How To Reach Your Addiction Recovery Goals In 2022

The new year offers a fresh start to everyone, including recovering addicts. This is an excellent opportunity to outline your recovery goals for 2022 and find ways to achieve them.

Why Do You Need Recovery Goals?

Recovery goals serve as guidelines for patients who are in recovery. Having goals and pursuing them keeps a person in check so that they won’t fall back to old patterns. Goals serve as an accountability system that keeps a person in recovery on the right track. These goals may also be used as progress checks for the patient. For example, the mere fact that they are inching towards these goals is a good sign of being able to apply what they have learned in rehab and gaining more control over their urges. Overall, these are beneficial tools that you can use to your advantage to further your recovery.

Setting achievable goals

One important note is to set goals that are perfectly reasonable and achievable. Goals that are too unrealistic will only yield disappointment since you are setting yourself up for failure. Your recovery goals should consist of meaningful and actionable steps towards maintaining your sobriety. These goals should also focus on your physical and mental health since these are your first line of defense against relapse. Here are some examples:

·         Improve your diet by reducing sugar and increasing high-density and high-volume healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables

·         Reduce your caffeine intake to help you fall asleep faster at night

·         Go for short walks outside (one 15-minute walk in the morning and another short walk in the afternoon)

·         Practice mindfulness-based meditation every day

·         Try new and engrossing hobbies that will help you keep focused, make you feel productive, help with stress management, and generally take your mind off of your addiction

·         Learning new skills that will improve the quality of your life and improve your relationships with other people

·         Focus on career advancement

·         Improving your spirituality or establishing a connection to a higher being

·         Being financially literate so you can get better at managing your money

These are just a few examples of healthy habits that you can try to uphold for the rest of the year. You can add more things for as long as they are doable and will help improve your health. It is advisable to build small yet meaningful habits. These things do not have to take up a lot of time from each day, but in the long run, they will add up to become something impactful. Enforcing habits is also something sustainable for your recovery since you will have to do these every single day.

How To Set Smaller Goals

Recovery goals can come in two types: smaller goals that are achievable in a short period of time and bigger goals that may take months to attain. Here is a guideline on how to set smaller goals.

·         Make it specific. What are you trying to achieve? What are the steps needed to achieve these goals?

·         Make it measurable. Is there a way to quantify your progress? How will you measure your progress?

·         Make it achievable. Do you have the resources you need in order to achieve these goals? Are you someone who is perfectly capable and able of meeting these goals?

·         Make it relevant. Are these goals supportive of your primary goal of staying sober? How do these goals improve your chances of staying sober?

·         Set a timeframe. How long do you think it would take for you to achieve these goals? Make sure to establish a reasonable deadline for yourself so that you will have more of a driving force to accomplish it on time.

How To Hold Yourself Accountable

Now that you have outlined your addiction recovery goals, it is time to establish an accountability system. This ensures that you are staying on the right track and that you are working on achieving these goals every single day. The absence of an accountability system may make it challenging for you to garner progress. If left unattended, your goals will just be another list that you will eventually forget about, which then makes it easier for you to slip back to your old ways. Here is a guideline on how to hold yourself accountable.

·         Create a list

Write down your addiction recovery goals. The mere act of writing them down makes them more real and permanent in your life. It also helps to classify them as short-term or long-term goals so that you can plan for them accordingly. Keep the list somewhere you can easily see or access, such as your journal or even your phone.

·         Set deadlines

Once you have your list and have outlined timeframes for each, set the deadlines. Place these events in your phone calendar and sync them with the rest of your gadgets. Set reminders for the upcoming dates so that you will be reminded.

·         Find a support system

These goals will be easier to achieve if you have a friend to work with. Find someone with the same goals and keep each other accountable. This could be someone you met in rehab or in 12-step sessions. You may talk to each other about any hurdles and find ways to overcome these.

·         Tell your friends and family

Present your list of goals to your friends and family. This serves two purposes: firstly, they will be made aware so that they could support you better, and secondly, they may serve as an accountability system. They may nudge you if they feel like you are doing activities that will place you a few steps behind your goals. These people will serve as your support system and cheer you on so that you can achieve your addiction recovery goals for this year.

·         Be flexible

Some setbacks might be inevitable. Understand that healing isn’t always linear. There may be days when you’ll find it too hard to drag yourself out of bed and uphold the healthy habits you have set for yourself. When this happens, it is important to be flexible and remember that it is part of the process. Simply set the date a few days further so that you’ll get more time to achieve them. Try again and do not give up. When you are not flexible, you might be tempted to beat yourself up, which will make you feel like a failure, which then causes stress, amplify your negative emotions, and ultimately lead to a relapse.

