Perhaps you’ve heard of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) or the Self Care Plan. You’ve probably heard of and attended 12-step meetings and you’ve probably learned some of the deeper principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. There’s a good chance that you’ve been introduced to a number of tools to keep you safe and sober.
Find the Right Tools for Recovery
However, you might only resonate with a handful of those tools. You might find that the 12-steps really work for you, but the WRAP plan does not. Or you might discover that having a community of people who are also in recovery that you can be a part of is an essential component for you. One of the principles of the WRAP plan, which was developed for those with both a mental illness and substance abuse disorders, is to have the plan be self-created. In other words, any sort of plan for recovery shouldn’t be made by a doctor or psychologist, but rather by the person who is actually in recovery. Only he or she will know what’s best for them and what is going to support their own sobriety.
Recovery Is a Unique Journey
When a person gives some time to thinking about what his or her triggers are, then he or she might be able to come up with specific resources of support that help with those triggers. In other words, because each person has a unique set of triggers and a unique set of red flags, it’s helpful to have a unique set of people, places, and powerful tools to support you. If you’re hoping to make this year a year of sobriety, and if you’re hoping to do this with a year of relapses behind you, then perhaps it would be useful to think about what your unique journey of recovery requires. And not only thinking about them, but gathering those powerful tools and supportive people around you.
Here are some tools for recovery that you might want to include in your journey forward toward sobriety, if you choose:
- Hope – There are many definitions of hope. However, here is one that is simply and useful: hope means that we look forward to something with desire and have a reasonable expectation that that desire will be fulfilled.
- Positive Relationships – Although there are some people who prefer to spend their time alone, when you’re in recovery, having a community of people around you to support you can be incredibly effective. This is especially true if those people believe in you, if they can see in you the possibility for change.
- Successful Role Models – When we spend time with others who have achieved long term sobriety, we can learn from them. But more than that, they tend to have a particular mindset that we haven’t yet developed. By spending time with others who have a mindset of health and enjoyment versus negativity and stagnation, we start to pick up on the thoughts and feelings they’re having. We start to develop the mindset that they’re in rather than a mindset that has been holding you for so many years. Having successful and healthy people around you can support your growth.
- Time for Self-Care – A large part of addiction is destruction. When the compulsion to drink or use drugs becomes so great such that a person is using substances despite the harm it’s causing, there is plenty of harm that happens as a result. Relationships, careers, finances, and home life can begin to break down with the presence of addiction. For this reason, one way to counter the destructive elements of addiction is to find time to care for yourself. This might mean taking a long walk in the evenings or spending time with someone you care about. It might also mean time for yoga or meditation. Or it could simply mean playing ball with friends. Whatever activity is nourishing for you, making time for it throughout your day can be an essential tool to use during your recovery.
Of course, these are suggestions to consider. As the start of this article mentioned, what you include in your recovery plan is up to you.