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How to Stay (and Stay Positive) in Recovery



Recovery from drug or alcohol abuse is a long, hard process. It’s only natural to want to quit and get the hell out of there at times. 

But if you’re going to stay in recovery, it’s important that you stay positive!


Table of Contents

Give back to your community

  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen; help with a local fundraiser for addiction treatment.
  • If you want, talk about your recovery with others who are struggling with addiction.


Don't suppress your feelings

Sometimes it’s hard to express how you feel. The more you repress your emotions, the more likely they are to come out in destructive ways. 

Remember, there is a difference between expressing your feelings and acting on them! Don’t bottle up your emotions; instead try talking about them with someone you trust. 

If this is something that’s difficult for you, consider writing down what’s bothering you on paper or in a journal (and keep those entries private). 

Some people find it helpful to draw pictures of their feelings so they can better understand what they’re feeling inside. 

The important thing is not whether or not we express our emotions but rather how we express them!

There are positive ways to release negative energy: physical activity such as yoga or running; working out at the gym; dancing; playing sports or games with friends or family members. 

We also may need time alone with our thoughts so that we can process them without distractions

—this is particularly true if our addictions have made us avoid certain situations like parties where alcohol flows freely among friends who used drugs together once upon a time.”


Look at the big picture

Look at the big picture, not just the day. When you’re in recovery, it can be easy to get caught up in the minutiae of daily life

—what you did today, what happened at work or school that day, and how you felt about each activity that came up. 

This can lead us to obsess over things we can’t change (like how much money we made), or spend time worrying about things that don’t matter (like whether or not someone liked our Facebook post). 

Instead of focusing so much on these trivialities, start looking at the big picture: where do you want your life to go? 

What kind of person are you working towards being? 

How will achieving your goals make a difference in other people’s lives? 

And when those thoughts start taking shape and becoming more real and more tangible, it’s easier for them to become the motivation for action instead of just fantasies sitting inside your head somewhere.


Surround yourself with positivity

Here’s the thing: positive people are more likely to succeed in recovery. 

That’s because they have a greater chance of finding support and encouragement from their peers, who are more likely to understand the challenges of recovery and be able to assist when needed. 

The opposite is true for negative people; by contrast, their negativity can get in the way of your recovery process or make it harder for you to succeed.

So how do you surround yourself with positivity? 

Fortunately, there are lots of ways! First of all

—and this goes without saying—be sure not to hang out with any negative influences from your past life. You’re supposed to be leaving those things behind now! 

But beyond that, there’s another strategy: find new environments where everyone around supports each other’s efforts toward staying sober (like places where AA meetings are held), or even just places where everyone knows what addiction looks like (like at work). 

If you can’t find these kinds of places nearby—and many don’t exist anymore

—then online groups can be helpful too; just spend some time browsing through them until something clicks with you! 

Also, remember that while it may seem like your current situation isn’t helping matters much right now, it will eventually pay off big time later on down the road when things start getting better again…


Forgive yourself and move on

It’s okay to make mistakes in recovery, but if you’re beating yourself up about them, it can keep you stuck and prevent you from moving forward. 

The first step is to forgive yourself for past mistakes and not let them hold you back now. Forgiving yourself isn’t an instant process; it takes time and effort. 

It can be helpful to think of forgiveness as a process rather than an end goal because it will come more naturally this way—and even if forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight, that’s okay!


Don't forget how far you've come

One of the most important things you can do to stay in recovery is to remember how far you’ve come. 

This can be difficult because when you’re struggling with addiction and don’t know where to turn for help, it’s hard not to focus on all that it is left ahead of you. 

But if we’re honest with ourselves, even after only a few days sober or months clean, our lives are already so much better than they were before! 

We have more energy and motivation for the activities we enjoy; our relationships are more meaningful; our self-esteem has improved; and we now have tools for coping with life stressors instead of feeling like an addict at every turn.


Recovery isn't easy, but staying positive can help you succeed at it

Recovery is a process, and it takes time to get better. There will be ups and downs along the way, so don’t expect your recovery to be smooth sailing every day. 

You can’t do this alone

—if you’re struggling with addiction, you need help from others who have been through it before and learned how to stay sober for good.

When setbacks happen in recovery, don’t let them make you feel hopeless or discouraged. 

It’s okay if you slip up once in a while; that doesn’t mean that quitting is hopeless for everyone else who has struggled with addiction as well! 

If anything, it means that relapse prevention strategies might need some tweaking now that we know more about what works best for each case of alcoholism/addiction (for example one treatment plan may work for an alcoholic but not another person).

Remember that staying positive can help you with addiction recovery and make your life better. 

When you’re feeling down or upset, try some of these tips to keep yourself on track!

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