We at R&R Recovery fully support your path towards sustainable recovery. Let us take this new year as an opportunity to start fresh. Contact us for assistance on outlining your addiction recovery goals for 2022 as well as crafting ways to reach them.

Why Is Learning Life Skills In Addiction Recovery Important

The holiday season is fast approaching. This means family gatherings that will give everyone a chance to catch up and reconnect with the recovering family member. It may be tricky to interact with them. For instance, should you put out alcohol? Should the celebration be in a party form? What if they relapse? How do you talk to them about their recent struggles?

This article will serve as a guide on how to deal with a recovering alcoholic during the holidays. The basic principle is to create an environment that will make them feel loved and supported so that they can continue their successful recovery.

Tips For Dealing With Recovering Alcoholics

Talk To The Family

Celebrating with a recovering alcoholic is a major milestone that must be discussed by the family. Their alcoholism may have caused financial problems and emotional rifts. The holidays are better celebrated when these wounds are no longer as fresh and that they are in the process of healing.

It is important to consult the rest of the family simply because everyone gets affected with addiction. Assess if everyone is in the proper mental shape to welcome the patient back into everyone’s lives. One good marker is if everyone is no longer in denial or shame about the incident. Check if everyone is willing to host a non-alcoholic event. Ask yourself and the family, “Are we ready?”

Ask The Family Member Who is in Recovery

It helps to give the patient some heads up before the party. Ask them if they are comfortable enough to rejoin the rest of the family rather than mandating their presence. If you are serving alcohol, check in with them to see if they can handle it. Naturally, serving alcohol is not recommended if the family member iis in the early stages of recovery.

Ask The Family Member If They Wish To Invite Friends

A recovering alcoholic will undoubtedly make new friends as they go through their journey to recovery. They will meet new people in rehab, in Alcoholics Anonymous sessions, in group therapy, and more. These individuals are helpful for their recovery since they keep each other company and encourage one another to be better. They are going through a unique recovery experience that no one else can relate to.

You may want to ask the recovering alcoholic if they wish to bring friends. They should also be warned if there will be alcohol at the party so that they can assess if they can handle it. The additional company will also be great for your recovering loved ones so that they’ll have someone to talk to during idle moments at the party.

Ask For Their Preferred Beverages

You may be tempted to serve mocktails to make them feel included in the holiday spirit, but these festive drinks may be a trigger for some. Mocktails may be a visual reminder of alcohol which can make them crave for the real thing. It could also be a painful ordeal to drink a fake drink when they want the real one.

Ask them their preferred drinks and whip up some safe options that are more appropriate for the holiday season, such as hot spiced cider, hot coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and more. If the patient is in long-term recovery, they could have some non-alcoholic beer or wine.

Provide A Safe Space

The socialization process can be overwhelming and draining for the patient, especially if it is their first social encounter in a long time. Being surrounded by prying family members who drink alcohol could feel like too much. The normal party scene could trigger the patient’s anxiety.

As such, allot a time and space for them to have some down time so that they could recollect themselves. You may invite them for a short walk after dinner or open the guest room for them to go into if they need to rest. If you will invite them to walk, be discreet about it since there is no need to make a show out of giving them the quiet that they need.

Listen To Them

When they talk, be attentive. Be open to their needs. Ask them if they are comfortable about talking about their journey. If they would rather table the topic for later, then respect their wishes. Inform the rest of the family so that everyone will be aware that it should not be discussed.

General Tips For The Family

·         Plan the holiday party. Avoid downtime that can result in idleness and awkward conversations. Make the patient participate in the activities so that they will feel included.

·         Create a plan in case of a relapse. Inform the members of the family about hotlines as well as the contact information of the patient’s sponsor, mentors, and recovering peers.

·         Be mindful of the risk factors. It could be a drink left unattended or conversations that dwell too much on the patient’s past. You should also brief everyone about the warning signs of relapse so that you can intervene accordingly.

·         Know that recovery is a long and hard process and that nothing should reverse it. At the instance of a relapse, the patient must not be shamed. Act calmly to reconnect them with their rehab center so that relapse recovery may commence.

R&R Recovery has an open hotline for cases of relapse and recovery emergencies. We value the patient’s recovery as well as the family’s ability to handle such delicate cases.  

