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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Six Foundations of Recovery

At The Haven, we believe that recovery rests on six important foundations: motivation, coping with cravings, managing emotions, nurturing relationships, lifestyle balance, and finding purpose in life. Each is integral to the recovery process, so read below to learn more about what comprises a successful recovery.

The Six Foundations of Recovery

1. Motivation

In recovery, you might find that it’s difficult to find the motivation to maintain your sobriety. It’s tough to change. We are hard-wired to enjoy comforting situations or to make the “easy” choice even if those situations are unhealthy.

As you think about motivation, remind yourself of these four precepts:

  1. Recognition - Consider whether alcohol or drug use is a problem for you. Is it influencing your mood, or contributing to symptoms of anxiety? Does it interfere with your motivation to do the things you love?
  2. Concerns - Think about what concerns you about your alcohol or drug use. Are you afraid of becoming more isolated, or perhaps developing depression or anxiety? Are you concerned about the health issues you might develop from your addiction?
  3. Intention - Think about how changing your alcohol or drug use will affect your life. If you were to stop your substance use, how would your life change? What would you be able to accomplish?
  4. Optimism - Think about the reasons that you can believe in yourself and your ability to change. What inspires you to believe that change is possible for you?

2. Coping with Cravings

Everyone, not just people who suffer from addiction, know-how cravings work. In one moment, you’re able to understand and fully believe that your behavior has become toxic. The very next day, however, you might find many reasons why it’s okay to drink, smoke, etc. You’ll never completely rid yourself of these cravings, but there are many ways to manage these moments in successful ways that do not lead back to relapse.

Therapy is of course one of the best options since a therapist can help you develop the skills you’ll need going forward. However, other methods like replacing the urge with something else (like chewing gum or exercise), developing healthy habits, and learning to manage your emotions can help with cravings. 

3. Managing Emotions

Let’s be frank: undealt with emotions lead to substance use. As we grow into the world, we develop coping mechanisms for emotions we can’t handle. Some of us dampen these powerful emotions with substances to drown out the pain. Thankfully, with proper individualized treatment, you can develop skills to regulate your emotions without running away from them.

In treatment, first, you’ll learn distraction, but it’s not a permanent measure. Then, you are able to delay the effects of your emotions, giving you the time and space you need to deal with the repercussions of those emotions and engage in safe behaviors to avoid relapse.

4. Nurturing Relationships

When you suffer from an addiction, it often takes a lead role in your life. Relationships, no matter how important, can’t compete with the urge to engage in substance use, and thus the connections you build with others suffer. This also leads to frustration and self-hate—when relationships are severed, you begin to think you are the problem when in reality the addiction is the issue.

To nurture your relationships, make sure to reinvest time and energy into them. Spend quality time with those who you may have wronged, and make amends. Therapy also helps here—it can give you the perspective you need to know how to approach your relationships with a reinvigorated sense of belonging. Recovery is much easier when a person has support from their loved ones.

5. Lifestyle Balance

For most people who suffer from addiction, life in active addiction was anything but balanced. Recovery can take the same shape. People in recovery might feel overwhelmed by the difficulties of life, and without their go-to coping mechanism, they might freeze and leave everything hanging. Others might focus their energy on one project, but this might consume too much time and energy.

The important thing to remember is that balance in life is constantly changing. You might have plans after work to go to the gym and meet a friend, but your boss might ask you to stay late. So—how do you react? Balance is about responding positively to changes and learning to be accepting of the world and how it might impact your life.

In the example above, you might have to reschedule your meetup with your friend. Or perhaps you can negotiate with your boss and come in early the next day. Find ways to include healthy moments each day, and you’ll learn how to maintain balance in your life.

6. Finding Purpose in Life at The Haven

Discovering purpose and passion in life is different for every person. If you’re in recovery, the purpose is necessary to give you the motivation and energy you’ll need to maintain your sobriety. However, your sense of purpose in the world might even benefit from having experienced the depths of addiction and recovery—knowing that you are capable of overcoming something as difficult as substance abuse can encourage you to reach other milestones in your life.

Finding purpose can take the shape of forging new relationships and creating a new social life around your sobriety. You’ll also want to find out what makes you happy and follow those dreams. Some in recovery even choose to inspire others with their journey, using their own experiences to help those who might need encouragement with their addiction. The possibilities are endless as you restart your life.

We at The Haven at Pismo want to help you make sure your recovery continues unchallenged. If you need help managing your recovery, reach out, and speak with our warm and professional admissions counselors today!