When you are suffering from substance addiction, you may have a lot of thoughts and emotions running rampant – fear, uncertainty, shame, and feeling out-of-control. The good news is that all these feelings are not you – you are not a bad or a flawed person. You are simply suffering from the disease of addiction, and these emotions are connected to specific behavior patterns you’ve engaged in. By taking steps in the right direction of recovery, you can override past behavior patterns, instill new positive habits, and experience a shift in the way you feel about yourself and experience life. This is tied in with behavioral psychology, and it is the basis of the recovery approach we take at Sanctuary Health Group. Below are the first steps we recommend taking when you or a loved one is addicted to drugs.
- Recognize and accept where you are – The good news is that the old adage of recognizing you have a problem means you’re halfway to the solution is true. This isn’t just blind optimism or being hopeful – we know that helping someone who doesn’t want to be helped, or who may not even recognize that they have an addiction problem, can be next to impossible. If you’re in a situation where you are suffering from addiction and beginning to recognize those out-of-control feelings that accompany addictive behavior, then know you’re already halfway there. Countless people before you have found themselves in the exact same situation you are in now and found freedom from their addiction, and you can too. Just take this time to recognize where you are and accept it fully.
- Know that you always have a choice – You always have a choice, and you are never more than one decision away from being back on track in your recovery. When in the throes of addiction, obsessive thoughts can lead to compulsive actions, leading us to feel like we don’t have a choice – but there is a space in between a decision and an action, and that space can be widened with practice. Past actions often inform our beliefs about ourselves and the decisions we choose to make, but with the behavioral model of recovery at Sanctuary Health Group, we help reorient our clients to use this to create positive behavior change. The past does not inform the future – you always have a choice in the moment of a decision.
- Seek Professional Help – Once you have come to a place of nonjudgmental acceptance of where you are with your addiction, and you have accepted the responsibility of your own choices and are choosing to pursue recovery, you are now in an excellent place to seek professional help. We are here to help you recover from the disease of addiction, which can only be done when we work with an active participant in their own recovery. Your willingness and courage, combined with our tools and expertise, will put you in an optimal place for recovery. You absolutely can do this, and we can help, as we have helped many others recover from using drugs before. And not just recover, but thrive. We don’t want to just help you rid your life of destructive habits and negativity, but infuse it with positive purpose and the passion to pursue your best life.
- Enlist the Support of Family and Friends – Having a strong support system is a critical component of recovery. Our program works to include your loved ones in your recovery process, but moreover, we incorporate positive relationship building into the program that you can enjoy no matter how involved your family and friends may or may not be in your recovery. Our coaches and therapists will be working with you regularly in both group and private settings. You’ll be able to connect with other clients. And you’ll be encouraged to get involved in the community in positive ways through volunteerism and other fun events. Creating a positive life is a process, and we know that those who travel together travel far.
- Embrace the Journey Ahead – Recovery, like all of life, is a journey and not a destination. It’s important to remember this fact when obstacles or setbacks come up, as they often will. It doesn’t mean you have failed or that you’re incapable of positive change, but rather that old patterns take effort and time to break as you’re introducing a new way of thinking, behaving and being. As long as you retain a sense of optimism about the future, keep good company and positive influences in your life (like you will find you have working with our staff), and give yourself permission to be human, you will succeed. Success isn’t about perfection or never stumbling – it’s about having the willingness to get back up again and give every day your best.