Deciding to enter addiction treatment is never an easy decision. The first few months and years are usually filled with growing pains that turn into valuable life lessons.
Still, maintaining a sober life no matter where you are in the recovery journey can be difficult.
Regardless of whether you have decades of abstinence or just a couple of months, it can be easy to forget the benefits of being sober.
This can cause relapse, or lead you to act out in other unhealthy ways. Below we’ll explore some actions you can take to reinvigorate your recovery and rebuild your life in sobriety.
Why It’s Important To Stay Motivated In Recovery
The driving force behind the lack of internal motivation for sobriety can be linked to many things, such as new desires, isolation, or the development of other mental health disorders.
For someone with a substance use disorder, not wanting to stay sober is a dangerous place to be. Relapsing can cause serious health, physical problems, or even an overdose.
Other times, someone may not relapse, but they may resort to destructive behaviors.
This can include:
- lashing out at loved ones, work acquaintances, or anyone around them
- over or under eating
- isolating from a support network
- overindulging in other addictive activities, such as sex, gambling, or media
- ignoring things they used to do to maintain well-being
Ways To Stay Motivated In Recovery
If you or a loved one need some motivation to stop drinking alcohol or using drugs, there are plenty of actions you can take.
Let’s explore some tips that can curb drug use cravings, avoid drug relapse, enact healthy habits, and help you remember why you started the recovery journey in the first place.
Attend 12-Step Programs
Many in addiction treatment programs have been exposed to 12-step support groups. Some may have started their recovery there if they never attend a recovery program.
These are great places to learn how to handle life without substance abuse. Some attendees have several years of sobriety and have faced many challenges without old crutches.
Other attendees are in early recovery. They have fresh stories of drug addiction and they may still be experiencing symptoms of withdrawal such as cravings.
Seeing these people can be a motivating factor to stay sober. 12-step recovery also provides opportunities to be of service to someone who may be reluctant to seek help.
If you have many years of sobriety, you may want to sponsor them as they go through the 12 steps. Seeing a newcomer change with your help can be a great way to stay motivated.
If you’re also a newcomer, you can still be of service by befriending them, offering to give them rides to meetings, or buying them lunch if they are low on funds.
Try Out Different Support Programs
Some may attend a single support group for several years without any change. This is beneficial in building a support system.
However, you may want to try out other support groups if you have polysubstance use disorder, co-occurring mental health disorders, or are the child of an alcoholic.
Even if you only have one substance addiction, you can still check out meetings in nearby cities. These will introduce you to fresh faces and different stories.
Each of the following options is free and can provide a new perspective:
Keep Track Of Sober Time
Sometimes people forget just how far they’ve come in their journey. In some 12-step meetings, it’s common to add the years, months, and days of sobriety in a share.
Using tracker apps such as Sober Time can precisely tell you how long you’ve been sober. These applications usually include daily meditations and words of affirmation.
Create A Gratitude List
Writing down exactly what you are grateful for, and exactly what you have gained, can be a reminder of how far you’ve come.
This can remind you of where your life used to be and the growth you’ve experienced mentally and physically.
A sober life is full of opportunity, new connections, renewed relationships, and better health, and it’s something to be grateful for.
Practicing self-care can be a mix of wellness techniques, coping skills, and mental health practices that may keep your mind motivated to stay sober.
Self-care can look like this:
- taking yoga, meditation, or other holistic classes
- going on a self-date to a movie, restaurant, or outdoor excursion
- taking a night to stay in and enjoy a hobby
- turning your phone and electronics off for a couple of hours
Enjoying Time With Family
Spending time with those closest to us, such as friends and family, may have been an afterthought during active addiction.
People with children and a partner may have found their family roles in addiction switched or were completely abandoned. This can cause deep resentment and shame for all involved.
Now that you’re sober, you can work to mend these relationships. It may be slow to start, but with time spent with your loved ones, healing can begin.
Activities you can do with the family during recovery include:
- making dinner, lunch, or breakfast together
- day trips to a national park for a hike
- museum visits
- sports events and concerts
- phone calls or video chats
Treatment For Substance Abuse In Massachusetts
There are many treatment centers in Massachusetts that can help with different substance use issues, such as a binge drinking disorder or drug addiction.