more than just their mental health diagnosis.
I believe in the principles of recovery…that the journey is unique for each person, it requires the will to recover, it is a self-directed process of discovery, it is non-linear with unexpected setbacks and it requires self-effort, endurance and courage.
I believe in the essence of recovery that all individuals can live a full life and participate as citizens of our community.
I understand that education and self-advocacy are keys to my recovery.
I believe that it is important for family, friends, providers, and my peers to join together as partners to build a community of hope.
I will strive to support others on their journey of recovery.
I believe that I have a tomorrow and that I can shape my future, by enjoying life to the fullest and sharing my own story of hope with others.
Perhaps in your drug addiction therapy process, you’d like to write your own pledge to recovery. Perhaps you’d like to make an acknowledgment of the path you’re on now and commit to your sobriety and overall well being.
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