With another National Recovery Month just around the corner, millions across the nation are preparing to educate and empower themselves to take a more proactive role in combatting addiction and relapse in their families and communities. In addition to providing resources and education to help people become better versed in the issues surrounding addiction recovery, National Recovery Month is also an opportunity for survivors of substance use disorder to take stock of their own recovery routine and see if there’s anything they could be doing different. This type of reflection can help members of the recovery assess their progress and vulnerability to help maintain their sobriety.
Stagnation Does Not Equal Stability
While consistency is of the utmost importance immediately following treatment, slavish rigidity can feel overwhelming and easily lead to relapse. By exploring new interests and gradually weaving activities in and out of your recovery routine, you’re keeping life fresh, dynamic and enjoyable. It’s important, however, to assess your level of readiness prior to making any drastic changes, whether this means adjusting your medication, bolstering your attendance at meetings, trying to repair damaged relationships or anything else. If it helps, you can run these potential routine changes by your mental health professional and see what they have to say about your level of readiness.
Fluidity Is Key
Whether or not they’re in recovery, everyone’s needs, ambitions, desires, stressors and obligations change over time. The recovery routine we developed when we first left treatment may not necessarily work for us two or three years on. As time goes on and life in recovery becomes more and more comfortable, it may be a good idea to reassess engagement and make modifications to regular routines. While the ultimate goal of recovery is to maintain abstinence from drugs or alcohol; another important goal is to live life and grow without the threat of relapse. While the initial stages of recovery have taught us to focus on getting better and developing a solid foundation for survival, it may be that this year has prepared you to embrace more in life, such as:
- A Bold Career Move
- Starting a Relationship
- Marriage and Family
- Moving to Another City
- Helping Out More at Recovery Meetings
- Buying A Home
- Reconnecting with Distant Family
In the end, recovery is a game of inches and requires life to be challenging and enjoyable in equal measure. This National Recovery Month, take the time to figure out how much of your recovery routine you need to change or keep.