During the early stages of recovery, following a relapse, or managing triggers when newfound stressors challenge you, hope can feel fleeting. Everyone battles demons telling them that recovery is hopeless, from those new to recovery to those nearing years of sobriety. While no one can promise you that you will never feel tempted again or that life will be free of strife or loss, you can dig deep during those trying times and reestablish hope in recovery.
When in early recovery, the life of active addiction is not yet a distant echo of the past. You are facing one of the most challenging obstacles known to all — change. Change is hard, even when that change is for the better. When we spend years living a certain way, we might feel lost when everything we’ve grown accustomed to ends. Entering a treatment program is a significant change, which can feel scary for anyone. While the imprints of our addiction are fresh in our minds, we might struggle to hope for a brighter future.
Finding hope can be a struggle. Every person exists on the fine line between fulfillment and self-destruction. Early in recovery, you might not have experience with success or happiness outside of active addiction. Feeling hopeful in recovery might waver during the early days of detox and the pain of withdrawal. While these challenges can test your limits, they will serve to further your resolve as you push through the pain to find relief on the other side.
During difficult times when you feel all hope is lost, remember why you chose recovery. Were you tired of feeling numb? Are you trying to repair broken relationships? Did you recognize that you were going down a destructive path? Finding whatever motivated you to get treatment will help you to continue through the struggle. Remember that recovery is a lifelong journey with ups and downs, but you will continue to get stronger as you face your challenges head-on.
While hope might feel distant in early recovery, trust in the process and keep going. As you meet peers in recovery and hear stories that ring true to you, you can find faith in the process and hope that the best is yet to come, even if you need to take things one day at a time.
While those in early recovery might struggle to adjust to an entirely new way of life, those with more experience in recovery are also susceptible to trials along the way. Some may be sober for years and feel triggered for the first time, while others may have recently relapsed and struggle to feel hopeful about their continued recovery. Life will not always be easy; however, you have come this far and have likely come back from much worse.
No one can prepare you for everything that life will throw your way. No single treatment program will give you all the skills needed to tackle life on your own with near invincibility. Life might change without a moment’s notice, and you might find yourself tempted to return to your old ways. You might feel hopeless about the future and think that the past years of sober living have been a waste of time.
Everyone will feel this way during recovery at some point. You cannot control everything that will happen. While you can prepare for the future and do everything in your power to obtain the life you want, fortune and tragedy are two sides of the same coin. Neither of which is within anyone’s control.
Much like those in early recovery, when all hope feels lost, you need to trust the process. Losing hope is a feeling, and feelings are not permanent. Feelings are fleeting; sometimes, they come and go on a whim; other times, they stick around for a while to inform that change is needed. Remember why you chose recovery all those years ago. Think of the work you have put in thus far — while this moment of hopelessness might feel overwhelming, you have proven that you can handle the challenges to come.
Whether in early recovery or further along, when you feel hopeless, lean on those around you. Your support team is here to listen and help you through this challenging time. Everyone has felt hopeless before. Share your struggles with those around you and work on solutions to continue through this trying time and get back to living the life you deserve.
Hope is possible for anyone facing addiction and seeking recovery. When you feel that hope is lost, you might be going through changes that make hope appear distant. Everyone struggles at points along the way. No person has ever embarked upon an arduous journey without testing their resolve to maintain hope about reaching their destination. When recovery feels hopeless, talk to those around you. Find support and help to continue working through this fleeting moment of hopelessness. Often, we need to continue to trust the process. As we gain experience in recovery, we know that treatment does work — we have found solutions in the past, and we can get through this trying moment. For those struggling with addiction and underlying mental health concerns, cultivating hope can feel impossible. Cornerstone Healing Center is here to help you believe in yourself when facing challenges in recovery. We can help you find hope for a brighter future. Call us today at (800) 643-2108.