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Sometimes when a person reaches a brick wall in their recovery efforts related to addiction or mental health issues, they may feel hopeless. While tried and true methods that proved successful in the past are important to keep in your roster, you might need more in order to move to the next level of recovery. This may be the time to revisit your beliefs about what you are capable of doing or what you are willing to do. You might need to take a step back and ask yourself an important question.

The Big Question to Ask Yourself

There are some big questions in life, such as when Hamlet famously asked “To be or not to be?” When a person finds themselves at a standstill in their recovery, they can try asking themselves this question: “What am I willing to do that I’m not willing to do?” At first, this query may not make sense, but when you press yourself to understand it and put it into action, you may find you’re able to cross a finish line or two. Write down the question and then spend some time coming up with the answers. Make sure not to automatically reject an idea because it makes you uncomfortable at first. Add everything you think of to the list. Often, seeing something written down forces a person to confront the reality of it. Having a list written down makes it more difficult for a person to push it out of their mind. Sit with your list for a while. Think about how each item may be holding you back from continuing to live a sober life or managing co-occurring mental health issues. Maybe you are not willing to have an uncomfortable discussion with a toxic person in your life. Perhaps you draw the line at going to 12-step meetings because you assume they will not prove helpful. It might be that you are not willing to start an exercise program or eat healthy because it feels like too much to add to an already busy schedule of managing your recovery. Whatever your answers are to this fundamental question, once you find them, challenge them. One by one, challenge the things on your list in order to move forward and make progress.

Let Your Past Victories Inspire Future Ones

Looking at the list of what you now must be willing to do can be intimidating. Don’t slip into despair and make assumptions that you aren’t capable of working on your new plan. Instead, take the time to consider the many tasks you have already accomplished since you chose to seek help to embrace sober living and better mental health. Think about the mindset you had prior to entering recovery that proved negative in the past. You used the skills you learned in treatment and your own determination to change how you think and act. All of that took strength that you likely did not believe you possessed when you were still lost in a substance abuse disorder. Write another list of the positive changes you have affected in your life and how they are paying off. A written reminder of how much you can move mountains can serve to inspire you to commit to now doing the things you previously were not willing to do. If you were powerful in the past and you are powerful now, all signs point to continuing on this path with your new game plan.

Give Yourself Time to Make New Habits

One of the most difficult parts of fighting for your recovery involves the fact that it does not happen overnight. Deciding to do things you previously thought were not possible or things you weren’t willing to try can be frustrating in the early stages. Just as the first day of sobriety was more uncomfortable than the tenth day, and the tenth day was more difficult than the twentieth day, it’s important to remember that it takes time to adjust to a new way of living. Every time you do something you used to believe you would never be willing to do, you are taking a step toward making the task or the new thought process a habit. Each time you successfully do something another time, it starts becoming a natural habit that doesn’t cause you to break into a sweat. Becoming willing to do something can be the catalyst you need to move ahead to the next level of recovery. Sometimes after you make progress in living a newly sober life and managing your mental health issues, you may find yourself at a standstill. Frustration can lead to backsliding, making it important to reevaluate your recovery plan and see what new approach you can add to it. A valuable question to consider is: what have you been unwilling to do in the past that may be holding you back? Ask yourself what you are willing to do now that may provide the push you need to get to the next level of recovery. Safety Net Recovery understands how to help our clients make progress during all levels of sober living. Our Atlanta residence provides a stable living environment in which to work on embracing sobriety. Our addiction counselors can help you become willing to reach for the stars. Call us today at (770) 432-9774 to find out how we can help you live a sober and meaningful life!

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