12-Step Program: Everything You Need To Know About The Program and Addiction Recovery

Addiction may be a lifelong process, but it doesn’t mean that the road stays the same the entire time. There are steps to undertake to ensure the best form of recovery. The 12-Steps Program is an approach that lets the patient track their progress. Some may breeze through the steps while others may have to revisit a few, but the fact remains that these are healthy and reasonable guidelines for addiction recovery.

What Is The 12-Step Program?

The 12-Step Program was initially formulated and developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. This is a program that consists of twelve steps in order to help a patient curb any addictions and to prevent relapse and attain independence.

Its founding principle is for patients to surrender to a higher power to remain sober and be free of the shackles of addiction. But despite the religious principles, the program has been useful for non-religious individuals. The program emphasizes the presence of a higher being which can be interpreted in numerous ways – serving a God, a bigger purpose, or personal beliefs.

What Are The 12 Steps Involved In The Program?

1. Honesty

Recovery begins when the patient finally confronts the presence of addiction. A lot of patients cannot even admit to themselves that they have a serious problem. They tend to brush it off for months and years until it reaches a dangerous level. This state of denial delays the urgent treatment that addiction patients require.

You can encourage your loved ones to be honest so that they can begin their healing. They need to be able to admit that they are powerless in the face of their addictions and that it is time for professional intervention. 

2. Faith

The entire 12-Step Program revolves around a higher power. This can be executed if the patient has enough faith and belief in such a being. The second step is all about forming a deep-rooted faith in a higher being. This sense of faith shall serve as a foundation for the rest of the steps.

3. Surrender

In this stage, the patient admits their helplessness in the face of their addictions. Their addiction enables their self-destructive behavior and this problem is impossible to overcome when they are all by themselves. They need to surrender to a higher power so that they can admit that they need serious intervention to overcome their struggles.

4. Soul-Searching

This step involves forcing the patient to take a closer look at the negative repercussions of their addictions. They are forced to internalize the damage they have done. The goal isn’t to make them loathe themselves. The goal is to make the problem appear real to the point that it affects their friends and family.

5. Integrity

This step focuses on enabling the patient’s growth. The patient must come clean by admitting to themselves and to the higher power that they have done bad things. After successfully acknowledging the extent of damages they have caused they can move forward in recovery by practicing integrity.

6. Acceptance

It is going to cause more harm than good if the patients will just gloss over their addicted selves. If they choose to ignore that aspect of their lives, it will just come back haunting them in the future. It is important for them to accept that being an addict is a part of who they were. That part shouldn’t be shunned. Instead, it should be embraced, acknowledged, and provided with the proper medical assistance that promotes healing. After that, they can let go of that version of themselves.

7. Humility

This step is all about asking for help from a higher power. The humble stance reiterates that the patients are not high nor mighty. They have made mistakes and they cannot overcome these on their own. They need assistance from a higher power because sheer will and determination would not suffice.

8. Willingness

This step is all about expressing one’s willingness to change for the better. It is also about being willing to make reparations for all the damage that has been caused, both on themselves and on their loved ones. 

9. Forgiveness

It may seem challenging for patients to make amends with the people they have hurt. However, it is necessary for healing to take place. Asking for forgiveness is an important part of healing because it gives closure and absolves guilt. It also confirms that second chances are possible. 

The patient needs to have a sound relationship with their friends and family since these individuals are the ones who will make up their support system as they go through the healing process.

10. Maintenance

This step is all about keeping the patient in check. No one likes to be micromanaged but an accountability system is a must in order to lessen the chances of relapses. This step can be performed through daily meditation and introspection. These help the patient realign their thoughts and feelings to keep them on track.

11. Making contact

The 11th step is about making contact with a higher power to let the patient rediscover their purpose. If the patient is religious, then this step is all about finding a way to connect with God, to understand His ways, and to know that He has a plan and the power to execute it.

Non-religious patients can still execute this step by connecting with their version of a higher power. It can be their relationship to the support group of recovering patients or even a specific patient’s story that inspired them the most. This step involves prayer and meditation.

12. Service

The last step is all about giving back to the community. This is when they apply everything that they have learned from the program in order to help other patients. This is also proven to be effective in helping maintain sobriety. As the saying goes, “to keep it, you have to give it away.” This is also important for the continuity of the program. 

Now that you are familiar with the 12-Step Program, you now have an idea of what to expect as this gets implemented in your healing journey. For more questions and assistance, contact R&R Recovery today.