It is possible for anyone to break away from addiction and build a good life. If you have not been able to achieve long-term sobriety, there will be a reason for this. It could be that you have picked up some misconceptions about the process, misconceptions that are holding you back from making a full recovery. Below we have listed the six most common misconceptions that prevent individuals from making a new life away from addiction:
This is probably the biggest misconception you can have about recovery, one that is unfortunately very common. This belief often occurs due to a misunderstanding about what it means to hit rock bottom. The individual can develop the idea that this is a type of special event that happens to them, but this is not how it works; all rock bottom means is that the person has reached the stage where they have had enough. It is up to you to decide when you have had enough, but if you wait for some special day to arrive then there is a high risk that you will die still trapped in addiction.
You cannot make any progress until you quit alcohol or drugs, but taking this step is only the first one in a longer process. All giving up the substance abuse does is to get the individual back to where they started just before they fell into addiction. This means that all the reasons you fell into this maladaptive behaviour are still going to be there. This is why that when you become physically sober you need to begin some serious work on changing your life. For this reason, it is better to think of recovery as a process rather than a single event. You need to begin work on removing all of the aspects of your thinking and behaviour that made you susceptible to substance abuse in the first place.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of approaches to recovery, but not all of these are going to be suitable for your needs and personality. A common mistake is that people keep on trying the same approach to recovery, an approach that has not worked for them in the past. This can happen if the person has become convinced that this is the best approach and the reason they are failing is that they are doing something wrong. In many cases, the reason why this approach isn’t working is that it just is not suitable.
Your circumstances change because you take action; if you don’t take action, nothing is going to change. The worst mistake you can make is to wait around until you feel ready to quit. This is not the way it works. You have to get the ball rolling and then your motivation and feelings of control will start to increase. If you are struggling to develop the motivation to quit, you need to take action to rectify this situation; for example, you might enlist the help of a therapist who can use a technique such as motivational interviewing. Do not just wait around for recovery to find you; it is vital that you go out there and find it.
If you feel convinced that life in recovery is going to be boring, you can easily create a self-fulfilling prophecy. This means your belief in things being dull destroys your motivation; therefore, you do not make any effort to stop your life from being boring. There is no reason for life in recovery to be boring; if it is that way, it is only because you have not taken sufficient steps to create a good life for yourself.
In order to make a good life in recovery, you need to be able to let go of old resentments. You do not necessarily have to forgive those who have harmed you completely, but you do have to stop this anger getting in the way of your happiness. If you are full of resentment, the only person who is going to suffer is you; this type of negativity is a luxury you can’t afford in sobriety.