If you feel stuck in recovery, it might be because you are. Getting stuck is not as hard as getting unstuck. It takes discipline and perseverance to push past the barriers and find the path again. By doing what is required, you can be on the road to recovery and finding peace again. Substance use is difficult for everyone, and it requires a lot of courage to stop and find healing. Find out why people get stuck in recovery and how to get unstuck.
Why it Happens
There are different reasons why people become stuck. The number one reason is that people face a challenge they don’t know how to deal with. This obstacle triggers them, gets in their way, and they essentially stop being able to use the tools which had served them previously. The roadblock seems impossible. If they delay too long, they run the risk of relapse.
Straight out the gate, it can be easy to motivate yourself to go through recovery. There is a lot to do and lots to achieve now. It may be exciting to hit some milestones, and people celebrate your recovery. As you go along, maybe you are reminded that you cannot keep the same level of enthusiasm and start to burn out. Perhaps you take for granted the work you did and backslide. Maybe a setback hit you harder than you thought and you were not able to keep momentum going. It may be hard to feel motivated at all times. The key to success is not letting small setbacks build-up to a big disappointment. Losing motivation can sway you towards giving in to triggers, which may lead to relapse.
Everyone gets caught from time to time in negative thinking. This is called “stinkin’ thinkin'” in recovery for a reason. It “stinks” to think negative thoughts about yourself, other people, and the life you’re living. Emotional traps keep you and others from being able to move forward in recovery. It is a way for the brain to loop through all the challenging emotions of resentment and disappointment of a ‘not-yet-perfect’ life they hope for. If you wish for perfect, you’ll be waiting an eternity. When you live for the ability to get up every day and be in recovery with gratitude, your attitude changes pretty swiftly.
If You’re Stuck, You Will…
Take a moment to think about all the ways getting stuck affects you and others in your life. If you are stuck, you may be feeling angry, frustrated, nervous, dealing with relationship challenges, and isolating yourself. You may stop talking about issues and concerns with others. In time, you find yourself ignoring the positive side of recovery. If you romanticize drinking and using drugs, you are likely going to end up relapsing. The danger and risk of getting stuck means you lose the desire to move forward. You step closer to relapse as you give up your positive outlook on life. Stuck people think of regrets, people who move forward focus on forgiveness and letting go. It is the only way to heal and move forward.
Once you figure out how to move forward, you can conquer anything. The more problems you overcome, the easier your future difficulties become. If you are at peace with your recovery, you are likely going to get past this barrier and move forward. The first thing you have to do is:
- Know what is stopping you from going ahead. The cause of the problem is only apparent when you speak it out loud. If you ruminate on it in your head, you may not realize how crazy it sounds and then sit on it too long. It may not be an obstacle you can overcome alone. Share it with others and talk it out
- Read motivational and recovery material for inspiration, but don’t get stuck on it. Read other books that inspire you and get you motivated to change for the better
- Recovery groups are not for everyone, but they work for many people. Find a group that helps you identify with the parts of yourself that need work and also the parts that are healthy and whole. This will help you benefit from the program and find companions for the journey
When you recognize the signs that you are falling into a trap, talk to someone. Talk to a therapist, talk to someone you trust, or reach out to loved ones. You can work past barriers with support and help from those who are willing to get you moving again. If you want to get up, you will find the motivation to do it with the help of others alongside you. There is hope for this journey of healing, yet. Don’t give up because something got in your way. Talk it out, go to therapy, hit some groups, and go play ball with friends. Try to find something other than morbid reflection, and see if you can release some of the tension by working towards a resolution that works for your recovery.
Forge is a place to come and recover your life from addiction. We help you reimagine what is possible and create the life you’ve been dreaming of.
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