For most people, the early days of recovery are an exciting time. In treatment, you often confront old issues, make new friends, and find hope for perhaps the first time in years. After treatment, you have to adjust to the challenges of living on your own again and applying what you learned to real life. This is typically a challenging but also engaging period. The trouble comes for many people somewhere between six months and a year into recovery. This is when they feel like they have things under control. The rapid progress of the first months has started to level out and they start to shift to maintaining what they’ve accomplished. They often start to feel stuck when progress slows. That’s when cynicism and negativity might start to creep in and they are in danger of backsliding. If you feel like your recovery has lost momentum and you’re starting to feel stuck, here are some ways to keep moving forward.
Recommit to your recovery plan.
It’s easy to gradually leave off doing the things that made your recovery progress in the first place. There’s little harm in missing a day or two of some regular practice such as exercise, journaling, or meditation, but when skipping them becomes the rule rather than the exception, your results begin to decline. Take a look at your day and see what good things you’ve stopped doing. Make time for those and see if your recovery improves.
Attend mutual aid meetings.
If you haven’t been attending a mutual aid meeting such as a 12-step program, SMART Recovery, or Refuge Recovery, now may be a good time to start or resume meetings. These will often remind you why recovery is so important and what you should be doing to keep moving forward.
Volunteering is great for recovery for several reasons. First, it’s a way to connect with other people. You meet people who care about the same things you do and you can help people, which has been shown to increase happiness. It adds something to your schedule, which might be a good way to change things up a bit without being too disruptive. Finally, volunteering is good for your self-esteem because you make an active contribution to a cause you care about.
Take up a new challenge.
Volunteering is just one challenge you might decide to take up. This might be a good time to start a new hobby, take some classes, or apply for a better job. A rut is often just habitual boredom. A new challenge can focus your attention in a positive way.
Talk to a therapist.
You probably addressed some long-standing issues during treatment, but our minds and personalities are always evolving. New challenges arise and it often helps to have another perspective on dealing with them. Tell your therapist about your addiction history and the difficulties you’re having now. This can also be good practice in opening up, which is a good way to ward off cynicism.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.