In any program of recovery, you are given a roadmap to follow. The basic principles are provided on which a foundation is built. Identifying your strengths and your unique qualities and applying them to your recovery is what makes it work.
In the midst of substance abuse, you will lose sight of all the things that matter to you. Your value and belief system can become seriously compromised. Your strengths will have been buried under the chaos and drama that is your current life.
In recovery, you will identify what you need to be successful. You will identify your strengths and use them to bolster your commitment to staying clean and sober.
FIND YOUR STRENGTHS
In order to find your strengths look at your weaknesses. Formulate a plan to counteract each and every one.
Barriers to your success can be overcome. Weaknesses are not failures or defects, they are habits and thoughts that stop you from making progress.
Find the qualities that are going to help you in recovery. Bringing a positive attitude, solution-based thinking and congruent actions into recovery will contribute to a strong foundation.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME
Look inside yourself for compassion and self-care. Be kind to yourself as you take the firsts steps toward a future where your coping mechanisms do not include substances.
You will need to be patient and understanding, and forgive yourself when you make mistakes. Learn what works and what does not.
Celebrate the small wins and shift your outlook to one of optimism and determination.
Your resiliency, adaptability, self-awareness, open-mindedness, and willingness are strengths. Be teachable. Be open to new ways of doing things. Practice them until they become second nature.
Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. You will go at your own pace making sure that you are thorough in your work before moving onto the next goal. Complete understanding and mastery are necessary before taking on new tasks.
YOU CANNOT DO THIS ALONE
Identify your support system; your family, community, friendships, and peer groups. Who is supportive of your recovery, who can you turn to when times get tough? Where in your community do you feel at home, stable and strong?
YOU CAN ONLY CONTROL YOURSELF
Take responsibility for your actions and for making changes that are long-lasting and maintainable. Practicing humility and understanding that you are part of the problem. Remember though, you are also part of the solution.
You have acted in ways that are humiliating, isolating, dangerous, illegal, demoralizing and angering. Those are things you have done, they are not who you are. Learn from them and move forward.
YOUR UNIQUE SKILL SET
Your education, training and work experience gives you a unique set of skills that you can use to assist yourself and others when you are struggling.
Spirituality and personal beliefs are part of maintaining your mental health. Mediations, prayer, yoga, Thai Chi, and other rituals are soothing and help relieve stress.
On the other hand, also look at your weaknesses. What is making it hard to make progress? What barriers are you coming up against? What thoughts, feelings, and emotions are getting in your way?
Make sure to talk to someone and devise a plan to overcome or change the attitude or behavior that does not serve you well.
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Recovery is messy and emotional. No matter what, you have the skills to be successful in recovery.
Take charge today.