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stuck in a rut
June 8, 2020

Stuck in a Rut? Here’s How to Change Things Up

Despite the progress you’ve made in your recovery, there will likely be times when you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere. It’s normal to go through phases where you’ve lost your momentum, but if you don’t take steps to change things up, you could be putting yourself in danger of a relapse. What are the most common recovery ruts, and how can you face them head-on?

1. Hope for the Best, Don’t Assume the Worst

Active addiction stems from a place of negativity. When you initially embark on your sobriety journey, you will likely find yourself full of motivation and optimism for the first time in a long while. However, the path to wellness is not a straight line. When you encounter an obstacle or find your enthusiasm flagging, self-defeating talk might start to creep back in. 

Thoughts such as “I’ll never be able to do this” or even “I don’t deserve to be healthy” are common in people at this phase. When you notice this phenomenon occurring, the first thing to do is to be kind to yourself. Think back on everything you’ve accomplished so far, and your reasons for wanting to be sober in the first place. It’s not productive to get stuck in a rut of belittling yourself or diminishing your self-worth. 

2. Be Realistic

Getting sober can be extremely liberating. However, once the reality settles in that addiction recovery is a lifelong process, and that success doesn’t happen overnight, you may start to feel disheartened. Don’t set goals that will be impossible to reach or hold yourself to a standard you won’t be able to achieve. Remember, you’re human, and everybody makes mistakes. Forgive yourself and move forward. 

3. Ask for Help When You Need It

If you get stuck in the rut of feeling hopeless about your future, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed about reaching out to others. Attending group and individual therapy will be a valuable part of your ongoing recovery efforts, but if you’re feeling disheartened about your progress, make the effort to connect with your recovery sponsor or supportive friends and family members and talk through your emotions. It can be tempting to try to sweep your feelings under the rug, especially for those who had come to rely on substance use to dull the pain. However, dealing with complicated emotions as they arise is integral for your mental health in addiction recovery.  

4. Live in the Present

Getting sober can bring a host of complicated emotions to the fore. You’ll have to learn new, healthy ways to manage feelings such as guilt, which you previously muted with substance abuse. Living more mindfully is one way to break free from the rut of negativity as you learn not to dwell on the harm you’ve done in the past, or worry about future events that may never become a reality.  

5. Adjust Your Perspective

The decision to get clean and sober is one of the most significant choices you’ll ever make, but keep in mind that you’ve committed to a long — and sometimes bumpy — journey. When you encounter obstacles or experience cravings for your former substance of use, remember everything you’ve done to get to where you are. Shift your mindset from self-doubt to acceptance. You can do this.

6. Embrace Uncertainty

Life doesn’t give us a roadmap, and that’s OK. While it’s impossible to predict what the future might hold, the most resilient people maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity. When you accept that there will always be things you can’t control, you’ll become a healthier and happier person.

Stuck in a Rut of Addiction? Find Freedom at Beach House

If you find yourself mired in the quicksand of negativity, remember that you have the power to break out of your recovery rut and continue to lead a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. Beach House’s evidence-based addiction treatment practices have allowed many men and women to discover the joys of sobriety. Contact our compassionate admissions counselors to learn more. 

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