How To Use Simple Reminders To Stay On Track During Early Recovery

April 16th, 2018 Posted by Addiction Recovery, Life Coaching 0 thoughts on “How To Use Simple Reminders To Stay On Track During Early Recovery”

I had knee replacement surgery one month ago. And the truth is that recovering from the “trauma” of major surgery as well as the interruption to my routines has sent me into a dizzying array of emotions. What has been most interesting is that these feelings are very similar to the fragile state of mind I recall from my earliest days of recovery from my addiction.

For me, the overarching theme of early addiction recovery was SELF-DOUBT. Some days I felt optimistic. Small windows of contentment led me to believe that I could succeed. Other days, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and was convinced that life would never get better. I felt stuck and unsure of how to move forward.

It’s the same emotional rollercoaster that I’m now experiencing as I recover from knee surgery. There are days when I feel like I’ll have to recover from my recovery! So, as I often do, I’ve been revisiting some of my favorite books to help me find a way out of the emotional turbulence that accompanies recovery.

Here are the “reminders” I’ve been keeping in mind as I heal:

#1 I have a choice about how I experience my life.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, in “The How of Happiness,” reminds me that “The key to happiness lies not in changing our genetic make-up and not in changing our circumstances, but in our daily, intentional activities.”

I am in charge of me and I can change how I experience my life by being more intentional about my behavior. Simple, but not easy.

#2 I can use questions to gain new perspective about my situation.

I first learned this in “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life,” by Marilee Adams. Instead of allowing old, undermining negative thoughts to take up residence in my head, thoughtful questions open the door to new solutions.

Real personal power comes from ditching the judgmental questions (eg. whose fault is this?) and asking ourselves questions that open the door to a new perspective (eg. what is my part in this?)

#3 I can honor (instead of fight) the process of recovering from big and small challenges.

Brene Brown’s “Rising Strong” is a tribute to the power of resilience and the struggle of falling and regaining our confidence and stamina.

Brown challenges me to get curious about what I’m feeling and to be willing to fumble with vulnerability. This is when I learn the most about myself and the difficult situation that I’m facing. And this is when new solutions become evident.

While the word “recovery” is often linked to healing from addiction, I believe that we’re all in recovery from something. Due to downsizing, we lose a job that we had for years; a relationship that felt so hopeful begins to deteriorate; a loved family member passes away; a community project we supported for many years loses funding. The list goes on and on. Life throws us curve balls and we fall down, often shocked by the abrupt way things can change so quickly.

With reminders like these handy, you’ll be able to bounce back with grace from the challenges that life presents. The curve balls won’t have quite the same edge, and you’ll be able to look at what’s happening around you and be empowered with the recognition that you indeed, are in charge of your own life experiences.

If you’d like to figure out how you can navigate your recovery, let’s talk.

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