Building on Success in Recovery

Best Possible Life in Recovery

When people first become sober they may be satisfied just to escape the pain of their addiction. As time goes on they are sure to want more from life. The good news is that life in sobriety can be truly wonderful – much better than anything people will have experienced before. If people are committed to improving their life once they become sober they are sure to enjoy plenty of success. This is what will keep them sober and ensure that they live the best possible life in recovery.

Success Defined

It is common for people to associated success with being rich and famous. While it is definitely possible for people in recovery to achieve that type of success there is much more to the meaning of this word. Success actually refers the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors. This means that just escaping an addiction means that the individual has already achieved success in life. The thing about success is that once people have tasted it they want to experience it more often.

Importance of Success in Recovery

It is not only nice to experience success in recovery, but it might even be vital. The reasons for why success is so important include:

* Most addicts suffer from low self esteem and this can follow them into recovery. One of the best ways to overcome this feeling of reduced self worth is to experience some success in life.
* It is frequently claimed that recovery is a process and not an event. It is the experiences of success that lets people know that they are heading in the right direction in recovery.
* One of the great joys of recovery is achieving goals. Once people become established in sobriety they can begin making some of their childhood dreams a reality.
* Success makes people happy in life. This is not so much about accumulating possessions or accolades but about feeling like a winner – that is the important thing.
* Motivation is hugely important in order for people to stay on track in sobriety. When people feel that they have achieved something it gives their motivation a boost.
* When people are successful in recovery it doesn’t just benefit them but often also their friends and family.
* Those who are successful in recovery act as inspirations for those who are still struggling with addiction. Just seeing that it is possible for people to walk away from addiction and build a good life gives other people hope.
* When people feel good about their achievements in life it makes them easier to be around. They do not have the need to brag or act arrogantly because they are confident in their own self worth.
* If people become stuck in recovery they can easily develop dry drunk syndrome. This is a highly dissatisfactory way to live in recovery, and it can be avoided if people continue to progress.

Success and the Snowball Effect

Success is often said to have a snowball effect. What this means is that people start of by achieving small goals, but it leads to bigger things. It is just like snowballs rolling down a hill in that it gets bigger as it moves along. When a person achieves a small thing in life it gives them the confidence to try for something a little harder. The biggest accomplishments in human history can be viewed as a string of small successes. The early experience with achieving something provides the momentum to move onto much harder challenges. In the end the individual is able to accomplish far more than they ever would have imagined.

Success and Self Esteem

Many of those who fall into addiction are said to have an addictive personality. This means they have certain character traits that make them more prone to falling into substance abuse. One of the most common of these personality traits is low self esteem and many will have to continue dealing with this in early recovery. The dangers of low self esteem include:

* Those people who do not believe in their own abilities will greatly limit their own potential in life. Their lack of faith in themselves prevents them from doing the best they can.
* Those individuals who suffer from low self esteem tend to end up in abusive relationships. They will put up with the abuse because they don’t feel like they deserve any better.
* Many addicts will attempt to hide their low self worth by behaving arrogantly. This makes it hard for them to develop meaningful relationships with another human.
* If people have low self esteem it will mean that they are far more likely to relapse back to their addiction. This is because they will not have the inner strength to deal with life away from substance abuse.
* When people think this way they may not even believe that they deserve to find happiness away from substance abuse. This can mean that they sabotage their own attempt at staying sober.
* People who have low self worth will more easily bow to peer pressure. This means that old drinking or drugging buddies will easily be able to tempt them back to substance abuse.
* When people feel this way about themselves it makes it hard for them to trust other people. In order to get the most out of recovery it is usually necessary to be helped by other individuals.
* Such individuals often fail to take care of themselves because of their low self worth. This means that even if they remain sober they will suffer from poor physical and mental health.

How to Build Upon Success in Recovery

In order to make the best possible life in sobriety the individual will need to build on their successes. This can be achieved by:

* One of the key ways to build upon success is to first recognize achievements. It is common for people in recovery to take their progress for granted but reflecting on each achievement will increase motivation.
* One way to chart progress in recovery is to keep a daily journal. Sometimes changes occur slowly over time, and they can easily be missed.
* It is also a good idea to set goals and work towards these. The only thing to be careful of here is not to become too goal orientated.
* It is important to have goals that are ambitious but still remain realistic. Those who set themselves unrealistic ambitions are setting themselves up for disappointment and possibly a blow to their self esteem.
* The individual can only be successful as long as they remain sober. This means that recovery always has to take priority over anything else.
* It is not an attractive personality trait if people are too full of pride, but it is also wrong to downplay achievements. When the individual does something good they should take time to give themselves credit for this.
* Life in recovery is all about progress and not perfection. So long as the individual is moving steadily in a positive direction they are doing well in life.
* It is important that people keep a beginner’s mind in recovery and not allow success to go to their head. There is no real graduation day, and there is always more to learn in life.
* Learning to celebrate the successes of other people is a sign of emotional sobriety. It can also be highly satisfying for the individual because it means they will always have something to feel good about.

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