Surrendering one’s will to use drugs and alcohol is only the beginning. After weeks of treatment focusing on how to do just that, making the effort to maintain recovery is crucial. Anyone who has been through rehabilitation realizes their addiction most likely has deep roots.
Understanding personal triggers and making lifestyle changes are necessary for a successful recovery. The following necessities highlight the most important attributes for sustaining recovery.
1. Have focus on your positives qualities and those of others
Successful people play to their strengths. While this is not a free pass to neglect weaknesses, it does indicate building upon strengths is more important. Focus on where you can make a positive difference. As for others, it is easier to accept someone’s shortcomings and positive qualities than it is to fixate on wanting them to make changes. Focus on their strengths too.
2. Have close, transparent relationships with a few friends
Make the relationship meaningful. Take the pressure off of yourself to be friends with everyone. The important factor of a close friendship is to be transparent, in other words, an open book. One only needs to be this way with a few others, even one other. The point is to share your pain and your joy with another.
3. Have goals. Make sure to challenge yourself
No one is very productive with out a goal. Know what you want and work toward it. Happiness will not come with out progress, so challenge yourself to do better or to do more. Perhaps, it’s even doing something new.
4. Have faith, a commitment to a higher power
Turning your will over to a higher power, takes you and your imperfect thinking out of the equation. You will have a greater chance of staying sober when you are not in control. Believe and trust in your higher power. Prayer and meditation will create a connection and a communication with God or your higher power. Practice faith persistently and consistently.
5. Have Gratitude
The happiest people are grateful people. Love what you have. Making a daily tally of what you are grateful for will keep you positive (see #1 necessity). See the good in every situation and stay focused on that. A seemingly negative event is only a piece to the larger puzzle of your life. The plan God ( or high power) has for you is bigger than you are capable of seeing.
Along with practicing these five necessities, an individual in recovery must have accountability through sponsorship. Attending addicts in recovery meetings and obtaining a sponsor will certainly help keep you on the right track. Making lifestyle changes requires creating new habits, such as maintaining positivity, establishing goals, and cultivating friendships. As with anything healthy, it begins to feel great after gaining momentum, then eventually a habit is formed.