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Taking the First Step - Realizing that You Can and Will Recover

Recovery is not an easy journey to undertake. It’s a long road with many uphill stretches, and the view from the starting line can feel daunting. To many people struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), taking the first step on the path to healing may seem more challenging than remaining in the throes of addiction.

If you’re contemplating recovery, that means you’ve already arrived at the understanding that you have a problem—one that you want to fix. Recognizing that you need to do something about your SUD is a huge accomplishment in and of itself.

Taking the first step on the road to recovery, however, can be even more difficult. Realizing that you have the power to undertake the process and see it to completion is a barrier for many. But once you recognize that you can and will recover, you can begin to move forward towards healing. 

How to Change Your Mindset

Your mindset is the combination of your beliefs and attitudes that shape the way you observe and interact with the world. You can have a different mindset about different things, such as your potential for recovery.

When you first start contemplating recovery, you may have what’s known as a “fixed mindset,” or a disbelief in your ability to change. You may doubt your potential to be successful and to put your SUD behind you.

If you want to heal from addiction, you’ll have to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, where you believe that change is possible. 

Some concrete strategies you can implement to change your mindset include:

1. Observe Your Thought Patterns

The first step to making any change is to notice what things are like at the present moment. Start paying attention to your thoughts and what you tell yourself throughout the day. Observe how much of your self-talk is negative or self-deprecating.

If you feel ready, start to interrupt those thought patterns with a more positive or neutral thought. Work to stop putting yourself down before you’ve even begun your recovery. 

2. Note Past Successes

If you doubt your ability to be successful in recovery, try reviewing your past and cataloging all the successes you’ve accomplished in your personal or professional history. 

Make a physical or mental list of everything you’re proud of achieving, no matter how small it may seem to you. Use the list as a reminder of your capability when you have dark moments throughout the process of recovery.

3. Study Inspiring Role Models

You aren’t the first person to undertake a difficult task, and you won’t be the last. Look around you for people who inspire you with their accomplishments and their ability to overcome obstacles. They can be people you know personally or people you admire, such as celebrities.

Talking to or reading about these people’s struggles and success can keep you going even when recovery feels impossible. 

4. Set Realistic Goals

It’s essential to start building your confidence to achieve the larger goals of recovery by setting smaller, realistic goals early on. Once you see yourself start to succeed, you’ll believe in what you can continue to accomplish.

Some examples of small, realistic goals you can work towards early in your recovery include:

  • Drink more water
  • Journal your feelings every night
  • Say one kind thing to yourself daily
  • Eat a healthy meal once a week

5. Offer Yourself Compassion

The most vital thing you can do while you’re starting recovery—and throughout the entire process—is to extend yourself compassion and forgiveness. This process isn’t easy, and the fact that you’ve made the decision to undertake it should be applauded. 

Recovery isn’t a straight, upward line. It will have ups and downs like any challenge. Remember that one bad day doesn’t render all of your efforts worthless, and that things will get better. You have the power to heal, but it will take time and a great deal of work.

Finding the Right Treatment Options

Doing research is a crucial part of contemplating recovery. There are many different types of treatment involved in healing from a SUD, and not all types will appeal to everyone. You should thoroughly comprehend the options available and which ones may work best for you.

In general, you can pursue recovery through two main avenues:

  • Inpatient Treatment – Inpatient recovery involves entering into a recovery program and living at their physical location for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. You’ll receive 24/7 supervision from medical professionals, detox in a supported environment, take medication to assist with withdrawal symptoms, and receive mental health therapy to guide you through the process. 
  • Outpatient Treatment – You may choose not to stay at a treatment center for the duration of your recovery to continue working and living at home. You’ll receive much of the same treatment, including medication, counseling, and support groups, but you won’t have the same level of supervision, which can lead to a higher risk of relapse.

Only you can truly assess which method is best suited for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to multiple recovery centers to get a better sense of their approach and to find the right fit. 

When to Enter Recovery

Regardless of the treatment type you pursue, you will need to be fully committed to the process. There is no “right” time to enter a program—it’s a matter of whether you are ready to commit to your healing and put all your efforts towards recovering from your SUD.

If you’ve done the work of contemplating recovery and deciding it’s important to you, changing your mindset, researching the available treatment options, and choosing what you think is the best approach for you, then you’re ready to pursue recovery.

If you’re still in the research process, take the opportunity to explore what Jackson House Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers has to offer. With multiple programs treating various addictions, a holistic view of each individual person, and a caring and compassionate staff, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about whether Jackson House is right for you.

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