The start of a new year, a new week, or a new day is a chance to re-evaluate your life and your recovery. If you haven’t yet started on your journey to recovery, the start of a new year is a great motivator for a New Year, New You. However, if you have started your journey, but didn’t make it through the New Year holidays, don’t worry. There is hope. It is a New Year with new hope in recovery.
Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it sounds. So, if you’re wondering how you go about recommitting to your recovery, what that means, and whether you need to seek additional sobriety support, this article will help. First, let’s take a look at why it’s important to consider recommitting to your recovery in a new year.
Why Do I Need to Recommit
Why should you renew your commitment to your recovery? Is it worth all the time and effort it requires? If you have had any success at sobriety then you know the answer is a resounding yes. For those with severe substance abuse disorders, one thing is for certain: life with alcohol and drugs is no life at all. Recovery is an ongoing process that requires a consistent commitment. After the initial withdrawal period with a commitment to sobriety, you might experience what’s known as the “pink cloud.” This is the period where life is great and everything is going your way. You have made a commitment to sobriety and have take some positive action. Life is good. However, once this fades and the reality of life’s challenges start to weigh more heavily, you might feel discouraged and unsure of whether your sobriety will last. You eventually have to deal with life on life’s terms.
Consistently recommitting to your recovery is making a choice to stay sober even when life is hard. Quite frankly, this can be on a day to day, or even an hour to hour basis in the beginning. The point is that you keep recommitting. You choose to deal with the good, bad, and boring parts of life sober, even when it’s hard. You don’t use, NO MATTER WHAT. In doing so, you’ll gradually increase your tolerance for stress and come to the realization that recovery is not about a sudden and drastic life change. Instead, it’s about slow, internal and genuine growth that lasts. You can’t undue years of addiction in a couple of days.
Life happens and priorities change and shift sometimes. In certain instances, you might even find that your recovery falls to the wayside amid unplanned life circumstances. After all, when you stop focusing on using, and you focus on life, life magically gets busy. You build relationships, have a schedule and even a to-do list. This can all be overwhelming. Or perhaps you’ve just lost focus, relocated to a new area where you lack support, or intentionally ignored your previous commitment to sobriety because it got too hard. There is hope.
Taking the time to reassess your sobriety and your commitment to recovery is a great way to identify areas of strength, weakness, and potential improvement. It’s also an opportunity to get honest with yourself and others about whether or not you need help to get back on track.
How Do I Know If I Need to Recommit to Recovery?
Recovery can be mundane. Regardless of how you feel about your sobriety, it’s up to you to assess your life and determine what you should do to get back on track. You don’t necessarily have to relapse in order to need a recommitment to sobriety. You may just not be as focused as you were in the beginning. There is hope.
Over time, some of the most common ways people lose focus or commitment to recovery include:
- Going to meetings
- Pursuing Therapy Options
- Dealing with Anger and Resentment
- Obtaining and Maintaining Complete Abstinence from Addictive Substances
- Keeping Up with a sponsor and sober peers
- Giving back/volunteering
- Maintaining healthy relationships
- Pursuing a spiritual practice
- Keeping up with daily responsibilities like paying bills and going to work
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet
If you recognize that you lack balance or commitment in some of the areas listed above, recommitting to your recovery might be a great way for you to get back on track in 2022.
Ways to recommit to your recovery
Now, saying that you want to recommit to your recovery and actually doing it are two very different things! So, let’s take a look at some practical ways you can recommit to your recovery in 2022.
Start attending meetings again
When you first get sober, it’s easy to throw yourself into attending recovery meetings one or more times a week because you’re strongly motivated to stay sober. However, as noted, life tends to get busy and your motivation might drop off with your meeting attendance. You might even find yourself making excuses for why you don’t need to go to meetings anymore. But, if you’ve stopped attending 12-Step meetings or other types of recovery meetings, it’s time to get back to it! Going to regular meetings is a great way to recommit to your recovery and receive support and accountability in the process. It’s never too late to start going back and your sober community of peers will welcome you back with open arms. Most of us have been where you are. We all know the struggle and ups and downs of recovery.
Recovery is a lifelong commitment. Yet we are taught to take it one day at a time. The reason for this is so that life doesn’t get overwhelming. We can tend to want to get it all back at once which can lead to stress. We can lose motivation due to the stress. A good way to stay motivated is by setting small, achievable goals that you know you can get done. For example, if you want to re-work the 12 Step Program, you can say, “I will read the Big Book for 15 minutes each morning.” and set aside that time every day to work the steps. Some have reported that by simply opening recovery material and sitting with it can be helpful to the mind. Another related goal could be finding or reconnecting with your sponsor. It is amazing what a simple phone call can do for your recovery. You simply have to take action.
Be of service
In our addiction, we are solely focused on our own wants, desires and needs. Interestingly enough, in recovery, we can be the same way. If you’ve been focused on your own life and needs, try breaking out of that rut by serving others. One of the main aspects of living a life in recovery is service and that can look many different ways. The 12th step states that “Having had a spiritual awakening” we now carry this message to others. This is the dirty secret of the program. Selfishness and self-centeredness is our problem and working with others is the solution. It works when all other things fail. Whether you choose to take a newly sober person under your wing and become a sponsor, help with setup and teardown at meetings, or volunteer at your local food pantry, giving back is good for your mental health, boosts your self-esteem, and may help you develop a mindset of gratitude in recovery.
Clean out your closet
It’s hard to focus on your recovery and stay committed when you’re surrounded by triggers that remind you of your past addiction. Take the time to look around your home, cubicle or office at work, and your car, and remove any objects that remind you of your drug or alcohol-abusing days. The key here is to not to allow you mind to play with you. This is where a sponsor can be helpful to point out the potential reservations you may have that cause you to keep items or sources that could cause a relapse. You may also need to remove certain friendships from your life too. If you find that certain relationships are consistently pulling you away from your recovery goals and sobriety, they’re likely not healthy for you. No reservations!!
Having a strong sobriety support network is essential for your long-term success in recovery. If you need help getting back on track, consider enrolling in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or a sober living program, where you’ll receive personalized support and live in a structured sober home.
New Year new hope for sober living in San Diego, CA
Maybe you need to recommit to your sobriety in 2022 but you need help. The caring professionals at San Diego Sober Living are here to help. We’ve been in your shoes and we know how it feels to be discouraged, run down, and unsure of where to turn next. Our sober living programs offer personalized support and safe, structured sober living environments for women in recovery. Whether you’ve been sober for six months or six years, we’re here to help you get back on track and achieve long-lasting sobriety.