National Recovery Month: Powerful Mindsets to Keep You Sober
September is recognized as National Recovery Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about substance abuse and mental health disorders. How can one recover from addiction successfully?
Addiction recovery is often an uphill battle with complex twists and turns. Even after successful addiction rehab, some may still find themselves in a repetitive cycle of short-term recovery and relapse.
However, it is possible to stay sober not just months or weeks at a time, but longer. With compassionate substance abuse treatment, community support, and healthy mindsets, many individuals have successfully stayed sober for years, even lifetimes.
September is National Recovery Month, a time to observe the many ways substance abuse can impact people’s lives. Campaigns on social media and elsewhere discuss health and the effects of addiction and encourage people to seek assistance.
Some people have tried to stop using alcohol or drugs but are stuck in a continual cycle of relapse and recovery. Have you ever found yourself battling this problematic cycle of relapse? Do you want to become clean again and stay that way?
Maybe adopting new mindsets and using the resources of National Recovery Month can help you with your journey toward sobriety.
Some positive mindsets that could be helpful for recovery might include:
I am not a failure by relapsing. I can figure out what went wrong and I can try again.
Experiencing a relapse might make you feel like you’re doomed for failure, but that’s not the truth. Relapse is a common occurrence, especially for people in the initial stages of healing.
Even after people stop using them, alcohol and addictive drugs can continue to have a strong hold on people’s lives. The substances may change our brains, encouraging us to crave substances when we’re experiencing stress, mental health problems, or life changes.
Given these conditions, it’s important to remember that you aren’t a failure for relapsing. A relapse can be an opportunity to review what happened and make certain changes in your next attempt to achieve long-term sobriety. The changes can include:
- Choosing a quality rehab center.
- Following your plans after you leave treatment.
- Managing factors that could trigger your addiction.
- Finding more community support to help you stay accountable.
Relapses might provide chances to think about what went wrong, what went right, and how you can fix things to prevent future problems. By embracing growth, people can understand that problems can lead to learning, not blaming themselves.
Achieving what I want means that I might experience discomfort and difficulties.
We live in a fast-paced world where instant results are promised to us everywhere: fast food, entertainment on demand, and other easy things that could make us think that achieving something should always be quick and simple.
But this way of thinking can skew how we think about recovery. To make changes and achieve what we want, we might encounter discomfort. If we’ve been in rehab, for example, we might have experienced withdrawal symptoms when we weaned off drugs or alcohol.
Staying sober is similar. To accomplish your goal of being sober, you might endure cravings, periods of stress, or anxiety. When you know that you might experience discomfort, you also know that such discomfort is temporary. You might have more realistic expectations that could allow you to understand what’s happening and to help you persevere and succeed.
I need to look at the bigger picture and why I should stay sober.
Another mindset shift that could help people remain sober involves examining why they no longer drink or use drugs. When one has a clear idea of why they want to remain addiction-free, their motivation to succeed could become stronger. They might be able to see the consequences of their decisions and gain perspective.
For example, people who have intense cravings to drink or use drugs can adopt the mindset of what happens next. They could examine what happens if they drink or use drugs again.
After that, they could examine the next set of possible events, which might include a lack of motivation, a reversion to habits they practiced when abusing drugs or alcohol, tolerance and dependency, and other negative effects.
When people look ahead and evaluate the big picture of what might happen when they make certain choices, they might be more likely to choose paths that lead to the goals they want to achieve.
Running away from addiction means I am running toward something.
Some people experience repetitive challenges in addiction recovery because they only focus on walking away from substance abuse or addiction.
By doing that, they’re missing an important piece of the puzzle. When you turn away from addiction, it’s important to turn toward something else.
Running toward something shifts your focus from what you’re leaving behind to where you’re headed. Instead of self-medicating, going to places that trigger you, or isolating, you can direct your energy on other actions such as eating healthy, exercising, and socializing with positive people.
Whether it involves better health, relationships, or attention, this mindset can help you to actively do things that will not just treat an addiction, but also help you pursue a healthier, happier life.
National Recovery Month: cultivating your inner life
Shifts in thinking can aid in sobriety during National Recovery Month and any other time. By cultivating our inner lives, we can improve the chances of achieving lasting recovery for ourselves and making other positive changes.
sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – 30-Day Inpatient Rehab Programs
recoverymonth.gov – National Recovery Month
heathdirect.gov.au – Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
lifehack.org – 4 Signs You Have a Victim Mentality (And How to Break Out of It)
A Message From Our CEO
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.