“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.”
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
This is Part One of a two-part series
For most people, the New Year is an expectant time of rebirth – a time to make hopeful promises and reinvent ourselves in the image of who we would like to be. This can be especially true if you struggle with a Substance Use Disorder.
If you have a drug or alcohol problem your New Year’s resolutions have even more meaning than most people’s. If the average person reneges on their promises, they laugh it off and say “Maybe next year“, you might need to be successfully in recovery to make it to next year.
If you are reading this, hopefully it is because you are already in recovery or are thinking about getting help for your addiction. If that is the case, here are some suggested resolutions that you can make that – if kept – can help support your recovery efforts.
Resolve to Get Professional Help
You may have the best of intentions, but the fact of the matter is, no one gets clean by themselves. Powerlessness over your drug of choice is what defines addiction. You need help from a trained and experienced professional who specializes in addiction treatment.
If you have been contemplating going it alone, consider all that you gain with the help of a professional:
- In-depth knowledge and expertise
- An actual treatment plan, rather than your own guesswork and willpower
- Structure and accountability
- Monitoring and evaluation of your progress
- Freedom from judgment
- Practical strategies and solutions
- Connections to other needed services – interventionists, detox facilities, aftercare, etc.
- Medication for cravings, if needed
- Referral/treatment for any co-occurring disorders
In other words, professional treatment will do for you all of those things that you cannot or will not do for yourself.
Resolve to Practice Honesty
Addiction is a disease of denial, deflection, and deception. Lying becomes a daily habit that the active addict/alcoholic uses avoid any conflicts that would interrupt their drinking and drugging. Most of all, they lie to themselves, turning a blind eye to the path of pain and destruction that they leave in their wake. Dishonesty becomes their preferred coping method.
For this reason, rigorous honesty is crucial to a successful recovery. When you resolve to be forthright and open – both with others and yourself – then you remove the harmful consequences that came with habitual dishonesty.
There are number of ways that a person in recovery benefits from the practice of honesty:
- Honesty fosters a renewed sense of self-esteem and trust with yourself to keep your commitments, and with others, which in turn helps rebuild relationships with loved ones.
- New, positive coping skills are cultivated when you learn to deal with – rather than avoid – any challenges that arise.
- When you truthfully acknowledge the harm that results from your actions, you are less likely to repeat those behaviors.
- Consequently, you will also have less shame and guilt – both precursors to relapse.
- Engaging in one positive behavior – honesty – that supports your sobriety makes it easier for you to practice other positive behaviors.
Most of all, when you stop lying to yourself and rationalizing your behaviors, it is much harder to justify why you are acting a certain way. You will learn how to stop “giving yourself permission” to use substances and instead learn to think and behave in a way that supports your continued recovery
If you are an Orange County resident and want to break free from the prison of addiction, contact Chapman House TODAY to get more information about how you can make this the year you got your life back.