Early Sobriety: 3 Ways That Reflecting on Past Experiences Can Benchmark Your Recovery

Early Sobriety: 3 Ways That Reflecting on Past Experiences Can Benchmark Your Recovery

One of the very first things you learn in therapy is to forgive yourself from your past hurts

When you move forward in your recovery, it is essential to look backwards at past experiences. If you do not, you may make the same mistakes you have had in the past. When you reach the moment you decide to get clean, your life changes. When you make the choice to go into recovery, your life changes then too.

Until you decide to go into recovery, you must realize you have a problem. There are different levels of drug usage, and information found from the Department of The US Department of Health and Human Services describe the different levels of drug and substance use:

  • Social use of drugs – This is the use of drugs in social situations such as at a party. In some cases, peer pressure leads to using drugs when they normally would not be used in private. This can lead to health problems and/or increased drug use.
  • Binge drinking – This is when alcohol is used heavily periodically. This can lead to blackouts, alcohol poisoning, sexually transmitted diseases, liver disease, high blood pressure and poor control of diabetes. According to the CDC, one in six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times a month consuming about eight drinks per binge.
  • Substance abuse – This is the use of drugs to an extent that is harmful to themselves or others. There is not an extremely clear distinction when drug use goes from experimentation to substance abuse. The situation can be interpreted differently by each individual.
  • Chemical Dependency – When drugs are continually used, it may be described as an addiction, which is disease in which the substances have caused changes in a person’s body, mind and behavior. Because of this addiction, the individual becomes chemically dependent on the substance.

But be careful not to get too caught up in defining your drug use or struggles with a specific label. If you are wondering whether or not to seek help, a good rule of thumb is to seek out professional help. When you do seek help, then you will find some important landmarks in your recovery. Following are three ways you can reflect on your past and guide your recovery:

Be completely honest with yourself

One of the very first things you learn in therapy is to forgive yourself from your past hurts. When you do this, you allow yourself to move forward. You know the specific moment when you decided to pick up the bottle and you knew it was not a good idea. You know what decisions you made which lead to your addiction. You also know how to make good decisions. Every decision you make has repercussions for your health, relationships and even your legacy.

When you decide to get drunk instead of going to work, this starts a chain reaction in your life. Maybe you decide to drink on your lunch hour. Suddenly you are not as focused or attentive while at work. You cannot give your full attention to your clients or co-workers. You will not be as engaged. When you are sober, however, you can pay attention and be fully present and aware. You can easily apply this same situation to the relationships that matter to you like your spouse, family and friends. As you progress in your recovery, you will continue to apply honesty throughout your life. You can view things through the perspective of sobriety.

Reflect on what you enjoyed before addiction

Before you started using drugs, your life was very different. Go back in your past as far as necessary to find a time in your life when you were happy. Even if you had a rough childhood, there was a time in your life that you really enjoyed. If you are not sure, talk about this further with a good friend or a counselor. There are key moments in your life that you may have forgotten about, but they are there. Maybe you always wanted to be an artist or a writer. Once you find something you really love to do, you can change your attitude. When you change your attitude, your life starts to change as well.

Have a positive outlook for the future

As you develop your good attitude, it will carry forward to give you a positive outlook. Every day means something. Even if you have a bad day, that is just one bad day. You still know that the overall future is bright. Keep in mind that it takes time when you are in recovery. There will be ups and downs. You will face cravings and triggers. Your support network can help you stay on track and give you the accountability you need to keep moving forward.

If you need help or support to get your life on track, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline and talk to one of our counselors. Building a support network and getting help from others is how you will find success in the recovery process. They will answer your questions and give you the information you need so you can build a healthy life. Please call now.