Step Up Attendance at Recovery Support Meetings
You need to be among people who are or have been in similar circumstances. Every recovering alcoholic or drug addict, no matter what the drug of choice, has been through what you are experiencing. They can and will help you through this difficult period. Through the strength of individual and addiction group support, you will be able to overcome these feelings of worthlessness and despair.
Until you are able to create new strategies for dealing with these feelings, until you learn even more powerful coping techniques, plan to attend support meetings on a more regular basis – even daily for a few weeks. Depending on how recently you left treatment, you should be regularly attending support meetings for at least the first six months. After that, most successful recovering addicts and alcoholics say they keep up a maintenance routine of regular meeting attendance – just as an insurance policy. They know the support method works since they have been on both the receiving and the giving end of it.
Use their success as an example to strive to achieve yourself. Make use of their ear as a sounding board. Or just listen as others relate what is going on with them. You may surprise yourself at how you come up with suggestions to help others – and, in the process, you may learn something about how to better help yourself.
Celebrate Small Victories
Milestones are critically important for those in recovery. When you achieve certain points on your ladder of success, take the time to recognize them and celebrate your achievement. Some 12-step programs have buttons for X-number of days of sobriety or some other badge of recognition. Even without such a group acknowledgment – which is terrific for the ego, by the way – strive to undertake your own self-congratulations. It does not have to be any more than sending yourself a congratulatory e-card or marking on the calendar with a big star or exclamation point with a highlighter or marking pen. Take yourself out for a celebratory meal – minus alcohol, of course – or reward yourself with a weekend trip, go to a sporting event or play or musical – even a wrestling match. It does not matter what the reward is; the important point is that you do something to give yourself the accolades you deserve.
After a short while, you will begin to look forward to these special occasions. And they are special, indeed. Each marks another step forward in your life in recovery. Each step means a lot of hard work and determination, fighting off the cravings that seek to insinuate themselves back into your life, reminding yourself that you are a better person now and you deserve happiness.
You are the architect of your own destiny. Only you can make tomorrow the kind of future you want. Embrace that fact. Make it what you truly want. You will not only be back on track; you will be leaving all your former demons and doubts in a trail of dust behind you.