Sometimes when we’ve achieved some success in our recovery, we’re so optimistic that we feel total faith in ourselves. We feel invincible. We feel like we’re on top of the world. We feel proud of ourselves and our accomplishments. When we’re in this place, we sometimes have a tendency to fall back on our goals and intentions because we don’t think we need to regulate ourselves any longer and hold ourselves to certain standards or expectations. We ease up on ourselves somewhat. We slip up on our routines. We might become complacent, thinking we’ve done enough. We might become nonchalant and carefree, even reckless, believing that the worst is over and that our work is done. We might stop being as diligent with ourselves. We might stop staying on top of ourselves to make sure we stay in alignment with our goals. Similarly, when we’re feeling overwhelmed or depressed, we have a hard time staying on track with our recovery because we’ve lost motivation and inspiration. We feel hopeless and defeated. Whether we’re feeling high or low, whatever the reason for us to start slipping on our recovery program, one way we can help ourselves to stay on track is to create action plans for ourselves.
The action plans we design for ourselves should take into account all of the weaknesses we feel we have, all the challenges we’ve come across, all the limitations we’ve experienced so far in our recovery process. If we feel as though we have a hard time self-motivating, for example, we might want to include in our action plan different ways of motivating ourselves. We can read motivational books and articles. We can surround ourselves with people going through similar struggles, such as other recovering addicts in our support groups. We can listen to motivational speakers or watch motivational videos. We can reprogram our subconscious mind to be more self-motivating and self-encouraging by repeating affirmations.
We want our action plans to be a reflection of our goals. If our current goal is to stay sober for this week because it’s a particularly difficult time for us emotionally, for example, what specific action steps will we take this week to make that happen? We can choose to go to meetings more frequently. We might want to schedule an extra therapy session. We might check in with our sponsor more often. Our action plans can support our commitment to our sobriety, especially when we incorporate all the things we might find challenging as we’re working toward recovery, and when we think strategically about the best ways to help ourselves reach our goals.
Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.