6 Signs You’re Successfully Recovering (Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like It)
The recovery process is a difficult one that can come with setbacks. It requires a lot of strength to keep trying to move forward and to get back on track if you went back to old habits for a while. It requires changing your lifestyle, and change is hard. But even though it may seem like an uphill battle at times, you might be doing better than you realize. Here are some things to look out for that show you’re successfully recovering, even if it doesn’t always seem like it.
1. You Keep Trying
Even when times are tough, you keep trying toward your goal of a fulfilling life without substances. If that sounds like you, then you’re succeeding just by trying. Even if you get knocked down a time or two, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Instead of continuing in a downward spiral of addiction, which can continue to progress and lead to many consequences in your life, you’re choosing to make a positive change. You haven’t given up, and you have the strength to work hard and stay committed to your goal.
2. You’re Not Fighting Everyone and Everything
Recovery is tough, and it’s common to fight the people who are trying to help and to be in denial about your situation. You might fight against change and the idea of living in a different way. But if you’ve stopped fighting the world and have come to embrace a new life and the people who support you, you’re making positive steps. Even if you’re struggling, it’s still a good sign if you’re at least making an effort to be more understanding of others and more open to a new lifestyle.
3. You Have New People in Your Life
Maybe you haven’t been feeling like life’s been going so well if you’ve been trying to get rid of certain people from your life and dealing with all the drama that comes with the process. Maybe you’re even trying to make new friends or reunite with old ones, which can be difficult processes as well. Even though these times can be hard, it’s a good sign if you’re steering yourself away from people who are negative influences in your life and toward people who will be supportive of your new goals for a substance-free life.
4. Substances Are Not the Main Focus of Your Life
With addiction, life is focused on a substance – how to get it, craving it, how it feels while using it. Other parts of life can diminish as finding and using drugs or alcohol becomes the main goal and purpose. Even if recovery feels hard day by day, you’re achieving it if your life has become about more than a substance. Maybe your life again includes people you care about, passions and hobbies, and a focus on taking care of yourself. Maybe you have also made a commitment to a career or to furthering yourself through education.
5. You Have Support
Finding support is a main part of successful recovery. It’s a good sign if you attend a support group for addiction recovery, go to a counselor and/or have a sponsor to lean on. These forms of support can help you learn more about yourself and your struggles, work through triggers and help you avoid a relapse. You can also find support from other sober people who have the same focus and goals as you. It can help to know you’re not alone, and that people are going through something similar to your situation.
6. You’re Focused on Growth and Change
Recovery involves a lot of change. You’re changing your purpose and goals, changing your friends and activities, and changing your thoughts and behaviors. You have to learn new ways to handle stress and triggers, change your habits and figure out a new way of living. All this change is hard for anyone, but the fact that you’re focused on changing is a great sign. It means that you’re working toward the life you want and you’re growing into a new person who has learned from past experiences.
It can be easy to get down on yourself about your progress in recovering from substances. Maybe everyday life seems like too much of a struggle or you’ve had a setback. But there are many small and large successes, so it’s important to look at the whole picture and celebrate those successes. If you see yourself in some or all of the above signs, then you’re getting somewhere. Even if you’re just starting to have an interest in recovery, that’s a positive sign that you want a healthier life. Change and growth are hard, but they’re also signs that you’re moving toward the life you want to lead.