Despite the widespread knowledge of the dangers posed by drug and alcohol abuse, many social populations continue to frame these habits as the hallmarks of exciting, interesting people. Conversely, it is not uncommon for people entering into sobriety to struggle with the feeling that they’ve become less fun, lost part of their personality, or weakened their chances of fitting in with others. As you navigate the road to recovery, it’s important to maintain a healthy system of positive support and learn to disregard negative influences.
Embarking on a healthy road to recovery means breaking the stigma around your decision to abstain from drugs and alcohol. Acting in your own best interest is not a weakness. Don’t let your commitment to your values be influenced by fear of weakness, whether it stems from within you or from external sources. Recovery means having the strength to make hard choices for the greater good, both for yourself and the other people in your life.
Like any life-changing endeavor, recovery can be scary. The majority of people who choose to get sober do so after years, if not decades, of unregulated indulgence in substance use. The prospect of making a major adjustment to your habits, removing familiar outlets, and altering how you interact with your friends and social circles can be seriously intimidating–and that’s before considering the potential trials and tribulations of detox, withdrawal, and lifestyle adjustment that might accompany the transition to a sober lifestyle.
It’s reasonable to be anxious and afraid about recovery. It’s also worth remembering that, like any life-changing endeavor, taking the mental leap of faith towards this new way of being is often the most challenging part. You’ve probably heard the oft-repeated saying associated with Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-Step approach: “Admitting that you have a problem is the first step” (or some variation thereof). Before you can take on the task of self-improvement, you must recognize and accept the fact that you need a change. Once you commit to the idea that you have to change your life, everything that comes afterward is simply the path to achieving that goal.
If you’re struggling to overcome fear and doubt in the early stages of recovery, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with adequate forms of support. Nobody expects you to do this alone, and needing help isn’t a sign of weakness. You do not exist in a vacuum; everything you do affects the world around you to some degree, and you are constantly affected by the other people in your life. If your behavior was or is negatively impacting your life, chances are that it’s carrying over to negatively affect other people to some extent. If you recognize the need to change, improving your actions will improve your relationship with the world around you.
This is why it’s important to lean on the help of others during this transitional period. Allowing yourself to reach out for support can help instill within you the knowledge that you don’t have to wait until you’re perfect to connect with people. For many people in recovery, receiving guidance from others is a major catalyst for developing a stronger sense of self-worth. You’re worthy of assistance and acceptance just the way you are.
It’s normal to experience anxiety or uncertainty over how the people around you will react to your sobriety. If you’re worried that others will see you as weak, boring, or fulfill any other negative self-image, remember that you are a vibrant, multifaceted person. Reducing your social value to your ability to drink or get high is a waste of your potential as a human being. Anyone who fails to see you as the valuable person you are is not worth your time trying to impress.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: addiction is a disease, and you are taking steps to prevent yourself from succumbing to its dangers. If your friends, family, or social circle give you a hard time, disrespect your boundaries, or otherwise impeding your progress, don’t hesitate to stick up for yourself by stepping back from those relationships or drawing firm lines around the ways you wish to be treated. Difficult though it may be at first, it can help to try to see this period as an opportunity to learn who has your best interests at heart.
Your greatest asset in recovery is the inner wellspring of strength and determination that will allow you to have confidence as you rebuild your life after addiction, one day at a time. At Cornerstone Healing Center, we know that comprehensive treatment means more than just addressing your symptoms–it means helping you achieve the mental transformation that takes you forward into the next part of your life. To achieve your potential, be proactive in availing yourself of resources that meet your unique needs and lead you towards fulfillment. Our facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, provides a nurturing and educational environment where you can work through your obstacles and develop a long-term plan for success. If you’re struggling with addiction or mental illness, move towards growth by surrounding yourself with the supportive peers and compassionate staff you’ll meet at Cornerstone. Our experts are ready to help you build the life you deserve. Call (800) 643-2108 to learn more.