Changing a longtime habit is never easy, but recovering from addiction is especially difficult. Even as you maintain your sobriety with a 12-step recovery program, you have consequences to face and real-life responsibilities to fulfill. It’s easy to feel frustrated or defeated as those responsibilities pile up. Remember: a sober and busy life is still far easier and more productive than the apathy and destruction that any substance brought you. When you face difficult moments or struggle to keep your own promise to yourself, it’s important to nurture your spirit by stopping to appreciate the blessings you do have.
Honor Your Creator
Spirituality is a humbling force for addicts. When you acknowledge that a higher power is responsible for creating your world and forgiving your mistakes, it gets a little easier to navigate the tricky journey toward recovery. Many 12-step recovery centers incorporate prayer into their programs, and you can follow their lead by saying grateful prayers for the improvements you’ve made during recovery. No matter what religion you follow, you will always be able to look upward and express gratitude for the world around you.
Appreciate Your Family
You probably didn’t get this far alone. Whether your biological family or a circle of close friends helped you transition from addiction into recovery, those people deserve recognition for their loyalty. Thank your loved ones for their sacrifices, and stop to appreciate the privileges you have because of them. For example, if you’re staying with a friend or a former boss vouched for you professionally, think of them next time you want to complain about a minor injustice.
Celebrate Your Recovery
You’ve already taken accountability for your choices, and you deserve to reward yourself for approaching a milestone that some addicts never reach at all: the addiction recovery process. The moment you make a commitment to stop drinking, you become a member of a large and thriving community of victors. When cravings get bad or you can’t stop remembering past mistakes, take a moment to be completely present. Remind yourself that you were strong enough to stop drinking and get help, and be grateful for the progress you’ve made so far.
Make a Choice to Be Happy
You know how quickly individual decisions can become full-fledged habits. Fortunately, you can use this to your advantage as you pursue a happier, more fulfilling life. As you struggle with personal loss, unpredictable emotions or even professional obstacles, make a conscious choice to notice beauty and pursue happiness along the way.
Substance abuse once stood in the way of your genuine happiness. Now that you’re in addiction recovery, it’s important to actively seek the people, places and experiences that make you happy. Gratitude grows, and the more you stop to appreciate your everyday life, the more gracious and positive your attitude will become. Optimism is contagious, so start by spreading it throughout your own life.