If you are working a program of addiction recovery, then you know that life today is a complete 180 from your previous existence. Instead of acting selfishly in service to your disease, you act selflessly in service to your recovery. Instead of looking for ways people can benefit you, you strive to aid others in their quest for lasting change. The idea being that if you want to keep the improvements made in your life, you need to affect change in the lives of others. If you're going to keep what you have, individuals in recovery need to give it away.
There are various ways you can pay it forward in recovery. Sharing in meetings, working with a newcomer, and answering your phone when another person in the program calls are ways to give back. However, there are subtler ways that you can affect change in your small sphere of influence; as a matter of fact, how you go about your day today can inspire others to make little changes that can have a massive impact in their life.
A Healthier Tomorrow In Recovery
Early recovery is both a confusing and trying time for most people adopting a new way of living. Those in their first year of recovery have said goodbye, in many cases, to a dear and deadly friend; learning how to live without mourning the loss of drugs and alcohol isn’t an easy task. Although, while removing mind-altering substances from your life is especially beneficial, the rub lies in practicing the principles of recovery in all your affairs.
When you consider what you need to change (perceptions and behaviors), you realize that the only thing that needs to change is everything. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol is monumental, changing the way you look at things and proceed through your day in ways conducive to your health is paramount. All the pieces matter in recovery! Individuals must diligently maintain and act in ways advantageous to your mind, body, and spirit.
Once the mind becomes clear(er), and you get into the swing of daily meetings, calling your sponsor, working the steps, and so on and so forth, then please strongly consider making small adjustments to your routine. Please do not dive headfirst into making alterations talk to your sponsor beforehand; everything in its right time in recovery, always. After careful and cautious consideration, perhaps you can incorporate exercise and healthier eating into your program. Recovery significantly improves your physical and mental health, but working a program isn’t a panacea. Any auxiliary efforts made for your health can drastically improve your quality of life, i.e., exercise, mindful eating, and quitting smoking. Did you know that researchers believe smoking increase the risk of relapse?
If you can adopt new behaviors that are conducive to healthy living, doing so can and will encourage people with less time. Ask yourself, ‘what can I do today to ensure a healthier tomorrow?’
SAMHSA National Prevention Challenge
As all of us approach the ides of March, we thought it prudent to bring National Prevention Week (NPW) to your attention. The annual health observance means to increase public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. See the schedule below:
- Monday, May 14: Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness
- Tuesday, May 15: Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse
- Wednesday, May 16: Prevention of Prescription & Opioid Drug Misuse
- Thursday, May 17: Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana
- Friday, May 18: Prevention of Suicide
- Saturday, May 19: Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use
What would you say to your future self about what you’re doing today to ensure a healthier tomorrow? Share your answer by joining the NPW 2018 Prevention Challenge: Dear Future Me!
If you are having trouble watching, please click here.