It was a significant moment when you realized that you needed to turn your life around. It might have been incredibly life changing when you said to yourself that you no longer want to use drugs and alcohol as an escape or as a way to self-medicate.
If you’re in drug withdrawal treatment, then you’re on the start to a journey. If you’re in drug treatment, then you’ve said yes to yourself. And you should know that drug treatment is never truly effective unless you’re ready.
This applies to everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. There must be willingness and a readiness to change old patterns, old behaviors, and old choices.
In order to meet the demands of your life, you’re going to need a kind of inner strength that didn’t exist before. Let’s face it, if you had the strength to meet the emotional, psychological, and daily responsibilities of your life, you probably wouldn’t have reached for the drugs or alcohol.
So, it’s not just a matter of getting off the drugs or stopping the drinking; recovery is also finding a new you. Recovery is putting the pieces together again so that you are stronger than you were before. Recovery is finding the inner resources that were buried while you were in the cycle of addiction, and it is uncovering the wounds that the addiction was trying to mask.
Recovery is a full and rich process of self-discovery and incredible transformation, if you’re ready for it. In a book about mental illness and addiction, called Pathways to Recovery, the authors describe making this sort of decision for yourself making a “You” turn. You’re turning toward yourself.
The Authors Describe This As a You-Turn Because:
- No one else can really change another person. Real change in your life is possible when you feel you want your life to change.
- It is an important moment when you firmly decide to move toward recovery. Turnaround is your moment, no one else’s.
- No can make you move toward recovery. Other people can inspire you and encourage you, but you make the decision to take action on your behalf.
- No one can do the work of your recovery for you. You can do the things you decide are important to move toward the life you want to have.
- When you have a significant moment, such as the one described above, you realize that you must assume primary responsibility for how your life is going, and you decide to make a commitment to yourself to become the person you want to be.
- With this kind of life-changing moment, you start heading toward the direction of healing and transformation.
So, if you’re in drug withdrawal treatment and you’re ready to move forward, here are some quick tips to keep in mind. If you’ve already had a life-changing moment where you want to turn your life around, then you might want to incorporate these tips for your recovery:
Stay closely connected to others who are in recovery.
Having friendships and peers around you is a reminder that you’re not going through drug rehab alone and that you have support.
Attend an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting three times per week.
AA, or another recovery model, can serve as an addiction support group, where recovering addicts share their stories, their concerns, and their fears. An AA community is another way of accessing support and feedback during drug rehab experience.
Find a sponsor or mentor to support your process.
A sponsor or mentor can provide significant support, particularly support that is individualized and can meet your unique needs.
Eat three meals per day.
Drinking alcohol and using drugs can have damaging effects on the body. Eating well can keep your body properly nourished, and that alone can facilitate making better decisions.
Exercise at least three times per week.
Physical activity can release endorphins, which alone help to boost positive feelings.
Get Good Sleep
A recovering addict who goes to bed and rises at the same time every day will often feel the difference in his or her mental health.
- Ridgway, D. McDiarmid, L. Davidson, J. Bayes, S. Ratzlaff (2002). Pathways to Recovery: A Strengths Recovery Self-Help Workbook. University of Kansas School of Welfare. Topeka, KS.
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