Inspiration is to long-term sobriety as rocket fuel is to a moon launch. Staying inspired propels us forward, directing us toward a specific target or goal, namely a successful, long-term recovery.
Early on in substance use recovery, people are excited to get sober — feeling highly motivated and inspired to embrace a new sober life. As time passes, that super-charged inspiration can begin to peter out as things get tougher.
Finding ways to stay motivated during recovery is essential — it’s just as important as recognizing any waning interest in staying the course, as this can be a precursor to relapse. Continue reading to pick up some tips for staying inspired and sober in recovery.
How to stay inspired
Avoid approaching your recovery like you’re on autopilot. Just like a steamship needs constant refueling to keep the engines running, recovery needs a steady stream of motivation to keep the momentum going. If we feel uninspired for too long, feelings of self-doubt, isolation, and frustration can undermine your recovery process.
For this reason, it’s critical to seek out sources of inspiration that keep you motivated and inspired to keep going. When you understand the inherent need to stay inspired, you also realize that recovery is a precious gift that you need to nurture for long-term success.
Consider these four ways to find inspiration during your recovery journey:
- Seek out inspiring recovery stories: There is nothing as inspiring as listening to someone’s real-life recovery success story. There’s a variety of speakers and activists, as was Ashley Addiction Treatment co-founder Father Joseph C. Martin, who’ve spoken about the ups and downs of the recovery journey. You can also find other inspiring speakers on podcasts, Ted Talks, recovery documentaries, or YouTube videos. Getting that boost of morale can be just what you need to revive your own determination to continue moving forward in recovery.
- Keep inspirational quotes on hand: Alcoholics Anonymous is known for its many motivational phrases and inspiring slogans. There are also a multitude of famous quotes from people who have succeeded in recovery. Select some that resonate with you and print them out. Place them in strategic locations, such as on your refrigerator door, your desk, your bathroom mirror, and in your car to help keep you inspired.
- Engage with your sober support community: As the saying goes, “No man is an island.” We rely on the company, emotional support, and shared experience of others to feel happy and fulfilled. Being engaged in a recovery community offers social support and fellowship. In addition to participating in a local 12-Step (or similar) group, your support network can also include outpatient group therapy, sober friendships, and online forums. These resources are rich with inspiring people to help keep you motivated and committed to your sobriety.
- Be the inspiration yourself: One of the best ways to reinforce your own recovery is to actively assist newcomers in starting the recovery journey. Being of service to those who are new in recovery as a sponsor, a speaker, by volunteering at sober events, or even just making coffee and lending some encouragement at meetings helps you maintain that intrinsic motivation and deep desire to succeed in recovery yourself.
Keep an eye out for the signs that you might be vulnerable to a relapse. It might be things like skipping meetings or avoiding your sponsor. Possibly you have stopped working out and are not getting enough quality sleep. These signs can be a threat to your recovery, so reach out to your support network to seek out some sources of inspiration to keep you motivated.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, and provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle – “everything for recovery” – reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.