Recovery from addiction is a life-long journey. Making the decision to undergo rehabilitation is the first important step. You need to keep moving further, and each next part of the journey will come with its own challenges. Motivation is considered a powerful factor in a successful recovery. But it can be difficult to keep yourself driven every day. Keep reading to find out 7 simple and effective strategies to grow and maintain your motivation.
1. Understand that motivation is not a constant.
Let’s face it. No one can stay motivated all the time. There are some days when you don’t feel like participating in therapy, communicating with anyone, or doing anything at all. Every now and then a bad day comes along with unpleasant situations or newly occurred problems. You may feel reluctant to continue your struggle. That’s why the AddictionResource addiction hotline anonymous exist. This is an opportunity to speak out and receive moral support.
There’s a popular opinion that motivation is a skill. Skills are not something you are born with. They are developed gradually. And just like skills, motivation can be learned and practiced. And the same way your skills help you achieve your goals, motivation does, too.
2. Build a sober support network.
Experts stress the role of motivation in positive addiction treatment outcomes. Motivation should be understood not as something that a person has but rather as something a person does. It involves recognizing a problem, searching for ways to change, and then employing those change strategies. And supportive community helps to ensure you are actually doing it.
No one overcomes addiction alone. Don’t be a lone wolf. Surround yourself with people who can contribute to your sober life. It can be:
- Colleagues at work
- Drug hotline operators
- 12-Step groups.
People who care about you can help to cope with stress, encourage you to stay sober and guide in recovery.
3. Figure out what drives you.
What inspired you to seek treatment in rehab in the first place? Maybe you wanted to convince your separated spouse to give you a second chance. Maybe you wanted to become a good example for your children. Or maybe you didn’t want to ruin your career.
Whatever the incentive was, remind yourself every day that it is worth the struggle. For example, if you do it for the sake of your family, keep their photos around you so that you can see them easily.
4. Develop good habits.
Learning to value time and keeping yourself busy helps to distract from negative thoughts and create a more positive mindset. So, commit to something simple and attainable. Let it be a creative hobby like drawing or writing or physical exercises like swimming or jogging. You can start attending a pickup sports league or going to the theater.
Journaling is a strong recovery tool if used properly. Write down the goals that motivate you to be sober and successful. Revisit them when you feel discouraged. Also, write about the positive changes in your behaviors, appearance, health, relationship with others. Having physical evidence of how far you have already come can help you to stay strong.
5. Find ways to cope with doubts.
When cravings or urges are strong, it is important to separate the addiction’s voice from the authentic mind voice. Don’t listen to that little evil voice saying “Why are you forcing yourself to go through this? Sooner or later you will return to alcohol”. Affirmations like “I am free from my alcohol addiction. Alcohol does not have control over my life” can drown out that voice.
Besides, if you spend time with people who believe that you will break away from substance abuse, you are likely to feel the same way, too. If you need to hear encouraging words, don’t forget about drug and alcohol hotlines. They provide advice, information, resources, and motivation to people struggling with addiction.
6. Take one day at a time.
There is a popular saying – “Keep it simple.” Long-term sobriety is a very big goal which requires an incremental approach. Split it into simple everyday steps. Take care of one present day and the remaining days will fall in place.
You can’t become addiction-free just by quitting drugs. Recovery involves creating a whole new life without the use of abusive habits. So, don’t take on an unbearable burden. You can’t accomplish in one day what may take years to achieve. A consistent commitment to managing smaller things you can complete today will make you happy and healthy in the long run.
7. Play the What-if game
Typically, when someone has a craving, they are only imagining the immediate gratification of drinking or using a drug again. That gratification is short-term. They are then left with the consequences of relapse.
So, instead of focusing on the use itself, think about what will happen if you relapse today? What will happen with you, your wife/husband, kids? Will this relapse make her/him finally say ‘Enough!’ Will you be able to look your children in the face? How much will you beat yourself up about the relapse?
If cravings are too strong and your motivation is low, don’t be shy to use an addiction help hotline. You’ll be able to share what’s on your mind in an open free of judgment environment. You’ll get the chance to speak to someone who has been in the same position, as these hotlines are staffed by people who have been affected by alcohol or drugs themselves.
Success in recovery from substance abuse is not magic, it’s methodology. It depends on the skills you develop and the tools you pick up during your journey. It’s also not about going a straight line from point A to point B. It’s more like a line that goes up and down. You may stumble on your way, but you learn, you grow, and you keep going.