Keep It Simple.
Addiction touches many people and their families. This brain condition does not discriminate and develops from a combination of genetics and environmental factors such as trauma. Humanizing addiction helps reduce stigma. People experiencing Substance Use Disorder can be high functioning at times during active use: parents, business owners, coworkers, siblings, students, etc.
The decision to quit may have arrived from painful consequences, losses, or other problems. Moving into recovery leads to a life that feels manageable and worth living. The ability to remain sober is a daily task requiring patience, coping skills, and loads of self-compassion and support from others.
Prioritizing needs on a daily basis can help increase the chance of achieving sobriety for that day. Here is a simple list to breakdown how to care for each category of life:
THE 5 PRIORITIES: (in this order)
Refraining from all substances always ranks as the first priority of each day. The mantra and goal for each day is simple: Don’t Use Today. “One day at a time” is a slogan used in Alcoholics Anonymous as a reminder of this.
In order to stay sober today, maintaining a steady mindset and sense of calm is essential. Is there any distress or tension that needs to be addressed in order to gain peace of mind? Is there anything that helps achieve a sense of tranquility, such as meditation, alone time, exercise, or connecting with others? Serenity Now!
Being sober coupled with a sense of calm helps with the 3rd priority of Self. What are your needs? Do you have the support and resources to take care of yourself today in order to remain sober? If not, go back to Priority #2 until you achieve a Serenity.
Tending to your own needs by addressing the first 3 priorities lends to your ability to care for your family. It will be easier to be emotionally available for others and to meet their needs, especially in the cases of those in caregiving roles. Familial stress and exhaustion can lead to triggers to relapse, so it is especially important to make helping others the fourth priority on the list. We are only good to others when we are in a stable state.
Tending to your job is always the last priority on the list. Employment is important to provide for yourself and others, however it is the last one because tending to personal, emotional, and spiritual needs help maintain a life worth living. Income provides for essential needs, and sobriety also increases the odds of maintaining work.
Following this list will hopefully lead to long-term recovery, one day (and priority) at a time. Other tips that can help with this goal are:
- Attend community support meetings such as AA, NA, or SMART Recovery
- Work with a therapist to help identify triggers to use, behavior changes, and emotional support
- Obtain a sponsor or other form of an accountability partner to further support recovery
If you or a loved one is in need of support, Low Country Counseling offers specialized therapy for Individuals, Moms, Couples, Families, Children, and Teens. Contact us for any questions you need answered or to schedule an appointment. Help is available. You are not alone!
Hope Starts HERE.