Individuals in early recovery exude ambition and are highly motivated to achieve a healthier life. The endless possibilities of the recovery process seem to instantly replace the misery of addiction. However, as newcomers accumulate clean-time and the desperation fades, the motivation for continued recovery can deteriorate.
From fellowshipping with members of various support groups to rigorously working a 12-step program, success in recovery springs from a multitude of factors. We are constantly encouraged to attend meeting after meeting, share openly with others, and stick around for that extra cup of coffee.
On the other hand, we aren’t as often warned about the dangerous, self-imposed habits that can cause a relapse, even after years in recovery!
Self-Sabotage – A Natural Tendency of a Recovering Person?
Believe it or not, one thing that many addicts have in common is the unmatched ability to defeat oneself. Whether it’s starting an unreasonable long-term commitment, planning for something impossible, or worrying incessantly about something that we can’t control, the self-defeating nature in addicted persons seems to resurface without fail.
Knowing What NOT TO DO = Part of the Recipe for Recovery?
The complexities of everyday life don’t end simply because you’re in recovery, so knowing exactly what to do is seldom easy.
On the other hand, looking out for and avoiding common traps in recovery can be lifesaving and important for relapse prevention, and with a little foresight, it’s simple!
If its lasting success you want, remember to avoid these five dangers that even the most serious of AA-goers are vulnerable to in recovery.
1.You fixate on problems, but fail to look for solutions:
As people who were accustomed to escaping painful situations and feelings, addicts are normally hard-wired to focus on the negative.
Instead of escaping the feelings that accompany the problems, face the problems themselves. If someone is incessantly complaining about dishes in the sink, should that person just keep complaining or…should he just do them?
Whether they are created by ourselves or by influences beyond our control, everyone has problems! Focus on the good in life, and build good things off that!
2.You constantly compare yourself to others:
There may be a handful of people in your life who simply just seem to have it all “together”.
Don’t put yourself down if someone says something more clever, appears more confident, or is more solid in their recovery, because—chances are—they struggle too.
Never compare your insides with another’s outsides. Compare today’s you with yesterday’s you. Everyone has their own journey to undertake, and everybody possesses their own strengths and weaknesses.
3.You demand immediate results, but fail to put in the time or effort:
“Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint!” If you ever went to an AA or NA meeting, you probably remember at least one person saying this. While slogans like these may be aggravating, they are true!
Think of the recovery process as an ongoing diet or workout plan… One day a month in the weight room—just like attending one 12-step meeting a year—will never allow any real transformation to occur! Nothing great happens overnight, and recovery is no exception.
Put in a consistent effort and don’t let a bad day or a bad mood divert you from your path!
4.You obsess about the future:
Sure, planning for the future can be a great thing, but in excess, it can be a recipe for anxiety and worry.
“I can’t live tomorrow today, nor can I go back and erase yesterday. It’s done.”
Plan for the future, but don’t obsess. Don’t forget that life only happens NOW.
5.You stop doing what has been working
Reaping the benefits of recovery feels great, and sometimes we misinterpret feeling good with never needing help again. We forget what it used to be like in the depths of our addiction, and we forget how much we need the support of our clean and sober fellows.
At times, it may feel natural to slip back into full-blown self-reliance, but this is what caused the addiction in the first place!
There’s a reason that what works, works! Form a routine, stick to it, and enjoy the benefits;
Big results stem from big efforts!
The disease of addiction is exceptionally difficult to overcome, especially for long periods of time and when the initial desperation fades. Renewing the commitment to stay sober day after day is never easy; but it’s always easier to continue climbing than having to start the climbing all over again from the bottom!