Tools for Success in Recovery

Maintaining recovery is a life-long process. Many don’t realize that once they make it through the initial treatment program, the first year, or the first five years of sobriety after addiction, they still must work at and maintain their recoveries. That’s because life has its ups and downs, there are stressful events that happen to everyone from adding or losing a member of the family, job loss, career change, going back to school, raising kids. You name it, it can be a stressor that, if not prepared for can lead a person to fall back into old habits.

Just like most plans for “getting rich quick,” fail for long-term success, so too do overly simple solutions for recovery. The truth is you must put in the time and efforts to keep it going. From the advice and recommendations of experts in the field of addiction and from information gathered from sober community members, here are some tools to keep your recovery successful over the long-term.

Coping Skills

One of the first things you learn in recovery is new coping skills. Whether you learned new skills in behavioral therapy or otherwise, your treatment programs probably taught you some skills such as mindfulness, checking in with your own well-being or connecting with your higher power to help you overcome triggers and peer pressure. Just because you’re no longer inside those walls doesn’t mean you can let those practices go. Keep at them regularly for the best chances at success.

Don’t Overestimate Your Strength

While you should have confidence in yourself and your sobriety, you shouldn’t over estimate your strength in avoiding temptations. That doesn’t mean you can’t go anywhere or have any fun, but it certainly means you shouldn’t go to certain places with specific people that you know are apt to get you into trouble. It’s not worth it, so skip the temptation and save your strength for a real situation that isn’t avoidable.

Be Open

Be open in what you take from and give back to recovery. That means be open enough to discuss hard times. If you’re following your routine and getting bored, tell someone. If you’re going through something tough, talk with your sponsor and get the help you need. Alternately, be sure to be purposeful when giving back. You’d be surprised how much you’ll gain from helping others.

N.D. “6 Strategies to Maintain Recovery”. Addiction Campuses. (website). 2018
  • 7 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I can never get past one week clean off heroin and have done prob 200 detoxes in the 15 years I've been on it. Can't mentally or physically take it anymore and feel close to ending it.
  • @Hurley hey there! thanks for reaching out!! i'm sorry you're continuing to struggle.... i'm sure it can be disheartening to say the least... would love to know more about your situation and besides detox, what have you tried??

    also, here's a great place for you to go if you're thinking suicidal thoughts.. please reach out:

    we are here to support you however we can... feel free to come back every day and keep in touch here. we really do care about you and your well-being.

    sending positive vibes your way!
  • Is this the right way to communicate ? As in in the comment box?don't really know my way about the site yet so wanted to make sure before I explain situation
  • @Hurley... Welcome to the community. I'm glad you found us. You can type in the comment box if you'd like; or go to the "What Brings You Here?" section of the forum and start a new thread. (That would actually be the best way for you to share and explain your situation.) Here's the link to that section:

    I'm sending you positive energy and lots of hope. Share your story with us so we can help, okay?
  • Having a depression is one of the worst mental diseases there is, one of the symptoms is constantly feeling terrible in a manner of not wanting to live, a vicious circle of feeling horrible that only gets worse until one takes the right action.
    While being in a depression I observed one of the constant re-occurring thoughts I was having was “I feel bad” “I feel terrible” “I don’t want to live” “I feel horrible” “I am depressed”. These negative thoughts were constantly arising and I was continuingly telling them to myself, I then realized what if I turn these thoughts around! Every time I got a though of “I feel terrible” or “I feel depressed” I turned the thoughts around to; “I feel good”, or “I am happy”, lying to myself, it gave me a strange feeling in the stomach and initially, it was difficult to lie to myself. When you feel bad to tell yourself you feel good is not an easy thing to do, this is the key lesson of this book to remember to continually turn the negative thoughts around as they come, to re-program the brain and to get out of the viscous circle of depression, into a viscous circle of happiness. After a month of continually turning negative thoughts around I started to feel normal again, even happy
  • I will try this. I have had negative thoughts about myself for decades and refuse to believe when people say positive things about me, my character. Why do I treat myself so horribly. It has caused so much pain. Resulted in so many negative consequences.
  • @Legs1331 many of us have those underlying types of beliefs about ourselves. i picked mine up in early childhood.... therapy helped me deal with some of them...and reading plenty of self-help books too. ;)

    have you ever done some intense therapy for a season? to really get after those types of thoughts?
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