Early sobriety is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts.
It is a time that seems to create and maintain its own momentum. Further down the road, though, people often find that their motivations carry less power and pack less punch, which can make it difficult to stay motivated in long-term sobriety. For most individuals who set out on the quest for addiction recovery, they are looking for long-term sobriety, so when that momentum begins to fail, it can be a precarious situation. A person might start doubting that they need to maintain complete abstinence or they might decide that a sober life is far too monotonous, even though they were on sobriety cloud nine a few months ago. What can be done to ensure solid motivation in long-term sobriety?
Here are 5 ways to stay motivated in long-term sobriety:
- Find and maintain your balance. In early sobriety, we often fill our schedules with meetings, commitments, etc. As we get well, we also have work and family to fit in, as well as self-care activities or “me time”. Schedules will change and it is so important to find a balance that allows your recovery to be priority, without burning you out. Try different times and places, and let yourself find the balance that will truly support you as an individual.
- Stay involved. Whether you are a member of a twelve step fellowship or work a similar program, working with other people who are struggling with addiction can be the most rewarding activity there is. Being involved in the recovery community is a way to give back, but it also is a constant reminder of how far you have come, which is motivating.
- Take care of your body. Now that you’ve been sober for a while, your body has begun recovering as well. It’s important to eat healthy, get some exercise and fresh air, and make sure you get good rest. If you are tired and feeling physically discontent, you will not feel motivated in any way.
- Try new things. One of the coolest things about recovery is that we get to know who we really are. It’s a little scary at first, but once confidence is built up a little, we find that we can do things we either couldn’t or wouldn’t do in our addictions.
- Write it down. Consider keeping a journal or a gratitude journal. On days when you are seriously lacking motivation, you can re-read some of your entries or even make some new ones, reminding yourself what you are grateful for. Long-term sobriety isn’t always our idea of a perfect life, but remembering where you were before you found recovery can help motivate you.
To stay motivated in long-term sobriety is extremely important. Long-term sobriety is a gift that many people hope and pray for. Only a number of people are able to achieve and maintain it. It is surprisingly easy for a person in recovery to begin questioning where they are. Use these tips and others you may come across to stay motivated!