When you are in recovery, it seems like on a daily, if not every-other-day basis you are in some type of doctor’s office. The reality is, you really need to be in therapy when you are in early recovery. It helps you figure out where you are, where you’re going, and supports your journey forward. Part of getting that time in group and individual ways is to support your learning outside of appointments. Learning to navigate that is an entirely different story.
The challenging part of recovery from addiction is learning to be independent from substances and the need to do things that are harmful to you and others. Treatment is one part of a holistic recovery experience. Therapy is another part of the package deal, in both group and individual settings, because it helps you process through trauma, navigate challenges that come up, and supports learning how to live on your own without substances being a crutch. At some point, the therapist is not there, helping you process through an experience right in the moment it happens. You have to find a way to take the tools, resources, and information out into the world and make do on your own. As you learn to navigate your way in the world between meetings, give yourself “space and grace,” meaning space to fail and keep trying and grace to know you are on a journey of learning. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Focus on grounded, centered thinking that will start your day off on a positive note the minute you get out of bed in the morning
- Create a gratitude list (as short or long as you like)
- Set an intention at the start of the day and keep it with you. Remind yourself of it often as you go about your days
- Keep a journal that lets you safely and confidently document your state of mind
- Seek sober support by meeting or speaking with a sponsor, mentor, or clergy member
- Spend time writing to your former self detailing the ways you’ve grown and changed
- Create a list of affirmations
- Design a relapse prevention plan including self-care techniques that help improve nutrition, exercise, and sleep
- Listen to music that is uplifting and does not trigger you (or start a compilation search for music to help you do this, maybe meditation music)
- Script a story of what you want your life to look like five years from now
- Create a vision board with words and pictures that reflect the life you want
- Read recovery books
When meeting with your therapist, you will receive helpful guidance. You can take notes with you or ask for helpful ways to remember key elements of therapy sessions to have with you during the day and when you’re triggered or need extra support. At some point, your life will feel more manageable without the constant supervision and support of a therapist and you will begin to feel like you are thriving on your own as time goes by.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.