Whether you've graduated treatment or you're going through it right now, it's normal to have good days and bad days. Recovery isn't easy, and the work required in treatment can be challenging. So if you're feeling like you're not making progress or that you haven't quite figured it out, it's important to remember you're not alone.
No one figures out recovery right away, and some people might say you'll never really have everything figured out – and that's okay.
And although you shouldn't try to be perfect, feeling stuck isn't easy. So instead of letting yourself become complacent or uninspired, try these 4 ways to get back on track:
- Take time to reflect.
If you're constantly moving and don't allow yourself the time and space to reflect, you'll never understand the progress you've made. Instead, take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and sit outside or at your kitchen table. You can meditate, make a list of the positive changes in your life, or journal about the things that are bothering you. Never underestimate the power of slowing down, sitting still and quietly reflecting.
- Challenge your thoughts.
Our emotions can be deceiving. If you notice you're feeling negative, upset or angry, take a minute to pause, think about why you're upset, and challenge your thoughts with positive solutions or affirmations. Plus, this can help when you're having a conflict or particularly bad day. The more you get into this habit, the less frequently your mind will stop you up and distract you from positivity and forward-moving progress.
- Talk to your counselor.
At Common Ground and most treatment programs, counselors allow time for processing thoughts and feelings both in group or a 1:1 setting. Take advantage of the opportunity treatment gives you to process feelings of being stuck. In group, you'll get feedback from others who may have been there or felt the same way. Like most things in recovery, the first step is recognizing you're feeling this way. Self-awareness is a sign of progress in and of itself, so as you realize you're having a tough time, bring it up and let others help.
- Cut the slack.
As you reflect on your current place in recovery, you might realize there are people, places or things that aren't helping you – and may actually be hurting you. If your recovery is going to get stronger, other things in your life must get weaker, like toxic relationships, triggering situations and old behaviors. Whatever isn't helping your recovery is just dragging you down, so as you reflect and process with a group or counselor, stay open and accepting of the things that might need to leave your life.
No matter what, remember that recovery is a process and the process is rarely linear. You won't figure it all out right away, but the most important thing is to stick with recovery even when it's hard. Keep coming back, stay focused and challenge yourself in small ways each day. And when in doubt, contact your support network for help, feedback and friendship.