One step forward, two steps back. When you’re an addict or an alcoholic in recovery, you get tired of being knocked down. Any step which seems like a step backward feels like a threat to going too far backward toward relapse. Building resilience in recovery is the way we learn how to handle all of life’s ups and downs, or as we call it in recovery, life on life’s terms. There’s a misconception about getting sober that sets many people up for disappointment. People believe that getting sober makes everything better. On the one hand, that’s true. Just about everything is better when you aren’t struggling through active addiction anymore. Even the negative things in life are better because you are more equipped to handle them. That’s the catch that most people miss- there are still negative things in life. Recovery is not immunity from life. Getting sober is not a pass on all other difficult things in life to come. Recovery is an opportunity to build on the strength you have gained through overcoming addiction to overcome any challenge in life, without relapsing on drugs or alcohol. Fortunately, recovery doesn’t mean there won’t be any challenges. We have a saying in recovery: stop trying to skip the struggle. In every challenge there is a vast amount of wisdom, little bits and pieces of wisdom we pick up which we can apply to our next great challenge. It’s like playing a video game and finding little tokens which give us powers, fighting bad guys, getting through obstacles, and being rewarded with something to help us in the future. If we just played the game all the way through, we wouldn’t gain more strength or more knowledge to get through the harder levels. As addicts and alcoholics, we have a right not to want anything to be too difficult, for a while. Going through detox, making it through treatment, and learning how to redefine everything in your life is hard work. Working on building resiliency is what helps bounce back up when life knocks you down and remember it’s all part of the process. Here are four ways to build resilience in recovery.
Become A Good Problem-Solver
The best problem solvers start solving their problems by realizing they don’t have a solution. If you need to find a solution, there wouldn’t be a problem because the problem would already be solved. Breaking down into hysterics about having a problem to solve every time there is a problem to solve isn’t going to solve the problem. Accept that problems happen in life. Change Your perspective to view problems and challenges. Accept the challenge. Find the solution. Where you can’t develop a solution yourself, ask your trusted mentors or reliable sources to find the best solution. Every problem has a solution, you just have to learn to find it and accept when the problem isn’t yours to solve.
Become Emotionally Intelligent
Emotional intelligence means being aware of your emotions, having the tools to regulate your emotions, and using the tools as well as the practices you are picking up for emotional management. Addicts and alcoholics spend years of their lives stuffing, numbing, and oppressing their feelings. We don’t want to feel because we don’t think we can handle our own feelings. Feeling our feelings is essential for recovery and for life. Feelings aren’t facts, but information, just like the little gems and tidbits we pick up from our experiences. Learning to live with your emotions instead of in spite of your emotions helps you create peace and balance. When a difficult situation arises, you can feel, make decisions about your feelings, and move forward.
Building resiliency is building self-efficacy. At Oceanfront Recovery we believe that every man is capable of developing autonomy through treatment to become independent in recovery. Call us today for information about our full continuum of residential care options for addiction and co-occurring mental health: (949) 207-9899