When you first enter treatment, you will probably be full of doubts. You may not be sure you even want to get sober. On top of that, you will be in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people, doing unfamiliar things. It’s normal to try to orient yourself. You want to know if you’re doing the wrong thing or if you even have any chance of recovery. When people are trying to get their bearings in a new situation, they often look at what others are doing. That’s usually not a big deal, but if you start comparing your recovery to everyone else’s, you will soon run into trouble. Here’s why.
Recovery is not a competition.
Recovery is not a game where someone has to lose in order for someone else to win. Recovery is a positive sum game where everyone can win. In fact, the more people around you win, the more you win. The people in treatment with you, and the people in your sober network after you leave treatment are on your team. You’re there to support each other, no matter what challenges you face. When you come to recovery with an attitude of comparing yourself to everyone else, you can easily start to feel like their wins are your losses, and vice versa. You may start to resent other people’s success. It’s better to start with the belief that you’re all in this together. Not only will that belief strengthen your sober network, but it also happens to be true.
Everyone starts from somewhere different.
Not only is comparing yourself to others unhelpful, it’s also meaningless. Everyone starts from a different place. People are addicted to different substances, having used them for different lengths of time, and under different circumstances. What’s more, everyone has different genes. Unfortunately, some people have to work much harder to stay sober. However you try to compare your progress to someone else’s, it’s impossible to ever know whether that comparison is fair or accurate.
Everyone has different needs.
Everyone has different issues driving their addictions. Many people have a dual diagnosis, and there are many possibilities for what that might be. One person may be dealing with an anxiety disorder and another may be dealing with bipolar disorder. These circumstances complicate treatment and they mean different people will have different priorities in treatment. This is one reason individualized treatment is so important. There is no one size that fits all.
You only have to do better than you did yesterday.
The only legitimate comparison you can make is to how you did yesterday. Even then, you have to forgive many bad days. Recovery is not a predictable process. There will be stumbles and bad days. All you can do is try to do a little better each day. If you keep trying you will eventually look back and see improvement.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, don’t let your doubts keep you from getting help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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.