Addiction recovery is a journey. It’s not something that happens overnight. It requires commitment and patience. Not every day will be positive and great. There may be some days where you’re feeling down or defeated. That’s normal. This is true for everyone, regardless of whether you are in recovery. Everyone has days that are harder than others. However, this does not have to jeopardize all of the progress that you have made in your recovery or increase your risk of relapse. With the right tools and strategies in place, you can overcome and continue moving in a positive direction.
Accept that everyone has bad days. It’s okay to not be feeling your best or always have a smile on your face. Sometimes you need tough days to remind you of better days and why you make the conscious effort every day to stay committed to your recovery. Realize that it’s normal to have a bad day now and then, but it will pass and tomorrow is a fresh start.
Get up and moving. Even when you’re feeling down, stay active and engaged. Don’t let yourself wallow in self-pity. Make it a point to go for a walk or a run, keep appointments that you have set for the day, and go about your normal routine. Do something that you enjoy and that makes you happy, whether it’s listening to music, doing a craft, or shooting some hoops. You may want to plan a little downtime into your day, but don’t throw off your whole schedule and allow yourself to sink into isolation or boredom.
Make time for friends. If you’re having a rough day, make plans with friends. Spend time with people who make you laugh and smile. The ones who understand your hardships and keep you feeling motivated and moving in the right direction. This is when having a strong support system is important. No one should have to go through tough times alone.
Reflect on your progress. Does it feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Look back at how far you have come and remind yourself of where you want to head. It can be a good time to review the goals you have set for yourself or read a few pages of your gratitude journal. Even when things seem to be going all wrong, there is always a silver lining. Sometimes you just have to change your perspective.
Talk it out. Attend a support group meeting or therapy to discuss the challenges you’ve been facing and work through them before they become more serious. You can talk to others who have faced similar issues and learn how they deal with tough days. A therapist can also help you to continue feeling more in control and identifying strategies that work for you and your needs.
It’s a good idea to be proactive and take steps to address problems before they get out of hand. While it’s normal to have bad days now and then, if they’re happening often or you’re unable to work through your feelings, this can be a sign that you need to make some changes. Perhaps it’s time to try some new activities, adjust your schedule, attend support group meetings more frequently, or seek counseling or outpatient therapy. Long-term recovery is possible if you stay focused and in-tune with your individual needs. Recovery doesn’t look the same for everybody, so do what is right for you. Crossroads offers a variety of outpatient treatment and therapy groups to support clients in continuing to move forward with their recovery with confidence.
[cta]Could you use additional support in recovery? Contact us about our outpatient therapy groups.[/cta]