Overcoming Bad Days in Recovery
Addiction recovery is not a clear cut roadmap. You don’t go to detox, go to rehab and go back to normal everyday life like nothing ever happened. After addiction, especially a long-term addiction, going through addiction treatment and sticking to your recovery plan is challenging. Of course there will be good days when you feel particularly motivated and successful, but there will also be bad days where you find yourself struggling with sobriety.
This doesn’t mean you’ve failed at recovery – in fact, it’s better to struggle than throw in the towel, because at least you’re putting up a good fight. On those bad days, there are a number of things you can do to overcome the difficulties and continue your pursuit of sobriety.
Dealing with the bad days
You might need some quiet time on your own, or you might need to talk with someone; no matter how you overcome bad days, take the time and put in the effort to keep you on track in recovery.
Attend a meeting
It’s possible you’ve stopped attending support group meetings because you feel strong and able to cope on your own. However, during particularly challenging times, you might reconsider attending. Support group meetings can help by giving you perspective, allowing you to share your thoughts in a safe space and boosting you up with community and support found in others with shared experiences. Hearing their stories might help you rise above the negative thoughts in your mind and encourage you to persevere. Plus, externalizing your thoughts by sharing can help you realize how important it is to you to keep on going.
Ask your family for help
Sometimes our thoughts can get very loud and intrusive and simply talking them out can be beneficial. When that’s the case, consider reaching out to a trusted sibling, cousin, parent or the like. Talking to friends is great, but being able to rely on family can give you support closer to home. And you don’t need to go into all the details – just letting someone know that you’re struggling can offer you great comfort.
If you are sad, lonely or angry, it’s perfectly acceptable to feel your feelings. No good ever came from pretending everything is okay. While you don’t want to wallow or constantly stay in an emotional state, letting your guard down once in a while will help you process, understand and subsequently move on from these feelings in a healthy way. Take time to write down your emotions in a journal, talk to a loved one or reach out to your therapist for extra assistance.
Consider starting a routine that brings physical activity into your life. Whether that’s a jog around the block, bike ride, dance class or tennis match, take time to move your body. Not only will it help you feel better physically, exercise will benefit you in numerous ways mentally as well. Plus, on the really bad days, putting on music and going for a long run outside can be a healthy, productive way of channeling frustrations and any other negative emotions.
It’s easier said than done to “be positive,” but there’s a lot of truth here. If you only focus on the negative, like how hard a day or week it has been, you won’t foster a positive attitude. However, if you train yourself to see the good things that happened amidst the bad, you will instinctively stop focusing on the negative as much. A great tool to help with this is a gratitude journal, where you record three to five positive things that happened in your day for which you were grateful. Slowly, but surely, you will begin to feel a shift in perspective.
Volunteer your time
Often we can get caught up in our own sadness, bad days or plain busy lives. During times when you feel like this, consider intentionally carving out time to volunteer. Whether it’s at a homeless shelter, food pantry or humane society, volunteer your time to give back to your community. It will draw the focus off yourself and may even put your own struggles into perspective.
Find help to overcome bad days
Unfortunately, a sober lifestyle is bound to have bad days here and there. But that doesn’t mean sobriety is impossible; with the right tools and proper coping mechanisms, you can overcome the bad days and pursue a life of recovery and freedom from addiction. With perseverance, positivity and the right people to talk with, strong, sober days will far outweigh the bad ones.
If you are seeking addiction help for yourself or a loved one, consider Freedom Detox. With numerous treatment options, including personalized recovery plans, you’re sure to find a recovery program that’s right for you. Call us today at (704) 850-9673 or visit our website anytime to learn more.