No one can deny that choosing to work towards recovery can be a very difficult and life-altering decision to make.
Although the final result of a successful life of sobriety can be deeply rewarding, it will not come without a lot of courage, dedication and hard work.
Yet, beyond that, there are a number of things you can do to make the process easier, some mindsets and habits that can help you help yourself have a successful recovery.
Recognizing your Ability and Value
You deserve to be clean and sober. Not only that, you have within yourself the capacity to make a change and have a worthwhile future. At first, you have trouble recognizing the truth of those two statements, since as an addict (and likely, many times in your life before that) you had many experiences of feeling stuck and helpless.
Yet, the urges of your addiction, and whatever bad things you have done in the past, do not define you. Once you realize that you are a valuable person, you will change your mindset to a positive motivation, letting go of the shame and low self-esteem that keeps you away from doing what is truly best for yourself.
Recognizing your value gives you a motivation to change, but you must also believe in your own ability to do the work of becoming sober. That's not to say that it will be easy, but you can start from a place of believing you have the ability to change for yourself.
You can move from a place of feeling like a victim to your addiction, into one where you can take responsibility. You can plan your own future, and make it one that feels worth living to you. Do everything you can to tell yourself these truths, even when they feel hard to believe. Slowly, you will build up the mindset that will be more likely to sustain you through the challenges of recovery.
Find Support Through the Withdraw Process
Addiction is not only an issue that can be conquered by will power alone, it is also a biological urge, as drugs have changed the way the brain functions, creating a strong sense of dependency within your body.
Choosing to go without the substance your body has become reliant on can often be a very difficult, exhausting process that can cause you feeling very sick, at least for the short-term. A formal detox program can work holistically, giving medication or other medical care for the physical symptoms, while also providing therapy and group support for the difficult emotions that may come up.
You are not the only, or first person experiencing these hard feelings, but are in the company of millions who have discovered ways of coping and getting through it. Take advantage of all that accumulated experience.
Change your Environment to Support Recovery
In all likelihood, your substance abuse habit has caused you to seek out social settings and fellow addicts who have enabled your addiction. An important step toward healing is to surround yourself with people and experiences who can respect and support your sobriety.
If you have trouble figuring out what you can do for fun without visiting a bar or buying drugs – ask others how they do it!
Stay Engaged with the Recovery Process
After some very hard initial stages, you may begin to see some improvement, and notice urges are not so strong, and start finding lessons you can put into practice. At this point, it may be tempting to withdraw and try to continue things on your own.
However, this can be a dangerous move, out a false sense of security you have been "healed" and no longer need to worry about recovery. The truth is that healing is a long process, involving total change of your whole person, and may require a lot of time.
A report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that people need an minimum three months of treatment, but each individual is different. Be in close communication with your treatment provider and support group, and let them assess your progress, working with them to develop the treatment plan that is right for you.