Addiction Recovery Ideas You Already Know
Beyond accepting you have a problem with substance dependency and learning how to allow others to help you get and stay sober, you also may be aware of some helpful strategies and coping mechanisms that can help you recover. These are addiction recovery ideas you may already know about.
One of these could be the avoidance of certain family, friends, and situations where you have previously been triggered to use alcohol or drugs. Another could be starting a regular exercise regimine. While another could be attending support group sessions with those reaching and maintaining sobriety.
These are all helpful ways to help improve the likelihood of addiction recovery. Avoiding toxic people and toxic situations can reduce many of the mental triggers of substance abuse. Regular exercise can help alleviate physical stress and promote better sleep. Social support can play a huge role in encouraging recovery and maintaining long-term success.
You may also know about another tool to help you with impulse control. This tool is called HALT. HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. The idea is to ask yourself…Do I feel hungry, angry, lonely, or tired? If you feel any of these things, you need to know you are more succeptible to using and you can try to change the situation. HALT can also be used proactively to help make sure you’re properly fed, you’re calm, you have safe companionship or are OK with being alone at times, and you getting plenty of rest.
3 More Addiction Recovery Ideas
1. Vizualize the future
On video, audio, or on paper, record what you believe would be a miracle day in the future where you are not using and you have regained some confidence in your sobriety. Start from waking up in the morning, getting ready for school, work, or activities at home. Continue describing your day thoughout meals and even going to bed. What are you thinking, doing, saying, and feeling? Who else notices you are having an exceptionally great day? What are others doing and saying?
The answers to these questions will help you to define goals and ways of being and doing that can give you newly learned or improved skills as you recover and work to stay sober. Remember when doing this exercise to use “video language” to describe your day. Simply stating that you were happy while entering your work is not going to cut it for this exercise. Instead, state what happy looks like in a video (so, state what were you thinking, doing, saying, and feeling). Write these successful ways of thinking, doing, saying, and feeling down as recovery goals to work toward.
2. Review your recent successes
Look back on your week and reflect on times you were not using drugs or alcohol when you could have. How were you able to do that? What were your doing, thinking, and feeling before, during, and after? Write your answers down and find what you can learn from your success.
Even if you were getting high everyday, look for times in the week when you postponed or did not act on the urge to get high. Many of these may be mini successes you can learn from and strengthen as you really look at how you were able to not use at the time.
Some people are triggered by depression to drink or use drugs. Look for times when you were less depressed, and then try to recall everything surrounding how you were able to not be so depressed. These are successful times that you can also use to your advantage when undergoing alcohol or drug abuse rehab.
3. Monitor your improvement
Things like depression, anger, guilt, happiness, calm, energy, peace and others can be measured, just not in the way you think. There are no definitive measuring scales for these, but subjective measures can be extremely valuable for tracking progress in addiction treatment. Subjective measures are the weights or values we put on things (it’s our opinion and definitely now scientific).
When a nurse asks you, “On a scale from 1 to 10 how much pain you are experiencing?” and you reply with “6”, that is a sujective measure of your pain. Another person with the same level of pain may describe that as a 5 or a 7. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong, rather it’s just how they rate their pain. What matters is the nurse knows the number given by you, and now it is her goal to help you lessen the severity of your pain and not develop worse pain.
When you measure where you are now, where you would like to be, and know what it would take to improve just a little bit, it becomes much easier to experience and track progress. When an addict that is triggered by depression can put a number to rate how their depression is, that becomes a valuable tool for them to set as the starting point. If they are at a 7 on depression, it would be helpful to consider what one thing might need to happen to get that number to a 6. Doing that will instantly help them get 10% closer to erasing their depression. Treating these improvements between measures as incremental goals can readily help an addict define small and attainable goals. Where there is success there is more success to come. Making incremental improvements builds confidence and assurance that the final goal is more achievable than before. Monitoring your improvement makes your progress unmistakeable and real.
What to Do Now
Take one or more of these powerful addiction recovery ideas and incorporate them into your life. Whether you focus on removing toxic people from your daily life, use the HALT tool avoid relapsing, or use any of the new 3 tools discussed here to help in your substance abuse recovery just get started now. Each of these helps you to positively disrupt your life and improve your success at getting and staying sober.
If you haven’t done so already, consider medical detoxification as one of your first steps. Call us and we’ll help you determine if you need to detox.