Every day in recovery you are tasked with a simple choice: to use drugs and alcohol or not to use drugs and alcohol? Other choices can seem less important, less significant, yet more difficult to make. Recovery teaches you to place your abstinence before everything else. Trying to make other decisions can prove to be more challenging because they are not as impactful as choosing between abstinence and relapse. People in the early phases of recovery are often shocked to find how difficult making easy decisions can be, while in queue for the grocery or even deciding what to eat for breakfast. In the beginning, it will be more difficult to make choices. Partially this is due to the recovering brain which is slowly gaining back its cognitive functions. To help your brain learn new decision making behaviors, follow these four steps.
Think, But Do Not Over Think: There is a term called “analysis paralysis’ which refers to getting stuck in the process of overthinking. Underthinking is a chronic issue in addiction. The character of addiction encourages less consideration and more impulsive action, typically producing problematic results. Going to the other extreme of non consequential choices results in becoming paralyzed in the fear of consequences. Instead, it is important to think and give choices their due consideration. Once you feel you cannot reach a conclusion, it is time to move onto another step.
Get Other Opinions, But Not Too Many: Seeking other perspectives is important when you aren’t confident in your own perspective. All successful people draw inspiration from others and in a moment of doubt ask for the opinion of others. However, they ultimately rely on themselves because they have gained confidence in their own abilities. While it is important to ask for other’s opinions, it is easy to get lost in hoping somebody else will make the choice. You will have to make the choice eventually, as best informed as possible.
Go With The Flow: All choices are good choices when you are open to the results of that choice. Every choice is an opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve in your recovery journey. Choices are not definite. Life is tremendously long full of exponential potential. On the other hand, life can be short and time is of an essence. Make a choice and be open to what happens. Learn from the results and make the next choice more informed.
Castle Craig hopes to make the choice for residential treatment easy by providing helpful assistance and encouraging information on our programmes. For over 25 years, Castle Craig has stood as a respected clinical establishment with high rates of success and satisfaction. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | July 13, 2017