Is Something Holding You Back in Addiction Recovery?
Addiction recovery is a period that marks the start of a new life. Treating an addiction to drugs or alcohol is hard work, and practicing the new skills and tools you learned in addiction treatment is equally as challenging. At Royal Life Centers, we provide life skills and tools to help our guests rebuild happy, healthy, and meaningful lives in sobriety. Our goal is to help you recover, and heal in the mind, body, and spirit. Our comprehensive addiction treatment leads to a successful recovery, a recovery process that we will guide and support you through— each step of the way.
Often times in addiction treatment and recovery, guests will be weighed down by toxicity and unresolved issues. We treat guests with intensive therapies and only proven effective methods of addiction treatment, to encourage the healing process. To overcome addiction is challenging work, but is there something holding you back in addiction recovery? Rehabilitation for alcohol and drugs can be hindered by quite a few things. Here are some of the most common ways that you could be held back in your drug rehabilitation experience:
- Your Past
- Letting the “just one more” Thought Ruminate
- A Negative Mindset
- Toxic People
- Avoiding Discomfort
- Not Taking Feedback
- Being Willful Instead of Willing
- Not Reaching Out
- Embrace Your New Lifestyle
- Holding Negative Contracts
- Seeking Romantic Relationships Above Recovery
- Seeking Instant Gratification
- Discounting Coping Mechanisms
Many addicts and alcoholics will gain a clear mindset, and find themselves to be horrified by their past behaviors and the impact their addiction has caused. Part of addiction treatment is working through the strong emotions that come up, and finding a way to understand and accept them, however, focusing only on your past will hinder your recovery process. Don’t let your past dictate your future.
You may not be able to help thinking about certain things, but you can counter any irrational thoughts with the facts of the situation. Alcoholics and addicts in recovery often turn to the idea that “just one more drink” or “just one more high” is plausible, despite how irrational it truly is. Relapse may be a part of some recovering addict’s story, but it does not have to be a part of your story. As addicts, stated in the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text, “one is too many and a thousand is never enough” (Narcotics Anonymous).
Thinking negatively will not only effect your mood, but it will effect your outlook, behavior, and progress. Try countering your negative thoughts with one positive thing that’s happened in your day so far— it could be something you learned, tried, were helped with, etc. Count your blessings, if you have the opportunity to recover from addiction you already have hundreds of things to be grateful for.
The people you surround yourself with will impact you and your life. Toxic people will hold you back, point blank. You need to sever ties with any friend, significant other, or family member who brings toxicity into your life. During addiction recovery, you are in a vulnerable state; you need to protect yourself and your sobriety at all costs.
If you’re avoiding discomfort, you are avoiding progress. From discomfort comes growth, so if you are unable to be uncomfortable, you are unable to grow. Nothing worthwhile will happen in your comfort zone, we often have to hurdle discomfort in order to learn, grow, and progress.
In addiction treatment and recovery, you will get a lot of feedback when you share. The feedback you receive can help you understand from different perspectives, learn, and grow. If you are unwilling to take feedback, it will hold you back.
Willingness is key in addiction recovery. You have to be willing through out the entire process of recovery, most notably, willing to change. You need to be willing to try a different way, because your way doesn’t work. Let go of control, and grab on to willingness.
Holding yourself back in recovery isn’t just made up of things you’re doing, it could be things you’re not doing. This is the case if you are not reaching out to others in sobriety. Building a sober support network is going to be overwhelmingly beneficial and positive for you and your recovery. Networking with like-minded people, who have time in sobriety, will not only give you great support, but an aspect of community, opportunities for socializing, and hope.
Being bored as an alcoholic or addict is one of the biggest triggers for relapse, as our mind instantly cooks up an idea of drinking or using and will ruminate on that thought. Fill your time constructively, so that your boredom turns into self-care moments or maybe you start journaling instead. Choose to do things that will help you grow and progress. Stay busy! You will have little to no time for any negative ruminating thoughts.
Do not place high expectations for yourself in recovery. The only real expectation you should have is to not have to pick up a drink or drug for any reason, no matter how you feel and no matter what happens. Placing expectations on yourself and placing expectations on your recovery will hinder your progress and growth. Expecting life to be instantly amazing will put you in a negative state of mind, the recovery process requires dedication, resilience, and work to make the things that you want a reality.
If you are fighting change, every step of the way, you will get in the way of the transformation that happens in recovery from addiction. You must be trying new things, picking up hobbies instead of bad habits, and putting forth the effort to thrive. Holding onto people, places, and things that do not serve you will be detrimental to your sobriety and won’t allow you to embrace this new life.
Negative contracts are basically when you keep another person’s detrimental secret, with the understanding that they will not tell anyone about your secret. For example, if your friend in addiction treatment is planning to bring drugs back to the residential facility and use. If your friend tells you this, but you do not tell anyone because that same friend knows you have a contraband cell phone in treatment. This is holding negative contracts, and it is a seriously distorted code of “trust” that can lead to people hurting themselves, others, or even lose their life. Holding negative contracts should never happen in a healthy relationship.
Romantic relationships in early recovery are discouraged. Anything you put above your recovery and sobriety, you will lose. Romantic relationships are no different. Also, romantic relationships are a huge emotional trigger for anyone, but especially those in addiction recovery. Avoid any unnecessary stressors in your life.
As alcoholics and drug addicts, instant gratification is something you crave, after all, that’s why drugs worked so well for you— until they didn’t. Something detrimental to your progress and recovery in general is seeking out instant gratification. Expecting instant gratification is dangerous, and nothing that comes instantly is truly worth it anyway. Part of recovery is learning how to change your behaviors to suit you long-term.
After learning some coping skills and mechanisms, you may discount them by thinking “this is stupid” or “this won’t work for me.” These labels you place on coping mechanisms like creating art, deep breathing exercises, meditation, journaling, etc. will be a huge influence on whether or not you’re fully trying the skills. Do not judge skills before you give them your full effort. If you have preconceived notions about any skills or mechanisms, you can convince yourself that they will not work and then they will end up doing nothing for you, because you aren’t really trying them. An open mind will allow you to reap the benefits.
A Successful Recovery
Having a successful recovery depends on you, what you’re willing to learn, and what you’re willing to do. Make sure to keep a sense of awareness, so that you can evaluate your behaviors and decide what things are helpful or hurtful to your overall recovery process. The points mentioned above will hold you back in recovery, so make sure you are not held back by any of the things mentioned. Recovery takes honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness— this is a notion taken from the Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-step program of recovery.
Royal Life Centers offers addiction treatment programs that are designed to follow our guests through the stages of the recovery process, offering guidance and support along the way. Our comprehensive addiction treatment runs on a holistic model, meaning we treat the mind, body, and spirit for a full recovery experience. If you are struggling with alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse or substance abuse, and seeking addiction treatment, please reach out to us— we will help you find the right rehabilitation services and treatment center for you.
Royal Life Centers offers a variety of rehab programs, including: medical detox, a residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. With our comprehensive treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, recovery is possible. Guests will learn a range of important skills and tools to help them stay sober and prevent relapse. Royal Life Centers uses intensive therapies to treat addiction, including: individual therapy sessions, group therapy, behavioral therapies, support groups, adventure therapy, activity therapy, and equine therapy.
Narcotics Anonymous. Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2008.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance, support, and more information about our addiction treatment. Our team of addiction specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to take your call at (877)-RECOVERY or (888) 534-9140. Because We Care.