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How to Challenge Yourself in Recovery

How to Challenge Yourself in Recovery

How to Challenge Yourself in Recovery

 

You have come so far. You have worked so hard. You have learned how to rely on your own strengths when you can and to ask for help from others when you cannot. You deserve to feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. “Today, more than 22 million people are struggling with addiction, and it’s estimated that, as a result, more than 45 million people are affected. But what many people don’t realize is that there are more than 23 million people living in active, long-term recovery,” according to Forbes.com.1

 

You are beating the odds. You are recovering your life, and by doing so, you are helping your loved ones do the same. Knowing how hard you’ve worked, you may want to sit back and relax. This is great! You deserve to balance the work of recovery with peace and rest. However make sure you do balance it. You can’t ignore your recovery. You need to challenge yourself as much as you celebrate yourself and your accomplishments. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “a process of change.”2 If you aren’t changing, challenging yourself and growing, your hard-won sobriety is at risk.

 

So how do you keep your recovery strong and moving forward? The specifics change from person to person, as with every aspect of addiction and recovery. Explore your options and choose the ones that work best for you.

 

Find Support

One big challenge in recovery is finding the right support. If you recovered through a treatment program, stay in touch with your treatment providers and fellow patients. It may be a challenge to reach out and send a quick note, even during good times in recovery, but the effort is worth it. It keeps you in touch with the basics of your recovery. Professional, knowledgeable connections can also offer quick and easy access to resources if you do struggle. And know that you can return to treatment at any time. A quick refresher can keep minor struggles from becoming serious setbacks, while serious setbacks can be righted through a professional assessment of where you need more support or growth.

 

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Whether or not you began recovery in treatment, you can challenge yourself and find support by attending a local support group or group therapy meetings. “An important factor in the recovery process is the presence and involvement of people who believe in the person’s ability to recover; who offer hope, support and encouragement; and who also suggest strategies and resources for change,” SAMHSA says. Peers at group meetings offer a level of understanding you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. They can also help you come up with more great ideas for taking your recovery to the next level.

 

Share Your Story

Take your recovery outside of therapy offices and rooms of fellow recovering addicts. Challenge yourself to speak up about addiction. You don’t have to start big or even do this in person. Forbes.com explains, “The hope offered through open dialogue about addiction and recovery has now grown into a digital movement.” Websites and social media open channels for communication. They are great first places to tell your story publicly. Heroesinrecovery.com collects recovery stories to encourage and inspire others in the community. You can begin to see how sharing supports your recovery and also contributes to greater change.

 

Advocate for Others

You can take the politics of recovery even further. Stay engaged in recovery by making recovery an option for more people. Push for studies, funding and legislation that support treatment. Volunteer at or even host community events. Support group members and treatment providers may be able to help you find ways to get involved in grassroots campaigns. Other events, like National Recovery Month, are nationwide and have great online databases of where you can go and what you can do to help.

 

“As difficult as it is for me to write the stories of so many who struggle with the disease of addiction, their stories may help to heal a broken heart or offer a ray of warmth to a stranger in need of a hug.” - Kathleen A., a contributor to Heroes in Recovery, shares.

As you raise awareness, you challenge yourself to do more and be more involved. You explore your passions and find where new interests and opportunities lie. You learn just how strong you are and how much your voice can matter.

 

As you challenge yourself in recovery, you’ll find that you continue to grow through the process. You discover that the work of recovery isn’t work at all. It is hope and healing. The more you challenge yourself, the more chances you also have to sit back and enjoy your beautiful, sober life.

 

By Alanna Hilbink

A writer for Heroes in Recovery. Heroes In Recovery breaks the stigma of addiction and mental health disorders through the power of storytelling, celebrating heroic efforts of those who seek the help they need without feeling ashamed or isolated. Our movement thrives on the personal journeys of survivors — addicts, those struggling with mental health issues, their family members, and friends — to bring truth to the spotlight and create a global community of support.

________________________

Sources:

 

  1. Utley, Tori. “Recovery Leaders Find New Avenues Forward In Fight Against Addiction.” Forbes.com. 18 Apr. 2017. Accessed 21 Oct. 2017.
  2. Del Vecchio, Paolo. “SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery Updated.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 23 Mar. 2012. Accessed 21 Oct. 2017.

 

 


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