Recovery is a wonderful and exciting journey most of the time. And, it’s fun. Seeing friends at meetings, doing recovery-related activities, learning more about yourself and seeing your life change for the better is an amazing experience. Often, people refer to early sobriety as being on a “pink cloud.” This is because for many people, once the initial withdrawal phase is complete, there is often a period where everything is new, fresh, exciting and full of hope and possibility.
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Recovery – When The Pink Cloud Goes Away
At some point, it may feel as though the bubble has burst. You may feel bored with your recovery activities, or your life may have become so busy that it becomes difficult to go to meetings or do step work. You may even find yourself resentful with the work of recovery or disillusioned by it.
It’s important to know that this is totally normal. The excitement dies down. The energy evens out. You may have a new job, home and relationship. Meetings, step work and commitments might start to feel like a chore. You might find fault with certain things, like the people at meetings or assignments that your sponsor gives you.
As time goes by it gets difficult to maintain your motivation. It’s easier to stay home and watch your favorite television show. But, in order for you to continue enjoying the fruits of recovery, you must continue to work a program. This is vital, because if you relapse, it’s only a matter of time before you lose everything you have worked so hard for.
Tips For Staying Motivated In Recovery
So what do you do? You can keep trudging along and continue to feel bored and uninspired, or you can get creative and find ways to keep yourself motivated and keep your recovery fresh. Here are some tips you will find useful.
1. Change Up Your Recovery Meetings
While attending the same meetings regularly has its advantages, it also has the potential for boredom and burnout. This can sneak up on you, and before you know it you are looking for excuses not to go. Instead, try some new ones, or even head out of town for a meeting.
2. Get A New Service Commitment
Service is an important component in recovery. Many people feel that it is one of the things that keeps them clean and sober. If you have been doing the same old thing for awhile, though, it can either bore you or burn you out. Get creative and find a new way to be of service. Stretch yourself a bit.
3. Talk To Others In Recovery
If you are feeling bored or unmotivated in your recovery, talk to someone about it. You’re not the first person to feel this way. Find out what others have done to stay motivated, focused and engaged with their recovery.
4. Supercharge Your Spirituality in Recovery
If you’re in a slump, you could benefit from a spiritual “tune-up” to recharge your batteries and restore your motivation. How you do this depends on your own spiritual practice, but here are some suggestions:
- Attend a spiritual retreat. There are many types of retreats that can give you a couple days to immerse yourself in spirituality with like-minded souls. There are retreats for women, men, non-denominational retreats, etc.
- Join a meditation group.
- Try something new. What isn’t a part of your normal routine? Try doing something that you don’t do every day. Meditate, walk in nature, journal, volunteer at a shelter, attend a service, read spiritual literature. There are so many ways to explore your spirituality, and it is a process that should be constantly evolving and deepening.
5. Help Someone Else With Recovery
If your recovery is lagging, help someone else with theirs. It’s easy to get comfortable, to stick with your current group of friends and to get complacent. Are you sponsoring? Have you connected with a newcomer? Have you been of service to your local community treatment centers? Many of them have meetings, and they often rely on outside support from the twelve step community to help their residents develop support groups and get to know recovery outside of their program.
6. Just Keep Going
Recovery is amazing, exciting and fun — except when it isn’t. Yes, sometimes you are tired, bored, or restless in meetings. Sometimes the work associated with maintaining your sobriety feels like a chore. It isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. That’s life on life’s terms. In times like these, try to shake things up a bit to restore your motivation, but if you still aren’t feeling it, don’t worry. You aren’t doing anything wrong. Recovery is still right for you. During these times you may just have to trudge through the routine and give your very best. At some point, things will shift and you will enter a new stage of your recovery. You may or may not ever regain that shiny, new “pink cloud” level of excitement. What you may find instead is a subtler sense of peace, satisfaction and serenity. When you consider the alternative of a life of chaos, insanity and misery, the former sounds pretty good, right?
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Getting Help For Addiction
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