Recovery from an addiction is not a destination. Recovery is a journey. Just like other life journeys, there will be both good moments and periods when you’re challenged. One common challenge shared by many in recovery is battling a sense of complacency. Sometimes it’s referred to as a recovery wall.
This is not an uncommon emotion to feel. You’re not alone. So, what can you do if you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your recovery? Can you get around it? What can you do to avoid them? Let’s look at what the recovery wall is and how to work through this common part of recovery, but avoid a relapse.
What is the Recovery Wall?
The first thing to appreciate is that recovery is a journey. It is a lifelong process with many stages. You may have already experienced some of these. There is the agonizing early stages of recovery, wrought with fear, doubt and physical withdrawal.
Most in early recovery recount a period that they felt absolutely elated to be clean and sober. Many equate it to the feeling of a new romantic relationship. Everything is just so wonderful. However, like most things in life, the pink cloud will eventually fade.
That doesn’t mean feeling good about your recovery has to stop. It’s just a reality that life can be challenging, despite your dedicated intentions to life it clean and sober. Experience has shown that you should be extremely cautious during this early sobriety period. It can fool you.
As the pink cloud sensation begins to wear off, many feel like they hit a wall. This is the first recognizable point in recovery where extra effort on your part is essential to combating urges and cravings to relapse.
You will begin to adjust to living clean and sober. This adjustment period will be filled with rewards and challenges. There is also a period when people leave treatment programs, or move into a new phase in their recovery.
Regardless of where you’re at in recovery, you should be aware of a second type of recovery wall. While it’s similar to the initial challenges presented during early sobriety, this wall can hit you at any point, even after years of clean and sober time.
This is the wall of complacency. Some who have lost their sobriety date to a surprising relapse insist they never saw it coming. However, when presented with some suggestions on how to deal with a recovery wall, or lessen the impact all-together, they understand their mistake.
So, let’s look at what you can do to avoid becoming complacent, or getting knocked down by the recovery wall. These strategies and suggestions for staying balanced can begin to practice some of these techniques days into your sobriety.
How Do You Deal with a Recovery Wall?
Dealing with a wall in your recovery is similar no matter when it happens or why it happens. The initial recovery wall in early sobriety is a dangerous place without preparation ahead of time. However, years of clean and sober time have been erased by recovery complacency.
Becoming complacent, or resting on your laurels as some say, is a prescription for relapse. Begin early in your recovery by developing a routine. Treatment programs will help reinforce the importance of keeping a recovery routine, especially during your first year.
Talk about the fact that virtually everyone in recovery experiences some type of wall. Not everyone hits these walls at the same point. But accepting that they happen is an important step. When you know something is prone to happen, you can prepare a plan.
Your recovery support system is probably the strongest defense against the consequences of hitting your recovery wall. Having a set routine, maybe meetings, study, personal reflection, or a scheduled phone call to someone in recovery, are tremendous defense mechanisms.
Make these important parts of your recovery from the very beginning. Stick to them regardless. Remember, it’s okay to live life and be happy in sobriety. That’s why we get sober. But don’t forget that recovery walls are often triggered by complacency in your program.
Stay vigilant and develop a healthy routine. When you do experience a proverbial recovery wall, it won’t surprise you, and you’ll be prepared. Always remember that recovery is a journey not a destination. Enjoy the journey, including the challenges along the way.
If you feel like you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, but haven’t asked for help, make the call today at 772-266-5320. Recovery is a wonderful way to step away from the destructive path of substance abuse. All you have to do is ask. Make the call today and give yourself a chance at tomorrow.