If you have struggled with a substance abuse or addiction, you’re not alone. You’re also not alone in wanting to go through the recovery process and get your life under control. While every day is a good day to start recovering from your addiction, the start of a new year is a clean slate in many ways. What if you made 2018 your year to get (and stay) sober? Imagine what your life would look like for years and even decades if you did not have an addiction running your life. You can make recovery your New Year’s resolution. Here are some resolutions you can make that will make the recovery process easier and more successful.
Find the Right Help
Getting sober and overcoming an addiction are not goals that most people can reach on their own. If you are in this situation, it’s important that you find the help you need. Depending on the type of addiction you have, you have several options. They include:
- Medical detoxification. The detoxification and withdrawal process can be quite unpleasant and, in some cases, potentially dangerous. This is why asking whether medical detox is available is a good idea. There are medications that can help you through the withdrawal process of some substances. You can also be observed and monitored in a medical setting to reduce the chances of a dangerous complication.
- Inpatient recovery programs. Long- and short-term inpatient recovery programs are generally effective. As the name would suggest, you would live in a facility for a time period spanning a few weeks to many months. During this time, you would attend therapy, participate in various activities, and rebuild your life.
- Outpatient recovery programs. These programs can be quite intensive or as simple as consisting only of drug education classes. The difference between an outpatient and inpatient recovery program is that with the former, you reside at home, not in the facility. If you work full-time and you also have a good support system, an outpatient program might be the right choice for you.
Your physician, addiction specialist or mental health counselor can help you make the decision as to which type of program is right for you. Make the New Year’s resolution that you will seek the proper care for your situation in 2018.
Take Care of Your Physical Needs
By making it your New Year’s resolution to care for your physical needs, you’ll be learning how to put yourself first in your life. Many people struggling with addictions tend to put self-care at the bottom of their to-do lists. While going through the recovery process, make sure that you are taking good care of yourself. Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating well
- Exercising each day
It can be easy to put yourself last, particularly if you are feeling guilty about your addiction and taking care of your spouse, children, or other family members. However, by taking care of your physical needs, you’ll be putting yourself in a better position to take care of those around you.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Many people who are working through an addiction also need to work through various mental health issues. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness, you need to have that issue addressed in addition to having your addiction addressed. You might have begun using substances to deal with the difficulties of your mental health condition.
During your recovery, resolve to seek help for any other mental health issues you’re dealing with. Therapy will help you develop healthy coping methods and can reduce the chances of a relapse.
Banish Negativity From Your Life Where Possible
A great New Year’s resolution for 2018 is to banish negativity from your life. You will not be able to do this 100 percent of the time, but when you can, simply refrain from engaging with negative people or situations. Try to think more positively and to focus on the good things in life that you’re grateful for.
One way you can do this is by starting a gratitude journal. Take a few minutes each day to write down something that you’re thankful for. In several weeks or months, you’ll be able to look back at all of the “silver linings” that you’ve been noticing. In addition, you’ll likely find that you are more likely to notice more gratitude-worthy things in your life.
Surround Yourself With Support
You won’t be able to beat your addiction alone; instead, you will need a circle of support. Look at the different groups of people in your life and identify individuals who might be able to offer you supportive friendship. Your immediate family, if they are generally positive and if they want you to get well, will probably be in this circle. You might also have some friends who will stick by you through thick and thin. In addition, you’ll meet people in your recovery support groups or in group therapy who might become lifelong friends. Make it a point in 2018 to engage with others and to ask for the support that you need.
Take It One Day at a Time
As we are on the cusp of the new year, you might feel as though the recovery process is a gigantic obstacle standing between you and the rest of your life. Instead of focusing on the entire process, take it just one day at a time. During the hardest times, you might need to take it hour-by-hour or even minute-by-minute. But it’s a good practice to resolve in the new year to take each day as it comes. This is true at any time of life, whether or not you are struggling with recovery.
Recovery in 2018 is possible! By committing to the recovery process, taking good care of yourself, and striving to take everything one step at a time, you could find yourself ending 2018 in a much better place than you’re ending 2017. Reach out to your care providers to find out how you can change your life by making the New Year’s resolution to get sober.