The first few weeks and months of recovery can be a challenge, so it is vital that you stay strong. Even if you feel very motivated in the beginning, you could easily run out of steam unless you take action to repeatedly give your motivation a boost. Below are just a few ideas for how you can stay strong after you quit alcohol or drugs.
It is important that you have a clear reason why you have given up alcohol or drugs. This needs to be something very important to you, whereby it can act as a constant source of inspiration. A good idea is to write down all of your reasons for breaking away from addiction on a piece of paper and take this with you wherever you go. It is then important to regularly read this list (ideally once each in the morning and evening) to remind yourself what this is all about.
It has been claimed that humans tend to behave like the average of the five people they most spend their time with. This means that if you spend all of your time with the wrong type of person, it is likely to encourage you to think and behave in ways that are not very positive. It is therefore very important that you begin spending time with the right types of people; in early recovery, this should be those who are already firmly established in sobriety. If you belong to some type of recovery fellowship then it will be much easier for you to find the right type of people to spend your time with.
If you relapse back to alcohol or drugs, the chances are that you are going to lose everything from your life anyway. This means it makes sense ensuring staying sober is your number one priority; everything depends on it. Remaining sober does not have to be too tough, but you do need to be constantly vigilant and take steady action to strengthen your sobriety. The things that kept you sober yesterday are not going to be enough to keep you sober today. If the only thing that you do is to give up alcohol or drugs, it is unlikely to be enough to guarantee a good life away alcohol or drugs.
A pattern of negative thinking in recovery is sometimes referred to as stinking thinking. If you fall into this trap of negativity then it can completely suck all the joy out of recovery and prove to be a drain on your motivation. Negative thinking includes such things as pessimism, complaining, jealousy, resentment, cynicism, and enjoying watching other people fail. Everyone is going to have times when they feel a bit negative, but it is important that you do not allow yourself in this type of thinking too much; it is a luxury you can’t afford.
The thing that is most going to boost your motivation to remain sober is to build a great life. There is no point in just being sober for the sake of being sober – you do not want to live the rest of your life as if you were serving a prison sentence. By creating a great life in recovery, you do away with the need ever to turn to alcohol or drugs again.