Recovery is a lifelong effort and accepting that fact can be frustrating. You may feel a strong desire to just “get it over with” so that you can get back to your life and the prospect of having to intentionally make recovery a part of your life without an end date or bar of completion can be overwhelming and demoralizing. It’s critical to realize that recovery is a long-term process and that you must be patient and kind to yourself if you want to make it through while minimizing stress. Make sure you have strong, dependable access to support from your close friends, family, and professionals so that you can move through the process with assuredness and determination to meet your goals.
Going through recovery, especially at the beginning, can be disorienting. You may experience numerous intense lifestyle changes at once and your perspective on yourself and others may shift radically over a short amount of time. As you move further away from your old ways, you may begin to look forward to the day when you can return to the life you used to know. However, these feelings are the embodiment of your mind resisting change.
You may have thought you had it all figured out, felt comfortable, or at least had a familiar ease to your daily life back before going to treatment. Although it’s completely understandable for you to yearn for those feelings once more, it may be some time before you have that feeling of navigating your life with confidence and comfort again. The best thing you can do for yourself, present and future, is to accept that your old life wasn’t working for you and that putting in the time and effort to rebuild from the ground up now will put you back on track to a life you feel good about.
The mental change of perception that must occur in order to accept that recovery isn’t a project with a deadline, but is a state of mind that will continue to benefit you. No matter what you do with your opportunity to develop a new life, your mindset should remain the same: focused on the values and commitments you’ve set to stay sober, improving yourself, and bettering the lives of those around you. Your success in recovery is measured not by individual benchmarks, but by your progress over time. Setbacks, doubts, relapse, and frustration are all a part of your journey; all you have to do is weather the storm and hold to your resolutions as tightly as possible.
You’re playing the long game. There will be easier days and there will be harder days. Your hard days don’t mean that you’re failing or that you can’t be helped; they’re just a sign that you need extra support. That’s what your support network is for–your peers in sobriety, mentor, sponsor, or medical professionals know that recovery can be a rollercoaster and they’ll have resources prepared to help you through.
Remember that the human mind is built to change many times over the course of your life. This may be an exceptionally challenging series of changes to go through, but if you stick with it, chances are that your mind and heart will adjust to your new circumstances and, before you know it, you’ll become familiar and comfortable with the life you build for yourself. If things go according to plan, you’ll even be more proud and stable than you were before.
Studies show that successfully making it through your first year of recovery has a significant correlation with long-term sobriety: two-thirds of people who succeed in keeping sober throughout their first year go on to stay sober for good. A large part of making that first year a success is having proper support in multiple areas of your life, from career planning and making effective lifestyle changes to developing healthy emotional outlets and holding yourself accountable.
Cornerstone Healing Center, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, offers a dedicated Navigator program that pairs each client with a hand-picked mentor. Your Navigator is available to you on a personalized basis. They’ll learn your background and get to know your unique needs and goals so that they can guide you through the critical first year of sobriety, offer you emotional support in times of challenge, and hold you accountable to your commitments and values. Learn more about the Navigator program here.
The transition from your old life to your new life can be jarring and you may be tempted to think of it all as a temporary change or a divergence from your regularly-scheduled life. The truth is that there’s no going back; you’re on a new path now and the more you can accept that fact, the stronger you’ll come out. At Cornerstone Healing Center, we know that recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, and that even the most strong-willed patients can benefit from direct, personalized support as they go through these changes. Our Navigator program pairs you with an individually-chosen mentor in sobriety who can guide you throughout every step of the process, from detox to long-term life planning. Although staring down a future in recovery can be a challenge, you don’t have to do it alone. Invest in your future well-being. Call (800) 643-2108 to learn more.