Setting expectations in any part of your life can help you achieve your goals. However, when you set unrealistic expectations, it can hinder your progress. Recovery is a process, and it takes time. Set the expectation that recovery will take time and be incremental. Setting goals for yourself can help you track your progress and stay motivated on the road to recovery.
Expect to Feel Vulnerable and Uncomfortable
It’s normal to feel vulnerable during treatment. You will be vulnerable to negative feelings, experiences, and people. You will also be vulnerable to negative feedback, thoughts, and self-talk.
It’s important to realize that the feeling of being vulnerable does not mean that you are weak or unable to handle difficult situations. It simply means that you have become more aware of what is happening in your mind and body, which can make things seem harder than they are. Once you begin your treatment and recovery from drug and alcohol use, you may feel uncomfortable as you learn to self-soothe without drugs. It’s common to feel stressed out or anxious during early recovery.
It takes time to learn new ways of coping with these feelings. This is why it’s important to keep in mind that we are all different, and each person recovers at their own pace. Some people will be able to cope with these feelings quickly, while others might have a more difficult time adjusting their thought patterns and behaviors around dealing with uncomfortable emotions without necessarily having difficulty coping with them at the moment.
Expect It to Take Time
One of the most important things to remember when recovering from addiction is that it takes time. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s important not to expect too much too soon. It takes time to change habits, rebuild relationships, and rebuild your life. Have realistic expectations and focus on progress instead of perfectionism.
Recovery is a lifelong process, not an event. It takes time for the brain to heal from trauma and for old habits to be replaced with new ones. Recovery is not about getting back to your old life or even getting back on track. It’s about learning how to live with changes that have happened in your life since you fell into addiction.
Expect a Lot of Ups and Downs
Recovery is not a linear process. You will have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, good months and bad months. We all have moments when our recovery seems to be going in the wrong direction, or we even think that our recovery isn’t working at all. Then there are moments when it seems like we’re getting better every day for weeks on end, even though those things happen much less frequently than many people wish.
It’s important to keep this idea in mind when you’re expecting your life to change overnight. Recovery from drug addiction isn’t going to be easy or smooth-sailing all of the time, and that’s okay. What matters most is having realistic expectations about what will be involved in recovery so you can set yourself up for success by training yourself mentally and emotionally for what lies ahead of you once treatment ends.
Take Small Steps
Establishing goals is a critical part of recovery, but it’s important to remember that goals need not be perfect. For example, if you want to return to work and pursue a certain career opportunity in six months, then breaking down the goal into smaller steps could help keep things manageable. First, set an initial date for when you will get back on your feet at work. Then break down what needs to happen between now and then so that those small pieces are more manageable.
You may find yourself losing motivation if you don’t achieve every step along the way. Remember, don’t give up. If one step doesn’t go as planned, focus on what went well and adjust your plan accordingly. You may find yourself starting over from scratch multiple times before everything fits together perfectly, but with practice comes permanence.
Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated and stay on track in recovery. Goals help you focus, push yourself out of your comfort zone and make progress with your recovery.
Here are some examples of goals that may be good for you:
- Go to a support group every week. Doing so will help you meet other people who are also in recovery.
- Journal when you’re feeling a lot of emotion instead of turning to drugs or alcohol.
At Excel Treatment Center, we believe that with the right mindset, recovery can be a journey that empowers you to live a healthy life full of new experiences. Setting realistic expectations and taking small steps forward each day, you’ll be able to take on the challenges of recovery with confidence. Recovery from drug addiction is a process, not an event. It requires that you be honest with yourself and others about your struggles. You have to keep up with the work, even when things are good, so you don’t fall back into old habits. However, this is all part of what makes recovery so rewarding. It gives us an opportunity to live our lives in a truly fulfilling and meaningful way without having to rely on substances or other destructive behaviors as crutches along the way. To learn more, call us today at (877) 331-4114.