the five "do's" to recovery

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1. Change your daily routine: If you read The 6 simple steps this may seem familiar. That’s how important it is! You must be willing to examine your daily routine. This will be a tough step because you, like most people have become used to doing the same routine for years. Take an honest look at how you spend your day and look at areas that can be changed. I am not suggesting you quit your job or stop completing other responsibilities but I want you to examine how you spend your “free time”. Now I call it free time for a lack of better phrasing, but what you do in this free time will determine what your recovery looks like. A simple way to begin to look at how you spend your free time is to record your sleep schedule and start looking at how you manage your time when you are awake. Are you sleeping too much? Too little? Be honest when exploring this area of your life.

2. Make The Proper Sacrifices: Throughout your addiction you have made many sacrifices mostly putting aside things that are actually important to continue using. During my active addiction I made sacrifices daily to avoid personal responsibility such as paying bills, attending school, or spending quietly time with those I loved. So now we must make alter this way of life. The proper sacrifices will be different for everyone but we can touch on a few that many will have in common. Ask yourself these few questions: Am I spending quality time with loved ones? If you’re employed, are you putting forth the proper effort at work? If you are currently looking for employment are you sacrificing “free time” to acquire employment?

3. Stay Focused: When beginning recovery you must understand it is a process. What the simple meaning of this is it will not happen overnight. The struggle most people have with this step is when they where using they got hooked on the instant gratification component of the addiction. This feeling you got from having your needs met so quickly has done an immense amount of damage to the way you process situations. When you begin recovery, it is imperative to understand that the process of recovery is not a consistent path. Recovery will be up and down. There will be set backs and you need to be prepared for them. Recovery is a process you must embrace it and maintain it at all costs. If you are honest with yourself you can’t afford not to stick to the process! The next 2 points are going to help you out with this.

4. Set Goals: I am a firm believer if you put forth the same effort you have to obtaining and using drugs to getting entering recovery you will be on the right track. To do this you must set goals. When I speak about this amount of effort, some people may feel overwhelmed with how they are going to just make it through the day. I am not talking about long term goals at this point. The goals I am talking about are short term, measurable goals. For example: Wake up at 9:00 am instead of 2:00pm, or spend one hour doing something you enjoy ( preferably a physical activity). The list could go on and on. You need to write these down because there is a significant amount of power in things we write down. Only create goals for 1 day at a time. Visit these goals every night and if you did not complete one do not beat yourself up just carry it over to the next day. If you complete 1 goal then you have accomplished so much. Once you believe in this process you will start to realize that recovery is possible and probable for you if you are willing to incorporate “Do” # 2.

5. Use a “Powerless Box” – What is a powerless box? Your powerless box will consist of things going on in your life you have NO CONTROL over. The powerless box will be your first goal of each day. Each day you will write down something in your life that you are powerless over. This could be a variety of things. When deciding what to put in the box remember it can be simple to complex. A lot of addicts will use substances to cope with stress or other overwhelming feelings that are out of there control. You must make a decision to stop trying to control everything around you. When working on step # 5 you will no longer focus on the thing you put in the powerless box. Once it goes in the box it needs to stay there. Just for the day you will not try and control this issue or become upset that you cannot.

Blog Written By: brad mcleod Date: 05/21/2017

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